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Face The Foliage Diana Vreeland wearing Sylva & Cie jewelry


Face The Foliage Grace Jones in Stephen Webster jewelry


Face The Foliage Grace Coddington in Wendy Yue jewelry


Face The Foliage Elizabeth Taylor in Bochic jewelry

If, a couple of years ago, someone would have said to me that some of my collages made of twigs, leaves and flowers would make it from my backyard all the way to Vogue I would have laughed. I mean, it sounds pretty ridiculous. And yet here I am, my friends, and here they are–foliage portraits all blinged out in pieces from Moda Operandi, on the front page of Vogue.com –

P I N C H  M E!

So here’s how it happened–one day I get an email from the folks at Moda inquiring about my #FaceTheFoliage project and next thing you know, they are commissioning me to create faces to pair with some of their jewelry collections. They sent me a PDF with the photographs that I was to work off of for the portraits and I broke into a serious sweat for several reasons 1.) A lot of the faces were profiles or 3/4 angels, and I hadn’t messed around with those angles before. 2.) I find it difficult to make a drawing look like the subject–I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able make these iconic faces recognizable and 3.) I had only one week to pull this off.

This job was either going to SUPER rad…or it was going to be a nightmare.  Part of me wanted to decline the job (the part that was scared shitless needing to redo the faces 10000 times)–but then another part (the gutsier part) told me to just throw myself into the project and that’s what I did.

So I took a deep breath, charged it to the flower market and did one face per day, for one week, until they were all done. The folks at Moda were great to work with, I was pushed outside my comfort zone (in a good way) to try different poses and new things with these faces–so I learned a little something along the way too.

I’m really happy with how they came out–Diana Vreeland is my favorite, and Liz Taylor, while I think my version looks more like Liz Taylor’s sister or cousin or something…I love the way she looks…and her hair–yes, I’m proud of her calla lily curls. You can go to Vogue.com to see the others (damn I like the sound of that :P)

And, you can actually win one too!  Moda Operandi is offering one lucky duck the chance to win the  #JewelsInBloom print of your choice. Go here for details and to enter!

August 27th, 2014

Drop Cloth Curtains



While shooting The New Boho Book, a few of the houses we shot used simple hardware store canvas drop cloths as curtains. I always liked the look of them. They let light shine through while maintaining privacy, and something about the weight of the fabric was perfect. So I picked up a drop cloth and decided that it would be worth it to try and tie-dye it and see what happened. While the dye (after washing) didn’t hold SUPER well (the canvas is not 100% cotton) I still love the look of my $10 curtain! (and yes, it’s the very same panel that we used as a table cloth for Ida’s birthday!) So it’s an idea that can work for table cloths, curtains, and even picnic blankets. Next time I might try indigo or even a turquoise. Thoughts?


When Dabito and I first came up with the idea to start The Creative Residency, we did so because we felt like there was a need for ‘serious’ (read: challenging) creative seminars that put a premium on building relationships with other creative folks (collaboration is key). We also felt it was important the  seminars cover a wide spectrum of subjects–because nowadays, doesn’t it feel like you need to know a little bit of everything to have a successful creative business (social media, photography, writing, styling, graphic design…)?!

We had our first seminar, The Social Media Practicum a few weeks ago and it was pretty amazing. Hosted by RoomForty, the eight-hour long seminar took place in an intimate room with 14 hyper creative fellows. The above kokedamas we handmade by Kelly Cuadra and were our gifts to all fellows– a symbol for growth and ‘keeping you shit together.’ ;) JenniferYoungStudio-33JenniferYoungStudio-67Whilst chowing down on RoomForty’s delectable eats (including the most incredible stuffed jalapeno poppers) we shared constructive criticism, and discussed and divulged everything we know about finding and developing ones voice and building and growing an audience online.  JenniferYoungStudio-11 JenniferYoungStudio-13
I was humbled and thrilled with what some of the fellows of the seminar had to say about the day on their own blogs:  Katja Ollendorff, pattern designer, says: “Oh my!  What an amazing day full of invaluable information, collaboration and sublime company.”

Interior and botanical consultant, Debra Szidon says :“ Over the weekend I flew to LA to work on my Social Media skills with Justina Blakeney and Dabito of the The Creative Residency…I left feeling totally inspired!…(it) was an invigorating experience and one that I highly recommend.” 
JenniferYoungStudio-18JenniferYoungStudio-76 JenniferYoungStudio-58 JenniferYoungStudio-56 JenniferYoungStudio-21   JenniferYoungStudio-38
Kelly Cuadra also made these flower arrangements. She’s amazing. The whole day was artfully captured by Jennifer Young.

