the doodle book & an empty studio

Marian Parsonsbuying & selling antiques, Decorating, Secret Weapons, Tips and Tricks31 Comments

Just in case Lucketts wasn’t exciting enough, this weekend is also the launch of my newest book – The Home Design Doodle Book!

This book was such a labor of love, partly because of the content, but also because it was drawn/written entirely by hand!  I had no idea what I was getting into when I made that suggestion, but it made this book so much more personal.  (In the end, we did have to use a hand written font for some of the text, because we realized editing a hand written book was ridiculous!  But, the first draft was written entirely by hand.)

It’s different from any of my other books.  It’s part journal, part decorating book, and part encouragement.  I wanted this book to feel like a conversation we would have if I was in your house, holding your hand through finding your style, reworking your rooms, putting together your shopping lists, and working towards a home you love.  It’s full of practical tips and thoughtful prompts, as well as little nuggets of encouragement that will (hopefully) help keep things in perspective.

I want this book to help unleash the “inner designer” in anyone, even those who feel like a hopeless case.

If you already feel comfortable with decorating, I hope this book with help you focus and just keep things organized.  I’m planning to use it a lot when I start working on our next home.

I’m so pleased with how all of my sketches and paintings look on the printed page, but I also love the details the publisher put into this book.  The embossed cover is so beautiful and they even included a pocket in the back and an elastic band to hold the book closed, so you can insert clippings and notes.

And the pages are thick, so you can doodle, draw, paste, and even paint on small swatches.

The book is available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and will be available at other stores, like Michael’s.

And, to celebrate the launch properly, it will be available at my booth at the Lucketts Spring Market this weekend (May 19-21.)

If you’d like to find out more about the book, you can check out the Home Design Doodle Book website and I’m also offering a FREE five part video series that is a bit of a companion to the book.  It’s called The Home Design Starting Line and you get it for free when signing up to receive my blog posts via e-mail.  (If you already are a subscriber, you can sign up for this series and you’ll receive the e-mail just once.)

Sign up by clicking the button below…

And, since Lucketts prep is in full swing, I have to share the process.  We loaded the trucks today (TWO 20 footers) and, since last year we showed how we pack the trucks, this year we showed the view from inside the studio…

We have such a great crew of helpers each year.  One of the guys has helped us load for Lucketts since he was in middle school and now he just finished his freshman year of college!  (In the video, I loved seeing all of the guys playing with the typewriter.  The one I bought this year makes the best clickety-clack sound when the keys are pressed.)

Once everything was packed, we fed our helpers, locked up the truck, and called it a day.

Tomorrow, we’ll be setting up the large pieces of furniture and taking care of a few other things, like hanging the garden lights and the mural.  On Thursday, I have a small army of women coming to help me unpack all of the smalls and make the booth pretty.

Also, on Thursday (May 18), I will be taking an hour break from the styling to participate in a live chat on the Washington Post website!  The chat will be from 11 am – noon (live from my space at the fairgrounds).  You can ask questions ahead of time and/or join the live chat HERE.

One last thing before I sign off for the night – My mom asked if I had tried the Soapstone Chalk I purchased to sell at the market this year and I hadn’t.  “Well, shouldn’t you try it?!”

“Yes, I suppose I should.  But, I mean, it is soapstone.  How can it not be awesome?”

She pointed out that just because it looks awesome and sounds awesome doesn’t mean it works.


So, I opened a pack and tested it on one of the milk painted chalkboards.

Where has soapstone chalk been all of my life?!

My mom tested it out and agreed that it was so much better than regular chalk.  It’s very smooth to hold and write with and will ruin regular chalk for you forever.

If you do buy a pack, you’ve been warned.

I’ll shoot some video of the set-up tomorrow on my Instagram stories if you want to follow along!

the doodle book & an empty studio

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31 Comments on “the doodle book & an empty studio”

    1. Ha, yeah! I can stand under them without hitting my head, but most of our helpers were over 6′, so we needed something to protect their heads!

  1. Wonderfully entertaining video. I loved the music, something like southern funk! I’ve been following your blog for many years; it’s the first one I read every day;some days it’s the ONLY one I read. I bought your first book and plan to order the doodle book. There are always some of those days when I just want to stop the world for a few minutes to clear my head, and your blog is like one big, sigh of relief because I can always count on you to deliver the beauty in everything you do. I wish you great success at Luckett’s, perfect weather and safe travels to and fro. The Good Lord has blessed you with many talents and the hard work to ethic to see them to fruition. He did good, don’ you think? I look forward to your post-Luckett’s blog.

