MS Newsletter

We hear it in the noisy cacklings of the starlings
that have pecked their way into the eaves of the woodshop –
a frantic, hellbent busyness full of joy
and fear and nervousness saying
YES, Now Is The Time!
NO, we are not ready…
But certainly we can wait no longer.

Mustard Seed Master Builders officially began operations January 1, 2008. As for the bureaucratic hassle of going from a sole proprietorship to an LLC, believe me darling, you don’t want to know. What you do need to hear about is this beautiful brand-spanking-new website that my brother Chris has created for us, with the help of Design-Wizard Ethan Ries. These guys know websites like Campbell knows soup. Believe me, it wasn’t easy building a website for an old woodbutcher who thinks “logging on” means hewing a cabin in the woods. But they’ve succeeded in spite of their Jurassic client.

Here’s a navigation overview for anyone – like yours truly – who hasn’t yet grasped the cyber-principle of “click first, ask questions later”: The headings across the top are self-explanatory, with the possible exception of “Client Space”. This is a password-protected portal that clients of Mustard Seed can use to access their particular project. We’ll exchange lists, reminders, and photos of work in progress. We’re especially optimistic that this feature will turbo-charge communications with our out-of-town customers.

The heart of a contractor’s website is, of course, the gallery. Here you’ll find a sampling of our work in each of ten categories. Did he say “ten”? Yeah, okay, we admit it. The concept of specialization-for-profitability still eludes us. So we’ll never be the McDonalds of carpentry. We can live with that if you can.

History & Homeowners
Since Mustard Seed’s clients divide into two broad demographics – homeowners and restoration professionals – we created a pair of optional gateways to speed traffic in the right direction. These are located in the sidebars, under the headings “Homeowner’s Stories” and “Rebuilding History”. So if you’re a homeowner who primarily wants to browse new homes and additions, try the former as a short-cut to your interests; whereas if you’re, say, a restoration board member, you can hop on the bus at “Rebuilding History”. Of course you might straddle both categories as the owner of a historic home; Congratulations! You’re in exactly the right place.

In the news
Many of the mini-articles in the gallery have links to feature articles that Scott has written for magazines. These are packed with details for those who really want to delve into the weeds. For the rest of you, feel free to cruise on by. If, on the other hand, you want to dig yet another step further into a particular subject visit “In the news”. There’s a link here to, where you can search over 25 years of the world’s finest hands-on shelter journalism. We also have a link to the Taunton Press bookstore, where you can buy books by Scott McBride as well as a host of passionate owner-builders, architects, and craftspeople.
Finally, “In the news” contains this newsletter, still smelling of wood shavings and new paint. It’s future is as uncertain as a crop of pucker-faced infants squalling behind the glass at a maternity ward. But there’s no turning back now. Their time has come.


© 2008 Mustard Seed Master Builders. All rights reserved.

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