but first…Europe

by | Sep 8, 2018 | All Things Home, Furniture Makeovers | 28 comments

I recently had a Q&A session on my Instagram Stories and one question that was asked repeatedly was about furniture makeovers. (I will be answering some of the other questions in a blog post soon.)  Will I do furniture makeovers again?  Will I sell furniture again?  Will I sell at shows again?

The short answer to that is yes.

The long answer is that I was burnt out and I needed a break from retail and the volume of furniture I was churning through my studio.  My back needed a break.  My creative brain needed a break.  And I needed time to move my family across the country, get settled, work on our new house, and explore other creative endeavors, like fabric design and oil painting.

Now that I’ve taken that break, I’m ready to start buying some furniture and painting it to sell.  I think my shopping day at Gold Rush contributed to the desire to get back into it.  I saw some great pieces of furniture that needed some love, but I didn’t have a place for them.  Now, I can buy them, share those makeovers (along with tutorials) with all of my furniture-loving readers, and sell them.

I’m hoping to paint/refinish 1-2 pieces each month and then bring them to Adourn in Chatfield, MN to sell.  Melissa, the shop owner, is one of  my MMS Milk Paint retailers and she is such a talented creative entrepreneur.  Her store is beautiful and it’ll be a great, no-pressure way for me to get into furniture retail again.

The winter months might get a little dicey, but I hope to sneak several makeovers in before the snow comes and the temperatures plummet.

But first…Europe.


  1. Maureen

    What gorgeous pieces you’re showing in this post! Sadly, we have very few walls in our house anymore but I can look!

  2. JoAnn

    Love the alphabet chest of drawers!

  3. Carole

    Love the white cabinet displaying ironstone. Bon voyage

  4. Karen K from Buffalo

    Have a wonderful trip Marian & hope you come home refreshed!! I would love to send you a picture of my antique desk. It has a slanted top & 3 drawers. It has some wonderful wood details, but I am afraid to paint it. I wouldn’t even know what color.
    Will miss your blogs & hope to hear from you when you get home & settled!!


    Marian, do pray that you and your Mom have a wonderful trip! So happy that you are able to go to Europe and enjoy everything! You will have a great time! God Bless as you travel! We’ll look forward to hearing all about your trip when you return.

  6. Stacey Arps

    I totally get why you needed to take a break. I couldn’t believe how much I slept the first year of my retirement! I worried I’d never get my energy back, or my enthusiasm for creative projects. But gradually I found myself doing more and enjoying things again. I didn’t realize how exhausted I had been until I started to feel better! Lesson: if I have to drag myself around, maybe it’s time to schedule some down time. (Funny how hard that can be to remember though) I found that rest not only reactivated my creative drive but set it on fire! I only recently discovered your blog and products and just last week used your Boxwood and hemp oil to paint my first piece, a chair. It chipped just the right amount and turned out gorgeous! So now I have milk paint fever and can’t wait to paint more from my furniture stash! I made a list of 16 colors I want to order 😆. Don’t tell my husband, shhh…..

  7. Julia

    Hi Marian, a couple words of caution. You might want to think about your use of the term “Frenchy” as it is an offensive term. Be aware the the majority of “vintage linen” is actually not vintage, it is new manufacturing chemically treated to appear ild

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh gosh, I had no idea that would be offensive to anyone. I meant it as in “something that looks French or has a French kind of vibe.” I hope it was taken that way.

  8. Ellenann

    I love, love, love both chests! What wonderful work you do! Totally in tune with what I like. Enjoy Europe. I’m sure you will come across hidden treasures there. I can’t wait to see!

  9. Greer Madden

    Oh Marian, been there. I owned a furniture consignment shop for 15 years. Was finally able to close it and retire when I received an offer to sell our building. I was sure I had this furniture painting/selling thing in my blood and would find a way to continue to do it on a less regular basis. It’s been two years, and that feeling of burnout is still with me. I hope it goes away because I used to enjoy it. I will say I really miss my customers . . . great people in and out all day long. For now though I have no plans to start painting, etc. again. And yes…it’s hard on the back and the joints – all the lifting, transporting, etc. Customers rarely had any idea how much mental and physical energy was required to get something into the shop.

