jelly cupboard, organizing & family room fabric

by | Sep 19, 2014 | Artistic Endeavors, Family Room | 31 comments

I have been on a streak with finding amazing empire pieces.  I currently have five in my stash!  Now, these aren’t usually this easy for me to come by, but I’ve just been catching Craig’s List and my favorite furniture haunts at just the right time.  It’s also helped to have my dad, who should win some sort of Craig’s List award for his success percentage  when it comes to getting pieces I want.  I just send him the link and he contacts the seller and shows up at my house with the piece.  I give him refusal rights if something looks really bad in person, but that hasn’t happened, yet.

Last week, he dropped this piece off at my studio…

antique jelly cupboard | miss mustard seed

It’s a really pretty antique empire jelly cupboard.  It’s just a little dirty and rough, but very solid.  What looks like wood grain is actually brown paint.  I admire the artistry in it, but brown isn’t my thing, so it’s getting a fresh coat of milk paint.

Miss Mustard Seed-1042

I’ve really been digging layers of paint on primitive pieces lately, so I decided to layer blues on this piece.  There is a really nice texture to this piece that’s going to help me create the look I want.

I put the first coat on…Artissimo, which is the darkest blue in our line.

empire jelly cupboard first coat in Artissimo MMSMP | miss mustard seed

It looks a little lighter before a finish is put on, but it’s just the undercoat, so I’m not too concerned with how it looks at this point.  While I had the color out, I painted a couple of pieces of wood to make “antique signs” for an appearance I have scheduled on the Canada AM show in Toronto (it aired Thursday.)  One of them will be completed and the other will show each step, so I can show the process hands on.

bespoke sign | miss mustard seed

I finished the signs, but I haven’t gotten further on the jelly cupboard.  I’ve been waiting for Jeff to come to the studio with his camera, so I can show how to use the Wax Puck on this piece.


I’ve also been meaning to share my organized storage closet!  Leslie, one of Kriste’s friends, is really gifted when it comes to organizing.  I mentioned to Kriste that we needed to get things tidied up when we moved into the studio and she politely informed me that she wasn’t going to be much help on that front.  She offered up Leslie as a better alternative.  Kriste knows how I work, so I trusted her recommendation and Leslie came out for the day.

I’m not a disorganized mess, but I have a lot of trouble with my business clutter, because I really need to keep it for projects and photo shoots.  With my personal stuff, it’s much easier.  We spent a few minutes talking through all of the shelves, where the trouble areas were, what I was hoping for, etc.  I left her to do her thing and I went to do my thing.  I’d tiptoe through the piles and bins now and then to get something and I could see she was making amazing progress.  She just went through things logically, put like things together in labeled bins and left room for growth.

organization | miss mustard seed

It looks pretty amazing.  I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find anything if someone else organized it, but she made it very “user friendly.”  So, I told her I might have her out every 3-6 months to get me straight again!

It was a buzzing day in the studio when Leslie was there, because Kriste was also there and Cari (remember “The Machine”, who helped me get ready for Lucketts), my dad and even my mom!  Kriste was packing things for the online shop and working with me on photo shoots, Cari was stripping chairs and sanding breadboards to help me get ready for The Chapel Market, my Dad was building things for me and my mom…


…she was cleaning windows.  She just can’t help herself.  And I’m thankful for it!


I thought I would share one last thing before I sign off – here is the fabric I’m making pillows out of for my family room…

 family room fabric | miss mustard seed

I realized as I was looking around the room last week that I didn’t have a fabric in the space that tied everything together.  The room was feeling a little unfinished and this fabric looks perfect.  It has the browns of the sofa, the beige of the rugs, the blues from my furniture and grain sacks and even the lighter blue from the walls and some greens and yellows to give me some more color options in the room.

So, I have quite a bit of sewing to do once I get the machines set up…


  1. Glo.

    The first to comment??? Well, then, GOOD MORNING!

  2. beck campbell

    I did a post on organizing closets…mentioned that while I “envy” all the pretty froo-froo boxes and baskets, plastic bins are the way to go…at least for me! It is nice to see that someone else understands the value of being able to actually SEE what is in a box. Creative people are just to “visual” to take time to actually read a label…lol!

    • judi

      although I love a uniform look with baskets and plain lidded boxes, I finally realized that clear is the way to go when taking stock of inventory for props, supplies, etc. why it took so long is beyond me…perhaps with age comes wisdom!

  3. linda jenkins

    Marian, love the fabric for youor family. could you share who it is made by and name. I love your blog and your home. I am slowly trying to transform my home into a more relaxed less formal space and I get much inspiration from yours.

