Monthly Archives: June 2013



Free Things Box

An entry in the recent Instructables Green Design Contest caught my eye:


Photo courtesy of IamWe via

This simple little stroke of genius

(and generosity)

is just the sort of gesture we can all accomplish with just a dash of creativity and community spirit.

It’s called a Free Things Box.

The box’s inventor, a Dutch fellow named Berto, designed his freebie box to be placed in a person’s front yard or in a central location within a neighborhood.

What goes in it?

Small items that are no longer wanted by their owners but are still useful.

Think books, tools, toys, DVDs, garden seeds, fabric scraps, knick-knacks, etc.

“You can arrange with residents of the street that they can also put freebies in the box,” says Berto. “More people become aware to keep things out of the trash and from the landfill.”

Neighbors can add or take anything they want as long as they follow these simple rules:

  1. The box is only open during daytime hours.
  2. Take only things you can use.
  3. Take one thing at a time.

In Berto’s video (below), he shows how to make a sturdy weatherproof (and vandalism proof) box, complete with a “window for a quick look.”

Do you think this would work in your neighborhood? I’m definitely getting a box going here at the farm.



grateful for the grace of SISTERS

Brian gave me certificates to sign for Sisterhood membership renewals recently and I was moved to tears when I realized we have Sisters who’ve been with us seven years. S-e-v-e-n years.


Noelle Miller #111, Vicki Meeds #120, Rene Groom #185, Mary Setzer #378, and Samantha Douglas #449, we would love to send you a set of our MaryJane’s Home organic bed sheets as a token of our deepest appreciation (not to mention our intense need to want to pamper you).

Please email Brian your bed size and color preference (white, blue, green, yellow) and they’re on their way,



Coming up on year seven in one more year are 27!!!!!!!! Sisters! I love you!


Outpost Glamping Merit Badge, Part I

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,205 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—7,043 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 Outpost/Glamping Merit Badge, I steeled myself for an overnight with my favorite triplets. Midge’s kiddos are somewhere between the ages of 6 and 12, respectively. Hey, I’m a single gal: I’m not great with guessing children’s ages! I just know they are old enough to buckle their own seat belts, but not old enough to get a learner’s permit.

Anyway …

Midge needed an overnight sitter, so Yours Truly volunteered. Well, volunteer is a strong word … more like my deer-in-the-headlights look must have masqueraded as a pick-me look. I’d better work on that. But all kidding aside, I was psyched, amped up, phat, chillaxed, you know, to be the cool auntie for a night, plus it was the perfect opportunity to earn another badge! Which one, you might ask?

The ever-popular Glamping one.

Oh. Yes. Indeedy.

Though I’d heard of glamping, collected a Pinterest wall of glamping ideas, have friends who have done it, and daydreamed of all it entailed, I still hadn’t left my house.

My comfy, comfy house.

With that comfy, comfy bathroom.

Yes, I’m a wimp. A pathetic excuse for a farmgirl. I’ve said it.

But no more! I was going glamping. Even if it was just in the backyard.

Close to that comfy, comfy bathroom.

Don’t fret, chickadees, I don’t plan to cheat.

Unless completely necessary.


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photo-of-the-day birds on wire


Teacup Bangles

Dear reader, beware!

If you have a weak spot for vintage china teacups,

you may want to sit down for this.

First of all, this post involves cutting fine bone china into pieces …

I know. It’s hard on the ears.

But, there’s also an imminent risk to your pocketbook should you continue reading.

Do you dare?

I thought you would.

So, now you’re dying to know how tearing apart teacups could spur a spending spree.

Well, take a look at this:


Photo courtesy of StayGoldMaryRose

No, your eyes don’t lie.

Those beautiful bangles are …



English artist Abigail MaryRose Clark has perfected the most perilous process of transforming porcelain cups into must-have jewelry.


Photo courtesy of StayGoldMaryRose

Lest you still feel faint imagining your grandmother’s mint-condition china set being rendered into wrist rings, let me assure you that all of the china used in Abigail’s work is sourced from the UK’s biggest china manufacturers as seconds and damaged items.

“I believe strongly in preserving, upcycling, and reusing beautiful objects that have outlived their previous lives or intended use,” she says.


Photo courtesy of StayGoldMaryRose via Colour Me Vintage

Abigail has been designing and making her Repurposed Vintage Teacup Bracelets since 2004 and is currently supplying them to Anthropologie and other stores throughout the US and UK. You can also find an irresistible variety on her Etsy shop, StayGoldMaryRose, for about $45 to $65 each.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!




Getaway Gals

Gutsy gals …


Photo courtesy of

and glammed hams …


Photo courtesy of

Where do I sign up???

The Getaway Gals Camping Club is the southern belle’s answer to the call of the wild.


Photo courtesy of

Mind you, “the wild” is open to interpretation …


Photo courtesy of

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