this is where I live

May 22, 2015

pantry window

Last weekend was our first of the season at the cottage, our summer home on Cape Cod. All weekend, in between walks to the beach and visits with the cousins across the street, I ran around cleaning, making the beds, weeding, setting out towels, arranging flowers, and generally prepping the house for summer habitation. Often my work was interrupted as I paused to capture a moment on film. At some point my husband said to me, “I love watching you in this place. You get such joy from it.” “Yes,” I agreed. “It’s who I am.”

life boat rock harbor

bedside bouquet

kitchen sink

hammock with legs

boat owners

cottage kitchen window

cottage pantry

goldie locks in the three bears house

Olie and the barn door

lilacs and apple blossoms_edited-1

bedroom bureau

youngs 2

kids hammock 2

cottage bathroom flowers

dining room and pantry 2

striped heros


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solvi turns 7

May 10, 2015

Solvi turns 7, paper fans 2

Solvi turned 7 this week. In celebration, we held a flower arranging party.

Solvi turns 7 with fox collar_edited-1

Solvi turns 7, close up paper flowers

Solvi turns 7, Celebrate

Solvi turns 7, iris

Solvi turns 7, flower arranging_edited-1

Solvi turns 7, Parker

Solvi turns 7, Hooray



Wedding bouquets are expensive. But they don’t have to be. Sometimes all you need to make a special arrangement are simple flowers and some outstanding ribbon.

With this idea in mind, Angela Liguori and I set out to make a simple posy as the second installment of our monthly DIYs. All it took was a bunch of tiny daisy-like clusters (white asters or feverfew), several yards of Studio Carta ribbon, and about ten minutes time. The cost? Under $20. The results? An inspired springtime bouquet, perfect for May Day, weddings, or any special occasion.

White Aster Posy with Studio Carta Ribbon, ribbon, by Justine Hand Materials:

  • Any small daisy-like cluster flower. Angela and I wanted feverfew which will be abundant in my garden next month. (Note: if you pick the flowers from your own garden, the cost is even less!) Until then, white asters from the florist possessed a similar demure charm.
  • 1 yard each of Studio Carta Italian cotton ribbon, including loose weave in peach, metallic loose weave in peach and gold and calligraphy ribbon featuring the fine lettering of Maybelle Imasa Stukuls. (Here’s a peak at a calligraphy course I took from her at Angela’s last year.)
  • floral shears, ribbon scissors and pins (optional)

White Aster Posy with Studio Carta Ribbon, cutting flowers, by Justine Hand

Step 1: Remove the lower leaves and blooms from each stem. Then gather your flowers into a bunch and trim the ends to an equal length, about 7 inches from the base of the flowers.

simple posy with Studio Carta ribbon, tying ribbons 2, by Justine Hand_edited-1

Step 2: Tie your first yard of peach ribbon around the stems, near, but not right up against, the base of your flowers. Don’t worry if you don’t have equal lengths of ribbon on each side of the bouquet. It actually looks better if they are slightly askew. Also you want your bunch to be secure, but you also don’t want to tie the ribbon so tight that your flowers squish together. Then tie your second, metallic peach ribbon right over the first.

Simple Posy with Studio Carta Ribbon, tying ribbons, by Justine Hand_edited-2

Step 3: Gently thread the calligraphy ribbon under the first two. Pull one end through so that it hangs about the same length as the stems, leaving the other end long. Secure with a small pin pushed towards the center of the bouquet.

White Aster Posy with Studio Carta Ribbon, finished, by Justine Hand_edited-1

That’s it! It couldn’t be easier to achieve this simply elegant posy, perfect for May Day or Mother’s Day. We also think they would be especially charming grouped together as bridesmaids or a flower girl bouquets. Add a dash more of Maybelle’s calligraphy ribbon to a smaller cluster, and you could even make striking, matching, boutonnieres for your groomsmen.

simple posy with Studio Carta ribbon, by Justine Hand

If you missed our inaugural DIY collaborative, be sure to visit Quail Eggs and Peacocks. Up next for June: a handmade wedding album or baby book.

White aster bouquet with Studio Carta ribbon, typewriter, by Justine Hand_edited-1


Mothers Day Table with Everyday Napkins, MUD carafe, by Justine Hand for Remodelista

So excited to team up with other Boston creatives for this post featuring Kathryn Lee’s Everyday Napkins, as well as tableware from Lekker Home and Greentail Table.

