The story of Annabel & Rupert

by | May 6, 2011 | Painted Signs | 75 comments

This is a story about love.  A man who loves a woman.  A woman who loves a blog.  A designer who loves to create. 
I received an e-mail last week from a gentleman…let’s call him “Rupert.”  Rupert had a request.  His wife, let’s call her “Annabel”, loves my blog and he would love to surprise her with one of my hand painted signs for mother’s day.  Unfortunately, all of the signs he was interested in were sold.  It’s one of my busiest months, but I just couldn’t say no to creating a custom sign just for them.
He wanted something French, related to ice cream or candy.  I found a vintage French chocolate label on The Graphics Fairy and designed a sign around it. 

Rupert wanted a graphic, so I used the crown image from the label.

…and he wanted blue and white, so I used Annie Sloan’s Aubusson with Old White lettering. 

Some distressing and waxing finished it off. 

Rupert loved it and bought it for Annabel to give her for mother’s day.  (I wouldn’t have minded if Rupert hated it, because then I might have given it to myself for mother’s day.)
So, are you Annabel?  Is your husband Rupert? 
You’ll find out on Sunday. 

PS – I really hope this is a story about love and not a story about a guy who’s in the dog house. 


  1. Sweet Young Journey

    Hi Marian!
    The sign is fit for a queen!
    What a beautiful Mother's Day gift!
    What a lovely story!
    Have a great day!

  2. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal

    Well I know I'm not Annabel because my Rupert would never think to do this! Even though I love chocolate and ice cream. What is the little brass do-hicky? Is it part of an old door?

  3. Shell

    Awww how sweet! Even if Rupert is in the doghouse this sign from you should keep him out for a few hours lol. I got my Anna von Mangoldt chalk paint yesterday woohoo! I started on my secretary desk & think I may need to roll it on since you can see my crazy drunken brush strokes lol. Do you have any tips for getting it on smooth other than practice practice practice? lol Will also be starting on my slipcovers that may turn into a reupholstery job soon too double woohoo!

  4. Lara

    Oh, my goodness! That is perfect!
    I am a newer (about a month) reader, and absolutely am inspired by your blog daily. You remind me of one of my oldest and dearest friends (who is also a young mother and wife to a youth pastor, with a seemingly very similar personality!).
    I love that you did this for "Rupert". And I love that he did this for "Annabelle". I just love it when husbands are good gift-givers. My husband has had a few mangled attempts at gifting, but after seeing me so inspired to create after seeing one of your dressers, he soared to the top of gift-giving, right up there with "Rupert". I had found a dresser that I wanted at an estate sale, but I felt it was over priced, so I left it there. Later that day, while the kids and I were napping, he snuck back into town, and bargained them down to my $50 budget. (It was more than 50% off the original price!) I cried when I saw my dresser. We have had the best time working on it, and just finished it last night. I will have to take pictures and link up next week! Thanks so much for inspiring me to create, and inspiring my husband to achieve new gifting greatness! 🙂

  5. Country Wings in Phoenix

    Oh Sweetie…
    How beautiful and romantic this is. How thoughtful of Rupert. I would venture to say that Ms Annabel is going to LOVE him immensely for this gift.

    You really went the extra mile sweetie. This sign is gorgeous, and I believe that any of us Annabel's would love it. GORGEOUS.

    Have a beautiful weekend. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

  6. Cori

    Oh Marian!

    This new sign is pure perfection!

    A husband knowing just what his wife REALLY wants (something wonderful for her home) is also PERFECTION.

    What a wonderful gift this will make and ZELRO calories for the chocolate! Better yet : )

    Hope you Mother's Day is all you want.


    Starview Sonnet

  7. The Painted Parlor

    Lol! I'm sure he's not in the dog house! Maybe he's on the couch 😉 That sign is beautiful! You're so talented, it's amazing what you create!
    have a fabulous weekend!

  8. Andrea

    haha, so cute! Beautiful sign and such a wonderful gesture from 'Rupert'. Pretty sure Rupert isn't my hubby as he'd have no clue to ask for anything French, or blue =) He does know about you, however, as I'm often showing off your treasures to him.