You can learn about all the  fellows from the Social Media Practicum right here. JenniferYoungStudio-44   
AND now YOU can join us in the next one as we have just announced the Social Media Colloquium which I will be co-teaching again with Dabito here in Los Angeles. The Colloquium is designed to quickly inspire, motivate and propel you and your creative brand to achieve your goals. And until Friday, JB est. 79 blog readers will get 15% off enrollment fees with the code: ITSNEVERTOOLATE because it’s never too late to get your shit together. :D I really hope I get a chance to meet you there!

Photography: Jennifer Young
Location: Room Forty at The Fig House
Food: Room Forty
Flowers & Kokedamas: Kelly Cuadra

I LOVE the look of modern-style dolls on shelves. My grandmother started my love affair, as she picked up dolls from all her worldly travels and had them on display in her home-office, like an international chorus.  And then designers like Alexander Girard picked up the inspiration baton when I first learned about these dolls:

And then Jonathan Adler came out with his Utopia Collection.

And then last year while on that 6-week stay in Denmark, I fell in love with the work of Danish designer, painter and ceramic artist Bjorn Wiinblad and his kooky ceramic ‘doll’ vessels.

Trouble was, that I can fall in love with all these things as much as I want–but they’re all HIGHLY collectable and, while easy on the eyes, are not at all easy on the wallet. Then one day as I was wandering through the isles at Lowe’s I saw these simple curtain finials, and they didn’t look to me like curtain finials at all, instead, to me they looked like my next DIY project :) My very  own kooky heads to adorn the book shelves. So I also picked a a little floating shelf, because I loved the idea of the heads not just being decorative but being functional, too–I was going to turn them into book-ends.


So what I did when I got home was very, very simple. I took a black Sharpie to the finials and drew some faces onto the finials.


Then I measured and drilled small holes into the shelf where I wanted the heads to go and screwed the heads right into the shelves. And about $20 and 20 minutes later I finally had some dolls on my shelves!


I hung the shelf in Ida’s room and she loves it.  She points to it all the time and says “Mama make dat!” “Lady sleeping, man awake!” It’s pretty much the cutest thing ever, a very quick and easy DIY that would also be fun to do with kids. I may also do another round making one head for each person in our family.

*Project and photography by J. Blakeney.
*This project was created in partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement. For more ideas, check out our board “Justina’s Creative Home” on Pinterest. 


August 22nd, 2014

10 clickables




1. I will be co-teaching a brand new seminar at The Creative Residency on Sept. 13th. in L.A. with Dabito. This time we’ll be teaching a Social Media Colloquium. It’s gonna be a game changer! Space is limited so sign up soon!

2. I’m wearing Calypso’s Raju Tee in the above pic.  Proceeds from this tee benefit the mission of Wildlife SOS to save and protect endangered elephants.

3. This Instagram account has me super inspired lately.  Can you dig it?

4. West Elm is offering makers and small design companies a chance to win a $25,000 grant. Get info here.

5. I’ve been kinda obsessed with podcasts recently and I can’t stop thinking about this talk by Sarah Lewis on the difference between success and mastery.

6. For the mamas and the papas this week I have a guide for lighting a nursery over at Interior Deluxe Lighting, and an eBay guide for 10-toddler must-haves (obsessed with the baskets at the end of the list!!)

7. Check out this “5-Minute tour” with me over at Covet Garden Magazine.

8. Stoked for JB blog contributor Nicole for winning Inside Out Magazine’s Search for a Stylist contest. You go girl!!

9. Join in on the fun as I pin jungalicious ideas to my newest pinboard: Justina’s Creative Home with Lowe’s.  It’s gonna get wild. Promise. :)

10. Do you follow Cecilia on Pinterest? She is one of my favorite pinners.


Have an amazing weekend sweet friends!



There is something so dreamy and romantic about a canopy bed, am I right?  It’s the bed fit for a princess, but it doesn’t have to be stuffy or too fancy.  If you have a four poster bed for starters, you can drape all your favourite textiles along the top and from each post (they don’t have to match, but a similar colour palette would be nice). Add extra charm with tassels from your travels, rope or even a dangly necklace or two.


Add a simple strip of mud cloth from the headboard upwards, and bunch it at the top for a more relaxed boho look.


