Armchair inspiration

by | Nov 11, 2019 | a slice of life, Artistic Endeavors, Favorite Things | 19 comments

There is only so much sitting and watching TV that I can handle.  Don’t get me wrong…I love a lazy day now and then or a movie marathon, but I’ve been operating at 50% or less for a few weeks now.  Especially during the first two weeks of recovery, I was medicated, sore, tired, and not good for much of anything.  I didn’t even want to watch a show that involved following a plot.  It just required too much of me.

But, as I started to heal and feel better, I found myself daydreaming about future projects and creative endeavors.  I started watching shows that centered more around the creative process like the Great British Baking Show and Project Runway.  And the daydreaming and desire for inspiration led me to dig into some old and new magazines and books, which are one of my favorite wells to draw from.

I have enjoyed these books for different reasons and I thought I would share them with you…

Oh, before I do, I added the link to the crocheted hat and scarf for those who asked.  You can find it at the bottom of THIS POST.

I pretty much love everything that comes out of Jo Packham’s world.  This issue of What Women Create Oct/Nov/Dec 2019 was so good!  If you ever feel like everyone is doing the same thing, an issue of this magazine will show how many unique ideas there are out in the world.

 I follow James Farmer on Instagram and absolutely love his style, so I didn’t hesitate to buy his book.  His style is traditional, but anything but boring.  I have loved pouring over all of the color combinations, patterns, and layers of textures.

I must admit that I’ve never been into Rae Dunn’s pottery.  It’s not that I don’t like it, but I prefer vintage and antique ironstone.  But I was intrigued by her books on watercolor and inspiration.  I admire her so much as a creative and artist after reading these books.  And the story of how she started sketching and painting is awesome.  She’s encouraging and generous.

And I have been waiting for Juliette Aristides’ new book to come out and I finally got it!  I love her classic style and approach to sketching and painting.  This book is excellent and I can’t wait to have my right hand back to work through it.

I haven’t read this book by Ruth Chou Simons, yet, but I’ve flipped through it and it’s so beautiful and encouraging.  This is a book I tripped across and I’m glad I found it.

And, lastly, I’ve loved Magnolia Pearl for a long time and the creator, Robin Brown, released her first book earlier this year – …and the stars go with you.  The thing I love most about Magnolia Pearl is that the brand that is unapologetically what it is.  It’s quirky, unique, romantic, and sometimes delightfully weird.  It’s refreshing and I enjoy all of the quotes and inspiration this book contains.  I’ll be giving away a few copies soon, so keep an eye out for that!

What has inspired you lately?


  1. Nancy at Adams and Elm Home

    These are great reads! I need to check them out for sure! Inspiring me lately? I had a professor who once said, “If you want a new idea, go find an old book.” I have been inspired lately by old books I find in the thrift store. On Saturday I found an old Country decor book from the 80’s at the thrift store for $3 (less than a magazine). The staples of design never change so I love looking at them and imagining my colors, my patterns, my furniture in the photos.


  2. Joan

    Magnolia Pearl is amazing and I so love everything about their style! They are genius in both styling and photo shoot set ups for their magazine/website. Pure genius!

  3. beverlee lyons

    What women create was one of my favorites, ever. I wish I had someone near me to share them with. They are costly and I don’t have room to store them.
    I am glad to know you are getting restless….that means healing is not far away! Yay you, you have been a trouper!

  4. Julie Olmstead

    I have been to the Magnolia Pearl store in Fredericksburg a couple of times. It is a beautiful store and grounds. I haven’t ever purchased anything as their clothing is not my taste, but it’s worth the trip for the inspiration!

  5. Teddee Grace

    I had been wondering what had happened to Magnolia Pearl. After Robin Brown and her husband sold that wonderful magical farm they just seemed to disappear. And James Farmer’s book looks like a winner as well. I love his traditional style. Thanks for the tips!

  6. amy joanne mogish

    You inspire even when your down, love that. Prayers for continued healing!

  7. Traci

    Funny, I ran across these at Barnes & Noble the other evening. I love them so much as well. Good picks and suggestions!

  8. Anne

    I love Ruth Chou Simons! I have her book Grace Laced – it is filled with her beautiful watercolors. She is so talented and inspirational!

  9. Jeanne

    You inspire me. I save so many of your posts. Just wanted you to know. And thanks. 🙂

  10. Cynthia

    Many gifts while we rest.. I hope you’re moving along well!
    Thanks for sharing Marian <3

  11. Crystal

    Love, love Magnolia Pearl. I enjoyed “Leaving Time” by Jodi Piccoult this summer and it’s a wonderful book. I bought it on a whim to read on a trip and am so glad I did. Be prepared to learn a bit about elephants. The Art of Racing in the Rain was also enjoyable. And just finished “All the Light We Cannot See”. Bittersweet but wonderful story. And last, I enjoyed the look book, “Down to Earth” by Lauren Liess, lots of inspiration. I know what it’s like to recover from injuries and/or chronic pain, I’m not very patient and can’t stand being still for long, so I empathize. Hope for continued recovery!

  12. Cheri Dietzman

    Kirk and I visited Magnolia Pearl in 2018 while in Texas — we weren’t looking for it, didn’t even know anything about it, but we were very intrigued with the outside of the building as we passed by, so we went back to see it. It is so beautiful, inspiring and haunting.

  13. Maureen Provost Ryan

    I’ve been very impressed with Brave Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley. Encouraging words and quotes, photos of her creative process and spaces, examples of her unique art. A book to linger over!

  14. Toni

    They all look interesting esp. Magnolia Pearl!
    I confess I have been lately inspired by Joanna Gaines.
    I’m listening to the Magnolia Story, working my way through Fixer Upper and reading Magnolia Journal.
    I’m amazed at their story, but part of their story is encouraging you to find yours, and your style by embracing yourself, your family and your history. I am loving it.

    • Nancy in WA

      I, also, am inspired by Chip and Joanna Gaines. I was finally able to get a copy of Magnolia Journal from the library, and I find it to be thoughtful and relevant.

  15. Wendy York

    Oh my goodness! I have been so inspired by the products that a couple of sisters here in California have been putting out. They call their business Iron Orchid Designs, (Women are part strong and part delicate 😊) They have released some wonderful transfers, stamps and moulds that can be used in a zillion ways to embellish everything from furniture and mirrors to pillows and dish towels. Check them out!

  16. Connie

    Isn’t James Farmer inspiring! He has fabulous Southern style with a delightful twist with layer upon layers! Family heirlooms are timeless here in the South and being able to mix them with newer pieces in fresh, unexpected ways is always welcomed. I’ve been inspired recently with color, particularly the colors of fall; our leaves are finally changing here in Birmingham and the cooler weather has me excited to try a new color palette in the LR reflecting deeper shades – I’m so over whites & beige & grey, so yea for color!

  17. Deanna Rabe

    Frankly, I’ve been in need of inspiration! Thank you for this post!

  18. Wendy Martinez

    I just recently received Ruth’s book and it is lovely.


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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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