  9. Anonymous

    What am I missing…. won't annabel see this before Mother's Day since she loves your blog? I hope you aren't in the doghouse with Rupert!

  10. Good Time Charlie

    This is such a sweet story! What a lucky wife she will be on Mother's day. It turned about perfect! Wow, I am so impressed "Rupert" knew what to describe on the sign. My husband is an amazing husband, but he would not have a clue where to begin. This is like having to learn to speak Chinese to him.

  11. MommaHen

    why oh why can't my hubby be Rupart? I talk about your blog all the time . But, all my husband says is, " uh huh…yeah…uh huh…sure…" So, I know he would never do this! BTW- I love the sign!

  12. Tricia Hicks

    Before I know it I'm gonna have every colour of Annie's paint. Dontcha love the softisticated spelling by a Tennessee hick?? Oh, and can you vote for for the room redo? I'll be your best friend! Your work is beautiful.

  13. Decor & Harmony @ 4290

    What a lovely sign and story. Just remember ladies the grass isn't always greener. Cheers to Rupert and Annabel 🙂

    On a sidenote more like a request could you please do a video on making a sign? Pretty please. Have a Happy Mother's Day.

  14. ~ Dawn ~

    If my Rupert ever bought anything from you to give me anytime… he'd never see a dog house again… unless you made/painted it of course! :0)

  15. Alima

    So sweet!

  16. Richella

    What a lovely story! And even guys in love sometimes land in the dog house. Your beautiful creation will make Annabelle's day no matter what!

  17. Nutbird

    And you wonder why you are so fortunate and successful. What a beautiful kindness to Rupert. We all know how busy and stressed you are, so you must have stayed up all night to work on this. Even if he is in the dog house, he wants to get out and make amends. This idea could be a nice addition to your product line. I would like something like "Wilson Chocolates the sweetest thing in your life, since 1978." Or something like that. My husband always jokes that he would like to have a diner and call it "Dave's Diner". Not too French, but that could make a nice sign. Ann

  18. Wendy B.

    i love when someone knocks it out of the ballpark in their gift giving. this is going to make one woman very happy, her clever husband very very happy and the rest of us wistful. your talent and charm are imbued in every thing you touch. thank you for sharing once again.

  19. Kaye

    What a sweet gift!!!!

    Beautiful work Marian!

  20. Grammy Goodwill

    What a great husband to plan such a thoughtful gift. You deserve kudos, too, for taking the time to make it for him.

  21. debra

    That is beautiful!
    Lucky Annabel.

  22. Lori

    What a lucky woman!!! 🙂 I know I am not Annabel. My "Rupert" would not be so specific to pick out blue and white and "request a graphic". What a sweet and thoughtful idea…good work, Marian

  23. Pamma

    Beautiful! And how sweet that you worked this sign in in your busyness. Talented and compassionate. Annabel will be pleased.

  24. Dina

    Oh how wonderful! 🙂 And how great that you found some time to create this beautiful sign! Lucky Annabel, good Rupert ;P


    Marion your so sweet with all that you have going on to take time for this wonderful love story. I wanna give a huge hug to RUPERT for taking the time to know what his wife likes and wants.

    Wonderful most….have a great Mother's Day and try to get some rest!

    Lucky 7 Design

  26. Sandra

    Well, I am wishing I am Annabel. But my husband has no clue what a blog is!! Although he does know I love Miss Mustard Seed. Annabel is a lucky girl to have a wonderful Rupert.

  27. Susie

    Very Sweet Miss Mustard Seed! Thanks for sharing a sweet story and your design process to give Annabelle a wonderful mother's day gift from her love. I hope you have a beautiful mother's day as well! Blessings

  28. Erin @ Two Story Cottage

    Oh, I love a good love story. We'll assume that is the case anyway… I'm just impressed he didn't wait until the day before. 🙂 Love the sign, Marian!

  29. Kacey

    Awww. LOVE – the color, the sign, the sentiment!

  30. The Jessie James Gang

    Haha, my husband would TOTALLY do this if he thought of it, but I know I'm not Annabel because I could care less about candy and ice cream, and he knows it :).