    My customers used to say “oh, I bet your house is beautiful.” I would reply that I was the consignment shop owner version of the cobbler’s children who had no shoes. I managed to provide my customers with all sorts of wonderful things, but never had any time or energy to put my own home in order. Maybe now I can get that done! Best wishes!

  10. mary m

    Have a wonderful and safe journey. You will have something to think about for the rest
    of your life while doing dishes! I know my memories of living in Italy have never left me…..
    Mary in NH

  11. Jan

    Have a wonderful time in Europe, Marian! Cannot wait to see how the trip inspires your creativity once you are back. Be safe, but have fun!

  12. Nan, Odessa, DE

    Please, please do some small pieces, wall hanging cabinets, wooden stools, etc. that us gals in Delaware could afford to ship! I would love to own one of your unique pieces.

    Also, mentioning your fabric design, will any of your designs feature red. Not everyone can use blue. HEY! don’t for get me. I can admire your blue and whites but my heart shines and shouts, RED!!!!!!

    Go to Europe and make memoires!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! Actually the next line has quite a lot of red in it.

  13. PJ

    Have the best time!

  14. MaryLisa

    All the best. Creative minds switch gears and explore other avenues. Having multiple interests is a good thing.

  15. Kristine

    Best wishes for an amazing, unforgettable trip! So looking forward to what your creativity and inspiration bring about when you return!

  16. Jody K

    Bon Voyage! May the shopping gods be with you.

  17. Moira McGrath

    You do beautiful furniture reno’s and paint exceptionally well, but I think your greatest gift is your ability to curate displays. The arrangement of “smalls” in, on and around your furniture prices is always perfect! You would be an amazing asset to a marketing/advertising team for a home goods company.

  18. Kathy

    Yea, I am so missing the boost your makeovers give me, they get me going!!!!!

  19. Julie | Home On The Hill

    I often feel the ‘burn out’ coming on with my web & graphic design business so we try to do an annual getaway holiday – a cruise of about 2 weeks around the South Pacific out of Sydney usually, as I find being out at sea really de-stresses me, I think maybe it’s the endless ocean with nothing to distract the eye design wise that works for me. By the end of it I feel more creative just by being forced to NOT do any design work.

    It’s also nice to be creative on projects you have a personal connection with as in my line of work I have to design for many different business types that don’t inspire me in a personal way & sort of dull my joy of design. An antidote I have found to that is to start designing vintage style printables – something about using the old imagery gives me that connection to the styles I love.

    Just like looking at your furniture images gives me a boost – I love how one persons creativity feeds creativity in others, it’s a good thing!

    Thanks for the furniture makeover eye candy!!

    Enjoy your holiday.

  20. Frances

    I have missed your furniture pieces. I’m looking forward to seeing your new work. Enjoy Europe!

  21. Terri

    Have the BEST time on your trip to France with your Mother. What a treat and I know you will relish every bit! I’ve been a Francophile and amateur decorator since I was a young girl and it’s like I’ve found a group of friends reading your blog. I look forward to your postings and all the comments so much. Safe travels!

  22. Mary in VA

    Very exciting that you’re going to do furniture makeovers again – I love seeing the creative ideas you come up with for each piece.

  23. Sue Pagels

    Great news!! That is why I started following you in the first place – I missed the furniture makeovers. Have a safe trip and enjoy Europe!

  24. Patricia mccarthy

    Have a wonderful trip and so happy you are finally settling down there. I feel for you after just doing a kitchen renovation and what a pain that was…can’t imagine a total home re-do! Just so you know, we Redskin fans are watching our Kirk – you have the best of both worlds now that you’ve moved to Minnesota! HTTR still but go Kirk!

  25. Cindy

    I’m going through a burn out phase right now. I paint furniture for custom clients, for resale, and I have a space in a shop that I have to keep stocked with furniture/home decor. It’s no where near what you had going on, but I’m having a hard time staying motivated. We are going into the busy time of year for retail and the last thing I need to do is slow down. I depend on this income to make ends meet so I need to keep going. Anyway, I love reading your blog and seeing all you accomplish. Have a wonderful trip!


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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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