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I just did a photo shoot today for the MMSMP color of the month, Boxwood, so I thought I would share.  I think this may be my favorite non-blue/gray color in the line.  It’s so rich and pretty.  I’ve sold all of the pieces I’ve painted in Boxwood, but I have a dresser in my son’s room that is just begging for it.  I was hoping to get to that this month, since it is the color of the month, but with slipcovers and upholstering and decorating for Christmas and the family room trim and all of that, I think it’ll have to wait.  Anyway, here are some pictures to give you a good sense of the color…

Can you tell I enjoy these shoots?  I really do.  I think the photography/styling aspect of my job has become one of my favorite things to work on.  If you want to get your hands on some Boxwood (or any other color), you can find a retailer here.

I gave you a peek at my Christmas tree a couple of days ago, but here it is all decked out…

When the tree was naked, I thought it was a “bum pick”, but now that it’s decorated, I really like it!  The holes give space for the ornaments and garland and I don’t mind that it’s not a perfect shape.

Most of the ornaments are ones I made by applying German glass glitter to cheap, plastic ornaments or chipboard letters or made out of sheet music.  The star was a simple metal star tree topper that I coated in sparkly German glass glitter.  I had my paper tree topper up there, but my boys insisted it “wasn’t a star” and my five year old said it looked like a “hornet’s nest.”  I was too impressed that he knew what a hornet’s nest looked like to be offended.  He found the star and insisted we use that instead.

The ornaments are a little haphazardly placed this year, because I had “helpers”, but I set aside the frustration that comes with wanting everything to be magazine perfect and embraced it.  So what if every ornament isn’t placed just right?  This is our house and our Christmas tree.  (As an aside, I’ve recently had some moments of clarity and maybe even conviction when it comes to my home.  I’ll share more on that if and when I’m ready.)

The space around the tree was feeling a little bare, so I added a small table, a vintage wine crate with lights in the bottle and the trimmings of the tree tucked all around.  A vintage linen stocking, crate with pinecones and greenery and my Oma’s rocker fill in that space.

I also hung up some ornaments given to me by sweet blog friends like Jami of Freckled Laundry

…an ornament all the way from my Australian MMSMP distributor, Veronica of Refinished

…some grain sack and vintage linen hearts, stars and stockings from Ann of On Sutton Place

(Notice the embroidered “MS”? You can get a similar one HERE.)

And, of course, I’m using the famous ruffled linen tree skirt I made for HGTV a few years ago.

I still haven’t done a ton of decorating beyond the tree, but I did pick up some glittered deer from Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago, so I put those out with some Epsom salt snow, fresh pine branches and pinecones.

Gwendolyn got a little pine branch garland on her frame…

And I added some branches, lights and pinecones on the farmhouse hutch.

Speaking of this part of the family room, I swapped out the X-back chairs for the antique farm chairs that belonged to my husband’s grandparents.  I love these chairs, but they are over 100 years old and I’ve been a little nervous about using them every day.  The truth is, though, they are scaled much better for the antique table.  In general, vintage and antique stuff is smaller in scale than their modern counterparts.  And, these pretty chairs were just sitting in my basement.  For what purpose?  To protect them for a life in the basement?  What a waste.  So, I’ll just use them and, if one breaks down the road, at least it broke being used.  (I actually got up from writing this post and dusted those chairs!  I forgot to do that when I brought them up from the basement and I noticed it in the pictures!)

I also received the pretty brown fabric for the family room pillows and the sofa fund is growing…

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    56 Comments

    1. Tara C.

      Looks great!!! I like the way the kids decorated the tree too!

    2. Carolyn Kidd

      I remember those days of haphazard ornaments on the tree! Now my little ones are all grown up (24 and 30). They do a better job now ! Lol

    3. Cindy Knighten

      The tree and everything looks great! When you look at it, you see that things might not be perfect, but to others, we see how good it all looks. I’ve had to learn that myself over the years. It’s very hard to step back and let go of that control. It’s kind of like you said about the chairs in the basement. Do you get what I mean? Through all my years of decorating for me, for friends and even at my job, that’s the lesson that was the most difficult. I love you Marion, you are a woman after my own heart and you are very inspiring to me. Thank you for being you.

    4. Darleen

      I love your attitude about the chairs, what’s the point of “saving” them in the basement!

    5. Karen

      Your tree is beautiful just the way it is! I love the “imperfection” of the ornaments and more that your boys were willing to help. They won’t always be that willing… enjoy the moments!

    6. Rita C

      Marian, I don’t think I’ve ever not liked anything you do, I swear. I love the concept of not striving for perfection on the tree – my sister & I just had this conversation over the weekend, and why that perfection gets in the way of getting things done.

