4 Websites, 4 Great Ideas, All 4 You from BlogHer '11

One last BlogHer-related post...This time, I'm sharing websites and online services that I was introduced to during the conference, and, in my Goddess-like estimation, each one is way cool in its own right. 
 
1. Flat Pet.
Shame on me for not getting this woman's card -- I think her name is Yvonne. In a room of women working on iPads and laptops, she stood out. Well, her cat stood out. From across a large meeting room, the life-sized kitty-witty cut-out looked impressively realistic.

At lunch, might-be-Yvonne displayed an entire tabletop of flat pets (right). If you'd like to flatten your pet, the directions are all here. The biggest lesson of all for me was an introduction to pet bloggers. Animal rights is one thing; but many people blog about their own pet...period.
 
If you're near Tysons Corner, VA this weekend Aug. 25-27, stop by BlogPaws 2011, the 3rd annual pet blogging and social media conference. Who knew?
 
Add your own wording to really memorable graphics and high quality paper, and the beautiful results are mailed to you with envelopes, ready to address and drop in a mailbox. Wedding and birth announcements. Personal stationery. Invitations. Birthday and holiday cards. Save the date reminders. 

The display caught my eye from quite a distance away; I can only imagine the impact these beauties have when the receiver removes one from its envelope. There are similar online services, I know, but I believe Paper Culture's contemporary designs really stand out from the pack. 

If you really like what you create, make it permanent as bamboo wall art (right). Have a photo that you took, or a personalized graphic applied to a heavy, good quality bamboo square. Hang on a wall or leave it freestanding.
 
Bright orange T-shirts that proclaim "Plastic is good. Green is bad" couldn't help but draw attention. It translates to: Give your teenager a card, not cash. Parents load up a card with an amount of their choosing; their teen uses it anywhere that MasterCard is accepted. Spending is easily tracked online, and if the need arises, the parent can lock the card, stopping spending in its tracks.
 
(That's one of my BlogHer roomies, Tamara/MomRN posing at the Bill My Parents booth where she worked several shifts during the conference. Neither she nor BMP requested this post and they sure haven't compensated me for it!)
 
Becky Sherrick Harks, the woman behind the often hilarious blog, Mommy Wants Vodka, launched this incredible website after delivering her third child. As she lay on the birthing table, she heard words she'll never forget: "Becky, there's something wrong with your daughter's head." It was a neural tube defect, and suddenly humor blogging was not the easiest thing for Becky to do anymore.
 
The experience made her see a need in the blogosphere for a place for shared stories, educational resources and support. This award-winning group blog was started in Sept. 2010 to showcase posts by real people striving to "de-stigmatize mental illness, abuse, rape, baby loss and other traumas" in order to learn, grow and heal.
 
Some of the stories are hard to read, and they cover more categories of pain than you might think possible. But, some stories have to be told or the pain gets worse. And by acknowledging them, we're all part of the recovery.

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