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two amazing giveaways at the Blog Out Loud event!

Megan and I are *thrilled* to announce 2 giveaways at the Blog Out Loud event on Thursday at Patio Culture. Just come on by, fill out a Blog Out Loud card and 2 lucky attendees will win these fab prizes.

Super talented and lovely green designer, Kelly Van Patter, has very generously offered this inspiring prize. Kelly is an accomplished designer and is the design visionary behind many television shows, films, commercials and music videos. Her focus on green design has been beautifully received in the entertainment industry, interior design community and residential construction world. Her own *beautiful and colorful* craftsman is featured in this month's House Beautiful magazine and was also recently covered on Apartment Therapy.

Venice-based interior decorator and blogger, Vanessa De Vargas of Turquoise, has donated this pretty print. The 70's print is currently hanging at Patio Culture so check it out if you are in the area. The dimensions are 28 1/2”H x 19” W. Vanessa also does e-decorating and she runs DNG.

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how Blog Out Loud was born >>

It's pretty amazing how a simple idea, a lot of inspiration and excitement can get the idea up and running. This is exactly how Blog Out Loud was born.

Megan Arquette and Rebecca Orlov met at a design event in Los Angeles in March 2009. After chatting how their blogs already linked, they talked about blogging and how many of the event attendees didn't really know about it and how to do it - both culturally and technically. A lunch date a few days later (with the best roasted veggies - thank you, Gjelina!), Megan and Rebecca discussed a potential new idea with the simple goal of encouraging and inspiring creative people to start blogging and named it Blog Out Loud. Reaching out to blogging friends, a panel of bloggers was formed and a location was set for the 1st event. With some amazing word-of-mouth posting from a community of lovely blog friends, the event was a success! Six events, a sweet blog, a fab twitter community and BOL tv later, Blog Out Loud is rockin! With the help of over 50 amazing and generous sponsors - like DWR, Pom Wonderful, Popchips, Elle Decor and more - our insanely fab panelists and our lovely guests (all of YOU!), we are inspired to keep going. And, hey, apparently we are a year ahead of the trend curve!

Blog Out Loud is a free networking resource for creative people to gather information and inspiration about social media to enhance their business, create a presence online and connect to community. Through offline events, blogging, video content and our Twitter community, Blog Out Loud is where you can can meet some talented and amazing soon-to-be bloggers as you build your online presence.

Megan Arquette began her career in interior and textile design in San Francisco moving on to Boston and later bringing her talent to the Los Angeles area. She has worked in production design, styling and interior design. Her work has been seen in national interior design publications. Her popular blog, beach bungalow 8, is full of style and eye-catching design, signing off each Friday with a "peace out" post to enjoy the weekend with her family.

Rebecca Orlov is a design blogger, editing her shelter blog, loving. living. small., and contributing daily to Apartment Therapy as well as other lovely sites like HGTV and Williams-Sonoma Inc's Designer Marketplace. She loves design, color and texture and is inspired every day by every day life. Aside from writing, Rebecca is an experienced broadcast + digital producer with over eleven years of advertising, production and branding experience. In April 2010, Rebecca opened the digital doors to Sweetline Agency, an online brand project management company. She works with small lifestyle companies to define, shape and build their online presence, including concepting the editorial voice, social media 101 and project management of the website design and build.

another benefit of blogging
Making New Friends

One thing that we'll be chatting about at the Blog Out Loud event is community and connecting. I still am in awe of the lovely community that is available and very present in the blogging world. Sure, there are snarky negative types but that's anywhere. 95% of the people you e-meet are amazing, talented and simply want to support and share! That's why starting a blog for your business is a great thing - the support from fellow creative bloggers who, well, just love what you are saying and showing on your own blog.

One of my first e-friends was the lovely Cassie of Coco + Kelley. We e-met over a year ago and then met in real life. She has a seriously inspiring style blog that has been showcased by Martha Stewart and featured in Lucky magazine. She spreads the love (like this lovely mentioned about Blog Out Loud) and is all about support.

A new e-friend is the sweet Franki from Life In A Venti Cup. I recently emailed to tell her I enjoyed her blog and she sweetly responded and we are now e-friends, sharing the love and support.

I know that when you all start your fab blogs, your will interact, meet and support other bloggers. It's part of this crazy blogging thing and it's super rewarding!


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Bring those business cards!!

Don't forget to bring your business cards with you to the Blog Out Loud event next Thursday. We are planning a fab door prize for a lucky attendee and passing out your info is a great way to meet new creative people and connect - offline.


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twitter with Blog Out Loud

we are up and running on twitter.

here to join.
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t. i. m. e.

time, finding time, who has the time? I am sure that one or all of these things quickly run through your mind if you think about blogging, starting a blog, thinking about a blog. yea, even seasoned bloggers can struggle with finding the time (or also spending too much time) when it comes to blogging.

Time and managing it will be discussed at Blog Out Loud.
Join us on Thursday, June 4th at Patio Culture to hear more.

