Not A Bad Start To The Weekend. Chance of Showers Sunday. Have a Good One!

Forecast:

Western PA:

Main threat: None.

  • Today: Peeks of sunshine. Windy.Highs: Mid to Upper 40s Overnight Lows: 30s
  • Saturday: Partly cloudy. Chance of rain late. Highs: 50s Overnight Lows: Mid 40s to Low 50s
  • Sunday: Chance of spotty showers. Partly sunny otherwise.  Highs: Upper 50s to Mid 60s Overnight Lows: Mid 40s to Low 50s

DC Region: 

Main threat: None.

  • Today: Partly cloudy. Windy. Highs: Upper 50s/Low 60s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 40s
  • Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs: Upper 50s/Low 60s Overnight Lows: Upper 40s/Low 50s
  • Sunday: Chance of showers. Mostly cloudy. Highs: 60s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 50s

Windy Today. Dry Next 3 Days.

Forecast:

Western PA:

Main threat: None.

  • Today: Partly cloudy. Windy. Highs: 50s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 30s
  • Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs: Mid to Upper 40s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 30s
  • Saturday: Partly cloudy. Chance of rain late. Highs: Low to Mid 50s Overnight Lows: Upper 40s/Low 50s

DC Region: 

Main threat: None.

  • Today: Partly cloudy. Windy. Highs: Low to Mid 70s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 40s
  • Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs: Upper 50s/Low 60s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 40s
  • Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs: Upper 50s/Low 60s Overnight Lows: Low 50s

Soggy Bottom Boys Kind of a Day. Dries Out Thursday Afternoon and Friday.

Forecast:

Western PA:

Main threat: Solid rains could cause slipp’y roads.

  • Today: Rain. Highs: Upper 50s to Mid 60s Overnight Lows: Upper 40s/Low 50s
  • Thursday: Chance of a lingering shower in the morning. Mostly cloudy. Highs: Mid to Upper 50s Overnight Lows: Mid 30s to Low 40s
  • Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs: Upper 40s/Low 50s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 30s

DC Region: 

Main threat: Wet roads possible today.

  • Today: Rain. Highs: Mid to Upper 60s Overnight Lows: Low 60s
  • Thursday: Partly sunny. Slight risk of a stray shower. Highs: Mid to Upper 50s Overnight Lows: Upper 40s/Low 50s
  • Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs: Upper 50s/Low 60s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 40s

Rain Moves In By Tonight. Sloppy Wednesday. Wet Weather Starts To Move Out Thursday.

Forecast:

Western PA:

Main threat:  Steady rains later today into Wednesday. Slipp’y roads possible.s

  • Today: Increasing clouds. Chance of rain late this afternoon and tonight. Highs: Mid 50s Overnight Lows: Upper 40s/Low 50s
  • Wednesday: Rain. Highs: Low to Mid 60s Overnight Lows: Mid 40s to Low 50s
  • Thursday: Chance of a lingering shower. Mostly cloudy. Highs: Mid to Upper 50s Overnight Lows: Upper 30s/Low 30s

DC Region: 

Main threat: Wet roads possible late tonight into Wednesday.

  • Today: Clouds increase. Chance of rain at night. Highs: Mid to Upper 50s Overnight Lows: Mid 50s
  • Wednesday: Rain. Highs: Mid to Upper 60s Overnight Lows: Upper 50s/Low 60s
  • Thursday: Partly cloudy. Highs: Mid to Upper 50s Overnight Lows: Upper 40s/Low 50s

 

From Weather to Web Design: A Detailed Look Behind The Redesign of Frost Finery

When I was brought on less than 3 months ago to work for Brad Frost Web, I was expecting a challenge and sure enough I got one. Learning web design and development has not been an easy task, but I have had a great teacher in Brad Frost. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work for my brother and was excited to take on the challenge of redesigning the website for Frost Finery, my sister in-law’s awesome and unique jewelry company. As promised, I will go into a more in-depth analysis of the components that made up the redesign, including:

Pattern Lab and Atomic Design

Pattern Lab was an idea created by Brad Frost, Dave Olsen, and others in the web community consisting of a collection of tools that helps keep the design of the website consistent across the entire site. Pattern Lab goes hand-in-hand with the atomic design concept that Brad is currently writing a book about. Atomic design consists of atoms, molecules, organisms, templates, and pages, where a group of individual atom components makes up a molecule, a group of molecules make up an organism, and so on until we reach the final page phase. Both of these helped quite a bit with designing Frost Finery.

