what do blog readers want?

Marian ParsonsBalance, Running a Business345 Comments

…or, more specifically, what do you want from this blog?  From me?

“Stop reading minds and start asking questions.”

These words were up on one of the slides that Jon Acuff, the keynote speaker at Haven, presented.  His entire “talk” was awesome and encouraging.  Just what I needed.  But, those words were one of those inspirational nuggets that hit me like a ton of bricks.

“…start asking questions.”

No, no, no.  You don’t want to ask an open-ended question like that on a blog, because the answers might be…  well, hard to hear?  Not what you’re hoping for?  Maybe too raw and real and honest?  So, I don’t ask the question and I carry on with making assumptions about what my readers want from me.  And maybe I’m missing the mark.

mms-8906

It’s been slowly creeping up on me – the realization that I don’t write like I used to.  I used to be more open-hearted here.  Somewhere in the middle of a growing business and living through the ups and downs that come with success, muddling through as I figure it out, I have insulated myself and kept my readers at arm’s length.

Not always, but most of the time.

I’ve always written to my blog readers like they are my friends.  Encouraging them, teaching, sharing what I’m excited about, sometimes complaining in frustration, knowing others will understand.  I still do that, but I feel like it’s more surface level as of late.  Like we’re acquaintances and occasionally we’ll have a heart-to-heart and then we go back to talking about the weather.  I’ve been feeling like that for a while and I couldn’t put my finger on it until now.

I’ve also come to recognize that I have always been more excited about and thankful for the new readers I acquired (the growth), than I was about the existing, loyal followers.  And I even cringe admitting that in writing.  Growth is just exciting!  It’s sort of like the excitement or defeat you feel when the scale goes up and down while on a diet.  It doesn’t matter that you’ve already lost 10 lbs.  If you lose two more, those two are special and what make you giddy when you step off.  If you gain one, the 9 you’ve lost aren’t enough to lift your spirits.

I would never have said that I took my loyal readers for granted, but I think, in truth, that I have and I am sorry.

Somewhere along the way, and I don’t even know when it happened, I decided that if I was over a certain number of page views or below a certain Alexa ranking, I was enough. I was doing it “right.”  If I fall below, I am not.  I’ve been experiencing so many years of exciting growth and benchmarks, that I didn’t know what to do when I hit a plateau or started sliding backwards.  It made me feel uneasy and I started second-guessing myself and buying into the voice that told me numbers are everything and yours are not good enough.

Now, I know that’s not true.  I know that you can’t measure everything with one stick.  That’s why there are measuring tapes, barometers, seismographs, thermometers…  You get the idea.  I know that success, life in general, is never on a consistent incline heading up to perfection.  It’s filled with mountains and valleys, twists and turns.  It’s usually the unexpected that brings out character, reveals surprises and becomes a sweet and profound event in hindsight.

In an intellectual conversation, I know all of this.

My heart, though, needs some convincing and it feels safer if I start to close it off and turn this blog into a parade of projects without much heart behind them.

And that’s not what I want.  And I don’t think it’s what my readers want, either, but that’s me being a mindreader.

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The good news is that it feels like a weight is lifting off my shoulders, just sharing this with you.  It feels like I’ve been keeping a secret from a friend and it’s finally been spoken and it’s no longer a burden.

Also good, is that I feel recharged after attending a couple of really great sessions at Haven that spoke to some of the things I’ve been in angst over and getting stuck on.  I had conversations, sometimes even really brief ones, with some incredibly inspiring, beautiful people and their words filled me up.

I do have some new things I’m working on and a steady stream of ideas I hope to pursue, but I feel more confident than ever, that I need to focus most of my energy on making the things I already do even better, richer, deeper, more fulfilling, more encouraging, more meaningful.  And I feel ready to do that.

So, again, I pose the question…  What do you, my reader, want from me?  What do you want me to write about and take pictures of?  What do you want me to share?  To teach?  How do you want me to share those things with you?  How can I encourage and inspire you?  These questions are open-ended and you can even feel free to answer questions that I’m not even asking.  I’m not putting out a survey with limited questions and multiple choice answers.  I’m leaving the comment field open for you to answer honestly, openly, and in your own words.

I’m hoping our honesty, on both sides, will end in the kind of hug shared by dear friends that’s long, bringing both tears and smiles, and a deeper friendship along with it.

I’m all ears…

what do blog readers want?

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345 Comments on “what do blog readers want?”

  1. Some of my favorite posts were your early ones about starting your business. I also have a small business, and I loved the encouragement that I could feel as you shared your insecurities, hopes and dreams. I think it is great that you are taking a step back and trying to be more authentic with your readers. I love your blog and appreciate you!

    1. Yeah, I miss those posts, too. I should start writing about the business side of things again, sharing what I’ve learned along the way.

  2. Some questions it have:
    How to combine painted and word pieces in one space. Should all painted pieces be one color, I know the answer is no but how do you combine them?
    Also texture. How do you think about texture? How do you layer? What us your thought process?

  3. i love your blog and have been following for years. The one thing I don’t like is the videos. I read this during down time at work and can’t stream videos or even I get home. I don’t want to listen to something because I’m reading blogs and watching my shows on tv. That’s all. Other then that, I live your blog!

  4. Failures. I’d like to see more of your mess-ups. I learn as much, if not more, from seeing failed ideas and projects as I do drooling over all the fabulous ones. It makes you seem more human and it allows us relative beginners to feel less down-at-heart when it happens to us.

  5. I’m a new reader. I love hearing successful bloggers talk about their thoughts on the business of blogging. And I have really enjoyed seeing your transformations for Luckett’s and then your home renovation before and afters.

  6. I so so so needed to read this today Marian. I too have been feeling a bit stuck….and in the back of my head is…”new flashy projects are what everyone wants to see…” when in reality I think folks enjoy the connection just as much. After almost 6 years of writing and projecting I suppose there is an ebb and flow…..but your words awakened me a bit to it:)
    Xo

  7. Ok, if you want honesty here goes: This is hard to say too but I think you are being a little hard on yourself. Your wonderful blog is great because it is you! I have been reading yours for a couple of years now and your blog is like my favorite section of the newspaper! Last year when you asked a similar question I saw a few unkind comments written and I remember you saying how that year had been challenging with some family health issues etc. I hope those few comments did not cause what you are referring to as in surface stuff or cause you to hAve any doubts. You and Kristie are great! I enjoy simple crafts as much as furniture upholstery and painting projects. I miss some glass glitter projects but I love every post you write. Paint technique is where i need help with at times. I am also enjoying the videos too. Another feedback- these t-shirts are so comfortable and wash well. Bought some at Lucketts and I will be ordering more. Debbie.

  8. I like it when you do sneak peaks of future seasonal projects. It is nice to have a little reminder of Fall or Christmas on a blistering hot summers day or spring in the middle of winter

    Speaking of holidays a lot of bloggers go silent around holidays. I like to read blogs as a quick escape from the madness of the season. I really appreciate it when bloggers put up new posts all through the holidays even if they are just a picture and a few words that they have preprogrammed much earlier or reposting a very old post.

    Like Erin I’m not crazy about the chatting videos. I would like it if you would type up a recap of the highlights with any relevant photos. I’m only likely to watch how to videos.

  9. i have felt the same lately- the disconnect from my readers and that i am sharing less of myself, but mine has come from the lack of time. i think the emotional posts are harder not only because you are spilling your insides for the world (or for my my little readership!) to see, and to get it all out thoughtfully and clearly takes time. i also think that pinterest and instagram are a huge part of this disconnect- i can look at pretty images until the cows come home and repin or like, but i am the type of person who craves knowing the person behind the blog and feeling that real connection. so in agreement with some of what’s been said…. the hard work behind the scenes, the disappointments along the way, and then of course the grand successes which measure even grander against those previous failures. owning my own small business as well, i go through a continual tumultuous ride. one day i feel like a huge failure and i want to quit because it seems that everyone hates me anyhow…. and then the next day, i want to grab the bull by the horns and show ’em what i’ve got. experiencing that ride with you is inspiring and honestly it’s nice to know that you can relate to it all, too. and i feel more connected to you through those moments of disappointment. i hope this makes sense… geez, talk about spilling your guts.

  10. I am one of those “new” ones you have desired and I can so relate!! I started my first blog within a week of getting the internet and it felt like those first two posts were exactly what I wanted to do, but I got ZERO reaction except from my friends. To this day I have had several accidental views, but not a lot else, so I’ve been not writing (even though it felt so good at first) so I’ve been stuck. Trying to figure if I should pursue with my original intention or go back to what I wanted before I discovered a world of site stats. Thank you!! This is what I want from your site. Truth…Genuine Honesty!!! I’m going to do what I wanted to do. Even if only for the people I already know and love.

  11. Hi Marian, The first post I ever saw of yours was a tutorial on sewing slipcovers using drop cloths. It was inspirational as drop cloths being affordable for many of us decorating our homes on a small budget. However, reading your posts and how you managed to renovate your home through your freelance work with HGTV, being a member of the True Value squad, winning a contest with True Value, receiving faucets from Moen and other sponsors is not what happens for many of us out there blogging and decorating. Your home is absolutely lovely and definitely inspirational but, not necessarily attainable for many of your readers when undertaking their own reno projects. I remember the early days of blogging before sponsorship, bloggers being paid and given loot. I think it’s great that you have become so successful and have these opportunities and you are always forthcoming about what you have been gifted. It is definitely a fine line and one that many bloggers have struggled with themselves. For those of us bloggers without these perks, it can be a little intimidating and leave us feeling unsuccessful as we can not compete and keep up with doing projects so we have something to blog about since we are paying out of pocket for all of our improvements.

    1. I’m going to second this comment. When I first started reading your blog, I was new into home ownership, and you were so inspiring about what all could be done, even on a super small (non-existent) house budget. The financial limitations pushed my creativity in a big way. Also, maybe you could add to the business posts topics like how to get sponsors, how to grow readership, how to get free stuff, etc. for all of us baby bloggers who have not the first idea (me!). I still love reading everyday, my very favorite posts are all the Luckett’s furniture makeovers, cannot get enough!! Blessings!

  12. What I love:
    * You post nearly every day and sometimes a couple of times. I have stopped reading a few blogs because of their lack of new posts, namely, Maison Decor and Betsy Speert.
    * Lots of beautiful pictures.
    * Painted furniture
    * Before & Afters of anything
    * How you made your home beautiful on such a tight budget.

    What I don’t love:
    * ANY sponsored posts
    * When you get free stuff. I certainly don’t blame you for taking gifts but the rest of us can’t relate.
    * Crafty stuff
    * Personal family stuff
    * The talky videos. I much prefer the how-to’s like you used to do.

    My disenchantment started when your house didn’t sell and you moved to the studio. I was really looking forward to how you would decorate a new place since the old house is pretty much perfect.

    Now, that said, you are still my favorite blogger. I think you have handled your blog’s growing pains as well as anyone could hope.

    1. Ditto all. Couldn’t have stated this better. All the honesty, Sweet, and all the reasons why we love Miss Mustard Seed.
      Kelley~

  13. I like it mostly the way it is–great variety, great ideas. I do usually skip the videos (the talking ones, not the how-to ones). That may just me. Even when I go to a news site, I read the article–and skip the video of it. I find it is faster, more efficient for me to read rather than watch. That may be my loss in your case since I do like the idea of your addressing readers’ questions.

  14. I’d like to hear more about your faith – testamonials as to how God is moving in you, your business and family. Let your Light shine 🙂

  15. I love your blog! And I’m sure you already know this, but you certainly can’t please everyone. There are those that skip the videos, and there are others who love them (myself included 😉 I’m just impressed with how prolific you are! It’s always fun to check my blog reader and always find something fun and interesting from you. I enjoy the how to’s, I love the stuff that is about your own home projects, I LOVE your how to video tutorials. They’re so awesome! You are such an impressive project based designer that always has your own projects impressively ready to share, but I am excited to hear you talk about any type of design or hear your thoughts on other projects/designs of someone else. that has been one of the things that I have enjoyed about the Design Rambling videos, is to see the examples of other designers work that you mention and hear you comment on. I really get a lot out of those conversations, perhaps because my style isn’t exactly exactly the same, so when you can pull out “principles” to talk about, it’s neat how it can totally relate to any style.

    Keep up the great work. And don’t stop the videos because of the few who don’t watch. They can just skip those posts 🙂

  16. Dear Marian,

    I just want to say that you should just be who you have always been … you are who God made you to be and He has given you the gift of inspiring others! WoW! You should not be any thing but who you were created to be. You should post on your blog those things that excite YOU and inspire YOU! That is why we read and follow … or at least that is why I read and follow. People stay because they like YOU … there are thousands of blogs out there teaching the same sort of stuff with the same sort of materials … but none of them have the “Marion” touch that is uniquely you with your personality. As for things to change? Nothing! If I don’t feel like listening to the videos I just read … it’s ALL good!

    Please don’t change, just keep growing and doing what you do, God will take care of the numbers :0) Don’t let numbers define your worth!

    Smiles and hugs!
    Terry

  17. I’ve been reading you blog for 8 years (? I think? That seems so long ago!). I lived in Chambersburg, PA when I first started reading it, so the posts where you talk about the area are selfishly always welcome.

    I rarely comment, here or anywhere. When I first “discovered” blogs I followed a ton of home decor blogs. Now just you, Thrifty Decor Chick, and Centsational Girl. I actually am not personally a huge fan of the style you decorate with, but the quality of your work has always resonated with me. That is, I don’t personally like the distressed look, but you do it really well and I still learn from your tutorials and it helps me to be better at my own projects. I do love your decorative paintings.

    That said, I don’t like the videos. A short video on a technique I might watch if I want to learn a specific skill, but I don’t generally bother with videos. I typically skip the whole post.

    I also use an rss reader (feedly) and don’t always read your posts because they’re shortened. I find myself clicking “read more” less and less often (everywhere), and I realized that I’ve read significantly less of your posts because of this. A pretty photo or words that interest me make me stay, but I don’t get that chance because only a small portion of your post shows up. I assume this started to cut down on other people reposting your material, but I often miss updates for this reason.

    Good luck with the future of your blog. Thanks for including us.
    (Sorry for typos or craziness, using an ipad and can’t scroll up to edit or proofread!)

    -Rebecca

  18. I think it would be really fun if you did posts on decorating other people’s rooms. I think seeing your design style mixed with another person’s and in different rooms would be really interesting.

  19. I think you’re doing a great job! I most of all enjoy seeing the design decisions you’ve made in your own home. I also like the before and afters of furniture pieces you’ve painted. Anything that inspires me to try something new in our home is great! I appreciate the occassional entries where you share a bit of your heart and your life. I like the videos in which you talk me through a technique or project, but I must admit I rarely watch the “Design Ramblings” that you and Kriste do. The only aspect of your blog that I don’t like at all is “Furniture Feature Friday”. I’m always disappointed when Friday rolls around as I have no interest in how other readers have restored or painted their furniture. I am interested in YOUR take on design / decorating / living well. I so appreciate the ways you inspire me to create a home our family loves. (PS: I have no problem with the sponsored posts that allow you to move forward with projects in your home.)

  20. I read every single post you write…about anything…., and I really enjoy them, but I do not watch the “rambling” Friday videos. For me, they are too long, and, well, rambling. A how-to video I would watch.

  21. Dear Marian
    I usually don’t comment, but I wanted to give you a thumb’s up & an encouragement. Your blog is my favorite one to read! I think you have good mix of DIY, decorating, family stuff, paint projects….. I love the before & after projects, even the failures you share & how you “fixed” it. As far as the videos, I like the location that you have changed to in the last few & also like that you answer reader questions. I am planning to submit a question myself soon. You know it is kinda like at church or any function, you can never get the A/C or the PA to please everyone! So as one of the other readers said, Don’t be too hard on yourself! Take care & don’t work too hard!

  22. Wow! I know that took courage for you to write your thoughts in this post.
    I have only been blogging and following other blogs for a little over a year now, so I didn’t know you in the beginning of your blogging journey. The way you were writing a year or so ago and up to now is all I know of Miss Mustard Seed. I fell in love with you and your sweet ways… and of course your great painted furniture pieces. One of my favorite treasures is a little cabinet that I bought from you in Alabama last year at the show. So, I feel like your blog is great as it is, with the exception of the video chat segments…It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, it’s just that I have bad internet service (it’s all that’s available to me) and it never really works right. So I just skip those posts. I think we (as bloggers) sometimes feel pushed to keep up with technology and the latest blogging trends, so I understand why you started that, but I think it’s also important to think about the fact that not everyone can follow along with that part of it.
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us in this post…See, that’s part of what makes you special.
    Judy
    judypimperl.blogspot.com

  23. I LOVE your blog. I would love to see more posts that feature doing different vignettes around the house and more seasonal decorating. The more pictures the better! 🙂

  24. I’ve just started reading your blog this year and I have loved your writing style and tone. As a mom, I would enjoy hearing more of your family traditions. It touches my heart when you write about belongings you have from your grandparents. In looking to make it more personal, more day to day family life would be beautiful. The reality is that we are not best friends and so I think it’s perfectly fine for a blogger not to bear one’s soul. Your writing has always come across as honest and personal. As mentioned in a previous comment, I love the frequency as well. I look forward to reading it every day and I enjoy watching Design Ramblings on Saturdays while the kids naps. I know you and Kriste are playing with different seating arrangements for that show, have you ever considered having two chairs facing 45 degrees in, so you’re halfway facing each other and halfway the camera? I believe they do this on some talk shows or interviews. My only complaint is that I’ve written in twice with questions and not gotten an answer, which was disappointing because I’ve seen you respond to others. So I guess I hoped for a little more familiarity than sending comments out into the void.

    1. Oh, I’m sorry we haven’t hit your question, yet! I have a folder I saved them all in and, I’m afraid that we just find one and talk about it, so it isn’t very organized!

  25. I have been reading your blog for years, and your words and pictures are always a real inspiration. Love seeing you grow & adjust, course-correct & stay authentic – good for you! I’d love to hear more about the business side as well. I’m trying to start my business back up, & of every business I’ve ever followed, yours is the most helpful! Let’s hear some of that again!

  26. Hi, I am fairly new to your blog, but I love it. I like your videos, you and Kristi make me laugh, and laughter is a good thing.
    Just keep doing what your doing, your really good at it.
    God Bless

  27. Marian,

    Before I posted this I read what others where saying. Although I think it does matter what your readers want to a point, I feel like the success of your blog already speaks to that. You have become successful by posting what you do, what is on your heart, what you like… that is what your readers (me included) want. If I were allowed to dictate what you post I would quickly become bored and uninspired. It is the surprise of ‘what will she post, accomplish, create, upholster next’ that keeps me coming back. Everyday.

    I have read some harsh comments on previous posts and it upsets me that some folks are so negatively outspoken. This is your blog. It isn’t for us to say what you write, how you promote, direct your creativity or complain about it for that matter. My opinion is directed to the readers – if you don’t like what is on this blog, move on. Period. Enough said about that.

    Marian, you will never satisfy everyone – don’t try. Be who you are, ever evolving as life takes you down different pathways. Fans like me love your work just the way you present it; doing just what you do even as it is ever changing. You will always have some fails because you are courageous enough to try and try again. I really respect that about you. You are not afraid to put yourself out there – good or bad – for the world to see. You handle the negativity with grace and poise.

    I hope your work/blog brings you JOY always!

    1. YES! The best blogs are those whose authors write about what they are passionate about. I have followed and unfollowed blogs because I began to dislike or be bored with what they wrote, but I would never tell them to change their method, style, content, delivery, etc. to suit me. Isn’t the point of a blog to put YOUR ideas out there?

  28. Personally, I always skip over the chatting videos because I just don’t have time to watch them…I prefer a written post that I can read through when taking a break at work, etc. Also, I always skip over the friday link-ups. Also, in general, I do not like sponsored posts on any blog and I follow quite a few.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I like your regular blog posts because I like reading what YOU have to say rather than the time investment associated with videos, link-ups, or sponsored posts. 🙂 I really enjoyed your recent evolution series.

  29. I’ve been reading your blog for a year or so now, and I enjoy it. I like that you usually post every day. I know it is probably a lot of work, but I enjoy knowing that I have something interesting to read when I am ready to relax at home. As others have said, you can’t please everyone when you write a blog. I do watch the videos sometimes, but I don’t get excited about them or the Furniture Feature Friday like I do your other posts. I would love more how-to videos especially regarding painting furniture and decorative painting. I am also, like a previous reader, interesting in hearing your take on mixing different painted furniture pieces in one room. How do you tie them together and make it work so that nothing stands out? Mixing fabric patterns and simple how-to posts on sewing things like slipcovers and doing simple upholstery are interesting to me as well. Also, like several previous readers, I love the materials you use and would not want you to stop posting about them, but it is difficult for the average person to relate to some of the materials you use as we may not be able to find them where we are and/or cannot afford them. It would be nice in those cases to hear of alternatives. Lastly, I would say that your home is absolutely beautiful and most always picture perfect in your posts, but I am sure it doesn’t look that picture perfect every day as it is your home (with kids). It would be nice to see pictures in your posts (at least sometimes) that shows your home as the everyday house you live in. I think it would make it easier for most to relate to and help keep it real. Thanks for everything you do. I love your blog!

  30. Seeing you do your work live on video is SO helpful for those of us not familiar with milk paint. Even how to mix it is great to see in action. I’m so interested in everyone and how they respond, it’s so great that you took the time to ask. Building a business is so exciting, and it’s understandable how one can get caught up in the growth, but in my honest opinion you’ve handled it with grace. Love your blog, your beautiful photography and I learn so much from you. Great seeing you again at Haven this year!

  31. I love your blog, and I don’t think I’ve missed a post in years (and I’ve been in medical school so that’s saying a lot!). You have a wonderful blend of projects and personal stories. I will keep reading if things stay as is, but I noticed a comment from someone else wanting to see you decorate rooms for other people and I have to say that thought was exciting! I would love some of that 🙂

  32. I’ve been a reader for quite some time, and I’m very impressed with the range of skills you have developed. It’s so cute how you seem surprised by your success, and your grace and humility are always evident.

    Contrary to what some others say, I think that it’s wonderful that you can share the perks (sponsors or free items or whatever) as well as the challenges. In my view, those are very small rewards for the very long hours you have worked. Few people can truly appreciate the intense amount of time, effort, energy and just plain hard work that goes into one lovely post. In the “old days” — you know, 4 or 5 years ago! — magazines had entire staffs of specialized folks doing what you are doing on your own….graphics, layout, photography, styling, shopping, idea-generating, supply-buying, and on and on and on. You probably worked 200+ hours for a faucet 🙂 Not many people are willing to put that much effort into it 😉

    Right now, I’m absolutely loving your House Evolution series. We often over-estimate what we can do in a year, but under-estimate what we can do in 3 or 4. I’m also enjoying your deck and garden make-overs. Those are daunting projects, because they involve heavy things and sweaty effort, but what a dramatic difference.

    Keep up the good work! Content will and should change over time, just as all forms of media do. Blogs are more personal than endless Instagram shots or Pinterest photos, but that doesn’t mean that you should be “doing a Kardashian” and going to extremes to attract attention. Your work speaks for itself. Your family life is your family’s business, not ours, but I sure would love parents who are so good-natured and up for adventure as yours!

  33. I can’t think of anything that I would change. This blog is like reading a favorite book. I keep coming back because I love the story and the characters. The problem that I see with always working toward growth, is that eventually you have to have staff (don’t get rid of Kriste, she’s a keeper!) in order to support that, and then the “you” that people were drawn to is lost. We’re left with something that resembles a big box store. All any of us really needs in “enough”. You are enough.

  34. When I started reading this tonight, I thought “that’s it!” You nailed it, the connection that was there in the beginning (yes, long time follower here) has waned somewhat. It seems the honeymoon is over 🙂 From a reader’s perspective, disinterest sets in…. I don’t follow many bloggers, time just does not allow it. What keep’s me tuning in here? The inspiration. The fact that you share you, encourage others and show us the “how” to’s in a real and down to earth way. You are a great teacher! If you keep it fresh and exciting for you, we’ll keep listening 🙂 Oh, and audience participation (like this post) haha ….. Thank you Marion

  35. I have been following your blog for a LONG time and in all honesty love everything about it. Your success is well deserved and it is obvious that you have worked hard for what you have achieved. I found this post refreshing and it was great to see you so willing to reach out to your readers for their feedback , despite the fact that you must be doing things well or you would not be where you are today. This open hearted post shows your kindhearted humility and desire to consistently move forward and improve. Your site is what inspired me to start my own blog and I wish I could have attended the Haven conference to hear you speak in person. If I had to choose what I would like to see more of, it would probably be tutorials.

  36. Hi Marion,

    I agree with VaMama, sponsored posts are ok with me — I would like to know your opinion on a product I may need to use in the future. Getting “freebies” aren’t really free considering all the work you put in the project, writing, etc.!
    Would love to see more simple how-to videos. Everything else is great. Thanks for this wonderful blog.

  37. I have loved your blog for years but because I don’t decorate with mostly blue and white, sometimes I get bored with the one note color story in your home. You have such great colors in your paint line, yet I don’t see a lot of those colors in your space. I’d like to see more of your colors and how to use them in a space and if not in your home, showcase someone else’s home with other colors. Not just vignettes, but real life homes. Good luck.

  38. This is what we love about you. You are who you are. Please don’t apologize. I like your blog because it is the way most of us live our lives.

  39. Hey Marian!

    I loved the posts from the early days when you shared how to do expensive looking projects in a cheap way. I’m a longtime reader and I look forward to all your posts. I love your honesty and how haven’t let your success change you. This blog post is just further proof of that! Oh, I also love the video tutorials. They are so easy to follow made my first reupholster project a success!!

  40. I am a blogger too, and often I just write what comes to mind. My blog follows the order of my life. I could one day be on a baking role, and all you’ll get is a recipe post day after day, and the next week I’m into some home project and sharing that too.

    As a reader, I like your blog because I think your home is absolutely stunning. I could steal ideas if I wanted. I love pinning your images too. But the articles that I really enjoy – are the furniture makeovers (esp. leading to Luckett’s). I don’t watch the videos at all. I like some gardening posts, but mostly seeing your indoor plants and how they thrive, since that’s what I’m in the market for now. Anyway, that’s my opinion. But as long as you keep your blog alive, I’ll be here.

    Cheers,
    Antonella

  41. Finding a project or two each year that goes to your roots: creative decorating of a home on a budget would be fun. No sponsors, not in blue and white but using other colors. For a first time homeowner, apartment dweller…using your milk paints and all your skills in a totally different color way…to stretch and engage those of us on tighter design budgets.

  42. Hi Marian, I love reading your blog and I think your home is lovely. Some of my favourite posts are the ones in which you share your antiquing finds from auctions, shopping or yard sales! I loved watching you prepare for Lucketts -and I can appreciate the hours and hours you spend on projects and shopping etc for the sale. I look forward to your posts and enjoy seeing all of your sweet and pretty homemaking activities. And I love your boys’ room – I have two boys as well so I share the Lego reality!!
    Continue being ” inspired you” and your readers will follow along!
    Erika

  43. I love your blog and your craft but would also love to read more about your family. How are your boys? Specifically your son with diabetes? I find that I read the blogs that I do because I connect on a heart level not just a diy level.

  44. I look foward to reading your blog posts daily….your home, your blogging, your ‘business’, your life style all inspire my home, my blog and my business. Looking forward to your Holiday tablescapes…..Stay true to yourself….

  45. I love it that you post nearly everyday… i always check in to see “what is Marian up to today?”

    I’d like to see more of what got me hooked on “Miss Mustardseed” to begin with–making a beautiful home from very humble materials and a tight budget–you know, mountain from a mustard seed!

  46. I read your posts everyday although your style is completely different from mine. I am older and will never do any painting projects! I usually read during a break at work and never watch the videos! I like reading about your family, your cooking, your diet and exercise. I really don’t think you need to change a thing! You do YOU well!! And it is amazing to me that you still post everyday – so many bloggers seem to stop or slow down after a few years or once they get a book deal!

