Mineral Artist’s Pigment Set from Choosing Keeping

by | Oct 27, 2021 | art supplies, Artistic Endeavors, Creative Play, Watercolors | 39 comments

As I shared when Feels Like Home launched, I’m not likely to throw a big party.  I just want to have a good dinner at home with my family and throw a bit of confetti in my studio.  But, I also like to celebrate special occasions with gifts!  So, I got a few “book presents” for myself at each major milestone – signing the contract, turning in the manuscript, and launching the book.  One of those book gifts was a new camera lens and I’ll share that in another post.  One was a beautifully restored 1920s Underwood typewriter in the most delicious shade of green.  (I bought it from THIS small Etsy shop in France.)  And one was a set of 104 mineral artist’s pigments for the “what’s next time” that comes after a major project.

Isn’t this typewriter just the prettiest thing?  I’ve come to believe that every writer should treat themselves to a typewriter and a good fountain pen.

1920s green underwood typewriter | miss mustard seed

I was introduced to Choosing Keeping this fall when an Instagram friend sent one of their posts along to me.  I placed an order that very day for my mom’s back-to-school supplies.  And I have loved everything I ordered from them.

choosing keeping art supplies | miss mustard seed

I have been eyeing the huge set of 104 Mineral Artist’s Pigments by Saiun-do Kyoto Nihonga on Choosing Keeping’s website for months and decided to purchase it as my book launch gift.  Saiun-do is a Japanese shop in Kyoto that’s been making pigments by hand since 1863 and is still using many of the same recipes today.  Saiun-do appropriately means “Painted Clouds.”

One thing I love about ordering from Choosing Keeping is that opening their packages is like opening a present.  Everything is wrapped in paper and waxed bags with ribbons and Choosing Keeping bird stickers.

choosing keeping | Saiun-do Kyoto Nihonga Mineral Pigment Set | miss mustard seed

Here’s a video showing the unboxing…

In addition to the mineral artist’s pigment set, which I’ll show in a minute, I also got a bottle of watercolor binder.  I did make my own homemade binder, but I wanted to try out some different options.

choosing keeping | watercolor binder | miss mustard seed

And I got a brass travel watercolor brush

choosing keeping | travel watercolor brush | miss mustard seed

Of course, I love trying out new brushes, and travel watercolor brushes are some of my favorite.  This one has very long imitation squirrel bristles, making it good for details and washes.

choosing keeping | travel watercolor brush | miss mustard seed

The brush handle comes off and turns into a lid to protect the bristles when stored in a watercolor box…

choosing keeping | travel watercolor brush | miss mustard seed

So, now to the mineral artist’s pigment set.  Oh man, I was fluttering and giddy when I opened up these boxes and set them all out on my work table.

choosing keeping | Saiun-do Kyoto Nihonga Mineral Pigment Set | miss mustard seed

It’s a buffet of color and possibility…

choosing keeping | Saiun-do Kyoto Nihonga Mineral Pigment Set | miss mustard seed

Choosing Keeping does sell smaller sets of artist’s mineral pigments, but I decided to go big and invest in the large one so I  had lots of colors to test out.  When making paint, different pigments behave in different ways.  With such a large array to choose from, I can really learn and then figure out a smaller palette of colors I love the most.

choosing keeping | Saiun-do Kyoto Nihonga Mineral Pigment Set | miss mustard seed

For me, this set is about curiosity, beauty, discovery, and trying new things.  It’s giving myself permission to play creatively and to not always do the same thing on repeat.

choosing keeping | Saiun-do Kyoto Nihonga Mineral Pigment Set | miss mustard seed

And, this mineral artist’s pigment set speaks to me in all of the right ways.  It plucks all of my creative heartstrings.

choosing keeping | Saiun-do Kyoto Nihonga Mineral Pigment Set | miss mustard seed

I found the perfect home for the set in my antique post office register, so I can pull open the drawer and peek at it anytime I want.

choosing keeping | Saiun-do Kyoto Nihonga Mineral Pigment Set | miss mustard seed

For those interested, I made three videos showing the process of making homemade watercolor binder, mixing the pigments and binder, and then testing out the palette by creating color wheels.  It was such a fun creative project for me and I’m excited to share it with you.

mixing homemade watercolor binder and mineral artist's pigments | miss mustard seed

Before I sign off, I want to share something that’s been on my mind and heart this week.

