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So Canadian eh? : Christine from Just Bella

August 17, 2012



We have a gorgeous gal from the Prairies today.

Please welcome....

Christine from Just Bella


Christine, an avid photographer and Prairie gal who makes her home in the northern city of Edmonton, Alberta has a knack for creating an amazingly decorated home! From small DIY's to complete room makeovers, Christine creatively incorporates Ikea with thrifty finds, adding layers with art, and accessories. I love the warmth her home evokes, a must for those cold Prairie winters!

Nine months ago, Christine welcomed a baby girl into her life, and along with her husband are clearly smitten with their angel! Her nursery is a gorgeous space, which I am sure had been pinned to countless Pinterest boards!

I loved this interview as I have had the chance to get to know Christine over the past 18 months or so, but yet was surprised to get to know a few of the tidbits she shared. Fingers crossed she can make it out to our second Blend event in September!

I am always blown away by Christine's photographs, clearly she has a talent in that department, capturing the beauty of her home and life.

Check it out!

Framed fabric art

 Chic master bedroom and dressing area


 Amazing deck and lounge area. 


 Alice's famously pinned nursery.

 Spoon rack necklace holder, ingenious idea!

Wallpaper headboard. 

Photos courtesy of Christine Shankowsky

Tell us a bit about yourself? Give us some insight into who you are, what are you drawn to, where you always creative?

I live in Edmonton, AB with my little family - the hubs and our sweet baby girl, Alice. Currently I’m on maternity leave but my professional background is in graphic design where I work for a motion graphics design/fx company as a project manager, designer, animator (yes, many, many hats).

Creativity has always been a big part of my life. Whether it was rearranging furniture, making friendship bracelets (I rocked the arm party at a very early age), or changing my clothes for the 10th time in one day, my creative juices were flowing from a very young age.

Why made you decide to start your blog? And has there been anything that you have enjoyed about blogging? Not enjoyed?

My blog actually started off more as a travel blog — first, my honeymoon to Italy and then a family vacation to Europe. It was a way to document the trips and keep in touch while we were away. Once the trips were over I realized how much I loved blogging! It became a great creative outlet for me so I continued on writing about the things I love - life, my home, food, travel, design....

Blogging has been a fantastic way to connect with an amazing community of like minded people. Who knew so many awesome people were out there in internetland that shared my passions and spoke my language. (I love that I’ll never have to define ombré to you peeps ;).

There are times when I do feel pressure or obligation to blog, but I do my best to not put any expectations on myself and do what works for me. It’s a lot of work, so I want to make sure I’m enjoying myself along the way.


You are a mom to a sweet baby girl, how do you balance it all? Or is it something you still are attempting to master?

Balance? Ha! Definitely something I’m still trying to master and something tells me I’ll be working on that for many years to come.

Sometimes it feels like my days consist of eat, sleep, poop, laundry (all that fun stuff) that I barely have time to stop and notice I have mashed bananas all over my shirt and I went to the grocery store with ONE earring on (true story, it happened. twice). I do my best to be as present as possible, enjoy my family time and also to take some time for me. I jump on the computer while Alice naps or after she’s gone to bed - thank you blogs and pinterest for a much needed escape.

I’m always amazed at other bloggers who are able to blog everyday. I try not to put too much pressure on myself. At the end of the day, I blog because I love it and if I’d rather spend my time lying on the floor playing with Alice than I’m going to do it.

Ask me again in a few months when I’m back to work and I’m sure I’ll have a very different answer for you. ahhh!

What are your go-to sources for anything décor related?

Definitely blogs. The amount of inspiration out there is endless, I love how the online design community allows you to connect with everyone from professional designers to talented, creative, everyday people. Also, I’ve always been a magazine junkie, I may or may not have a magazine collection that is slowly taking over the house.

How would you describe your design style?

I’d describe my style as modern, classic, with a twist. I love mixing old and new and this is reflected throughout our home. We’ve got new pieces, thrifty finds and even a few pre-loved hand me downs kicking around.

You have amazing photography skills, {ones I am quite envious of}, did you take any courses or are you self-taught? Any invaluable tips you care to share?

Aww, shucks, thanks, Barbara. I’m no professional but I do love photography. I studied digital arts in college and did spend some time dabbling in photography. I loved playing around in the darkroom and learning the ins and outs of a camera. All my courses were film based though, so I’ve taught myself how to master my digital camera on my own and am constantly trying to learn as I go.

Tell us one thing about you that would surprise us!

