Jill Zaleski

One of a Kind Jewelry

Bonnie Hill…

Once in a lifetime… One in a million… Like no other… So cliché.  I know.  Sometimes however… a good resinating cliché is what you choose in order to express a deep love of, or an excitement for.  That is how I fee whenever I receive a new, beautiful image from one of my most beloved photographers Bonnie Hill.  I call her the creator of whimsey… Even her name “Bonnie Hill” sounds like a fairy tale…

When looking for a photographer to shoot my 2013 holiday collection “After Midnight”  I was on the search for someone new, as one of my go to photographers just moved to NYC and the other was busy with new baby.  Thankfully one of my models suggested a young photographer who may be interested in our project but mainly shot weddings and family.  I had seen a few of her images that really struck me and thought WOW.. she is so talented!  Finding out she was interested in collaborating with us, and also wanted to try something new and different on her side we set things up to meet for the first time the day of shoot.  I got really lucky that day…  That was the day I met Bonnie Hill.

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Since the day of the after midnight shoot we have worked together on many more campaigns. I Love Lucy  “Valentines campaign”, a few mini sessions, a campaign for JenDaisy women’s clothing boutique, and my favorite of all… “FREEDOM ~ A Gypsy Summer.  My final campaign in Chattanooga.   Shortly after my freedom shoot I found out I was moving across the country to Napa CA.  I knew it would be an exciting adventure, but also knew I would be leaving so many talented people that I adored working with behind.  Bonnie was at the top of that list.

Thankfully her and I have found ways to still do projects together even after my move.  Not that there are no talented photographers in my new location.  There are plenty.   Its more of the comfortability factor.  Them knowing what you want and you knowing what they want.  Bonnie and I have that times a million. Not to mention her gift to direct even the shyest of muses into a VOGUE inspired pose is fascinating to see.

Just recently I sent her a collection of “Game of Thrones” inspired pieces saying “do your magic” and that is exactly what she did.  What I really love about this collection of photos is that it is the exact same pieces on three VERY different models.  Looking at these photos in particular really shows you the talent behind the lens, and how a vision can change drastically with the right photographer and a new muse.

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When I see the first captivating image of HMUA Jill Clark I think Marilyn Monroe all the way… Then as I scroll down to beautiful Lauren Flatt I picture Lord of the Rings mystical elf queen Galadriel.  Continuing on Nadine Korp captures Game of Thrones Sansa Stark in all of her dark and mid-evil glory.

When spending as much time as I do creating pieces with a purpose of you imagining an existence outside our world.  You can only hope to have someone that also sees what you see.  Someone that brings another layer of romanticism. A photographer that has a gift for creating a world beyond our own through digital and making us believe.

Finding gifts in others is something to celebrate.  The ones that make what you do look more spectacular than it ever could have without them.  For this reason.  I celebrate Bonnie Hill and the beauty that she captures.  Thank you for always understanding my vision and always delivering something new and more spectacular than the last. …XO

 

Bonnie McGhee Photography 

Bonnie McGhee Facebook

My Etsy Shop

If you are a photographer, HMUA, fashion, or lifestyle blogger looking to collaborate, please send request to jillzaleski@gmail.com

 

An Artful Collaboration

Another holiday season is upon us which means a new holiday collection and artful collaboration.

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Moving across the country a year ago came with a huge set of challenges for me.  One of which was moving away from my very artistic collaborative partners.  I had such an amazing group of artists that I worked with weekly living in Chattanooga.  They would all come together to help me pull off a large project for a new collection.  Likewise when my HMUA’s, models, and photographer friends needed me to create something for them, style them for one of their up coming performances, or needed some of my jewels for an editorial they were working on I was always on board with a willingness, and a want to help create something truly special.  That is just how we did things… Kindness breeds kindness..

Since moving to CA I knew I wanted to rebuild a new collaborative network of artists.  But how would I do this… It took years to gather such a talented group that understood my wants and needs and me theirs.  It all starts with a conversation really…

I met Laurie Nigliazzo through our children who are in first grade together.  Laurie is a floral artist and has a flowers and events business sweetly named “Posy Studios“.  After discussing our two talents we decided we wanted to incorporate both into a beautiful collaborative project.  Now that we have an idea… it’s time to build a beautiful, artful team.

