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“There, I said it” (again)


A couple of years ago, I wrote the following, in a post called…”There, I said it.

“I never thought if I shared about wanting to write a book or be in a magazine or have a line under my brand that those things would actually happen.  I was just dreaming out loud.  I wanted to share my hopes and see what happened.  It’s the same thing that makes me buy a junky piece of furniture or look at dilapidated old houses.  It’s possibility.  Potential.  What if.  Pushing through the self-doubt and the fears and anxieties and the nay-sayers.  Putting it out there in writing.

I used to think musical theatre was one of the most useless degrees (and I can say that without offense, because that’s the degree I have), but I now see tons of value in it.  Auditioning for plays is mostly about rejection, but you have to dust yourself off and remember that a “no” doesn’t mean you stink (although it could, I suppose), it just means you’re not right for the part or maybe you were edged out by someone more right for the part.  Or maybe the director’s daughter got the part instead of you.  Either way, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying.  We all love the stories of actors who were rejected hundreds of times before landing a roll that rockets them to the “A List.”  We love knowing that some moron told Michael Jordan he wasn’t good at basketball, because that leaves the door open that the person telling me that I can’t do what I want to do just might be a moron, too.

I’m not saying you can be anything you want to be and do anything you want to do.  I know I’ll never run a four minute mile or climb Everest or be a size two.  I can, however, use the gifts, talents and abilities that have been given me to go for what I daydream about when my mind drifts.  I can hone those abilities and learn new ones that make me even better.  I can put myself out there and go for it.

All of this to say, I want to give you an opportunity to share your pie-in-the-sky dream.  To say, “I want to fill-in-the-blank.  There.  I said it.”  You can do that right here in the comments or write a post and leave a link in the comments.  Or you can just write it on a napkin.   Whatever works for you.  Let’s not be afraid to dream big.

Blogs have really opened up the world for women like us.  Let’s go for it.

There.  I said it.”

I received almost 300 comments on that post; women sharing their dreams and goals.  It gave me chills to read them all.  It was one of those really cool moments I sometimes trip over between sharing about painting furniture, shopping trips and decorating.

Since then, my inbox has been sprinkled with stories of people who ran with that challenge and their life has changed because of it.  I received a few recently that reminded me of this post and how much it seems that all of our journeys are somehow intertwined.  A woman inspired by that post is now my European MMSMP distributor.  How cool is that?!  I know others have started businesses or blogs or left a job that was sucking the life out of them.

The recent e-mails have also reminded me that I need to continue to set out dreams and goals for myself.  The last few years have been so overwhelming, in the best possible way, that it seems selfish to even think about more or what’s next.  But, I think it’s important to have goals; something to work towards.  So, I’m going to put some new ones out there and we’ll see what happens!


Goal #1 – You Tube


You may have noticed that I’ve been posting more videos.  One of the goals at the top of my list is to grow my YouTube channel.  I’ve largely ignored YouTube over the years, but it’s a vibrant community and it seems to only be growing.  It’s also much easier to show how to do something then write about it, so video is a great medium for DIY tutorials.

If you want to subscribe to my channel, you can do so HERE.


Goal #2 – Workshops


I have recently realized that I really love teaching and I have been told I have a knack for explaining things in a simple way.  I want to teach more workshops in the studio.  I’ve only been teaching on milk paint classes so far, but I would like to teach on photography, starting a business, slipcovers, upholstery, etc.  I’m planning to try out different things and see what works!  I’d also like to open my studio more for others to use as a creative space and maybe so some shopping excursions.


Goal # 3 – New Products


I’ve been working on a paint brush for a while and (I think) I’m almost to the point where I can finally order and start selling it.  I really enjoy developing new products and I hope to be able to do more of that.  It always takes forever to get something off the ground, but it is always rewarding when it does.


Goal #4 – Styling & Photography


Last year, I was hired as a freelance stylist and photographer for Cottages & Bungalows.  I know I have a lot of room to grow, but I would love to do more work like this.  It was so challenging and fun.


