GIVEAWAY: “Shuttercraft, Fresh Egg Overture”

For a chance to win these robin cutout painted wood shutters from Shuttercraft Quality Wood Shutters, tell me about your favorite bird in the comments below. I’ll toss your name into a hat and draw a lucky winner sometime mid-July.


Stay tuned for more magazine-related giveaways. If you’re not yet a subscriber to my magazine, MaryJanesFarm, subscribe here for $19.95/year.

  1. Kendra Chubbuck says:

    Chickadees. They are so friendly and talkative. My husband (John) has been trying to train the chickadees the visit our bird-feeders. He wants them to take food from the palm of his hand and they are almost doing it! Wicked fun to watch. They are year-round birds here in Maine.

    These shutters would look wonderful in our new home that we are building. John and I built it ourselves. I have certainly learned a lot from him. We think they would look great as our office door.

    Thank you! Have a great weekend.

  2. Pileated Woodpeckers, you know, the ” woody woodpecker” type? I have 2 mated pairs of them at my farmette and they are way loud, think jackhammers- honestly, that loud. It’s mating season so they establish their territory by banging away on the trees. And impress the females who call back with more banging! Yep it’s deafening, especially in the mornings and at sunset. They are very shy so you hear them a lot more than you see them. They are huge birds, about 1 feet tall. Very impressive when you see them and their call is distinctive too.I love them as they are so special.
    see here for more info from Cornell:

    • MaryJane says:

      That’s amazing Lisa. Such a rare bird, and to have it take up residence at your place?! You must be living’ right:)

      • not sure about that-MaryJane but it’s really amazing that I have 4 of them (at least) . They need old growth standing dead trees to be really happy and that I have lots of . Their favorite 2 trees are about 5 stories high at least. becuse of the standing dead wood, I have a huge ( and happy) woodpecker/flicker population here.

    • Diane Van Horn says:

      I have those “rare” woodpeckers putting big holes in my cedar house!

      • are the holes square? then it is the Pileated otherwise some other woodpecker or flicker

        • MaryJane says:

          We have flickers here and they do a fair amount of damage. My poor historic barn and one-room schoolhouse gets riddled with holes every spring, even though I’ve covered the siding in chicken wire and hardware cloth, the flickers still peck huge holes into the wood through the wire. I’ve put shiny CDs everywhere and planted fake owls here and there; nothing stops their need to make noise to attract females (originally I thought it was the female trying to build nests). That’s the reason our facility is covered in metal. They still drill into it but can’t damage anything other than their stubborn noggins. I had one early this morning pounding out a staccato on our metal siding.

          • My oh MY! and I was worried about my poor antique apple tree riddled with holes! Amazing isn’t it how ” love” make you do the stupidest things? oh yeah and the CDs work on deer (kinda) but I haven’t seem them do diddly on bird problems . Ah Mother Nature at her finest making sure they all perpetuate their species, And “ain’t nothing” gonna stop her.

          • MaryJane says:

            I have two milk cows in heat this weekend. They act like obsessed zombies when they’re in heat. Night and day.

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Gosh, picking out a favorite bird is hard to do. I guess I would say my favorite is the Carolina Wren. They are so adorable hopping about and boy can they sing. We have several who live around our yard and come to the feeders and suet everyday for a visit. This morning, I saw a Black and White Warbler at the birdbath having an early morning visit and bath. This is the first time I have ever seen one and when I looked them up in my bird book, I learned that they migrate here in August for the Winter and leave in May. I think I have been lucky to catch a view of one in the yard before they all head north for the Summer.


    One of my favorite birds, and not because of its color, is the tree swallow. When I see them and hear their awesome song I know Spring is here. I take my coffee and just sit in my garden and watch and listen. It is especially calming.

  5. winnie Jackson says:

    Oh how I love these shutters and the color is perfect for my sunroom. My dad was a lover of birds of all kinds. He would feed them and sit for hours in the afternoon outside and watch and just be at peace with them. He would always want me to sit with him and just take in all the joy they give us. Oh how these shutters give me a joyful reminder of my special dad. They bring happy tears to my eyes! How special they are in many ways.
    Blessings and enjoy all the world around us daily, Winnie Jackson

    • Cheryl bell says:

      Hi Winnie I love your post my daddy loved watching all the birds also,his favorite was the blue Jay’s because they would eat peanuts right out of his hand now they are my favorite because when I see them I think of my wonderful daddy.

  6. May says:

    My favorite bird is a cardinal because they are so pretty.

  7. Amy says:

    My favorite bird is the red-winged blackbird. We have many blackbird friends that visit us (and our bird feeders) all through summer. Our family enjoys listening to their song from our windows and backyard.

    P.S. Adorable shutters! I absolutely love these.

  8. Krista says:

    I would have to say my favorite bird is a Blue Jay. Blue is one of my favorite colors and I think they are very smart birds. When I was younger we would put out peanuts for them and watch them fly up and take them. We even placed them right at the edge of our open door and they would still come get them. Sometimes we would even find peanuts hidden in our potted plants! It was such a cool experience.

  9. Such pretty shutters, MaryJane! Wouldn’t they look pretty on our garden/potting shed!
    I have so many favorite birds! We have several kinds of woodpeckers, cardinals, chickadees, nut hatches, Orioles, Hummingbirds, besides the less colorful. I think my very favorite is the Gold finch. It is our state bird. Also, in the Fall when the yellow leaves are falling to the ground the bright yellow gold finches (and we have many of them) look like yellow leaves falling up!
    Thank you, for another opportunity to win something wonderful!

  10. Alice Minasian says:

    They’re all so sweet, but whenever I see a beautiful little bluebird, it puts an extra special smile in my heart!

  11. Tracie says:

    Oh my goodness, 1 favorite… well today my favorite is the hummingbird, they’ve just arrived and having so much fun watching them and trying to recognize any from last year.