  47. let me begin with….I love the Miss Mustard Seed milk paint. Love it, love it, love it!!
    A couple of months ago I went to your workshop in Sun Prairie WI. The workshop was great but I came away wishing that you were “warmer” and more approachable.
    SO, what I would like to read on your blog is more insight to who you really are, what makes you tick and share about your success and your moments that taught you something.
    Thanks you for asking!!! 🙂

    1. Wendy, It was so nice to meet you at the workshop and I really appreciate your honest feedback! I am usually told the opposite, that I seem more approachable in person, but that wasn’t your experience and I’m sorry for that! It was a very packed schedule and that workshop was at the end of two long days and two very early mornings, but that’s never an excuse. Thanks for sharing your experience, so I can be mindful of that.

  48. Dear Marian,
    God bless you and the wonderful friend you have in Kriste. Thank you for attending the conference in Atlanta. I have followed your blog, inspirations rather for a couple of years now and enjoy immensely. It is my favorite. I look forward to a new post every day, the formatting is easy to follow, polished, clean and simple.
    I wish to gently say, “post with humility and humbleness.” Let your faith carry you in conveyance. There has been an occasion or two where I did not finish reading a post because my assumption took it to somewhat being; I, my, mine, I have, I did not us, ours, we have, we did, our family, our home, loving, understanding husband, our beautiful boys…..
    I believe most of us have experienced the same until we are reminded of it. It’s so easy to become lost in every day responsibilities, life in general. Your family is busy, so much has been accomplished in such a short period of time. Stay humble.
    Many blessings to you and your family, Kriste and her family too.
    Lori

  49. Random thoughts –

    LOVE your blog!

    I really like the suggestions of some of the ladies about you decorating other people’s spaces.

    LOVE re-do’s, like in the run-up to a market. Re-do’s let me see the specific skills, which I can apply to my own style, which is different than yours. IE, I may not want a chair with a blue-checked fabric, but I sure do want the reupholstering skills.

    The Design Rambling videos aren’t my thing at all; they have awkward “cringe” moments and are disruptive for anyone I’m around when I’m on the Internet.

    I’d love to see many more posts from the studio. Since you got the studio, it’s a bit like 1/2 the story has disappeared. As much as I’ve enjoyed the Evolution series, I don’t want to just read about your home, I also want to read about your studio and business. Actually, the more I think about it the more I think this is a big part of it. I really enjoy the home posts, especially as you’ve done so many as you’ve been working on home updates post-house-didn’t-sell, but the home is Marian, and where has Miss Mustard Seed been?

    I like that your blog is kind and positive.

    I’d like to see posts about “here’s what I learned from my recent screw up”.

    I read the Friday blog-party comments you make but I don’t ever look at any of the party links. I used to but they are rather repetitive and many aren’t very good.

      1. Oh yes! I agree a lot with this comment as well! But to add my own thoughts, I have adored you for a very long time but have as of late been a little dismayed by what feels like you giving us information only. That might be enough for some people but I signed up with you because of YOU! I love to learn and certainly have and continue to from you, and I certainly understand growth in business and that it is needed, but I miss YOU! I actually started a private email to you to say that same thing but now here you are asking our thoughts! Because that is YOU. Because you care. Anyway, I love most all that you do, not crazy about the design ramblings, just a personal thing I think, but I don’t get much from them. What I would love to see is you working on other people’s homes or projects and hey! How about a “What Would Miss Mustard Seed Do?” post? I have just the project that I’ve had forever and can’t figure out how I should paint it! 🙂 …… Love you to pieces Miss M!

        1. Thank you, Marian. You are getting exactly what I was saying. I want to put my heart behind the information I’m sharing! 🙂

      2. Marian,
        How incredibly brave and open to post this blog! I browse the internet and sample many different blogs but I only subscribe to yours, for the following reasons.
        1. Your attention to detail when teaching.
        Whether sewing a pleated ruffle, applying paint, or using furniture wax your detailed instructions help us understand the why and how of the techniques you are using. This enables us to apply these skills and obtain good results.
        2. Your honesty and integrity.
        Your projects gave birth to your product line, not vice versa. You give honest reviews, your not favorable review of PB tableware comes to mind. Certainly a David and Goliath moment that speaks of integrity.
        3. Your blog supports your mission statement to move mountains in your home.
        I am not a “blue and white” girl and my taste is different but I incorporated many of your ideas into my home, truly making it mine. That is a gift you give every person, the opportunity to take new skills, new ideas and move mountains in their own home!
        From the other readers, I too like the Q&A, before and after projects, and love the idea of webcam classes. I would like to see the same project with differing applications of the same product, producing differing looks. (Maybe a sign??).
        I would also like to know how you find some of your pieces. Living in the Southwest it is more difficult to locate all those beautiful french chairs!
        Finally, I love the personal approach of your blog. I love how you encourage other women with young children at home. I love how you teach skills that enable others to create warm, nurturing environments. I love that you share the peaks and the valleys, we all have them, even MMS. I love that you are aware of being swept up in success and are humble enough to ask the hard questions. Thank you for sharing the ride!

    1. I also agree with this post. I never look at the Friday Posts and don’t watch the videos even tho I give you credit for trying something different.

      I read your blog faithfully and enjoy it very much. I sometimes appreciate the different vendors that may sponsor a product and realize that this is part of the blogging world.

      I appreciate how important your faith is to you and your family but more importantly as a reader of a design blog I like how low-key your approach is.

      Kudo’s to you for opening yourself up and asking for these comments.

    2. Great comment, thanks! It’s interesting about the studio, so thanks for bringing that up. I would’ve thought that most people would NOT want to hear as much about the studio, since it’s not as relatable. Everyone has a home. Not everyone has a studio space. I’ve actually been sharing a lot about my home lately, because I haven’t been in the studio. I’ve been traveling and/or recovering from having my wisdom teeth removed, so that’s been more of a “I’m laying in bed all day or in the car all day, so this is what I have to share…” kind of thing!

      I’m so glad I asked, though. This is definitely a situation where I was trying to read minds…

    3. Yes I agree with all this too.
      Especially the Design Ramblings videos – they are not for me. There’s not enough solid information in them and they make you two appear ‘awkward’.

  50. Marian,
    I have been having coffee with you every morning for years just as if we were old friends! I am recently retired from ministry of 27 years and moved from our family home to an apartment. You have encouraged me in many ways over the years! I have learned to bring my furniture back from the dead, learned how to sew curtains and use pine cones! I so appreciate your consistency and honesty in blogging and what a hard worker you are. A few of my favorite things about your blog have been talking about using older pictures, rewiring lights, dealing with a chronic illness, modeling a balanced life, decorating on a budget and showing us beautiful blue and white!. I would love to know how you juggle being a youth pastor’s wife and see some fall pictures of the East coast. Thanks for being you. Marian, I love your blog!

  51. I enjoy the tutorials, seeing the goodies you scored shopping, home decor ideas, and hearing about what’s going on in your life. I usually skip over the Design Ramblings (I read at work, so videos don’t work out so well.) Also, I typically skim over the Friday Link Party things to see if anything jumps out, but it’s not my favorite. Ooh, and I love seeing the details on how you fixed up your house. My favorite DIY blog closed down, and you’re filling part of the void they left in my heart. 🙂 It’s nice to see how other people out there are fixing up “retro” homes on a budget.

    Overall though, I think you’re being too hard on yourself. I love reading this blog!

  52. What a sweet and heartfelt post. Though I rarely (if ever?) comment I wanted to chime in and say I also enjoy your blog every morning as I’m starting my day… but maybe it has changed and I didn’t really realize it either. But my gut response is DONT teach me, don’t set out to tell me HOW to do something. Go back to SHARING with us! Show us what you did what worked what didn’t… I don’t think the content changes, but the approach maybe does. I think before the commercial success… as readers we got a peek into your life through your blog which was naturally full of information and things we could use as how to’s… now that you ARE a bonifide, and industry supported Subject Matter Expert!! (seriously thats awesome!) the blog feels like a bit more of a place for a planned tutorials which are helpful, but maybe less HEARTful.

    1. Yes, Lauren! You hit the nail on the head and said just how I feel. I don’t write like I used to. I never was super personal and I never plan to be, but I want to share what I share with heart, not just a step-by-step tutorial.

  53. Pictures, pictures and more pictures! 🙂 sign tutorials. Lots of projects. I want to see your pack porch finished. 🙂

  54. Marian,

    Thank you so much for this post! I have been going back to your posts on starting your creative business because you are a true mentor for me. I want to be where you are one day – owning my own business redoing furniture and blogging with lots of followers. I did notice a different tone in your posts then compared to now, but I chalked it up to you changing as the business grew. It was so nice to read about how thankful you were and how every little achievement was a huge victory – your first HGTV article, or something a reader sent to you. You absolutely gushed about it and I really enjoyed reading about how thankful you were.

    I love when you share about how you began and how your business grew.

    Your tutorials on sewing are always a fantastic read. I have 2 drop cloths that are still in the package because I’m a little nervous to make a slipcover. Your tutorials on making slipcovers are so encouraging for those who don’t sew very much. From you, I learned what piping is, how to sew it, how to make pleats, and that fabric has a right and wrong side. Who knew? Maybe these slipcovers will get out of the package one day 😉

    I like when you blog about where you find your pieces of furniture – on the side of the road, a friend gave it to you, you went to a store – and how you determine what you will buy and not buy.

    Your tips, tricks, and thought processes are what I love the most because it lets me get inside your head and understand what you think about when you make business decisions like which dresser to buy, where you go for good finds, the qualities you look for in ironstone, how you decide what color you will use, and how you get your milk paint silky smooth.

    I agree with the comments above that I can’t wait until your next post comes out so I can read what Miss Mustard Seed is up to next. You’re so “relatable”. You’re a Mom, wife, Christian, woman, business owner…all the things I want to be! You prayed with me at Lucketts, which told me (as a total stranger), “she truly cares about others who want to follow the path she took.”

    Keep your chin up and keep blogging. I’ll stay a faithful reader!

    <3 Jenn

  55. Oh Miss Mustard Seed…I’ve been following your blog for a long time now! I try not to miss a post! I absolutely love that you’ve incorporated more real plants in your home lately and I am trying to do the same. You’ve inspired me to think about all the potential containers that I have around my home. I adore that your posts include lots of beautiful photos. I really enjoy your video ramblings with Kriste too! Everything about your blog is enjoyable for me! Keep on keeping on! You do a FANTASTIC job! I’m so happy for your success! It really is inspirational! I’m hooked! 🙂

  56. First, I am a faithful, everyday, first chance I get… reader of your blog.
    Second, BOY, are you brave!!! To put yourself out there and especially now asking the tough questions. Knowing you will most likely get some criticisms…keep in mind it is with love that we say these things and want them to be constructive.

    Here goes:
    I ALWAYS skip over the Design Ramblings…they are awkward and the sound isn’t quality.
    I ALWAYS skip over the Friday link up party too. I used to look at them…but the quality doesn’t come close to your quality…I could just go to Pinterest to see the same thing…

    My favorite times on your blog is when you are getting ready for a show…I know it’s a ton of work on your end…but I love all the furniture before and afters. I also would love more info on how you built your business and brand.

    I loved the evolution series you just finished on your home. I remember so many of the transitions actually…but I’d like to see more of the studio and business side of things…that seems to be more where your passion lies since your home didn’t sell…maybe that’s it…your passion…where is it?
    Show us where your passion is…

  57. You write so well, and you come across as very friendly and kind. I enjoy all of your posts. I do think that you could use some new, additional topics or features. We don’t need you to talk really personally about your life, if you don’t want to. Perhaps just some other topics:

    more vegetarian recipes

    highlights of some interesting places around where you live, or where you travel.
    a European shopping or design trip (especially Germany!)

    how to use your paint line for those of us who love the colors, but don’t particularly like the chippy look.

    I’d like to know more about how to repair or build. Usually, you just say, “Jeff did this”, or “Jeff did that”, but you don’t do a step by step post unless you’re getting paid by HGTV, or someone. Seems like, anyway.

    You are talented enough to be thinking outside of the box that everyone in DIY blogland seems to be in. For instance, do you really love the chalk-painted wall in your kitchen? If not, why is it still there? What else could you do with that wall? No copying of someone else is allowed. 🙂

    I really enjoy the painting topics.

    No more talk about rugs. Please. No more photos of your dining room or living room. Please.

    It’s very obvious when a blogger is doing something in order to make money. I often feel like bloggers (many of the Haven pro-blogger crowd) are putting out shallow, manipulative posts in order to make a buck off of my time. For bloggers who make a living from their blogs, I’m a customer, not just a reader. I expect Made in USA, or Made in Switzerland-quality posts vs. Made in China ones, if you will. (Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now. )

    How about taking a break from the Feature Friday link party? Instead, perhaps you and Kriste could search for two or three good posts online, and just feature them with links to the blogs. The posts don’t even have to be about furniture refinishing/painting.

    I don’t watch the Design Ramblings videos. Sorry.

    Seeing bloggers get their homes superficially done and perfect for a photo shoot is just not something that I can relate to, and I start getting the Made in China vibe. I’m sure that it’s thrilling to be featured in a magazine, though.

    Anyway, I hope that you get some good ideas.

    1. I agree with many of MC’s comments, especially the part about shallow blog posts meant to make money off the time I spend on reading them. Not just this blog in particular, but many of this genre have slid into that ditch, I’m afraid. You mentioned several months ago about some magazine asking you to write something about succulents, so it seems that you’re trying to be a gardening expert lately………and I can predict that the article on succulents is coming soon, along with your expert advice on growing them. Sorry, that’s just not believable to me unless you’ve been growing them for years and have lots of successes and failures under your belt. Just an example of bloggers giving expert advice on things they weren’t experts in when they started their blogs.

      I also don’t like the Design Ramblings because I work in an office and don’t want to “hear” blog content. I do like the Friday postings because I like to see other people’s work and creativity (one reason I like seeing your examples when preparing for a show.)

  58. Reading through the comments there are so many suggestions that I agree with, overall I think your site is great. However, I too learn from the failures and love to see how a space evolved and also love to DIY. I really loved your posts on the evolution of rooms in your home. Some days I feel like I could take my rooms in so many directions but have trouble getting to that point and feeling finished. Just seeing the raw beginnings helped to give me hope and trust that sometimes it takes time to get your space where you feel almost finished.

    Within these posts you mentioned that your husband built a good number of items to get your space to where it is today. I love to build and have a home that needs some customization but we don’t have a huge budget. It would be great to have some posts on how to make built-ins or radiator covers.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks, Meghan! Yes, I would love to do more tutorials on the built-ins, too. Jeff is the one who has to write those, though, since he does the building. I’ll have to try to coax him a little more… 🙂

  59. I don’t often comment but I will today.
    Thanks for asking!
    I think you’re doing great, sure I may not be interested in every post but that is ok. Would you be interested in every post I did?
    I would love to see more from the studio! If we cant come to you bring it to us!!!! Bring us a full painting class in webinar form where we can ask questions live….
    I have done this in a photography class.
    I do like the ramblings but I agree the set up is not quite right. Someone said sit at 45 degrees, yes I agree. Get closer we don’t need to see the entire background. Get personal.
    I also have sent a photo to get your opinion what to do with a large entertainment center.
    After I sent it you put out another call for photos or room questions. I just figured mine was something you were not interested in talking about and that is ok too or you were inundated with photos.
    Friday post I never look at.
    I read your blog almost everyday because it is fresh!
    I don’t see the same room I did 3 years ago!
    As far as your personal family life I don’t think that comes into play with a decorating blog.
    Again you’re doing great!

    1. Thanks for the detailed feedback! Really good suggestions in here. Yes, we have a stash of e-mails we still need to talk about for Design Ramblings, so I’m sorry if we haven’t gotten to yours. There are a few we’ve “rambled” about, but we had technical difficulties, so yours might be in that mix. Anyway, we’re learning as we go and I have a lot to think about… 🙂

  60. I very rarely comment but felt I must. Your blog is one of a handful which I read daily. Even though my style is completely different, I always go to it because it is beautifully presented and looks so professional. I treat it is a decorators’ coffee table book – something to read and relax with a cup of tea (I skip the videos and Furniture Friday). I could sit and look at beautiful furniture all day – it inspires and motivates. I say, consider yourself a beautifully illustrated, patinated and well loved book – the one you always turn back to for help with a project, the one that gives you your lightbulb moment when you’re stuck in a decorating void and you are stretching the pennies, the one that you want to curl up with. You’ve found your niche – just make it more beautiful x

    1. You have quite a way with words, Dallas. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. 🙂

  61. I’m a fan of remakes and tutorials.

    I think it’s nice to treat readers with friendliness, but I think it’s a mistake to treat readers like friends. Especially if your blog is also a business communications tool.

    I’ve read some reallly uncomfortable posts by bloggers who’ve made that jump. And worse, I’ve read the gossip that ensues in comments on message boards unrelated to the blogger.

    Be friendly, but don’t confuse us with your “real-life” friends. Your communications with them should be private.

    In my humble opinion, of course.

    1. Great comment, Ann. Yes, this blog is a part of my business, so there is never going to be a time that I use it to share super personal aspects of my life, relationships, finances, etc. I do, though, know that I’ve been holding back with my readers. I know there is more that I can share that will teach, encourage and inspire.

      I also agree that writing on my blog can’t take the place of real friendships, but I want my readers to know they are getting more from me than a glossed-over topic. Thanks for taking the time!

    2. Oh my, I humbly disagree so very much. We ARE your friends. We pray for you, I’ve wept for you, I’ve felt for you, and I laugh with you! . You ARE a very open person. I say and plead, please don’t quit telling about your personal life. As a matter of fact, look at ALL these comments today! Why so many? I submit it is BECAUSE you share your life with us.
      We don’t want you to get more professional, less touchy-feely! That’s you! That’s why we are still here after years!

  62. Hi Marian!

    I wonder what is going on over at Miss Mustard Seed? To answer that I have visited your blog every morning for over two years. Like your book, it is something I can read for pleasure and then I can go back through when I am considering a new project. You know what keeps me returning? You post something new all the time. I think Miss Mustard Seed comes through in every post. You DO have heart. I feel it through how you treasure the bits and wonders of your family’s inherited pieces. I love when you report how Legos are everywhere, and yet you design anyway. That’s heart in real life. You are a WRITER, as much as a designer. That is like having open heart surgery in front of the Late Show audience. It is very personal. This blogging thing allows many people into your life that you have to reserve your every-day life. I am all good with that. You write about the process of living and loving what you have, and that is why I like reading here.

    I was inspired when you wrote about trying to sell, then having to keep, your house. God kept you there for His reasons. That also happened to me. It was the “Now what?” period of your life that kind of forced you to move forward, even though that was not your original plan. I can relate to that. I also like the video posts. I like the house-evolving posts. I like how readers send in a problem and you come up with ideas to solve it. And I LOVE MMS style. I love how you like to rearrange things. (Because I have to do that, too.)

    Do not wonder if you are doing a good job. You are. If you are excited about a project, or absolutely perplexed over a design trend, or stuck in a home design quandary, write about it. Your heart always shines through in your writing. Trust that if you are having fun on your side of the computer monitor, then know that we are, too. That’s what I think.

    Thank you for writing!

    1. Ginni said pretty much what I was thinking. Yours is the only blog I read ‘religiously.’ I don’t care for Design Ramblings but unlike some others who have replied today, I still LOVE Friday’s pictorials. It is by far my fav post of the week. Whatever you decide to keep or to change, I have a feeling I will remain a faithful reader.

  63. Well, I use to look at your blog everyday, not anymore. I have felt that you have lost your love for your blog and your readers. I use to love your distinctive style that was Miss Mustard Seed, now your style is the same as others. I’m not sure when this happened. There are some weeks that I don’t drop by at all. I have never had an answer from a question unless I said something you don’t like. I NEVER watch the rambling videos, they are actually embrassing. I feel like you are having to keep so many things secret because of so many sponsor related projects, your post seem so vague and shallow.

    1. Thanks, MAH. It does sound like I’ve gotten off track from what you liked about my blog initially and I’m sorry for that. I know I can’t please everyone and, really, can’t even try, but I do take your comment to heart and appreciate your honesty.

  64. Good morning MMS, This was a very thought provoking blog post and I wanted to add my 2 cents’ worth–I think you are doing a wonderful job (and I’m sure sometimes it feels like a job). You put a lot of time, effort and energy into your blog and it shows. I love all the tutorials and I like the furniture Fridays. Some bloggers are afraid to give in depth tutorials I think, afraid we’ll copy them or something. Anyway, thanks again for all your hard work. I am a faithful follower.

  65. You are one of my most favorite bloggers. Yours is the one on my homepage, the one I visit every day. I started following blogs about 4 or 5 years ago. It took me a while to find my blog ear. (That’s my version of a blog voice.) But now, I’m pretty settled in to what I like. You’re at the top.
    I too think you are being hard on yourself; I also think part of that is that you know more of your own internal grumblings than we readers actually see, and for that, there is also grace.
    I think I commented on one of your evolution posts that I dreaded when it would be over because your home is like candy. Once you’ve finished the tour, now what?
    But, all you need to do is put a flower petal on a plate and I’m smitten.
    So, what do I want to hear more of? Everything. Almost. I am not a fan of the ramblings either. I feel badly saying that, because you two put yourselves out there and that takes some bravery. I don’t much like videos for anything. My husband always wants to make videos for his own business, and I always cringe. Reading means I get to go at my own pace. So, if they stress you out at all, if you’re fishing for topics, I won’t miss them.
    Do you ever take photos on your shopping trips? What are these stores like where you find your treasures?
    I love the stories where you’re transforming a piece of furniture and it speaks to you to go a certain direction.
    Maybe even more fashion posts? You have style that resonates in all you do.
    It’s difficult for me to make suggestions, because I’ve just enjoyed the blog so much.
    This is a silly question, because I should be able to figure it out on my own, but do you have a source list? A section of the blog where anything that can be listed with a source is? I mean, I know a great deal of your home is vintage, but there is much that is not. Is that collected in any one place I’ve missed? If so, sorry for being redundant.
    I say just keep on keepin’ on. You’re marvelous.

  66. In today’s 24×7 world of cheap commercialization and information overload, MMS is a calm and soothing moment in my day. I don’t need you to inspire me because that is my job. I do enjoy learning but that can be achieved in more than just tutorials. I enjoy some posts and topics more than others — but overall, MMS is like a form of meditation for my brain and eye candy for my senses. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  67. Read you blog every morning. I too am not a fan of the Friday link party or Design Ramblings.
    Loved the evolution series!!!!! Your furniture make overs are one of my favorites and would love to see a tutorial on making the antique style signs. Preparing for the shows you do is also great to see.
    You have done an amazing job with your home and studio. Keep up the great work that inspires us all.

  68. I check your blog every morning. I love it. I love anything about the process of making or painting things, less a fan of the videos. Unlike some readers I love the Friday furniture links as I discover many new websites this way. But I love your style and how generous you are with yourself and your knowledge.

  69. I love your blog. It’s one of only a couple that I read every day. I look at others here and there, but I’m always excited to read your posts. I like most everything you write about and your design ramblings with Kriste are one of my favorite things. I like them because we get a peek into who you are from a different angle, and I love the topics you two talk about. There is a real element about the videos that I like. You’re real people and that is fun to see. I feel like I’m sitting there with friends talking over stuff I like to talk about. I’m specifically pointing this out because I’m seeing quite a few people saying they don’t like the ramblings and I would hate it if you listened to them and stopped doing them. I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who likes them. Maybe others who like them just aren’t commenting? It’s worth looking into more…

    I’m also seeing a lot of people saying they don’t like the Friday link party. This one I understand. I actually like the concept of it and I like it that you pick out your 3 favorites. Sometimes I click on the ones you like and find an interesting new blog. But I rarely look at the rest of the link party. It feels like a big effort to wade through a bunch of sub-par links. But I don’t mind that it’s on your blog at all and every now and then I do like to look through them.

    Overall, I just want to say that I love what you’re doing. Don’t over-think it. Just keep on being you. And I’ll keep coming back!!!

  70. Hi Marian,

    I just wanted to start off saying, I am a loyal reader and have been for a long time. I purchased the green vanity from you and on the way to pick it up my husband asked if I was nervous to meet you. I said I was more nervous to meet you than I would be meeting any celebrity. He asked why and I replied, “Actors or actresses may make me laugh on occasion…maybe even cry if they are good.. but they don’t inspire me. She does. She has encouraged me to redecorate a room, think outside the box, tackle a diy projects and to find beauty in something that others will never find beautiful! She revived my creative side and reignited my spark.” So for the record, you are super inspiring in a multitude of ways to many of us. You are so relatable and down to Earth. Some things I love/would like to see:

    -Seeing the treasures that you find but more importantly how you incorporate them into your decorating.
    -I do love seeing your home…your recent blogs of before and current were awesome and I soaked in every detail.
    -Love seeing you work with your milk paint.
    -Seeing how you incorporate new and old furniture and how you make it all flow.
    -Anything that you are passionate about really translates into your writing and is enjoyable to read!
    -Perhaps a reader question and answer segment…we submit questions for you to answer. How to build radiator covers? If we send in pictures of an awkward space for ideas on furniture placement etc.

    I usually skip past Furniture Fridays and I have only watched Design Ramblings once. I’m just not a big video person..I like getting lost in thought while reading the blog. 🙂

    Thanks for such a courageous, heartfelt, honest post. I’m sticking with you and I’m excited for the rest of the journey! 🙂

  71. I’m a long-time reader.

    I’m not a fan of the Friday link party either, but EVERY WEEK I do look at your picks from the week before.

    I don’t watch the design ramblings. Sorry. But I ALWAYS check the post to see what the topic is and would be interested if your ramblings became full-on posts, instead of videos.

    I like the photography posts, evolution of my home posts, occasional personal topic posts, blue & white post (specifically), and design inspirations to name a few. I’d love to see more of these things.

    Regarding the Blue & White post, I’d love to see more of these kinds of posts. Since you’re a big fan of blue and white, it might be a stretch to post about other color combinations (or other styles), but now that you have a studio, you could do those kinds of explorations there (instead of in your home).

    Your style is not mine, but I do love your taste. Now that your home is “finished” I’d love to see how Miss Mustard Seed would do contemporary with a farmhouse twist, or black and beige, or fru-fru girlie, or orange and blue, or… something just slightly different. Ever go into someone else’s house and say to yourself “It’s not my style, but geez do I love it!” MMS with a dash of sriracha sauce. That’s what I’d love to see.

    Overall, I’m loving your blog and if it continued as is, I’d still be reading.

  72. I appreciate your honestly and wanting honest feedback from your readers. So I hope you will read each and every comment made. I realize your blog and business have grown tremendously in the past few years and you cannot comment or answer every question but one pet peeve of mind is when you answer one readers question and skip over the next readers question. Just saying.

    Here is some of my likes, dislikes and things I would love to see happen for your blog in the future:

    1) Regardless of what some may say, most of your loyal readers love the pics of your home. Because you are always changing things up and keeping your décor fresh it never gets old to me. You still follow your heart and stay true to your roots no matter what changes you make and I like that.

    2) I would like to see you do more “action detailed videos” of you and Kriste rather than the two of you sitting in front of a camera chatting. Perhaps the two of you out on a “pick” or showing the two of styling a room together or some project in the making.

    3) You have been blessed with success and growth in your business and blog. I would like to see you “Give Back” by profiling a new or lesser known blogger each month and helping them get a start.

    4) When you do a project I would like to see a detailed source list at the end of the post listing the products you used and where you bought them. This would eliminate a lot of questions you get from readers about where or what you used.

    5) Finally, I get to a “sticky” point. The corporate sponsorships you receive. I realized this is the nature of the beast in décor blogs and a must to keep blogs your size going. However, I have been turned off when a company gives you an expensive product in exchange for a review or post. Just so you know I take these posts with a grain of salt. Not that you would be dishonest but frankly this is how your bread is buttered and if you received a product and 6 months or a year down the road if you had a problem would we as readers really hear about it? I want a unbiased review of a manufacturers product not a sponsored review. That’s why I rely on a magazine such as Consumers Report before I buy a mattress, vacuum cleaner, etc.

    Hope this will be seen as constructive criticism because I do love your blog, your style and your well written posts! Oh, and you are truly a nice down to earth person!

