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September 18th, 2014

A Creative Studio




The whole working-from-home situation has gotten out of hand. Now that Ida is a talking and walking little muncher, it is simply too hard to focus on work from my living room/office. Also, my business (and blog) is growing (YAY!) and as I hire more people to help out around here, having a little crew of folks working from my living room and from coffee shops is charming and everything, but it’s not sustainable. I need a studio.

So I have begun the search. Of course, the idea of having an off-jungalow studio both exciting and daunting. Paying two rents, two utility bills, and the idea of not being home with Ida much of the time makes me feel nervous, but I can also feel that the whole household is ready for this change. It’s time to stretch out a bit and since we are still not able to afford to buy a home, this is going to be our solution for the next few years.

Of course, next to all of my anxieties about ‘leaving home’ I am equal parts excited to have a work space to create, collaborate and celebrate in. I am also pretty darned  eager and elated about decorating this future hypothetical space. Of course, the decor is where my mind goes first, and my brain is already swimming with ideas.

I want the space to be super functional, but also homey and and comfortable. Natural light will be vital, a kitchen is important (I made that mistake with my last studio…it had no kitchen and so I never stayed the whole day because I always left to eat and then just didn’t go back.) I want to strike a balance in the space between mutability (like by putting everything on wheels) and jungaliciousness, (like by putting plants and color on everything, hehe). And now, as you can see, I’m getting ahead of myself since I have yet to actually acquire a space.

Anyway, the above mood board is just a dreamy kind of representation of how I see my future creative space (all of the beautiful vintage items pictured here can be found among my favorite pieces on Chairish), and I’ll keep you updated if and when I find the right thing… :) but it’s an exciting time for sure!

September 16th, 2014

Facing the fall…


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I thought it would be fun to share some of my latest foliage ladies…they are feeling relieved (releaved?) :P that the autumn months are ahead and that their wardrobe can start to represent the rusty, coppery hues of fall. If you still haven’t tried to craft faces from foliage, I highly recommend that you give it a go. I don’t seem to tire of this therapeutic and silly art form!  And check out the #FaceTheFoliage hashtag  to see some of the INCREDIBLE art that is happening around the world and join us!



There are some amazing, tasselled, bohemian hammocks out there, but do they ever make it past your online wish list and into your backyard?  A hammock seems like one of those items that requires all the stars to be aligned (or two massive trees to be aligned in your yard at least) and even then, it’s only temporary, unless you live in the tropics.  Anyway, my point is that while we may think a hammock is only good for lounging in outdoors and we might not have the space or proper support beams, it can be used in different ways inside your home all year round.  So, don’t hesitate to get that beauty on your next overseas trip because ‘it’s not practical’- this one I found at a market is from Guatemala and it’s been serving me well as a curtain for years!


Hang a hammock as a curtain lengthways, folded in half for leverage along your window, the loops are already there to hold onto the rod.  Or you can do this above version, where it hangs on a tree branch and loops through itself on single window- so pretty!


Cover a tired old chair to give it a new life-  don’t be shy about leaving the ties hanging out; it gives it added texture and character.

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This last one is pushing the envelope a bit and may not be for everyone, but I twisted my hammock really tightly on both ends (do this with a friend), then secured each end with some jute before hanging each loop on a separate window bracket.  I stuffed the middle bit full of plants as an unconventional, but effective window planter.  Secretly, I love it.  This would be perfect in a kitchen window where you don’t have to worry about blinds as well or you could do a version in your bathroom, to make watering easier.  What do you think?