  12. Robin says:

    Im a bird lover of all kinds. I love my namesake Robin- but adore the song if the little wren. Theyve become quite friendly in our bird houses

  13. shirley says:

    my favorite bird is the raven , its mysterious like me. I was in Bryce canyon in Utah and one flew over by me and had a rest on a post . it was a bout 1 yard from me and it wasn’t going any place . everyone with a camera made their way over to were me and my new friend were to take photos and of course my husband had my camera and about the time he was ready to snap a shot , well my friend was gone . see my husbands not to great with my Nikon . so sadly I haven’t a photo with my raven but I took some before I handed camera to husband for he wasn’t moving until I handed husband the camera and it took so long for my shocked husband to click click

  14. Michelle Seliga says:

    Favorite bird, Hmmm… have a few Ravens I guess , there are alot of HUGE ones around here. All the different sounds they make and they share roadkill with the Bald Eagles!! Also our Dog likes to “chase” them.

  15. Jane Mason says:

    While I LOVE wild birds, my favorite being Waxwings, bother cedar and bohemian, my personally favorite bird is my Yellow-naped Amazon Myka!!

  16. Sara Kitchen says:

    My favorite bird happened to be a woodpecker: As I arrived home, a very large woodpecker on the front lawn caught my eye. It stood so still that I went right over and picked it up in both hands, then went inside the house to surprise Daddy. Indeed, he was very surprised as I held it for a few minutes. Then it flew into the walls and again, I picked it up and went outside. It didn’t fly off my hands for a while. Finally it took off and I watched it fly zigzagging away into the sky.

  17. Sharon Demers says:

    Thank you for the opportunity MaryJane 🙂 I would have to say that Meadowlarks are my absolute favorite bird. I love hearing their song first thing in the morning, all day and at dusk in the warmer months. My ring tone is even a Meadowlark which can make answering the phone difficult in the Summer 😉

  18. Diane Van Horn says:

    My favorite bird also happens to be my state bird! It is the robin, state bird of Wisconsin. You can always tell when spring is coming by the first sign…robins! I love watching them dig up worms and feed them to their babies in the nest.

  19. Denise says:

    Oh I just love the hummingbirds! We see them a lot here once I fill my window boxes. I don’t put anything out for them just the flowers seem to draw them. It is just awesome to me the way they keep their wings beating yet can stay in one spot.
    These shutters are beautiful and would be so pretty for the little shed I am planning for this summer.

  20. terry steinmetz says:

    My favorite bird is our state bird, the robin. When I see them, I know that winter is over and spring is here. They work so hard to get their food. And they sing so sweetly


  21. I love seeing the Eagles in Zion National Park. We live close to the Park and visit there often. Nothing like a brisk hike in the beautiful canyon. It is always a great day when you cna hike there and be joined by the eagles soaring over head along with your hiking. It is almost like they are dancing with you ans you enjoy their home.

  22. Lori Myers says:

    Tufted Titmouse. They are such pretty little birds. A pair built a nest on a shallow ledge at the corner of our upstairs porch ceiling. Six babies hatched. I had a great view of them from my master bedroom. I must admit I worried as they got bigger that one would fall out, but they stacked on top of each other pyramid style. They were very comical. We happened to be working in the yard the day mom and dad decided to hold flight school. It took most of the afternoon, but each little bird successfully learned to fly and made new homes in the trees around our house. Ever since, they have been my favorite!

  23. Marilyn says:

    I love the wintry contrast of the male Cardinal at a feeder. These are strikingly beautiful birds!

  24. Rose Ann Wong says:

    Cardinals. I love how in the grips of cold,snowy winter in Minnesota, they provide a bright splash of color for us to enjoy!

  25. Chrissy says:

    Naming a favorite bird is a little like naming a favorite child. But, I suppose the one that piques my interest in pictures, little stained glass suncatchers, and in nature and makes me feel some (not all) is right with the world is the hummingbird. I plant appealing red flowers and shrubs to attract them, and try to maintain a feeder. It was a favorite of my mom and dad’s and they were savvy to return dates and getting the feeders out before they came. My dad enjoyed the male ones hovering around his red cap reminding him to fill the feeders when thy became empty. They talked to all the birds and animals, and I do, too.

  26. Elisabeth Perkins says:

    I would say all birds are beautiful! Since I have to pick a favorite I will pick the sparrow. It reminds me of three things.
    First, I am reminded of the Bible verse, Matthew 10:21, that says “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
    Secondly, I am reminded of the song His Eye Is on the Sparrow written by Civilla D. Martin, in 1905. One of my favorite parts of the song is the refrain, “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
    Lastly the Sparrow reminds me of the poem by Elizabeth Cheney.

    “The Robin and the Sparrow”

    Said the robin to the sparrow,
    “I should really like to know,
    Why these anxious human beings
    Rush about and worry so.”
    Said the sparrow to the robin,
    “Friend I think that it must be,
    That they have no Heavenly Father,
    Such as cares for you and me.”

  27. That is a hard one! I like so many. A few years ago we took in an injured owl, Barred. He got well and flew to the woods behind our house. He even called in a mate! Now we have several back there. I love listening to them call back and forth. I remember thinking back in March that it was a sound I would miss when we moved to the farm, but last week, I heard a pair behind our cabin!

    • PS- We call the owl that we rehabbed Twilight. 🙂

      • I once rehabbed a baby screech owl that had been injured. Bottom line- you want to be sure and keep them VERY HAPPY, as their screech is many decibels loud, it actually truly hurts your ears. I couldn’t get those ( dead) baby mice ( called pinkies in the vet trade) in her mouth fast enough! I was soooo happy when she was able to be further rehabilitated by bird experts and eventually let back out in the wild. Good for you for helping your owl.

  28. I am so excited birds, my favorite of all! I love all birds; however just like most things I do have a favorite which is the cardinal. I keep the saying close to me heart, when a cardinal appears it means a loved one is near! When I see a cardinal with their beautiful crimson red I see my beautiful mother in law whom I know is near me everyday! I miss her so but know she is near when my favorite cardinals appear! I just love these beautiful shutters!

  29. Sharon says:

    My favorite bird to spot is the pileated woodpecker, when climbing the side of a tree or watching its distinctive flight.