  73. I do watch Design Ramblings and enjoy the authenticity of it. I like to see you and Kriste as regular people with your own tastes and ideas. I like the enthusiasm you have for your lives. I am a faithful reader and have used your products with great success. Yours was the first design blog I read and followed and have no intention of changing that. Keep up the good work. Also, I agreewith the person who said you are being too hard on yourself.

  74. You are one of my favorite few. I read very few blogs compared to the number I used to read. Someone else commented that your style is now the same as others; that may be because they copied you. It is very rare that anyone is truly innovative or original.
    I do not watch Design Ramblings. I do check out a few of the Furniture Friday links now and then. More tutorials would be good. Showing your mistakes and how you fix them (or maybe don’t) is encouraging to those who want to try something but are afraid of making a mistake and then not knowing what to do. I did enjoy seeing how your home has evolved. Some of the blogs I no longer read were ones where the blogger(s) repainted, rearranged every week. Really?
    This part may get me in trouble, but here goes: Your blog is a part of your business. I like it that you come across as a warm genuine person but you are not my personal friend. We have never met and most likely never will. Some times, for me, the whole blog following thing is a little creepy and most definitely superficial. Not everything a blogger does is “swoon worthy” or “amazing”.

  75. I have been following you for years now and have never commented. I appreciate your willingness to put yourself out there, by even asking the question. I think some people took this as the opportunity to knock you down and be incredibly mean and I am sorry for that. People forget that, there are human beings on the other side of this and that their words cut deeply. In reference to your question I would say that I miss the old days of Miss Mustard Seed creating with limited means. Anyone can create a fantastic kitchen or bedroom when they have unlimited funds or are using products given to them. If I would wanted to read about picture perfect designer houses, I would read Domino Magazine or what has now become Little Green Notebook. I don’t though, because that level on perfection is unattainable to me, and what I would deem, many of your readers. I am a teacher working with extremely limited means and thats why I thrift, flea market and yard sale. It seems that many of your posts have become driven by companies and products given freely, that while they may or may not influence your good reviews, it is still an incredibly expensive product that I could never afford. I mean, spend thousands of dollars on curtains from Barn and Willow company…I mean really, I would have to stop paying half my bills. I just think you need to go back to why you started this blog. Why did you start writing a blog? What were you hoping to contribute that was different than everyone else? And just to throw this out there, I LOVE Your blog, but I don’t come here for religion. I know you are Christian and I respect that subtly in your writing, but any preaching or sermons on here would become a big turn off for me. I saw that a couple people were asking for that, but as an atheist, those would be posts I skip. But anywho keep your head up and your heart strong, you’re doing something that many of us wish we could do, but don’t have the guts or means to!

    1. I kinda agree with this too. I am totally turned off by food/craft/sewing/makeover blogs with out-and-out religious content. It’s kind of like taking advantage of a captive audience. I appreciate your religious leanings but don’t need them in my face. Same with too much food/recipes – if I want religion and/or food there are other places to get that I ca get that fix.

  76. I enjoy your blog. I feel a kindred decor spirit with you. I have used several of your ideals in my own home. I have literally purchased items and the same week seen them in your pictures. I think you are doing the right thing with taking a step back and looking at your blog with fresh eyes. The best way to do that is with your support group. Best wishes- keep up the great work!

  77. More projects please. I love seeing you transform yucky old furniture pieces into something I would love to have in my home. I am a four-day a week reader. I delete without even looking on Fridays. I watched the first couple of design ramblings but now I just skip over those as well.

  78. This isn’t very constructive, because I don’t have lots of suggestions, but I did want to say, yours is the only blog where I almost always look at every picture and read every word. I really enjoy the variety and I do feel like you are open and honest. I LOVE Design Ramblings and hope they continue. It is fun to see you and Kristie interact. They are ramblings after all. I think you capture the essence of what you and Kristie do in real life.

    I think your blog is one of the best!

  79. Keep in mind that you can’t please everyone. I actually like Furniture Fridays mostly because I like to rehab furniture more than I enjoy decorating. I really love when you post your thrift store/auction/yard sale finds probably because I can relate to them the most. I started reading your old posts to see what I can learn. I love your style. I love your posts about Lucketts. I am very interested to see more of your business side as well. I don’t generally watch videos of any sort on any blogs. I think you’re great and I hope this helps you.

  80. I found your blog by accident and I look forward to it every day except for the design ramblings. While I am sure that you and Kriste enjoy those conversations with each other, they are not nearly as interesting to me and judging from the responses, to others as well. Because so many people have extremely full lives, watching rambling conversations seems a bit aggravating. I love seeing what you find on Craigslist and at antique and thrift stores and how you put them together with things you already have. Your photos are great and the tutorials are very helpful. I think you write a lovely blog and are a blessing to many people
    and I admire your courage, creativity and resourcefulness. I love hearing how your dad and mom are involved too. It is a wonderful model of what families could be for each other. Good job Marian!

  81. Since you asked…… I agree with many of the comments. I never looked at Design Ramblings after the first one or two I saw. I don’t like the Friday linky. Someone suggested you share a really great post you saw and I like that idea. Also, I would like more story. Not necessarily invading your personal life, but when you say you have a piece of furniture acquired from an aunt, it would be lovely to know more about her and how she came to give you the piece.

  82. How about helping your readers with their specific decorating questions?? Or a a road trip to move the furniture around at someones house to tweak what they already have? I also enjoy all your tutorials… I rarely click on the ramblings….Actually most of the stuff you write about is just what I want to read. I also like the personal stories and feel connected to you, even though you don’t know me! 🙂 I’ve been a fan of your for years and enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work…

  83. Marion- I was first inspired by your book and your story. I started reading your blog in 2012- I look forward to your blog post every week day as the reminder email (Living in CA) posts about lunchtime. I can take a break from my regular job to get inspired and dream about a weekend project or idea you talk about. I think its natural to be close and then distant and close again as relationships are made and nurtured. I like everything you do. I do love the videos, I think it makes you and Kristy relatable and shows your real personalities. I like the subject you post. I like it when you only post pictures and a few words at times. I love your style … My favorite posts are about your shows (especially Lucketts). Thank you for walking us through the days and saying what works and what doesn’t and also giving us the opportunity to purchase things that don’t sell. Sometimes I feel like Meg Ryan in You Got Mail everytime I open my mail ap and see the new post. Ha.. just keep being you and sharing your life and talents. I think you do a wonderful job. Praying for you.

  84. Hi, this is the first time I’ve posted a comment on your blog, although I’ve been reading it for a while (8 months or so). It’s the only blog I take the time read every day. I often wonder how you find the time to write a blog post every single day. I am a writer by trade, so am very impressed. Your blog is a GIVER. And by that I mean, you (and Kriste) give something–an answer, a lesson, a story–in every blog you write. It’s well written, heartfelt and given with an intent to teach and to help.

    I happen to like the design ramblings and the Friday furniture finds. It’s nice to see the work of others and appreciate different styles. And, learning things I don’t know, like upholstery…your videos are a gold mine. I refinish and paint furniture myself, just locally, and I’m a SPONGE for all your tips (painting, refinishing, decorating, recovering, accessorizing, photographing). 🙂 Thanks for all you do…please keep up the great work!

    Kat Cruz

  85. I think maybe your being a little too hard on yourself. Seeing all the comments above you must be doing something right! Carry on with no regrets! Sure we can all use a little tweaking now and then, that’s life. BTW I love the Friday Furniture link up!!

  86. What an awesome post Marian. For me, it’s not your blog at all, which i always love reading. The reason i miss posts now is that i am completely overwhelmed with social media. There are just too many things to keep up with. With Facebook, and Instagram, and blogger, and then i have Etsy, and emails and Pinterest… it’s just too much. I can’t even get motivated to blog myself anymore. It’s so nice to hear you talk about it all. I think even i feel a sigh of relief to hear this talked about openly. I constantly find inspiration here, and particularly love the absolutely gorgeous photos you have been taking. They are stunning. At this point, i try to keep up with a few of my blogger friends, but I am falling farther and farther behind, and I don’t like the feeling, just don’t quite know what to do about it all. Thanks for sharing a heartfelt post.

    Cindy

  87. Hi Marion,

    I can say with all honestly that I find you to be a very warm and caring person. This comes through in your talent and your knack for inspiring others. If you feel that your blog is getting off track then I think it’s only fair to say to do what you feel is right. I enjoy reading what you write, seeing the transformations and I also enjoy the personal side of your blog. Kriste and Jeff as part of your Team also help to keep it interesting. With that said just please stay true to who you are and it will all be okay. Thank-you so much for sharing and for the effort you put in to inspire us.
    PS The downside for me is I live in Canada so I’m not able to attend your Lucket’s shows as much as I’d like to but I can keep my eyes open for certain treasures here thanks to you.

    all the best,

    Penny

  88. I’ll try to keep this simple. I love that you have passion when sharing about your antique shows. I love that you share how you improved your photography. I love that you find killer deals on Craigslist and that your Dad is always eager to haul them. I love that you are true to your style and own it. I love when you share about your heritage and special pieces you have from family. I love that you have worked hard to build your business. That takes tenacity and a lot of hard work.

    I don’t like all the ads. In fact I had to install an ad blocker because of your site. It blocked 36 ads in a single visit. That’s more than 3x’s any other site I visit. I don’t like Fridays or Design Ramblings (sorry). Having a degree in Interior Design, I find them more Personal Taste and Style Ramblings and less about actual fundamentals and practices of great design. I don’t like sponsored posts. I believe you even jokingly mentioned once that you’re waiting for a company to sponsor you for something expensive you needed. I don’t like how you “complain” about how overwhelmed you are at your success. It’s a backdoor way of needing validation.

    Maybe as others have mentioned, it’s time to give back? Others have helped you achieve success: readers, editors, websites, magazines, etc. Feature a lesser known, share a great find for no compensation or expectation of return, thank people (those that got you started and those continuing to support you), answer your blog comments, don’t try to be the constant expert. As they say, You can do anything. Just not everything.

    Sorry this was longer than expected. I wish you continued success and hope that by opening yourself up to the compliments and constructive criticism, you are able to find the answer you’re looking for.

    1. This was such a thoughtful comment, so thank you for taking the time to write it. I am sorry if I ever come across as complaining about success. This has grown to a lot more than what I expected and I often AM overwhelmed by it. It’s not a complaint. More of a, “I wasn’t expecting all of this and now I’m doing the best I can with it.” I do need to be careful of that, though, because I don’t ever want my readers to think I am whining about my life! Who wants to read that?! 🙂 I love some of your suggestions! Thanks.

  89. Hi Miss Mustard Seed,

    Sine you asked … I started to read your blog when I got sick of being inundated with the the tsunami of depraved personal interest stories that seem to dominate most news sites. My routine was to read the news, have breakfast, and start the day- but I started to realize that I was getting very little information that would inform my future and a lot of depressing images to weigh me down. You provided a breath of fresh air.

    You focus on finding possibilities and overcoming the activation energy it takes to get things accomplished. The vibe I get around most of the Moms I know (I live in ruthless-Mom country in New England) is a celebration of “I don’t have time to get anything done because I am too busy AND you better not show me up”. They truly despise people like you (and me) who have young children, a house to keep, meals to cook AND still manage to finish projects to a high standard and enjoy the process as much as the outcome. I feel like this is my support group while living amongst the Mean Girls. It’s reassuring to see that there are more people like me, that it’s OK to be gentle, kind, and loving and to really enjoy your family and your home.

    That said, I agree with you that things have gotten more superficial over the last year or so. You seem to have a little bit of the “Busy, busy, me ….” thing slipping in, without the meanness. I think it is difficult to not fall into this mindset when you are successful and people want your time and attention.
    It doesn’t seem like you are doing things because you want to- but because you are getting paid too and “double-dipping” your free-lance and blogging stories.

    I agree with other comments, the Design Ramblings is awkward and rarely imparts any real wisdom. Not to me too harsh, but the vibe you give off with Kristen is strange. She seems to subtly insult you and your style (and your generosity, since you give here a lot of furniture) all the time and you are put in the position of trying to defend and often apologize for your love of blue and all things old. This is your site- and most of your readers are here because they like your style- so I would eliminate that dynamic. Kriste also seems to be the voice of cynicism and sarcasm- which I find tedious after a while. If you are going for the Click and Clack “Car Talk” witty banter thing- I don’t think it translates well in this setting. You CAN make this work, but have it be like your early instructional videos where you are talking straight to the camera with humility and conviction.

    I understand that you want to give upcoming bloggers an opportunity with your link parties, but I also agree with the commenters that they are rarely worth looking at. I think you should showcase one new person and do an in-depth “interview” about what makes them tick. They don’t just have to be your “Shelter” friends, who are all pretty slick and trying to sell their brand, but everyday folks who are really good at what they do and would actually be interesting to read about.

    I also agree that you shouldn’t (and probably don’t) confuse your readers with your friends. So, sometimes the overly friendly (ala Young House Love style) style is a little off-putting and seems fake. But, I think you are trying to set a gentle/nice vibe and can do that through the tone of your writing style.

    New topics: 1) how to publish electronically, 2) camera settings and different lenses, 3) first-hand views of that it’s like to go to a country auction and how it works, 4) what it’s really like to own your own business, 5) mom-to mom/ girl interaction observation and vignettes, 6) audition viewers to interview and highlight, and 7) what are the rating metrics for blogs, the different companies that you use, etc.

    Wow, this was longer than I thought. I think you have a good thing going and I hope you can find your groove again. A lot of bloggers end up like a jaded Martha Stewart- I hope you don’t.

  90. I love your site, and drool over the photos, almost every day!

    I agree that furniture feature Friday I skip over, which makes me feel like I miss out on a post that day, but that is me. 🙂

    I don’t watch design rambling because i usually read at work, and can’t watch from there. But I admire you for doing the videos.

    I LOVE the evolution series, just seeing the befores, and knowing you (the ultimate) had the “bad” decorating choices, rooms to work with and furniture that wasn’t quite right and then now it’s gorgeous. Really hits home!!

    I love your style, the blue and white isn’t me, and never has been but you do it so beautifully i love looking at. With the sudio space maybe play around with other colors? This is why i love the fall/holiday posts, because the colors are a little more me, but again so pretty it doesn’t matter it’s not my colors.

    Love the befores, and afters!

    Could you share more of the shopping, and lots more of getting ready for market? Pretty please. 🙂

  91. I’m not going to add to any of the previous comments because I think it would be redundant. I enjoy your writing style and seeing what you do. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  92. I’m a newer reader so maybe I have a different point of view but I like what you do…I do watch design ramblings . I think so many blogs have links parties that it gets to b a lot of the same links everywhere…but I like when you and Kriste pick links…maybe you can write a bit about why you picked something or why you like it to give me insight into what you saw, since we all have a different take on things! Loved the evolution series. Maybe you could do that in a way with furniture, like show more details of a piece and why you decide to redo it the way you did and how…more in depth info than you usually do. And everyone seems to say they liked the evolution so maybe something like that about other rooms…like mini re-dos of family, friends or lucky readers room. I mean very low/no cost kind of thing…move things around, shop the house, paint etc. I think I really enjoy hearing the thought process behind the evolutions, re-dos and such. However, those are just ideas to add to an already great blog….thanks for letting me add my two cents.

  93. I’d personally be interested in how you developed your blog in making $$$? I’m feeling like I want to move my blog into a money making site rather than doing the work for free. How do you do that and not “sell out”? I have no idea what my Alexa rankings are?

  94. Dear Marian,

    Whew! Is your head spinning yet? So many thoughts from everyone! I pray in the end you take all this to God and sit at His feet. He will show you what He wants next from you. And I also pray that you can forgive people who come across too harsh. The written word can look extra critical and short. Thank you for being vulnerable today, it’s the only way to really connect hearts.

    I have noticed your posts becoming more surface level and polished and just thought that is what comes with your kind of success, you are being professional. But, now that you mention it, your stories about the beginning days have impacted me the most. I am in the process of starting a creative business/ blog and I consider you a mentor of mine. The story of you sitting on the floor of the first store that took your ornaments and trembling while you priced your goods and the boys sat in the car with your mom just makes me cry. When I go to make a phone call or something about my business that is very intimidating, I have several times taken a deep breath and thought “Marian did it, she was brave that day and I will be brave, too. I will not run from this vulnerability.” I really desire to learn from your business knowledge and hope you share more in this area, if you feel comfortable.

    Anyway, you and your blog are my all time favorites and I want you to be encouraged and know that you have much to offer from your beautiful heart and life, not just your beautiful projects. The Lord will lead you in what that looks like.

    Blessings, xoxo

  95. Your blog was the first one I ever followed and two years later it is still one of my favorites! I love your aesthetic and I enjoy the quality of your photography. I like seeing the “happenings” in the studio but was excited about your recent “evolution” series of your home. I had missed seeing it in your posts. I LOVE design ramblings! To me it is allowing us a glimpse into your life and what discussions go on in the studio. I like that it is you & Kriste hanging out in the studio chatting, just as many of your readers would have chats w/their girlfriends. I don’t think its amateur and to those who can’t watch it because they are at work, I would encourage them to watch it another time. I am not a fan of sponsored posts or the multiple ads (but if I choose the” reader view” then I don’t have to see them 🙂 I am sure you get hundreds of comments and can’t answer all of them. However it does drive me crazy when bloggers say “What do you think?” and readers comment or ask questions and the blogger never responds. I think readers want to feel as though their thoughts and opinions matter. Keep up the great work and I will keep reading!

  96. First of all, I VERY MUCH enjoy reading your blog. I loved the design evolution of your home, I loved seeing what you’ve done with your studio, I bought your book (and a tee shirt!!), and love those as well. I rarely watch the design ramblings because I vastly prefer reading to watching videos. I also rarely read the Friday furniture features, mostly because furniture makeovers are not what’s a priority in my life right now. I very much enjoy reading about you and your family – not in a weird, stalkerish way, but because I’ve learned to know you as a wife, a mother, an artist, as someone who is “real”. I’m also loving that you’re incorporating more real plants into your home!!!
    I’d love to see you write another book or two, but hey, no pressure!! 😉

  97. Marian, I also think you’re being hard on yourself. Sharing yourself with a huge, mostly anonymous group is brave! You have wonderful gifts and you are kind and courageous to give us these gifts. I love everything you write, every day. (Oh, well, not so much the videos, b/c I’m reading while the husband is watching tv…)
    We love and appreciate you. Have a sip of wine.

  98. I’ve been a reader for many, many years. I pop in every day to see what you’ve posted. Truly and honestly, I miss the paint. You have a paint line, but you don’t paint. There used to be so much hype, so many projects, so much excitement over the paint – and I wonder if that is what Miss Mustard Seed is really about anymore? We all grow and evolve, especially in business, but I miss the paint!

    1. Very interesting! I feel like I talk about milk paint a lot! I haven’t very much in recent weeks, because I had surgery on my mouth and have been recovering, then traveling, etc. Not as much time for painting, but I’m itching to do it!

      Thanks so much for the feedback. I’m glad I asked.

  99. Thanks for the opportunity to let you know what we think! I agree with many on a lot that I like or don’t like. Never hardly read on Fridays – not interested. Design Ramblings – not at all. Seems like it is a private joke between the two of you on many subjects – not my idea of entertainment. When you are doing photo shoots for up-coming video’s, articles, whatever it may be for – that is exciting, but it is usually so far off that I’ve forgotten about it and it seems to me when it is finally available to the public, you don’t care that much about it – it’s a small sizzle, when it could be outstanding and we would all be interested. I say, don’t tell us when you are shooting it, but only when it is close to release or the release date – then do a feature on it. You asked for the comments – I hope your feelings are not hurt by them, as I know that is not what anyone wishes to do. Thank goodness we are all different……..where would we be if we were the same!!

  100. Hi! I know you and your family love Jesus. That is a great place to start, as I am also a Christian. After all, He gives you your beautiful inspiration. I love the ideas you have given me to make my home more cozy. I would love to hear more about what God is doing in your life and how this comes out in the ideas/ decor. Blessings!

  101. Hi! I know you and your family love Jesus. This is a great place to start. After all, the inspiration comes from Him. You have beautiful ideas and have inspired me over the years to make my home more cozy and lovely. I would love to hear more about what Jesus is doing in your life and how He inspires an idea/ decor. Blessings to you and your family!

  102. Let me first start out by saying that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog. It’s inspired me to start my own.

    I’ll be honest because that’s what I would want from any of my readers….
    My favorite thing as of late is your visiting each room in your home and showing the before and after’s…
    I also love when you show painted pieces that you’ve transformed. That’s probably my favorite.

    My least favorite is Design Ramblings…just not a fan. I keep watching them hoping I’m going to get inspired or something, but they’re just not for me. I’m sorry….

    Love your holiday looks too and would love to see more of that. Do you decorate for all the holiday’s?

    Thank you for your honesty in today’s post. I’ve only been following your blog for about a year now. I’m a BIG FAN! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Delilah! I appreciate that you shared what you like and what you don’t enjoy. Very helpful!

      Actually, I don’t decorate for every holiday, but I’m asked to write a lot of holiday tutorials for freelance projects. I always enjoy them, but I’m usually holiday-ed out by the time the actual holiday rolls around. I decorate for Christmas, put some pumpkins out for fall and lighten things up in the summer, but that’s pretty much it.

  103. I am a long time reader who appreciates that you have asked the tough question. It is both brave and daunting. I have felt, particularly over the past year that we, the readers are a necessary but painful part of the blog existence. I think that is perhaps, a natural sequence to the success that you have had and the progression of blogging.

    I never look at the Friday furniture features anymore, it seems tired to me. The Design Ramblings are to painful to watch and not interesting. I understand the business of promoting products but sometimes it comes across as very mercenary and way too self serving. We get that life has fast forwarded for you, but the ” I am so busy, busy, busy” can come across as ungrateful and all about making money.

    I think you have stellar taste, style and design sense. You obviously are driven and have been successful. Your talents are impressive. I applaud you for taking a breath and evaluating your blog. I guess for me, it feels like you are so concentrated on generating posts for business that you had neglected to appreciate the audience who reads you. I feel that your writing not to the readers but for the sponsors.

    I get this is a business, a family business and that your goal,is to earn money. But, to me, it feels more and more focused on showing that rather than the design and creative process that you so brilliantly execute.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing the bad and the good! 🙂 Your comment had a lot of good points and I appreciate that you took the time to write it.

  104. If we are being honest I loved your blog back before you had money. I enjoyed the way you could create beauty with out spending a lot. I feel like that has changed.

    1. I agree with this comment completely. It would be nice to see some blog posts about doing more with less – that was what inspired many of us to follow in the first place. Not a big fan of Design Ramblings- it makes us feel a bit left out I think? Like it used to be you and us, your fans, and now we have been replaced. Does that make sense?

      1. I think the best Design Ramblings were the ones where a reader asked a question or sent in a photo and they two of you tried to help her. It seemed more inclusive, as that person asking for help represented the rest of us. Does that make sense? I think DR is a good idea, but you and Kristie need more coaching on how to talk in front of a camera. I hope I don’t sound mean (because I’m terrible in front of an audience), but you both use too many filler words – especially “like” – so it seems like you are not well prepared. I get that it’s supposed to be an off-the-cuff discussion, but people who aren’t naturally good speakers, probably shouldn’t do those kind of videos.

  105. I am one of those readers who goes back for several years. I loved the posts that showed before and afters of special pieces. I loved when you seemed to have more time to cherish and grow new projects. I felt a difference when you lost simple focus and started reaching out for more and different venues. Design Ramblings could be great, but editing the topic and conversation would make it more interesting – you know, remember English class with an outline that seamlessly flows from one concept to the next. I love that your hard work has resulted in success – you represent all that is good and right in our country. I just want to feel like you have plenty of time for your family and yourself, and that you’re not rushing from one demand to the next. A relaxed and balanced blogger is fun to follow. One that works so hard she ends up sick in bed (and tells it) seems to be trying to prove something to her readers she doesn’t need to prove at all. Relax, smell the roses and relay that to us. You are a very talented lady!

    1. Ha, I appreciate the comment. 🙂 I have always been one who works hard and then crashes, so that’s just how I am, but I see what you’re saying. It can come across that I’m just doing it to try to impress and then I need to let everyone know about it. Thanks!

  106. First off, I love your blog and think yours is the first one I ever signed up for. It is still one of the best. Probably my least favorite part is the Design Ramblings. But when I’m not in the mood for it, I just move on to the next email, it is not bothersome to me at all.
    What I love seeing are your project pictures as well as video tutorials. I enjoy reading your family stories and the fact that you share your feelings/emotions with all of us.
    Looks like I’m not much help here on what you could do differently 😉 From my perspective, thank you for keeping me not only entertained but also educated on design/decorating/diy.
    You started me thinking and dreaming several years back and I now have my own little booth in an antique mall and I love painting furniture and finding that great piece of ironstone too.
    Continue writing from the heart, continue teaching us how to use your products, continue to inspire us to move mountains.

  107. thank you for asking. as a fellow blog writer/entrepreneur i know the effort that goes into writing. and i have stopped reading your blog. and i was here at the beginning reading all the time and commenting — a big fan of your look, your artistic abilities, your vision, your finished pieces and how you photograph them. what is it then?… i don’t care for the verbage so much. i would enjoy a simple post with close ups of your process, before and afters are great, details of your painting, maybe a hint or two occasionally. simple and short. i don’t feel like spending a lot of time reading through a long post every day. it is too much for me. i want to spend less time on the computer and more time creating. how do you find the time? presumptuous of me i know, but i think that you could give us a tiny treasure, and keep some treasured moments for yourself. you are amazing and we all do cheer you on. consider that sometimes less is more. sincerely, karen

  108. Hi Miss Mustard Seed,
    I have been reading your blog for quite some time now. For the most part I enjoy it very much.
    However, we all have individual taste, my taste does not care for the Design Rambling Videos. I tried one of them and it was like I was eavesdropping on someone else’s conversation that I wasn’t a part of or could join in. I haven’t watched any more of them. It just seemed awkward.
    I like the style of your home, your use of ironstone, and blue & white. I love re-do / re-make projects. Especially ones where it is an actual re-do/re-make and not just a repainted piece.
    I enjoy some of the Friday Furniture Features. But most just seem to be another piece of painted furniture. Once in a while there is a real gem, and I think I have to do that!
    I use to click on the read more, every time I opened your blog email to me. Now I don’t click it as often. I read the beginning and it seems that the idea, etc., is only speaking to the rich. How many of your readers can put together their sponsor/vendor store credits to get that amazingly pricey whatever at a measly few hundred dollars? How many of your readers can buy several rugs, till they get the one they want? I would venture to say, that for many of your readers, we only get the opportunity to purchase a big item once. Then we have to live with our choice, work with our choice, make our choice work for our room.
    I would like to see more of how you restore some of your CL finds that are wobbly, or broken, and need fixed, before finished.
    Thank you for asking for readers thoughts, and input.
    Linda K

    1. I’m glad you shared your honest opinion. I am so sad that any of my posts have come across as exclusively for the “rich” or if I ever made a few hundred dollars sound flippant. I totally get what you’re saying, though. I have featured some higher ticket items and splurges here and there and I know they won’t fit in everyone’s budget. I know I would’ve felt left out if I was reading a post like that a few years ago.

      Thanks for giving me a lot to think about!

  109. I really enjoy your blog and read it almost as much as it comes in.

    I do not ever watch the Design Ramblings because watching video clips does not interest me. If there is really pertinent info in there then I would possibly read a transcript. Life around me is too loud to turn on a video!

    I especially love any transformation stories (of furniture pieces and how to pull together a room). I like your advice on diy projects after you try something (I did this and know I can do it now; but I will not do it again!).

    I also appreciate a window into the personal side of life although I get it that you need to protect things and keep family life sacred and private. I appreciate your open heart on things/life.

    I do like Friday Furniture Features but maybe a new twist on it would keep it interesting…I will let you know if I have a good idea on that.

    I am so glad you were refreshed from Haven. May God strengthen you for this next chapter!

  110. Hi, I agree with Delilah. I have loved your blog, your book, all of your wonderful ideas that you have shared in your journey. I too loved the way your style has evolved into what it is today and the steps it took to get there. I also love seeing the transformation of your painted pieces.. I think continuing to do what you love is the most important thing. Others will love it too. Your inspiration is motivating! You are truly a blessing.

