Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Teresa Roberson!

Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Community Action Merit Badge!

“I am disgusted with the litter strewn on the highways in my neighborhood and in my yard. So, I researched the “litter” issue in my community.

Litter remains a problem in rural South Carolina. The South Carolina Dept. of Health and Environmental Control heads both Palmetto Pride and Keep SC Beautiful, affiliates of the national Keep America Beautiful and the Adopt-a-Highway program. In my county, The Walterboro Chamber of Commerce organizes the Keep Colleton Beautiful. DHEC controls the Adopt-a-Highway program.

In partnership with a variety of local organizations and agencies, the objectives of Keep Colleton Beautiful are to:

• Conduct continuing education programs regarding litter, recycling, and the proper handling of solid waste in Colleton County.

• Develop and enhance programs that will result in the sustained reduction of litter and graffiti and increase the use of recycling in Colleton County.

• Encourage stricter code enforcement regarding litter and dumping, and review and recommend, where appropriate, legislative change regarding environmental ordinances in Colleton County.

• Encourage the placing, planting, and preservation of trees, flowers, shrubs, and objects of ornamentation in Colleton County.

• Maintain certification with the national Keep America Beautiful organization.

• Solicit and accept donations and appropriations of money, services, products, property and facilities for expenditures and use by KCB for accomplishment of objectives.

• Make an annual report to the Colleton County Council.

• Cooperate and work with other County departments, agencies, and groups to carry out the general purposes of the Commission.

Keep Colleton Beautiful organizes and promotes the Great American Cleanup, annually in April.

Until the day of the Great American Cleanup in April, I will keep my roadside clean and document the amount of litter I retrieve from my area and the time I volunteer. I will recycle the items from the litter I collect. After speaking with the Chamber’s office, I plan to ask to become a member of their Keep Colleton Beautiful board next year.”

Continue reading

photo-of-the-day

farm-romance_2309

Continue reading

Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Nancy Noble!

Nancy Noble (NancyOH1, #7441) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“I have been keeping my eye out on eBay and at the local antique mall, Heritage Antique Mall, for paperweights. Both places have a selection of paperweights and I have my eye on a few of them. Some I can purchase now and some will have to wait and be put on my wish list for purchase later.

I did start a spreadsheet today with my current collection of paperweights. This spreadsheet can always be added to now and much more information can now be added for future purchases. This information can be where I purchase the paperweight, how much it cost, and any information obtained about the paperweight.

My second spreadsheet is started for my paperweight wish list. Here I can now list any paperweights that I might want to purchase once I have the money or ones that I would come across in articles, online, or in stores. That way once I locate and/or can afford to purchase them I can mark them off my wish list and put it on my inventory spreadsheet.

My collection, inventory, and wish list have all turned out great. Now to be on the look-out for more paperweights to add to the collection.”

Continue reading

Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Farmyard to Kitchen, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,428 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,782 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life  

For this week’s Garden Gate/Farmyard to Kitchen Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I brought back Andy, Nora, and Piper to put some finishing touches on what we’d learned during our Beginner Level badge adventuring. (Oh, you thought you EARN badges here? No, no, silly goose, we ADVENTURE them.)

They had gone through the whole gallon of cream-on-top, fresh-from-the-cow milk I had given them in no time. I had assumed one of their mamas would get to experience the bliss that is fresh cream in her morning cuppa joe, but evidently, Nora got to it first and used it on her oatmeal. She however got to experience some bliss so all was not lost.

They had also spent a whole week eating only fresh, organic chicken eggs, and they were mightily impressed.

“Aunty!” They told me (as if I didn’t know), “The yolks are bright orange! Like, practically glow in the dark! And they taste sooooooo good!”

I was pleased as punch and proud as a peacock (hey, do peacocks lay eggs?). Now it was time to mooo-ve along to discussing what types of chickens lay what colors of eggs.

“I want a pink egg!” shouted Piper. “And a purple one with sparkles!”

“Um, yeah, not happening. Focus, little sprite. This here is a Rhode Island Red.” We were in the backyard coop, the better to teach in a visual manner. I read that in a book once. Kids like visual stimuli. And, if I do say so myself, my backyard is even better than a picture book. “And that one over there, looking disgruntled and cranky, is a Gold Laced Frizzle.”

“Are we gonna have to spell these?” Andy wanted to know, looking even more suspicious than my Gold Laced Frizzle.

“No. Which is good, because that one is a Wyandotte. And that one over there is a Plymouth Rock. Isn’t she adorable?”

“Which one lays striped eggs?” Piper again. Good thing she’s cute, because sometimes I wonder about her intelligence.

“Uh, none of them.”

“Ack!” shrieked Nora suddenly. “What is that giant puffball? That walking cotton candy? Oh my gosh, I am in love!”

“Oh, that’s a Silky. Yes, she’s pretty cuddly.”

“I bet she lays Cadbury Eggs, right, Aunty?” Piper whispered to me.

Sigh.

“Okay, kids, let’s head back to the kitchen. I have some new milk I want you to try.”

“Yes!” Nora fist-pumped. “My oatmeal was totally lonely this morning.”

