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Today I get to share some exciting advancements on the book front– WE HAVE A COVER, which is actually starting to make this whole book thing feel really real. Since I’ve been working on this thing for almost two years now, sometimes it’s easy to get caught in all the tiny details and decisions (yesterday I had to cut out two pages, for example, and I can’t tell you how hard it is to choose what gets cut and what remains.) But, the cover is here and I am so thrilled to be able to share it with you guys finally.

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The process of choosing a cover with a publisher can be daunting. The cover is SUCH a big deal, right? And there can be a lot of cooks in the kitchen, lots of ideas and lots and lots of opinions–and that is why I am SO happy to say that I genuinely love the cover and feel that it’s a great representation of what you’ll find inside all the 304 pages of the book. The cover shot was taken at the home of stylist Paige Morse who lives in Dallas, Texas. I really had a great time styling her home because (in case you can’t tell) she loves textiles just as much as I do. If you are curious to see some of the other designs that we played around with for the cover,  I’ve posted up some of the runner-ups on Facebook. 

So believe it or not, the book doesn’t come out for another five and a half months. Isn’t that crazy?? But in the mean time, you can already pre-order this bad-boy on Amazon–which is also very crazy. And amazing. And crazy. I’d love to hear your thoughts and the cover and I’m wishing you guys a relaxing weekend!

22 October 2014

DIY Tripod Planter

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I’m excited to announce that I’m taking over the Lowe’s Instagram for the next five days, sharing some jungalicious projects and styling tips–including this nifty thrifty little tripod planter I whipped up in about 15 minutes.

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I think this little dude would make a pretty perfect gift for a plant-lover. Keep on reading for the instructions, and be sure to follow along here for more ideas and inspo! (more…)

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It seems that some children come into the world super creative, and others come into the world super logical. Kids exercise imagination in different ways.

Did you ever watch a child draw a squiggly-straight line topped with a circle, and name it flower? Or name it an “i”? or a balloon? Or all of the above? Children’s minds run free. Some kids count the lights on a bridge and imagine the line extending into infinity, a most useful bridge indeed. Other kids see the lights on a bridge and imagine kingdoms, and fairy dust, and alternate constellations.

Some kids get where they’re going by cutting right to the chase. Other kids get where they’re going by considering all the possible details they observe or imagine. Neuroscience tells us that while most people use each side of their brain for different tasks, some people mostly rely on the left hemisphere of their brain, and others rely mostly on their “right brain.”

Are you (or your child, partner, friend) a right brain creative, making wholes from parts? Telling stories to give life to objects? Using metaphor to describe and connect? What about a left brain, logical, direct, systematic, straight to the point of the story type? Do you visualize a chair before you choose wood and pick up a hammer? Do you hear the whole melody before you start to play? Do you see the outline of the paper, the structure of the bridge, before you begin the work? Or do you observe a messy multiplicity of parts and craft a ray of potential whole pictures, making meaning of shadows and colors, seeing faces in flowers and branches, seeing feelings and meaning in faces? We associate all these activities with the Right Hemisphere of the brain. Right brain people, stereotypically, express emotions more easily, are more passionate and compassionate, are more open to the possibilities, less decisive, less direct, less systematic and less organized than Left Brain people.

We can foster creativity in Left Brain people by using their strength: Ask them (or yourself): How many possible combinations of (e.g. blooms and branches) can we use to make a face? Write a scheme of possibilities A = eyes: B= nose: C= mouth; D = ears: A = nose, B = ears, etc.

We can foster systematic (left brain) thinking in Right Brain people by using their strength: What do the faces that you like have in common with one another? How are they different from the ones you like less? What are 5 steps you might use to teach somebody how to make a #facethefoliage?

We can all train our brains to use both sides, and we can celebrate our own natural gifts when we know how to recognize them.

*Dr. Bubbie is my amazing mom and a Harvard-trained psychologist. You can leave your questions for Dr. Bubbie about life, motherhood, family, relationships and friendships below and we may pick your question to answer in the next installment of Dear Dr. Bubbie.

