back to work & other things…

by | Jun 1, 2016 | Artistic Endeavors, buying & selling antiques, Running a Business | 26 comments

I hope you enjoyed your long weekend.  My three day weekend was actually an eight day weekend, since I took a week off to recover from the Lucketts Spring Market (and months of work leading up to it!)  I still did computer work…e-mail, blog posts, social media, etc., but I took a break from going into the studio.  I really needed that time to step away and recharge.

I had some appointments.  I got a massage.  I spent one entire day in my jammies.  And I started to do a bit of gardening.  When the weeds in your window boxes are dying, it’s time to do some gardening!

I also put together some plans.  I tend to be a bit unfocused after a big push towards a deadline, so I decided to put together a clear list of priorities and to-dos to keep me on track.  Most of those plans were professional in nature, but I did put together a workout and eating plan, too.  The struggle to maintain balance is constant, as I’m sure you can relate.

So, Tuesday morning came around and after so many days of sleeping in and a slower pace, I had to talk myself into putting my feet on the floor, doing my workout, and getting ready for a day in the studio.

I was greeted with a nice surprise when I arrived.  Do you remember the bird I mentioned, that was trying to build a next above the studio door, but kept dropping the twigs all over the place?  That poor bird hauled over so many twigs that just resulted in a mess in front of our front door instead of a nest.  Well, the bird was finally successful!


Of course, I might not be so happy about it when the bird is dive-bombing me as I unlock the door or pooping all over the stoop, but let me enjoy a moment of being happy for the bird.  It showed that creating a home was worth all of the failed attempts and persistence pays off.

Lots of lessons in that little nest.

We kicked of the day with a couple of “what’s-next” meetings and then dove into the first priority – getting items photographed, inventoried, and listed in the online shop.  Well, that’s what we were supposed to do.

I went into the bathroom to get a paper towel and I couldn’t stand the sight of it any longer.  The sink was paint splattered and grungy from the marathon brush-washing that has taken place over the past few weeks.  I can’t list things online until this sink is clean.  So, I started scrubbing, wiping, washing until everything was tolerable again.

Somewhere between organizing the brush-drying rack and cleaning the floors, I realized that Kriste was waiting for me to work on listing things in the online shop.  I was getting distracted again, as I so easily do.

I sheepishly walked through the hallway and I smiled at what I saw.  Kriste was in the shipping area, surrounded by boxes, packing peanuts, and garbage bags stuffed to the hilt.  Without it being a part of the plan, we both felt the irresistible urge to clean; the need to clean, so we could create without dust bunnies and disorganization catching our attention.

So, we gave in and went all the way – cleaning, organizing, vacuuming, and purging the studio.  It felt so good after the neglect that happened while we were getting ready for Lucketts.  There just wasn’t time or the space for a thorough cleaning!

We didn’t get into the storage closet or into the nitty gritty of the drawers and cabinets, but we got everything else looking pretty spiffy.  Every time I walked through the space, I felt lighter and inspired.  Even though it wasn’t in the plan, it was worth doing and both of us were energized in the clean space.

With a couple of hours left in the day, we started on the task that was actually in the plan – working on the Lucketts leftovers for the online shop.   Of course, I immediately went for the ironstone, but shifted gears and decided to work on the smalls we had multiples of, like the brushes, twine, scissors, etc.


It looked like we had a pitiful amount of stuff left after the cache we had pre-Lucketts, but there is still a lot left…hundreds of items and I’m realizing it’s going to take quite a bit of time to get it all listed.  We’ll try to launch everything at one time, but we might need to space it out a little, so we keep our sanity!



I worked on the smalls and Kriste worked on measuring all of the t-shirts and putting together an inventory.  We sold a lot at Lucketts, so we’ll need to place another order, but I’d like to get this batch sold first.


We had sweatshirts printed for ourselves, but were asked about them so much when we wore them at Lucketts that I think I will make them available on special order.  I have shied away from doing sweatshirts, because they are a lot more expensive than t-shirts, yet sometimes a good comfy sweatshirt is worth a splurge.  Instead of making that decision for you, I’ll make them available and you can decide for yourself!


Before I sign off, here is a preview of some of the pieces I photographed today that will be a part of the sale…







Can you tell how much I enjoy photography?  I just do.  Styling and taking pictures are some of my favorite things about my profession.

Anyway, I’m flying solo in the studio, so that means loud music, lots of singing (I actually typed “sinning” and thankfully caught that one in the proofread!), and hopefully a lot will get accomplished…


  1. Brittany

    I am so thankful you keep updates here! I really want to have a booth at the vintage market next spring but have no idea really where or how to start… And the SO thinks it’s such a waste of time. And I’m like, BUT BUT…. Miss Mustard Seed did it! She started with nothing! Sigh. Then again, you have a real talent to offer, painting, photography etc. AND you have a friend to hang out with you. I have absolutely no one aside from my babies.

