I spent Thanksgiving in Raleigh, NC, visiting Jeff’s family.  The days were mostly filled with relaxing and visiting, but I did take advantage of my close proximity to one of my MMS Milk Paint retailers (In Sweet Time at The Mercantile in Knightdale, NC) and I spent an evening teaching a milk paint demo and signing books.

The evening itself was so special.  You know how magical it is when you get to spend time with creative kindred spirits?  It was all of that and more.  The demo turned into a full sit-down workshop (with several people from the “audience” participating in painting and finishing the piece) and a discussion about creative small business, blogging, and social media.  I got to meet so many delightful people, some who dropped Thanksgiving preparations and others who drove several hours to be there.

And I had the treat of touring the beautifully curated a styled retail space.

There were so many stunning pieces and displays.  I was glad I came to the event early, so I had time to mill around and shop and take pictures.

Right off the bat, I fell in love with this grandmother clock and was mourning the fact that we didn’t drive!  Although I doubt the clock will still be there, I resolved to go back to the store with my van next time I am in the area.

There were many gorgeous pieces of ironstone that I was tempted to buy, but I have so much already that it didn’t make sense to go through to trouble of shipping something back to myself.  There will always be more ironstone to be found and I have a knack for finding it.  I left it for another shopper.

The space they had set up for my demo was perfect!  We ended up scooting benches and chairs around, so almost everyone was able to sit down, making the event feel more comfortable and less hurried.

Kim from In Sweet Time found this pretty sergeant’s desk for me to paint.  It has great lines and it’s an oldie, so I felt like it needed to be painted in a color that made sense on it.  Typewriter fit the bill.  I painted the base and finished it in Hemp Oil.  I also demoed our newest product – Zinc Wax.

(Here is how the little milk pail finished in the Zinc Wax turned out…)



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Once the desk was finished, we styled and photographed it in the men’s bathroom of all places!  It turned out so great!


Even though the desk was a collaborative effort, they had me sign the inside of the drawer.  The little desk was then auctioned off and 100% of the proceeds went to JDRF in honor of my Type 1 Diabetic son and in the spirit of supporting diabetes awareness month.

I also signed copies of my first book, Inspired You, and visited with everyone who came out that evening.  As someone who works in the bubble of my house more often than not, it’s easy to feel isolated and to view followers as the collective number instead of individuals.  Events like these help me put a face, a name, and a story to those numbers and there is something encouraging and motivating about that to me.

I just can’t give enough praise to the group of talented people who work and sell at The Mercantile.  They have not only created a space that is beautiful, but that feels special.  It has good vibes.  In that way, it reminded me of Lucketts.  It’s the unique mix of antiques, home decor, and good people with a little fairy dust sprinkled in.  It will draw you in when you crave inspiration and call to you even when you don’t have anything specific you need to buy.

I couldn’t help myself, though, and I did end up buying something.  I did my Small Business Saturday shopping on Tuesday.  The owner of The Mercantile also gave me the most perfect gift as well.  I’ll share my purchase and that gift in another post…


  1. Jamie Shearer

    The Mercantile is some kind of special place. Jenny has done an amazing job with it!

  2. Brenda

    Great business f ok r our little town.

  3. At Rivercrest Cottage

    Lovely place to shop and drool at all the wonderful things. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  4. Kate

    I saw an ironstone pitched just like the one in your photograph at Goodwill. I was tempted to buy it because I rarely find ironstone in Ohio, but the handle had been broken and glued together quite noticeably. It was only $2, but it really wasn’t a show piece and I would have been buying it just because it was ironstone.

    It’s funny – I like shopping at places that are well curated and have good displays. My two sons (my antiquing buddies) don’t like them, They say they find the most interesting and cheaper stuff at places that are a bit haphazard.

  5. Jerry Stocks

    Wish I had known about this great store when I was a flight attendant and based in Raleigh. It looks like an amazing place to shop.

  6. Sherry Stuifbergen

    Wow, what a mecca of antiques and inspiration! I would love to go there and hang out and buy. Thank you for pictures of some of the booths.

  7. Mary in VA

    Marian, this place is so you! I might have to go there, it would be an easy weekend trip from Richmond. And the desk – as soon as I got to the finished picture, I said “yes!” (to an empty house). It’s beautiful, perfect.

  8. MaryLisa

    Looks like a great inspiring evening! Your photos are inspiring me to do a road trip

  9. Patricia

    Marian, I live and Raleigh and guess where I will be going this weekend after reading your post!
    Thanks for pointing me towards this beauty of a shop!

  10. Mary S

    I think you should call that shop and have that lovely clock shipped to your home in MN.
    You know it’ll be gone shortly.

    Mary S

  11. Jan Fusco


  12. Kathie B

    I love how the desk turned out. Typewriter is always so gorgeous. So pleasing that you were able to support such a worthy cause as JDRF too. It sounds like a wonderful evening, shared with amazing people in a really special space.

  13. Marlene Stephenson

    Looks like a wonderful store and a nice time with like minds.

  14. Deborah

    I just purchased your book that I had no idea existed!!! So excited! I may have to get brave and learn how to transform a treasure with milk paint! 😀

  15. Nancy

    I loved how the desk looked after you painted it. The fact that the owners donated it to such a worthy cause means I have to shop there. These are the kind of people that I want to do business with.Thank you also for featuring the shop. I spend a week every summer in Raleigh but have never found any good antiques stores. This place looks like a great place to shop!

  16. Doreen

    I live on the coast in NC and flew into Raleigh from Puerto Rico Tuesday. My flight arrived near midnight so I decided to stay overnight, particularly after learning about The Mercantile from your recent post and researching where it was (after that I then drove to Goldsboro to visit The Cloth Barn), and got an early start Wednesday.

    The Mercantile is a fabulous store! It’s so ‘you’, and while there were SO MANY things I loved, sadly I walked out empty handed. Many of the items just wouldn’t fit in my home. There was a cocktail table as soon as you walked in that I would have picked up in a heartbeat, but of course I just bought one three weeks ago 🙄. Doesn’t that always happen? The clock was still there and I definitely thought of you when I saw the ironstone. Lots of lovely, pristine pieces!

  17. Lora Bloomquist

    What a beautiful shop! I know it takes a lot of work; great job, ladies! How fun to have Miss Mustard Seed there for a day!

  18. Roseann Marsett

    What I great shop but from Arizona it’s just too far away.

  19. Riviere

    Love antiques so much and you never believe my house is mostly filled with it.
    Wish I can buy quite a few from you. Do you mind?

    Note: Please add me to your emailing list.

  20. Kelli

    I have been searching for a desk to use as a bedside table. I live in Texas and haven’t found one yet.


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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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