best of 2016

Marian Parsonsmy business story, Popular, Running a Business

The first week in January is usually when I hit the ground running, but I’ve been in a post-holiday, pre-head-cold funk and have just wanted to curl up under a blanket and ignore the world!  I’m starting to come out of that, though, and it actually helped me a lot to put this post together and see everything that happened over 2016.  It’s sometimes easy to get lost in a daunting to-do list or pick out the things that didn’t happen as planned or dwell on shortcomings.  This post was a great reminder to me to celebrate the victories, accomplishments, and fun stuff!  And there was a lot of fun stuff.

So, here are the highlights for 2016…

We launched Farmhouse White in January and it has been our best selling color by far.  It was definitely a home run.

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I worked on my hardest piece of upholstery ever, a tufted sofa.  It just about killed me, but I was able to finish it and it’s one of my favorite furniture makeovers ever.  I may even tackle another one if the opportunity ever presents itself.

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I designed my first home decor product that was reproduced and sold through Decor Stealsa ticking stool slipcover.

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I finished my parent’s coastal bedroom makeover

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Whenever I go to their house, I peek in and it always makes me happy.  It really is a beautiful, restful space.

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We also released our second MMS Milk Paint book – Look Book Two.

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I found a renewed love for a craft I hadn’t tried since the 1980’s – cross stitching.   I only wish I had more time to do it!

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I also had some very exciting magazine press this year including a feature in Country Living magazine, which had been a dream of mine for years.  You can see the behind-the-scenes details of that shoot HERE.

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Lucketts was huge in 2016 and it took me months to prepare for it.  My crew and I finished some of my favorite pieces ever, though, during the marathon.

The standouts for me were this landscape dresser Kriste and I worked on together…

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…and a pair of hardware cabinets

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The Lucketts Spring Market ended up being one of the biggest highlights of the year and I was so proud of all of the goodies I was able to curate and create.

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After Lucketts, I had big plans to step up the online retail side of my business, maybe even put together a sale in my area, but other opportunities came up and I shifted gears.  Within one week, I received three contracts for design work, each project in a different industry.  It was too exciting to resist.  I love new challenges and they came at just the right time.

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In August, I went to Haven as the co-keynote speaker with my friend, Shaunna.  While I have taught and presented at conferences before, being the opening speaker was new for me.  I felt like I was going to vomit the morning of, but it really helped that I was presenting with a friend.  If anything, we’d make each other laugh.

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At Haven, I also took a watercolor class from Lucy of Craftberry Bush.  I really just wanted to do something that was relaxing, but I found a new medium to love.

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Since then, I have been “arting” up a storm – playing around with new mediums, practicing, discovering…

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The most amazing thing about it is how perfectly my personal art renaissance coincided with my design work.  I’ve been able to use this new love in the new work I’ve been hired to do.

I even opened a Society6 shop to sell my artwork as motivation.

This fall, I had the opportunity to style and shoot a beautiful home in West Virginia for Romantic Homes magazine.  I’ll let you know when it’s available in print, but it was another great professional opportunity for me.

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When I had the time, I did some tweaking on my house.

I painted my dining room table top in Farmhouse White

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…transformed our guest room into a bedroom for Calvin

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We also switched some things around in the family room.  I never knew I could love a sectional so much.

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And, at the studio, I created a workspace to function better for my new design work and it has been such a great gift to myself.  I sit at that desk and I am ready to work.

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And, we brought a new member into our family, Sebastian.  He is such an awesome dog and I can hardly remember what our house was like without him.

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There are so many more things that happened…  I traveled to Montana, Colorado, Maine, and New Hampshire.  I started working with a business consultant and she really helped me work through some tough business decisions.  I tried other new things like electric guitar and canning homemade cherry pie filling.

It was a year of a lot of new things and I like that.

And here are my top posts written in 2016, according to Google Analytics –

  1. Favorite Ikea Finds
  2. Creating a Chippy Finish
  3. Sally’s Farmhouse Living Room
  4. Coastal Bedroom Makeover Reveal
  5. Things Have Changed
  6. Dear Reader | to the one with the stuff problem
  7. Lucketts Recap
  8. Best of 2015
  9. Styling Tips for the Home
  10. Tufted Sofa Reveal

While I’m sharing some of my own highlights, I thought I would also share some of the best things from some of my favorite bloggers and Instagrammers as well.  I get so much inspiration from this bunch!

Ella Claire | City Farmhouse | French Country Cottage | Miss Mustard Seed

My Sweet Savannah | Craftberry Bush | Rooms for Rent | Shades of Blue Interiors

Jennifer Rizzo | Kindred Vintage | Liz Marie Blog

Thanks to all of my readers, followers, and friends who have supported me through 2016.  Thanks for your comments, encouragement, and critiques.  Thank you for spending time out of your busy schedule reading this blog.  Thanks for allowing this blog to be a creative outlet.

Thank you.

best of 2016

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