Mar 30, 2009

Marvelous Monday Update 3/30/09

First It Was Lost.... Then It Was Lost Again...
About two weeks before my last class ended, I lost my USB memory stick that contained notes and information for practically every class I'd ever taken. Luckily, only the "diary" portion of my class project was on there (because it's all we had done at that point). I even told a coworker that I'd lost it.

Last Tuesday, a man came into the office asking for me. Apparently, he had found my memory stick in the parking lot. He put it in his coat pocket and then it fell out and behind the seat in his work truck, LOL. So it was lost again! He found it, took it home, looked at my Excel files (every file is created with a user name embedded in properties), found out who's stick it was, GOOGLED me, found out where I worked, and dropped it off! While it was great he returned it, it's kinda scary how quickly one can be found. And I tell ya what... I would've totally freaked if he showed up at my house! So, Charlie Brown... There are nice people out there. LOL

March came in like a lamb and is going out like a lion! Saturday afternoon was met with 2" diameter snowflakes! Following was sleet and rain. So when I woke up yesterday morning, there was about 2" of crunchy snow/ice mix on my driveway and yard. Hopefully, this will be the last winter storm warning of the season!

Stitchy Stuff
Several weeks ago, Kelly from WI offered a bunch of magazines. I offered to give her something to at least pay for postage since I knew it would cost a small fortune. She suggested a couple of wishlist charts, so that's what I ordered for her. Here's what came to me in the mail last week:

7 Issues of Britain's Cross Stitcher

7 Issues of Stoney Creek

I had so much fun looking through them and picking projects to add to my "To-Do" list, LOL! Thanks again, Kelly!

America's Hottest Husband
There's been a bit of excitement in my neck of the woods. One of the top 25 finalists for Redbook's America's Hottest Husband contest hails from one of my childhood hometowns! Pearl City, Illinois ... population 600. His name is David Tessendorf. He was interviewed on this morning's news show and I got the biggest kick out of him. Coincidentally, he's related to my hairdresser! I'm asking you to vote for him. Voting ends tomorrow. The link is HERE. Thanks!

Mar 29, 2009

What Is This 3/23/09 - The Answer

I've had this item for about 4 years. Every year, I take pleasure in bringing it back to life during the cold winter months and watching it bring a little "spring" into the cold, gray days.

What Is It?


Out of all the guesses, only 3 people were correct. I put the names in a bowl and drew a name. This winning guess was from....

Mary, please send me your snail mail address and I'll get a little stitchy something out to you! Thanks to everyone for playing :)

Mar 23, 2009

Marvelous Monday 3/23/09

Monday is half over, and I know you all are wondering "Where IS Meari's Marvelous Monday post?!" LOL, OK maybe not... I'm late in getting this out, so here goes:

Two Awards!
Sadie of UK gave me two awards:

Brilliante Award

Special Friends Award

I've been awarded and given both these awards so I'm going to defer to those posts HERE and HERE. Thank you, Sadie! I was really amused by your comments about "Cute Lube Guy" LOL!

Spring is Officially Here!
The long awaited event has finally happened. Spring officially arrived last Friday. Signs of it are all over the place. Squirrels are frolicking... which my sister will be *thrilled* to know. (Can you say squirrel phobia??) LOL Flowers and greenery are popping up everywhere, and temps are getting warmer. In addition, sneezing, sniffling, and itchy nose has plagued me this past week. Ahhhh, the wonders and joys of spring!

The weather was really nice this weekend so I managed to get the rest of the leaves raked, flower beds cleaned up, -and- I created two portable clothes lines to hang laundry out. I am so excited about it because I LOVE laundry dried in the fresh air! I even got to hang a load out. :)

Stitchy Stuff
In addition to finishing the mail art piece in the previous blog entry, I spent a few hours stitching on Quakers Rule. Here's what it looks like after 14.25 hours:

I spent a good amount of time going through charts and kits, and have uploaded a bunch to my Stash for Sale blog.

Last but not least, the winner of last weeks drawing for the alphabet charts is....

Valerie, the Fogcity Dweller!

