Nov 30, 2015


 I awoke to the smell of gingerbread, the sounds of Christmas music, and the sight of Stewey in his little Martha Stewart craft apron affixing ribbons to pinecones.

"Mo-ther. Today is the day that you are going to put your shoes on, find a suitable pair of old lady sweatpants, fix your hair, and go outside to decorate the house for Christmas.  You've had a week and a half in the Happy Chair with your coloring book and your turkey it's time to throw a little bit of good cheer around and hope that the neighbors will let us stay here another year."

I had decided to forego decorating this year, but Little Lord Fauntleroy made a good point.  My neighbors are subjected to me and my crazypants outfits and my bleary-eyed trek to fetch the paper every day, as well as the weekly argument we have as to what constitutes proper trash recepticle organization.  (For the record, I don't think that the recycling guy gives two hoots that I put the damn bin at the left edge of the driveway instead of the right edge, because he flings it smack dab into the middle, once emptied, regardless of where it starts out.)  

But this is Stewey we're talking about, so I quickly calculated that there would be NO peace to be had here at Chez Spinster until the annual tarting of the homestead was complete.

Two hours of grunting and sweating and cursing later:

I know.  Pitiful isn't it?  I think it looks much better after a few inches of snow.  And at night  And if you close one eye, stand on your left foot, and view the entire mess from the other side of town.

The good news is that my neighbors really do appreciate it, and I will too when I take You Know Who out for his evening constitutional.

I just hope he doesn't notice that the bows are all crooked and half the lights don't work.

Nov 28, 2015


So I decided to throw out the to do list and  Stewey reminds me that this new policy looks amazingly like the old policy, but I'm all for a little do nothingness for a while longer.

Here's last night's progress on Copper & Turquoise:

And here are a few pages from my coloring book.  This one is called "Balance" from Angie Grace.  I'm still using the Bic Mark Its, but every now and then I throw a Sharpie in there for good measure.  I am, however, doing my level best to resist the temptation of Copics, since I think they are more of an investment than this amateur is ready for.

That's the report for today.  Not a "should" in sight!  The laundry, housecleaning, decorating, and baking will be there for me to ignore again tomorrow.  To the Happy Chair!

Nov 27, 2015


I really need to stop writing to do lists.

Today was suppsed to be a laundry, housecleaning, bed-changing, Christmas decorating, cookie baking day.

Instead, I slept in, read the paper, drank coffee, took a shower, and did the Jumble, Sudoku, and crosswaord.  I took my meds, had a turkey sandwich, watched a movie, and am now contemplating a nice long nap.

I keep trying to convince myself that it's OK to have a lazy day, but Stewey informs me that it's only OK when it's the exception rather than the norm.

Can I just point out that HE  has been snoring away in front of the fireplace for the better part of three and a half weeks?

Oh well.  It's gloomy and cool outside and the last time I checked Her Royal Highness, The Queen of England had better things to do than to come disapprove of my homekeeping skills, so I guess I'll give it a rest.

Here's hoping that YOUR Friday is considerably more interesting...and productive.

Nov 25, 2015


It took longer to stand in line at the Honey Baked Ham That Has Turkey That Tastes Like Ham store than it did to buy provisions for tomorrow's feast.  Stewey and I are, the paper, and a mini quiche while watching the parade, and then all of the normal stuff for dinner.

I am, however, completely ashamed to confess that I had a turkey sandwich for dinner tonight, thus breaking all kinds of tradition by indulging a day early.  I couldn't reist the idea of a Siggie Special...turkey, mayo, celery sticks, salt and pepper on Pepperidge Farm white bread.  I guess the fact that I only have them once a year gives me a pass...right?

Copper & Turquoise is coming along quite nicely:
Ideally, I will complete this one soon so that I can start to think about the Spinster Stitcher Basket O' Yuletide Fun.  For some crazy reason, I am really looking forward to it this year.  I've even started planning my baking, decorating, and shopping!  Friday was going to be outside decoration day, but the forecast calls for rain, so methinks we might do a little inside decorating that day instead.

Or I could just take a nap and have another turkey sandwich.

If you're celebrating, I hope that your table is overflowing with love and health and happiness!  If you're not celebrating, I hope that your table is overflowing too.  

