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I’m really excited to share this video with you guys today! I rarely ever have a chance to make videos for the blog because, well, frankly it’s hard, and technical, and time consuming and there are a whole lotta skills involved that I don’t possess…Which is why when the new FYI network approached me to make this video and take care of all of the annoying parts, I was like, uh YES PLEASE!

The FYI network is all about “a creating-tasting-designing-personality-loving life” which is why it’s a pretty great fit for my vibe, and this video is part of the FYI Inspired Series–which celebrates creatives who inspire. The talented duo behind Honestly WTF (isn’t their blog great?!?) are part of the series too and it’s cool to see a little BTS about their backgrounds and what each one brings to the table in their creative partnership.

But back to my video ;) — shooting this was HILARIOUS. There were two huge cameras and about 8 crew people in the jungalow (which is about 1000 sq. ft.), it was hot and sticky (we have no air-co and this was filmed in August) and there were helicopters flying overhead pretty much the whole time which the poor sound dude was not at all happy about…But anyway…I had a blast and I hope you can sense that from this…Welcome to the Jungalow!! (finally with moving pictures!)

Excited to hear your thoughts and if you’d like to see more video around here! And 1000 thank you’s to the super talented team at FYI! 

 

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When I got married, I was conflicted as to whether to get married in a park or on the beach. Ultimately, we opted for park, but I got to live out my beach wedding decor fantasy just a little bit when Dabito and I styled and shot a little look-book a couple of weeks ago for Calypso St. Barth.  Calypso-justina-blakeney-dabito

We’re calling it Falling Into The Seaand the concept is a fall soiree beach-side. We joked to passersby as we were shooting this that Dabito and I were renewing our vows ;) I think they believed us.

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Our idea for this shoot was pretty simple: dinners on the beach in the brisker fall months are cozy, complete with woolly sweaters, blankets, pillows and rugs…you can wander down from your beach home to dine near the water (if that’s how you roll) or pack a picnic from the city…bring along some of your favorite pillows and throws, and meet some friends down in the sand with a bit of vino, bread and cheese–watch the sun go down and bring a warm cashmere sweater because you’re going to want to get cozy…

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We shot a few different scenes on a couple of different beaches, and actually picnic-ed right here–it was really quite lovely. Dabito and I didn’t renew our vows, but we did vow to bring more assistants on the next shoot because getting this incredible woven bench and this gorgy Moroccan Wedding Pouf down a rocky, beachy slope was no joke. :P

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Oh and this rug, and these moccasins WILL BE MINE. Mark my words. I’m totally obsessed.

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All in all it was such a fun day, I’m seriously smitten with the entire Calypso Maison collection. Now can I teletransport myself back to that beach with that rug and that sweater, pahhhlease?

Photos by Dabito, Styling by Justina Blakeney for Calypso St. Barth.

 

September 30th, 2014

Justina’s Creative Home

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Have you had a chance to check out the Justina’s Creative Home Pinterest board? It’s one of my favorite boards right now–it’s all projects that I’ve worked on over the last six years! It has given me a rare opportunity to dig through ye old archives and remember some oldies but goodies…and I’m also pinning stuff that gives me ideas for future projects…take, for example, that greenhouse in the upper right?! Ya.  The jungalow needs it, right?! (dying!!) Check out all 70 pins (and counting….) right here!

Justina’s Creative Home Pinterest board and all its awesome is in partnership with Lowe’s.

 

September 30th, 2014

A Welcoming to the Fall…

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Somewhere along the way, the summer got swept up into the moist soil. And now, although the very concept of seasons are changing with every mile driven and every tree that’s bullied to the forest floor, still a lingering sensation of seasonal change remains. The leaves redden, the air is as crisp as the fallen leaves, the sun beams, but now, with reprieve of the cooler winds. I’m opening my arms to welcome the fall…

 

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blogging-slogging
I was contacted last week by Steven Kurutz, a  New York Times reporter, about an article that he was working on about “Blogger Burnout and how to avoid it” (that’s what he told me the article was about in his email.) The article came out a couple of days ago and while — yay! I’m in the New York Times — the title “When Blogging Becomes a Slog” kinda makes it sound like I’m totally over blogging, which I’m not. (It doesn’t help that right over my photo it reads “Singing the Blogging Blues” either. ha!)

Now, I’ll take a second to confess that I had to look up the exact definition of the word slog.  After looking it up and learning that “slog” means “a spell of difficult, tiring work or traveling” I would argue that blogging, just like any daily practice or job that involves an everyday commitments, is difficult, tiring work, it is a slog, but it’s a slog (or ‘hustle’ as I like to call it) that I LOVE.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun, as an addendum to the article, to show you the questions that Steven asked and the answers that I sent back.  Many of the discussions around the article that have popped up, including this one on my homegirl Holly’s blog, includes questions as to why this article was focused on DIY/Design bloggers and not bloggers in general (or people from every profession for that matter, we all experience burnout, right?!?) But the questions that were posed to me by Steven originally shed some light on this subject, I believe, so check it:

How do you keep things fresh without repainting your walls every three days:
I use a lot of textiles and flowers in my work. I can bring in different florals/plants/foliage or simply cover a chair/sofa/table in a beautiful textile and completely change the look of a space without actually doing too much. It is in my nature to enjoy changing things up too and I think that helps–ever since I was a child I’ve loved to rearrange furniture and switch things around at home, so I actually enjoy the constant flux in the jungalow.

