Aug 28, 2008

Coming To A Doorstep Soon

Who's will it be? What will it be? Shhhhh! Is it a secret? You could say that... It's a... PIF! 1-2-3, Who will it be? Which of the lucky gals will be the first recipient of the PIF I offered: Rene, Beth, or Lynn? Stay tuned! As soon as the lucky duck receives it, I'll be posting my Finish pic.

Meantime, look at this eye candy:

I've been drooling over this kit for a long time. The Stitchery had it on sale for for over 40% off! I hopped off my stash wagon briefly to snag it up. Just couldn't pass on a deal like that.

Worst First Date #2 - Father Figure

"I met the guy on Match and his profile said he was 45 (I was 33). Since his picture was OK and looked age appropriate, I agreed to meet him in a bar in NYC for a drink.

I arrived and scanned the bar for my date. I had noticed this weird looking guy with a Russian fur hat sitting by the door, but he was old so it couldn't be him.

Sure enough, after a minute I hear my name being called and I turn around and it is the fur hat guy.


Since my identity was blown, I went over to meet this guy - I was hoping that my date had sent his father to tell me that he wasn't coming. Stunned, I agreed to sit and have a drink, where I learned that the guy was 75!!!

Responding to my incredulous question of why he had lied about his age he responded 'Some people can't handle the whole truth!' Turns out the picture was of his son!

Although I wanted to bolt, I heard him out for about 15 minutes. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and told him that I had stayed that long because 'I was raised to respect my elders.'"

-Betsy A. in Spring Lake, NJ

Can't handle the TRUTH??!! I'd say 42 years is quite a thing to wrap one's head around. I say men who do that are looking for a young trophy-GF, which is fine but be HONEST about it! Having purused my fair share of online personal ads and having had my own, I can say that there are a LOT of old(er) men looking for young women. While it's fine for those who want to partake... Not for this girl.

Aug 26, 2008

Arte y Pico

I was really surprised to find a new reader gave me the Arte y Pico award! Thank you, Margie!

In Spanish it literally means ART and TIP but according to bloggers, it translates as "The Best Art."

The rules are as follows:

1) Choose 5 blogs deserving to receive the award (conception, creativity, interesting equipment and contributing to the community of bloggers whatever the language)

2) Every award must contain the link towards the blog of his author so that it can be visited.

3) Every winner must show the award-logo and put back the name and the link towards the blog that attributed it for her.

4) The winner must show the blog link the Arte y Pico.

*Whew!* I had to back-click through about 5 blogs before I found the link to Arte y Pico! (Obviously quite a few didn't follow *this* rule, LOL)

5) To Post the rules.

Now for blogs I find to have Arte y Pico :)

Chiloe - Chiloe's Corner
Heidi - Needle Necessities
Barbara - Mainely Stitching
Michelle - Ozark Sew & Sews
Sue - Stitching & Life

Aug 25, 2008

BFF Award!

Here are the rules:

1. Only five people allowed.

2. 4 of them have to be dedicated followers of your blog and 1 has to be new and live in another part of the world.

3. You have to link back to who gave you the award.

So to honor some fellow bloggers, my nominees for this award are:

CJ - Tea & Stitches
Debra - All About Me
Jennifer - Sweet Pea Stitches
Jenna - Tale of a Shooting Star
Kendra - The Stitching Hour

Thank you to Terry and Mare for passing the award to me!

Meari's Marvelous Monday Update 8/25/08

Stitchy Stuff
Several people have asked what the sparklie fabric is on my latest WIP. In four words: I have no idea! Like a lot of my aida, it's without packaging. Thank goodness for the count ruler, otherwise I wouldn't know what count it is either. So, I'm sorry I'm not much help. :(

I've had Serenity on my wishlist for quite a while. JoAnn Fabrics had it for $3.99 and with my 40% off coupon, I got it for $2.39 + tax. Can't beat that for an entire kit!

