Oct 22, 2016


We had a good night's sleep in the big girl sleigh bed...snoodled under the covers.  At various points during the night we woke up and listened to the radio, and we happened to catch Bruce Springsteen on a program talking about his new book...very interesting.

Stewey is happily camped out in his favorite spot...toasting his tiny little buns with his pumpkins not far away...

I finished my damn good cup of coffee and made it through all three puzzles:

And Vaceila is ready to receive some more of her wings:

So we're off to a good start.  I'm going to have a little breakfast and get some laundry sploshing, and then settle in to enjoy the day.  Hope you all do the same!

Oct 21, 2016


Stewey's leg worsened overnight, so we made a trip to see Dr. Niemann first thing this morning.  Unfortunately, it appears that the tumor is growing and his poor skin is starting to abscess from the pressure of it.  He's not in pain and does not seem to be too bothered by it, but I'm afraid that I will have to let him go in these next few weeks.  

My instinct was to come home, crawl in bed, and just bawl the day away, but somehow my car turned itself toward campus instead.  Before I knew it, Stewey and I were sitting at the Grotto with our faces in the sun, watching the people come and go and the flickering of the candles.  We lit one too and prayed that we would both be brave and peaceful as we touched the stone from Lourdes.  It was the most quiet hour my heart has felt since July.

I wish I could tell you that I am strong and calm and hanging in there, but I seem to be in a little bubble of shock that makes me want to freeze time and never get to the point where I have to make that decision.  Everyone tells me that I will know when it's right, but all I know right now is that I am just not ready to lose him.

So we're going to take our meds and wash our boo boos and keep them clean and hang out in the Happy Chair and eat turkey bacon.  We're watching lots of movies and reading lots of stories, and I am trying my best to remember all of the stuff I want Stewey to tell my mom and dad when he finally leaves me and goes to them.  Crazy, isn't it?  Me imagining my Stewey Little in his little smoking jacket and cravat noodging my mom for a kiss or cuddling with my dad on a football Saturday.

Oh well, whatever gets us through, I suppose.

Progress continues on Vaceila.  I'll have updates for you in the next few days.  In the meantime, do something wonderful and come tell us all about it and have a fabulous weekend!

Oct 20, 2016


Stewey is still hanging in there.  His bad leg is swollen and has a rather mean-looking sore on it, but he does not seem at all bothered by it and is still my happy little guy...playing pumpkin and doing his thing:
(The mark on his front leg isn't a boo boo...it's peanut butter that he stores there after his morning meds to snack on later.)

Vaceila is ready for her wings, and after that, her gajillion beads:
If I can manage to stay awake today I'll get to it.  Otherwise, looks like she will have to wait until after nap time to start flying!

As for me...about the only thing I can say is that it's a good thing I'm not a horse!  One more thing goes haywire, and I might be put out to pasture so to speak.  Eye yai yai...when this is all over,  I am going to emerge as a twenty-three year old petite blonde triathelete with a medical degree.  

(Too bad I can't make a living being a professional patient...I'm actually getting pretty good at it!)

I received word that Bosco is doing very well, and is absolutely loving being with my sister, so that news makes me very happy indeed that I made that hard decision.  I sure miss the stinky little guy, but knowing that he is happy and healthy makes his absence much easier.

So that's the report for a drizzly Thursday.  If all goes well, I hope to do a little stitching at the library this weekend for the Sit and Stitch.  I've never attended, so it should be really fun!  

We're off like a herd of turtles!  Come tell us what's new with you!

Oct 17, 2016


Yep....much better.  All of that crazy frogging and restitching was worth it.  Just wish I would have known that when I was in the thick of it.  I seriously considered chucking the entire thing into the bin and starting over!

That goodness the meds kicked in...


My mom was very low maintenance and quite elegant naturally.  Just a touch of foundation, a little mascara, and some lipstick, and she was good to go.

This Vaceila?

Not so much.

