Thank you, Arkansas

by | Feb 24, 2013 | Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint | 37 comments

 At the risk of sounding like a total dork, why is it pronounced Ark-an-SAW instead of Ark-KAN-sas?  Just curious.

I went on another whirlwind weekend trip to teach some workshops and do a book signing.  This time, I went to Fayetteville, Arkansas.  I knew nothing about Arkansas, so I asked the ladies in the workshop (and we had one gentleman) to teach me some things about the state.  I learned that they are crazy about their Razorbacks, Arkansas is home to the Ozarks and they have lots of chickens and cows.  The last one was my own observation.  I only got to see a fraction of the town, but what I saw of Fayetteville was very charming.  Can you tell that I’m enjoying my little grass-roots tour around the US?  I am.

My host was Kelly of The House Special Interiors.  It is a beautiful shop with a little bit of everything…comfy & cute pajamas, home decor, painted furniture and preserved boxwood!  It’s connected to another awesome shop called Red Hill.  They have more vintage/antique items and amazing original artwork by Cari Humphry.  Of course, I bought one.  She’s shipping it to me, so I’ll show it off when it arrives.  I was booked solid the entire time, so I just snapped one quick picture in the store with my phone.


(Don’t even ask.  That Produce sign isn’t for sale!  I snapped a picture of it, so I could figure out how to make something similar.)

I taught a hand’s on milk paint workshop, a DIY seminar and a milk paint seminar and they all went really well.  The workshops are always my favorite, because I get to see people use milk paint (usually for the first time) to transform a piece.


My milk paint retailer in Little Rock, Arkansas, Sharon from Reinvented Vintage, was able to come to the workshop as well.  (She’s on the left in the photo below.)



It was so neat to see how each piece turned out and the different techniques used.







DSC_7328 (424x640)


I got too busy in the end to take more pictures, but I wanted to share what I had.  I have more to share, but I’ll do that in another post.  Thank you so much to everyone who came out to see me.  I had an amazing time and hope I get to come back your way again.

The winner of the Atlanta workshop tickets is…

Tricia from Simplicity in the South!  Congratulations and I can’t wait to meet you!!



  1. angela

    Please pray for Brittany Vollmers . She lost her parents and siblings in a car crash. She was away at college.

    • Glenda

      praying right now and
      bringing her before our Heavenly Father.
      Grace and Peace for all

    • Mary Crabtree

      Sending up prayers

    • Jane Dawson

      Just saw this post reading Miss Mustard Seed’s blog. Brittany is a friend of my neice’s at college. Praying for all of them.

  2. Kelly Stiegman

    Awww …. love this post! Can’t wait to share it with everyone who was in the class. They will feel like they are famous now. Thanks for the visit – you are welcome back ANY time!!

  3. Sherry ~Rustique Gal

    Goodness, you have been busy! I am so jealous of your classes. Want to go! Will you ever be in the Eastern NY or Mass/Connecticut area? If you do, I’d be thrilled! These pictures are great, and I love all the colors and the distressing on these pieces. I want to get back into doing this, it’s been a long time!

  4. Tricia

    I never win anything, so I couldn’t believe it when I heard I won the tickets to the workshop in Georgia!!! I am so excited about learning how to use milk paint, getting my very own copy of your book and meeting you in person! Thank you, Marian, having the giveaway!

  5. robin stracener

    Hi Marion! It was such a pleasure attending your workshop and meeting you. You are so warm and inviting. It was just like reading your blog—–only in real life! Thank you for all you taught us. I love how my little red stool turned out and can’t wait to start a new project with milk paint!!! Hope you come back to see us in Arkansas some time 🙂

  6. Jenny B.

    So glad you enjoyed Fayetteville! I really wanted to come, but just couldn’t make it happen. We had several overlapping commitments this weekend, and then 3 out of the 4 in our family ended up getting sick, so nobody got to do what they wanted. 🙁 Oh, well… I have a thrift store chair sitting here in my living room that is just begging for Milk Paint. Just to be nerdy, here’s a link to why Arkansas is pronounced Arkansaw. 🙂
    Hope you get to come back sometime!

