Holiday Party prep

Brian and I haven’t had a proper party since my 30th, and that was just a super casual but big BBQ. I spent hours and hours making four different kinds of potato salad because I assumed all of Los Angeles loved potato salad as much as I do.  You know which was the favorite by the way? The super classic potato, egg, pickle, mustard, and mayonnaise one. You know it. But you know what my secret ingredient is? Miracle Whip. BOOM. I done made my friends eat and love the whip with the zip. It’s just so delicious if one would give it a chance.

I digress.

All of our friends have their party traditions — July 4th at Parva, Hayride/Halloween party at Graciosa (these are code words for the couple), not to mention the million other parties they throw. So we figured it was time for us to give a shit and throw a proper party that is, like, planned and stuff.

But naturally, if I’m going to spend a ton of money and time I also want to blog about it and get a lot of content from it. So I have a photographer — not just a photographer — David Tsay coming on Friday to shoot the house all done up and I’ve been really, really busy making all the decorations.

First we shopped for the tree:

We went to Home Depot during the day IN NOVEMBER to buy a tree. I mean who buys a tree in November? The Hendersons. This is Brian asking me, “Is this our tree?”

“Yes,” I confirm that this was our tree.  A seven foot noble fur.

I have a big white fake tree and a big light pink tree that are both awesome (left over from a shoot), but Brian requested, nay, INSISTED, on the real deal. When men insist on such adorable things as “wanting the real Christmas smell” then you put away your obsession with the perfectly styled hip/glam holiday that you pictured in your brain and you embrace what makes people happy.

So I started shopping:

The color palette: hot pink, navy, white, and gold. Supes predicts.

I’m loving these classic bows and might go crazy with them.

Simple ball ornaments, but now I need to make a bunch of interesting ones.

I’m making a massive stack of hand painted “presents” so I started working on those last night. I’ll need like 20 more, but I’m liking where it’s going.

And all this is happening.

If this wasn’t my job, I think I would actually need to quit my job in order to get this done. SOOO much to do. Brian is going to make most of the food but I’m dictating it by what pretty dishes I want to use. It’s not, “Oh what platter should I put the baby sandwiches on?,” It’s, “Hey Brian, I want to use my new polka dot oblong platter so we need food that will look pretty when styled on this, will work with the shape, size, and color palette, but not cover it up too much.” I’m easy going like that.

In other news, as I’m typing this I’m realizing that I could use a food stylist help on Friday. Yes, in two days from now. So if there are any budding food stylists in LA that want some beautiful portfolio shots, then email me at emilyhenderson – at – me. com.

On the list of DIYs we have:

1. Message in a bottle ornaments. (I’m VERY excited about these.)

2. DIY wrapping paper for beautiful prop presents.

3. Mantel styling

4. Console styling,

5. UM, TREE styling

Oh and I have lots of glass domes that are begging for stuff to go under them:

I’m thinking lots of snow and maybe a mini world of some sort.

Must run. I have a lot of crafting to do …

Desperately seeking Interns

It’s time. I need some consistent help on admin and photo shoots. We are busy over here and getting busier. While expanding and training someone can be scary, the pile of receipts on my desk is scarier.

The amazing Orlando and I lost the wonderful Bonnie last week; not actually lost, that would have been tragic, I mean just look at her:

She would be so sad, wondering the streets of LA yelling our names until she gave up and just whispered them. But instead she has moved. It is VERY sad. Like when Wicked lost the Tony to Avenue Q kinda sad. Or when they cancelled Veronica Mars before really concluding three mysteries kinda sad, although that was more criminal. At first shock, then just pain and sadness. Hopelessness, even.

She was an intern that turned quickly into a paid assistant, and she made me realize how much I needed (and continue to need) the right kind of help. She is now off to San Francisco to work for Google, because that’s what happens when you work at Emily Henderson Designs; companies like Google come and poach you. I mean as if you want to work at Google!! That crappy company that clearly doesn’t do anything creative, innovative, or interesting, and they treat their employees like crap. Plus, they are going bankrupt any day. Except opposite all of that. It’s pretty much one of the best companies in one the best cities (San Francisco), so I can’t help but be supportive.

