Aug 15, 2011

Marvelous Monday Update 8/15/11

So how did your week go?

First up, is the quick and dirty version. Following is a more detailed look. So grab a snack and get ready for a great read!

• First... I did a block-head thing Tuesday night. I had the corner ornament on JG all stitched up, right? Well, I was stitching some gold very-fine braid between the black rows and "thought" I miscounted the spaces between the black rows. I "thought" I was off by one stitch which meant I'd have to frog everything to the left of it... which was considerable. No, I didn't frog all that! I frogged the little section of black and part of the foliage of the bonsai plant next to it, thinking I'd make up the error there and it wouldn't be noticeable. Well... the next time I sat down to stitch it, I realized I WASN'T off at all. Ugh, lol. So now I have to re-stitch the part I frogged and the bonsai leaves, which is about 10 or 12 stitches. Can't believe I did that!

• Second... I was heading down the basement stairs Thursday morning, and slipped a few from the bottom. In trying to catch myself, my arm scraped against the fireplace wall which is right next to the stairs. I have a scrape halfway down my arm and my wrist was bruised and a bit swollen. I'm fine, though. The worst part is that it’s on the part of the arm where you rest on so every time I’d put my arm down on something… ouchie!

• Third... I was working on a DIY project before work one day last week. I looked in the mirror to find green paint smudges on my face. Ack. So down to the basement I go once again (no, that's not when I fell) to get some paint thinner to remove the paint. Fun stuff. Not.

• Fourth... In preparation of school starting, I spent last week "trying" to get my chapters read to be ahead of the game. I've been so exhausted by the time I get home from work, it was all I could do to get a few pages read. I actually fell asleep while trying to read some of the chapters.

• Lastly... On Saturday, I was cleaning my stove when I noticed blood spatters all over. I’m not sure how it happened, but my theory is that I sliced my finger open while trying to pull the knobs off the stove in order to clean behind them. My finger hurt a bit at the time, but I thought it was due to my trying to shove my pudgy fingers behind those knobs in order to pull them off. Well, I was so busy cleaning and rinsing the dishcloth in the sink, I didn’t realize I sliced my finger open until I saw blood all over. I’ve been wearing a bandage over my index finger since then. Do you know how hard it is to stitch and type? I actually developed a cramp in my hand from trying to stitch with my thumb and middle finger, lol.

And now for the good stuff!

Yippee! Woo Hoo! Yay! Guess what? School officially starts today. I actually started reading the textbook last week. 96 pages due for this week. By the third chapter, I was ready to poke my eyes out with my stitching needles (lol). I've read more about how interest rates are forecasted and the theories behind it than I care to know about. What I really "loved"... NOT... was how I read about a theory 3 times (I'm a little slow, OK? Shush!) only to find out a couple theories later that the first one really isn't accurate because of... blah, blah, blah. Talk about annoying. Thankfully, the last chapter was interesting. At least to me. It was about The Fed, how it works, who's involved, etc.

In case you missed my previous posts: I'm taking a finance class called Financial Markets and Institutions. It's my second to last class before graduating in November. Yippee! Woo Hoo! Yay!

Yesterday's weather was awesome... 70's, nice breeze, and no humidity! What better day than to grill out. Who am I kidding? I've been known to grill out in the middle of winter. But, I digress. I found a recipe called Lime Cilantro Kebobs Mexicano. After reading reviews, I decided to change it up a bit. Basically, I marinated the chicken chunks in the lime cilantro mixture. Then the kebobs were brushed (not part of the original recipe) with a chili powder-garlic basting sauce. So, it turned out more like Cajun Lime Cilantro Kebobs. Talk about Yummo!!

This photo was right when I put the kebobs on the grill. When they were done, the chili powder turned black (like blackened fish does). The cooked kebobs smelled so good!

The local grocery store has had strawberries on sale for 99cents a pint for over a month now. They are soooo good. Soon, strawberries are going to be growing out my ears because I keep buying and eating them. Based on a salad I had at the St. Louis stitching retreat a couple years ago, I made my own version of a strawberry salad.

This was made out of a gourmet lettuce that was on sale for 99cents for four heads (Now the store sells it for $1.99!), strawberries, shredded parmesan cheese, vinegarette dressing. Talk about tasty!!

Sometimes, I amaze myself with the things I come up with and the journey it takes me on. I took this:

and made it into this:

Oh, did you want to know about the journey? First, I primered the shelf white. Do you know how many different directions you have to turn a shelf like this to get every nook and cranny painted? A lot! Then I painted it the same color green I used on my scissor display shelf.

Then came the "fun" part. I wanted to put inspirational words on the shelf, but how? I thought about the cool vinyl letters that those fancy-schmancy cricut machines do, but alas, I don't have one. So then I thought about the press on letters. Couldn't find any that were big enough or tiny enough in a font that I liked. I thought, "Maybe I can make my own press-on letters." So I tried various techniques online using my laser printer. Those ideas didn't work either. I could've bought water-slide decal paper, but I really didn't want to pay through the nose that much for the paper. It's kinda expensive.

