This Year & Next

Marian ParsonsMiscellaneus81 Comments

This year has been a dream-come-true year for me.  I learned a lot about myself.  I found a passion, discovered I was really good at it and realized that my dreams were not as far out of reach as I thought. 
In January, I was plugging along..writing a blog, working on my house, painting furniture and selling in a small shop.  I really thought that was how things would stay.  It all changed in August. 
I found out the shop that sold my furniture and accessories was closing, which should have been scary, but I had a peace about it.  I was even excited.  When God closes a door, there must be something good around the corner.  I then received one of the most amazing e-mails in my life. was asking me (a non-designer, non-writer, stay-at-home-mom-of-toddlers) to write tutorials for them.  When I received the contract in the mail, hiring me as a freelance writer, I wanted to show it to the postal worker.  “Did you see who this is from!?!”  I restrained myself, but was giddy all the way home. 
(The glass canister was my first project for
I worked my tail off preparing for the Old Lucketts Fair in August.  I was scared.  It was my first time going to a fair by myself.  It was the first time that I had complete creative control over the look and what I would bring to sell.  It was all on my shoulders.  What if hardly anything sold?  What if people drove a ridiculous amount of time (ahem…Trinity) to see me and they were sorely disappointed. Well, I was dead wrong on all of those fears.  People came and they bought and bought and bought.  I had to raid my house for new things to sell on the second day and I earned three times more than I had at any previous fair.  One of my largest buyers was Amy from the Lucketts Design House.  I was so honored that my pieces were going to be carried in a place that was so chic.  It was a boost, but one that was slightly weighed down by a question people kept asking, that I had no answer for.  “Where do you sell your stuff?”  Having to tell people repeatedly that the shop I was currently selling out of was closing was a reminder that my future was a little uncertain.
(Stuff waiting to be staged in my booth at The Old Lucketts Fair)
I couldn’t stay down for too long, though.  Right in the thick of the sale, I received another exciting e-mail…a magazine wanted to feature my blog.  I was jumping up and down in my kitchen with tears in my eyes and my hand over my mouth.  My family laughed and cheered as I read the e-mail between gulps, deep breaths and giggles. ( I think I scared my boys, but they’re learning that their mom is a little crazy.)
In September, the uncertainty that had been hanging over my head was eliminated.  I received an e-mail from Lynette, who knew me only from my blog.  “Would you like to be a vendor in a shop I’m opening?” The shop was opening in a small town I had never heard of by someone I didn’t know.  I wasn’t sure if that was going to be the answer, but then I met Lynette.  She had an amazing vision and drive and I instantly knew it was a fit. 
(Four of the vendors on opening day at Wild Rose)
Shortly after the grand opening, Lynette asked me to join her in her booth at Chartreuse and Company, a place where my name was on the vendor waiting list.  Perfect.  I moved in with her for the next sale and I now had a second retail space.  Unbelievable.  I also heard from a second magazine about featuring my blog. Can one person take all of this? 
(Our shared space at Chartreuse)
Then, I met Karen.  You know her as The Graphics Fairy.  We got together to hang out and plan to host a Swanky Junque Swap together and it became so much more.  It’s like we were long lost kindred spirits.  We shared so many of the same passions about design, antiques, and being unabashed Francophiles.  She is a veteran in the world of blogging and antiques, so she tucked me under her wing and shared some of her amazing knowledge with me.  She also asked if I would like to sell my furniture and signs out of her room at The Old Lucketts Store.  I didn’t even have to think about it.  That was the place, the dream.  A thousand times yes! 
Just when I thought my professional life had to be at the peak, I received another exciting e-mail.  Cottages and Bungalows magazine wanted me to write for them.  I would say it was a dream come true, but I didn’t even know I could have that dream!  People who wrote for magazines were industry insiders and those who went to school for that kind of thing.  Not me.  Shows how much I know!
So, here I am on December 31, 2010, humbled at how God has blessed my business.  Moving mountains, indeed.  I went from selling some things on consignment and pecking away at a keyboard about it to being an entrepreneur, a professional writer and designer. 
Whew.  What a year. 
What’s in store for next year?  Well, after the exciting year I just had, I can hardly begin to guess! 
Here are some things I have planned and we’ll see what else comes up along the way…
One January 6th, I am meeting with True Value to claim my prize and receive a consultation on my bathroom makeover.  The gut job will then commence and I’ll share the transformation step-by-step. 
At the end of January, I will be attending my very first blogging conference, Blissdom!  I cannot wait to meet some of my blogging buddies and it will be amazing for me to stay in a plush hotel room and eat meals that I don’t have to cook. 
Lucketts has their biggest sale of the year on Groundhogs day, so you should try to attend if you’re local.
Look out for a video slipcover tutorial series on my blog.  I’ll show techniques and short cuts on different styles of upholstered furniture.  This series will hopefully become a resource for you and a place for beginners to get the courage to venture into the world of slipcovers.
In May, I am attending the Lucketts Antique Market as a vendor on the 21-22, followed up with designing for a romantic farmhouse wedding on the 29th.  May is going to be nuts. 
I am going to continue working on my book and I hope to release it in the first half of the year. 
I have a few other exciting things up my sleeve, so make sure you follow along and don’t miss a thing. 
Thanks so all who have followed me on my journey this year.  You have been an encouragement to me, more than you know. 
Happy New Year!

