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Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Weaving In and Out, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,328 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,420 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/Weaving In and Out Intermediate Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, Piper, Andy, and I stepped up the ante. Now that we were pretty proficient at how to braid and make our own friendship bracelets,

photo by Nina Helmer via Flickr.com

we had to branch out and …

make another using a different material this time and give one away.

Seemed simple enough. Aww, naiveté, thy name is Jane …

We already had enough friendship bracelets to adorn most of the neighborhood (and in Andy’s case, the local football team), but we were fresh outta yarn. We pondered and pondered: what else could be braided?

Well, that was a loaded question for Lil’ Miss Pipes.

“What can’t be braided?” she rephrased, in delight.

Umm, turns out that became a list.

Things That Cannot Be Braided:
• Rocks
• Granola bars
• Chicken feathers
• Beef jerky
• Sticks of gum
• All the electrical cords behind the entertainment cabinet (but only cuz Dad says no)
• Toothbrushes
• Dog’s ears (but only because they won’t sit still long enough)
• Kitten’s tails (see above)
• Forks
• Spoons
• Knives

And how do we know these items aren’t braidable, you might ask? Because we didn’t attempt them, naturally … sigh.

The next list seemed more fun (not to mention, more applicable).

Things That CAN Be Braided:
• Yarn
• Ribbons
• Shoelaces (not while people are wearing them, though. Not nice, Andy)
• Some flower stalks or long grasses
• Strips of cloth or lace
• Rickrack
• Your mom’s purse straps
• Your dad’s belts
• Curly ribbon on packages/gifts
• Headbands and hair ties
• Curtain tie-backs
• Fringe
• Shirt sleeves (Don’t ask. I think they were making homemade strait jackets or something.)
• Fruit leather (sticky, but worth the flavor combination)
• Licorice sticks
• Dental floss
• Bungee cords
• Bread dough
• Embroidery floss
• Men’s dress socks or girl’s knee-highs

I think the list would have gone on all day and night, but we needed to get crackin’ on actually accomplishing a few completed bracelets and then gifting them. This likely would have led to another list, but I snagged the pencil from Piper. Sheesh, if there’s a badge for List Making that kiddo would be Chapter Leader in no time.

photo by Bunches and Bits {Karina} via Flickr.com

There are approximately 7.4 billion people in the world right now.

We have nearly enough friendship bracelets for everyone.

I’m. Not. Even. Kidding.

photo by Diane Industrialart Purdie via Flickr.com

Piper and Andy picked out the very best, the most beautiful, the one that took the most work and time, the one they treasured out of them all, and they gave it to …

Me.

Don’t be jelly of my fruit leather, hollyhock stalk, dental floss, and ribbon bracelet, my farmgirls. It is one of a kind, yes, but you too can have a priceless symbol of your neighbor kids’ affection. Just teach them this badge!

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Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Hadassah Schaap!!!

Hadassah Schaap (Farmerette of Heidi Schaap #3752) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Entrepreneurial Spirit Merit Badge!

“I dreamed about my business, chose a name, and put it under my pillow. My mentor (Mom) taught me how to write a business plan using http://bizkids.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/Kids-Business-Plan.pdf.

After deciding what I’d like to do, I presented my business plan to my father and he approved it.

I researched how to set up an Etsy business and set up my home page. I transferred money from my savings to buy sewing fabric and necessary items. I printed off business cards. I had to learn about fees, shipping options, etc.

It was nerve wracking to put all that work in wondering if anyone would place an order, but it was great practice for future online endeavors.

I launched my business on Etsy! You can find it here.

It has been wonderful so far! I’ve made plenty of sales, received two 5-star reviews, and been asked to create a custom order for a new product. I am learning more every day and appreciate having a way to create income from our family’s homestead.”

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Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Debbie Klann!!!

Debbie Klann (debbieklann, #770) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Expert Level Community Action Merit Badge!

“To get more interest in participating in our fair, I worked with the local paper in getting the fair premium book ready to print with the contests that our family was sponsoring. I also spent time getting those premium books out to people that wanted to enter items and helping those that had never entered anything before. People were surprised by how many different categories of things could be entered and it got a lot of new people excited about participating!

We also had a group of young farm wives all encouraging each other the week before fair, getting baking down and produce ready to enter and entering the different food contests. We really worked hard to get the word out to enter and have fun!

For my own personal challenge, I decided to enter ALL of the bread entries! I started early in the month and put things away in the freezer. I wanted to see LOTS of things entered on the shelves in the building! I also entered some quilts in the open class building next door. I had debated on doing so but was really glad that I did, as there weren’t very many and the ones that I took down there really helped to decorate the empty space. Between working at the fair and all of the time spent baking, I put in far more than the 15 hours required for the Intermediate and Expert level badges. It was time well spent! I saved several premium books to start planning ahead for this coming fair. This is a picture of all of the baked bread entries before I took them in to enter. I also shared a bit with my online chapter about this experience.”

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My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Heather Hayes!!!

Heather Hayes (#6831) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Quilting Merit Badge!

“1. If you don’t know how to quilt, learn. I already knew how to quilt; I started quilting about 17 years ago. I have taken several classes and attended multiple quilt meetings, spent time quilting with friends, etc.