Happy Thanksgiving, all!  I'm thankful for you!

Nov 22, 2015


This is the first time that I can remember our first snow fall of the season being so significant.  They say we got nine inches.  I believe them!

Progress on Copper & Turquoise:

 Yesterday was a bit light in the productivity department.  I managed to make goulash, eat goulash, and stitch.  Today, I think, will be more of the same!  After all, isn't that what Sundays are for?

Nov 21, 2015


The view from my Happy Chair cockpit is so swell, I almost can't stand it. The only thing that would make it any better would be the addition of Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the kitchen...baking his underpants.

I found the notepad in the Target dollar bin, and couldn't pass it up since it was a) a dollar and b) matches my favoite winter coffee mug.  Starbucks French Roast is the last vice I have left:

Can I just tell you how happy I am that I managed to get all of the patio stuff inside earlier in the week? (I also cleaned the garage to within an inch of its life, but that's a story for another day.  Suffice it to's actually cleaner than the inside of the house, so I'm contemplating moving out there for the duration).

I wish it would stay just like this....pretty, fluffy, and white....until March:

I know, I've seen this view so many times before that you're probably ready to delete me from your Palm Pilot.  There's just something about my Stewey Little toasting himself in front of that fireplace that makes me feel like everything is right with the world.  

And besides...who doesn't love a little Snoopy dressed up as Santa Claus as an early holiday accessory?  (You should know that he managed to find Snoopy all by himself.  I have not yet transistioned his toy basket from Autumn to Christmas.)  (Damn dog.)

That's the story for today.  I am determined to stay in this chair...stitching and reading and contemplating and whatnot.

I hope that your Saturday is equally as blissful!

Nov 18, 2015


OK, it's not much, but the center of Copper & Turquoise is in.  As soon as I get my chores done for the day and then re-organize my stitchy stuff, I'm going to hit the Happy Chair for some therapy.  I noticed that my dvr thingie is almost full, so it looks like I need to catch up on my TeeVee viewing and clear the darn thing out!

Why do I need to re-org the stitchy stuff, you ask?  Well, it's because SOMEBODY pointed out that he can't find his favorite reading glasses due to the untidiness of our current basket of stuff/crap:

His assistant informed me that he will supervise from the cozy confines of the Magic Blanket:
 Damn dog.

Happy Wednesday!  

Nov 13, 2015


Do you remember when I used to take pictures for this blog with an actual camera?  I'm not sure that the quality was any better than the pic posted below, but I'm too snoodled up under the magic blanket to go remedy the situation.

This is Copper and Turquoise by Needle Delights Originals and I'm sitting here like a little kid on Christmas Eve wanting to tear into it.  I've been petting the threads for an hour now and just can't get over the fact that this combination has grabbed my attention so.  I think that all of the coloring I've been doing has really expanded my horizons.

Last Saturday I went on a little stitchy shopping trip and my travel companions are still talking to me!  It was hard to NOT be me for the day, but I did my very best and managed not to end up on the side of the road thumbing it for a ride home.  We went to Designer's Desk in Geneva, Illinois.  If you've never been....well, all I can say is....put it on your list.

We went to Greek Islands for lunch, and I'm mortified to tell you that I had not one clue as to what we were eating.  Thank God for Miss Jane and her extensive knowledge of the menu, and for her tact in not pointing out that I'm Greek for crying out could I not know what a dolmides is?  All I do know is that it was a real treat!  Thank you again, Miss Jane!

Tomorrow I will have to sneak out of the house early to spend the day with Miss Charlene and my Hoosier Heartland guild friends.  If Stewey finds out where I'm headed, he'll throw a tizzy of epic proportions and I will never hear the end of it.  Miss Charlene is one of very few humans that Stewey loves in real life...he's devoted, of course, to all of you (his faithful and devoted readers), but the mailman or the neighbors or the nice lady at PetSmart that always insists on giving him a cookie and patting him on the head?   Not so much.

Here's hoping your needles are flying!
Woo Hoo!