Miss Mustard Seed

This Year & Next

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81 Comments on “This Year & Next”

  1. You have amazing talent…and I'm so happy to see that others see it too. I've so enjoyed reading your blog and how you've made over your space…and can't wait to see what's in store next year. Wishing you all the best in the New Year!

  2. Wow… God surely can move mountains, and what a blessing that He will allow us to see them move! I would love to hear some encouraging words and advise from you for someone who might be sitting in the same spot that your exciting journey began. Did you ever have doubts? Were you ever paralyzed at the thought of going forward? Did you ever come upon a brick wall, and if so, how did you get around it? I would love to hear more from the perspective of your beginnings! Thanks for the inspiration, and congratulations to you for all of your fabulous successes!

  3. You have had a busy year!It's been fun watching you grow your success!So exciting!Looking forward to the slipcover tutorials.I have had a bolt of canvas for 2 years and have been afraid to even start! Have a Happy New Year! Tami

  4. Wow – what an awe-inspiring story!! I have been secretly stalking your blog during my ins and outs of the hospital this year…and am looking forward to a New Year filled with possibilities. Possibilities of new found love for my home, for decorating it in a comfort and style of my own – for myself and for my family. I am so excited to witness your journey into your dreams – you have such style and grace.
    Congrats on such an awesome year and wishing you much success in the upcoming year!

  5. Congratulations, you so deserve it all. You have worked so hard and you are such an inspiration to so many of us. You consistently offer something unique and keep us guessing to what you could possibly come up with next.

    I am so happy for you and wish you nothing but success in the new year.

    Hugs, Deb

  6. What a year! It's been fun finding you online and seeing all you do — you deserve this success! As long as you keep having fun and don't get too stressed!! All the best to you in 2011– can't wait to read about it!

  7. Marian,

    Have the most wonderful new year! Your talent and drive is such an inspiration!
    I will be attending Blissdom as well this year for the first time. I certainly hope to get the chance to meet you there.

  8. Congratulations on all your accomplishments this year and that you give credit for your blessings to our wonderful God.

    We were in Madison last weekend and I saw our mutual friend, Trish. I came to your blog by way of Old Post Road. I thanked her for directing me to your blog.

    Best wishes in the coming year…
    Betty @ Country Charm

  9. You *have* had an amazing, spectacular year indeed! It's been so fun and exciting watching from the outside. And then to hear it all summed up in one post… it brings chills! I'm so estatic to see these things come to fruition for you, and so excited to see what things are next!!

