Monday, 29 June 2015

Blogtacular

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I think everyone who attended the Blogtacular conference in London earlier this month has needed some time to decompress, and we completely understand why. There was so much to take in and it was such a joyous occasion- so here's what we got out of it!

Starting at the start: Helen and I have been intending to go to London together for years. Years and years. We never quite got round to booking anything. Then last summer I had a really difficult period in my personal life and I really needed a boost. Helen came up with this brilliant excuse to force us to finally take a trip, just the two of us, and she bought us tickets to Blogtacular. I was vaguely aware of the Blogtacular conference happening at that time but it wasn't until we started putting together our London itinerary that it started to figure as a major event for me. There were SO many good speakers to hear from that we'd have to strategically split up. The topic range covered things we've barely touched upon. There was a pre-dinner and a #Pintacular event afterwards, not to mention the morning Photowalk. We would really have to put our socialising hats on! At first this was daunting but as we started to see the online community build up for the event, we became more aware that we wanted to get everything we could out of this experience. And, boy did we!

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The talks I attended were... Grace Bonney's amazing Opening Keynote on embracing fear- a brilliant start to the day to get us in the mindset for taking on the day. I went along to Francesca Stone's take on giving it a go full-time with blogging (not something we're looking at but it was interesting to see the next stage), and then the Grow Your Audience panel, which included one of my favourite bloggers Kristabal Plummer and other impressive panelists like Buzzfeed UK's Managing Editor, Cate Sevilla. I also got a lesson in styling from Betty magazine's Charlotte and Charlotte before they judged our attempts at still lifes (eek!). Anthony Peters rounded off brilliantly with his Closing Keynote.

Like blogger magnets, even outside the events we kept bumping into girls we'd befriended on instagram or chatted to on twitter or just other guests- a quick point and "Bloggers?"- and the whole day was a whirl of laughter and tip swapping. Girls would slide over to the table and into a conversation as if we'd known each other for ages. It was like Freshers Week of University. There was just something so energising about so many women (and men, sorry but there weren't many of you!) getting together so easily to bond over our shared online ramblings. It helped that it wasn't a specific topic, as there were craft bloggers, interior bloggers, parenting bloggers, lifestyle bloggers and us wee group of fashion bloggers.

Whilst I was busy chatting the ears off anyone I could find, Helen was hanging out at the crafts (obviously!). She played with chalk paints by Annie Sloan and got stuck into the crafts set up by colourful blogging duo Seeds and Stitches. Here are details of all the makes they had going on.
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After a quick change (into even brighter outfits) and some much needed caffeine we head to the beautiful interior shop Westelm for the #Pintacular. A much more chilled out social space, we ate seafood quesadillas and lounged on fabulous furniture while we enjoyed hands-on activities. Although we were all flagging by that point, Helen and I did manage to run up some adorable biscuit print plant pot holders with Nikki McWilliams- who also provided the amazing amazing totes for our goodie bags. A huge congratulations to her on winning a Mollie Makes Handmade Award that week too! How does she do it all?

Finally, we made a decent attempt at a bit of cross stitch with the hilarious Mr X Stitch, who kept our energies up until the end of the evening. Thanks to all the amazing people and sponsors involved at Blogtacular 2015- we cannot recommend the conference enough. Do it all again next year, yeah?

We are still processing all the information we received from speakers, sponsors and other attendees but we're kickstarting our forward planning with a fun new pinterest account that you can follow here. It's being filled with bright hair, unlikely style icons, independent designers and the best of Edinburgh and Dundee so be sure to check it out!
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