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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 13 2010 :  4:13:43 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Meerwarth (Carrie M, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an expert level Heirlooms Forever! badge.

"Once again I have planted my garden from heirloom seeds, some purchased from Baker Seed and Seed Saver Exchange, and some from last year's crop. I also have plants in my garden grown from seeds that I acquired from a seed exchange our local chapter, Aprons of the Adirondacks, organized this past January. And this year I have added to my varieties with celariac, dill, and brussel sprouts.

I have also added violas to all of my garden beds from seeds gathered from last year's blossoms. I've gathered up some of these precious little bundles of blooms and shared them with friends to adorn their raised beds and offer them seeds for next year. Gathering seeds and sharing them has become one of my greatest passions and newest gardening pleasures!"

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 13 2010 :  4:19:19 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Meerwarth (Carrie M, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an expert level Bee Good to Your Mother Earth badge.

"I have earned this badge by making some changes in the way I tend my garden and landscape. As we replace hoses we are making sure we purchase only lead-free “potable” types. We are tearing down our picket fence, which requires bi-annual painting, and will be replacing it with a natural wood split-rail fence. I am practicing “pleaching” with my young lilac plant. I am not very good at it yet, but as we move this tree closer to the house (necessary for septic reasons) I will continue to train and trim it in ways to control the growth so that it will be an attractive addition to my yard. We have also started a third “open” compost heap where we turn all household food waste into “gold” which is enriching my garden."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  11:01:00 AM  Show Profile
Carrie Meerwarth (Carrie M, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a intermediate level Gaining Ground badge.

"I recently researched the ComposTumbler method of making compost. It seemed like a nice way to keep compost, but the cost was very high, so my husband gathered some materials and made a nice replica for me to use. It turns out to be a slow method (not as high tech as the expensive version) so we decided to add to our program with a couple of fenced off areas where we can just layer the waste and food garbage on a yearly basis. The tumbler offers me a place to put strong smelling garbage where animals won't get into it, while the piles give us a place to put chicken coop cleanings and leaf/yard waste. This has worked very well for us so far. We draw soil from one pile all summer while adding to the layers of the other pile. Then, the next year we switch. Usually the waste on top must be scooped off and placed in the non-usable pile as it does not compost down quite as well as the deeper layers. But by the following year, that bit from the top has been “baking” deeper down in the other pile and is ready for use. This year we have had a good amount of compost to add to the garden.
In Washington County, where I live in NY, we have a composting program in place. It is located in Fort Edward, NY, just a few miles from my home, and is listed with the DEC at www.dec.ny.gov
The program composts bio-solids and produces 600 dry tons of compost annually. Not bad for a small community!"

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  11:56:07 AM  Show Profile
Carrie Meerwarth (Carrie M, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Horse Dreams badge.

"My daughter Ashley and I earned this badge together by visiting the many horse farms in our area. We visited 6 farms, five of which were less than two miles from our home, and the sixth was 6 and a half miles away. The five nearest us are small farms that board horses and a couple of them raise horses for gymkhana or for the race track in Saratoga. One farm is a rescue operation. Another farm gives riding lessons. And another farm raises horses for English riding and hunting sports. The farm furthest from us was the most exciting. They raise thoroughbreds and each of the mares in view had a lovely young foal with her!

We used the book “Identifying Horse and Pony Breeds” by Caroline Ball to assist us in identifying the breeds. We saw Quarter horses, a mustang, and many thoroughbreds. My favorite was the mustang—skewbald with a light colored mane, white stockings, and a blaze on his face.

Our up close and personal visit was further from home, at the home of friends who own two draft horses which they use to work their land, pull wagons, and someday pull a sleigh. These horses, named Dick and Dan, are huge but personable. Their personalities are vastly different which is supposed to make them a good team."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  1:14:40 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Meerwarth (Carrie M, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a intermediate level Horse Dreams badge.

"I enjoyed reading Joe Camp's “The Soul of a Horse” and found that there was so much I did not know about horses and their care, despite the fact that I had horses when I was growing up. I am excited to learn more about natural hoof care and “barefoot” horses as I have always known that metal shoes can cause problems for horses, especially when the ferrier does not work carefully. I have often wondered why wild horses could live happily barefoot, but domesticated horses required shoes...that never rested well with me. The ideas that Joe shares in his book make perfect sense. I have also heard of Monty Roberts techniques, and even watched a video about parenting that explored the same idea of “choice” in horse training with that of offering choice and building relationships in child rearing—very interesting!