I finally finished her hair and makeup a few moments ago, but it was not without a lot of cursing and hair pulling (pun intended).  I don't know if my results are good, bad, or indifferent, but I am hereby declaring Vaceila's face and hair a NO MORE FUTZING zone and am moving on to her wings.

Oh wait...just as soon as I give her hands.

Hope your Monday has been considerably less fraught.  We're off to the kitchen to make dinner and then it's back to the Happy Chair.

Oct 16, 2016


Vaceila loves her new 'do:

And Stewey is thoroughly into his Sunday night puppy cup:

As for me, I'm just happy to have spent the day with both of them!

Oct 15, 2016


We aim to please all of our customers here at Salon Spinster.

To that end, we will be re-doing the hair of the lovely Vaceila this evening as soon as the Tylenol kicks in.

She's decided that she would prefer to be a brunette.

Stewey, though, is perfectly perfect in every way.

Just as he already is.

Oct 14, 2016


Note to self....next time read comments and emails BEFORE frogging one over one.


But!  It's done and I didn't ruin the linen so...yay, me!


Evidence of why I should not be allowed to watch the news when I stitch:
I put Vaceila's entire face on...one over one (my very first attempt at that, by the way), and when completed, decided that the color is....


Complete and total ugh.

Too red, too pink, to orangey brown.,.ugh.

So today I will take a deep breath, reboot, head up to the studio, and see if I can't find something that is better.

But the frogging of that entire section?


Oct 13, 2016


Vaceila has hair...now she just needs a face.

And hands.

Hands would be good too.

Oct 12, 2016


My BabyDear sleeping in the sun...

Some Fall decorations on the dining room table...

A happy bouquet from Miss Charlene...

Garland on the mantle...and pumpkins on the floor...

A few Fall stitchy things on the wall...

And Ina making a fresh peach cake on the TeeVee...

Oh, what joy...what bliss!  All I need to do now is finish the laundry, have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, and spend some time with Vaceila, and this will have been the perfect day!

Oct 11, 2016


I'm a proud citizen of the United States of America, I really am.  But, recent televised events have sent me to my bed...covers pulled over my head in complete and utter shame.

The nastiness, bickering, vulgarity, and constant accusations are, quite simply put, not worthy of a great nation like ours and we can do better.  We have a responsibility to our children, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends to demonstrate that we really do have more sense than God gave a turnip.


Wait a minute.

I bet you're totally confused right about now and are wondering when I decided to start talking about the p-word on this here blog.

The p-word!

But I'm not talking about politics.

I'm talking about The Real Housewives of Orange County and the fact that they went to Dublin, Ireland and acted like a bunch of idiot, loudmouthed, uncouth, vulgar, obnoxios Americans, and I'm pretty sure that they confirmed every single negative stereotype you can have about a national people.  


I'm so sorry, Dublin.  Please don't think that every single one of us over here is at all like that.  There really are those of us who would love to visit your beautiful country and to learn more about your history and culture and people.  

Unfortunately, none of them occupy makeup trailers on the set of Bravo reality shows, apparently.

As for that other thing...(the p-word)... sorry.  Can't help you there.  I've taken a vow of silence and am waiting for my meds to wear off so I can wake up with the scarecrow, tin man, and cowardly lion telling me all about that tornado that knocked me out and made that house fall on my sister...

Oct 10, 2016


Vaceila is almost starting to resemble an actual person...but, alas, without a head at the moment!

Laundry day, followed by Guild at the church tonight in Elkhart.  I'm already prancypantsing around in anticipation!

Thank you for all of your comments and emails about our new little twosome here.  We had a very lovely, quiet, peaceful night and have already settled into our new routine.

Oct 9, 2016


Friends, I've received a fair number of notes from you expressing concern for my puppy tot, Bosco and his well being.  I appreciate your concern, and want to make sure to tell you that he is going to leave Chez Spinster so that he can be with his mommie/my sister, and so that he will not have to go through the trauma of Stewey's passing.

