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Author Merit Badge Awardees - Woo-hoo Sisters!:  Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badge Awardees 
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 02 2021 :  3:14:55 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Carpe Cocoa Merit Badge!

“Chocolate has the most fascinating development process of any foodstuff that I have ever studied. The cacao pods, which grow to be about the size of a human hand, are carefully harvested using a knife in order to protect the “junction” and ensure future crops. They are harvested regularly throughout their growing season and can produce 20-30 pods—approximately enough to make a single pound of chocolate. The pods are then cracked open and the 30-50 seeds and pulp are extracted and allowed to ferment for 2-8 days. It is during this time that the true flavors of the seeds develops and the pulp turns to liquid which drains off. The seeds are then dried, usually in the sun, for 5-6 days, until the moisture content drops below 10%. These dry beans are then roasted, during which time the beans crack and shed their hulls. The remaining cacao nibs are pressed or crushed to be made into chocolate, or used as is in some products. The liquor that is pressed from the nibs can be used in many different ways with the addition of cacao butter, sugars, milk and other ingredients depending on what is being produced.

The process of “tempering” chocolate is quite easy. The best chocolate I found locally is Baker's unsweetened chocolate, at 67% fat which is necessary for the tempering process. Simply place 2/3 of the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water (not boiling because you do not want steam coming from the lower portion) and keep the chocolate moving with a rubber spatula. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the chocolate:
For Dark chocolate: 120 F
For Milk chocolate: 115 F
For White chocolate: 110 F

Once this temperature is reached, remove the top portion of the double boiler and “seed” the melted chocolate with the remaining 1/3 of unmelted pieces. This will reduce the temperature about 35 degrees. Once your chocolate has reached this reduced temperature, return it to the double boiler and heat it up again about 8-10 degrees. To test the tempering of the chocolate, dip a knife and then let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool and dry. If it dries shiny and firm, you’re all done. If not, then it is not properly tempered and you will need to start again by bringing it up to high temperature and going through the 35-degree cooling and 10-degree reheating process.

My favorite dippables for tempered chocolate are pretzels and peanut butter balls! I love dipped strawberries, too, but these need to be perfectly ripe berries, washed and completely dry, in order to come out well. Mine rarely look nice although they always taste delicious, and well, that’s what is important!

My two new recipes that I tried for this badge were:

1. CrioBrew: This is 100% pure chocolate, roasted and ground like coffee. I used it in several different ways. I made a brewed cup with my Keurig machine and added milk and a small amount of sweetener. I also did the same process but mixed the Crio with regular coffee for a mocha brew. Then I used some grounds in my French Press (the best method in my opinion). Lastly, I am going to try a mocha cold brew because cold brewing is my 2021 summer adventure!
2. Dairy Free Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream: Recipe at joyfoodsunshine.com/dairy-free-chocolate-peanut-butter-ice-cream/ . This recipe was SO easy and SO delicious! I also added mini M&Ms. I will definitely make this again, and will probably develop some other flavor variations.

I'm addicted ... will be seeking out some more new recipes!”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 02 2021 :  3:16:02 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Carpe Cocoa Merit Badge!

“I cannot believe that I've never made ganache until working on this badge. It is SO easy!! It is also incredibly versatile as it can be made of thin consistency and used as a glaze, thicker to be used as a frosting, and even thicker to be used as a filling. The recipe I used was the thicker version, which I chilled and turned into truffles, which were divine!

As far as authentic chocolate drinks, my favorite was made by the Chocolate Mill, a lovely little chocolatier in my town, which is now closed and gone. They made an Aztec version of hot chocolate that was incredible, and sparked an addiction for Lindt chili pepper chocolate bars. I'm able to make a similar beverage by boiling water and whisking in chunks of a Lindt chili chocolate bar. I like to add milk that I heat up in my steamer/frother. I prefer this over most mainstream hot chocolates which are always too sweet for me.

Lastly, I made four different batches of truffles and served them at two different gatherings that I attended during the week of my birthday. For one batch I used the ganache recipe substituting Kahlua for the rum. The second recipe I used was similar to the ganache method but with strawberry jam added. My mocha truffles called for cream cheese instead of whipping cream. And the fourth recipe used sweetened condensed milk and I added mint flavoring.