And another interesting thing happened while I was reading. When I was about halfway through the book, I received a batch of photos from my brother who lives in Solvang, California. In them were photos of him and his family visiting Monty Robert's ranch with friends, including one photo of them all standing outside a stall labeled “Shy Boy”! Then, as I finished the book, I discovered that Joe had a chance to visit Monty at his ranch, which happens to be in....Solvang, California! I hadn't known that!

The breed I take the most interest in is the Mustang. I love the idea that this horse has survived in the wild for so many generations and overcome the elements and natural enemies, including man. After doing the research for this badge, my daughter and I rented the movie “Hidalgo” and enjoyed a true horse story that still makes me cry at the end.

According to L.Edward Purcell, horses came to America in 1519 via Spanish invaders under Hernando Cortez. He brought 16 of these animals with him to be ridden by his conquistadors. After another 200 years these animals could be found all over the Americas. The term “mustang” is actually a word that comes from the Spanish “mesteno” which referred to an association that claimed stray horses. These wilder horses soon grew in numbers and formed the herds we are familiar with today. There are still tens of thousands of wild horses living in the midwest, now under protection. As Purcell says in his book, Wild Horses of America, “No matter how long we humans have regarded horses as a source of power or speed for our own purposes, the wild horse reasserts that truth that equines are domestic in only the most fragile sense.”

Purcell's book is an excellent resource for study with a hundred or more fascinating photographs. And if you haven't read “Misty of Chincoteague” yet, then you need to take the time! It is a well written, enjoyable horse story (fiction but loosely based on some true Mustang history) that can also be shared with your farmerettes!"

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  1:37:08 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Meerwarth (Carrie M, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Little Squirts badge.

"Since becoming a member of the Sisterhood in 2008, I have been consistently oiling doors, bike chains, and my tools. This was not a habit before. I have been much more conscientious about caring for my tools since reading MaryJanes Ideabook and I can say that they have never been in better condition. I am also quicker to oil hinges on doors throughout my house, and I now oil my bike chain every spring and in the fall before storage. I have taught my children to do this, too, and now they are becoming better stewards of their bikes and tools. I have also started oiling my sewing machines more regularly, especially since I have been sewing more now that my children are grown.

In the photo is the spot where I keep my "upkeep" items...the blade sharpening stone is sitting on top of the light switch, and my oil and rag are just above. All of them are handy when it is time to put the tools away!"

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  2:06:59 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Meerwarth (Carrie M, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a intermediate level Little Squirts badge.

"I earned this level of the badge by adjusting some doors in my house. The top hinge on our basement door, which had been installed by the previous owner, was upside down. This meant that the pin was constantly slipping over time and slowly leaving the hinge; my husband would periodically tap it back up with a hammer. I took the whole door off the frame, removed the hinge, turned it around, and screwed it back in place properly. I then adjusted the hinges on our swinging door so that it closed more evenly. I also took down the cupboard doors in my bathroom and cut them shorter (requiring a new groove for the hinge which I made with my brand new Dremel!) so that the bottom shelf is open and the top three shelves can be closed off. I tightened loose strike plates on a few doors. And finally, I added a privacy latch to my bathroom door!

In the photo is the door that had the upside down hinge. It is a busy spot due to the planning calendar on the door and the "Annual Height Keeper" just to the right. No more falling hinge pin!"

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  2:15:48 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Meerwarth (Carrie M, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a beginner level Build It Green badge.

"For me, “going green” means that I am taking steps to protect nature and ensure that the natural elements of life are allowed to continue naturally. This means being careful about my use of chemicals and synthetic materials. It means that I am not wasteful and find ways to recycle and reuse. It also means that I invite nature into my living space. With this in mind, I have been carefully choosing natural ways to decorate and develop my home and living spaces.
One of the choices I have made is to select items that have been manufactured or created locally. If I can't make it myself, I try to find someone in my area who can. I also look for natural materials such as wood or clay above synthetic materials such as plastic or rubber (which do not return naturally to the earth). The decorations and furniture in our home are mostly handmade. Our walls are covered in quilts and pictures framed in barnboard or wood trim scraps. We like to buy old furniture made from solid wood. We also have nightstands that I designed and built myself from pine boards.
Most of the fencing in our yard is made with natural posts that we have cut ourselves. We build tiers and walls out of stone or saplings. We've used slate from our land for walkways.
We find this way of living to be fun, simple, responsible, and inexpensive. It's actually quite exciting to challenge yourself to “go green”! (The photo is of a wall hanging that I cross stitched and then my husband framed with pieces of leftover oak trim. The mat was cut by a friend in a framing shop, and the glass was cut by another friend. My husband put it all together and gave it to me for Christmas!!)"

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  2:26:02 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Meerwarth (Carrie M, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a intermediate level Build It Green badge.