Waaahhhh... Summer is over! School started last Wednesday. I have the same instructor I had for B-Law II (oooooh, *this* should be fun). Not only do I have the textbook to read, I have to read a book on "management" and write a 7pg term paper/book report on it. Of course, *he* has to approve the book first. Since my boss (CEO) has lots of books on management, I asked him if there were any he'd recommend. He gave me 3! I've already read 1/2 of one and tagged important things with post-it flags. Am I ahead of the ball or what?!?

Getting Fit
In the past, I've talked about my WATP workout tape. I've got the 3-mile Fat Burning one and really love it. It's low-impact, easy to learn, and you get a cardio workout as well as strength training. Here's a YouTube video clip:

I liked it so much that I bought a second DVD by Leslie Sandsone called Walk Away Your Waistline 3-Mile Walk. It's just as great as the other one. :D

Freecycle Drama
As you all know, I've been a big advocate of Freecycle. Last month, the Freecycle yahoo group owners decided to add a new moderator because they have personal problems, weren't able to "man" the group, and felt that it was unfair I was doing it alone. Never asked me how I felt about it, nevermind the fact that I did 90% of the work anyway (certainly didn't mind). So the new girl, Chrissy, wasn't following the rules set up by Freecycle and as it turned out was basically using the site for the greater good -- HERS! Without going into details, I noticed several things happening that just weren't quite right. I emailed the group owner, and got no response. Not surprising, since I'd emailed her in the past two years I've moderated and never received a response. One day, I noticed I wasn't receiving emails from the group which was odd because there's aways posts to be approved. I went to the group site and found out that I had been BANNED. What the heck is going on?!

Needless to say, I was angry and devastated because I had no idea why I was banned from the group. Besides Freecycle, my community has another group similiar to it, but For Sale items can be listed. Several people from Freecycle belong to this other group, too. About a week after I'd been banned, I received an email from a lady who had been banned also, for no reason. She said someone had given my email addy to her and she'd hoped I could help get her reinstated. She then posted a message to the For Sale group telling everyone what went on. A few days later she was reinstated to the Freecycle group.

It worked for her, maybe it'd help me? I posted to the For Sale group stating my situation. I also contacted the Freecycle organization directly, whereby my state outreach coordinator emailed me back telling me she was looking into it. Next thing I know the group owner of Freecycle contacted me asking why I didn't let her know what was going on. What?!? So after some back and forth emails, the owner banned Chrissy from the group. After I was reinstated, I checked the moderator activity and found out that not only was this woman/girl banning people and using the group for her selfish needs, she went and deleted TONS of posts. Just went to the list and started deleting stuff! I asked the group owner about it, and she said "Your guess is as good as mine." WOW! In less than two months, Chrissy turned a smooth running group into chaos! It's pretty much back to normal now. Thank goodness!

With that said, a little GOOD news. My latest Freecycle find:

It's an adjustable dress form. Just turn the dials to your measurements and viola! I've always wanted one of these. Now to find the time to make something!

This week, I've harvested two LARGE bowls of lettuce from my garden. Needless to say, I'm eating a lot of salads. :) Here's what I ate while watching the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics:

Fresh Mushrooms, Diced Vidalia Onion,
Tomatoes, and Fresh Parmesan Cheese

Homemade Quesadillas

Aug 23, 2008

He Wonders Why...

...I am single? Moi, Me? Gee, maybe this will give you and idea WHY.

August 6th, I received the following email from my online dating site:

"i find you to be a well educated ladie with good morals and values from what i have read in your profile and also your very attractive..........just not sure if i may be your type..........i may share the same morals and values as you but i'm more of the rugged type of man meaning i'm muscular very open and forward but i do have that laid back apperance once in awhile but for the most part i'm a exciting type of man......i sure hope you know what i mean because its sure hard to explain about ones self when writing lolol........... Mitch"

OK, now when I read the email, little red flags started flapping in the breeze. Grammar... spelling... "exciting type man", "i hope you know what i mean" What?!... hard to explain about ones self in writing (Umm, it's not THAT hard).