  111. Hi Marian, I have been a reader for years, and I love your blog! I have loved, loved, loved your showing us how every room in your house has evolved. I think watching someone else’s evolution in decorating/designing can help us evolve ourselves. I also love how it can show us how to transform our own rooms, not just as we can afford to do it, but also in order to keep it fresh and changing with our lives and the times. Love hearing about milk paint techniques, furniture discoveries, the little tweaks you do along the way. I love hearing you share what’s going on in your life, but you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you don’t share…. those types of things are the things that, if you are ready to open up, you can and you should. But if it doesn’t feel right – if it seems forced – then please don’t feel like you have to share just because you have a blog and people want you too. By all means, this blog can be for *you* – you don’t “owe” us, anything! I think people on here have been a little harsh. In plain and simple language, I tend to love and read all of your decor posts, word for word. I look at the furniture feature pieces on Friday, but do not delve into the links for the most part. I watched a few Design Ramblings when they first came out but haven’t since then, so I can’t speak to how they may be now; I just think in the beginning they were a bit long and perhaps a bit *too* rambling for my taste, but that’s just me! Seriously I like the idea, maybe just focus a little bit more – perhaps have certain specific questions in mind that you will answer/debate/disagree on! But all-in-all I love your writing, your photography, your sharing. You can’t appeal to all of the people all of the time – how blah would that be? Do your thing, and those of us who like the same “thing” will always be here. And new peeps will come, too. I must confess that I neglect my fave blogs (including this one) in a way too – too lazy or tired to comment, just lurking, but I always appreciate!!! Thank you so much for sharing with us – you brighten my day!

  112. Hi Marian – Thanks for allowing us to share our thoughts. I really love your tutorials – especially on slipcovering (which I have yet to do) and reupholstering. I would like to see a tutorial on the scroll work you do on furniture. That is the most exciting thing. That bed that you painted and sold was the most beautiful piece of art. It had a European/folk art look but I also love the furniture that incorporates your handpainted detail. You have a good design eye and I have adopted a few of your passions like white stoneware and painted furniture, of course. I would like to see pictures when you travel, where you ate, also the area you live, orchards, farm stands, your church, what you’re learning thru God’s Word, more personal. Loved the pictures when you had a friend rework your wardrobe. Not a fan of Design Ramblings. Thank you and God bless!

  113. I have to start off by saying I love your blog and it’s inspired me in a lot of ways, so thank you! Keep on going and I’m sure this comes from all of us in saying thank you for asking a tough question. Guiding the courage to hear from us and take our advice is awesome!

    I do have to say my favorite series lately has been the evolution of your home. You have an incredible style and it’s so cool to see how you’ve evolved and makes me feel that over time you can find your own and it’s never perfect in the start.

    I love seeing the before & after’s and the video tutorials of furniture make overs & redo’s which has also inspired me and has made me realize that it’s a passion of mine and something that makes me happy.

    The furniture features are cool to see and is great for people to show what they can do but to be honest I go through them quickly and I never really click on their sites. Design Ramblings is a neat idea and I’ve gathered some stuff from it but most of the time it’s last on my to read list.

    Hope this helps!

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs
    xx

  114. I don’t care for Furniture Feature Fridays or Design Ramblings, but LOVE all of your insights and personal tidbits on decorating. I loved the historical “albums” for each room in your house and really admire how you’re managing to raise kids, deal with a child’s health issues, write a blog, go to markets, etc. You have a great gift for telling a story….I look forward to reading your daily updates AND pouring over your great photographs. You are truly multi-talented!

  115. I used to love your post. Sounds a bit past tense doesn’t it. I feel since you are rich now you have lost sight of the fact that a lot of us can’t buy expensive material, french inspired, expensive french chairs or if you don’t like something just get something else, or have a father that picks up our purchases off Craigs list and others and hypes sponsors stuff all the time and forgets we don’t have freebies back here . Like someone else said sometimes I don’t even open your blog or “to see more” I don’t, Guess the ability to reach me has lessened. You must remember that we have thousands of blogs we can read and one has to touch us in some way for us to take our time to read and enjoy. You seem to be a lovely, family oriented , gal who came up the hard way and success has made you heady and you want to share your dream come true with us. Nothing wrong with that if that is where your happiness is. You have a lot more positives than negatives and you are very brave on top of them all to ask this question.

    1. Joan, thank for being candid. I think that there is a misconception about how “rich” I am! 🙂 I drive a van with over 200,000 miles on it and our other car is a used Ford Focus! We really do live like average Americans and are on a Dave Ramsey budget, so we can save for our future, pay off our house, etc. My income is irregular, so we can’t be frivolous with it. That being said, I do hear what you’re saying about getting “free” items from sponsors.

      I asked for your honest feedback and you gave it to me, so I really appreciate that. 🙂

      1. I think people are being a little critical about the free items you are getting from sponsors.

        We all get blessings. I had a friend give me a clawfoot tub for free and it’s gorgeous in my new bathroom remodel. They are sounding a little whiny to me. There’s things that we can sell on craigslist and 100 little ways to collect money for special furniture purchases. It will look different for all of us, the point is that you were patient, deliberate and creative with your resources.

  116. I love the Friday segment and the opportunity to see what others have done with a piece of furniture! I also like seeing how your home has evolved…..giving me ‘permission’ to make my home ‘a work in progress’! In general, I like all of your blog, but sometimes I do feel kind of “out of it” like I’ve missed the lead in or maybe a discussion earlier, even though I read them all. Does that make sense?

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  117. Oh man. Ouch. It is hard to read some of the above responses. You did forewarn yourself!

    I, for one, don’t think you are “rich now” and I think the green eyed monster is residing in a few reader’s hearts.
    I think you try to keep things approachable. Wealth is very subjective and I think you appeal to multiple demographics across the nation and globe being cognizant that not everyone can’t buy the same thing ie. vintage hemp sheets vs drop cloths.
    I think someone who shared the raw news of their child’s DM diagnosis has a pretty darn open and sharing heart too! I just don’t get that perception. I wonder if Layla is feeling the same as you? It has to be tough balancing what and how much to share.
    There are way too many blogs out there. I think the field is just crowded and Instagram and Twitter are eating at the way we used to view the content. Be flexible and adapt to the change as needed. Chin up!

    1. Ha! Yes, I was prepared and, actually, I think all of the comments (that I’ve read so far), have been really helpful. If everyone just posted sunshine and roses, I wouldn’t learn very much. 🙂

      I have been a bit surprised at the “rich” comments and the ones on sponsored posts when I rarely do sponsored posts and only partner with a couple of brands regularly, so I found that interesting. I might be “rich” if I didn’t have any expenses, but since I do, I make a pretty average salary.

      Definitely a lot to think about!

      Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.

      1. I think the sponsored post refers to the ad choices that pop up and get in the way (across the bottom-Bounty and the Minion promotion; across the top and right nav bar; also the Marketplace Recommendations with links to products and services you probably wouldn’t choose to have on there if you had that power). A lot of clutter that competes with your beautiful photography and projects.

        Maybe it’s time to think about splitting off MMSMP to another website and just link to it? Your main blog would be a lifestyle blog, and finished painted projects would fill an archive of before and afters on the other/new site. The Paint site would explore techniques, finishes, preparation, and list classes around the country (world?).

        Many blogs to follow, one blogger said she was aware that people are burnt out and moving to Instagram and other social media and what would her readers like? I was surprised, I consider bloggers to be “the real deal” who just have more skills or confidence and yes, often more resources than I do. That’s where inspiration comes from. You do a great job of being humble, showcasing your talent, AND sharing it with us. Don’t overextend yourself, and do consider keeping this as an annual Q&A with readers, asking them what else they liked about the last 6 months.

        And please don’t show me Christmas in July. I would rather hear you talk about picking lavender buds for homemade popsicles or anything but leave the holidays in the month where they belong!! Save up those posts and take December off, knowing you composed the content back during the dog days of summer!!! Love you heaps-

        1. Ha! Thanks so much for the thoughts. You know what? I would love a blog without ads. I don’t know any home bloggers who love how ads look on their site. If I didn’t have ads, though, this would be a very expensive and time-consuming hobby that I couldn’t do. OR I would have to charge a subscription price to my readers and I don’t think that would work. Since the blog is free to read, I have to make money on the ads. This is a business, after all, and how I contribute to our income.

          I love your feedback on the holidays. I feel that way when I walk into Hobby Lobby and the Christmas stuff is out in August. I’m not ready, yet! 🙂

  118. You have inspired many. I started blogging to share what I do…no advertising, no promos, etc. But I know that some have made their journey a “business.” And that is great…but never lose sight of what you LOVE for the sake of “material.” Sometimes I consider doing something just so I can share it and then I remember that I am sharing what I love to do…not doing something just to share. Usually we ask opinions when we are feeling uncertain about something….go back to the beginning and find what inspired you in the beginning. Chances are it was a desire to share what you love, not make money or earn credits or increase numbers. All that will come if you are sharing from the heart…it did the first time 🙂

  119. Long time reader here…..I have enjoyed your blogs so much! Like many others I also don’t care for the Design Ramblings or the Friday Furniture. I always thought it would be so fun to be able to attend one of your classes but since I live on the other side of the country that is not likely to happen. Maybe some inside fun from your classes would be a fresh idea! Keep up the great work!

  120. girl, you are one brave lady. I want to encourage you. the internet is not real life. Yes, this is part of your business, but it’s also very anonymous for us and for you. take these comments as such and try not to make it personal, tho I think it would be hard. Keep first things first (God, family) and everything else will follow. My thougts are to do more of what YOU love. Isn’t that what got you this far? So you lose a few people along the way. If I read this post right, you want to get back to what you are really about and not where the business moves you. I personally love your style and that you put your faith out there! For me, that’s what I keep coming back for–hugs and love in Christ!

  121. For quite a few years now your blog was the first one I read every day. Now I will go for days without checking to see what’s new here. I have never really read the furniture feature Fridays and do not watch the Design Rambling videos. I just don’t feel a connection there.

    When you were just starting out and struggling to find your niche I think maybe we felt more involved in your journey. I loved your furniture make-overs and would like to see maybe more of what is involved in repairing a piece before it is painted. I also like your tutorials and enjoy seeing how you have improved from the beginning.

    I’ve always appreciated the honesty that comes through in your writing. I know that you’ve had struggles and have worked very hard to make a success of your business, and I was very happy (and can I say proud of?) your many successes. You’ve been an inspiration to many people.

    Having said that, I think the business aspect is what may now be off-putting to some of your readers. I feel that commercialism has crept in and taken over here. I’m sorry if that is hurtful to you but it is my honest opinion.

  122. I have been following your blog for a while and enjoy most of it. Sorry, but I do not read FFF or watch the Ramblings either.

    I love your before and afters of how you transform something I would love to see how your gardening has transformed the outside of your home. I realize that there are only so many before and afters that you can do inside – you can’t keep redoing the same rooms after all!

    The one thing that I enjoy about your blog is actually what you DON”T do. I think some other blogs seem more like bragging than blogging. You seem to just love to share something that you have done, big or small, like you were just talking with a neighbor or friend. Don’t ever change that!

  123. Marian, I have been following your blog for years and love so much about it. You have inspired me in so many ways and my home reflects it. You are amazing and I love almost everything you post. My least favorites would be design ramblings. It just seems a bit stunted for some reason but I love love love your before and afters and also how you did them. I would love some more ideas about different kinds of paints and what you like and dislike about them for projects.

  124. Hi, Marian – first, let me say that yours is the first and sometimes the only blog I look at every day. You’ve been quite an inspiration to me; painting furniture and making slip covers. I’ve gotten lots of information and inspiration from your tutorials. I enjoy seeing what you’ve done with your house which is funny because I don’t care for blue and have nothing blue in my house. Can’t imagine ever living with out pets and plants! I don’t bother with the design ramblings and usually don’t care for the offerings on Furniture Friday.

  125. Hi Marion,

    I started following your blog a few months ago. I love that you post daily and look forward to reading what you’ve written and shared. I think it’s really good of you to ask for input from your readers. I have read all the replies thus far and some of them seem a little hard. Don’t take them too much to heart. My Grandpa used to say ” every knock is a boost”. I think it’s amazing that you post daily and have different features. It’s a lot of hard work I’m sure!

    I really love your Friday feature. I spend quite a bit of time looking at the blogs of the people who post their furniture. I think it’s very generous of you to do this. It allows your readers to see what else is out there and some of the blogs are quite good. It’s interesting to see all the variety.

    The Design Ramblings is a good idea, though I have to admit, that lately I haven’t watched the whole post. I guess I am hoping to learn something specifically and that may not be your intent. I’m a technique oriented person, so I like to see things demonstrated but I guess that wouldn’t be “rambling” would it?

    I enjoyed seeing how your transformed your home. It was interesting to see how your taste changes. I admire that you even have time to change things up with how busy you must be.

    The before and after posts are always something I like to review. I would like to see more of those.You take great photographs and style things interestingly. It’s helped me to look at a piece of furniture that looks ugly and envision how it could look great. I’ve had to stop buying things to do and get working more on what I have!

    I’ll be interested to see how and if you change things up. Best of luck moving forward.

  126. Dear M,
    When I read your genuine heartfelt plea to your readers, immediately my heart spoke… Loudly! “You can’t be all things to all people. What you share on your blog is You! Not what others may want from you. Just You…and who God created you to be.” While your request is gracious, my personal opinion is just keep doing You! Just as your home has evolved…so have you. Along with that, your blog! Sometimes what my seem an inconsequential post to you may speak volumes to another. Like you said… Don’t worry about the numbers. God has gotten you this far and I’m pretty sure He’s still right there with you!
    The seed of faith you planted so long ago to begin your blog, has bloomed into a beautiful garden. To keep it beautiful…
    Weed- take out what’s not working for you.
    Water- allow your ideas to flow quenching others’ thirst for creative growth.
    Sunshine- allow the “son” to do what only he can do.
    And the best- sit back and enjoy the miracle
    And beauty of your labor!
    I’m not one to post comments… But I’ve learned to listen to my heart… It’s usualy a “God tug!”
    So my response… Just give what only you can…You! You don’t need to let others dictate that.
    Sincerely,
    T

  127. Your blog is still the one I head to first and my feedly is pretty full. Yes I do see what others are saying about “commercialism” in your blog, but I wonder how many of those posts you would actually be able to do if your sponsors didn’t believe in your message and make it possible? I don’t think you’re rich, but you clearly have a message and sponsors see that you are getting that message out. Why shouldn’t you benefit from that? Isn’t that the whole point? Blog readers tend to get very possessive of their blogwriters and honestly I don’t understand why they think you aren’t going to change and progress? Maybe it is the little Green Monster. I don’t love Design Ramblings or Friday’s much, but I can pass them by easily and it doesn’t affect your style, message or anything else for that matter so what’s the big deal? If you choose to keep them I can still wait til the next post. Love the albums of each room in the home. It gives me inspiration and shows how much my style can change and still be me!

  128. Ok. I skip posts too. But read lots more than I skip. I don’t decorate like you but good decorating ideas can transfer to any style. Like Lets try this chair here. Oh Wow! It totally changes things!!
    I want you to promote you. Your products with your name. Every week. Not daily but who else would I get the guts to try your paint from if not from you??? I’m kind of afraid of it because it chips off. And it may not stick? Basic stuff I know. But there’s lots of competition out there and I want painted stuff to stay in style!!!!
    I invested in your German Miss Mustard Seed glitter and looked forward to you mentioning it on your blog and some new ways to add it to for our holiday or wedding or fall or fun decor. Silence. I used it on horseshoes my daughter had me make for her to sell which ended up being a big seller because of how I accented with only your glitter brand and other accessories or just your glitter…the patina develops as I gaze at my copper one hung over my front door.
    I don’t think you’re rich at all. You do not need to share your personal life. I’d be afraid of creepers. I’m a devout Christian and know you are too. But I have devotional blogs for my spiritual growth. I say you can mention kids–like This held up to a bunch of kids jumping!!! But I’d say I’d want to keep my kids protected.
    I like the furniture feature but they seem hmmmm….rinky dink(?). Not classy. Not up to what people would say pay money for in a store. There are lots doing fine quality work out there. Contact all your retailers to send photos done by them or clients and that way we all get ideas of how YOUR paint looks in projects.
    I find you very professional. I think you’ve done well. I’m just giving a bit of constructive ideas I hope you’ll realize I in no way mean to criticize you.

  129. Marian,

    I love your blog. I love the house projects, the furniture makeovers, and what is going on in your life. I think your furniture style is impeccable and your projects wow me continually and inspire me for my own projects. I agree that it would be cool to see some tutorials on how you fix up old furniture. Mr. Mustard Seed should really get some footage for his part 😉 I also enjoy furniture fridays because I can see what other people are working on- although usually it seems like people who do it for a living post things and not ordinary homeowner hacks like myself 🙂 Your story inspires me from where you started and how far you’ve come in your home and your business. So cool!

    I am not a big fan of design ramblings. I have only watched a couple and just felt kind of meh about it. I’m more of a pictures and words gal though so maybe that is part of it. It doesn’t annoy me that you post them, I just rarely watch them.

    Your blog is my favorite that I read and probably the one I know I will consistently be inspired about home and furniture stuff. Love it. Keep up the good work.

  130. Enjoy your post but I must say, not as much as I have in the past. Never open Friday Features or Design Ramblings…not interested and not enough time to sit and listen to ramblings. I like when you show us how to do something, like upholstering or making pom pom garland. Your photography is amazing. Tired of seeing your home, sorry but true. How about with the economy still in a slump and people trying to make do with less, showing us how to save money while decorating our homes. Also, would love for you to share your faith more. There it is, and THANKS for asking! We love you!

  131. First off, I want to say that I love your blog. I check it every day, and I’m always a little disappointed when I realize I read Tuesday’s post late Monday night! =)

    I think you come across as very real and genuine. As a Type 1 myself, I appreciate all the effort you have to put into taking care of your son and family. It’s a lot of work! I say, if you enjoy what you’re doing and writing about, then keep on doing it and writing about it! This is YOUR creative outlet.

    I don’t glean much from Design Ramblings, but I love them for what they are! Ramblings! I feel like it gives us a chance to really hear you. So maybe they aren’t super informative…they’re cute! I love hearing the differing opinions you and Kriste voice, and the bloopers at the end. They brighten my day, and we could all use a few more smiles!

    I have loved reading your room transformation series. What a neat idea! My favorite thing to read about is how you style furniture and vignettes. I would secretly love to be a stylist for a magazine, so that sort of thing really catches my eye. I’m very interested in your thought process because it takes me a long time to find what works right.

    I agree with the above commenter who said some people have a touch of the green eyed monster. I can’t afford mounds of ironstone, but I’m sure you couldn’t walk out and purchase everything in your house right now either! It’s been collected over time, and I think some people forget about that. As far as splurge purchases go, everyone makes them! They just might be different price points and different subjects. It would be completely unfair for me to fuss about your new couch/rug/whatever if I’m blowing all of my spending money on Starbucks each day. In your recent series, you showed exactly how you made things work until you got your house where you wanted it! I feel like some of these people are forgetting how many years it took you to get where you are.

    Keep on keeping on! You’re doing a wonderful job, and you have a beautiful home, a beautiful studio, beautiful pictures, and a beautiful attitude to prove it.

  132. I love your blog. If something comes up that I don’t like, I don’t read it but I’m sure someone else likes that certain subject. Let me tell you what I really love about your blog. I love the fact that a large subscribe to my blog doesn’t pop up every time I read it. I love the fact that you sell a product but you don’t shove it down our throats. One of the blogs I used to love now sells things and incorporates them into her designs EVERY day. I no longer read her blog. I love the fact that you show us how to use things differently than the way they were intended to be used because most of the time I would never think of doing that. I receive approximately 50 to 60 blogs a day. I read what I want and pass on the rest but I love looking at everything. Thanks Marian, please keep up the good work.

  133. I love your blog – and have learned a lot from it. I personally love FFF because it has brought me to other blogs that I really enjoy. I am a newish reader, but have seen the recent evolution of your business and have to agree that I preferred the earlier posts where I felt a part of the ‘up cycle’ steps of your beautiful furniture. I do think that there is a lot of evolution in your decorating which has made me realize I don’t have to live with a piece of furniture that I no longer love. The one thing I will be negative about is the design ramblings. I listened to a couple of early ones and they just felt off to me. So that email I delete without even clicking through to the post. Thanks for asking for our input, I think you will grow and grow from feedback.

  134. Love your style and transformations. As others have said, Design Ramblings – not my favorite. Friday Features – not worth the time.
    But – your tutorials! Awesomely awesome. Love having you walk us through the process for making slipcovers as well as painting transformations. More please!

  135. WOW you got some raw honesty on this post. I almost think it’s ” careful what you wish for” because most comments in the past have all been praises well deserved. I think about blogs as a learning tool about a common interest. You provide that for me with different mediums. Photos, descriptions, videos all give your blog a dimension for me to pick and choose something that resonates with me. I would like to hear more about your hunt and how you zero in on a desired item. I never seem to find anything on Craig’s List for a bargain. I will say my favorite blogs are the ones showing the transitions your rooms have gone through over the years. You’ve been especially nice responding to my question about flooring for our kitchen and we have decided on engineered hardwood. I thank you for your input and a great read!

  136. Marian you are so talented. Please do teach us with more detailed instructions and tutorials. I, like others, are not so interested in what you are selling, etc, Enough Luckets already! And, although I know your faith is important to you and am fine with mentioning religion occassionally, I would not appreciate more sharing of it as a few others have suggested. There are many other blogs and avenues for that. I will look forward to the changes you make and I trust they will be for the better.

  137. Miss MustardSeed,
    I have been reading your blogs for years. I love your blog. Every single post. I can’t wait for Fridays and I do watch Design Ramblings. What I have noticed about your blog that stands out from some others is you take the time from your busy schedule to teach. I know. Not everyone wants to learn or maybe already have the skills needed. But it was you that gave me the confidence to get out the old Featherweight Singer Sewing machine and make slipcovers for my 12 foot conversation couch. Though not perfect, I did it…because you took the time to teach me. And so it goes.
    On another note, I have lately noticed that there are some naysayers on blogs that i don’t recall seeing years ago. Perhaps I just overlooked them. But this hurts my heart for bloggers. I don’t understand why someone would say something unkind if they can just withhold their comments. Please know that I will never judge you, your work, your family, opinions or choices. Because this is YOUR blog.You owe me nothing. I do believe you owe yourself to be true to you.
    With that said, thank you. I am honored and fortunate to be a daily reader and I wish you nothing but the very best.

  138. How brave to ask for feedback! I enjoy reading your blog and seeing pictures of your projects. My personal style preference is somewhat more contemporary, but I think it’s great to be open to other styles, new and different ideas. It keeps us fresh! I would love to see how you would incorporate pieces that reflect your style into others homes or decor styles that are different from yours. Maybe it would give us all a push to stretch our style boundaries! I personally prefer the text to videos, but see no reason to stop something that gives you and other readers pleasure. And since being a blogger is your job, I have absolutely no objection to you accepting compensation in any form! After all, that is the point of a job!! Don’t be discouraged by a few naysayers. It’s not realistic to expect you or anyone to not be paid for their hard work and/or their creative ideas.

  139. First of all, I LOVE your blog. I feel like I know you in a way as well. I love your style and how you easily give away your “secrets”. Not all are willing to share how they make a living. It’s very generous of you. I l love hearing about your German heritage and grandparents and why you love certain pieces that you have in your home because of that history. I love that your blog is short and sweet. I don’t have hours to sit and read. I love that it’s full of beautiful pictures. It’s like opening up a new magazine everyday. I agree with the other readers in that I don’t ever look at the Friday postings-I just don’t have time to look through all of them. I’ve only painted two pieces of furniture in my life and my neck and back paid for it for 6 months afterwards so I just don’t need to see all of that. Although, it’s nice of you to give others a platform and I’m sure many others enjoy it. I also agree with other reader, Jesus is the Lord of your life and I wish you would talk more about what he’s doing in your life. I’ve had breast cancer three times (I’m 41) and even though I knew he healed me, I was shy about giving him the glory for healing me. NOT anymore! He has brought me back from cancer that had spread to my liver and I’m a miracle! I know you are probably afraid of alienating for offending readers but a little bit wouldn’t hurt. You are doing great though! Many success MMS!

  140. Hi i am from australia and never miss your posts. Your tutorials are great and i have had some of those “so thats how to do it moments”. Colour choices for styles of furniture, and getting the look. Your home is lovely but some of us struggle with making decisions on which pattern goes with what let alone size of print etc. i have wasted so much money on mistakes can you help by teaching us some fail safe ways to decision making for decorating thanks keep up the good work

  141. Hi Marian,
    I really enjoy your blog. What I like best is the before and after and the expertise you can share with painting furniutre. I love seeing how you’ve changed your home and again the painted pieces. To me that’s the focus I look for. You sell paint and I think that should be the focus of your blog. I also appreciate that you are willing to sell small pieces such as your ironstone. I hope you’re not offended but I don’t usually watch the design ramblings although I did enjoy watching you recover those two matching chairs. That is what I look for in a blog. I want to thank you for allowing your readers to speak out. We want you to continue to be successful and for me I LIKE TO LEARN FROM YOU. God Bless.

  142. I don’t read the blog as much as I used to. I always used to think people were petty and small if they didn’t like someone as much when they succeeded, but I have found I don’t like the blog as much since you became so commercialized. When you started talking about imported Belgian fabric/sheets, it just seemed to make you very distant from where you started out- using drop cloths to slipcover. It’s hard for me to relate to someone who imports things from Belgium or France. Or has their own line of products. It’s not wrong of you to do these things, but I can’t related to you as a person as much, knowing you are in a different lifestyle than I am. I’m excited when I can buy sheets on sale at Target. I think you are great, very talented, etc. but I’m not sure where you and this blog are going to end up…will you do a segment on visiting the French flea markets next? That’s the way I have been feeling. I buy things at garage sales, not in France or Belgium.

    1. I really do see what you’re saying, Sally. I guess I don’t know what to do with that, either! I used to make grain sacks out of drop cloths and paint, because that’s what I could afford. Now I can buy the real deal. So, what about the readers who can’t afford $50 for a grain sack? How can they relate to how I decorate now.

      I’m never going to be able to answer all of these comments perfectly or make everyone happy, but I want you to know that I’m listening and I really appreciate your thoughtful comment.

      (And I still shop at yard sales and get excited about sales at Target, too.)

  143. Marian –

    I’ve been reading for years and in 2012 you inspired me to begin my own blog. I remember stumbling across your blog one night when I was looking for something on the net and I couldn’t stop reading. The next day I couldn’t wait to share with my best friend what you were doing and that this is what I had been looking for! I agree with a few others that you need to “be you” and not stress about the numbers. There’s only one Marian and God made you uniquely you! Your talents and gifts have been such a blessing to me and so many others. Your tutorials from back in the day helped me to have the courage to slipcover a chair and paint furniture! I love when you share staging tips for photography and how your rooms have been transformed over the years . I love that you have been honest in telling us that you didn’t hem your curtains and that it’s okay! You’ve grown and that’s okay! Just keep sharing what is inspiring you today and what you are working on! I know Design Ramblings has gotten pretty bad reviews here, but they are one of my favorite new things! It’s really hard to put yourself in front of a camera and talk about decor – but you two have come a long way from the first few episodes. You are now getting comfortable with it and I think people should watch a more recent episode of DR and give it another chance! I hope this encourages you!

  144. In all honesty, don’t listen too hard. Your readers like your blog for what you do with it. I’ve been enjoying it for years, and I’d say keep it up! Great job! Do what you truly like. Share what you want to share.