  7. Elisha Albretsen

    We need you out west! You know, Arizona is beautiful this time of year (hint, hint). I heard there will soon be a retailer carrying your milk paint not far from my house. How exciting! Good luck with the tour.

  8. May

    This looks so fun!
    A bit of trivia for you. The Arkansas River runs through several states including Kansas and Arkansas. In other states it is called the Ark-an-saw, but here in Kansas it is indeed pronounced the Ar-Kansas River. And “Ar-kansas” City sits along the banks of that river as well. So, I guess it is all a matter of your perspective!

  9. Fiona, Lilyfield Life

    hi Marian, my daughter (9 yrs) and I were reading this together and she asked when you were going to come to Sydney – Do you think Miss Mustard Seed would come and have a coffee with you? LOL. I would love that!
    Your trip and painting classes look great – glad you are having fun and lots of success
    best wishes
    Fiona xx

  10. Ruth in NZ

    And while you you are in Australia you may as well hop over and see us in New Zealand as well! 🙂

  11. Iris @ The Blue Birdhouse

    I wish we had Milk Paint in Germany….and one of your workshops. All the furniture look lovely.


  12. Heather

    Ar-kan-SAW vs. Ar-KAN-sas? It all depends on where you are! Here in Kansas, we have the Ar-KAN-sas River and Ar-KAN-sas City (if you are a true local, you just call it Ark City). But the state to the southeast of us is always Ar-kan-SAW.

    • Terry

      Heather, I am from that area, at least for a while (I lived in CedarVale KS) and my son still lives in Dexter KS and works in Winfield. We go visit yearly. Do you live close around there? They (my son and his girlfriend) are getting married at the Timber Creek Barns in Nov. They are outside of Winfield.

  13. Judy

    You are a woman of my heart! I live in Arkansas and not too far from Fayetteville but could not make it up for the workshop. I am so pleased that you came to our area and hope that you will again. Your work is beautiful and thank you for your inspiration to all women!

    • Terry

      Judy, My Mom lives just 22 miles outside of Fayetteville close to an old town called Hogeye. My little sister lives in Springdale and is a VA surgical nurse. Small world while I live all the way over in Illinois.

  14. angelia

    Being from Arkansas I check your blog everyday and enjoy it. Glad you got to see a bit of our state.

  15. Leah

    I have a buffet I am working on right now. It has very similar hardware to the piece you have above and I was waiting to decide what to do with the legs. Thanks for making my decision for me! Lovely.

  16. PattyM

    Is it just me? I thought you might want to know that whenever I try to read your post (I don’t subscribe – I read your posts the old fashion way by pulling up your website each day), I get a message “Miss Mustard Seed is not responding due to a long-running script.” There is an option to stop the script but I inevitably have to re-boot my machine whenever I click on the “Stop Script” button. I’m not sure if this is just a quirk with my computer but if it is effecting more of your readers, I thought you might want to look into it. It is a small thing, but it has become annoying.


    • Linda S. in NE

      No, PattyM, it is not just you. I get a similar message when I click over to MMS’s blog to finish reading the rest of the post. So far, I have been able to click on the “Yes”, stop running script, and then I am able to just keep reading the rest of the current post, and that days comments.. For sure I would not be a happy camper if something/anything kept me from reading MMS!!

  17. Paula

    How lucky that you own an original Cari Humphrey!! I have a reproduction of Elise and she’s a beauty!! I have loved her cow paintings & all for a while now!
    Glad you had a great trip!

  18. Barby

    Arkansas (the way we say it here) is based on the French pronunciation of a Quapaw word that means land of downriver people or the Sioux word that means people of the south wind.