      Speaking of stopping in the middle of a post – I jumped over the Ann’s Etsy shop and made it a favorite, Anyone using vintage textiles attracts my attention, for certain.

      Your tree is lovely, and I really like that vintage baby dress in the wooden frame – has that been there awhile?

      Have a great week. Love the boxwood! If I was a paintin’ woman, I’d jump right on that, but instead, I’ll show my sister – she’s debating right now on a few of your colors for a piece she’ll soon tackle. She’s loving the typewriter and miss mustard seed yellow. 🙂
      Rita

    7. Mesha

      Im a blue & green girl & boxwood has stolen my heart.. Those ornaments were hung with love, so your tree is perfect.. I’ve said this before, but I love your blog!!!

    8. Katy

      Good for you on sharing tree duties. I realized a couple of years ago I couldn’t be such a control freak about my tree. I wish I would have realized when my daughter was your boy’s ages, we missed a lot of good years. It looks amazing!!

    9. Kimberly

      Marian, the antique chairs are lovely, and look great with the table. I like your attitude of using them vs. perserving them – they were made to be used and what’s the point of them living in the basement?

      That said, if they are a bit wobbly or you’re afraid someone’s going to sit on one and it’ll collpase, you can always shore up the joints by using some wood glue in them and bracing them until it dries. I have some dining chairs that were making me nervous that way, so I took a rubber mallet and tapped them apart at the weak joints, used some good wood glue, and braced the joints until the glue dried. They are now sturdy and I don’t worry about someone sitting on one and hurting their backs due to a collapsing chair!

    10. Wandalee

      Your boxwood green is going to be the next color I purchase…I purchased my first MMSP ( Artisimo ) from Mary Anne from Brush Strokes her in the ATL area…She was at Lakewood 400 Saturday . She has a sweet yellow dresser very much like yours and it shows off your paint beautifully…I told her I was going to have to scold her for getting me addicted to your blog and all the other great bloggers !

      I cant wait until my day off to mix up some paint and paint something…Who knows what I will start with…

      If it turns out well I will share! Wish me luck!

    11. Melissa

      I am so happy you have had some moments of clarity about YOUR home. I was worried but now it’s all good.

    12. Cheryl

      Heya Marian… out of curiosity, I wanted to ask how your German glass glitter was holding up. I glittered a few small birdhouses with some, and the glitter turned an awful dark tarnished color, whereas a number of wooden snowflakes I covered are looking pretty sharp. It doesn’t look to me like your star is tarnished at all. I’m wondering if my adhesive’s ph was off somehow… what adhesive do you use?

    13. debbie klausing

      When I first saw your tree, my first thought was that it had such a nice shape! I tend to be a perfectionist – so there you go! Your boys are precious! Now on to the subject of the sofa. Any ideas of where you will find that leather sofa that speaks to you?

    14. Kate

      I know what you mean about the basement chairs. I had three large glass serving bowls and two wine decanters that I’ve been keeping in a high kitchen cabinet since I married 25 years ago. I only used them for special occasions, but we don’t entertain much, so they mostly hid behind doors, rarely unused. I decided last month, to get them down and put them on open shelving in my kitchen and now that I can see them, I use them more often. If they break down the road at least they will have “lived” a little and we will have gotten some daily pleasure from their beauty!

    15. Paula Lusk

      Marion, all of your redecorating and Christmas decorations look beautiful. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas. Paula Lusk

    16. tina

      Good for you! I would much rather a tree decorated with meaning and sentiment than a a “magazine perfect” tree. My favorite trees are the trees that tell the story of someone’s (or a family’s) life. Ornaments for our tree are bought pretty much like we decorate our home – things we love and that have meaning to us.

      Love the fresh greens!

      tina

    17. Jenn A

      I love the blue and white and vintage stuff in your home. It is so calming and pretty. And I love your tree decorated with helpers. My boys have gotten big enough to do the tree mostly by themselves and they absolutely love doing it. Enjoy the fun of it all with your boys! I think it is great to use your family stuff even if it is old. How much better to use and enjoy it then to just protect it stored away somewhere where no one even sees it. It gives your home story. Blessings!

    18. Lynda C

      Love everything about this………….what exactly is German glass glitter and where do you find it????
      loving the Boxwood paint…I’ve never used your milk paint but it looks like I need to find a fabulous piece to paint.

    19. Lynda C

      Agree with Jen……………….when my kids were little I spent too much time trying to have my tree magazine pretty. Life is too short for that. Let them decorate to their hearts content and then fix later. My kids are mostly grown now and there are no do-overs.

      LOVE MMS

    20. Blake Kirby

      Your Christmas decorations are amazing.