  145. Hi Marian, Wow what a reader response! Thanks for caring about what your reader’s want. I too am a long time follower. Because of your generosity in sharing your skills I slip covered my leather sofa and received favorable comments. Yesterday I finished making and slip covering an ottoman using your book as my guide! This is from a woman who didn’t own a sewing machine or knew how to sew. I was so inspired by your “can do” attitude that I reviewed sewing machines on line, downloaded all your tutorials, which I love, and just started. My material for these were your early years drop clothes.
    Since you asked I also forgo viewing Design Rambling videos. As for myself I would appreciate a small tutorial on searching for items on Craigslist. I think There are still some deals to be had if I could just find them. Also, I think you mentioned a tutorial on freehand drawing. Would love to see one.
    Anyway please be kind to yourself. You are a true inspiration. P.S. When is your next book being published. As if you didn’t have anything else on your plate. God Bless.

  146. marion,
    Love your blog. I only subscribe to a few blogs so I do read all of your content. I don’t normally watch the videos tho. I think the people who are commented about you being “rich” are way off base.. First of all your income is no ones business. When you splurge on a piece of furniture, you always explain how you do it. In a world of instant gratification you show how careful planning and patience can pay off. I may not have joss and main credits to spend but I do have items I can put on CL or sell at a yard sale. I can learn from your example that just because I want something today does not mean that I should go into debt for it. I think you are an inspiration to all women and you prove every day that great things can be achieved through hard work and perserverence. Everything you have came from hard work and dedication, don’t ever apologize for that.
    Theresa

  147. Hi Marian,

    This is so brave of you, I have to applaud you for that to start.

    The thing I love about your blog is how visually pleasing it is. The light…that has inspired me to be a better photographer with my own blog.

    I love that you’ve grown and that you can afford real grain sack. That part I truly love as it means that you are prospering and you are getting back after working so hard. It speaks to possibility for the rest of us bloggers.

    I also enjoy Design Ramblings but it’s the time thing. I’m not making the time to sit and watch all of them. Your chemistry with Kriste is great and the two of you are hilarious. HGTV…you need to hook these ladies up!

    And finally, your paint line has literally transformed how I paint furniture. It is the BEST paint I have ever used and I praise and promote it whenever I can.

    Keep doing what you are doing. It’s nice that you asked what we wanted, but in the end, it’s YOUR blog.

    Colette

  148. I agree with Suzie when she said she enjoyed your blog before you had money. I was so excited every morning to see your blog and then you expanded, your husband quit his youth ministry, there was no talk about normal family life, your mother was your biggest supporter and she vanished, you tried to sell your home without a doubt that you would . Also, I read the word “I” one too many times. I really admire what you have done but I just don’t want to see you undo it and now that I have a chance to tell you I will. Life changes and everything must change along with it but it doesn’t have to end. If, you are losing readers such as myself, I think these are the reasons. Go back to your roots and get real again. Thank you for asking our opinion. I have been so sad what has been happening with your blog and maybe even your life.

    1. Thanks for your honest feedback. I just want to clarify that Jeff didn’t quit youth ministry. He became an associate pastor, which was as decision that was made based on his calling. After over 15 years in youth ministry, his heart for ministry was moving towards adults.

      I know that you’re just seeing a snippet of my life, so you only know what I share. Obviously, I’ve been sharing about my life in a way that sounds selfish to you and I am sad to hear I’m being perceived that way. It’s definitely something to think about…

      1. Hi Marian,
        I just have to comment and say that Melissa words strike me as more than unfair. You have shared, quite bravely, your family life, your income, your diet, and many many more personal insights that none of us have any right to know about. Thank you for the beauty, wisdom, and inspiration you have brought into the world.
        I am so very happy that you have been able to make an income from what started as a hobby, because I, like thousands of others, am a beneficiary of the content you are putting out into the world. If you couldn’t make some income from your work, that work would cease to be available and we would all be the poorer for the loss.
        Thank you for being one courageous lady!

      2. Wow! This smacks of envy and jealously and being too immature to be happy for our sisters in Christ whom God has called to succeed in different ways than us. A little like the bridesmaid annoyed by all the attention given to a bride! Also, in youth ministry MOST pastors move to a different area of ministry afterwards. Completely normal in every way. My husband and I have been materially blessed and we try very hard to use those blessings to serve and refresh God’s people. You are doing a fine job of serving His women by passing on the tools you’ve gained and the gifts He created within you. We have a T1 son…our life is all too real.all.the.time. Just as yours is.

    2. I think that you are doing a great job of grabbing a person and keeping them interested to find out what happens next in your professional, and yes some of your personal, life. I think in today’s world, so many people are into the “reality TV” and think this transpires into the blog world. I’m sorry if there are some people that think you aren’t supplying them with “enough”. I have followed you for years, have met you a few times, and totally enjoy your blog posts. I say keep up the good work.

  149. I applaude you for asking the questions you have asked. I read this post and was so pleased. These introspections show how much you care about both your readers and your blog. Please remember too, that it’s so easy for folks to be blunt behind the keyboard. You can’t see someone’s eyes or facial expression as to the impact their words have made. Bottom line though, if they’ve taken the time to comment today (even if it feels negative) it’s because your blog is or has been important to them.

    Your blog was one of the first I loved and devoured word for word. Literally. Your writing style was lovely to read and so very easy to connect to. I loved your tutorials and sharing how you did things. I learned so much being privy to these things. I think that’s why your room evolutions resonate with so many. I think for me, my interest waned with Design Ramblings and the milk paint journals. Nor do I read the shop owner features, but I think the idea is a kind one for those that sell your products.

    I’d say take a breather and regroup as I suspect is your intent when gathering these responses. Be sure like with any job, you’ve scheduled in rest and a “vacation”. You do what you do so very well. It’s a gift, really. Thank you.

  150. Thank you for this post. What a difficult one to write. I have followed your blog for years, I love it so much! You are one of the few blogs that I have stuck with through the years. Many of the others seemed to change dramatically as they grew, and it became more about the readers than the bloggers themselves. In a way, I get it. It is business, but it is also about you. I understand distancing yourself, because I have seen some of the unkind things people will post. I have noticed it on your blog, as well as others. It always surprises me the things people will say when they don’t have to look someone in the eyes in an actual conversation. My best advice is to keep writing about the things that YOU love, what inspires YOU. The readers of this blog who really love what you do, will love those things as well. The ones who complain about what you are writing about should’t be following you anyway. Building people up is what it really should be about, inspiring others and being inspired yourself. Write about what you love, because it is a part of your journey. And your faithful readers will love sharing in that journey with you, with each and every post!

  151. Hi Marian
    I have followed you for years after finding you when searching for a slipcover tutorial. I have rarely (never) commented but tonight I must. I am 68 years old and you have inspired me to “move mountains”. I have always loved working in my home, but so discouraged because it never looked right. Instead of always buying something else, you were encouraging us to use what we have, paint it, slipcover it, to use the things we love. As a result, my home is so pretty.
    Thank you, Marian. You are an encouragement, an inspiration. I’m so proud of you and your honesty. God bless you! Don’t change.

  152. I love your blog, never miss a post. Admire how you have taken a beginning blog and are now a pro blogger. It’s because you are extremely talented: great eye for design, great stylist, great photos, great writer, great DIY, sewist, painter and crafter. Add to all that a lovable personality and relentless hard work; it’s no wonder you’re a success. Because we can relate to you, we’re happy for you.

    I love the “MMS signature look”: slipcovers, blue and white, ironstone, pops of greenery and vintage accessories.

    I love how you transform a piece of furniture and then “style” the piece to give it the MMS look.

    I love the “before and after” type of post. Whether it be a kitchen/bath transformation, other room transformation, furniture transformation or vignette transformation.

    I love MMS tablescapes.

    I love your beautiful photos.

    I love the “evolution series”.

    I love that your home is relatable to my own. I read the blogs with the 6000 square feet homes and they are beautiful but my home will never be that.

    Ideas for the future: have we seen your laundry room, basement, pantry, garage, junk drawer etc. These are mundane areas but everybody has similar spaces and I get inspired seeing very ordinary, lackluster spaces improved. Can we see more of your deck and yard? Even modest improvements are inspiring. Can you redo the blackboard wall in the kitchen and change out the exterior door in the family room for a French door? So what if you plan on selling; it would be an improvement.

    Regarding “Design Ramblings”: I watch them. I think you and Kriste are very sweet together. Can you make the videos more hands on. Maybe you could “ramble” to yard sales, fleas markets, antique malls, Ikea, etc. and give tips on purchases, repurpose, makeovers, etc. Maybe visit the homes of family/friends and do some room makeovers/restyling, furniture rearrangement, restyle bookcase, china cabinets, tablescapes, style open shelving in kitchens. You know, add the MMS styling touch to other people’s spaces (doesn’t have to be white slipcovers). (While I like and watch video, apparently lots of people don’t, so need photos as well.)

    Yours is an awesome blog; I remain a faithful reader and fan of MMS!

    1. What wonderful, constructive advice! Just goes to show that some people can be kind while giving feedback.
      Marian, I’ll be honest and say I very rarely have time to watch your Design Ramblings. I always plan to so I save the link and then I end up deleting because I just don’t have time. Which makes me sad.
      I loved your recent posts looking back at your home, and all the rooms you’ve done, and redone. I think you have painted your walls more than I have but I could identify so much with doing one thing because of something that I felt was “fixed” in the room, and then being dissatisfied. Like you, I’m learning to wait until I can do something I really want and love before getting into it.
      I would like to see more how-tos, especially on how to use MMS paint. I was late getting into it, and I have several colors but I’m nervous about starting. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
      Thank you for putting yourself out there to all of us. I would miss you if you went away.

      1. Yes, I like Lydia’s feedback. I like the design ramblings as they are and I have watched every single one of them, but I remember you did one at the Lucketts sale and that one was especially fun because it was in a different setting with other things going on that you were able to talk about. Maybe if you did them in different locations or with more of a purpose of creating something it might help more people to want to watch them. I also have loved the video tutorials you’ve done… maybe people would rather see you in action rather than sitting & chatting?

        I personally love the chatting, and your videos always bring a smile to my face. I really look forward to them, so I’m a little worried by all these opinions that you might stop doing them… so maybe if you changed them up a little they might be better received.

        Anyway, I loved your blog before the videos, but I love that you added them too. Whatever you decide I will still love your blog. Your style and photos brighten my day and you’re a good writer.

        Thank you Marian, for all that you do!

    2. Here, here!

      Your honesty goes to the point of humility and sharing these thoughts took courage. Thanks for that.

      I too stumbled upon your blog when researching slip covers. Your improved skills over the years inspires me not to give up. I don’t have the courage to use some of the expensive fabric you show and am still at the drop cloth/clearance sale items but maybe one day.

      I agree also regarding Design Ramblings. While I enjoy hearing/seeing you guys chat, I would enjoy more having some simple demonstrations. That may prove difficult and be better served with your other “how to” videos. I’m thinking more of look, see this item, how could it better be used or displayed? Simple quick thoughts.

      Keep up the good work, look to the Lord for your growth and let us all share in your success. There is nothing wrong with success as long as we stay focused on our mission.

  153. You are the only blogger I have consistently followed for years. You teach me how to search craigslist, find treasures, and step by step transform them into something I am proud to have in my home~ that makes my home more beautiful! Please keep doing that for me!
    I love and adore your style and down to earth manner, and your gloriously beautiful painted pieces!

    That is my inspiration and eye candy! Thank you!

  154. I’ve only been reading your blog for the last two years- so I don’t really know or understand why other readers find fault with the content or the direction now.
    I enjoy it quite a lot, despite not even aspiring to follow your style! My house looks nothing like yours as I love color and pattern and antiques. But I like you! I like how fearless you are, how determined and down to earth, friendly you are and how talented you are in the design field. I find it encouraging to to see your vision expand, and become a bit more sophisticated, because if you don’t – you will become stale. That means that sometimes others feel left behind because they are only comfortable with the old you, but I think it just signifies that you are growing in ability. You have to grow your brand if you want to stay in the business, and people should recognize that. You can never go back..Best of luck to you! I am cheering you on 🙂
    PS Design ramblings needs much more work if you want to continue with it- and furniture Friday is redundant..

  155. I think what you do and how you do it are amazing. I would love to see more about your life, but I admire you, your writing style, your projects–all of it. I aspire to have a blog as well done and popular as yours. Than you so much for this post–another thing for me to consider in my blogging journey.

  156. Hi Marian,

    I’ve never commented, but have been a reader for a while. I’m local Central Pa and like your style, despite the fact that mine is different. I enjoy your blog because you are yourself, although I do understand distancing yourself with growth. Introducing contributors like Kriste can also be tough…and people are often critical. I am at a point where I struggle for personal growth, connection and authenticity, so know that is how life goes in time…things change inevitably, and that’s not a bad thing! You put a ourself out there which is brave, I’m not sure I would do the same, but you seem strong no resilient, and you have to do what makes you happy,a and supports your family — be true to yourself, have your own voice, and all will be ok. And, maybe, I’ll wish you luck in person at Wegman’s soon… Take Care, Ali.

  157. Hello, Sweet friend. I feel like I can call you that because I credit you with the inspiration behind my home evolving into a place I love to be in and create in and get excited about! I got your book and I devoured, nay, HUNG on every word because you were JUST LIKE ME!! A worn out mom-of-four (in my case) and I had come to the point where I was asking God what my purpose was. I knew that my highest calling was being a wife and mom, but I had no creative outlet, no ideas for how to change my house into a home-a nest for my family to feel comfortable and safe and happy in. I knew kindof what I liked, but like you, I had no extra money to buy the things that all the decorating magazines said were a must to achieve the look I wanted for my home. I’m sorry, but a $150 room makeover is definitely NOT in my budget! So, my sweet Momma-in-law introduced me to your blog and I drank it up! Then she got me your book, and I read it in a week and a half!! You spoke my language, you felt my frustration, you understood my finances!=0) It’s your blog, your book, your pinterest page I go to when I am working on another creation. I still love your style, your ideas, your BRILLIANCE! God used you to give me that gentle nudge into an outlet that I could afford and that I found I truly LOVED and found JOY in! That’s why I have started renting space at my local antique store a couple of times a year like you do at Luckett’s and I call it “Vie de Joie Designs”. It means “Life of Joy” in French.
    I have felt lately like I have been left behind in your success, but I don’t begrudge you that success! I feel true joy that you have been enabled to get your business to this point (Okay, so I am a little jealous of your new “old” building that you have your workspace in now;-P), but may I offer some encouragement in the midst of your contemplations? While you may have changed your tone a bit in your writing, this blog really is about YOU and those of us who follow you want to read about YOUR inspirations and loves in all things decorating and milk paint! Follow your God, let Him lead your heart in how you write and how you relate to your readers and you will never go wrong. He brought you to this place where you have come. Now, let your focus remain where it belongs and keep moving forward as you live in the light of a merciful and gracious Father. En”joie” what He has for you!!

    1. ‘Ditto’ Vie de Joie’s remarks. Share your heart and inspirations, how-to’s, etc. – we love that!

  158. I would love to see the master (Marion) teach the apprentice (Kriste) actual techniques, including mistakes. I would love to learn more about right and wrong ways to do things and ways to do better. Show us what to look for in furniture to transform it into beauty and what things to avoid. Show us some of these pieces. Give some pricing pointers. Tell us about mistakes you’ve made buying, selling, finishing, etc.

    I saw you at the Luckett’s show last year and you couldn’t have been more personable with everyone…you haven’t lost touch with the regular people.

  159. I love your blog and have followed you for several years now. I have noticed a difference in your blog but I really couldn’t put my finger on what was different. I do miss the mentions of your mom helping you and I hate to say it, but design ramblings is just “not my cup of tea”. I’ve tried to like it but I don’t so I just skip over it now. Keep following your heart and all will be good. I’ve tried to follow other blogs but they are a mess and I have always stayed with you and a few others. You are one of the best and I look forward to seeing your posts everyday. Thank you Marion!

  160. Wow, you opened a Pandora s box with this one BUT I love it. I’m so glad you asked the hard question/s. I loved Miss Mustard Seed back in the beginning. It was more like you were a friend, one of us, trying to be creative and pour ourselves in to our homes, some of us on a budget, but all of us being very creative and getting so many useful hints, tips, ideas, etc. Slowly it started to become a “commercial” website. It also felt at times like you were just wanting to tell us about your successes. It would be nice to have the Marian I knew before back and blogging her little heart out.

  161. Marian, I know you want real tangible answers of what I like and what I don’t like. But, in reality, what I like depends more on my mood, my pocketbook, and my time. You have an outstanding blog and you give back to your readers. I applaud you. There is one thing… I read Ann Voskamp where she spoke to bloggers who worried about numbers, etc. She said… don’t. Marian, if this is your calling, and I think it is, your ultimate audience is your Creator. I’m reminded of the scripture that says that we work for God not men (women)… Maybe those thoughts are for me as much as for you… I too chase numbers. Numbers and people are fickle. 😉 Okay… probably mostly people.
    Thank you for sharing your art, your heart, your home, and your creativity. {hugs}

  162. I feel that our insecurities come out when we see someone else succeeding. We wonder what is wrong with us that we aren’t experiencing the same level of success. We want to be happy for you but our petty egos won’t let us. I don’t have a blog so I don’t feel the competition so many bloggers seem to be talking about. What I like is when I can “feel” a blogger is being authentic and truthful. I think you are both. Maybe you have dialed back a little in the personal area, but honestly anything you feel like sharing is more than we deserve to know. This blog has turned into a living for you and with it comes a certain amount of “advertising”. You do a good job of only talking about things you actually use and like. I don’t see every one of your posts being a compensated one. As long as you don’t let companies change who or what you are, just so they can use your high blog views for their benefit and not your own, I don’t mind reading about them. You built this blog and you have loyal followers because we like what you do and share- so don’t ever let any magazine or company try and dictate to you. You’ve had some good suggestions given to you and I’m in favor of most of them. Whatever you do, I’ll continue to follow you! I like knowing what you are up too!

  163. Dear Marian: I too have read your blog for years & I still look forward to most posts. I’ve tried to like Design Ramblings but it seems a tad too disorganized most weeks. Perhaps if it were just once or twice a month & you had a list of questions with pictures to talk about. The one time I remember that you discussed a readers decorating dilemma with her photographs was the most successful episode for me. I enjoy FFF. I look at it in detail some weeks & other weeks look at the 3 Favorites and close it. I believe it gives other bloggers the opportunity to put themselves & their creativity out there to be discovered by your readers. As for your usual posts I appreciate your amazing photography, thoughtful writing, the sharing of your creative process and how you freely tell us about your wins and mistakes. I don’t understand all the negativity so many readers have expressed about your blog. I also really enjoyed the Evolution of your Rooms series!!! I had forgotten how some of those rooms looked originally & how you brought them to the beautiful spaces they are today. (Maybe some of the jealousy over your good fortune came from the Evolution series you just featured.) When I read over the years about the products you received in exchange for feedback & tutorials it never seemed like you were being showered with things you didn’t deserve. Most people don’t work for free. Continue to be your lovely self and we will continue to read & learn from you!

  164. Forgive me if my original post came through, but I don’t think it did. I just returned to reading your posts after unsubscribing for several months because I did not like the whole tone of the blogs anymore. Constant , almost frantic room makeovers, furniture and pictures that you like for a week and then not so much. The discontent with what you already have and the constant striving to get it “perfect”. Seems so shallow to me that so much time and energy goes into rearranging furniture. All the stuff you get for free when most of your early readers were attracted to making a beautiful home with little money, not with expensive freebies. Hate Fri emails-never open them or watch the designer ramblings. Not liking all the plants and cows either. If things continue, probably will unsubscribe for good.

  165. Hi – I am a very new follower – perhaps a couple of months – so I can’t comment on your past blogging and I’m not a blog follower so I can’t even compare yours to others’ blogs. But I really like the whole atmosphere you’ve created on yours. It is visually appealing, focused, friendly, and always leaves me wanting more. You are so accessible and relate-able! I seriously feel like I’ve know you forever. You know those friends you might go years without being in touch with and then when you see them again it’s like no time has passed? You are that kind of person on your blog.

    I love some of the suggestions others have made – Jill’s and Lydia’s in particular. Maybe your Design Ramblings and Furniture Fridays could become Field Trip Fridays – where you are out in shops, on Craigslist, visiting someone’s home, talking to a another design professional, or even just in your shop talking us through how you decide what to do with a piece of furniture. I see so much chalk or milk painted stuff out there that is overdone. Or finishes that look like fake distressing rather than the subtleness of years of use. How do you know when to stop – when enough is enough? Those are the things I wonder about.

    Anyway, stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to let the blog evolve as you do. Nothing stays the same. Don’t feel trapped into being what you’ve always been. Show us how you are finding who you are becoming. That will always be more interesting – to you and to your readers! Thanks for a lovely experience each time I “drop in”. 🙂

  166. Let not your heart be troubled girlfriend… Your blog is the only one that I anxiously await to read every day. I’ve tried others……(boring). Sure, I may not be interested in every topic but that’s ok. Your insight and writing ability and heartfelt messages are more than inspirational. Your decorating style is timeless.
    For me, the Friday Furniture pieces are never as good as your painted pieces so one has to asks, should I bother spending time looking at someone else’s beginner piece. I enjoy the ramblings but most of your seasoned readers may have already encountered the basic topics you often discuss.
    You are the best and I so enjoy your blog!! Keep up the good work

  167. I liked the posts where you showed us your photo staging process. I’m interested in photography, so that was good for me. I also like when you share personal things, like what your husband thinks of your wallpaper choice, or how your boys learned to play chess. I would be interested in seeing more of your family life — meals, vacations, parenting, etc. That’s the stuff I can relate to. But, I know you may not feel comfortable sharing those details, and I completely understand if you don’t. I’ve backed away from my own personal blog a lot over the past year, and I’ve seen other friends and favorite bloggers do the same thing. Some are replacing their blogs with social media (mainly Instagram), but others are just calling it quits for one reason or another. Blogging is very time-consuming. It may not fit into your life the same way it did a few years ago, and I think that’s OK.

  168. Wow, what a mixture of responses people have given you Marion, and some of them not so careful of the heart that obviously beats loud and clear through your postings. I honestly don’t know how long I have been reading your daily blogs but trust me when I say that yours is the only one still coming into my emails daily. What initially attracted me? It was those astounding, colourful, painted and hand painted projects. I live in Brisbane, Australia, where we seem to have been inundated with modern stark and cold decorating of concrete apartment blocks – even our magazines reflect them. It’s only recently that the French, white painted furniture is breaking through. I’ve been painting furniture for a lifetime, first restoring and finishing antiques, then colourful painted pieces and now a combination of the latter and chalk painting. It has felt lonely doing this at a time when not many people appreciated it but I loved it. Then I found you and those wonderful makeovers of unloved furniture! The colours breathed warmth and the additional handpainting added something else that, if not unique, was extremely talented. I’m not seeing these much now and I appreciate that your home is to your taste and have enjoyed it’s evolution but I want to see more of that colour layered and distressed furniture and I’d like to see the processes by which you come by them.

    It’s not easy when one strives to become more professional and aims to make her craft more respected but at the same time wanting to be that same lovely woman who attracts us all to her blog. It’s the warmth that needs to stay, the talent that needs to shine through and you just need to talk to us as if we were your friends, while keeping the professionalism in the background. Like others have mentioned, I find the design ramblings not to my taste. I don’t have the time to sit and listen whereas I can read quickly and ingest photos better – it’s just the way I learn. Even at the age of 68 I still want to learn Marion, and I’d love to learn your more complex treatments from you. Please don’t give up, know that there are a lot of people around the world enjoying what you do and don’t want it to stop. Listen to your heart.

  169. Marian, You remember what it was like when you were learning “how-to”. How-to do this, how to do that, and even now, after all you have learned, when ever someone shows you something new or even something old with a twist, but something that you really want to try, you get inspired and dive in don’t you? You could even call it excited couldn’t you? We are all alike. We see some new or different idea and want to try it. And we want to do it for the least amount of money as possible. We want resources, tips, tricks and any other thing that can help us on our own creative journey. Remember?? We all, old and new friends and readers are just like you! What did you want or need to know back then and even now. I like that you are down-to-earth in person. I like that you DO care about ALL of your readers. Just remember to ask yourself what you would want to know and go with that!

  170. Hi Marian. I have only been following your blog for about a year so I don;t know the old blog. I love seeing your furniture re-dos and the small look into your life, Because of your tutorial I have made a slipcover for a love seat and have plans to paint a dresser. I look forward to each post so I can see what is new. I have a new motto to my decorating attempts-What would Ms. Mustard Seed Do? Thank you for the inspiration!

  171. Marian,

    Thanks for asking! 🙂 I read your blog because it is consistently top-quality on all levels – the writing, the blog design, the gorgeous photography – all keep bringing me back. I will never get tired of seeing pictures of your home because you have such a talent with decorating in an organic way. You don’t just run to Home Goods and update a bathroom. You incorporate unique pieces in a room and make it work. Your design style is also very relaxing to me. Your house looks so serene and natural. Keep up the furniture makeovers and would love to hear more about the studio as well – back to your roots of painting furniture.

    This next part I have agonized over writing, but here goes.First off, thanks for introducing us to Kriste. I read her blog, Rosemary and Thyme and really enjoy it a lot. I like her topics and she is a great storyteller. However….when I read YOUR blog, I want Miss Mustard Seed – not the Miss Mustard Seed and Kriste combo. You are just too different in style and I feel like the combination muddies up the purity of your signature style. When you started putting her photography on the blog is when you lost me for awhile – sorry, but your photography and styling are a huge part of your brand. What draws me to your blog is your style. Kriste is absolutely adorable and very talented in her own right – I feel like she should focus on her own blog and her own style. I like both!

    One more thing -I love the snippets of family stuff with both your parents and your own family, but it makes me nervous for your Dad going on all these Craigslist pickups – too many scary stories associated with CL these days!

    Again, just to reiterate what so many others have said – be yourself. That’s all we really want. Whatever you do, just keep blogging. 🙂

    Sue

  172. Wow, I’m thinking if I were a blogger like you I would feel overwhelmed by all these comments on what your readers would like you to do or not do. Maybe take it all in small doses! I have been following you for about a year and a half and have loved reading about and learning about all the subjects you have presented. I love the eye candy from all your beautiful photographs of your home, your projects and the objects that inspire you. I read nearly every day and out of several other blogs consider yours my favorite, because I really like your personality and the way you present yourself. One reader mentioned the early days when your were more oriented toward how to decorate on a shoestring and I think I would have really enjoyed those posts since I pretty much live on a shoestring and believe in re-using and doing things economically. I love thrift shopping and flea markets, etc. So maybe you could throw in a project every now and then that focusses on solving a decorating problem with very little money. I listen to Design Ramblings intermittently because I like seeing you and Kriste “in person” in an informal setting. But sometimes I get a little bored, like maybe you should have rehearsed a bit more, I don’t know–maybe I’m just not finding the talks as informational as I’d like, with a bit too much “rambling”! The concept is good, tho’. Most weeks I do read the Friday furniture features and find the ones you choose interesting. And I’ve been introduced to some other interesting blogs through that feature, I think it’s a nice feature, but I wouldn’t be sad if it didn’t happen every week. Because we as readers experience quite a bit of who you are as a person, your tastes and style and methods of doing things as well as your feelings and tho’ts about a wide range of subjects, some fairly personal, some not, we often think of you as a friend. And you are a friend, of sorts. But mostly, you are our teacher who inspires us by sharing the things that inspire you. And I think that you do that very well. And I think the key to keeping your blog interesting is to keep on doing that. I think that’s why your followers read your blog–because it reflects you and what you find inspirational, instructive and fun! Just keep on being Marian and perhaps just pay attention to little suggestions and desires on the part of we readers as they come from us. Finally…at last…and in closing, I just want to say: Marian, I LOVE your blog and appreciate all you share with us and wouldn’t be unhappy if you didn’t change a thing. Do what makes YOU happy and we’ll all be happy, I guarantee!

  173. I have been a reader for a couple of years, and I absolutely love your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed following you. I’m all about MMSMP video tutorials and furniture befores and afters. Keep up the good work, Marian! And congratulations on your success!

  174. I consider you the gold standard of the blogsphere: you’ve inspired me, and many others, to roll up our sleeves, dig out the sewing machine and paint brush and beautify our respective homes. You’ve also inspired many others to start a blog, me included. : ). That’s one your gifts: inspiring and encouraging a person to tackle things that may have confused/intimidated (slipcovers anyone?!) one in the past.

