Sunday, April 22, 2012

I don't reward bad behavior

Are you there, Emily Henderson? I didn't think so.
Anyways. It's me, 'Flogging A Dead Horse'.
Or at least, that's what I think my Native-American name would be.
But just in case this post finds you, I'd like to tell you about something.
I once idolized you. In decor, and styling, and being a cute bubbly blonde, you have many talents that I wasn't blessed with. That being said, there's room for improvement.
You must be a terrible golfer, because your 'follow-through' sucks.
(If you can take that sick burn, you can handle the rest of this honest (passive-aggressive) 'open letter' roast post, dedicated to you.)

Since this may be your first visit, and I know you aren't here to review my 25-or-so I'm a Giant related posts (apologies, I lost count) for some grand update, I'll go ahead and help you find this one. It's the one where I mentioned that I was going to make you a surprise. A really nice one. All you need to do is read the first paragraph there to figure out what happened with it after you snubbed the challenge.

This post is the action-packed sequel. But you have to stick around 'till the end for the juicy stuff.

I'll start by sharing with you one of my favorite childhood proverbs. Yes, I've had it memorized since I was about ten. No, I'm not kidding.
For me? Words to live by.
For you, food for thought.

And me being me, somehow, this didn't stick:

 So, attempting constructive criticism here; I'll say something nice, followed by some tough-love.

You are a stellar stylist/designer/decorator/tv-hostess with a great sense of humor.
You'll be needing it if you read on...

You really let me down on your 'I'm a Giant' Challenge. I know it's because you aren't finished with yours. And you probably feel bad. You probably think your silence is justified, being as busy as you are.
But if you, for even a second, think that you're any busier than the rest of us... you are sweetly yet sadly mistaken. The fact that you didn't even acknowledge the work of 82(+/-?) very busy people who only participated because you threw down an official challenge, regardless of your inability to hit two self-imposed deadlines?

Disrespectful. Shame on you. And your (coincidentally silent) friends. They (except Orlando) haven't said a single word about a challenge whose deadline passed almost three months ago. At least Orlando was Homme enough to admit that he got in over his head.

Now that I've finally got that off my chest...

 I'd like to point your attention over to this blog/page. It's kind of a big deal. I've been told that you and your publicist have been contacted, but I'll show you here, too. Just in case, by some slim chance, you haven't yet feasted your pretty blue eyes. Yep, the participants all talk behind your back. We wouldn't if you'd only show your face. I've heard everyone's been e-mailing you and shit... if we didn't see regular blog posts coming from you, we might've sent someone to check for a pulse.
We are dying to see what you've done with your dollhouse, if you've made any progress since your last post. Just show us already. It's not a secret that you aren't finished. We just want to see what you came up with so far! As far as the final update post goes:

It's your lucky day! The work's already done for you, better than you could have managed yourself.


When I go check out that page, in all of it's off-the-chain glory... I feel like we're all at a surprise party, thrown in your honor, waiting for you to show up.

I know that she spent an extraordinary amount of time, effort, and love in building that page and making sure all participants were accounted for. I think you owe her a big "thank you, I owe you my firstborn". Or at least one of these:

So here's my best "SURPRISE!"
I brought a gift to the party.
I can't just have unfinished stuff lying around. Forget my proverb already?
I, too, spent an extraordinary amount of time, effort, and love crafting this one of a kind, special replica for you. Blood, sweat and tears. Not 'tears' as-in boo-hoo. Those are for kids and sissies. Tears, as-in, rusty tools tearing into my flesh. Literally blood everywhere. Ever seen Dexter? Digging through my college immunization records for my last tetanus date was wicked fun.

Deep. There goes my hand-modeling career. Thanks for nothing, Emily.
Also of note, this injury afflicts the index finger on the hand that earns my paycheck. Whatever. Pain is weakness leaving the body. All damned week.

All in the name of your "coffee table soul mate".
Style By Emily Henderson

Style by TinyFixation.

Say what?!
Why, if I didn't know any better, I'd say the resemblance is striking.
 Right down to your copper nailhead detail...
Yes, it's real brass. And no, you can't have it. 
Or maybe ever.
Am I a pretentious bitch for thinking you even want it? Absolutely.

But it's starting to look really good in my dollhouse.

  I could make it work in the master, too. If I had to.

Anyone notice that I finally matted and framed the "Captain Morgan Silver" box?  Deluxe.
I've had this 5"x7" printout of the actual coffee table hanging on the clipboard above my work bench for a very long time. I fussed and fought about measurements.

Soooo, seeing your response time to e-mails in action here...
I'm glad I 'guesstimated' on those measurements. I can only imagine how long it would take you to hit delete on an e-mail titled "Yo, I need the measurements of your new brass coffee table trunk thingy. Down to the inch. Real quick.". So it may not be a perfect 1:12 replica, but damn it, it's close. I have the top surface measuring 3.5" x 1.75", and the height at 1.5". Say whatever you want about the hardware being too big. I had to make that shit from scratch. My fingers were hurting for days. I'm fine with it. And the change in placement of the handles on the small ends. Isn't that what you show-biz types call 'creative license'? That modification makes it easier for one person to carry. Ha!

 Copper nailhead detail, and a close-up on hardware. Nevermind my tweezers.
 I made some sacrifices on this project. I didn't do working drawers. Not my style to skip details of that magnitude, but thank God. I would have kicked my own ass for going that far, for such little return. And to think, I was going to hand nail-trim this with real brass nail heads. They don't make copper ones small enough. I know because I searched forever before totally going in the cheap-out direction with technique. Not sorry for that either. I spent enough hours just plotting and punching pilot holes for said nails.
Planning, and plotting, and punching, and dilating. Those 636 individually pierced nail holes weren't going to make themselves. Hours. Injuries. I've forgiven myself for any imperfections or shortcomings in this item. There are many (I tried not to photograph them). I don't care. Everything has a good side and a bad side.
The core is somewhat sentimental for me, as it was actually a part of my dollhouse that I ripped out during the early days of I'm a Giant.
That chunk of balsa that was once a stairwell landing (cut down to exact size, by hand, nopowertoolsthankyouverymuch) fills and supports the brass veneer. So you can't crush it. From my clumsy dollhouse, to yours.

I'm still not against gifting this to you and your dollhouse-in-progress. I'm just holding it for ransom...
I just want to know that you gave a shit about your challenge, the sacrifice made by the participants, and that you aren't ignoring our pleas for your participation. We are fans, after-all, or we would never have found out about it. Just do something. Looks like there's plenty of room in that swanky new office of yours. Spring is all about new beginnings, right? And give snaps where snaps are due for that massive, painstakingly and beautifully curated 'I'm a Giant' update.

I was always planning to make you a 'hostess gift', however silly, for doing the whole thing. And when I read this post (quoted below) I knew what it should be. But those were the glory days, a time of great possibility, before the coming and going of the second deadline.
Followed by 32 tracks of silence like a friggin' Dave Matthews album.
Just get to the bonus song already, dude.
"As soon as I saw this I knew there was no question that Emily had to have it. I mean, it's a gorgeous brass trunk table. What's not to like? Emily practically skipped down the street holding hands with this thing once we bought it." -Orlando (guest posting on Emily's blog)

But I guess we'll see. 
Maybe I just got myself a bitchin' new coffee table. And I can literally go skipping down the street with it. Because it's cute and tiny, and it fits in the palm of my giant hand. 
Imagine how bad-ass my replica would look sitting on top of the inspiration piece though...

I still like you. Hope the feeling's mutual.
Peace out,


  1. Hi, I love this post. I totally agree with the whole 'I'm A Giant' Challenge.

    It was poorly managed and supervised. Totally unprofessional in my opinion. I don't know why she started it, if she was just going to drop it with absolutely no subsequent mention.

    I took part and finished my dolls' house. I didn't have helpers to paint it. I don't read Emily's blog anymore to be honest.

    Keep your brass chest. Really. It's fabulous, and so's the effort you put into your house. I think your attitude to the whole thing is spot on. A lot of non-designers managed to complete their houses and do a wonderful job within the time-frame, and not so much as a 'thanks for coming'.

    1. "and not so much as a 'thanks for coming'."

      Exactly. I'm not looking for cash and prizes, just a tip of the hat, and a pat on the back. Some recognition, and acknowledgement. Some closure.

      Who needs interns to help paint?! You did a great job all by yourself. You've got a dollhouse to be proud of.

  2. Breathe, nice yoga breath. I love your blog, and I love the fact that over 82 people are now connected because of the I am Giant contest. I would like to see the I am a Giant contest decided by the votes of all the people who do care!

    1. I've been taking deep cleansing breaths for awhile now. It's all good. I just feel like I've waited long enough to publicly voice my opinion.

      Don't get me wrong, there's definitely a silver lining to the whole I'm a Giant debacle, and I've mentioned it in prior posts: I wouldn't have a semi-finished dollhouse, any of my lights/furniture, or this blog, or a new hobby, discovered new talents/techniques, or met any of you fine people unless this challenge had been thrown down. The (non)challenge really increased traffic and interest in a hobby that desperately needs the attention. I have Emily to thank for many, many things. Which is why I made her that elaborate, personal gift. It was a thank you gift. But you don't bring a hostess gift to a party that (basically) got cancelled last-minute (so last minute, that you're makeup's done, and your heels are on, and your car is warming up for the drive). I didn't say anything here, that I wouldn't repeat directly to her cute little face.