  30. Deborah McKissic says:

    These shutters are such a pretty blue! The cutouts are beautiful! My favorite bird would have to be the dove. We have a pair of “love doves” as my grandchildren call them…doves mate for life so I read…and, ours hang out together in our yard…I think of me and my hubby as we call each other “love dove”. The one dove was injured one year…could not fly….and we were all heartsick…but it would walk down our front walkway and I kept a bird bath low to the ground for it and fed it thistle from the goldfinch feeder…it finally flew up to our roof top and would sit on the gutter all night, then back to the ground and would even walk up to people who visited! We were amazed at its personality…it healed and flew off with its mate, who was always close by making their “love dove” cooing sound…now, this same dove flies up to the goldfinch thistle feeder and tilts it so it spills out thistle to the ground and then the two “love doves” enjoy it together…..oh…love…..true love….

  31. Deean Hicks says:

    The Robin, always a sure sign that spring is just around the corner. Here in the mountains of northern Utah the weather can change from snow to 60’s in a matter of minutes. We have a saying here, “If you don’t like the weather it’s okay it will change in a few minutes.” Love everything country!

  32. LaWanda says:

    I love the humming birds because they are so pretty and I love to watch how fast they can flap their wings. Amazing little birds to watch.

  33. Faith says:

    I’d say cardinal. They are a bit sassy, but they really catch my eye.

  34. Amy Nixon says:

    Great white herons. They remind me of camping in the Florida Keys with my midwestern, farm-minded World War II hero dad. He used to call every single heron he’d see “George,” and when I see one fly overhead or poke its head out in the marshy grass on a vacation, I always think of my dad, and his series of “Georges!”

  35. Rhonda Bowdy says:

    Favorite bird is parakeets. I have 2 parakeets and I love them.

  36. Jana Blackwood says:

    I love just about all kinds of birds but I guess my favorite is the bluebird. One legend says that the bluebird brings happiness. Whether that is true or not the bluebird is beautiful and harms nothing.

  37. BETH TABBERT says:

    chickadees are my true favorite year long bird, but in the spring, I put out oranges for my orioles who come back every year…

  38. Sandy Worley says:

    The shutters are wonderful! I’m making curtains for my sewing room that have all types of lovely birds that would be perfect with those shutters. I have jars & jars of buttons around my bird decorations to enjoy while I’m sewing/quilting. Cardinals have always been my very favorite, but we have darling little sparrows that nest on our patio….& we treasure their devotion to their babies.

  39. Dawn says:

    My favorite bird is the wren. It heralds spring with its beautiful song. And such a voice from a tiny little bird!!!

  40. Elizabeth hawley says:

    I would have to say the bald eagle! It is so thrilling to see one! I love owls too and other birds of prey. They just fascinate me!

  41. rosie Halvorson says:

    My favorite little bird who visits my garden is a Black Phoebe. I just call her Phoebe. She’s there all the time and is a flying bug catcher, so you never see her on the ground. She perches on my fairy statues and on the backs of my chairs waiting for her next meal .

  42. susan barger says:

    I’m partial to the crazy robin that has built her nest in the open trusses of my balcony roof. I can see her through the french doors to the balcony sitting on her nest. She tries to scare off her reflection in the doors so I keep hanging scarves to keep her from hurting herself. She likes to sit on the railing when she’s not on her nest!

  43. GeriWitt says:

    We are a bird crazy family, so I have had several favorite birds. Right now my favorite bird is our cockatiel, Angel. He had been with us for 5 years, rescued from a co-worker’s backyard and home, where she had 5 cats. A true rescue! He is fun, quirky and greets me with a whistle and “hello, baby” when I get up in the morning or come home from work.

  44. Gina says:

    Honestly, I think all birds are my favorite, but if I must pick, I will choose a Carolina Wren because no matter the season, the weather, or the variety of other birds around our feeders, this wren always chirps and hops about cheerfully. Never does it seem to fuss with and bully other birds for food at the feeders; it just waits its turn. These wrens cheerfully sing in our area all year long.

  45. Ashley says:

    Bluebirds. Our farmstead is a under wildlife management for Eastern Bluebirds and we have several pairs on our property. We’ve had one batch of 5 babies earlier this spring and another batch of 5 eggs are currently in the nest.
    They are so pretty, make sweet little songs and fun to watch. Also, our farmstead is called Bluebird Acres and I was nicknamed Bluebird by my friends years ago.

  46. Cutouts make some of our most beautiful shutters! They add charm and personality to any cape, cottage, ranch, bungalow, or farmhouse. The possibilities are endless! Colleen at Shuttercraft

  47. Lynne says:

    The huge bright Pilated Woodpecker. He makes huge holes in our dead trees and sounds like a jungle bird. So prehistoric!

  48. Sandi says:

    Mary Jane, I like all birds, but my favorite bird is a night bird, the whipporwill, for it’s haunting song. As a child I listened to them at night when I lived in upstate New York in the country. I have always remembered that sound, such a longing it held and for those who were around to hear it, a blessing to be treasured. You were never really alone if you were close enough to hear the haunting cry of the whipporwill.

  49. Debbie Jackson says:

    I have more than one but right now I am in love with the Purple Martin’s. I am going to make them a home to ensure they continue to return to my little farm and take care of the little pests. When they first starting swooping around, they’d zoom in low and startle my chickens and ducks but now they are fine with them. They are such a pretty color and so graceful. To me asking what is your favorite bird is like asking what is your favorite flower. Too many beautiful ones to choose from.

  50. Ann Zeigler says:

    I have one Guinea Hen. I started out with 5…..I did not realize they would be so frail. Have had chickens for years. So I really like my Guinea Hen, she makes funny sounds, keeps all of my hens in line and eats ticks. How awesome is that!

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Hatching Albert

We’re told time and again that supermarket eggs won’t hatch.

Photo by Karen Arnold via

Continue reading

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Who knew this could really happen? I love the story of little Albert!!

