You know when you’re out shopping and you find a little gem?  Something that screams out at you to buy it.  It speaks to you.

Well, I was rummaging around in the somewhat ransacked Christmas section of TJ Maxx and I spotted this sweet wooden horse, just one, with a red bridle and saddle and the sweetest shape.  I think it was $25.  I grabbed it up without hesitation and immediately imagined it painted with milk paint.


And then, as I was perusing Instagram, I realized that just about everyone else in the blog/Instagram world felt the same way about this horse and they bought it, too.  It would seem it’s the poster child for Christmas 2015.

And my little gem was feeling more like the mass-produced, trendy horse it actually was.  Because it was everywhere!!

I clung to the hope that my plan to paint it would make it my own.

I painted it in Farmhouse White (will be available in 2016) with a Shutter Gray bridle, saddle, wheels and tail.  I finished it off with Antiquing Wax to add some patina and knock off the newness of the paint.  I did get some nice chipping, too, so that pretty wood showed through.


And the mass-produced, trendy horse that was everywhere, felt more my speed and like a little gem again…  Like an antique piece, loved my generations, that found its way into my possession.  


I even made a wreath for his neck out of some fresh greens to dress him up a bit for Christmas.


In other news, my dad and I built the face frames and two base cabinets for their master bedroom built-ins today.  I drew the plans and took the lead on putting them together, so I am very proud at what we accomplished!  We both learned a lot and I’ll share more about that in another post.

AND, I am on a mission to purge and thin out my stashes (yes, there are multiple stashes), so I’ll be listing lots of goodies in the online shop.  This stack of antique linens are in line to get measured, photographed and listed…

mms-877 mms-878


  1. Paige.Rose

    Oh, I LOVE this transformation!!! I hear you on the ” it thing/item” of blogland. I don’t usually partake in those types of trends etc..I wasn’t much for the horse with the red, but your after makeover..I would snatch that up in a heartbeat!! Happy Thursday Marian!!


  2. Donna

    Swoon at the pile of feed sacks…I always miss you listing…but a girl can still dream. Merry Christmas!

  3. Shelley

    Ha!!! I have the “most popular horse in blogland” also!!! And he is sporting a wreath around his neck as well.

    I too, always miss your listings-I’m used to being a dollar short and a day late tho…

  4. Argelia Brown

    SWEEET!!! Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to me!!! Yippee

    • Alicia

      Happy (belatd) Birthday to you, Argelia. (Mine is on the 16th!) Hope, like me, as a child (and adult child) you enjoyed all the lights, smells and festivities of Christmas associated with your birth month!

  5. Glo.

    I love having my morning coffee with you. You make me smile. I have a wooden child-size rocking horse that was my very first thrift store purchase 30+ years ago. I brought it down from the attic and plan to doll her up! Have a great day, Marian.

  6. Tanya

    I love how you made him your own. All he needs is a story. May I try?

    Once upon a time there was a little boy who wished for a horse of his very own. His father rode a powerful black horse, and the little boy loved to watch his father ride. His mother had a sweet dapple grey that she rode when she was visiting the neighbors. Even his big brother had a pony of his own that he hitched to the cart and drove into town on errands for his mother. The little boy wished for a horse of his very own. The little boy’s favorite uncle watched the little boy, and understood the wish, but as the boy was very young, a real horse just wouldn’t do. So the uncle asked a cabinetmaker in a nearby town to make a special horse for the little boy. A gift. And the boy loved the horse so! With his new wooden horse, the boy became a knight defending a castle. He became a farmer who had fields to be worked. He became a merchant, delivering goods to people far and wide. And the little boy lived many adventures with his wooden toy horse. The years passed, and one day, when the boy grew into a man, he watched his nephew longing for a horse of his own. And the little boy who grew into a man knew just what to give him. 🙂

    • marian

      Awwww! I love it. 🙂 So, what is the horse’s name.

      • Tanya

        Thanks! It was fun to write. 🙂 The horse’s name is Bucephalus. It’s a rather big name for a rather small horse, but quite fitting for all the adventures he had. You can call him Buck for short. 😉

        • lody

          Bucephelus was Alexander the Great ‘s horse!!

    • Monica

      What a sweet story! I love it!

      • Tanya

        Thanks. 🙂

    • Alicia

      Beautiful!!! You should consider, if you haven’t already, writing on a theme like this on a blog! Or Writing illustrated children’s books.

      • Tanya

        It is my forever dream to write books for children, alas the complicated world of publishing is far beyond my knowledge and understanding. For now, I just make them up, but after pondering your suggestion for the briefest of moments, I shall post my stories on my very own blog, which has been living without very good purpose for the longest of times. 🙂

    • LIZ

      What a great story about the horse. I love that little guy. Last summer i bought a horse from a garage sale that looks like he may have been hooked to a carousel. I am going to paint him to.

  7. Terri

    There are several things I associate with the wonderful MissMustardSeed brand. 1) table-top rocking horses; 2) bronze cow heads; 3) any watercolor cow painting; 4) boxwood wreaths; 5) drop cloths and feed sacks; and last, but not least…chippy paint! I’m pretty sure you blogged about and made these items so popular (except chippy paint) since I’ve been reading your posts since nearly the beginning! I may be wrong, but when I see these items, I always think of you!

  8. Alicia

    Whenever I see a beautiful illustration or photo of a cow I email it to MMS.

  9. Anya

    This story is exactly how I feel about your paint! I mean, I try to add pieces to my house that have character and history when I can. But there are just some times when I can’t find (or afford) that piece – but what I do find is something new, or something in an ugly color, or something free and then your paint is exactly what I need to make it my own. It always feels like a perfect fit, then!

  10. Lauren Baxter

    Oh my goodness, I can see why this horse is so popular! But now it definitely speaks Marianne language 🙂 Looks great and love the neck wreath 🙂 I think I need a horse collection too

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor

  11. LIZ

    I have a question for Marian. Will the milkpaint take on cast iron? I have a pig i would like to paint also.


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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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