Nov 4, 2015


I am happy to report that the two fantabulous donut puff zeppole thingies are the ONLY two that I've had since making the darn things.  Photographic evidence, as certified by Master Stewey Angus Willowswamp, His Very Little and Official self follows:

I read that loss of appetite might be one of the side effects of one of the meds that I take, but I just laughed and laughed and laughed at the very thought of that.  Now I'm starting to think that there must be some cosmic shift of things in the universe that's brought us to a time when I, the very rotund but loveable spinster that you've come to know and love (um, I mean tolerate), has been able to not eat an entire container of fantabulous donut puff zeppole thingies in one sitting.

Woo to the Hoo, people.

Woo to the Hoo.

Nov 1, 2015


What evil genius figured out that you can take a can of Pillsbury buscuits, cut them in quarters, deep fry them, cover them in cinnamon sugar, and then go face first into delishiousness all within four and a half minutes?

I've had two.  Two little puffs of mmmmm mmmmm good that will last me for at least a month because this is the new me that exercises self control and has the discipline to avoid polishing these off while standing at the kitchen counter.

(As soon as I finish typing this, Stewey is going to hide them from me....I swear.)

Oct 30, 2015


It started early this year....

Mo-ther: Stewey, have you decided what you would like to be for Halloween?

Stewey: Yes, I want to be Super Girl.

Mo-ther: Super Girl?  Why not something fun like a zombie or a ghost or a vampire? (She frantically tries to remember what other costumes are stashed away in the carefully labeled bin in the guest room closet). Oh!  I know!  How about a lady bug!  You always wanted to be a lady bug!

Stewey:  Lady bugs are sooooo 2012, Mo-ther.  I want to be Super Girl.

Mo-ther carefully ponders just what will be involved in assembling a Super Girl outfit, and whether or not her limited skills will result in a successful outcome, or an unfortunate mess that will cause yet another epic tantrum.

Mo-ther:  OK.  Super Girl it is, but on one condition.  Under no circumstances are you to wear your wiglet.

Stewey:  The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize, Mo-ther.  Now pass me my tights and cape.

Oct 29, 2015


It's 48 degrees outside and not much warmer inside.  I play this game every long can I go before firing up the furnace?  I love it cold...makes the blanket and fireplace seem all the more cozier!

Today's agenda is to finish Cotton Candy!  I haven't stitched in a day or two because I'm closing in on coloring the final page of my first Angie Grace coloring book!

Oct 24, 2015


My mom can't come to the blog right now....she's on the back patio, gawping like a cod fish at something or other.  Moments ago, when I went outside for my morning constitutional and general inspection of each and every blade of grass, I heard the old lady bellowing.

"Stewey!", she hollered.  "Look at this bright yellow tree with one red leaf!"

It's not unusual for Mo-ther to holler about complete nonsense, but this time the portly old dear just might be on to something...

If you look closely, you might see a small black dot in the relative center of the picture above.  Let's see if I can get a little better view for you...

See it now?  One red leaf in the midst of all of that glorious yellow.  

I'm not normally one to wax poetic, but even I can see the significance of this lovely moment....perhaps we should all strive to be that one red leaf on the yellow tree of life.

(Oh, that was just ghastly.  I feel the need to retch delicately into my handkerchief now.)

Here's hoping that your weekend is filled with lovely moments.

With love from your pal, 

Oct 22, 2015


OK, maybe I really have lost my mind.  The background of this piece is supposed to be filled in with the stitch in my inner border.  But if I do that, I am going to lose the separation between two of the blocks in the center design that are too close in color to the border.

So the original plan was to just do two rows of that border stitch with some space in between, but then I decided to fill the center of those two border rows with a scotch stitch.

I also found the perfect beads after fishing around the studio for a short bit.  I'm gonna tart this baby up like a Vegas show girl!

Woo Hoo!

Oct 19, 2015


We had a lovely weekend here at Chez Spinster.  Quiet, but lovely.  I've completed the center and am now working on the background of Cotton Candy.  As soon as I finish what's in that mug and get the dishwasher unloaded, I'm going to get right back to it!

Oct 16, 2015


When I was in college, I made a weekly trip to Macri's Deli for a veggie pita.  (OK, maybe it was more than weekly, but it was cheap and I was in college, so who's counting).  Anywhoose, for some strange reason I awoke at the crack of dawn a few days ago craving a veggie pita.

