Monthly Archives: February 2014



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 … Christy Harrill!!!

Christy Harrill (MerryHeartSister, #1951) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Expert Level Crochet Merit Badge!

“I learned ribbing, puff, picot and post stitches. I taught my niece, son and 4 homeschooled girls to crochet. I made a wrap for myself and a ruffled capelet for my daughter.

My daughter gets so many compliments. It is truly a unique piece.”




Giveaway: Bee Fabric

Here’s a cool GIVEAWAY sponsored by my favorite online source for fabric,  Read through to the end to join the other 400 women who’ve already entered to win. Win what, you say? Read on!


What’s that buzz? Bee My Honey by MaryJane Butters for Moda Fabrics just arrived and has been causing quite the buzz around here. This farmgirl-chic collection will stir up some new project ideas and get your head buzzing! Keep reading for a closer look at the collection and a chance to WIN one of MaryJane Butters’ Designer Select Bundles!


Q: MaryJane, tell us a little about your Bee My Honey collection. What were you inspired by?
A: Here’s the buzz: The little guys and girls are disappearing. Vamoose. Puff. Right behind their eight-legged buddies, bees are not all that high on everyone’s list of favorite animals. Puppies, yes. Kittens, sure thing. Owls, absolutely. But bees? The more I’ve learned while working with my bees (and reading the news), I feel the need to help everyone become more fond of the itty-bitty creatures. I mean, they’re working hard for us. If you happen to LIKE fruits and veggies (can’t live off potato chips—although some people try), you should LOVE, not just like, bees.


But you know what they say: You never know what you have until it’s gone. Short of dressing up like Pooh Bear, complete with honey pot atop my head, I didn’t know what to do.

So I send people on over to watch the Vanishing of the Bees documentary. There ARE things we can do to entice our bees back, and I was determined to do my part. Plant a bee-friendly garden? Done that. Learn how to be a beekeeper? Check. Design BEE fabric? YES!! Here you go, girlfren. Created with love (and honey).


Q: How did you go about selecting the fabrics for your Bee My Honey Designer Select Bundle?
A: I tried to think like a bee. Bees flitter from color to color and then back home. That seemed to work just fine, given the many different hues of merriment and color and restful shadows found in Bee My Honey.


Q: What design trends are you currently exploring?
A: Burlap is all the rage right now. Once it’s washed and yummy soft, I’m having fun putting it together with delicate, but roughly hewn, prints like you see in Bee My Honey.

Q: What projects do you hope to see made with Bee My Honey?
A: Here’s the deal. We care, and we talk, and we hope. And one day, people everywhere will begin to ACT. Beekeeping groups are sprouting up everywhere. I’m using profits from the sales of Bee My Honey to help fund one of them. In the meantime, I have outfitted one of my campers with Bee My Honey curtains and pillows, using the fabric swatches I received early on before the mill printed its first full run.


Q: How do you describe your style and how has it evolved over the years?
A: I’m attracted to two very distinct, couldn’t-be-farther-apart styles. On the one hand, I love frilly, cute, lighthearted, COLORFUL imagery. Kind of like Winnie-the-Pooh meets Farmgirl. On the other hand, I’m drawn to a more modern look that is rugged and full of texture, with heartbreaking simplicity and stark imagery that pulls you back in time. Think burlap meets rustic Victorian lace. Bee My Honey is my attempt to combine the two.


*2 Truths and a Lie*
1. Bee My Honey was inspired by one of my queen bees, Matilda.
2. I’m writing a children’s book featuring Matilda.
3. Matilda has started a dating website, but only organic gardeners are allowed to join.

One of the 3 statements is false. Go to the Fat Quarter Shop and comment on this post, telling us which statement you think is false. Answer correctly and you have a chance to win MaryJane Butters’ Designer Select Fat Quarter Bundle!

Giveaway closes March 4, 2014. Good Luck!



Maizy Baby

All in a day’s …

… work. Guess what I was doing yesterday morning at 4 am?

Wake up sleepy head Rose Etta.

Rosetta1 Today is your debut. Welcome to planet earth!

rosetta2 My milk cow Maizy was due Feb. 26, so starting a week ago, I began checking in on her night and day every 3-4 hours. Rose Etta weighed in at 56 pounds and there were no complications during delivery—always a relief. Every thing about her is udderly perfect and momma Maizy always does such a good job delivering her babies. I was sooooo hoping for a girl!

rosetta3 I spent the morning with both of them, cleaning and washing up after the birth and getting Maizy milked for the first time in a couple of months. Once all my dairy chores were done, I headed to our design studio to finalize my next fabric collection, work on our MaryJanesFarm Sister Issue, finalize the front cover of our next magazine, work with Gabe on our new website and Facebook page, and mess around with some burlap décor ideas for the next issue of my magazine.

fabric Oh, and also work with Brian on a new mud room we’re finishing. The idea with our mud room is to convert our farm facility into a boot-free zone. And because we all have such awesome footwear, it seemed only fitting that our daily line-up of boots show up in a properly decked out zone. Our two bootjacks are gonna get a workout. I know I’ll be taking my boots on and off several times a day but you know what? Mopping up all the manure we track across our floors is far more work.




