Alt 2012 in Review

To start off I’ll tell you something you didn’t already know, Alt Design Summit is/was amazing.

After two prior years of flying in at the crack of dawn, I smartened up this January and took a (direct!) afternoon flight into Salt Lake City. Let me tell you, totally worth the extra $30. I’d somehow managed to cram five days of necessities and a queen-sized air mattress into my carry-on and personal item and was ready to roll when my Alt-sponsored ride swung up curbside and took me to the Grand America.

I settled in at the hotel for a luxurious thirty minutes or so, then it was off to Dinner With at J.Wong’s Asian Bistro. That’s me in the very back!

After a few hours of chatting, spring rolls, chicken lo mein, and a few ginger mojitoes it was off to Christophers for a cocktail party for the speakers. I love these limited edition, hand numbered coasters that were waiting for us on the tables. (PS: I do!) The wine was flowing and it was so loud with hellos and old friends, so much fun!

Thursday morning started with room service (Irish oatmeal!) and signing in at the registration desk, where I was presented with my name tag as well as a sizable and seriously heavy box of swag. I didn’t say no.

The day was full of some of the best panels I’ve sat down to in three years of the conference. I learned a bunch and I promise to share it with you all, in detail, later in the week.

Lunch was sponsored by Cargoh, and all 500 of us sat down to a gorgeously packaged surprise at our place setting. I later learned that each one had been hand wrapped and stamped! The keynote that followed was by Ben Silberman of Pinterest fame, and was easily one of the best talks I’ve ever been privy to. I think everyone walked out of that dining room with a little bit of a crush.

Thursday evening was the much talked about Winter Wonderland Party where everyone was asked to wear white. And did they ever. Outfits ranged from prom dress-worthy to simple tunics.

I wore a 60s-inspired sleeveless number that I’d picked up this past summer. Carina wore awesome.

Friday my panel – Growing Your Readership – was up and the room was packed!

As in standing/sitting room only.

Jordan, Nicole, Maggie, and I had a great banter going on and I was thrilled afterwards when people told me how much they’d gotten out of our talk. (I’ll be sharing notes later on this as well!)

It was a pleasure to speak with ladies I have the utmost respect for! After a few more panels, a fantastic lunch keynote by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Deborah Needleman, and Pilar Guzman, and an ending keynote from The Happiness Project‘s Gretchen Rubin IT WAS TIME TO PARTY. Again.

The ceilings and lighting were my favorite parts. As were the swag bags my roomies and I conquered like Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving. *blush*

Aaand just a small sampling of the photobooth whorage that took place. (NOTE: No, I did not chop my hair off. It’s just pulled back.)

Saturday was my only free-ish day. I went to a sponsored brunch and took a calligraphy class before having a completely relaxing dinner with three friends. Sunday brought about a morning flight home and my body catching up to the meager hours of sleep I’d had.

I’ll be back later this week with specifics that I learned as well as my favorite business cards!

Photos: Justin Hackworth, b.a.d. photography, moss + isaac, and Smilebooth
You can view the entire Alt 2012 flickr stream right here.


Alt Summit 2012

ORIGINAL PHOTO: Conde Nast Traveler

In a few short hours I’m off for the third year in a row to Alt Summit in Salt Lake City! This year I’ll be speaking on a panel with Nicole Balch, Jordan Ferney, and Maggie Mason about growing your readership. I’m so looking forward to seeing all of my blogger friends who I only get to touch base with a few times a year. Little sleep and lots of chatting are in the plans, I like to call it blogger camp. Don’t fret, I have posts lined up while I’m away. I’ll be back at it Monday with lots of stories to tell!


Design Crush 3.0

Welcome to the latest incarnation of Design Crush!

Once again I had the pleasure of working with Cooper Multimedia during the three month process of giving the site a facelift. Tim and Erin are a dream and really helped me with making my vision a reality. When we started in July I thought I knew exactly how I wanted things to look, but it’s funny how they translate once they’re on screen versus a piece of paper. That’s something I will never get used to as a designer. But between the three of us we made it here and I am very, very happy.

