the next chapter

by | Oct 10, 2017 | Running a Business | 55 comments

Change is a delicate thing.

If you don’t change at all, things feel stagnant and boring.  Been there done that.

If you change too much, well then, you’ve changed.  And not everyone is going to like that.

I shared last year that my business was changing and even though I voiced it in a blog post, I still struggled against it.  I was afraid of changing too much, too fast.  I would start to move forward and I would retreat back to what was comfortable and familiar.

All the while, there was this understanding that things will change with or without me.  The blog world will continue to evolve.  Decorating trends will come and go.  And I was going to need a change of pace at some point.

Then, we made a huge change – picked up and moved halfway across the country.  I traded my big, off-site studio for a comparatively small, sun-kissed room off my kitchen.

And, in the midst of change, I have found it easier to embrace even more change.

Between unpacking the moving boxes, painting the cabinets, and generally getting settled, I have been giving a lot of thought to what this next chapter of my business will look like – how it will change and how it will stay the same.  In all of my lists, three things kept rising to the top – This blog, the Milk Paint line, and art/design.

For my blog, I’m just going to share what I’m up to – working on our new house, my journey with art, and whatever else I feel excited to share.  I’m also going to bring back some popular series and work more intentionally.  Hopefully, it’ll inspire, inform, and entertain!

For the Milk Paint line, everything that has happened with it has happened very organically and that means there is still lots of room for growth.  So, I’m working with my team to think of new ideas to share our love of milk paint with others.  And it involves lots of pretty pictures…

We’re also being more proactive about looking for new retailers to carry the line.

If you’re interested, you can apply HERE.

And, I’m teaching a couple of workshops in the Minneapolis area on October, 21.  We’ll teach you how to use the paint, but it is a project-based class, so you will leave with that cool “welcome” sign (top left corner of the picture below.)  If you’re in the area and can come, I’d love the chance to hang out and paint with you!  You can get details and sign up HERE.

Lastly, my art and design work.

Some of the design work is still happening behind the scenes.  I’m learning that it can take a long time to get a product to the market!

But, I’m sharing my art with you as I create it and that’s been such a fulfilling process.

 I am digesting as much as I can about composition, color, values, materials, and techniques, from books, blogs, and video tutorials.  I’ve been sneaking away to the studio to work on paintings and color charts whenever I can.

 This artwork is a chance to branch out into something new and see how it goes.  It’s the biggest change and, for that reason, it feels risky.  But just about anything worth doing involves some amount of risk.

So, that’s the next chapter!

I hope it’ll be a page-turner…


  1. Karen L.

    Sounds so exciting for you! Best wishes and prayers for happiness in it. I’m so enjoying following and learning along the way through your blog posts.

  2. deb

    Looking forward to your next chapter. IG stories is such a fun way to see your progress. Have you seen HGTV Rustic Renovations, it is a couple of brothers from Minnesota. Maybe they could use some of your milk paint on their show, wouldn’t that be cool.

  3. Taffy White-Pritulsky

    I’m so glad to hear your going to continue with the milk paint! while I’ve have my days with it, I love the colors and the potential that my furniture can look like yours! there seems like a lot of others brands that have come out which are similar, and when I have seen MMS milk paint in stores I have to say it’s been poorly displayed, unorganized (I live in NC) and not “styled” like I think you would have liked…just my 2 cents! my Daughter Addy and I met you last spring at Lucketts, wearing your Oma’s dirndl to October fest in a few weeks! love your new house!

  4. Sue

    You’ve never shied away from risk yet – you go, Marian. I have loved sharing your journey 🙂

  5. Linda

    LOVE THIS, Marian. Needed to read this today and very happy for you.

  6. Denise

    Don’t everstop blogging! You make us grow!

