Rhinestone Rodeo

We listened to Patsy Cline, drank Diamond Fizzes, and raised tens of thousands of dollars for our sweet little school! The center was filled with cowboy hats, boots, and rhinestones…

Photo Jan 25, 9 51 52 PM

The evening went much too fast, but a glimpse of the décor …

Photo Jan 23, 4 13 06 PM

The three hundred roses turned into simple centerpieces with chevron table runners that we sold one by one through bidding …

Photo Dec 28, 11 11 14 AM


The entrance and photo booth were piled high with saddles and straw…

Photo Jan 25, 5 18 15 PM

Photo Jan 25, 5 18 30 PM

Our crew was there at 8:00 am sharp and didn’t clear out until we packed up the whole event at 10:30 pm. Somehow, when working with people you love for something you love, a day of hard work feels pretty good!

Photo Jan 25, 10 12 31 PM



Jack Frost Barb Wire

Everyone and everything’s a tad prickly this winter. With a serious spike in humidity mixed with temperatures the opposite of flaring, the lancing frigidity has become ever so piercing.


It’s definitely not for the spineless or the quill-willed. Everyone is acting briery, thorny, and prickly these days. Daily chores require a many-pronged approach.



Vote for Your Favorite Cover of the Next Issue of MaryJanesFarm

Lend us a hand by voting on your favorite cover for the April/May 2014 issue of MaryJanesFarm!

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Leave your vote in the comments. Thanks!!!!!


Ahhh, the Sounds of a Cricut

As I mentioned last week, I’m getting crafty for a good cause. Stella’s annual school auction is on the horizon, and well, you know my love for party decorating, so I couldn’t be happier to assist. Especially when that means I get to sit down with a cup of tea and get this thing chirping!

Photo Jan 18, 11 51 38 AM

If you haven’t used a Cricut before, it pretty much cuts paper in any shape, size, letter, or design you want it to. If you have used a Cricut, you know what I’m saying about the little noise it makes while it cuts and shifts the paper back and forth. Makes me smile.

But as I craft away for our Rhinestone Rodeo Auction, this next picture might be most descriptive.

Photo Jan 09, 2 41 34 PM

As I pick color schemes and songs (Patsy Cline, in this case) to name the silent auction tables, I’d say this one is particularly fitting today!

Happy Thursday!

Mason Bees

Calling all beginning beekeepers!

The Raindrop Mason Bee House Kit is a simple starter hive that will have you buzzing for joy.

Just look at it—a lovely bit of apiarist architecture, is it not?


Photo courtesy of CrownBees.com

This elegant raindrop-shaped pine hive is designed and carefully handcrafted by a team of Ixil carpenters (indigenous Mayan people) living near Nebaj, Guatemala. The hive holds about 100 tubes or reeds that are protected from rainfall and moisture accumulation.

What’s more, all profits are donated to the Agros International training center, which helps rural families in Latin America escape the cycle of generational poverty and participates in local Guatemalan reforestation efforts.

Buy your hive at www.crownbees.com, where you can also find advice, mason bees, and other supplies for launching your hive.

Here’s a nifty video packed with info about the raindrop hive:


Charlie Chasin’ Chickens

Our latest addition, Charlie, loves to chase our chickens. (I think they secretly like it.) I might add, I’ve never had such a playful calf. He’s constantly on the go.

First he stalks them, moving only inches at a time—the two girls are just walking along, visiting about the latest American Idol winner—when …


Pounce! (Auntie Etta Jane stands by, shaking her head, “Kids.”)


“It’s him again!”


“Run for your life.”


Meanwhile, auntie watches patiently.

Getting Crafty

When Stella’s school asked if I’d head their décor committee for their annual fundraising auction, I was tickled pink. Decorate, merely DECORATE, for a party and not have to do all the other party logistics? Sign me up!

Soon after, I scored this awesome pile of …

Photo Nov 30, 12 25 06 PM

burlap sacks. This photo doesn’t do this score justice—two dozen humongous burlap coffee bean bags. The super-cool part is they have all kinds of funky-looking logos from Brazil and Guatemala and all the other fabulous places where coffee beans are grown. So of course I plan to use quite a few of them to decorate for our upcoming auction.


I have so many, I get to use some for home décor also. I have a few ideas up my sleeve, but I’d love some suggestions … ???  Too-much-burlap is kind of a dreamy “problem” for a farmgirl to have, wouldn’t you agree?

Gwen Stefani’s Elevated Basics

Hey, farmgirl fashionistas, here’s one to watch:

Gwen Stefani, the fab former frontwoman of the band No Doubt, is forging a fashion partnership with 7 for All Mankind to create a line of eco-friendly “elevated basics” (plain speak: outfits) made with Tencel, a biodegradable fabric composed of wood-pulp cellulose.


Photo by jelizen via Wikimedia Commons


The “how” is really beyond me at this point, but the seemingly space-age technique must be happening right NOW because Gwen’s 18-piece DWP (Design with Purpose) collection will be released this spring.

“What’s so great about DWP for me is it’s different from anything I’ve ever done, working in L.A. and having the factory right here,” Stefani told The Hollywood Reporter. “The actual designs are very simple because it’s all about everyday wear. So that’s different and new.”


Photo by Notxmyidea via Wikimedia Commons



She got around.

They say a photo speaks a thousand words …

Lady Norman's Scooter

Public domain photo courtesy of Goodreads


Enough said?

Well, alright, I’ll add a tidbit of explanation, as given by one G.D. Falksen on Goodreads: “Lady Florence Norman, a suffragette, on her motor-scooter in 1916, travelling to work at offices in London where she was a supervisor. The scooter was a birthday present from her husband, the journalist and Liberal politician Sir Henry Norman.”