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Laurie Nigliazzo – Not only is Laurie an amazing floral artist she is a wedding and events planner, and finds artistic expression in painting. She is an incredibly dedicated individual and in-between her many projects she finds time to help out with local charities, and fundraisers that benefit our community. She describes her daughter as “very kind with a big heart”. The same can be said about Laurie.

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A few of Posy Studios beautiful floral creations (crowns, wristlets, and floral collars)  that were used in collaborative project.

The next step was to get a photographer on board that wanted to shoot something other than their everyday… When you’re building a collaborative team you need to think of what you have to offer others that will be participating..  After all… they are giving up their time for you.  Laurie had a friend that just finished shooting a wedding she provided flowers for.  Kassidy’s typical everyday is weddings, so joining our group would give her a new creative outlet and allow her to photograph something completely outside of her everyday.   That is how we found Kassidy Love Photography.

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Kassidy Mefford ~ Kassidy Love Photography

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Kassidy with kids from the village in which her non-profit organization is based in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua

Kassidy is such a kind and loving soul.  Not only does she photograph life for a living she is Owner/Operator of Dale Dagger Surf tours Nicaragua, and founder of a very special charity called the Sweet Water Fund.  The Sweet Water Fund is a grass roots foundation dedicated to inspiring a Nicaraguan village and empowering the local women through job opportunities, a healthy lifestyle and the arts. I am thankful I had the chance to meet and get to know her.  If you would like to find out more about Kassidy or her non profit organization Sweet Water Fund please follow links provided. 

Next on the collaborative agenda was finding a HMUA team (hair and makeup) and some willing models to be our living dolls for a day.. 

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Jessica Tahsler – I have had a passion for the hair and beauty industry most of my adult life. I have been licensed for eleven years. In that time I have mastered a wide range of techniques. My specialty and passion is in education. I have been an educator since 2005. Helping others obtain their goals of succeeding has always fueled my passion and inspires me to stay updated on all the latest trends, so in turn I can inspire others!

I knew another mom from my son’s school that teaches students HMUA at a the Marinello Schools of Beauty here in Napa CA.  I knew immediately I had to reach out to her to be part of this project.  Not because Jessica has a ton of experience doing this type of thing, but because of the kind of person she is.  Regardless of experience I find it equally important to request those who you feel comfortable around, have a kind and gentle presence, and work well with others.  Jessica is all of those things and has taught students HMUA  for 10+ years.   Jessica selected some of her top students to assist her in project, and arrived to location excited to showcase their work!   Her team included Giosifa Cavalli Taufa, Ariel Cook, and Holly Matfield.  

For their very first rodeo of this kind they did an amazing job!

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Left to right: Ariel Cook, Giosifa Cavalli Taufa, Holly Matfield, Jessica Tahsler 

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HMUA doing what they do BEST!

With everything in place I just needed to select the models and we would be on our way to the start of what will become “DOVEY” My 2015 Holiday collection.

Knowing I had several pieces to shoot it made sense to have 3 or 4 models so that the shoot would flow, and we could continue to photograph while HMUA changes were being done.

I have never used Model Mayhem, but know several artist friends that have.  Since being new to the area and wishing for models with some experience I created my first casting call.  I received several inquiries and selected one model from MM.  I also created a post on “The Bay Area Actors, Models, Photographers, and mua’s Network.  It is a good source to use if you have a network like this in your area as it creates a wonderful creative forum for people in your profession to connect. I was able to find one more lovely girl using this network.  We had two other beauties in our circle of friends and a little 7 year old doll by the name of Alexi!  We were ready.

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Alexi Nigliazzo-Ruxton and her dog Jax – The sweetest thing…  She loves fashion.  Has since the day she was born.  Her mother (Laurie Nigliazzo and Floral Artist) says she has never been able to pick out her outfits because she is very passionate about her own personal style… Alexi is a very kind child with a huge heart.

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Niba Nirmal – “I am currently a third year undergraduate student studying Genetics and Genomics, as well as Environmental Toxicology and Asian American Studies. I started modeling a few years ago, and absolutely love the beautiful people she has met and images that have been made as a result. I can’t wait to see where it will lead me to next!”

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Chante Lanuza – “Free Spirit” is definitely a perfect descriptive for Chante… “I am an artist and currently going to school for welding to fabricate mixed medium sculptures.  Born and raised in Napa CA.