  19. Melissa Boyce

    Looks like so much fun! Do you have a list of your schedule anywhere so we can see where you are going this year? Any chance you will be in Pittsburgh, PA? It’s not too far from you, right? 🙂

    I have two Cari Humphrey prints– she is one of my favorite Etsy artists!

  20. Gemika

    Haha, I totally agree about ArkanSAW, I used to live near a town in Australia called Lake Cathie, pronounced “Cat Eye” instead of like the name Cathy/Cathie. Why? Why I say? 😉

  21. Lucrecia

    That looks like SO much fun! I’m really really REALLY hoping your class in San Antonio becomes a reality ! 🙂

  22. Jeanette @ Creating a Life

    Goodness, the pictures of the furniture being worked on is so motivating! My time will come 🙂


  23. Loretta

    Well it all depends on who you as. ;-). In Kansas the Ar-kan-sas river flows through the state changing names at the border!

  24. Kathryn

    Boy I can see you getting your passport and having luggage with everyplace you visited. Like then did in the past…and as typing that would be fun in one of your rooms some old luggage and every state you or someday country you can slap a fun lable and a map with pins so your boys can learn where in the world is mommy ….LOL

  25. barbara

    Hi Marian,
    What great pictures! There were some pretty involved pieces tackled here! I just had a 3 hour class and someone brought in too large of a piece to paint. How long was your workshop?

  26. Elizabeth

    Hi Marian! I sure would have liked to attend your workshop in Fayetteville but it just wasn’t possible this time. Maybe you’ll come back?
    It’s pronounced Ark – an – SAW because Noah looked out of the “Ark and saw…” 😉

  27. Sue

    Arkansas is pronounced ARK an saw because of the RIVER it was named for. It was the ARK an saw River not the Ar KANSAS River. And in NW ARK an saw WE LOVE YOUR PAINT!!! and I have so enjoyed reading your book!!! Glad you visited down south!

  28. Teresa Nelson

    Glad you got to see a little bit of the Natural State! As far as your question concerning pronunciation, Kansas was named after the indigenous Kansa Indians and Arkansas after its Quapaw inhabitants.

    Here’s the low-down if you are truly interested:


    Many place names in Arkansas, including Arkansas, are French pronunciations of Indian words.

    At the time of the early French exploration, a tribe of Indians, the Quapaws, lived West of the Mississippi and north of the Arkansas River. The Quapaws, or OO-GAQ-PA, were also known as the downstream people, or UGAKHOPAG. The Algonkian-speaking Indians of the Ohio Valley called them the Arkansas, or “south wind.”

    The state’s name has been spelled several ways throughout history. In Marquette and Joliet’s “Journal of 1673”, the Indian name is spelled AKANSEA. In LaSalle’s map a few years later, it’s spelled ACANSA. A map based on the journey of La Harpe in 1718-1722 refers to the river as the ARKANSAS and to the Indians as LES AKANSAS. In about 1811, Captain Zebulon Pike, a noted explorer, spelled it ARKANSAW.

    During the early days of statehood, Arkansas’ two U.S. Senators were divided on the spelling and pronunciation. One was always introduced as the senator from “ARkanSAW” and the other as the senator from “Ar-KANSAS.” In 1881, the state’s General Assembly passed a resolution declaring that the state’s name should be spelled “Arkansas” but pronounced “Arkansaw.”

    The pronunciation preserves the memory of the Indians who were the original inhabitants of our state, while the spelling clearly dictates the nationality of the French adventurers who first explored this area.


    Ok — so now you know! Ask and ye shall receive. 😀

  29. Gretchen

    Interesting comment about the pronunciation of Arkansas. In Kansas, the Arkansas river is pronounced Ar-KAN-sas, in Colorado it is the Ar-kan-SAW. Go figure!

  30. Terree

    Yes we do love our Razorbacks. I am glad you had such an enjoyable time here in our beautiful State. Keep up all the beautiful work.


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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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