Mar 3, 2015

THANK YOU, FATHER TED


Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh
1917-2015

Feb 12, 2015

NINE HUNDRED NINETY NINE. AND A HALF.

So I'm looking at the darn Google thingie (a few weeks ago, as it would happen), and it told me that I had written 999 blog posts.

"Holey Schmoley!", I said.

And then I got in the Happy Chair and I started fretting about number 1000.

It got bad enough that when Aunt Chrissy and I went to the TGI Fridays for dinner at 3:00 this afternoon (because that's how WE roll in the big city), I decided to get her loving, wise, sisterly advice.

(OK,  so maybe that really wasn't the reason, but rather it was because she was paying for dinner and I felt really bad about it because I am the big sister and hapless matriarch of this little goat rodeo we call a family and it's my job to keep us in Arnold Palmers and cheeseburgers.)

But I digress.

So I says to Aunt Chrissy...."You know, I've been giving something a lot of thought.  I feel like I created a character called the Spinster Stitcher and that I go on my blog and live in this world with all of these amazing and wonderful and perfect people (that would be all of yous, by the way)....(oh wait, except maybe not Betty and the damn 13-year old who keeps hacking me with p.o.r.n.)...but for the most part, Spinster Stitcher is just that...a character.  Am I really being authentic?  Am I really letting people know ME?  Am I afraid that if I really shared my true self there would be a mass exodus and I would be left here, standing in a dark and deserted parking lot (I mean, come on, can you think of anything scarier?) (except maybe thunderstorms) (or cockroaches).  So I'm thinking that for my 1000'ndth blog post I'm going to tell my T."

It was at this point that Aunt Chrissy snorted a little bit of her cheeseburger out, daintily dabbed at her mouth, and said "Have you been watching The Lady Chablis in Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil again?"

(The truth of the matter is that....why yes, yes I have.)

(The Lady Chablis is fabulous.  Talk about a "character".  She is a drag queen in Savannah, Georgia, and her T is that her real name is Frank.)

But I....you know.

"I just feel like I want to tell everybody everything there is to know about me and to make sure that I'm presenting myself to all of my faithful readers (insert more snorting of the cheeseburger here) and that maybe a few of them will appreciate my honesty and integrity and courage to bear it all and it will inspire them to be brave or take a chance or do that thing they want to do, but can't.  I want to make a difference in the world, Aunt Chrissy, and I think my blog is the place for me to do that."

So I listened very carefully to everything Aunt Chrissy had to say (which, remarkably, sounded like blah blah blah blah blah) and I came home to write post number 1000.

I was on a roll, I tell ya.  Fingers flying, confessions confessing, T's all over the damn place.

And then Stewey walked in.

"Mo-ther.  What's all of this nonsense I hear about you committing acts of unspeakable horror on our blog?"

(You'll notice  I let that one go, by the way.  OUR blog?)

 "Stewey, Mommie wants to live a real life.  Mommie loves her faithful readers and wants them to know the real and authentic and true person....not some crazy lunatic with a talking dog and enough facial hair to grow a pashmina.  I've carefully crafted 999 blog posts and I want number 1000 to be special, Stewey.  I want the world to know how much their kindness, and friendship, and thoughtfulness, and love have meant to me, and I feel like number 1000 is the perfect place to do that."

(It was at this point that I realized that Little Lord Fauntleroy had not heard one single word I had said because he was too busy peering through his little spectacles at his iPad.)

"Mo-ther, you haven't written 999 blog posts.  You've written 998 blog posts and one fairly incoherent draft."
 
(Cue the sound of a squeaky hamster wheel turning slowly as my tiny little brain pondered this.)

Happy 999, everybody.

If we make it to 1000 without losing any more of our minds....there will be cake.  For everybody.

Feb 2, 2015

WELCOME BACK TO THE "ALL OBSESSING, ALL THE TIME" CHANNEL

There's an built-in bonus danger in being my loyal and trusted advisors.

