Well, hello there and Happy New Year!  Oh man, I just love the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  We did a lot of hanging out, playing games, watching movies, working on puzzles, and I had plenty of unhurried time to read some of my books, sketch and paint in the studio, and I even learned how to knit!  The boys are back in school today and it’s time for me to get back to work.  I did squeeze in a little planning this weekend, so I could be ready to hit the ground running.   Before we get into 2021 and exciting things to come, I’ll be sharing a few favorites and highlights from 2020 throughout the month of January.  Let’s kick that off with the top ten posts of 2020!

These are the top ten posts of 2020 based on the number of views the posts received in 2020 according to Google analytics.  This list surprises me every year and it did this year, too!  Here’s the countdown…

(The links to the posts are in each header.)

ten | master bathroom picks & finishes

This was one of my favorite projects of 2020, so I’m glad the post sharing all of my picks and finishes was so popular.  I hope it inspires others who are about to embark on a bathroom makeover.

master bathroom finishes | miss mustard seed

And, by the way, we are still loving our “new” bathroom.  I haven’t shared a final reveal here on the blog, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise!  It’ll be shown in detail in my new book that is coming out this fall.

nine | ruffled-edged crocheted dishcloth for beginners

Several crochet tutorials and posts made the top ten posts of 2020 list, so I think I need to share more!  I’ve been working on a cat bed tutorial along with a popcorn-stitched dishcloth and a few others.  This is one of my favorite current crochet tutorials, though, because it’s simple and looks so cute.

ruffled farmhouse dishcloth crochet tutorial for beginners | miss mustard seed

eight | let’s do some oil painting together (from a distance) 

This live painting series was so fun and such a great way to connect with my followers and readers while most of us were under stay at home orders.   I looked forward to it each Friday.  Not only was it a mood-boosting pick-me-up, but it got me back into painting regularly and gave me an opportunity to stretch my legs a bit as an “art teacher.”  I have received great feedback and regular requests for more painting classes, which I am planning to do in 2021.  I already have committed to one big class (I’ll share about that later), but I will also offer some small classes showing how to do individual paintings.

FREE oil painting classes for beginners | miss mustard seed

seven | a huge announcement about MMSMP

This announcement was bittersweet for me.  It was time to move on, but it was an end to something – an intentional and happy end, but still an end.  I recently found a quote by the chef Samin Nosrat that pretty perfectly sums it up…  “Endings don’t have to be failures, especially when you choose to end a project or shut down a business…  Even the best gigs don’t last forever. Nor should they.”

I feel that way about all of my creative endeavors.  None of them will last forever.  Nor should they.  As I evolve, change, and grow, so will my work.  Selling this line meant freeing my time and creative energy to focus on other things, like writing and art.  And I am very excited about it!

If you haven’t noticed, though, I am still a part of the MMSMP line in a supportive role.  I’ll continue to share projects with the paint as I use it in my own home.

miss mustard seed's milk paint | miss mustard seed | maria carr | dreamy whites

six | styling the living room shelves

In this post, I shared a reworking of the shelves in my living room.  They were white shelves filled with white ironstone (which is never a bad idea.)  I felt ready to add some color and texture, though.  I loved the result and so did my readers.  I’ll have to do some more styling posts this year!

styling living room shelf | ironstone | transferware | blue and white | antiques | miss mustard seed

five | needlework & crochet – it’s a winter thing

I found it so odd that this was one of my top posts!  I remember when I wrote it, I felt like it was a bit of a filler.  I was just observing that once the weather was warmer, I was out in the garden or garage more, working on home projects or landscaping or just walking.  I hardly touched my crochet work.  I think it’s mostly going to be a fall/winter/early spring sort of thing for me.  Many of you agreed!

In this post, I do share links to helpful posts and tutorials for beginners, so if you want to start crocheting this winter (or get a refresher), this is a good place to start.

crochet | miss mustard seed

four | how to crochet a farmhouse dishcloth for absolute beginners

Here’s another crochet tutorial that made the top ten posts of 2020!  This was my first tutorial and it’s a great project for absolute beginners.  I mean, you really can’t mess up a dishcloth.  Really…a trapezoidal, wonky dishcloth with irregular stitches will still do the job!

three | hardwood floors in the living room

I’m trying not to gloat about this one, but I did get my wood floors in the living room when I was outnumbered on the issue 3-1.  The rug was stained and showing its age, so Jeff finally agreed that we should replace it and hardwood would look the best.  It was then a 2-2 tie and since the boys weren’t paying for it, the adults won.