Please email me with your snail mail addy and I'll get these out to you this week.

This time it's not from me, but Ginny over at Ginny's Quilts. It's her birthday this week and she has a fabulous giveaway on her blog, if you're into quilting/sewing.

What IS this?
I haven't done one of these in a while, so I thought it'd be fun. If you think you know, put a comment on this post. The winner will receive something from my stash pile. I can't tell you what because I haven't figured that part out yet! If more than one person guesses the right answer, I'll put the names in a "hat" and draw one.

Oh, and no generic answers either! For instance, if you think it's a dog I don't want "dog" as an answer. You have to tell me what kind of dog! Toughie, eh?

Mar 21, 2009

My Very First Mail Art

This was sent to Lillie in Malaysia for a Coffee & Tea Mail Art Exchange.

Design: Tea Crazy*
Designer: Lizzie Kate
Fabric: 32ct Antique White Monoco Evenweave
Fibers: DMC Linen Floss
Time: It took about 2 weeks to plan the
envelope design, and 2 weeks of stitching.

*Design and colors were altered according to my whim, LOL.

Mar 16, 2009

Marvelous Monday Update 3/16/09

Spring Has Sprung!
It was 55F on Sunday so I took advantage of the glorious day to clean and organize the garage a bit more. Then I cleaned out the planters I didn't have a chance to do last fall. After that I did some raking and look what I found:





Last night, I received an email from my instructor and it said I received an "A" for the class. Woo Hoo! One more week of "vacation" and I'll be hitting the books again for the next class.

Stitchy Stuff
A while back Suzanne finished stitching "Mad Bluebird", which is a kit by Bucilla. I've always thought this was a cute chart. Guess what? Suzanne RAK'd it to me!

I did a little research on this mad little bird and found out that the chart/kit is based on a photograph captured by Wildlife photographer, Michael Smith. Being the photographer I am, I think this bit of information is really interesting!

Ever have one of those heart-touching "awwww" moments? I really need to pay attention to where I'm at when I say "awwwww...."! Waiting for me at the PO on Friday was an envelope with just a return address. No name. What could it be? I opened it up and there was a sweet card and three charts from my wishlist from Becky J in MI. How thoughtful of her to write what she did and to take time to send me not just one, but 3 charts from my wishlist! Thank you, Becky!

I finally got around to ordering the floss I needed to finish up Quaker Rule. Don't ask me why I procrastinated! I even spent time stitching on QR.

I decided to take a better photo of the scissor fob I finished stitching last week. This one shows the colors better, as well as the crystals.

Up for grabs is 6 alphabet charts by DMC. These came with the Color Variations floss in my recent grab bag. Anyone interested? Leave me a comment saying you're interested in the giveaway. If more than one is interested, I'll put all the names in a 'hat' and pull one out.

Mar 9, 2009

Marvelous Monday Update 3/9/09

Stitchy Stuff
As I was digging through my stitchy bag, I found a WIP (UFO?) I started a few years ago. When I started it, I had NO CLUE as to how to do specialty stitches, stitch on linen, and had never used beads before. My how things evolve and change! I dove right in and started working on this project again: Simply Elegant Scissor Case and Fob. I managed to finish stitching and beading the fob.

The photo doesn't really do it justice.
It's much prettier in person!

Just call me "Group Leader" from now on, OK? How about GL for short?! Aye, last Thursday night my group was supposed to have our final meeting in order to finalize the group project.

Oooohh... Let me BACK up! I got the final part of the report around 9:30pm last Sunday night. The rough draft of the report had to be uploaded on Monday! I was pretty irritated at the group member who emailed me her part so late. Grrr! So I stayed up way past my bedtime in order to get the report finished and uploaded. After all, I had to work on Monday. When would I have time to work on it before class Monday night? "She" didn't say two words to me Monday night in class... No excuses, no apology, no nothing. Hmpf!

Wednesday night, I received a text from her: "Wow! I just finished reading what u put together n its great!!" Heck, I didn't even get a chance to proofread the rough draft. All I did was throw her bit in, made sure it looked halfway decent, and sent it off.

