Friday, May 28, 2010

hipstamatic. why was this kept a secret from me?

I discovered hipstamatic this week.  welcome to 7 moths ago, I know (thanks, Eric). Its kinda awesome, but totally gimmicky and i'm sure we'll all be sick of it soon, if not already.  We, in the photo world, joke that 'everyone' is a 'photographer' or a 'stylist' these days (a good camera might take good photographs, but it does not make a good photographer) and these kind of apps are not helping any.   (but i'm kinda  a good photographer, no?)

Here are some behind the scenes pics of the last day of my Pendleton shoot.  Maryalice's vision was  Mad-Men-in-Portland.  Pendleton's clothes are so classic and conservative so she thought that putting them in a throwback Americana environment would highlight the clothes, while making them more relevent and current.  And I think she is totally right.
So my job was to find wallcoverings, furniture, books, objects etc that are MidCentury, but more American than European and more classic, simply beautiful and timeless rather than kitch.  I shopped only in Portland for the job (which has amazing stores, but there were times when I missed a good old fashion prop house because today i'm returning all the rented props to like 25 stores).

Hey, Jose, por que mira triste? (translation needed because Jose Martinez actually doesn't speak spanish, much to my confusion. I think i just said 'why look sad? but i could've just said 'you look burrito').  So we had 4 different sets. I called this set the 'grey' set, because it is grey.  I painted two 4x8 sheets of plywood with 3 different tones of paint to create a, well this effect, that actually photographed beautifully (via Maryalice's art direction to me).  We decided that this world would be a newspaper office (its easier to prop when you create a 'world' with characters, and then you ask yourself while shopping, 'would this live in her world?' I recommend not saying this out loud).  

(that patterned wallpaper behind the grey set is another set, but i can't give all of it away, sign up for the catalogue, yo)
just a few of the other props as a teaser:

Such a fun job. I can't wait for the catalogue to come out, in early july, I think...

p.s. these are the bearded mexicans.  donning pendleton shirts, of course.  and while they do look like domestic terrorists, they are actually friendly (friendly might be a bit strong, maybe just 'not domestic terrorists' is more appropriate.)  Oh, and not mexican.  I have no idea why we call them that. 

Pat, Eric and Anton.  Really, Eric? that's your face?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ah Portland. or should i say, plaidland, or beardtown.  There is such a look here, its ubiquitious yet totally natural at the same time - like the rain, i guess.  I love it.  Tomorrow is the last day of shooting for Pendleton. 8 days of shooting in a row, 3 days prep before that...i'm a little tired.   I've been working with the same awesome crew, Jose Martinez (shooting) MaryAlice Eckart (art directing) Jose's crew of bearded plaids (will post pics, don't worry) Eric, Pat and Anton, with Kristen and Sara on wardrobe and Ivan and Nica on hair and makeaup.  oh and me and Dustin on props and sets.  We've been at a studio for the first five days, then urban portland for one and on a farm for one, where I got to wrangle this beauty.  
This is Butterball, but I called him 'bangs'.  Bangs and I talked a lot about the positives and negatives of flatironing your hair.  I shared with him that I'm a beach waves girl myself, but bangs find that people take him more seriously if he straightens it.  He is a show pony after all, he would know (although if you asked me i would say its a bit fried, no?   BTdubs I much prefer ponys over horses.  There were a bunch of horses at the farm, they are so beatiful, but sooooooo big.  and have such big teeth, i think i'm scared of them, er, i know i'm scared because every time they moved towards me i jumped.  but not bangs.  nope. bangs is my beautiful medium-sized show pony.  I love you, Bangs.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

house plants: can't live with 'em.  can't live without 'em.   or more like I love them but can't keep them in the apartment because bearcat eats them constantly and then throws up, or I don't water them enough/over water them and kill them.  but i like them.   and the weirder the better.  I have to buy a lot of them for work, so its like anything, after a while you find that you love the more unexpected ones the most.