Just ask Aunt Chrissy.

Today's obsession is....day planners.

Yes.

Day planners.

For the last seven or so years, I've used a Franklin Covey spiral bound day planner showing the week on two pages.  I throw it in my purse, write appointments and such in it, and get on with things in a relatively half-assed, yet totally well-intentioned sort of way.

This year, Aunt Chrissy and I were in the JoAnn Fabrics when we spotted some simple date books that had pretty pictures in them, so I whipped out a coupon and went all Bargain Betty on myself.

And then I came home and went on the Pinterest and came across something called an Erin Condren Life Planner.

Holy Organizing, Batman!  I've got visions of life planning spinning around in this tiny little brain of mine, and I cannot think of anything else!  I want to have a book that magically transforms me into a healthy, well-appointed, perfectly-ordered, happy, and creative person who sprouts rainbows and unicorns from her ears and who can empty the dishwasher without having to take a nap and pack a lunch first.

The Erin Condren search then lead to something called a Rainbow Planner (speaking of rainbows) from Bowl Full Of Lemons, and I went into a whole other tangent of wondering if a DIY planner would be better for a nut job like me who really just wants to use the billion dollars worth of scrapbooking crap she has in her studio, because scrapbooking was going to be "my thing" until I discovered that I had absolutely nothing to scrapbook besides baby pictures of Stewey, and I mean, come one, how many pictures of a sleeping dog with an overbite does one spinster need, anyhow?

So I need your help, kids.  Any Erin Condren/Rainbow Planner devotees out there who want to take my hand and save me from myself?  I don't need full-on executive style day planning, since all I need to keep track of these days is dog pee and appointments, but I wouldn't mind capturing stuff for budgeting/bills, things to do in the house (see dog pee above), and lists and such for this thing of ours.  I'm not at all opposed to becoming a fanatic, by the way.  It will be hard not to approach this without my usual calm, measured, and sensible manner, but if I need to go batcrap crazy and reinvent the proverbial wheel...I'll give it my best shot.

(I can hear you laughing, by the way).

Feb 1, 2015

SUPER SUNDAY

A little stitchy...

I'm so sorry that it's taken me this long to tell you the thread colors.  Here they are:
Gentle Art Dungarees
DMC3033
DMC3865
DMC3790
DMC Ecru

The linen color is Fog Cashel.

A little knitty...

This yarn is Loops &  Threads Links in the color Ocean Blue.  The thingie that I'm knitting on is called a long loom.  This is scarf number seven, but who's counting?
A Little Lord Fauntleroy...

Jan 25, 2015

STILL STITCHING...

The outside matches the inside today.  

I love when that happens.

Jan 18, 2015

ALL DOWNTON, ALL THE TIME

I started watching Downton Abbey on Friday afternoon.  I'm on Season Two, Episode Four and cannot tear my eyes away.

Here's the latest addition to my ever-growing scarf wardrobe.

Stewey approves...of both the scarf AND the viewing selection.  He especially loves the Dowager Grantham.

Jan 15, 2015

BUN WARMER

This is my favorite view.

Ever.

Jan 10, 2015

WELL, SO MUCH FOR....THAT

Wow.  I had every intention of getting back in the saddle last night, but my after-dinner activities involved nothing more than drool, snoring, and then bolting upright at 10pm to discover that Stewey had put himself to bed with his book.

He did, however, manage to leave my weekend TO DO list on the ottoman for me, so it looks like today is going to be filled with chores, homekeeping, errands, and the fluffing of Little Lord Fauntleroy's blankets.

Apparently, he is determined to toast his little buns in front of the fireplace all day while I toil in vain to meet his every whim.

The sun is shining, so methinks I should get on with it so I can enjoy some afternoon stitching time.  Updates soon, I promise!

Jan 8, 2015

AND THEN....SHE SLEPT

Remember when I mentioned that my new stupid-soft blanket is somehow imbued with magical powers that cause me to fall asleep every time I get under it?