With Frost Finery, we had 2 separate sites, a Pattern Lab site (which consisted of the general layout) and a WordPress site that contains the actual content that appears in the final product on frostfinery.com. Pattern Lab consisted of using HTML elements as well as Mustache, JSON, and CSS. Mustache is a template system that allowed me to use atomic design to include organism level pieces into the template and into the final page while JSON allowed me to include the data that shows up in Pattern Lab. CSS was used to actually style the contents of the site.  Below is an example of how we used Pattern Lab and atomic design in the Collections page, where:

  • atom = navigation button (i.e. Shop)
  • molecule = navigation list (i.e. group of Shop, Collections, Custom Work, etc.)
  • organism = the header navigation
  • template = the page layout (as seen)
  • page = includes the template with the actual content that the user sees.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 12.52.02 PM

Using Pattern Lab and atomic design together makes life easier for the designer to see the layout before replicating this into the WordPress site. Being that WordPress uses php and not mustache/JSON, I had to learn php to create the actual site itself, which sounds easier than it actually was.

WordPress, the Plugins, and All of Their Glory

WordPress is a great tool to use for creating a website for a client who needs a straight forward way to include content on their page. However, learning php took a little bit of time, but once I got the gist of how it worked it was great to use. Along with php, WordPress also allows you to download plugins, which help when it comes to designing the site and giving the client an easy way to locate the right data they need to update. It also allows the client to manipulate how they want to display their information on their site. Some of the plugins we used were:

  • Advanced Custom Fields – Allowed me to create different sections for Frost Finery to organize its Jewelry, Events, and Shops. Allowed me to target different elements in php easily. Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 1.26.13 PM
  • WP Migrate Pro – Allows me to pull down the latest information from the remote site to the local site. Somewhat similar to Git Tower, but for WordPress
  • Admin Columns – Customize the backend of the site in Admin to display in an organized fashion. Makes it easier for Frost Finery to find its different itemsScreen Shot 2015-10-26 at 1.46.47 PM
  • Simple Custom Post Order– Allows Frost Finery to reorder her items in the Admin of WordPress to display on the front end. Great for her Jewelry section.
  • Contact Form 7 – Allowed me to create a functioning contact form relatively easily displayed on the Contact Page
  • Instagrate to WordPress – Allows Frost Finery to post to Instagram and it will post onto the blog section of Frost Finery as well.
  • Regenerate Thumbnails – A godsend when I changed the images max-size on the page so it would load faster. Instead of having to upload the images again, I could resize them using this tool.

All of these plugins were extremely helpful in creating the Frost Finery site.

JQuery

Another example of a language I had to learn from scratch. Being that Brad and I used vanilla Javascript for Death to Bullshit, JQuery was new to me. Because the first design of the site included jQuery, we decided to continue to use it. I have learned to try and stay away from jQuery being that it takes up a decent chunk of space causing the site to potentially load slower. JQuery was definitely a useful tool to learn and provides the functionality of each page on frostfinery.com. We used jQuery for the click events on jewelry items, displaying the panel when jewelry item is clicked on, scrolling to a certain location on the page, and adding/removing classes/ids/elements from the HTML of certain items.

One of the biggest issues was the amount of lag on the Collections Page due to the size and amount of photos. I added max sizes to the images but also used jQuery to not load in any images on the panel under the thumbnail until clicked. This reduced the size of the page from 8MB to 1.2MB.

Other New Tips and Opportunities

Along with the other firsts discussed, this was my first time dealing with a client (it helped that she is my sister-in-law). I quickly realized that you want to make the client happy but also compromise on certain issues. I can see how this could become a heated battle between designer/developer and client in the corporate world.

This was my first time also dealing with the <picture> HTML element, allowing different pictures to display on different-sized screens depending on the viewport width breakpoint. Writing php was difficult for this, but I eventually managed to get it working. I also learned of the picturefill script so this works on all browsers. Below is an example:

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.37.10 PM

Large Screen Homepage Image

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.36.49 PM

Medium Screen Homepage Image

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.37.25 PM

Small Screen Homepage Image

 

Git Tower was used again with pushing and pulling the latest versions of the site. Git Tower is great when 1 person is working on an issue, but Brad and I had out fair share of struggles when it came to tag-teaming the site on the last day before the launch. Certain stylings were getting deleted and older versions of the site were popping up. Thankfully with Git Tower, the paper trail of changes we made allowed us to fix these issues eventually. Such a love hate relationship.