The ganache method (boiling cream poured over chocolate) were the best tasting truffles but were quite messy to roll out. I used cocoa powder to coat them and they were delicious, however, the strawberry jam flavor was not obvious. The other two recipes were made in the microwave, and although they were quite simple to make and easy to roll out, I prefer not to “bake” in the microwave. Also, the flavor of these truffles was not as nice as the ganache method. I rolled the mocha truffles in instant coffee and powdered creamer blended together. Next time I will add some granulated sugar as this was rather strong. The mint truffles were rolled in powdered sugar and came out ok, except that my mint flavoring leaned on the wintergreen side and wasn’t the flavor I was hoping for. Overall, however, they were a hit at both parties!”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 02 2021 :  3:38:12 PM  Show Profile
Cindy Kinion (AussieChick, #6058) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“My husband and I have joined in a recycling program that raises money for Christian Religious Instruction (CRI) in our local schools. It is part of the Containers for Change program that refunds 10c for any eligible item. These items include most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel & liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150ml and 3L. We have a box in the kitchen where we place our items to be recycled and then when the box is full, we drop it off at our church office. They take the containers to a depot centre where they receive the money for the containers. This money is then collected for the CRI program. We have been collecting our containers for about 4 months now.

We are also able to recycle paper & cardboard, scrap metal, and green waste at our local transfer station. It is free to drop off these items and the Toowoomba Regional Council has a recycling facility which processes these items.

By recycling almost all of our containers, we find that we are definitely contributing less waste to land fill. Once we established which containers were eligible for recycling, it wasn't hard to simple put them into the box in the kitchen.

The green waste that we take to the transfer station is mulched up by the TRC and is then available as free mulch for residents. I have used this mulch on my garden from time to time and haven't had any trouble with introducing weeds. If anything, it has actually been quite beneficial, particularly on my native plants.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 02 2021 :  3:39:09 PM  Show Profile
Cindy Kinion (AussieChick, #6058) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Leave It Better Than You Found It Merit Badge!

“My husband and I have joined in a recycling program that raises money for Christian Religious Instruction (CRI) in our local schools. It is part of the Containers for Change program that refunds 10c for any eligible item. These items include most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel & liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150ml and 3L. We have a box in the kitchen where we place our items to be recycled and then when the box is full, we drop it off at our church office. They take the containers to a depot centre where they receive the money for the containers. This money is then collected for the CRI program. We have been collecting our containers for about 4 months now.

We are also able to recycle paper & cardboard, scrap metal, and green waste at our local transfer station. It is free to drop off these items and the Toowoomba Regional Council has a recycling facility which processes these items.

By recycling almost all of our containers, we find that we are definitely contributing less waste to land fill. Once we established which containers were eligible for recycling, it wasn't hard to simple put them into the box in the kitchen.

The green waste that we take to the transfer station is mulched up by the TRC and is then available as free mulch for residents. I have used this mulch on my garden from time to time and haven't had any trouble with introducing weeds. If anything, it has actually been quite beneficial, particularly on my native plants.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 02 2021 :  3:40:05 PM  Show Profile
Cindy Kinion (AussieChick, #6058) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Farmgirl Grammar Merit Badge!

“I made a conscious effort to improve my grammar and spelling over the past 14 days. I also tried to refrain from using slang, abbreviations, or any form of text-messaging language. I don't tend to use text-messaging language, however, abbreviations are common in my workplace and I do throw a fair bit of slang into my every day conversations. So, this merit badge was more challenging than it first appeared.

