Tag Archives: ALT

Alt Summit 2011 :: What We Learned.

image: okaygreat

So while we have regaled ya’ll with sassy stories from the Altitude Design Summit, we wanted to share a little bit of what we learned. For those of you who are bloggers I hope you’ll find this useful!

Faster, Smarter, Better Blogging
Here are some great tips and tricks for time management wrangling—thanks to: Not Martha, Design Blahg, House of Brinson

Erica (Design Blahg) had some fabulous quotes, my favorite being “Imagine water is your life….and blogging is the drain.” She was refreshingly frank about all the things we love about blogging but also all the things we hate. I loved having someone be so honest about the fact that yeah, sometimes blogging sucks! It takes up soo much of your life….to help out, here are some great tools to make you more efficient.

+ Evernote to create an excellent online “notebook” — allows you to save  images, links and more
+ Instapaper to save interesting blog posts to read for later
+ Pinterest as a fabulous (and fun!) visual bookmarking tool
+ Flavors to cCeate a simple “busines card-like” homepage
+ Zinio to turn magazines into a portable, digital format
+ Squarespace as a clean, simple, easy-to-use blogging platform
+ Mention Notifier to help you keep up with Twitter mentions—you get an email or text any time you (or a topic you like) are mentioned on Twitter.

Tips on Growing Your Community
Dottie went to this session and it sounded really great. The panel included  The Jealous Curator, A Practical wedding, Little Green Note Book and Babble. Here were some highlights:

+ Regular posting will give people something to come back for.
+ Learn to re-work what you have… instead of wasting time ALWAYS developing new content.
+ Find three points that resonate with your readers.
+ Be a part of the conversation: After you post, initiate discussion, ask questions, follow up on comments to connect to your readers.
+ Network. Find ways to network with other bloggers and collaborate. Be of value to them too.
+ Create original content. Have at least one really good post every week.
+ Look for inspiration and record it everywhere you go.
+ Splash in personal stories and content so that your readers connect with you personally.

Advertising Beyond the Banner

From the amazing trio of: Erin Loechner, Liz Gumbinner, and Maggie Mason

Again, one of my favorite panels—mostly because these ladies are all such entertaining speakers. Erin had a really brill idea to help you get ahead. Throw a Resource Party. “Zoinks! What the hell’s a resource party??” I’mma ’bout to tell ya! Get together with a group of friends and hand out index cards. Everyone writes down one or two things they would like to accomplish in the near future (“I want to get featured on Apartment Therapy” “I want to write an article for a magazine” “I want to redesign my blog”). Everyone reads their card aloud and anyone who can help out raises their hand. So say you are a graphic designer, you might be able to help advise in the site redesign, while someone might have a great contact at Apartment Therapy and can get you seen by their editors!

There was so much more, but I’m just givin’ ya a little taste of it. Beyond all the learning, I think the best part about ALT was the sense of community and positivity. I met SO MANY genius people….fun, sassy, cool, cute ladies (honestly there were like, FIVE guys there). I HIGHLY recommend you check it out!

Here are two other recaps that I think you might enjoy—both really funny:

8 Steps to Get Over Post ALT Summit Depression // Old Sweet Song

The Alt Design Summit: A Review // Design Blahg

Kiddo Road Trip ALT Design Summit 2011: Part 2

ALIX: Howdy howdy howdy, it’s us again!  Last we left, the Altitude Design Summit had rocked our world with awesome speakers, a fab party and MONDO from Project Runway! And that was just Thursday. We woke up bright and early Friday morning ready and rarin’ to go for our Roundtable Discussion.

DOTTIE: We were so thrilled to be speakers…and I must confess, we totally decided to semi-coordinate our outfits for our big day! The theme? Black, white and red!

ALIX: Miss Dottie was super sassy in her red tights and fishnets….

ALIX: And she kindly gave me a pass with my blue tights!