How do you balance the need to show readers your space with the need for privacy?
I don’t have any problems inviting people into my space. I love to entertain and have guests over to the house, and I feel like sharing images of my space to my readers is a natural extension of that. Where I do tend to need more privacy is with family matters. I have a young daughter (she’s 2 years old) and my husband is a pretty private person, so I just run ideas by him if a post involves him or Ida (our daughter) to make sure that he feels comfortable with it. When I’m sharing things of a more personal nature, they tend to be about me, my issues, my feelings and not too centered around the rest of my family. Both of my parents are developmental psychologists and I think I was raised with strong notions of ‘boundaries’ and I think that this has helped me to find the balance between the parts of my life that I keep private vs. the parts of my life that I make public.

How do you keep the blog fun and organic if it’s also become an income stream?
I get a lot of offers for partnerships that just don’t work with my taste. I don’t take them. I think one of my strengths as a creative is that I have a very clear style and vibe and if I don’t feel like the partnership is a good match, I prefer to forgo the cash and wait for something that aligns with my blog and brand. The partnerships that I do take on allow for me to be even more creative and invest in materials and assistants and spend time crafting great content as opposed to spending time on client work. I love to think of creative ways to work with brands to generate content that is authentic to my style and voice. I keep things fresh and authentic by having concept driven content as opposed to product driven content. I think that really helps to bring each post back to my unique voice and the way I see the world. This is slightly unrelated, but the YHL post that you linked to reminded me of this tangentially related topic on the subject of sponsorship — I look around in the world, on TV shows and in movies, in magazines and at concerts, on the sides of buses and in subways…I see sponsors all over the place and I see bloggers as the only people apologizing for it, or feeling a need to justify to readers WHY they are creating sponsored posts. I am earning a living and supporting my family through blogging. I am creating great, free content for my readers and I really proud of what I have accomplished and that I make money from this. I am unapologetic about creating sponsored content. I believe all of my content is fresh and authentic, sponsored or not. I do draw lines in the sand, however. For example, I have turned down several large partnerships this year that would have made my daughter the focus of campaign, something that my husband and I have agreed not do do.

How do you renovate and redecorate without living in chaos:
I currently live in a rental, so there are a lot of more major overhauls I’d love to do to the house that will have to wait until a family can afford to buy a home in L.A. on a blogger’s salary ;) That having been said, we do live in chaos. I have craft projects everywhere, my desk is currently in my living room, I do all my flower art on our patio (and yes leaves and flowers blow everywhere in the wind!) There are toddler toys mixed with bags full of props and textiles, computer wires everywhere…it’s not even a beautiful mess, it’s just a mess. I’m pretty sick of it (my man is over it too) so I’m actually in the process of looking for a studio, hopefully that will help remedy the situation even just a little bit.

Anyway, I just wanted to make sure y’all knew that I am not tired of this space–in fact, I love the challenge of it, I still get off on it, and still am inspired and motivated–and IS a slog, but it’s a damn good slog….and I feel like I’m only getting started! What are your thoughts? Did you have a chance to read the article?

Photo by Kevin Scanlon For the New York Times

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Lately I’ve been repeatedly coming across ceramics by Picasso and fee totally inspired. I love vessels with personality (remember this post?)  and all of these faces are so quirky, expressive and wonderful…I even love the posters designed for Picasso’s pottery shows…

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So great, right? Have a happy weekend friends, brimming with personaly :)

Posters image via my Modern Masters Collection on eBay.
Ceramics images via Philips Auctions.
*My eBay Collections were curated as part of my collaboration with eBay.

 

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I love, love, love finding creative uses for objects and I LOVE it even more when the object is ready-made.  I’ve been keeping our toothbrushes at home in a large conch shell; it’s pretty, functional and allows you to introduce the whole seaside motif in the bathroom thing in a not so obvious way.  For fun, I started to think of other natural toothbrush holder solutions too.  Think under the sea on the sink!

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Barnacles look like they were made to hold your toothbrush, dontcha’ think?  Built in holders in the prettiest of purples.  They could also house your pens or make a funky succulent planter!

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Use a small half clam shell; they have built in divots that hold your toothbrush a treat!  I used a bit of blue tack to secure this shell in place. I would love to know of any other natural toothbrush holder ideas out there- can you think of any?  Natural vessels in general?

{Project by Nicole Valentine Don for Justina Blakeney est. 1979.}
For more Nicole,  visit her blog and follow her on instagram.
Photos by: Fiona Galbraith