Happy Valentine’s Day

For someone as in love with “love” as I am it seems totally weird that i’m not super into valentines day. I mean, I love LOVE so very, very much, you guys. The fact that I self-ration my viewings of “The Notebook” to once a year so I don’t get sick of it should tell you something.

In fact, you should not be surprised if I come out with a romanice novel in 20 years. I’ve always wanted to write one. I’ve read hundreds of them and I think I could tell an epic love story.

But Valentine’s day? Meh. Part of it is my inner rebel that doesn’t like to be told what to do, but most of it is sheer laziness. We normally think about it around 6 pm and are like, “Did you plan something, ’cause I didn’t?” And then we’ll go out to dinner and maybe watch a movie. But while packing for our move the other night I found this card that Brian gave me ten years ago that made me totally lose it. I mean, just writing this again I’m losing it. Not in the ugly face kinda crying, just happy tears slowly streaming out of utter gratefulness and yes, love.

Let’s face it, there are a lot of drawbacks of finding your “person” so young. We knew it when we met. We were like, “Ah shit, this wasn’t supposed to happen for years.” We broke up twice to help up experience the things we should in our 20’s.

But the good thing about being with somebody since you were so young (21) is that you get to see each other grow up. You watch them become different, but the same. Older, but the same. And better, but the same. God, this is getting so sappy already.

Anyway, Brian made this card for me when I was 23 and totally lost career-wise. I was living in New York, bartending at night, walking dogs during the day, and taking furniture design classes at Pratt. I had no idea what I was going to do and I didn’t feel like I had the right to identify myself as anything. So he made this card out of labels, writing all of the things that he thought I already was on them.

I’m not sure what “nurse” meant. Or “fashion model,” but he was right with “black sheep,” “krazy girl,” and “dancing queen.” Guilty. It was all my identities.

On the inside was this:

A loose label with “artist” written on it was inside, unstuck. He wrote that he hoped someday I would “allow” myself to put this on, too. I remember when I got this card I started crying because I knew that I wanted to be an artist, but I had no idea what that meant. I didn’t know how to paint, I didn’t have the patience to be a sculptor, and I literally couldn’t draw a cube. I wanted to believe him so very, very bad, but it seemed totally impossible and I refused to believe that I could be an artist. God, just thinking about how frustrated I was makes me cry again. Today is apparently a crying day — that’s cool.

It’s just so incredibly sweet. He was 23 when he wrote this. He was in grad school for acting at NYU and he was 100 percent sure of what he wanted to do, and I was 100 percent lost.

It’s official.

All grownsed up. Happy Valentines, Mr. Von Henderson.

Thank you for knowing the things about me that I didn’t.

And thanks for being hot and nice, funny, talented, and smart. Those all come in handy as well.

And here come more tears.  :)

WINNING! Original Animal Print Shop Piece!

***This Giveaway is Now Closed!***

I know. We all want one. My new thing with giveaways is to not give away anything that I don’t really, really, really want myself. They have to be things I would happily go through the trouble to enter myself because I want it that bad. So you are welcome, dear winner. These are unbelievably cute, in every way. Now, if only the artist would go back in time and do a portrait of Bearcat and Mimi as three-week old kittens, then I would be the happiest cat lady ever. Sharon Montrose, you are an animal shooting genius.  

  • Prize: One (1) 17X22 Original Unframed Image from The Animal Print Shop! MSRP $350
  • How to Enter: Leave a comment and tell us what your favorite image from The Animal Print Shop is!
  • If you want to be fun: For an extra entry tweet “Winning! with @em_henderson and @sharonmontrose “
  • Giveaway Ends: Monday February 20th at 11:59pm EST
  • Number of winners: One (1)
  • Ships to: US only
  • Also: Please be kind and only enter once, unless you used the extra entry option, you can enter twice. I will select the winner using random.org and will notify the winner by February 29th via email. You will have two weeks to respond with your info, or we will select another winner.
  • MOVING ON UP …

    Dear one-bedroom apartment,

    It’s not me; it’s you. Sure, you are technically in the best neighborhood. Yes, you have a fireplace. And indeed you are very cheap — the kind of cheap that people don’t believe. But we are growing and you aren’t. We both work from home and we need an office. We need outdoor space. We need more from you than you can give. Bearcat needs a whole room where she can run and play and scratch on things … and you simply don’t have that. Where can she have cat picnics with her friends? But mostly, you are just too small for us. 