  2. I read about little Albert- who knew that Quail eggs were sold fresh in the Netherlands? hey Winnie, you are headed there soon aren’t you? Be on the lookout for them.

  3. Oh be sure to watch all the Albert videos, too cute! I just love him!

  4. Krista says:

    This is so cool and he is such a cute little quail! I almost want to try and see if any of the eggs I buy would hatch. It’s crazy how nothing is impossible.

  5. Denise says:

    I would think since it was a quail egg maybe they are raised differently? Possibly with a male around? I don’t know the difference in how chickens are raised there but I doubt it is the same as here in the states. Well the ones for producing eggs for retail.

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bee sweet

This story simply couldn’t bee any sweeter …

Photo by Bob Peterson from North Palm Beach, Florida, Planet Earth! Via Wikimedia Commons

“When I was just 4, my family encouraged me to make a product for a children’s business competition and Austin Lemonade Day. So, I put on my thinking cap,” begins Texas pollination activist and ecopreneur Mikaela Ulmer (who is now a ripe ol’ 11 years old). “I thought about some ideas. While I was thinking, two big events happened: I got stung by a bee. Twice. Then my Great Granny Helen … sent my family a 1940s cookbook, which included her special recipe for Flaxseed Lemonade. I didn’t enjoy the bee stings at all. They scared me. But then something strange happened. I became fascinated with bees. I learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem. So then I thought, what if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great Granny Helen’s recipe?”

It was a golden idea that blossomed into Bee Sweet Lemonade, a burgeoning business that not only sells a lot of lemonade but also donates money from sales to local and international organizations that strive to preserve pollinator populations.

Mikaela’s motto is, “Buy a Bottle … Save a Bee.”

This sharp-as-a-bee-stinger little darlin’ is on a roll.

Last year, Mikaela hooked a Shark Tank investor Daymon John. Last month, she struck a deal with Whole Foods that included the distribution of Bee Sweet Lemonade in 55 stores.

Watch her in action and you’ll understand the secret to Mikaela’s success:

Keep up with the Bee Sweet story at and



  1. Amy Cloud Chambers says:

    Wow! What an amazing story. And what an amazing young lady! It makes you feel good about the future of our world when you hear about young people like her. Thanks so much for sharing this story.

  2. Wow, that puts our little childhood lemonade stands to shame. What a brilliant little girl and what a fabulous idea.I hope Granny gets more credit for making this happen. We all need to help the bees.
    This spring my apple tree in blossom ,which usually is smothered in bees, had only bumblebees and carpenter bee type bees around it and not even that many. I have only seen one bee which looked like a honey bee. This is what is happening even in my small part of the world. Be kind to our bees!

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What a sweet, sweet story and what a fantastic leader Mikaela is at the tender age of 11. The bees are lucky to have such a spokesperson for their health and well being too. Thank-you, MaryJane for sharing this today at our MondayMorning science topic together. We don’t have a WholeFoods store, but I am going to look at our EarthFare and see if they carry it.

  4. Krista says:

    How crazy! I just watched this episode of Shark Tank this weekend! She is one amazing little girl and is working hard to help our world. I want to find her lemonade and try it out. As an added bonus I would be contributing to help save the bees. What an inspiration.

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GIVEAWAY: “Simply Stitched, Fresh Egg Overture”

For a chance to win this new book, “Simply Stitched” (featuring 20 beautiful, original embroidery motifs, plus projects and instructions), tell me about one of your favorite needlework projects in the comments below. I’ll toss your name into a hat and draw a lucky winner sometime mid-July.


Read about Simply Stitched in the June-July issue of MaryJanesFarm, “Fresh Egg Overture.” Stay tuned for more magazine-related giveaways. If you’re not yet a subscriber to my magazine, MaryJanesFarm, subscribe here for $19.95/year.

  1. Amy Cloud Chambers says:

    One of my favorite needlework projects is a yet to be completed memory quilt that I’ve been working on for my daughter for quite a few years. When it’s done it will consist of 72 cross stitched squares. The squares are all different. Some are versions of her name and initials, others represent her favorite things like cats and the moon. Still others commemorate things like her college degrees, purchase of her first house and the birth of her daughter. I’m even incorporating some saved keepsakes into some squares, like items from her Brownie, Girl Scout and school uniforms. I hope to get it done this year!

  2. Kim Rountree says:

    My favorite project was my first. A dresser scarf of red roses. My mother was sceptical that I had the patience to finish. She was so proud that I had finished it she added a beautiful lace border for me.

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Some of my favorite projects have been cross-stitch samplers and smaller projects. My first big project was a Williamsburg Sampler that took me about 1 year to complete. It is framed and in our bedroom still. I love historical themes and copies of children’s learning lessons.

    Amy, your keepsake quilt is going to be such a treasure for your daughter!

  4. Deb says:

    Mine was when I was about 20 years old newly married, maybe 2 years or so with a new baby, living in Germany while my hubby was in the military, I embroidered a pair of my bell bottom jeans from top to bottom with different flowers. It was the 1970’s so it had to be flowers! It took me about a year, but it kept me busy, from being sad and lonely on this new adventure in my young life!
    I have thought of those jeans a lot over the years and wondered what happened them, wish I stil had them. I can not embroidered like that any more!

  5. Brenda White says:

    One of my favorite cross stitch projects is a garden design with herbs. Each herb is stitched along with its name in a octagon pattern with a beautiful bee scape in the center. It is a project I’m very proud of and hope it will be passed down in my family. 🐝

  6. Leisa Joan says:

    My daughter does needlework. she made Christmas stocking for all the horses in her barn (6 of them) and decorated them all differently. She’s very talented!

  7. Laurie Scott says:

    Many years ago I embroidered a large throw pillow for my mom with roses scattered all over it in pinks and purples with each of my children’s names and birth dates on it.

  8. Lisa Bramblet says:

    My favorite project so far was my sons Christmas stocking. I had chose a beautiful pattern from Mary Englebright featuring the Lion and the Lamb… started when he was born, completed when he turned 16 – you could say that one was REALLY on the extended program! I finished many other projects, but this one was large and I did not love all the colors, by the end I did, and am so pleased I finished it! <3 Perseverance right!