I really enjoyed picking out unfamiliar words from the dictionary to incorporate in to my conversations. Here are the words I chose over the 2 week period:

Petrichor – the pleasant, earthy smell after rain;
Vellichor - the strange wistfulness of used bookstores;
Agastopia - admiration of a particular part of someone's body;
Jentacular - Of or pertaining to a breakfast taken early in the morning, or immediately on getting up;
Impignorate - to pawn or mortgage something;
Gerrymandering - manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favour one party or class;
Limberence - a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship with the object of love and have one's feelings reciprocated;
Sonder - the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own;
Persnickety - placing too much emphasis on trivial or minor details; fussy;
Cattywampus - going badly, awkwardly, or in the wrong direction;
Collywobbles - stomach pain or queasiness;
Mellifluous - (of a sound) pleasingly smooth and musical to hear;
Coign - a projecting corner or angle of a wall;
Ineffable - too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words;

I particularly enjoyed using the words petrichor, vellichor, cattywampus & persnickety.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 02 2021 :  3:41:34 PM  Show Profile
Linda Pavey (Clear_creek2, #8296) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Farmgirl Gratitude Merit Badge!

“I earned this badge by purchasing and reading the book by Neil Pasricha, The Book of Awesome. This coincided with another recent book I read about recording gratitude and blessing. I kept a running account of noticeable gratitudes, blessings and surprises for the required month. I do continue to write in the journal. Niel's book opens ones eyes to a multitude of simple, weird, or awesome everyday events, to see something special in everything!

Ones attitude cannot help but be changed when one is observant to the good, beautiful and quirky things in life. This is from simply finding a parking place when needed, to the beauty of a sunrise, to the awesomeness of a can opener! Ha!!

This continues to be an activity that I enjoy finding beauty, gratitude, and simple pleasures in my day.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2021 :  4:24:09 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (Tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning an Expert Level Fishing Merit Badge!

“My fellow Farmgirl Sister Allie and I went fishing on California's free fishing day July 3, 2021. We chose the free fishing day so we did not need to purchase the fishing license. I did not catch anything. Kept loosing my bait. Got a few strikes but nothing hooked. Allie caught a 13-inch stripper but had to throw back as they need to be 18 inches to keep. It was a good morning.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2021 :  4:25:11 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (Tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning an Expert Level Glamping Merit Badge!

“I took my tent to another location at my friend Rea's backyard, set it up and decorated it. We worked on our crafts:
Repurpose- laundry bag netting into pot scrubbers.
Recycle - jug bird houses.
Upcycle- decorated glass vases with paper, 2 types ribbon and flowers.

The easy craft project we did was a decorated box for holding eating utensils.
I took pictures and shared on chatroom. It was fun.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2021 :  4:26:16 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (Tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning an Intermediate Level 'Out There' Women Merit Badge!

“I went to my friend Rea's house and we made the pemmican recipe from MaryJane's Ideabook. Then we cooked a full meal outdoors. Our appetizers were nachos and quesadillas followed by hot dogs wrapped in croissant rolls and an Apple pie. It was fun.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2021 :  4:27:32 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (Tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Expert Level Putting Away for Winter Merit Badge!

“I investigated the different methods for canning food. I bought an atmospheric pressure steam canner, a water bath canner, and a regular pressure canner. I posted it on merit badge chit chat.
I froze bananas, carrots, bell peppers and cantaloupe. I dehydrated strawberries, apricots, and raisins.

I canned Chicken using the pressure canner was chicken. I also canned nectarines, tomato marinara sauce and dill pickles.

I cooked a MaryJane BakeOver with steak, frozen bell peppers, frozen carrots, dehydrated strawberries and dehydrated apricots. It was good. The dehydrated products rehydrated and tasted normal.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2021 :  4:28:43 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (Tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Expert Level Bee Good to Your Mother Earth Merit Badge!

“Since all of my garden hoses don't have the tags on anymore, I went down to the store and took pictures of all the different garden hoses. None of the labels say if they are lead free or not so I assume that my white RV water hose is lead free because that has to be for potable water. I have not had to paint any fences. I have planted Thompson seedless grapes and a blackberry vine bush. The grapes I have been training along the fence is called pleaching. I gathered up ten 5-gallon buckets and filled them out at my compost pile and took pictures. It was good.”




MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2021 :  4:29:57 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (Tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Little Squirts Merit Badge!

“First I cleaned and scrubbed my garden tools, then sharpened them with a rasp. Next I scrubbed them with steel wool pads and linseed oil. I stored them in a bucket of sand.
I bought graphite spray and checked for squeaky doors throughout the house, spraying two hinges.