What I create and share isn’t for everyone.  It never has been and it never should be.

I would say the very same thing about what you create and share whether it’s with one other person or with a customer base or an online audience.  As creatives, we have to exercise the muscle of being okay with the fact that we’re not creating for the masses.  The goal is not to create work that no one will hate.  That’s both a very high bar and a very low one at the same time.

calligraphy | platinum 3776 celluloid fountain pen | miss mustard seed

Our goal as makers, writers, artists, creators, and entrepreneurs is to create and curate things that come from the authentic place inside of us and share those things knowing that only certain people will love them.   In the online world where likes are tallied, feedback is almost instant, and comments can be anonymously made, it’s difficult to remember that it’s okay to create and share things that don’t resonate with everyone.  So, this is a gentle reminder for myself and for my fellow creatives.

I don’t want to just create and share things that no one will hate.  I want to create and share things that certain people will really love.

39 Comments

  1. Judeth

    I enjoyed your excitement in opening your gifts. You should also try writing greeting cards. Your words speak to so many people.

    Reply
    • Jane

      What a wonderful treat and surprise thankyou for sharing your unboxing with us My husband is an artist and works across all mediums but these mineral pigments are something he hasn’t used before so may be something to look into for a very special Christmas present. What a beautiful store Choosing Keeping is l guess how stores used to be in the past where quality goods and service were more valued. I love and appreciate all your content and find it beautiful and calming in a crazy world

      Reply
  2. Alli for Short

    Not everyone takes their precious time & makes something beautiful to share with people they don’t know. But you do, and we are all the richer for it! The pigments are just beautiful! Those blues and greens! Definitely will be checking out Choosing Keeping too. Love businesses that put their hearts in what they do & add those special little touches.

    Reply
  3. MaryLisa

    the typewriter is so cool! I will have to check out that Etsy shop

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, it really is special!

      Reply
    • StaceyLu

      I haven’t even watched the video yet and i’m jealous! Seeing all those little vials arranged in colored order like that makes me happy and my inner me is flipping-and-jumping-on-the-bed excited! Can’t wait to watch the video!

      Reply
  4. Deborah

    Well said, Alli! Marion, thank you for sharing from your heart, which expresses such beauty and encouragement.

    Reply
  5. Karen

    Thank you for that reminder, Marian. I enjoy reading about your various creative interests. I’m not a painter but I very much appreciate the creative process and as a textile colorist from a past career I drool over the beautiful pigments, paints and tools you use.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you for sharing that perspective. I feel that way, too! Even if I’m not particularly into a creative endeavor, I love reading about how other people do it and being let into their thought process. It’s enriching.

      Reply
  6. Mary Noel

    Lovely post. How do I covert British pounds to American dollars?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I just do a Google search and it will give the current exchange rate.

      Reply
  7. Addie

    Marian,
    I love ALL you share. A lot of what you do, I do too. BUT….even if it is something I don’t do, I find it interesting to see what others are into. While I LOVE crochet, I have NO interest in knitting. I still enjoy watching and seeing your progress with the knitting. I appreciate being exposed to it all. You are an artist of the arts in the broadest sense. Most creatives would be delighted to see what you are up to. Times change, styles change and interests change and expand. After all, you can’t keep changing your home!
    Thank you for putting it all out there.

    Reply
  8. Isabelle

    I have a feeling some nasty comments triggered the closing to today’s post. I am sorry you have to deal with haters. That said, I have always enjoyed your blog, and I admire your creativity and your passion for your craft!

    Reply
  9. Vicki

    Count me in that last group. I’ve fallen hard for those pigments. You showed a sneak peek of them a few days ago and I’ve been crushing ever since: looking the seller up, drooling over the contents of that lovely shop, and watching videos of making the paints. Mesmerizing. I’m so happy for you to have written such a beautiful book and then to have rewarded yourself with such a beautiful celebration gift!!!