    It’s over.

    Best, 

    Emily, Brian, Bearcat, and General Meow Henderson

    We’ve been looking for months and months and months. We’ve been going back and forth between saving to buy or upgrading to a better rental. We decided not to buy because then every penny of our savings would go to a down payment and we would be back to where we were three years ago — constantly kinda worried about money. It just didn’t feel right.

    Here were our requirements:

    1. Tons of natural light.

    2. Interesting architecture. Charm somewhere — built-ins, archways, just GIVE ME SOME QUIRK!

    3. Three bedrooms OR two bedrooms with an office. 

    4. In Los Feliz/Silverlake/Beachwood. (Everybody in Los Angeles knows it’s social suicide to leave the neighborhood where your friends live, and I’m anti all kinds of suicide.) 

    5. No carpeting or bad wood laminate flooring. There is some that’s fine and some that feels like it’s contact paper.

    6. Stand alone house or an apartment with a big terrace; some sort of outdoor space.  

    7. Affordable, which for the rest of the country — besides SF and NYC — will still seem like a TON of money.  Basically we want under $2,800 for a three-bedroom.  

    What we decided to sacrifice:

    1. Curb appeal. We were way more concerned about the inside than the outside. Our requirement was that we wouldn’t be embarrassed about the outside, but we didn’t have to be in love  with it.  

    2. Kitchen — a good kitchen is better than a bad kitchen, indeed, but ultimately it’s less important to us than the seven things above. And frankly nothing we could afford had a good kitchen. Some were OK, but none were “good.” So we gave up on that one a long time ago.  

    That’s kinda it. Everything else was a deal breaker.   

    We looked and looked and looked (probably 25 places) and a few times I liked it, but Brian didn’t, and vice versa. We became the “adorable, yet pretty passive aggressive” couple in front of the realtors/property managers. Anything really great that we both loved was around $3,500, which is insane, I know.  

    So yesterday, as I stepped off the plane, Brian called and said he thinks he found it and we went straight there.

     

    It’s a Spanish style bungalow, in Los Feliz, with charm galore. If fits all of the categories above, so we snatched it right up. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have space. SPACE! We’ve been living in a one-bedroom for eight years (New York and Los Angeles), and before that we were in a 200 square foot studio in the East Village. Why? Because we are both petrified of spending beyond our means, which is a good thing most of the time, but at a certain point we realized that we were spending under our means and living totally on top of each other (in the bad way). The problem with being a freelancer and an actor is that you never have consistent income and so you are always scared to take financial risks.  

    So, thank god for HGTV. I love me some consistency.  

    She has tons of windows and light, but yes, there is A LOT of texture on that wall … I’m in denial of that right now. Unfortunately, I know how to fix it and it’s not pretty or cheap. It’s getting a crisp coat of white paint and then a lot of photoshop when we shoot it. And those sconces aren’t actually bad, but they’ll be replaced with something dope. 

    The flooring is pretty good. 

    Here’s my office. It’s connected to the master by french doors and it’s all windows on three sides. Perfect for photos, perfect for blogging, and perfect for clients (separate entrance, even). It’s going to be such a happy, happy room. And if someday I make a human being inside my stomach then that could be where our little alien lives. Babies need light to grow, so it’s perfect. (I know this because I read Flowers in the Attic and those kids didn’t grow because they lived in an attic. FYI.)