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Grace Bartlett – Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, and is signed with Clear Talent Group. – “What inspires me often is the world around me. Understanding that everything has a ripple effect off of each other, and that in the grand scheme of things, we are one. Thoughts like that are what drew me to becoming a vegetarian! I try to be vegan often but I can’t fully call myself one. My sister, also inspires me every day because of her dedication to bettering our world. She is one of my biggest influences with how I view life in general!”

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Hatice Erdec – I am from Turkey. I used to play basketball professionally. I came to USA to study MBA. I am currently working as a junior project manager and model. I’ve always been a huge fan of modeling. What inspires me? A few of my model and photographer friends have been so kind to help point me in the right direction, and wanted me to start modeling. Then l found myself in the fashion shows. After that I got very good feedback from photographers and designers, and they started to book me for photo-shoots and fashion shows, in which I became a more experienced model . They are the ones that inspire me! I love my job. It was so fun.

The shoot took approximately 5 hours.  We pressed on through dusk and would have continued for a few more wardrobe changes, but unfortunately we were running out of daylight.  We were shooting the campaign outside where natural light was a must.  Even through this we got some lovely artistic photos of Hatice from the glow of the pool.  It was a wonderful idea on Kassidy’s part to use the beautiful pool lighting as a background for one last photo.

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I would like to extend a special thank you to Betty’s Girl Boutique for providing us with some beautiful vintage wardrobe options.

If you are looking for a vintage wedding gown or something customized to your own personal taste and style Kim Northrop is a talented seamstress and owner of Betty’s Girl Boutique on Pearl Street Napa CA.  Kim will be happy to assist you with all of your vintage wardrobe needs.

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A beautiful selection of vintage finds provided by Betty’s Girl Napa

It was a truly special day with a wonderful team of artists.  I am very thankful to all that gave up their time and came out to be a part of this project.

If you are a photographer, HMUA, model, or visual artist and would like to do a collaborative project with me, please message me the details of your project to jillzaleski@gmail.com.  I am always looking for new, talented individuals that inspire me with their creativity.

 “DOVEY” Holiday 2015 Look Book

Where to purchase  > DOVEY

 

 

The Story Behind The Stone…

During the summertime I take little breaks from creating to collaborate with new fashion and lifestyle bloggers, photographers, and models.  It is a time I truly cherish as I get to make new connections with other’s in the industry that I admire.

The Nordic Blonde is my most recent creative partner.  I am so thrilled to have my Gypsy Traveler Headdress featured on The Nordic Blonde’s fashion and lifestyle blog.
Not only is the photo majestically gorgeous, the write up of the headdress, and story behind the stone is so heartwarmingly inspirational.

Please take a moment to check out this beautifully talented girl, and her lovely post with up close shot of headdress by following the link in photo below.

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The 6 Things I learned while living in Nashville

What a great read about a part of the country I left behind last September. It brought on a tear or two as I reminisce about my time spent in beautiful TN.

Rae Marshall Photography Blog

Everyone is starting to realize our secret, which is move to Nashville right now.  Well, that’s just a resident’s opinion, but it is true that the population has been exploding in the last few years. Whether it’s from that tv show that you may have heard of, the growing artist industry or business in general, this is definitely a hub for new people.

I moved here 3 years ago in search of a bigger place, but couldn’t quite stomach LA or New York right out of college.  I found everything I had ever been looking for, and a lot of valuable lessons learned that will stay with me no matter where else I end up. This week is my 3 year anniversary of moving here as I prepare to head to Florida with my fiance, and was inspired to write a sappy love letter to Music City.  

Here…

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Ring of Fire | Food Truck | Napa Valley

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One thing that makes all who visit fall in love with Napa, is it’s amazing food scene and renowned wineries that landscape the Valley.   Food trucks, pop ups, and wine cellars all boasting of their delights that are always fresh, local, and sustainable.  Food and wine “is life” in wine country!~

Last night was no exception.  Myself along with several other local wedding planners, food bloggers, and event professionals were invited to an intimate tasting on the backside of a beautiful vineyard in support of “Ring of Fire.”  A new and exciting food truck that is hitting the streets of Napa Valley.  Their specialities –  Smokey BBQ and Hand Forged Pizza!~

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They started of with smokey spicy wings.  Not really something you can eat in any kind of elegant manner, but no one cared they were so beyond delicious.  Several guests went back for seconds.

