10 lbs of flour in a 5 lb sack

Marian Parsonsbuying & selling antiques, Running a Business40 Comments

When I arrived at Lucketts this morning, all of the 20′ truck had been unloaded and the smaller truck was half empty.  As I surveyed the tent and the jumble of furniture that was placed generally according to my map, I realized space planning on this scale is not my forte.

20′ x 40′ sounded huge to me.  Well, it is, but it shrinks when you try to fit the contents of a tightly packed 20′ truck and somewhat full 17′ truck inside.

I stood with my hands on my hips, not sure even where to start.  I had a group of strong young guys and willing women, all waiting for my direction, and I froze.  Everyone was so understanding and I think they recognized that I was trying to fit 10 lbs of flour in a 5 lb sack.  They patiently waited as I thought through all of my options, the decisions that needed to be made, all of the ramifications of those decisions.

Do I set everything up as it will be on Friday?  But what if it rains?  If we don’t set it all up, I can’t take pictures of it all set up.  Maybe we can set it up and then move it all into the tent?  But the guys have to leave and could the girls handle all of that on our own?

I spent probably 10 minutes muddling through these decisions.

I finally decided that I needed to protect the stuff more than I needed pretty pictures.  So, we put the painted and upholstered pieces that will be outside on Friday, in the center of the tent and worked everything else around that.


It does mean an earlier morning for Friday and I’ll have to be very focused and a good director of my helpers in order to make it come together, but it’s worth it to have peace of mind about the pieces I worked so hard on.


So, we focused on unpacking all of the smalls and getting things in place where we could inside of the tent.




Things felt like a mess for a long time, but finally started coming together in the late afternoon.  There is a lot to do Friday morning to get everything just the way I envision, but I think we left it at a place where it’s doable.


My camera card ran out pretty quickly, but here is a video of us working on putting the space together…

You can see there is lots of walking around, trying to assess.  I finally got into a groove when I gave myself a pep talk.  “This space will come together one item at a time.  One at a time, Marian.”


My worker-bee women were fantastic.  I would be scurrying around, flitting from one thing to the next, and then come back to an area and see progress.

We have a few “areas” in the tent…a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room, a garden/potting space.  That really helped with me assigning tasks.  “Put all of the kitchen stuff over there, all of the garden stuff over here…”

We also tried to style pieces the way readers have seen them photographed on the blog, so that there is some familiarity with the space.



Kriste knows me so well.  At one point, she warned the ladies to not get too attached to where they put something, because there is a good chance I will move it.  It is funny how something as small as an angle a piece is placed at or the order of ironstone on a shelf makes it look more like “me”.

So, I told them to let me know if they were particularly proud of a vignette and I would try to restrain myself!



The ladies mostly put like things together, so I could easily see what we had and would place them were I wanted. It made my job that much easier.



My mom and one of my sweet readers, Susan, and Katie, worked on arranging the MMSMP products.  They did an incredible job!


These reproduction shoe carts are fantastic for display!  I knew they were great pieces, but now that I see them filled, I’m totally sold.

One of the highlights of the day was hanging the murals.  I stepped back after hanging them and let out a squeal.  They are even better than I had hoped.


Looking at these pictures has me itching to get the space finished and photographed!  It just killed me to leave without that satisfaction.  It’s like waiting for Christmas!

Tomorrow will be pretty low key, but there are errands, packing, lists, final pricing, and some planting.  I have been collecting topiaries and pretty plants for weeks and I can’t wait to see how they bring life to the booth.  They all need proper pots, though.  Neon green and purple plastic just won’t do.


And do you remember the little cast iron winged pig I got a few months ago?  Well, one of my friends and retailers was able to collect more for me, along with some bunnies…


…and a couple of sheep banks.


I’ll be pricing them tomorrow to bring to the sale.

Tomorrow’s post will be my annual guide on shopping my space, so keep an eye out for that!

10 lbs of flour in a 5 lb sack

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40 Comments on “10 lbs of flour in a 5 lb sack”

  1. For the love of shoe carts! And you guys built not one but 2 – I’m so incredibly thankful to have worked with you on those plans and it looks AMAZING filled to the brim. Muah.

  2. Wow – I can feel the anticipation…it all looks great, but those baby dresses on wooden hangers? I would literally be running for them LOL. That picture of them is frame-worthy! It is so nice to be able to follow along with all of the excitement and none of the work – thanks for taking us along on the journey.

  3. Fabulous !!! I squealed right along with you when I saw the pic of the Miss Mustard Seed mural.. so wonderful Marian,, and I am soo happy for you,, Break records this year alt Lucketts,,!!!!!$$$!!

  4. It just kills me to miss this. The first time in four years! Oh well, Abu Dhabi is just a smidge too far. Have a wonderful time and hope it’s your best Lucketts yet!

  5. I chuckled out loud at the title of this post 🙂 But 20X40 is indeed a good size and if anyone can style all of this wonderful stuff in this space, it’s you and your team! The mural is GORGEOUS!!!

  6. I’m not going to be there. I feel like a child staring in the window of a candy store! Have a great time!

  7. You’ve gotten us all so excited Marian! Thanks for all your posts and your little fast-action movies are so great too. I am kicking myself for not splurging on Friday’s VIP ticket when it might actually not rain. Instead, I’ll be there with boots and umbrella in hand trying to figure out how NOT to get “Farmhouse White” to turn into “Farmhouse Mud”. I have my eye on that enormous ironstone pot that looks like a sugar bowl only 10x the usual size. Did you bring the dark blue coverlet you found last week? I’ve been coveting that but fear you might have kept it for yourself…. Anyway, best of luck — and see you Saturday!