We will miss him terribly, but he's been through an awful lot in the last few years, and he deserves much more than I can give hm right now.


Oct 8, 2016


We're counting down the hours until Bosco goes elsewhere.  I've really enjoyed having the little meatloaf here these last five months or so, but now it's time tor him to move on.

Stewey, I'm sure, will miss him, but will now enjoy my full attention.

Vaceila has some poofy sleeves now.  I almost finished filling them in as I watched the second to last episode of Outlander...saving the finale for tonight!

I finally made it to the grocery, so as soon as I hit the "Done" button here I'm going to channell my inner Ina and spend the day putzing in the kitchen...just as a spinster should on a gorgeous Fall Saturday afternoon!  If all goes according to plan, I'll get the house cleaned, the laundry done, and the Fall decorations out too!

Or, maybe I'll just take a nap with my library book and my face in the sun...

Oct 7, 2016


My mother would have been 83 today.  Not 86 as per my previous post.

Sorry, Siggie.  That's what I get for doing math in my head.

Good thing I have this sparkly personality to fall back on...my calculating skills sure aren't going to get me very far!


After a restless night, we awoke to a pretty Fall day, the realization that my mom would have turned 86 today, and a lovely surprise on the front porch.

(Bosco left me a surprise on the dining room floor, but much less lovely.)

One year ago today, Miss Charlene Her Very Self invited me to dinner and asked me if I might like to come back to the guilds, so today she delivered a perfect little Happy Anniversary bouquet of flowers to me.

It's an interesting history with me and Miss Charlene and the guilds.

The first time I joined, it was as one of the Rich Sisters.  My sister and I started attending guild meetings as a way to meet other stitchers in the aea and to learn new things.  I loved it, and was very happy to sit quietly and melt into the wallpaper, but then life got in the way and we stopped going.  And, as per my usual modus operandi, I completely retreated from the world in general, stayed inside my house, and just tried to get on with it.

It's no secret that I made a complete hash of it....first with working for the hyena and then by falling into the well of sister drama again, but through it all, Miss Charlene was there....reading my blog and waiting for the bat signal to appear.

She gently noodged me several times to come back to guild, and several times I said "Nope, don't wanna".  But then something magically clicked inside my brain and I heard my mom say "Coni Jo, you've been out here in this icy cold choppy dark dangerous water for a while, and now a big beautiful life boat has pulled up with these wonderful women on it and they are inviting you to get on board.  Get out of the damn water, kid, and get it that boat!"

And so I did.

I've always been a bit of a daft cow, and fully admit that it takes me a little longer to get to a proper conclusion than most other folks, but can I just tell you that one of my greatest feelings of pride is that I was finally smart enough to stop saying "No" and that I put my shoes and socks on and decided to re-engage with the world by means of these guilds?

You know me...I exaggerate for effect.  In spades.  But saying that Miss Charlene and the other passengers on board have saved my life doesn't come close to capturing how much I appreciate them.

It's been a wonderful year, despite some crazy developments with my stupid sister, my health, my Stewey little, and life in general, but I can promise you that the view from up here in the boat is better than I could ever have imagined.

Cocktails and stitching on the Lido deck for everybody!

Oct 6, 2016

Oct 5, 2016


If an apple a day keeps the doctors away, methinks I might be set for a bit.  Can you believe the size of these Honeycrisps? (My big fat meathook is in the pic just to give some size perspective.)
I got it in my head that I wanted apples and cinnamon doughnuts last week, so I went to the Fresh Thyme on the way home from the library.  Four ginormous apples, four lovely organic doughnuts, and a little jug of apple cider later and we had a feast!

If I can get my act together today, I might head back for more, as well as the ingredients to make spaghetti and meatballs.  I got it in my head that I wanted to make that for dinner, and now it's the only thing I can think of!

Major frogging on Vaceila last night.  I was off by one and a half (!) stitches on her blouse and just couldn't figure out a way to fudge it.  Oh well....second time around will just be twice as fun, right?

