I have some things to share tonight, but I’m going to do something I don’t usually (or ever) do.  I’m going to ask you to watch this video first and then read the post.  The reason is that I’m going to talk about the video and I don’t want you to read all about it before you watch it.  Okay?  Deal?

Did you watch it?  Okay, now you can read…

So, Saturday morning, I was showering to get ready for the day and I was thinking about the landscape dresser that I just finished. I was smiling at the fact that someone was coming to buy it that morning, despite all of my doubts and struggles as I worked on it.  I was intimidated by that piece and I told myself that.

You’re going to mess this up.  You aren’t good enough to pull this off.

But I pushed through it and, in the end, was really pleased with the results.

As I thought through those emotions, the lightbulb went off.  This is how a lot of people feel when painting a piece of furniture, when using milk paint, probably when tackling most home projects.  There is a moment of pause and those voices of negativity push in on you.  You can decided to listen to them or you can prove yourself wrong.

Ah!  This is my next milk paint commercial!!!

I literally hopped out of the shower, wrapped up in a towel, and ran out to get a scrap of paper and pen to write down exactly what I envisioned.  It was rather silly, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have forgotten it in the five minutes it takes to properly dry off and dress, but I wasn’t going to risk it!

As I envisioned the commercial, I knew exactly the words I wanted to say and the emotions I wanted to express.  I also immediately pictured the face of the person I wanted to be featured in the video – Jen Baker.

I met her at 2015 Lucketts when she was shopping our space and spent some time chatting with me and Kriste.  A few weeks later, she spent the day with us at the studio.  Since then, I’ve followed her on Facebook and her blog, Eight Hundred Furniture, and she hung out with us for a while at Lucketts this year.  Anyway, I pictured her face, clear as day, for this commercial.

If you did watch the video, as instructed, you know why I pictured her.  She has the warmest, most contagious smile and that was going to be important for the ending.  She also has an “every-girl” quality about her.  That could be me or you or your friend painting that piece of furniture.

I sent her a text only hours after writing down the idea and she agreed to be my “model”.

And she was available on Tuesday.

Okay, this is happening and I didn’t have a piece for her to paint!!  So, my mom and I went out shopping on Monday and I found a sweet Eastlake dresser that was perfect.

mms-9031

I found a few other awesome pieces, too, which I’ll share in another post.

Last night, my brain was buzzing with the anticipation of the day ahead, so I started looking for a piece of music.  I listened to clips for a couple of hours until I found the one I used and it was perfect – moving, beautiful, and hopeful.  I even took the time to make a mock-up of the commercial with the music and some old video clips, so I could share my vision with Kriste and Jen the next morning.

Today, everything came together.  The day was overcast (mostly), so it was perfect for shooting outside.  Jen was a dream to work with and totally got the emotions I wanted her to convey.  The piece turned out great as well (although I am going to get simpler hardware for it, but that was all we had on such short notice!)

mms-9128

I edited the video as soon as we had all of the footage.  I felt like I needed to get it done while it was fresh.

The finished product was just what I hoped for.

Yes, a commercial is about promoting a product, but my goal has always been more than that.  I want to encourage and inspire and I wanted this video to convey that – to flesh out what my tagline, “move mountains in your home”, means.

It’s not about pretty decorating.  It’s about experiencing the process of creativity and working with your hands and ending up with something you’re pleased with…not because it’s the best thing ever made, but because you made it.  It might be wonky and crooked and imperfect, but it’s your wonkiness and crookedness and imperfectness.  You learned and you grew through the process.

And, best of all, you proved yourself wrong.

183 Comments

  1. Elizabeth

    Thanks for this video! I watched it as instructed (haha) -& it spoke to me. The same way your book ” Inspired You” spoke to me. I CAN move mountains in my home, my life.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Cynthia Krantz

    God’s perfect timing is amazing! I have just pulled into the driveway with 3 pieces that were too good to pass up. They need TLC (and MMSMP) and, I’ll admit that my “treasure pile” is encroaching on where my husband’s hockey & fishing equipment reside in our garage. He opened the door & gave me a disparaging look & then he closed the door. He hasn’t talked to me since.
    I allow others to repeatedly suck the joy out of me and stall my creativity because I seek approval for my inspirations before I begin. After watching your video, I think I understand that I need to still the negative self talk and simply start creating. God gave me a vision that allows me to look at stuff in a dumpster, the side of the road, a thrift shop & yard sales, and turn them into usable, pretty furniture. Other people actually buy some of this “junk” so, perhaps, I should work on that pile & allow my gift to shine…and give my sweet husband’s hockey equipment some breathing space.