I finished proofreading and editing the rough draft on Thursday, which brings me back to the beginning of this post. Our meeting was scheduled for 6pm. At 5pm, I received a text from "her" telling me that she left her stuff at home (She lives in town.) and that she had famiy issues she had to take care of. No mention of rescheduling or anything! Ack. Here's where GL me comes in. Last week, the same thing happened only it was with the OTHER group member. So a zillion texts flying around (Don't people call each other these days??!!) with me trying to work out when meetings can be rescheduled. Well, this time around I was a bit smarter... I wasn't going to wait until Saturday for the rescheduled meeting JUST IN CASE I needed information from them. I also made it clear I did NOT want information sent to me at the last minute! IMO, our actual group leader should be ensuring that things get done on time... not me. *sigh*

Thank goodness, tonight is my last night for class. Otherwise, it'd be MY turn to make up an excuse to reschedule the meeting. LOL! Guess what? No final, Woo Hoo! Hard to believe the semester is over already. Even though it was a lot of work, those 8 weeks flew by. I'll have a 2 week reprieve before the next semester starts. I'm trying an online class... Intermediate Accounting. Again, I almost fell over when I purchased the textbook for $144... and that was USED.

Mar 8, 2009

Journey Through Time

My 11 year old niece is a dinosaur fanatic. When I heard there was going to be a Paleofest for Kids at the Discovery Center and Burpee Museum, I asked if she wanted to go. What do you think the answer was??

First stop was the craft room where everyone was making
dinosaur puppets and hats. As you can see, she takes after
her Auntie... Hard at work crafting!

Cavemen created artwork, so she decided to try
her hand at prehistoric painting.

Yikes! That's one huge T-Rex!

Grr! Scary...

The Wooly Mammoth greets visitors at the door.

There were other activities we checked out:

Like the Space Place's microscope.
The legs of insects are quite interesting!

Magentic Gear Board -- Not as easy as it looks,
but we managed to get them working!

Bubble Station -- Every kid's goal is to encase
themselves in a bubble. She *almost* made it!

A new friend after putting all the
internal organs in place.

Mar 5, 2009

Securing Threads

You've cut your thread, separated the strands, and threaded the needle. Now what? How do you make first stitch(es) and secure the thread?? There are several ways do it it.

The two most common ways are the anchor method and loop method.

Anchoring or Weaving
Anchoring happens at the beginning. Weaving occurs at the end. When making your first stitch, pull the needle up through the fabric and leave about 1/2 inch of thread on the backside of the fabric. As you create your first few stitches, the thread (or "tail") is covered so that the floss is secured in place. It takes a little time to make sure you 'catch' the tail on the backside, but well worth it! Weaving is essentially the same thing only in reverse. When you're finished with a color or line of stitches, you slide your threaded needle under 4-5 stitches on the backside of the fabric. Then trim the floss close to the fabric.

Loop Method

Starting out, you can secure your thread via the loop method. Take one strand of thread floss, fold it in half. Thread the two free ends through the eye of the needle (You should have a loop dangling). Bring the needle/thread up from back of the fabric to the front, leaving the loop dangling in back. Form the first half of the cross stitch by putting the needle trhough from front to back. As you pull it through, slip the needle into the loop on the backside. Viola! The thread is secured. (Note: You shouldn't use this method when using varigated threads, if you want to get the full effect of variation.)

Waste Knot
I don't really know any stitchers who do this, but this might be easier some who've had problems with anchoring. Thread the needle and knot one end of the floss. Push the needle down from the front of the fabric a short distance away from the area you want to start stitching. Then start stitching, covering the thread with the first few stitches. When the thread is securely covered the knot can be snipped from the end.

Mar 3, 2009

Three Questions

Shrek, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lopez were all having lunch together.

Shrek said, 'I have always thought that I'm the strongest man in the World, but how can I be sure?

Brad Pitt said, 'I'm pretty sure I'm the hottest man alive but I've Never had it confirmed.'

Jennifer Lopez agreed. 'I'm told I'm the most beautiful of them all, but Sometimes I wonder.'