*bearcat is my teeny tiny full grown black cat that looks like a baby bear cub mixed with a puma, except very small (she was the runt).  I'll refrain from really diving in and fully describing the amazingness that is bearcat for fear of losing all my anti-cat readers (which even the concept of being 'anti-cat' kinda baffles me, all animals are pretty awesome and worth blogging about)
If you guys insist i'll post a picture of the bear soon.  

via emmas blog

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

bean me up, bloggy. er. yep. that's the best title for now. sorry.

I hadn't seen this in a while.  i like. no, i love. 
 Styled (or art directed, i forget) by Tom Delavan (the domino editor i worked with a couple times....SUCH a lovely, lovely awesome man).

she's adorable.  and her place has a great casual, feminine, random feel, mixed with super modern, vintage, morrocon, victorian and traditional elements.  bean me up, bloggy. 

Monday, May 24, 2010


So the commercials have started, the bloggers have begun critiquing us and the phone is ringing with interview requests.  Super, super, super weird.  I just keep thinking, me? wait, you want to talk to me? why? 

oh yeah, because i'm on a reality show.  perfectly normal.  

So i figured i might as well let you guys in on some of the drama before my interviews start.  

*Also this blog is basically my style journal - huh, that sounds lame, don't it? - so this is where i document that part of my life.  I started it to organize my thoughts about what i love and why when it comes to style and photography, but people seem to respond to the personal stuff just as much,  so, when in rome. ahem.  I really, really, really don't think i'm self-obsessed, but there is a good chance that i will blog about the show pretty often until it ends Aug 22 and I hope I don't come off as such.  It is super exciting and weird and interesting and writing it down here will make it permanent, you know, for the children...also I haven't been able to talk about it until last friday, so i'm still kinda bursting from having such a big secret for a long time).

So, here's what i would be curious about if I were you, god, i hate presuming that you are curious, as if you have nothing else to do but be curious about my reality tv-hood, BUT if you are:

Some often asked questions:
Yes, we were quarantined - no interaction with the outside world at all. that includes spouses, kids, parents, etc for the entire time we were filming.  We stayed in a penthouse in a hotel in New York.  I didn't see any friends in New York, no one even knew I was there.  So weird.  

Yes, i cried - this should not surprise you.  i'm a quick weep.  the real question is how many times and how much of it you will see.

was it fun? that's a tricky word 'fun'. Was it exciting? more exciting than anything I've ever done......ever.

made friends? absolutely.

create drama? yep, unfortunately.

regrets? that I didn't bring my A game sooner, also that i just said  'A game'.  But seriously, its a really foreign situation and I wish I had adjusted quicker.

favorite part?  that you never, ever, ever knew what you would be doing in 10 minutes.  Yes, this is super frustrating BUT in retrospect it made every second interesting, important, nerve racking, completely and utterly fascinating.  Some times I would give into it and let myself be at their mercy and think 'go ahead and do your worst', and other times i/we would overanalyze every possible detail we were given, desperate to find out what would happen next.  In a nutshell:  It becomes one huge adrenaline rush that lasts as long as you do.  Of course i'm psyched about a lot of the people i met, but i coulda met them anywhere and i would have liked them.    The rush and excitement of constant surprise is pretty hard to duplicate.   You become a complete adrenaline junky.  Life is just so interesting here.  It's why bands love to go back on the road. and why soldiers want to go back to war....yes, i just compared HGTV design star to actual soldiers risking their actual real lives at war.   But then again,  i didn't compete in the 'most appropriate metaphors' reality show, thank god.  