Let the Good Times Roll

It was such a pleasure working on Frost Finery’s site, especially as my first redesign of an entire site. I learned a lot and had fun while doing it. It helps that I had a good teacher in Brad and someone who let’s me figure stuff out unless I desperately need help. Thanks for letting me share the details of the redesign with you. Go buy some Frost Finery jewelry and take care!

Sunny But Cool Today. Increasing Clouds Tuesday. Rain Late Tuesday into Wednesday.

Western PA will look at mostly sunny skies today before clouds increase on Tuesday and a chance of rain moves in on Tuesday night. Wednesday will likely see steady rains. Highs will rise into the mid to upper 50s today before low to mid 50s roll in on Tuesday and low to mid 60s track in on Wednesday. Lows will drop into the mid to upper 30s tonight before mid 40s to low 50s roll in on Tuesday night and Wednesday night.

The DC Region will look at mostly sunny skies today before clouds increase on Tuesday and a chance of rain moves in Tuesday night. Rain will continue into Wednesday. Highs will reach into the upper 50s to low 60s today before mid to upper 50s move in on Tuesday and mid to upper 60s roll in on Wednesday. Lows will drop into the mid to upper 40s tonight before mid to upper 50s move in on Tuesday night and upper 50s to low 60s track in on Wednesday night.

I know it’s Monday. But the sun is shining. Get after it!

Current (~9-9:30am) Temperatures:

  • Erie, PA: 40
  • Franklin, PA: 36
  • New Castle, PA: 37
  • Butler, PA: 39
  • Pittsburgh, PA (KAGC): 39
  • Uniontown, PA: 36
  • State College, PA: 39
  • Frederick, MD: 39
  • BWI Airport, MD: 50
  • DC (KDCA): 52

Forecast:

Western PA:

Main threat:  Steady rains late Tuesday into Wednesday. Slipp’y roads possible.

  • Today: Mostly sunny. Highs: Mid to Upper 50s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 30s
  • Tuesday: Increasing clouds. Chance of rain late. Highs: Low to Mid 50s Overnight Lows: Mid 40s to Low 50s
  • Wednesday: Rain. Highs: Low to Mid 60s Overnight Lows: Mid 40s to Low 50s

DC Region: 

Main threat: Wet roads possible late Tuesday night into Wednesday.

  • Today: Mostly sunny. Highs: Upper 50s/Low 60s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 40s
  • Tuesday: Clouds increase. Chance of rain at night. Highs: Mid to Upper 50s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 50s
  • Wednesday: Rain. Highs: Mid to Upper 60s Overnight Lows: Upper 50s/Low 60s

Good News: Sunny day today. Second half of the week looks drier after Wednesday or Thursday.

Bad News: Rainy Wednesday. Cool down behind the front during the second half of the week.

From Weather To Web Design: Frost Finery Site Has Been Launched

After less than 2 months of working on my first big website redesign for my sister-in-law’s jewelry company Frost Finery, it is finally complete.

It has been less than 3 months that I have been designing/developing websites, but I feel like I am chugging along with a heck of a lot left to learn. The redesign of the site allowed me to learn quite a bit, including:

I will have a more in-depth discussion about these bullet points on Monday. Looking forward to discussing this and pushing onto the next project. Have a great weekend!

Rain in Western PA This Afternoon. Dry Friday and Most of Saturday. DC Stays Dry.

Western PA will see showers today before conditions dry out on Friday and mostly sunny skies roll in. Saturday will keep conditions dry for the morning before clouds increase and a threat of rain moves back into the area. Highs will rise into the mid to upper 60s today before mid 50s to low 60s track in on Friday and mid 60s push in on Saturday. Lows will bottom out in the low to mid 40s tonight as 40s hold into Friday night and upper 40s to low 50s settle in on Saturday night.

The DC Region will look at partly cloudy skies today before mostly sunny skies move in on Friday and Saturday. Highs will climb into the mid to upper 70s today before mid to upper 60s track in on Friday and low to mid 50s roll in on Saturday. Lows will drop into the low to mid 50s tonight before mid to upper 40s settle in on Friday night and mid to upper 50s track in on Saturday night.