They all decided that the best way to find out if their beliefs were true was to approach the wicked Queen's mirror to confirm for them whether Shrek was the strongest, Brad Pitt was the hottest and Jennifer Lopez was the most beautiful.

They agreed to meet again the next day for lunch to discuss their findings.

The next day Shrek walked up with a smile. 'Well, it's true. The mirror told me that I am the strongest man in the world.'

Brad Pitt walked in, with a big smile and said "It is true, it has been confirmed that I am the hottest man alive!!'

Jennifer Lopez followed last looking baffled and said.....
"Who the hell is Meari?"

(Editor's Note: I wonder if the mirror was broken. bwahahahah!)

Mar 2, 2009

Marvelous Monday Update 3/2/09

Stitchy Stuff
When I went to put away the specialty floss I received in my grab bags, I noticed I had a lot of Rainbow Gallery threads. Cruising the thrift stores over the weekend, I found this bronze embossed tin that I thought might work. I made a cardboard divider, and the tin works perfectly. Plus it's pretty!

I received this chart in a trade from Christine. Isn't he cute?

NOTE: Some of you may have noticed that I've been adding stash pics to my multiply albums. Just wanted you to know that I have not gone on a crazy stash-buying spree. LOL I've been organizing my charts and uploading them as I go through them. It's *almost* like getting new charts... looking through what I have. :D

I have my third finish of 2009! *happy dance*

Flip Flop Trivet
Designer: MCG Textiles
Time: 19.75 hours to stitch
Fabric: 18ct white aida
Fibers: DMC floss

Last but not least, the results of the giveway from last Marvelous Monday!

42 names into a bowl, 42 names...

Who will the winner be?? *drum roll*

Please email me with your address,
and the little giftie will be on it's way!

... is gone. So is the jingle-jangle of change in my pocketbook. The new supercharger arrived at the auto repair shop last Monday, right on schedule. It was installed on Tuesday. I should be good for another 100K, but if not at least the SC has a lifetime warranty.

Remember the 3-day seminars I was a speaker at last December? I'd forgotten that I'd be getting a marketing bonus for doing it. So, on my latest paycheck was an extra $330... before taxes, of course. I bet you can guess where it went! Yep, it went toward paying for part of the SC repairs. Wasn't enough to cover it all, but every little bit helps.

The Economy
Yeah, it sucks all right. There's no if's and's or but's about it! Everywhere we look, businesses are cutting back... and so are consumers. Heck, we *have* to.

I, for one, am dumping as much as I can into my savings just in case I'm one of the unlucky ones who loses my job.

With this latest auto repair, I'll be looking into some 12-month, 0% financing credit cards and personally work up a payment schedule to get it paid off in the 12 months. These are great opportunities for people who can do it in the time frame offered, otherwise they are financially a BAD idea if you can't. I've done this many times in the past and it works for me to pay no interest and still get use of a product. It only works if one *can* pay it off in the time frame or else the consumer gets socked for interest charges accrued over the entire time period. That could be a painful, ugly thing!

I'll be cutting out some unnecessary expenses for a while so I can get the SC paid off as well as a couple of other bills. Why is it when we think we see light at the end of the tunnel, some unexpected expense crops up and throws a wrench (or in my case, a supercharger) into the mix?

I've even talked to my mom (who used to be a hairdresser many moons ago) about doing my hair, so I can avoid having to shell out $60 every 7-8 weeks. Luckily, my hairdresser of 10 years is understanding -and- she says I'm not the only one cutting back.

I have a couple of stash orders I'm waiting on, but after that... I'm putting myself on a stash diet. I *think* I have enough to keep me busy for a while. LOL It's really not so bad if this is my only vice, is it?? I mean, I'm not a clothes-aholic, a shoe-aholic, or even a purse-aholic. (LOL, look at me trying to justify my stash collection!) Must... stay.... strong... no stash... for a while.

*sigh* The rough draft of the class project is due today. As of 8pm last night, I still did not have the contribution of one member in our group. I am irritated to say the least since she said she'd have it to me Saturday night. Aside from this infamous class project, I've been doing really well on the homework and the tests.