  2. Looks great Marian! It’s really nice that you acknowledge the work and time of all the people behind the scenes. I so appreciate that you give them props. Good luck at Lucketts. Have a great time!

  3. Good Morning Marian….that is what I say every morning when I open your blog to read your posts! I love following,…..I am looking forward to Luckett’s on Saturday and cannot wait to see your goodies! I purchased your book and watched the videos too….what a wonderful idea and book. Thank you for always inspiring and motivating! Amy

  4. Hi, Wondering as you are downsizing for your move, if you might be selling the chandelier in the photo above? if so, I am very interested. Congratulations on your new book and good luck at Lucketts.

    1. I’m actually going to keep all of the chandeliers. 🙂 I might sell them on the other end, though, if I don’t have a place for them.

  5. I am so excited for you – I LOVE this part!!! I envy your organizational skills most of all 🙂 and your helpers…what I could do if I had helpers!!

  6. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this will be your best Lucketts ever! The new book looks awesome. And I’m also kind of praying that your husband will be called to a church in the Rocky Mountain region:)

  7. Congrats on ur book! It’s definitely the type of book I like to buy. Almost any how to book should come with pockets and a ‘keep closed’ band. My 2 cents anyway. I’m going to buy ur book for my daughter’s birthday, June 18th. She and her husband are thinking of purchasing my home in the near future. And I know she will want to change a few things. Maybe a lot of things. Lol!

  8. Your new book looks great. It reminds me of the original “Moosewood Cookbook” with the handwritten text and personal drawings.

  9. Good luck with all your new endeavors, Marian….your artistic side must be familiar with Susan Branch’s cookbooks…they are delightful and have been around for a very long time …your format is identical to Susan’s…all her books are handwritten and all picture and sketches are solely done by her…she adds whimsical quotes many of them from well known songs…and ideas, such as “dance by the light of the moon !”

  10. How exciting that the trucks are loaded for Luckett’s. We readers are all rooting for you! ( Here I am in Texas, but, thanks to your blog, I feel like I’m heading to Luckett’s with the crew! )

    I admire that you know when you cannot do something solo and don’t hesitate to hire helpers. It says a lot that your college-student helper has been on the Luckett’s load-up team since middle school. You must know how to treat people right.

    Two 20-foot trucks full of home furnishings. That’s the same as one enormous shipping container. You are hot stuff.

  11. I got my book from Amazon, love the embossed cover, i probably will give it as a gift. I gave my daughter a similar book I found at a thrift store when she bought her house, she uses it to collect her ideas and paint chips, then she will glue in the one she paints the room with. I used a big 3 ring binder 25 years at when we were building our house. Collecting magazine pics I discovered I loved red white and blue. It now has changed to green, white and brown.
    Loved watching the video, I was watching the barrel scale hopping out of the studio! I will miss my monthly little visits. But happy to see what lies ahead for your family. Good Luck at Luckett’s!!

  12. I LOVE your new book and pre-paid for it back in January. I was even the 1st to review it on Amazon 😊 It wasn’t what I expected but it was a pleasant surprise and I’m already filling it out and watching your video’s as they’re sent. I got some real nice markers to use on it. Another wonderful idea by you!

  13. Wow! Congrats, Marian! Do you pinch yourself at night? Thinking… “Lord, all of this is amazing! You have been so good!”.. and then just do the ‘mind -blow’ hands around your head? 🙂 Thankful to the Lord, for His blessings on you! Thankful that you are sharing them with us!

  14. I received my copy of your Design and Doodle book last week, Marian! It’s a very attractive and sweet little book and promises to be very helpful. I haven’t started to use it yet as lawn and garden work has taken up my time, but I will, believe me.

    Just one question about Lucketts: I am astounded at the number of furniture pieces I watched the helpers take from the studio! How does this year’s collection compare in volumn to previous years? Is this the biggest? Is it double last year’s inventory? It just seems like there were an enormous number of pieces. Wow!

    I hope everything goes perfectly over the weekend and you all have a fabulous and fun (and profitable) time!

  15. There are truly no words, Marian. I am so looking forward to Friday as a VIP and my advance purchases from you….. Now I am adding your latest book (with a signature, if you please)! Many blessings and prayers for a FABULOUS Lucketts Flea…. See you Friday morning, sweet girl!

  16. Love the soapstone chalk and am very interested. Hope you have some left to sell online! Did you try erasing it? It looks like it goes on very well, just wonder if it comes off as easily!

  17. Wow, I can’t wait to get a copy of your newest book! You amaze me, truly. I love that you are an illustrator and painter now, on top of everything else. Congratulations again!!

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