Alt Design Summit recap

by Dana on January 31, 2012

It came, it went, and I’m so glad I was there.
Of the few conferences I’ve considered going to over the years the Alt Design Summit is one that really got me jazzed. 3 days of hanging with design enthusiasts and blogging friends, sharing inspiration, swapping ideas? YES. And what? They wanted me to teach a class? I really couldn’t refuse.

So I’m here to report that seriously, ALT is really great.
I’ll definitely be back next year!

There was something for everybody….
panel discussions, keynote speakers, yummy food, fun dinners, gold and glitter, and plenty of time to be chatty.
If there was ever a spare moment you could pop into one of the lounges to snack and chat….like the Cottonelle toilette paper room. Have you ever seen such cute toilet paper containers?–designed by Jonathan Adler (who even puts their paper in containers?)
I loved reconnecting with old friends and putting faces with the new ones. My friend Lyndsey above is too cute (and works as a PR consultant for bloggers. If you need one, she’s your gal!)

It was fun to see the fashions and hair styles. Geeky glasses, buns, and neons were in.
(photos from the Alt Flickr sets, by Justin Hackworth):
I got to sit down and chat with Anya, winner of last season’s Project Runway. And oh my, she is absolutely adorable. Her voice is the sound of the siren, luring you in. You could listen to her talk all day. She’s also really down to earth and was so sweet to hang out all day chatting with bloggers and taking photos.
Unfortunately I was a bad photographer that day and my battery ran out right as she and I were going to snap one. Duh. So here she is with Lyndsey again and Brittany of One Charming Party, another really fun gal.
But my favorite part of the conference had to be the speakers and classes. And now I’m kicking myself for missing the first day when Amy Butler, Grace from Design Sponge, and Pilar from Martha Stewart spoke (didn’t want to leave Casey stranded for too long with the kids). Oh well, next year.
I was totally excited though to hear Ben Silberman, co-founder of Pinterest speak on Friday. My buns liked it too.
Ben told “his story” of how he got to where is he and how it took a lot of hard-work, leaping into the unknown, surrounding himself with people with similar passions, and swallowing a bunch of “NOs” before someone finally said Yes.

He shared photos of what the early Pinterest mock-ups looked like and the years leading up to its launch. And he shared motivating thoughts like…
I want to be known for the things I make and not the things I say.”
and
Our mission (at Pinterest) is not to keep you online, it’s to set you offline. Pinterest should inspire you to go out and do the things you love….
It’s very motivating to hear people’s success stories. The room gave him a standing ovation at the end which was well deserved. We love Pinterest! Thank you Ben for creating it.

Saturday morning began a slew of Design Camp classes taught by various bloggers. And there were many cool options to choose from….Thrift shopping at the best local spots, how-to photography, book binding, water-color painting, jewelry making, and of course…sewing! Rachel from Handmade Charlotte taught the morning class and I ran the afternoon one.

It was so much fun! I loved seeing all those sewing machines set-up together….and better yet….a group of cute students, excited to tackle a project.
They had two hours to make a simple tote bag and stencil paint a pillow cover:
Pretty much everyone finished both projects–which was only possible thanks to our fabulous group of volunteers. It was so great to meet these ladies in person!

And a very special thanks to Susan from Crafter Hours for snapping all these photos for me!
Left to right: Nikki from Salty Pineapple, Anneliese from Aesthetic Nest, Britteny, me, Delia from Delia Creates, Cheri from I am Momma Hear me Roar, Collette from Heaps of Laundry, Christie from a Lemon Squeezy Home, and Stacie from Jame.
What a group of ladies!
There were just as interesting in person as they are on their blogs.
And because only 1/2 of our students showed up for the class, everyone got great one on one time with the sewing experts. Thank you again ladies!
In the last 1/2 hour of class everyone stormed the painting table and busted out pillows.
The big reveal moment–always the best payoff of a stenciling project.
After the class some of us just weren’t ready to part with each other. So we gabbed in the hotel lobby for two more hours, drinking hot chocolate. And I swear we only scratched the surface of getting to know each other. We need more blogger meet-ups.
And since we were in Utah, it was only timely that it finally snowed the last day I was there. Yay! I can handle small snow dosages.
Crunch crunch.
My two nieces smiled at the snow too:
I stayed with my brother Mark and sister-in-law Sara who treated me to gourmet maple and bacon donuts one morning and the Pie for pizza at night. YUM.  Thanks guys!

And I came home with a box of Alt swag….
I didn’t even realize there was a free ski lift ticket to Solitude in there (not that I could have used it in my pregnant state. But Casey would have loved it).
And a couple toilet paper containers came home with me too. Our bathroom looks real snazzy now.
Thank you ALT for such a wonderful weekend!
Hope to see you next year!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Damaris @KitchenCorners January 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm

This is such a great re-cap. I really hope I can go next year.

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2 Fabi January 31, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Lovee all my favorite bloggers in the same picture. :)

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3 Rachel January 31, 2012 at 6:05 pm

That’s neat that you got to meet the pinterest guy. I think he has succeeded. I find that although I do spend a LOT of time on pinterest I also find that it inspires me to DO more. Weather it crafting, sewing or just something fun with the kids. It’s very interesting to find out that that was the intention all along. Very cool.

