Hey lovely people!

Today you can find me {along with a super cool project} at the UnOriginal Mom blog.

I’ve got step by step instructions on making these cuties:

Panamanian Coin Jewelry cover by McCall Manor

Meredith is a very talented lady that is also fond of the Silhouette machine.  You can always find a fun project over at her blog!

Hop on over there and check it out!


MM Sig


comments pic


This weekend I have had a wonderful time with my daughter and about 1,500 other teens at a youth rally called SonQuest.  There has been singing, praying, giggling, sleeping, digging into scriptures,  junk food, baptisms, open hearts, hugs, smiles and tears.

I love the high that comes with times like this.  Everyone leaves refreshed and ready to save the world.

Then Monday rolls around.

Satan loves Mondays.

Like Dory says in Nemo “good feeling’s gone”.

So I wanted to share a little of what we discussed with you.


 John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

That last part is haunting isn’t it?




But, if we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit.

That means that when Monday comes (and it will–trust me on this), we continue to pray, sing, dig into scriptures and all of the other things that keep us in Him.

When we are abiding, we are bearing.  When we are bearing, God is using us to be his hands and feet…

…even on Mondays.


MM Sig



MM flanged edge pillow

Last week I showed you the easy outdoor tables.

This week it’s easy outdoor pillows…I’m sensing a theme here.

Pick outdoor fabric and pillow form.  These are 12x16.

Pick outdoor fabric and pillow form. These are 12×16.  To make a 2″ flange, add on 4″ to both the width and length plus seam allowance. I cut rectangles that were 17×21 for this pillow form.


I am not a seamstress.

I don’t even play one on TV.

sew a 1/2" seam around 3 sides, leaving the 4th side open.

Put right sides together and sew a 1/2″ seam around 3 sides, leaving the 4th side open.

In the past I have claimed to possess the capabilities to sew a straight line, but that has proved to be incorrect.

However, I do know how to turn on, thread and run my sewing machine.  So I think that gives me at least a little credibility.

Clip your corners and flip the fabric right sides out.

Clip your corners and flip the fabric right sides out.

My personal sewing skills (or lack thereof) should not reflect on my grandmother, mother, Mrs. Barfield (HS home-ec), or Mrs. Thomas (textiles teacher at college).

Goodness knows, they tried.

Poke those corners out as crisply as you can and then top-stitch around the 3 sides.

Poke those corners out as crisply as you can and then top-stitch around the 3 sides.

I will never forget the first item that I sewed in my home-ec class.

using this ruler doo-hickey and a disappearing ink pin mark a 2" border from the outside edge

Using this ruler doo-hickey and a disappearing ink pen, mark a 2″ border from the outside edge and top-stitch that as well.

An apron…with an African safari type motif.

MM outdoor pillows stitching 2

Mrs. Barfield was not impressed with my choice of fabric.  She just rolled her eyes.

I get that a lot…

stuff that pillow in there and pin the opening shut

Stuff that pillow form in there and pin the opening shut.

After that we had to tackle a piece of clothing.

For the love of all that is fashion…I should not have to wear something that I made.

MM outdoor pillow stitching 1

That is just cruel and unusual punishment.

It had a yoke waist and everything.

MM outdoor pillows 9

But without that harrowing experience I wouldn’t be the uber-humble person that I am today…ahem.

MM outdoor pillows 10

No comments from my family and friends please.**

Whew, that was a long disclaimer.  Sorry.

The pillows are machine washable so I didn’t spend the extra time and energy making an opening to take the form in and out.  I figure that I’ll just toss them in the washer and then let them air dry outside.  Easy Peasy.

Well, I hope that tutorial is clear as mud for you.  If you have any questions (or you just want to say ‘Hi’) you can leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP.


MM Sig


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Linking to:  * Wow Us Wednesday  *  Naptime is My Time  *  Ginger Snap Crafts  *  Work it Wednesday  *  VIP  *  Live Laugh Rowe  *  Wildly Original  *  Create Link Inspire Pin Junkie  *  Nancherrow  *  Domestic Superhero  *  Gingerly Made  *  The Pin It Party  *  Show-licious  *

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…If it’s in the house and still for too long, I have the right to paint it.

That includes children and pets.

And hubs.

MM Tool Caddy before

Do you have those days when all you want to do is paint?