    He did however go antiquing with my 4 and 3 yr old daughters today for Mother's Day. I'm so excited to see what they chose for their Mommy! Hooray for thoughtful husbands!

  31. Molly

    Funny that is how I spell my daughter Annabel's name. I know it's not for me but that sign sure is lovely!! Annabel is going to be thrilled!

  32. Karen- The Graphics Fairy

    Oh wow!!! That is soooo amazing!!! Love the color too!!! You should make like 100 of these for the Spring Fair!

  33. Cindi

    Great sign and if he went through this much effort to get out of the dog house, this is still a great story.

  34. Anonymous

    I love that sign! But I know I am not Anabel as my husband didn't do a single thing special for my 40th birthday a couple weeks ago. Just a normal gift, no card. Still, whoever Anabel is she is one very lucky lady!!

  35. Gypsy Heart

    Well, I don't have a "Rupert" so know it's not me. This guy would have me change my mind in a heartbeat though. 🙂 Such a thoughtful gift…down to the colors and the design. He will rock her world!

    You are very kind and generous to do this for him. It is one of the BEST creations you've ever done and I agree with others, more of these would be in order.

    Hope you have a fabulous Mother's Day!

  36. freckled laundry

    Holy gorgeous!!! Although I doubt it, I hope I'm Annabel. I believe in the power of prayer. 🙂 Hey, you never know!

    Have a wonderful weekend,

  37. Karena

    Marian you are so talented and generous to complete this gift for mother's Day!

    Art by Karena

  38. bloominganne

    What a great story! What a thoughtful husband!! And another great Mustard Seed creation. Lucky wife, whoever you are.

  39. Nancy

    LOL at the PS.

    Happy Mother's Day.

  40. SueAnn

    Speaking of signs??……

  41. Jacque

    LOL..well, if he IS in the doghouse, he has mastered his way out of it!! I am amazed at your talents! Job well done…Happy Mother's Day

    Thanks for sharing with us..

  42. Formerly known as Frau

    Gorgeous sign!! I only wish my hubby listens to me like that I too would own another one of your gorgeous signs! You need to make more of those are amazing! Have a Happy Mother's Day!!

  43. A Cottage Muse

    LOVE it and I'm sure Annabel will too…whether it is a gift or an I'm sorry!!

    Happy Mother's Day to you!

  44. Junker Newbie Stephanie

    I LOVE it! I'm sure it's not me, my hubby isn't as in the know on all the details of my blogging buddies 🙂

    I'm sure she will love it!

  45. Becca

    So sweet !! And, had to laugh at the "doghouse" comment. The sign is beautiful … the colors are fabulous. Love seeing all that you do !!

  46. Gina A

    Adorable story. Gorgeous sign. Hysterical "P.S."

  47. Connie (aka LOU)

    Ahhh, changing the names to protect the innocent (or guilty). Your last statement made me laugh. I LOVE the sign. You are so talented. Love reading your blogs.
    Connie (akalou)

  48. shellyandrade

    Hi Marian! Very cool sign, but I'm missing something besides a good cup of cofffee… Not grasping how a printable image ends up on your sign without decoupaging it… or is this where your mural expertise comes into play?

  49. SueBee

    I could only hope. Not a chance. My husband does not even the name of my blog.
    Please tell us next week sometime!!!
    Happy Mothers Day to you sweetie!!!

  50. Stefani

    That's just about the cutest story!! Happy Mother's Day!

  51. michele

    you really are brilliant. AND romantic. happy mother's day, mama.


  52. sue

    Beatiful. Do you answer questions. I'm currenty painting a cabinet Tuscan/grapes etc. I want to add a fine porcelin crackle. But in the crackle, I want to rub a stain to fill in the cracks. Have you done any of this process. Will it crackle with a stain or glaze over it.
    I was so excited when I found this blog and added to my reader. forgot!!

  53. mporterintexas

    What an amazing husband!!! Love the sign.
    I have a question for you. I have an armoire that is stained and has a sprayed on semi-glossy finish. I want to paint it black. Would you recommend sanding it to rough it up or do you recommend that I use a product to completely strip it first?