Goal #5 – Designer for Hire


I am toying with the idea of working with clients on their spaces.  This would be a big, scary step for me, but I think it would be so rewarding.  I have a lot to think through when it comes to pricing, what kind of projects I’ll accept, how I’ll work, etc., but I think it’s a direction I would like to go.


All of my goals seem pretty safe, so I’m going to throw out a few pie-in-the-sky dreams as well…

  • I would love to go on a shopping trip to Europe and fill a container with goodies to bring home.
  • I hope to be living in a farmhouse (either old or a new/old house) in five years or less
  • I’d like to write another book.  I’ve been kicking ideas around for while and it’s just a matter of putting pen to paper.  This may not seem that pie-in-the-sky, but I haven’t been asked to write another book, the publisher I worked with was bought out by another publisher and the editor I worked with isn’t there anymore.  So, I would basically be starting from scratch.


Now that I’ve “said it”, I wanted to open up the forum again for those who want to speak their dream to the world or for those who want to give us an update on their journey.  

So, the floor is yours.  Go ahead and say it…

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  1. Hi Marian, what I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time is open a candy counter at our local historic market. My children loved visiting the candy counter whenever we visited the market but it closed and nothing has taken its place. I have two granddaughters now and would love to have them experience the joy and fun of buying penny candy. There, I said it!

  2. Wow. My dream.
    My dream is to change the perception society has of individuals born with exceptional thinking abilities. The term “gifted” sounds elitist and divisive, but these kids have been “gifted’ how they think. The school system rarely treats them fairly, and some statistics estimate that 50% of academically gifted kids are underachieving from what the are capable. I’m graduating with my master’s degree in gifted education in May, and I desperately want to find a way to help these chronic underachievers reach for the stars.

    Just a small dream, right?

    • Jane dawson says:

      I am in love with this dream! Not something I could ever achieve but I see such a need for it. I’ve had two gifted children, one who is doing poorly in school. We have one TAG teacher in our school system for K-12.
      The world needs more people like you!

  3. What an awesome concept your studio and the workshops are! My prediction is that it will be a bustling shop before you know it. There is just no other way! A massive company…I see it.

    I dream that my husband can give up his job to help us full time at VHD. For him to have more time to grow his own small business as well. I dream of living in a beautiful home in Blougberg Strand, Cape Town and be able to continue our businesses there. {We’d like to be the first MMSMP retailers in South Africa}! I want to be close to my parents once more and help my Mom start her own Etsy shop where she can sell African curios from home and continue her business. I’d like to own a craft restaurant and continue with our vintage furniture painting business right there at Eden On The Bay. I dream of doing all that, full time, with my husband and our two grown kids and their significant others.

    I dream of filling containers here on a regular basis with unwanted house hold items and clothing to bring back to SA and distribute it there amongst the poor and disadvantaged. Maybe God has a better plan!

    “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one….”

  4. Sherry says:

    Hey Jen. I love your idea to help those who are “gifted” find an academic home. It is SO needed! We have a great college prep school here in the Milwaukee area that was started by parents who were tired of their children’s needs not being met in the mainstream schools. If Marian doesn’t mind, I could leave my email here ([email protected]) and you could contact me so we could talk. My sister’s son went there–would love to connect the two of you. :)

    Onto my dreams…I would love to give shelter and a home (albeit, temporary–the goal is to find a permanent homes) to abused/neglected animals of all kinds. This will require my husband and I to find and move to a hobby farm, like-minded volunteers and backers to help with the cost of running the place. Love those furry babies and want to help them out. :)

  5. Charlotte says:

    I’m 53 and I want to run a marathon and I’ve never run in my life. I read an article about a 73 yr old who started running and she’s in her 80’s now and has run several full marathons and half marathons. If she can do so can I!!!

