**I’ve had a sick little boy here at my house for over 2 weeks, sorry it has taken so long to update the blog.  He is better now, but on day 18 of antibiotics. (word to the wise–put earplugs in your ears if you go swimming in a lake)

I have been wanting to share with you (and document for my own sake) more about our trip to Panama in June.  So finally I am sitting at the computer and going through all of the pics and sharing them with you.

Here is the crazy bunch of people that can’t behave like grown ups when they are together group ready to head to Panama.  (Note: we had all been up chatting and catching up until 2 am and then got up to head to the airport at 4–hence the inability to act normal in front of a camera)

MM Panama first pic

Only 3 of us from the McCall family went on this trip.  Buster and Bruiser were in the capable hands of their grandparents–we had a lot of spoiling detox to do when we got them back…

MM Panama 1

The group we went with was mainly comprised of friends that we have known for years.

MM Panama 2

The Liras (above) and the Baldwins (below) are long-time friends of ours from the years we lived in Kentucky.  Good people.  Funny people.  Forever-friend people.

MM Panama 4

We got to know this couple (Danny and Lori–pictured below) on the trip and I’m so glad we did.  They are goof balls just like us amazing.

MM Panama 3

Also on the trip we had Dan Dan the Chicken Man and his beautiful wife Mary along with Marfa Marfa and about 15 teens from our church family in Kentucky.  There was never a dull moment.

We were in El Valle, Panama.  In an inactive (thankfully) volcano.  Seriously, the garden of Eden would have a run for it’s money here.  This place was gorgeous.

IMG_9494

Our fearless missionaries that live there full time are David and Lisa Carter.  (if you think that missionaries are serious and slightly boring people–think again–you can actually see the mischief in David’s eyes)

1960037_1532963583596200_124865668_n-1

The Carters are in the process of purchasing an old orphanage that once had lots of little girls–we all had pink bunk beds to sleep in (even the men).  This building is where the growing congregation meets multiple times a week.     There is a large open room in which the church meets and worships together.  Out front is a huge patio filled with hammocks (I think every church building in the USA needs a porch with hammocks–just sayin’).  There are 2 large bedrooms with pink bunk beds (one for men and the other for women) are great for groups like ours that come to visit/help/encourage/learn.  David and Lisa rarely have a moment to themselves with all of the company they get.

MM Panama House

So there you have it.  All of the details about who went and where we stayed.  I’ll be back tomorrow with details on what happened and all of our fun experiences.  God is alive and active there.  He shows himself in so many ways.  We were in awe.

Blessings,

Holly

 

 

 

 

send/share/save

Panama?

Like ‘welcome to the jungle’ Panama?

Not ‘spring break 2014′ Panama City?

Really?

Don’t they have snakes and spiders and lots of weird bugs?

Will we get really hot?

What will we wear?

How much sunscreen do we need to carry?

What kind of food do they eat there?

How much does a trip like this cost?

Don’t we already have missionaries there?

Can’t we just send them money?

Do I need to pack toilet paper?

God said ‘Go’. 

So we went.

It was amazing.

I think God said ‘Go’ for us, not the Panamanian people.

We needed a reality check.

Reality has been checked.

We have been changed.

Hopefully we will stay changed…

God is so Good.

 

summer time toes by McCall Manor

This post is dedicated to my college roomie.

Kym

She is a funny, funny person. Kym is the kind of friend that will be making mischief in the nursing home one day. I can totally see her pulling the fire alarm at the home and riding away from the scene of the crime on her bright red rascal.

…I hope we are stuck in the same home together…

She made a big mistake one day — she let me in on a pet peeve of hers.

…She should have known better…

She hates all the pictures that people post of their feet propped up with the beach (or anything actually) in the background.

…Game on…

The Pretty Girl and I have made it a goal to send her pics of our feet wherever we go.

…Because that is what good friends do…

We have sent her pictures of our feet at the beach, at Disney, in our living room, and so on…

…The possibilities of annoying her are endless…

If you happen to know my friend Kym, feel free to join us in this effort. I get the feeling that she really does enjoy the pics that I send her, she just likes to pretend to be grossed out.  ;)

So here’s to you Kym!!