Not fine painting–homey don’t play that here.

Not wall painting–that happens, just less often.

I’m talking about when you {dramatically} wipe everything off of your kitchen island with both of your arms to make a space for your pièce de résistance.  You know those kind of days…

I knew you did, that’s why we are friends–if you’ll claim me.

MM Tool Caddy before 2

Last week was my first week of freedom the kid’s first week of school and I had 2 such days.

It was glorious.

I had paint under my nails, the birds were singing and all was right with the world.

MM Tool Caddy before 3

My first such day was all about frames that my friend and I found for her daughter’s room.  Hopefully she will let me in to take pics of them hanging…you’ll love them!

The second day of painting was on this old {handsome} tool caddy.


MM Tool Caddy before 4

Isn’t he a hunk?

He was at an antique market here in town that I stalk on a semi-regular basis.

He’s not a full-blown antique, we will just call him ‘mature’.

I had a little milk paint already mixed up and sitting in my fridge from a previous painting day, so I thought I would start with that as a base coat.

Waste not, want not…

MM Tool Caddy (during)

So, here is ‘trophy’ as the base coat.  This color actually deepens when you seal it with either wax or hemp oil.

Since I plan on using this piece on my black dining room table I thought I should lighten it up a little.

So I mixed up a little ‘grain sack’ milk paint and put it on the outside only.

MM Tool Caddy (during) 2

I can’t wait to show you how he looks today…

But you’ll have to be patient.

This is what they (in Hollywood) call a cliff hanger (cue dramatic music).


MM Sig



I would love to hear from you…have you ever used milk paint?

Ever done a happy dance when you get a whole day to be creative? Ever threatened to paint a live being?

Please let me know that I’m not the only one…

Just so you all know, we don’t make it a habit of doing experiments on our children here at the Manor.

…However if they want to do experiments on each other–we are all in and will document it…

They boys decided that they wanted to be in each others dreams–I guess one had a really cool dream and the other felt left out.

So we give you the McCall Dream Influx Transporter 2000 (name and patent pending)

G & W's sleep experiment

The experiment was completely foolproof.  There was no reason on earth why this wouldn’t work.

Not sure what went wrong, but we will try again until we get this right.

We are professionals after all…


MM Sig



MM side umbrella table 13

After searching and searching (for like a whole 20 minutes on the internet) I was unable to find the side table that I wanted for our pool deck.  I found a lot of pretty tables that were the perfect size and look, but none that had a hole in the center for an umbrella pole.  I am quite sure they are out there, but the internet minions didn’t let me see them that day.

So I sent Mr. Creativity and his friend ‘Skyscraper’ to Lowe’s with a list (Skyscraper was going to make an outdoor dining table using the same materials, so don’t start thinking that I roped in someone else on my hair-brained idea).

3.5 hours later they returned…with everything that was on the list…thankfully

MM side umbrella table 5Here is my shopping list:

1 – 2x8x6 pressure treated wood cut in 3 lengths of 24″

4 – 1″ galvanized pipe cut (with threads on both ends) to 20″ lengths

1×3 cut to 19″ lengths

4 plastic caps for 1″ pipes

4 galvanized 1″ pipe flanges

2″ exterior screws

MM side umbrella table 6

I gave the wood a good distressing first because I wanted it to look old and imperfect.  If it looked new and perfect, it wouldn’t fit in around here…

MM side umbrella table 7

We braced the 3 boards together with the 1x2s and screws and then moved on to the legs…

MM side umbrella table 9

Our poor neighbors…bless their hearts.

They have the patience of Job.

You can put ‘old box and arrows’ on your shopping list, but we just happened to have these in the garage.

MM side umbrella table 12

The flanges were set on the outside corners and then the legs just screwed into them.

MM side umbrella table 8

My man got the power tools out and drilled a hole that would fit the umbrella pole (he used a 1.5″ drill bit and a lot of muscle…)

MM side umbrella table 2

After sanding the wood and wiping away the dust with tack cloth I applied the stain.

The stain color that I chose was Kona by Rust-Oleum.  I love how dark it is.

Then I gave it 3 coats of poly so that if we splash water on it or set cold drinks on it the finish will be fine.

MM side umbrella table 4

MM side umbrella table 3

MM side umbrella table 11

Now, all I have to do is sit by the pool and think up other projects that need to happen.