  10. You are deserving and so lucky all at once. I think your year has been a whirlwind of so much creativity being unleashed. I am in awe and amazed by all you do everyday. And with all that you accomplish and do every day you still have time to send a pick-me up email to me – a person who really needed it at that time.
    I hope to meet you soon- if not on a trip down to NC so I can take you junking then maybe I'll trek up to Lucketts for your big sale. Heck maybe one time I should try to do that sale too.
    thanks for all you do- seriously, thanks- tammy

  11. I love hearing these stories and yours is amazing. It gives you hope that amazing things can happen that you would never expect and seem so dreamlike. Big congratulations to you and I look forward to watching your wonderful story continue to unfold. Best wishes, Fiona

  12. Happy New Year! You worked your ass off and good things happen to those who do plus you are super talented. I hope your year os over the top and I hope some day to be in the area to buy some of your awesome furniture. I love my Gasthaus sign reminds me of Germany, send you a picture when my room is complete.

  13. Congratulations to you Marian! You move mountains! I thoroughly enjoy your blog and look forward to reading your 2011 projects. Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

    Wishing you all the best in the new year.


  14. A beautiful example of following your passion and taking that leap of faith. Congratulations on your successes for 2010 and we all look forward to following you in 2011!

  15. You deserve all of the accolades and success. It wasn't given to you, you worked for it.

    You share your talents with all of us with a true spirit of giving. Thank you and I wish you continued success in 2011.

  16. 32 years ago my big brother and I sang at our state church convention "You Can Move that Mountain",a song I haven't heard since. The chorus went like this..
    You can move that mountain if you just believe,
    You can move that mountain down into the sea.
    You can move that mountain if you just believe.
    You can move that mountain try and you'll see.
    The verse goes on to talk of the mustard seed and so the first time I was blessed by "Miss Mustard Seed" I knew you would "Move Mountains!"
    I Praise the Lord with you in your joys and your moving of mountains.
    Best of luck to you and prayers as well my sister in Christ.

  17. So happy we all get to go along for the ride (as well as inspiration and learning experience!)

    Life is good! Wishing you health, happiness and continued success pursuing your passion.


  18. I think your da' bomb!! God definitely know talents when he sees it! Can't wait for the slipcover lessons… looking at buying a sewing machine. I'm scared and excited all at the same time! Thanks for all the inspiration!

  19. I have been following your blog since about May or so, and all I can say as you have reached every new level is Wow, Wow, Wow! You are so talented and yet so humble and gracious. You deserve all of your rewards for your hard work! It is awe inspiring to see that dreams do come true and even more! Wishing you continued success and blessings this year!

  20. I have been hanging around your blog for less than a year, but my heart is bursting with happiness for you! Even if our styles are not identical, the work you is AMAZING. Your personality and your realness (is that a word?) comes through in your posts and I love it! I can totally appreciate your home life, being the mom of 2 little boys (mine are 2 and 5). I can only hope and pray that I find a passion as big as yours one day.

    Congratulations to you on ALL your successes in 2010- and heres to an even BIGGER 2011 for you. Because talent and dedication like yours deserves every thing that comes your way!

  21. I am SO happy for you! I knew the minute I met you through SYTYCD that you were a true spirit full of vision and talent. I'm so glad I get to ride along on the trip through your blog. Happy New Year!

  22. What a wonderful and exciting journey your on,I wish you continued success in 2011 and I'll feel privileged to witness you soar.Happy New Year!!!!

  23. How wonderful for you!! You deserve everything–you are such an amazing talent. I wish I lived close-Wisconsin is quite a drive-I would love to see and own some of your creations. Love your blog–you are one of the first I look for each day…

  24. Congratulations on such a rewarding and exciting year! Your blog is a favorite of mine and I can't wait to see what you have up your very creative sleeve for 2011. Happy New Year to you and your family!
    ~Cheryl at My Sister's Cottage

  25. Marian,

    Never, never, NEVER disappointed!!! In fact I look forward to making the long drive again in May πŸ˜‰ Congratulations on all the blessings 2010 has brought your way. You deserve every bit of it and then some!! Can't wait to be inspired by you even more in 2011!!! Happy New Year!


