Sunday, January 29, 2012

Toronto Blogger Meetup 2012 and a Giveaway

Saturday was another Blogger meetup here in Toronto.  The room was crowded and the talk buzzed.  There was wine and nibblies and speeches and prizes.  I have to confess that I'm always a bit of a nervous wreck before I go, but once I'm there I enjoy myself.

Cameron MacNeil from House and Home talked about trends and showed us some of the pages from an upcoming issue of Canadian House and Home magazine.  I couldn't find a pen in my purse to write down his ideas (and don't have an i-phone unlike most of the rest of the guests at the meetup) so I didn't remember the other trends, but the ones that stuck in my head are:

  • patterned and colourful bed-linens
  • yellow
  • watercolour palettes 
Yep, you heard it here first folks.

Brian Gluckstein talked about what inspires him, which is apparently a lot of things.  He told us he takes random pictures of almost anything, including taking a close-up picture of a woman's skirt (true story).  Any colour or pattern or texture that grabs his attention is photographed and many of these images end up on his blog and some serve as inspiration for his design work.

Cassandra from Coco+Kelley talked about how her blog developed and grew.  She really stressed if you have an idea go for it even if it doesn't pan out because taking those risks are also what can really make a blog be successful.  She also emphasized the importance of community and building contacts with other blogs, both big and small.  She suggested if you contact a blog asking to do a guest post try listing several ideas you could post about.  Cassandra also worked at Anthropologie for a year which I found very interesting.  We chatted about that after.  She is lovely and charming and warm.

I didn't know most of the bloggers that I chatted with, but there were a few that I recognized like Pam from Cherish Toronto, Tim from Design Maze

and Jennifer from Rambling Renovators (holding the delicious chocolate pops we got to eat).

I also met a university student named Jude who had attended the same High School my kids went to and is friends with Gabriela the photographer for our son's wedding.  Small world, eh?

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the amazing sponsors.  I didn't win anything this year, but boy were the prizes ever good.   The sponsors also contributed to the most fantastic swag bags that we each got to take home at the end.  You can see all the goodies I got laid out on the chair in the photo below - a throw and a muffin tin and cute paper liners from IKEA; paint decks from both CIL and Brian Gluckstein (love me some paint decks); some toilet paper (okay, the box it is in is designed by Jonathan Adler, but I just thought I'd be funny and tell you all we were given TP); a coffee travel mug; a green shopping bag; and magazines and coupons.  What fun!

Thanks to the organizers and sponsors for a great event.

One of the things we were given was a copy of the February issue of Canadian House and Home.  Now since I'm a long-time subscriber to that magazine I already have that issue which means I would love to give my extra copy away to someone who is interested in reading it.  Due to the high cost of shipping, I"m going to limit the giveaway to Canada and the United States.  Leave me a comment if you are interested and let me know that you are a follower and I'll enter your name.  I will draw a name on Saturday, February 4th at 9:00 am EST.  Please be sure that you leave me your email so I can contact you for mailing information.  If I can't reach the winner in 24 hours I will redraw a name.


  1. I would love to read this magazine! Wish there was something like that out west! Looks like fun.

  2. Sounds like an interesting conference, something I might consider for next year.

    The magazine is an awesome give-away, count me in my friend. Diane

  3. What a fun time meeting up with fellow bloggers and learning a few new things. I love to see that magazine if it winds up here at my Texas doorstep. I think I'm comment #3 which is lucky for me.

  4. I'm in! and I'm already a follower. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  5. Reading this post I felt like I had a zillion things to comment on...and so much more fun that you're giving away an awesome magazine! :)

    I remember when you went to this par-tay last year and again, am just sort of blown away by it all. It seems like something crazy, like celebrities attend and people who are in magazines all the time. It just plain ol doesn't seem real. Hearing you're nervous beforehand proves that you're just like the rest of us...! When I say the rest of us...I mean a country bumpkin like me! haha!!!

    You're so great, Grace!

  6. Looks like such a fun event! I am so glad that you don't let your nerves keep you at home Grace! I am attending 'BlogWest' here in March, and I can hardly wait! Love your 'swag'! Thanks for the update! Wishing you a wonderful week! Angie xo

  7. The meetup was a lot of fun, and it was really nice to see you again :-)

    Mmmmm, those chocolate pops were SO good - I don't know why I only had one! The swag bags were pretty awesome, although it was so hard to pack everything to bring home. My suitcase was half a pound under the 50 lb limit.

    I've added a link to your IDS post to my IDS post. Hope that's OK. I thought it would be fun to have a sort of IDS link party so we can re-live the weekend through each other's posts.