getting ready for company

by | Jan 21, 2015 | Artistic Endeavors | 43 comments

I’ve lately turned my attention to getting the studio spruced up and ready to host our first workshops.  I’ve loved the space from the moment I first set foot in the door, but it’s really starting to come alive now that we’re working on the details.


Here’s how it looked a few months ago when we had only been in the space a few weeks.

Miss Mustard Seed-1257

 I whitewashed the work tables that Jeff built and finished them in a gray wax (a mix of Antiquing Wax and Furniture Wax.)  We added rolling chalkboard walls behind the counter to hide the shipping/office/storage area and provide a nice backdrop to the counter.


On Friday, we added curtains to further divide the space.  Since we had to span over 7′, we ended up using a piece of metal pipe held in brackets used for dowels.


My dad referred to it as the “anti-tank curtain rod”.  I made the curtains out of fabric I bought off a vendor for, I think, $1.50/yard.  It’s actually a blue and cream check, but it reads almost as a green gray and looks pretty in the space.  I didn’t bother with hemming or anything.  I just sewed a rod pocket at the top and left it at that.


And I had just enough fabric to cover the two spans not sectioned off by the rolling walls.  Now the space is visually divided, so we have a “back room”


I originally painted the (free) counter in Mustard Seed Yellow, but decided to repaint it in Mora.  We have a lot of neutrals and pale blues going on in the space and the yellow just wasn’t working for me in this case.  (Mora’s looking a little more blue in this picture.  It’s actually a pale green/gray/blue color.)


 And I’m so excited that we finally get to use the register as our cash drawer.  We all love the cash register.  It’s hard to resist pushing a button and watching the drawer slide out with a ding.  When my boys came to the studio, they started playing “store.”


 My youngest was writing what he bought on the chalk board.  I have no idea where “bacon” came from!


I hung my brush collection over the church pew to add some interest to the blank wall.


We use the paper a lot to catch drips when we’re painting, but we’ll be using it for wrapping purchases when we have sales and workshops.


We put the lights up for Christmas, but decided to keep them up.  There’s something fun and festive about them.



Today, I erased our lists and created some “chalk art” on the boards behind the counter.  I do hand draw the designs, but don’t let that intimidate you if you want to try it.  With chalk, it’s so easy to just erase it and start over if you mess up.  I’ll draw a rough design, so I make sure I have the spacing and the look right…


…and then I’ll get fancy.




As I shared yesterday, we painted the oak hutch in Shutter Gray and Mora.  It was a pretty wood, but between the floors and the t-shirt counter, it was getting a little lost in wood overload.  I like it much better painted.



It’s now filled with my jars of paint and some of the MMSMP products I have for sale, including the new European colours!  (The other 18 colors are in the shirt counter…one color for each drawer.)



I also decided to move the “crusty counter” out into the main area of the studio.  It’s been in the shipping area, but it’s just too pretty to have it hidden away.


With the glass top, it’s a great work surface and I’ll use it more often for photo shoots if it’s out in the open.


And today I started working on a hand painted banner for our workshops.  I cut and ironed a piece of drop cloth and sewed a 1″ rod pocket at the top for a dowel.  I then painted it in MMSMP Linen and let it dry overnight.  This morning, I transferred the word “WORKSHOP” onto the fabric using graphic paper.  I’m drawing the rest of the design with chalk, which you can see if you look closely.


I spent a good part of the day in the studio today mixing a bunch of MMSMP colors and painting it.  It’s looking so cute!


The workshops this week are on Friday (Jan 23) from 10-noon (sold out) and Saturday (Jan 24) from 10 – 3. (There are a few spaces left in the Saturday workshop and you can register HERE if you want to attend.)  If you’ve been wanting to stop by the studio to check out it, right as the workshops end would be a good time.  We have some antiques and furniture for sale as well as MMSMP products, including the new European colours as I already mentioned.

The studio address is 144 E. York St., Biglerville, PA 17307.

I’ll be scheduling more workshops and I’m going to try hosting some “open studio” sessions as well, where customers can pay an hourly rate to use my paints, brushes, drop cloths, finishes, space, etc. to work on a project.  It won’t be a workshop, but I’ll be there to help out or answer questions.  We’ll give it a try and see how it works!


  1. Cherylcheryl

    Dreamy space to be able to work in each day. Love the chalkboard art. Wished I lived closer to be able to attend a workshop.

  2. Victoria

    You inspired me so much, Marian. I can honestly say I am where I am as a blogger and as an artist because of you. This is a beautiful space…I could live in it.