I then clicked on his profile. No photo (another flag). Username: romanticmale62, Age: 37, Location: within 35 miles, -and- wrote in his own words a HALF page about himself that went on and on and on. The "62" at the end of his username also struck me odd because usually people use their birth year and 62 didn't equate to 37yrs old.

In my profile, I have several photographs spanning several years including up-to-date ones. I am also very clear about who and what I am looking for and what I can offer.

With some reservation about this guy, I wrote back and received the following response:

"i realize some ladies on this site say there interested mostly in personalitys and sense of humors but lets not kid ourselfs......more care about looks and just looks at first hoping that they have a sense of humor and personality......heck some ladies could even care less about that hoping that they develope a personality and sense of humor lol.......i realize there has to be some type of attration to draw that person to him or her so you get that chance to know if they have a personality/sense of humor but intodays world its more about material things and being superfical. if you have a email i could send you a few pics ?............i don't have no low self esteem problem or am i insecured.........far from that so i will just send a few pics to you and you can be the judge but i don't want to put you on the spot because of what i just said lol.........`smiles`"

After that I had decided this guy probably wasn't for me and that he more than likely had issues about women not finding him attractive. Even so, I admit I was curious about what he looked like, so I wrote back.

Fast foward to August 20th. I recieved the following email:

if you go to "such-and-such dating site" and search from notintogames62 you will see i have about 14 pics there.............its a free site unlike this one

Again with the "62" which would make him 46/47 yrs old NOT 37. Of course I *had* to go look! LOL He had written (copied) the same written profile. Here's what else I found:

Age: 47 (changed shortly after that to 45), Location: (different city than other site, but close enough to it). All the other info was the same. He also had about 10 photos:

Aye-Aye-Aye! Like I thought, he wasn't my type physically plus factoring in all the other flags I'd noticed (big one: lying). With that, I didn't respond back to him but I recieved an email: "i take it yuo had looked at my pics???"

I took that as my opportunity to let him know I wasn't interested and why. I based my reasons on facts and I was very polite about it. My sister says my downfall is that I'm *too* nice to everyone. Here's the response I got:

"hummmmmmmm,well you sure don't know what the hell your talking about ugly.......i'm not fat you stupid ass whore.......its all muscle.maybe if you worked out enough you would know the dam saying i'm fat is like saying your no no seem like the type that thinks shes all this and that and when it comes down to it your nothing but a old ladie whos single and fat you have a 6 pack?.well i do time don't judge people you fat ass bitch"

First off, I NEVER EVER said he was fat. What I said was that it appeared he was overweight and with the family history of health issues I prefer someone who is somewhat health conscious. I also wished him well in his search. I suppose I could've just not responded, but after finding out he lied about his age (LOL, then calling me an "old ladie"!) and after going on and on about people being superficial, I decided to respond. I just couldn't let it slide. Immediately after receiving the above email, I received a second one:

wow......after rading your email are you serious!!! lolol?..........your not attractive!!............thats why your still single you bitch you have any idea how many ladies i have met that wants to date me lolol........and then when i see your pic i really have to laugh lolol...........seriously....this is the first time i have seen your pic!! lololol

Not sure what all the ...... is about, but he uses them quite a bit. Again, I don't know who this guy thinks he's fooling because every time a person receives an email on the site, the photo (if the person has one) is posted to the left of the email. Not only that, a person can see *who* has looked at their profile and photos. It wasn't the first time he'd seen mine. Not only that, re-read what he wrote in the first sentence of the first email he sent me. Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! LOL Who is he kidding? IF he was meeting lots of women had LOTS wanting to date him, he WOULDN'T be posting a profile for online dating. Duh.

I wrote him one last email telling him how his communication portrayed the real him and how dishonest he was, how his emails didn't bother me (complete with a smiley face... LOL). Ended it with wishing him luck. LOLOL

Again, he wonders why *I* am single?? Perhaps he should look in his own backyard first.

