Living Room Sofa | Creative Space | Mini Mustard Seed

Marian ParsonsMy House40 Comments

I mentioned a few months ago that I would be replacing our current living room sofa soon.  It’s not that I don’t like it, but it is an heirloom that belongs to my aunt’s husband’s family and, with the frequency that furniture comes and goes from my house, I offered it back to them.  Someone on their side of the family wants the sofa, so I was able to do one of the things I like to do best – hunt for furniture.

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I found this amazing French sofa on Craig’s List not far from me for $100 (I think that’s what it was…maybe $150?)  Anyway, it was a good price and I snapped it right up.  I was enthusiastic about working on the piece and stripped off the fabric, but then it got buried in our messy workshop.  This week, in my cleaning, organizing and purging frenzy, I unearthed it.

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I really can’t wait to get working on it, but I’m afraid it’ll have to wait a few more weeks.  Maybe I’ll paint the frame or upholster a panel here and there as I can sneak it in, but it’ll have to wait until I get a few other things done.

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I’m going to paint the frame in MMSMP Grain Sack , a pale gray neutral color, and upholster the piece in a couple of antique hemp sheets.  (I’ll put a few for sale in my online shop soon.)

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Oh, there aren’t enough hours in the day…


Now that I have finished cleaning, purging and organizing the “old part” of the basement…

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…I started working on the workshop.  I’ve purged and organized this room, but never like this.  Any tool we don’t use – gone.  Any paint I don’t use – gone.  No more hanging on to things I might use some day.  If I haven’t used it in a year, I probably won’t ever use it.  The goal of all of this cleaning and purging is to give me creative space.

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And it’s working!

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Instead of digging through bags and boxes (literally), I can see where all of my colors and products are.  (Yes.  That’s a big tub-o-wax.)

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I have all of the hardware sorted and cleaned out.

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Even my sand paper is sorted and my sanders are labeled.

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And I am feeling even more inspired to get to work on some new pieces I recently bought, like this beauty…

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You know how I feel about legs…

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For the past few months…maybe even years…I’ve been working at such a frantic pace that it’s been hard to catch my breath.  I feel like this cleaning and purging and organizing is helping me catch my breath and getting me ready to handle all of the new and exciting things on the horizon.


Lastly, every once in a while I get asked about Mini Mustard Seed and what happened to her.  Well, the high school girl who helped me glitter ornaments and babysat my boys over the summer is all grown up and working towards becoming a nursing assistant.  She also has a baby of her own and this past week I did a photo shoot with them.  I’m not a baby/family photographer, so I was a little nervous about it, but it was fun and I think I caught some sweet moments.  Here are a few of my favorites…

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It helps when your subjects are so stinkin’ cute.

It was a real challenge, though, since I was working with moving subjects AND the sun was not cooperating.  It was bright and harsh, so we had to shoot under trees and shade the baby with foam core board.  I tip my hat to photographers who take pictures of people all the time, especially wedding photographers.  The pressure!!

I think I’ll stick to furniture and stacks of grain sacks.

Living Room Sofa | Creative Space | Mini Mustard Seed

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40 Comments on “Living Room Sofa | Creative Space | Mini Mustard Seed”

  1. OMG! The baby’s blue eyes are beautiful! Your pictures are awesome! Please don’t give up on photographing people!

  2. Beautiful pictures! Wouldn’t expect anything less from
    you!! You are inspiring me to organize my garage
    Looks like a cyclone went through, and I can never find
    What I am looking for! Thank you for your inspiration!!

  3. I love the feeling of being organized, it such a feeling of accomplishment.
    Those pieces are going to be wonderful when their done, I hope you share the results when their done. I think you did a fantastic job with your photo shoot, congratulations 🙂

  4. You did a great job organizing Marian, I really need to do the same but I keep procrastinating.That French sofa is gorgeous, what a great find! and that dresser wow. Really nice shots of Mini MS and her pretty baby.

  5. Wow! this post touched on a lot!
    I have to say first of all… Cute baby! so glad to see that you keep in touch. the photos look great.
    Love the basement workshop…I saw the previous post about you getting it all cleaned up and organized…I had to look away– I was jealous. 😛
    Seeing the sofa…made me smile. After 3 years and getting over the fear of finally starting it… I’m in the middle of upholstering my won settee (next up matching chair!)
    That is a hard job. I’ve taken three years and studied and watched video after video…of HOW IT’S DONE. Now, I am finally getting to it and doing it myself. One of my biggest tasks…but, I’m happy with how it is turning out.
    Hope to have it done soon. It’s taking longer than I expected.
    Much success with yours.

  6. i find that when i throw stuff out then the next weed or so i what it use it. i have do that or then i would like so i keep stuff but i do not have as much stuff as you do.

  7. OMG The pictures are beautiful of the mother and child. So much love – you captured it Marian. And I have another confession to make – your new couch to be covered is a lot like my ugly couch nobody wants. First of all I’ve got to say that I have been fretting about what to do with it. I believe I wrote to you about it. The bones are of a Mediterranean style versus French but there is a lot of wood exposure. It is uncomfortable as all get out because it has three loose seat pillows and three loose back pillows with two little side pillows. I thought about getting a long hard density pillow for the seat and covering it in an attractive neutral hemp. The back pillow will be another solid hard density foam pillow attached to the back so it doesn’t scoot. I am taking pictures and I am anxious to show my results. Won’t all of those doubting Thomases who laughed at my poor couch be sorry. 🙂 Need I say, I love your blog!! BTW, I am new to the blog and I did read your book but I didn’t find this answer or I didn’t see it – where did you get the name Miss Mustard Seed??