  26. This year I started a blog…thanks to you and your blog. Then in August I had the opportunity to meet you in person at Lucketts. Later in the fall I found another incredible blogger through you and your blog and I realized I again was blessed (thank you Donna)by the kindness of another stranger turned bloging friend.

    Your creativity is amazing, your kindness is genuine.
    Here's to you in 2011, may this be your best year yet.

  27. It has been an incredibly fun year. Your Dad and I have loved being part of the journey and watching you do your stuff. Here's to 2011! Your blog fans are awesome. Love Mom and Dad

  28. You are very talented and deserve everything that comes your way! Whenever I need inspiration, I come and read a few of your posts. I remember when you became a follower of my blog, I was so excited!

    Have a great New Year!

  29. How lucky for all of us that you not only found your passion, but are just SO DARN GOOD at sharing it with the world. I know I am not speaking alone when I tell you that you have and WILL continue to inspire me in my home, small business and HEART in 2011.

    thank you for everything Marian!

    Starview Sonnet

  30. marian, your blog is one of my favorites; you are so inspiring & talented. you truly have been blessed this year and it is exciting to have been along for the ride. this coming year will be like a blossoming flower, full of anticipation and beauty. i wish you well…happy new year!

  31. Happy New Year and a big congratulations on a fantastic and successful year. I hope it continues on a bigger scale for you this year. πŸ˜‰

  32. Happy New Year! I can't wait to see what 2011 inspirations you create and share with us. You're an amazingly talented person, but you also have the special quality of being sharing, kind and encouraging to all, and a little funny with a self-deprecating humour, and not afraid to say not everything works out. It's an amazing recipe, and you've luckily got it!
    Sonia πŸ™‚ x

  33. You have had one amazing year and it has been so much fun watching the process!! I have been so thrilled for you!!
    And 2011 will probably be even better yet!!
    God bless dear one and Happy New Year!

  34. That was such a fun post to start the new year out with. Thanks for posting your journey and the message of hope for all of us. No matter what the dream, God has a plan! I pray that you will continue to be amazed at His blessings in the new year!

  35. What an inspiration you have been! I remember when I first came across your blog in the beginning of your journey and thinking this girl is real, I mean true to who she is πŸ™‚ I became a follower and watched you bloom πŸ™‚
    Oh how exciting to see all of your dreams come true and even beyond what you could think or imagine. Now that is straight from God and his word is true.
    Happy New Year and I can't wait to see where you go in 2011!

  36. Congratulations on all of your success! I love watching people follow their dreams and seeing them come true!

    Personally, I am excited about the slipcover tutorial. I have been wanting to try this but am not sure how to start.

    Wishing you all good things in 2011!

  37. I'm so happy for the fabulous year you've had! You definitely have a talent that melds perfectly with your passion.

    Love your blog, don't ever stop blogging!!

    Looking forward to your book too!

    Hope your 2011 is as happy and healthy as 2010!


  38. Wow that is so amazing! So incredible what the Lord can do! Congratulations on all of these achievements! You are truly so talented! Happy New Year!!!

  39. What an unbelievable year for you and another one to come! So glad I found your blog you are so inspiring I am too a stay at home mom and love to decorate and paint furniture and I'm constantly changing things around. You proved you can do what you love! looking forward to your book love the name! Thanks for all your tutorials looking forward to the slipcover one. I have a n old couch in my storage room that was my grandmothers it is a maroon velvet
    and mahogany wood. Have a great 2011 Thank you again for all you do in blog world!

  40. maid marian ;), not only are you a talented designer but an awsome person as well. do you ever sleep? it amazes me how much you accomplish with toddlers ,a husband , blogging, refinishing seemingly thousands of pieces of furniture.and all the other extra projects you are involved in. as a blogging comunity we are so blessed that you are here ;). i echo so many of the previous comments. god bless you and yours and 2011 is going to be outstanding for you. also your tutorials are wonderful you are a natural teacher.