DOTTIE: Well, they were too fabulous to say no to!

DOTTIE:  The presentation itself went smashingly! I must say, Alix made sure we were ready with this adorable booklet that was chockablock with clever bits of marketing and PR goodness. And we had the most adorable Modern Kiddo pins too!

ALIX: I can’t lie, I had this brief moment of panic thinking, “What if no one shows up for our round table??” But we had a great turnout—we even had to add some chairs! Our group was fantastic and asked great questions. There we are below. I’m in the red cardy on the left, Dottie-kins is in the middle in black. I’m sure we’re being reeeeeeally entertaining, spewing pearls of wisdom!

DOTTIE: I swear, I’m not giving that girl the stink eye!

ALIX: LOL….sorry, that’s my awkward photo editing skillz. You know, I think you’re actually looking at ME in that photo! Hah! OK, so after our presentation, we were a little slap happy and zipped on out to the hallway where we finally ran into our best girl Allison (Petit Elefant).

DOTTIE: Oh yes, and as always she was an absolute delight!

ALIX: It was time to check out the rest of the day’s sessions.

ALIX: First up, The Art of the Pitch with Heather Armstrong (dooce) and Neil Chase (of Federated Media). These two were ace. Always so damn funny and entertaining, that Heather! Then it was time for lunch, with DJ Spooky doing the keynote. My my my….what a charmer!

DOTTIE: I was just bowled over by DJ Spooky.  This man is not only dreamy to look at but dreamy to listen to! He was insanely smart on so many different topics. During his keynote he discussed Melies films, Antarctica, the Black Panthers and DW Griffith’s Birth of a Nation. Truly insane in the membrane.

ALIX: Lunch was grand—even though we got shushed by that guy at our table!

DOTTIE: Ooooh, the shush story! haha.

ALIX: We weren’t even really being that loud, but I guess Raina, Pilgrim, Dottie and I were whispering a little too boisterously for the tan, crabapple at our table…

DOTTIE: What was up with that guy? He totally snapped at us.

ALIX: Clearly he skipped the Ethics & Etiquette seminar. Harumph!

DOTTIE: No no… OK, so on to the next panel, The Best in Up & Coming Blogs!

ALIX: Oh this was such a goodie!  I found some GREAT new finds. I was so pleased to see my friend Teri of Giddy Giddy got a nod on Liz Stanley’s list ( Say YES to Hoboken). Liz had some really great recommendations and was cute as can be.

DOTTIE: It was one of my favorite panels. I definitely discovered some awesome new blogs to add to my reader! J’adore! Joselyn of Simply Lovely really is simply lovely and makes me want to move to Laurel Canyon and become one with boho chic glamour.  Oh and then there is Amy Turn Sharp, the mastermind behind those genius little wooden toys from Little Alouette (my favorite baby shower gift!). Brilliant, charming, devastatingly funny and whip smart and I can’t wait to see her again!

ALIX: Oh, and Liz kindly listed all of the recommended blogs on her site. Check ’em out here!

DOTTIE:  Well, the conference ended with a bang thanks to the brilliant final keynote from Swiss Miss, who basically broke down the whole experience of making blogging her full time profession. And with two kids to boot, which makes me adore her even more.  Go Swiss Miss!!!

image: ALT Flickr

ALIX: So now it was close to evening and time for the final parties—held in several suites at the hotel. HGTV was hosting one and Kate Spade & The Girl’s With Glasses another. Word on the Alt Street was that Kate Spade was going to have a super cool giveaway for people that were there early. Innocently, we thought that getting there 10-15 minutes early would be early enough, right?

[Insert foghorn.]

DOTTIE: Um, not so much—I think there were prolly uh… seventy people ahead of us!!

ALIX: We were kind of stunned….people were camped out in front of the door like it was Woodstock or something!

DOTTIE: We waited….and waited….and waited….