During this adventure, I had printed the words I wanted on transparency sheets (one of the failed attempts). As I stood in front of my craft armoire looking for inspiration, it came to me! I grabbed my dressmaker transfer paper and proceeded to use it to trace the lettering from the transparency sheet to the shelf. Then I used permanent marker to color it in. Worked like a charm. :) The best part? I could "erase" the excess transfer marks -- Yes, I went outside the lines -- with a damp cloth. It wiped write right off. :)

What am I going to use the shelf for?

Right now, my paints. In the future, who knows?

Spice Rack found at Thrift Store -- 49cents
Can of Primer -- already had it
Can of Green Paint -- leftover from another project
Dressmaker Paper -- from my high school sewing class days
Transparency Sheet -- who knows where I got that from!
Permanent Sharpie Marker -- school does come in handy :)

Last week, I received an awesome RAK (random act of kindness) from Vickie at Reading and Stitching. She said she thought of me immediately when she saw them.

What do you think?
Is it me?

I think it is!
Thank you, Vickie, for thinking of me. :)

Now that school is starting, I've put JG back in her pillow case. That's where she resides when I'm not stitching her. Shamelessly, I've started another project. Carol over at iStitch is hosting a Mystery SAL. This is the first SAL I've done, so I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I'm not so sure about my thread choice, but I'm just going to go with it, as they say. Here's what my SAL looks like so far:

It's tiny. Carol recommended 40ct over two, but I didn't have any so I went with 36ct over-one.

Sharon, aka Daffycat, is hosting an End-Of-Summer Giveaway on her blog. Go check out the cutest ever gnomes.

Long time readers may remember the fabric-covered bobbins I made last year to store ribbon and lace on.

Since I had the spray cans out, I thought I'd try something different. Did you know I annointed myself "Spray Paint Queen"?

I had some of the cardboard templates cut out with the intention of making more fabric-covered bobbins, but never got around to it. I primered a few of those. Not sure if primering was necessary, but I did it anyway. Then I spray painted them and added the eyelets with my handy-dandy crop-a-dile.

I did some in blue also, but didn't take a photo. It's not quite as decorative as the fabric ones, but they're quicker to make -and- look nicer than brown cardboard.

I was quite crafty last week, wasn't I?

Until next time,


the cozy stitcher said...

Wow...what a week you had! I hope all the injuries have healed! I am also doing Carol's's a nice design, isn't it? I love your little lace bobbins...what a great idea!

Katie said...

Yet another wonderful blog entry. I always love seeing you post you have an update cause I love reading your blog. Your adventures are so much fun. Yes you were crafty and everything is gorgeous! I love your shelf. How talented you are! I'll enjoy watching your SAL grow. Good luck and Good Luck with your class!

htimcj said...

WOW! You've been busy! Good luck with school. I hate it when you spend all that time reading and understanding a theory only to be told, well that whole thing is wrong! Well, WHY TELL IT TO ME! Happened all of the time in the teaching classes. DROVE ME NUTS!
Great stitching and crafts. I love the shelf so pretty.
Glad you didn't hurt yourself too bad with all of the falls and cleaning mishaps!

Anonymous said...

What an update, Meari! You poor thing, with all of those cuts and scrapes. Your shelf turned out cute. :)

Karin in CA

Berly said...

Oh no! I hate when I frog something & then realize it was right the first time. I'm so glad you got off with just a few scrapes from your fall. Hope your finger heals quickly! Good luck with school! That strawberry salad looks really yummy! Hmm, I think I remember the salad you're talking about! :)

Anonymous said...

What a week you had--but how splendidly you managed!

Always enjoy reading your blog and often get inspiration from it.

Judith Truly in OH

EvalinaMaria said...

Yes, you were very crafty!!! Good luck with the school and I hope your arm will heal quickly.

Anonymous said...

Your update and photos were fantastic. You do such good work in a number of mediums and then write about it in such a colorful way. Way to go on another great weekend.

God help you with the text book reading. I have two here moaning and reading and coughing and sneezing.


Rachel S-H said...

hope this week goes a bit easier on your arm and fingers. Great job with the spice rack!

Shebafudge said...

Wow! What a week! I hope all your bumps and cuts have healed or at least are on the way to it.

I love the ex spice rack! Gorgeous.

Good luck with the studying, I hope it goes well for you.

Kathy A. said...

That was some week. I am glad you survived with only minor bumps and scrapes.

Carol said...

I love your shelf, Meari--you are so creative and really have a great eye as far as seeing what "could be" on a rescued piece!

Hope your scrapes and bruises are healing quickly--you sure had quite a week!

Best of luck in your finance class--I know you'll do great :)

Sue said...

Meari, the bad part of this blog sounded like you should have gone back to bed for about a week and then start over!!! LOL...glad you were not badly hurt.

I am so amazed at your creativity! You take a very plain and ordinary piece and make it into something very pretty! Very talented lady!

I will be interested in seeing what the Mystery SAL looks like!