Sweet and smokey ribs were what we dove into next.  Fall off the bone deliciousness is how I would describe.  The meat so tender that when I went in for my sample it “literally” fell off the bone.  Perfectly smokey, with the dark exterior caramelized to perfection.  They had their own sweet and smokey BBQ sauce to accompany but the ribs truly did not need a thing.

Next up – Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella, Hand Forged Pizza.  My only complaint since moving to the Valley was finding a really great pizza.  I feel like I accomplished that last night.   Plum tomatoes, fresh basil, generous amounts of soft smokey mozzarella. The crust was perfectly crisp, yet thin enough to not overwhelm. The Tomatoes… Oh My…. They literally melted in your mouth.  The texture of the “large chunks” of plum tomatoes was incredible.  They reminded me of a tomato that was blanched just enough to remove the skin but firm enough to give a meaty bite. I had a small slice before I had to head out but have been thinking of the bursts of flavor since I left last night.  IMG_0015 IMG_0008

Owner Colin McCluskey and Team

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There was no “Soda Pop” at this function. The only accompaniment to this Wings, Pizza, and Ribs show is the best reserve in Napa Valley!

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Weather you are a”napkin” or plan on visiting Napa Valley, look for the Ring of Fire Food Truck.  They cater large events and intimate private parties.  You can also pick up orders to take home, or grab a delicious snack on your lunch break.  To say “you will not be disappointed” is an understatement!~

 Ring of Fire Food Truck will be opening for retail business March 2, at 1630 Action Avenue, Napa CA (next to St. Clair Brown Winery)

To keep up to date on additional locations the truck will travel, along with their seasonal bites follow the Ring of Fire food truck on Facebook!

Event coordinated by Posy Studios Napa.

Shireen on the Scene….

It is always a very special day when you get featured by fashion and lifestyle blogger Shireen Sandoval.

An even more magnificent day when your favorite fashion blogger is featured in Las Olas Magazine… modeling your designs… next to fashion icon Diane Von Furstenburg ❤

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MoTown Starlet ~ Holiday 2014 Look Book

Sexy… Sophisticated… with a little bit of an EDGE…. MoTown Starlet is High fashion glamor at it’s finest… Old Hollywood… Swanky Cigar Bars… And a little bit of MoTown Blues…
Most pieces can be customized to your color story upon request as well as several “one of a kind” pieces for the JZ collectors ♥

“I want to be a Big STAR more than anything. It’s something Precious” –Marilyn Monroe

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Gorgeous Jill and her ‘One of a Kind Jewelry’ – WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

 LOVING THIS… Thank you for this amazing post down memory lane Shireen Sandoval Here’s to us!~

“Shireen’s Favorite Things” Fashion Blog – Introducing my 2014 Holiday Collection “MOTOWN STARLET.”
This sweet post takes you through the start of our relationship to present day as well as an interview with your’s truly!~ It makes me laugh to read as I look back where it all started at the VELVET LOUNGE SWINGERS CLUB! If you are dying to know what I am speaking of…..? Read on my friend!

Holiday 2014 ~ Motown Starlet

Gorgeous Jill and her ‘One of a kind Jewelry’ – WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco.

I hope you will enjoy this sweet little short film for my new collection – FREEDOM 2014 ~ A Gypsy Summer…

I hope you will enjoy this sweet little short film for my new collection - FREEDOM 2014 ~ A Gypsy Summer...

FREEDOM was inspired by summer music festivals, and free spirits, and Mother Nature
You can expect to see beautiful turquoise, corals, jasper, aquamarine, bone, horn, a mix of metals and textiles! Several one of a kind pieces to choose from. Very casual, effortless, and easy to wear!~
To view my entire FREEDOM collection or to request a custom order please visit my Etsy shop!~
http://www.etsy.com/shop/jillzaleski

FREEDOM ~ A Gypsy Summer…

 

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Now that my new collection “FREEDOM” has made it’s debut I would like to take a minute and show you what went into creating this very special and unique line.