Oh, and here is a huge misconception about reality shows - they (the Mark Burnett producers) don't try to create drama.  Sure, they put us in unusual situations that are dramatic, BUT there is no pinning us against each other, no emotional manipulation, no contrived situations, they really just try to document authentic actions and reactions - we create the drama.  Riddle me this, readers  - if you put 12 really strong personalities that all think they deserve their own TV show into a penthouse for a few hours, guess what might happen? d.r.a.m.a. - not all of us and not all the time, but it'll happen, often and ugly.   I'm sure other production companies are different, but these guys weren't trying to stir the pots - we did that all on our own.
(ahem... i haven't seen the show yet, obviously, so who knows how i'll be portrayed...i might take all of that back.)  

So there is more where that came from. guess you'll have to come back. and for the record, I want people to watch the show, therefore I want exposure for it.  If you guys know any media (print, blog, tv) at all that might be interested in interviews about the show, hit me up.  there is one hoop to jump through, but it's pretty painless.  I figure if i'm on it, i might as well help it be as successful as possible.  
oh, and also i want more readers.  i'm no idiot....ish.

Friday, May 21, 2010

HGTV Design Star. Yep this is actually happening.

Finally.  I can tell you.
I, Emily Henderson, am on a reality tv show,  not only 'on purpose' but I even sought out the auditions, went through a ton of interviews, portfolio reviews, etc, etc and finally made it on the show.  here we go.

I guess there comes a time in every stylist's life to be in a reality show.  Now is mine.

Here are the details:
it airs June 13th, sunday at 10pm.
It's produced by Mark Burnett, which to those who are unaware, Mark Burnett productions pretty much rule in the reality show world with the apprentice, survivor, and the new Sara Palin show which i'm pretty psyched to watch.  they are total total pros.  
It's a design competition.  and its drama.
If you check out the link above, you can meet my castmates and read all their bios and look at their portfolios.  
Wager your bets carefully.  There might be some surprises.  
Hands down the most exciting time of my life -  no sarcasm here, pure and simple excitement. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

would it be weird if I brought a blankey to work today?  is it weird I still call it a blankey?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

cover girl

You'll be happy to know that I found 7 old issues of Domino that I didn't have.  Embarrassing that I didn't have them all, I know. Oh you don't care?  that's weird because it was only the best shelter (watch me use the lingo) magazine ever.  They were at a random thrift store in Portland.  And the clerk heard me gasp.  then he heard other sounds of pleasure, but quickly i paid for them hoping that this was not a joke, that ashton wasn't lurking amongst the tchockes ready to punk me.
I styled this cover a few years ago.  We did about 25 different versions, and maybe this isn't my favorite. but i'm still happy to have it in my book.
Melanie Acevedo shot it. Tom Delavan was the editor.

My mom commented the other day that she didn't know what covers i'd styled, so the next few posts might be emily-centric, some of my work.  also i'm outta town and don't have my scanner, so i'm digging  inside.

The rug is from Maison Monsour modern - really amazing rugs.  The mirror is from Andrianna Shamaris 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Love me some Oregon-lack-of-sales-tax.  It feels like i'm getting away with something. Whenever I pay for something I feel like I just pulled one over on the man. Makes me want to pick up the bill at the restaurant, buy everything I see, take advantage of the 12 days of gubernatorial freedom. (woah, surely not the right word, i have no business using it.)  Hey Unca Sam! you don't know me.  Take a hike.  Bark up someone else's tree.  
New purchases, to be shipped to LA via greyhound (weird, i know, but super cheap - $30).
Vintage Wegner knockoff folding chair (still vintage, people) $150 from The Good Mod
60's french wall art -  $50 - Hawthorne Vintage.  
Technically i am working, but when in rome...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dear Anthropologie, remember when you did things like this?
I still like you a lot and still want to work for you, but I fear that things aren't as good as they used to be (sorry Jen Gotch, I know that were we just talking about this and you reminded me of this pic, i'm kinda stealing from you).  I mean, this picture is ridiculously amazing, weird, unpredictable, and just generally off the hizook.  Styled by Madame Robyn Glazer (is she knighted yet? no? should be) and shot by Rolland Bello.  oh and recently i've had clients/friends resisting the rubber tree, they don't believe me that it can look chic and actually doubt my taste when I suggest it.  Well, look above, peeps and get on board.

