why you always, always ask…

by | Sep 15, 2014 | Artistic Endeavors, Favorite Finds | 127 comments

The other day, I was working at the studio without a car, so I needed my dad to give me a ride home.  We had a bag of trash to drop off at the dumpster and, on the way there, something caught my eye.  It sort of looked like a large, wood box…maybe something on its side?  It was just sitting on the ground next to the building across the street.  Either way, it caught my eye and deserved a closer inspection.  I asked my dad to drive by it slowly on the way back and he did.  I saw bead board and old wood…

“I think it’s a counter!  Let me out!”

I jumped out of the truck and walked around the piece.  It was a counter with bead board sides and a wood top.  What in the world was it doing sitting on the concrete next to a building?  I felt that instinct to just ask about it.  It so happened that a maintenance guy was in my studio installing a utility sink.  I realized that and had a little conversation with myself.

It’s just sitting out here.  I should ask if it’s something they are using or getting rid of.  I mean, maybe they are going to put it in the trash or something.  But then, maybe they have it set aside for something special and me asking for it would be overstepping my bounds.  And maybe I shouldn’t even pay attention to the things laying on the ground around there.  Oh goodness, Marian…just ask!

So, I marched over to my studio and asked.  I hardly got out, “I noticed a counter sort of thing sitting out there and I was wondering…”

“Oh, would you like us to bring it over here?”

“Um…yeah, that would be amazing!”  I was thrilled and I do think they were glad to have somewhere to put it.

We stopped in on Saturday to drop off some lumber and it was there.  We put sliders on the bottom, cleaned it up a bit and slid it into place where I want to use it.  I picture using it as a checkout counter when we have workshops and sales and it’ll also make a great work surface.  (Just imagine rolling walls behind the counter, hiding the shipping area…

antique store counter | miss mustard seed

antique store counter | miss mustard seed

Isn’t it absolutely amazing and perfect?  (Yeah, I know someone sloshed something on the side, but I can fix that!)

I decided over the weekend that I loved it so much I was going to ask if I could buy it.  That way I can customize it to suit my needs without feeling like I need to get permission each time I do something.  Again, I had to have a conversation with myself about it, but I finally sent an e-mail to the owner, asking if he would be open to selling it to me.

I kept checking my e-mail for a response as I worked throughout the day and it finally came in.  He said I could have it for FREE!  Yes, f-r-e-e!  They were actually going to throw it away!  I was so excited about it that I was laughing as I told Jeff and my words sounded choked.  I think generosity like that isn’t often found, especially when someone is offering to pay you for something.  Most people would go on eBay and try to figure out how much they can get from the interested party who’s totally shown all their cards by professing their love for it.  I thanked the owner and told him this counter was going to have a wonderful new life and let him know he totally made my day.

antique store counter | miss mustard seed antique store counter | miss mustard seed

I started sanding the top this afternoon and I’ll clean it with mineral spirits tomorrow and give it a generous coat of Hemp Oil.  I am also planning on repainting it.  The chippy paint is pretty, but there is the big slosh on the side and it could benefit from a freshening up.  I’m thinking Eulalie’s Sky might do nicely…or Mustard Seed Yellow…?

antique store counter | miss mustard seed

We’re also going to add a shelf underneath and screw it to the floor (we have permission), so it doesn’t tip over on anyone.

So, that, my friends, is why you always, always ask!


  1. Peggy

    That is so wonderful! Congratulations on your NEW counter! Isn’t it great how God blesses us with just what we need, when we need?! And the owner, yep he is officially the sweetest thing ever. Enjoy!!

  2. Robin

    Definitely paint it Mustard Seed Yellow!

    • Jenny Riley

      Yes, definitely yellow!

  3. Terrie M

    LOVE IT! I’m so glad it found a home with YOU! You will love it and take great care of it!

  4. Angela Wallis

    OH my Marian, it is BEAUTIFUL. Can hardly wait to see it all fixed up with that MMS touch.

  5. Rita C at Panoply

    Dang! We should all be lucky to find something so beautiful like that on the side of the road! The stars were definitely aligned for you – not everyone would even be able to take something that big, even if they did find it.

  6. Sue

    Lol, reminds me of me! I was driving to my parents and passed a carved wood side light doorframe, with the door missing, laying on a small hill at the end of a long driveway. I raced to my parents, told my dad I wanted it, drove him back there and…… Made him go ask about it! The owner said the store had sent him a replacement because the stain was wrong and that I could have it. It fit my door perfectly! Did I mention the leaded glass oval window? SCORE!

  7. Jenny Riley

    spectacular counter!!!!!!

  8. Jan

    Yay! I am so happy for you! It will definitely be going to a good home!

  9. Lynn

    Definitely mustard seed yellow. Just a humble opinion. What a wonderful find.

  10. Kimberly

    What a score!