ALIX:  I love this next picture of Dottie! Please note that she is still standing in the hallway….somehow she and Pilgrim managed to procure cocktails while waiting in line!!

DOTTIE: What can I say, it’s a talent of mine.  Booze just flies into my hands!

ALIX: Look, Pilgrim even found one to match her outfit. Now, THAT’s fashion at its best!

DOTTIE: So the longer the wait, the more then anticipation built. I felt a little badly because NO ONE was in the HGTV suite.

ALIX: We kept joking that we could probably sneak in and nab a TV show deal while all the Spade mongers were in the hall. FINALLY they cracked the door open and we were allowed inside. Was it all worth it?

ALIX + DOTTIE: OH. HELLS YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ALIX: The decor in the room was spectacular! We were met by a sea of colorful balloons floating throughout the room. Dangling from each balloon were little paper eye glasses. SO CUTE! There were fellas walking around with trays of champagne. The whole scene was so whimsical and colorful, it felt like a Kate Spade ad brought to life.

DOTTIE: So true! The tables were decorated with beautiful peonies and lollipops and gumballs. Just adorable as can be. Oh, and tons of black eye glasses for people to wear.

ALIX: Ah, here is the goodie bag that caused a near riot! We didn’t get one, but I have it on good authority that they contained all kinds of fun stuff including a little purse size bottle of TWIRL perfume.

ALIX: That last picture up there cracks me up. My eyes are so wonky—I look like a Picasso painting!!

DOTTIE: Oh, and FIE that we didn’t win the dang Kate Spade Handbag giveaway! It was so stinkin’ cute.

ALIX: I know, the elusive typewriter bag!

ALIX: In addition to the fab decor, there was an adorable photobooth run by Angela Kohler, the girl behind those fantastic stop motion, Kindle commercials. There were all sorts of fun hats and props for you to dress up with!

DOTTIE: I didn’t know that! It makes me love my Kindle even more! Those commercials were the best ones of 2010!

DOTTIE:  This one is my favorites with Raina, Pilgrim and our new friend Pam from Retro Renovation, which just happens to be on of my favorite blogs of all time! She’s a font of awesome information and a great gal to boot.  We love ya something fierce, Miss Lady!

ALIX: So of course the other highlight was meeting The Girls with Glasses: Summer Bellessa and Brooke White. Summer is a model and the editor of Eliza magazine, Brooke is a singer/songwriter (and a finalist on American Idol). They are seriously the two CUTEST girls ever. (Check out The Girls with Glasses video if you haven’t! ) Miss Summer is expecting a little bebe and she was just a gorgeous mama-to-be!

ALIX: Here’s the super darlin’ Brooke. She was wearing the raddest little sailor pants and an awesome red cardigan.

DOTTIE: And here we are with the patron saint of craftiness—Marie from MakeandTakes.com.  Oh, if I could just put her in my back pocket and keep her with me always!

ALIX: Dottie, you look so awesome in this photo!! hee. I love it!  Of course we had to branch out and check out the other parties. The Wilson Art room had the best cocktails and the HGTV room had an awesome pair of chocolate fountains….

DOTTIE: It’s true. That was just plain naughty. Dipping brownies in chocolate sauce?? Pure evil.

ALIX: We toured all the other rooms, but Kate Spade’s charming room kept calling us….as we walked back in Petula Clark’s “Downtown” was playing and I knew I had found my happy place!

DOTTIE: I couldn’t agree more! And you know, I think we can let these last photos speak for themselves:

ALIX: I would say Alt ended the weekend with a bang! We learned so much but the best part were all the wonderful people we met. SUCH a positive, cool crowd. I HIGHLY recommend you go next year if you can!

DOTTIE: The conference was over but we still had one more day of fun to look forward to—Saturday morning thrifting in Salt Lake City!

The Kiddo ALT Summit Recap: Part 1

ALIX & DOTTIE: We’re baaaack!