Up in Portland for two weeks shooting the Pendleton catalogue.  So happy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Coastal Living shoot in the Palisades

Remember when you were little and you dreamed about the kind of house you would own when you grow up?   It probably looked like the one we shot this week.  It is super pretty, but more than that it is just this big family house with a pool, huge bbq area, enormous play room downstairs, guest rooms that rival the best hotel rooms, movie theatre, wine cellar, big comfy sofas, lots of flat screens, kitchen smells of croisants (literally, when we walked in the homeowner had just finished baking some), super open, colorful and fun.  It's funny when something isn't necessarily your style, but you want it sooo bad because life is just good here.  I was shooting with Roger Davies (who i hadn't worked with before, suprisingly, but LOVED).  We were shooting for Coastal Living, and the house was designed by Brooke Gianetti (of Velvet and Linen fame) and her fabulous Architect husband, Steve. (not the house above, that is a shot from Roger's portfolio)  The house was in the Pacific Palisades, the dad is one of the presidents of ABC television, and the family is ridiculously cute and super super super nice.   Kinda ideal, to be honest. The house was new but it fooled me, they designed it to feel like its been there forever, and everything and I mean everything was super high end and luxe all the way - but not pretentious.  I spoke to the homeowner about adopting me, and we are looking into what procedures I should get started on.

This is Brooke, me in the middle and the editor, Steele (who is a an ideal photo editor) on the right.  not sure why i'm looking so homely.  oh that's right because I momentarily convinced myself I didn't need to do my hair, just wash and go - let it go crazy, that'll be fun.  i'm very sorry, and that won't happen again.  It was a 2 day job and mainly consisted of rearranging their furniture, restyling all of the shelving for the camera, adding 'signs of life' everywhere (shoes, food, bags, open book, etc) and flowers and plants.   The house had so much good natural light and was already so pretty that it was overall a quick and no stress shoot. 
here are some more from Roger Davies portfolio.  kinda impressive. 

I know.  super pretty.  and he's super nice.  with a cute british accent.

i'll post the pics when they get published.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tapestries and 'Glee' bragging rites.

Today is definitely a 'maybe i can just lay around and watch hgtv and bravo and nobody will notice' kind of day.  I might have stayed out late last night.  might of.  who knows? maybe i made a healthy dinner and went to bed at 9.  or maybe i went to The Moth with friends and crawled into bed at 3:30.  no telling with me.   no proof of either.   But perhaps all these pretty tapestries near beds will distract you from judging me.  maybe.
Elle Decor, May 2010  and domino, styled  by Cindy and shot  by Roland Bello

Also, I totally forgot to brag about something.  One of my best friends is the creator of Glee. Awesome already, right? but that's not what i'm bragging about.  This is what i'm bragging about:  Saturday afternoon Brian, Ian, Nicole and I watched an invite only, 40 people in the audience, live dress rehearsal of the Glee cast's upcoming tour.   It was at a random soundstage in the valley.  They were performing like 5 feet in front of us.  It. was. priceless.  maybe even magical   I was so so so so so happy from the 'Don't stop believing', through 'Rain on my Parade' ending in 'True Colors'.  There was not a weak point, no second of boredom, no 'i wish they had...'.  nope. just pure unadulturated childlike happiness and, well... glee.  I sat there with the dumbest grin on my face throughout the entire thing - every now and again I would tap Ian on the knee and mouth to him, 'i'm so happy, i'm just so happy'.
only in hollywood, baby.  only in hollywood.

And in case you are thinking, 'oh, don't you think you are soooo cool that you have such important and rad friends?'  

the answer is:
for sure.  
thanks, Ian.