As many of you know custom jewelry, and vintage bridal is my specialty, but like all of you I to get bored with my work.  That is how I was feeling when this collection came about.  I wouldn’t say I was bored with designing custom jewelry but the materials I was using were beginning to loose their inspirational power.  I love working with Swarovski because of the sparkle, German filigree because of the intricacy, but sometimes we all need a change.  That is how I was feeling at the time “FREEDOM” came about in my mind.  I wanted to put down the evening gown and sparkle, and create an everyday line that you could throw on with a T-shirt and jeans!~

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First thought…. What materials will I use to make that happen.  Seeing that the bohemian/gypsy vibe was in charge this season I wanted to create something that was with trend but also timeless.  Natural materials were calling my name.  I started to search my usual vendors looking for beautiful turquoise in all shapes and sizes.  However I did not want to stop there so I began to seek out other materials that gave me the feeling of casual freedom, effortless style, and the bohemian vibe I was wanting to create.  I decided on beautiful corals, agate, jasper, aquamarine, buffalos teeth, bone, horn, a mix of metals and textiles I have been eager to incorporate.  Here is a small sample of materials I chose to use.

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Once the materials were selected I started to think of who I wished to be part of my team and help bring the vision I had in my head to life.  I have worked with so many talented people since moving to TN so how would I choose?  The answer was simple… To make it truly special, and just a little sentimental I wanted to use EVERY girl that has modeled for me since moving to this beautiful, natural location that I live and have grown to love.  That is EXACTLY what I did along with adding a few new faces!~

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If you are in the fashion industry you know that unless you have a fat wallet, or major connection to someone in the industry it is difficult to pull off a high fashion photo shoot that requires hair and makeup, several great photographers, 10 plus beautiful models, and a killer exotic location that fits the theme of the collection you are trying to capture.  It is difficult but not impossible… I have learned over the years that building a great collaborative network of artists that compliment what you do as well as your work complimenting what they do is not just important it is a make or break to pulling off a shoot of this magnitude with a very small budget.

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In total we had 11 models, 3 hair stylists, 3 makeup artists, 3 photographers, and a 6 member film crew all giving up their time to be part of this very special collaboration, as well as several friends that came to assist with set up, and be part of the backdrop.  The shoot took place at the Pocket Wilderness in Dayton TN.  It is a magical little pocket “our exotic destination” where Mother Nature takes center stage right outside of Chattanooga!~

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We created a makeshift gypsy camp for a more authentic feel to the summer music festival, free spirit concept we were hoping to capture.

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We were fortunate enough to have EVATT&BLOOM join our team last minute.

They came to film what happens behind the scenes as well as some short clips of the girls hula hooping, eating fire, and strolling through the wilderness.

The film footage will be used to create a promo video/short film to promote my new collection!~

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Several of the models brought their additional talents and expertise to assist and help bring shoot together.

 Cali Glover – Model/MUA/Hair/Photography

 Tootsie Von Comare – Model/Hair/MUA, Singer Song Writer for “Pack of Wolves”

 Jessica Eubanks – Model/MUA/Wardrobe Stylist

Bexy Ribeiro – Model/Fire Performer/Vocalist/Trumpet Player

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Here’s Cali sneaking a shot with me in the background.  She’s always on point!~

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This is Bonnie Hill.  She is based out of Chattanooga TN.  I am eternally grateful for this one!~  Bonnie and I have worked together on several projects. She is a truly amazing photographer…

Bonnie has a vision of how she sees the photo that is uniquely her own and has the ability to easily transition from newborn and family, to wedding day, to high fashion.

Sifting through her photos it would appear that all of her subjects were professionals.  That is because Bonnie knows what she wants to see behind the lens and has the ability to direct her muse of the day and capture them in a way that appears as if they have done it a lifetime.

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Aaron Woodall was another one of the amazing photographers on set, and is based out of Knoxville TN.  This project was the first opportunity I’ve had to work with Aaron.  Aaron will climb mountain like boulders, and hang over the side of bluffs to get his shot. That in itself is pretty impressive!~

Bonnie snapped this one at the end of the day with Aaron and the girls!~  Unfortunately only 1/3 of the crew made it into this shot.  I have so much love for this gang, as well as the girls that had to leave early do to other engagements, and were unable to be a part of the finale.  April Phipps-McCuistion, Tiffany Merriman, Bexy Ribeiro, Jill Calrk.

To view my entire FREEDOM collection please follow the links below.

 FREEDOM 2014 Look Book ~ A Gypsy Summer…

My Etsy Shop

Follow Me On Instagram

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