Hey, everyone!  I’m sitting down to write this post as events this weekend have been canceled and, what was going to be a busy weekend is occupied with playing cards, making a chicken pot pie, housekeeping, and listening to the boys play Toby Mac in next room.  Jeff is taking a rare Sunday off to go fishing with a friend.  The quiet morning is welcome in this busy season, but it is a reminder that things are not normal.

Friday was our 21st wedding anniversary and Jeff and I ate breakfast out together and he took me to a Scandinavian store in Minneapolis I’ve been wanting to visit.  (I’ll share about that in another post.)  When we got back into Rochester, we felt like it would be a good idea to do our regular grocery shopping and also pick up a few extra things.  We weren’t in a panic, but as the parents of a type one diabetic child when food is an important part of his treatment, it seemed like wisdom to make sure we have plenty of staples.  We talked about why…in case of what?  In case supply chains are disrupted or we have to self-quarantine.  Things seem to change hourly, so who knows.

So, we did our normal grocery shopping and stocked up on a few extra things.  The stores were busy and more picked-over than usual, but we weren’t seeing the completely bare shelves and long lines that some are experiencing.

Anyway, I hope you’re all well and healthy and even enjoying some time at home.  With school, church, and the boy’s activities canceled and the gym closed, we’ll be at home a lot over the next few weeks!

And, one more thing before I get into today’s post.  Several people have asked where to buy the 1/4″ masking tape and the bottles I featured in THIS POST.  You can buy the bottles HERE and the masking tape HERE.

I also use this masking tape to make color charts…


Now, onto today’s post!

Last week, Jeff and I built the shelf for my studio.  I planned to make a tutorial for this build and show how we did it step-by-step, but I didn’t.  It was cold and drizzly the day we built it and I just wanted to get it done.  Aside from that, I cut one of the shelves 1/8″ wider than the rest, which we realized as we were putting the shelf together, so we had to take it all apart, fix the shelf, and then put it back together again.  We’ve done a lot of building together, but this was one of those projects that did not go smoothly.

We got it installed, though, and it’s going to do just what I need it to do.  I did forget about making sure a shelf wouldn’t run right in front of the outlet, which of course is what happened, but I can still use the bottom outlet, so it’s fine.  Done is better than perfect in this case!

Once we got the shelf installed, I was excited to populate it.  Jeff walked into the studio and watched me putting yarn on a raw wood shelf.  In response to his unspoken question I said, “I know!  I know it’s silly to style a shelf only to remove everything a couple of days later to prime and paint it, but that’s what I’m going to do.”

A couple of days later, I took everything off the shelves and primed and painted.  Calvin, my eleven-year-old, observed my odd behavior.  “So, mom…  You put everything on the shelf just to take it all off again to paint it?”

“Yes, yes I did.”

And the shelf looks great!  I have tons of storage for yarn, textile & crochet books, etc. And it’s a great use of an otherwise “dead space.”

And, the best part is, I have plenty of room to grow!  This shelf provides a lot of storage for having such a small footprint.

I love being able to really see all of my yarns and enjoy their yummy colors and textures.

Since my crochet hooks and spools of yarn and threads are so pretty, I have them displayed in antique marmalade jars and ironstone bowls.  I love it when things can be functional and decorative.

This week, I’m planning to paint the doors custom “Boxwood Green” and then the studio will be finished!

At least until I get my next idea for it…

You can find the cut list and plans for building this shelf HERE.


  1. Connie

    Perfect, per usual! Love seeing your pretty threads, bobbins, spools, & needles on display also – they add such great warmth & texture! Also love the wooden bobbin/yarn spinner thing-a-majig on the bottom shelf; what is it’s proper name?

  2. Robin

    Hi Marian! It looks beautiful as always! One question though…how are you keeping your cats away from the yarn? I tried displaying my stash years ago and realized it was a lost cause! I would come into my studio and the skeins would be spread all over the floor with bites taken out of them! I have boy cats…maybe the girls are better behaved??? ❤️❤️❤️

    • Susan

      Hah, hah, Robin, you beat me to the question that popped into my head. Marian is an optimistic soul and perhaps she has some special juju that she will employ to keep the kitties away. I just know that my two little pirates would happily be having a blast in those pretty colors. Sometimes, I can’t even tie my shoelaces with them around.

  3. Meredith MacRitchie

    It turned out so beautiful! I was showing your photos to my 11 year old as we sit waiting for the Prime Minister to make announcements about what’s coming next in all the uncertainty. We are making plans to hunker down so you’ve inspired us to finally tackle learning how to crochet – we have time!

    I absolutely love how you always store your things in beautiful and functional way. I share so many of your ideas; I like things tidy and in their place, but they should look pretty as well! Your shelf of yarn is just yummy. I love this studio of yours and I am looking forward to when we can transform our playroom into my own studio (2 of the 3 kids have outgrown it already!)

    These are uncertain times for sure… thank you for being such a beautiful distraction, and a constant inspiration!

  4. Maureen

    I love your new shelf and how your yarn choices repeat your home’s colors, adding that cozy Swedish Hygge feel! Using yarn to decorate as well as having great access is so smart! You motivated me, so I did a little of that this winter on my coffee table vignette, using a basket and some Minnesota wool yarn from Seelye Brook Farms. They have some that is dyed this year too, it is very soft, from their Tunis sheep. I also went out and found pretty wood crochet hooks. Thanks so much for the inspiration.!

  5. Mary

    Looks fabulous!