Happy Futzingday, all!

Oct 4, 2016


That sound you heard at 3am this morning was Yours Truly out in the driveway cackling like a crazy person.

What got me started, you ask?

Well...it occured to me that in addition to my usual chores around here, I have a new title.  It's been quite some time since I've had a business card, but I'm really thinking of hitting the internets today to order a box or two:

Spinster Stitcher
Resident nutjob, coffee slurper, and potty valet extroidaniere.

Potty valet?

Yep.  I now have a new job around here that involves scooping Stewey up into my arms and gently carrying him to a designated area on which he makes his deposits.  

He does pretty well hobbling about, but the other day he missed the step coming in the back door and smacked his little face on the cement so hard that my teeth rattled and I bawled for two hours. He was fine, but I decided that steps were no longer on his color wheel.  So now, whenever he needs to do his thing, I give him a ride.  To preserve his significant dignity, I told him that we would now refer to me as his Potty Valet and that he should feel quite special that he gets to go to and fro without having to muddy his little feet.

He seems OK with the arrangement, but insists on waking me from a dead sleep just to see if I really am at his very beck and call.

Progress continues on Vaceila:

And I finally found the perfect burnt orange nail polish for October...OPI Itsa Piazza Cake:

Hope your Tuesday is off to a roaring start!  

Oct 1, 2016


We snuggled in for a marathon session of stitching, ham and cheese panini, and Outlander last night.  I made it through the first seven episodes and finished Vaceila's cloak:

Stewey decided to camp out in his apartment for a little bit.  He and I are really enjoying the October sunshine today!

Hope your Saturday is wonderful!  As soon as I finish another load or two of laundry I am officially done for the day and back to the Happy Chair!

Sep 30, 2016


Is there any better feeling on the planet than that first cool night of Fall snoodled under the freshly changed bedding to the flannel sheets and cozy blanket?

Stewey and I hit the big girl sleigh bed last night and stayed there until 1:30 this afternoon!  If we could have figured out a way to get our newspapers, coffee, and tea delivered...I'm pretty sure we'd still be there!

Hmmmm....wonder if I could set up a new cockpit in the bed with my stitching, etc?

It was good enough for Hugh Hefner...why not good enough for a portly spinster?

Sep 28, 2016


Kind of a cool, cloudy day here in Hoosierville...my very favorite.  I'm actually thinking about lighting the fireplace to see if Stewey will want to enjoy a few hours toasting his very tiny little buns.  For now, though, he seems quite content to hang out in his little bed in front of the patio window:
The bit of blue that you see on his leg is a "compression bandage" that I MacGivered to help with the swelling.  The tumor is causing a problem with blood flow, so applying the bangage is supposed to help...almost like support panty hose.  Fortunately, he doesn't seem to mind it at all, and I think it is really helping.

You know Stewey...anything to accessorize a look.

Progress on Vaceila continues.  I keep thinking that I'm going to get bored with her and want a change of pace, but so far, so good.  Maybe I'll just keep going until the bitter end:

I had a very happy trip to the Michael's yesterday morning.  I ran out of the DMC gold metallic thread and figured I would have to order it, but lo and behold, there it was right there in the stitchy aisle!  I think I even danced a little jig right there in front of God and everybody, since it meant that I was able to come home and continue stitching without having to fret.

Who's happier than me?

Hope your Futzingday is equally as lovely.  Do something fun and come tell us all about it!

Sep 26, 2016


Well, here it is.  Monday again.

We had a very quiet, snoodle-ly weekend here at Chez Spinster.  I putzed a bit, slept a lot, stitched a little, and cuddled Stewey to within an inch of his life.  

Today we're going to do more of the same, plus a little laundry.

Vaceila is still coming along nicely.  I intend to continue playing with her, but I am going to head up to the studio this week (now that it's not so beastly), and we're going to put together The Official Autumnal Basket 'O Stitchy Fun and Goodness to get us through October and November.  Then, once December arrives, we'll see what we can do about some of the Christmas WIPs that have been languishing.