At the kitchen counter, they bellied up to the bar, so to speak. I used my smallest juice glasses to pour shots of a few different types of dairy for the smallfries. In order to keep them guessing (and to keep the “EWWWW”s to a minimum), I kept the containers under wraps. This was to be a blind tasting. I had goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, a bland store-bought skim cow’s milk (shudder, shudder), and of course, fresh, whole, organic, cow’s milk.

“Man, I was hoping for chocolate, but this is good too,” said Andy.

“I like #2,” said Nora. “But not that one that tastes like weird water.” Down the drain went the skim, and good riddance.

“I like them all! Another round!” shouted Piper, banging her glass down. “Barkeep! Keep ‘em coming! And make mine a double!”

We drank our milk and made guesses as to the source all afternoon till… well, I guess you could say until the cows came home.

Continue reading

Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Michal Cole!

Michal Cole (#7441) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Sew Wonderful Merit Badge!

“I put together a sewing kit for my daughter, who will be a junior in college at the University of Idaho. I like to try and do a fun back-to-school gift, but as she is in her third year, she has more than enough of the typical items. When I last visited her, she commented on all the little baggies she had of extra buttons from the clothes she gets, so when I read the requirements for this badge, it all just kind of came together. There is a significance behind the acorns. She is in a sorority, and the name of her “family” in that sorority is the acorn branch of the nut family tree. I thought it would be fun to include those. I had so much fun putting it together!

I included two small Mason jars, one for the many extra buttons she has. The other has several bobbins wrapped with thread, and some empty ones. She is a lefty, so I bought her left-handed scissors, and sticking with her signature color, spray-painted them pink. I also added a scissors fob with her initial and an acorn and a pretty button as well as a felt cover for the blades. I made her a needle book based on a pattern from Nana Company. I added a small pocket to it to house a soft measuring tape, a seam ripper, and an ez-pull bodkin. Lastly, I crocheted a small amigurumi acorn, wrapped some steel wool in batting, and stuffed it for a pincushion. For the straight pins, I found some cute heart-tipped ones and included those.

michal-cole_sew-wonderful_8-7-2017

I think it came together in such a fun and cute way. It was my first shot at making the needle case, so next time, I will make some adjustments, but otherwise, I am really happy with the results.”

Continue reading

photo-of-the-day

farm-romance_1228

Continue reading

Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Katie Reichenbach!

Katie Reichenbach (farmgirl68, #7422) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“I did my beginner level of Collect It! on my first Boyds Bear – Eli Q. Spangler. Here is what I found …

Boyds Bears

Where was Eli Q. Spangler produced?
Eli Q. is part of the “High Fashion Society.” He wears a sweater with an Americana heart stitched on the front and has a star stitched on his right paw. He is also a part of “The Head Bear Collection. This means he is hand-stitched and fully jointed (arms and legs move). I don’t remember how much I paid for it (I know it was more than I should have been spending at the time on a stuffed animal), but today’s MSRP is $36.99. He was introduced in 2005, which is about the time I got him.

What is unique about the Boyd’s Bear production process?
Boyds stuffed bears began production in 1979 as part of a small antique store in Boyds, Maryland (for which they are named), by Gary M. Lowenthal and his wife, Justina Unger. Their first bear was fully jointed and named “Matthew” after their newborn son. I learned that from the start, all the bears were imported from China. The company moved to Hanover, near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1987. In 1993, they introduced resin bears and then increased their product line to include many different items. They also branched out to include other “friends” of the bears. The couple sold the company to Enesco in 2008. Enesco decided, unfortunately, that Boyds Bears should be “put into hibernation” (in other words production was stopped) in 2014.

Do you know how the notion of “teddy bears” got its start?
They are named after Teddy Roosevelt. In 1902, he refused to kill a captured bear. Word spread and Morris Michtom, a Brooklyn, New York, shop owner, along with his wife, created stuffed bears based off of political cartoons that had been spreading. Michtom obtained permission from Roosevelt to call his creation “Teddy Bears.” Of course, people young and old flocked to buy them. The teddy bear was even used when Roosevelt ran for re-election, as his mascot!

How likely is there to be another item just like Eli Q. Spangler?
I could not find any information on how many of these bears were produced; however, even though he is a “retired” bear, I had no problem finding listings for him on line on many different sites. This is probably due to the fact that they were mass-produced in China.

Does Eli Q. Spangler have a personal connection to me?
I don’t necessarily have a personal connection to Eli. I just know that I fell in love with his face. Boyds Bears’ noses are so endearing, you can identify them right away. It is hard not to fall in love with every bear produced. Because I bought him so long ago, I don’t remember what made me choose him over all the others. Perhaps it was the time of year or a holiday.

Are there any clubs or online chatrooms for folks that share a passion for Boyds Bears?
There had been an official fan club called the “Loyal Order of Friends of Boyds!” that was established in 1996. There was a membership fee, which included membership perks, an online newsletter, and admission to a members-only website. Enesco determined 2014 would be the final year for the club. Aside from this “official” club, there are tons of others. Here are just a few. Keep in mind these are not officially affiliated with Boyds Bears:
BearsnBuddies.com
BearMuseum.com
BoydsWeb.com

It was nice to learn about the bears whose faces I fell in love with. I was, however, saddened by two facts: 1) They were mass-produced in China, and 2) They are no longer in business. The company was based in a town only a few hours from my home, so I felt a special connection to them.”

