Urban Jungle Bloggers #16
When we chose February's Urban Jungle Bloggers topic I thought this would be easy peasy. There are so many cool DIYs out there to make a beautiful macramé plant holder. Until I realized I didn't have any nice rope or fabric. I tried to make something with electrical cords (which we do have in all the colors of the rainbow for the renovation of our home ;) ), but that didn't work out. Neon fishnet tights to the rescue!
I found this package of PaParee tights (love that brandname!) in my stash of DIY stuff and 10 minutes later I had my three hanging planters. Plus two hands full of cactus spines, ouch! The tall paddle leaf cactus needed some extra space and support to grow, so I made a hoop from electrical cord that I wove through the tights. Easy peasy after all!
But how do you attach a hanging planter to your ceiling without drilling holes? I have no idea, we don't have curtain rods, or wooden beams. I decided to make a temporary setup in our kitchen with a broomstick, a wooden plank, some cartons of milk on top and Tadaaah!
Once I finished taking the pictures, the sun came out. And I loved the shadows of the tights and plants so much, that I just had to do it all over again. Oh the joys of early spring weather in France ;)
Like when I built my temporary plant shelfie, I wanted to share a behind the scenes picture. Our cat Wally wasn't really sure about it:
See? Hanging planters are very easy to make yourself! You can even hang them on a wall (with a simple nail), on a hook in your window sill, or on a broomstick ;) Do you have hanging planters at home? Share them on instagram or twitter with #urbanjunglebloggers or check out the gallery for more inspiration!
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series hosted by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). Every month we share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs and green tips & tricks. You can find additional inspiration on our Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board and keep up-to-date via our Facebook page. Want to join? Find out how on our website and use #urbanjunglebloggers on twitter and instagram. Let's bring some green into our homes and blogs!
► Fore more hanging planters, check out the gallery!
How to get 100000 Pinterest followers
A little less frequent updates here these days! I've been working a lot, spent more time offline, walked around sunny Amsterdam (hence the pictures in this post!), I've also been preparing cool stuff for Urban Jungle Bloggers, checking out beautiful selfies on Instagram, being interviewed for Design*Sponge (*blush blush*)... and I also became slightly addicted to Pinterest.
My tiny addiction probably started with our UJB Pinterest board to which Igor and I pin lots of plant inspiration. It is really cool to see that some blogposts of our bloggers are repinned by other (bigger) pinners and get more visitors and exposure. With UJB we want to bring more greens into our homes and blogs, so spreading the green love through Pinterest works really well and helps to grow our community.
First and foremost, I believe it's not about the numbers. Like any social media out there, it's about quality of life, finding the right onine lifestyle for yourself (whether you blog (semi-)professionnally or just for fun) and real connections. But I know when I blog, I want people to read/see it. And Pinterest is a nice tool to reach a larger audience.
In recent months my account grew from 11 000 followers to almost 100K. There are lots of different theories of how you can get more Pinterest followers, buy likes or even earn money with your pins. This is what worked for me:
► Pin daily. Make it part of your daily routine.
► Sign up for a business Pinterest account. It's free and you get all kinds of statistics, which allows you to get an idea of what your followers like, what gets repinned a lot and what your less popular pins are.
► Create very specific boards. Not "inspiration", but "yellow elephant toys with big eyes". Or anything that you truly fancy ;) In your boards, stay very close to a certain topic or style. If you have a broader theme, make sure the pins look nice together, make it interesting to look at. Or create a new board for your related topic.
► Only pin stuff you really like. For Urban Jungle Bloggers I get to pin lots of different styles of interiors and green plant solutions. Some of them are not my style at all, but I know they will speak to our community. For my own boards I only pin stuff I truly like. I love following people that have a very particular aesthetic with a great sense of style. Some pinners are so talented, that you recognize him/her by their pins.
► Unfollow specific boards from pinners you follow. For example I rarely follow boards with "inspirational quotes". They are super popular on Pinterest, but most of the time I hate the fonts or lettering. And they rarely move me anyway. It keeps your feed clean too ;)
► Send pins to friends or fellow pinners with the "Send" button. Sometimes you see a pin that immediately reminds you of someone. "This looks soooo like my friend Sophie." It makes the experience more social and it's always nice to receive thoughtful suggestions.
► Mention the blogger (and/or photographer). When pinning directly from a blog, I usually mention the blogger, if I can find his/her accountname on Pinterest. (hint for bloggers: make it easy to find you on Pinterest! And use an easy name, your blogname in stead of your real name for example)
► I use Pinterest almost on a daily basis for my work as a graphic designer. It's super helpful to share a (secret) board with my clients and use it as a moodboard for the designs I'm working on for them. I immediately see what my clients like or dislike. And I can comment and ask questions or have them explain what they like from the pin.
► Somehow, all of the above, got me into some kind of "suggested pinner" groove. I'm not entirely sure, but it seems like new French Pinterest subscribers, automatically follow me. Which basically gives me a lot of newbie pinners, currently about 600-800 a day, with very little (or even zero) followers or interaction. Not super interesting though... Pinterest algorithms are so opaque sometimes!
A few extra tips if you want to improve the "pin-ability" of your own content on your blog:
► Add an alt-text to your images. Pinterest automatically picks the alt-text of an image as the description of your pin. It's smart to include your blogname and the specifics of the image. Apparently hashtags are ignored by Pinterest, just words are enough to find an image.