I pulled out a bike, cleaned it up and oiled the chain. It was good.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2021 :  4:42:48 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Her-story Merit Badge!

“Sydney Katherine Powell was born in Durham, North Carolina, in 1955. She grew up in Raleigh and graduated high school from Needham Broughton. She then attended University of North Carolina, a Public Ivy Institution, where she earned a BA at the age of 19. She was then accepted at UNC’s School of Law where she earned her JD (Juris Doctor) in Law at the age of 23. She then became the youngest federal prosecutor in the United States. After a few decades of high-profile cases, Sydney wrote the book Licensed to Lie, an in-depth look at the “prosecutorial abuses” that exist in the legal system. She also spends time volunteering in women’s shelters and helping to raise money for breast cancer research. She is an amazing woman and Patriotic American!”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2021 :  4:43:52 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Intermediate Level Her-story Merit Badge!

“In researching “top influential women in the U.S.” for this badge, I came across a name that I did not recognize—Clare Booth Luce—who is recognized as “One of America’s most famous and controversial women.” The word “controversial” caught my eye, as those are usually the most interesting stories, in my opinion. It turns out that Clare was a playwright, actress, Congresswoman, and an ambassador. So, I read the biography of her life written by Stephen Shadegg.

Young Clare attended The Castle, a girl’s school in Tarrytown on the Hudson, founded by Cassity Mason. It was there that she made the acquaintance of the Rockefeller family and was a regular visit to the Rockefeller Estate adjoining the school. Clare, always thinking herself “plain and unattractive” first made the papers at the age of 18, being referred to as the “Beauty of the Riviera” by the NY press after a time abroad with her mother and under the “very benign eye” of Mr. and Mrs. James Cushman, socially prominent philanthropist whom she met and charmed on that journey. Also on that return trip abroad, Clare met Mrs. O.H.P. Belmont, a grande dame of New York society, previously married to a Vanderbilt, and organizer of the Women’s National Party. Mrs. Belmont felt that Clare could be a possible replacement within the Suffragette movement which had suffered the loss earlier that year of Inez Mulholland. Clare capitulated to Mrs. Belmont’s entreaties to join the movement and later found herself dropping leaflets from a World War Jenny aircraft, onto Schenectady, NY, to announce an event celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Women’s Rights Conference. After a failed marriage to playboy Georgy Brokaw, millionaire son of merchant Isaac Vale Brokaw, Clare looked up an old acquaintance, Conde Nast of Vogue and Vanity Fair, and surreptitiously acquired a job as a caption-writer, leading to work at Vanity Fair as assistant editor, then Associate Editor six months later, and Managing Editor after two years. The rest of Clare’s life is filled with accomplishments such as writing the play “The Women” (now with three movie versions), many politically charged articles for McCalls, major contributions to Vanity Fair as a WWII war correspondent where she is also attributed as giving Jay Franklin his national reputation in politics with her articles. It was during her tenure in a role of advisor to FDR through Hugh Johnson during their push of the National Recovery Act that she became convinced that socialism and Fascism as related to Roosevelt’s politics would be devastating to the country, saying, “The fatal flaw in the plan was the element of coercion…It won’t work if America is to remain a free country.” Once again focusing her attentions on wartime journalism, Clare developed the idea of photo journalism, which at the time was shelved at Vanity Fair but later picked up by her future husband, Henry Luce, owner and top editor at Time/Life magazines. Among Clare’s associates and friends are Winston Churchill, Wendell Willkie, and President Eisenhower. She exerted a tremendous amount of influence wherever she went, and is credited with helping Eisenhower become President, and influencing an end to WWII. She captured the heart of the Italian people during her years as an American Ambassador to Italy, and it was rumored that Eisenhower would choose her as his VP running mate for his second term. After retiring from politics she wrote several plays, learned to paint and create mosaics, learned to deep sea dive, and finally settled in to a more leisurely lifestyle where she entertained and enjoyed traveling with husband, continuing to be consulted by her friends in high places of government, in the USA and abroad.

