In a nutshell…
I’m a freelance blog & web designer who offers…blog & website design. I mainly do custom WordPress themes & WordPress installs, blog transfers, and all kinds of blog & site graphics including logos, business cards, social media branding, etc.
Moonsteam Design evolved out of my digital graphics Etsy shop, Moonsteam Design Studio. In that shop I offer lots of colorful digital papers for crafting & small business use, and after I’d had a few inquires regarding blog design, I began offering WordPress themes & installations. As the demand grew, I decided to create this site as a place to offer more in-depth info than I can provide on Etsy.
My main purpose in providing my graphic design & blog tech services is to help people. I want to offer services that let people get up & going with their blog and/or website as quickly and as painlessly as possible…and as beautifully as possible. I love helping people bring their visions for their site to life.
About the name
The word “Moonsteam,” which I made up one day, is an amalgamation of ideas that inspire me: working by the light of the moon—i.e. all day & into the night—coupled with powering one’s work with the “steam” of one’s own hands & ideas.
How it all started
Oddly enough this venture owes its existence to my first Etsy shop, “Geek Bliss,” a line of geek-themed lip balms! They came about after some friends & I tried putting together a geeky webzine; I’d thought the balms would be a fun & quirky gift item to raise money for the zine. Well, the zine didn’t pan out, but I loved making the balms so much—er, I loved designing the labels so much—that I kept the shop going. As someone who loves scifi movies & shows it was great fun to think up new balm ideas. The shop is still technically open, but it needs a lot of updating & work, and I keep saying that I’m going to revamp it, but I’ve yet to have time to do it! But I can’t let it go, as it was my first shop & I do still love the products myself, haha.
Although a scifi geek, I’m even more of a costume drama geek, and so after creating balms inspired by scifi I was quickly inspired to make vintage-themed balms. I started brainstorming name ideas, and up popped the idea for Moonsteam Alchemy. ”Little Lip Luxuries for Ladies,” I call them. The shop is still going even though it needs a lot of work, too; I’d love to revamp the it in time for the 2012 holidays.
(Note to self: I should revamp Geek Bliss while I’m at it.)
It was in the course of designing labels for Moonsteam Alchemy that I kept coming across lovely designs I wanted to use, usually in the form of scrapbook papers, but most of them didn’t allow commercial use. Frustrated, I said the heck with it, I’m going to make my own! So I started making digital scrapbook papers, and then realized that I should sell them, too, but allow commercial use so that other small biz owners who needed some fun digital designs could buy them & use them however they wanted. And so the Etsy shop Moonsteam Design Studio was born.
MDS is still one of my main focuses these days (and I’ve started an instant download shop for it at moonsteamdesignstudio.com, so you don’t have to wait for me to send your items to you). I absolutely adore color—the story of why I will tell eventually—and so creating new items for MDS is a daily joy, so much so that the selection has grown by leaps & bounds & shows no sign of stopping. The pattern and color range is unlimited and growing regularly.
And as I sold more paper packs, I began to get custom design requests and inquiries about websites and blogs, and I soon realized that there was a need for WordPress help and design…and as someone who’s been creating websites since 1997, the web design geek in me got giddy and “Moonsteam Design” came to be.
I’ve got lots of ideas for all of my projects, and many new things in store for the rest of 2012 and into 2013. I wish it could all happen rightnow. But there is only so much time in a day, and no matter how many times I snap my fingers, I can’t get anything to happen instantly…
I’ve been creating and writing and designing blogs & websites since 1997…which makes me ancient in internet years, haha! I fondly remember some of my first sites, including one called “Sara’s Net Cafe” (haha) and one called “Sara’s Celtic Page,” started just before I took a study abroad summer course in Ireland. That page grew & grew & I had a lot of visitors & comments…but back then, there weren’t “comments” like there are now—people left comments in “guest books” (anyone remember those?). Ah, if only I’d saved those guest books! I might still have a screenshot of that site somewhere…I should try to find it and post it, for giggles.
Besides being a gal slightly obsessed with websites for way too long, lol, I’m also an ex- college instructor with a Master’s degree in Literature (and a B.A. in Lit and a B.A. in Economics) who used to teach courses on writing, literature, & pop culture. But I was always into computers as much as I was into things literary. I was one of the few instructors who always had a website for each course I taught, and always proudly put screenshots of them in my teaching portfolio…not that anyone back then really understood why I bothered making the sites (ah, how times have changed!). I even ran the computer classroom & manned its server for a few semesters, and I ended up as the webmaster for the department & its projects.
I offer as proof of my enduring geekiness one of the academic book reviews I did that’s still online…for a book called Cyberspace Textuality: Computer Technology and Literary Theory. Oh yes, there is such a book! I still have it, lol. Skimming that review brings back memories, and I now chuckle to read the little bio posted at the end: “Sara Jenkins is a graduate student and instructor in the Department of English at the University of South Florida, as well as an adjunct instructor for Hillsborough Community College. Currently serving as the Associate Coordinator of Computerized Instruction, her research interests include computers in composition, computerized pedagogy, postmodern theory, and 20th century literature.”
Who me, a computer geek hiding out in a literature department? *blinks innocently*
You can take the girl away from the internet, but you can’t take the internet out of the girl.
While I enjoyed my stint in academia, in the end it wasn’t for me—I need to spend my days designing & working on websites. So now I’m a full-time graphic & web designer, and I couldn’t be happier. My literary forays have been relegated back to where they are best enjoyed: reading books for pleasure & discussing them for pleasure (literary theory can sap the life out of a story; just sayin’).
I’m also mulling over the idea of creating a WordPress 101 ecourse, since the instructor in me just can’t help thinking up ways to help people learn something they’d actually want to learn.
Thanks for reading, if you got this far! If you want to read other ramblings & various quirkiness, feel free to come visit me on my personal blog, Glitter Gilt Life.