    • Marian@CMShawStudios

      I was a vendor at the Lucketts Spring Market for two years. I am no Miss Mustard Seed, but I did have a plan. I gathered merchandise for a whole year before the show. I looked hard at other booths at the other barn sales in my region to get an idea how to price stuff. I practiced staging and taking pictures of things on my own home. I posted on my blog to gain a following and have a place to promote my finds. I interviewed a woman who did a lot of tents shows and fairs about what to do and not to do and bought a 10×10 ft tent with sides from Costco. And I hired a college student to help me tag and be the cashier during the shows for $10 an hour so I could talk to customers and stage. If you really want to do the show, plan, educate yourself, and just go for it. I am local to Lucketts, so I showed up to submit my vendor application the first day it was open to new vendors, usually the first week of February. I am nobody. If I can do it, you can do it. But you gotta do your homework. Go get ‘me girl!
      The Other Marian @CMShawStudios

      • Denice H

        It was SO KIND of you to reply with your encouragement and advice. Kudos to you! I love it when women build each other up. God bless you!

      • Sherry Nerreau

        What a wonderful, useful reply Marian!

    • Melissa Rouse

      This was my first year going to Lucketts, I was amazed. I went on Saturday 🙁 but still had a good time. I’ve had a booth at a few boutiques but never like Lucketts. My SO and daughter were like you should do this, this is so you. But I also told myself, nah I’m not that good, have no following and no help. Don’t psych your self out, I think we all tend too think that. I still don’t know if I will but it’s peeked my interest so I am doing some research.

  2. chris from midwest cottage and finds

    I am in the same mode –having had our big event the same weekend as Lucketts….my work area needs some attention and I need to organize the items that I will be working on for my fall event…and get to my custom pieces now! Sat down last night made my to do list so I can start checking items off….I will be doing some Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint demos at the store-those are always fun and I think I am going to paint a huge cabinet in the store over 3 days so the customers can see the progress….that I am also excited for!!! Also looking forward to maybe getting a few things from your sale for my workshop……Making my lists and checking it twice!!

  3. Terri

    I’m with you and Kriste on cleaning first. That’s my natural inclination when possible. It just give energy to start a new project. Glad you had much needed rest time!

  4. Donna

    I just want to say that Kriste is a treasure, and you (and your business) were certainly blessed the day she walked into your life.

  5. liz

    Hi, if I may be so bold as to suggest you list items as you are able rather than listing everything at once. That will satisfy those of us champing at the bit but also will allow you to process orders as you go along rather than being inundated with tons of orders in one day. Just my two cents. 🙂

  6. Noelle

    Even your product shots are drool-worthy. Such a talent!!

  7. Ellenann

    The blue and white China is to die for!! ?

  8. Ginger Valdes

    Hi Marian, so glad you’re re-energized and ready to sell online.. Saw 4 tureens pictured, but only 3 “listed soon”. I, of course want that 4th oval plain one. If not already promised, I want it REAL BAD,,,,Can’t wait…..?

  9. Lisa

    Oh I hope I get back in time for some of that lovely ironstone!

  10. Lin

    Yes that little bird gave us all a great lesson! I love all the items you have and hope to be quick enough and lucky enough to buy a couple of things. Glad you got some much needed rest after all those months of hard work!! You girls are awesome!!

  11. Wendy D.

    I have to share my “bird nest” story. She began building in the mailbox this Spring, and I thought it was a bad idea so I cleaned out her progress. But she was so persistent and the fact that our mailbox will not competitive shut, she returned and laid her eggs. Every time I go to get the mail I now duck after several dive bomb attacks. Today however, I did not just get dive bombed I was given a good beak lashing from the two babies that are now learning to fly. Like you, Marion, I applaud her persistence and effort to make a home for her family.

  12. Kerri

    I bought a huge tool tote for $5 from a yard sale this past weekend and transformed it into an herb planter using Lucketts Green and Layla’s mint. This was my first time using milk paint (bought some from you at Lucketts) and it was quite fun! It was a pleasure meeting and talking to you at Lucketts. Good call on selling the sweatshirts. I would have bought one!

  13. Karen Umbrello

    What fantastic photos you take Marian! You make everything look so gorgeous! Of course you have good subjects 😉
    I am desperately in love with that blue flowered tureen! I’ll check back every day, I just know I’ll miss it!

  14. Lorraine

    HI where will you sell these items on the luckettes online shop or do you have one thank you !

    • marian

      I have an online shop. You can find the link under MMS Products in the menu bar at the top of the page.

  15. sue wood

    Hi There,
    I LOVE the top/shirt/linen thing? clothing item that Kriste is wearing in the latest photo as she sorts out the T shirts left over from Lucketts…..can you tell me where she got it?

    • marian

      It looked so cute on her. Comfy, but not too shapeless. It’s from Clad and Cloth.

  16. Kathy

    Is the grain sack fabric black striped ?

  17. Naomi S.

    I love the little bird story! A first-time Mom?

    Marian, I hope you list all the left-over stock at one time. I don’t want to have to keep track of which things you are listing on which day. Also, if it is listed all at once, I can go through all the offerings and decide which things I like the most and am willing to spend my money on. Does that make sense? Because, I don’t have just a particular item or items I am interested in as some might. That’s my two cents!

  18. Jill Hilbrich

    Oh man, I have a paint workshop right when the sale opens (7p mountain time), I sure hope I have a chance to buy some things! I love what I’m seeing!

  19. Shorsch

    You seem tired and overwhelmed. Is this truly making you happy. You seem very different vs years ago.

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      It’s always tiring after a big event, but I love what I do! 🙂


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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