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mini Q & A with a Blog Out Loud panelist
Richele of Richie Designs

we are thrilled to have the talented Richele of Richie Designs on the panel for Blog Out Loud next week. Richele's love of letterpress design inspired her to launch her own company. And with some blogging experience already up her sleeve, she added a blog to compliment her company. Here's a mini Q & A with Richele.

Best tip on balancing blogging time with your company?
Write or post about what you love or what's happening at the moment in your life. Keep things short [which I have not followed today]. A couple of paragraphs are enough for any reader. We are all in information shorter is better.

Favorite thing to blog about?
Fashion, most notably shoes. AGGGH, I have a horrid shoe problem. I love them so much, the higher the heel and the more expensive they are generally lead me to greater love.

I live vicariously through those posts [and my art] though. After a spine surgery at 21, I don't have a back that allows me to wear high heels anymore and my bank account...well it only approves of a great deal$$.

Favorite blog to read?
Jeez this is so hard. I have so many that I read daily they're all like distant girlfriends to me. One of the women that I love dearly decided to step out of the blog world a few months ago, Karey at Mackin Ink. I adored her writing style I miss reading about her, her girls and Uncle Sugar living in Jordan very much.

Suzannah at Petunia Faced Girl is definitely on the list. Her writing is the anti-mommy blog which I just adore. She seems to write about the most hilarious and sometimes heart wrenching daily life struggles with plenty of four letter words. A girl after my own heart.

Post Secret is a site that I wished refreshed daily. I have to wait each week for newbies.

The New York Times Design and Fashion Blog has been a favorite lately as well as Simple Song and beast pieces. I admire both of them greatly with their work in letterpress. Some people get all bent that other designers follow their work but I believe everyone is inspired by different things and everyone's style is different. Someone who likes my work is probably looking for something different than what they do and vice versa.

Check out Richele's blog here and learn more about her experience at the Blog Out Loud event on June 4th at Patio Culture. Click here to learn more about the event.

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i love...
Put It Out There, Get It Back

{check what kate spade *loves* on her own blog}

when I started blogging almost two years ago, I didn't really know about the "community" aspect. (i'll tell you my story at Blog Out Loud) i was, well, surprised and immediately engaged at the welcoming hand given when I started loving. living. small.

over the months of finding my tone (yea, it moves and navigates with you, which we can also chat about at the event) I have posted things i *love*. really, that's what it is for me. Things that inspire and appeal to me and, in turn, I hope appeals to my lovely readers. (they are really great!) while I do post tons of original content, i also enjoy posting about products, ideas, and style that other fab bloggers and writers have covered. spreading the love, pointing out the love is what it's about.

it's connecting and supporting and, well, spreading the love.


post inspirations may be right around the corner

One of my favorite ways to get inspired for a post, is by visiting a great boutique. Most successful boutiques are the off spring of some passionate, creative visionary with a lot of determination and a thorough knowledge of the product. Venice stationary shop, Urbanic is no exception.
Proprietress, *Audrey Woolen, knows her graphics, specialty paper goods and all things ephemeral, through and through. Her own creative talent is obvious, as the store is beautifully laid out and photo-op ready - alternately, a place to get lost in your own experience and a perfect blog posting moment.

Whenever I want to share with my readers a new find like Urbanic, I make sure I let the owner know that I'd like to come in and shoot the shop. { they're usually thrilled, but appreciate the heads up } The place may look flawless to you but chances are, the shop owner wants to get things 'just so'. It's also a great time for the owner to promote something they'd like to highlight- a new line of stationary, candles, a great hostess gift, etc.
I think it's important to get to know the owner a bit too. There's always a great story behind it all that, in the end, is sure to give you an interesting post that's visually exciting, has a great story and showcases some hot, new product.
*Audrey Woolen is also the blogger of Parcel Post and will be a panel member at the upcoming Blog Out Loud event .


le clic.

man, i miss the 80s. had my watch, green and white striped benetton rugby, plastic charm necklace and my pink le clic camera. like jonathan's great advice on blogging, carry your fave camera (le clic or not) with you all the time. You will be amazed and encouraged to shoot anything and everything that inspires you as the wheels start turning for some great new and original content ideas. All of this will be at your finger tips.

Enjoy your holiday weekend and go shoot some pics!

*senitmental for her le clic*

{image via ann with an e}








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mini Q & A with a Blog Out Loud panelist
Jonathan of Happy Mundane

Yea! Megan and I are thrilled that talented art director and design blogger, Jonathan Lo of Happy Mundane, is participating in our 1st Blog Out Loud event on June 4th. Here's a mini Q & A with Jonathan about blogging.

Any writing tips when it comes to blogging?

Don't stress on it too much. Don't worry about your writing having to be too formal either. It's just a blog. I like to keep things light, personal and conversational.

Best advice for someone who is just starting a creative blog?

