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the “grass sofa” – before & after


Remember this?  This is one of those pieces that people like me have nightmares about.  The dresser that is so saturated with smoke that it needs a bath in bleach.  The upholstered chair that was used as a dog bed…and then a cozy nest for a mouse.  Or the sofa that was stuffed with dried grass.  When I opened this one up, I know I was in way over my head and needed to call in reinforcements.  “Ummm…Ruthie…I need help.  Quickly.”


Ruthie swooped in and saved me (and this settee.)  Before she came to pick it up, I stripped the fabric away from the frame and painted it in ASCP Louis Blue with Old White and gold leaf detail.  I then distressed and waxed it. Ruthie took it from there.  She removed all of the contents of the settee, including pounds of dried grass, a plastic feed sack, cardboard box pieces and an Egyptian coin.  (We think this piece was upholstered overseas.)  She then totally rebuilt this settee by reinforcing the frame, putting 27 hand tied springs in the seat, stuffed it with quality cotton batting and horse hair…


…and then went the extra mile and added a foam cushion surrounded by a down cover.  The entire settee was then upholstered with a hemp canvas that I found online and finished with a beautiful double welting.


…and here she is.  (Sorry I don’t have a better picture, but I snapped this one quickly at the begining of the open house, but I’ll try to get some better pictures on Thursday.  I know the fabric looks pink, but it’s not.  It’s a nice cream color.)


The settee has come quite a long way, don’t you think?  I’m so glad I handed it over to someone who really knew what she was doing.  Now I can sell it knowing it’s super high quality and professionally done.  Have I mentioned how much I love Ruthie.  Well, I do.

If you want to follow the full adventure Ruthie went through with this piece, you can read her post about it.  It’s pretty interesting!

Another blog update, before I go.  The “blog series” buttons on my side bar are working now and I’ve added a categories search box on the lower right split side bar.  This will make it a little easier to browse through posts.


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  1. The result is lovely!

    Am I the only one… who sees the background of your blog that says “Domain not registered”? It’s got multiple images of frogs frozen in icecubes, too. Just thought you might like to know that.

    I ALWAYS enjoy your blog!

  2. Beautiful!

  3. Amazing! I love the colors you chose, and would have to get a job if I lived closer to you, b/c I would want to buy everything! :)

  4. Kathy Saldana says:

    I am speechless…Ruthie is absolutely the best…..and you for knowing what you had……it won’t last long I’m sure!

  5. This settee is amazing. So beautiful. I’m sure it’s already sold and if not, someone is going to snap it up in a heartbeat. MM & Miss Ruthie hit this on out of the park! Congratulations.

  6. Amanda says:

    Hermoso sillón! El año pasado encontré uno igual en la calle y lo levanté…había sido cama de perros,así que lo desarmé integro(4 bolsas gigantes de residuos) y lo patiné en blanco desgastado,pensando en tapizarlo y traerlo a mi casa…pero era muy grande para mi departamento y el tapizado nuevo me costaba una pequeña fortuna…así que lo vendí por internet!!!Pero sigo añorando tener uno así en mi casa!!!
    Felicitaciones a Ruthie por su gran trabajo! y que lindo encontrar dentro una moneda egipcia!

  7. Beautiful. She did a fabulous job on the settee!

  8. WOW! It turned out awesome!!!!!

  9. I love it! Great job to both of you!!!

  10. This looks SOOO amazing!!! Completely and totally worth it. I think the piece should come with the story. I’m sure the new owner would love to know what it went through;) Such an awesome transformation!

  11. Hi this is so beautiful…I lust after this.
    I can confirm that the coins found inside are from Egypt my husband is Egyptian and I would love to know how this furniture ended up in the USA….as the contents of the stuffing including the close ups of magazine or newspapers are all in arabic….fascinating!!!!

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      I know! We’ve wondered that as well! Ruthie and I are pretending it belonged to an important diplomat. :)

  12. Deborah says:

    Oh Wow! I kneel at your feet (and Ruthie’s). You are both an inspiration .

    I’ve just acquired a similar sofa for $1,. Yes $1 New Zealand! I sang all the way home with it on the trailer “I need a dollar, dollar, a dollar is what I need”. My sofa is covered in dog hair (eeeewww!) has some cane missing and needs CPR and then TLC. I’m imagining it re-upholstered in Linen or hessian and the cane replaced, with the woodwork in antique white or lime wax.

    Your blog and others have inspired me to take a risk and go after the piece with the bad photo, or poor description. I figured the worst that could happen is that I would end up with $1 of firewood and someone else’s dog hair.

  13. This might sound a little strange but I think I just “met” this very sofa this week! I was doing some shopping downtown and walked into a lovely store called the Lady Jane where this beatiful sofa fills the front display window right now. The owner mentioned it was from a designer (with a blog) and as we chatted I had to ask if it was Miss Mustard Seed, which it was! It was wonderful to meet someone who enjoys the blog like I do, and to see your work (and Ruthie’s) in person, it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!

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  16. Brenda says:

    Thanks so much for your blog and webpage….I look forward to having you in my livingroom for a visit everyday! You are truly an inspiration…I love on Vancouver Island, Canada and only wish I was closer to all the markets and sales on the east coast….but I am in the process of placing my first Miss Mustard Seed milkpaint and have just received your beautiful book….thanks again for making it all look possible!

  17. It’s to die for gorgeous!


  18. Tammy says:

    Simply one word sums it up “gorgeous”!

  19. use to have a re -upholstery business ,but ,like to tell you aout my try in south America ,my Mother got a pair of capitonet chairs one was bad shape so ,start to strep them you wont believe the stuff I found inside ,which include cigarette package ,and butts, and all can of left over fabrics scraps ,look like somebody swap the floor and used for staffing ,was re-upholster by a very cheep person ,the rest were pieces of foam glue together ,and probably charge like it put all new materials

  20. Dorothy Bruner says:

    I couldn’t get on the Leesa site as I kept getting a warning message. I’m so bummed :(

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