I am happy to report that I think, for the very first time in my pitiful little life, I have nailed it!  I came home from the grocery with the necessary provisions, sliced and diced and microwaved, and voila!  It was 1987 all over again.

Simple enough, really...flatbread, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and shredded cheese.  After a quick zap, a bit of cucumber ranch dressing and nom nom nom!  I have to ask...who's happier than me?

* Stewey tells me that the V in Hail to the V has absolutely nothing remotely to do with vegetables, but I'm too busy preparing tomorrow's culinary adventure to argue with him.

** Stewey also tells me that Macri's Deli is still in business (but in a different location) and that they still have the Veggie Pita on their menu and that I could have driven there in three and a half minutes to get one, but it's the Friday night of the Notre Dame/ USC weekend and I'm not going anywhere other than my Happy Chair and a few hot soapy tubs!

Oct 15, 2015


Progress continues, but I did add some additional floss colors.  There just wasn't enough contrast between the existing colors, so I pulled 919 and 920 and gave it a whirl.

It's probably too warm outside for a fire, but I decided to dial up the cozy and give my Stewey Little some bun toasting time.  He's so happy he might actually forego watering the drapes tonight!

Woo Hoo!

Oct 13, 2015


From Angie Grace "Wow"...I'm using Bic Mark-It permanent markers with ultra fine points:

"Cotton Candy" from Stickideen Von Der Wiehenburg Designs in the March/April issue of Needlepoint Now... the variegated thread is Wildflowers Sheherezade, DMC floss in 434, 436, 3834, and 3835:

I asked the ladies at guild last night if there is a correlation between color choices and food cravings.  Do you suppose they're correct that all of this dark brown means I need to eat more chocolate?

Oct 12, 2015


Updates abound!

I made some pretty good progress on Cotton Candy.  After months of not stitching my fingers feel rather clumsy and I almost impaled myself with my laying tool a few times, but so far so good!

Master Stewey is loving the sunshine today:

My view from the dining room table.  Erin is updated with all of my appointments and to dos.  I swear, it's a lot more fun to write "take the trash out" when you have a cute little sticker as an accessory!

Here's the latest coloring page and the next one ready to go!

And finally, a few that I completed yesterday in between laundry loads and swishing the dishes around:

That's about it for now...I hope your week is off to a fabulous start!

Oct 10, 2015


The afternoon light is just so gorgeous this time of year....I almost hold my breath for the color change!

Stewey has decided that 4pm is "spaceship" time, and I'm happy to oblige him by filling said spaceship with a few scoops of Purina Little Bites, because it's the only time I can be assured that he's getting adequate nutrition.  Damn dog and his dainty eating habits.

I went to guild today and have started the project: Cotton Candy by Stickideen Von Der Wiehenburg Designs.  It's on page 31 of the March/April 2015 issue of Needlepoint Now.  It sure feels good to have a needle in my hands again!

My second Angie Grace coloring book is on its way to me now, along with some new markers.  I am experimenting, and have discovered that I really love Bic Mark-Its in ultra fine in addition to the Sharpie ultra fines.  I did have a little revelation yesterday as I was grabbing threads for today's project....I think all of the coloring is really going to help me with color selection in stitching!  So here I was, worried that my new obsession with coloring would ruin my obsession with stitching, and I think it's actually going to ENHANCE it!

Who's happier than me?

Oct 6, 2015


I'm more than a little obsessed with Angie Grace coloring books and ultra fine Sharpie markers.  Methinks I have found the paper and ink equivalent of Laura J. Perin and Vineyard Silks!

Oct 2, 2015


I love the way Stewey collects his cookies and pumpkins from around the house and stores them in his apartment:

Only a page or so to go:

I think this one is my favorite thus far:

Goal this weekend....finish this!

So now I'm off to the dining room table to tackle some paperwork, do a little menu planning, and write a grocery list.  I'm thinking chili in the crock pot and some corn muffins just might do the trick.

I hope that your weekend is filled with nothing but bliss.....
Woo Hoo!

Sep 28, 2015


Have you ever Googled yourself?

(You do realize that not very long ago that would have been a most inappropriate question to ask polite society, no?  I mean, come on.  Who would have imagined that one day I would be sitting in the Happy Chair asking the stitchy world if it had ever Googled itself.)