    • kristin

      Until Marian gets you the details I can say I purchased mine from Calico Corners. Bring in the picture and they should know where it is to order!

  4. Pamela Gordon

    I love the new jelly cupboard and the blue/grey paint is a nice change from the drab brown. The new fabric for your family room is so pretty! I saw you on Canada AM yesterday!! I was excited to see you ‘in person’ and hope you enjoyed your visit to Toronto. Blessings, Pam

  5. Quandie

    All I can say is OMG, I am green with envy. I have been scouring craigs for a jelly cupboard for years and they are practically non-existent. When I do occasionally see them, they are always way out of my price range. I just know that cupboard is going to be amazing when you are finished with it! Excellent score!

  6. Shelley

    LOVE the fabric you’ve chosen to pull everything together in your family room. Great choice-you have such a great eye for these things.

    I also have to just mention how blessed you are to have your whole family supporting you with your business. Your Dad is such a good sport to be running around to all the Craig’s list spots, hanging chandeliers, and odd jobs. Your Mom going shopping with you is kind of a no brainer-and washing windows? Kiss that woman right now…and Jeff making rolling walls, farm tables and the camera man as needed. You are so blessed.

    I’ve wanted my own studio for quite some time, but we just cant afford for me to quit my day job right now…I will live vicariously through you…if you don’t mind.

    • Carla

      I agree. It’s so nice to see family being supportive.

  7. maggie

    Love that cupboard!!!

  8. kristin

    I’ll just say this–I have that fabric in my laundry room as a counter curtain!! I needed to tie in the navy washers and green cabinets. It has unique colors and is beautiful! LOVE this!

    • Marie

      Love the fabric! Does anyone knows the fabric info? Thanks!

  9. Jenna

    do you know the name of that fabric? love it!

  10. Jen Taylor

    Wow, all so exciting! It has been really fun for me to watch you put your new studio together. And Leslie did an excellent job at organizing your new bins! I look forward to seeing the pie cabinet finished! xo Jen

  11. Rhonda Mashburn

    Looks wonderful as always!!!
    Yes…ditto on the question…what is the name of the fabric? Love it….and would look lovely in my freshly painted blue living room and dining room.
    Thanks so much!

    Rhonda Mashburn

  12. Curtains In My Tree

    I like to wash windows also if everything is is in it’s place which it never is around here any more LOL
    I have started on the plastic container thing also it sure makes it easier


  13. Amber @FPH

    You amaze me Marion! Looking forward to Chapel Market. I’m going super early this time!

  14. Carol Carroll

    Can I have your DAD, you can keep all the other stuff, guess mom better come with him, as he might be lost w/out her. They are AMAZING!!! What can he NOT do….

  15. Shelly

    Dear Marian,

    I noticed a lot of comments about your family helping you so much and how lucky you are to have them and all the help and support they give you. I know that you appreciate them and love them very much. I just wanted to say: I had a Father like yours ;he could do anything and was always there for me to haul my antique buys etc, and a Mother that was my best friend, always willing to help me, travel around shopping and antiquing. They are both gone now and they have been gone since 1999 and 2002, and I am only 53. I am sure you already do this, but tell them everyday that you love them and thanks for their support. Do things with your Mother once in a while that she wants to do(if you do not already). Absorb every moment with them. Mom passed at 64 the picture of health, so unexpected. Like I said , I know you are an angel, but just felt like I should share this.


  16. Elizabeth

    I love your blog and all the beautiful things you do. The jelly cupboard is awesome. I love the blue that you are using. Did you strip off the old paint before applying the milk paint?

  17. Yuko Jones | northfield gate

    I’ve been thinking about painting my vintage sewing cabinet in navy blue, and I think Artissimo might be the color I’ve been looking for. Did you add the bonding agent to the paint?

  18. TinaG

    I would also love to know the name of the fabric! It looks like it would perfectly tie in my living room and kitchen colors. I have been looking for something to do that for about six months now.

  19. Liz

    Love everything you do. Just one question, when do you sleep???p

  20. Carol Jessee

    Lovely fabric! Love blue and brown together. Would also make beautiful drapes, Maybe a big change for you to make two piece curtains…a variation on cafe curtains!!! Fun, fun! C

  21. MaryS

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that fabric…. would make great curtains…. hint, hint….

  22. Cindy

    I love how everyone is working together for a common goal. That is just so cool
    The fabric couldn’t be more perfect for the style and colors in your room, and Artissimo is such a yummy rich blue!


  23. martha

    Love!!! the fabric. What is its name?

  24. Robin

    Love fabric!! Would love to know name too!!!!

  25. martha

    Who makes that lovely fabric?

  26. Lisa

    Would also love to know the name of that fabric! 🙂


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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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