My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge, Expert Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,730 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—8,037 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

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

For this week’s Cleaning Up/My Fair Farmgirl Expert Level Merit Badge, I decided to focus on one area of moi: my tresses. Those locks of love. My bonny curls. And if it’s first thing in the morning: the birds’ nest atop my noggin.

Being a girly girl, I confess to being tantalized, enraptured, besotted, and smitten with all things hair. Straighteners, curlers, potions, goos, goops, lotions, gels, shampoos, cream rinses, mousses, sprays, leave-ins, detanglers, creams, conditioners …  you name it, this farmgirl has tried it at one point or another. But could it be that all my smoothing and frizzing and combing and rinsing was actually damaging my hair instead of helping it?

I took a look at the ingredients on the back of my favorite shampoo and conditioner and momentarily thought I was attempting to read a different language. Gaelic perhaps? Elfish? Klingon? Baffled and saddened by the knowledge that my “natural” almond conditioner had less almonds and more synthetic ingredients than I could shake a stick at, I tried my hand at creating my own.

The result? Shiny, happy hair that smells delish, a less cluttered shower, and a happier Earth, if I do say so myself.

Brown Sugar Cookie Shampoo Scrub

  • 4 T organic brown sugar
  • 2 T coconut oil or shea butter
  • 1 T local honey

Use to stimulate and clean scalp: massage thoroughly and rinse well.

Apple Cider Rinse

  • organic apple cider vinegar
  • water

Keep in a bottle in your shower and use generously to add shine to your hair.

Marshmallow Detangler

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 marshmallow root
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T oil (coconut, olive, or jojoba)
  • 5-10 drops essential oil, like lavender

Boil the water and steep the marshmallow root (as if you were making tea). Strain through a cheesecloth and add your other ingredients. Keep in spray bottle.

Herbal Hair Rinses
Ingredients (pick the ones that fit what you need):
Catnip: Promotes healthy hair growth.
Chamomile: Softens hair, soothes the scalp, lightens, and conditions (use it with honey to bring out natural highlights). Chamomile is also known to stimulate growth.
Horsetail: Helps brittle hair due to its high silica content.
Lavender: Stimulates hair growth.
Nettle: Conditions; improves texture; and helps with dandruff, irritated scalp, and dry scalp
Parsley: Enriches hair color and gives a nice luster.
Plantain: Great for dry, irritated scalp; dandruff; and seborrhea.
Peppermint: Stimulates the scalp.
Rosemary: Acts as a tonic and conditioner, one of the best herbs to use, gives luster and body, stimulates growth, helps with dandruff, and brings out dark highlights in the hair.
Sage: Very effective in restoring color to graying hair; excellent for weak, brittle hair.
Saw Palmetto: Good for thinning hair and hair loss.
Thyme: Good for oily hair and dandruff.
Witch Hazel: Cleanses hair.

After you’ve decided which herb(s) will get the job done for your type of hair, follow the steps below:

  1. Place the herb(s) in a pitcher (glass is ideal).
  2. Pour boiling water over the herb(s), cover, and steep for 10-20 minutes.
  3. Strain the mixture and allow the liquid to cool.
  4. Pour over your head after your regular shampoo, condition, and detangling session. Do not rinse.




As Real As It Gets

It has long been said that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

But in this modernized age, it feels more as if beauty is in the eye of the media, and the rest of us are scrambling to live up to strangely synthetic ideals. As a grandmother to several growing girls, this issue strikes a chord.

From movies and magazines to apps, ads, and even toys,


Photo by Anoni245 via Wikimedia Commons


“beauty” has begun to acquire a positively unnatural gleam that reminds me of polished chrome.

It may be glossy, but it leaves me feeling a bit blinded.

When, I wonder, did our notions of attractiveness become so sterilized?

When did we forget that “flaws” like freckles and frizz are where fabulous flourishes?


Photo by Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons

If you missed the viral online video showing a perfectly lovely woman’s artificial transformation into a plasticized photo model, you may be shocked at how the images we see in the media are contorted in ways we wouldn’t even imagine. Let’s just say that leg lengthening and eye expansions are par for the course.

Befuddling, isn’t it?

Suddenly, thanks to computer software programs, models are not only impossibly thin, they are just plain impossible.

In light of such surreal standards of appearance, it’s no surprise that today’s women (and their developing daughters) are losing perspective on what it means to be a living, breathing, beautiful being.

And that is what makes me love a new video produced by Dove. While I may not love every ingredient that goes into their products, the company’s Campaign for Real Beauty has its heart in the right place, and its latest effort is something special.

Here, we find moms and daughters who are taking the media into their own hands and reclaiming their place as beauty’s beholders.

You’ll want to watch this: