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Saturday, February 19, 2011

34 Christmas comes to Cottage8 again, in February!

Hello Friends! We have so much to catch up on…

I’m happy to announce we finally completed our dreaded cinder block project, as several friends and bloggers have started referring to me as “Jenny From the Block” over the past couple weeks. Thanks girls, you made me laugh when I was near tears over this project. I think this was one of our most difficult makeovers yet. What began as “honey, I bet we can whip this thing out in a three day weekend”, quickly turned into “honey, do you think we will get this thing done by 2012”?

Here’s a


photo of the three-sided block monster we were been up against…

abc 2685

I’ll be taking photos of the completed result in the next couple days (I promise), and you won’t want to miss how our block monster project turned out. We are really pleased with it and can’t wait to share.

PS: Did you notice in the photo above, the wreaths on the backs of my chairs in the dining room? That leads me to my next bit of news…

Better Homes & Gardens magazine was here for two days, photographing our home for their annual Christmas Ideas issue, hitting book stores this coming Christmas (November to be exact). That’s right, while fellow bloggers were cutting out pretty paper hearts and sending out valentines, we were hanging the stockings by our chimney with care, and assembling our artificial 8 foot Christmas tree, branch by branch. We even had fresh garland greenery flown in overnight from Indiana, and lots of last minute packages coming in from all over. Making your home look convincingly like Christmas in February means serious business. Fortunately, I had a great team to work with and they made our home shoot a very positive experience (Although I think the house is still recovering, and I’m still finding bits of garland greenery in my socks).

Warning: the following low-quality image was taken with my iphone camera. Can anyone recommend a killer camera app for better iphone pics? Please help a girl out…


I wish I had taken more (and better) photos of the two day shoot, but I was so involved in the process, especially working Gayle, the photo stylist. She was so great. She collaborated with me and really allowed my “look” to come through in the shots we did without imposing her own personal style, which I would imagine might be a hard thing to do. And when I wasn’t busy sharpening my styling skills, I was closely observing Michael Garland, the photographer. He was so patient and really fun to work with. I was admiring all his fancy lighting tools and equipment, especially his camera. My little canon rebel xt looked like a toy next to his big-mack-daddy camera.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, the tree was dismantled the second they called it a ‘wrap’ and it took 5 hours to officially pack up Christmas and return the house to normal.

.      .      .      .

In other news, I was so excited to have my blog featured in the February issue of Romantic Homes:


And I’ve also learned that I have much to learn about photographing for a magazine. To be honest, I was a little disappointed in the quality of my photos in print. Here are the originals (below), which to me looked pretty clear. Guess it’s time to hit the books and study my camera manual once again. Anyways, I’m really excited they chose to feature me. Thank you Romantic Homes!

Romantic Homes1 Romantic Homes2 Romantic Homes3

    By the way, it seems a bunch of you are curious as to where I bought my lamp with the burlap shade. I got so many inquiries about it from this post. I found it at an antique store in Agoura, CA. And thanks for all your nice comments on my new birch side table! You guys make my day : )


While on the subject, I also seem to get tons of inquiries about my farm table and my dining chairs, and where I found them. I bought the farm table at an antique store, and the dining chairs came from a local flea market…


I recently updated my house FAQ’s page, which I encourage you to check out if you’re curious about my home. Not only are there tons of updated pictures (cause you know how often I like to decorate, and then redecorate) but I’ve also included info and sources as to where I bought everything! Click here to check it out. And if I’ve missed an item that you think deserves a place in my FAQ’s, just leave me a message in the comments.

Note: I’ll be adding a new section for our master bedroom, which in the meantime you can read about here and here.

Hope the rest of your weekend is great!



  1. Congrats on your blog's being featured in Romantic Homes Magazine! I read it and thought: I follow her blog!!! I can't wait to see your fireplace reveal! And congrats, again, for your feature in an upcoming Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas Magazine!

    Ricki Jill

  2. Wow, so much exciting news! Congratulations on being published in RH and BHG Christmas issue, so cool. I can't wait to see your wall. Have a greAt weekend!

  3. Jennifer I love your new style...it is crazy how we all continue to evolve in our home styles. I really love your kitchen, you and your Husband have done a fantastic job using new and old elements to create an amazing look that will last for years to come. I hope you have a lovely weekend...


  4. So many exciting things happening for you! Congrats on both the BH&G and RH mentions! Your home is gorgeous....and I'm really excited to see how the fireplace turned out!