  54. B and Bs Mama

    Marian, I literally stopped dead in my tracks when I read this blog. I was reading it on my phone and my heart started racing and the bubble above my head read: "Could I be Annabel? Did he? Would he?" I called my husband right away and said, "oh please tell me I'm Annabel." He knows how much I love your blog, so I sent him to read it right away. A few hours later he was walking through the house and said "I'm sorry, but I'm not Rupert." I didn't think he was, but I was oh so hoping he was! Some lucky lady will receive your beautiful sign and talented work tomorrow and I'm dying to know who it is!! Thanks for all you do! Laura at

  55. Regulator Jack

    Marian, do you have any idea how many thoughtful husbands you've put IN the dog house today? Hundreds of women are waiting to find out if they could possibly be Annabel. I've been scrambling to find some way to show up Rupert and nothing's coming. I think you owe us a post on how to pull that one off. Remember it's not all ladies who read your blog! Love, Dad

  56. Wendy B.

    i for one am itchin' to hear a comment from Annabel. thank you rupert… you got poor overworked miss mustard seed to make another droolworthy story and sign.
    i neglected to add in my previous comment, that i hope you have a lovely mother's day. and to your mom as well.
    what a pairing of "do it" and do-ers.

  57. naja

    Ha! I am checking in to see if Annabel posts about her sign!

  58. Anonymous

    I'm checking also!

  59. Anonymous

    Who is Annabel????

    ~Wondering in NC

  60. Bethany

    Where is Annabel?? Doesn't she know we are waiting with baited breath to hear about her gift!? 😉 Love the sign… I would have settled for a can of chalk paint for Mother's Day!

  61. Randi

    Annabel? Yoo-hoo…where are you? Maybe there is no Annabel. Maybe Rupert really wanted the sign for himself. Hmmmmm??

  62. Antonia

    Let me first start off by saying that my name is actually Antonia but Annabel is nice too and Rupert is my husband Aaron. I didn't respond right away because I was so nervous Miss Mustard Seed is the goddess of home design to me, and now to own something she made for me personally, well I'm beside myself. I show my husband her work everyday because I have to share her amazing work with someone who can appreciate it the way I do and he does. He now loves and follows her blogs because she is so talented. I think his reasoning behind getting me something made by Miss Mustard Seed was because almost everyday I would say how it was a dream to own something she made. This gift was perfect for me we just bought our home a year ago and are starting to decorate and this is a great item to start off with. I love this decor so hopefully it will give me some ideas and I love the colors. I must say to all involved in making this gift thank you so much it means so much to me and will be a great conversation piece in our home forever.
    My husband is a sweet and amazing man and I'm grateful for him.


  63. Cindi @ Rustique Art

    Although I don't skip all the way to the last page of a novel to read the ending; I will confess that I did skip to the very last comment and was prepared to work backwards if need be, just to find out if "Annabel" left a comment.

    What a sweet post and a lovely gesture from Rupert. So romantic.

  64. Dear Lillie

    Ahhhh! What a sweet post! (and now it the first post I read makes sense – haha! I am behind on blog reading as always and catching up!)

    The sign is beautiful and I am sure Antonia "Annabel" will treasure it forever.

  65. Antonia

    The sign is more then beautiful, let's just say that when it came out of the box I lost my breath. Sometimes you see things in photos, and when you get them they are just okay well not this every single detail is the same it's crazy. As of now it's safely wrapped up to protect it from damage while my husband and I paint our kitchen and dining room to match the colors. It's funny because before the sign came I was in love with Marian's drapes in her dining room but our dining room is yellow, well not for long and of course I will now have those drapes assuming I find the pattern.
    The point here is what you see on this blog is what you get, it's not just an idea.

    Thanks Marian I will treasure this sign forever.

  66. bellefleur

    Lucky Anabelle, not only for her man insisting, but also for you going the extra mile to get her this gift. It's a gorgeous sign. I am so totally in love with that color blue, I want to keep it up on my screen so I can keep looking at it. Of course, now I have to get some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint…


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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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