the day I met miss mustard seed.

This past Saturday I woke up bright and early … no wait, scratch the bright part.

Let’s start over.

It was a dark and stormy morning when I left my house last Saturday at 7 a.m. for Carver Junk Co’s workshop with none other than Marian Parsons of Miss Mustard Seed.  Literally one minute before I walked out the door the skies opened up and a torrential rain began.  Lightening strikes lit up the sky as I made my way to the interstate to drive the 45 minutes to Chaska.  It was definitely an auspicious start to the day!

After a white knuckled drive with my windshield wipers on full speed, I arrived at my destination, the Chaska Mill.

Marian (I feel like I can call her that now that we are practically bff’s) had invited me to come to the workshop as her guest, but I volunteered to be a helper of sorts.  It was sort of like auditing a college course.  I showed up, I soaked up the knowledge that Marian was sharing, but I didn’t actually do the project or get a grade.

I tried to be helpful, but I don’t know that I succeeded.

In hindsight, I should probably have done the project.  After all, everyone was making these amazing ship-lap style signs.

There was a choice of three different words …

And you could choose from quite a few of the Miss Mustard Seed milk paint colors for your boards.

Some participants just went with copying the sample, while others really studied the colors and came up with their own combinations.

I really wish I had gotten that gal’s name so I could share it here, drat.  But anyway, she was very scientific in her approach.  She grouped the sample boards until she found a combo she liked, she drew up a plan, and she painted a swatch on each board.

Her efforts really paid off because she ended up with an amazing sign that was uniquely her own.

Her combination of Artissimo, Mustard Seed Yellow, Trophy and Farmhouse White works beautifully.

It was really fun to see the different combinations of colors that participants came up with.

Some even got creative and went in another direction, literally, with their word.

Brandy & Chad from Carver Junk Co did an amazing job planning every detail of the workshop including holding it in a gorgeous historic building, bringing in delicious food, and providing drink tickets for the bar next door.  They and their staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming.

I was especially impressed with the project they designed.  It provided an opportunity for participants to try multiple techniques with MMS products including using Curio as a stain on the frames …

Using multiple colors of MMS paint, and trying out the various waxes in her line.

They even added some bonding agent to the leftover paint and gave people little pumpkins to paint.  What a brilliant way to use up leftover paint and also demonstrate what you can do with bonding agent.

By the way, did you know that you can order Miss Mustard Seed products online from Carver Junk Co and get FREE shipping?  Check it out {here} and use the code “MILKPAINT” to get the free shipping!

But … hello!  I haven’t yet gotten to the most amazing part of the day.  Miss Mustard Seed herself.

I can now officially verify that she is indeed a real person.

At first it was a bit surreal to be in the same room with her, but over the course of the day I discovered that in person she really is just as she appears on her blog.  And by that I mean that she is down to earth, friendly, and really, just like you and me.

However, she’s also an excellent teacher.  She gave tons of information about milk paint and how to use it.  I really enjoyed just taking in all of her tips and advice.

There were actually quite a few opportunities for me to just sit and chat with her throughout the day and I learned some interesting little tidbits.  First of all, that she and I both graduated from high schools in Florida.  Marian in Orlando, and me in Boca Raton.  And as it turns out we both prefer the cooler climate up north rather than the heat and humidity of Florida (yep, she’s going to fit in perfectly here in Minnesota).

Marian also mentioned that she feels really welcome here already.  I’m so proud of my fellow Minnesotans for making her feel at home.  And someone even brought her a hot dish!  I’m not sure if it was a tater tot hot dish though.  But so funny, Marian said that when they called it a ‘hot dish’ she assumed that meant it was spicy.  For the rest of you who aren’t from around here, in Minnesota we don’t have ‘casseroles’ we have a ‘hot dish’, and they are rarely spicy!

I also learned that there will be another new MMS color coming out next year called Aviary.  I’m really looking forward to giving that color a try!

Now you might be wondering, ‘hey, where’s the photo of Q and Miss Mustard Seed?’ and I have to confess, I hate photos of myself.  I much prefer to be behind the camera instead of in front of it.  So much so that I just never quite worked up the gumption to ask someone to take a photo of us.  I know, a missed opportunity for sure.

But even though there isn’t any photographic evidence, I did have an amazing day with Miss Mustard Seed and I’m so glad I made that white knuckle drive to Chaska.  Hopefully I’ll have more opportunities to connect with her now that she’s a Minnesotan like me!


25 thoughts on “the day I met miss mustard seed.