    Perhaps you’ll agree with me when I say that I think blogging, as an occupation/pastime, has changed. Sites are slick, ad-filled whereas and sometimes fail to connect with the reader, whereas in the past the blog itself might have been relatively unattractive or slick, but the content and the voice so compelling that the reader came back for more.

    As a regular reader: I like hearing about your gardening adventures! I also appreciate your furniture makeovers and photography tips. Also, maybe consider posting three days per week rather than five and maybe eliminate Design Ramblings or even FFF, (though I still like it!), and focus on writing and photography that truly inspires both you and your readers.

    Figure out what you want from your blog and how you want it function, and chances are good, since we all love you, that we’ll love what we read!

  175. Marian, Every day I look forward to your email report. And you do it 7 days a week! I appreciate your effort, creativity, the love you show your family, and your readers. Most of all don’t forget to
    smell the roses along the way. I too found you when I was looking for a tutorial about making
    slipcovers over a year ago and I am still here a loyal fan. Best, Mary

  176. What I want is what I complain about with many blogs – darker text! Other than that, you and your blog are perfection!

  177. Love your blog…especially like posts like today…it’s like you have opened your front door and we are visiting on the porch step. Love the pics of projects, rooms and a glimpse of the neighborhood. Like occasional updates about your family and healthy eating.

  178. Be careful what you wish for…I’ve been reading your blog for at least five years and have been thrilled with your success. Yours is the only blog I have continued to read all those years except Aunt Peaches. I think many readers have discovered the secret to your success. You are a great teacher. You teach yourself, and then us. You are fearless. Who else would paint 53 cabinet doors in their kitchen? Perhaps you could start staging and decorating other peoples spaces, since readers are getting tired of your house. Perhaps just presenting what furniture you have painted could be instructional, not just a reminder of Lucketts. Perhaps you could respond to reader’s questions with actual staging in your studio. Show us what looks wrong and what looks right.
    Kudos to you for asking for feedback. I guess Design Ramblings is on the way out. I don’t have time to watch a video, and I am a fast reader. I definitely would prefer no religion. I think it limits your readers to those who share your exact views. I had to laugh about the comment about your sharp-shooter pistol carrying career military father not being safe picking up Craigslist finds! Best wishes and keep on inspiring us.

  179. HI there, I am another of those who have been reading for years and stuck with you after cutting a lot of others out of the RSS feed. I love that you are authentic and have a lovely natural style in your writing. Posts very rarely feel “crafted”, even the sponsored ones. The thought has crossed my mind lately though that you have moved from where you started…

    ” A great look is affordable and attainable to anyone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and dive in. So, get ready to go junking, tune up the sewing machine, and buy a good paint brush.”

    This is what I loved about you in your “beginnings” but now that you have so many resources available..expertise, money, sponsored products, HGTV tutorial funding etc, the projects you are doing have kind of moved beyond the blurb above. One of my favourite things from you has been the dropcloth slipcover tutorials. I diligently followed these videos to slipcover a couch and two chairs and it made such a difference for my home. It wasn’t JUST the tutorial. It was as much the recommendation of dropcloths, because that made it affordable. Having said that…I have still really enjoyed the blog and hope you will continue. (I am a bit worried actually as last time a blog I read asked questions like these…the next week they finished the blog completely!) Blessings from New Zealand.

  180. Hi Marian, I have discovered you long ago when you had your groovy superblond haircut and black sunglasses…If I am not wrong it was your gravatar photo. One day I was searching for something and I got to step into your Blog. At that time I honestly say that I was too busy to put back together my life that I had no much time to follow Blogs. I am Carolina I am sure you remember me (Italian in USA) I am an Artist Designer and I have been creative and surrounded by Art all my life. When I came across your Blog I found it to be very inspiring, I loved the way you were open to share your toughts with the world. Soon after my first visit I did bookmark your site in case I wanted to come back. I came back to visit you after a couple of days, and I took time to visit every page of your Blog. I was so inspired by you, your creativity on transforming your normal found furniture in amazing pieces. I loved so much. I followed and never left for all those years, it was amazing to see you succed step by step. I learned a lot from you I transformed my founds in beautiful pieces. I got your beautiful book as soon it was out and it is precious to me because I feel you as a friend. Also if you don’t see often my comments like before I still check your daily posts and visit your Blog. You are the one that inspired me to re open the door to my creativity. God gave me the gift to be an artist and right now I share my Art with the world on my own Blog at yesterdayafter.com and I really would love for you to visit. This is my story I wrote all this to you here not for me but for YOU to let you know that you have been and are so inspiring for so many women around the world…stay always true to yourself and never change you are a wonderful soul Marian. And to answer to your question just do what you always did be MARIAN…Best wishes and lots of love to you 🙂

  181. LOVE
    -that you post often
    -when you talk about your home
    -how tos
    – Furniture before and afters
    -when you describe how you decide -when and when not to paint
    -ironstone stories

    DON’T LOVE
    -design rambling videos
    -styling tutorials

    DON’T MIND
    -when you describe how you got stuff for free

  182. Yours is the first design blog I subscribed to. I have been a subscriber for a couple of years (I think) and want to say — please don’t change a thing! You are a celebrity and there have to be some limits to what you post on your blog. I think you have found a great balance between sharing who you are and what you do with a need for privacy. I have enjoyed very much your “evolution of your house” series recently. It gives me hope I’ll get it right eventually if I just keep at it. I also enjoy your how-to’s and before/afters. They inspire me. Thank you for the slipcover tutorials! I sew only a little and these make slipcovers less intimidating and doable. These posts give me courage to make changes and try new things in my home. I have to admit I haven’t tried your paint yet but know that it is awesome. Your style is terrific and I hope you will continue to do what you do so well. …A loyal follower.

  183. Your blog is the one I visit most. There is so much I like about it. I love your taste and your beautiful photography! It is wonderful to know that a young person appreciates that antiques add warmth and personality to a room; so many design blogs are filled with trendy, cheap junk that will be filling the shelves at Goodwill next year. That is why I am such a devoted reader. One thing I wish you would do: answer your readers questions in the comments sections! Many of the questions are ones I would like the answers to as well. When a good question goes unanswered, it feels like you are ignoring those who have made you successful. It negates the sense of “community.” I get that you probably don”t have that kind of time, but you could save those questions for a twice-a-month Q&A post, which could replace FFF or Design Ramblings. My second suggestion is to restructure Design Ramblings to be more hands-on, even for things as simple as arranging flowers. The current format is too long and “rambling” :-). Thank you for asking for input!!

  184. What a beautiful question to ask. You are incredibly brave. Your heart and your bravery and your honesty were what drew me to you and your blog years ago, and they’re what keep me coming back. I love the furniture picks that you do and how you celebrate other women. I love when you write about your family. I love learning about how you take risks in business. I love looking at pictures of your home and things you find. Best of luck in finding what feels right.

  185. Marian, I love your blog the way it is. I’ve been a faithful daily reader for about 4+ years. Your content and pictures are always great to me. Your style is very clean, bright, soothing, calming. I love seeing furniture before & afters. I really like “Design Ramblings”. It puts a voice and a personality to you & Kriste, makes you seem like a real friend coming into my home to visit. I also really like when you blog about your personal life, your family, your successes and your struggles. It keeps it ‘real’ for us. Some bloggers just seem like their life is too perfect…working full-time, decorating, crafting, blogging, product lines, magazine features & interviews, perfect wife to a perfect husband, perfect mother to four homeschooled children…Really? How can they do it all? It makes us readers somehow feel inadequate, no matter how hard we work. I work hard from sun up to sun down at our family business and in my home and still can’t keep up, so I truly appreciate your honesty. While I do look at your favorite picks from the Friday Furniture feature, I don’t have time to look at the entries. I personally don’t like or have time for blogs that constantly feature “parties” to link up to, or blog entries that are too long or have too many pictures. When I happened upon decorating & craft blogs 4+ years ago, I loved so many and followed more than a dozen, but I quickly realized that I was spending too much time on the computer, looking at other peoples projects and never getting around to working on my own. It was getting depressing, so I picked my handful of favorite blogs to follow and unsubcribed to the rest. That was a freeing thing. Plus it seemed like so many blogs started to look exactly alike or their craft projects started looking like elementary school projects, but your blog has been consistently classy & refreshing. It is my absolute favorite! It’s like an old friend visiting me every day! “Miss Mustard Seed” has become a household name with my family. I’ve done several projects with your paint & products and I’m so happy with the results. I would like to see you maybe add having a once-a-month question & answer feature, where readers could write in questions about the milk paint, decorating or whatever. It would also be neat to see you do features where readers send in pictures of rooms where they need decorating help and to have you & Kriste give advice. I truly like, admire and respect you!

  186. I for one, am glad to see the old Marion back, not that the new one was bad. The spark of creativity and enjoyment of what you do and inspire, wasn’t quite the same, we all change over the course of this life, don’t change too much of who you are at your core. thanks for sharing

  187. First, I love everything in your home. It’s simply gorgeous, and anytime you get bored, feel free to come decorate my house.
    I would love to see how you change up your home for the different seasons. Also, your house seems quite large, with lots of big space, how would you adapt your decorating to a smaller space? My house isn’t nearly as large as yours, and sometimes it’s difficult to translate what you’re doing into a smaller space. What does your house really look like? Do you move your coffee pot/tv/ microwave/kids’stuff for photo shoots? With 3 kids and 4 dogs, my house has definitely got stuff! I’d love to see more ways to decorate with ironstone. I’ve recently purchased a few antique pieces, and I’m just not sure where it needs to go…& I’m still not sure if we can really cook/serve/ eat out of it. Lastly, I’d love for you to open up a store year round!
    I guess I have lots of requests! Love all you do and your honesty on your blog. Thanks!!

    1. All great topics, Ashley! My home is actually not that large. I’ve had a few blog readers come to my house to pick up a piece of furniture or something and most of them say, “Wow! I thought your house was bigger!” I think it looks larger when I can step back into another room and use a wide angle lens to take a picture of the space. The kitchen and family room are large, but the rest of the rooms are pretty average or on the smaller side.

  188. OMG. I read enough. I don’t usually comment but I just had to. I have one word for you. JEALOUS. Anyone who has a single thing negative to say about your blog is just that, JEALOUS. You are such an amazing talent. I can’t thank you enough for all your words on this blog. All the beautiful things you share. Every single one!! Continue to do what you do.
    I will say, for me I feel like the whole home DIYers and painted furniture thing is just becoming over saturated. Even when I go to flea markets. People are actually setting up there space with painted furniture. Trust me when I say, they shouldn’t be. There is a fine art to painting furniture and you are a true artist.
    I’ve been following you forever. I actually used Bliss and Tell to make my very cool business card. I was fist in line at Luckett’s ( my husband got in the door early to stalk where your booth was set up) and I even brought you a gift. To say “Thank You” then and I’ll say it again. “Thank You Marian”.
    Your a beautiful soul on the inside and out!

    1. Jill, of course I remember you and your crafty husband! I still don’t know how he got in early. 🙂

      I really, truly appreciate all of the comments that have been left. I knew if I asked the question and opened the door for honesty, that some of it would be tough to hear. I agree with some of the criticism, though, and it confirms how I’ve been feeling. Of course, I need to take the good and the bad with a grain of salt and I am. These comments have given me a lot of energy and ideas!

      Thanks for the encouragement.

  189. Hi, I’m back=0)
    I have been reading some of the comments that have been left by your readers. Most of them are GREAT and so very encouraging. Some not so helpful. Some people are convinced that their spiritual gift is criticism. I know that many have said they don’t like “Design Ramblings”, some have said they don’t like the room makeovers, some have even gone so far as to say they don’t like the plants or the cows! However, I have read that YOU are excited about all those things and that is enough! This is YOUR blog, not ours. Please be careful not to overwhelm yourself with pleasing everybody. Just be true to what you love and what you enjoy! Let the real Marion shine through! That’s all your devoted followers want and need.
    Keep on inspiring!

  190. I have not been around since the beginning, but I have been reading for a couple of years. I enjoy your blog and look forward to it. So, short and sweet I’m just going to tell you what I don’t like…Design Ramblings and Furniture Fridays. I totally skip over them.

  191. I feel as though you are never satisfied. I find it wearisome to read about your changing chairs or rugs in the same room five or six times. I do applaud your success in growing your business however. I would enjoy reading more about the real you. When you write about the “mess” your boys have made and show a picture of five Cheerios and a couple of legos I doubt if most of your readers with children can relate to that kind of a “mess”. When you wrote of your son’s illness I felt like the real you was shining through.Having said all of this I do read your blog regularly and I give you credit for asking reader’s opinions.

    1. Thanks, Lynne. The truth about my “messes” is that I don’t let them get too out of control, so my mess might not be as messy as someone else’s mess! When Shaunna, my friend and fellow blogger, came to stay at my house last year, she smirked and said, “So, you’re generally a neat person.” We both laughed. Yes. I am. And I have always been that way and would be whether I had a blog or not. I never want to shame anyone who has a messier house than I do, but I do want to show that we have stains, dust bunnies, etc. just like everyone else. 🙂

      And I totally get how it might appear that I’m not satisfied with my home when I move things around so often. I think sometimes it is a heart and contentment issue. I wrote about that in my book and also here on the blog. Most of the time, though, it’s just fun for me to move things around and try something different. If you notice my hair, my home, etc… I love change!! I think it has something to do with growing up as a military brat and always moving. Change to me is exciting.

      I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts honestly. It’s nice for me to hear how I’m being perceived by some of my readers! I’m always going to have things to work on… 🙂

      1. I’ve already commented but your reply about liking change struck a chord with me. I was also an army brat and moved a lot. My mom always made each temporary housing feel like home. I love to move stuff around and experiment. It’s not that I’m not satisfied with what I have I just enjoy looking at my things in new ways. I tweak all the time. Some people never move a thing, and that’s ok for them. I personally think changing things makes a house feel full of life. Please just do what makes you you!! Like they say- be the best you you can be and not an imitation of someone else!

  192. Marion, I have been reading your blog for so many years, I think I’ve seen alost the entire evolution of your home as it happened. I’ve also seen your style and your business developed in this time. How lucky I feel to have been along for your ride so far. I don’t think you’ve ever disappointed. I look forward to continuing my education and inspiration through your blog. I think your still ‘on track’.
    Blessings to you.
    Karen

  193. I have been following for awhile and I get what you were saying.
    I’ve felt that you have moved on and become somewhat inaccessible.
    I really like your “eye”, your photography and ideas. Your brilliant.
    I don’t like to hear about the things that you bought for Lucketts because I don’t want to see the business side of your things. I don’t want to see piles of ironstone that you intend to sell.
    It’s hard to say why, but I don’t want to see that – maybe like it’s nobody’s business but yours.
    Show us the before and after transformations, and new ideas.
    I’m not a fan of the videos. Too much improv and um’s for me but I may be in the minority. I don’t watch them.
    I think you have a couple of good things going on – but maybe they need to be kept separate.

  194. I am a longtime subscriber, a fabric hooks, avid sewist & decorator. My home is the polar opposite of yours, I don’t paint furniture or DYI much out of my sewing studio, BUT I love reading your blog!
    I have especially enjoyed watching you grow, mature and become more, more, more of the fine artistic person that you are. Your courage to explore photography, new formats, expand your business and take risks is what I admire about you the most. This past year, your mentoring is especially noteworthy and I do enjoy learning what you receive from her as well!
    New ideas (design ramblings) take time and practice. Keep on exploring what makes YOU better and we will enjoy the ride! Thank you for the daily inspirations and simple elegance that you bring to me.

  195. I love, love, love your blog. I think you’re very “real” in what you share, and extremely brave. I read your blog for inspiration both in your business and in the decorating (how-to). This is YOUR blog, do what makes you happy because you’re never going to be able to keep all of us happy all of the time. Thank you for what you do here.

  196. Good morning. I have read most of the comments people have left on this topic. I have followed your blog for a while. I love all that you create. You have inspired so many people. My only hope is that you don’t take the rude comments to heart. This is YOUR blog… We are the lucky ones to be able to read it. I wish you nothing but happiness and success. God bless.

  197. Hi Marian,

    I have read your blog for many many years. I have to say as a creative, mom, wife, blogger, painter, dreamer- your story has been SO VERY INSPIRING. And not in the way of wanting to do what you do, but in a way of being encouraged to just be myself, and follow the call that God has on my life. The community you have built here on this blog, and the business you have made through a crazy idea of selling paint and furniture and dishes and glitter balls!- reaches far beyond what I think you could have ever imagined when you first sat down at the keyboard. In my circle you are a well known, house hold name- and I am from Canada 😉 The thing is, yes, your blog has changed- and you may feel you have insulated yourself- but you are in a vulnerable place of putting yourself out there for all the world to see and speculate about. I really just want to say thank you for this place of creativity, inspiration, and acknowledgement of God at work in your life- through the highs and the lows. I know that most of all, he is so proud of you! It’s nice to know you want to hear what your readers want to hear- I think also, HE will keep guiding you in what to write about.
    Trust your heart and your “pen” blessings!

  198. I really loved the Evolution series! Looking at the rooms in your house evolving has helped me sharpen my focus on where I a m going w/ my style at my house. I’m enjoying your joy w/ plants. I don’t watch Design Ramblings, but that’s not your fault – I don’t have speakers!
    Some folks are complaining about the lack of personal info. In this day and age, you must be careful. If they were writing a daily blog would they want a lot of their own personal info out there? I know you have a sweet husband and boys, and that’s more info than you know about me. It’s nice if you chose to share personal details, but really, it’s none of my business. I’m glad for what you’ve told me and I don’t want to try to pry more out of you.
    To the reader who says you are never satisfied: I disagree! I like to change things up in my house. It has nothing to do w/ being satisfied. I like to look at my rooms in new ways. I don’t have to buy new stuff. I can shop my own house. I’ve seen you do that before, and I enjoy that as well.
    I love your style. You are a wonderful photographer. I love your writing style and your blog. I am a devoted reader from GA who reads your blog every day. XO

    1. I could type it all out, but what Lynne W says.. totally agree with it. You inspire me in ways you will never probably hear from me. I tend to feel like I share too much and folks are sick of me. Your tutorials etc show me how I can do it.. If I need to watch a video more than once, I have a great sense of empowerment.

  199. I started my furniture journey with only one blog. Yours. And from your blog I found others, and learned more, and painted more, and started changing everything. Four years later I have started my own successful furniture painting business, completely redone my entire house and learned more than I ever thought possible about design from bloggers.

    I have been a huge supported of yours and send everyone who wants to know how I started to your blog. Furniture Feature Friday is my bible and I depend on it to find new ‘artists’ and discover new ways to work. You are a brilliant artist and continue to amaze me with your talent.

    But your blog has changed and gotten to the point where now I delete more of your posts than I read. When you were doing lots of tutorials, showing different techniques, styles, paints and ideas, it was awesome. But now you almost exclusively paint with milk paint, your style has not changed in the 4 years I have followed you and I am wanted to expand beyond ‘shabby chic’, chippy rustic.

    Although I love your house and have enjoyed seeing it, I don’t need a blow by blow description of each item in each room. I don’t need to know what you find at flea markets or see the 50th French chair you painted and recovered. Nor do I really need to read 5 posts about Luckett’s.

    It seems your blog has become mostly about what helps your commercial success. Not your art. And that’s fine! Many blogs are like that. They just don’t interest me, personally. I follow you to learn. To refresh my ideas and find inspiration. I feel your blog completely filled that need when I first got started. But now I need more than milk paint and Frenchie things.

    It does seem like you have become very commercial. I can’t even read you on my phone for all the pop-up adds. And your blog is so full of adds it frustrates me. It almost feels like you “sold out” for the sake of fame and fortune. And why not? Good for you!! (I’m even a bit jealous). But honestly, you just don’t have much to offer me that is new and refreshing anymore. I will still subscribe and always look for new tutorials and new artists in FFF, but will more than likely continue to delete more than I read unless things change significantly.

    1. Wow! I know Marian was looking for feedback, but dang, would you have said this to her face just like this? Sometimes it is all in the way you say something or just in your tone. Maybe you could have just suggested what you would like to see and not so much of what you feel she is doing wrong. She is human you know. Manners go a long way.

      1. I know I’ve already responded way back with my input to Marian’s questions. I’ve also been reading all the posts and feel compelled to remind some people that Marian is an adult business woman. She has been very successful and I’m absolutely sure that given the fact that she is a mature, talented, successful woman she is smart enough to NOT have posted what she did or asked the questions that she asked if she were unable to handle what the responses may have been. Give her more credit than some of you are giving her. I’m sure she appreciates loyalty but I doubt she feels that she needs followers verbally beating up others who express their opinions. I’ll bet you that she is able to take all of the information provided, glean from it what is useful to her and leave the rest alone.

        I’m a woman and I own a General Contracting company. I build commercial and industrial facilities. It is a male dominated industry yet I have managed to be successful and in business for 36 years. I can see a smart business woman 10 miles away and MMS is one of them. I was just awarded the National Association of Professional Women’s Woman of the Year for 2015 – 2016 award in part because of mentoring other business women and promoting women in business.

        Marian, this is for you. Do I like your blog as well as I used to? No. Did I answer your questions honestly in my earlier post? Yes. Do I think you are at a cross road and you recognize that you must lay down a firm foundation for the way you want your brand to continue in to the future? Yes. Why? Because you are a smart business woman and you see issues yourself and you respect your readers enough to ask for their input. Take what is useful to you and leave the rest alone. Ultimately your continued success and expansion is yours to control. You couldn’t have made it this far or be as successful as you are if you weren’t a smart business woman. In the end believe in your self and trust your self to know what input has value and what doesn’t.

        To everyone else who follows Marian answer her questions honestly, give detailed feedback even if it is that you may unsubscribe, just be sure to tell her why. That is really information she can use to learn and grow from. She can’t please everyone but if she is true to herself and her vision the followers and supporters will come and her business will continue to grow and she will continue to be successful..

      2. Marian asked for honest answers. Laurie was honest, not brutal. She was not hurtful but was merely giving Marian her honest feelings in her own opinion. Why does everyone feel the need to sugarcoat everything for fear of hurting someones feelings?? People, toughen up a little! It’s not like she was hurling F bombs and telling her she sucked! Laurie was polite and tactful and even gave her kudos for how well she is doing. You know what? I completely concur with Laurie. She expressed my exact sentiments that I have felt for years. Marian’s blog has gone in a new direction (And that’s great!). I applaud her success. But for those of us that have been with her since the beginning, we don’t necessarily have to like that direction. It has gotten a bit self-serving and not necessarily in a good way. Marian asked what WE wanted. I don’t want a million ads. (Hey, I understand they pay bills! I just got an ad blocker so now they don’t bother me) I too am tired of seeing the same type of decor (I like it, I think Marian has a wonderful sense of design, she’s a great photographer, etc.). French chairs, shabby chic, antiques, blah, blah. It’s nice when you can see a variety. If she doesn’t want to switch it up, that’s her prerogative. But again, she asked, we are telling her. Don’t scold someone because she “says” it like it is! Laurie was frank, but polite. When she criticized, she also offered up a compliment. Don’t be so quick to get your feathers ruffled Tara.
        Marian, I’m sad to see your FFF go by the wayside. That was one of few things that kept me coming back. You are one of the few, if not only, that kept it at furniture ONLY. It’s nice taking a look at all the wonderful creations and picking up different tips. I wish you would reconsider keeping it. Maybe doing away with picking your favorites? That way it won’t require you to spend what little time you have.

  200. I found your blog about a year ago when I wondered what the difference was between chalk paint and milk paint. Instantly, I was completely enamored by your style and your home. I started reading your blog the way people read a good book they can’t put down. I have been so inspired by how you approach your home and because I’m always keenly aware of not overspending in our own home projects, I felt like you showed realistic ways to get what you really want while not spending unnecessarily. I see what other people have written about you getting sponsored items, and my two cents on that are this; blogging is hard work, and you’ve put in an incredible amount of time and dedication to even reach the point of receiving sponsored items. Maybe that isn’t how I’ll find the perfect item for a renovation, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that the way you’ve acquired some of your goods takes away from what I could learn from your blog.

    We were starting a massive renovation (which spurred the need for paint) when I found your blog and reading your posts helped me really define what the goal was in terms of the finished look. I knew vaguely what I wanted, but touring your home helped me really identify my style; how to create function and form while surrounding myself with the antiques I love. I’m right there with you about the every day items needing to be beautiful (my mother in law thought it was incredible when I bought my vintage watering can for my deck pots last year because it had never occurred to her that something so utilitarian could be pretty as well!).

    The evolution series has been my absolute favourite. When we started this renovation, I wanted every room done and perfect, right away. You’ve inspired me to think long and hard about getting the bones of my rooms just right, and letting the details come as they may. No pressure to ‘finish’ it, just let it evolve into something I love. Stop making impulse decisions that suit the budget and the deadline but not my heart.

    I am a paper crafter, so that’s the blog land I live in most of the time, but your blog is the one and only that gets my time nearly daily, and you’ve inspired me to try and include some of my own home projects on my own blog when the place is cleared of tools and saw dust! I love all your posts (I do not watch the design ramblings as I prefer photos and words while quietly reading while hubby watches tv), and appreciate your tutorials. I’ve got some chairs waiting for grain sacks and your videos have me the confidence to go for it!

    I think you’re great at what you do and if you keep just following your heart, your readers will continue to love coming along! And anyone who has a blog knows exactly what you’re saying about the new readers, but good food for thought about appreciating old ones!

  201. I’m so glad you’re asking for feedback. I quickly scrolled through the comments already left, so forgive me if this is redundant… Yours was the second blog I started following about a year and a half ago, and sadly, both yours and the first blog I followed have gone the same path – what first drew me to them has almost completely disappeared. I am really interested in how-to, inventive, creative, step-by-step project oriented help. I stumbled on yours while researching styles of do-it-yourself slipcovers, then was fascinated by your furniture make overs. I liked your style, and the common sense approach to decorating – to save money make it yourself, but splurge on the stuff you love and what really matters. I used to check in every day. Now the only day I really check is Furniture Feature Friday, to see what projects other people are posting. I understand that you must follow your heart, and if your heart isn’t in the project side of blogging any longer, then maybe I’m the one who needs to change (what I follow), not you! After all, it is your blog, and you need to do what your love, love what you do, and be true to yourself. Blessings to you during this period of self examination. It can be painful, but also fruitful.

  202. Marian when this topic came up I thought I wouldn’t comment. Not because its a bad idea or question but because I had nothing but praise to offer. I thought you were looking for constructive criticism and I had none to offer. However after reading through some of the responses I feel compelled to say something.What you have achieved through hard work and perseverance is amazing. In this country we speak a lot about self determination and the entrepreneurial spirit. We practically worship business and their owners, but when we see a stay at home mom use her talents and intellect to become a successful entrepreneur the fangs come out. Since when is it a bad thing to improve your families financial situation through hard work? Who wouldn’t want to occasionally buy a high end piece of furniture when their budget allowed. That is called growth. You still rehab reupholster and makeover that has not changed. I admire the fact that you let us know that you can purchase something now and then. To hide that fact would be completely disingenuous.Miss Mustard Seed is a brand! Why on earth is that a problem? You are living the ideals that we claim to hold so dear. Growth should be rewarded and praised. I wish we could just be happy for one another and hold each other up. I enjoy your blog and look forward to every post. I also enjoy design ramblings, it often makes me smile and chuckle. Dont let others insecurities put you in a box. Theres nothing sadder than a person who goes through life bitter about others success.