Silhouette Project Alert

I heard someone once say about the necessity of monogramming “If my monogram isn’t on my bag (or shirt, necklace,etc), how will people know it belongs to me?” I completely agree. Monograms aren’t just for decoration—they are a necessity.

The first step–and I know it’s a weird one– see what size you will be making your monogram.

I think I can honestly say that this was my first time to ever measure my toenails.

I used the font ‘circle three monogram’

McCall Manor summer toes

I used sticky-back vinyl and made sure to click “double cut” so that weeding wouldn’t be a pain.   Then apply to your big toe with Silhouette transfer paper.

…let the toe-selfies commence…

McCall Manor Summer timeTOES

Okay, maybe it’s not a necessity in this case, but it will make your ‘toe selfies’ so much cuter.

And Kym will just appreciate them that much more.

Blessings,

Holly

 

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

A Gift for the Bride-to-Be Silhouette Challenge: My Favorite Things My Favorite Things Keepsake Box Printable Tattoos for Crafters & DIYers Super Hero Backpacks Geometric Two Tone Shirt Refashion Instagram Paper Album Reasons I Love Daddy Ctrl Alt Del Pillows Outside Decor: DIY Pallet Board Sign Yo-Ho It's a Pirate Party How To Use Silhouette Sketch Pens Combining My Favorite Things, Baking and Crafting - July Silhouette Challenge Pride & Prejudice Subway Style Art Favorite Silhouette Challenge Just umm, Let it Go Temporary My Little Pony Tattoos Mike Holmes Baby Onesie Monogram It: A Memo Board Makeover Super Room Redo The Best Summer Ever Freebie and Tutorial Summertime Toes Crafty Girls Hair Accessories Holder Watercolor Wall Art Ice Cream Cone T-Shirt Sun Fun Shirt Family Wall Art: Scrabble Edition Serving Tray Upcycle Making Custom Rhinestone Designs Etched Glass Coasters Church Nursery Wall Quote

1. Just a Girl and Her Blog // 2. The Frill of Life // 3. A Time For Seasons // 4. The Thinking Closet // 5. Ginger Snap Crafts // 6. Grey Luster Girl // 7. Simply Kelly Designs // 8. Home At Eight // 9. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 10. My Paper Craze // 11. Mama Sonshine // 12. Practically Functional // 13. Adventures in All Things Food // 14. Two Purple Couches // 15. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 16. Sowdering About // 17. Cutesy Crafts // 18. My Mom Made That // 19. Pitter and Glink // 20. Pineapples And Pinecones // 21. Dream a Little Bigger // 22. McCall Manor // 23. TitiCrafty // 24. unOriginal Mom // 25. Persia Lou // 26. Lil Mrs Tori // 27. Home. Made. Interest. // 28. Sandpaper and Glue // 29. Silhouette School // 30. Creative Ramblings // 31. My Favorite Finds

 

Linking to:

Bewitch me & Titi  *  Mabey She Made It  *  The Pin JunkieWork it Wednesday  *  Nancherrow  *  Gingerly Made  *  The Shady Porch  *  The Crafty Blog Stalker  *  The Pin It Party  *  Flaunt it Friday  *

Remember when we had a loss at our manor?

This sad announcement was made…

Dyson McCall Memorial

We (some of us more than others) miss Dyson McCall.

Oh, the times we had together…

I remember this one time when…

Never mind, you wouldn’t think it was funny.  You had to be there.

But I am happy to report that we have welcomed in not one, but two new members to our front coat closet!!

Dyson and Dyson Jr McCall

Dyson and Jr

They {obviously} are fraternal twins…

These two are such hard workers.  (You can tell from the picture that they started working as soon as they were out of their box–bless their hearts)

Dyson is pretty agile since he is on a ball.  That sucker can pivot and turn and twist into all of our corners and under all of our furniture.

Dyson Jr is quite a dainty little work horse.  He loves to spend time in our truck sucking up dirt and grime.  But is is quite handy on stairs as well.