Well, four hours later and I'm sitting here wondering if I will be able to manage to get the contacts out of my eyeballs, the teeth brushed, and the face washed before falling into the big girl sleigh bed.

Sheesh, I'm tired!

Is this what being in the vestibule to menopausal hell feels like?

Jan 7, 2015

BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSI.....OH, NEVERMIND

Good grief, Charlie Brown!  I love cold weather and snow, but even I have to admit that sub-zero windchill is a little much.

Here's a little more progress from last night...there would have been more, but I got caught up in the latest Brandi Glanville drama on Housewives.

Stupid housewives.

I'm still digging the colorway, so I do have that going for me.  Stewey is equally as pleased, since he's convinced that a more neutral color scheme around here might keep me from being....me....all the time.

Here's hoping that your little corner of the world is warm and serene and that you're doing exactly what you want to be doing!

Jan 6, 2015

I'M SENSING A TREND...

This is a really lovely way to spend an evening.  Who knew that a tree could make a girl so happy?

Jan 5, 2015

MOVING RIGHT ALONG...

Progress continues!

Jan 4, 2015

THAT'S BETTER

Aunt Chrissy vetoed the multi-colored approach because a) she knows me and knows that I was hoping for a monotonal look, and b) she knows color and saw that the warm threads were clashing with the cool tones of the linen.

So I'm in the Happy Chair, happily stitching away....a roast is roasting in the crock pot ( or crock potting in the crock pot), and Crocket and Tubbs are getting the bad guys off the streets of Miami.

What can I say?  Don Johnson always did blow my skirt up, and what's not to love about 80's music and tight white t-shirts?

Happy Sunday!


Jan 3, 2015

THEY REALLY SHOULD MAKE PILLS FOR THIS -- PART DEAUX

So there I was, minding my very own business and happily stitching away, when I started to think.

I heard that, by the way.

That "Oh, brother, what's she up to now?" that you just muttered to nobody in particular...

I started to think that I might want to stitch all of the blossom/snowflakes in the same color to create some kind of tone on tone moteef rather than the multi-colored version that's called for on the chart.

That's what was rattling around in my head when I turned off the Tee Vee and headed to bed for the night.

I tried discussing my idea with Stewey, but he just adjusted his sleep mask, rolled over, and sighed heavily over the thought of having to put up with me.

So I fretted and fretted and fretted and then fretted some more, and all day today I kept thinking about changing the colors to a tone on tone moteef as I went about the business of being me.

Moments ago, I headed to the Happy Chair to start stitching for the night, and decided that I might like the multi-colored version that's called for on the chart after all.

What do you think?


Jan 2, 2015

WOULD IT BE SO WRONG?

So, I ask you....would it be so wrong to call this one finished?

I'm thinking it makes a minimalist statement....you know....one simple snowflake/blossom adjacent to a  bare tree.

Hmmmmm.  Even I don't think I can pull THAT one off!

Back to it...

Jan 1, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Oh, what joy!  What bliss!  

Aunt Chrissy and Baby Bosco came over last night for a little New Year's Eve supper and stitching, and we watched all five episodes of "Parade's End" while I started this:
 It's "Blossom" by Carolyn Manning Designs, and it was exactly what I needed to be doing as the clock struck midnight and we ushered in the New Year.

I'm stitching this on a lovely piece of 28ct. Fog Cashel, and I'm thinking about substituting out the called-for green thread with a few icy blues so that the end result will be more winter-ish.

Included with the chart are these lovely hand-made "blossoms".  Aren't they swell?  Now all I need to do is keep them safely away from You Know Who before he gets the bright idea to adorn his little silk smoking jacket with them.

Speaking of my little nine-pound bundle of joy, we both want to send our very best wishes for a spectacular 2015.  May all of your hopes and dreams and wishes come true.  May you know nothing but peace and health and happiness the whole year through, and may we all be exactly where we want to be, doing exactly what we want to be doing for the entire lot of it!