Well, that and laundry, bathrooms, vacuuming…

MM side umbrella table 10

Are you a DIY’er?  I would love to hear about a “can’t find it on the internet, so I’ll just build it myself” that you have done recently!


MM Sig


Linking to:

A Night Owl Be Awesome  *  Inspire Me Tuesday  *  Inspire Me Monday  *  The DIY’ers Inspiration Monday  *  Mad Skills  *  Create Link Inspire  *  Sweet Sharing MondayThe Scoop  *  One Project at a Time  *  Sunday Showcase  *  Work it Wednesday  *




Schooooool’s back! In! Session! (to the tune of ‘school’s out for summer’)


Are you a mom?  Are your kids back in school?  Are you as happy as you were the first day of summer?  ME TOO!!!!


I actually think the kids are <almost> as excited as I am.  See those happy faces?  They are holding in the happy dance, I’m sure of it…

MM first day of school 1

So the kids are back in school, the house is silent (I can actually hear air coming through the AC vents…)

What do I do now???

MM first day of school 2

At the beginning of the summer I had a list of things that I wanted to accomplish.

I was going to paint my kitchen cabinets and change out the hardware.

Planned on painting my bedroom.

Thought about organizing each of the kid’s bedrooms.

Was pretty sure that I would clad one or two walls with wood planks.

And, of course, I was going to keep my house in perfect order in case we had company…

MM first day of school 3

1st Grade!

Yep, I had a list.

MM first day of school 4

5th grade!

I somehow have that SAME LIST here on the first day of school.

MM first day of school 5

7th grade!

I guess it’s time to stop doing my happy dance now and get to work.

Those cabinets aren’t going to paint themselves…

…I’ve given them ample opportunity.


MM Sig

This is not my first rodeo using milk paint.  Remember the trash to treasure that was painted with ironstone?  Nothing like learning a new paint on a big piece of furniture…Go big or go home.

This time I wasn’t as nervous about working with the ‘mix-it-yourself’ paint.  And this time, like the last, I have a piece that was totally free.

Hey big spendaaaah.

MM stool 1

So the price on this little ‘cutie’ was $5, but it was at the end of the sale and they were trying to get rid of stuff…

<enter Holly>

MM step stool 2

Hello, my name is Holly and I like old cruddy pieces of furniture.

MM step stool 3

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: “IF there is a 12-step program for people like me, I don’t want to know about it”.

Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Boxwood.

MM mmsmp 1

Hello Lovely.

MM mmsmp 2

Mix equal parts paint and water.  Here in Florida where the humidity is always hovering around 700%, it will take less water.

MM mmsmp 3

Then stir.  (my kind of recipe, thank you Miss Mustard Seed for understanding me…)

MM mmsmp 4

You want the consistency of Italian Sweet Cream.  {I totally am your kindred spirit if you understood that}.  If it’s really lumpy add a tsp of water.  If it’s runny like skim milk, add a little more milk paint powder.

Since I am my own camera man, I don’t have an action shot of the stool being painted.  You’ll just have to trust me that I painted it.  By myself.

MM step stool final 2

Isn’t she a beauty?  I know her legs are a little thick, don’t judge her.

MM step stool final 3

I love that she looks like someone just cut some leftover 2×4, nailed them on and called it a day.  Been there, done that…am I right?

MM step stool final 1

Since I had a little leftover paint, I thought I would get a few frames painted up for SLPCo.  You’re going to enjoy these, I think…

Here is a sneak peek

MM etsy shop 1

MM mmsmp 7

Can you see the instant patina that you get with milk Paint?  Be still my heart y’all.  Here is a close-up pic for you…

MM mmsmp 6

My other favorite thing about milk paint is {and please hear this with your nice ears} it smells like my grandparent’s barn.  It has an earthy scent that I just can’t get enough of.  If you were raised on a farm, you will understand.  If you weren’t, go get some milk paint and enjoy!

Have you used milk paint?  What did you think if so?

I would love to hear from you!


MM Sig



Last but certainly not least…WE HAVE A WINNER…you’re all winners, but you know what I mean…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Milenda B–you have been chosen.  I will be sending a little happy your way today (or tomorrow–I still have kids hanging from the rafters since school hasn’t started <end rant>)


**this post is not sponsored by MMSMP (or Adjectives mkt) I just wanted to share this project with you…awwwwwwww

Embara Village Panorama

You learn something new every day, right?