    Master bedroom. Totally big and great. It’s the darkest room in the house, but I’m OK with it. One less set of black out curtains I don’t have to splurge on.

    One of the bathrooms. Now here’s my thing: I prefer no renovation to bad renovation, so this bathroom is actually refreshingly original. It’s penny tile on the ground, and aqua and white tile on the side. It’s not luxury living, but it’s totally charming and was an easy sacrifice to make. I’ll always sacrifice looks over easy function. I’m superficial like that.   

    It has a a driveway for tons of parking. It has a big garage for storage. It’s walking distance to soooooo many restaurants/bars/movie theaters and our friends. It has a huge backyard that once we add some design to it will be adorable. It’s just so much better in every way. 

    Is it perfect? Nope. But it’s such an upgrade, you have no idea. It’s like going from being a hostess to being a waitress with the best section on Friday night. We are still shooting to be a bartender someday, but it’s such a promotion.  

    This is just a sneak peak. I’ll do proper “before” photos soon, I promise.  

    Loving some peacocks. again.

    If you like it, then you shoulda put a bird on it.  

    Florence Broadhurst knew that. She was all “I got some huge peacocks, yo. I’m gonna put them all over the walls” (except she was Australian so she probably added a “crikey” in there), and then the best wallpaper ever was born. Nice one, Flor. 

    This peacock mural was from the house that the film “Evening” was shot in, which I got the pleasure of shooting with Cindy Diprima (we did the still shoot, not the film, obvi). This mural was insane. Guess what is going to happen as soon as Brian and I buy a house? Mural times. I be having murals all over my walls.

    There are a lot of them in Los Angeles at houses in the hills that old movie stars used to own, that now new movie stars own, but as much as they love their 1920’s chinoiserie murals they don’t necessarily like it when I try to go inside their houses and look at them. Whatever.   

    For now I’m on the search for a tapestry or screen or vintage wallpaper like this bad boy above. And for those of you who are all “peacocks have been ‘in’ for a couple years now,” I say “yes, because they are always ‘in,’ because they are extremely beautiful creatures that do mystifying things, and also some of them are crazy colorful and beautiful and some of them are just stark white, which is also fascinating, plus they fan out their feathers when they get upset and become much bigger than their actual size and that is very interesting and makes me want to study them more.” 

    Some things are just pretty. Like flowers. Flowers will always be “in” in my book. Trust. 

    Ready to get your peacock loving mind blown?

    Calm down. It’s going in my powder room as soon as I get a powder room or figure out what a powder room is. 

    That’s the pattern, but someone (very genius) had it made in metallic. And as much as you want to source, I’m still looking for it and I don’t really want to give it up because this one is mine, folks.  

    Meanwhile, I found this stunning painting at the NYIGF. It was 4’x4′ and incredible in most ways. Trying to convince a client to splurge …

    Can’t sleep. Headed back to Los Angeles tomorrow/today and excited to start some webisodes for HGTV (don’t worry; it’s not in place of a show, just in addition to). I’m also going to start some how-to videos for the blog/youtube and want to know what you want to learn “how-to” do, assuming that I know “how-to” do it.

    Styling? DIY’s? Being awesome?

    Maybe how to paint really, really, really beautiful and weird paintings like this? 

     

    My top neon picks for 2012

    I hated the 80’s. Not. Who could hate the ’80s? We partied hard. We fishtaled our hair. We loved us some bright *ss colors, and best of all — the “Romantic comedy” was invented.  

    But design and fashion-wise we, like, were totally gnarly.  

     This room is screaming “Just look at how rich, expensive and sexy i am”.  (which is pretty much the definition of tackiness, in fashion as well). 

    You are so pretty. Psyche.

    Now, the carpet on the floor IN A BATHROOM was an interesting choice, but there is something here that I’m attracted to. The aqua and gold is a good combo, but there are other really bad elements here.  

    Also, sometimes we did our hair like this:

     Speechless. 