DOTTIE:  Hoo boy! The Altitude Design Summit was just bananas. What a blast! Great people, great panels and great fun! Soo many stories—where to start, hmmm?

ALIX: Well, last Wednesday we packed our bags and made our way to Salt Lake City. And what bags they were! Dottie busted out her trusty Houndstooth Hattie and I had my new Blue Monster.

DOTTIE: Oh yes, and let it be known that each bag was crammed full of colorful ensembles to wear throughout the weekend!

ALIX: And I think I had about ten pounds in paper for our presentation “leave-behind”.

ALIX: We had a smooth flight and arrived at the Grand America hotel ready to go! We stayed there last year when we attended ALT and I knew we’d have an amazing time.

DOTTIE: Oh, the rooms were just divine, weren’t they? The Grand America knows how to treat a lady right! I swear our room was bigger than many SF apartments I’ve lived in.

ALIX: Seriously, I kept expecting a tour guide to pop out from behind the couch to tell me that Abraham Lincoln had once slept in my bed.

DOTTIE: Of course then it was time for the costume parade—unpacking and sharing the outfits we ended up bringing!

ALIX: That’s half the fun. I’m pleased to report that we didn’t get too crazy with the shoes. Four pairs for four days, that’s not to bad right??? I was excited to see your turquoise Fleuvog’s made the cut! Those are the quintessential Dottie shoe if ever I saw ’em!

DOTTIE: Alix, those shoes you brought were just adorable! You inspire me to bring more color into my shoe collection, lady!

ALIX: Is it weird I brought three pairs of open-toed shoes in the deep of winter???

DOTTIE: Not at all. And you know, we never really left had to leave the luscious confines of the Grand America.

ALIX: After unpacking, I gave Dottie a couple of cute little necklaces I had picked up for her. She then pulled out a small, sweetly packed little prezzie for me and proceeded to blow my mind:

ALIX: Um, yeah. IT’S THE STARLETTE CROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gersh, I was blown away. You have to understand I have been coveting this for EVER. My Devil-Ette name is The Starlet (and I love me some sparkles and stars) and this gorgeous thing was just calling “Buy me! Wear me! LOVE ME!” It was perfection and just the sweetest, bestest most perfect gift EVER.

DOTTIE: Oh stop….but I have to admit, I knew you would flip for it. Heh.

ALIX: Friend, let’s us be clear….when Dottie says “flip” she really means it. I literally BURST INTO TEARS when I opened it up. I’m not even joking. I have had a crazy couple of weeks (my father had a cancer scare and was hospitalized—he’s fine now, thank goodness—but I’ve been a tad stressed). I was just so overwhelmed by Dottie’s kindness and thoughtfulness.

DOTTIE: Well, I have to say that there was no doubt in my mind that you loved it!

ALIX: If the tears didn’t convince you, me sitting on my bed and petting it should have, eh? THANK YOU AGAIN lovely lady. It’s so, so good. *MWUAH!*

DOTTIE: OK, silly…let’s get back to ALT. So there was an amazing moment as we sat in our room when we realized we had NOTHING TO DO. It was heaven! Do you remember that?

ALIX: YES! We sort of looked at each other and realized there were no ALT events and work wasn’t calling us— we could just relax! And as incongruous as it sounds I love to relax with nice cuppa coffee.

DOTTIE: And to our delight we discovered they had recently opened up the cutest little cafe at the hotel.

ALIX: That little place was like a Willie Wonka set! I loved it! The cake boxes especially were so damn adorable.

DOTTIE: The BOXES? How about the amazing collection of sweets! Cupcakes! Macarons! Gelato! Oh, here I am with one of their gigantic lollipops! Step aside Shirley Temple, I’m boarding the Good Ship Lollipop with this giant yellow one!

DOTTIE: OK, I admit…..the box is pretty adorable. But my s’mores cake was delectable and that sauvignon blanc gelato you got was soooo tasty!