I enjoyed reading this story and Clare's particular perspective of the political atmosphere of the world during WWII. This was a very enjoyable story.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2021 :  4:46:17 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Expert Level Her-story Merit Badge!

“In the 1800’s in the tiny area of Shaftsbury, VT, not far from where I live, there lived a quiet, disabled woman who loved to sew. She was described later in life as a “seamstress extraordinaire and mathematical genius” and was posthumously celebrated for her contributions to quilting. Her quilting ‘magnum opus’ is the very well-known Dear Jane Quilt. This quilt was created by Jane Blakely Stickle (1817-1890) in the 1860s and is inscribed on one of the pieces with the words “In War Time, 1868.” It is believed that this incredible quilt, made with 5602 pieces of fabric, was lovingly hand sewn as a way to deal with the pain of separation and loss that so many families were feeling during the Civil War. (Dear Jane, Brenda Manges Papadakis—patterns and biographical “letters”)

Emma Gatewood, also known as Grandma Gatewood, is attributed with saving the Appalachian Trail. She earned this title by becoming the first woman to ever hike the length of the Appalachian Trail on her own in 1955, at the age of 68. During her stops at local homes or towns she would share details of her journey with people, and eventually the press caught on, bringing Emma’s adventure to the attention of the entire nation. Emma did this trip three times, in tennis shoes and with her supplies in a sack—no backpack or fancy gear. Because of Emma’s successful hike, many other people were inspired to journey the 2,168-mile trail from Mt. Oglethorpe, Georgia, to Mt. Katahdin, Maine, generating enough interest in the trails that they became well maintained, and even encouraged the development and maintenance of hiking trails in other areas of the country. Six miles of this trail is now named after her and dedicated with a Memorial Plaque. (Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, Ben Montgomery)

Emma didn’t set out on her adventure to get honors or attention, but rather, it was a journey of healing for herself after a life of raising 11 children and suffering constant abuse at the hands of a violent husband. I admire her for having the courage to step out her front door, away from the only life she had known as an adult, and become the instrument of her own healing. She gives me hope that I, too, may have the opportunity to hike this magnificent trail, even if it is not until my later years. And the Jane Stickle quilt, now known as the Dear Jane Quilt, is an aspiration for myself in my quilting journey. I have finished almost a dozen of the quilt square patterns and have a couple dozen ready for appliqueing. I have such admiration for both of these “pioneers” and their stories resonate deeply with me.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2021 :  2:02:45 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Furniture Makeover Merit Badge!

“It's probably a good thing I don’t have television or I would watch make-over shows 24/7! But I think that YouTube is an amazing resource for all things tutorial. I always consult several videos for the do's and don’ts before I start a project.

For this badge, I used an old wooden crate that I found sitting beside the dumpster at church. Two of the bottom slats were broken but the entire rest of the crate was in perfect shape. I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it, but it meant taking a “salvage” trip to a local lumber yard where they have a pile of slab wood which they offer for free. I found two good pieces and took them home where I placed them in the sun to cure for the next couple months. Once the weather was nice outside, I set up my table saw and went to work measuring and cutting the slab wood to my desired size. I used a prybar to remove all of the slats from the bottom of the crate. I then cut one of the slats into small sections to use as “shims” so that the curved sides of the slab wood would be supported in such a way as to not roll one direction or the other. Then I drove screws down through the slabs and shims to secure them onto the crate bottom. Since this is for outdoor use, I am not painting it, but rather letting it be exposed to the elements for a rustic look.

My little table now sits beside my yard swing for me to rest my feet or drink on while I get a little R & R on a summer day.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2021 :  2:04:46 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level Furniture Makeover Merit Badge!

“For this badge I did two different projects, both related to outdoor furniture. The first one was a wicker armchair that I picked up from a “free” pile in my neighborhood. It was in decent shape but didn’t look good because the original paint had peeled and fallen off over most of the chair, and cushion was no good at all. So, I took it home and cleaned it well with a brush and the hose, then let it dry in the sun. The next day I sprayed it all over with the remains of three different colors of spray paint that I had leftover from other projects. The first color I used was a natural looking brown and I sprayed that all over the upper portion of the chair, paying attention to getting the paint into grooves and difficult to reach spaces. The second color that I used was a dark earthy green paint. I had enough of this one to spray a coat over the entire chair. I didn’t worry about covering over the previous coat, but rather let it show through some. The final coat was a thin layer of a gold paint on the upper portions. The finished project had an earthy mottled look which was perfect in my side garden where I keep my yard swing. For a final touch I made a new cushion from a dark plaid men’s shirt that I picked up at a thrift shop.

