Alt Summit 2014-- Exactly Where I Needed to Be!

I'm back from Alt Summit, and as usual, I can't say enough good things about this conference!  This was my third time to attend, and this year I felt more relaxed and at home than ever before.  Over the years I've gotten to know so many of the attendees that Alt now feels like a really fun family reunion!

Alt Summit 2014

I shared a room with Monica Lee, and she is the best roommate a girl could have!  You've listened/watched her on Smart Creative Women, right?  Well, every day of the conference we set aside time to talk about the day's events and the things we learned.  It was great having her there to bounce ideas off of, and to help me figure out my plan of attack for 2014!  She is also quite the party girl!

Monica Lee and Jenean Morrison-- Alt Summit 2014

For those who don't know, Alt Summit is a design conference geared toward bloggers.  That being said, I'm not what you might call a traditional blogger yet there is tons of information that is applicable to me as an artist.  You meet lots of artists, designers, shop owners and photographers, as well as people from all creative fields.  We learn about social media and blogging as a way to grow our businesses and connect with our communities.  I always learn from the classes-- check out the Alt schedule-- but I also learn from conversations and connections.   For me, this year was all about the connections.

Monica Lee and Jenean Morrison-- Alt Summit 2014

There is a generous, giving spirit among the women at Alt.  Everyone is open and willing to answer questions and share information.  There isn't a competitive feeling in the air-- just an overall excitement about learning, growing and meeting new people.  It feels like we are all contributing to a big, amazing collaborative project!  I love this picture below from the Cricut party, where we were all asked to wear green.  I can imagine other events where seven women show up wearing the same dress-- "oh, the horror" they might say!  But not at Alt!  They celebrated their adorable matching dresses from Target!

Alt Summit 2014-- seven happy girls, same gorgeous dress.

I love seeing the same dress styled seven different, unique ways!  So cute!

In addition to meeting tons of awesome, talented, hard-working women, you get to meet fabulous sponsors!  On the Wednesday nights before the conference starts, the sponsors take us out to dinners.  I chose to dine with Cricut at the Melting Pot, and what a great choice it was!  I got to meet the super-cool Cricut team, hang out and chat with Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte, Mindy (pictured above third from left) from Mindy Joy Media, Ana from We Love Citrus, among many others! 

Alt Summit 2014-- Cricut party!

And to top off the great meal and wonderful conversations, Cricut gave us all new Cricut Explore machines!!!!  There aren't enough exclamation points to convey my excitement about this machine and the fact that I'll be getting one in a couple of weeks!  As you probably know from my Quilt Market booths and my Creative Bug classes, I am passionate about no-sew projects using fabrics.  This machine is going to open up a whole new world!  I can cut paper, fabric, iron-on, cardstock, even leather, all using my own designs! 

There is a lot going on at the conference, and it is three full days of parties, meals, classes and networking. This year I made a special effort to take care of myself and tend to my own needs as an introvert.  I know I am a better when I am well-rested and make time for myself.  Sometimes that means heading back to the hotel room for a quick mid-afternoon nap.  Sometimes it means sneaking off to a quiet table, hiding (or trying to hide) behind a plant and devouring some cheesecake! 

Alt Sumit 2014-- Jenean Morrison + delicious cheesecake.

People say you need to make the most of these conferences... take in every minute.  I agree, but over the years I've learned to carve out some alone-time.  I also padded the trip a little by coming in the day before the conference and leaving the day after.  Monica and I spent Saturday afternoon relaxing, and that evening we had a lovely dinner (filled with tons of strategizing) with Sarah Jane!  Not only did I come back this year feeling inspired, I also feel refreshed and ready to go!  2014 is off to a great start! 

Images by Justin Hackworth for Alt.  Image of Monica and I at the #partylikealulu party taken with my iphone and decorated using the Studio app-- more info about that great app soon!!

True Colors Blog Tour

Just a quick reminder that the True Colors Blog Tour starts today over at Sew4Home!  There will be lots of projects, inspiration and giveaways!

Photo courtesy of Sew4Home.

Photo courtesy of Sew4Home.

It's going to be lots of fun!  Also, be sure to pop over to Creative Bug where Joel, Anna, Heather and I share projects featuring these collections!

Creative Bug classes featuring True Colors fabrics.

I'm leaving for Alt Summit in gorgeous Salt Lake City in the morning!  It is such an inspiring and fun event-- I can't wait!  In addition to all of the regular Alt goodness, I'll get to spend time with two of my faves, Monica Lee and Khristian Howell-- these women always inspire and motivate me!  What a great way to start the new year! 

