ALT 2012

January 30th, 2012

Even though this may be a tad late and folks may be a tad overwhelmed by the glut of Alt recaps floating around, too bad, gotta do it. Every fiber in my blogging being demands it.

Being my first ‘blogging’ type conference I was a little bit unaware and slightly nervous about what to expect in Salt Lake. There is a reason I like the anonymity and isolation of the internet, you know, because of the anonymity and no pictures of me thing. Just casually considering the physical fact of being surrounded by a zillion sparkling smiles in cute outfits with blogging savvy, proper business cards and lots of snapping cameras made my cold little cynical heart shrink up in fear.

Hey, it’s the awesome Victoria from sfgirlbybay and some of me with a proper badge and everything. Also, according to all photo evidence, my phone is never out of my hand. Such a sad realization to find out I’m that phone person – and don’t worry – I despise me too.

I shacked up with the attractive and talented Jason Hudson of These Roving Eyes and the equally attractive and talented Laure Joliet (of all the things I do with Laure all the time) in a larger than expected hotel room that the 1960’s forgot. It was gloriously fun and boozy and the best of summer camp and art school combined into one.

But yeah, attractive people, just stop it. You can’t be good looking and charming and talented and all around kindly great people. Leave some for the rest of us.

Obviously this thing was fancy.

There were giant chandeliers everywhere like it was no big deal.

It was fantastic to hang out with some internet friends in the real life, like Emily, Lisa Congdon, Rena Tom, Victoria and hey there is me touching my boobs or something on the end. That probably was the best thing about Alt, not my boobs, but spending time with people who are creatively focused, whip smart and incredibly entertaining. Like Haily and Julie, who were a blast and somehow not blasted into pictures.

Let’s not leave out the boys, really though, this was a heavily estrogen laden event. It was a treat to spend some time with the equally entertaining and thoughtful Maxwell from Apartment Therapy, whose openness and great insights made the trip worth it.

The big reason for coming out of internet hiding was to speak on a panel with Kristen Grove, Jenny Komenda and Emily Henderson about interior design blogging. Check out that far away dark blob of me at a podium and here is me looking at my phone and sticking my hand in my mouth while everyone else is smiling and being charming.

(Kristen Grove, Jenny Komenda and Emily Henderson)


These girls are adorable and stylish and wear lipstick and I had my hand in my mouth. Ugh.

It was a great panel nevertheless, I had a tons of fun chatting with these ladies and all the folks who came to check it out. I ‘heard’ it was funny and super informative. You know, just saying, since there were great tips on social media, running an interior business and blog, styling tricks and fixes for interior photos.

Jason and the crowd of ladies demanded to be entertained and THEY WERE.

At some point I decided to be a girl and wear a dress.

So that happened and despite Laure telling me to stop making weird faces in every single picture, I could never stop. Never ever.

Overall there was a lot of booze and parties and food and late nights followed by early mornings, so I needed lots of Diet Coke to get me through the long days and ignored the vast disapproval from my roommates who prefer coffee and being classy.

I don’t care. I drink diet coke for caffeine. I’m kinda trashy. I live in Hemet. I feel no shame.

Everything was fancy throughout the four day conference and on the last day Laure and I sat in on Jason and Ryan’s fancy workshop on studio lighting before heading out with a motley crew of the girls for a little bit of local vintage shopping at The Green Ant that included Laure, Jordan of Oh Happy Day, Maggie Mason, Emily Henderson, Lisa Congdon, Jess from Sunset, and Victoria.

Sorry about the bad iphone photo, but shopping may have been a bad idea since somehow a simple little trinket to remember the trip wasn’t enough and instead I opted to buy a sofa. Mmmhmmm, I bought an Arne Norell leather sofa from the 1970’s in Utah knowing that I was flying home to California on a plane.

I live dangerously.

No worries though, it’s all going to be fine. Emily bought the matching set of chairs and we are getting that stuff shipped.

I don’t care. I have no shame. I love sofas.

Well, even with my poorly distributed DIY stamped chipboard cards and crippling social anxiety, Alt was wonderfully amazing. I had more than a great time with an incredible group of like-minded people all engaged and thoughtful about this whole weird internet endeavor. It was exhausting but very motivating and much more inspiring than that sad little darkly sarcastic part of my psyche would believe it could be.

2012 seems to be the year of blogging? Yes? Plans and redesign and new launches and big projects in the chute (like FINALLY adding stuff like my twitter here)? Yup.

Thanks for putting up with me.

**Special thanks to Laure for all the photos she is letting me use here and being my roomie and flying buddy.

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  1. Cassie on 01/30/2012:

    Hilarious and refreshing recap. And so glad to hear that people drank more than hot cocoa.

  2. my hyggelig on 01/30/2012:

    I actually came over to your session from another, unfortunately less fabulous, one. I don’t really need to know about how to stage my interiors ~ but this was a GREAT session. You all were very entertaining, interacted well with each other, and had good information to present. Glad I crashed your party, I mean session.

    I actually pop over here now and again, but wouldn’t call myself quite a regular. After enjoying your sense of humor in person, even better than in this space, I think I’ll stop back more often. I too have enjoyed the anonymity of the internet, but folks are telling me to get with the times. ‘outing’ yourself is a bit nerve wracking, but hopefully worth it. I actually started blogging 5 years ago and have followed sfgirlbybay from the start. I remember that in the beginning, Victoria was a non-discloser too…now look at her. BTW, I didn’t see you around, but said some words to Victoria, Lisa, and Maxwell and they looked at me like I was a bit of an alien life form. That perhaps, is the weirdness of the internet ~ strange people like me telling you they like you.

