A New Banner!

So I’ve been doing some spring cleaning and felt like it was time to update the banner on this here lil food blog! I wanted to return to something a bit rustic and messy that incorporated some of my favorite props as well as photographs recently given to me by my mom. Thanks, Mom!

I realized I hadn’t changed the banner in quite some time and I’m always inspired by Adam Roberts‘ regular changes to his site. Now that it’s complete I thought I’d do a quick behind-the-scenes about it. And by quick I mean really quick; there are only two images (well 3 actually) that comprise the main banner and they’re magically stitched together in Photoshop. I wanted to do it in 1 pass but the background I chose wasn’t long enough. Darnit!

Here’s the view of the left side from above. Using my foba camera stand allowed me to get really really really really high up in the air and also keep things sturdy. I’m a klutz so this matters greatly. Anyway, items were arranged in a very casual, spontaneous manner using a few old books I had. In fact, the book on the right is The American Woman’s Cook Book from 1947 and The Butterick Cook Book on the right. The Butterick cookbook is 100 years old this year and belonged to Adam’s grandmother. Many of her notecards and clippings were inside the books and I happily used them on my impromptu table.

Here’s the image on the right side. I used black flags and large black v-flats to remove some of the light and add shadows. Red wine, dried fruit, some cheese and fresh fruit complete the scene with grapes placed strategically to allow for a headline. The boards were salvaged from my old garage and many of the plates in this shot came from ABC in NYC. The knives, fork and linen are vintage pieces from all over the place. And if you look in the final image you’ll see I replaced the photo with a recent image of me being silly with a wax mustache. I mean, c’mon, how could I be serious?

After both images matched my banner template using an overlay feature I combined them both in photoshop, using a third image (below) to graft any extra surface space I’d need to make it fit. After all the images were layered properly I blended and merged them, cleaned up some of the messy surface and put my logo on top. Voila! New banner!

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did I’ll make sure to go behind-the-scenes with every banner and write about it here!


  1. says

    Loved the new banner… it’s really really lovely! And loved the post with the behind-the-scene feel to it…

    Muchos abrazos.

  2. says

    Matt I absolutely love it!!! It is so you!!! I especially love the old photos, recipe cards and books and the story they tell in the photos!!! I also love the “behind the scenes” details. I am not well versed in photoshop at all and when I see things like this it just makes me more determined to learn!

    So glad that you and Adam had such an amazing trip and very happy that you are back safe and sound – can’t wait to read about all your adventures!!

  3. says

    Absolutely adore the new banner and would LOVE for you to share the “behind the scene” details with us in future. Would be great help for photographers like me!

  4. says

    I LOVE The new header!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The slate blue/gray is just perfect! It totally just fits you and your blog style and the vibe and all that…oh wow, I DIG IT!

    And I love the behind the scenes info…very awesome. More of this please! Yes, I love to learn how things like this all come together!

  5. Jarett says

    Great detail yet not too busy – I wanted to just explore the whole photo, and the how-to also was nifty. So glad I made this one of my daily reads – you’re helping an FNG to this world. For that I thank you.

  6. Linda says

    I love that colour of blue….so evocative and calming. The red text punches it. The added bits of recipe cards and books speak of the process. I like that..makes it more real- congrats, it is beautiful.Talented man!

  7. says

    This is great! I love the new banner and all the info. Now I need to find someone to do this for me.

    I love the slate blue color too. My favorite color of all time!

  8. sally cameron says

    Really interesting Matt. Completely different feel. Like the colors. Cooler,richer, more rustic yes. Such a departure, really neat. Warm, More you. Congrats. Updates feel good. Will you still include the photography and travel aspect, or less so? Lots of nice nostalgia, which I love. Good for you.

  9. says

    Pretty beneficial post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have extremely enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing for ones feed and I hope you post again soon.

  10. says

    Love both the banner and the behind-the-scenes glimpse.

    Side note: I have The American Woman’s Cook Book too! My mom had two — one from her mom, one from my dad’s mom — so I brought it home after my last visit. I guess it was pretty ubiquitous back in the day.

  11. Maggie Drake says

    Wowie Zowie I want to have a bite of each of the scrummy yumptious items pictured in the article. Stick food is my kind of food; I am rather barbaric and embarrass my husband often when we are out by picking up whatever I can with my fingers. My favorite summer dinner is eating skewered bbq-ed yummies and throwing the empty sticks in the open fireplace–dishes done!

  12. Renee says

    THAT is so awesome!!!! Love, love it!!! The site looks amazing and I really thank you for the “how to”! Inspired! :)

  13. Ken Burke says

    Very cool and very informative. Great outcome with a “skinny” background. Question: How useful do you find the camera stand for food (and 0ther) photography? Did you buy it with a specific purpose in mind or is it one of those things that got “accumulated” and then became a useful addition? Thanks!

  14. says

    New book, new look, and I love it. And although you have killer skills as a photog, you’re a typographic mad man. Once an art director, always an art director. What font is the sketch text? Fun post.

  15. says

    I always love the “behind the scenes” posts and this one is no exception! Fab new banner. It’s very you.

  16. says

    Great looking banner! I always struggle to find the right stock image(s) or creating a good looking banner in Photoshop… I have never really thought about using props and creating my own banner the “easy” way by setting it up and taking pictures of it.

    Thanks for sharing!


  17. Julie says

    It’s deliciously, tastefully amazing banner – please keep posting these awesome behind the scenes!!! I’m so happy I found this blog !!!


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