Monday, May 10, 2010

oh, to be able to go back and live in the 250 square foot studio apartment that brian and i shared in 2001 for $1200 in the east village again.  for if I could, i would have thought to arrange it like so.  what's that you say?  i didn't have enough money to buy matching socks, let alone this headboard, rug and sofa?  shut up, get your own blog.
Sofa at the end of the bed -  excellent choice.  Perhaps my minions can sit there as they wait for me to awake gently from my slumber, whilst disecting and peeling my pomegranates (I love pomegranates, but too much work, am i right or am i right?) (er. just realized how weird saying 'disecting my pomegrantates' was.... who knew).
Normal post tomorrow - had to wake up at 5:30 to shoot all day with Coastal Living.  Working with awesome people which I will better describe tomorrow. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

You had me at ball fringe.

I almost wonder how I got along in life before I saw this.  Is it the wicker? yes, meloves wicker.  Is it the hippie mixed with the victorian? quite possibly, i'm victorian in the winter, a hippie in the summer - don't ask, there is a theory. The mix of patterns on the floor? mos def.  Is it the F*ing most amazing lace ball-fring curtain ever?  hook. it. to. my. vein.  The mirror, the sconce the weird southwestern outfit and collection of, my soon-to-be-lover, are a weird, intriguing person and I want to get to know you, be inside of you, er, your room.  I'm already a sucker for you.

via Coco and Kelley

Thursday, May 6, 2010

i love you very much, you pretty, pretty rooms, you.  i love everything about you, your soft yet moody color palette, your collection of pretty vintage everything, your dark floors, wallpapered walls and white ceilings.  You are both sophisticated, yet inviting, warm yet modern, and man are you good at composition.  Both feel 'of the moment' (yep i use phrases like that, now), but pretty timeless - ah, that old combination that we all slave for.  Not sure where you are from, how old you or if you are the same stylist or not (although i do know that the genius, Mikkel Vang shot them - who will go down in my mind as the first person to have an iphone (not literally, but close) and nobody else on the job we were doing together had ever seen/felt/used/touched/played with one before so we crowded around it all day - for days, in total awe as he showed us these 'app' things, blowing our flip-phone minds - seems like it must have been a decade ago).
Left from A Perfect Gray, and Right from Hallie Burton

Sometimes I need to be reminded that  it's ok if I have a ton of pretty 'stuff' piled everywhere.  These two do, and i want to be in both those rooms, although methinks I need to get some pretty morroccon boxes to put them in (right) - and no, i have no idea how to spell morroccon, and i'm ok with it.  

I know this post has no cohesion, but i'm sick of hearing myself talk about my apartment, and if I am, then you must be, dear reader.

Sometimes you just want to look at pretty pictures. so sue me - although i would not recommend it, mama's not rolling in it right now.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Decision time. and we all know i'm not good at that.

I've been pretty obsessed with this shot for a while now.  I think it was in House Beautiful a few months ago.   I can't get enough open shelving - to house all the books that i refuse to get rid of because i either a. will of course read them someday, for sure, definitely, just need the time - (infinite jest anyone?), or b. will reread them because i love them so much (anything joan didion or paul auster, and yes, i actually do reread), or c. they are just pretty and make me happy.  (really i fear that the reason is they make me look smart, and i need all the help in that...)

So, while i'm not prepared to fork over real dough for this: 
Restoration hardware, Dutch Etagere $1295.

I might be able to do this: (which I actually prefer)

Decker Shelving, anthropologie, $698.  Not now, but it could be something to save up for. 
For now I have a couple of these: 

Ikea, Gorm $29.99, which even as i'm typing it i'm thinking 'lord, how boring' but also, 'wow, that there is a price difference', eh?  So i have my wallpaper that i'm going to put behind it.  Which now is looking super nuts, but no turning back  - literally no returns or exchanges, those brits apparently aren't aware of my penchant for returning things.  