Aug 22, 2008

SBQ - Hand-dyeds

If you had to choose, would you rather spend money on overdyed floss or hand-dyed fabric?

I've got some of each, and I'd have to say I prefer to spend my $$ on hand-dyed floss. I can dye my own fabric to my liking on a per project basis. Dyeing floss is another thing entirely. With the exception of SSS (which I got a really GOOD deal on), I usually buy the hand-dyed floss on a as needed basis.

Aug 19, 2008

Worst First Date #1 - Mr Inappropriate

"The night began with my date slowing down only enough for me to jump into to his car. Without hesitation he announces, 'Hey, I didn't have time to shower, so I bought this,' proceeding to spray air-freshener behind my seat and inevitably all over me. (Lovely, New-Car scent, but I DID shower.)

He takes me to a local spot for some beer and tacos. Almost immediately he begins to burp- CONTINUOUSLY! I'm embarrassed because other customers are starting to notice. After a rather large release he announces, 'Oh, man. Beer gives me gas.'

Apparently that is not all it does; I endured stories of the previous night where his primary objective was to get his boss's daughter drunk and hit on her, how stupid cops are, how he's 'SO in [my pants]' (no way!), insulting questions of 'Am I pregnant?' (If I was, he'd 'take Shorty home STAT') AND, "Am I infertile?!" (sooo not appropriate!)

Insanely, the date continued, where he whisked us off to a not-so-romantic evening viewing of 'Star Wars.' He pouted when we got crappy seats and yelled multiple times at the screen during the movie. I couldn't sink lower in my chair if I tried!

I practically ran from the car as he yelled out the sun roof, 'Call me sometime!'

LESSON ONE: The man in the elevator at the gynecologist's office IS creepy! STAY HOME!"

-Gayle W. in Costa Mesa, CA

LOL, I bet you thought THAT was my date! This is the first installment of "Worst Dates" for all my single girl readers. Feel free to comment, if you can relate!

If it were me, I would've called it a night after the beer-burping incident and comments about being so-into my pants. I have to admit, the story is hilarious. Think she called him?

Aug 18, 2008

Flatfold Tutorial

Just what IS a "flatfold" anyway?

My answer: It’s a finishing technique used to display stitched projects. It’s easel-shaped, stand-alone design is an alternative to framing.

Ever since I taught an online Needlebook Class, my students have been prodding encouraging me to teach another online class. So I came up with my second interactive tutorial class for flatfolds. You can see photos of the finished flatfolds HERE.

If anyone uses my instructions to create a flatfold, I'd love it if you sent me a pic so I can add it to my album. :)

Here's my step-by-step instructions for creating a flatfold:

Materials Needed:• A stitched piece at least 4 1/2" by 4 1/2" in size. It can be bigger, even up to 5" by 7" or a little larger. Personally I think anything smaller than 4x4" will be difficult to work with.

• Coordinating cotton fabric of your choice. You'll need a little more than 4 times the size of your stitched piece, so calculate yardage accordingly. I've found that the quilt flats (18x22" fabric) are perfect. Or look in the odds and ends bin at the fabric stores to see if there's anything that might work.

• Lace, ribbon, or cording

• Flat quilt batting - again, the amount depends on size of your stitched piece. You'll need 4 times the size of your stitched piece. I used "Soft & Bright Needled Polyester Batting", Craft Size 34x45" from JoAnn Fabrics.

• 4 pieces of thin, but sturdy cardboard. Approximately the size of your stitched piece. (See Tips at the end of the tutorial)

Small binder clips, spring clothes pins, or something similar.

• Ruler

• Craft Tacky Glue (regular white glue won't be as easy to use)

• Scissors

• Craft Knife

• Pencil

• Iron and Ironing Board

Once your piece is stitched, wash and press it.

