WordPress Wonders — Making Jedemi.com Sing

“What’s essential is invisible to the eye…”

Anyone who has worked with me knows that I have a constant flow of creative ideas that I somehow manage to capture from time to time, in my journal or on a napkin or, if I’m really being structured, in mock-ups using PowerPoint. When it comes to this website, I had been living with ideas for years. And when it came time to make my vision come to life, I turned to a bunch of creative techies in Berkeley, Computer Courage (AKA Wizards of WordPress).

sketchjedemi_smI communicated to them what I wanted the site to do and how it should feel. I showed them mock-ups of brick walls, logos and stars. I even brought a napkin from Peet’s, explaining, “We need an idea napkin with changing thoughts!”

The thing is, they were into it. They listened and emailed mock-ups back.  I viewed and clarified… even taking pictures of colors in nature I liked. I also referenced “The Little Prince.”

In an email from the designer, she wrote, “Thanks Annie. Your email and attachment were very helpful to understand the palette even more. Remembering Le Petit Prince pastel colors from my childhood (I’m French!).”

I thought to myself, this is perfect. If anyone would understand my project, she would. She is Julie Negrel. What you see on this site is her handiwork.

star1Meet Julie the Designer…

juliecorpShe’s been studying web design for the last 18 months, drawn to this type of work because she had always been both artistic and computer-savvy but never thought she’d have the opportunity to combine the two as a career! She said that back in France, she received degrees in history and communication/audio-visual semiotics. Basically, she only learned facts and theories… not marketable skills. When she moved to the States, web design took her by surprise.  And she took to it like a duck to water.

Conquering tough problems, like an unruly script or table, are what she finds rewarding. She also noted that learning in this field of endeavor is ongoing.

“Being a “newbie” in this field, there are always new techniques that I need to learn, and I view this as a daily challenge. However I have discovered that this is a field where Googling, exploring online forums, and asking real-life colleagues is the way to learn, no matter how experienced you are.”

Besides this Jedemi site, Julie has worked on www.communityherbalist.com, www.liaisesolutions.com, and www.powersewing.com to name a few for Computer Courage. On her own, she has spent time designing and developing free of charge websites for artists and non-profits. Examples of her work can be found on her portfolio site: www.julienegrel.com.


I asked about the advice she would offer to anyone thinking of doing a WordPress-based website. She said there are three things she would recommend:

  • Mock up your design before installing anything.
  • Forum members are your best friends.
  • Don’t hesitate to use plugins extensively.

desertwellstar1There is a scene in The Little Prince where a well is discovered in the desert. The pilot and the little prince “set the pulley to working. And the pulley moaned, like an old weathervane which the wind has long since forgotten. The little prince said:

We have wakened the well, and it is singing…

The thrill they got from discovering a functional well in the desert is a lot like what I feel about this site.  It is singing thanks to a web designer who came from France to Berkeley and landed at Computer Courage at just the right time to take on my project.

Thank-you Julie and team!

Enjoyed this read? Want more ponderables?

Sign up to our mailing list!

Our weekly DragonBustR Reader will provide you with a nice snapshot of what’s new and ponderable at Jedemi. Plus, you will get updates on The Jedemi Chronicles (Trilogy & Series).



  1. Thanks for the kind words Annie – I like the nickname “Wizards of WordPress”! Computer Courage’s love affair with WordPress continues, we’re doing more and more sites with it. Thanks again and good luck with the site!

  2. I dont know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    …..Frank Scurley

Speak Your Mind