I hope that your week is off to a wonderful start.  Do something fun and come tell us all about it!

Sep 24, 2016


Darn it, anyway.

I'm supposed to be in Goshen, Indiana today with my stitchy peeps.  One of the guilds is having an all day stitch-in and luncheon, and I looked forward to it for weeks.  

Alas, it was not meant to be.  I am still under the weather and decided to be a grown up and tend to my ughs instead of going out to play.  I know it's probably the right decision, but still...I feel like a six year old who has been placed in time out for being naughty.

Stewey is ailing, too, so methinks that a day spent snoodling up in the big girl sleight bed might be good for both of us.  

Hope your Saturday is swell.  Here's a little progress pic of Vaceila:

Sep 22, 2016


I managed to get out of the big girl sleigh bed to run some errands and go to a couple of appointments, but not much else.  The  good news is that I did find a sparkly new lipstick rolling around the back of my makeup drawer that should be suitable for both Autumn and my new attitude.

We'll see how long this lasts.

(The drink was Crystal Lite Fruit Punch, thankyouverymuch.  Can you imagine ME on the hard stuff?)

Still stitching away on Vaceila.  Moving the q-snaps tonight and starting page three!  Woo Hoo!

Sep 21, 2016

Sep 19, 2016


Quiet, sleepy, stitchy weekend here at Chez Spinster.  Mr. Crohn's reared his ugly head, so I spent the majority of my time drinking Gatorade and thinking happy thoughts.

Oh well...a few more flare ups and I will no longer weigh enough to tip over my zip code!

Fun with Vaceila continues...

Sep 16, 2016


Every time I get up on my high horse and feel like I'm Queen High Exhalted of the Universe, the damn thing rears its pretty little head and bucks me off, right onto my big fat heiney.

After my pronouncement that I was just going to do my thing, I sat down to stitch only to realize that my stitching of the entire second page of this design is off by one stitch someplace.

One lousy stitch.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  "Oh, dear Spinster Stitcher!  Don't fret over one lousy stitch.  Surely the intricate design of the angel's dress will allow for compensation someplace."

But this is me we're talking about.

So I went into the kitchen and set the timer on the microwave for two minutes and I got an ice cream sandwich. 

(What can I say?  My diet has consisted of foods that any self-respecting six year old would eat...hot dogs, mac and cheese, fruit roll ups, ice cream sandwiches, and Honey Nut Cheerios.)

(But I digress.)

For two minutes I allowed myself a full-on fretting, hair pulling, self-flagellating session of criticism and recrimination.  I paced back and forth and wagged my finger in my own face and lectured myself about the dangers of being a rebel, and I adequately shamed myself for the prancy dancing episodes of "Look at me! Look at me!" that lead to my fall.

Sister Mary Paperplate would have been proud.

When the timer beeped (and I had finished my ice cream sandwich), I gathered my wits, washed my hands, re-filled my sippy cup with ice water, and I hit the Happy Chair once again.

Still loving dear Vaceila, even if she's not exactly perfectly perfect in every way.

I'm off to find the vacuum cleaner.  I promised the boys that I would do something about the haz mat situation that this house has become before we settle in for our afternoon nap.  I figure a swipe or two of the Swiffer and a few minutes Hoovering will be a good way to start the weekend!

Happy Friday, kids!  Do something fun and come tell us all about it!

Sep 15, 2016


I'm sure that there are about a million ways I'm stitching this incorrectly and that those of you who routinely cross stitch these BAPs are just chomping at the bit to tell me (waving a big fat "Hello!" to Betty), but I just do not care one single little bit.

(I do, however, simply love love love tips and tricks, so if you've got any, I'll take 'em!)

Call it maturity or finally coming into my own or maybe, just maybe, the meds have finally kicked in, but I'm all done with any rules or negativity when it comes to this thing of ours.  It is my humble opinion that any time spent with needle in hand...whether it be a threaded needle with silk, floss, or yarn, or a crochet hook or knitting needle or quilting needle or rug hook...is time well spent indeed.

