It’s been awhile since I’ve shared some of my blog favorites, because I don’t spend that much time trolling the blogosphere. You might find it a little odd that most of my favorite sites aren’t other curatorial or art and design blogs, they’re usually food and lifestyle based.
First up is Wit & Vinegar. Billy creates recipes that make me want to lick my laptop’s screen and spews funny like few others. You should definitely follow if you like food, sass, and dogs.
Henry Happened is full of thoughtful posts and resources that I wish I had the time or foresight to figure out on my own. Thankfully this site takes care of it all for me. Follow if you’re looking for DIY, style, home, and food.
In the words of creator Sarah, “The Sugar Hit is a cooking, eating & living blog. It’s a resource for the young, the broke, the hungry, and anyone wanting to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget.” Follow along if you’re into all of the above. I am.
PHOTO: Alt Summit
Alt 2013. It happened.
No doubt by now you’ve already read countless posts from other bloggers speaking about everything they learned, how awesome the other bloggers are, and how inspired they left. And you know what? It’s all true. This year marked my fourth year attending and speaking at Altitude Design Summit (affectionately Alt) and I’m still not tired of the feelings I leave with every January. It’s basically impossible to not bond with these people who are on your wavelength, who get your obsession with analytics and tolerate you anyway.
PHOTO: Alt Summit
Most attendees arrived in Salt Lake City sometime Wednesday. Past years I’ve had punishing early morning flights, but this time around lucked out and didn’t even have to depart Oklahoma City until after one o’clock. I had a lovely traveling partner in Rachel Shingleton of Pencil Shavings fame, and we arrived in SLC shortly before everyone started heading off to their Wednesday evening sponsored dinners.
I has signed up for a lovely meal with Joss & Main, a members-only site that curates 3-day long shopping events, at Sapa Sushi Bar & Grill. I ended up having such a great time and so many quality conversations that I forgot to snap even one photo! That has to be a record.
Thursday morning’s sessions started bright and early at 9am, and in the main hallway I immediately noticed what was one of my favorite new additions to Alt this year – three sheet metal boards ripe with magnets for showing off business cards! Business cards are the equivalent of gold at this conference, and the boards were the perfect way to showcase everyone’s creativity and long hours. They also unintentionally gave me recognition of someone before ever meeting them face to face. I can’t recall how many times I exchanged cards with someone only to say how I’d hoped I would meet them after spotting their card first.
PHOTO: Alt Summit
Thursday night brought with it the much anticipated Clue party. We had all been instructed to dress in the color of Mrs. White, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, or Mr. Green. I thought for sure one color would be dominant but nope, the room was a rainbow of vibrant color! All of the board game’s rooms were represented, sectioned off and identified in the classic Clue font and projected in light from the ceiling amidst the apropos furniture setting.
I loved all of the little touches that went into the planning, from the huge array of colored flower arrangements to the artistic takes on each weapon, to the colored lights in the rear of the room! (This is obviously the end of the night, these tables were packed!)
This is the lone good photo of me from the entire conference – as Miss Scarlet! – because the next morning I woke up with a raw throat and aching ears. I’d been sick for most of January and traveling lots, so I don’t know why I was surprised. But I was. Guess I should have taken more note of all the hand sanitizer being handed out and not put that plastic bear mask on in the Bing photobooth. But speaking of Bing…
PHOTO: Alt Summit
… they had a great footprint on the entirety of Alt, in a very genuine way. Their support of creativity and voice were palpable, starting with the amazing lounge they put together around projects nominated by the attendees. (And from what I hear, people ended up winning and taking each one home!)
Land of Nod also threw one heck of a tea party, complete with a full-size plastic swan boat (you can see a photo of me and my roommate, Jaime Derringer of Design Milk, canoodling in it on Instagram!) and plenty of polka dots and stripes.
Three cheers for Bing, Land of Nod, and all the sponsors of Alt for helping it reach its full potential!
PHOTO: Alt Summit
We had the opportunity to see three fantastic keynotes, one Thursday and two Friday. First up was Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and former longtime editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. To be honest Chris’s talk was a little over my head, but I’m looking forward to reading the copy of his book – Makers: The New Industrial Revolution – we were all gifted at lunch.
Friday’s lunch keynote resonated most, no doubt because it was one of my long-standing graphic design crushes – Stefan Sagmeister of Sagmeister & Walsh. His talk focused on the exploration of happiness through his projects The Happy Film (which finally has backing) and The Happy Show. We had the chance to preview twelve blissful moments of the movie, which will be at film shows this coming year. Needless to say, totally amazing.
The closing keynote was the lovely Katie Sokolov of Color Me Katie and street art fame. I have to confess that I didn’t make it to this one, cold meds had me taking a short nap in my room instead. But this is what I missed out on…
PHOTO: Alt Summit
So yeah, disappointed doesn’t even begin to cover it.
PHOTO: Alt Summit
Friday evening brought with it the much loved Mini Parties! Each sponsored room has its own distinctive decor and vibe, I think my favorite was Go Mighty‘s valentine-themed crush party with plenty of red, balloons, and candy. I also had a great time visiting with Better Homes and Gardens and Hayneedle!
PHOTOS: Alt Summit
Oh, the trends! Alt wouldn’t be Alt if the ladies (and handful of gents) didn’t bring their A-game. I was excited to see the latest (colored denim, mixed patterns, fascinators) and the reliables (topknots, big glasses, totes).
