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September 30th, 2014

Justina’s Creative Home


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…


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…



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



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…


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.



Nicki DIY-075
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!

Nicki DIY-086
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!

Nicki DIY-090

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



Mixing up fun and funky throw pillows is kinda my jam. Pillow covers are one of those things that I purchase often on my travels (they’re so easy to tuck into the suitcase), and most of the pillows that I own are from my two trips to Turkey. I LOVE kilim pillows and they come in so many amazing patterns and varieties…I feel like every time I scour eBay for new styles (and that’s VERY often) I find types I have never seen before. For this round-up, I tried to collect more unusual pieces in fun colors that feel right for fall (how pretty are the floral kilim!?!). And since I consider throw pillows to be my secret weapon in styling, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to pick the right throw pillows for a sofa, sectional or love seat, and how to style them together so that your sofa looks chic and collected instead of a hot mess.





  • Make sure that the pillows that you choose have some colors in common with one another: notice on the pink sofa, I’ve used pillows that have some pink tones but don’t read too overwhelmingly as PINK.
  • Make sure that the patterns on the pillows  have some colors/tones in common with the sofa–like on the green sofa I’ve used pillows that both have some green tones to them–it makes the selection feel eclectic without clashing. 


  • I like to mix it up with the pillows shapes too…if you have two square pillows, add another pillow that’s oblong (or round!) this helps keep things visually interesting–sometimes a bit of asymmetry is good.


  • Make sure that the scale of the pillows matches the scale of the furniture. If your sofa is super deep, start with big, dense 20″ X 20″ pillows, if you’re styling a small love seat, use pillows that provide a nice visual accent, but they don’t have to be too big.


  • I like to mix pillows so that matching pillows are on opposite sides of the sofa and pillows of varying shapes sit next to each other. I keep about 20 pillows on my living room sofa (I know, I’m nuts) and I layer them with the largest pillows in back, the smallest up front and I tend to rotate the pillows slightly so that they aren’t straight up and down. If you plan to be more reasonable and have only a few pillows on your sofa, try some asymmetrical placement options (like the ones pictured above) to keep things looking eclectic and collected but not too stuffy :)


  • Feel free to add in solid colored pillows to the mix to break up some of the pattern–sometimes pattern on pattern on pattern is rad, but sometimes it looks super busy.
  • I enjoy adding in a furry pillow now and again too (especially in the cooler months) to provide some diversity in the textures used.

All pillows pictured here can be found in my Patternful Collection on eBay
Pink Rue sofa from CB2
Leather Sofa from West Elm
Green love seat from World Market

*My eBay Collections were curated as part of my collaboration with eBay.


September 23rd, 2014

Vintage Pottery




Vintage pottery in general, and  specifically these essential shapes and soft colors are really doing it for me. All of these particular planters are outside of my budget, but they sure got my imagination fueled for some DIY ideas….

(Images via 1st Dibs)