Osbourne and Little Maharani.  (it's a lot brighter and lighter than this, and remember the scale is huge)

Decisions have to be made in the next couple of days of where to put it, if at all.  I leave town for a couple weeks next week, and mr. brian said he will put it up when i'm gone.  and when i say he 'says' it means when i ask him, he will probably give in due to incessant begging.  cross your fingers.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Foam fashion story.

Still catching up on stuff published while I was gone.  This is an 8 page fashion spread (these are only 4 of them) that I styled for Foam magazine, which again, if you haven't picked it up lately do yourself a favor and run on down to the news stand.  I would never endorse something that I wouldn't buy myself, i'm so not shilling, its just kind of an awesome lifestyle magazine with pretty/weird photography and lots of fashion/music/art/general cool sh*t recommendations.  (all the music picks were either already on my 'must play everyday list' or are now, thanks to their introduction).
Not the most prop heavy, I know.  With fashion shoots the props take a backseat, which is good (less stress) and bad (i'm less important) at the same time.  But since i've moved to LA i've done a lot more fashion/lifestyle and I like it.  This was shot by Glynis Arban, with Monique Bean as the fashion stylist/editor - she brought some crazy awesome vintage weird bathing suits/accessories.

So here's how it went down. After foam booked me they gave me the general art direction which was - watercolor-y vintage circus. No problem here, that sounded awesome.  They wanted everything to feel ethereal, feminine, but kinda weird and a little off.   So I brought a bunch of instruments (only the cymbals up top made it in) made these pendant flags (which was just twine and yardage of chiffon/silk that I ripped up), some hoolahoops, a ton of weird hats, sun bleached lanterns and vintage beach chairs (non of which made it in).  Ooh, but my favorite part was making the flower collar seen above, right.  If her head was cocked the other way you'd see that on the right side of her neck the flowers came up to her ear - it was off balance looking kind of like it was taking over her face - in a good way. It was peonies, desert flowers (weeds basically) and succulents, arranged around thick wired using floral wire and tape.  at any point the model could have punctured her jugular, but thems the breaks - we all have our occupational risks.

There are a bunch of awesome vintage one-piece suits in this issue - which i can't get enough of, but Brian isn't exactly crying out in excitement.  He's not on the skirted-one-piece boat....yet....but, thats what marriage is all about, people, good old fashioned brain washing.  I'll have him wearing one by July.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hows abouts some monday morning romance for ya? eh? eh?

 By David Tsay, styled by me.  

I need to be transported here, now.  I can't handle a lot going on in the bedroom - ahem, er, i can - but I need the decor (did I just use the word, decor?)  to be pretty simple because: a. I sleepwalk from time to time, b. we are super messy with our clothes already so if I add anything unnecessary then it becomes a huge mess immediately, which leads me to,  c. I still have nightmares that when my bedroom is messy  the piles of clothes are monsters (I had this all the time as a kid, and it never really went away).  What kind of monsters, you ask? Generic, good old fashioned monsters like from monsters inc, methinks i have very little imagination.
But I love the romance of a canopy, its just sooo inviting and relaxing and dare I say romantic? i dare.

I decided a while ago that one of the sexiest things in the world is a mosquito net.  Sounds disgusting, I know, but I love it because it means that you are probably in a tropical, foreign country and once you get on the bed and wrap it perfectly around yourself (and your cuddle buddy) it feels like this little pretty sleep cocoon.  I know that they are also life-savers in Africa and I don't mean to diminish that at all, but aesthetically, they are beautiful and i've always loved them.  They symbolize vacation, tropical, foreign, no alarm clock, little pouches of sleep to me.  If you are sleeping under a  mosquito net you are probably not going to wake up and rush to a production meeting, answer your cell phone to a prop house saying a surface came back broken, reply to an email invoice from your credit card, or go to the gym to take another cardio class that makes you want to off yourself.  Nope.  You are probably just going to roll around for a while and listen to the noises outside, have some delicious foreign coffee, people watch for hours and eat some weird food you can't pronounce.  Beam me there right now.
via Maria Claire Maison


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