May 2, 2016

MONDAY PONDERINGS FROM COW PATCH COUNTY

Let's play a game, shall we?

Here is what Royal Gardens is supposed to look like:

And here is a progress pic from a few days ago that contains the clue.  Can you spot the big ass boo boo that caused me to ponder my future as the Spinster Stitcher?  (Hint: The boo boo was bad enough that I really did contemplate chucking the whole thing into the bin and starting over again, but that feeling...oddly...only lasted a few fleeting seconds.)

Now, oh happiest of happy happinesses...here is my solution:

I feel a little bit bad that I have altered the design terribly, but a whole lot proud that I took a deep breath, hit the "calm the heck down aleady and get a grip" button and just...got on with it.

Where the hell is this flexibility and acceptance coming from?  Why am I not on the ceiling with the guilt and shame and frustration that I have, yet again, failed at something?  Who is this person who has quite suddenly developed the ability to see a calamity, shrug her shoulders, and say "Oh well...we'll get it right next time.  Who wants hot dogs?"

If this is what being 50 is all about, then I'm all for it.  If being 50 means that I have finally learned not to agonize over stupid stuff and can now see the whole board and enjoy the game, then all I can say is...

I should have tried this years ago.

May 1, 2016

BILLIONS AND BILLIONS AND BILLIONS

So for some reason we thought it would be a good idea to binge watch the entire first season of Showtime's Billions.

I understood about 12% of it, but was riveted from the moment it started until we hit the hay at 4am.

4am.

This old lady hasn't seen 4am in quite a while, so needless to say today has started a little bleary eyed.  So far I've managed to get through the Sunday Target ad and a big cup of coffee....not much else.

Stitchy updates tomorrow, along with a fun game we're going to call "What do you do when you go completely off the rails and realize you've made yet another huge mistake with your project and are now creating something that is close to, but not quite exactly like the designer intended."

Happy Sunday, kids!

Apr 30, 2016

LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT

Saturday Spinster bliss is more like a Saturday Spinster schlumpadink, if you ask me.  I am in pajamas, with the fireplace on, drinking coffee, and contemplating the day's stitching:


And I have a fifteen pound little meatloaf lap warmer named Bosco for good company:

Who needs order and productivity when you've got coziness and sloth, I always say!

What's on your Saturday agenda?


Apr 29, 2016

THE DAW-PHAN IS NOT AMUSED


"Seriously, Mo-ther.  When is this little roommate experiment going to end?"

Stewey is having adjustment issues, as I suspect we all are.  It's not that having Aunt Chrissy and Bosco live here is a problem, really.  It's just that SOMEBODY feels like every time he wants to be the cheese, there's somebody else in the background stealing his spotlight.

I give you Exhibit A:

 As for me, I have thrown myself headlong into my stitching.  

That would bring us to Exhibit B:

(Pardon the spaghettis...I just noticed them and am too lazy to take them out at the moment.)

Today will be filled with to do lists and grocery shoppings and column polishings and other fun items.  It's cool and cloudy here in Hoosierville, so I'm hoping for a nice long snoozy session with the library book and Sir Futzalot a little later.

Here's hoping that your little corner of the world is a little less...fraught.  Do something fabulously wonderful and come tell us all about it!

Woo Hoo!

Apr 28, 2016

FUTZINGDAY...ON A THURSDAY!

I'm procrastinating getting into the shower before heading out to appointments.  I awoke with the idea that I was going to have a Futzingday, but Stewey informed me that today is Thursday and this would be unprecedented.

So I decided that I could, in fact, have Futzingday on a Thursday and that it will commence the moment I return from my appointments.


My library book this week has completely captivated me and I had a rather happy realization when I went to search out information on the author.  The book title is "Chicago: A Novel" and the author is Brian Doyle.  I am simply in love with the writing in this book...lyrical, whimsical, lovely, evocative.  As I was reading it last night I kept thinking that it was reminding me of something and when I discovered that Mr. Doyle is a Notre Dame grad and has written several essays and other books, I remembered that I had actually fallen in love with his stuff years ago in Notre Dame Magazine.  So now I will search out everything he's written and I'll savor every single solitary word of it.

(That, by the way, is why I am too chickenspit to attempt a book of my own.  When I read words like his and how he puts them together and how he tells a story I am reminded that I am a reader, not a writer, and I get on with it.  Yes...I love to play with this here blog and my sillyness in NN, but it's just that...play.  Methinks I should leave the heavy lifting to the big boys!)

Well, I don't suppose my hair is going to wash itself, and I don't imagine that the lovely folks at Nephrology Inc would appreciate me in my big girl pajamas, so I better get a move on.  I hope that you have your very own Futzingday on a Thursday and that you'll tell us all about it!

Woo Hoo!

Apr 27, 2016

WHAT COMES OUT GOES RIGHT BACK IN AGAIN!

