Monday, February 25, 2013

A blog crush, and dreams of more space...

A few years ago I started reading a blog called Miss Mustard Seed. I loved that it was written by a funny (funny haha, not funny strange ;)) and personable woman in Pennsylvania who had the nerve to talk about doing projects in her home as though they were things that anyone could take on - not just people who have a background in architecture or a degree in interior design. She took fabulous pictures of the beautiful spaces she created - but she also made it clear that she worked hard to make her home look the way it did for pictures, and that it wasn't that way all the time. What a relief! Here's a peek at her dining room and guest room...

The funny (haha) woman also painted and sold furniture at a local co-op, which was something I  wanted to do as well. I was inspired by her story: the background in musical theatre (woot!), the support that she had from her mother to do what she loved, the thrifty attitude she made good use of when replicating the design styles she saw in magazines... I thought "here's a woman doing things the way I would do them... if I had time." I already have so many "projects" stashed in my garage and carport and craft area. I just can't seem to get to them!

Last year, this funny woman published a book, which I promptly purchased on my Kindle, and shortly thereafter she was approached by a company about starting her own paint line... or maybe it's the other way around... in any case, good things were happening for Marian Parsons, aka "Miss Mustard Seed", and I was so thrilled for her! Perhaps it is weird, a little, to be thrilled for someone I don't know personally, right? So it is also a little awesome that I'm able to say now that I have met her in person! (Not that I mind being a little weird, but it makes other people my husband more comfortable when I talk about her...)

Last week, Marian came to Northwest Arkansas for a whirlwind of a trip to offer a couple of DIY workshops at a shop called The House Special Interiors in Fayetteville. I spent a few hours with her on Friday in a hands-on milk paint workshop, then my sister and I attended her lecture/workshop the next morning as well.


In the DIY lecture part she showed us a lot of pictures of her home - most of which can be seen on her blog - and talked about the (not a lot of) money spent and the sources used to make her home the lovely retreat that it is. She was funny (haha), and informative, and a very real person who knows she has been blessed with some amazing opportunities.

After the formal talk I approached her to thank her for coming to town, and to wish her safe travels home. We chatted about the difference between being "lucky" and making the most of the opportunities we are presented with. Marian has most certainly had some great things come along for her, but she spoke of her belief that she has a "mission", so to speak, to encourage others in this life. Some may not understand how she can do that as an expert on decorative painting, but if you read her book, you'll understand she's not trying to conquer the world of Cottage Decorating - she's just using her gifts to encourage others to take on the challenges in their lives with optimism and creative thinking. She encourages readers of her blog and book to make their lives, their homes, and their families the best they can be. She is making her life count, not only in her own home, but in the example she sets for others.

Visiting with Marian, and listening to her encouraging words over the two days I spent with her, left me even more determined to make my own dreams a reality this year. I also want to drill down to the core of what my purpose is in this life... and I think the closer I get to my true self, the easier it will be to see that purpose and to execute it.

I'll write again about the workshop itself, and the tips and techniques I learned... but for now, I'm wondering how I could possibly bring this gorgeous thing home from the store I saw it in Sunday without initiating divorce proceedings... :) Dream big!!!