Monthly Archives: June 2013




Have you ever Zentangled? (This new concept may be old hat to you, but just in case …)

Don’t let the term trap you into logical interpretations.

No claustrophobia intended.

On the contrary,

this type of tangling is all about freeing … your mind.

Zentangle® is a mesmerizing method of structured doodling created by calligrapher Maria Thomas and her husband, Rick Roberts.


Image courtesy of

Let’s put it into context:

You’ve been known to scribble and swirl on scraps of paper when talking on the phone, yes?

Well, Zentangle takes this kind of drawing to a whole new level of artistry-meets-meditation.

And anyone can do it, even people who insist they can’t draw.


Image courtesy of Craft Chick

“We love presenting to a class or seminar full of people who are convinced they can’t draw the Zentangle art we show them. Then, within 15 minutes, they have easily accomplished what they thought was impossible,” Maria says. “This is one of our favorite Zentangle moments, because then we ask, ‘What else do you know that you can’t do?’ You can transfer that insight and experience of success and accomplishment to any life experience. Something may look complicated, but you now know that you can do it, one simple stroke at a time.”


Image courtesy of the Greeley County Library

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As I was thinking about a possible Smokey the Bear theme for decorating my new trailer (with a small trailer, you can have several different decorating themes on hand for different trips—this theme would be for traveling with my grandgirls) …


when I happened upon the most darling teddy bears …

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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 … Sarah Hall!!!

Sarah Hall has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Horse Dreams Merit Badge!

“I live in an area where horses are not hard to find. My husband and I took a bike ride a few miles from our house and looked at the fields of beautiful horses. I really liked the American Painted Horses and swooned over all of the miniature horses!

I scheduled an hour-long ride near Rocky Mountain National Park and brought a friend along with me.

This truly turned out great! My first and only experience with a horse prior to this was at summer camp when I was a child. The horse stepped on my foot, crushing it, and I had many months of recovery with added complications due to my type I diabetes. I was traumatized by the experience but have always still admired horses (from afar). When I saw this badge, I knew that it was time for me to try to get over my fear of being too close to them (I do know that what happened to me as a kid was due to my inexperience and not the horse, but I was fearful none the less).

I was very nervous being near the horse and getting on it, but once I was in the saddle, my fear went away. The horse I rode was gentle and the ride was amazing (AND she was an American Paint Horse by chance). I really had the time of my life and would love the opportunity to go again! (I am in the white shirt with the huge smile on my face!)”





One hundred and eighty-four years after its original publication,

Mackenzie’s Five Thousand Receipts in All the Useful and Domestic Arts

is making its Kindle debut.


My, how times have changed …

Or have they?

Complied by an anonymous source known only as “An American Physician,” this book is a mighty mish-mash of intriguing—and remarkably useful—miscellany.

In the course of 460 pages of small print and black-and-white diagrams, Mackenzie’s covers everything,

and I mean everything,

from beekeeping, gardening, metallurgy, pickling, and preserving

to watercolor paints, medical cures, chimney cleaning, brewing, cooking,

and about a bazillion other timeless topics.

Okay, so the application of leeches may not be relevant to most readers, but there is enough trivia in this tome to keep you entertained, and maybe even enlightened, for hours on end.

Who knew you could make acorn coffee?

And wouldn’t you love to try the “Cream of Roses” facial recipe?

Fortunately, farmgirls, the book has a “most copious index” (the physician’s own words).

I’ve been having fun just thinking up a topic and seeing if it’s listed.

Drying flowers?


Manure application?


Waterproofing shoes?


The Kindle release is slated for July 16, 2013, but you can also pick up a paperback reproduction of the original or even reference it free online.



Glamping Sites to Visit in 2013: Day 7 of 15

Now that you’ve read my book, Glamping with MaryJane, you need to find a fabulous place to get your campin’ glam on.

And so, we’re back for a 7th day of where to glamp in 2013.

While my glamping B&B is on hiatus after eight years (my DIL and indispensable B&B maitre d’, Ashley, and my son, Brian, are having their second child any day now), here is another organic glamping farm to tide you over. Kinnikinnick (I just love saying the word) Feather Down Farm sounds picturesque!

Kinnikinnick Feather Down Farm

Visit this charming organic farm with roots that date back to 1849. Streams and dreams created Kinnikinnick Feather Down Farm, named for the river that runs through it.


Photo courtesy of Kinnikinnick Feather Down Farm

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