    Keep up the good work and thanks for being part of the Alt inspiration!

  3. ModernSauce on 01/30/2012:

    You give hope for us socially awkward bloggers out there that we too might enjoy an Alt summit. With small bottles of booze tucked away in our purses of course… Just me?

    Congrats on your talk and I wish I could have been there to see it. I would have been the one in the corner with my hand on my face too.

  4. pam kueber on 01/30/2012:

    You are too funny. It was great to finally meet you after blogging all these years. And I loved your session: Have been dialing up the black and contrast ever since!

  5. Christa on 01/30/2012:

    Wake up! You are just as beautiful, more funny, and have plenty of style. That’s why you were on the same panel with all those blond chicks. Own your success!

  6. rick on 01/30/2012:

    can one be disingenuously genuine?
    love the blog- your photos, styling, writing, and most of all perspective, but then i see the pictures of you and you’re cute.
    with all the mystery and self deprecation i was expecting over the top hideous. yet another complexity to add to the mix, but i hope this one piece of your blog is a sham.

  7. Rachael on 01/30/2012:

    Dang, if I am going to move up in the blog world, apparently I have to have long, flowing, loosely curled locks! All the peeps in your pics had great hair!!

    Would love to attend the summit next year and rub ‘bows with the big bloggers. ‘bows…big…bloggers, say that 3x fast!

  8. modernhaus on 01/30/2012:

    Hey Morgan, there’s a Muppet on your head!
    Jenny Komenda, can I pinch your adorable cheeks?
    Maxwell is an 80-year old Frenchman?
    Laure, I wanna hold your Skeletor hand.

  9. Laura on 01/30/2012:

    aint no shame in diet coke for a caffeine fix! It is terrible that sometimes i can polish off a 2 liter in a day, though…coffee just can’t replace the bubbly goodness of artificial colors and flavors!

  10. cathy on 01/30/2012:

    You bought a…sofa @ The Green Ant? bwahahahaha! Next time you’re in slc, Ron’s gonna pull big stuff out of hiding just to sell to you! It was a funny enough post ’til I got to that. I’m still laughing. When you finally place it in your house, be sure to tag it as That Sofa I Bought At Alt 2012.
    Seriously, though, can’t wait to see how you put all those great Alt ideas into practice and blog about them (especially for those of us who aren’t bloggers. Oh yeah, we exist.)

  11. John on 01/30/2012:
  12. Laura Bullock on 01/30/2012:

    I dunno about your looks as you successfully remain a mystery but you can rest in the knowledge that your blog and home are one of the coolest out there.

  13. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/31/2012:

    I am a mystery! Success.

    I had to edit a bunch of ALT photos and also saw a slew of incredibly unflattering ones of myself posted around the internet and felt incredible photo and body shame. It’s all in my crazy head.

  14. why so few men there?

  15. Laura on 01/31/2012:

    From the outside looking in, looks like a great time and I for one am very glad you do what you do. As a design wanabee who is too old to change from psychology I get my decorating fix and start my every single day looking at all these blogs, and yours is one of my first two. They make me smile-how can it be any better than that!

    PS I know what you mean about those big rugs. I have several rolled up in my “extra room”. Word to the wise, don’t have a 1000 lb rug that a cat can pee on-ugh.

  16. Paul on 02/01/2012:

    I love your cards.

  17. Katie on 02/02/2012:
  18. THE BRICK HOUSE on 02/03/2012:

    Katie – oh yeah, it is very similar. Must be inspired by!

  19. Jason Hudson on 02/03/2012:

    Somehow I missed this recap.
    And the terrible photo of me toward the end. Ick. Photo shame partners.

    I’m so glad you were my roommates. So much fun.

  20. Abbie on 02/05/2012:

    Hi. Firstly, I love your blog and have subscribed for a few months and you are adorable. Second, yours was the only Alt recap I wanted to read, because I knew it would be snarky and real. I literally marked every other Alt recap “read” to avoid all the ‘look how cute I looked’ posts. Thanks for being cool.

  21. Natalie on 02/06/2012:

    This is hands down the best Alt recap.

  22. What Possessed Me on 02/08/2012:

    Delurking to tell you somesing verrrrrrrry important: You are such a wonderful breath of fresh air. I mean it.

  23. Tami on 02/16/2012:

    Little America = Ceaucescu’s Palace

    Cracks me up to imagine you there.

  24. Haley on 02/29/2012:

    Love the Green Ant!!

  25. Susie on 05/09/2012:

    thank you for proving to me that alt is: 1. as awesome as it sounds, and 2. not some kind of all-sober weekend (don’t get me wrong, i love all the LDS bloggers to bits, but I just imagined that a conference run by the queen bee of them all would be very very dry and wholesome) I bet you kick all kinds of ass on your panel! and you look beautiful, admit it

  26. Cori Magee on 08/03/2012:

    wow, we would get along. my husband tells me i need to get out more. boo him. btw, are you going to Alt this year?… since it’s not that scary maybe i’ll go 🙂

  27. Katy on 08/06/2014:

    small world, I lived in Hemet. It is such a terrible town haha

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