  11. Chrissie

    Wow! What a great find. It’s always nice to read about nice things happening to nice people 🙂

  12. Paula

    That’s a keeper ; ) How nice that it found a good home, instead of the being thrown away. Mustard Seed yellow sounds perfect for the beadboard, with a natural, oiled finish on the top (or “typewriter” if the stains won’t budge). Your studio space is gorgeous, and how nice for you to have your work out-of-sight when you’re at home.

  13. Teresa

    Marian, don’t all of these great little things that have happened to you and your new space just make you know it was the right move!!! I love how everything is falling in place for you.

  14. Karen Keller-Eyer

    oooooooh can vote on a color? I would like you to paint it MMS Mustard Seed Yellow if you are asking,
    Cool score and good price !

  15. Karen

    Whoa! that is a beautiful counter. I cant believe they were throwing it away.I’m so happy you got it Marian, only you could give it the perfect makeover. I guess this is just another example of that old adage, The harder you work the luckier you get.I just love the way your studio is coming together and I vote for painting it Eulalies Sky.

  16. Jill Flory

    Thats so awesome Marian! It’s perfect for you and your studio! If it were me I’d go with Eulelies sky. But ultimately YOU are the one who will see it everyday so paint it what you want to look at!

  17. Lori Merrill

    Hello Marian….I love it! What an awesome find! And it was free. Enjoy it!

  18. Delilah Gillio

    I do believe God’s favor is on your life!! So completely awesome!! 🙂

  19. Kim

    Love it! Definitely Mustard Seed Yellow!!

  20. sandi

    Wow!! Gorgeous!!

  21. Teresa

    Now that is what you call true divine intervention. That counter is going to be gorgeous after you work your magic on it.

  22. Teresa Mucha

    I think Mustard Seed Yellow. I have a green cabinet on my carport that we store our garden tools in that was free on the side of the road. Love those freebies and yours is the bomb!

  23. mary

    you have the Midas touch

  24. Paula

    That is AMAZING! I am a new blog reader, though I follow you on Facebook. I am in love with just looking at everything I see on here. 🙂

  25. Lauren

    The curbside is my favorite place to shop and free is my favorite price! Great find!

  26. Joanne B.

    Girl!- you sure are on a roll! Can life get any better for you? I think not! I hope you get to enjoy your good times for a long while! You MUST paint that counter Mustard Seed Yellow! It’ll be your signature piece for sure! Enjoy your blessings Marian!

  27. Elizabeth

    It has to be Mustard Seed Yellow! Gotta love freebies!

  28. Katy

    Good things happen to good people. It looks amazing!!! I have seen counters like that sell for $1000 and up.

  29. Andrea

    ” Eulalies Sky” all the way! A fresh and happy color that would make the piece feel light and airy. (if that makes sense:)

    • Yuko Jones | northfield gate

      I totally agree with you Andrea! Eulalies Sky, please! It’ll complement the creamy white color of the walls 🙂

  30. lou

    I think everything is working out absolutely perfectly. At first i was so sad fir you, and honestly could hardly believe that nobody even put an offer on your home. I badly wanted you to have your farmhouse, your boys to have animals an outside spaces, and you to have your barn for sales and workshops. Well, now you have your “barn” you have your home back to become a real home again, and there’s nothing to stop your boys having a vegetable garden and maybe a small chicken coop in your backyard!

  31. Shelly

    I say leave it as is and just fix the drip marks. It appears to be a yellow color as is, and why strip it of it’s history?
    I am one that likes a primitive look, but whatever you do to it I am sure it will look great!


  32. Melissa

    Wonderful find – and Eulalie’s Sky would look gorgeous!

  33. Rta


  34. Kate

    WOW!!! What a gorgeous find!! Congrats!
    I can totally see it in Mustard Seed Yellow 🙂

  35. Cindy Ellicott

    “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!” Congratulations on the counter, the studio, the new adventure. Am loving watching everything come together and can hardly wait to come to a workshop and see it all!!!!

  36. Cindy

    So very cool! Isn’t God good!!!!!!

  37. jennifer

    I swear….there is a little rainbow or angel or something watching over your shoulder!!! Wherever you go, whatever you do, wonderful things happen. It’d be nice if you could tell him to pay me a visit!!! Congrats. Things are taking shape for you and I am thrilled to be able to watch it all happen.

  38. Anya

    Mustard Seed Yellow! I love to hear about all the things that are coming together for you – I think this space was meant for you! Now if I could only get as lucky finding furniture as you do…. 🙂

  39. kathleen

    It’s amazing how things just seem to fall into your lap right when you need them! I think you should go with the yellow, it’s such a great color.

  40. Rhonda K

    Looks like it was always meant to be with you in your studio!

  41. Alexia

    Oh, how lovely. I think Mustard Seed yellow would be gorgeous, and maybe you could hand paint your logo on the front. Your studio is becoming a wonderful space!