    • runnergirl says:

      I was meant to read this and reply, Charlotte! I ran my first marathon…The New York City Marathon in 2010, and I was 53! It was more of a mental and spiritual journey than a Physical one. I was on mile 21 and these adorable church women in Harlem were cheering for us all, “Run for Jesus!” they yelled. I literally stopped and thought about that for a moment and said to the lovely woman closest to me, “I’m not running for Jesus, I’m running with him! I could never have done this alone!”, and I continued on my way, smiling as I heard her change her cheer to,” Run with Jesus, Run with Jesus!.” So, Charlotte, I say to you, “You go, girl!!!” Pick a larger marathon where you can make contact with the spectators, and they will mentally carry you through their connections. A small marathon might be long and lonely.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Hi! I became a medical transcriptionist as a way to work and be home with my sons when they were babies and, fortunately, I was able to do just that. Now, 22 years later, my babies have become young men…my youngest son will be 19 next week, and with the MT profession falling fast, I believe it’s time I reinvent myself. Like you, I’ve toyed with the idea of being an interior designer. I don’t pretend to have half the talent you have, but it is something I enjoy. I’m just not sure I could have an “open mind” to what someone else would like in their space. I know what I like, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be able to do what they like. I also would love to have my own food truck. I love to cook and feed people! I have so many ideas of things I would love to do, but just can’t calm my brain down enough to start any of them :)_

  7. I love this blog post Marion! I became a MMSMP retailer approximately one year ago. At that time I set many goals – some I have met and some I have not. My business has been mostly on-line at this point. But, now I am now renovating an old General Store so that I can have a cute little shop, a workshop and classroom space. I look forward to that part of my journey! Nothing ever gets done as quickly as I would like, but I am learning to be patient. So, my goal right now is to get my shop finished.

    I am also a passionate gardener. I have a flower garden on the same property as my shop. Last year I seldom took the time to work in my garden … and I sure missed it. This summer I am going to try to spend more time gardening and I would love to spend more time blogging about gardening. I think painting and gardening can really compliment each other.

  8. I’ve always been a creative and a DIYer, raised by the master creator and DIYer, my mama. Four years ago I started a small online “cottage” business, buying and selling vintage finds that I loved and hoped that others would love as well. I never dreamed it would grow like it has…..but it has. We recently bought our own fixer upper, renovating it all ourselves, and at the age of 56, I started blogging about the process. My pipe dream? Well, it’s scary to say it out loud but here goes…..1.) to have our beautiful renovations featured in a a “swoon worthy” magazine, 2.) to figure out this “blogging thing” and my readership grow beyond my wildest dreams, 3.) to have amazing business opportunities open up from the blog, and 4.) like you, a dream I’ve had for awhile… travel to France and fill a container with fabulous finds! There, I said it! Thank you Marian, you are indeed an inspiration for me! God Bless!

    • Rhonda says:

      Your comments intrigued me so I clicked on your name hoping to be lead to what sounded like a great blog I didn’t want to miss out on. Much to my surprise it led me to Edith & Evelyn !!! I recently began following you after Anita featured you on her blog. I would have never guessed you were a newbie in this blogging / cottage business areana ! Your blog, merchandise, and home are a joy to me. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be a splendid success. I check your blog frequently to check for new posts. You have great style and again, I believe you will go far. I’m happy to have found your blog. It’s definitely “up there” with MMS & CHF on my list !!! God bless :)

  9. Eileen says:

    Please stay forever on your blog. I read other bloggers who say they are switching over to Facebook(hating that more every day) or twitter, etc(which I don’t do. This is like receiving a lovely letter…with help and tutorials and everything else. Your compass, moral and otherwise, is true and it shows. It’s heartwarming to see in our world of turbulence.

    Good health continues to be my goal. Traveling to Italy with my husband is another one. I’m retired now, the house renovation is nearing completion so I’m enjoying my studio, crafting and such. Paring away the unneccesary is important….I see you doing that also. I’m happy to be where I am now. Setting new goals would be good at this time so I will think this through. Thanks.

  10. Hello friends and fellow creatives!

    It is not easy for me to share my dreams on such an open forum, but something (Marion) tells me this could be the beginning of something great. I have so many hopes and dreams. Most of them feel so far fetched or foolish. I’m a 41-year old African American women, and I started on this creative path late in my life. I use to believe it was better to do what society says is the “dependable”/ “responsible” career. What I’ve learned is that nothing is dependable if your miserable, because the likely hood of an emotional breakdown is very high. Now I have slowly but surely embraced my inner Artist, and I just want to be doing what I’m passionate about. I truly love and admire all things creative, and look forward to developing my skills in several artistic paradigms.

