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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 … 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.”

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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.”

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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.


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.”

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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:

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.”

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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.

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