Continue reading

Young Cultivator Merit Badge: All Buttoned Up, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,428 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,782 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life  

For this week’s Stitching and Crafting/All Buttoned Up Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, Nora and I were all about the buttons.

Isn’t that a song? “All ‘bout dem buttons, dem buttons, dem buttons?” No?

Anyway, we did this badge in spite of the fact that I held a bit of grudge against the little things. You see, my Gramma Barbie loved her button collections. Loved them so much she stored them in cleverly disguised tins that once held cookies.

Good for her, but annoying for cookie-hungry grandchildren.

I’m just sayin,’ Grams, you could have kept them in Brussels-sprouts tins or something less tantalizing.

But I swallowed the bitter disappointment of years gone by and Nora and I got to collecting. She’s all about collecting, that girl. She’s got a collection for just about you can name: stamps, spoons, rocks, paper dolls, temporary tattoos, bookmarks, pens and pencils, snack food, stickers, stuffed animals, beads, belly button lint … okay, maybe I’m making that one up. She says it’s fairy cotton balls. I remain skeptical.

Finding a few to start her collection was easy enough. First, her dad submitted a shirt for the cause: it was stained and a bit ragged so we salvaged the buttons off with a sharp pair of scissors. That gave us several nice enough buttons to line the bottom of our cookie tin with (tradition, you know). After that, we went yard sale-ing, and sure ‘nuff, found a mason jar of mismatched and intriguing buttons for less than a dollar. She had a blast sorting through those (and found more to add to her fairy cotton-ball collection, to boot). Also, a bit of loose change and some safety pins. I nearly rummaged around myself in case of a spare copy of the Declaration of Independence or something at that point, but we had to stay focused.

Of course, you can just go to the craft and sewing supply store and buy a few buttons to start your collection, but where’s the fun in that?

Nora, being Nora, had to line them all up, in order. First order was by color, from the blues to the greens to the aquamarines. Then she mixed them back up and arranged them by size, smallest to largest. Then she settled on her own personal organization system: favorites. From left to right, from most favorite (a shiny heart-shaped button in pale pink) to her least favorite (a plain, black round one).

photo by stitchlily via Flickr.com

But then she felt bad. After all, at this point, they were like her mini children. You can’t arrange your children by favorites! It’s frowned upon in most circles, even the 8-year-old Button Mama circles. Which is totes a thing. So she scooped them up and poured them back into the cookie tin, letting them run through her fingers first.

Because there’s not much more of a better tactile, hands-on, experience than sifting through buttons.

Unless of course, it’s sifting through cookies.

Continue reading

photo-of-the-day

farmgirl-romance_9068

Continue reading

Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Kristin Sievert!

Kristin Sievert (KESinMN, #6020) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a Beginner Level Glamping Merit Badge!

“We’d been camping a couple times with a new tent. But it really wasn’t something I was enjoying, so I decided I might as well trying to “glamp” it up before heading out for a family resort get-together in July.

I started with the bed. I thought maybe something visually appealing might help, so I finished up the quilt speedy quick.

I also dug out a king-sized set of sheets (the sheets had pilled) I kept around for a large supply of fabric the same color—just in case. Since the color matched my quilt, I was in luck. I cut the sheets and modified them to fit my queen air mattress. I sewed the flat sheet directly to the bottom edge of the new fitted sheet.

While I was in the sewing room digging around, I came across some pareos that we had purchased as a possible source of fabric for the kids’ travel quilts. The idea was discarded, but not the pareos. I sewed some long lengths of miscellaneous ribbon from the stash across both ends. I used the ribbon to tie the fabric up using the existing “thingies” at the top of the tent to create a “non-load-bearing wall.” It gave me a way to create a second area in the tent.

My “non-load-bearing wall” was to be my bathroom in the tent. I decorated a “luggable loo” in a complementary contact paper and put that behind the fabric wall.

I felt lighting was always kind of a pain in the wahoo. Digging around in the middle of the night for your headlamp was not fun. So I came across this cheap LED light we got from the bank or something. I tied more ribbon on the light, then again used the “thingies” on the tent ceiling.

The quilt was good, but with a silky sleeping bag, it just didn’t work. Will need to try something else.

The modified sheets worked GREAT! They stayed in place on the mattress and the flat sheet sewn on kept it tucked in all weekend.

I am particularly thrilled with my “non-load-bearing wall.” I was able to play quite a bit with its placement in the tent due to the long lengths of ribbon and where the “thingies” were along the tent ceiling. I left it right in place when we rolled up the tent.

A decorated portable biffy wasn’t going to make or break the experience, but it was a girly thing!

The free LED light was rather funky. If it started spinning, it was like a disco ball effect! I was able to adjust the height with ribbon, so we got it just right. Being able to just sit up in bed and find the light was beyond successful.”

kristin-seivert-glamping