Wednesday night I'll be going to a dinner sponsored by Cricut-- I love them!  And I cannot wait to meet the teams from two of my favorite apps, Studio Design and Flipboard!  I'll give you a full report upon my return-- you know, after a little recovery time! 

2013: The Year in Review

Wow, 2013, what a year! 

Every day I wake up and focus on what needs to be done that day.  It is rare that I stop to think about what has already been done, what I've already accomplished.  As I looked through my photos from 2013, I realized just how much got done while I was focusing on the day to day business.  Here's a look, in photos, of some of great things that happened in 2013!  Click on the images for descriptions!

I'm headed back to Alt Summit next week!  I can't wait!  And I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store.  I have BIG plans for this great new year!  I hope your new year is off to a fantastic start!!

Smart Creative Women

I'm so excited to share this interview with y'all!  My good friend, Monica Lee, has the best website in the world, Smart Creative Women.  She interviews women from all kinds of creative fields, and today I am her guest!

We talk about a lot of fun things... art licensing, Alt Summit, my coloring book, and following Seth Godin's advice to "Pick yourself"!  I had a blast talking to her! 

I was actually talking a lot with Monica last year when she came up with the idea for this show.  She is such a natural at this, I knew it would be a great format for her.  And it is even better than I could have imagined!  Be sure to check out her archives because she has interviewed a bunch of creative women!

Monica and I will be headed to Alt Summit next week-- so exciting!  And, even more exciting, I'll be speaking this year!  I'm leading a round table on Art Licensing and Portfolio Prep.  I'll be talking about getting your collections together for licensing.  I'm always interested to see what other artists are doing, so I'll be sharing examples of the different kinds of portfolios I send out to different manufacturers.  Speaking of which, did y'all know that Blurb now prints brochures and magazines??  I ordered these brochures to use in my discussion, and they turned out beautiful!

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It is really wonderful that one can have one single brochure printed!  And the quality is amazing!  In the "old days" you'd have to have at least 100 printed, and it might cost a fortune.  Being able to print one brochure at a time allows me to tailor my presentation to specific manufacturers.  I can do as many different layouts as I like, and include whatever artwork I like!  And each manufacturer gets a lovely presentation!  Can you tell I'm really excited about these?!

Ok, off to do more prep for my round table!  I'll try to check in with you guys again before I leave on Tuesday, but if not, I'll give you the full recap when I get back!

Quilt Market 2012

Last week I spent a few days in Houston for International Quilt Market.  I didn't have a booth of my own this time around, and I have to say, it was kind of nice to be able to get in and out with a pretty light load!  Free Spirit had a gorgeous booth display, and they created panels for each of our new collections.  My newest collection is called "In My Room" and it is shipping now!

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That gorgeous quilt was designed and created by April of Prairie Grass Patterns.  I love it SO much!  She'll have a pattern out soon-- I'll keep you guys posted! 

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The two pillows sitting on the table were designed and created by Amanda at Material Girl Quilts.  I'm so crazy about them.  They were a big hit at my schoolhouse.  Check out her blog to see more pictures of them.  As soon as Free Spirit sends them back my way, I'll take some more pics so you can see them better.

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A big thanks to April and Amanda!  It really helps people understand the line when they can see first-hand how the fabrics work together.

I also had help from Kristen at KD Quilts and Tammy at Karamat Sews.  They were both kind enough to help me out with quilts, and the both did it at lightning-fast speed!  You can see a little bit of the quilt Tammy made at the bottom of the picture above.  I left just about everything with Free Spirit so that it could stay in the booth and make it look pretty.  More pics of their gorgeous quilts once I get them back!

Quilt Market is always so wonderful.  I saw so many old friends and made lots of new ones.  I'm looking forward to Portland in the spring!

Delta Exhibition 2012

This past November one of my paintings was chosen to be a part of the 2012 Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.  This is the painting, titled Rosetta, and created in 2011. 

I shipped the painting out in December.

And was thrilled to see it hanging in the exhibition this past Thursday!

It was really cool seeing my work in the show.  It was fun seeing people's reactions.  I mean, I tried not to watch them in an obvious way.  But no one knew who I was so it felt ok.  I didn't eavesdrop or anything!  I just watched.  And one of the cool things was that people seemed intrigued by the texture.  I saw a couple of people looking at it closely from the side, trying to get a better view.  I even watched a woman (not the one pictured below) stare it from several different angles, then give in to the impulse to touch it.  Then the person she was with touched it.  While I know that's a no-no when viewing art, I kind of liked that they did it.  I liked that they were that curious.

The opening was packed, and we had a great time.  After being gone for a week to Alt Summit, it was nice to take a road trip with Joel and spend some time together.

The show runs through March 28th, so if you find yourself near Little Rock, you should check it out.  There is lots of really wonderful work in the show!