1- Blog about what you love.
2- I always like to keep a camera handy- I use the one on my phone all the time. The strongest posts are generally the ones with an accompanying visual- there's something always interesting going on to document!
3- Try to stay consistent when you blog. If a person comes to your blog and it hasn't been updated often, it's usually hard to get them to keep coming back
4- if you post something you saw on someone else's blog, try to always give credit and a link back

Your fave blog to read?

There's way too many to pick just one!

Click here to check out some fab design inspiration from Happy Mundane. And click here to learn more about the Blog Out Loud event.
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floral art

For most, the term 'Florist' conjures up images of little old ladies, making arrangements of baby's breathe, fern and few sparsely placed red roses in a green, glass vase.
That said, the moniker certainly doesn't fit Jennifer McGarigle, Florist or rather Floral Designer and owner of Floral Art in Venice. McGarigle, whose arrangements are anything but predictable, blends her background and expertise in design, fashion and interior design with the world of flora and fauna to create living art.
Forget the idea that all floral arrangements must be contained in glass, McGarigle's vision may be realized by orchids in vintage wall paper wrapped boxes or tiny arrangements in diminutive tea cups there is no end to the innovative concepts of the world that is Floral Art.
Floral Art boutique
1338 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA.
Floral Art has generously donated their time and art as a sponsor for the upcoming Blog Out Loud event.

patio culture

In a little white washed bungalow that's nestled among the urban brick facades lining Abbott Kinney, sits an enchanting beachy jewel box of a structure that offers the very essence of chic outdoor summer parties, al fresco luncheons and a world where your only care is sunshine and good times.

Patio Culture, with its broad sweeping entry, welcomes you into an airy space, lined with open windows and loaded with the most charming of furniture (some vintage, some new) outdoor accessories and fabrics.

Owner and ex-industry wardrobe guru, Karla Stevens has employed her aesthetic eye and professional styling skills to hunt down and carefully select everything you need when creating that outdoor space into a vacation oasis, in your own backyard.

1612 Abbot Kinney
Venice, California

Patio Culture will be generously hosting the upcoming Blog Out Loud event.

blog, defined.

"A weblog is a hierarchy of text, images, media objects and data, arranged chronologically, that can be viewed in an HTML browser." - Harvard Law Review

"A blog is an online journal that provides personal news and appeals to a group, a crowd, a community." - Rebecca

Technical or cultural, a blog is an easy and powerful platform to share, connect and write text (that's my hybrid version :)

Click here to watch a little video about blogging in plain English. Also read more about defining a blog and definitely check out the "My Secret" section to gather some insight and inspiration.


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5 great benefits of creative blogging

1) Your clients and customers already are attracted to you. People that have already worked with you or have purchased something from your store already find you appealing. You are already more then halfway there. Providing a blog for your clients and customers to read and enjoy is an opportunity to take these relationships further. The goal = return business. The reward = amazing!

2) think of your blog as another way to connect to community. creative people are a dynamic + savvy + interesting group. you thrive on sharing your creative side with others and, in turn, connecting. blogging is this by way of an online journal.

3) extending your brand. your website is your professional self and your blog is your personal self. while the same look and feel, they really are 2 separate components for your company. Look at your blog as another opportunity to brand you or your company. You will definitely attract new people by way of your blog. And if they like your blog, guess where they'll go next? Your website.

4) you have worked hard (really hard) to get your creative company up and running. i am sure that so many incredible experiences have happened and will continue to happen as you run your company and grow your creative business. your blog is a place for you too. write about it. share yourself with your clients and customers. they want to know more about you, what inspires you, who you are, all that good stuff.

5) your blog is also a place to give back to your particular community. simple things like adding a blogroll or doing a post about another company like yours will create support and community. the blogosphere may seem large but it is about connection. your peers are reading your blog too and seeing their company in a blogroll link is a super positive thing.

find your blog focus
An Idea for Getting Going...

I'm loving the ease and accessibility of sites like Cafe Press, where you can customize t-shirts and products with photos, type, logos, whatever you want. (Blog Out Loud mug anyone?) The site is fun and easy to use. Of course I checked out their blog, newsprint. It's full of fun, kitschy and informal posts about pop culture and how Cafe Press products can be used to interpret it. It's clearly setting an easy going vibe about the company itself.

Ideally, your own blog will be an extension of you, your personality. If you can't decide what to focus your own blog on, one idea to get going is to think about the reasons you were inspired to start your creative company in the first place. Jot down these memories and start writing about it. This is a great jump start into finding your blog focus.


the official launch of Blog Out Loud!

Today is the official launch of Blog Out Loud>>Connecting Through Creative Blogging. The goal of the Blog Out Loud events is to encourage and support creative people on their venture to start or maintain a blog. The events will feature a panel of established bloggers dialoguing about blogging in a town-hall style Q & A.

Our first event is June 4th at Patio Culture in Venice, CA. We are thrilled to have some fab bloggers on the panel, sharing their own experiences about creative blogging and the marketing and community rewards that come with it.

Click here to learn more about the panel and click here for event details!