  42. Mary Beth

    My mom always says “You don’t ask, you don’t get!” So nice they were generous.

  43. Mo

    holy junk that is AWESOME! I am pretty sure I would have squealed when I read it was FREE! O happy day! Good luck!

  44. Wendy @ Zoey's

    Did you have to pinch yourself? LOL….Nice score ! A perfect piece …. I think yellow fits her….

  45. Jenny

    Gee whiz! You come across the greatest things! Wish I had that luck!

  46. Lauren @ Bless'er House

    Holy moly! That is spectacular! I need to drive around looking for great roadside finds more often. You definitely scored!

  47. Tawnya

    its perfect, and I think yellow!

  48. LeAnne

    What a great story! I love the idea of Mustard Seed Yellow for it. 🙂

  49. Stacy Connolly

    Your name is written all over it – Congratulations! It was your lucky day!

  50. Krista

    Awesome! It’s gorgeous! Congrats! Can’t wait to see what you do with it. Seeing that studio progress is just so heavenly and serene.

  51. Gloria

    I love that counter. You should paint it “Miss Mustard Seed yellow!! It’s kind of yellow already.

  52. Sue S

    What a great find! So nice of them to give it to you. It is and will be beautiful. Psst- I vote for the mustard yellow – I like the color it is and that’ll be more in keeping with that. You didn’t ask for our opinions, hope you don’t take offense that I offered mine.

  53. Tracy smith

    You are one blessed lady! That’s what I’d call a God thing. 😉

    Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  54. Laurel

    It’s beautiful! I also agree that Mustard Seed Yellow would be perfect. I know that no matter what you choose to do, it will be amazing!

  55. Lindsay Eidahl


  56. Joy Schumann

    Marian Great find! And FREE! You can’t beat that! I, too, have conversations with myself all the time…helps to get another opinion…even if it’s my own! Love your studio…you go girl!

  57. Julianne Ritter

    What a find for you!! I would have been jumping around, and my heart beating fast if this was my find!! Good for you!

    • Sharon

      I absolutely love the piece.

  58. Amanda

    Wow! Great find and generous man. It was meant for you. It looks good in your space. I’m voting for MSS Yellow.

  59. Jane

    What a Grand piece! How perfect it is for you and your business! It was a match made in heaven! I vote for Mustand Seed Yellow too! It needs to show up if you know what I mean!

  60. Vicki R

    I learned the hard way to always ask! We were remodeling our home last fall and I wanted to put old beadboard on the wall in the hallway and under my kitchen counter. The cost was prohibitive! Over a two week period, I kept having it on my heart to call my second cousin who lives on my grandmother’s property where the old farm house stood. I kept pushing the thought away because I did not feel it was right for me to have the beadboard and not the other relatives. Shortly after we finished the remodeling and the new sheets of beadboard were installed, I received a letter from my cousin with pictures of the old farmhouse. The very week I had it on my heart to ask for the old beadboard, they bulldozed the house down into a hole in the ground and nothing of it remains! I have been absolutely heartsick over! Marian is right………….ALWAYS ASK!!!

    • Jane

      Awe, that is so terribly sad!

  61. Jelena

    Can’t wait to see what it will look like after you’ve had your way with it! 🙂
    By the way, what are you going to do with the pretty blue counter now? I liked that one, too.

  62. karen piehl

    mirian, wow! that reminds me when i found my acme sink for free by the side of the road! complete with metal cupboard and drawers. it is in my dye kitchen and i do love it and get to use it so often. happy dance to you! – karen

  63. Sally Gee

    Totally awesome find! You should go for the Mustard Seed Yellow! 🙂

  64. Amber @FPH

    That was DEFINITELY meant to be!!

  65. Cindy

    Oh, I think it should be Mustard Seed Yellow. That’s so close to the color it already is and it’s your signature color. It’s just beautiful!

  66. Winnie

    You are a magnet for great finds, Girl!!

  67. Tammy

    Oh my, as soon as I saw this piece Mustard Seed Yellow with a stained top came to mind. It would look so awesome. What an excellent find!

  68. Karan

    I’d say paint it Mustard Seed Yellow….after all…that is your name!! LOVE it btw

  69. Sheri K

    Total score! Can’t wait to see it all fixed up with MMS touches!!

  70. Alice Crawford

    Girl, you ARE blessed!! You must have done something spectacular in your past lives to warrant all these wonderful gifts. I love that old counter and it’s patina sans dirt.

  71. Vicki Blazejowski

    It’s perfect! I did the same thing with an old wooden ladder I saw sitting on the side of someones fence along the road. I left a note on the car in the driveway asking about it. He was going to take a chain saw to it that afternoon… Can you imagine!!! He was shocked when I told him I had plans to split it in two and make a chandelier & and towel rack.