Determine how big you would like your flatfold to be. My stitched piece is approximately 5 by 5" and I decided that I wanted my flatfold to be 6 by 7.25". After deciding what size you want your finished flatfold to be, add 1" to each side. So fabric size would be 8 by 9.5".

Use the ruler to measure out four cardboard pieces to the size of your flatfold. It's important that all the cardboard pieces be the same size! Use the craft knife with a cutting mat underneath to cut the cardboard pieces.

TIP: Once you've drawn your lines on the cardboard, use the craft knife to score (cut a light line) over your drawn lines. You don't have to press hard, just hard enough to cut a bit through. Go slow the first time. Then go over it again a bit harder, and possibly a third time until it cuts all the way through. Sometimes, I will place a ruler along the drawn line and run the craft knife along the edge of the ruler.

Cut four pieces of batting approximately the same size as the cardboard. A little larger won't matter because you can trim it off later.

Cut two pieces of fabric approximately 2" wider and taller than the cardboard. This means your fabric will be 1" wider than the cardboard on all 4 sides. For my FF, the fabric size would be 8x9.25".

Cut the third piece of fabric the same width as the other two and 4-6" longer. The length would depend on the height of your FF. For my FF, the size would be 8x13.5".

Cut your last piece of fabric 3" wide by 10" long. Use a ruler to make sure it's 3" wide the entire length. This will be helpful later on.

Using the steam setting on the iron, press your fabric pieces so there are no wrinkles or fold marks. If needed, press your stitched piece (on the back side, face down on a towel).

As you can see, I wasn't too concerned about the accuracy on cutting the batting and fabric. The cardboard pieces all should be the exact same size, though!

Using craft glue, glue one piece of batting to each piece of cardboard. After gluing, if batting is larger than the cardboard, trim it so that both are the same size.

Glue the two smaller pieces of fabric to the batting, cardboard. Place fabric face down. Place cardboard on top,centered, with batting side down. I know a lot of people have difficulty with the corners. I've found it easiest to glue the corners first.

Then glue opposite sides of cardboard. When gluing, use care to keep the fabric at the corners snug and tight. You might want to keep a damp cloth nearby to wipe your fingers because the glue will seep through the fabric.

Place your stitched piece face down. Place cardboard on top, centered with batting side down. Glue it the same way as previously mentioned. A helpful tip: Sometimes heavier fabrics are harder to keep in place until the glue is dried. Use straight pins to to hold the glued fabric, especially at the corners.

Glue the final piece of fabric (the one with the extra 6") to the cardboard/batting the same as the rest, leaving the 6" overhanging. Do not glue that part to the cardboard. I usually put a small amount of glue between the folded over fabric layers so that they lay nice and flat. I also make the folds so that both sides angle slightly toward each other at the end opposite of the cardboard. Doing this will eliminate a possible overhang of fabric later. From now on, I'm going to refer to this as the "flap".

NOTE: If your stitched piece is less than 6" tall your flap does not need to be 6" long. The flap should be about 1/2 to 2/3 as long as your sitched piece.

Place the piece with the flap on table with fabric facing the table, and wrong side facing up. Put glue on the flap. Place another fabric covered cardboard on top of the flap, wrong side face down. The sides of the flap should be angled in so that you don't see the material close to the edge. Be sure that the ends are butted up tight against each other. Let dry.

Take the 3" wide piece of fabric and place right down on the ironing board. Bring each long edge to the center and press.

Spread a small amount of glue on the wrong side of the fabric to hold the fabric flat in the center. Use only a small amount of glue down the length.

NOTE: If you want to put lace or piping border around your FF, now would be a good time to do that. Glue your lace/piping to the backside of the stitched piece around the edge. I always start gluing at the center bottom edge because it's less noticeable when the two ends come together. If you're using piping, you may want to notch the piping material (not the piping itself) at the corners so that they ease around them better.

Glue the strip to the bottom edge of the hinged fabric piece created in Step 4. The strip should be glued with the center cut facing up. Let dry.