  7. Karen

    Sooooooo glad the blog made the cut!!!! 🙂

  8. becky


    Please, please please do not give up this blog, I am almost 70 years old and I read it every morning right after my devotion and prayer time. I have so many wonderful idea from you and would truly miss it if was not there. Thanks so much for your words of instruction, and ideas. That being said I trust you will follow the Lord leadership in this. Love and prayers

  9. Barbara

    I am so happy for your growth and the potential it has for you and your family! As I read this, I too, was happy to hear that you will continue to take us along on your adventures. I have truly enjoyed learning and growing with you. As the reader above said, I read your blog every day and would surely miss you! Many blessings to you as you continue in the path that God has designed for you. PS. Your paint is the only paint I have used on my furniture and I love it!!!!

  10. Sandy

    Your new focus sounds very interesting and exciting! I’ve never tried your paint but I love everything you do. I’m helping my friend with her new store in Saline, MI and we are looking for a couple of lines of paint to carry in the store. I can refer her to your site. I’ve been following your blog and inspiring projects for a few years. I have your first book too. Love what you are doing to make your new home Miss Mustard Seed style! SAline is just a few minutes from Ann Arbor, MI. .Donna , my friend, owns the old historic Saline Reporter bldg and I don’t think anyone within 25 miles carries your paint line.

  11. Kari from Meadowview Farm

    Oh life is such a wonderful adventure. Fun to follow as you blaze your own trail! 🌾🍂🍁

  12. karen

    The portrait is precious as can be. Well done.

  13. Teresa

    One things for certain whether we embrace it or not, change is inevitable. Even for those who hate change its going to happen one way or another in some part of our lives. Its been fun to see you grow over the years and all the changes that come with it. You are branching out in different directions and following your new interests.

    Not that I am opposed to change, as I my own tastes have changed dramatically over the last five years alone. However, I do miss the earlier days of your blog when it was less commercialized . With success, comes new business opportunities and ventures but that also means some of the simplicity is gone as well. Success can can be a double edged sword.

    • Marian Parsons

      You know, I miss those simpler times, too! 🙂

  14. Pam from Maryland

    I just love your courage and the ability you have to embrace and move forward with the changes in your life. You have inspired me to grow and I have been taking risks, as I glean from the providence your journey,,, and I LOVE your blog including ALL the changes that have been birthed through business growth.. ….,, kudos to you Marian,!!!

  15. Tori

    Marian, all of this sounds wonderful! Though I did notice an absence of furniture restoration/painting in the plan. It is a physically demanding art, and may require more space than you currently have; but I’ve always enjoyed the treasures – both old and new – that you find (and sell), and I will miss that element of your business in the future.
    However, I am in the process of reintroducing myself to artistic painting (watercolor, gauche, acrylic, so far) and am very much enjoying following along in your painting. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  16. Char

    Marian. I started following your blog with Furniture Friday. Still one of my all time favorites. I was so sad to see it end. Really hoping you’ll add that again. I am really enjoying following all the changes you’ve made to your new home. Yours is the first blog I check each morning. So wonderfully inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Linda

    You are just so talented Marian. I am not always the best when it comes to change but I admire you’re ability to adapt to major life changes the way that you have. I truly admire that. I know you’re business will be a success no matter what changes you make because you just have an eye for color and decor.

  18. Nan, Odessa, DE

    Count your blessings that you can have family and a business. You are very flexible and knowledge.
    You have proven you can do this! Best of luck.

    Please give me the details on your frame/chalk paint, whatever in detail.
    I would like very much to have one of these.

  19. Monica

    I’ve been really enjoying seeing your new adventure with oil painting. It’s been giving me the itch to start painting again after, what, like 20 years! 😉 Maybe one of these days I will. I just did acrylics in the past, but I saw your IG stories today about cleaning up oil and it does make it seem more doable. So maybe I will try that sometime. In the mean time I love watching your landscapes come to life. You may be a “beginner” as you say, but you’ve got a good eye and all your experience with other art mediums must give you some help because the meadows you’re painting are just beautiful. Keep at it! 🙂

    I’ve also been loving to watch your new house come to life! One thing I’m really hoping, since you’re still going to focus on your milk paint line is that we’ll still get to see some furniture transformations, at least sprinkled in here and there, if not more. Those were the main draw for me initially and I would really miss them if they stopped completely. Do you think you will still do some of that?