"I have been sharing with my chapter all the different ways that I have learned to “Go Green” from choosing organic seeds to making our own bags to shopping at the farmers market. We consistently share the things we learn and the ideas that have. Fortunately, we all are very interested in this idea of natural living, so we get quite excited when we learn new ideas and we can't wait to share them with each other. We help each other make handmade gifts, homemade/homegrown foods, and some of the ladies even belong to a buying co-op that saves money and encourages community spirit. I love my Chapter!!"

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  2:33:38 PM  Show Profile
Diane Rathje (CountryPotter, #1641) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Buttoned Up badge.

"Through gifts from my grandmother's sewing box, spare buttons attached to shirt tales and random finds I finally started a true button collection. I chose to put my buttons in old mason jars. The buttons are divided into color assortments: reds, blues, blacks, browns, etc. I counted over 200 and stopped. Looking forward to making that button chain!

The jars make it easy to see what I have and look cute sitting on a shelf in my sewing room. I've had these jars in storage afraid to use them in canning. It's nice to bring them out in the open and enjoy them while their being useful too. My grandchildren were here for a visit and they had fun helping me seperate the colors. So nice to put away the computer games and turn off the tv and have fun together."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  2:42:43 PM  Show Profile
Jennifer Thorington (jstforewe, #1890) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a beginner level Shopping Green badge.

"I have been using fabric shopping bags for the past 2 years...... although my husband will not be seen with one of my girly bags. My mother made 4 of the bags pictured for me, 1, I made using my treadle sewing machine and then there is the wonderful Lands End bag. :) I think it is so much easier to carry the groceries into the house in these bags, they are so sturdy.

Great! I feel so good about all those plastic bags that I no longer waste. For the date finished, never is my true answer."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  2:49:27 PM  Show Profile
Joan Van Roo (tourguidejoan, #1413) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level Know Your Food badge.

"Read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Kingsolver. It was awesome and inspring! I loved it! Reading it changed my eating habits. I can't recommend it highly enough. I am eating almost 100% organic and by my food at our local farmers' market and Mississippi Market, a co-op in Saint Paul. I was drinking sodas with artificial sweeteners and artificial sweeteners instead of syrup...no more! I use honey on my pancakes and don't drink sodas of any kind. My granddaughter and I grow sprouts together. I put them in everything!
You would be proud of my food journal...wow, have I changed my eating habits."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  2:58:47 PM  Show Profile
Jennifer Thorington (jstforewe, #1890) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Buttoned Up badge.

"I have been collecting buttons since I was tiny. My favorite has always been the itty bitty ones. My husband jokes that I must have a trillion buttons and how am I ever going to use them all. In the picture you can see my collection of ornate wee buttons.

Of course it turned out FUN :) I love vintage buttons. And I will continue to add to my collection. It made me want to sort through my stash."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  3:10:51 PM  Show Profile
Jennifer Thorington (jstforewe, #1890) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a intermediate level Buttoned Up badge.

"My girls and I made our button bracelets together today. We had such a fun time. The funnest part is seeing how different all of ours are. I used my favorite vintage tiny buttons in shades of brown. I mixed these with glass pearl beads and used a toggle clasp.

It will be great to get to wear part of my collection. Humn.... I think I need to make another. this is such a great way to teach my little ones the joy of handmade.... Thanks. They are so excited about earning badges along side Mommy."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  3:19:43 PM  Show Profile
Rusty McHale (Rusty, #1572) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a intermediate level Connecting Growers and Eaters badge.

"As mentioned for my beginner badge, we take care of our friend Ted's garden every summer. He has apricot and apple trees and after I freeze his share we can keep the rest. We don't need bushels of fruit so we donate a lot of it to our local food bank. They are most grateful. We have been doing this for several months now.

It is very gratifying to know that the fruit is not going to waste and less fortunate people are reaping the benefits of fresh fruit."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  3:26:25 PM  Show Profile
Rusty McHale (Rusty, #1572) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a intermediate level Bustin' Out badge.

"We have been eating organic for quite some time now. We buy from our local co-op, farmer's market and also at roadside stands in our area that we know grow only organic fruits and vegetables. It is fun to learn how to eat new vegetables - especially since my husband and I are both on a diet and are trying to eat less red meat and desserts. We are seriously working on two of our dearest friends to go organic - they are trying a little at a time.

It has worked out well for us and we plan to keep eating organic for the rest of our lives."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  3:32:06 PM  Show Profile
Rusty McHale (Rusty, #1572) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an expert level Self-sufficiency badge.

"We have been making beef jerky for years and also we dry our fruit in our dehydrator. My friend Bonnie and I just had another "Putting up" party where we canned applesauce, cranberry sauce, MaryJane's apple pie filling, and tomato sauce. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun. Our next "putting up" party will be for grape jelly and candy apple jelly. If anyone is interested in these recipes I will be only to happy to share.