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4 Collette January 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Dana, Thanks again for letting me help out. It was fun seeing you again. I loved meeting the other bloggers and felt inspired just being there among you and them. And I totally guessed that was you in the “bun” picture when I saw it in the flickr pool. :)

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5 Heidi January 31, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I seriously get so excited when I read everyone’s alt blog posts! I want to go so bad! I WILL go some year, mark my words! :)
Great pictures, it looks like you had a fantastic time!

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6 Kailee January 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Wow, that’s so amazing that you met Anya and got to hear the pinterest guy and meet sooo many fun people! I am extremely jealous, especially because of the fact that I live in Utah and totally would have gone had I known about it sooner. Next year FOR SURE! :)

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7 Stacie January 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm

It was so much fun to be there to help with your class! You’re a doll.

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8 Becky January 31, 2012 at 7:21 pm

what a fun looking conference! My recent sewing victory: I managed to sew Katie’s badges on her Daisy vest without sewing my fingers together.

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9 Christie January 31, 2012 at 7:44 pm

What a great time it was. Looks like you managed to squeeze in all sorts of fun stuff! So exciting to be able to attend those classes and meet Anya! That pinterest story is inspiring! I think that’s what is great about pinterest…once it’s safely pinned you can move along and know that the idea is stored safely away for when you might have time. Thanks again so much for letting me come! It was a delight to meet you and the others.

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10 Kathy Laird January 31, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Awesome! It looks like a great time was had by all!

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11 Lindsay Wilkes - The Cottage Mama January 31, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I want to come!!!! That looks like SO much fun :). Once I’m done having babies and nursing (which I feel like I’ve been doing for the last 4 years), I want to attend something like this, for sure! I’m thinking the Creative Connection Event first, but this looks like SO much fun. Wish I could have gabbed in the lobby with you ladies. Maybe someday……..

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12 marsi January 31, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Thanks for sharing all these wonderful pics from Alt! Looks like it was a lot of fun. I hope to be able to make it next year. I had a bit too much going on this time around but my hubby said that next year he’ll be happy to take the 8hr drive up there with me. -What a brave girl you are though to go with your “almost ready” little bun in the oven. Glad you came home safely. :)

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13 Natalie Cox January 31, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Looks like a great time. I’m seriously so bummed I ended up not being able to go! Next year for sure!

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14 delia January 31, 2012 at 11:42 pm

What a fun recap! It was really fun to meet you all and be there. I think…even though it costs a pretty penny I might want to try going next year too. Our babies will be about a year old. It might be a good time to get away. :)

That is really neat that you got to rub elbows with other great bloggers, designers…Anya! How fun.

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15 lyndsey @ the stationery place January 31, 2012 at 11:47 pm

perfect recap! your photos are awesome as always and i really love the alt pencils :) i also have to add that you were a FABULOUS teacher and did a great job making the class more understandable for us newbies. so good to see you & thanks for the shout out! xo

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16 Kim February 1, 2012 at 12:00 am

OH my goodness, you ARE around!? I have been checking every five minutes but was convinced you were having a baby. ;-)

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17 annalisa February 1, 2012 at 12:21 am

Holy smokes! You were in Utah! AND you were in my neck of the woods. Totally recognize those mountains. Somehow I feel closer to you. That sounds creepy . . . mostly geographically speaking of course. Best of luck with the babe, and thanks for all the inspiration you offer to me and many others. :)

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18 Alexandra February 1, 2012 at 5:47 am

I wish I was there….:)))). Maybe next year

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19 Jenny Vanover February 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm

That looks amazing!!!! I want to go with you :)

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20 Jen February 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm

It looks like so much fun! What a great experience!

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21 Katie February 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I am 6mo. preggo as well and am headed to Utah in a few weeks – if you need to pass that lift ticket along, my husband would love to take it off of your hands. I am having a baby boy and have loved seeing all of the fun projects you have made. I am especially fond of the “I love Utah” onesie – I will definitely be making it!

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22 Brittney February 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

Hey Dana! Thanks again for letting me in on the experience. You guys are inspiring and such a fun group to be involved with. I hope you teach again next year- I will volunteer now to help out again! :)

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23 Zoe February 3, 2012 at 9:24 am

Oh how I wish I could have participated in something like that! Looks so fun and a great time. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures!

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24 Kim February 3, 2012 at 10:23 am

This is my very first time on your site (which I can’t wait to explore) – and the first time hearing about the summit (which looks like SO much fun) – but I have to comment on the AWESOME photos, which only need one single word: WOW!!! :D

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25 Mark Suman February 4, 2012 at 2:37 am

Fun recap. The bright vibrant colors and modern crafts really pop out when juxtaposed against the classy, elegant feel of the Grand America. Kinda cool.

And wait, is your lift ticket still good? I happen to still live in Utah…

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26 Adventures in Dressmaking February 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

Really great to hear a recap from a sewing/diy blogger’s point of view! I have seen so many wonderful posts about it but felt a little like I wouldn’t belong because so much of what I do is sewing and style and decor projects, and many of the bloggers are more design-focused. I would love to go next year, I’m big enough to do it! Thanks for the post, and sharing the sewing pics!

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27 bdaiss February 7, 2012 at 11:02 am

Oh goodness – how fun! And I totally want some of those toilet paper covers. Much better than the old canvas stitched ones. : )

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