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Look what made it into the pages of BHG Christmas Ideas Magazine! (and free gift tags)

    I’m so pleased to share that our home is featured in the 2015 issue of Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas magazine (on newsstands now).

    The photos were taken last January.

    I know, forever ago. We did our family Christmas like normal last year and then I started fresh with a new tree in a different spot and new greens and decorations created and put out the first week of January.

    This is the third time BHG has come to our house to photograph (so crazy) and I love this spread most of all. They sent a photographer and stylist from Iowa all the way to the Pacific Northwest for one day of shooting. The kids were off at ski school with Ryan (until they returned for our family portrait – hence the ruddy faces and messy hairdo on Audrey!) so it was just me and the BHG team.

    I always thought that a magazine brought in tons of props and actually styled a house for photos. Perhaps this is true some of the time, but in our experience, the props are minimal. In fact, for this christmas shoot, they didn’t bring a thing. It’s nerve-wracking and affirming all at once to know that magazine people think your style is good enough to publish without the major re-styling by a real stylist.

    Molly, the stylist, was there to take care of all the details – moving a pillow or gift or picture just so. I would love her job. She and the photographer work together to get just the right shot (moving the couch at a slight angle, for example, which isn’t detectible in the photo, but makes it look much more open).

    At one point we needed to style the center of the dining room table and she asked me to put something together because she wanted it to look like us. See? Super flattering, but also a little stressful. (We went with clear glass apothecary jars filled with sparkly ornaments).

    We moved fairly quickly from room to room trying to beat the sun going down in late afternoon. I wasn’t sure what rooms would make it into the magazine and was so excited to see how many photos did make it. I’m sure my style will change over time, so its really fun to have these pictures in print to look back on and remember how things used to look. And also, my grandma is really proud to show her retirement-home friends that her granddaughter’s home is in a magazine :).

    As part of the feature, BHG asked me to create printable christmas tags. Of course I said YES and painted these watercolor illustrations.

    The tags make the perfect topper for gifts and, best of all, they are free!
    tags lights-tag
    wreath-tag zig-tag

    The tags are now in THE ARCHIVE in a new Christmas section along with all of our best free prints, templates and fonts.  If you are not an Archive member, simply add your email to the list and you’re in!


    So here’s to the start of the Holiday Season … CHEERS!

    64 thoughts on “Look what made it into the pages of BHG Christmas Ideas Magazine! (and free gift tags)”

    1. I adore these gift tags – anything watercolor is right up my alley!!! I am over the moon happy for you and your amazing spread in BHG!!!! I cannot wait to pick up a copy of have it as a memento to my FAV blog! You’re so talented and I love how you share your work with your fans!! Have a great one!! and thanks again for these amazing tags!!!

      1. I adore pretty ribbon and these are a few from my collection :) My favorite sources for ribbon are May Arts, Midori and Petersham grosgrain from Ribbon Connections.

    2. I love everything you do and always think “what would Emily do?” as I decorate. I live in Iowa right by Meredith Corp. I wish I worked for them so I could fly out and do a shoot of your place :) I agree that your Christmas spread is my favorite BHG shoot so far… I LOVE the living room shot with all the greenery on the mantle.

      1. Hi Emily! God has blessed you with such a creative gift and you have such a generous heart! Thank you for the gift tags. Love them. I tried printing mine and the colors didn’t come out right- do you have any suggestions?

    3. Tay Cutchin Satterfield

      Congratulations !! How very exciting !! Your home looks wonderful and so inviting. How did BHG find out about you in the first place?

    4. LOVE this!!! So beautiful, and I’m ALL about that fresh cedar garland. May I ask the source for your stockings? Thanks for the tags!

    5. I am going to try and make the pom poms this holiday, but what do you do with yours? I’m short on storage.
      the layout looks great! congrats!

    6. Hi Emily,
      How exciting! The photos are beautiful and I have added that magazine to my list of things to pick up this week! Your style is amazing and I can see why they did not need props!
      Thank you so much for the tags, they are beautiful too!

    7. So exciting!! Everything looks absolutely beautiful! So, will this years Christmas decorations look like this or do you have a completely new plan?

      1. I’ll probably switch it up a little. I loved how it looked with greens and white and metallics. I try to like red, but it just does’t work for my neutral-loving self! I’d love to do all whites and metallics. We’ll see if my kids will let me get away with having no color!

    8. Can I just say that I have been looking forward to this magazine for a whole year?! Ever since my two favorite blogs (JDC and City Farmhouse) had to keep their Christmas decor secret for BHG last year. ;) Worth the wait. Thanks for the inspiration. You’ve got talent.

    9. Emily, I picked up the magazine last week while waiting in line at the fabric store, loved reading the article and all the great pics. Now it makes it even better reading your blog today about the behind the scene details! Thank you for being so generous with the free printout tags, awesome!
      Your style is so clean, fresh, warm, with so many wonderful idea’s to think about using… thank you!
      Hugs, Debbie

    10. I will pick this up tomorrow. Congrats! I love the tags.
      I have to add that I really enjoy your blog – thanks for sharing your talents.

    11. Emily! Guess what! Just today I was on Pinterest and pinned your Advent board from last year, I love it! Everything with you and your creatvity just keeps getting better!

    12. Emily,
      It’s funny that we have never met but I have been following your blog since the beginning and seeing the success you are having makes me feel proud…proud like a sister or a good friend would be. All of your hard work and dedication has paid off and I’m happy to see you running such a successful business. You are an inspiration!

    13. How exciting! I love reading your blog and was happy (but not surprised) to see BHG had the good taste to choose your home…Happy day!

    14. I bought this magazine last week. I picked it up while I was in line at the grocery store and ended up buying it because I loved the pictures of your home. I realized when I got home and read the magazine that it was YOUR home – I have been following your blog for a long time and now following you on Instagram. Love your style and your art. Cong!rats

    15. Congratulations! What an exciting and beautiful home. The home across the street from me growing up was a feature in Better Homes and Gardens…brings back memories. Thank you again for sharing your home and design ideas. You are an inspiration to so many!

    16. Beautiful article and home! I have so enjoyed your blog…so many inspirations!! May I ask where the gsrland above your fireplace is from? Looking for something more natural. Thank you!

    17. What a wonderful spread of your beautiful style and talent. Such joy and delight shines through you using your gifts. So happy for you!

    18. Shelley @ Calypso in the Country

      Congratulations! I just bought the magazine last week and was so inspired by all the beautiful Christmas decor. You did an amazing job and your house looks gorgeous!

    19. …..and to believe we can say we knew you when… were a simple blogger writing about your loves both people and things!! So not surprised by your success Emily!! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer girl!

    20. Jen @ RamblingRenovators

      The spread looks wonderful! How flattering to not only have your home style but your artwork in the magazine. Congratulations!

    21. What a beautiful layout! Congratulations on the article, Emily. And thank you for sharing your gorgeous Christmas tags. I love the water color technique. Cheers and Happy Holiday season, Ardith

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