  5. I love your Blog and your wonderful ideas..very inspiring.

  6. I can't wait to see the magazines that feature your home. Everything you've done is so beautiful and inspirational!

  7. OK, now I've got to wait all weekend to see the fabulous (I know it will be fabulous) transformation of the block wall!!!!!!

    Your new publications are well deserved, your talent and ability to transform your home into a warn and inviting respite is inspiring. Congratulations.

  8. Congrats on your feature!!!!xo Rachel

    French Farmhouse 425

  9. I just found your site through The inspired Room
    Love your style and site....I will be adding you to my google reader.
    Happy Day

  10. How lucky am I that I came over and got to peek inside... It's Fab!! I really love it!

  11. Jennifer,
    I am always so happy when you post about your home...it's gorgeous and full of everything I love. I could look at your pictures over and over! Congrats on the mag. shoot...looking forward to seeing your new fireplace changes. I've been trying to imagine what you've come up with ~ :)

  12. I can't wait to see the finished result!! Xoxoxo 1942charm.blogspot.com

  13. Congrats on the magazine debut! I'm intrigued by the block wall. Something tells me this is gonna be good!

  14. COOL! You're in Romantic Homes, I'm gonna go pick up a copy tonight! Everything looks gorgeous as usual, and I can't wait to see what you did with your cinder block wall! I was showing your blog to a client at my job the other day. You're still my favorite "go to" person when it comes to making someone's jaw drop over a home makeover...


  15. Congratulations! We always knew that your home was magazine worthy.
    I can't wait to see your block project. I am sure that it is going to be spectacular.

  16. Congratulations on your well deserved magazine features! I Can't wait to see how your fireplace wall turns out...

  17. congrats jennifer! makes me remember taking all the Christmas out of the house for the COTM feature! can't wait to see the redo on the block wall!



  18. wow, that must of been crazy...setting up and tearing down "christmas"! sounds like it was a great time and learning experience though. congrats on your features in RH and BHG...your home is lovely!!

  19. Hi Jennifer,

    Oh my goodness - what exciting news aout your home being featured in the Christmas issue of BH&G - can't wait to see it-and Romantic Homes featuring your bog. I love your new look and seeing how your and your husband continue to transform your home. Thank you for sharing your fabulous dcoratintg style and ideas with us.
    Congratulatinos and many Blessings,

  20. Hello,
    I just love your blog, I too love the dining table and chairs. I have been following your blog for a while now. Everything is just beautiful. I will be back soon. Congrats on being featured in the Christmas issue. If you get the time please stop by and visit. Have a wonderful Sunday.

    The Gilded Cherub

  21. How fun and congratulations! I'm new to your blog-- discovered you on Houzz (what a great tool THAT is!) and am excited to browse around a bit. Looking forward to seeing what you did with the fireplace!
    Heidi @ Show Some Decor

  22. First - congratulations on being featured in Romantic Homes and second I cannot wait to see the Christmas photos next winter in BH&G's Christmas Ideas issue! How exciting is that? Wow!

  23. Congrats to you, Jenny on the block! lol! I did see your layout in RH mag and was so very happy for you! :)

    xoxo laurie

  24. I will look for Romantic Homes the next time I am shopping and am looking forward to the Nov. issue of BH&G! That will be so fun!
    Your home is really an inspiration to me, I look forward to seeing how your fireplace turned out.
    Hugs, Cindy

  25. Jennifer, Congratulations! I can't wait to see the issue of BH&G. Your home is gorgeous..Good Luck on your continued success.

  26. Congratulations and wow... your home is always inspiring to me.

    Have a blessed week!


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

    Post of the Day: A Retreat in Brazil/ Britney Spears' New House.

  27. WOW! Looking forward to seeing your adorable cottage in print. Mimi

  28. Congratulations on the magazines! Just discovered your blog and can't wait to explore.

  29. oh my goodness! What an honor and exciting adventure for you! congratulations and know that you inspire us over and over with your great ideas! Love your blog and can't wait to get the magazine to see you there!

  30. Congrats on everything!!! It's fabulous. Hope to see you soon so I can say this face to face. Take care,

  31. Congrats on the Romantic homes spot! I too have been swooning over the birch end table.

  32. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments! I bought the Romantic Home magazine when it came out but just got around to reading it last night. I was thrilled to see you in it! Congratulations Jennifer!


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