Sometimes you get to learn lots of somethings in one day.

Here is a tiny taste of what I learned when we visited the Embara Village located on the Chagras River in Panama.

Embara Village 5

I learned that my daughter is just like me.

When I was little my family went canoeing down the Buffalo river in Tennessee.  I was so scared that my mom was singing “Buffalo Girls Won’t You Come Out Tonight” to me.  When mom would stop singing and dad would stop paddling I was terrified.  They still to this day will mention “Paddle daddy Paddle!!  Sing mama sing!”. (Thanks guys for NEVER.  LETTING.  ME.  FORGET.)

The pretty girl was just as nervous on the boat ride to the village that day as I was 30 years ago.   I wonder if we will let her forget…nah.

Embara Village 6

I learned that you can survive, thrive and actually enjoy life without the internet, phone and Target.

The young adults from this village go away to college and almost always return to live life in the primitive village.  These people in this village are educated.  They are creative.  They are business people (their main income comes from the basket they weave, jewelry they create, items they carve and clothing they sell–we bought a little of everything).  The people were so kind and inviting to us.  They welcomed us into their homes and showed us amazing hospitality.

Embera Village 4

I learned that you can be forever bonded with someone that doesn’t speak a bit of your language.

Above is a picture of Jan and Lisette.  They met 3 years ago and have sent word back and forth (through a translator) over the years.  When Lisette had a baby, Jan was rejoicing with her.  When Jan had breast cancer, Lisette was praying for her.  Jan was chomping at the bit to get up the hill and see her friend on this visit.  Lisette walked up and began speaking fluent English.  She has been taking lessons and now speaks 4 languages.  Her native language, Spanish, English and some French.

Embara Village 8

I learned that little boys-even ones that live away from society-love to play soccer and sword fight.

This little boy pictured above was glued to me while I was pumping up this soccer ball.  He didn’t speak a word and yet I think he would have said that I was his favorite gringo (I’m bringing soccer balls everywhere I go from now on…).

There were two little boys-probably around 3 or 4 years old- that had taken palm fronds and pulled off strips to make swords.  They each tucked 2 of these ‘swords’ in their loin cloth and marched around proudly.  At one point the fencing began and one got hurt.  I was the only person close enough to do anything and got the opportunity to comfort the little guy.  I think it made me happier than it did him, I was missing my little boys like crazy at this point.

Embara Village 7

I learned that even if you live in a primitive village, you still have to all wear matching outfits during PE Class.

There is no escaping that phenomenon.

Embara Village 3

I learned that mommies bounce, sway and pat their babies the same way we do.

They didn’t go to lamaze classes or parental-preparedness classes.  It is a natural instinct that God gave us.  I saw a mom lay her baby across her lap, tummy down and pat gently.  I saw a mom do my signature move that I got all three of my babies to sleep using–I call it the bounce and twist.  Maybe I’ll make an instructional video one day for you all…..

Embara Village 11

I learned that you can drive a boat wearing a loin cloth, but I wouldn’t suggest it because of the breeze…

Embara Village 12


I learned that taking an hour-long boat ride each way can make for some funny pictures.  (Y’all don’t hate me for posting this pic, it made me laugh)

This was a trip of a lifetime.  While there we got to hear about their life and culture, more importantly our teens were able to act out a Bible story with the tribe while one of our guys translated.  These amazing people love God.  David and Lisa bring groups there rather frequently and get to share the Bible with them as well as meet the needs that they may have.  David and Lisa are being the hands and feet of Jesus to them, and it is proving to be a tremendous work that God is doing there among them.  Glory to God!



**Don’t forget to enter the giveaway there isn’t much time left!!!

I get it.  You’re busy.  I’m not sure that I even remembered to take out the trash or feed my kids breakfast yesterday.

But time is running out on the giveaway.  You seriously should forget brushing your teeth today in order to make time to enter.  I won’t tell.

SLPCo giveaway at McCall Manor

If you already follow me on Pinterest, facebook and twitter go ahead and tell the nice computer that.  He will let you play.  If not, tell him and he will give you a chance to follow along.  He might be unfeeling and unknowing, but he’s fair at least.

Fingers crossed!