    I love your blog, Marian. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us all. It’s such a pleasure. 🙂

    • Marian Parsons

      I will paint furniture for my house, but I’m not planning on painting pieces to sell…at least for a while. I’m honestly a little burnt out on that. But, I do have at least three pieces lined up to paint and makeover, so that won’t be going away entirely!

  20. Charlotte

    Please share the source for the apron you are wearing again. I remember that you shared once but I would like to have one now.

  21. Patricia

    You didn’t mention the paint brushes. Will you continue to carry them? I couldn’t link onto them when I tired a little while ago.

  22. Colleen Tumulty

    I loved seeing pictures of your Biglerville house on your blog but now looking at your old kitchen which I thought was so cute now when I look at it I like your new one better so change is good. Thought of you when I went to Lucketts last week. It’s the closest place to buy your MMSP . I am painting a wooden toy for my new grand child is it safe to put the wax on it.Thanks

    • Marian Parsons

      I would use the Hemp Oil or Beeswax Finish, since both of those are all natural and food safe.

  23. mary

    Marian, Your daily page is part of my day and I look forward to it. Today I spray painted my wrought iron kitchen set and wondered what you would do with it. It is basic black……. M..

  24. Beckie

    I hate to be Debbie-Downer, but while I love your blog and following you and your adventures, I will not be reading it very often anymore. Today, I’m on my laptop – that does make a negative difference. I tried to find the top of the blog 3 times after I clicked on your e-mail and went to your website. Then, I kept getting lost within the blog – there are so many ads and pictures, that the one or two lines of text get lost. I was so frustrated that I’m not really sure I read the entire thing. It is not just you. This seems to be the way of most blogs now and there are none I read regularly anymore. It is easier for me to read the blog in one place and then continue to the pictures. Sometimes the pictures are an intrinsic part of the text and they belong there, but … Anyway, I will keep my subscription active, because I do enjoy your adventure, but will only read it when I have lots of time and patience.

    • Marian Parsons

      Well, I am sorry to hear that, but I understand. Ads have definitely gotten more intrusive, but it’s an important part of my income, so I have to make pease with them. This time of year is prime advertising time as well, so you will start to see the ads increase through Christmas, but then they taper off in January. Anyway, I totally get it and hope you’ll check in with me on social media. 🙂

    • Jane

      Try downloading Google Chrome as your browser. Then, from the Google apps download the free “AdBlocker”. It’ll stop all those pop-ups. Also, you’ll never have to endure ads on YouTube ever again. Hope this helps.

    • Susan

      Becky, In addition to trying Ad Block, have you used the reader feature? If you go all the way to the top of the page, in the far left of the URL field there are four little horizontal lines. Click on them and you’ll see Marion’s text and her photos without the ads. Makes for a more pleasant reader experience. It might be for iPhone only–not sure.

      • Patty

        Thank you Susan for this tip! I never knew this and just tried it with my iPhone. What a difference it makes!

  25. Debbie

    You have inspired me to sketch and paint for the first time in my 62 years!

    • Marian Parsons


  26. JC at the uncommon pearl

    Sounds like all exciting changes. I love how your bunting is in the shadow of your studio picture…so you! Enjoy the process!

    • Marian Parsons

      Those are actually the paintings hung up to dry! They look like bunting, though, don’t they? I loved that picture. 🙂

  27. Debbi

    Would love you to blog about your personal sense of style..above pic of the outfit you had on is so cute. Where do you find such unique clothing? Am enjoying your blog..thanks so much for sharing.

  28. ConnieL

    I always read your blog every day but do not comment very often. The Lord open this door for your move and I know He has plans for you here too. You are such a talented lady and I am sure He will lead to you into your next adventure. I can hardly believe all that you have accomplished in such a short time. Thank you for sharing all your adventures with the rest of us.

  29. Kim

    I hope to see room makeovers. I miss those and you have a fresh new selection of friends!

  30. Lelanie

    Hi! I just want to thank you for all the inspiration and I’m excited to see what you do next! I always try and incorporate some of the stuff into my own home, although it is harder to source being in New Zealand, but I’m enjoying the challenge!