  3. deb ketchum

    gorgeous and so full of light! i love what you’ve done — every bit of it is wonderful!

  4. Samantha

    So looking forward to the workshops this week! The studio looks beautiful and the ideas used are beautiful! Can’t wait to meet you Friday!

  5. Dorene

    The studio looks absolutely amazing! I wish I lived closer so that I could attend one of your workshops in this beautiful setting. You and your work are an inspiration!

  6. Lauren Baxter

    This space is beautiful! I love everything about it and especially the twinkle lights!
    Good luck on your first workshop, im sure itll be great!


  7. Sally

    Congratulations Marion! Everything looks so beautiful and I just love your crusty cabinet.

    • Sally

      MariAn – oops

  8. Amy Joanne Mogish

    Good Morning Marian! I am in love with everything Miss Mustard Seed ! Your shop/workshop is beautiful….I hope you will be hosting spring and summer workshops, I live pretty close and would love to attend ! I look forward to your posts each and every day!

  9. Juliana @ Te Amo Too

    I am so in love with this space. You always work at lightning speed. I wish I had 10% of the energy you have! You color choices and basically everything you pick is just wonderful! I really wish one day I might be able to be in one of your workshops …

  10. Jenny B.

    Wow! It all looks amazing. So beautiful! It’s probably just the lighting, but I can’t tell a difference between Shutter Gray and Mora on that cabinet. Maybe it’s more obvious in real life, but in the photos, it looks like it’s all the same color.

  11. Marian@CM Shaw Studios

    Yay! What a great way to use all that fabric! It has been so fun to see what you’ve done with it.

    I hope you have a wonderful time at the workshops and I love what you’ve done to prepare. Any chance you’ll be hosting an advanced workshop soon! My birthday’s next month and I could totally justify the expense….just say’in’
    All the best,
    The Other Marian

  12. Susie McClister

    I am in awe of your gorgeous workshop! Fabulous use of so many different elements that you’ve made come together beautifully! I only wish that I could visit it in person, and to attend one of your workshops would be a dream! You see, I live across the U.S. in California, maybe one day I’ll be able to visit your neck of the woods, until then I will continue as I have for the past three years enjoying it through! Love your talent, thank you for sharing it!

  13. Traer

    Can not wait till Friday to attend the workshop! So glad I was one of the first to register 🙂 See you soon!

  14. Cindy

    Everything looks amazing. I love that old crusty counter… glad you got it out. I can’t wait to see the banner too!
    Your hand lettered chalkboard is so cute. Hand lettering is HARD! I’m impressed at your skill with it. I think you should be painting paintings!


  15. Cynthia

    I love the chalkboard “HOME”. I needed that reminder today~

  16. Kelly Hasegawa

    Absolutely beautiful space. Definitely a place that will inspire your students! Wish I didn’t live on the other side of the continent or I would be a regular.

  17. Kathy Gundesen

    Wow! Your space looks amazing and is so inspirational to me. I keep all your emails and refer back to them when I need an idea. I love your style and am amazed at how much you get done!

  18. laurie

    Love following your progress!

    I believe you will sell more paint by putting the white china back in the hutch. Demonstrating the total look of what your customers can achieve is inspirational and motivates one to buy and do. The paint cans should be on a shelf, where you expect to see that. And where the customer can handle them.

  19. monica

    I can’t wait to meet you someday! I love your style. I am leery of signing up for a class for the simple reason… although your studio is gorgeous -all the chairs look like I would be afraid to sit down. I’m a big girl. Do you have any sturdy chairs (hidden away from the photo shoot)?
    Can’t wait to see the finished workshop banner.

    • marian


      Oh, I would never want someone to feel uncomfortable in the chairs we have at the studio They are old, but they are all sturdy. My dad’s big and tall and he sits in them without a problem. You could always send me an e-mail ahead of time and I can make sure I have something that would be comfortable for you. You would be our guest and we want you to feel welcome. 🙂

      • monica


  20. Dorothy

    You should be so proud of yourself for the shop and look you created. I love it but I have one question. How do you rap packages? Do you sing rap songs while you rap: 🙂

    • marian

      LOL! Yep, I missed that “w”. Just added it. 🙂 We may do some rapping as we wrap, though…

  21. Alexis

    Marian, your eye just keeps getting better and better! Fantastic job!!!!

  22. Wendy

    Perfection! Love this space

  23. Scribbler

    You have a fantastic grow-up playhouse!

