Me & Mrs Jones

Marian ParsonsMiss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, Running a Business

I left early (for me) Thursday morning to fly to Memphis, Tennessee to spend the weekend with Shaunna of Perfectly Imperfect and Stephanie Jones of Me & Mrs Jones.  Trips like these always feel like a bit of an interruption to daily routine (I guess trips technically are), but they always end up being a huge boost for me.  They pull me away from the computer screen and the studio and give me the opportunity to meet with kindred spirits.  I’ve come to expect that from these trips and this one didn’t disappoint.

First of all Stephanie Jones, if you have never, ever heard of her, you should check her out.  She is not only so creative and an inspiring entrepreneur, but she is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met.  Seeing her in action and spending time with her in her creative spaces was a delight.

Enough gushing.  Here are some shots of her South Cooper, Memphis location




I mean…that dresser?!?  Shaunna actually bought it.

I’ll tell you, Stephanie knows how to rock a stencil.  She used them everywhere, but in subtle and perfectly appropriate ways.

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And the plates in the bathroom were totally speaking my language.  I love how they were pleasingly clumped on the dark gray/purple wall.


And there was literal inspiration everywhere…on cork boards and other displays.

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And there was a whole buffet of tools of the trade, just inviting you to start a project.

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Shaunna and I started the day with live “remote” segments for the local ABC morning news show.  I’ve done several TV segments, but never one remotely, so that was a new experience!  I felt like I was smiling and nodding and looking generally awkward a lot, since I was basically talking to the anchor on the phone while looking into a camera, pretending like I could see her.  I felt better when I saw Shaunna’s live segment and her smiling and nodding looked completely okay.  I hope mine did, too!

We taught two MMS Milk Paint workshops – the first was painting step stools and the second was painting hearts made out of reclaimed wood.


The stool workshop was supposed to be a beginning class, but we dove into the deep end of the pool anyway, and did some layering and resists.


It was so fun to see how different each stool was, even though the same techniques were used.


That green and white stool (belonging to Paige, our “star student”) was particularly chippy, so we sealed it in Tough Coat and it turned out looking really cool!  I wish I took more pictures of the stools and hearts, but I put the camera away and was too distracted to get it back out again!

Stephanie did take a picture of the heart workshop, so you can see what they looked like…

I was borrowing a smock from her stash and I loved it so much that I set one aside to buy.  Even though she had plenty, I was certain there would be a run on apron smocks!  I plan to wear mine whenever I’m painting, “arting”, etc.

While the entire day was a highlight, a special moment was getting to meet Heidi, my “virtual assistant”.  She has worked for me for about five years and we’ve never met!  Of course, we have Skyped and we text and e-mail all the time, but we were never able to give each other a hug and hang out.

Heidi & Marian

I didn’t know she would be taller than me!  Ha!

I am so happy to introduce you officially to her.  I call her my “ninja”, because she makes things happen quickly and quietly behind the scenes, making me look so much better than I actually am.  I have said to her at least 20 times that she can never grow up and get a “real job.”

Anyway, we hugged and laughed and she spent the day lending a hand at the workshop.  I was bossing her around in no time.  No e-mail needed.

We got together for a dinner at Stephanie’s Germantown store that evening for some Memphis barbecue.  I had to have the natives teach me about the sauces, which was a good thing, so I didn’t inadvertently douse my sandwich with the spicy sauce.

Shaunna and I crashed in our hotel room, but not before laughing so hard I was in tears.  I actually had to curl up in a ball a few times, to keep my stomach from cramping up.  It was the perfect cap on a great day.

I’ll share more about my trip to Memphis, including the Fancy Little Flea and its vendors and what I purchased…

Me & Mrs Jones

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