  41. I am a relatively new follower, so am very thankful that you have shared your journey with us today. I had no idea! What a testimony to the power of our God to open new doors at just the right time. WOW! Stand back and be amazed. I look forward to seeing what this new year will bring. I have already been inspired by you and can't wait to learn more! May blessings from heaven abound!

  42. Congratulations on all of your success!! Couldn't happen to a more deserving, talented and sweet person! Everything coming up sounds so exciting! I look forward to reading all about it and will be cheering you on !!! Go Marian Go!!
    Happy New Year!!
    Tammy πŸ™‚

  43. Congratulations on all of your success!! Couldn't happen to a more deserving, talented and sweet person! Everything coming up sounds so exciting! I look forward to reading all about it and will be cheering you on !!! Go Marian Go!!
    Happy New Year!!
    Tammy πŸ™‚

  44. Congrats to all you have accomplished in 2010. You are truly an inspiration! I am just starting out in blogging world and just took my furniture and home decor to a local shop in Colorado! I love reading your blog and look forward to seeing what 2011 has in store for you this year!

  45. Well, I planned to say something else here but I'm just going to second Debra (above) on this one.

    Thank you for your friendship, kindness, and support in 2010, sweet Marian.

    May all of your dreams come true in 2011!


  46. I am so happy for you! Proof yet again that one should do what comes naturally and let life take the course it will.

    You really are inspiring. I think it helps that we have very similar tastes.

    Because of you I have made a sheet music wreath, which made my aunt very excited. I have covered the top to a little dresser with pages from an old dictionary. It is still in paint job transition on the body. Inspiration hasn't fully hit on that one yet. I have gutted (with the help of my son) an old Philco television cabinet and covered the top of it from the same dictionary. The inside is still waiting for inspiration, as well as the cabinet itself.

    Thank you for sharing what you have done with all of us. I'm a little jealous of your creativity, but more than that I'm grateful you are so unselfish.

    Happy New Year.

  47. I have only been following blogs for about 6 months now and yours is one of my absolute favorites! Congratulations on your 2010 success and for the success 2011 will surely bring you. Thank you for your inspiration!

  48. Oh Marian! It has been such a joy to watch your dreams come true this past year! You have been blessed with so many good things, but I know it is God's way of taking care of His child. You are amazingly talented, and I feel honored to call you friend. I can't wait to see what God has in store for you this year! Wow!
    Many blessings!
    p.s. I am going to seriously rub elbows with you at Blissdom to see if a little of that good luck will rub off on me! πŸ™‚

  49. It sounds like you have had an amazing and exciting year…congratulations on all your success. I started my blog as a way to figure out my creative self so, for me, your story is very inspirational.

    Best wishes for a wonderful year β™₯

  50. I just found your blog and am so inspired. What a great story. Makes me think and hope my dreams aren't as far away as they sometimes seem. Blessings!

  51. I am so happy for you, and so extremely proud of you…I don't know how you do it, but that is part of what makes you special, and what makes it all work-IT'S ALL YOU!!! Thank you for inspiring in so many ways! Love to you Marian!

  52. What an exciting year you've had! I've so enjoyed reading all your posts. You have some great opportunities coming up this year too. I read that you'll be attending Blissdom. I hope you have a chance to meet my daughter, Lindsey, of The Pleated Poppy. I realized tonight that you two swap buttons. I'll be at her home watching her three kiddos. Maybe one of these years I'll get there with her. Do I sound a little green with envy? Definitely!


  53. You have obviously been giving out some positive vibes and blessings are coming back in return. You're very talented and give heart of those of us (yes, I mean Me) who are a little hesitant to move forward on a project because of lack of knowledge, what products to buy, fear of the unknown.

    Thanks so much and I'll be seeing you at the Luckett's fair!!!!

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