With the most colorful fabric you can find at the fabric shop or thrift store, you can make a really simple canopy by draping a strip of fabric along two suspended wooden dowels from your ceiling.  By my eye, this looks like around at least 6 meters of fabric which has then been tied in a big knot at the end. The dowels were just installed with hooks and tied rope, but you could also use two c-cup hooks for each end of your support beam.  You don’t have to dress your bed in the exact same fabric as your canopy, but it does pack a powerful punch!


If crazy colorful isn’t for you, add a white canopy for a more subdued look.  I’m personally a big fan of white in the bedroom. Try threading a white curtain along a stick of bamboo, it already has the loops.  Plus bamboo is light and easy to work with; you could erect a canopy frame along 1, 2, 3 or 4 sides of your bed and make your own four poster dreamship.


When I was searching for the prettiest canopy beds, none other than our Justina reigned as the queen of this domain; I had to include a couple of my favorites.  Above, she has simply placed a piece of white fabric along the top of her bedroom window frame and then gathered it to meet at the pendant above the bed.  So stunning, right?


Think beyond the bedroom, if you’re not ready or don’t have the space in there. Above, Justina has added an array of vintage scarfs and fabric leftovers to a curtain rod above this window seat, for the cosiest little reading nook.

Photo credits:

1. Terence Conran’s ‘New House Book’, 1985
2. ‘The Way We Live with the Things We Love’ , 2009 Photography: Gilles de Chabaneix
3. Terence Conran’s ‘New House Book’, 1985
4. Elle Decor UK, July 2012 Photography: Birgitta Wolgang Drejer
5. Justina Blakeney here
6. Justina Blakeney there

This post was created by Nicole Valentine Don for JB est. 1979.
For more of Nicole’s magical musings,  visit her blog and follow her on instagram.

August 21st, 2014

6 tips for studio & dorm decor


My old studio apartment where I converted a closet into a home-office

A lot of you are heading back to school this month, and I remember very clearly what that’s like. My first year at UCLA I shared a triple with two girls names Jen. Jen#1 loved all things plastered with that yellow happy face emoji, and Jen#2 had those ‘romantic’ posters with details highlighted in red and pink, like these, you know? Ya, well, our room was eclectic to put it mildly. Mix those two flavors with my style, which, even back then was crazy colorful, boho and textile-rich, and what you got was a hot mess, a tiny hot mess because the room was about the size of a shoe box.

Well if I could go back in time I’d do things a little differently. I’d employ a few tips and tricks to maximize space and style and to minimize on kissing children posters mixed with happy faces and Indonesian batik. So today I’ve partnered with Del Mar (a family-owned online company that specializes in lighting and fans) to share some ideas of what I’d do to my dorm room if I could hop in a time machine back to my college dorm years.


1. fan |2. reading lamp brass |3. beaded sconce| 4. floor lamp |5.  chandelier | 6. palm tree print 7. bed | 8.desk 

1. Neutral Furniture
Starting off with a neutral foundation of classic, modern furniture will help to avoid overall visual chaos. Pick a color for the big pieces and stick to it. Bring in color through accents and smaller pieces.

2. Small Pieces that Last
I feel like often times people have this mentality like you have to buy cheap crap for dorms or studios and then you invest in ‘real’ stuff when you move into a larger space. Well enough with the disposable culture! There are many items, (like especially good lighting) that are super important to a space and can be brought with you when moving on to the next spot. A beautiful wall sconce or elegant floor lamp won’t show much wear and tear and can easily travel along with you as you (and your space) grow.

3. Multi Functional Pieces
Multi functional pieces will help with storage and space issues. Take, for example, the floor lamp pictured in the mood board above. It can be placed between a bed and a desk (or between two anythings, really) to provide lighting for two separate areas. Storage ottomans, storage benches and beds with storage underneath are also good examples of multi-functional pieces that will help to save space in your tiny abode.

4. Fresh Air
Having fresh air circulate around the room is paramount–especially in small spaces. Lots of plants, wide open windows and fans can help to ensure that the space doesn’t get stuffy.

5. Build up
Use the walls wisely. Hang shelves on walls to maximize storage. Also use wall lights for mood lighting but also to save on surface space. Hang mirrors on the walls to help to make the space seem larger than it actually is.

6. Pieces that Can Tie the Whole Room Together
Including two pieces that ‘relate’ to one another on different sides of a room can help to visually pull a room together.  For example, if you use the above beaded chandelier in the center of the room, adding the beaded sconce in a strategic spot can help to make the room look cohesive. Now it’s important not to get too matchy-matchy, but a few pieces that relate to one-another can do wonders to a space.

*This post was created in partnership with Del Mar.