2. Pick a simple pattern like a doll-sized quilt that will help you learn the basics, even just sewing squares together. My first completely finished quilt was a Log Cabin quilt that I made for my queen size bed. It took me 8 hours to cut and piece it.

3. Learn how to add a backing and batting and do simple quilting stitches to hold everything in place. Finish your quilting project. There is a three-hour minimum time investment required. A little quilt I cut, pieced, and quilted on my own with no help it was a crib-sized windmill quilt. (Still twitching from the prairie points.) This winter, I tried a new pattern and made a quilt for my husband for Christmas 2016. It took 12 hours to cut out, piece, and finish the quilt.

4. If you already know how to quilt, teach someone how to quilt the beginner project. The summer of 2015, I taught at my daughter’s American Heritage Girls summer camp and I taught eight girls how to quilt. Each girl completed a small snack mat. Then together, they made a bandana quilt and sat in a circle as they quilted the quilt together by tying it with embroidery thread.

All of the projects were finished, though my quilt closet is full of a lot of UFO (UnFinished Objects), but this past year, I have picked back up and completed 6 quilts so far. The girls’ quilt projects from camp were so special to me, as they each had their struggles to learn new skills and they each overcame them and had a mat finished to take home. They were so proud of the work they had done. I had girls aged 12-15, and my own daughter was in the group. She was very happy with hers, as she also had used fabric that she had dyed herself in the mat.”

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Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Weaving In and Out, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,200 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,226 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/Weaving In and Out Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge with Yours Truly and trustworthy sidekick, Piper, we got ourselves a pile of yarn. You don’t need a pile necessarily, but I had a sneaky plan to have some help unraveling my large ball of snarled fibers, and at the same time, I’d teach Pipes to make friendship bracelets.

photo by eef ink via Flickr.com

(Crafty is my middle name. Both definitions of the word.)

Andy was loitering hovering casually nearby, so we ended up including him in our badge-earning process. He feigned indifference—probably because he assumed bracelets were too girly for such a testosterone-fueled mancub—but he came around when he had the bright idea to make his in sports team colors.

First, we needed to learn to braid. Piper’s mom usually braided her locks for her, so she was as new to the concept as Andy was. We took three pieces of yarn that were a bit longer than what it would take to wrap around their respective wrists. Next, we used a piece of tape to anchor them to the table. (Don’t want tape marking up your table? They can also tape them to their own pant leg. Helpful hint from me to you.)

We braided and braided. It took a few trials and errors, but the whippersnappers got the hang of it pretty quickly. Before I knew it, there were braided “tails” all over my house, taped to just about everything. It looked like a strange crime scene of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, only without any donkeys.

photo by Zervas via Flickr.com

Also, we were out of tape.

There were approximately enough bracelets to adorn the entire town, so we bundled up a few and braided them together. This brought our number down to a more manageable and less ridiculous amount. (Though if your town needs some accessories, let me know.)

My pile of snarled yarn had been unraveled alright, but it had dwindled to the size of a thimble. I braided my last friendship bracelet out of it and I think it really makes my nail polish pop, if I do say so myself.

photo by KnitSpirit via Flickr.com

Piper was so bejeweled with her fabulous bracelets that she looked a bit like an over-dressed Christmas tree, and Andy appeared to be a sports fan straight outta Woodstock (if there ever was such a thing). However, they were happy as clams, so I picked up the nearly 1,384,563.877 tiny snippets of yarn they had left behind in their efforts to achieve the perfect length, and called it a day.

Intermediate Level for this badge? Making more out of different materials, gifting them to friends, and also buying Auntie Jane a new roll of tape.

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Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Ginger Dawn Harman!!!

Ginger Dawn Harman (#6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Make it Easy for earning a Beginner Level Let’s Get Physical Merit Badge!

“In January, I spoke with my doctors and received the approval to exercise at our local Health and Wellness Center associated with our hospital. I have been battling a left bundle branch block and pulmonary issues. After several tests and a couple of different inhalers, my health has stabilized. So, time to increase my physical fitness. For starters, I have set the goal to visit the gym four days a week. I also did the physical assessment and will do another one in three months. This will also be given to my internal medicine doctor. For weight loss, I have set the goal for 10 pounds. It is best for me to go slow and steady so I do not get discouraged. As for eating, let’s face it, I eat too much and eat terrible food.

Nevertheless, I am making it a goal to purchase more local and organic items. Oh, and eat less of it. I am really proud of the progress that I have made in my first month. I have lost four pounds and have tried several different classes such as Tai Chi, Water Aerobics, Interval Weight Training, and the machines on the main gym floor. I am a fan of the elliptical and recumbent bike. My favorite class is Water Aerobics, but today, I decided to step it up and do Aqua Boot Camp. Oh Lordy, my arms and calves are still feeling it. This was a good lesson to not jump into the harder classes when I am not ready.

I feel very fortunate that I am able to attend the Health and Wellness Center and look forward to my next doctor’s visit with my results. Even if you set a small goal, with 250 steps an hour, that is a start. To be honest, I take my health for granted, even though it is not perfect. Many would be more than happy to walk, swim, or ride a bike. When I get discouraged, I imagine that those who are not able to do these things sorta step into my body and go for it. I imagine their joy and happiness. This snaps me real quick out of my negative mood. I feel that sometimes, our biggest challenge is ourselves. Anyways, I am glad that I am taking the time to take care of my health and I encourage all to do the same.”

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