Cola's Cottage

Please visit me at . We specialize in romantic art of roses and children, and handmade vintage style decor. We also offer vintage finds and apparel.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Enchanted Christmas Sale Event

Once again we had a wonderful sale and it truly was enchanting. What fun and joy we have doing this for our customers! Our sale began Friday night and when you walked in the door the sound of Christmas music and the smell of Apple cider filled your senses. As in years past we redecorated and surprised our friends with a new cottage.
Thank you to all who came and made this sale a wonderful experience.

If we had more extention cords we would have had more lights, but as it were we used everything we had. At least this year we did not blow any fuses, lol!

Our new feature for this sale was this room within a room. My talented husband built this frame from an old 1800's architectual door frame piece. Old banisters were used to support the opening.

My hutch was decorated with moss and hydrangias and the traditional tree was replaced with tree branches painted white and lit up with white lights.

I love this room so much, I just want to put it in my house! It is so calming and beautiful! One day when my kids are older I may be able to have that.

These hats are made by my talented mom. All of her hats are original and she does not follow any pattern. They will soon be on my site and I hope that she is successful at selling them! Everyone who has one loves them and everyone who sees them comments on how nice they are.

This room is my daughters play house. She loves it and wants to keep it this way forever. We moved all the pink and roses out here and decorated the ceiling with white lights and a pink crystal chandelier.

Now I can look forward to decorating my house. We usually have two trees as my kids love to have one in there room. I am feeling like I want to have a vintage style tree, wheras I have had a pointsettia and floral tree in the past. We will see what I come up with and I will share it with you!

Blessings~ Nichole

Sunday, November 9, 2008

An Enchanted Christmas

Once again we have been busy getting ready for another Christmas boutique sale event. This year our theme is An Enchanted Christmas. Along with getting ready for this wonderful sale I have taken on a seasonal job making Christmas wreaths for a local landscape and nursery company. Trying to do both has been challenging, but I am determined to do it all. If no one has ever told you how hard it is to make wreaths I will tell you now that it is so.

My friend Tracy and I have luckily been working on setting up this sale for a while now and it is coming together nicely. Every sale and every year is a little different. This one will be no exception. We cannot wait to see their faces when they walk in the door! We have a wonderful guest list of ladies who shop while the men folk are hunting. It is fun for all and we create tours as other ladies do the same at their places.

Here is a sneak peak at our studio!

In years past we have always done the traditional Christmas trees in our studio and this year we decided with our space being so precious we would do something different. In my next post I will share with you the photos and tell you all about it. I cannot give out too many details or I will spoil the surprise for our shoppers!

Here are a few of the things I have been working on with my rose painting...

Above is a canvas giclee print of my painting that is stretched on stretcher bars. I have also been working on note cards of my print. Along with that I will be offering gift tags and more note cards and tags with other art I have created. I am so excited to share it with you!

Blessings ~ Nichole

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Marie Antoinette Blog Award

I have been awarded the Marie Antoinette Blog Award by two lovely ladies ~ Jacalyn at RME Bath and Body Shop and Katie Newman Gifts and Home. Thank you for the honors! Please visit their blogs at and .
Here are the rules:
1. Please put the logo on your blog
2. Link it to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs
4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them (I'm letting them know here too)And the winners are:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wonderful news!