ALIX: Mmmmm……cappuccino.

DAY 1.

ALIX: Whoo hoo! It’s time! All dressed up and ready to go!

DOTTIE: The goodie bags this year were clever as can be—just check out the sweet little lunch pails! The ALT logo was a magnet. So smart.

image: ALT Flickr

ALIX: Oh yeeeeeah. We neglected to mention the other fun surprise…our sweet pal Pilgrim Lee met us there, all the way from Melbourne, Australia! I had met Pilgrim in person last year, so I already knew how brilliant she was, but this was the first time she and Dottie actually met!

DOTTIE: Oh Miss Pilgrim, how we love you! She was so colorful and sassy….it was like seeing one of her drawings come to life!

ALIX: Speaking of sassy, Dottie’s shoes were a huge hit! We kept getting stopped by people asking about them! I think she should be getting some kick backs from John Fleuvog!

DOTTIE: OK, but seriously….the real reason we were there wasn’t to show off our shoes (well, maybe just a little bit!). It was to hear all these amazing bloggers speak. ALT is a veritable “Who’s Who” of Design bloggers and you end up learning so much.

ALIX: Agreed! There were soo many fantastic sessions. Pilgrim and I hit the “Faster, Smarter, Better Blogging” panel first, with the awesome Erica (Design Blahg), Megan (Not Martha) and Susan (House of Brinson).

ALIX: Pilgrim is such a rockstar, she had heard of most of the recos before—and even tipped me to a few extras. She spent most of the session playing with my handbag. Hee. I, however, was tipped to lots of new cool apps and sites and I’m going to type up my notes and I’ll post ’em here tomorrow.

DOTTIE: I was at the “Growing Your Community” session with Danielle, Jenny Komenda, Meg Keene, and Sarah Bryden Brown and it was crammed full of amazing info.

ALIX: Next we all met up  for one of our favorite sessions: “Advertising Beyond the Banner”. The speakers were the always amazing Maggie (Mighty Girl), the super adorable Erin (Design for Mankind), and one of my new favorites, the smart and hilarious Liz (of Cool Mom Picks and Mom 101). These ladies are sharp as tacks, engaging and pretty damn funny!

image: ALT Flickr

DOTTIE: Maggie really is one of the best speakers around. I’m always inspired by that girl!

ALIX: Then it was time for lunch! With special Key Note guests, Project Runway winner Seth Aaron and Runway Favorite (and SHOULDA been the winner) Mondo Guerra!

ALIX: Can we discuss the LETTER PRESS menus? Way to step it up ladies of ALT! And the miso, chicken noodle soup was delish! Speaking of, here is the lovely lady behind the ALTITUDE Design Summit, Gabrielle (Design Mom), with her Kirtsy partners in crime, Laurie and  Laura (Blog Con Queso).

image: ALT Flickr

DOTTIE: Our friend Raina nabbed Mondo’s autograph for her girls. I know her girls are going to think she is the COOLEST MOM EVER for this! I love how they look like they are just having a little chat over here. Mondo looked adorable as can be and I was loving his shoes….

DOTTIE: And then WE got to meet him! Whoo hoo!

ALIX: This is officially one of THEE worst photos of me ever, but I will include it here just so you can see we really met our boy Mondo! haha. I will say I nearly passed out when he looked at my outfit and said, “Oooh girl you look FABULOUS! Love the shoes!”

DOTTIE: You still look adorable to me. I look like I’m in the process of screaming, I’m so excited. But wait—did I scream? I can’t remember, I was so excited!

ALIX: And just in case you were wondering, I was wearing some ticky tacky fun silver metallic socks and a pair of green vintage sandals. Mondo-approved!

DOTTIE: Just you wait folks, little did we know there was more Mondo goodness yet to come! Poor Seth Aaron. He was so cool and friendly, but really….we were all there for The Mondo.

