my old country house


I AM BACK from Los Angeles and the 2018 Design Bloggers Conference

It was a whirlwind. A Wonderful whirlwind.

The view from my room at The Beverly Hilton

The trip got off to a bit of a rough start when, like many of you, we were hit but a huge wind storm which cancelled my flights Friday. I finally left for LA Saturday night, leaving my family with no power and a hug. Fortunately by the time I reached LA, they had power and the storm had subsided. It was a doozy!

One of my favorite things about going to the west coast is the 3 hour time difference. For as long as I am there, I feel gifted BACK TIME to catch upon my thoughts and get myself oriented. Of course – the bonus-time gets taken back upon my return and this week – just to get my goat – one extra hour was robbed from me. Thats life!

So, the joys of travel aside – the trip was REALLY great. Wonderful. I AM SO GLAD I went…

This was my 4rth DBC – each one has had its own identity. It has evolved along with Blogs themselves. Ironically – with each successive year – The actual practice of blogging; writing posts, content, is talked about less and less and this year – the  THREE THEMES were – in my experience  –

  1. Sponsorships and monetizing your blog
  2. Publishing and

3.  INSTAGRAM. with  INSTAGRAM being my takeaway message. I will do a post later JUST about Instagram but for now….


..Speaker after speaker would take us through how they grew their Instagram, Tips for posting, criteria for your feed, the benefits of consistency and timing of your posts and the quality of your photos. I had to chuckle when I remembered a speaker from Atlanta in 2016 I think – who was a NON-designer or blogger, but just a guy with 125,000 followers which was huge at the time-  on his Instagram and he talked about how he grew his Instagram following organically by just posting photos of little things he saw throughout his day and photographed with his phone each day. Those days are gone. And the part that rattles my brain is that by next years bloggers conference – it will change once more.

I came home and sat my college age daughter and her two friends down and said “Girls – I KNOW how you can make money – NOW.  Do Instagram marketing for all the folks out there that can’t keep up with it or just don’t have time.” Over and over again, the presenters would tell us how we have to “make the time”… “take better photos” and I know they are right…and I know I could do so much better, but I was left feeling a little like – the blogging part – the part I loved where I could share and just be me, has become too cumbersome – it is all about a snippet, a carefully groomed photo – posted at just the right time…of just the right thing. The bottom line is that to grow in this business – you must be able to GROW your Instagram!

My new friend Doreen – she MADE the conference for me

BUT ,There was more – so much more – It was not ALL about Instagram – we had invaluable talks on marketing and publishing…AMY FLURRY from RECIPE for PRESS spoke and was crazy smart (I bought her book and my husband is reading it for his Entrepreneur class he teaches at UVA Darden School)  and Marjorie E Gage, from  Art + Intuition and other Editors from most of the major design publications spoke – laying out exactly what they look for in a “pitch” It was like getting the keys to the castle and my new Friend “Doreen” A high-end designer from New York City (Doreen Chambers Interiors) said that people spend their whole careers trying to crack the code to getting published and we not only were given the information but the opportunity to meet face to face, the humans behind the names on the Editors page. My head was spinning.

Miles Redd is one of my Favorite Designers

One of my favorite Designers Miles Redd was a keynote speaker – I could have listened to him for 8 hours straight and on the way to get coffee, I ran into him and he took a photo with me! I love everything about him – even his sneakers!

One of my FAVES ALL-AROUND COOL PEOPLE AND BOHEMIAN GODDESSES – JUSTINE BLAKENEY was the last speaker-and she was even more inspiring than the first time I heard her in 2016 and doodled these of her –


Jaime Rummerfield and Ron Woodson, of Woodson & Rummerfield and both Los Angeles natives spoke about how the became a dynamic duo of design and their passion for the iconic architecture in Los Angeles.  Their organization  was started to help preserve Historic and  Iconic Architecture which is being torn down in Southern California and  how “Using digital marketing to spread the word intensifies participation and awareness with side benefits to your business brand”. “Stylish” does not even begin to capture these two and how very polished and beautiful they presented themselves. They were fantastic!

Jill Cohen spoke and presented Style icon and lifestyle maven Carolyne Roehm who wowed us with her beauty and stories of her journey, not always smooth, to find her passion and publishing. She epitomizes beauty.


Grant K. Gibson, Founder, Grant K. Gibson Interior Design, Inc. spoke about Content marketing and his colorful engaging personality was captivating – but I confess, his adorable dog Wesley, stole the show.


GEN SOHR, the creative genius from Nashville TN – behind  PAPER AND PENCIL CO, was one of the early speakers who blew my mind  and her advice on Instagram, marketing and sponsorships was invaluable. Plus she was just so adorable and stylish!

Guys – There was so much more – so many speakers I am forgetting and so much about the experience that I have not even tapped in to. For starters, I almost did not even go, not BEcause of the weather, but because my son was going to join me again for his Spring Break and then decided to go on a ski trip to Montana ,  which while I was bummed made lots of sense, and I contemplated just not going at all because in general, I get nervous not knowing people and slightly intimidated by the entire process – BUT I knew that EVERY SINGLE TIME – I have grabbed my little self by the hand and said “YOU CAN do this!” I have come back pumped and excited about what I do and chomping at the bit to get back to work with a renewed commitment to ART and Blogging. This was no exception. and I made a GREAT NEW FRIEND- Doreen!!! and more new friends I plan to share later!


What is it that scares you? What are you afraid of? One thing I have learned is that growing, for me anyway is often counter-intuitive. Kids are always being told to “find their passions”, but i THINK, the key is NOT ALWAYS looking for what you LOVE – which can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack – but we ALL know right off the top of our heads what scares us and within THAT is often what YOU LOVE!!!!!



  1. What I’m loving right now is your passion and your inspiration. It’s contagious!
    And I’m also loving MY old country COTTAGE, which I finally got to spend some time in. Heaven!

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