  31. Bess

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the two prints of yours that I bought last Christmas from Society6. I look forward to cheering you on no matter what comes next!

  32. Jennifer at Celebrating Everyday Life

    Oh, Marian, Your art is MAGICAL to me so I am delighted with this change!! I can’t wait to see what you create. That portrait you included in this post is perfection!! I wish you could paint one of my Emma!!! <3

  33. Kathryn in Snohomish

    Whew! Was holding my breath that your blog wasn’t going to make the cut. Curious, will upholstery still be part of your creative mix? I’m still watching the jump rope go around and looking for the perfect time to jump in. Thanks for being, so honestly, you. You are appreciated in my little corner of the world Marian.

  34. Billie

    I am head over heels in love with your landscapes. ❤️ Hope you will be selling them because I have THE perfect place for one.
    Best of luck to you on your new adventure.

  35. Colleen Tumulty

    Thank you so much for answering my question about the wax.I really appreciate it especially knowing how busy you are.

  36. Marlene Stephenson

    I enjoy your blog no matter what you do, some days i read it and some it is just not for me. You need to do what works for you and what you enjoy. Thanks for the the time you put in this blog for all.

  37. Linda

    After each move I’ve ever made, I found the 6-month mark to be the time when I experienced a subtle degree of feeling settled. You’ve already worked so much magic on your beautiful home, and I’m sure your business will continue to increase as much as you want it to. Adjustment and progress are inevitable for someone with your talent and warmth. I’ll be enjoying your blog and success from the sidelines.

  38. Denise

    I’m happy you wrote this post, and sad that you wrote this post. I’ve been a long-time reader (since 2012!) and I’ve watched you grow and really come into your own, style-wise. I started reading MMS for your furniture makeovers, room transformations, and styling. You have impeccable taste and I like your style. Sadly you’re moving away from what drew me here in the first place. I’ve only read about half of your latest posts (none of the oil painting ones – sorry). You must be true to yourself and take this where you want it to go. You seem like a lovely person, and I admire your industriousness. And while I will no longer be tagging along on your journey, I wish you all the best.

  39. Norma Rolader

    God bless you on all your new changes May you superseed in all areas

  40. Kimberly

    I don’t think you eluded to giving up the blog in your post, it seems like somehow some readers surmised you might be thinking of doing that? Honestly, I think your blog is absolutely integral and necessary to your business — it doesn’t seem like many people would’ve found out about anything you’re doing business-wise if it hadn’t been for your blog. Obviously, it’s the place where everything started for you business-wise.

    This blog is the fastest, easiest way to get “in contact” with people, and I know you must have a ton of followers. Sure, there’s other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, but the blog is where everything you’ve done so far has been “fleshed out” in text in your posts, PLUS we’ve gotten to know you from this blog and it is where your personality and everything about you can truly and fully shine through. And it’s like having your own newspaper that’s a full page ad for your business! Not that you were thinking of doing it, but cutting out your blog at any point I think would be very unwise, unless you become an international juggernaut and completely unable to devote any time to the blog at all. This blog is a big part of you!

  41. Sharon Rexroad

    I’m envisioning a few new colors for MMSMP – meadow (a greenish yellow or a yellowy green) and storm cloud (a grey with a purple undertone). Oh, and either flax or oatmeal for a new beigey light brown. And if you have oatmeal, you gotta have brown sugar or molasses to go with it! You know, for those Minnesota winters…

    • Linda

      Fun additions to her colors. Good ideas.

  42. B. Folk

    I am so glad that you are continuing your blog! I don’t “do” IG, FB, Twitter, etc., but- I read your blog
    And, so far, knowing that you must “make peace” with the ads has helped me to be patient with the length of time it takes to get through the day’s blog post. Continued prayers for your success.

  43. Lillian

    I am a new reader since you moved northwest. I do NOT have a criticism! I am amazed at the changes in your posts. I am incredulous at the amount of work that roars through your house! I must be on the other end of some production spectrum. PLEASE don’t think there has to be a race to entertain us all!

  44. MaryLisa Noyes

    All the best in the challenges and success ahead!

  45. gk questions

    Thank you for sharing such valuable info.


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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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