  8. So much fun to read about this day by day! I look forward to it! You will need some vacation time afterwards! I don’t know how you can squeeze time in to blog. You must be running on coffee! 😉 Good luck at the sale! I sure wish I could come shop and meet you and your ‘team’! Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s walk through your tent!

  9. How much are your flatware bundles? I live in Michigan and sadly cannot attend, but would you be willing to ship?

  10. Had fun watching the video. Kind of comical seeing all that hard work pressed down into a minute and a half. Like little busy bees buzzing around. 🙂 Best wishes for a wonderful sale. Hopefully the weather doesn’t give you too much trouble.

  11. Wow – the mural! Fantastic! That would never have crossed my mind to do that in a millions years – it looks soooo great. And you also have some fold down cart thingy – all chippy and rusty – love it. Good luck! Prayers for great weather! Can’t wait to see more 🙂

  12. The mural is amazing, it’s so bright and welcoming! The video was a comical, like watching little worker bees flitting here and there. Get some rest and best wishes for great weather, great sales and tons of fun.

  13. Everything looks wonderful! Best of luck! I hope there is a cast iron pig waiting for me after the sale. I love him.


  15. Don’t worry about pretty pictures — the progress shots and video are equally entertaining. So excited for you all! And the banner looks so good!

  16. So exciting! I wish I was there, it would be so fun to help set up and work the sale with you. Your stuff is beautiful, so many wonderful things, I would want to purchase them all for myself!

  17. Phew, that’s a lot of work!
    You know, all your stuff is so amazing, you could just put it anywhere in the tent and it would look like the most enticing tent full of goodies ever! With ya’ll pulling it all together it’s going to be AMAZING!
    I love the murals – they completely take it all to the next level!


  18. Oh, how I wish Texas was closer and I could be there! Thanks for sharing the journey with those of us who come only in our hearts. Everything is gorgeous. We love you, Miss Mustard Seed!

  19. Beeeeautifulllll! My bucket list is to come down and go to Luckets! and to see your tent – hey even better if i make the treck set me to work would love to be a worker bee! Too funny that is what I call my friends who help me and my besty knows not to get upset when i also move a thing or two in my tent at a market – she chuckles at me!
    So excited to see tomorrow’s pictures and am so excited for you! I am gitty waiting for the final unvailing!
    Cheers from my corner of the world – Ocean Park – beside White Rock in British Columbia!

  20. I know I say this all the time, but its better than I could have ever imagined! The work….the work…the brilliant work says it all. Sending you warmest wishes for a successful and rewarding sale..no one deserves it more! Hugs from Texas,

  21. Praying for a restful night’s sleep tonight, beautiful weather all weekend, and the wonderful satisfaction of selling your beautiful wares to folks who will love them as you have. Many blessings to you!

  22. I wish I was going. I see loads of stuff that I like. Hope everything goes well for you and you have good weather. Looks fantastic!

  23. Oh my … Just delightful looking and LOVE the mural! I think next year I’m gonna have to book a flight and come up that way! Praying for peace AND joy for each moment of the weekend! Blessings to all the worker bees 😉

  24. Oh, I’m so excited for you. What a beautiful setting, love your mural. So many wonderful things!! Good luck this weekend and again wish I could be shopping there but stuck in Oregon, lol.

  25. Marian,
    I am in Alaska and can’t come to your sale but I’ve watched you gather and prep daily from your emails.
    I would love to buy that little pig! Is there any way I could get a chance to purchase it? Of course I will pay shipping also. PLEASE , please, please!
    I wish you the best on your sale. Wish I could be there. Visiting you is on my bucket list!
    Hope you get this before it’s too late. I know you are incredibly busy.
    Best wishes,

  26. Pig with wings!
    How can I buy it? I am serious. Is it possible to buy it before the sale begins and it flies off the shelf? Please, please, please!
    Hopefully you have time to put it aside for me. Of course I know there will be shipping in addition to the sale price.
    Awesome job prepping and keeping us posted on your daily progress. YOU are an inspiration! Thanks!

  27. The murals are beautiful. The merchandise is beautiful. The setting is beautiful. You and your “posse” are beautiful. Best wishes from Pacific NW!
    (If any cast-iron sheep banks are left afterwards, please put them on your on-line shop…)

  28. Goodness, goodness! Everyone and all the merchandise got there without mishap! At least you’ve not mentioned “mishap”! The banner is a wonderful addition and will really help solidify your “brand” in people’s mind. (“You know, the tent with the darling country banner with the sheep and barn.”)

    Like so many other of your loyal fans, I too, would like to be there, but since I’m not, I really appreciate you sharing photos of what’s happening. Fun seeing it all on-screen.

    I hope you have a really restful night’s sleep and all goes smoothly tomorrow! Especially the weather!

    P.S. Hope it goes so well over the weekend that you have barely anything at all to pack for the trip home! $$$$$$$!

  29. So enjoyed watching you get ready for Lucketts. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you a wonderful sale.

  30. Crazy amazing!!! You are so fricken talented Marian. I am sick I won’t be there this year. Hope it is a super weekend and may bright sun shine on you all weekend long!!

  31. Alas….I no longer live in Va. But I am enjoying your website and Lucketts prepping. Maybe next year I can take the drive to experience the finery of Miss Mustard Seed. ;0)

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