My second project was to repair the broken seat of one of my two metal chairs (also picked up in a “free” pile). The seat webbing is a heavy twine that rotted through in two areas. I started by removing all of the rotted portions. Then I cut a long portion of macrame twine that I already had from my last macrame project, attached the twine to the chair at the back and I restrung the front to back warp portions, pulling them tight. Next, I cut another piece of twine and wound that around a stiff piece of cardboard which I used like a shuttle. I wove the weft over and under the warp strings in a pattern similar to the original. Lastly, I fixed the end tight and used a crochet hook to weave in all the loose ends.

My new portions of twine are a different color, but I think it adds to the rustic, reclaimed charm of my piece, allowing it to feel right at home in my eclectic side yard. As a finishing touch, I made two matching seat pads (also from reclaimed fabric and cushion foam) for the pair of chairs and they are now part of an outdoor “entertaining” area.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2021 :  2:06:33 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Level Furniture Makeover Merit Badge!

“For the final portion of this badge, I altered two indoor chairs that I have had for almost three decades. I received them from my aunt who had recently had them recovered but as a mom of 5 kiddos, those chairs did not look good for long. Between the kids and the two cats, the fabric of the chairs wore out pretty quickly. At one point I took apart the two little pillows that matched the chairs and hand stitched the pieces to the chairs to cover the holes and that kept them functional through the remaining years as my kids grew up and left home.

Now the chairs belong to the dogs: two dogs, two chairs, everyone is happy. But the chairs were looking embarrassingly worn out. So, using a bow saw, staple gun and cordless driver, I completely renovated the two chairs. First, I removed the seats. Then I cut the tall backs off both chairs and removed the two straight side pieces of wood from one of the chairs, which I screwed across the top of the back of each chair where they were cut. This stabilized the chair back. I then wrapped and stapled down the cut portions of fabric to hold them in place. I filled in the open arm area with padding that I saved from shipping packaging and I stapled two-inch-thick bed pad foam over the whole upper portion of the chairs. Lastly, I stapled fabric over all the foam padding. I then used furniture tacks to secure the fabric around the visible portion of the arms.

My last detail to attend to is to make tailored covers that can easily be removed and laundered. I have made one cover with elastic around edge of a fleece throw, but I’m not entirely happy with that, so I will need to work on that design.

The pups love the new cushy chairs, which are now way more comfortable for them to sleep in, and my living room feels more open without the tall backs of the chairs taking up so much space.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

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MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2021 :  2:08:08 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“The first piece of my favorite collection (because I have a few collections) is a teapot that was handmade and hand painted in Peru. It was acquired by two of my kids who went to Peru on a mission trip with their youth group. It is definitely a one-of-a-kind piece, and one of my favorite possessions!

It's no surprise that there are many collectors of teapots. I have a friend who collects antique teapots and she is very specific about their size, shape, and age—which is very different from my collection which is all more modern, usable pieces. My guess is that teapot collectors are as varied as teapots themselves!

I did a google search regarding teapot collector clubs and found that there are clubs you can join for a small fee that include regular newsletters; a magazine titled Hot Tea that also reviews pottery, porcelain, china and dinnerware; a pocket guide titled China Teapots; regular Antique Shows for teapot collectors; and teapot collections on permanent display at Historical Society Museums.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
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MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2021 :  2:09:16 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermeidate Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“My collection has grown! I have an adorable stackable teapot with tea cup set that was given to me by a friend to put in my newly remodeled kitchen. I also have a tall teapot with a rooster painted on it, that also has a pair of matching mugs, that was a Mother’s Day gift from my oldest daughter. And the solid white tea pot in my photo was something that I found in an antique market. I intend to knit a cozy for it since it is plain white, but I really liked the size and shape of it. Then I also have a plain clay tea pot that I already did knit a cozy for using the yarn that I hand spun with a drop spindle for my Spinning Badge. This tea pot and cozy won a blue ribbon at the Washington County Fair (you can see it peeking out from under the cozy). My collection does not have tremendous monetary value—the value for me is in the fond memories attached to each piece.