    Reply
  3. Iris

    Wow! This is just about a dresser (and soooo much more). I almost cried watching it. So good.

    Reply
  4. Andrea Brehl

    Beautiful!

    Reply
  5. Ali

    Bravo! Thanks for the push…I have a piece to finish for my new home & I’m battling that voice even on a daily basis. ❤️ And, she has a sweet contagious smile! Ali

    Reply
  6. Brooke Snow

    This video and your words were profoundly timely for me. I am a novice at painting furniture. A few months ago I attempted painting this awesome apothecary cabinet that I just love. Unfortunately, it turned out awful! The paint didn’t just chip, it peeled off in large strips, and every time someone in the family would brush up by it or even breath in the same room, more paint would fall off!! I was disappointed and not very excited about redoing it all over again. But this week I decided it was time for “take two”. I prepped with a light sanding and used a paint with a better bonding. It stuck! And out of great determination to not have to paint a third time I added a poly sealer. Despite the joy of the paint sticking, I was disappointed in all of the flaws. It wasn’t perfect. There were little bumps everywhere that I sealed in, from being over anxious to finish. I apparently even sealed in a piece of my own hair that of course won’t come up. This morning I was examining every square inch of the piece with critical eyes, about two inches away from the cabinet. I felt defeated but not ready at all to tackle it again. I hauled it into the family room. Attached the new hardware, styled the top, and then stepped back… I stood from a perspective that most people will look at it and was astounded! It was great! It looked awesome! It was a great improvement over my first job AND the original version I bought!

    Immediately, I thought of the parallel to my own life. I often get so fixated on looking at myself from two inches away… I find a bump or flaw and feel defeated and fool myself into thinking that every inch of me is the same quality. Yet, when I step back, and look at myself as a whole, from the proper distance to see the big picture, it’s awesome!! I can’t help but think that that is how God see’s us… He see’s us as a “whole”. Always, He see’s the whole. He doesn’t fixate on the small bumps and magnify them while missing the big picture–the way I have done. It was such a neat experience to realize how much more beauty there is when I step back and see the progress, take in the whole picture, and feel confident and happy that most all things in life are more beautiful when you observe from further back.

    Oh the things you learn from furniture 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Ella

      Love your story and perspective! Totally identify and agree!

      Reply
  7. Gail Russ

    Obviously your viewers find this video (SO much more than a commercial) touching. Yep, I’m one of the ones with tears in her eyes at the end. This is just absolutely lovely in every way. Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Karen

    She looks a lot like you…..great ad!!!!!

    Reply
  9. Lillian

    Awesome, and inspiring.
    I tell my students that I don’t want to hear “I can’t…….” but as adults, we do it to ourselves all the time. Maybe we don’t even realize it.
    Nice job, thanks for being an inspiration!

    Reply
  10. Meg bush

    This was wonderful!! A gift to many of us:). Well done!

    Reply
  11. Ingrid

    Great videographer you! Enjoyed watching the piece.

    Reply
  12. Kim

    Very inspirational. Thank you!!

    Reply
  13. Candia J. Freeman

    AWESOME!

    Reply
  14. Brenda D

    Where is the love button when I need it !!! Love the video and all that you do Marian. Thank You

    Reply
  15. Janine R

    Although I like most of your painted pieces, I NEVER would have painted this dresser. Felt like it was ruined by the paint job. Well, i guess if you’re happy with it.

    Reply
  16. Sharon Grundy

    You DO cause us to move mountains in our home!
    I’ve attempted other diy projects before and have never been pleased with them …maybe because they didn’t really speak to me or they weren’t my style… they looked very diy… However, I’ve been so surprised and happy at how I feel after I try something you’ve shared and taught and it’s allowed us to decorate our home with personal touches that don’t look so arts and crafty. It’s also helped me discover what styles I personsally like and you are just the sweetest.

    Thank you for that. If you didn’t do what you do, I don’t think I would’ve developed as much as I have and I wouldn’t have discovered the passion of making our home…and my husband likes this for me too! You’ve equipped me with all sorts of tools under my belt! I feel like I’m becoming more like a Proverbs 31 woman!

