Emily Henderson

My Custom House Portrait

photo by laure joliet

I have hoarding tendencies, we all know that. But you may not know that this includes memory hoarding – which is my favorite kind of hoarding, indeed.

Having a painting done of your house is not the most normal thing to do, but it should be. I have interior and exterior photos of almost everywhere I’ve ever lived and they instantly flood back memories that I would have totally forgotten. Like my first ‘alone’ apartment in Spanish Harlem. I would never remember that underneath the apartment was a Peurto Rican bodega that i frequented every night, and every night they either called me ‘Vanilla’ or ‘Milk of Magnesia’ – clearly because i’m super white and pale.  See? That memory right there i’m sure I would have forgotten if I didn’t have a photo of the exterior that had the deli in the bottom of the frame.  God, it sounds like i suffer from serious premature Alzheimers, but life goes fast and you have to be reminded of a lot in order to properly remember.

Sometimes, nay OFTEN however, your exterior isn’t necessarily that awesome but you still want to remember it. This house that we live in now (which we are leaving soon, more on that later) is not my favorite house. AT. ALL.  The exterior of it was (and still is) my biggest beef with it … well, the kitchen …  and that VERY intense texture on the wall in the photo above (I mean, its like they were trying to make it look like it was the 15th century).

Of course I thought they would let me paint and landscape but the property manager said they had just painted so ‘no’ i wasn’t allowed to. Jerk. I don’t want to bitch too much about the exterior because I’m grateful that I have a place to live at all and the year and a half we spent here were a pretty great year and a half.

But I’m certainly not going to frame a photo of this peach wanna be mediterranean house. Luckily Danielle Krysa (The Jealous Curator) does custom paintings of your house (or car :).

You send her a photo of it and she does this:



photo by laure joliet

Ridiculously cute, right? I had it framed all proper by Dana with a pink lucite floater to make it look all extra cute and poppy (and yes, if i want to take the pink out when I’m sick of it i can without ruining the custom framing job). It makes me so happy. Its custom to Brian and I and it will always remind of us this year (the year Brian changed careers and I got pregnant twice – once successful, once, well, not and the year that we decided to buy a house). It was a good year here. And while we aren’t moving yet, its in the cards folks and now we’ll always have this ‘Portrait of our house’ to remind us.

If you are interested in a portrait of your house (or your car, I’m not kidding … she does strangely rad paintings of cars, too … see below) go to Danielle’s Etsy store and start a conversation with her about it. They are $225 if its a painting and $275 if you want a painting and embroidery (see below).

I mean, look how cute this painting/embroidery portrait is …


Now you just need a vintage muscle car, although i’m not sure that is exactly a muscle car but it seems like you’d have to have a lot of muscles to drive such a car.

And yes, if your question is ‘Can she do a portrait of the antique dining table that my great grandfather built that is falling apart and I want to at least have a memento of it before it kicks the bucket?’ The answer is, Yes. She claims she’s less good at people or pets, but any inanimate objects are game.  Contact her here: Danielle Krysa

Is this something you would do or has my memory hoarding problem gone all hipster Liberace style?

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