OK, so maybe the light green was the right color after all:


Apr 26, 2016

WHEN IN DOUBT...RIP IT OUT!

There was something about the lime green in the Chilly Hollow stitch that was bugging me, so...out it came!
I decided to add the stitches around it in the varieagated Watercolours and then I'll see what I might like better.

Not a lot of stitching last night...I was trying to catch up on several episodes of Southern Charm and kept getting distracted by all things Thomas and Katherine.

(Stewey, of course, has fallen head over heels with Miss Patricia, and is now demanding that we go caftan shopping this afternoon. )

(The caftans, sadly, will be for him and not for me.)

(As will the perfectly-made martinis.)

Damn dog.

Cousin Bosco is just happy to be a dog and is perfectly satisfied wearing a dog collar rather than bespoke silk smoking jackets.

Or caftans.
"Aunt CJ...what's a martini?"

Apr 25, 2016

THE MONDAY MORNING VIEW FROM THE HAPPY CHAIR

You would think that these boys worked the night shift the way they conk out in the mornings...

More Royal Gardens.  The lower right stitch is called a Chilly Hollow stitch.  Can I just tell you that it was so much fun to stitch that I felt like I should have had to pay admission?  If you ever get the opportunity to try it, throw your hands in the air and enjoy the ride...I know I did!
I'm still a little twitchy about my colors, but it seems that I'm having so much fun learning new stitches that I'm overlooking any blatant clashes.

Quiet start to the week, but I am determined to accomplish at least one major chore each day.  Today...laundry.  Who knows what the rest of the week will bring, but if I don't launder a few little smoking jackets for You Know Who there's going to be You Know What to pay!

Happy Monday, kids!  We're off like a herd of turtles!

Apr 24, 2016

QUEASY LIKE A SUNDAY MORNING

I  made a lot of progress on Royal Gardens last night during a seven hour marathon of Game of Thrones.

The light yellow centers of those "crescent with tail" stitches are all woven!

I started to go a bit sideways on my colors last night and wondered if the whole thing is going to look like one big fat mess, but then I decided that I will just pretend this piece is a tribute to Prince and I moved on.

See?  Lemons to lemonade in one fell swoop!  Who knew that it could be so easy?

(But, isn't it interesting how we can look at one of our stitchy pieces or see a book that we've read and remember exactly where we were at the time?  I think I love that feeling...like there is something out there in the universe to remember our stories for us.)

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!  So much philosophising on a Sunday!

"Mo-ther, put down that iPad and fetch me my tea and toast, please.    Nothing good comes from you spending time thinking about things rather that catering to my every whim."

Apr 23, 2016

AN AMISH PERSON, A JAPANESE PERSON, AND A NAVAHO INDIAN WALK INTO A BAR...

Thank you, from the bottom of my crazypants little heart for all of your encouragement and advice regarding my recent oopsie.

I am fascinated to learn that in three very different cultures there is the concept of "Only the Big Guy is perfect" and that one must include imperfection as a means of humbling oneself.

Well, color me humble.

If only I could have the beauty of the Japanese, the soulfulness of the Navaho, and the piety and simplicity of the Amish....then, I suppose we would really be on to something.  For now, though, I am going to leave things as they are and view this piece as a very very good lesson in what happens when you get too big for your stitchy britches.

You see, each evening as I was sitting down to stitch this piece and watch The West Wing, I was secretly feeling quite satisfied with myself that I was tackling such an advnaced piece and following along with such sophisticated dialogue at the same time.  I am the walking/talking embodiment of the phrase "Pride goeth before the fall" I suppose, so....lesson learned.

Aunt Chrissy and I have just bid a fond farewell to some stitchy sisters as they head over to Ohio for the EGA Great Lakes Regional Seminar.  If there would have been room, I would have hidden in the trunk to go with them, but I think Aunt Chrissy would have realized I was missing by the time she got to the Targets to buy dog food.  As it was, we waved bye bye and headed out for a few errands.

I'm now home and back in my comfy clothes and ready to stitch and watch Game of Thrones.  I think we're going to do a little binge watching to get caught up in time for the Season Six premier tomorrow night.

Either that or Stewey and I are going to take a nap.  We're feeling a bit out of sorts these last few weeks, so maybe what we need to do is go hit the re-boot button and crawl in bed with a book and some sunshine on our faces for company.

That's the report for today, kids.  Here's hoping that your weekend is filled with fun and stitches and all things wonderful!

Apr 22, 2016

FIDDLE. STICKS.

Ahhhhh, the first stitchy dilemma of the year is upon me.

See that lovely center square bordered by varieagated waffles?  Fantastic, isn't it?  I think it took me about four days to get that part in.

Now see everything else?

Well, it's all off by one canvas thread.

There's supposed to be a space between the waffles and the green scotch stitches.  This means that all of the scotch stitches are in the wrong place, all of the Rhodes stitches are in the wrong place, and (worst of all) all of the Amadeus stitches are in the wrong place.

