Notes from The Hive 2014

I just love punchy quotes, don’t you? Today I’m sharing some of the words of wisdom that made an impact on me last weekend at The Hive 2014 in Copenhagen. With so many creative and accomplished speakers (not to mention much more polished presentations than I’ve seen in past iterations of The Hive!), it was hard to choose just a few favorites.

Fortunately or unfortunately for me, I lost my notebook with all the notes I’d taken on the first day. Boo! So this post was pieced together from the odd bits and pieces I scrawled on receipts, handouts, even my boarding pass. Thank goodness for the #hive14 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, which helped refresh my memory.

I also took this as an opportunity to play around with the hues from my blog’s new and zingy color palette, which I’m completely in love with.

The Hive 2014 Brene Brown via CoaDG

The Hive 2014 Annes Kitchen2

The Hive 2014 April and May

The Hive 2014 Annes Kitchen

The Hive 2014 Betty Soldi

The Hive 2014 Design Geek2

Fellow #hive14 attendees, am I missing any of your favorites? Leave them in the comments below.

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Betty Soldi calligraphy workshop at The Hive

Never underestimate the power of a creative getaway! I’m back from The Hive blog conference in Copenhagen, and I love how my weekend went. Not only did I get to do what I was looking forward to—meet friends, take it slow, wander and discover—but I’m buzzing from a boost of creative energy.

One of the most inspiring parts of my weekend was the calligraphy workshop by Betty Soldi. I try not to abuse the word inspiration, but in this case it’s perfectly justified.

Betty Soldi The Hive 2014

Betty Soldi is a calligrapher and graphic designer who has worked with luxury and retail brands such as Hermes, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose. After living in London for 35 years, she returned to her roots in Florence and opened &Company, her shop and creative studio where Florentine artistry meets refined British style.

As it turned out, Betty’s personality is as delightful as her creations. What a pleasure it is when someone so ridiculously successful and talented also turns out to be warm, funny and friendly. And what a delight it was to enter the workshop and find ourselves in Betty’s whimsical world.

A piece of Tuscany in Copenhagen: the scent of lavender; pops of bright, fresh green; butterflies and doves cut out from old maps and books…

Betty Soldi calligraphy workshop at The Hive 2014 Betty Soldi paper butterflies at The Hive 2014 Betty Soldi calligraphy workshop decor at The Hive 2014

plus some of Betty’s own creations from her shop in Florence. How’s that for getting in the mood to create something beautiful?

Betty Soldi calligraphy workshop paper cut butterflies Betty Soldi calligraphy ceramics at The Hive 2014

“You won’t be writing like me after just one hour, I can tell you that,” Betty promised. “But you will learn to love it.” Here are a few things I picked up from the wonderful Betty Soldi.

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To Copenhagen & The Hive!

Passport problems kept me from it last year, and I didn’t know if I could still afford it after all the travel we’ve done this year. But after some eleventh-hour maneuvering, I’m happy to be able to say: I’m going to The Hive!

This year’s conference for European bloggers will be held in Copenhagen. It’ll be my first time in this Nordic design capital and I’m really excited! I finally get to tick another Scandinavian country off my list since our family holiday in Oslo three years ago.

Kopenhagen Nyhavn

Kopenhagen Nyhavn, via Judith74 on Flickr

More than anything, I’m grateful for the chance to take some time off. Marlon has been wonderful in offering me another baby-free break so soon after Blago, I think mostly because he knows how difficult the last two weeks have been.

Since this is still part of my rest and recovery program, I plan to take it slow and soak up Copenhagen at a relaxed pace. I’m looking forward to meeting inspiring and creative bloggers; catching up with good friends; wandering and discovering; and (nerd alert!) seeing what must be one of the coolest libraries in Europe, the Black Diamond. Anything more than that will be a bonus.

Any travel tips for Copenhagen? Oh, and do drop me a comment if I’ll be seeing you at The Hive!

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I’m NOT going to The Hive

They’ve already started to arrive: the 250 bloggers who will be part of The Hive, a European blogging conference being held in Berlin this weekend. I was at The Hive last year, and I loved it.

This year’s Hive is bigger and better, with a fantastic lineup of speakers and workshops, sponsors like Etsy, Airbnb, Canon and Pantone and more, and a vibrant community of attendees who are self-organizing their own meetups, dinners, trips and tours outside the conference.

The Hive Berlin welcome posters

All of which makes me heartbroken that I’m going to miss it.

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Sisters who rock

Sisters rock! Especially mine, who celebrates her 3xth 30th 26th birthday today!

My sister & I at ages 8 and 3, photo by Mom; then, at ages 25 and 20, photo by Anton Sheker

My sister’s name is Sheila, but she’s always been Ate (“older sister”) to me. My ate rocks, and she always has. At an age when most teens wouldn’t be caught dead with their baby sisters, she always let me tag along with her and her friends (she was 16, I was 11). She helped me jump over the fence at a Bon Jovi concert, brought me into the awesome universe of Robotech, let me wear her vintage 60s dresses from Bambang Market (in 1998 when nobody our age was wearing vintage), even introduced me to my first boyfriend (let’s say that was a good thing).

She took on huge responsibilities at an early age with no questions asked, and supported me throughout college while building a stellar career. She has all the classic big sister traits—good, sensible, successful and responsible—combined with the boundless energy and adventurous, fun-loving spirit of a younger sister. (Especially when it comes to a night of partying, when I become not just the older sister, but a total granny.)

My sister and I have shared everything from clothes to late-night conversations, to international mommy handovers and mad dashes through airports. She shares because she has a big and loyal heart, and I’m so lucky to be one of the people whom I know always has a place in it.

Happy birthday, Ate!

Speaking of sisters, let me leave you with some weekend reading from another pair of sisters who rock. Thea and Toni Neubauer publish sisterMagazine, an online mag for “active, widely interested and digitally living women.” Covering topics that range from food, lifestyle and fashion to technology, mobile developments and start-ups, sisterMAG is bursting with content and is beautifully designed to boot. You can see for yourself by browsing sisterMAG’s second issue right here.

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I met Thea and Toni briefly at The Hive in Berlin and was blown away by their style and smarts. So I’m really looking forward to meeting them again this weekend at the Meet the Blogger event here in Amsterdam.

I’ll be back after the weekend with details on Meet the Blogger and a week’s worth of posts on beautiful, beautiful Florence (yay!). In the meantime, happy reading… and happy weekend!

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