the perfect place for a gift…

by | Sep 16, 2014 | Artistic Endeavors, Favorite Finds, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint | 41 comments

Today I was getting ready for my trip to Toronto.  It suddenly occurred to me yesterday that even though I’m driving about the distance I would to visit family in Raleigh, I am going to another country!  I needed to call my bank and cell phone provider and get everything lined up, so my credit card isn’t turned off for suspected fraud and I can call Jeff.  I also tried on outfits, did laundry, checked and double-checked my list and the usual things one does before heading out of town.  I’m bringing some things from my house to populate the booth at the Home Show, so it looks very “me” to my readers.  I also had to bring things for demos, etc.  We’re packed pretty close to the hilt and my mom and I will be putting our van over 200,000 miles on this trip, so we’d appreciate prayers that we make it there and back safely!

As I was getting ready, I also gathered some things together to give the MMSMP retailers who are coming, including little vials of MMS Glass Glitter.  They looked so cute, I just had to take a picture.

I found myself getting a little anxious about the trip today as I was trying on outfits…you know that stupid girl thing that makes you wish you bought new clothes and lost 10 lbs before leaving…and I was feeling a little intimidated about being on the main stage and Canada AM, so I just needed to take a timeout from preparing and do what I do.

I oiled the top of the counter (click HERE for the story behind the FREE antique counter) and installed a paper and twine holder to the top…

This holder has a special story.  Do you remember when I took a trip up to Long Island, New York, to help a church whose building was severely damaged in Hurricane Sandy?  Well, one of my readers who lives there came to help.  Her name is Diane.  She was an amazing help and it was so great to spend time with her and get to know her.  She has been a shopper at the Lucketts Spring Market, so we’ve chatted in passing, but it was so different to work with her, sit down for dinner and hear her story.  She is such a neat lady and she gave me this as a gift.  Now, it has found the place where it belongs…on this amazing counter.

It really is perfect there.  I bought the paper and butcher string off Amazon.

It’s attached to the counter with two screws, so it’s sturdy, but it can be easily removed down the road.

I love the little holder for the string…

…and the fact that it says “New York” on it.  I’m not sure what the twelves are for, though.  Any ideas?

Since we met her in Long Island last April, Diane has retired from being a New York City police officer and has started her own blog.  She also rented a new space in an antique mall!  I’m so excited for her.  Her blog is Pretty Antiques Wonderful Salvage or PAWS, a nod to her dogs (since she was a K-9 cop).

I had about 45 extra minutes before I had to be home for the boys, so I decided to put some paint on the counter.  It was another way to relax and put the upcoming event in the back of my mind.  I turned up the music and got lost in the brush strokes.  So many of you voted for me to paint the counter in Mustard Seed Yellow, so I went with that.  It was a close call, though!

I was surprised at how beige the original color looked next to Mustard Seed Yellow.  (The side is painted and the front is still as found.)  I am going to sand a bit to distress it and reveal some of the original color.


That will have to wait until I get back from Toronto, though.

I have posts written and ready to go up while I’m away, including a couple of posts on styling and more updates on the studio and my house.  I’ll be sharing the trip on Instagram and Facebook if you want to follow along!


  1. Debbie Kelly

    Bring a jacket.

  2. Tara

    Hogtown is nice. . . but you should think about Cowtown (Calgary) sometime 🙂


  3. Debbie

    Could the 12’s be the width of your paper stand? Love your new space & the counter is great! Enjoy Canada! Safe travels!

    • Kimberly

      That was my immediate thought, too, Debbie. Maybe the 12s mean “12 inches”?

  4. Jill

    Wish you were coming to calgary!!! Would have loved to see you!!!

  5. Carol

    What is the width of the paper holder, possibly 12 inches? Just a thought! Love it and the story behind it! Safe travels!

  6. Angela Wallis

    Marian, remember this….we all Love you just the way you are. Looking forward to meeting you on Friday and I have been racking my brain trying to think of all the things I should say and what I should ask. haha Drive Safe.

  7. Eileen

    Hi Marian. I chuckled at your round trip of 200,000 miles! The distance from Gettysburg to Toronto is about 420 miles – or, in Canadian-speak, 675 kilometers. You’re right, though, it’ll be a long trip. Drive safely and I look forward to meeting you on Friday.

    • marian

      Ha, no. I mean that my van will go over 200,000 while we’re on this trip…the odometer is at 199,350 right now.

      • Eileen

        Well there you go! Now I’m chuckling at myself!

      • Michelle

        Hi Marian, the number 12 on the paper and twine holder may mean that the size of the roll is 12 inches.

  8. Sheila

    Marian, you’ve worked hard, you look great and you are going to be a hit in Canada. I hear you’re going to have a great lady helping you- Wendy from Front Porch Mercantile is my local retailer- love her! Have fun and safe travels!

  9. mara

    it is a perfect spot for your paper holder. everything is coming together perfectly : )

  10. Meg@OliverandRust

    have a blast in toronto, wave as you drive through niagara falls as our home is only 5 minutes from the highway you will be driving on. we are headed to your country while you are in ours on a big road trip/ show shopping trip. good luck on the main stage.

  11. Shelly

    Yes, the 12 is noting that it holds twelve inch paper. The paper holders come in various sizes as not to waste paper when wrapping items. I have never seen one smaller than a 12.

    Blessings and a safe trip.

  12. katie

    Looks totally awesome! Love the paper and twine holder! Have fun!

  13. Diane D

    I’m Blushing! Thanks Marian for all the kind words, but most of all for your inspiration & support! the paper & twine holder looks perfectly at home there on your awesome “free counter”.
    Debbie & Kimberly are correct the “12” is for the width of the paper it holds. Praying you & your mom have a safe trip. Enjoy! Again I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement & support

  14. Charlotte

    Safe travels to Toronto…and hopefully, someday you will venture into the Maritimes….NS, NB or PEI. I would definitely travel to see you!