ALIX: I know! He was rockin’ a new hair do that was suspiciously Kate Gosselin Goes Goth. But he really was a cool dude.

DOTTIE: We ran into our friend Rachel (Today’s Mama) who organized the brilliant EVO conference. She is like sunshine on a stick, that lady. Then it was back to the sessions!

image: ALT Flickr

ALIX: After another round of fabulous speakers, there was a little “happy hour” party in the Alt Lounge. Even the coca-cola bottles were cute! There was wine flowing and lots of nibblies too.

DOTTIE: Now, we don’t have any photos of what happened next, but let’s just say Alix was having a very good day. I’ll pass the mike on over… I know you’re dying to tell this story. Take it away!

ALIX: OMG, I’m still reeeeeling! [imagine my hands flailing around as I gesture wildly during the retelling of this] We were all chit chatting around when I noticed that Mondo and Seth Aaron had arrived. Since we already had our awesome moment with him, I didn’t want to be greedy and fawn all over him again. But as luck would have it, he strolled on over next to me. After taking a photo with another woman he looked at me and said, “Ooh it’s Fabulous again. How you doing girl?” Like a clod I simultaneously said, “Hi I’m Alix!” It sounded like I was correcting him and he laughed and said, “Well duh, it’s not like i REALLY thought your name was Fabulous!” and I giggled like an idiot….but it was a good ice breaker. He then proceeded to rock my world by saying, “You’ll think I’m joking but I’m SO TOTALLY basing my next collection around this” [waving his hands around my tights/socks/shoes combo]. “I’m serious! It’s so good! It’s….and I mean this in the best way….so awesomely tacky fab!” And I shrieked (in an embarrassing way I’m sure) and said, “YES! It’s what I call muh Granny Chic look!” “Love it!!” and we cracked up. I was officially in love and floatin’ on a cloud. He was SO KIND and SO GENEROUS with his time. His boyfriend Ben came over (who is a big cuddly sweetie) and we suddenly found ourselves in a really serious chat about the show, what it was like telling his parents he was HIV positive and how difficult it is for him that Ben’s parents aren’t very accepting of their relationship. I loved him before but suffice to say I’m a major fan now. And not just because of the compliment. He is tops!

DOTTIE: Let it be known that Alix was completely in “the zone”. I tried to tap her on the shoulder at one point to let her know I was leaving and she didn’t even hear me. In fact, I think Pilgrim and I could have left on a dancing polar bear and she wouldn’t have noticed.

ALIX: It’s true….and I’m officially framing THE SHOES!

ALIX: After my MondoLoveFest 2010, it was almost time for dinner and we quickly got gussied up.

DOTTIE: Pilgrim looked fetching as can be in this AMAZING pink and purple dress! And yes, I did change eyeglasses to match my silver outfit.

ALIX: You can’t see Dottie’s dress but it was this FABULOUS light blue and silver metallic dress that I was soooo coveting. And yeah, that Pilgrim. CRAZY cute.

ALIX: Pilgrim was hilarious….she was soooo wanting to see snow. Alas, all we found was a teensy patch of grey ice. She was still thrilled!

DOTTIE: I was pleased to see Alix rockin’ the Starlette Crown I gave her….

ALIX: Thereby cementing your title as Supreme Gift Giver of the Universe! Oh, and I trotted out the same outfit I had on for New Year’s Eve. If you reeeeally wanna see, you can look here.

DOTTIE: The Thursday party was at the Lamb Grill (Salt Lake’s oldest restaurant) and again it was so fun seeing so many fabulous ladies. Shout out to the Clever Girls Collective!

ALIX: We ended the night exhausted—but knew we had to sparkle up for our 9am speaking date!

OMG, did you make it to the end?? I’m exhausted just writing this….we’ll be posting Part 2 tomorrow, which I promise is much shorter but definitely action packed! Let’s just say Kate Spade hosted one of the parties…

Stay tuned sweeties!