But moving on, forgetting about that Bonnie and her new fancy pants job in a city where you don’t have to drive, Here’s what we are looking for back in LA:

1. Knowledge of Excel, Photoshop, and pretty much all Mac programs. Anything new and fancy they are teaching these kids in school. Social media stuff? Great. If you know how to code stuff? Amazing, although not necessary. List all these skills because I assure you I’m bad at all these things so they are pretty important and will make you an asset.

2. A Love of design and style. If you don’t like shopping, then it’s not the right fit. You’ll just be bored and that’s no good for anyone.

This internship is 20 – 25 hours for now. I’d be sooo happy to give college credit. It starts immediately, but I’ll wait til Monday to set up interviews so you have until then to pull stuff together.

So please send all your resumes to emilyhenderson – at – me.com

Oh, and please just cut and paste your resume into the body of the email that way I don’t have a ton of open docs on my computer and I can speed read at the beginning. You can attach it as well (because I know it’s a bummer to lose the pretty stuff when you screen grab). Include anything that is relevant to design and style. Any random skills. Link your blog, Instagram, Twitter feed, Pinterest … gimme it all.

If you are an interior design student, send me what your style is as well as the renderings you did/do in college because those don’t really tell me much. Create a mood-board of your dream room or anything that shows me where you want to go.

If you want to be part of the blog, then maybe a sample post? As of now I still write almost every post, and I may forever, but having that option is great. Also you’ll be emailing on behalf of me so a similar “vibe” is always good.

Think outside the box and beyond the resume. It’s not that I’m looking for a huge audition and for you to waste hours on this, but often just a resume doesn’t show how truly creative and interesting you are. I don’t want you bummed that you didn’t get the job because we didn’t really see you.

If you are wondering what to expect, please read this post I wrote about how to get and keep an entry level creative (or any) job. If this seems demanding and hardcore, then you probably aren’t the right fit. If this sounds super fun and exactly what you’d expect from a start-up creative company, then PLEASE apply.

While your duties will be annoying at times (unloading props from the flea market, packing up props, unpacking props, taping receipts, keeping the office organized, running around LA, doing returns, getting coffee, coordinating furniture), it is also full of fun online or flea market shopping, helping me organize and style shoots, planning the blog, petting the bear, crafting, creating DIYs, etc.

Plus, you’ll probably do this a lot:

 

Laugh and sip coffee in oh-so-hip coffee shop in Los Feliz. I’m sure a celebrity was close by, too. Probably someone really cool like Michael Cera or Zooey Deschanel doing something so normal. Oh stars, they really are just like us. It’s pretty much like an episode of The Office every day here. Or maybe more like Workaholics meets Friends but drunk on style and Pinterest all day long.

BYE, BYE, BONNIE!  You are already very missed.

Single tear … :)

Anyone?

The easiest place card holder you’ll ever make

DIY place cards for under a dollar each and under an hour to make. It’s just that easy.

It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s more that I have the patience of a hungry two-year-old with a dirty diaper who’s passed her bedtime. I’m working on relaxing and slowing down, but it’s hard when life is just so full of stuff you could be doing. I also might have ADD and I also might be easily distracted and scattered.

Hey look, there’s Bearcat, looking cute … and hey, look there is a random blog I can read … and, AHH Pinterest!!!!

So when it comes to DIY’s, I love them in theory, but they have to be fast and can’t have a high probability of fail. For instance, I won’t try and lacquer things anymore — it simply takes too much time, and you have to be really careful in order to make it really beautiful. I find it a waste of my time and money to do something that looks shoddy.

I’m hoping this will change as I grow up, that I’ll someday love how therapeutic knitting is, but for now I want easy little crafts that save me money and satisfy my inner 4-H state winner.

So, I make things like this:

 

DIY placecards holder

The easiest DIY place card holder ever, and for each under $1.

Here’s what you need:

Clothespins and blocks of wood (I purchased at Moskatels Craft Supply in downtown LA, but I’d imagine they are widely available), and a crafter’s best friend, the glue gun. The blocks were about $1 each, I think. And the clothespins are clothespins, like 20 for $3 or something like that.

Then you glue them together. That’s it. Here’s what you get:

diy placecard

It’s a lot like the spine surgery that my Orthopedic brother-in-law just performed on a eight-month-old. Except opposite. It’s crazy easy.