I am so excited to announce that prints of my painting are proofed and will be available for sale! It has long been a dream of mine and to finally get to this point is wonderful. I feel as though it has been baby steps all the way. I am determined and driven, and I am proud to make it this far.
This print above will be a giclee available on canvas and archival artist paper. It is printed with archival ink and insures lasting beauty. Along with this print I am currently finishing two other paintings that will be in print too. I am also working on gift tags with my art. Being able to put my paintings in print gives me limitless opportunities! It is so exciting and overwhelming. When you have a creative mind like mine it is hard to shut it off. Sleep can be impossible, and I am constantly looking for inspiration. I must have five notebooks that I use to jot things down in. I have literally hundreds of magazines that I collect and drawers full of tear sheets of the things I love.
With all of this going on with my business I am happy that the garden season has come to an end. There would be no way to do both. I know that come January I will be pulling out the seed catalogs and dreaming of gardening again. Living in Minnesota the winters last fooreeeveer!! It is always hard to wait to begin to dig in the earth and feel the sun on your skin. I love to hear the birds sing and I feel so much contentment and joy. It is a great time to pray and give God praise for the miracles and life all around you. Thinking about it, I am a little sad that it is over. I am hoping to have plenty to do in my studio to not dwell on it this winter.
I hope that you follow me and enjoy sharing my journey. If I could not share my work with others it would not be as rewarding as it is. My dreams are big and I have so much to share. I look forward to the next post to give you an update on my prints!
Hugs ~ Nichole

Friday, September 19, 2008

A new venture!

Where does the time go? It has been too long since my last post and summer is ending. Right now we are experiencing our Indian Summer, and are nearing 80 degrees. Fall is in the air still and the leaves are turning. My mums are just starting to bloom and soon it will be time to clean out my flower beds for the winter. I love to do that. It is rewarding to know come spring your flowers will benefit from the TLC you put into it.

In some ways I am looking for a reprieve from gardening, because I am beginning a new venture!! For a very long time my dream for my art is to be in print. I am happy to announce that my dream will be reality very soon! I will have prints, note cards and tags of my art all made by my very own hands. The prints will be available on canvas and fine artist paper, framed or unframed. The note cards will be designed by me using my art. My gift tags will be hand embellished and OOAK little pieces of art. All of my creations will be signed and dated.

My first print will be of the painting of my daughter. It will be so exciting when I can announce that it is available for purchase! I thank God for blessing me, he gave me this dream and my gift and I can't wait to share it. I hope you keep in touch and watch for new developements!

Have a blessed day! ~ Nichole

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Annual Fall Event

As much as I hate to see summer end, I love to decorate for fall. I love the rich colors of autumn and the crispness of the air. I am going to share photos of our sale and I hope you enjoy them!

Having the corn crib to decorate in is wonderful. Every season we decorate for is new and exciting for each one. As much as I love the shabby chic look I also love reds, golds and greens too. I love change so much that I redecorate constantly. Having my own cottage/studio gives me the opportunity to do just that.

My friend Tracy and I decorated the front room of the studio in whites with a little pastel mixed in here and there.

We also mixed in some greens and browns in the photo below. The steps were a wonderful find and perfect to set up displays on. It is so much fun to use architectural cast offs and give them a new life.

Our back room of the cottage was decorated in the gold, red and black colors. The fireplace mantel was made from old barnwood.

Outside in the courtyard we brought out all the pinks. They looked so great with all the flowers and herbs as a backdrop.

We are going to have our second weekend fall sale coming up on Aug.22 and 23. I have been busy painting away and rearanging for customers to come and shop. I love to revamp and have them return and be surprised at the difference.

With the end of summer approaching and the end of my sales for the summer I am looking forward to fall house cleaning and preparing my gardens for the winter. I am also very excited to say that very soon I will be offering prints of my paintings! I will keep you informed on that when I have more to tell.

Thanks for visiting and check back as I will have more photos of this next weekends sale!

Blessings to you and yours! ~ Nichole

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mid-Summer Arts and Crafts Show

Wow, where does the time go! It has been over a month since my last post. Summers are so busy and it is almost half over. I feel like I have not slowed down to enjoy it. This weekend our town held our mid-summer arts and crafts show down by Spirit Lake. My friend Tracy and I coordinate the event for our local C&C.

This year was especially fun for us because we invited our junking friends to join the show. It was such a blast to share and laugh with these ladies. We love and admire each others talents and different styles. We joke that we just keep buying from each other and eventually something will eventually work its way around to all of us.