  1. Okay, now I don’t feel quite so weird. When booking our annual trip to our timeshare in Williamsburg, I rather casually asked my husband if we could arrange to stay over in Winchester, VA on the way and spend a day at Lucketts preview day. Well…he agreed, having no idea what Lucketts is, or who MMS is. One of the best days of my life–she is real!!! I was too shy to speak to her, but my husband did (still having no idea who she is). I purchased a cute crazed tea canister. The following week, I was actually in a few pictures on her Luckettts recap post. It was such a thrill, and when I make our tea every evening, I am reminded of a very special day. My son and his family live in Minneapolis, so maybe MMS and I will cross paths again some day, and maybe I will be brave enough to speak to her.
    Thank you so much for your blog–I gain much inspiration and tips for my painting projects.


    1. The next time she has a workshop you should plan it to coincide with a trip to visit your son! And if so, I’ll introduce you just to make sure you get a chance to chat with her 😉


  2. Marion is lovely! We have been Retailers for MMSP however recently closed our store. Marion wrote us a very kind note. She had a way of making every person feel special.


    1. I would definitely recommend it Linda. The workshop was really well organized, and the project itself was awesome. I know they do quite a few workshops and they have some fun holiday stuff coming up.


  3. I feel the same about my picture being taken, but for this, I think I would have been okay with it. Looks like a fun day!


    1. You know, after I got home it occurred to me that I should have made one of those signs and then given it to you for Christmas! Wish I’d thought of that sooner.


  4. Just wanted to drop you a line of how much I love your blog. And, I really enjoyed this post very much because it is on my bucket list to meet “Miss Mustard Seed” and “Q”…yes, you! I have never been to Minnesota, and with your blog and many stories, I just need to figure how an opportunity to meet my heroes!! All my love for all your share…and, never stop!


    1. Time for a road trip to Minnesota!! It’s beautiful here in the winter 😉 But seriously, thank you so much for that lovely comment. And if you ever do make it to Minnesota, be sure to look me up!


  5. So cool that you got to meet one of my heroes! And I’m sure next time you’ll do the photo gig. Looks like a great workshop – so good of you to help.


  6. The special thing about you Q, is that you make us all feel so normal in our crazy!

    I was excited because we had a trip planned to Illinois (just 6 hours away from Caska) 5 days after the MMS class, and I thought I could convince my husband to go early so I could attend that class! Sadly, he thought an extra week of hotels wasn’t quite worth attending that special class…The man has no vision! I’m packing for our trip now and still sad that I couldn’t swing that extra side trip. I have several packages of MMS’s milk paint and can’t get up the nerve to mix it up and try it out. After my trip, I’m going to find a local class using MMS’s milk paint and get over my hesitation. I’m sure I’ll love it just like I love Fusion now that your posts got me using it. Thanks for all the inspiration.


    1. Thank you so much Sugar! You know, timing is everything isn’t it. Too bad your trip wasn’t just one week earlier! But have fun in Illinois, and when you get home again be sure to crack open that milk paint. I always tell people to start with something small. Head to your local thrift shop and just pick out something wooden, like a shelf, or a box or something and paint it. It’s a good way to get a feel for the paint without being worried that you’re going to wreck something.


      1. Q, I have a blue million things in my garage I could paint. I’m just leery because so many times I read about people complaining of mixing the milk paint with some little hand mixer or something, which they then say is not worth buying. Will check your past posts to see if you’ve covered mixing up milk paint.


      2. I’m sure I’ve mentioned mixing milk paint a few times in my posts, but it may be hard to find. So I’ll tell you that I don’t bother with the little hand mixers or really anything fancy at all. I use a plastic Solo cup and a little wood craft stick (like a large popsicle stick). I generally mix my milk paint with a 50/50 water to powder ratio (for dark colors I may add a little more water, for light colors, a little less). Let’s say I’m going to need about a cup of paint, so 1/2 c. of water and 1/2 c. of powder. I start by putting about half of my water, so 1/4 c. into my Solo cup. Then I dump in my 1/2 c. paint powder. Then I mix that up a bit first, then add the remaining 1/4 c. or so of water and mix some more. I try to mix my paint before I start to prep my piece. It’s best to let your mixed paint sit for at least 10 – 15 minutes to let the pigments and the clay in the paint dissolve. While that’s happening I prep my piece (sand and clean it). When that’s done, I stir my paint some more. You may notice that the paint has thickened up some at that point. I like my milk paint to be about the consistency of heavy cream, and it can be even a bit thinner for dark colors. It won’t be thick like other paints. You do want to try and make sure you get all of the clumpy bits off the bottom mixed in. Another huge thing to remember is to keep mixing your paint as you use it. Otherwise sometimes certain pigments will settle to the bottom of your paint and by the time you get to the bottom of your cup your color looks different. Just give your cup a stir every few minutes while using it. Don’t go out and buy anything special for mixing your paint. If nothing else, use a paper cup and a plastic spoon! Have fun!


  7. Yay! I’m glad you had a great time at the workshop. And yes, Marian was so kind and down to earth. I hope you “assist” at future workshops because it was great meeting and chatting with you!


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