  9. Cathy R says:

    I showed my Mother how to cross stitch and over the years she created some real treasures! My favorite is two southern girls in their finery that I made into a pillow that reminds me of her when I admire it! Blessings to you!

  10. Eileen Stone says:

    My favorite needle work project was working with my daughter Emily at an embroidery class. Emily embroidered a fabulous blue, wool Christmas stocking for her friend. I worked on a couple of wool flower shaped chair cushions for our kitchen stools. It was so much fun being in the class with my daughter & working on our projects together!

  11. terry steinmetz says:

    My favorite needlework project was designing and cross stitching a welcome sign. It symbolized our home with a house, hearts, spruce trees and “welcome”. It has been around since the 1980’s and has moved with us to our 2 new homes, one in Ishpeming & one here in Ford River. I’m very proud when I look at it!

  12. winnie Jackson says:

    My most favorite needle work was a cross stitch of famous saying my mother in-law used to say while alive. I never had the chance to meet her. She died before coming into this family. I thought it would be a tribute to have hanging in our home. Still does today.
    I think it would be a honor to win this wonderful needle work book.
    Blessings to you today and always. Live in the moment and cherish all.
    Sincerely, Winnie Jackson

  13. Sara Kitchen says:

    My favorite needlework project was a combination of embroidery, candlewick, and cross-stitch motifs with a hardanger border around the edges of a folksy baby and cradle sampler with baby’s name and birth date. It’s such an elegant keepsake for a child, knowing that this child will feel loved.

  14. Amanda McCardle says:

    Oh I am crazy for crazy quilts (and patchworks)! I am in the process of making my first one. I find it fascinating looking up & learning all the different stitches & motifs, why they were chosen & where to use them. It’s definitely a labor of love!

  15. I love wool and doing wool application. Right now I ‘m doing a block of the month wall handing at my favorite quilt shop. I have always enjoy enjoyed working with wool and this block of the month is wool application. I’m always looking for something new.

  16. Marion O'Neill says:

    I like embroidering kitchen towels. I love the designs from the 1930s through the1950s. I especially like the bluebird and chicken designs, but I was happy to find an old World War II aircraft mechanic pattern that I made for my friend Anna who is an aircraft mechanic. It featured a cat in overalls with a tool box, and it said ” Keep ’em Flying” .

  17. Josie Davis says:

    My favorite stitching is on a crazy quilt. Ribbon embroidery and thread stitches are so rewarding!

  18. Andrea Smith says:

    My favorite needlework project is a display that I am working on for FACE of Fiber in the Rockies fiber arts show in Estes Park, Colorado in June. It is a set of 12 aprons-one for each month of the year. I am entitling it “Once Apron a Time”. They will not be your Grandmother’s aprons, but creative works of art.

  19. I remember years ago finding several small silk ribbon embroidery kits bundled together at a thrift store. I bought the bundle And brought it home and over the course of the next year I made them all. They were basically just samplers, each was a different flower. One was a cactus plant in a pot. I made various crafty items with each one, such as a trinket box I made out of an old check box, and gave them away as gifts.

  20. Kathryn Krebbs says:

    When my first daughter was born I took a scrap of yellow gingham and embroidered the verses of the nursery rhyme “Hush Little Baby”. I then use our Childcraft book as inspiration an embroidered a mother rocking her baby in a wooden rocker (the illustration in the book) I turned the piece into a pillow case for my little girl. That pillow served her well. It finally fell apart and is only a memory. But that tiny yellow pillow was with us for years… most of my needlework pieces are gone I tend to make things and give them away. I read once that that’s what Grandma Moses did too so I felt better about not keeping my work.

  21. Juli Bicksler says:

    When I was in high school I gathered some floss and a needle from my Grandmother’s stash of craft material. I had never embroidered before or seen my Grandmother embroider either. I started lettering a bands name on my jeans & added a flower or two. No instructions or Internet. Enjoyed it the minute I picked the needle up and continue to this day to do needlework.

  22. Michele Adams says:

    My favorite stitching project so far was one I did when my son was a toddler and had the flu. He wanted me with him, and it was tough for me to be patient when I felt I had so much to do that didn’t include sitting around. I wracked my brain for something I could do on the bed with him that would keep me interested and be useful. I settled on trying to “mend” my favorite, on-their-way-to threadbare pair of jeans. The backside had a rather revealing hole, so I borrowed my young daughter’s Klutz embroidery book and free-stitched a swirly sunshine over the hole with several new-to-me stitches. In the process of being present for my son, I learned some the new stitches, got a project done and was able to enjoy my now extra special (and newly spunky!) old jeans for a while longer.

  23. Micki Thompson says:

    My favorite needlework was my first attempt at needle-felting, I made a cute frog with the most charming impish grin. He sat on a shelf where he could be admired. Turns out, his biggest fan was the cat, so I relegated Frog to the bedroom where said cat isn’t allowed. I walk in from the barn one day to find the bedroom door ajar, and a trail of green, black, and white wool fragments across the floor. End of the trail is the cat, gleefully hugging Frog to his chest whilst kicking the daylights out of him with rear claws. Poor Frog was quite literally gutted, and despite my efforts could not be felted back together again.

    Oh, did I leave the bedroom door open? Initially I thought I had, until I caught the cat stretching up the door and managing to twist the darn knob open!

  24. Gina says:

    Because of reading the Little House on the Prairie books and other similar era books as a child and learning of the girls’ work on alphabet samplers, I wanted to embroider a sampler too. My parents found an alphabet sampler in Virginia for me that I worked on and finished. It has hung on my walls in every house I’ve lived in since growing up.

  25. Kathleen Hansen says:

    Working with my granddaughter Emily on her first embroidery lesson was a treasured memory that I will hold forever. She was so intent on placing the needle up and down through the fabric and being careful to make sure that she stayed on the right side so her thread would not get hung up. She had careful drawn her own picture and carefully outlined the design. What a thrill when it was all completed!

