Emily Henderson in Austin During SXSW

SXSW has been rocking it in Austin. I had no plans of making it to any events this year. Not that I didn’t want to! Then Emily Henderson posted that she was involved with the design of an event for Airbnb taking place in Austin during SXSW. Total game changer. All I could think about after that was how and when I was going to make it to Austin to see her work. Congested traffic, lack of parking, crowds, four kids–none of it mattered. Friday afternoon, we made it! I didn’t mind the slower moving traffic and enjoyed seeing the streets filled with people and hearing the air filled with music. Gatherings were happening everywhere.

Emily and her team did an incredible job creating the outdoor event. Enter a parking lot turned hip hangout by day and party place by night via faux grass, large potted topiaries and plants, strung up lights, cool chairs, picnic tables and blankets for lounging.

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The event was free, the drinks were free, the games were free, and free haircut anyone? My husband was almost on board. They had him at “free”!

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I love the cushions and shots of color Emily gave the picnic tables. The picket fences were a nice touch. Suburbia meets hipster.

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I came for what I thought was the best part–three pop-up houses designed by Emily in conjunction with three different musicians. Totally worth the trip. 🙂

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Enter Snoop’s pop-up:

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This is what I saw when I first walked up to the house.

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I had barely taken two photos through the glass when a girl with a badge around her neck came over and told us we would have to step away from the house. A contest winner was about to go in.  Dejected, I moved on to the next house.

Enter Capital Cities pop-up:

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I had barely taken photos of that pop-up when the guy in the photo below stopped me and said someone was having tarot cards read inside and I would have to step back. Dejected again, I told the guy I had come to see the pop-ups, was a big admirer of Emily’s work and I’d been shooed away from two out of three so far. My husband chimed in that we had driven in from San Antonio. The guy said Emily was really sweet and went on to say, “She’s a mom, you know. She was out here with a stroller.” I told him I had read her blog for a while and schooled him on the fact that she was a design star winner on HGTV and a new rep for Target. And then the sweet guy took pity on me and said, “Come with me, I’ll let you take pictures in Snoop’s house.” And here’s the best part, as we approached Snoop’s door he said, “I can hold your purse,” and then he held back my four-year old! Future husband material I tell you!

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Here is what I got to see when I made it in!

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Definitely a posh place to relax.

The last pop-up for Allen Stone wasn’t being “guarded” by anyone and was only being used by a random dude that was enjoying the design.

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I thought the plants and beads really added to the cozy factor.

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Love the rocking chair.

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I’m into the wallpaper. Love the deer antlers as hat rack. Through the glass is the best I got.

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Once I had taken in the design of the pop-ups, we sat in the grass to relax and take in the scene. And this is what I got when I asked my four-year old to take a picture of my husband and I.

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So glad we made the trip! I missed seeing Emily by an hour which was a huge bummer. But seeing her work was so much fun! Everyone that worked on the project did a great job creating an inviting and unique place to hang out. I’m so glad I was able to get a taste of SXSW and a close up look at Emily’s talent. My prayers are with the people effected by the tragedy that occurred during a SXSW event.

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A Gala and a Getaway

My husband recently had work accepted for judging by the AAF-San Antonio. The awards gala was held the day after Valentine’s Day at the McNay Museum. The timing and location couldn’t have been more fitting for us since we held our wedding reception there.

The museum holds a special place in my heart and is one of my favorite places in San Antonio. When my three oldest sons were much younger and I was a single mother, we often came to the museum to enjoy the grounds. They loved the sprawling green hills and giant rocks just big enough for little boys to climb on, the koi fish and fountain, the courtyard and life-size sculptures.

The museum has also fueled and supported my creative side. I’ve sold jewelry through the museum’s gift shop, and I’ve often come to sit outside, work on drawings and have my Snow White moments with the squirrels and birds.

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And then I met my husband and we all came here together.

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armed with drawing pads, 2007

What I love most about coming to the museum is seeing the works of art displayed in a gorgeous, historic home. It’s an adventure exploring the home while enjoying the art, and the colorful Mexican tiles get me every time.

When we came the night of the gala, it felt good to be in the room where we had held our wedding reception, now almost seven years later, with the sweet man I married at my side. It brought back fond memories and it was nice to be on the receiving end of all of the planning that went into the evening.

iPhone pictures of the gala night:

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My husband was awarded a gold. Way to go, baby!

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Our date nights are few and far between, so I wanted to extend our evening into the next day if possible. My parents were kind enough to come to town and stay with the boys. After the gala we headed to Austin.

We found a Living Social deal for Lone Star Court, a new hotel in Austin. The place is a hip, retro, and rustic approach to hotel design and decorating. It was pretty awesome and many photos were snapped with my phone.

Checking in at night:

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I love that the design invites you to hang out outdoors.

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They had me with the blue door and orange rocking chair color combo.

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And look how well they made yellow work with it.

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This is where they serve breakfast and offer live music until 1 am on the weekends. It’s a hip barn.

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You can’t call yourself Lone Star Court without cactus somewhere.

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Could it be any more fitting that two people are in cowboy hats?

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I loved the light shining through the glass and reflecting off the metal.

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The tiles…swoon.

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From across the room, the tufted leather sofa appeared to have real wood all the way around the outside.

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Again, they had me with the blue door. Here’s our room:

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It doesn’t get any better than having a Smeg refrigerator in your room.

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Checking out:

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It only got better because as it turned out, the hotel was located across the street from two amazing furniture stores (one being an independent Austin store), in addition to the store that makes me swoon–Anthropologie. It’s a sweet Valentine memory loaded with inspiration.