Monthly Archives: March 2018



What do you see? An owl face? Pig snout? Heart? (It’s actually half of a black walnut shell.)

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Barbies to Inspire

Barbie has been around since 1959, and it’s safe to say that likely no other toy has been in the hands of little girls more often than the ever-stylish, svelte, and controversial Barbie doll. We even have our own less-svelte version right here on Raising Jane earning Merit Badges: MBA Jane—Merit Badge Awardee Jane. (FYI, the shirt MBA Jane has on in this photo is one that my mother made for my Barbie back in 1960.)


While sporadically causing disdain (remember the talking one who whined “math class is tough!”? Oh, Mattel, what WERE you thinking?) in between bursts of creative genius, Barbie has really gone above and beyond this year, introducing their line of Inspiring Women. Some of their role models to base their dolls on include … drum roll, please …

  • Amelia Earhart, aviation pioneer
  • Frida Kahlo, artist
  • Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician
  • Chloe Kim, snowboarder
  • Bindi Irwin, conservationist
  • Patty Jenkins, film director
  • Misty Copeland, principal ballerina
  • Martyna Wojciechowska, journalist
  • Hélène Darroze, world renowned chef
  • Ashley Graham, plus-size model and body activist
  • Btihaj Muhammad, fencing champion

There’s even a farmer Barbie (check out our conversation about her here).

With so many dolls to choose from, it almost makes you want to become a collector, doesn’t it?

You can find more information on these dolls and the real-life women who inspired them over at Mattel.

Which one would you buy and why?

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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 CJ Armstrong!

CJ Armstrong (ceejay48, #665) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning the Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Levels of the Jewelry Making Merit Badge!

“BEGINNER: I’ve been making jewelry for about 10 years and have accumulated all manner of tools and supplies. I have quite a selection of beads, which include plastic, glass, wooden, metal, clay, ceramic, stone (semi-precious), etc. in every size and shape. I also have tiger tail, nylon, elastic, waxed cording, chains, memory wire and all kinds of pin backs, ear wires, jump rings, split rings, a variety of clasps, etc. Some of my favorite things to work with also include charms, ribbons, and even buttons.

I have already established that Celtic design jewelry is my favorite, but I also like simple designs using semi-precious stones. I used to have a lot of costume jewelry that I wore for work, but since retiring, I hardly wear any of that and gave most of it away. I had some pieces that were turquoise, made by Navajo silversmiths; most of that I gave to family members, except for a few favorite pieces. I do not try to replicate these pieces because I’m not native. But I still have all my Celtic-style jewelry, which I plan to keep and still wear and I’ve made some of my own Celtic-style pieces.

INTERMEDIATE: I am a self-taught jewelry maker, but learned quite a bit from my husband, who is a silversmith himself and has made a lot of jewelry as well. With what I learned from him, some printed material, and trial and error on my part, I became quite skilled at it and have made dozens of pieces in all kinds of styles and combinations of beads, wire, etc.

I like to buy a lot of my supplies from Fire Mountain Gems and have been able to learn a lot from the info they provide. I have made more than the required beaded and spiral-wired piece of jewelry

EXPERT: I have made bracelets, necklaces, earrings, cell-phone charms, keychains, zipper pulls, lanyards, pins/brooches, and stick pins, and have used beading/wire/charms to embellish papercraft projects such as cards, journals, and tags.

I have sold many pieces through the local farmers’ market and a variety of craft shows/bazaars. I have made custom orders for folks wanting a particular style or color and I have made many pieces for gifts, usually either a matching necklace and earrings or bracelet and earrings. The cards, journals, and tags were also sold through these venues. I have made matching sets for my daughter and we have matching breast-cancer awareness bracelets (more than one) and lanyards. The rings I have made were using elastic cording and beads.

The necklace and bracelet in the photo are a Celtic design set that I made for myself. The necklace uses waxed cord and a section of memory wire with the beads and charms. I have had a lot of fun making jewelry and it’s been nice to sell some pieces—that certainly is a compliment to me. Perhaps there is more of that in the future!!”

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Today’s Recipe: Sweet & Sour Rainbow Chard Rolls



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Anyone Else Hungry for Summer?

I was looking for a specific photo this afternoon and found some summer photos. Are you as ready for summer as my girls and I are?








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phone etiquette


Phone snubbing. We easily see it in others’ behavior. It’s so annoying when it happens to you, but be honest, you may be guilty of this one yourself …

verb (used with object), phubbed, phubbing
1. to ignore (a person or one’s surroundings) when in a social situation by busying oneself with a phone or other mobile device

Hey, are you phubbing me?

I hate to see a mother wheeling a stroller while phubbing her baby.

verb (used without object), phubbed, phubbing.

2. to ignore a person or one’s surroundings in this way.

Origin of phub

First recorded in 2010-14; ph(one) + snub


Woman using telephone, c. 1910. From postcard via Wikimedia Commons.


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