    And we thought this was OK:

    And it’s not, although Orlando would very much disagree.  

    Neon was hot. Literally. Figuratively. HOT. I actually don’t understand how neon wasn’t invented until the ’80s and if not, then can we invent new colors still? I shall invent the color “nurple,” simply so I can say it more often. “I’ll take a gallon of nurple paint please. Semi-gloss.”

    The ’80s have been creeping back for a few years in fashion. I’m not breaking any news stories with that one.

    It’s exciting, you can’t deny that. Neon is not trying to be sophisticated and it’s not trying to be grown-up — it’s sole goal is to get attention and stand out, and let’s face it: when you are headed out to a party, why not stand out?

    If you don’t beleive me about neon, then check out the covers of these Australian magazines this month:

    See? They are foreign, which means they are cool. Trust.

    Implementing crazy trends is a lot easier in fashion because it’s just a shirt or a jacket or a bangle — you don’t need to overhaul your wardrobe, and instead you just invest in a piece or two. It’s less risky and less commital. You can be fashion forward whilst only spending a hundred bucks.  

    So how do you bring it into your home, eh?

     Not like that. 

    Better. Individual pieces are good (and both wall treatments are dope), but still a little cuckoo.  

    Yes. Besides the storage boxes under the bed — I wish it was just a plain white platform — I can get behind this bad boy. It’s a simple backdrop; white/pale pink with big hits of hot pink and neon yellow.  

    What are the tricks? 

    Go big and statement-y combined with a more subtle and sophisticated style.  

    Weird and good. This person is like the friend that seems all nice and conservative, but secretly puts decorative stickers on her nipples.  

    Ballsy, but Ii like it. Oh, and the beauty of paint is that its just paint. So, relax. You can repaint it (and you will), but for the next three years you’ll be the cool kids. You’ll be totally tubular, radical, and perhaps even bitchin’ if you are lucky. 

    Or bring it in with accent pieces — pillows, throws, vases, books. We are saving for a house, living in a one-bedroom so I can’t paint a wall this color. I would need a bigger house and it would be my guest room or a hallway or bathroom. So for now I’m bringing it in in the accents:

    Here are my neon picks for 2012:

    Not your grandpa’s wingback. Maybe your weird uncle’s — you know, the one that brings you home Day of the Dead souvenir figurines from Baja and has an Art Car. (I can’t find who makes these for the life of me, so if you know, please leave it in a comment.)

    Crazy neon green tutu chandy by Jonis Bohlin via Remodelista. I could put this in a kid’s room or breakfast nook.  

    Really awesome porcelain vessels and tableware from Maison Sauvage. So saturated; the shapes are whimsical, and yet there is something sophisticated about them.  

    Neon pipers throw pillows From Christen Maxwell. I’ve loved these from day one.  

    I love this version, too:

    That grey linen with the yellow combo is ridic. 

    I just found these radical neon poufs on Etsy for $65 each:

     

     

    Pretty little dec pillow from an etsy vendor.

    I recently bought this Lisa Congdon original for a client, just to bring in that pop of neon pink:

    This one is taken (by me), but you could buy some of her prints like these:

    Urban Outfitters is selling some very inexpensive and non-commital close to neon pillows:

    This playful pom pom fringer for $24.

    This one just has a few stripes of really saturated colors, so it’s pretty safe, for neon. 

    Neon chorded lights from Etsy:

    They also sell custom pendants where you pick the chord:

    So it could look like this:

    I would add a very simple white drum shade to modern-ize it and make it more sophisticated.

    And last, but certainly not least, Castle and Things is doing something SOOOO good with neon:

     They have artwork and linen and i would own everyone single one of them.   Don’t be intimidated by international shipping – i ordered something recently and it came so fast, plus its free if you spend over $250.

    In other ’80s news, I’ll take one of these please:

    My questions to you, dear readers, are:

    Can you handle the neon? How would you use it? And how long do you think it’s here for?