    So what are my dreams? The list varies from the practical to the “if only” categories.To be honest I’m still deciding on what area to focus my energy on first, and that alone seems impossible. I have so many things I’m passionate about. I love Christ, interior design, vintage and antique shopping, putting a room together on a budget, teaching, writing, comedy, acting, fashion, and coaching others. To name a few:-) I am listing my dreams below in no particular order just as they come to me. Wishing you all success in your dreams too!

    Sherry’s Dreams and Goals List 2015
    1. To be financially supporting myself completely with my creative business
    2. To have a blog that is alive and vibrant (right now it’s just a domain name)
    3. To get a better camera to take great pictures for the alive and vibrant blog
    4. To sell the hundreds of vintage and antique furniture and home goods I’ve collected over the past years
    5. To be a buyer for “One Kings Lane” or to be anything at OKL:-)
    6. To own a successful home store
    7. To continue to grow in relationship with Jesus, and to have the fruits of the Spirit be visible in my life
    8. To learn how to use all the “Social Media” resources available to creatives
    9. To get all the documents and red-tape required to be a real business paid for and completed
    10. To open a business checking account
    11. To learn to speak fluent French
    12. To eat healthy and exercise on a consistent lifelong basis
    13. To be a “Picker”/ “Supplier” for successful vintage businesses
    15. To write a design column for a magazine
    16. To be a vendor at Lucketts
    17. To have a televised home show
    18. To be working in a field that makes me happy and gives life
    19. To grow as a designer and have more clients
    20. To remember to be grateful for everything I already have and to live in my moments

    The End no The Beginning…

  11. Love you blog, check you out almost every day. You, my dear, have been a huge inspiration to me….thank you for being you. :)

    Okay (deep breath) I have three….1) to open a retail store. although etsy ebay and my website get busier each day. I feel like that’s the direction I need to go. To up the ante, and make real money…. and juggle huge over head instead on the minor debit I have now, lol

    2) I was in PR for 12 years. I wrote scads of press releases, media materials, and had a couple articles published in my field (which was racing and unless you are a gear head, it would put you to sleep) I developed excellent writing skills. I have a couple books in my head, and outlined on paper, I would love to put pen to paper and write either book. The “great American Novel” dream… know with all my free time.

    3) I would love to one day remodel a chateau/ country home in France or Italy; a la Under The Tuscan Sun. I aspire to be the next Francis Mayes!! To find an amazing property a couple hundred years old that needs me to love it, massage it, give it a face lift and make it pretty again. Then spend the rest of my life basking in the European culture. Enjoy amazing wine, food, history and antiquing….heaven on earth! It’s a huge day dream……..

    But wait!!! If my retail store does amazingly well there will possibilities to expand….then franchise. Which of course will lead to Restoration Hardware buying me out for obscene amounts of money. Then I will have time to write the novel. It will dominate the best seller lists for months. Hollywood will coming knocking. And again, obscene amounts of money for the screen play. My accountants (in the plural, because I will be stinking rich) will advise me to head to France. That remodeling a chateau would be an excellent tax shelter, and a much need break from my whirl wind success in the home décor field.

    Thanks MMS, from my fingers to Gods ears…. :)

  12. My dream is to KNOW what it is I do best and then be the best at it. This will require some serious face-to-the-floor time with God, but I’m ready. It’s time. There, I said it.

  13. You Go Girl!!
    I would like to go on that shopping spree through Europe with You & fill a container full of goodies!!!
    Thanks for all your inspiration!