    Reply
  17. Anne

    Great video! I loved it!
    Anne.

    Reply
    • Kitty

      Loved the video
      Learned a lot from it
      brought tears
      Thank you ………
      that dresser is beautiful either way….
      art is in the eye of the beholder that appreciates
      …..makes us all the same ~and different too !
      positive thoughts = more graceful thoughts

      Reply
  18. Gloria

    Moved mountains and moved me to tears! This is SOOO much more than a video about a dresser and paint….wow, I’m verklempt now, as this was a timely message for me especially on this particular day… I truly got it! My very favorite part… at 1:12 …. a smile and then a single piano plink☺️. You, Marian, are an instrument of HIS work!

    Reply
  19. Brenda Payton

    Inspiring!
    Thank you for bringing your vision to life and giving it wings. I am yet again benefitting from your candid experiences.
    Thanks for trusting us with your honesty .
    Brenda

    Reply
  20. Sheri

    You nailed it. I’m sending this to my sister and sister in law.

    Reply
  21. Robin Ramsey Leach

    She does look a lot like you! It’s beautiful!

    Reply
  22. Brigit

    Loved this post and video! This is just what I needed today after struggling to complete a color dipped dresser with detail on the sides – I really didn’t think I could do it. 🙂

    Reply
  23. Nan, Odessa, DE

    As long as I have followed your blog I had no idea that you painted right over the original finisj. Is this true? Your video was great. Your many talents amaze me!!!!

    Reply
  24. Sheila K. Smith

    I loved it! That was a beautiful story. Certainly inspirational. Thank you!

    Reply
  25. Louise W

    Excellent inspiration. Been there, done that. Thanks!

    Reply
  26. Marsha Parker

    It came out perfectly. Don’t change a thing. I love it!

    Reply
  27. Lona

    Those thoughts delivered to you in the shower were Heaven-sent. That commercial will be most productive; it just has to be. Thank you for being alert and available for those messages. Keep it up!

    Reply
  28. Hedy King

    Excellent! Simple, moving and so, so encouraging. I thought you had let your hair grow, I etched the video twice thinking it was you. Beautiful smile. Can I buy the dresser? I’ll come get it. Bravo, Ms. video Director.

    Reply
  29. Karen P

    Ditto, ditto and ditto – it was the push I needed to tackle a dresser almost exactly like this one, didn’t know how I could work with the carvings, eww and yuck and everything in between. I need some Farmhouse White and . . .

    Reply
  30. EllieandElizabeth

    Loved this! I just write a post on my decorating fails, just accepting yourself and not being too negative. It is the fun of trying!

    Reply
  31. Mz V

    Oh, this is so much more than a commercial for your paint….I love it!

    Reply
  32. Liz

    Beautiful ad with a really beautiful message. Thanks again for the inspiration and encouragement.

    Reply
  33. Frankie

    Beautiful, beautiful video! The message and spirit you conveyed …. wow! Thanks so much for sharing this — I really do feel inspired and uplifted. I love it!

    Reply
  34. Nanci Neenan

    Perfection!

    Reply
  35. Sherry

    It’s not about the paint, it’s about the believing in yourself. Great marketing concept!

    Reply
  36. Jean reistle

    Just like many others, I have shied away from beginning projects because of fear. I usually would just read your article and skip the video BUT I gave in and watched. You did ask me to, right?! It’s a beautifully accurate video of what I feel. You made me want to take a leap of faith! Thanks for sharing we all have those feelings of inadequacy, guilt, fear. Let’s all move mountains girls! <3

    Reply
  37. Naomi S.

    Very inspiring and well-done video, Marian! Just right for what you wanted to express. Here’s something funny, though: not knowing what the video was about, when I began watching it I thought who is that young woman? I’d never seen Jen before and I really thought I was watching you with a different hair-style when you first started your blog or something. Honestly, I kept thinking is that Marian or not. She looks a lot like Marian, but the hair….it must be Marian, who else could it be?
    Then, when I read the rest of the post and saw the following photos, I got it! But you two do look very much alike–you could be sisters. I’d like to see the two of you together, then I might be proven crazy! But for now, I’m stickin’ to my first impression.