20 October 2014

The Floyd Leg

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I’m totally smitten with The Floyd Leg– a concept by Alex O’Dell & his studio in Detroit whereby clamp-on legs allow you to make a table (or a shelf) from any flat surface. As a person who loves to make tables and shelves from reclaimed materials like windows, doors and old drawers, I could see so many ways I’d incorporate The Floyd Legs into my life–such a great concept, right?!

18 October 2014

Elephantastic!

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I’m kind of obsessed with elephants…there is something so sweet and strong, quirky and chic about them, don’t you think?

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From screens to side tables, statues to candle holders, don’t you just wanna bring in a herd into your home? I’m pretty determine to own that  elephant statue/lantern up top. It’s a splurge but I just may have to have it…Check out these elephants and my other favorite jungalicious finds over at Chairish.

 

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Nothing brightens up a space like windows….well, DUH!  I just love grid windows, properly called ‘muntins’ (you learn something new every.day!).  If I were to build my dream home, I would definitely have floor to ceiling windows in a living room and in my dreamiest of dreams they would be gridded like so!

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Make them arched windows for the triple whammy!

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Stained glass also has my heart.  How can you not love letting in glorious sunlight through coloured panes of glass.  Such an old fashioned feel; a lovely attention to detail that sometimes goes unchallenged in modern interiors.

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A really nice way to liven up your windows is by painting the panes in an awesome colour- I’d go Kelly green like our girl Justina (baby Ida too please!).

Photo credits:

1. Terence Conran’s ‘The New House Book’, 1985

2. Architect Marco Vido  Photography: Nathalie Krag

3. Tine K Home

4. ‘The Originals’, 2008 Photography: Holland Vandertol

5. ‘The Way We Live with The Things We Love’, 2009 Photography: Gilles de Chabaneix

6. via Lucky Pony

7-8. The Jungalow kitchen Photography: Justina Blakeney

 

This post was created by Nicole Valentine Don for JB est. 1979.

For more of Nicole’s magical musings, visit her blog & facebook

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Yesterday’s Halloween post wouldn’t be complete without a few DIY’s and recipes to share with you all–because besides all the rad thrifting that went on…there was some pretty serious yumminess and craftiness that was happening too…here is how we created some of the spooky details and eery cocktails and treats…

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Stormy Night cocktail
Ingredients

8 oz dark spiced rum
12 oz ginger beer
12 oz blackberry juice
24 blackberries

Instructions
Muddle blackberries and blackberry juice together in the bottom of a pitcher until berries are mostly squished.
Add dark rum and ginger beer. Pour into small bottles (or glasses) and serve while still foamy.
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Painted Pumpkins
To prep pumpkins for spray painting, cover stems in painters tape, ensuring tape doesn’t touch pumpkin. Wash/wipe down to ensure paint will adhere properly. 
Some pumpkins, especially the mini, gourd type, may cause paint to bubble up as it dries. I liked the wart-like look these had.
 2-3 coats of paint is needed for best coverage. 

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Black Candy Apples
Ingredients
6-8 smaller apples or pears, washed and dried completely, with stems removed
6-8 candy apple sticks, or whatever you want to serve them on- we used mini daggers
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon Oil
Few drops black food coloring
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Instructions
Insert sticks into the top of each apple/pear. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper and spray or brush with oil. Set aside.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Keep stirring until the mixture reaches 300-310 degrees on a candy thermometer (hard crack stage). If you’re unsure about the temperature of the candy, drop some in a class of cold water. If it hardens immediately and easily breaks, it’s at the right temp. If it remains soft and sinks, it needs to cook a little more.

Remove mixture from heat and immediately stir in both the cinnamon oil and food coloring. Dip apples in the coating, rotating to cover evenly, and place on lined baking sheet to harden. Be careful handling the candy as it is very hot, and avoid getting the cinnamon oil on your skin to avoid irritation.

Photography & Recipes by Danae Horst for JB Est, 1979
Creative Direction by Justina Blakeney