My teapot wish list is not very specific as far as gifted items, but my family knows my theme—farmgirl style! I love chickens and roosters and unique pieces related to our travels.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
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MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2021 :  2:10:27 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“I love my little collection of teapots, but my collection is not limited to just teapots. I love all things farmgirl, so my kids like to pick up unique little things as Mother’s Day gifts. Most of these things I like to have displayed but they are of varying shapes and sizes and I just couldn’t find anything to buy that would really suit my needs, so I measured all the pieces that I wanted to display and designed a shelf unit. I used inexpensive pine dowels and pine board, 8 inches deep to accommodate the widest pieces. I cut each board with a curved front corner to give it a softer appearance and stained all of the pieces with the dark walnut stain that I use on all my hand-built items. I used the dowels to space the shelves apart from each other, screwing them securely at the top and bottom. I varied the distances between the shelves and the lengths of some of them too, so that each piece could be included with some extra space for new pieces. Currently, the unit is hung on the wall with 4 d-rings that are firmly attached to the top and bottom shelves and sheetrock anchors in the wall. I am still on the lookout for another, safer, way to hang the unit, although this seems to be secure for the time being (baring an earthquake!).

As you can see in my photo, I am not limited to teapots. I also have fun sets of salt and pepper shakers, a rooster crock, a couple of unique clay pitchers, and a few thimbles (a collection I will become more serious about next!). The whole display is also now freshly dusted for the photo shoot .

My pieces have become interspersed with photos of my children and grandchildren and the whole display brings my much joy and good memories.”




MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

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MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2021 :  3:18:03 PM  Show Profile
Allison Clark (Allison Clark, #8292) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Level Macrame Merit Badge!

“I made a wall hanging. I spent about 25 hours making it. I chose to make The Tree of Life because I like what it represents. I'm a Christian, and in the Bible, the tree of life represents the restoration of the life-giving presence of God. Those who seek forgiveness of sin through the shed blood of Jesus Christ are given access to the tree of life (eternal life). I chose the tree of life because I've always wanted to have a wall hanging on my wall that represents the tree of life. So, when I started doing this merit badge, I thought "Oh, I know exactly what my expert project is going to be". I love how it came out.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

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MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2021 :  3:19:01 PM  Show Profile
Allison Clark (Allison Clark, #8292) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Level Make It Pretty Merit Badge!

“I learned how to paint with oils. I also learned how to put wire on the back of my painting so I could hang it up on the wall. I purchased my canvas; it was framed for me. I put my painting in a public viewing spot. I displayed it on the wall so that the public could view it. The timing was perfect—we had a public meeting and barbecue where everybody viewed it. I got lots of compliments on the painting. Although I didn't think it was that great, they were nice. It turned out good.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2021 :  3:20:26 PM  Show Profile
Allison Clark (Allison Clark, #8292) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“I took my collection out of my cabinet, dusted them off, and placed them on my center shelf. I spent half an hour looking through each one of them and enjoying them once again. They have been stuck in my cupboard for so long I never really paid much attention to them. Because of this merit badge, my passion is back now and I'm on the lookout for more kaleidoscopes to continue my collection. I've been looking on e-bay and searching online. I enjoyed this merit badge.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15507 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15507 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2021 :  3:21:56 PM  Show Profile
Allison Clark (Allison Clark, #8292) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning an Expert Level Fishing Merit Badge!

“I chose a day that was a free fishing day so I did not have to get a fishing license. My friend, Candy and I met at the fishing spot at 5:30 in the morning. We both geared up to go fishing. I had several bites on my line. I caught one fish but had to throw it back because it was only 13 inches long. In order to keep fish, the regulation is that your fish has to be at least 18 inches, so I couldn't clean it and cook it. It was such a fun day. It was good.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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