Styling and photography by Kathryn, of Bash Studios, and myself. See full article at Remodelista.

mothers day tabel wit everyday napkin, Due Ice Oro flateware, Remodelista

mothers day table with everyday napkin, Remodelista

Mothers Day Table with The Everyday Napkin, Due Oro spoon, by Justine Hand for Remodelista_edited-1

Mothers Day Table with Everyday Napkin, sun trivet, Justine Hand for Remodelista

Mothers Day Table with The Everyday Napkin, gold server, by Justine Hand for Remodelista

mothers day tabel wit everyday napkin, branch, Remodelista


bubble play

April 8, 2015

bubble phantom

bubble play captured in the late afternoon light

bubbles on the stairs

catching bubbles

bubbles for two

big bubble

bubbles on the stairs 2

popping bubbles

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Home Tour, Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz, stove detail, by Justine Hand for Remodelista

Excerpts from my tour of Boston designers Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz’s Beacon Hill home. See more at Remodelista.

Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz Beacon Hill Home, kitchen, by Justine Hand for Remodelista_edited-1

Beacon Hill Home of Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz, white ceramics, by Justine Hand for Remodelista_edited-2

Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz Beacon Hill Home, kitchen table 2, by Justine Hand for Remodelista_edited-1

Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz Beacon Hill Home, kitchen dining, by Justine Hand for Remodelista

home tour Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz, bedroom detail, by Justine Hand for Remodelista_edited-1

home tour Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz, bedroom, by Justine Hand for Remodelista_edited-1

Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz Beacon Hill Home, closet, by Justine Hand for Remodelista_edited-2

Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz Beacon Hill Home detail by Justine Hand for Remodelista


hoppy easter

April 5, 2015

Easter Bunnies_edited-1Bunnies, hiding out, in my house, this morning.

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Liliana Folta 2

I came across these small, sculptural gems at the recent holiday market at my house, and asked Laura from Templton General if I could photograph them. They are new works by local Boston artist, Liliana Folta. A departure from her previous, more iconic, work these intimate, abstract pieces nonetheless possess Liliana’s signature exploration of the boundaries between the beautiful and the bizarre.

Flora and fauna intertwined, these undulating lifeforms take us on a cyclical ride that is both nurturing and disquieting. At first our inherent optimism leads us to experience those pods as buds, unfolding with life. Or are they fungi initiating their recycling process?  Are those tendril forms reaching forth to take root? Or are they choking tentacles? Are we witness to nascent garden or Little Shop of Horrors? An exciting dance, small enough to be cupped in the palm of your hand, these works feel like a privilege. For though they are fluid and fecund, they are also brittle as bone. Take care of these emerging seeds, lest their fragile bodies turn to barrenness and dust.

Liliana Folta 3

 New works by Liliana Folta are available at Templeton General.

Liliana Folta 1

Liliana Folta 4


sunday morning mug

March 29, 2015

Sunday morning mug 1 new mug. from local shop. good morning.

Sunday morning mug 2_edited-1

Sunday Morning Mug 3_edited-2

Sunday Monring Mug 4

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indigo and stitch

March 25, 2015


Recently I have become obsessed with Japanese sashiko – those long mending stitches often seen on boro and other vintage cloths. In my search for everything sashiko, I came across a new favorite Etsy shop, Sasaki Yohinten, which sells vintage Japanese goods and European clothing, many of which have been revived with sashiko.

Sashiko is a mending technique born in the 18 and 19th century working class Japan. Too poor to buy new clothes these rural communities would lovingly patch and darn worn textiles with sashiko-style stitching. (Boro refers to textiles themselves that have been mended and patched many times. Sashiko is the actual embroidered stitch.) Today, along with boro, sashiko is back in vogue as a rustic art.

To me Sasaki Yohinten’s application of sashiko is particularly effecting. Small and spare, these understated adornments lend a quiet dignity to these repurposed clothes, not only paying homage to their working class origins, but also raising them to a level of art. To wear them, I think, is to recognize the creative force behind the work we do every day.

I also like the fact that here sashiko is applied to western-style work clothes. It’s as if Sasaki Yohinten seeks to bring sashiko out of feudal Japan and into the modern, multicultural age.



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