  203. Marian, I’m really glad I can only read a few of the comments and can’t seem to figure out how to see the 258 that went before them. I feel very much the “Mama Bear” in me that wants to come out right now !!! I can’t believe all the criticism. I have quite a few opinions to share myself:
    *Your blog was the second blog I followed and that was several years ago. I’ve been lead to other good blogs from your blog roll (which most other bloggers don’t have….HELLO PEEPS). I think this shows that you celebrate other women and their talents and are not afraid to lose any part of the market.
    *Your style is unique to you and you are true to it….what do people expect….for you to change your style so that they have new content to view every week. You are Miss Mustard Seed and you demonstrate “Mustard Seed style”, again, hello peeps !!! People should go to other blogs for different inspiration, there are plenty of newbies in blog land that haven’t discovered you and when they do, they will know they “are home” because your style is what they’ve dreamed of in their head only they had no idea how to execute it.
    *People want new and different tutorials….you have more tutorials than any blogger I know and on more subjects than any blogger I have read. I follow you, and I follow people on YouTube. Many have limited videos. You have tutorials about how to do things that fit your style. Why would people think that you would show how to reupholster or pain a Mid Century Modern piece for instance. There are other blogs that do it I’m sure. You do your thing well and I’m sure they do theirs well.
    *Same ole, same ole”….I beg to differ. You produce more posts than many other bloggers with genuine content. Sure I may find one here and there that doesn’t knock my socks off but it’s not because it isn’t good content, it’s because my style is evolving and I now look to a couple of other bloggers for inspiration as well. I try to take from you and them and meld together to make my own style. Many other bloggers (and I’m not knocking them) take pictures of the of the same things over and over but may change the flowers, lighting, accessories, etc. You offer A LOT of content.
    *Ads ???…. your look is a passion and a business. For you to remain sustainable, you need sponsors as well as sales of your products so that you can continue to give us great ideas by blogging for us….multiple times a week.

    I could go on and on but my rant is over. Marian, I love what you do even though I love what some others do as well. I will always follow you. My advice to you is to stay true to who you are and what you love to do. You offer much more than many other blogger I have read and you put your heart and soul into it. I feel like you are an old friend and you have inspired me to be creative after many years of no creativity due to life circumstances. I owe you much gratitude for that. My heart aches that some of these comments may cause you any sadness. You are doing what God put you on this earth to do and I think he is the one to consult on going forward. He will show you the direction your path should take….. Much love, Rhonda

    1. Well said Rhonda!
      Hi Marian, I just wanted to tell you how much you’ve inspired me!
      From the minute I read your book I knew that I needed more and I was delighted to find out that you had a blog! Your blog has never disappointed me, it’s like a breath of fresh air! It’s your transparency and your genuineness and your gift for decorating and teaching that brings me back for more. Thank you for how much time and effort, thought ,prayer and hard work you put into your blog.
      Please don’t let the negative comments make you reconsider your efforts. You are the real thing…
      I love your honesty and your concern for your readers….thanks for asking and caring. Debbie H

  204. Love your blog! I’ve been a stalker for several years, but I have never left a comment. Please don’t change a thing….keep doing what you are doing.

    You are such an inspiration!

  205. Marian,
    I SO ADMIRE what you do with your blog. I have been reading nearly everyday for a year and a half. And when I “met” you through your posts, I marveled at how authentic you are, how honest, and how much of yourself you reveal to your readers. You are so, so talented! Plus, it takes courage and character to put yourself out there. Inspiring on many levels!

    I now follow about 20 blogs, and yours is my favorite. I am only commenting because you asked, but this relationship we have is rather unusual! I actually feel like I know you and that if we met we could be friends, but at the same time I would never have the courage to be so open about myself and my life in a blog and certainly not have the confidence to put my ideas out there as you do. So, would you even be interested in expanding your circle of friends to include someone like me who is a kindred spirit, but really only a reader?! It’s really such a strange situation where if we met, you’d not know anything about me, but I’d know so many of the struggles you’ve been through and so many personal details about you. I think what I’m trying to say is that people who have followed you for some time feel they can take some liberties and make judgements about your choices and what you choose to include in your blog…. and this goes back to this “unusual” relationship of blogger & readers!

    I for one, LOVED when you showed us your shopping finds. They were my favorite posts. And, I completely understand the concept of the blog being a commercial exercise, so understand the need for ads. But, I personally hate the intrusive type ads, so I contribute to your business by purchasing from the blog and buying your product line, and install AdBlock Plus to make the reading experience tolerable again! I kept getting ads that actually “attach” themselves to your photos to follow me around as I look at your fabulous photography. So, I found a solution.

    Congratulations on your success! I am so happy for you! You have what it takes and it’s so refreshing to read about. I happen to love so many of your favorite things myself, but even if I didn’t it’s infectious to read about your experiences and a breath of fresh air. I think you have stayed “down to earth” and it’s appreciated.

  206. Your blog is very well balanced. You go through seasons in your life and you take us with you. Sometimes the focus is on creating things (like the mad rush to Luckett’s), sometimes you teach us new techniques, sometimes you share a new adventure (your shop or a photo shoot), sometimes you feature a product that is in line with your style, sometimes you just chat with Kriste. It feels natural and organic to me. Compared to other blogs, you rarely hawk random things just for the sake of a buck. And I feel comfortable with what you share about your personal life. Not too much, but enough that we get to know you. How many people commented that your blog was one of the first they connected with? You are the standard to which others compare themselves. I don’t like to see you beat up for someone else’s personal preferences. I don’t expect you to conform to me. I look forward to your posts in all forms, in whatever season you are in the midst of at the time. Please take all our comments with a grain of salt. The big picture is you are doing it right.

  207. I subscribed to your blog KNOWING much of it would likely not interest me. I have antique furniture I wouldn’t dream of touching with a paint brush. I live thousands of miles away from you and the flea markets you attend interest me not a whit. I do not follow fads (chalk paint, milk paint), etc., though I enjoy looking at those projects. However, what did pique my interest was some of the more unusual things you showed — a painted or natural wood dresser, for instance, painted in an all-white floral or folk-art design. “Hmmmm,” I thought, “I’ve got a ratty old Victorian dresser in the basement that perhaps I could decorate that way!” In other words, MY interests mesh partially with YOUR interests — I read what I find interesting and skip over the things that don’t apply to my own situation. I would love to see videos of your transforming old pieces with paint, more “how to” videos, etc. Otherwise, I say “well done.” I never thought I was going to find EVERYTHING you do applicable to my own situation.

  208. It is very brave of you to put yourself out there like that. I only read a few comments but I gather some of the earlier comments may not be that kind. All I can say is to take those comments with a grain of salt. If they really don’t like what you are doing then why were they even reading your post? Whether people like you or not they are following what you do. I live on the West Coast of Canada and I can tell you that you have a lot of influence here, even thousands of miles away. Not to mention you have followers all over the world. If I may offer some advice, stay true to you. “Do what you love, love what you do” and as Taylor Swift says “the haters gonna hate, …shake it off” you are as successful as you are because of who you are and what you do. Enough said!
    I have been following your blog for several years now and yours is the only one that I actually still continue to read. The positives as I see them are: You are down to earth, honest and kindhearted which is becoming so rare these days. I love that you don’t charge a fortune for your painted furniture although I’m sure you could. Your products have maintained their quality and the prices are still reasonable despite your huge success. I always enjoy seeing the furniture makeovers, they can be very inspiring. I especially liked seeing the design evolution of the rooms in your house. Negatives: “Design Ramblings” probably because they are mostly ramblings, perhaps a different format would be more appealing? Maybe you could do surveys on these subjects and let us know the results? That way we can all join in and get the facts on the issue not just speculation.
    If I could make a request, I would like to say that I would love to know the evolution of your business. In more detail than you have shared to this point. For example “How did you come up with a milk paint line?(I don’t want to copy but would be fascinated with the process)” “What lead you to start this blog? And how did you learn how to start one?” “What things would you have done differently?” Etc, etc.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences, tutorials and your life with us.

  209. I really enjoy your posts tremendously. I learned a lot from your technique posts; in fact, most of what I feel I have learned came from them. I’ll never be at the level you are, but I think I reached what I could do from your tutorials. I have been guilty of deleting some of it simply from the tagline for a while as it had the book listed first in my emails, so I thought it was about the book. Then I went back and caught up. 🙂 I think you have to search to do what is best for you, realizing all may not follow. I just encourage you to do what you feel is best, but still include your “how I did this” or “how to” type posts. People really do learn from them and they are always inspiring. I also feel when you endorse a product, it’s a good endorsement and every thing you have endorsed that I have purchased has been excellent. Never felt it contrived at all. Best of luck in whatever course you choose. Just remember those of us who really learn from you. 🙂

  210. So you have become more commercialized — SO WHAT– you have Sponsors that you are responsible to that have brought you this far,. Without them where else will you be? Its called success, Be Proud, Be Grateful, Be Happy. You do not need to share more of your Passion or Soul than you already have. Do you have to tweak occasionally– Absolutely because it so easy as a Human Being to get dragged down in Same old–Same old. By the way I am new to the site but it broke my heart to read the critiques of what they DO NOT LIKE vs. WHAT THEY DO. I luv your site, keep up they great ideas and information.

  211. Your blog has been an inspiration to me. I love your earlier posts because they appealed to a wider audience especially those of us in love with your decorating style and how we can achieve that design on a budget. I also would like to hear more from you about your faith and I enjoyed when you shared your “real self”, it makes you more relatable to all of your readers. I love you blog and I think you are a little too hard on yourself. I like seeing your how to videos, and I think Kristie is an asset to you. I watch “design ramblings” and i enjoy hearing both of you talk about your thoughts on design. Keep up the good work Marian, don’t second guess what God has given you.

  212. Dear Marian,

    Thank you for your blog. Thank you for sharing your home, your thoughts, and your talents with the world. I found your blog less than a year ago via The Lettered Cottage and immediately subscribed. After searching around I realized that I had actually discovered you years before. I shopped your various booths at Lucketts and I had a copy of your book on my coffee table. You inspire me to make my home beautiful for my family. I have always been a decorating magazine junkie and your blog feels that way to me, only more personal. It’s my treat during my busy life to open and read your blog.
    There was an earlier comment from Lydia that is not showing up now that resonated with me. I also would love to see the more mundane ares of your home like the basement, pantry, garage, and laundry room. These utilitarian rooms are a challenge for me and I would like to see how you have tackled them. I fully admit that I am a voyuer when it comes to peeking at other people’s homes, so if you are not comfortable sharing these areas, no worries!
    Since you presented the question, I’m feeling a little greedy about what I want . I would love tips for us laypeople on how to sell our extra furniture and decorating stuff we are finally able to part with; how to organize our extra decorating stuff we aren’t ready to part with; more on your clothing (loved the article on the stylist); and more about your family. But this is selfish of me and if you don’t include any of my suggestions, it’s ok because I will still get excited when your blog hits my email!
    I admire your bravery open yourself up to all of our comments. I admire your talent. But I especially admire that you have been able to grow your blog into a successful business! You are an inspiration!
    ~Stacie

  213. i have been following you for over three years now. I googled milk paint to get more information and you popped up. I remember it was a Christmas home tour. I thought your home was beautiful and yours was the first blog I ever followed. I follow you mainly for home decor ideas and your beautiful furniture. I would like to see more projects with layering your paints and also how to use milk paint over previously painted pieces where that paint is an undesirable color. It seems like a lot of your pieces are wood pieces with no previous paint on them. As far as design ramblings I think it would be more interesting if you showed more examples of what you are talking about. You’ve done that a little but I’m a visual person so pictures would be great. I loved the video of Lucketts. I live too far away to attend so I was inspired by all the beautiful things. I love your paint and your blog.

  214. Dear Marian,

    I actually responded yesterday and want to add to it after seeing some posts that were less than pleasant. I have decided I wished you hadn’t posed the question at all…!!!

    Only because I would rather you be spared the hurt that some of the posts are sure to cause.

    This is YOUR blog…not ours…you have been most gracious to invite us into your home, heart, life, world, family and thoughts…which is far more than any of us deserve from you…

    Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about…I certainly don’t have a blog…I can’t begin to imagine how much work you put into this blog and certainly don’t want the haters that have shown their true colors here on this blog to be anywhere near me or my world. But what I do know is that I follow you because you bring me exactly what you set out to bring to everyone when you started this blog. Yeah, maybe I skip over a couple posts each week, but so what? You can’t expect to be everything to everyone…that’s why there are more than just one blog in blog land…

    You are brave, beautiful (inside and out), strong, inspirational and a joy. YOU clearly move mountains!
    Please, Please, Please stay true to yourself…if you lose a few readers along the way…well then…good riddance…they just weren’t meant to be…

    At the end of the day, you are loved more than you will ever know.

  215. I just know from your words and how you have literally opened your door to thousands of strangers, that you are a kind, generous person. I always check your posts, I may not always have a chance to comment…but I always stop by. Thank you for taking us in, often taking us under your wing, and for letting us “tag along” with you…I love that. I love to see your finds, love hearing about your selling adventures, love seeing the love & care you give to your home & workshop…and often wish I lived closer. I enjoy your ramblings…and feel like I am sitting right there with you. So take from all the comments what you will, but stay real to yourself. Gathering feedback is good every now & again, but you get to decide what to do with it! There is a reason you have achieved the success you have…and I have no doubt I will someday tune in to watch you on HGTV…I personally cannot wait. Miss Mustard Seed, dear Marian…you rock! xxoo

  216. Marian:
    Thank you for asking this question because I have been wanting to ask a question of my own. You’ve been so generous in sharing your success ~ which is truly awesome ~ but I’d love to understand how you do it. I started painting furniture about three or so years ago and it’s about all I can do to paint the furniture. It’s only late at night every week or so that I try and photoshop my photos (which are hopefully decent) and post on my website. I can’t imagine where I’d find the time to paint furniture, blog nearly every day with beautifully styled photos and keep up with the accounting side of the business. But you’ve done it and made it look easy (although I know it is anything but easy).

    I’ve love a series on how you’ve accomplished so much, the behind-the-scenes work, to hopefully take away an inspiration or an idea on how I can apply it to my business. Did you work 20 hours a day, 7 days a week for a few years? Did you hire or have family help you paint and blog? Your journey will help so many others in their personal journey painting furniture, blogging and trying to run an effective and professional small business.

    Thanks, Marian, for all that you’ve done for other painters, diyers and the legions of others who have been inspired by you and your furniture.

  217. I’ve been following you for a long time- way before you became a brand and I just wanted to take the time to say thank you. I can only imagine the enormous amount of time it takes to not just develop content but to also photograph, edit, and publish on a regular schedule. Thank you for consistently sharing your talents with us!
    While painting furniture and arranging your home is an interesting skill it’s not what will always make me a huge fan. It’s your courage. You’ve shown thousands of women that it’s okay to doubt yourself, it’s okay to be self taught, it’s okay to make mistakes- just keep showing up, work hard, have faith, and good things will happen.
    I think if the tenor of your posts have changed its perhaps just the difference between working on projects to fluff your own nest because you want to and working on something as part of your “work”. Let’s face it, the 300th time you work on a dresser can’t possibly feel as exciting as the first few times when it was going into your home.
    Be true to yourself and know that your voice has caused ripples in a very good way. Thank you for that!

  218. Dear Marian,

    I would like to thank you. I can confidently say that you have changed my life. Since I discovered your blog some years ago, you have inspired and taught me so much, that not only has my home changed forever, but my whole approach to life is different. You gave me the courage to try things that I never imagined I could do. Thank you!

    If I could have more of any one thing on your blog, it would be for a pro like you to share your tips and tricks for us beginners. With any technique, we all learn things along the way. For me on a tight budget, sometimes I allow this to stand in my way of embarking on a project, knowing that I’ll look at my first effort with the feeling that I’d do it differently next time round if I could have my time over.

    A while ago when the great curtain debate was raging, you mentioned that one of the reasons for removing your curtain panels was that you had learned a lot about making curtains since you made them. I’d love to know this kind of stuff. Sort of a “Things I’ve learned along the way about…”

    Another example, what influences your decision in choosing upholstery piping cord? We don’t have the brand you mentioned in your early slipcover video series so how to choose from the great array of widths and materials – I confess that this simple decision has completely stopping me in my tracks from even attempting slip covers!

    Whilst I have embraced your belief that ‘it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful’, when money is tight I feel that the pressure is on to get it (nearly) right first time. I would find it invaluable for someone of your experience to point out a few of the pitfalls with different techniques to spare us beginners from making rookie mistakes.

    Thanks for what you do.

  219. I’ve been following your blog for two years now and I fell in love with your style instantly! It fuels my creativity and wild tendencies to move furniture on a daily basis! I’m always shoving my phone under my husbands nose saying, “Look! Look at what Miss Mustard Seed did! Isn’t that fantastic?! I need to do that!!!” Anyway, I’m such a fan. I have never felt let down as a follower. I’ve witnessed a bit of evolution in your style even in the short time I’ve been reading your blog. I do think my favorite aspect of your blog is your house. I always want to see you switch it up or add a chair here etc. When you went to the studio I found I wasn’t quite as interested (that’s just me!). Just buy another house and keep that as your “studio house” and keep redoing it over and over! Hehehe! No, I think what I want to see when you’re in the studio is “how to” videos. I like the Design Rambling series as well. I love tutorials and millions of glorious pictures (I’m sooooooo visual I’m lopsided!) The evolution of your house is hands down one of my favorites! I love when you list details. And I mean absolutely everything. Before and afters, prices, paint colors, failures as someone said, details, Details!!!! Thanks for doing that! Oh, one more thing, Im waiting for you to do a new and deeply detailed version of your slipcover how to video series. I need serious help. I have a gazillion floral hand me down pieces clashing with each other in my living room – Miss Mustard See to the rescue!!!!!!!

    1. Oh one more thing. The one thing I pretty much always skip over, and I’m a die hard fan,is the feature Friday’s. I’m afraid that I’m never really interested at all. Maybe that helps. Ok, so now a cheer for all things Miss ustard Seed. Hip hip Horaaaaaay!!!

  220. Marian,

    I really debated commenting on this post – which is kind of funny, since I try to say hi and thank you for sharing on almost all the other posts you post. I think I was a little daunted by the 250ish comments that you had already and wasn’t really sure I had anything more to add to what I am sure is a variety of viewpoints and opinions (and maybe I don’t). I tried not to read them because I really just wanted to say hi and thank you for sharing. I have been following your blog for the past 3 years. As I moved into my new home, your inspiration was right there to help me feel like I could take this place that was a real mess and turn it into the haven I thought it could be. I pored over pictures of your home and the tutorials that you shared not because I wanted to copy what you had done, but because you are so sure of your style and your abilities and your willingness to just give it a shot. I showed my husband Jeff’s top tool recommendations (which were so helpful, and made great additions to our growing collection) and just felt like I had taken control of making my home what I wanted it to be. The feeling of empowerment has helped me through some pretty frustrating situations. That being said, you can count on me as a loyal follower. I loved your Home Evolution series because it is a gentle reminder that things are not picture perfect on the first (or second) go-around. Of course I am always excited about a makeover or tutorial because seeing potential in something old or worn is a skill that needs practice. And Design Ramblings makes my Saturday morning cup of coffee even more enjoyable. I savor new content, but I don’t want you slap together a blog post just for the sake of doing so. I guess what I want to say is that I think your enthusiasm for your work and the enjoyment you get from the design process is evident to me in what you share. It would be such a shame for something to change that. Stay classy, Marian. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  221. Marian, just be yourself, it has been successful so far! There isn’t anything in your blog I don’t like, so I am just going to give some ideas for you to think about. ( I love brain storming) would love to see your Moms house or parts of it. or do tablescapes with her things. (or other peoples) Also, would like to see her and Kriste’s Mom on Design Ramblings. More photos of your makeover furniture outside, unexpected places, or your different background moveable walls in your studio. Ideas for using family photos in decorating (not ancestors) other than gallery wall. Start furniture makeovers way before your shows. Have your boys or people in your photos even if its not there face. (ex.) when you did photos of their room, one on the bed reading a book, one on the floor playing with toy.
    Thats all I have right now. Enjoy your journey and hope to see you one TV one day!!!

  222. You were the very first blogger that I started to follow. I learned about the blog world through you and learned about other bloggers. Because of you I learned how to make slipcovers and discovered my love of ironstone and realized that I have always loved the farmhouse style and finally found someone else who does, too. I learned about milkpaint and mustered the courage to paint my first piece in Boxwood after watching your instructional videos. Your Evolution series inspired me. I’ve had A-ha moments while pouring over your blog pictures and IG posts. You are a natural leader, teacher, writer and photographer. I love learning from you. You have and continue to inspire me.

  223. Thank you for being open to this. This is a hard thing to willingly invite criticism. But as a fellow artist and creative spirit, I think you’ll take this in the way it is intended – with kindness and with the exciting chance for growth and improvement. Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes, so to speak.
    I’ve been following your blog for quite a long time and have seen it change over the months. I still enjoy seeing your home, but I feel like every day we get soooo many shots of your home. And it feels like this has turned into a blog about your house. I miss seeing the dirty, gritty before/during/after projects and the tales of dumpster diving. I have no idea what’s going on in your basement or your studio shop. I miss shots of your adventures outside your home. I miss the how-to’s, the tips and tricks, and the projects. That’s why I signed on initially. I feel like things are a little stagnate and I’m seeing the same or similar things every day I log on.
    And, while beautiful, I guess I must be a bit of a minimalist because when I see 6 photos of the same thing, I just skip through and scroll to the bottom. I can appreciate them through an artist’s and photographer’s eyes and know that it takes many, many shots to find one that’s just right. But in a blog format I don’t want to sift through them like an artist’s proof portfolio. I’m trusting you to find just one or two shots to convey the story. I also miss the “big picture” photos. It’s easy to get caught up in a new lens or piece of equipment but remember, we are visiting your blog-home to get all sorts of information and ideas. Yes, we want to see close-up details, but we also want to see how that tiny plant or accessory works and breathes and jives with the entire room.
    Thanks for listening and don’t take this too hard or let it get you down, we really are all rooting for you! That’s why we’re still here. 🙂

  224. I think you need to work on other’s homes and projects for others, as an interior designer. Show the results of your work that you do for your clients.

    Also maybe ask readers to submit photos of their problem-rooms and you can give some advice and mood boards for them.

    In other words, I think it would be very interesting for you to branch out of your house and into other’s homes.

  225. Your blog is one of the few I keep reading because I learn so much. The pictures are soothing and even if I’ve seen them in another blog I still enjoy them and marvel how it all looks different when you rearrange or add just one new element. It’s amazing what you’ve done with your home. I don’t know how you find the time to write everyday. You’re an inspiration! Please keep it going:)

  226. Hi Marian,
    I would guess I have been looking at your blog since 2009/2010. I had started an online degree program then and your blog was a break from school work. It hit a cord with me then because I had babies, no budget, and was craigslisting to get all my furnishings but still wanted a cute home. Here you were hustling like me but in a little different way. I would say stay true your roots to remain authentic. It is truly wonderful you have achieved so much success that Annie Selke is sending you stuff from pine cone hill and dash and albert, but remember the chick you were when trolling that site was just dreaming. I totally get high and low, steal and splurge, and mixing pieces of different values and all that, but the roots part of you is what is charming. Kind of the reason why you still do Lucketts even though I suspect at this point with a book, a paint line and contracts etc- you don’t need to. I like furniture feature Friday because I like to see other bloggers style and imagination but sometimes it can seem like the same pieces are there week after week like an online sale of sorts. From your blogroll of other bloggers I have found dreamy whites and ana-white, other people who are doing more with less. I have enjoyed that. I do look at design ramblings from time to time but in truth it is often lengthy and I cannot look at it at work. I loved your old portfolio section which is now gone or not on mobile? From the mobile site I do not see the “mustard seed pages” or the actual “milk paint” section of the blog which I liked too- maybe if i was still on my pc more (degree program complete!). Just stay true to yourself and your beginning. There is already one Martha, and I like Marian much better than her.. Lets see Marian has never done jail time…. (I don’t think any way?). Oh that brings up a point as your infamy grows I could understand that you might share less online about your family and personal stuff- because then you encounter strangers asking about stuff- I don’t know what to say about that, how to remain approachable but maintain personal privacy- why I do not have a blog…

  227. Hi Marian,
    One more idea- our house is on the market now and a post about living through that especially from the mind of a.blogger or design professional would be interesting because there’s the stuff that you do for your family and then there’s the house you show to buyers. Hiding the toothbrushes and all that

  228. I’ve thought about leaving a comment for a few days now. I decided to go ahead because I was just getting ready to unsubscribe from your blog and I thought the timing seemed coincidental. I first started reading this after searching for tutorials on chalk painting furniture. That’s what I wanted to learn more about. Your painted furniture is beautiful! I have used the paint and I think its unique and really transforms furniture in a creative way. I love the before and after pics and the processes you use.

    You are running a successful business. Your blog has to be what works for your business. As the consumer, I decide if the content works for me. Lately, I do not feel that I learn much when I go ahead and click on the “read more” in my email. Learning more about painting furniture is my goal for taking the time to read this blog. For example, I have had a green thumb nearly all my life. Reading about plants in ironstone teacups does not interest me from your blog. I am not going to learn much from your sudden interest and the start of a journey into gardening. I have tried Kriste’s blog from the paint side and I can breeze through a few blogs in a short time and learn a bit, but not a lot.

    I will also say that I get the feeling that there is a bit more “look at me” instead of a “here’s how” attitude. I really hesitate to say this too. I have read the comments and anyone who has taken the time to respond with any criticism is quickly labelled as a “green-eyed monster” and “jealous” by other readers. It could also be that those responders with criticisms are answering a question with complete honesty as this post asked them to do. I find it sad to watch readers cut others down, because they took the time to answer your question and it wasn’t all glowing praise. You are sooooo brave to ask. I hope the responses help you in the way you want.

    The evolution of this blog is for you to decide. The consumer decides if it works for them.

    1. Gen wrote:

      It could also be that those responders with criticisms are answering a question with complete honesty as this post asked them to do. I find it sad to watch readers cut others down, because they took the time to answer your question and it wasn’t all glowing praise. You are sooooo brave to ask. I hope the responses help you in the way you want.

      Hear, hear! I am not sure why readers – not Marian, who asked for constructive criticism and has responded with grace and class – don’t understand that people are taking the TIME to give their thoughts (which have been well-thought out and honest, from what I have read) and are then labeled as “jealous” or “haters.” This immature, “fangirl” behavior just muddies the waters of what Marian is trying to accomplish.

      This kind of response will keep some folks from giving their thoughts, as they just don’t need the drama. The readers may want to step back and look at what Marian was asking for instead of rushing to silence well-meaning readers – or worse – sending people to the unsubscribe button.

      Sharon

      1. Sharon. I beg to differ-I have to say that I cheered for those readers who actually came to Marion’s support- I assume they think of her as a friend- and you’d never allow a friend to be man-handled as some of the criticisms seem to have done. You can’t blame them for that..

  229. I have been reading yours and other blogs for a few years now. Many of them have evolved into successful business with lots of ads, sponsors, etc. They are sleek and professional. Unfortunately they are not as much fun to read. While I appreciate gorgeous pictures I don’t need so many of them and don’t really care how you obtain them. I am happy for your success but don’t really spend any time on your blog anymore. I agree with other people in that the design ramblings are not interesting. And if you want total honesty I tried the milk paint and find it to be way too expensive for the results, I much prefer the chalk paint that you started with.

  230. I discovered your blog a couple years ago and enjoy it as much now, if not more. Watching you grow and evolve your business has been fascinating and wonderful, and your partnerships feel natural and fit your design sensibility. It’s awesome that you’ve been able to build a thriving business with a blog, when many others cannot. And I don’t feel ever feel like you’re selling out to make a buck, the way I often do with other bloggers. I loved the posts about creating the studio, the evolution of your home, your work and friendship with Kriste, the way your family supports your work, all of it. Love Jeff’s posts, too! I welcome more tutorials and step-by-steps for beginners, info on choosing the best materials and products, how to spot high quality in furniture and fabrics, and tips on building a business. Design Ramblings is real and fun, and you and Kriste are pretty darn cute. I binge watch them 4-5 at a time. The mix of content works perfectly for me, because it’s true to what’s going on in your life at a given moment. I’d love it if you share more and go deeper, if you’d take us shopping with you and keep talking about the beauty and wonder of design. Stay true to what you love, keep growing and evolving and creating and writing. You’ve created something lovely, special, humble and genuine.