    Reply
  10. Roberta Cordell

    We can feel the excitement as you open and show us each gift. Just sitting and looking at all the different shades give us a feeling of joy. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  11. Michelle Trabold

    Count me in group that loves what you do and share! Your style is not the same as my style, but I love every picture and piece of advice. I zoom in to see how you have things arranged or your tools and think about why that works. The world would be so boring if all we did is copy each other!

    Reply
  12. Margarita W.

    I really enjoy your blog, I’ve been following you for a couple of years now and I like that you are always evolving, taking it a step further and taking us with you on these interesting journeys. I might not decorate my home in the same fashion as you do but I take your information and tweak it to be my own. And on top of that all the great (free) painting demos oh my this gal is staying right here along with you.

    Reply
  13. Mayanna

    I recently quit Facebook because anonymous comments can be made without thinking of the feelings of others. It has become combative and hate encouraging. Plus the algorithms track your every move in shopping online. I am only one person, but if one other person reads my final Facebook comment and reconsiders their own participation, and another and another, I have made my point. .

    On another note, your pigments would be good for egg tempera. Just add egg yolk, mixed well with distilled water.

    Reply
  14. Cherie

    I love your typewriter it is a beautiful green 💚

    Reply
    • Carole Prisk

      I would add that as creators, artists, entrepreneurs, and writers you need to be open to criticism from supporters that follow you. It’s lovely to bask in glowing praise and adulation, but it’s smart to listen to those who offer you legitimate alternative views. You need to recognize that what you are doing is a job. Many of you are very well paid, and receive gifts and opportunities because of your followers. Every job has performance evaluations and suggestions for improvement. Every job has protocols as to how far you can go, and lines that you can’t cross. Being a” creative” is still a job and your followers are the measure of how much you earn. No one in a regular job can work only for people that share their point of view. If you are a waitress , you are polite, efficient and kind to all your customers; you can’t just cater to the big tippers. A teacher doesn’t get to teach only the students that love his/ her subject and those that work hard.They also have deal with the ones that nod off in class, fail to turn in their work and cause trouble. Doctors treat all the patients that come to them not just ones that have diseases they can cure. So creatives don’t get a free pass ; all jobs come with limitations and people who are critical of your work. I wish creatives would toughen up and realize that they’re doing a job. Successful creators receive financial gain, gifts ,travel and business opportunities that would never have been there if not for the folks that read their blogs, visit their Instagram accounts, buy the products they endorse, watch their blogs and buy their books and magazines.

      Reply
      • Marian Parsons

        Thank you, Carole. I appreciate your point of view and that you took the time to share it. I do think there is a misunderstanding of what I was saying, though. I was not complaining or responding to any specific criticism. I read all of my comments and very rarely delete any of them. I always listen to feedback and discuss it with someone who knows me well to see if there is something I need to listen to or take action on. I take all of it to heart and there are definitely times when I have been wrong, I have needed to apologize, or I have made changes based on constructive feedback. I am not referring to constructive criticism in this post. I’m referring to people who simply don’t resonate with the content I share. This is a big world with lots of creative content to consume and, if what I create and write about doesn’t inspire someone, then I would want them to find a place that does.

        I am not offering a service like the professions you mentioned above. People have a choice if they want to visit my blog and read it as a free resource. You are exactly right, though. If I create content that no one wants to read, then I’m not doing my job well! But, my job isn’t to create content that everyone wants to read or to sell things that everyone wants to buy. My job is to create from an authentic place and share it generously, which I take seriously and try my best to do every day. I hope you understand, but I appreciate and respect if you have a different point of view.

        Reply
  15. Laura Hale

    We love your blog Marian, and your creative journey. Thank you for taking us with you!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you, Laura!

      Reply
    • Carole Prisk

      I admire your mission statement, and I believe many people in the professions I mentioned are working with the same goals you are. Being authentic and sharing your skill set generously is just as important whether you are a taxi driver or an influencer. But I think you are in a service industry, and you are working under the very same parameters as the professions I mentioned. You suggest people that aren’t in line with your content can go elsewhere. The same is true for the professions I mentioned. You can change schools, home school, or put your children in private school if you are unhappy with their education. You certainly can shop around to find a doctor that you feel comfortable with, and only patronize the restaurants that offer food and service that suits you.