      I'm just giving her the same sit-down talk here as I would afford any of my girlfriends, if I saw them making poor choices.

      I know the ultimate prize for the challenge was a gallery exhibit in LA to showcase everyone's work. I really hope she at least holds up that end of the bargain. If not, I think we should definitely come up with our own voting method and prizes! (as you mentioned below)

  3. Forgot to mention that I am willing to donate five vintage lamps, still in package, that were made in West Germany, towards the prizes (I think everyone who entered deserves a prize).

  4. Well said. I'm equally disappointed. I can't believe she has not even mentioned the challenge in any way for months. Although I haven't really been reading her blog anymore, so I might have missed something, but according to you I haven't.

    I think this challenge fail (by Emily's part) has though me something. When I started blogging I thought it's just for fun and I can do and write what ever. but it's not like that. I'm not saying writing a blog isn't fun, but one must be responsible and keep their promises and follow through what they've said they will do. I hope I will never disappoint my few followers like that.

    1. Yeah, I still read her blog, mostly waiting for an I'm a Giant post. So every non-challenge-related post stings a little, for sure. I'd unfollow her completely, but I still want this challenge to have a happy ending.

      I'm not trying to be a mean internet bully up there, just trying to light a fire under her to realize that this could turn into the loss of 82 fans. Not to mention bad publicity. It's a black mark on her integrity, regardless.

      Hoping she stumbles across this letter, not to mention that unbelieveable update post (she never had to write).

  5. Wowsers you are one gutsy chickie babe... and I mean that in the coolest most awesome way.
    I didn't actually realise (or it didn't sink in well enough) that the whole thing was a debacle from the hostess with the leastess side.

    I have only looked at your entries, but am definitely going to spend some quality time, paying attention to others' work during the challenge.

    Your trunk is fantastic, keep it. - Even better make more and sell them!

    I'm glad you still like Emily, but it doesn't really sound like she deserves it. I had no idea who she was and now I probably don't want to know more


    1. Balls of steel.


      I hope it wouldn't be too gutsy to post what I did. It's all pretty tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic, I hope she gets that vibe.

      Definitely check out all of the other participants' work, truly impressive stuff! And you might even get some fresh ideas for your Stack-a-LACK dollhouse-in-progress :) That's my new nickname for your dollhouse. Hope you don't hate it.

  6. Dear meagan, i am very sorry for ignoring all your wonderful work. I just found it hard to cope with all the talent on show, that eclipsed my own. I love what you made me and hope to make amends by featuring each and every doll house on my blog. One post each. I have temporarily moved to new zealand so if you could mail it to me there that would be great,
    Love emily x

    Ps what a great lark of a post, and that trunk is easily the greatest, most beautiful miniature i have ever seen and i didn't even like the original!wonderful stuff x

    1. You crack me up! And you're too sweet. Glad you can see past the 'junk in my trunk', and I'm glad you like my version better than hers :)

      It means that I'm better than her at something other than timeliness. If not dollhousing, for sure. We may never know :)

  7. Meagan, well said that lady! I'm not a blogger and obviously didn't compete in the challenge, but as a reader I too am very disappointed that there was no follow up by Emily. I think that there is some truth in the above spoof post, that she couldn't cope with all the work that was so much better than hers! Keep the trunk, you deserve it.

    1. Thank you. I obsessed over what to say, how much, how to say it, and when to break the silence.

      I'm thrilled to see a disappointed non-blogger/non-participant other than my mother :) My mom was really let down, too. She almost wrote an e-mail to Miss Emily herself, but I don't think she ever did. Don't know that it would have made a difference anyway.

      I might keep the trunk, it depends on how much longer she stays silent... guess we'll see :)

  8. Thanks for saying what I suspect a lot of the folks who worked their buns off to meet the deadline were thinking!

    I would keep that fantastic trunk and display it with pride!

  9. Thanks for having the guts to do this post. I struggled with how to handle this debacle by Emily. I too spent a huge amount of time and effort on my Chinoiserie dollhouse and had it completed before the reveal date of December 15th. I did a whole series on my blog Chinoiserie Chic in December on my reveal. Then on December 15th, no mention by Emily at all until late that night when she posts on some party she went to and then sneaks in that she was extending it until February 1st. So then I did a second dollhouse so I would have something new to reveal on February 1st, which I did. You think you are annoyed? I did 2 dollhouses on time!