I highly recommend these twins for any home.  They just blend in and become part of your family, awwwwwww.

We adopted these two from Bed Bath and Beyond (using a 20% coupon) AND Dyson Jr was free with the purchase of the Dyson (DC 65 Multi-floor).

Can’t beat that with a stick!

Happy Cleaning!!

Blessings,

Holly

**This was not a sponsored post.  All opinions are completely mine.

 

 

Boy, oh boy do I have a fun project for you today!

MM sil june label pic

All you need is some fabric, a pillow form, a silhouette machine (or at the very least a friend with a silhouette machine…) and some iron-on fabric interfacing.  I have used the silhouette brand interfacing before in a small project and it didn’t disappoint.

MM sil June 3

I simply followed the direction on the packaging–I don’t try to reinvent the wheel on these kinds of projects…usually.

I ironed the rough side of the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.  The iron should be on the setting that is for the fabric you are using.  Iron for 3 seconds.

MM sil June 4

Trim the fabric closer to the interfacing and once cooled pull the backing paper off of the interfacing.

MM sil June 5

Choose your design and cut!

MM sil June 6

‘Merica!

MM sil june 7

Iron the fabric onto your pillow and stand back in awe.  Voila!  A pretty {easy} patriotic pillow!

MM sil June 8

Nothing says America more than ticking on a linen pillow, don’t you think? ;)

I knew I liked you for some reason…

Blessings,

Holly

PS–Yes, I made the pillow that is shown here.  No, you don’t want a tutorial from me–trust me on this one…

 

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Monogrammed Patriotic Serving Tray Captain American Romper Patriotic Burlap Stars (Pottery Barn Knockoff) Patriotic Onesie {Plus Free Cut File} Patriotic Shirts with Layered Heat Transfer Vinyl DIY Patriotic Tote Bag Red, White & Blue - Patriotic Decorations How To Create DIY Temporary Tattoos Made in America Freezer Paper July 4th Shirts Red, White, and Blue Paper Star Lanterns Fourth of July Rustic Flag Paper Sparklers Pretty Patriotic Pillow Nautical Star Burlap Banner: Stencil Material Tutorial Patriotic Map Art Wooden Fire Crackers; July Silhouette Challenge DIY Chalkboard and Vinyl World Map Let's Talk about Red White and Blue! DIY 4th of July Baby Outfit How To Make A Pinwheel {+ Free Template} Patriotic Nail Art Star Jewelry Vinyl on Wood Blocks Land That I Love Red, White, and Blue Patriotic Placemats DIY Paint Splattered Patriotic Tote Bag Patriotic Mason Jar Candle Holders

1. Our Rosey Life // 2. My Mom Made That // 3. The Kim Six Fix // 4. Create & Babble // 5. The Frill of Life // 6. My Paper Craze // 7. Kate’s Paper Creations // 8. Simply Kelly Designs // 9. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 10. Mama Sonshine // 11. Lil Mrs. Tori // 12. Tried & True // 13. It Happens in a Blink // 14. McCall Manor // 15. The Thinking Closet // 16. unOriginal Mom // 17. Sowdering About // 18. Weekend Craft // 19. The Outlandish Momma // 20. Adventures in All Things Food // 21. Practically Functional // 22. Silhouette School // 23. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 24. Ginger Snap Craft // 25. Pineapples And Pinecones // 26. Black and White Obsession // 27. TitiCrafty // 28. Architecture of a Mom //

 

Linking to:

Today marks 49 years since my parents were married.  In Hollywood years that equals roughly 1,397 years.

Unheard of for many people.

Mom and dad 1965

I have been very blessed to not only watch my parents navigate a successful marriage, but also both sets of my grandparents as well.  That is something that I don’t take lightly.  I know it is uncommon.  I am grateful that I get to see it on a regular basis.

Here is something that my parents shared with me a while back and I have it typed and hanging on our fridge so that I can see it every day.

“Most people get married believing a myth–that marriage is a beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for:  companionship, sexual fulfillment, intimacy, friendship.

