My first blog conference experience ~ Haven 2012

You’ve probably read several recaps about the awesome Haven Conference and mine is very similar, if not the same and I can’t NOT share. I seriously am so glad that I got over my anxiety and just went.

Haven Conference 2012

Haven was a highlight of the year type of experience for me. Blog conferences have never been in my budget {so many home improvements/so little $} but when I heard about the Haven Conference and how there would be sessions that would interest me (blogging and DIY) and most importantly that I’d have the opportunity to meet so many DIY blog friends in person, I made it a top priority. I can’t believe I was almost way too shy and nervous to go.

My favorite part was transforming e-friends in to real life friends. The best part for me is that I met so many amazing people. Bloggers, non bloggers, men, women. I was nervous. I was star struck. But every person there was super friendly. I recognized faces and blog names. Many times, it was like seeing a long time real life friend. I have “visited” many of their homes, read about their lives and even featured some of their DIY projects after all. It was a DIY reunion and everyone seemed to enjoy picking up their friendships were we left off in blogging earlier in the week. There’s nothing better than meeting a group of friends who share the same interests. There’s always something to talk about!

I’d like to thank the Haven team for organizing such a successful amazing event: Southern Hospitality, Kristin, Centsational Girl, Home Stories A2Z, Miss Mustard Seed, Beneath My Heart, Thrifty Decor Chick, Just a Girl. Their hard work was evident and they put together the best first blog conference dedicated to our favorite topics: DIY home improvement, decorating and blogging.

John & Sherry from Young House Love were the keynote speakers and had us hooked and laughing. They’re hilarious, such an adorable couple and were the perfect start to a dream come true event. Like most long time bloggers, I’ve “e-known” them from the start and I got to introduce myself but as you can imagine, there wasn’t a moment someone didn’t want to meet and talk with them and there was certainly no time to pose for a picture or talk for long.

I didn’t have the chance to attend all of the sessions but the ones I did were so interesting, informative and fun! The speakers were so smart and so helpful.

  • I Love Thrifting
  • I Like Big Blogs – tips on growing your blog
  • Beginning Paint & Stain
  • DIY Your Blog Design
  • Power Tools with Ryobi
  • Basic Carpentry
  • Advanced Painting
  • Blogging PR
  • Decor 101
  • Design Studio
  • Basic Photography/Photo Styling
  • All About Advertising
  • Slipcovers and Upholstery Basics
  • Hobby to Business

I didn’t take many pictures of the event in action and I didn’t have a chance to take a photo with everyone I met and believe it or not I didn’t get to meet everyone I wanted to meet either.  I missed meeting some blog friends (so sad about that!) and even some of the sponsors. There was just so much packed into such a short time. Here are some of the friends I met, proof that these blog friends are real people: (if you’re pictured here, yes you have permission to borrow the picture!)

I was so excited to meet my friend, Rashon {Mr. GoodWill Hunting}! (Can’t wait for I Heart Thrifting Day coming up 7/7). As always, he was charming, hilarious and shared some awesome thrifting tips. I couldn’t wait to meet him and attended his session first thing, hanging on every word. 🙂

Mr.GoodWill Hunting and DIY Show Off

Me with Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage.We did get to spend a lot of time talking and I have a feeling it’s the start of a lifelong friendship…

DIY Show Off and Shabby Creek Cottage

At the Picket Fence! Heather, me & Vanessa. I got to dine with Vanessa and talk about our lives, our families and our DIY. She’s lovely and her sister, Heather had me laughing so hard I was crying. These two sisters are such an inspiration!

Heather, Roeshel, Vanessa

Julia from Hooked on Houses and me. I’ve been hooked on Julia and her blog for years.

Julia and Roeshel

Ange {The Blooming Hydrangea}, KariAnne {Thistlewood Farms} and me. Both of these beautiful ladies were a hoot and so sweet!

Ange, KariAnne, Roeshel

Me with Becky from Organizing Made Fun. Becky’s always been an inspiration with so much helpful advice and meeting her was a treat!

Roeshel and Becky

Me and Beth from Unskinny Boppy. Beth and I have been friends from The Nest before blogging and it was super sweet to meet her finally!

Roeshel and Beth

Me, Brittany {Pretty Handy Girl} and Jessica {Decor Aventures}:

Roeshel, Brittany, Jessica

Me with Carmel at Our Fifth House

Roeshel and Carmel

Ange and me again…

Ange and Roeshel

Me with Cassie from Primitive and Proper. Cassie has an amazing talent with painting furniture (my go to blog for advice and beautiful furniture inspiration and fellow DIY’er at the DIY Club)…

Roeshel and Cassie

Gail {My Repurposed Life} and me – so happy to finally meet! Our email/blog friendship is now real life! Woo hoo!

