Buy props used in MaryJane’s books and magazine!
All proceeds (minus shipping and packing) will benefit www.firstbook.org, a non-profit that provides new books to children from low-income families throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,504 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,886 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 Stitching and Crafting/Toys Intermediate Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, I brought along a willing Nora and a not-so-willing Andy. Being the eldest, Andy thought he was far too old to be playing with toys, especially of the “girly” doll variety.
I wrangled him into submission with a stern talk about being young-at-heart forever (can I get an amen?), the promise that once his badge was earned he didn’t have to play with his creations if he really didn’t want to (cough, cough), and also a rather ginormous slice of apple spice cake with homemade whipped cream.
You know what they say, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Or is it, the way to a man’s heart is through his ribcage?
Well, I’ve heard it both ways.
Anyway, to earn our Intermediate Level badges (Piper had earned hers earlier in the year and was patiently waiting for us to catch up), we needed to make some DIY paper dolls or finger puppets. Still nursing paper cuts from my experience with Piper, we settled on finger and sock puppets for Andy and Nora.
Perfect for a rainy afternoon, I got out my basket of scrap material and the catch-all of abandoned and single socks I keep next to the dryer. You know the ones: hard to toss because you’re sure the mate is around here somewhere, but he’s probably off gallivanting in some sort of mid-life sock crisis, driving a convertible, and flirting with striped knee-highs and sophisticated argyles.
Having given up all hope of ever seeing their mates ever again, they were relegated to official Sock Puppet Status (except one polka-dotted thigh-high who had ambitions to be a Sock Monkey one day). Andy got to work, his tongue between his teeth in what I had learned long ago was standard Andy concentration mode.
Nora was more interested in the finger puppet variety (she loves her some miniatures), and she spent hours making families. A few different ways she experimented making her finger puppets were:
Don’t forget to add googly eyes, glitter, hats, sequins, etc. Decorating these are almost as much fun as playing with them afterwards. While Andy insisted his collection was being given away for Christmas gifts for his small cousins, I did notice he pocketed his favorite when he thought I wasn’t looking.
Don’t worry, Andy, real men CAN play with puppets! Think of all the Muppets! And just watch Fred Astaire and Edward Everett Horton playing with finger puppets in the 1934 film classic, The Gay Divorcee.
Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)
Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)
My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is Kimberly Nelson!
Kimberly Nelson (kmnelson77, #3492) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Shopping Green Merit Badge!
“For this merit badge, I had to acquire some reusable shopping bags. I’ve been using reusable bags for quite some time, but many of my bags needed replacing, so I picked up a few new ones so I had at least six. I also used a reusable bag I already had to hold all of my reusable bags and placed them in the bin in my car, so they are always with me on grocery shopping day.
Having the new bags has worked well. They are stiffer and stand up better for the person bagging my groceries. Having them all in one bag is easy to grab and having them in the car definitely helps to have them when you need them. No more, I forgot my bags at home!”
One of the best parts of the holiday season are the traditions you and your family begin and carry on. If you don’t have any, start some now.
P.S. I don’t recommend picking out more than two or three, otherwise your own personal holiday tradition may be an impression of Mrs. Grinch.
What are your favorite holiday traditions?
The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,504 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,886 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 Make It Easy/Do Your Eyes Light Up? Young Cultivator Merit Badge, I took advantage of my little helper-around-the-house extraordinaire, Nora. And by take advantage of, I mean taught a valuable life lesson.
What? You think I have an ulterior motive in my offer to babysit the little squirt? So cynical, dear reader! I would never!
Okay, maybe I would just a little. You see, I had misplaced my umpteenth tool for the last time. There’s never a hammer around when I need one, I haven’t seen my good flathead screwdriver since the summer of ’99, and when it comes to pliers … well, I know they’re around here someplace.
Nora loves a good organization project, and she was old enough now to teach the basics of a good toolbox. After all, she’d be in shop class soon enough, building crooked birdhouses, sawing off fingers 2X4s, building benches that list to one side … Sunrise, sunset. *nostalgic sniffle*
Anyway, we had an afternoon to spend and I was in desperate need of my measuring tape. Total coincidence, I assure you. First, lovingly instruct the kiddo. If we find the missing measuring tape, just a happy accident. Ahem.
First, we organized what we could find. My toolbox was frightfully embarrassing, I don’t mind telling you. I mean, it made my junk drawer in the kitchen look posh and well-thought out. There was a spilled bag of zip-ties sprinkled throughout, bent nails, broken and busted halves of things, a couple dried up paintbrushes, a butter knife (don’t ask), and some dead flies. I bear no responsibility for those guys, though.
But alas, no measuring tape or my good flathead screwdriver. The mystery deepened and the plot thickened, kind of like a Thanksgiving gravy but less lumpy.
Part of earning her badge was to learn the names of said tools, but she already knew quite a few. This led to her shouting around the house with a wrench,
It was Professor Plum in the kitchen!
Sometimes it’s difficult to get the little whippersnapper to focus. We ate a snack to feed our brains and tummies and got back to work.
After cleaning out the toolbox (Nora insisted on affixing some glitter stickers to the outside), we arranged the tools back inside in a much less haphazard way than we had found them. We also had a small, but respectful, funeral and eulogy for the flies. Nora prepared a lovely speech and we sang a few hymns. We figured that was the least we could do since they were getting the rather undignified disposal of joining the dustbin debris.
We were still missing the aforementioned tools and I was starting to panic over the lack of a decent hammer in my life. I’ve pounded small nails in my walls with a shoe one too many times to find it clever and/or cute. Also, it’s hard on the shoes.
So, off we went on an excursion to the garage. You know, the dimly lit room where perfectly good tools go to die. Or at least become missing in action. Seriously! In action! Like right in the middle of popping open a tin of paint in ’99 and wham, bam, thank you ma’am, my flathead screwdriver disappeared without a trace.
I don’t feel like Dateline or Law and Order takes seriously enough the millions of missing tools around the world.
(Don’t even get me started on socks.)
After about an hour, we found one MIA tool. As Nora exclaimed as she held it high in triumph,
It was Aunty Jane in the garage with the hammer!