 

diy placecard

I like it natural in this setting, which is modern and rustic. It keeps it simple and masculine.  Obviously you could stain it, but i liked how light and airy it is and i love how utilitarian it is.  Clearly its a lot about the styling as well because this rather pedestrian placecard holder would look super stupid next to victorian goblets, but with the warm texture of the placemat (West Elm) and the clean modern wood flatware (vintage) it totally works.

diy placecard

Now, obviously you could use actual place cards, but I like printing out Facebook photos instead. This one was an Instagram and it was already square, but you could obviously just crop in iPhoto or whatever photo software you have. If it’s for your family, you could do photos of them as kids and print in black and white for an even more vintage feel.

But I wanted to try these different ways because I love how simple changes and different environments change everything.

So then I copper-leafed it:

This was less successful, but it’s still cute. The copper=-leaf paint (I didn’t use the paper this time) just kinda soaked into the wood more than I wanted. It’s cute, but not amazing. It’s just not metallic enough.

 

diy cooper leaf placecards

 

So since that was a bit of a fail, I decided to use metallic contact paper. And yes, I’m obsessed with this gold contact paper. It is $90 for a huge roll (18″ x 50 feet) so I’ve been playing with a bunch of leftover paper from this post where I used it as vertical stripes on a wall.

gold contact paper placecards

All I did was cut squares of the contact paper and played with them on the block.

diy placecards

Super easy. A monkey could do it. Hell, the Bear could even possibly do it.

Lastly, I did an option with a pink stripe on a painted white body:

pink stripe placecards

You paint the first coat white and then tape off the area that you want the stripe and paint the second coat. And for the record, I used acrylic paint (tempura paint could work and so could house paint) but spray paint didn’t work too well and really soaked into the wood since it was so unfinished.

diy pink stripe placecard

I did these all quickly one morning whilst sipping coffee and listening to “This American Life,” and it absolutely reminded me of how making things is so satisfying. So yes, I’ll be crafting more for you, especially this week to prep for my first holiday dinner party this weekend, which may or may not involve a DIY disco ball snowmen. You heard me.

Other ideas you could do with this simple idea is … paint different colors on each side of the block, dip it, wrap neon string around it, splatter paint it, etc. etc. They are so cheap that you can experiment with them and find what you like the most before you make a ton of them.

All photos are by Bethany Nauert.

Styling by me, crafting by me, words by me. But thank you very much Bethany for making them look pretty.

 

I’m thankful

Talking about how lucky you are can be an extremely boring topic for others and often comes across all braggy and self-righteous. You all know what I’m talking about.

But it’s flipping Thanksgiving, folks, and some things are just undeniable and need to be expressed. For instance, how lucky most of us truly are to simply be alive, healthy, and loved, not to mention having a home, a job, an iPhone … oh, and also maybe the fact that we have free speech and we don’t live in a war torn country.

So here’s my “I’m thankful post,” because it’s due, it’s time, and I have a long list. I could have been born into a really neglectful family, I could have married a really abusive husband, my life could be so different and even bad … but I really, really scored.

First off, I’d like to thank my family. Regardless of how different we all are, I was raised so well it’s crazy. A childhood full of making forts and 4-H and the chance to learn every musical instrument and play every sport, not to mention being raised in a religion that really installed a moral compass that is hard to shake and is clearly still with me. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that I was raised feeling loved at all times, which is kinda the only thing that matters.

That’s the gang. All five sibling and six nieces and nephews, although it’s even bigger now by two babies, one of which is only two weeks old right now, and I can’t wait to squeeze.

That’s us at our family reunion two summers ago in Wyoming, which was incredibly fun. We brokebacked all over that place, rode some four-wheelers, shot some guns, and played with baby cows.

So thank you, Mom, Dad, Michelle, Garen, John, Mary, Allie, Kendrin, Kara, Cameron, Christal, Curtis, Erin, Nelson, Logan, Ken, Katy G, Katy, and Travis, for accepting Brian and I and our funny little lifestyle.

I’m in Sacramento right now with Brian’s family, who feel very much like my family. NO ONE has better parents-in-law, NO ONE. They are officially the best.

That’s Brian with his parents. I know. Suz is super beautiful (and so are you, Bob). We got married in their backyard, have lived with them at different times at their home in Fair Oaks, and they just feel like home.