    21. Ann

      From someone who now puts her tree up all my herself, I encourage you to treasure every misplaced ornament and empty space. Soon you will again be able to have a perfect tree but I can guarantee you won’t love it like you do these “real” ones. Thank you for the beautiful photo of my ornament. You are a wonderful friend and I wish you a blessed Christmas!

    22. Donna

      Good call on bringing those chairs up from the basement to live with this table. They are perfect together.

    23. Traci @ Coastalpines

      Simply lovely! Happy holidays to you and yours!

    24. Maureen

      The tree looks lovely. I’m wild about the boxwood colour and I’ll be picking some of that up right away!

    25. Jelena

      How funny that boxwood MMS Milk Paint is in your post today! Today, I am in the middle of painting a wine rack for my dining room in that color. 🙂

      On a different note, Marian, I love your Christmas tree! I didn’t notice it wasn’t perfect, and your little helpers sure were right about the star needing to be on the top. I bet they are proud that they helped with the tree. Tell them they did a wonderful job.

    26. Susan

      Your home looks so merry and bright for the Holidays! I love the ornaments and how they are hung… very magazine worthy! Love the Boxwood color too, I have the perfect piece to try it on.
      Have a great day.
      Susan

    27. Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

      lovely tree skirt and take a chill pill, Woman! the tree wouldn’t be perfect even if YOU did decorate it all by your lonesome…it would just be the way YOU wanted it -grin-.

    28. Marcia

      Love, love, love the new color! Just the green I have been waiting for! You have done it again and so beautifully, Miss Mustard Seed!

    29. Melinda

      Love everything about your home and decorating ideas!! Can you share your Epsom salt snow recipe?

      Thank you!

      • Miss Mustard Seed

        LOL…it’s just Epsom salt and that’s it. It looks like snow when it’s poured on a table or used in a jar. Very pretty really and so simple!

    30. Janice

      I just recently signed up and have enjoyed reading and watching what you do. You are one busy lady and love everything I have seen. I am gathering pieces of furniture to redo my living room into a more kid friendly space for my grandchildren and this is the style I am going towards…cottage. I want a soft buttery yellow for my walls. Do you have any suggestions? Also my walls are not in the best shape (drywall nails show in area going up the stairs) and my husband is afraid if I go with a solid color it will show. I know have them textured to hide it but I am so tried of it. Is there a secret to hiding the imperfections but yet have a solid color wall?

    31. Debbie @Dewdrop Gables

      I love Boxwood! I haven’t used it yet, but I have a dresser in mind for it. I hope to work with it this weekend. Beautiful colour
      And your tree is so pretty!
      Debbie 🙂

    32. Beth

      LOVE the new color! I can’t wait to use it!

    33. D. Henry

      Everything looks FABULOUS and reflects your special and awesome touch – KUDOS!

    34. Susan

      Marian:
      This sounds like a dumb question when I ask it, but I really do need your thoughts. I know there’s not a right or wrong when it comes to moving our mountains, but whay is your thinking about using painted pieces that aren’t the same in a room? While they complement one another, have you discovered that it ever looks funny? An example I’d like to use Typewriter on a piece in the same room say with Shutter Gray OR use Boxwood (my fave) with Typewriter or the new new dark color . . . Dried Lavender? I’d like to lighten the Boxwood some with Linen or either lighten the Dried Lavender some. When I picture it, it seems to work in my head and I realize painting can be redone, but wanted someone else’s thoughts. Thanks, Marian.

    35. Linda

      the tree is beautiful !!!!! when my girls were young they helped decorate the tree, now I have 5 grandchildren that look forward to that every year, how can I disappoint them…I would be disappointed……..wonderful memories….I love your antique chairs…I think a mix of new and old……..fine and rustic……a bit of dark with light, is all good,,,awesome….contrast is good or it looks to contrived ……..you have a beautiful home!

    36. Robin Leach

      After living through Hurricane Charley in 2004, I’ve learned to go ahead and use things. Better to use and break while enjoying, than watch it blow away, unused and never had enjoyed it. It’s just stuff. Use it, love it, let it go. Only people really matter, and the love you give away.
      I Love your blog, it’s inspired me so much. I’m getting my first batch of milk paint and your book for Christmas. I’m so excited!
      Hope you have a wonderful holiday!
      Love, Robin

    37. Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

      Boxwood is one of my favorites! I was even thinking just today that I might paint my kitchen island in Boxwood after Christmas. And, your home looks BEAUTIFUL! I too am torn about how to decorate my house. I have always done what makes my family feel at home, but I realize that in the blog world, I need to make things more “magazine” worthy. It is a fine balance… Not sure yet what I want to do? Merry Christmas! Melissa

    38. Melissa @ York Zoo

      In my house we always buy the kids an ornament every Christmas. It usually has something to do with what they’ve enjoyed that year like ballet slippers or Spiderman. Normally we put these ornaments on a fake tree and I get to decorate the real tree as I want. This year I broke our fake tree when we moved, so I let them put their ornaments on the real tree. They thought this was such a treat and I viewed it as a minor sacrifice until we bought another fake tree down the road. But as the days go by I have realized how much more significant and beautiful this tree is with their ornaments. Batman and ones with their names written on them mean so much more to me than the tree with red, silver, and gold balls.

