Alt Summit Recap – Round 1

So finally, today, a week after the end of Alt Summit and a few days after I returned from my post-Alt mini vacation in Utah, I’m happy to report that my blogger’s block seems to be gone and I’m ready to write again.  I don’t think I can possibly put all of my takeaways from the summit in one post so today I’m just focusing on the overall experience.

I cannot stress enough what a great experience Alt Summit was for me.  I learned so much, met truly lovely and insanely talented people, and had such a amazing time.  So, in other words,

(images via 1,2,3)

I had a kick-ass roomie, Miss Jennifer from Rambling Renovators, and whether it was mingling at the parties or having deep discussions about blogging, we had a total blast. The added benefit of having Jenn around was that she knows everything. I’m not kidding…she knew who people were, what blogs they were from, which people were on which panels, where we were to eat breakfast…everything.  This fuzzy photobooth picture depicts the essence of Jenn and I at ALT….Jenn doing it right while I have no idea what is going on.

(via photo booth sponsored by Epiphanie Camera Bags)

I attended many sessions sessions including the business of blogging, how to grow a readership, building a personal brand and a roundtable discussion on how to quit your day job.  Some of the best design bloggers out there were sitting on the panels, and let me tell you, these men and women truly know what they are doing.  There were some amazing keynote speakers including Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest and Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project. And to top it all of there were crafty courses on the Saturday – everything from calligraphy to photography.

Clockwise from top right: Jenn and I just before we met Ben from Pinterest (via Jenn’s camera), swag from the party (via me), Ben Silbermann doing his keynote (via b.a.d. photography), Alt shoes (via Justin Hackworth), Panelists Jordan (Oh Happy Day), Kelly (Design Crush), Nicole (Making it Lovely) and Maggie (Mighty Girl) (via me), helpful graphs (via me), Gretchen Rubin closing keynote (via b.a.d. photography), my textile design course (via b.a.d. photography), the crowd during a session (apparently I thought something was hilarious here) (via Justin Hackworth), the lovely Miss Emily Henderson of Secrets of a Stylist speaking during a session (via me).

After the first day I had an overall feeling of, holy sh*t, I am doing everything wrong! And I heard similar sentiments from many other bloggers.  But I came away with so many tools to improve my blog that it was hard to feel anything but inspired the whole time I was there.

Oh, and have I mentioned the amazing parties ….namely the “dinner en blanc” on Friday and the mini parties on the Saturday. Super fun and beautifully decorated…..

Clockwise from top right: Jenn and I in the Method “Smilebooth” with props, Dinner en Blanc (via Justin Hackworth), Jenn and I and some new/old friends Kathleen, Jason, and Cole (via Jenn’s camera), Chinese New Year mini party decor (via b.a.d. photography), the Girls with Glasses Parisian mini-party decor (via moss and issac), Jenn and I at the dinner en blanc (via Jenn’s camera), decor at the Wilson Art mini party (via me).

I was one of about 400 to 500 women (and 10 to 15 men) at the summit so one can imagine that it could get competitive or catty, but it was so welcoming and supportive.  The ideas of collaboration and community came up in one form or another in all the sessions I attended. I have always been amazed about the community and support given by the smaller group of Canadian design bloggers but I’m happy to say it is present even in the broader blogger community.  I feel very lucky to be a part of it.

In subsequent posts I’ll talk about some of the specific things that i took away from the Summit, but for now, I have to go figure out what to wear to the Canadian Design Bloggers Meet-up tonight at Brassai.  Can’t wait to see some of you there!

XO,

My Mighty Life List – 2012

Good morning!

So on New Year’s Day, I posted about My Mighty Life List.  After a couple of days of pondering, I have come up with a good start to my  list which you can find here.  I’m including everything from very basic things that I know I can accomplish easily (but just haven’t gotten around to) to big dreams (go to the Oscars).  And it is by no means complete.  Today I’m going to highlight a few of the items from my list that I believe that I can tackle in 2012.

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1. Organize my spice cupboard

Earlier this year I posted this about wanting to get my spices organized.  Despite the good ideas I found, I STILL have not completed this project.  Easy goal, but needs to be done.

2. Get a storage space so I can continue to collect things I love

I have collected a few gorgeous pieces that I’m planning to re-upholster in the future such as this gem….

These pieces are now stored in a whole bunch of places because my apartment is too small and I don’t have a garage for storage.  I need to invest in a storage unit so I have one place to store all my soon-to-be statement pieces and…oh and collect more.

3. Start getting sponsors for Recreated the blog

I’ve been planning to convert my WordPress blog to a self-directed one (where I can advertise) for a long time but I just haven’t gotten around to it.  This is at the top of my to-do list for this week, never mind this year!

4. Reupholster a piece of furniture for the Chair Affair

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This past year I attended the Chair Affair, which I posted about here.   The Furniture Bank holds this annual fundraiser where local designers/artists redesign and re-purpose a chair taken from the furniture bank and then they are auctioned off.  I have no idea how they choose the people who design a chair but I’m going to look into it.  It’s a great cause and I would LOVE to volunteer my upholstering skillzzzz to this event.

5. Attend more blogger events

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I have had such a great time connecting with various bloggers over social media over the past year but there is nothing like meeting bloggers in person.  January is going to be a busy month for me with exciting blogger events such as Alt Summit, Blogpodium at IDS, and the Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup. My goal is to continue keeping both formal and informal meetups with bloggers going for the rest of the year.

I feel pretty confident I can reach all these goals and even a few more…..but I guess we all think that in the first week of January!

XO,

Heartfelt Thanks and The Mighty Life List

Happy New Year!

 To start of my new year I want to express a heartfelt….

(via Ken Barber for The Society of Design )

My decision to start blogging was, hands down, the best decision I made this past year.  I love sharing my passion for re-upholstery, design and fashion.  Having a place to share what I love and having a forum to connect with others who share similar passions and interests has been truly phenomenal.  I have learned a lot about myself through writing the blog and, more importantly, I have met some of the most incredible people.  The support and help I have received from fellow bloggers as I fumbled my way through the art of blogging, has been great and so unexpected.  The design blogging community has been great to me and I am truly grateful.  I wish you all the best in 2012.

And speaking of 2012, I’m going to….

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So, I’m not big on resolutions but I do have lots of things I’d like to accomplish and things I’d like to improve on to be a better me.  Back in September, Victoria from SF Girl by the Bay posted about the MIGHTY SUMMIT.  At the summit they came up with a Mighty Life List….basically a big list of all things you want to accomplish in your life.  I love the sound of a Mighty Life List, it’s so much better than a Bucket List which doesn’t sound nearly as hopeful.  So, I plan on writing my Mighty Life List in lieu of making resolutions.  Some things may be accomplished in 2012 and some may not, but having it on paper will ensure that I’m always working towards these goals.  It will take time to come up with complete list but I will take some time to think about it and post it in the next few days.  Hopefully you will start thinking about what is on your Mighty Life List!

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XOXO,