    All the best & I’ll be tuning in to Canada AM!!

  15. Jean Hoeg


    I attended a Beth Moore Simulcast this past Saturday that was truly amazing and life changing. I have to thank you for one thing that was a major point at the simulcast, unfortunately women tend to pull each other down, have jealousy when other women are experiencing joy, however, you have proven in your blog today what a true women of God is. Thank you for building up Diane. Thank you for supporting her and sharing her joy. As Beth Moore pointed out, joy is not complete until it is shared. I am a friend of Diane’s and know how important this endeavor is for her. Thank you for completing her joy.

    God bless you and yours,


  16. Jackie

    Passport!! Don’t forget it!

  17. Jackie

    Passport! Don’t forget a passport.

  18. Felicia Adams

    For some reason, I was unable to post a comment yesterday. I wanted to say just how exciting I found the counter story! That is just crazy awesome…and they moved it for you! I absolutely love it. It is so perfect for your studio and so serendipitous. I think the yellow is stunning on the counter.

  19. Jonell Harrison

    When I was actively in the antique buy and sell mode I and my ‘like minded friends/associates’ would absolutely drool over the paper cutters we ran across…it didn’t happen often I guess that’s why..Right now if I had one I would dedicate space on a kitchen [small] counter for just what you have the paper cutter/roll and my early 20th century restored perfectly scales.

  20. Laurie

    It’s coming along really well, Marian! I am impressed that you haven’t settled for junky modern tables but are keeping the ambience 100% MMS. [well, except for the ceiling tiles.]

    My mother had a paper holder like yours but newer and it sat on board. I suspect yours is missing it’s board, which make the whole thing much sturdier, as the board could get screwed down in 4 places to the counter. See that other hold down below the paper? That would be for holding a different roll of paper.

    I like the mustard seed yellow on the counter. Light blue would have been too dainty for this business-y piece.

    Keep going! This is a very exciting time!

  21. Wendy @ Zoey's

    Nice gift….perfect spot for it! Whatever you do BE YOU! And you will do just fine 😉 Enjoy the time away…the butterflies go away once you are there and get going in your booth. Wish I could find time to stop up there and meet you. But perhaps I’ll get another chance when you start up in your new studio.

  22. Fonda Rush

    You are going to have to get a car company sponsor! Have a safe trip, and enjoy yourselves!

  23. Roxanne

    Ya know….when your out of the country, its easy and free to load Tango app and the calls are free…txting too- not too sure about data though. many people now use Tango. nice lil app.

  24. Jelena

    Hope you have a safe trip and a wonderful time in Toronto, Marian.

  25. Ruth

    Be Safe!!!!

  26. Susan

    Safe trip and see you at the workshop on Sunday.

  27. Deborah Zebrak


    Here in Toronto we can hardly wait for your arrival.

    Myself and a few co-workers will be front and center for your lecture on Sunday, we have also signed up for the painting seminar. Very excited to finally meet you as your blog and I are very good friends, Everyday when I arrive home from work I make a cup of tea and open my IPAD to see what Marian has to say today, it’s my quiet time and a great de-stresser and end to the day.

    See you on Sunday.


  28. Katherine

    I hadn’t intended on going to the Home Show until I saw that you AND Tommy Smythe will be there. Since I love both his style and your style – I will visit the show for sure.
    There is shop near my house that carries your paint line and teaches classes, maybe watching you hands on will encourage me to sign up for one of the paint classes.

    Have a safe journey.

  29. Sherry

    Oh Marion……I had my first pop up on your blog today! It was very very annoying and distracting. it would not go away, just kept moving as I scrolled. What do I do? Y’all have a safe trip.

  30. Judy H.

    Marian, what a lovely gift from Diane! She gave it to you not because of the clothes you were wearing or how much you weigh; she gave it to you because you are you, a delightful, compassionate giving woman. How fitting in your moment of self-doubt you went to oil your gifted counter and install your gifted paper and twine holder! Those moments gave you pleasure because they were important, authentic Marian moments. This woman is who people will see in Toronto, the one with the huge heart and shining creative spirit. God bless your travels.

    • Diane D

      You’re “Spot On” Judy!

      God Bless!

  31. MaryLisa Noyes

    I love the paper holder and it is difficult to find them with the string holder intact. I believe the 12 may stand for the size paper you can use in it but it is a guess. I loved your story since I was born and raised on Long Island. I will have to check out Diane’s antique space on my next trip home. Safe trip to Canada ….

  32. Cathy (Schultz) Chapman

    Bonjour! What a wonderful find for your shop! I found things like that when I was opening my retail home decor shop and you just know it is God’s doing to help you along and know that He is with you and for you. It will look great in your yellow paint, are you going to be able to leave easily knowing it is sitting there waiting unfinished!? Yikes! And those little bottles of glitter, super cute! I agree! Have a fantastic time!


  33. AnnW

    I’ve never seen a paper holder with the string on it. Nice gift! My husband gave me an antique string holder that’s in the shape of a beehive. You should collect clothes that are the colors of your MMS Milk Paint. Good luck in Canada.

  34. Lynn Dumouchel

    You are going to do great, just be yourself and nothing can go wrong!! My prayers are with you.

  35. Deb M

    WHERE did you find those adorable little vials for the glitter??? I must have some of them!

  36. Cindy

    You’re going to Toronto!? Wow… I will wish a safe and fun trip for you.
    The paper string holder thingy is too wonderful too! It’s completely perfect for your new counter – I’m sure you must totally love it. It has so much personality!



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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