(A filthy mind is a terrible thing to waste.)

So there I was, minding my own business, when I got the bright idea to see what would happen if I entered my name into this silly contraption.

Most of the images were benign.  A few of them were even vaguely related to me.  

But then, right there in the middle of all of the stitchy things and Stewey things and general crazy spinster related things was this:

For the record, that is not me.  While the upper half of this lovely lady does indeed resemble Yours Truly, my lower half has NEVER been that thin.  And while I totally applaud her choice of the pink tee, I don't actually own a pair of proper going out in public trousers, which these seem to be.  Add several dozen pounds to her heiney and slap a pair of eighteen year old sweatpants on her, and then I can understand the confusion.

Oh, and I think that might be a Walmart deli counter, and I have never been to a Walmart deli counter thankyouverymuch.  I buy Stewey's Virginia ham from the qualified slicing professionals at Martins Supermarkets and Martins Supermarkets only or he spits out his morning pill in the most inconvenient places (like the bath mat or in the nether regions of the dining room).

If you are, however, still interested in seeing what I really do look like from the behind, allow me to present the Official Spinster Stitcher Portrait Of Immense Accuracy and Discernment:

Stewey informs me that this will conclude my little excursion onto the information superhighway, so I will say good night and get back to my coloring book.

I hope you had a wonderful Monday and that your Tuesday is fabulous!

Sep 27, 2015


I sat at the dining room table and colored from 1:00 yesterday afternoon until 2:00 this morning.  I'd love to tell you that I managed to do the laundry, wash the dog, clean the house, and solve world peace during that time, but the truth is...I just colored and let my feeble little brain wander about.

Stewey watched the football game and put himself to bed at a reasonable hour, but awoke determined to get me into a more productive mode today.  He piled all of the laundry (perfectly sorted and prepped, thankyouverymuch) right in front of the bedroom door, so if I want to escape the confines of the sleigh bed and head for the living room, I need to either climb over it or grab a load and get it sploshing.  He also ran the dishwasher and affixed a note that says "Empty me immediately, or shame on you and your slovenly ways" , so I suppose I had better take the hint.

He's napping in the sunshine at the moment, so I could steal a few minutes to color just one more.....

Nope.  Better not.  The snit that is sure to be thrown will not be worth the ten minutes of fun.  Time to get moving!

I hope that your Sunday is as easy and fun as you want it to be!
Ciao, mee a-more-rays!

Sep 22, 2015


I decided to re-write my to do list for the week in light of yesterday's field trip to the oral surgeon.  

Normally, I sit down on Sunday evening with Erin (that would be my Erin Condren Life Planner thankyouverymuch), and I write a list of crap that needs to get done like laundry, grocery, water the plants, fret over the bills, tidy the kitchen, etc etc etc.  It's pretty much the exact same list every single week, but every now and then I add something like "take a long snoozy nap" to it so that I can have at least one small victory as I cross something off.

But inspiration struck a few moments ago as I was heading into the kitchen for some scrambled Egg Beaters. (I am determined to use this little tooth adventure and its resulting soft foods only diet as the jump start I need to lose 174 pounds in a week and a half, so wish me luck).

I'm using my dining room table as a kind of staging area for all things fuzty since it's been too hot to spend any meaningful time up in the studio.

Oh, who am I kidding.  I'm using the dining room table because I'm just too darn lazy (and rotund, I might add) to schlep up and down the stairs eleventy seven times a day to fetch water, pills, snacks, and for those ridiculously frequent potty breaks.  (Who knew that Lasix could make a person feel like the human equivalent of a water wiggle?)

So, if you'll indulge me, may I present the official Spinster Stitcher Table Of Happiness And Joy While We Await The Tooth Pain Apocalypse:

Yes, this is indeed Little Lord Fauntleroy's shampoo, towel, and bathrobe.  I figured I should probably have at least one "cleaning" chore on the list.

Finally, the latest novel that has captured my fancy.

So there you have it.  My week is now all planned out, and after I hit the tub for a scrubby bubble bath and some fresh jams, I'm going to start tackling it!   Woo Hoo!