So thank you Bob and Suz for making me feel like their daughter the last 12 years. I have many friends who struggle with their spouse’s parents, so I totally totally, totally lucked out. I can’t wait to hang out with them and I enjoy every second. Thank god, and thank you.

But I can’t forget to be thankful for my friends as well:

These are all my LA friends, playing paintball in Compton, as you do.

And then we rented out a summer camp for the weekend and wore matching custom made shirts … as you do. Officially the most fun people in the world.

I met one of my best friends in the world four years ago, which i didn’t know would be possible:

One Corbett Tuck. Life before you was sad and lonely in LA. And now, life is just so much more fun with you in it.

So thank you Parva, Charlie, Blimitri, and Graciosa for creating a family in LA that no one else can rival. Los Angeles is a tricky town full of a lot of douchebags obsessed with Hollywood, so to find ten people that are down to earth, open, generous, hilarious, and so, so, so smart and creative is a bit nuts.

Oh and Orlando, how I do love thee. You make every day at work feel like a carnival instead of a circus.

I can’t forget my best friends that I grew up with that I’m still obsessed with:

Nicole, Robyn, and Megan. We’ve been best friends for 20 years. Through junior high, high school, and college roommates. We always called each other “sisters we got to choose.” Our relationship epitomizes what friendships should be. Just so nonjudgmental, supportive, and unconditional. I’ve never gotten annoyed or sick of these girls even once. They are just that amazing. We are spending New Year’s together in a cabin in Oregon full of our dudes, which all happen to love each other, too. Here’s to future vacations with all of our kids.

Not pictured, but people I can’t live without and am so grateful for: Scotty, Paul, and Maricha.

Now to that dude that is always hanging out with me. One Brian Von Henderson.

Thank you Brian for being hot:

And fun:

Because he lets me put Ban-do’s on him …

And cool. I mean, how “coo”‘ is that guy? He’s all, what? I wear a beanie, cargo shorts, and a hoodie when I backpack through ‘Nam. NBD.

Plus, he makes us wear our labor day whites on labor day, to represent our inner wasp. He plans these amazing group trips, wears costumes whenever he can, and is just kinda that guy that everyone knows and loves. But the main reason he’s so great is he is very, very nice to me, respectful, loving, and supportive. And just so god-damn fun to be around. Through our many ups and downs I never doubted that he is the best man I know. So thank you, Bri.

Oh and what about our kitten cats. Hopefully this is our last Thanksgiving without kids, so until then you are our furry little feline children who we are totally obsessed with.

Dear God we are Obsessed.

Don’t look at me like that, Bear, we’ll be back in three days. Go lick something.

But thank you General Meow and Bearcat for bringing us a criminal amount of joy.

Thank you, life. You really done really killed it.

Lastly, thank you readers and HGTV for all the support and love. It’s like having a pack of cheerleaders at all times right behind you so whenever I doubt myself I immediately get more courage and confidence. That is truly a VERY amazing gift.

That’s what I’m thankful for.  What about you?

instagrams from the swap meet

Long Beach Flea Market can be hit or miss. It’s a lot of garbage, but it’s also full of gems that are underpriced.

I scored two of these bad boys. One might be turned into a bench for Bri’s project. The legs are what kills me, solid brass and just so pretty.

I know, I know. VERY predictable. But it’s in really good condition, has an adorable pillow on it, and comes with the stand. Normally you have to hang it from the ceiling, which limits where you can hang it. But not with a stand. That stand just needs a new quick paint job that I can do. We are in business.

This is the bench that I actually needed for Bri’s project, but it had just gotten purchased. This one isn’t for everyone because yes, it;s totally ’80s but so is Bri, so it kinda works. And the brass base? Stop. Just stop.

Same vendor. Awesome lamps. In PERFECT condition and so shiny and new, but old. Not sure what I’m doing with these yet, but I had to have them in my possession.

I shall wear this while I play with all my new ’80s pieces. Liberace much?

Also many of these pretty, pretty pieces are leaving my inventory today because we are doing a final installation of a house we’ve been working on forever. So I have to say goodbye to so many of my favorite things. Don’t worry, I have more and I can definitely shop for more. But I’ll always have this Instagram to keep me warm at night.

Gotta run. This week is gonna be nuts, right?

Follow me on Instagram for sneak peeks into the house we are finishing today.  My username is em_henderson.