Glue the last fabric-covered piece of cardboard to the hinged piece, on the side that you just glued the strip onto. Wrong sides should be facing each other. Use clothes pins or binder clips to hold them together until the glue dries. For a neater finish, place the glue close to the edges of the cardboard.

Take the left side and fold it toward the right side. Take the strip and glue it to the top of the (left) side you just folded over. You may need to trim the strip if it's too long. Let dry.

Glue the stitched piece to the front of the of the easel you just created. Wrong sides should be facing each other. Use clothes pins or binder clips to hold them together until the glue dries. For a neater finish, place the glue close to the edges of the cardboard. Let dry for 24 hours.

Once the glue is dry, you can glue cording, ribbon, or string beads around the edges. Or you can add pins like a pinkeep.

As you can see, I chose to add cording to mine. Straight pins help to keep the cording in place while the glue is drying.

Design: Peace On Earth
Designer: Linda Stolz
Fabric: 10ct gray aida
Fibers: mini suede, perle cotton,
overdyed, fuzzy stuff, fyreworks
Embellishments: Mill Hill glass stars

Congrats on making your flatfold!

There have been numerous questions as to what kind of cardboard to use.

I'm big on recycling, so I use the thin sturdy cardboard that comes with paperstock at work (It just gets thrown away anyway).

You could also use scrap pieces of mat board. Places that do framing would be happy to sell you small pieces really cheap.

One of my students, Joy, recycled cereal boxes. She glued the pictorial portions together. Depending on how large the flatfold is, one may choose to add a third layer. She also glued together some cracker boxes (Townhouse) and says the strength is pretty good.

Several people have tried corrugated cardboard and the results weren't very good. It makes a flatfold very bulky and the edges not very neat. So if you can find an alternative, try to avoid using it.

©2008 All rights reserved.

Meari's Marvelous Monday Update 8/18/08

Guess what?!!? I had my first baby romaine lettuce harvest last week. Anyone know a better way to wash off pesticides besides doing it leaf-by-leaf? I got to use my new salad spinner, too. It was given to me by a freecycler last year. Still in the box and she said she never used it! This is a huge 16" frying pan full of lettuce after I washed it.

A few other pics from my garden:

My planters now look like this:

As opposed to a couple weeks ago:

Stitchy Stuff
I spent an entire evening re-organized my DMC floss. I had one of those double-sided cases for hotwheels/matchbox cars (another Freecycle "gift") so I put one color of each floss in it. I don't know who said all the colors fit into one case... I'm here to say that they don't and some of my bobbins weren't even full. So if they were full skeins wound onto bobbins, all the colors definitely wouldn't fit. I went to find another case at Walmart last night and *none* to be found. Darn it all.

Duplicates are still in the larger bobbin cases, but I went from 11 down to about 5. I consolidated some of my stash into one large 124qt bin. The rest is still packed in boxes. I loved looking at all the kits I have accumulated, mostly Lorri Birmingham and Oriental designs. I've updated my multiply Kit album so I know what I have. I also did some wish browsing on ABC Stitch Therapy and updated my wishlist. The ones I liked are way beyond my price range and very beautiful. Maybe someday. *dreamy look*

I started a new project on a neat looking sparkly white fabric:

After 3 hours

Aug 17, 2008

Kitchen Update 8/1708

Ack! Where does all that primer go to? Bare wood sucks up a lot of primer! I used a quart of it painting just the inside 3 drawers and part of the cupboard doors. It took at least 3 coats to even out. I spent 5 hours on Saturday wood filling, sanding, primering, and painting. I was in so much pain after that, I was useless for the rest of the day. This is all farther I got:

The thing I really like about these cabinets (albeit plain) is that they're solid wood -- the boxes, the shelves, the drawers, the doors... all of it is wood.

Here's a mock up of some colors I'm thinking about doing for the soffet and opposite wall, as well as the ceiling (last one).