  24. Jill

    I’m so amazed ar how you have been able to transform that large open space into smaller groupings! You have such great vision, its beautiful! I love the new color too! Can’t wit to hear about the workshops!

  25. Jesse May

    Wow, Marian, everything is looking so finished and fantastic! I’d love to come visit your studio…if I wasn’t all the way on the other side of the country. 🙂 Thank you for sharing all the inspiring details.

  26. Tammie Greenwell

    Wow you did all that for me! LOL. I hope your not nervous, please be at peace. I don’t know about everyone else but I know I’m coming to have lovely and special life experience. No expectations. I think we all just want to soak up and be a part of a special moment for you. You first class in your new shop! Really just do you! It’s more than enough!

  27. Julie

    Wow. Charming. Lovely. Inspirational. I know you guys wanted to move…how about California? Specifically the San Francisco Bay Area so I can take one of your classes and we can be best friends! Thanks for letting me be a part of the magic from afar.

  28. Michelle

    Hi Marian,

    Love your space. Congratulations and good luck with your workshops!


  29. Naomi S.

    I’m SO jealous of those women-folk (maybe men-folk, too?) that are attending your workshops. I am a long way from PA. up here in MI. But I’m so glad that thanks to the good ‘ole Web I can see what you are doing on your blog. I look forward every single day, Marian, to reading about and seeing the things you are doing and the beauty you are creating! Love it, love it, love it!

    Congratulations on your studio and best of luck with the workshops! I expect they will both be great successes and that many more will follow.

  30. FIL

    Bacon chereos!! Wow! Where do I get those?

    The Captain

  31. Mary

    Wow, I LOVE the color of the blue “crusty counter”!!! Is that close to any of your milk paint colors? Or maybe someday you could create a similar color (hint, hint!) BTW, just finished my largest project (an amoire) that I’ve done in milk paint so far, and I am loving it! I have several of your colors, and am excited to see the new ones at my local antique store.

  32. Denise

    Love the entire space. I’ve been having so much trouble photographing my pieces in my house, and I often think how nice it would be to have a place like this to use!!
    I just ordered 4 of the new colors in the European line, and I can’t wait to try them 🙂 all so gorgeous!!

    I would absolutely love to fly out and take a class from you. Will you be posting future dates on your website so I can plan and schedule that? 😀
    Looks like you are having so much fun.

  33. mary young

    Marion, Everyday I look forward to your blog and today was the icing on the cake. I jotted
    down your address and tucked it away so maybe I will get there someday. Biglerville is almost
    as good as Melvin vlg., NH where I live! How did they ever come up with those names.

    I have a old blackboard from a one room school in from York, Maine. On it I have favorite
    sayings. I love to watch people read them especially the children. Even have the schoolhouse
    clock to match.

    Have you ever thought of doing canvas floorcloths? I have done several and they are quite
    nice and different. The best part is if you get tired of the design just get your paint brush out
    and start over.

    Marian, I look forward to your blog every day and today was the icing on the cake. I jotted down your address and tucked it away for the future. As they say around here you can’t get there from here. How did they come up with names like Biglerville and Melvin Vlg where I am from?

    I have a old wooden black board from a one room school house in Maine with a matching clock.On mine I have put favorite sayings. I love to watch people reading them especially the

    Have you ever thought of doing canvas floor cloths? I have done several and they do make
    a statement and if you get tired of the design just paint them over. Mary

  34. mary young

    I always look forward to your blog everyday and today was the icing on the cake. I jotted down your address for future reference. Just can’t get there from here now.

    I have a wooden blackboard from a one room school house in York, Maine. Also the school house clock. I wrote down favorite sayings……..

    Have you ever thought of doing canvas floor cloths? They are much fun and if you get tired
    of the design just get out your paint brush and start again.

  35. Sarah Land

    Hi Marian,

    First off, I love your style and attention to detail. Each picture is perfectly executed! I love what you did with your space!!! I have a similar space that I’m opening a store in and these pictures are going to help me greatly!! I notice you have ceiling tiles which my store does too…..which I’m not a fan of. I keep contemplating getting tin tiles, paint, take down, etc. did you do anything to yours or paint them??? Beautiful job and hope to be able to carry your milk paint line in my store…I just love it!

    • marian

      I only rent the space, so it wouldn’t be worth it for me to replace the ceiling tiles. They are white and clean and just blend in with the ceiling, so I don’t mind them too much. The walls are Antique White by True Value, I think.

  36. Sarah Land

    Forgot to ask, what is the name of the paint color you used for the walls?


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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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