{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




Over the weekend I had the pleasure of meeting up with a handful of amazing people at a little historic cottage in Santa Monica (right on the beach!) and styling, shooting and sharing goods of 9 of my favorite L.A. makers. It was kinda hectic, I’m not gonna lie—but it was also really fun and I learned a lot doing that much styling, shooting and sharing in such a short amount of time. I was really impressed with how fast Verizon FiOS Internet was as we uploaded everything throughout the day to a dedicated Pinterest board. With SpeedMatch, only on Verizon FiOS, upload speeds are as fast as download speeds, so the Internet was actually able to keep up with our relentless uploading — which is not always easy (Dabito and I are pr-e-tty—speedy :P)

Instead of doing just a simple event recap with you today I thought that it would be more fun (and useful!) to share some tactics, new and old for successfully styling, shooting and sharing images—so here goes!


1. Cohesive color: Pic a color palette to weave throughout the image. In the above pics, you can see I’ve woven in pops of yellow in the top pic of the Cotton & Flax home goods and pops of aqua in the image of the Paper and Type stationary and notecards. It helps the image to look more cohesive and visually harmonious. (more…)

September 11th, 2014

DIY: Catch-all Wall Pockets



When I first saw these cork mats wandering  through my local Lowe’s, I immediately thought they’d work well as a grouping of bulletin boards for over my desk, but then, scrolling through Pinterest I came across a few of those belt/mirror things like these and from there came up with the idea of making versatile wall pockets that can be used in any room of the house…



From the entrance into the home, to the kitchen or yes, above the desk use a little wall pocket to store frequently used (and frequently lost) items, like your sunglasses, keys and overdue bills…


Here’s how to make them:
What you need:
Round cork mats in various sizes
Leather scrap pieces big enough to use for pocket(these were found at my local fabric shop)
Small upholstery tacks
1/2″ wide Leather strips
Hot glue and a hot glue gun

What you do:
1. Cut the leather pieces 1/2″ smaller than the cork mat you will use
2. Cut the ‘top’ of the circle to create ‘pocket’ shape.
3. Put hot-glue around the round perimeter of the leather piece and carefully glue it the cork mat on all sides but the top
4. Add upholstery where desired to accent the leather and to reinforce corners
5. Once dry, hold corner tack down with one thumb and carefully stretch the leather to give it some room for the ‘stuff.’
6. Glue the leather strip to the perimeter of the cork, making sure the ends of the leather strips are glues together neatly at the bottom of the cork board.
7. Tie a knot in the top of the leather strip to create a loop to hang the cork mat from.



8. Hang your wall pockets in a cluster or by itself.
9. Revel in the cuteness!

Creative direction, photography and styling by Justina Blakeney, crafting by Natalie Gluck for JB est. 79.  This post was created in partnership with Lowe’s. Check out or Pinterest board Justina’s Creative Home for more fun DIY ideas!

September 10th, 2014



On Monday I was invited out to NYC with a handful of other multi-media artists to document the Spring 2015 Tommy Hilfiger show during NYC’s famed fashion week. Needless to say it was a total honor and whirlwind of a crazy, fashiony day full of stars and flowers. I was let into the Armory before the show to check out the backstage and the set–and oh my goodness. So much prettiness. The show had a kind of rock n’ roll, floral/circus/sergeant pepper vibe and the set was pretty incredible. They must have used hundreds of thousands of flowers…


I got a chance to strut down the runway before the models did their practice run…the good news is, I still got it. Mmmhhmmm.


Ha! Then a little peek backstage where I got to see the makeup artists stencil stars onto the girls’ cheeks…




They had stars upon thars… ;)
Oh and hi Tommy! :P

and then I made a #facethefoliage model of my own….

And then the show started….
It was kind of insane.

It went really quickly. Loud music, a flurry of stars and sparkles and applause…

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…and boom! It was over.
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And then, maybe my favorite part was seeing all the fashionistas come up on the floral installation after the show and sprawl out over the flowers for a few selfies…so fun–#faceinfoliage :P

It was quite a cultural experience and one that I’m so glad I got to experience first hand. These were my favorite looks from the show. I’m really digging all the stars…
Thanks to Tommy Hilfiger to hosting me for NY fashion week! Runway look images via Style.com, all other photos by J. Blakeney