I really enjoyed the hardwood floors this Christmas, seeing the tree lights reflecting off of them.  It’s a more classic look that I love and having the same flooring as the kitchen and eating area made the entire space look larger and more cohesive.  It’s also so much easier to clean!

refinishing hardwood floors | miss mustard seed

blue and white christmas tree | miss mustard seed

two | arhaus outerbanks sectional

I was tempted to select a neutral sectional, but I am so glad I went with the buffalo check!  (It’s the Outerbanks Sectional from Arhaus.)  This fabric was not only a more unique choice, but it has been so forgiving.  The nubby texture camouflages any snags from the cats’ nails (although there haven’t been many) and I don’t feel hyper about the family and pets actually using it.

On my to-do list this year, though, is to make a slipcover for it out of antique hemp sheets.  It’s not to hide the buffalo check, but to give me options to change the look of the room with the seasons, which was the plan all along.  Covering the check part of the year will also extend the life of the upholstery in a home with pets and teenage boys

one | how to make a chair cushion

This post has been number one on my top ten blog posts list for at least three years, maybe four and it’s still number one in 2020!  Thanks to Pinterest, this post continues to bring a lot of traffic to my site.  As I said, it’s interesting to see what the top posts are!

how to make a chair cushion | miss mustard seed

There you have it!  The top ten posts for 2020.  I am going to share another post of my favorite projects since many of them didn’t make this list.  Do you have a favorite project or post that didn’t make this list?


  1. Cecelia Brandt

    Wow! I don’t know how you do all that in between Christmas and New Years and run a business. Where on earth to you find the time????
    I am amazed.


    • Christy

      I can not wait to see the babble stitch dishcloth.

      • Marian Parsons

        I really love how it looks! I can’t wait to show you.

    • Marian Parsons

      Well, I took time off of work, so I wasn’t posting on the blog or social media, I didn’t have any meetings, wasn’t responding to e-mail, etc. I just spent time with family and did the things I wanted to do!

  2. Winnie

    I love the blue paint in the bathroom makeover photo. Would you mind sharing the color? It is gorgeous.
    I loved the projects that you did this year, and especially enjoyed the oil painting classes. I watched them all but am going to rewatch and make this my project for the year, to try to paint each day.

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you, Winnie! That color swatch is Aviary by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.

  3. Charlotte

    I think the It’s a Winter Thing drew people in because of your twinkle lights!!!! And it really is a winter thing for me… once it gets cooler, I whip out the needles and yarn! And those dishcloths I made using your tutorial are a house favorite… we use them all the time and they’ve held up really well! Thank you for sharing and happy new year!

  4. beverlee lyons

    Your floors are my favorite. So beautiful!

  5. Lisa P

    These were all wonderful, inspiring and helpful posts. Recently, I especially loved your crocheted stars! You inspired me to make a bunch (after a few false starts while I got the hang of it) to hang as ornaments and then strung some together as garlands. (I made a lot!) By chance, I found some of the recommended WoolEase Thick and Quick cream coloured yarn with a little thread of gold running through it to add a bit of sparkle to some of them. Thank you so much for the lesson!
    It’s been fun to have this kind of project to work on in the evening while chatting with my family or watching a movie. Last night I learned how to crochet a simple toque. Wore it today. Next I’m going to order some cotton yarn to make some of those pretty scalloped dish cloths. I love these quick and forgiving projects. What fun on a winter evening!

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, I’m so glad! Those were fun to make. I made a bunch, but many of them ended up as cat toys!

  6. Sandy

    It is always a treat to see and read your blogs and instagrams. You are such a sweet encourager and your humor adds so much. Bless you and your family in this new year. Will look forward to what you have for your readers this year and for your book coming in the fall. Yay.

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you, Sandy!

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you! And yes, I’m excited about my book finally going out into the world this fall!

  7. Teresa

    The installation of hardwood floors and the bathroom reno were my favorites. Having hardwoods installed from the kitchen to the living room just makes the space look bigger and more uniform. They really turned out beautiful and make your living room gleam!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I agree! I’ve enjoyed them so much!

  8. Elaine

    You are hands down my favorite. I love everything you have done with your home.
    I can’t remember what color you used to paint your walls and I can’t seem to find the post.
    If you have a moment to share that would be great.
    Blessings to you and yours.

    • Marian Parsons

      It’s Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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…


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company