  72. Joan Wright

    How awesome Marian!
    I always believe that when you on the right path in life…we are given little signs to let us know it, (and the opposite happens when we are on the wrong path…hurdles and road blocks that no matter how hard you try it’s a complete dead end). So this is definitely one of those signs that shows you you are absolutely on the right path; cause when you are….things will just mysteriously fall into place for you 🙂 btw…I also vote Mustard Seed Yellow!

  73. debbie

    What an amazing find! I bet it weighs a ton and congrats for finding a new appreciative home. It will look fab when you finish it.

  74. Jean Elliott

    Oh my goodness, how absolutely F A B U L O U S!!! It certainly was ment to be and it looks like it was made for your space! So happy you got it and loved the story!

  75. Jessica @ Dear Emmeline

    totally smiling over here. it’s always great to get an unexpected surprise!

  76. Ellen

    What an awesome story – so happy to read it and happy for you!

  77. Angela Matthews

    Mustard yellow, for sure! Great piece. Nice find!

  78. Ms. B

    Awesome! Such a blessing. My vote (not that you’ve asked), would be Mustard Seed Yellow.

  79. Corinna

    My vote is Mustard Seed Yellow!!!

  80. Linda S.

    Great find, and you did the right thing to ask before taking. I really don’t care what color or finish you decide to put on this great piece. I was just wondering if the front center would be a perfect place to put the MMS logo? Would that idea work since the surface is slanted? Just a thought.

  81. Nancy jean

    What a great score!! Love the stuff that just turns up in the trash!!

    My vote is for yellow, a nice foil to your many blue things.

  82. Charry beck

    I haven’t read anything that made me smile like that in a long time. So glad it went to the perfect home. I can’t wait to see how beautiful you make it. You are so darn much fun!!!!

  83. Hope Williams

    Perfection on all counts!

  84. Addie

    Once again, following Gods’ will pays off three-fold!!! When we think we need or want one thing and don’t get it……He supplies the unthinkable!!!!…..more then we could ever have imagined!!!!!
    If you moved you would have been still “living” your business…..that was not His plan.
    Enjoy!!!! (as I know you will) Also, enjoy rediscovering your private home!!!
    LOVE LOVE the counter!!!! good catch!!!!

  85. Jane P

    It’s perfect, your place looks amazing and I bet you’re happily exhausted when you hit the pillow. Hope one day to make the trip for a workshop

  86. Marlne

    Love it and free is a blessing for those of us unemployed – love it – can’t wait to see it done!

  87. Anna

    Super cool story!!! As I was reading along I kept thinking she is going to paint that beauty and I can’t wait to see the reveal.
    And how refreshing to read that there are generous souls out there not interested in profiting in something but just happy to help out. That made my day too!

  88. Nancy

    Great score Marian!!!!! Can’t wait to see how you refresh the piece. Love your new studio.

  89. AJ

    Holy Cow!, What a score! That is just a beautiful counter. See how great Karma is. When you’re a good person and share your knowledge you will be rewarded. I can;t wait to see what you do with this piece.

  90. Lisa Sraders




  91. Rebecca

    May I be so bold to make a suggestion? If you were to build a base under it, one that stuck out as far as the counter does on the front, sloped side, you could hide locking casters under it, plus make it less likely to tip forward.

    How tall is the counter as it sits? Kitchen counter height is 36″. Table height is 29-30″. Which is comfortable for you when working on projects.

    Just a thought. I love the counter and I would have asked, too.

  92. Nancy Wezel

    Damn Girl, that is an awesome piece!

  93. Alicia T (from Whittier)

    Hi Marian,

    God is so all over this!!! From stopping you from moving, to “finding” your studio so soon after you accepted that, then all these “finds” you keep finding and “asking” for. It’s God! I feel like you’re one of my nieces and am so happy for you. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

  94. Alicia T (from Whittier)

    …and I must be the only one who thinks this…but that new counter that you asked for and received…I was thinking Typewriter. Then I also liked the idea from Linda S. that you paint your logo on the front! Whatever you decide you’ll delight us all!

  95. Sue.

    Good for you! All I ever see on the side of the road are old mattresses and dried up Christmas trees! Once in a great while maybe an ugly-no-thank-you piece of plastic furniture…but not like that beauty! Can’t wait to see it finished and reloved!

  96. Karen

    Stats show you get 95% of what you ask for. Period. So, I agree. Ask.

  97. Pam

    Marian how wonderful! The hand of God is definitely in your business. :o) I call these nuggets from God.

  98. Jeanne Bell

    The counter reminds me of the one that was in a small country store that my grandfather had built in the early1900s.
    You said your Dad made some cutting boards out of old barnwood, did he sand them or put any oil on them? Does it matter what kind of wood it is? Please let me know if you have time how he made them.


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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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