Of course with these talented ladies joining our show, I had to step up my game a bit! I wanted to make sure I had nice display for my creations. I asked my hubby to make me something that was light enough to transport, and still be a big statement. So between the two of us we came up with this arbor made of corn-crib panelling and barn wood. It was a wonderful airy back drop for my art.

Our other display piece is one of my favorites too as it is my hubbies childhood swing set. When we hauled it out of the woods a couple years ago, Justin thought I was crazy LOL! What on earth was I going to do with that pile of rusted metal?! Of course in my mind I thought of many neat things I could do with it. So now this worn out, well loved swing set is now a fun display piece.

Tracy's "up north" art and my garden crafts display nicely on it. Originally this swing sets braces were bent and rusted, so Justin took them off and made new braces out of barn wood. Then more barn wood was used for a table. Its next use I think will be a buffet table for our next BBQ, or maybe I will have stools made and it can be a table for seating! Can you imagine that, and having a lovely garden chandelier hanging from the bar as a centerpiece hehe?!! What fun!! If I do that I will take many pictures and share them with you.

Besides working on getting ready for the craft show I have been busy in my garden. I have finally gotten a handle on the weeding by amending my soil and mulching. Wow, what a difference that makes! My flowers are doing better than they ever have. I still have a lot of work to do and some of my flower beds are needing some tlc. Gardening takes patience and it sometimes takes years to see results.

Two of my favorites are pictured above ~peonies and roses. I am hoping my roses survive as I have always dreamed of having roses. Between the cold winters and the animals I have not had much success with them. These roses above are a hardy species and I have been told they should survive the winter.

Ahh, summers are too short. I will miss working in my gardens and will look at these pictures longingly this winter. Spring and Summer are definitely my favorite seasons. I feel so alive when I am out in my yard working. It is where I feel close to God and I thank him for my many blessings.

I hope you are having a wonderful summer, and I will talk to you again very soon!!

Blessings to you and yours! ~ Nichole

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What a beautiful day!!

Hello all! What a beautiful day we had for our sale! Many weeks of creating and preparation came before the big day. Besides all the time it takes in shopping for treasures and then recreating them, I was also hard at work creating a magical place to visit. We had old treasured friends come back to visit us and made some new friends that we hope will return to see what else we bring in our future sales. I thank each and everyone of you who came!
I took many pictures of this special day and would love to share them with you. I hope you enjoy looking at them and wish you could have been here in person to share it with us!

It is always fun when we have our sales because with every one we have it different for every sale. Our last sale was our Holiday Boutique sale and we hold it over deer season. We coordinate it with other talented women who have the same kind of sales and make it into a holiday tour. For this sale we went with a garden theme. I love to mix rustic and romance. In fact it is my passion!! I love to take "junk" and make it beautiful! Old things have soul and were lovingly used. I love to give it new life and make everyday purposeful items beautiful and useable again.

This is the back half of my studio, which is where I do a lot of my painting and creating. It rarely looks nice like this as it is quite messy when I am making things. This winter as I was building my web site business I also repainted every surface of my studio. I love the warm yellow on the walls. For this sale I displayed the items in this room that I have painted and are featured on my web site.

I wish I could show you a better picture of my ceilings as they are quite neat. My friend Tracy and I did a tissue paper technique on them and then this winter I finally painted them creating a sky effect. On my floors I painted a faux stone look on the concrete floor. It was a lot of work, but very rewarding.

This is my corncrib gazeebo that I display in for my sales. It is so much fun to decorate and for this sale we went with a romantic garden feel.

This beautiful garden bench was made by my husband Justin. It is created from an old metal headboard and some reclaimed barnwood. Sitting on top of it is a flower box made out of barnwood and peices of an old fence. I love it when he helps me!