  14. YES ON THE BUSINESS-BASED WORKSHOPS! I don’t live too far from you {Richmond} and would do the happy dance in every corner of my house. I would sing lovely little ditties with the words “mustard” and “seed” sprinkled throughout them in non-rhyming parts of the song, while painting and wondering where the bubbling would happen. Where, oh, where, will the bubbling be?! Also, I’m a graphic designer and offer anything you need in developing a gorgeous lil’ business packet, that would be clean & happy & full of promise for so many. So do that. Pretty please. With mustard seeds haphazardly thrown on top. xo, Jill

  15. I would love to have my home photographed and featured in a magazine. I’d love for the Backyard Bungalow to be in other Montana cities. Wow, that’s dreaming big!

    I continue to read your blog because you constantly inspire!

  16. Marian,
    You are wise beyond your years! I love all of your ideas and if you head to Europe on a shopping trip, I’d love to join you. Avignon, France has a wonderful Saturday market, along the river. I could have put a little dent in your container, just shopping that market!
    My goal is to convert part of my shop in to a collection of artists and scavengers, who want to be a part of an environment, where we can support each others creativity and love for the old an unique.
    Continued blessings,

  17. I love your blog and how you motivate people! If you can think it, you can make it happen! Just after Christmas, my husband I made the decision for me to quite my pefect-for-our-family job and open up my own creative outlet in our garage. This was a huge step because i got paid to be creative all day, only worked while my kids were in school, had weekends off, worked unsupervised and had an understanding manager for when my kids got sick. Perfect! But I’ve always wanted to own my own business and with my husbands schedule with our elementary school aged children, owning a retail/workshop in a commercial outlet wasn’t going to work for me. So, when my parents were staying with us over the holidays my dad made a suggestion to convert my garageto a beautiful place to run craft workshops.

    Fast forward to today, we are still currently in the process of setting up shop, I’ve quit my job and I’m hoping that I can be successful at this. I do, and have taught a variety of arts and crafts in my life and am a floral designer by trade. Here are my pipe dream goals :)

    1. To be successful in my tiny new venture
    2. Work a market….and I just booked my first one!
    3. To be able to take my family on a tropical holiday from my business earnings alone
    4. To have something that I have created featured in a magazine
    5. To write a book
    6. To have an international product line

    Thanks for the opportunity to dream aloud :)

  18. Cayce says:

    I want to finish the children’s book I’m writing. I want children of all ages and circumstances to be able to relate to it.
    Ultimately, i want to teach my children to turn their dreams into GOALS, and they are never too old, too young, or too uninformed about the subject to start working toward and achieve their goals.
    Thank you, Marian, for inspiring me and so many others! I used to read your blog during newborn night feedings 5 years ago to help me stay awake, and I still do with my third child that is 5 months old. I know you don’t know me, and I have no responsibility for your success or growth, but I’d like to tell you that I’m proud of you. From one woman to another, I’m proud of you. I can’t imagine how immensely proud your supportive family must be if a stranger is this proud. :)

  19. Thank you for the inspiration. I have shared this really with anyone but my husband so here goes…My goals / dreams would be for my Etsy shop (The Paupers Castle) and my blog (which I have neglected for over a year, but recently started writing again) to take off. I’m not asking for miracles just enough so I can quit my part time job of 25 hours a week and replace that income. All so I can pull my daughter from public school and move her back to Montessori school (expensive) or have the flexible schedule to home school her. Those are my hopes, dreams and goals.

  20. Carrie says:

    I want to open Flora Jayne’s Workshop in Sugar Land, TX.

    There, I said it.

  21. Mary Ann says:

    I may not be as young as some of you, as I am hopefully nearing retirement. My goal is that I find ways to till earn an income but in a more inspiring and creative way. That I can continue to grow as a person and have time to devote to my family, friends and home that I have not always had working. That I find ways to use my new found freedom to help others who may need a extra hand, ear or shoulder to lean on. I pray that everyone who has “and now I’ve said it” grandest wishes come true. Thank you, Marian, and now I’ve said it!