Dec 24, 2014

PEACE, LOVE, AND JOY MY FRIENDS

The Spinster Stitcher, her little dog too, Aunt Chrissy, and Baby Bosco send you love and wishes for all that is merry and bright for you and yours!  Be safe, travel well, and enjoy your holiday.  We'll do the same and will see you in the new year!

Woo Hoo!
Coni, Crys, Stewey, and Bosco

Dec 7, 2014

BACK TO MY ROOTS

This is Laura J. Perin's "Victorian Ribbons" and I'm trading out the recommended Camouflage for Holiday to make it all Christmas-y.

Dec 3, 2014

COZY COZY COZY

Here's the damage so far:
What looks like a big pile 'o yarn is actually a shawl (the white/cream thingie) and a Christmas scarf (the red, green, and white thingie).  

I've been sporting both around the neighborhood, and must say that the folks at the baby blanket yarn company sure know what they're doing....this stuff is s.o.f.t. and very very warm.

Stewey is unimpressed and has vehemently demanded that I return to counted needlework forthwith, but for now I'm satisfied to play with my bargain a little longer.

(The long loom was about ten bucks and the yarn was no more than seven or eight...all thanks to some well-used JoAnn's coo-puns.)

The outside decorations were hung with care, thanks to the help and supervision of Aunt Chrissy and You Know Who, but that might be as far as we get this year.  Would it be so wrong to just stand in the driveway whenever I feel the need to look at twinkle lights?  I keep thinking about how easy it will be to put all of the decorations away if I never get them out in the first place.

So that's the story from Lake Woebespinster.  I hope that your corner of the world is exactly how you want it to be!

Nov 28, 2014

STILL AT IT...

The way this whole thing came about was that Aunt Chrissy and I were in the JoAnn's looking for something to do that would keep us out of the pumpkin pie.

"Hey, lookit!"  I said in the yarn aisle.  "Doesn't this kinda remind you of the spool thingie that Dad made us that we used to knit on?"

(Actually, it was Aunt Chrissy who spied these....and she said (most articulately, I might add) "Oh, this is a loom.  I've always wanted to learn to knit on a loom.  Perhaps we should try this....they are remarkably affordable and I see that the resulting accomplishment of finishing a project would be most satisfying.")

OK.  maybe she didn't say it EXACTLY that way, but the end result is the same.  We've both been loom knitting our fingers off for the better part of three days now and I almost have my first scarf.

It will be quite chunky, it is true, but then again, so am I and we all know how delightful THAT can be!

For those who've asked...this is called knitting on a long loom and you can learn all about it on the YouTube, just like I did.

Stewey and I hope that you are all well and cozy and happy.  If we get our chores done tomorrow I've promised him a tummy rub and some time in the studio putting together our Spinster Stitcher Christmas Basket O Stitchy Fun.

Stay tuned!!

Nov 25, 2014

OEY....WHAT HAVE I STARTED?

it's either going to be a really fat and chunky scarf, or a blanket big enough to cover a small vehicle.

Either way, we're cozy and ready for turkey!

Nov 23, 2014

UH OH.....WHAT'S SHE DOING NOW?

We can blame Aunt Chrissy for tonight's crazypants obsession.  

Stay tuned.  In a year or two, I might end up with a scarf.

Nov 10, 2014

BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING...

Forgive me, but it took me a minute to get smart enough to delete all of the crap from the hacker.  Thanks to a loyal and devoted reader explaining it to me, I now know that the only thing that mess was about was trying to spread a virus.  And since the LAST thing I want is to cause grief to those I love  (that would be all of you) I opted o.u.t.