Some new features:
• A press page! Still a work in progress and completely surreal to compile.
• Simplified horizontal navigation at the top of the page. (The rollovers are one of my favorite parts!)
• A new social media icon link to me on Pinterest.


Happy Weekend


01/ looking forward to hoarding apples and making these apple ring fritters
02/ a mini version of this garden wall would look so good on a back porch or patio
03/ this hanger shelf is a brilliant use of space
04/ pretty DIY thread-wrapped hair combs
05/ Joy knows how to throw a cat a birthday party
06/ off-the-wall silkscreened paper masks
07/ typeface birdhouses!
08/ help the wildfire relief efforts in central Texas with these graphic tees
09/ all receipts should be this beautifully organized
10/ make an ombre denim button-up shirt


Where else I’ve been this week:
01/ In Honor of the Ice Cream Cone
02/ DIY Newspaper Gift Bags
03/ DIY Faux Zinc Letters
04/ Make It: Paper Pumpkins for Fall


Things My Father Taught Me


Just before Father’s Day I was asked by a blog that shall remain anonymous to contribute a post about what my father has taught me. Good, bad, everything in between. The blogger failed to post my story and a few others (much to our dismay), but I thought the post might be worth sharing here.


My dad and I have always had a bit of an up and down relationship, but he’s still managed to teach me quite a bit. Some from things he did, some from things he didn’t do. Some from actions speaking louder than words, and some from the opposite. There’s a lot to be said for that point when you realize your parents are people, they have flaws and misgivings and regrets. That point of acceptance changed my life.

Always be yourself, whatever that means to you. Be the girl who gets dropped off at school in the 5th grade on the back of a motorcycle. Don’t be afraid to mix lunch meats on a sandwich. Follow your dreams. Sometimes too far. Learn to make a great breakfast and master the grill. It’s okay to be the quiet one in the background, but speak your mind when it tells you to. Learn to drive a stick shift, preferably from someone with patience. Learn to be patient. Everyone has regrets, turn them into lessons. Age is just a number, it’s how you feel inside that counts. Don’t worry about what other’s think, you’re the one who has to live with you. (How they feel is a different story.) Don’t be afraid to make new memories, just don’t forget the old ones. Do anything for a friend or family member. Spring for the quality alcohol, your hangover will thank you. Be affectionate with your children, even if your parents weren’t with you. Old habits die hard. Fix the wrongs in your life while you still have the luxury of time. It really is the thought that counts.


Branching Out… to Curbly

As of this morning you can find me at one of my new contributor gigs over on Curbly! If you’re not familiar with the site, you really should be. It’s bursting at the seams with rad how-to projects, room inspiration, furniture, and so much more. Not to mention the great writers and community they’ve built up – top notch in my book! I hope you’ll stop by and see what I’m sharing from time to time.


Branching Out… to Houzz

If you follow designcrush on Twitter you may have noticed me freaking out about some great opportunities a few weeks back. Well, here’s the first… starting this month I’ll a featured contributor on Houzz. I’ll be building ideabooks based around a particular theme each time, my focus for June is on cocktail tables. If you ever want to see the latest, you can just click on the widget at the bottom of the sponsors column. Houzz is full of tons of other fantastic ideas and inspiration for you home besides my ramblings, so if you get the chance take a peek and let me know what you think!



Something kind of exciting happened yesterday. You officially became my longest relationship. I started Design Crush June 5, 2007, using this as a space to gather the things that I found inspiring. Never ever imagining that anyone would be interested in what I liked or had to say. And now four years later I’ve gained so much more than put in. Friendships that I’m sure will stand the test of time, collaborations that I never expected, and new opportunities I can’t wait to share. Thank you a million times over for coming along for the ride. xo