  26. Mary O'Boyle says:

    I started embroidering when I was a Girl Scout. My grandmother embroidered and crocheted afghans and taught me and my mother, as well. My crocheting ended up with crooked edges, but my embroidered projects were fun and turned out well. I purchased a Springbok kit: a basket of flowers with a deep teal background with wool yarns in blues, greens and fuschia. My parents had it framed. A great moment of pride! Thanks for the chance to remember and share.

  27. Patty Robison says:

    I bought a large, plain purse out of off-white ticking that had rope handles. I hand-sewed several crochet pieces that was made from family members to the purse. It turned out beautiful and then I made one for my mother. It was so much fun that I bought several large bags made out of burlap and did the same thing to them. It is such a great feeling making things with vintage crochet.

  28. Bobbie calgaro says:

    Right now I’m working on a quilt in which my mom and I embroidered 12 Dresden plates in shades of blue to be combined with 12 pieced Dresden plates. The center piece is an embroidered flower basket with small Dresden plate flowers. It’s a labor of love and I am looking forward to the day it adorns our bed!

  29. Linda Odom says:

    I loved hand smocking and embroidering the dresses I made for my daughter when she was a child. Now I do all kinds of sewing including quilting. I would like to make embroidered bags!

  30. Jaylyn Morehouse says:

    I enjoy needle felting and making tiny wool paintings of gnomes and magical garden landscapes. I usually make it up as I go.

  31. Susie Bozeman says:

    My great granny used to sit and stitch while my baba and momma would can everything from berries to peaches to raisins oh my!
    My cute little discs she would create would ultimately become the decorative little cover for over the kids if the jars.
    I was to little to help in the kitchen and not allowed to play with pins yet but the art she created with a simple needle and thread intrigued me.
    Now, many years later I sit and stitch little embroiders “covers” for my jars and am immediately transported to a cherished time gone by. One when all the life’s in my life were still alive.

  32. Wow, here is the fox sneaking into the hen house. what is my story, I am 81 and have never stitched anything,but as a youngster Granpa did show me how to do a baseball stitch., to mend my chopper mitts.

    I hope this is a qualifier and I can show my better half I am good for something, besides eating all the cookies and fresh baked bread. We are as two bugs in a bed.

    I really enjoyed reading “MaryJanes Farm” Lots of old memories there.

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GIVEAWAY: “Liberty Quilt, Fresh Egg Overture”

For a chance to win this beautiful MaryJane’s Home “Liberty Quilt,” tell me your favorite place to take a nap in the comments below. I’ll toss your name into a hat and draw a lucky winner sometime mid-July.


Stay tuned for more magazine-related giveaways. If you’re not yet a subscriber to my magazine, MaryJanesFarm, subscribe here for $19.95/year.

  1. Patricia says:

    My favorite place to nap, in spring, summer and fall, is outside on our deck in a lounging chair. I love it because I am lulled to sleep by the sounds of nature. It is so relaxing! In the winter, a little nap on the couch works for me. I love napping…it helps me keep up with my 5 year old twins!

  2. Amy Cloud Chambers says:

    My favorite place to nap is on the screen porch. There’s a really comfy redwood chaise that I always claim for myself and it’s situated perfectly to catch even the slightest breeze. Only when the weather gets really cold do I give up that snoozing spot!

  3. Joan H. says:

    I love napping outside! When that is not available, I’ll take the sofa please! But I rarely take naps, which is ridiculous. I think naps are underrated!

  4. Heidi Grant says:

    I’ll nap anywhere that my toddler and I can snuggle up with a book. Usually the couch, but the hammock if the weather is nice. Most likely to happen after a large lunch 🙂

  5. Brenda White says:

    I have a lovely backyard with a small pond, roaming chickens and lots of songbirds. We have a wooden swing that is wonderful for naps. I snuggle myself in with a pillow and blanket, get the swing in motion and close my eyes drifting off for a summertime nap to the lull of Mother Nature. Perfection❤️

  6. Cindi says:

    I don’t get to take naps very often so any place that is comfortable enough that I can’t keep my eyes open is wonderful to me. Especially if it is outside in sunshine that is lightly filtered by a big feathery tree. Pure heaven.

  7. Winnie Nielsen says:

    While I don’t nap too often, when I do, I like to be outside on our porch so I can watch the birds at the feeders and smell the air. I do love, love this americana pattern and fabrics too. Perfect for Summer and all year long.

  8. Debbie says:

    My favorite nap places are: Spring summer and fall on the deck listening to the creek. In the winter or in inclement weather in front of a window to catch a few rays of sun.

  9. CJ Armstrong says:

    Napping for me is only a luxury as most of the time I feel pretty yukky after a nap. However, I love to snooze in the outdoors when the weather is nice or especially when I’m camping. My other favorite place would be snuggled up in my glamper trailer, the “Reiver’s Rest”.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  10. April White says:

    My favorite place totaled a nap is a nice shady spot under a tree on a sunny day!

  11. Ann Haas says:

    My favorite place to take a nap is on my screened porch overlooking my backyard encircled with ancient sugar maples and hemlocks. I can see my yoga platform in my herb garden and watch the dragonflies, bumble bees, and birds flitting from flower to tree and stop to sip water at one of my birdbaths in between their flights

  12. Mariah Schlosser says:

    So pretty for summer! My favourite napping is with my little ones. And one day in the future it will be with them under our favourite tree in our backyard! Happy napping

  13. Heather S says:

    My favorite place to nap is in my backyard hammock…ahhhh 🙂

  14. Shelley Travis says:

    my favorite place to nap is when we are camping in the mountains or any where near a river. I love the sound of nature and running water. Thank you so much for a chance win that beautiful quilt.

  15. Clara Helms says:

    The screened in porch. Love the breezes and and the birds singing the sun shining. The breeze just lulls me to sleep. There’s no better feeling. Unless, of course it’s raining. Then that’s the best!