  22. Debby says:

    Wow. Amazing. Wonderful. Inspiring. Enjoyed all the comments, but Patti Hamlin, yours made me laugh out loud for real. Loved it! And just posting something at all is big time. Turning 64 this month and still trying to grow up and figure out who I am. Marian, I have inhaled your book. And your blog, too. Biggest dream: stopping living fearfully and walk in the abundant life Jesus gave me. There, I said it! Many other things I’d be thrilled to accomplish: refinishing my first piece of furniture, crafting at least once a week, finish a quilt I’m working on with a friend, become a gardener. Bring some of the pictures in my head to life. A prepared home that looks pretty to me! Said it again!

  23. I want to become a certified Zumba instructor! I’ve always been active and was a dancer and cheerleader in school, but at almost 52 years old, my fear and lack of confidence is holding me back—also the fact that there is absolutely no $$ in the fitness industry for instructors. I need to just bite the bullet and do it! No fear—-or regrets!

  24. Cathy says:

    I love how many Woman are inspired to share there wishes, dreams, etc. I am also inspired by their “Dream List”, as well as yours.

    6 years ago I was pushed out of a Corporate job, that I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED. It challenged me, made me crazy and gave me a place that I could identify as being me and not to mention, I made a really excellent living.

    When that happened to be quite honest, I had no plan B, no where to turn. I thought I would leave on my own terms, not someone else’s. So I made do with my own “Cathy To Do List”. However, after several months of getting those items completed and it was so wonderful and refreshing to have them off my back, I was back to square one, of what do I do now. Blessing #1.

    I looked for job, but everywhere I turned I was told I was over qualified, except for new Hobby Lobby that was coming to our area. I took the part-time job, for a sheer lack of something to do, someplace to go to, to have value, to contribute and I hadn’t made that kind of pay in many, many years. Super reality! Then, one day a person came into the store and offered me job, they new of me in my old life. I heard of them and the God thing was, they paid me exactly what I was needing. Blessing #2.

    Then, as luck would have it, they decided to move their office to another town and I was unable to make the commute. So, I am back to square one again. I ended up getting my Real Estate licenses, which I love, mostly helping people, especially buyers. Blessing #3.

    But after several years, that too, the newest, the challenge, the excitement has began to wear off. Not that I am not grateful for the opportunity to assist my family household with an income, I just need more. So, I started to dream about what would I, Cathy, like to do with the rest of her life, what was it that I dreamed about as a young adult, is what you are doing right now, where you want to me in life? Pondering, but insightful questions!

    What did I want to do, what were my dreams; I love creativity and I think I am good at it. I study in college Fashion Merchandising. So how do I make that work in a small town??

    1 – I rented a space in a Antique Store, where I can house not only Antiques, but other stuff that I have either collected, refurbished and/or resale. I love the ability and creativity to design a space, it just makes my heart sing.

    2 – Someday, I would like to have my own store or a place to rent to others, that have the same passion as I do.

    3 – Would love the opportunity to buy for a store and have those items delivered and/or shipped.

    4 – To be able travel across the US, pick and buy, things of interest to me, that I think would sell in my space/store.

    5 – Travel to Europe, not only to find discover and explore my roots, but SHOP till I drop and have a large container crate come home to me, with tons and tons of goodies.

    6 – Get my on-line presences to the fore-front.

    7 – Get back into Photography, another love of mine. And, that means upgrading my film, Nikon to something of the digital age.

    8 – Be able to consistently contribute financially to my household on a monthly basis’s. Real Estate is such a hit and miss, something that keeps me out of my comfort zone.

    9 – Still do Real Estate, but explore other fascists with New Home Sales and/or Commercial, which pushes me out of my comfort zone in so many ways and makes me think of the possibility of having to leave my brokerage, my safety net.

    10 – Buy homes that need a little TLC and make them into something not only affordable, for a deserving family, but to help beautify a neighborhood and allow me to use my creative skills for the greater good. And, of course make a living. Something that my husband just cringes on. He sees it as more work for him, I see it as spending time together and creating something beautiful, something that I would be proud to put my name on it.

    And, I am sure there are several more dreams that I have and are just waiting to make their debut, but for know this is where I am at, exploring within my comfort zone and means.

    So, there, I said it. Throwing out to the Universe and await a response.

    Blessings to all who dare to dream ….

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