  8. So, in the past, when I have read all of the (wonderful) things that you are juggling, I wondered how you breathe! Seriously! You are able to keep on top of so many projects. So glad you had time to organize and purge, that always feels good and the pictures of both baby and momma are gorgeous.

  9. Marian,
    I think you missed your calling. You really captured the tenderness and love between a new mother and her baby. The new sofa has great bones and I cant wait to see how it turns out but I must confess I am really sad to see the French inspired sofa go.

  10. Thanks for the great inspiration on organizing. I will be retiring soon and my first ‘retirement project’ is to clean our 1200 sq. foot garage/shop. Your blog always informs, teaches, inspires – and I have learned so much from reading it every day. Especially to try new techniques – even if the chance of failing might scare me to death!

  11. Your cellar organizing is giving me serious Organization Envy.
    My cellar is a dungeon, and has ghosts, and I probably would never stay in it long enough to do my projects — but I would LIVE in your cellar — amazing!!!
    And the Mommy & Baby pictures are so very sweet and lovely.
    Nice work!

  12. As someone who started off shooting my kids, I can definitely say there are ways that people are easier, and ways that interiors are easier. Kids can be hard, but you don’t have to keep readjusting and “Oh I missed a spot on the floor” or “look how dusty that thing is.” There is less fuss and less need for perfection. But interiors and the styling can sure be fun!

    That couch is just beautiful and so is mini and her baby!

  13. He’s so cute with beautiful blue eyes!
    That dresser you found is divine!
    I envy that workroom, lol, but it is very inspiring.

  14. You are a great family photographer – the pictures are precious.

    I love the sofa. Even in it’s rough state I can see where you are going to take it.

  15. Isn’t having things organized heavenly… It inspires me just looking at your orderly space. I have a shed with tons of old paint… i think i’ll follow your advice about getting rid of it!
    Great photo shoot. Those are such precious pictures of mama and baby… I love the second one the best… they are both so beautiful


  16. Beautiful. I WAS a wedding photographer and I preferred studio work or on-location shoots. You simply don’t have any do-overs in weddings, or births {yes…I did that too}! The pressure was incredibly difficult sometimes. I always had several photographers work with me. I followed the Bride, another followed the Groom. One for each set of parents. And all worked the reception. Otherwise you miss the action because invariably you are in the wrong location at the right time! But you did excellent and your editing was superb as a novice “photographer”.

  17. Oh my goodness, Mini Mustard is a lovely young mama, and Mustard Jr is darling!! I am working on my craft room this week, thank you for the inspiration to purge. It’s so easy (especially us thrifty folk) to hang onto stuff we need to let go. xo

  18. Can’t wait to see what you do with the new sofa. We have one in a very similar style that needs some updating. Hoping your makeover will inspire us to redo ours!

  19. Wow! Your workspace is amazing! We are Northerners stuck down south, where there are no basements. I really miss the extra work room and storage they afford!

    I am always so awed by your talents. It seems that you are über talented at everything you do. I am sure that Mini MS is beyond thrilled with her photos. What a cute little guys she has!

  20. Marion, sometimes I want to hate you, because you are so hard to keep up with (what what? now you can photograph babies??)…but you’re too nice! 🙂

    I love the plastic boxes in the work area. I am inspired.

  21. ADORABLE LITTLE FELLOW!! Love those blue eyes and the dimple in his chin. He’s a keeper!!

    It has cooled off here in the Midwest. Yesterday I defrosted the freezer in the garage and then washed my very dirty car. My neighbor’s daughter came out side and started laughing… said she’d never seen my wash my car. Aww.. now commone!! Then cleaned out the garage and today started working on a slipcover. Have very sore fingers!!

    So I’ll be interested in the hemp fabric when you post it on your online store. I have 4 new chairs that need new seats and backs.

    Keep us posted with more pictures of the Mr. Mustard, Jr. What a little angel!

  22. Wow, that sofa looks so similar to one I just finished re-upholstering and sold. It’s gonna be stunning when it’s done!

  23. Marian… You are one busy lady for sure! I myself have found the need this year to purge all over my house. It’s amazing how things just get away from you. My children (3of them) are all grown up now and I think back to when they were small like 2,4,& 6 and wonder how in the world I ever accomplished anything!! It’s a lot more difficult now it seems. Anyway…. I’m curious about your dresser you have in this post, I’m wondering if you’d mind telling me what you spent on it? I have a shop locally that I frequent a lot and I can almost always find those beautiful 1930s pieces. I just love them!!! And this shop can move in and out furniture like no ones business! I’ve bought a cpl of them myself and I know I’ve gotten great deals. I’m just curious as to the price difference between your location and mine (Indiana). If you’d rather not say I do understand!! By the way your photos are looking amazing!! Great job!

  24. Wow! I am totally blown away by your organizational skills. I am such a pack rat…can’t throw anything away cause I might need it some day…I have some work to do. I will start small. I will start today. I will start now…going to throw some stuff away!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    And great photo shoot!

  25. You are my inspiration. With all you do you made time for organizing. That’s it I have NO more excuses. I must stop procrastinating now and put one foot in front of the other and get it done.

    BTW I just received your book and have read it cover to cover in one day. It is so amazing and inspirational! I know I am a little late to the party but…there goes that procrastination gene again:)

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