    By the way, the dresser is quite lovely even tho’ I had misgivings about you painting it as it really was beautiful in its natural wood state. I’m one of those people who always argues with myself about whether a nice wood piece should be covered with paint. But most of the things you have done I have really liked painted.

    (Can’t wait for the third landscape dresser!)

    Reply
  38. Susan

    Here is my reaction in three parts:
    1. This heartfelt and relatable ad will bring in LOTS of new customers.
    2. Seriously? Marian can produce a professional ad without help from a professional ad executive, AND in less than 24 hours? Amazing, really.
    3. It shocks me that you, of all people, can still have doubts about the outcome of a furniture makeover!
    You have found your calling, girl!

    Reply
  39. Cheryl

    I cried! It reminds me of me and several others that are afraid to start something!! Thank you and I loved it!

    Reply
  40. Rain

    Your commercial speaks to the inner voice many of us have and hear on many areas of life. It is easy for us to allow that inner voice to guide or lead us in our decisions and our progress.

    I have worked on many pieces of furniture. It takes me time, I wait for the furniture to speak to me on what it needs to become. Sometimes my piles of projects become overwhelming.
    I receive many compliments on the work I do and have had many girlfriends ask me to teach them how to refinish furniture and much of what your commercial shows in self-talk, is many of the messages I have heard my friends say out loud to me as we embark on a project.

    I always encourage them to wait and allow the project to unfold. I hear alot of “Oh, I wrecked it“, “I messed up“, I say “wait, wait until you are done. What may seem like a mistake now comes together“.
    When we are finished I see women that are so proud of themselves and what they have accomplished. It is amazing not only to see the transformation of the piece but more so the transformation of the woman who took on something and achieved their own success!

    Such a beautifully, well-thought out commercial that is going to speak to so many women on so many levels!

    Reply
  41. Suzie Dunson

    Very well said….I think it’s perfect to use this to encourage those who feel this way towards decorations or diy projects…I always say…I’m good at it but sometimes I suck at it…not everything turns out as planned.. Some things are a total fail…but..I keep going…enjoy the process…the good…the bad..and the ugly….

    Reply
  42. Sandy

    God’s perfect timing, the perfect idea and the model all unfolded beautifully. I love this commercial! I love her smile and the music too.

    Reply
  43. Bambi Mayer

    Love it! I thought it was you with hair extensions for most of the commercial.

    Reply
  44. Julie | Chasing Spring

    I LOVE everything about this Marian! The commercial, the music, the feelings, the message… and also the dresser! x

    Reply
  45. Candy Hill

    This struck a chord! Really lovely!

    Reply
  46. Debra Boyer

    “WOW”!!!! NUFF SAID!

    Reply
  47. Holly

    Perfect. Really, just perfect. I remember being sooooooo scared the 1st time I tried milk paint. And, it didn’t come out great. But, a second and third coat and some antiquing wax rescued it, and now I love my tricycle red gardening table. Since then, I’ve painted a bookcase, blanket chest, desk and am working now on a desk chair. Each one has been a learning experience. Every time I was scared to start, and a bit discouraged at some point in the project. But, I pushed through and now love having these pieces in my home. This video perfectly captures the joy that comes from overcoming fear and pushing through to finish a piece. Thanks for all that you do. I look forward to reading your blog every day, and find so much inspiration in your work. Oh, and I really, really want to buy one of your landscape dressers one day, and maybe one with some of your gorgeous free hand stenciling. I’m tempted to rent a trailer and drive up from Florida to PA. 🙂

    Reply
  48. Kim

    I’m sorry to say. I have tried MMSP on just about every piece of furniture I bring in the shop and followed the directions word for word. I CAN NOT GET ONE PIENCE TO CHIP!!! I don’t think that stuff likes me very well, however I am not giving up. Maybe the heavens will open and the Milk Paint gods will look down on me.

    Reply
  49. Michelle

    Love it!!

    Reply
  50. Lisa

    Simply, lovely. Thank you.

    Reply
  51. Melody Wright

    I love this post! I have been trying to muster the courage to paint some furniture. I love the look of milk paint. But I’ve always felt those feelings…it won’t look that good, you’ll mess up, or can I really do this? Thanks for giving me modivation to at least try. And thanks for sharing your talents!

    Reply
  52. KathieB

    Brilliant, Marian, just brilliant!