I love all forms of stitching, whether it be counted cross stitch, canvaswork, needlepoint, crewel, or embroidery.  I don't do any of them with any particular excellence, but that's perfectly fine, since I am not trying to be the world's foremost leading authority on anything at all, especially not on needlework.

I'm just a portly spinster with a sick little dog and shriveled up little kidneys who is trying to find her way in the world.  I stitch so that the Happy Chair remains my happy place, so that my mind and fingers stay limber, and so that I can feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself.  Stitching gets me out of my head, challenges me to try new things, teaches me perseverance and patience, and gives me heaps and heaps of satisfaction that does not result in me having to buy bigger sweatpants like eating something truly decadent does.

So...it's all good, my dears.  I'm just going to keep doing me.  You just keep doing you, and we'll all be fine together.  Keep those needles flying in whatever form you choose, have some fun, and come tell us all about it!

Sep 14, 2016


Vaceila came back out to play for just a bit more progress.  The good news is that I've cleared my decks for the day to give her my full attention.

Well, maybe not completely full attention.  Maybe seven-eights attention in between cuddles and belly rubs with Stewey Angus BabyDear Charming Little Skittles Willowswamp:

Happy Wednesday!  We're hurtling headlong into the weekend!

Sep 11, 2016


 Yesterday was my day to go play with my Hoosier Heartland stitchy sisters at the library, so off I went for fun and laughter.  I awoke feeling pretty punk, but a few hours giggling with these ladies made the rest of the day much better!

Our project for the day (taught by Miss Charlene Her Very Self) was Autumn Crackers by Marilyn Owen. These are cute little counted canvas rolls that, when finished, will look adorable in a pretty bowl.

(Or, if you are finish-phobic like me, you'll stitch them and then contemplate slapping them in a Michael's ready-made frame to be done with it.)

There is a lot of decision making to be made in terms of vertical vs. horizontal, colors, stitches tor borders, etc., but once you get settled it goes very fast and is very fun!

Here's where I ended up after spending most of the day stitching after I got home:

Today I am off for more adventure.  We are going to see Wicked, and I am so excited I can barely stand it!  Stewey is pouting that I will not be able to tuck him in my pocket for the performance, but I promised to bring him the playbill to add to his collection.

Speaking of my little love, he had a check in with the vet on Friday, and it looks like he is doing as well as can be expected.  He has lost two pounds, but I think we're managing to keep him pain free so far. He was absolutely wonderful with all of the techs that cared for him (he used to be rather fussy and had earned a bit of a reputation for being "high strung"), but yesterday he was so sweet that I started calling him Stewey Charming.  He is snuggled in for a morning snoozy, so methink it will be a yood Sunday after all.

That's the report for the day, kids.  I am going to enjoy my outing and then come home to do a little more stitching before getting ready for the week.  Here's hoping that your weekend has been fun and peaceful and that your needles are flying!

Sep 8, 2016


Still really enjoying my time spent with Vaceila each evening.  Here's the latest progress:

Sep 5, 2016


Oh, what a lovely time I had on Saturday!  I wish I could bottle the feeling of spending the day with these women...I always come away feeling like I have finally made it to the proverbial cool kids' table, and if I'd just learn to keep my mouth shut I might be invited back again.

Vaceila has had a nice weekend thus far, and if plans come to fruition today we will spend most of it together in the Happy Chair.  I completed all of the cross stitching on the lowest section and moved the q-snaps to tackle the next.  I managed to get the edges of her cloak outlined during the game last night (Notre Dame lost to Texas 50-47):
I never did make it to the grocery for special cookout provisions, but I am pretty happy in my jammies at the moment, so methinks it might just be leftovers today.  I'd complain about that, but considering the alternative of having nothing to eat at all, I'll just be thankful and move right along.

Happy Monday/Labor Day!  Hope your needles are flying!