Welcome To My Home {And A Giveaway}

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Hello Farmgirl Friends! I’m so excited that here in Tennessee we are seeing some signs of spring! Today I’m sharing a different kind of spring story on the blog! But I thought it was worth sharing for fun; plus I’ve got a giveaway at the end! So here we go…

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Most of you know that my husband and I built our house (mostly all by ourselves) when we retired to our farm in 2011. It took us a couple years from start to finish but what a great experience and what a reward it’s been. If you’re interested you can read all about it on my personal blog here. I documented every stage so that someday we would have it to look back on. And through the years we’ve looked back on it many times.

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Anyway… last year in March I received an email from the Editor of Country Sampler Farmhouse Style magazine asking if I would be interested in having our home featured in the Spring 2024 issue of the magazine (a year away). I’m familiar with Farmhouse Style magazine and actually really love it so for a minute I was really excited. Then the more I thought about it, the more I wasn’t interested! (Intimidation mainly.) I talked to my daughter about it… because having a daughter you’re best friends with and talk to every day is the first person you go to on something like this right? And her response “MOM!!! Of course you say yes”!

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So….. long story short, I finally emailed the Editor back with a ton of questions, concerns and things like “are you sure you want MY house in your magazine… it’s not exactly like the other houses you feature” etc… (That intimidation thing kicking in big-time.) She explained all the details to me. So… I thought you readers might enjoy reading about the process, because honestly it’s kind of crazy!

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Here’s how it went. After I agreed and a tentative time frame was agreed on (May 2023), the freelance photographer called me to discuss it and set an actual date. She explained that she and a stylist would be coming from Pennsylvania to shoot my house and it would basically take an entire day. I explained that my house is pretty small, told her all the things that intimidated me about my house, and maybe I should send her some preliminary pictures in case they weren’t interested! She reassured me that if the magazine editor wanted to feature my house, then they weren’t worried about it. But THEN the whole “stylist” thing set in and I decided that didn’t sound good to me at all. So, after some serious thought I emailed the Editor and told her this: “My house is ME. I don’t feel comfortable with a stylist changing anything. I promise you it will be spotless and photo ready, but it has to be exactly my style or I’m not interested”. She reassured me that would be the case. And if the stylist or photographer changed anything I wasn’t happy with then I was to tell them. I would be present the whole time. SO… I agreed. Again!

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The date in May came and suffice it to say that I was an absolute nervous wreck. The photographer and stylist team (husband and wife!) arrived, and did a quick walk through of my house and did not gush over anything (major intimidation – haha!) but they did say “well it looks clean and ready”! Smile!

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I agreed not to take any photos of them (personally) at work! And I was so bummed because it was so much fun watching them set up and do their job. However, I did take one photo of their set up in my living room shooting into the dining room. I had texted it to my daughter. I’m sharing it here because it shows just a little glimpse of the process!

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It really was such fun watching them in motion ALL.DAY.LONG. I was utterly exhausted and I kept wondering how in the world they kept at it! In between rooms, we took little breaks and they told me some super fun stories of photo shoots they’ve done through the years for magazines like Country Living, Cottage Gardens, Architectural Digest, and so many more. I really enjoyed my day with them. And they only changed up one tiny, very funny thing, which I really laugh about now: in the picture above, see the grapes in the wooden box on the ottoman in the middle of the living room? I would never do that!! It makes me laugh! What I actually had there was a small stack of my vintage children’s story books.

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A few months after the photo shoot I received an email from the Editor again with a contact sheet showing me (thumbnail size) prints of the photos they would be using in the article. (Even though I could barely see them, they looked amazing!). The Editor also told me the name of the freelance writer and that she would be contacting me to set up an email interview.

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And that day came within a week or two. This is an experience that was really special to me. She had a list of questions for me to answer and she said this, “Do not write as if you are writing your story. Do not worry about spelling, punctuation or sentence structure. Answer the questions as if you and I are having a conversation and I will turn it into your story”. So that is exactly what I did. I wrote like I was talking to her… just rambling and carrying on! Smile! She emailed me back after a few days and it was really sweet and she set me right at ease. But here’s the thing…. I NEVER knew a word she wrote in the article! So for months and months… in the back of my head I worried that it wouldn’t sound like me. And when I got the first glimpse of the digital copy of the magazine feature; I was absolutely thrilled with the story she wrote.

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And here we are 10 months later and the magazine is on newsstands and I have three words: I LOVE IT!!! The photos, the article, the whole feature of my house makes me so happy! I love that it is completely and totally ME.

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You can buy the magazine pretty much anywhere magazines are sold. Target, Barnes and Noble, grocery stores, Tractor Supply, etc.. Above is the cover to help you find it! It is the Spring issue and will be on newsstands through April. There are so many great spring articles in it!

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Following are a few of my favorite photos of the ten page feature of my house:

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So now, how about the GIVEAWAY?!!!

I am gifting one reader this issue of Country Sampler Farmhouse Style magazine! All you have to do is leave a comment here… about any random thing that goes through your mind after reading this (LONG) blog post! Next month I’ll choose a winner and you will get a magazine in the mail!

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Happy early spring, dear friends!

Until our gravel roads cross again… so long!

~ Dori ~

  1. Debbie Allen says:

    The happiness comes through the photos, I see many things my mom and mamaw had in their kitchens, which I really love! Thank you for sharing!

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