We’re over the hump. Only a little longer until the weekend. Take care folks!

Current (~10-10:30am) Temperatures:

  • Erie, PA: 64
  • Franklin, PA: 61
  • New Castle, PA: 61
  • Butler, PA: 63
  • Pittsburgh, PA (KAGC): 58
  • Uniontown, PA: 59
  • State College, PA: 63
  • Frederick, MD: 59
  • BWI Airport, MD: 59
  • DC (KDCA): 56

Forecast:

Western PA:

Main threat:  Could see some heavier rains this afternoon in some spots. Late Saturday night could see some heavier rains as well.

  • Today: Showers likely. Highs: Mid to Upper 60s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 40s
  • Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs: Mid 50s to Low 60s Overnight Lows: 40s
  • Saturday: Increasing clouds. Chance of rain during the evening. Highs: Mid 60s Overnight Lows: Upper 40s/Low 50s

DC Region: 

Main threat: None.

  • Today: Partly cloudy. Highs: Mid to Upper 70s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 50s
  • Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs: Mid to Upper 60s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 40s
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny. Highs: Low to Mid 50s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 50s

Good News: Dry weather for most of Friday and Saturday.

Bad News: Rain likely in western PA today. Lows drop into the 30s in parts of western PA by the late weekend and early next week.

Abridged Version…Because It Took Me an Hour To Travel Less Than 10 Miles

Forecast:

Western PA:

Main threat:  Nothing notable.

  • Today: Partly cloudy. Slight risk of showers overnight. Highs: Upper 60s/Low 70s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 50s
  • Thursday: Slight chance of spotty showers. Highs: Mid to Upper 60s Overnight Lows: 40s
  • Friday: Mostly sunny Highs: Mid 50s to Low 60s Overnight Lows: 40s

DC Region: 

Main threat: None.

  • Today: Mostly sunny. Highs: Low to Mid 70s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 50s
  • Thursday: Partly cloudy. Highs: Mid 70s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 50s
  • Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs: Mid to Upper 60s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 40s

Unseasonably Warm and Dry Next Couple Days. Chance of Showers in Western PA Thursday.

Western PA will see dry conditions continue today as partly cloudy skies occur across the region. A little more sunshine will move in on Wednesday as partly cloudy skies are expected overall. A chance of showers will move into the region on Thursday. Highs will rise into the mid to upper 60s today before mid 60s to low 70s roll in on Wednesday. Thursday will bring mid 60s into the region. Lows will drop into the mid to upper 40s tonight before upper 40s to low 50s settle in on Wednesday night and 40s track in on Thursday night.

The DC Region will look at mostly sunny skies today and Wednesday before clouds increase on Thursday. Highs will climb into the upper 60s to low 70s today before low to mid 70s roll in on Wednesday and mid 70s push in on Thursday. Lows will bottom out in the upper 40s to low 50s tonight before low to mid 50s press in on Wednesday night and mid to upper 50s move in on Thursday night.

Have a great two-for-Tuesday folks! Enjoy the nice weather!

Current (~10-10:30am) Temperatures:

  • Erie, PA: 59
  • Franklin, PA: 55
  • New Castle, PA: 52
  • Butler, PA: 52
  • Pittsburgh, PA (KAGC): 50
  • Uniontown, PA: 54
  • State College, PA: 57
  • Frederick, MD: 48
  • BWI Airport, MD: 51
  • DC (KDCA): 51

Forecast:

Western PA:

Main threat:  Nothing notable.

  • Today: Partly cloudy. Slight risk of a shower in Erie. Highs: Mid to Upper 60s Overnight Lows: Upper 40s/Low 50s
  • Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Highs: Mid 60s to Low 70s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 50s
  • Thursday: Chance of showers. Highs: Mid 60s Overnight Lows: Mid to Upper 50s

DC Region: 

Main threat: None.

  • Today: Mostly sunny. Highs: Upper 60s/Low 70s Overnight Lows: Upper 40s/Low 50s
  • Wednesday: Mostly sunny. Highs: Low to Mid 70s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 50s
  • Thursday: Increasing clouds. Highs: Mid 70s Overnight Lows: Low to Mid 40s

Good News: Unseasonably warm and dry the next couple days.

Bad News:  Chance of rain returns to Western PA on Thursday and cooler conditions return during the first half of next week (not as cold as the other day with snow in W PA).