  6. Cyndi

    Beautiful! The yarns looks great and do the crochet hooks in the jar. Are doors to the room being painted or will you be adding doors to the shelf?

  7. Brenda

    I need to figure out how to store my crochet thread. Suddenly, my collection is overwhelming!

  8. Eileen

    It looks like a work of art. Form AND Function. Wonderful.

    Go shopping now. The President just said that this may go on until July. Nothing to mess with.

  9. CarlaS

    Awesome! Just love the new shelf. Organization always feels so good. This week starts the first of 3 working from home. It’s just strange not going into work. I think I’ve taken the company of my co-worker’s for granted and will enjoy getting back to normal, whenever that happens. Knowing others are in the same boat helps me feel less isolated. As always, thank you.

  10. Cynthia Johnson

    Hi Marian!
    Your new shelf looks like isn’t always been there. I love that you yarn etc are all out in the open to be seen. They look great in their new hone!

  11. Lisa D.

    I LOVE your shelf, Marian, and I love the picture of you with your sweet kitten sitting in your lap. Very sweet!

  12. Laura Scott

    As a mother of two Type I diabetics, I understand completely your concerns. My children are in their 30’s now and on their own. They understand the need to make sure their prescriptions are filled and the shelves stocked. And above all their need to just stay home. Unfortunately, my oldest works in a hospital and there’s no way around that.

    Your new shelf is beautiful!


  13. Mary Ann

    Lovely! I especially like how you styled the shelves.

  14. BeverlyO

    It looks great! I have pinned several images of shelves under sun room or enclosed porch windows over the years and hope to one day have my own place for beautiful form and function storage!

  15. Julie | Home On The Hill

    Soothing – that is what I felt from this post – the soft colours in the room and textures of the wool are a stark contrast to the crazy world we find ourselves in at the moment.

    Where I live in Australia we just went through 8 weeks of fire threat, days of smoke & anxiety, now the virus is impacting our lives in new ways – after a bad drought last year I was hoping 2020 would be softer kinder year, but so far it’s a whole lot more intense in many ways. But as you say it gives us time to catch up on things at home that have been too long on the to do list & find joy in the little things like a bowl of cottons or an old marmalade jar. 🙂

  16. Donna

    Very sweet and because I am from St Paul, I can probably guess your Scandinavian store. There is another place here that has your name on it, the Weavers’ Guild. It is not the biggest place but I am so sure you would be inspired. Also, it has a small gift shop. Hopefully, you have gotten to the best Scandinavian store in Mn and that is the Uff Da shop on the main street of Red Wing, Mn. My sister lived in Norway for 3 years and she agrees on this. Glad you are doing more exploring, the visual field trip is good for the soul.

    P.S. My favorite museum here is the Russian Museum, quite small & housed in an old historic church but the painting are fabulous. It has a great gift shop too. Enjoy.

  17. Kyle

    Was hoping you were going to do a tutorial on making your shelf. Could you tell us all the dimensions of the “case” and shelves, thickness and type of wood used? How it was built/put together? I think your community would like to at least read about it (I know I do) even if there isn’t video to watch. Just asking. It looks very professionally built. I’ve been looking for shelves/bookcase ideas because what’s available out there isn’t wood and overpriced. You guys did a great job!!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, you know what, I can share my plans and cut list, finished dimensions, and process of assembly.

  18. Pat

    Function and Fabulously displayed yarn!
    Love the style of this cabinet!
    Love the function!
    Your Studio is truly and inspiring space for creative work!
    Thank you for sharing!

  19. Patricia Kasparian

    I think your studio is my favorite room in your house 🙂

  20. Kendall

    I love your room and really love your painted floor!!!! I painted my bedroom floor using an outdoor porch paint unfortunetly it’s not wearing well at all . Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated:) Thanks so much , Kendall

  21. Cheri Dietzman

    Oh my goodness girl! I SO would have styled the shelves before priming and painting! Kirk always responds like Jeff did too! We just can’t help ourselves! Seriously though, the shelves look great!

  22. Suzette

    I just love this shelf! It completes this room.

  23. Bonnie

    I recently received A Place for Everything. With your inspiration, the book and my current kitchen refresh (paint cabinets (inside and out), countertops, backsplash and stove), I have a lot of work ahead of me to put everything that I find I need and use back in place. I think the next weeks of social isolation will encourage that plan.

    Thanks for your inspiration.

  24. Valerie

    “Done is better than perfect in this case.” May I quote you on that? The shelf and its contents are beautiful. You have a magical touch in all you create!

    • Marian Parsons

      Of course! That’s a saying that’s been in circulation for a long time. 🙂

  25. Melody

    Beautiful, simply beautiful! Your blog always inspires me! 💕

  26. Amy

    Beautiful shelf and gorgeous yarn collection. Could you tell me where you got that lovely wooden ball winder? I haven’t seen one quite so nice before.

    • Marian Parsons

      I bought it from Etsy http://bit.ly/33vthc7 along with the yarn swift. It’s such a cook winder and looks pretty as well.

  27. Beth B

    Your studio reminds me of an old country store (that’s a compliment!). It’s so warm and cozy. I don’t know how you get work done. I would just want to sit in there and stare at everything!!! Also, I constantly find myself trying to hit the “like” button on most of your pictures!!! 😊

  28. Amy

    Thank you so much for the link!

  29. cherry

    My sewing threads and yarns are kept/displayed in an antique glassfront I inherited. With the virus situation, that may be a shrinking stash!

  30. Kyle

    That would be great of you to share your shelf dimensions, etc.!!!! Can’t wait. Thank you


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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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