Gail and Roeshel

Deneen from Dreaming in Color and me…she is so friendly! Daneen and Roeshel

Sweet Deb from Bungalow with me:

Debbie and Roeshel

Dusty (All Things G&D), Amanda (Serenity Now) and me:

Dusty, Amanda, Roeshel

Me with Ana White. I’ve admired Ana’s building skills from her Knock Off Decor days. Ana – if you’re ever in the Pittsburgh area, you have a place to stay (of course I may put you to work, but that’s a DIY girl’s idea of fun, right? Spa day to follow!).

Roeshel and Ana White

Gail, me and Katie (half of the husband/wife team from Sew Woodsy). Katie and her husband were some awesome lucky winners at the conference!

Gail, Roeshel, Katie

Lesli (My Old Country House) and me. Not only is Lesli a super talented artist, she’s now my real-life friend. 🙂

Lesli and Roeshel

Tonya (Love of Family & Home), me and Beth from Unskinny Boppy:

Tanya, Roeshel, Beth

Me with Miss Charming from Charming Zebra. Great smile, great new friend.

Miss Charming and Roeshel

I met Laura from Top This Top That – beautiful inside and out and I’m so happy we had the chance to meet!

And Laura from Finding Home Online is super model tall, gorgeous and so sweet:

Roeshel and Laura

Ellen, me and Vicki – maybe someday bloggers who were attending a fun girls’ trip. They called themselves “blog stalkers”. We had a great time chatting over lunch.

Ellen, Roeshel, Vicki

Me and Miriam from HomeTalk.

Roeshel and Miriam

Me with Todd {we met last year here} from Shaw Floors HGTV Home:

Todd and Roeshel

Why I didn’t get pictures with Karah, flat Kelly or Debbie, Sherry & John, Layla & Kevin, Sarah, Maury, Jocelyn, Linda, JamieLyn, Lisa, Andrea, Kim, Sheila, Pamela,  Vivienne, KerryKelly and so many more friends…because it was that crazy of social/learning and we were too excited saying “hi” or didn’t find each other. 🙁  Next time!

There’s a picture of me with Traci over at Beneath My Heart. Isn’t she a doll? She is a sweetheart in real life too! 

Thanks to Brittany for sharing this picture. 

DIY Divas

Front:  Sandra {Sawdust and Paperscraps}, Roeshel (Me!) {DIY Showoff}, Brittany {Pretty Handy Girl}

Middle:  Chris {Just a Girl}, Myra {My Blessed Life}, Marian {Miss Mustard Seed}, Stacy {Not Just a Housewife}, Wendy {The Shabby Nest}, Traci {Beneath My Heart}.

Back:  Gina {Shabby Creek Cottage}, Beckie {Infarrantly Creative}, Beth {Home Stories A2Z}, Rhoda {Southern Hospitality}, Sarah {Thrifty Décor Chick}, Kate {Centsational Girl}

I swear I wore about 7 outfits in 3 days out of the 50 (slight exaggeration but I had no idea what to wear to a blog conference!) that I managed to squeeze into my carry on but you can tell from the pictures above that I only had my camera out for a small amount of time. Roeshel yellow/black polka dot dress

I was way to shy to play the part of paparazzi and not expert enough to have my camera settings correct in changing lighting. And it’s HARD for me to keep bugging others to use my camera to take my picture…ya know?

And the awesome sponsors had fun interactive booths and amazing giveaways including a swag bag packed full of DIY related goodies! Special thanks to: FrogTape, Purdy, Shaw Floors/HGTV Home, Home Depot, Apartment Guide, HomeTalk, Ryobi, Kreg, Minwax, Rustoleum, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, PureBond, Oreck, Royal Design Studios, 3M Tekk, Bondo,, Moen, Mirror Mate, Fish Window Cleaning and Mail Chimp. 

Haven 2012 swag bag

Here I am with the Purdy team after winning the amazing (OMGosh!) $1000 worth of Purdy products {thanks to Rhoda for drawing my number!}:

Roeshel and Purdy

(I also won a Home Depot gift basket! I told you it was an awesome couple of days!)

Meeting others who share my DIY and blogging interests made for a great time! I left there feeling energized, empowered, motivated and inspired and can’t wait to dive into my next DIY project and to see my friends again. 🙂

See more Haven 2012 Conference recaps at Southern Hospitality.
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