Here's a little progress on Shepherd's Bush "Harvest of Plenty".  It is such a joy to stitch....pulling that silk through that linen is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Nov 4, 2014

I REALLY NEED TO GET RID OF THIS DARN BLANKET

Scene:  A living room somewhere in the Midwestern United States.  A portly spinster is sprawled in her Happy Chair, needle and thread in hand, a stupid-soft throw wrapped about her substantial frame.

A little dog appears.

He hops up onto the spinster, peers over his little reading glasses, checks for a pulse, and then gently pokes her a few times to see if she can be persuaded to either a) stop snoring and let him resume his perusal of the latest New Yorker, or b) haul herself out of said Happy Chair and stumble into the big girl sleigh bed for some shut eye.

The spinster grunts, clutches the stupid-soft blanket tighter to her ample (yet saggy) bosom, and mutters something about Jeffrey Dean Morgan and animal shelters.  She does, however, manage to let go of the needle and thread long enough for the little dog to park it safely on the designer pin cushion that the spinster and her sister just had to have during a recent late-night excursion to the WalMart.

Sighing heavily, the little dog turns off the spinster's stitching light, pats her on the head for being the simpleton that she is, and then pees on the ottoman as he makes his way back to his study.

The End.

Nov 1, 2014

SATURDAY SPINSTER BLISS

Stewey and I are snoodled up under our new cozy blanket, the Irish are playing Navy, and I'm stitching "Harvest of Plenty" by Shepherd's Bush.  We had snow for Halloween, I made a lovely cauliflower chowder, and tomorrow is the first official Sunday brisket of the autumnal season.

Who's happier than me?


Yes....you're seeing that correctly.  You Know Who insists that his toys remain organized according to season.

Damn dog.

I have no idea what the score is....I've been too busy looking at stitchy blogs!

Ahhhhhh.  Is there anything better than pulling silk through a gorgeous piece of linen? 

Our new blanket is from the Wal-Mart.  It's stupid soft, has a sherpa backing, and was $15.  I am, however, convinced that it has some kind of magical fairy tale sleeping curse capabilities, since I lapse into a serious coma every time I get under the darn thing.

Please forgive my absence these last several months, dear friends.  I don't mean to be away so long, but life keeps getting in the way of things.  All will be well.  Keep the happy thoughts and here's hoping that your own corner of the world is cozy, too!

Sep 25, 2014

SORRY, BETTY

Do you remember our friend, Betty, who wrote to me every day to tell me how much she hated every single thing about me and my stupid little life?

Well, brace yourself, Betty.  Because all I have for you today is drivel.  No pictures of stitching.  No pictures of the lovely autumnal decorations that Aunt Chrissy has strewn about my house.  No funny photos of Little Lord Fauntleroy doing whatever it is that makes Little Lord Fauntleroy such an...interesting...companion to one lonely old spinster.

Yes, it's true.  I have been eating my fair share of bruschetta and pudding these last few days, but at least I have a good excuse for it.  I've re-watched Julie and Julia about a dozen times, and one of the opening cooking scenes is Julie making bruschetta for her husband.  You know the one I'm talking about....she fries the thick-cut bread in olive oil and then mixes up some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and basil.

What can I say?  That sounded pretty good to me, so I did what any normal person would do.  I went to the grocery store, bought about eight dozen loaves of fancypants bread, a truckload of heirloom tomatoes, a small bush of basil, and went to town.  Last night I added crumbled feta just because I could.  Here's the way I perfected Bruschetta a 'la Spinster:

Thickly sliced crusty bread (mine was sliced to precisely 1 1/2 inches)
Good olive oil
Heirloom tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Balsamic vinegar
Feta or Blue Cheese crumbles
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic cloves (you need a few really big ones peeled to rub on the bread)

Pre-heat a toaster oven to broil.  Brush bread with olive oil, add a little salt and pepper, and put it in to toast while you're dicing and mixing the topping.  Chop the tomatoes and basil, drizzle on a little balsamic and olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Add cheese, if you're so inclined.  Flip the bread over to get the other side golden brown, and when it is, take it out and rub it vigorously with the garlic clove.  Top with the tomato mixture, pour yourself a big glass of red wine (or, in my case Raspberry Ice Crystal Light) and enjoy!