  231. Hello Marian. Like so many others, yours was the first blog I found and subscribed to. I’m pretty sure I watched your instructional video on painting your kitchen cabinets 20 times before I had the nerve to paint my office built ins. Thank you! I no longer subscribe because of all the commercials and pop ups, but I do check in a couple of times and read what interests me. I’ve really enjoyed your recent home series! You are a talented writer and photographer, and of course I love your furniture! From a business perspective, smart move to do more videos — with your music theatre background, I could certainly see you with your own show at some point, so getting comfortable in front of the camera can only help you. I was worried you may have jumped the shark with the post about mail order clothes — where they pick out the clothes for you?? Bad idea. But I’ve found that if I stay away from sponsored posts (and that’s true for all blogs) I really enjoy reading them and always seem to learn something new! Hope this is helpful. 😀

    1. Cynthia – If I could offer you a suggestion – install ADBLOCK. It’s the best thing I ever did. It’s free software you install and it literally blocks ALL unwanted ads, sponsored or otherwise. I was so tired of my yahoo emails and blog favorites taking forever to load because of the annoying loading of ads.
      No more with ADBLOCK – you’ll love the commercial free surfing of the internet (and that includes this blog). The software is free, just goggle it. I am by no means a techie and have no interest in the company the company that offers the software. Just a regular reader who got tired and annoyed by the constant bombardment.

      I truly enjoy MMS blogs without all the interference.
      Go install it!! 🙂

      1. Sandi is right- AdBlock takes care of all those pesky ads that do nothing but annoy us:-) My husband installed it on our computers and it’s just great.I see none on Marion’s site .NONE 🙂

  232. I too loved your evolution of a room series! I devoured it, read every word! I saw you at Haven, but did not have the chance to say hello. I was thrilled to see you though! I most love to see your own home, and secretly hope that one day I will be around to see you move into a new house and start from scratch, just so I can see you do it all over again. Keep giving us more of that! As for what you wrote, it is refreshing to see that kind of honesty, congratulations for having the courage to write it! There really isn’t much that you are doing wrong in my opinion. Just keep being you and give us more of you. As for what I want from you, some free samples of milk paint wouldn’t hurt!! #i’llblogaboutit #kiddingnotkidding

  233. I’m always behind the 8 ball when it comes to reading all of the blogs i subscribe to, so I’m coming to you a little late. (But I’m also chronically late to everything else in life, too. I’m one of *those* people!) I rarely leave comments, but I just had to chime in on this one.

    I started reading your blog several years ago. I had just found home decorating blogs and was blown away by how many talented women were out there transforming their homes. But of all the blogs I’ve subscribed to (and they are legion) yours is hands down my favorite. No question.

    Our home we lived in for 18 years (just moved a year ago) was desperate. And old. And ugly. I was constantly picking up decorating magazines at the grocery, looking for help but never really finding it on a consistent basis. In any given issue there would be one really great home with a style I loved, then three more that I just couldn’t jive with. When I found you and your style, I knew I had finally found what I was really looking for all those years. I loved your motto “Move mountains in your home” and I know it may sound weird, but I totally took those words to heart. I finally got serious about making much needed changes to turn our ugly house into that cute little home I’d always wanted. I stopped being afraid to make the wrong choices and forced myself to be brave. I told my husband that if Miss Mustard Seed could change her life by starting a little blog, I could surely decorate our house and make it homey.

    And when we moved last summer and I had to start all over in a new style home (from prefab ranch to a farmhouse – my dream!), I bogged down again, completely overwhelmed. It took me months to finally choose a basic gray to cover up the harvest gold walls (I’m a little sad just typing that! ha ha). But once I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and got painting, I heard you telling me again to move mountains in my home. And I thought, I can do this.

    So for me, I think the joy of your blog has been watching your style unfold in front of all of us and your business blossom. I love how so many of your furniture find stories involve your parents picking things up for you (ti’s the kind of thing my parents would do for me). I love your home evolution series, and I think that it resonates with almost all of your readers. I love that I feel encouraged to try something new (I’m still considering a houseplant. Maybe. It’s a big commitment.). I love your kitchen counters and totally copied it at my old house, right down to the roman ogee edge. It was exactly what I wanted. And when we moved, the farmhouse sink and butcher block counter garnered more compliments than any other project we’d done. And I think that’s the essence of any well done blog – you inspire and I put my own spin on it and make it work for me and my family in my own home. Mountain moved.

    I’ve enjoyed when you’ve shared something personal (your son’s diabetes diagnosis is one that comes to mind), but I’ve always had the sense from your writing that you’re quiet, introspective, thoughtful, and maybe even introverted. I don’t really know, it’s just an impression. And I think that’s totally ok, I think starting personal, intimate details of your life with strangers over the internet isn’t for everyone. I like that your style, your way, isn’t loud and boisterous. That’s fun, and I enjoy those style of blogs as well, but it certainly wouldn’t match your quiet, thoughtful decorating style. So when you aren’t super personal, I don’t think too much of it because I get the sense that maybe it’s not really your thing.

    The thing that’s bringing loyal readers back to your blog is your unique style. Your spin on a piece of furniture. Your willingness to stretch yourself and try something new. I appreciate that you’ve been willing to put yourself out there, sharing your own style journey, encouraging all of us readers on our own style journeys. You put out content that feels right to you, be true to your own gut, and we will keep on reading. Thanks! 🙂

  234. Marian,

    I haven’t read ALL the comments but I thought I would share my thoughts. First let me say that I LOVE your blog!! But I do think it has changed a bit recently.
    When I first started reading it felt more “personal”. I think because you were working in your home…and it made us think “I can do that in my home”. Now that you are in a “business” space it seems as if the blog is more about your business. And really that makes sense because this blog is about your journey …and this is where your journey has taken you.
    When your blog was about your learning new things and then sharing them with us, we felt that we could follow along. Even the business things (like the paint line) because you were learning new things that you shared with us. Now that it is truly a business I think that many people feel left behind and maybe that it isn’t as interesting because you are just repeating the same things (because it IS a business and that is what you have to do in a business!)

    I still love your writing/photography and I enjoy your blog …but one of the things I hate are the pop-up ads. And this may be a perfect example of what I feel is the change in your blog. I have resisted getting Ad Blocker because I know that all bloggers have to be paid for the work they do–and I want to support the blogs I read, since I enjoy reading them. Adding pop-up adds might be a good business decision (you will make more money ) it feels very commercial and is VERY VERY annoying. It feels as if you (the blogger) are just in it to make AS MUCH money as possible even at the expense of the quality of the experience for the reader. So the blog has become a business instead of a passion you are sharing. There is one blog that I used to read but there are so many ads that it takes a long time to load (and there are also pop-up ads) so I just skip it.

    I feel a little sad because I have seen other bloggers go through the same process and decide to stop blogging–and it feels like losing a friend. Because I do feel that you are a friend. A very good friend that has inspired me in so many ways. I appreciate all that you do in keeping the blog going (I’m sure I don’t have any idea of the amount of work that goes into it)
    As I said this blog is about YOUR journey and I feel blessed that you have shared it with us. I hope you will continue the blog.

  235. I can’t comment on how different your blog is today verses when you first started since I came across your blog about 2 years ago while researching milk paint. But when I did find it, it was love at first sight!
    I love your tutorials on painting, slipcovering, decorating – and the evolution series was just what I needed at a time when I trying to work through some décor issues with most of the rooms in our house!
    I’m a kindred spirit when I look at the rooms in your home – that’s how I want my rooms to look like when they ‘grow up’, and seeing your spaces has been soooooo helpful. I was always looking for the instant gratification, and somehow my rooms didn’t quite look right. Through your blog I realize how much I settled in order to have things finished…which were then not quite finished because I didn’t like the end result (even when family/guests loved the style, I knew it wasn’t quite right – I’d cheated myself just to get-‘er-done). My rooms are evolving slowly in a way I really love and the credit for that goes to you. Also, knowing what you buy and how much you pay for keeps it real. Now when I see something I love, I think of your advice; that helps me keep from over-spending money we really don’t have.
    Things I’m not fond of…the photography pointers: although I realize that’s helpful for current and future bloggers, so, I’m fine that it provides something for others, and I just pass it by.
    The Lucketts series: I live so far from it, so its not something that interests me.
    The pop-up ads: I realize they help pay the bills, but there are so many that I think it detracts from your blog.
    Scale of 1-10, with 10 being the cat’s pajamas, I’d rate your blog a 9. Great work, beautiful home and wonderful tips and tutorials!

  236. Marian I am sure you have not seen my Haven recap post, but it was basically all about so desperately wanting to meet YOU while I was there–because you are my inspiration! You were the first blog I ever read and to this day one of the few I read regularly. Your work is amazing, thank you for sharing it with us over the years. And don’t worry, my post isn’t like “I’m a freaky Miss Mustard Seed Stalker,” but actually talks through how I learned at Haven to celebrate all of the moments of growth and learning, not just trying to always get the “big win”. If you get a chance to read it I think it will make you chuckle. Have a wonderful weekend–I will miss FFF, but understand all good things must come to an end.

  237. Your blog is a lovely little escape for me each day. I come for the eye-candy. Your style is different from mine – but I love to see what you’re up to and what you’re working on and excited about. I get ideas. I get inspiration. I wish I lived closer so that I could attend Lucketts! It looks amazing and I love the anticipation and hype as you gear up for it each year. I love learning how you’ve painted or sewn certain things. I love information about remodelling — your floors, tilework, etc. I love seeing the pieces of ironstone you’ve found. I love your connection with your grandparents, etc and mentions of family history and how meaningful that is for you. I feel a kinship because we have similar budgets! There are too many blogs that I really can’t relate to because I don’t have an enormous bank account. Keep it real!

  238. I really am glad that you did ask these questions. I don’t know if I have anything to add after all the good constructive suggestions I have read. I have read pretty much every post you have ever done since I have found you and have really enjoyed them. However, of late I have felt that you have become a bit stale, i.e. only milk paint pieces instead of different types of paint and the same old same old styles for furniture refinishing, with grain sacks. I really enjoyed the DIY tutorials you made, even the ones you did long ago that you apologize for since they are real. I enjoyed your making something out of nothing which is my forte. This is what I am hoping you do more of in the future. As for FFF I do think that is something that I am glad you are going to replace or redo. I only read the ones you chose, didn’t have time really to look at all of the ones people submitted although I am sure they were all fantastic.

    As to what I would like to see more of is more tutorials, more DIY projects, more simple things that a person like me could do on a tight budget. Different fabrics besides grain sacks, that for me are way out of my price range. I do like using drop cloths and liked how you showed us how to make faux grain sack fabric from them.

    You have a lot to be proud of in your journey on this blog, it is very successful and I am happy for you. What a great job you have done to take your blog this far and make such a go of it. I only wish you much more success and am waiting here in the wings to see what you come up with in your journey to make your blog even better.

  239. Marian! Woww, after reading so many comments I only want to tell you that I enjoy your blog a lot, you have encouraged me more than you can imagine. Not only because of your style but because I love how enthusiastic and hard worker you are.
    Keep on just like you are, you and your blog are fantastic!!!
    Besos y abrazos (kisses and hugs) from Argentina
    Silvina

  240. Hi Marian!

    I remember a while ago, myself and several readers were vocal-all at the same time-about being tired of your sponsored posts. Well, the MMS diehard fans pretty much crucified us, called us jealous, ungrateful, mean, you get the idea. It was as if we were the step-children at the Sorority cotillion. Like there was a MMS club that we were being drummed out of because we had the temerity to voice a different opinion. So, I unsubscribed. However, I kept coming back, there were still sponsored posts, but I got the feeling they were commitments already made, soon the SP’s were fewer and fewer. Your response us to was to say you would still do the SP’s, but you would do a better job of maintaining your own voice.

    AND YOU HAVE!! You did what you said you were going to do. Well done!

    But we are at a cross roads again, and those usually, hopefully, lead to break throughs and growth. I love your taste, but I am tired of milk paint and French chairs. What about going crazy and doing something in Mid-Century modern or taking something hideous and voila! I love seeing what you have bought, it’s like shopping with a friend. What’s the next big trend, color, style? You are in a better position to know/predict that than most.

    TAKE US THERE!!!!!!!

  241. Tutorials are helpful. I’d like to see what you are really doing in your studio. I like your fashion posts and mentions of your family. I would love to see you decorate a new space. If not your own home (since it’s pretty much done), other people’s homes maybe? I agree that it was time to retire the Friday Furniture link-up. I stopped looking at those long ago.

  242. I’m late to the party but I still would like to add my take on it. I enjoy the projects, the how tos, the ramblings, the links to other blogs. Really found the personal stories interesting, the golden tote? or something like that, whole 30 day plan, etc. I am tired of blue and white. I realize it’s your home, your style so I get it. Do you do design work for others? Can you help complete someone else’s home with painted furniture, or just do a mock up of what they could do with their home? Your extremely talented and I admire all you have your finger in, I just would like to see some fresh things or I should say fresh locations. Can you create more vignettes in your workroom with items that create a different look then blue and white or gray? Items you plan on selling or are working on for a customer. Anyway your blog is one I look at all the time. I keep wanting to send you photos of rooms that are a work in progress because your scale and design ideas are spot on. I think your fabulous and hope I haven’t stepped on any toes.

  243. You draw with paint with such simple, pleasant designs . I’d love a tutorial on how to do that on my own pieces .
    We live in a nice home- some people might think it’s even a fancy house . But what I am constantly seeking is the warmth , the charm , the whimsy that you have created in your home . Thank you for helping me do that .

  244. Hi Marian,
    I just want you to know that I love your blog. I follow only yours and one other on a regular basis. You are an inspiration! You make me believe that I too, as a mom and girl next door, can also be a writer, an entrepreneur, a lover of pursuing a passion and perhaps, just maybe, be successful at it like you are!
    To the naysayers and critics who say your style has changed or your blog has changed (or, you haven’t changed enough) , well, hello?! With growth comes change. For pete’s sake (who is Pete anyway?), a person can choose to read on and page down or not!
    I for one, look forward to whatever direction you decide to take your blog, because after all, it is YOUR blog.
    You asked what I as a reader, want. Well, I love tutorials and how-to videos. I love decorating ideas and creative projects. Oh…just what you have been doing! And whatever or however much you wish to share of yourself personally, that’s up to you. Take it in what direction you feel compelled to take and I as a reader and follower, will click on or not. It’s really that simple.

  245. I used to check your blog daily. I can’t put my finger on exactly when and why that changed, but I find myself checking weekly or less now just to see if something will interest me. I think I found that every post was becoming similar to the previous post. I am sure it can be very difficult to find daily content. You could always scale back on the number of days you post and have more posts that your readers desire.

    Less interested in:
    1. Friday links (never have been)
    2. video chats I will always skip over
    3. One or two days of Lucketts is plenty. Maybe you can have a clickable link at the sidebar of your blog for all those that want Lucketts information like map, parking, schedule, when you’ll be there, etc.
    4. French chair makeovers unless totally different.

    Love:
    1. Tutorials
    2. Video tutorials
    3. Furniture make overs
    4. Room re-dos
    5. Outside/landscaping re-dos
    6. Personal stories are fine occasionally as it connects your readers to you.
    7. Money talk also connects you with your readers. Include the budget and how others can afford to re-do, etc.
    8. It might be fun to see some items that you passed over on purchasing and why – teaching.
    9. What you purchased on your shopping trips
    10. Occasionally featuring another blogger that is top notch

    Maybe you can find another person’s home to redo in a bit different style, but still YOUR style. You are doing great, but with any business changes are good. Thanks.

  246. First of all, I commend you for your success. It is obvious that you are a very hard worker! However, count me in as one of those who don’t check in as often as I used to. The tone of your blog is very different from the beginning when you were very excited to pick up some Christmas ornaments at Walmart on sale after Christmas! I think the turning point for me was when Layla from The Lettered Cottage won your cow naming contest. It was then that I felt you were positioning yourself to get blog hits, raise your Alexa ranking etc.

    I think a very good model for great blogging is Alicia at Posie Gets Cozy. She has been at it a long time, and through it all, has maintained that personal, non-commercial approach. Now, she may not be relying on her blog for income inthe same way that you do, but I feel that when I visit her blog, we are seeing a genuine peek into her life.

    I can’t really give any concrete advice about how to separate wanting to make money with your milk paint business and constantly putting it out there in front of us. It’s one of those dilemmas where success has a double-edged sword of drawing some in and alienating others!

    1. I just checked out that blog.. I guess what you are saying is that here are different blog styles, and that you prefer a blog that allows a continuous glimpse into another family’s life. I am not comfortable with that. I would feel as though I were just a voyeur, and played a minor role as audience in a print reality show. Isn’t Alicia making money from showcasing her family?
      I think it’s fine to allow occasional glimpses into your family life- but there has to be a limit so that the family doesn’t feel on display or even exploited..There was one design blog I used to follow until the author’s detailed descriptions of her daughter’s increasing meltdowns which escalated while on vacation in Europe, and then the quest for a medical diagnosis, finally had me unsubscribe. Maybe it was a catharsis for her, and I was truly sad for her,but I just felt uncomfortable being part of a stranger’s life to such an extent.
      Just a different perspective..:-)

      1. When I first started my blog…even now…my intention is to grow it for maybe a sort of short income later, but now it’s really a vent. I only started it after looking at a craft site that in the middle of nowhere she shared her broken heart and I thought, “You know what? People need more real”. Real people do awesome things and it’s not always easy along the way. I love when I visit a messy home, just to know that mine achieving that status every once in a while is normal. If I post something maybe not so pretty (like those things you feel but don’t see), it’s because I truly believe that God will steer the one person there that is losing hope. I don’t do it to exploit my family in any way, and I do have to honestly say that there have recently been things that I couldn’t share, or at least not yet because they are raw. But someday I will. I have found myself disconnecting a bit though…and planning things in a more closed way.

    2. Isabella,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. It think there is a balance of trust that is established between a blogger and their readers. If you approach a blog with skepticism, not trusting what the blogger says, it’s not going to be a very satisfying experience. For example, I remember when Layla was chosen as the winner of that contest. I was keeping a list of suggested names that I liked, unrelated to who suggested them. At the end of the contest, I picked the name Adele and, when I looked to see who suggested it first, it was Layla. She had won the contest fair and square and I didn’t see a reason to exclude her from winning, just because of her blog. That’s just how it happened. I didn’t have any money-making, blog-growing motives in that decision.

      We make judgements about the motives of others all the time and that’s okay for you to be skeptical. I know if you really knew me, though, you would know that I am honest and fair and that carries over into how the winners for my giveaways are selected.

  247. Yes, I do see that point. I myself would not put my children on a blog to that extent. I believe that most of Alicia’s money is made from her craft site. Even that is rarely mentioned unless she has a new product she has designed. That said, I don’t believe I have ever seen a sponsored post on her blog. She does not have pop-ups or even ads that I have seen. (I need to double check on that.) So many blogs today have become walking advertisements!

    What I do like about Alicia’s blog is the peacefulness of it all.

    It’s a fine point between making a living on your blog and alienating readers. One thing I have noticed on some blogs is the whole give-away thing. Often, more times than not, the gifts will be given to a person WITH a blog who can showcase them on her own blog. In that way, the two bloggers can mutually promote their blogs. Gone are the days where the random name is drawn from the jar or the winning number is shown on the screen. Now, we have absolutely no idea how that winner was chosen! If a blog begins to feel like the in crowd in high school, I am usually out of there!

    1. Isabella( such a lovely name) I totally agree with you..the fine line between keeping readers feeling as though the were personal friends- and having to give them more and more personal glimpses because that pays the bills, is a fine line. Thankfully, Marion is very discreet and I am happy to see occasional references/inclusions of her family .It is, in some ways- a family business, and they are all stockholders, right ?
      Now on having give-away to bloggers- that’s not acceptable. Other bloggers shouldn’t be allowed to enter contests..:-) Unfair competition? 🙂
      For another really peaceful, beautifull blog( no competition to Marion) have a look at British designer Ben Pentreath..Wonderful!

  248. Hi! I took a furniture painting class offered a few years ago in my area where the instructor sold your book and your milk paint. That is how I got introduced to you and your blog. I received a tablet as a Christmas gift and found myself enjoying the convenience and routine of tuning in to see your posts about Lucketts furniture transformations. That was all it took…I was hooked! My husband soon grew accustomed to my time spent reading your blog. “Is that Miss Mustard Seed again?”, he would ask. But now he knows not to ask anymore.

    When Lucketts was over, I missed that daily excitement and anticipation of your furniture picks that day. In order to get “my fix” I started reading your older posts in marathon bursts! Yeah, I am addicted!

    Let me share with you that I am a 40 year old Vietnamese-American woman living in Texas. Your design style really resonated with me. As a child of immigrant parents, we did not have the extra’s for nice home decor. However, that never stopped me from re-arranging my parents furniture or constantly redecorating my bedroom since 2nd grade!

    Fast forward to today. You make me feel normal. I, too, love lovely old furniture and dishes. I am constantly moving furniture at home and work. My husband no longer questions why I want his help to move that armoire again…

    Your style is you and it resonates with me. Despite cultural barriers, you have a gift that allows someone like me to relate to you. Yes, I know we are not “friends”, but your familiarity in my life allows me to find comfort and distraction from my life struggles…even for a few minutes. That is the gift you give to me…a stranger all the way in Texas.

    You are an example to me of the “American dream” my parents instilled in me. You excelled at doing what you love, sharing with others, and providing for your family. Your personal and professional growth has opened new doors and opportunities. In life, there are no successes without stumbles along the way. Sometimes these struggles allow us to grow better and stronger. That is what I like about you.

    There is a time and a season for people in life. The person you used to be is not the person you are today. That is the result of personal growth and improvement. Those who cannot move in the same direction that your blog has taken have expressed disappointment, but I say the opposite. I think it is exciting and refreshing. The core of Miss Mustard Seed is still there. I am excited for you and am your number one Vietnamese fan!

  249. I’m late to the party but I thought I’d offer my reason for not checking in as often as I used to. It has more to do with me than you. Let’s face it, yes your blog has changed but what hasn’t changed? I’ve changed too. You’ve been doing this a very long time. You’ve been more than generous with all the knowledge you’ve acquired through all your hard work and talent. Yes, I’ve painted furniture and rooms more than I care to remember. I can’t get over you can keep at it. Me, I have a project I want it over and done with. I’m at a different stage in my life. I’m more interested when you take things to Luckett’s. About once a year I get to shop there and loved checking out your things and buying several too!! Call me lazy. Your talent and energy out shines me. It’s kind of like I love Martha Stewart’s work but my eyes glaze over when her recipes turn into an all day project. Is she wrong? Please, she’s highly successful. People check on for her knowledge your not going to get touchy feeling posts from Martha. You’re a very busy person now. I’m sure you’re nostalgic about the old days. I have to admit I was kind of sad when you said you wanted to sell your home. I loved seeing the transformation. Then I thought……hey wait a minute who am I to talk?? I sold my old dream home farmhouse. It annoyed me when people said I CAN’T BELIEVE you’re selling it!! Well, I did and I’m very happy hahaha life changes.

  250. Marian, I think what you are also seeing is a shift in social media these days. Lots of blogs have almost disappeared. Many “famous” bloggers post almost exclusively on Instagram now.) Most of my cross stitch blogs have disappeared and have migrated to Facebook. Has blogging run its course? I don’t entirely think so, but there has definitely been a shift. We are that instant information society–a quick text, a tweet, post a pic on Instagram etc. We, as a society, are always looking for something new, a quick fix, a distraction. I think it is good that you are assessing your blog and business in these changing times!

  251. I read your blog fairly regularly. I usually click on every post, although I don’t read every word of them all. Sometimes it’s because I don’t have a particular interest (even then, I usually scroll through the pictures), sometimes it’s because it takes a long time to load (old computer, maybe the ads, probably a combo). I do still follow regularly however. I have read a bit of the feedback you have gotten and have no particular suggestions. I read your blog and others for inspiration. Eventually, I get off the couch and do something to my own home! Since that’s my purpose for reading, there’s nothing that needs changing for me. My personal assessment is that yours is one of the most professional and one of my favorites. I would prefer fewer ads, but I am happy for you to make money for the work that you put into it.

  252. Hi Marian,
    I’m a fellow blogger, you know who I am ;-). I don’t visit much because writing my own blog, I don’t have the time any longer to read other blogs as I used to. I am still a one woman show. At this time I don’t have anyone else helping me….it;s just me. After reading some of the comments about changing your style and the ads I wanted to say this.
    I know that for me my style is what it is. I can’t change my style to write blog post. I would be dishonest to my readers if I started blogging about contemporary style or modern or whatever. Just stay true to yourself. So if some think you need to change your style, then maybe this blog is not for them.
    Ads are always an issue. I try to limit mine, and I hope to someday take all of them off of my site. But for now it’s the main way I make money from my blog. I don’t think most readers understand the time and money it takes to run a blog. But yet so many want more projects, and information shared that they get for free. Everything comes with a price.
    I think you are amazing and you have always inspired me,

  253. As I am a ‘from time to time’ reader of your blog, I wouldn’t dare nor dream to give you any advice – I also NOW realise why I didn’t read it regularly (there was a certain amount of self-promotion which I didn’t appreciate – but I didn’t even notice until you brought all this up now) – I am just so utterly impressed to see that you have hundreds and hundreds of faithful readers to think about what you wrote and voicing their opinion. That IS a good thing and I assume from their reactions that you ARE indeed a well known ‘unbeknown friend’ to many of your readers.
    I just hope to find time (sometime in the near future) to read through all those comments; I am sure there is much to learn from for all and everyone of us
    Thank you for your honesty – it’s highly appreciated
    Kiki

  254. Hi Marian, I don’t read as much as I used to but I think the posts are more plentiful of late and I fail to keep up. Where do you find the time???
    I do like FFF but if I’m honest, only if I’m submitting something. I always hoped to be featured but I felt it was a little MMS milk paint biased in its features. Sorry.
    The ads are the biggest bugbear for me. The page takes ages to load, things pop up and have to be closed and often music blares out or commercials start playing.
    I never listen to design ramblings.
    Your blog is one of my favourites ever. I love that you keep it real. I don’t mind a bit of family life popping in to it. How can it not?
    You are inspirational and I LOVE your style.

  255. Dear Marion,

    I’ve been following your for a very long time. I’m also a blogger myself, a bad one I guess. I don’t have many people that read what I post, maybe because I’m not the best writer, maybe because I’m not the best photographer, who knows. I started my blog in 2007 and it was a way for me to journal about my family life and share my home design dreams. I used to be a scrapbooker and was a designer for a few companies back in the day, my blog fulfilled that need to create. I don’t advertise which I should but I don’t want to become to commercial, which in so many ways it has. I get it blogging is now a big time business for so many. I don’t mind the ads but the POP ups for the Disney cruise that pops up on all the pictures drives me nuts!! It’s taking me computer so long to load and then when it does I have to take the time to click out of the boxes. I find myself going on Instagram more because of this. Having said this…I love your blog and your probably the only blog I visit faithfully. I enjoy the video chats and so many of the topics I’ve thought about and I wish I could be sitting with you drinking some coffee and discussing those topics with you. I like that you share so much, your honesty and bit and pieces of your family life, it is what makes you real! I love your style even though it NOT completely my style I think you have wonderful taste and have a very creative mind. I’m glad I’ve got to witness your success and that you’ve taken the time to email me or answer my questions when I’ve asked.

  256. I too used to check in daily, but I too tapered off in recent months. I had noticed the content/format had changed. I started a new pattern of checking in every so often & scanning titles to see if anything was of interest as compared to before when I read every entry.

    I like the tutorials and the transformation before and after photos. I generally don’t watch the videos because of time (my lack of…I can read faster than watch a video).

    Right now, I’m really interested in accessories for my home. I’m beyond that phase of furniture, rugs & curtains. I always LOVE how you use unexpected items or even ordinary ones to accessorize, so I’d LOVE to see more of that. Ideas: staging dressers, hanging art, coffee table or occasional table arrangments, etc.

  257. Wow, Marian. How brave you are to ask what people want from you! I haven’t read the comments (344!). I can only imagine what they must be. I’ve been reading your blog a long time, almost since the beginning. It’s the personal-ness of your story that drew me in so many years ago. Life has twists and turns and our stories change as life changes. I’m in a sea change myself, as an artist.

    I love what I am seeing on your blog with Megan’s office makeover. I love the process of you helping another person develop their home and story. Great job.

    Dixie

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