      You see your offerings as being free, but in reality you’re selling your paintings, your books and products. I have no problem with that. I understand that your painting , sewing , remodeling and crafting tutorials come with a list of recommended products to buy from your sponsors.

      My point of view differs from yours just in the way creators seem to think about their work. Being a creator is a job, and you are well paid for that job if you appeal to the public. You mention that we enjoy your offerings for free, but that isn’t really the case for most of us. We buy the products you suggest and promote. We are happy to because we like and admire you, but you are earning a living from that , so it is a job. Hopefully, I have clarified my point of view, and not annoyed you further.

      Reply
      • Marian Parsons

        Thank you, Carol. I appreciate your perspective. 💙

        Reply
  16. Gayle Stewart

    Marion, you are a bright light in a world that has become overwhelmed with hatred and anger. Thank you for sharing, not only your creativity, but also your joy.

    Your book is a wonderful creation and I am so enjoying each and every page. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you! That is so kind.

      Reply
  17. Mary S

    The color assortment is breath taking!! Oh… cannot wait to see what
    you create with them. Wish I lived closer so I could just hang out and
    watch what you do!! It would be creepy for me to say you are my idol….
    but – !!! yah.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      It really is such a beautiful, inspiring set. 🙂

      Reply
  18. Julia - Ponder & Purchase

    You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.
    John Lydgate

    My friend, you are a force of goodness and kindness, an inspiration to your people which gets lost or forgotten when negativity invades your inbox.

    Continue to create, play, mentor, blog, share as many of us have a thirst and your quenching and restoring our creative juices x

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, that’s exactly right. And it’s exhausting and impossible to try to make everyone happy. I know you understand, sweet friend.

      Reply
  19. Marian Zimmerman

    you go girl! love it!!!!! thanks for sharing your journey soooo inspiring, always taking us to the next level

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you, Marian! (Always nice to meet another Marian!)

      Reply
  20. Peggy Witter

    Oh Marian, your Underwood typewriter is stunning! Can you believe I’ve owned 5 typewriters? Ranging from a 60’s era aqua portable electric Smith Corona to an Underwood. Most I still own, others been gifted to our adults sons. They all work but definitely need a seriously deep cleaning as some of the keys stick. Once we get back home I’m looking into finding someone who will clean and repair them so they can be put to use again.

    And the mineral pigments…. stunning!

    Reply
  21. Debbie

    What a fun way to wrap purchases! That’d make me not want to open it.

    It makes me think of the time (twenty years ago) I bought something at Tiffany’s in NYC. They, of course, put it in the blue box and then tied the satin ribbon around it. I asked the salesman if he’d tie the ribbon slowly so that I could watch, and therefore I could re-tie it each time I removed the Christmas item from the box. Twenty years ago. Still doing it!

    I’ve followed you since you opened the boxes of your new MMS paints in your living room! Sometimes I’m intrigued by the content of your blog, sometimes not…but always it’s my choice to read or not. I’m excited by your creativity. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  22. Melinda Parkman

    See? You were meant to have that post office register just for your pigments. It’s amazing how things work out. Enjoy!

    Reply
  23. Sue

    Oh those pigments are a work of art in themselves! I am not and will probably never be a painter, but the way you present things always gets my creativity going. Thanks for all you do and for your kind and gracious personality. Your blog is always a place of beauty and comfort for me.

    Reply
  24. Jennifer W

    Hey Marian, the pigments are gorgeous just to look at! Can’t wait to see what you create with them! And your post office register is the perfect place to store them, it’s serendipity!
    I had to go take a peek at Choosing Keeping, what a cool store! I saw a sign in the window that they needed help leading up to Christmas. Wouldn’t that be so fun? I’d bring home my paycheck in purchases!

    Reply
  25. Sandy P

    Marian, I love your blog and every post!! You are everything I would like to be!!

    Reply

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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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