Now as for the pudding....I ate that because I wanted something a little sweet and I had two boxes of sugar free/fat free chocolate fudge instant pudding mix in the pantry and I needed to use up the vat of skim milk that I bought because I swore I was going to drink more skim milk.   (I'm not much of a milk drinker, as it turns out, so any time I can figure out a way to sneak it into something, I'm pretty happy.)

So there you have it.  That's the sum total of the last two months of my life.  I have not stitched or even thought about stitching in so long that it's making my skin itch, but I have promised myself a studio day very very soon to remedy that.

Stewey, as you know, is perfectly fine and is getting PLENTY of evening games of Pumpkin(!) in before the snow flies, and Aunt Chrissy and Bosco are making sure that we behave ourselves and don't do anything too terribly stupid.

What's new with you?

Sep 24, 2014

SOMEBODY CALL WEIGHT WATCHERS

My mom can't come to the blog right now.  She's sitting in the Happy Chair....eyes glazed over....mumbling something about being normal and just doing things like a person does without having to fall into the "all spinster / all the time" trap.

For the last eight days, my stupid Mo-ther has consumed nothing but bruschetta and pudding.

Bruschetta.

And pudding.

What can I say?  When the old lady goes on a tear, there's not much that I am able to do that will snap her out of whatever crazypants mess she's got cooking in that hot crock pot full of obsession she owns.  Best to just let her tire herself out, and then when she finally falls into a heap, I can call my Aunt Chrissy to come help me clean up the mess.

I hope that your corner of the world is a lot more.....normal.  Until we meet again, I remain your loyal and devoted pal.

With much love,
Stewey

Sep 11, 2014

PUMPKIN STORY

Once upon a time, there was a spoiled little dog who loved pumpkins....



Sep 5, 2014

IN WHICH OUR HEROINE FINDS A PROFILE PICTURE SHE CAN FINALLY LIVE WITH.....

So I don't suppose it's any secret that I remain anonymous on purpose.  The truth of the matter is that I simply cannot STAND to have my big fat face anywhere near a camera and/or profile picture.

Today, at last (!)  I have finally found one that I can live with.

You might have heard that there is a football game in these here parts tomorrow night.  My beloved Alma Mater (she says with a hearty "Ahem") is playing the University of Michigan.  This rivalry goes back a ways and is intense...just like almost every other rivalry we have with schools like USC, Miami, and anybody else that we've ever played in our storied 150+ year history.

(Wait a minute...could it be that a little Irish Pride has started to creep back into my veins?!  How the heck did that happen!  Somebody alert the authorities...she's starting to cave!!!)

Anywhoose....I thought y'all might get a kick out of having a little inside info in the event that you and yours decide to watch the game:

Notre Dame has officially launched the GOLD GANG.  This gang is a group of student ambassadors that will roam the campus wearing full body suits (of gold) along with t-shirts that commemorate each of the 11 years that Notre Dame has won a National Championship.  The idea is that these roaming gold guys will generate team spirit, hype the hype, and generally be something cool for devoted fans to look at while they're roasting their tailgate wienies.

Now here's where the inside info comes in.....you can tell everybody you know that you just happen to be close personal friends with the person that decorated the uniforms of the Gold Gang!  Yes, that's right, our very own Aunt Chrissy is the person responsible for physically applying the digital transfer to the fronts and backs of all of the Gold Gang's t-shirts!  How freakin' cool is THAT?!

Stewey and I will be back soon with updates on all of the shenanigans at Chez Spinster.  We've managed to accomplish a LITTLE stitching, a little MORE cooking, a LOT of reading, and a TON of sleeping!

Until we meet again.....here's hoping that your very own corner of the world is indeed....GOLDEN!