The truth is that marriage, at the start, is an empty box.  You must put something in before you can take anything out.  There is no love in marriage; love is in people, and people put it into marriage.  There is no romance in marriage; people have to infuse it into their marriage.

A couple must learn the art and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising–keeping the box full.  If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.”

Thank you Mom and Dad for loving each other through the years.  You have given us such a gift by doing that.

409650_10150684573104642_1060606074_n

May you have another 49 or more happy years side by side!

Many, many blessings!

Holly

 

 

 

Yesterday’s subject of painted brick was so much fun!  I heard from quite a few people on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and here on the blawg.  Out of all of the responses only one said “NO” and that was only because her dad was a stone mason.

I totally get that, but I actually think you can see the beauty of how well the brick is laid if it is painted…see what I did there…yep, should have been a lawyer.

painted house before/after

A large portion of you said that you love the look, yet you live in a brick house that is not painted.  I am assuming that you live in one of the ‘pretty’ brick houses!!  Lucky you!!!

Several of you mentioned the upkeep of painted brick.  So I wondered, Is it worse than the upkeep of a painted stucco house?

I did a little research and found some information on the subject.  If your house is painted with Latex paint, you are in for a lifetime of maintenance.  If you choose a lime wash, it doesn’t peel and chip like paint.  Some say it can last 20 years, some say 100.  The lime wash can be applied as a thin layer to give a little peek-a-boo on the brick (my favorite look).

There are other types of paints that adhere to the brick much better than a latex based paint as well, but the comments were varying from ‘loved it’ to ‘meh’.

So, there you have it.  That is the extent of my knowledge on painting brick.  If we ever get to live in a brick house, I will do much more research on it. And then paint that sucker.

But such is life in a stucco house….

Now, on to today’s subject.  Get ready, there are lots of feelings involved with this one.

PAINTED FURNITURE

I am convinced that the War of 1812 began over this issue–no history book will back me up, but I just have a feeling about it.

Gold-dipped dresser with homemade chalk paint

A typical conversation over the thought of painting a piece of furniture could go something like this… “Can you really be serious that you want to paint great grandma’s sewing table?  It’s perfectly good wood, you should never paint good wood.  She slaved over that thing making up clothes to wear to school and the cotton field.  She worked day and night on the wedding dress that your grandmother wore at THAT VERY TABLE! ”

MM hutch #3

My answer to that is “I’M NOT PAINTING GREAT GRANDMA HERSELF, just a table!”

Did you inherit a piece of furniture and it just doesn’t go with your style or taste?  Do you like the shape of the piece and it’s just too dark/orange/pine/light for your decor?  Do you hate it, but can’t get rid of it because it is from the family?  Did you just buy it and you paid more than you thought you would ever pay for a piece of furniture, but now regret your purchase (I’m sure you all have never felt that way…)?

PAINT IT!

MM coffee table makeover 4

You will be surprised at how a piece that you thought was so ugly and didn’t go with your style will change completely with some paint.  An old pine coffee table can go great in a formal living room.

This piece actually did come from Mr. Creativity's great grandma

This piece actually did come from Mr. Creativity’s great grandma

A dark formal piece can easily be used in a child’s bedroom.  Great Grandma’s sewing table can be used in a sun room to hold a lamp and a plant.

Now, all that being said, there are a few pieces in my house that I will never paint.  But only because Mr. Creativity might just jump ship and take the kids with him if I dared to do it.

MM armoire before

We have a few pieces from his family’s farmhouse in Tennessee.  These basically have caution tape across them with my name on it.  If I even have a thought in my head, he somehow hears it and shuts it down before I can even pick out a color (who am I kidding, those paint colors have already been picked out…in my head)

But everything else is up for discussion.

What are your thoughts on painting furniture, especially furniture that has a family history?  I’d love to hear from you!!!

Blessings,

Holly

ps-I’ll write up a post on how I made the armoire in the above picture more ‘Holly-friendly’ very soon.  I love how the update helped it fit in to the Manor a little more.

 

I have had a lot of questions over the years as to my thoughts about painting different things.

Mainly brick houses and wood furniture.