I went bungee jumping once in memory of a friend of mine. This is crazy surprising to anyone who knows me, including myself! It was a true testament that you can do near anything if you put your mind to it. Seriously, I still can't believe I did it. It was exhilarating, but I’m pretty sure I will never, ever do it again!

If you could meet anyone or do anything your heart desires, who or what would it be?

Travel, travel, travel. There is nothing more inspiring than visiting a new city. I’d love to eat and shop my way around the whole world.

You live in the Canadian Prairies, where the winters can be long, do you find that where you live influences how you decorate your home? If so, how?

Oh geez, don’t remind me. That looong winter is coming up! We do spend a lot of time indoors so it’s important create a warm and cozy environment. Luckily, here in Edmonton, although it’s cold, we get a ton of sunshine. I love opening up all the curtains to let all that natural light in. Also a must is a great door mat, haha, because things get yucky very fast. Another reason why us Canadians take off our shoes indoors ;)

What are your views on the role Canadian design plays in the world design scene? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style and design, and if so, what is it that you think sets us apart?

I do think that Canadians have a unique sense of style. We are a huge country with such a great blend of cultures, climates and people. I think that uniqueness is reflected in our design sensibilities.

I find most Canadians (myself included!) are super proud of their heritage. While the classic “Canadiana” will always be a timeless style, I think it’s the originality of blending different techniques and styles that speaks to a lot of Canadians. Plus, we are a pretty friendly bunch, aren’t we?? :)

Wow, Christine, I knew you must of worked in a creative industry, it really shows. 
I am in love with Alice's nursery and your home, it truly is magazine worthy. Fingers crossed you can make it out to Vancouver in September!

XO Barbara

20 comments:

  1. Thanks for the intro Barbara. Iove the creativity that Christine expresses..... It's a big part of why people such as herself are so good at what they do. Alice's nursery is absolutely adorable!

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  2. Beautiful!
    Christine and I hit it off from Day 1 in bloggersland. I'm pretty sure she was my first follower and I am always grateful for our sweet little friendship. She's truly talented and equally thoughful. Love, love, love this feature. It's been wonderful learning more about her background in design. xo

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  3. Great interview, Barbara. I've been following Christine for a couple of years. Alice is over the top cute! Alice must love her bedroom - so adorable.

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  4. I love Christine's style in her home and I agree that her photography skills are so awesome. It's so nice to learn more about her, especially her career as I've often wondered what business she is in.

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  5. Thank you so much for having me, Barbara! I always love reading all the great interviews you put together and am so honoured to be included among so many great Canadians!!

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  6. Barbara...I love her design aesthetic. Very calming and chic!

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  7. I adore Christine's fabulous blog! I agree that her photography skills are amazing! Glad to see her featured here Barb! :)

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  8. We are big fan's of Christine's blog as well! She takes such stunning photos, its incredible!

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  9. Another great one. I especially like this one cuz I'm from E-town too! Going to go check her out right now! I am learning so much about other Canadian Bloggers thanks to you Brabara! Love this series

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  10. Nice interview
    It was nice to get to know a litlle bit more about Christine,
    I love her blog.(true and honest)
    xoxo
    Lulu

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  11. Sweet mantel styling! I adore that framed fabric. She's quite a talent -- it came as no surprise to see that she's trained in graphic design. :)
    Camille

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  12. Hey, Christine is my sister! I was pleasantly surprised to see her as your guest blogger. I have been following your blog for a while now without a comment. I guess my sister as a guest poster is a great reason to. I love your guest features. Christine is my go-to designer when doing things to my home. I get lots of inspiration from her.

    Michelle

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  13. Love! Christine's design aesthetic totally strikes the right note... Warm, relaxed, and inviting. I hope she makes it to Blend - would so love to meet her! Thanks for another awesome interview, Barbara :-)

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  14. Love her photographs Barbara! Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

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  15. How could I have missed this blog? Thank you Barb for fixing this! I love Christine's style and her photographs are fantastic. Can't wait to see more!

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  16. What a great interview. I love Christine's photography too.

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  17. So great to learn more about Christine! Love her blog

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  18. Another great interview Barb! I love this series. I hope you are having a great summer. I was so sorry to read about your friend from Calgary that passed away...so sad! Have a wonderful week! Angie xo

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  19. I count Christine as one of my good friends so it was FANTASTIC to see her featured in this series. In addition to being talented, she's also very sweet, too.

    p.s. I didn't know she had bungee jumped so I learned something new, too. (:



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  20. So great to be introduced to someone who lives close to me! Let me know when you're having your next Blend event. I'd love to try to make it.

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