    I was not shocked for two reasons. First, she failed to do updates on her dollhouse and was strangely silent, as were most of her initial group of participants. I also think that she and her group that took those free dollhouses should reimburse the company for the dollhouses as they did not do as they promised. I have also found in life that most people do not follow through on what they say they will do. One of life's hard lessons. But I think we all would have had a lot more respect for her if she had said that she had bitten off more than she could chew and would not be doing hers, but still promoted the reveals of others who had spent so much time, effort, and expense. That would have shown more class and style than she obviously has.

    That all being said, I knew nothing about dollhouses and miniatures before this. I really enjoyed doing my dollhouses and was proud of what I was able to accomplish. I also got great feedback and many other bloggers and websites posted about my dollhouses, so I did get publicity. I have my dollhouses displayed in my home and have promised them to my daughter when she has a little girl.

    So, to summarize, Emily came off terribly in all this and lost the respect of many people. However, I completely enjoyed doing my dollhouses and have no regrets, which is something I'm quite sure she can't say.

    1. I remember your beautiful chinoiserie dollhouse, but was unaware that you made a second entry! Aren't you just a sucker for punishment :) I'll be heading over to check it out shortly.

      I was pretty pissed about the last-minute deadline extension, only because I wanted her to extend it weeks before she ever did. You know, so I could enjoy getting ready for Christmas. Minor details.

      I echo your 'no regrets' sentiment. I got so much more out of the activity than she took from me by ignoring it. So we're winning! On my way over to your blog now :)

  10. Please read my post today on Chinoiserie Chic where I link to this post.

  11. Oh. My. God. Your brassworks is AMAZING. Emily is missing out. Shame shame.

    1. Thank you so much! And I think she's missing out on it, too. She probably gets so much free swag, that this would be peanuts in comparison anyways. Glad you like it, though!

  12. BRASS balls! Disappointment, humor, wit and encouragement, you nailed it (literally too, ouch that finger looks painful).
    Thanks for the shout out. :D Without Emily, I never would have met you, so for that I am truly grateful!

    1. Bahaha! Brass balls is so appropriate, it hurts. Kind of like my finger. It still looks like the picture. And I'm glad you understood the vibe I was going for. Just a little smack-talk, not trash-talk. There's a difference.

      Awwww, muffin... Wouldn't have dreamed of writing to/about Emily without pointing a (pierced) finger in your direction. You did all the hard stuff, after all!

      Here's to new blogger friends, smack-talking, and new dollhouse shit! I'll raise my iced coffee to that.

  13. You did a fantastic job. I found you from Beth, at Chinoiserie Chic. I had no idea 82 people finished. I'm sorry I missed all of it. I knew this wasn't the challenge for me, so I just wanted to watch and felt disappointed by the lack of PR.

  14. Hi, Meagan!

    I actually found this post when I was googling the challenge, trying to see if there was ever an ending I missed. Guess not, lol. Funny how in her original I'm a Giant post, Emily had so much to say about the lack of respect "dollhouse people" get. It's just mind boggling to me that she's never even brought up the challenge again! Like you said, we all get overwhelmed & crazy busy at times. That's generally a good time to make a quick post saying "Sorry, I'm overwhelmed and crazy busy right now," if nothing else.

    That trunk is absolutely phenomenal btw. It's totally painful to see all the hard work you put into such a personal gift for someone who blew off the whole deal! Hope you keep it for yourself-- you deserve it!

    1. Hey, Carmen!
      Psyched to see you here! I love reading your blog, you always have me in stitches :) And you do incredible work, too. The details kill me.

      I'm glad you like my trunk! I worked pretty hard on it, and still have it in my collection. Emily was/is a total buzz-kill, so until she apologizes to all of the participants, it's looking like it will stay that way.

  15. How have I only just found your blog? Your table is FABULOUS and if you're feeling pretentious about that, it's merited.

    1. I'm like the black sheep of the miniature-blogging set. I'm new, and great at hiding, but glad you found me and I subsequently found you (just added you to my reading list :)

      Thanks about the trunk, I'm pretty proud of it. It's a permanent piece in my collection now.

  16. Fantastic piece of written work Meagan! I hope you get the attention you all deserve for this dead-horse challenge. Keep the brass coffee table as a shrine to those ignorant of our wonderful work and hop on our bandwagon to fill a blog post! Hugs Jazzi

    1. Thanks! Glad to see you over on Emily's blog, hellraising with the rest of us :) The support is very appreciated.

  17. Your mini copy is amazing! Love all the detail. It really is wonderful