The thought of painting items that fall into these two categories can make some lose sleep.  People are very polarized on these subjects.  So I thought I would tackle the subject (from my polarized perspective) and hopefully sway you to my side explain my opinion.

We will tackle painted brick today. (Waging one war at a time is smart when armed with only a paintbrush…)

Brick houses are my absolute favorite.   I’ve lived in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky (and Florida, but it is out of place on the map in my humblenotsohumble opinion) and that is how we roll in the southeast.  Brick houses, big trees and barbecue.

So my thought on this subject is as follows:

All painted brick is gorgeous–even if it is chipping or flaking off.

Some non-painted brick is gorgeous.

A coat of paint can freshen up ugly, tired brick.

A dark neutral paint can make a house become modern.

A light creamy paint can give a house a french provincial look.

Treated brick can look sandblasted which has an old-world effect–which might just be my absolute favorite look.

I have also read that you can use a strong power washer to start the chipping of the paint and then hand scrape to achieve this look.  I would suggest roping in a friend to help with that project…

This is an example that I found of a beautiful home that has non-painted brick.  I love it!  I would love it 10x more if it were painted a nice creamy white.  A shade or two lighter than the front door.

Let’s face it, not all brick is created equal.  Some brick is swoon-worthy (Tara B).  Some brick is, well, sad.  If your home is just not cutting it for you and you are on the fence about the brick, I would say paint it.  You are obviously not swooning over your brick and life is just too short for that.

Here is what my opinion boils down to:

Paint on brick is like liquid foundation for your face.  It hides blemishes and weird colors.  Some people need it much more than others.  Even beauty queens use it.

I would love to hear your humblenotsohumble opinions!  {Even if you don’t agree with me on this}

Blessings,

Holly

ps-Tomorrow we will tackle painted furniture….betcha can’t guess what my opinion is on that….

 

Even though our temperatures will be rising to 97 degrees in just a couple of days, we still do spring planting here at the Manor.

MM spring planting

Our faithful groundskeeper (we will call him Loxley) does a marvelous job in tending to the flowers and hedges on our grounds.

He plants white petunias every year.

MM spring planting 3

Little known fact:  My great-great-great-great aunt on my mother’s side was sixth in line for the throne of England and her name was Petunia, these delicate flowers were named for her.

MM Spring Planting 2

Loxley also plants some ‘creeping jenny’, we won’t discuss the relative that gave this plant it’s name….

MM Spring Planting 4

She married into the family and was a wretched sort.

MM Spring Planting 5

Always poking about.

Ghastly.

Disturbing, really.

MM Spring Planting 6

Enough about Jenny.

MM Spring Planting 8

Sadly, poor Loxley and beloved Auntie Petunia are just in my imagination.

(Since I am the only gardener here at the manor, these plants will probably perish by mid July–I wanted to get pictures of them while they were still lovely)

MM Spring Planting 7

I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of Jenny.

Blessings,

Holly

PS–I may or may not have watched Pride and Prejudice over the weekend–but do be sure to read this post with a British accent, for you can be sure, indeed, that it is being written with one…

 

 

So, you know I keep telling you that Mr. Creativity is…well…creative…

He writes.

He writes beautifully.

He writes hilariously.

He writes things that make me cry (especially on Mother’s Day).

He writes for a small amusement park here in Orlando–you might have heard of it.

They have a few weekends each year dedicated to a set of movies–you might have heard of them.

DISNEY’S STAR WARS WEEKENDS!!!

At this event, and only at this event, you can get the famous Darth Vader cupcake.  It is a must-do at Disney in my opinion.

So if you are going to be here at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during any weekend from May 16-June 15, stop by and eat a few!

Your kids/husband will think you are pretty cool for knowing about them. ;)

Here is Mr. Creativity’s recent work that came out on the Disney Blog: (notice the cute kid at the end)

Yep, that’s my boy.

Bruiser was channeling his dark side for days practicing this line.

I think he nailed it.

What do you think?  Hungry for a cupcake?

Blessings,

Holly

(this post is not sponsored)