Big Folio and a quick Q&A



My friends at Big Folio (my website people) have extended a discount to my blog readers!  If you’ve been thinking about a new website and just haven’t made the move yet, now may be the time.  They are offering $25 off your site of choice when you use the code: URBANGRACE25



Jen from Big Folio emailed me a few weeks ago asking if I’d do a quick little Q & A with them for a feature on their blog.  Here it goes…



*What inspires you as an artist/designer?*
For me inspiration comes in two packages… there is the visual kind and then there is the kind that comes from rest. “Visual” inspiration comes in the form of magazines, blogs, pinterest, and traveling.  And when I say “rest” I’m not talking about naps and pina coladas in a hammock (although that would be nice).  I consider “rest” any time spent away from a computer/office/phone… for me it’s usually time spent in my garden.


*What a typical work day like for you?*
I am an early bird.  I make my coffee the night before and set a timer (it goes off at 5:30am).  Between the time I wake (usually in the 6 o’clock hour) and the time my little Sloaney B wakes (8am) you can count on  me being outside (with the doggies) checking on my garden- pruning, uprooting, replanting, weeding, making sure all my little plants have what they need (watering and fertilizing).  I try to get to the office between 8:15 and 9am.  If I get in early I try to spend that time blogging.  My day consists of work, work, work.  There is rarely any downtime.  Every so often I’ll take what I call a “non smoker break” and allow myself a little time on pinterest, facebook, or google reader.  We have a very laid back work environment, but that shouldn’t be confused with laid back work ethic… we work like crazy.  Thankfully I have the best team of people a person could ever dream of and they like to work hard too.  At the end of the day, usually between 4:50 and 5:05, someone “calls it”… which means “call it a day” (usually this is me, because there are certainly days where I just.can’t.take.anymore and I have this pint-sized nugget that I cannot wait to get home to!)… and then we get in our cars and go home.  When I get home I quickly dream up what to make for dinner, whip it up, and then play, play, play.  Chance gets home from work later than I do and he tackles Sloane’s bathtime while I clean the kitchen (or collapse on the sofa for 20 minutes).  I check my email, take a bath, go to bed.

*What’s one thing you will always splurge on?*
boots, jeans, sunglasses


*If not a designer, you would have considered being?*

Hmmm… a high school art teacher/Master Gardener?

*What the strongest and weakest part of your business?*
Strongest: client retention.  Weakest: office organization.


*What’s in your goodie bag?*

(I had to ask Jen what a “goodie bag” is.  In case you don’t know either… she said “that could be any of your industry tools/must haves on the job or things you can’t live without!”)

My goodie bag is a baggu.  Inside my bag is pandora, a plethora of pens (black ink is my preference), dove dark chocolate, moleskine calendar, my iphone, and chips and salsa.  And…. none of those are “industry tools” – so I better throw in computers, autoCAD, Adobe CS5, and email too.  I seriously couldn’t live without those things, they just aren’t very exciting.

work hard be nice

*What is your best advice for an up & coming designer?*

Work hard, nothing comes easy.  Challenge yourself, learn something new everyday.

*What’s your most successful marketing concept?*
The only marketing tool I have is this blog.  Thank you for reading.

*List 3 blogs you frequent and are inspired by?*

Three?  Now that’s really hard.  Here are the ones I check in with often…

mallyskok julia double


*What’s your most favorite product in the industry?*
Mally Skok fabrics and wallpapers.  Her color selections and patterns are refreshing and unique.


*What’s playing on your iPod currently?*

Patty Loveless on Pandora… does that count?


*Five goals for 2011?*

{I can’t resist – a picture of my Sloaney B.}

1. simplify – personally and professionally

2. take better care of myself – slow down

3. take a vacation

4. expand the office – we desperately need more room

5. make it to book club and/or figure drawing classes


Alright… now head over to Big Folio and treat yourself to a website!  I can’t tell you how easy they made the process.  Always there when I had questions and responded quickly!  They even offer logo design and their websites include blog hosting too… it’s a packaged deal there!  A great value and a great team of folks to work with… what more could you ask for!?  Don’t forget… URBANGRACE25 @ check-out to save $25!


big folio

Guess what!?  We have a new website!

With bigger photographs!

And a REAL photograph of Allison!  How cute are her orange shoes!?

Like everything in my life.. it’s still a work in progress.  As I dumped too many portfolio images into one folder I thought to myself would be nice to have subcategories… group projects together by house, or perhaps group bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens together.  When I find seven hours to camp out behind this computer with nothing better to do I’ll get them organized!

Now, about this new website… in September of 2009 (just a couple of weeks after Sloane was born) I met Mike Caston and Jen Thompson.  They were in town for Marla’s photographer get together.  They came all the way from Bend, Oregon to talk to the photographers about website development. They are two of the brilliant people behind Big Folio,  a web design company that makes pretty websites for people like me, a technologically-challenged person who appreciates a well-designed website but has no idea where to start.  They have been unbelievably wonderful to work with.  They set you up with a user name and password and then give you back end access to your site where you can add BIG photographs and tweak until you are ready to go live.  And guess what… they answer emails!!!  (Unlike the folks who helped with my last website. Grrrrrr.)

If you are in the market for a new website I highly, highly, highly recommend the folks at Big Folio!!!!  Tell them I sent ya!!

Oh and our new site is in the Artist Series, Pioneer Way.

Thanks Big Folio! XOXO