  16. Charity Kadow says:

    Napping in my car, when parked in a beautiful outdoor scene….looking over water at far away mountains is the best. Just open back tailgate, grab my pillow and ‘blankie’ and let Mother Nature sing a lullaby.

  17. Cathy R says:

    Thank you very much for such an awesome giveaway! When I rest or nap I enjoying the hammock on our upstairs balcony in the spring, summer and fall. For the winter its the chaise lounge in the loft area of our log home where I can see outside in all directions that gives me a snow globe effect when it’s snowing. Blessings!!!

  18. Jaylyn Morehouse says:

    Probably outside on a blanket in the grass. Even if I don’t fall asleep, it’s nice to just day dream and stare at the clouds for a few peaceful moments.

  19. Pam says:

    My favorite place to nap is on our screened porch. We live next to a river and I love to listen to the water going by.

  20. Amy says:

    My favorite place to nap is on a quilt outside in our backyard with my little ones! Especially in the Spring or Summertime, dozing off listening to the birds and watching the butterflies & bees fly by. Maybe this will be our new favorite summertime quilt? Thanks for the very gracious giveaway!

  21. Linda says:

    I don’t nap often, because I tend to wake up with a headache if I don’t get at least 2 hours sleep, and I don’t have enough time for a 2-hour nap. However, if I do take a time-out and rest, outside on the porch with a cool drink is my favorite place. I love the red/white/blue Americana quilt – I love patriotic pillows for a summer decoration. Thanks for offering this give-away.

  22. Lorena says:

    When I get a chance to nap , it’s either in our bedroom with the windows open or on a blanket in the grass out in the back yard in the shade. Thank you for the opportunity to win this beautiful quilt . <3

  23. Sandy says:

    I may be boring but I love a good nap in my bed

  24. I love a nap on our bed. Its so cozy. However, if there is a screened porch or tent handy I am all over it! I love a nap in the fresh air; but, protected from insects. Thank you, for the opportunity to win your quilt!

  25. Krista says:

    As strange as it sounds I love taking a nap on my couch, out in the middle of everything! I can sleep through a lot and enjoy still being around my husband, son, and dogs while I doze off! It’s perfect for me.

  26. darlene ricotta says:

    My favorite place to take a nap is in my chair next to the table while watching movies.
    It is a soft chair with arms, leaning against the wall and off to sleep I go.

    Thank you for the chance to win the cute Quilt.

    Darlene Ricotta

  27. Carol Vagher says:

    I love taking a nap on the back patio. We have a beautiful huge yard and garden. It is so tranquil and serene.

  28. Sue Keefe says:

    On the rare occasion water-anywhere-creek,pond but especially the ocean. The smell,the rhythm way it brings peace as you breathe in deeply and “let it all go.”

  29. Chrissy says:

    If it’s a power nap I need, I rest on the couch, dog by my side. If it’s to catch up because I didn’t get eight hours, I just go to bed for a couple of hours.

  30. I have a small natural waterfall and have planted it with pollinator friendly plants like butterfly bush, aurelia, and tall old fashioned rudbeckia.And Angel Trumpets. I put my chaise next to it and nap with my outdoor kitty Frankie .
    here is a pic of him napping in readiness for me to join him. The waterfall is about 3 feet away from the foot of the chaise.

  31. Elisabeth Perkins says:

    I rarely take naps, but the other Sunday afternoon I took a nap sitting in a rocking chair in our front yard, just soaking up the sun! I love I rest on the front porch swing, or anywhere in the sunshine!!

  32. Heather (nndairy) says:

    I love to recharge my battery with a nap on a blanket in the yard. The feel of the sun and sounds of the farm are very relaxing. (I don’t usually have very long to lay there so I don’t have to worry about getting burned.) My second favorite spot would be on the couch with the window cracked open listening to the rain falling.

    Love the beautiful quilt. Thanks for the opportunity to win it!


    Hi Mary Jane,
    I have all your magazines, right from the start. love them. Or you know like them a lot. Lets see a nap. I very seldom take a nap, but if I did and it was summertime it would be under our huge maple trees in a big hammock that we have, you can’t fall out of it if you fall asleep. Thank you for a great giveaway. Its a beautiful quilt.
    Nancy Jo

  34. Christine Anzaldua says:

    My favorite place to nap is on our comfy sofa with my plaid throw and heart person pillow😍

  35. Christine Anzaldua says:

    I misspelled my email address..fav place to nap is comfy cozy couch with plaid throw and heart❤ person pillow😍

  36. Jane Sprague says:

    I have the most comfy bed in the world! I have three homemade quilts within grabbing distance, and it’s a joy to snuggle underneath one or all of them (depending on the weather) anytime! Oh, and the cats seem to enjoy napping with me, too – go figure! ;>)

  37. Sarah says:

    I love napping on my bed with my two dogs (a lab and a corgi) and the window cracked so I can feel a cool breeze.

  38. My favorite place to nap… Thats hard, haha, because I have always thought if I take a nap I will miss everything~ however I have found that when I sit in my swing I lullaby myself to nap under the amazing sky God has Blessed me with! If I could just live outside all the time I would and I truly don’t understand why I cant! Just a swingin…
    Thank you for this amazing chance to win! Sincerely, Catherine aka HarrisFarms

  39. Stacey Mitchell says:

    My favorite place to nap is to the sound of the ocean waves. The beach is glorious and serene. The salt air is intoxicating to my lungs, it’s like a natural high to the senses. I don’t get to be there unless I fly home. The second best nap area is laying down in my bed while listening to ocean waves CD.

  40. melissa miller says:

    I tend to nap on our sofa with a pillow and quilt.

  41. Sara Kitchen says:

    Nothing beats a lounge chaise to lull and wrap myself in a quilt for a beauty nap on the sleeping porch surrounded by rhythms, sounds, and ruches of music, breeze, nature lullaby that fills my senses.

  42. Vicki says:

    My comfy sofa in the living room – cuddled up with one of my grand babies snuggly blanket (having sweet dreams)

  43. May says:

    My favorite place to nap is on the sofa with a comfortable pillow and quilt.