    39. Jan

      Love, love, love your new boxwood color! I was able to buy a calf head like you have in your kitchen from Décor Steals, a great site to find all things Miss Mustard Seed style. I am wondering what size the boxwood wreath is gracing her neck? I have a new 16″ inch one which is, of course, too small 🙁 I would love to have “my girl” looking her best! Thanks so much

    40. Cindy

      I, too, love the tree and the new color! I could easily incorporate it into our home…project is perking.

      I’m curious as to where you buy your preserved boxwood. I’ve seen the wreaths on Decor Steals, but where could one buy the boxwood to make things with?

      Thanks for sharing your many talents!

    41. MaryS

      An “imperfect” Christmas tree decorated by little boys is the very best Christmas tree. It’s lovely!! And it’s PERFECT!!! What good little helpers they are.

    42. kimberly kuehneman

      Does anyone else get frustrated that some of our questions from the blog aren’t answered? Sometimes I wonder if Marion even reads the comments

      • Miss Mustard Seed

        I do read the comments, but I can’t answer every single question. I do my best! What is your question, Kimberly?

        • kimberly kuehneman

          I actually fb messaged you and you answered my question. lol
          I know that you are busy and can’t reply to everyone. On the other hand, there are lot of questions that I can relate to and I’m sure others can to that go unanswered. As a follower of your blog, (which I think is wonderful) t’s just frustrating sometimes.

          • Miss Mustard Seed

            Sorry about that. I often answer questions by e-mail, because it’s faster than leaving a comment on my blog and, in a lot of cases, I’ve already answered the same question numerous times, so it becomes inefficient for me to keep answering the same things over and over.

            Anyway, glad I got an answer for you!

    43. Jeanette @ Creating a Life

      Your tree looks wonderful! I guess I missed the “naked” tree, but I’d never know it wasn’t perfectly shaped. I gave up “correcting” my kids’ ornament placement several years ago. It really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things, right? I absolutely love your touches of evergreens and the sparkly deer. Gwendolyn is looking right festive! Everything is just lovely.

    44. melanie kite

      We have a large collection of ornaments, and were always looking for the old school noble fir with space between the branches to showcase ornaments, especially any that are long. The bare spot always went against the wall or by the window, and the tree always went up on a box to get height underneath, and to protect from our pets. The unbreakable ornaments go on the bottom branches! We finally got a fake tree, but it still is a little too full.
      Ornaments are a collection of memories, our childhood, places we’ve been or lived, so when they are all on, then the tree is perfect. Love your star by the way.

    45. Cindy

      What a great post. The new green is wonderful! You develop the most amazing rich colors with the best undertones, and i know that’s not easy to do!
      Love the tree… when you look at it all done up the ornaments don’t look haphazard at all! Everything looks really pretty and christmasy. I love all the fresh greens, and even Gwendolyn got a garland, so cute…

      Cindy

    46. Sue Pagels

      Everything looks wonderful – makes me want to change my whole house! ( I am a huge pastel girl but not a fluffy one) I haven’t been able to read your blog as often as I would have liked and I have missed you! Trying to play catch-up now.

    47. Melanie

      Funny, my seven year old is determined that we must have a “start” on the top of our tree too, even though we have never had one. Kids are purists 🙂 The tree looks great

    48. Shannon [Our Home Notebook]

      The tree is beautiful. And I love that your boys helped you 🙂 We have a couple little helpers over here too and it’s the sweetest seeing them so excited.

    49. Shirley@Housepitality Designsy

      Marian..your tree is magnificent…a true family tree of memories!….your home is just enchanting!!

    50. Lynda Dunham-Watkins

      Your tree is wonderful. Best memories come from imperfections. Oh enjoy each one of them while the little guys still want to help. Love your home!

    51. Gemika

      I love it, every detail. I would love to see some shots of your tree at night, all lit up. Here in Australia it is hard to find real Christmas trees – well, in Queensland where I live. The pine trees here have about five branches! So the smell of plastic ‘melting’ in the summer heat is Christmas to me, but I recently found out you can get gorgeous Victorian Christmas trees from a distributor up here, and I saw them last week while on holiday visiting my dad down there on the southern side of the country. So beautiful! Next year I will get one. This year I made a driftwood Christmas tree but I still havent decorated it or drilled on the last two branches! Haha. Anyway, enough about me. I love your tree!

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