    Reply
  53. Christy Keyton

    Okay, this is probably silly, but this made me cry!! So, so perfect for how people really feel!! I can see myself in that very spot when I first painted! You nailed this.

    Reply
  54. Bonnie

    Love everything about this post and video!! ???

    Reply
  55. Sharon A

    Absolutely love it. I paint lots of furniture in my home but sometimes even I feel ‘overwhelmed/doubtful’ etc. I think your video is very inspiring x

    Reply
  56. Tina

    Brought tears to my eyes!

    Reply
  57. Susanne

    Love your commercial!!! I felt exactly the same way when I tried chalk paint for the first time. Milk paint is my next adventure!

    Reply
  58. Teresa

    What a beautiful smile!!!!!!! I loved this.

    Reply
  59. Susan NJ

    I loved the video and the encouragement to try something new.

    Reply
  60. tina

    Wow. You told the story beautifully. Well done.

    Reply
  61. ART Murphy

    This is so on point!!!! Love it and love the message….

    Reply
  62. Patricia

    I actually dropped by the blog today before I go downstairs and paint my mom’s old chairs that nobody likes but I can’t give up without trying to breath new life in them.
    Your video actually made me well up because it convey’s exactly how I feel about getting this project- and others- accomplished. And it’s not as if I’ve not done anything that turns out well before, but self doubt always lurks.
    Good job to all of you- and thanks.

    Reply
  63. sue

    such a GREAT message! I’m an art teacher for K-12 students and I’d say after 3rd grade, this self doubt about creating, is the number one trait I observe in the classroom. After every project, I ask students; Well, what do you think? and they always, ALWAYS are proud of themselves and what they have learned/accomplished. We never stop learning and we never stop surprising ourselves. The power of what we can do w/ our hands is there everyday. 🙂

    Reply
  64. Bshane

    Very nicely put together… I especially liked when you edited in a few candid snippets.

    You have good instincts in casting. The talent really was perfect for the role of Nervous Furniture Painter.

    You might consider shooting more candid footage in your next project, to open up the possibilities for B-roll. With a non-professional actor, you’ll probably be happier with the results. Here’s why: Even with brilliant casting, when a non-professional acts, it’s It’s almost impossible for her not to look like she’s acting.

    Overall, a beautiful job.

    Reply
  65. Luanne B

    I always remind myself …it can be repainted

    Reply
  66. Jill

    Did I miss the name of the color? It’s just perfect. Love the video and yes, I agree with Bshane…the casting was excellent, and conveyed the message convincingly.

    Reply
  67. Jane Dawson

    I haven’t been to visit your blog for a while and this one made me cry. This is how I felt when I first started and how I feel when I stand back and look at a piece. More importantly I think it expresses how so many of us feel about other aspects of our life as well. Beautiful.

    Reply
  68. Susan Totten

    You captured the thoughts that go through people’s heads when they are trying something they have never done before. Before they start a project they ( me ) have usually talked themselves out of even attempting it. Thanks for the inspiring video!!!

    Reply
  69. Erin

    Love love love

    Reply
  70. Peggy

    I have painted several pieces of furniture, however, I have not used your milk paint….after seeing this, I will look for your product. I loved the piece of furniture and, the finished product was STUNNING. I am curious as to what she applied to the top, and how much sanding had to be done before applying…if any.

    Reply
  71. LaShanna Nimpfer

    This is real. I live this moment over and over again when I plan to start a project. Capturing her laughter at the end beautiful. It is the reward I give myself when I can step back and see what once was only a vision.

    Reply
  72. MIchelle A.

    Love this!! Even though I have done several home projects over the years with great results, I still second guess myself every time I start something new … This video is a great reminder to just “go with it!”. I love the finished dresser and Jen was the perfect person for the video. Thank you for the inspiration!

    Reply
  73. Abbey

    I think I needed to hear this today. As a mom trying to decorate a home and run a furniture painting business I am always finding myself “stuck” creativily. I have a vision but can’t always seem to bring it together. I doubt my skills and creative abilities. I want to give up. Thanks for reminding me of the joy and beauty of the creative process with all its ups and downs. It isn’t about making something “Pinterest perfect”, it’s about doing what I love and that sense of accomplishment. Someone will fall in love with my projects and my salvaged furniture will find a new home if I keep at it. Thanks

    Reply

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Hello!

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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