A Springtime Display For Mustard Seed Market & A Little History
Written by Bethany Curee, God’s Daughter – Freckled & Free

It was an honor to sponsor not one, but three displays/ photo opportunities for our dear friends at the first ever Mustard Seed Market hosted by Rustic Grains Wood Company in the spring of 2022.

I’m truly a sucker for any project where I get to be creative and I know God had this in mind for me when he aligned for us to meet these God sent friends roughly 5ish years ago? The creators of this amazing market, Daniel and Sarah Cox, just happen to be the very best friends we were looking for. We had truly found a God-loving couple who loved antiquing, picking, hard work and projects just as much as we did and lived crazy lives doing just that. The story of how we actually met is rather intricate and funny, but I will save that for another day, let’s just say God seemed to particularly weave them into our lives in the most interesting way and I think we would all agree we are rather thankful.

Though we have only been friends for a handful of years, it feels as though we have been our whole lives. We have already had our share of great adventures and I look forward to many more. Whether it be moving loads of antique furniture and goods, doing some crazy project late into the night or traveling together from Ohio to Texas for a grand picking adventure with our 7ish kids (ahem Sarah has a baby in the oven), I couldn’t be happier to get to serve alongside their goals and dreams as they grow Rustic Grains Wood Company and Mustard Seed Market.

This power couple has been doing several shows and markets for years now, of which in the last year or two…getting to assist in setting up and helping with the displays of their product and brand image has truly been a dream for my husband (Tom) and I. I know I have loved every. single. minute of it and Tom has enjoyed getting to watch me thrive in getting to be creative alongside Sarah, while he gets to move tons of heavy things alongside Daniel whenever we need them too. It’s been a good break for him as well from his very busy and demanding corporate career. But let’s not forget the loads of laughter that has been medicine for all our souls on this journey of life and makes life just fun. They say life is better with friends right?

While the work is hard, it’s one of our favorite things to do. So, you better believe, when they shared with us their idea of hosting their very own market, we jumped at the opportunity to serve alongside them in any capacity we could. Whether it be graphic design needs, Tom’s business brain, our very toned muscles (wink wink, HA), unloading, reloading, displaying, styling, promoting, hanging lots of things, driving gators, hospitality, you name it, we were in!

While we did indeed get to help with all of those things, Freckled and Free personally sponsored three springtime displays/photo opportunities for the first show. In addition, I had the lovely opportunity to create and design all of the marketing materials for the market such as the logo and all print materials including banners, postcards, save-the-dates, t-shirt designs, market maps and so much more—which I plan to share on another post (stay tuned). However, for today, I will stop myself from rambling more and get to sharing with you all on the first display I was thrilled and inspired to do, the goal being an inspiring space for creating darling photo opportunities throughout the market. Just thought you might want a little history as to how this all came about before I dove right in.

So, without further ado let’s take a closer look at this beautiful “Flourish” Springtime display, that Jesus, (always Jesus) inspired me to do. Starting with the original sketch:

As you see, it’s not far off from the original concept. Instead of the original brown scroll of paper I was envisioning behind the word flourish, I used an antique ironing board mounted and anchored in the center of this gorgeous Broyhill vintage couch we just so happen to score at an excellent price. Tom and I had bought it months earlier on a thrifting challenge date where you had to buy an outfit for the other, and they had to wear it during the date. As you can see we didn’t just buy outfits, we made a commitment to give that stunning couch a new home. We both knew we would use it for something good. It couldn’t be more perfect for spring if you ask me.

I believe a good design is all about those little details that make the big picture come to life, so, I’m a pretty tedious placer of all design elements. My art teacher long ago taught me to constantly take a break from your artwork and take a step back. Look at it from different angles and see how it looks from afar. I have never forgotten that excellent advice (thanks Mr. Siefert). I worked hard to make balanced placement of all of the design elements without overdoing it. From the birds, to the branches, to my hand-painted flourish sign, all of the details tell a beautiful story of spring, new birth, growth and flourishment.

I utilized stunning antique garage doors we picked at Ohio Valley Antique Mall and draped lace gently behind them. Incorporated some butterfly bush branches we had just pruned in our yard that were the exact natural element I needed to paint the perfect spring theme. Fresh flowers are always a must I believe and I made a lovely collection that picked up on all the necessary colors from the floral couch to bring it all together in antique galvanized pail.

Thankfully due to my picking ways, I had the perfect plant hanger and antique bird cage on hand already that worked to complete that original sketch and host a base for the painted birds to perch and begin the journey out. Tom always has quite a time executing all my design ideas, he is my handsome handy man and I couldn’t do it without him. I jokingly call him my design assistant, but on a serious note he is a natural problem solver and always finds a clever solution to all my crazy plans.

I thank God for giving me an eye for reusing things. When we ventured to the Springfield Antique Show, we found someone had placed this large antique picture frame in the trash. We grabbed that bad boy, not letting it go to waste and it served a great purpose as the host for the additional pruned branches representing a large bird nest. This gave a great anchor for the two darling brass lights to hang, backed by row of reflective clear birds that added such a nice dainty backdrop. Lighting always adds such a pleasing, dreamy touch to any piece and I can’t help but admire the garden lights draped along the back.

At the center of this concept, the Holy Spirit reminded me and inspired me with this scripture from the Bible:

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah‬ ‭40:31

AMEN. Spring is the sound of hope, the sound of birds rejoicing and praising God’s creation. A reminder to us that all things are new. All things can be restored, all things can have HOPE for a better day, for a new start, for a different perspective—to dream again.

This display for me is more than a fun photo opportunity, but it is one rooted in prayer—prayer that it would inspire someone to never lose hope in whatever season you are going through in life. That you could see the deeper beauty God laid out in nature, the eloquent picture of the springtime flight to flourish.

I believe God can use anything to reach someone. When I was a little girl, everyday on the bus ride to school I would be in awe at the sunrise God had made, I would stare in longing from my window and pray, God please, please let me be a great artist like you one day. I will say He heard me. While I have tons of room for improvement, and I’m no where near the master creator, I believe He did gift me and answered that prayer I prayed as a little girl. So, whether you find yourself a pastor, a writer, a singer, a painter, a plumber, a businessman/women, or simply show love daily as we all should—or maybe you are a carpenter, an electrician or a cleaner, God can use it all and He will use it all. For me He uses me this way—through the ability to tell a story or solve a problem creatively through whatever means possible: graphics, antiques, interior decorating, writing, product display, whatever is lovely and aesthetically pleasing…these are things I can do to reach people. To share the hope and freedom I have in living a life for and with Christ. I pray it can help to restore someone, to make them dream again or feel loved (hope does not put us to shame *Romans 5:1-5).

Truly, this was an honor to do, and I hope that everyone who attended the Mustard Seed Market enjoyed them with me. Keep an eye out for my post on the 2nd and 3rd displays I created here soon.

If you missed it, save the date and plan to join in on the Holiday Mustard Seed Market coming December 2nd and 3rd, 2022, at the Clermont County Fairgrounds. Make sure to follow Rustic Grains Wood Company on social to keep up (@rusticgrainsco).

For the full reel of this display being created, follow me on Instagram @freckledandfree and check it out here.

Written by Bethany Curee, God’s Daughter – Freckled & Free

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