These lovely girls are my daughter Alison and my friend's daughter Alexis. Tracy and I thought it would be lovely to have them be a part of our sale and they were great! They were the perfect little hostesses and sold lemonade and cookies. The girls were set up on the porch of Alison's playhouse and it was a picture of sweetness!!

This above is my outhouse that I had my husband bring over from a farm from out of town. The fence behind it came from the dump. Can you tell I love old things LOL!? For this sale we decorated it in a retro red and aqua theme. My friend Merry who creates all the lovely pillows and linen creations has love for this style, along with the romantic country style, so a lot of her creations were displayed in there. She has made a beautiful and functional line of aprons that I will be adding to the site very soon.

This picture was taken after my sale had ended and I was reflecting on what a beautiful day it had turned out to be. God had shined down on us and I was blessed with the glorious weather and wonderful friends who came out to share it with us. I also want to say a big thank you to my Mom who always comes for my sales and helps out. She is a beautiful loving and giving person! She is also a wonderful talented artist and I cannot wait for her to add her touch to my web site.
Thank you to you too for visiting and letting me share this day with you. It is a dream come true for me to be able to do this. Also I have to thank my husband and children for being patient with me when I am getting ready for these sales! I am looking forward to relaxing a bit and spending some quality time with them.
Hope you have a wonderful and blessed day!! Hugs ~ Nichole

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cottage Sale

Hi there! It has been a while since I last entered a new post, but I have been very busy!! With spring finally here I have been gardening my little heart out and it has been pure heaven. I have 40 acres of beautiful dream land. For the last 4 years I have been planting gardens and landscaping our property. Unfortunately we have very sandy soil, so some of my gardening has been done in vain. A few weeks ago my husband brought home some organic soil and I was jumping and clapping my hands like a little girl.

Besides amending my soil and adding mulch I have also been painting the exterior of my studio and daughters playhouse. I painted the trim a color called "dinasour" and the shutters a color called "lollipop". I wanted to paint them the colors in my flowers around my gardens. After painting the pink on the shutters I decided it was a little too powerful so I toned it down with an antique white dry brush technique. I was a lot more calmer and satisfied with it after I did that.

My studio and daughters playhouse was built by my husband Justin, with as much salvaged materials as we could claim. The playhouse was built for Alison for her birthday last summer. She calls it her studio and pretends to be like me. It is amazing what they pick up, as I watch her imitate me and decorate her place. I hope it will make wonderful memories for her.

The new addition to our property came this weekend when Justin and our friend Matt put up my second corn crib "gazeebo". The first one I had put up next to my studio for my sales to set up in.

It was quite a feat to disassemble them and then put them back together. When they disassembled them they were two panels high, each 12 feet tall. It was a very long day when they brought them home and assembled the first one. The second one was placed on top of my sunny garden and is the perfect back drop for it. The pictures below show them putting it together....

I am so lucky to have a husband and good friends to help out and build these things that I dream up. When I first said I wanted a corn crib for a gazeebo I got some crazy looks, but when they see it they like it. I hope to grow vines on them so they can almost be like private rooms. In this gazeebo I want to hang a loveseat style porch swing.

This morning I lived a dream of mine and I walked out to look at all my gardens with my cup of coffee and just soaked in the beauty. God's miracles were all around me and I felt contentment. As I stood inside my gazeebo the birds were singing and it sounded so neat as it echoed under the tin roof. I cannot wait to see how my gardens blossom with all the work amending the soil. In the corn planter above I hope to put some beautiful cascading annuals in the pots.

Well with all that work behind me I have been getting ready for my annual sale. Along with my creations my friends Tracy and Merry add their talents. Our sale is this Saturday on June 7th. As always these sales are a lot of work and I never know if I am ever going to pull it off. There is so much that I want to do and just never enough time!! The postcards are out and I hope that a lot of you reading have gotten yours and are excited to come again!

I will try and update you all on how my week of painting and planning is going. I will also be showing you pictures of all our creations!! Stay tuned, and blessing to you!! ~ Nichole