► Add a pin-it button to your blog images (click here to see how that works). Make it easy for readers to pin your content to Pinterest.
► Always insert a big portrait (vertical) image in your blogpost. Portait images show up much bigger than landscape images on Pinterest (or your mobile phone!).
►Create rich pins for your website. If you pin something from my blog, a pin automatically gets a "from JOELIX.com" headline and my favicon (the little *) and the blog title. It's a little bit technical to insert the code in your website, so you may ask your web developer to take care of that. Or do it yourself, you can find a tutorial for Wordpress right here.
► And above all: enjoy pinning! If you don't like creating boards or spending time in this ocean of too-pretty and too-perfect images, just don't use it ;)
Any questions? Just ask me in the comments below. Oh and please leave your Pinterest account too, I want to check you out!
Find me here on Pinterest.
Sla Amsterdam salad bar
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I was in Amsterdam the other day. I met up with my blog pals Deepa and Giova for coffee and pancakes and a stroll around de Pijp. They know me well and took me to Sla, because it's a true Urban Jungle Bloggers hotspot. Ever since I saw pictures on blogs and Instagram of this small chain of salad bars, I loved their look. Delicious veggies and lots green plants hanging around.
But when we had a closer look we realized the "famous" hanging plants in the baskets are artificial plants! Wow! I thought this was very surprising, especially since the salad bar was drenched in sunlight. I'm sure real plants, like a string of pearls or some ivy would survive here with a little bit of love and attention. Anyway, I'm happy to tell that most of the other plants were real. In the end, Sla looks stunning and you can't go wrong with a delicious salad with lots of veggies and healthy ingredients. I wish more restaurants would work with vegetables, like Ottolenghi who made veggies sexy again ;)
Sla also carries a nice selection of healthy cooking books, like The Green Kitchen, and the lovely Bag to Nature herbs:
We already had lunch, so we didn't get ourselves something to eat here, but the food looked really good. I'll keep it in mind for my next trip to Amsterdam.
After this tiny plant disillusion, Deepa & Giova took me to Circle of Trust, a new concept store just around the corner from Sla. And they got it: real cacti and succulents everywhere (and not just on their wall!)!
Do you have any other green recommendations in Amsterdam? And did you ever have lunch at any of the five Sla restaurants?
Urban Jungles terrarium + giveaway!
It's not every day that you stumble upon a product with your own name. But it happened when Igor and I discovered these glass terrariums from Holland called Urban Jungles. Lucky us, they are pretty and the perfect gift for any Urban Jungle Blogger ;)
Urban Jungles are glass terrariums made from glass & solder. When Victor, the inventor of UJ, finished renovating his home, he decided to get rid of all superfluous accessories and only keep his most precious belongings. Not a big jungle with dozens of plants, but one beautiful cactus in the spotlight. And behind glass! That's when the idea for these glass terrariums was born: five geometric designs, that enhance the organic shape of any small plant, gem, sculpture or toy. The styling possibilities are endless!
My first idea was to place a cactus inside my Chowpak terrarium. But I had a look around in my jungle and all my plants were too wide or too tall. The only one that fit in was this small succulent. It kept me company on my north-facing desk all winter and exploded to reach for extra sunlight. He is tall and handsome now, can you believe only 5 months ago he looked like this?!
Of course I couldn't resist playing around with my Urban Jungles terrarium for a bit:
Urban Jungles come in 5 different models, mine is called Chewpak, Igor chose Johnnson and there are also Charivati, McLansey and BarunBaru. Each piece comes with its own bag of little rocks and is beautifully wrapped. By the way, the terraria don't like water, so if you want to use it for plants, prefer cacti or Tillandsia (airplants) and water sparsely.
To win one Urban Jungles terrarium:
► Leave a comment below with the name of the jungle you would like to win.
► Not mandatory, but it would be nice if you'd follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin
► Visit Happy Interior Blog for an extra chance to win: Igor is giving away a second Urban Jungle!
On February 16th I'll announce the winner. This giveaway is open worldwide. (Green) fingers crossed!
This giveaway is now closed. The winners are... here!
Nine minutes in Nice
Today I wanted to share a little bit of extra sunshine and color with you, from my little trip to Nice a few weeks ago. It was so nice to escape the grey & cold for what seemed like just nine minutes. The weekend was full and busy and I spent my time off snapping pictures of the blue blue sky. It totally reinvigorated me.
How crazy and pink is the famous Auer patisserie:
I never get enough of palm trees! It will take a few more decades until mine will be this tall:
Look at how it filters the sunlight, the perfect spot for a siësta:
There's definitely an Urban Jungle Blogger living here:
Beautiful and tasty garlic from the Provence at the market in Vieux Nice:
Le Promenade des Anglais:
And another Urban Jungle Blogger having fun with planters at le Comptoir de Nicole, a Niçois bistrot:
Great choice of color for this tricycle truck:
Je suis Charlie... at only a few meters from where earlier this week, three soldiers were stabbed outside a Jewish community center. It's a small and crazy world we're living in!
Never enough greens, never enough blue skies. It's such a cliché, but we're in the middle of the winter here in the Oise ;)
Have a wonderful and sunny weekend!
shadow & sun!