  44. Patricia cooper says:

    I love to take nap in my yard swing when the weather is warm. I can hear the birds and see the squirrel ‘s playing. it is a great ace to let your mind go free.

  45. April Tovar says:

    My favorite place to nap is on my wrought iron love seat on my back porch…it’s partially shaded, surrounded by tall paper birch trees.. The birds chirping, the breeze blows and my lavendars gently scent the air… So peaceful!

  46. It’s hard to catch a nap when homeschooling and chasing kiddos, gardening, cooking, sewing! HA!! But if I ever can (which is seldom…lol) it is wherever I am… 🙂

  47. Rose says:

    The best place to nap is in a hammock under a tree on a warm windy day….if raining…in a nice dark room.

  48. Carolyn Rucker says:

    My favorite place to nap is outside on my patio in the sun. I am surrounded by live oak and mountain laurel trees with plenty of small birds for company. A nice breeze is welcome, too. If it’s too hot, then my comfy wing chair inside next to all my X stitch projects.

  49. Sally Bush says:

    Catnapping on my Antique Rocking Divan in the Spring, Summer and early Fall is just plain country living. The Antique Rocking Divan has been in the family for generations receiving color changes and new cushions as families keep it stylish as years go by. It’s located on the patio where I can watch all kinds of birds feast on feeders hanging in a big pine tree. Quail, Turkeys, Road Runners wonder in occasionally along with Bunnies nibbling on grass. Cattle can be seen grazing on lush green grass and small calves can be seen racing across the pasture. What a blessing.

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bike baskets

By jiminy, I love bicycle baskets.

Photo by Jill 111 via Pixabay

Now, that’s farmgirl romance.

There’s just something special about the artistry of a beautiful basket hanging from handlebars, weaving whimsy with function (a bushel of flowers adds an extra dose of fabulous, to be sure).


Poetically speaking, a bicycle basket represents that divine intersection where pretty meets practical, and the two fall madly in love.

Photo by Friedrich Haag via Wikimedia Commons

So, imagine my delight when I discovered a line of bicycle baskets that incorporates yet another strand of sublimity into the weave: humanitarianism.

Trifecta, baby.

True to its name, House of Talents is a marketplace designed to employ and empower talented people who are living in poverty in Ghana, West Africa. One of these artisans’ finest lines, as I mentioned, is bicycle baskets. Here is one of their creations, modeled by the lovely Atlanta Bicycle Chic:

Photo by Cameron Adams via Flickr

Launched by Ghana-born Kate Herzog in 2009, House of Talents is Kate’s way of giving back. Kate, whose family struggled with poverty, pulled herself up by her proverbial bootstraps. She taught herself to read at age 10, earning a degree in Economics from the University of Ghana Legon, and pursued a career in consulting and luxury resort management (read more of Kate’s inspiring story here). According to the House of Talents website, “Kate has always had the desire to give back to her community in Ghana, and after completing her MBA at the University of St. Thomas, was finally able begin bringing this dream to reality by founding House of Talents. Kate hopes that through this work, her journey will come full-circle and those she helps will lend a hand to others they encounter.”

House of Talents connects artisan groups in developing countries with consumer markets worldwide to promote self-development through economic and social advancement in rural communities and cities.

You can help by treating yourself to a bicycle basket (what better way to kick of the summer cycling season?). These beauties are handcrafted by master weaver Joseph and his community in northern Ghana. The only real challenge will be deciding which shape and color will best complement your bike …

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    A great story of a woman entrepreneur! What a journey Kate has made and her business is a sign of her gratitude and fortitude that poverty could not hold her back. The woven bicycle baskets are beautiful and useful. I agree with you that a bicycle needs a basket to help provide necessary storage. Not to mention, a basket, like these shown here, give the bicycle a bit of artistic flair. In a few weeks, I will be in Amsterdam which is the home of something like 50,000 bikes! I am going to look closely to see if any of these woven baskets have made their way up to this land of the bicycle.

  2. Laurie Scott says:

    Bicycle baskets are so unique to own. You can use them for might near everything. I have one with flowers in it. Just hanging up in my garage to add some beauty to my walls.

  3. Karlyne says:

    Wonderful, even though now I’ve got “da da da da duh da” running through my head along with the vision of Miss Gulch bicycling through the Kansas air…

  4. Krista says:

    It’s so wonderful to hear when companies are giving back and helping people of poverty get a chance at success. I love hearing that bicycle baskets are what’s making the difference. These bicycle baskets are absolutely beautiful with super bright colors. My favorite was the purple and blue baskets.

  5. fabulous give back to where you were sprung from. I am in awe of Kate’s mission to help those from her native country in such a positive way.

  6. Amy Cloud Chambers says:

    This is another wonderful resource for when you need to buy something but want to feel positive about doing it. It’s kind of like a take on the “renew” in the renew, reuse, recycle philosophy, where you are renewing the human spirit. Thanks for another great heads up, Mary Jane!

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Molly Moo-cow

If you’re passionate about pollinators, then you probably know that butterflies love milkweed.

Photo by Barnes Dr Thomas G, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, via Wikimedia Commons

But here’s a trickier bit of trivia:

Why are butterflies called butter flies?

(As a Butters, I simply had to know.)

Butterflies, it is said, earned their name back when they would flutter around the milk pails and butter churns on farms.

milkmaid, G. Morland via Wikimedia Commons

Makes sense, but also makes you wonder why these aren’t called milklappers (buckettippers?) …

Photo by David Maitland via Wikimedia Commons

Anymoooo …

Here’s a cute 1935 classic called “Molly Moo-Cow and the Butterflies,” just for fun:

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I love this old cartoon. The music is wonderful and it seems that the art graphics are superior to what I see today in cartoons. Maybe it is my age showing? Our butterflies down here also love the Pentas.

  2. Krista says:

    I like knowing how butterflies got there names! It’s such a simple explanation.
    The cartoon was so cute and fun to watch. Oh how I wish cartoons were still like this! I love how basic they were.

  3. Bobbi Joseph says:

    What fun to watch! Thank you.

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