They turned out great only I am running out of room in my pantry. Maybe I'll have to donate some to our local food bank."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  3:36:59 PM  Show Profile
Rusty McHale (Rusty, #1572) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an expert level What's Your Beef? badge.

"I finally had the time to go our local farmer's market and interview Kate Maynard who own's and runs Maynard Cattle Co. NM ranch raised beef. They naturally raise their beef and birth to harvest. The beef are raised on native rangeland grasses and are never put into "feed lot" conditions. None of their livestock receive hormones, animal by-products, steroids or antibiotics. Their beef is aged over 20 days, vacuum packed and frozen. And believe you me it is the best tasting beef around.

It was very interesting to learn about their farm and to see for myself how contented cows live. (Kinda like the Calif. cows commercial we see on TV)."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  3:41:00 PM  Show Profile
Rusty McHale (Rusty, #1572) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Horse Dreams badge.

"I finally got to go horseback riding at our local stable. They gave me an old gray mare and was I ever glad. You know the song "The old gray mare ain't what she used to be?" Well neither am I and we slowly wandered around the trail and took our sweet old time. She was a good ride.

We got along great but I don't think I will be going horse back riding again anytime soon. I'm still quite sore."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  3:47:45 PM  Show Profile
Rusty McHale (Rusty, #1572) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a intermediate level Horse Dreams badge.

"I had read "The Soul of a Horse" quite a few weeks ago and in fact have sent in to my fellow "FarmGirls of the Southwest" group. The horse I studied was the old gray mare that I rode at our local stable. She was very slow and friendly and I just love gray horses. The book is very interesting since it deals with horses owned by Joe Camp and also talks about the history of wild horses. Great read.

I loved the book and the horse I rode but I don't think I will be going on any more rides for awhile. Just a little sore."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  3:54:40 PM  Show Profile
Casie Brigich (SassyCasie, #1352) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Sew Wonderful badge.

"I put together my beginner's sewing kit. I found several different colors of thread that I thought I would use the most, buttons of many shapes and sizes, scissors for just fabric cutting, many different sizes of needles, straight pins of many different sizes so I wouldn't lose them, and safety pins of all sizes for different uses.

I enjoyed buying the items to put into my sewing kit. I couldn't wait to begin learning to sew different items."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  4:00:13 PM  Show Profile
Alberta Brigich (Lady Jane, #1351) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Sew Wonderful badge.

"I put together my beginner's sewing kit. I bought several different colors of thread, buttons of many shapes and sizes for different uses, scissors for just fabric cutting, many different sizes of needles and big enough that I could see them to thread and use the needles, straight pins large enough that I would be able to use them easy enough, and safety pins of all sizes for different uses.

I enjoyed shopping for the items that I needed for my sewing kit. It had me very excited to begin working on my first sewing project."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  4:06:18 PM  Show Profile
Casie Brigich (SassyCasie, #1352) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a intermediate level Sew Wonderful badge.

"I bought a sewing machine with my mom that was for beginners. The machine had several different types of stitching such as straight and zig zag, and I also learned how to do some basic stitching by hand in case I would have to close a pillow or such item, or add some decoration to an item by hand.

I enjoyed learning to sew by hand and machine with my mom. She taught me how to sew by hand and I learned to use the machine myself and taught her. It was nice to have some quality farmgirl time learning to sew with my mom."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  4:12:17 PM  Show Profile
Alberta Brigich (Lady Jane, #1351) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a intermediate level Sew Wonderful badge.

"My daughter and I bought a sewing machine. I already knew how to sew by hand so I taught her and since I didn't know how to use a sewing machine she learned herself and then taught me. The sewing machine had several different types of stitches that we learned were used for different types of sewing.

I enjoyed teaching my daughter to sew and her teaching me to use a sewing machine. It was great to spend time with her doing farmgirl sewing and learning a new technique, as a sewing machine."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 16 2010 :  4:18:11 PM  Show Profile
Casie Brigich (SassyCasie, #1352) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Aprons badge.

"I learned to sew a half apron from a pattern. My mom helped my with certain things, such as gathering, since she has sewn for many years now. It took me almost all day to cut the material out, pin it together, and sew the apron tegether. It was a great learning experience also.

It was great fun to make an apron that I later wore to a bingo hall that I volunteer at to wait on the elderly who are playing bingo and unable to walk to the kitchen to order food themselves. I got a lot of compliments on my apron and when I told them I had sewn it myself they were really surprised and happy that I learned to sew. It made me feel like a true farmgirl to make an apron and receive so many compliments on it."

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