PHOTOS: Alt Summit
Some sights became old hat by the end of the conference – water to fight dehydration, Sagmeister kissing everyone in photos, and killer calligraphy to name a few.
Every year the business cards get better and more outrageous. This year was no exception with trends like thick cotton letterpress, blind embossing, and colored edges making their mark.
La La Lovely // South Holly Road // A Blog About Love // Artifact Uprising // Emily McDowell // The Artful Desperado // Citizens of Humanity // Design Milk // House of Earnest // Creature Comforts // Grassroots Modern // The Cuisinerd // Pinegate Road // Hitch Design Studio // Cloth & Kind // Leslie Fandrich // Meg Biram // Paper & Stitch
It seems like this year more than ever people were above and way beyond with their cards, some were flat out gifts. Prints, notecards, calendars – even a hamburger yoyo and wooden corgi pin!
If you couldn’t make it to the conference you should definitely look into it for 2014! In the meantime, here are a few links to reviews of some of the panels. I’ll continue to update the list as new ones come out!
Up and Coming Blogs
How to Craft for a Living
Organizing Social Media + Advanced Blogging
Collaborating with Sponsors + Earning Revenue
Planning Offline Events
Advanced Blogging Skills
Getting Past Zero
Building a Killer Portfolio
How to Organize Your Online Life
Being a Contributor
Stefan Sagmeister’s Keynote
Everyone has a secret favorite site, I don’t care who you are. Blogger or not, sometimes you don’t want to spill the beans on where all of the good stuff comes from. Well, in the case of food blogs I’m spilling. This site is just too good not to, the kind where I pin nine out of ten recipes posted.
Meet How Sweet It Is.
I’ve been following this blog for a few years, and just now realized the girl behind it all – Jessica – lives in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. And a new layer of love is added just like that. Jessica’s recipes are beyond good, they’re smart. And I think what sets them apart is the tweaking of one or two ingredients, like adding goat cheese to cheesecake or lavender to popcorn (see both above). I also love the way she looks at food through her camera lens as, really nice shots that make you start drooling on your keyboard just a little. Like I am now.
One of my very favorite parts of being a blogger is getting to befriend incredible people I’d otherwise never have the chance to know, and Emily Schuman of the wildly popular lifestyle blog Cupcakes and Cashmere is no exception. She just released her first book – Cupcakes and Cashmere: How to Create your Own Signature Style, Entertain with Ease and Spruce up your Space – that’s based on her blog, and I knew it was just going to be full of great tips. Wednesday night I settled into bed thinking I’d peruse the photos and dive in later… only to read the entire thing cover to cover. It’s no wonder since it has the same easy style as Emily’ blog posts. My favorite takeaway is an important one, that you don’t have to have a bazillion dollars to lead a stylish life. It’s all about high and low end items and knowing when to scrimp and when to splurge!
Summer and porches and beer. A match made in heaven. I was introduced to His + Hers Beer Notes by Emily and love seeing the straightforward written description of ‘His’ and the colorful line drawings of ‘Hers’. Just goes to show of people process things in very, very different ways! Tonight I plan on kicking back with a Wells Banana Bread Beer, my latest favorite. What’s yours?
I have five tattoos, did you know that? I also have about five more that I want. Pen & Ink is a blog about tattoos and the stories behind them. Every one has a tale, kinda like scars. Pen & Ink tells them through line drawings and beautiful hand-lettering. If you’re inked and have a hankering, you can even submit yours and it just might show up on the site.
01/ Paper + thread garland that’s perfect for every party!
02/ Loving these vintage knitting needle bracelets.
03/ How to DIY a hanging daybed, the easy way.
04/ Radiators that double as art.
05/ Genius photographic specimens.
06/ Reconfigured sheets of music.
07/ This homemade marshmallow crème has me drooling.
08/ I’d love to make a lap or ten around this rainbow panorama!
09/ Love this gentleman’s journal! (Thanks, Erin!)
10/ Cheeky urban plant tags.
It’s been awhile since I gave props to a foodie blog, but when I came across i am a food blog last weekend it caught my eye. Not only was the photography fantastic and the recipes delicious looking, but the past few posts have each featured a logo of sorts. And that put me over the edge. I hope this site continues down the same road, I’m really interested in what’s to come!
PHOTO: Greg Easton
01/ A font with 16 different sets of a numbers? A graphic designer’s dream come true.
02/ Love these half-dipped frames spotted at Gap Kids. Looks like an easy DIY to me!
04/ Guest Checks. A blog for art created on the ubiquitous check.
05/ So excited for Rifle Paper Co.’s new fabric line!
06/ Super cool glass logs cast from real wood.
08/ Colorful Edward Gorey-esque illustrations from Daniel Danger.
09/ A little bit gaga over this blog of curated collections!
10/ A fantastic bevy of paper flower projects.
Aside from my newest role in life as caregiver, I’m also still designing. Last fall I took on a project for the lovely Erin of Salvaged Grace. We’d become friends over Twitter and she was ready for a new logo to go along with her upcoming site redesign. I knew we’d be a good match when she mentioned wanting a type-only mark, my very favorites to design. Here’s what was decided upon ultimately and I couldn’t be happier with it, it’s the perfect mix of fun and lighthearted with vintage. Just what Salvaged Grace is all about.