1.27.2011

The Zen of Calligraphy, A Wise DJ and An Outfit (aka My Alt Summit Recap)

pretty business cards gathered at Alt...

There are so many fantastic Alt Summit recaps floating around the interwebs, filled with all sorts of goodness, so rather than rehash what's already been said (and likely better than I could say it), I thought I'd just share the things I can't seem to get out of my mind since coming home:


  1. Calligraphy is akin to meditation -- On the first day of the summit, I took a calligraphy class from the lovely and incredibly talented Melissa Esplin, and it was a revelation. Let me just say, no matter how easy Melissa made it seem, calligraphy is hard. It takes work, and I'm not very good at it (not surprising given my DIY track-record), but the act of working at it is quite possibly one of the most relaxing things I've done in a long time. You can't really think about anything else while you're trying to get those letters just right; it sort of puts you in a trance. Incredibly therapeutic that calligraphy... I'm hooked.

    (I also had the pleasure of sitting next to the totally fantastic Alexis in the class... we've been blog friends for a while, so it was the sort of surreal experience of meeting someone for the first time, but having the most natural, "I've known you forever" conversation.)

  2. Creative geniuses know when to unplug and use their hands -- On day two I attended a session on events for the sole purpose of getting inside the brains of event super-stars Jordan, Ashley and Britney (of my rainbow cake inspiration). I wanted to know how they come up with all their brilliant ideas. I was heartened by Ashley's tales of making lots of "ugly" things along the way to coming up with the final perfect execution of an idea and her declaration that to foster creativity you have to "walk away from the computer and make things with your hands". Obvious but so often (by me) ignored.

  3. Green hair is not stupid -- I expected a lot of things out of Alt, but one thing I didn't even remotely imagine would happen was that I would get some spot-on parenting advice from a wunderkind DJ. On day two, DJ Spooky gave the lunch keynote and was fantastic and brilliant and a little crazy (in the best possible way, as most brilliant people are).

    During the Q&A, an attendee asked him how his parents influenced and cultivated his desire to learn, and he shared a bit about his upbringing (his parents were academics and political activists) and how he was constantly challenged and expected to "challenge back", to form arguments, to know what he believed in and why. He also said that his mother told him, "Dye your hair green but don't ever do anything stupid"... Quite possibly the best parental line ever. It's all about putting things in perspective. Thanks DJ Spooky.

  4. I believe in women -- I am heartened by what I saw go down last week. There was a palpable energy, an amazing sense of rooting for each other and the genuine feeling that there are more than enough opportunities available for everyone to get in on the action. It's a powerful thing when women bond together and support each other like this (and the men too...there were a few men in attendance). It reminds me of a post I wrote last summer and specifically this Michele Oka Doner quote originally found by my beloved Karey (my Alt roomie and partner in "crime.")

    "Evolved women have begun to form a collective awareness of how to support one another. It goes way beyond 'what dress am I wearing tonight?' I really like women. I've learned how to negotiate a world filled with intelligent and attractive women, giving everyone their due."

from left: danni, melanie, me, liz and amy after our panel ...


And now (as promised in the post title) a little bit of an "outfit deconstructed"... Since I forced you to take a peek into my pre-Alt packing process, I thought it only fair to show you an outfit I wore last week in its entirety.

Here's what I sported on day one...


(Note how much attention I'm paying in the calligraphy class. I really, really wanted to get it right... oh and look at how lovely that sweet Danni is in her fab yellow skirt...)


The Details:

16 comments:

Fern and Feather said...

love love love the recap... I left feeling so encouraged and lifted up by the most talented women I know. Ladies that I have admired were grounded, authentic and real*. I love blog-land!

*Joslyn Taylor to name one.

Jenna said...

I have been wanting to learn how to write calligraphy! It is so beautiful. Oh, and I love your striped dress!

Stephanie said...

just skimmed the pictures in the post, have yet to read, but i just figured out whom you remind me of --
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0267812/

love her.

kristina said...

soooo wish I could have been there! Next year we'll have to come for sure. But even more, sooooooo want to take a calligraphy class!

Simply Mel said...

I've been out in the dirt all day ~ learning to garden and cultivate food, and I am amazed how just stepping away from the computer, opened my mind up to really think and be inspired.

Taking to heart the beautiful, brilliant messages received from ALT.

Liz Stanley said...

Loved that outfit! So fun hanging at ALT. You are one awesome lady.

Frédérique said...

perfect outfit !
and the nice heels have some thing in common with those of giovanna, don't they ?!!

http://modeinkiosque.blogspot.com/

Lostylady said...

I am glad I got to meet you on the plane ride to SLC! The summit looked amazing!

Torrie said...

I am sitting here sipping my coffee and getting a little inspiration, but I have this drive to hurry up and finish, so I can get out there and enjoy the sunlight... to use my hands :).

Loved your recap.

Sarah Jane said...

Great post! I agree...so much great energy and wonderful take home advice! Love your collection of business cards...great idea to take a photo. I'm still on a high from being part of such an awesome event!

carolyn said...

hi joslyn - thank you for this wonderful recap! and many many thanks for a fantastic panel at alt - i learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the blogs you guys discussed.

Uncle Beefy said...

I have been sucking up almost every Alt summit recap I can since I had to miss out on the fun and insight this year, Miss Joslyn. :( But, hoping next year I'll get the chance to shindig with you and the rest of the ladies I know from out there in the blogosphere.

Loved the perspective on making stuff with your hands and backing away from the computer. Am in between both at the moment. But, a step in the right direction.

ps - If I do get to Alt next year, I am leaving the horizontal stripe look in your fabulously capable hands. You look great! :)

About Last Weekend said...

Love the quiet writing - and the yellow sweater.

courtney said...

awesome recap! i really wish i'd have gone to this. really.

Erin said...

I hope I can go to Alt next year- it looks so inspiring. And I love those heels- have been stalking them online for weeks now!

Melissa said...

Alt was so much fun! I still haven't gone through all of the gorgeous business cards from that conference.

I was SO excited that you decided to come to my calligraphy class after all! I thought you did a fabulous job!