Hi friends! Hope all of you had a fabulous June weekend. I actually had to work all weekend to catch up on the time I took off last week for Haven. One of those crazy end-of-the-quarter weeks filled to the brim with closings... you know how it goes! But it was totally worth it, since I had a blast at Haven.
The DIY + home design + blogging conference was held in Atlanta last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Hosted by some fabulous bloggers and sponsored by some amazing brands, the conference was a hit. Seriously- everyone loved every minute!
This was my first blogging conference, so I didn't quite know what to expect. Let's just say my expectations were exceeded! This conference gave us the perfect amount of time to socialize with our fellow bloggers, network with sponsors and attend really great educational sessions- some about DIY and some about blogging. Seriously, the perfect mix. I took classes on carpentry from Ana White, thrifting from Mr. Goodwill Hunting, blogging from a panel of bloggers (like Sarah, Myra, Tracie, Beth and Rhoda), photography from Layla and Kevin at the Lettered Cottage and a class on home design. One of my favorite classes was the home design class, where I learned so much from blogger Darlene at Fieldstone Hill and two of my favorite Atlanta designers and friends, Erika from BluLabel Bungalow and Sherry from Sherry Hart Design. There was so much talent at the conference, it was crazy!
I was kind of a bad blogger and didn't take too many pictures. I felt awkward enough staring down ladies I thought I "knew" and mustering up the courage to go say hi! We all kept joking and saying, "wow, we're just hanging out with a bunch of strangers we met on the Internet, aren't we?" Ha!
But during the first night's kick-off cocktail party, I quickly learned they were more than strangers... more like old friends who love all of the exact same things you do. It was pretty cool.
Thursday morning started off with a bang as John and Sherry from Young House Love took the stage. They are just as honest, hilarious and down-to-earth as you would imagine. Oh, and they're definitely all kinds of bad a$$ bloggers. Seriously, they're blogging geniuses! I was happy to have a few moments to chat with them at the Wednesday evening cocktail party. Little Clara loved my baby bump and, as she rubbed on it, even guessed that it was a boy! Clairvoyant Clara, I like it.
photo via Cleverly Inspired
After the YHL speech, it was time to dive into some classes!
Ana White showing us how to make a shelf unit.
The beautiful (and smart! there are seriously some smart-cookie bloggers out there!) ladies on the "How to Grow Your Blog" panel- Myra, Sarah, Rhoda, Tracie and Beth.
Sherry from Sherry Hart Design explaining how to mix fabrics + patterns. Genius session.
In addition to the great classes, it was also so much fun to meet and network with so many great bloggers. These ladies are incredible- they're kind, they're sweet, they're genuine... I was blown away by all of the awesome folks that I met! Here's a little montage of some of my favorite ladies.
Oh and helllooooo. The swag bag. How have I failed to mention that so far? The Haven conference hooked us up with some amazing swag to take home. From Kreg to 3M to Frog Tape to Annie Sloan to Rustoleum, we got it all. Well, you can see my loot below.
I actually won the Kreg jig and clamp in a raffle. How cool?! Now I need to come up with a new project to use those bad boys. And thanks to all of you lovely ladies who helped this preggo chick carry all of this stuff around all weekend. Yes, I kind of looked like a hot mess squeezing past the rows of chairs and waddling up to the stage to claim my big ol' heavy tool package. I'm sure it was a sight ; )
Oh and not pictured is a fun new Rustoleum product we got... I've already whipped out a project from it that I can't wait to share with all of you tomorrow. It's a fun nursery project and I'm kind of obsessed with it....
All in all, Haven was the bomb. Dot com. It feels kind of like summer camp ended and I just can't imagine how I will be able to make it until next summer. Luckily, I collected a big ol' stack of business cards so I can go through those and visit the blogs of all of the lovely ladies I met throughout my time at the conference. Oh and I think my new business card was a hit! I passed a lot out, so hopefully I'll be able to meet lots of new friends.
Thank you so much to Rhoda and her team for hosting Haven. We can't wait until next year!
So there you have it- my Haven Conference 2012 recap! It was great meeting you, if you were there, and if not... I better see you next year!! : )