Jennifer Wright said...

meari, i am so sorry for all your falls, and bumps, and scrapes!! I hope you are healing nicely!
Way to go reading your book for school early!
I love what you did with the little shelf, it looks fab!
The RAK stuff is awesome! LOVE Geishas!

Nancy in IL said...

Dear Spray Paint Queen,

I always read your newsy posts looking for the great "strike throughs" - just crack me up! Love looking at all your bargains that add up to crafty, useful items. Those are the kinds of things I get rid of in garage sales, though my last one was a bomb. Maybe you could drive down and haul off what I didn't take to the Salvation Army?

The RAK was you for sure!

The thing I'm going to be watching and coveting is the SAL by Carol. I saw it on Sally's blog (Stitchy Angel), and by the time I got there, she had reached her limit, damn it all. But I will get to see it in progress, which is the fun part. I was going to join a blog featuring With Thy Needle and Thread "Birds of A Feather" mystery SAL. By the time I was going to spend around $50 for everything, it was no longer a mystery, so I saved $50. Does that qualify as a bargain, thrift store find, treasure? Maybe I can live vicariously through you???

Sharon said...

You never cease to amaze me with your creativity!!!! You have been blessed with many, many gifts. You're smart, talented, (and you cook!), crafty - you're the total package! (Albeit a banged-up one). :( I hope you're feeling better very soon! Thanks for sharing with us! :)

Anonymous said...

You are inspirationial! Your week started off low and it ended with a high note! I love your creativity. Good luck this year with your studies! I know you will do fine!

Pam in IL said...

Wow, what a week you had!

I thought your shelf looked quite familiar...hubby bought one of those before we were ever married and it's still hanging on the wall with the original spice jars!

I really like your fabric covered and painted bobbins.

Pam in IL said...

Oh, forgot to say -- I'm coming over for dinner!!! Your food always looks so good and yummy!

Gabi said...

That's a week of accidents. Poor you.
And poor you also to have frogged and then finding out it wasn't needed. Happened to me once before too.
Fantastic shelf. Love it.
Great new start too on the Mystery Sal. I still could bang my head on missing out on that The color you chose looks great.

Mel said...

Phew you've got a lot going on!

Glad to hear that all the bumps and bruises aren't major.
Love the spice rack. So cute!

I am so jealous of that Mystery SAL it closed before I came back to blogging. But I look forward to everyone's updates on it!

Moreen said...

What a busy time you have had your talents are endless and I have so enjoyed reading your post you make everythng so interesting. I am sorry to read about your srapes and cuts but hope it all gets better soon.
Great crafting.

Debra said...

very busy week. Hope your finger and arm are much better.

Sunshine said...

Wow! You sure had a week didn't you!!!
I'm glad you're OK....
Great idea for your paints. Love the painted bobbins too.

Emily in NC said...

You certainly had a busy and productive week. Sorry about the arm, it's a pain when you scraped up where you want to rest your arm. The kabobs look yummy, may have to get hubby to make those.

Anonymous said...

So sorry about the frogging for you!

I hope you will heal fast - you've had quite a week of injuries!

I love your projects - you just never sit still - always fun to see what you'll come up with next!


too_busy_to_stitch said...

Oh dear - ouch :( The salad looks yummy - might grab that idea :)

Kay said...

What a week you had! Don't you hate weeks like that where it seems nothing goes right and you wish you would have just stayed in bed? lol. The reading you had to do for the first week sounded brutal. My husband has that same issue, he takes his textbook to work and reads on his lunch hour as well as tackling reading at home, so much work to do it seems like it never ends with school. I love your projects, you really are a crafty and busy lady!

Unknown said...

Gosh i get tired reading your blog, what a busy lady... i love your rack you did a great job on it

Anonymous said...


You have had busy week :)
Your " create-design-inspire " looks wonderful.
I like your Mystery SAL color, Im sure it is coming lovely


Kathy said...

Another busy week for you. :) Good luck with school.
I love your recycled rack. It turned out fabulous. Have you ever watched the HGTV show Trash to Treasure? I used to love that show. It was always filled with wonderful ideas like yours.

Anonymous said...

We're just happy dancing all over the place! Very cute ornament, Meari! I'm going to have to find that chart to stitch for my DH....he is a cookie monster. :)

Karin in CA

Katrien said...

Looking forward to seeing your mystery-sal grow.
Lovely RAK you got.
I hope the finger heals fast!

Anonymous said...


My goodness girl, we are going to have to wrap you in bubble wrap, lol


Akila said...

WOW, that was one active week!! Soo much happening all in a week's time?!!
Love your craft armoire. White looks definitely much better.
And what a rak that is. Yes, that definitely is you :)

Shelley said...

What a week...I bet your happy to sweep that one under the rug!

Your food looks yummy...when can I come over for dinner? Love the bobbins. So creative you are. The shelf is an awesome craft piece. You are more courageous than I am at trying something new.

Looking forward to watching your Mystery SAL grow.

Kristin said...

You always impress the hell out of me with all the fabulous goodies you make and create and find. Brava my dear.