So...do I continue stitching and compensate to make up the difference, or do I break out the scissors and a large bottle of tequila and rip it all out and start again?

Rather than take this out to the driveway and back the car over it repeatedly, methinks I will take a few deep breaths and view this entire exercise as a test from the universe.  Perhaps she is trying to ask me if I've grown and changed and matured as a human person and learned to accept speedbumps on the path of life.

Or, more probably, she's just screwing with me.

Excuse me, please.  I need to be where other people are not for a moment so that I can curse a blue streak without fear of a big fat bar of soap headed to my mouth.  Talk amongst yourselves...be back in a flash!


Apr 21, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, YOUR MAJESTY

Stewey regrets he's unable to blog today.  Moments ago, he came into the dining room to berate me for not having his little valise packed and ready to go to the Motherland to wish Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth of the House of Windsor a happy birthday.

(I swear, the damn dog thought he was going to have tea and scones with her, followed by a rousing game of cribbage or pickleball, and then cake and champagne in the afternoon.)

Wait a minute...that sounds familiar somehow.

Oh, for pity's sakes...that progression of events is EXACTLY what is printed on today's itinerary!

Each morning, when I stumble out of the big girl sleigh bed and head to the powder room to splash cold water on my face, I'm handed a comprehensive list of what Little Lord Fauntleroy wants to do for the day. 

(I should clarify...my list has things like "Do the laundry.  Go grocery shopping.  Clean the house. Water the fern."  HIS list has "Sleep in the sun.  Pee on the ottoman.  Eat cookiies.  Snort derisively at pesky little cousin.")

The lists are bad enough, but does he really need to employ a Social Secretary to deliver them with a frown and a little silver tray?  Mrs. Baldridge is positively silent when she's dispatching her duties, but I always feel like an enormous oaf around her.  I made the mistake of addressing her as Leticia one morning and she glared back with a "Mrs. BALDridge, thank you very much!"  and I've been terrified ever since.

(Remind me, someday, to introduce you to the entire LLF staff.  They're quite a bunch, I tell ya.  From Yoshi the Gardener to Mr. Butterfield the Head of Security....Holey Schmoley, I don't know where to begin!)

I finished my little EGA name tag, but think I might re-do it.  Rather than get off my big fat heiney and go upstairs to pull a nice varieagated thread, I tried to combine several of the floss colors from the border moteefs.  The result is...mud.  I also want to re-do the finishing of the name tage, since my folding and whip stitching skills are positively absymal.

Well, that's the report for today.  I hope that your little corner of the world is lovely and wonderul and that YOUR staff is making life perfectly swell for you.  Do something fabulous and tell us all about it!


"Mo-ther, have you seen my morning jacket and top hat?  Gerald has gone to fetch my walking stick and I don't want to be late for the plane!"

Apr 20, 2016

HOME SWEET HOME

As of a few moments ago, we're back in the saddle again, kids!  I restored my home internets, declared the experiment an epic fail, and then kissed my little iPad right on the face as I sat at the dining room table in my pajamas reading email.

Ahhhhh, the familiar.  Balm to the soul of this crazypants portly little spinster.

Miss Louise taught us blackwork last night at EGA.  When completed, this will be my official name tag:
isn't it swell?  I would love to tell you that I took to it like a fish to water all on my own, but the quality of the teaching was so excellent that I was able to follow along and learn quite easily.  It helped that I was trying my level best to impress and keep up with Miss Margaret and Miss Katie....all that pressure forced me to keep my mouth shut and concentrate.

For once.

So today's view from the dining room table is soothing and happy.  As soon as I finish my coffee and puzzles I'm heading out for labwork and then right back to the Happy Chair for some cable TeeVee binge watching.  I've got weeks and weeks of Housewives and Kardashians to catch up with.  Wonder how they managed to survive without me?

Here's hoping that everything is happy and connected in your neck of the woods!  Stewey sends his love and kisses and promises an update and analysis of the last few weeks here at Chez Spinster.  Stay tuned....it promises to be interesting!

Apr 19, 2016

TUESDAY, TUESDAY

I think that today will be my last day at the library.  As I might have mentioned, I decided to undergo an experiment to see if I could live without cable and the internets for a month.

Turns out...I cannot.

The universe is giving me a sign that I'm making the right decision, because the selection of fellow patrons in the computer section today is...troublesome.  Most days it is the same peoples, and they are quiet and polite and pretty much keep to themselves.

Today?  Not so much.

I've got the "lovebirds" that are performing a soft porn play in three acts, the cell phone chatterer that is obviously not happy with decisions being made apropos to lunch, and a sullen teenager that is pounding the keys hard enough to rattle the floor.

I hate polite society.  Back to the homestead I go.

(And can I just point out, for the record, that I attend my daily sessions at the library freshly bathed, with appropriate shoes on, and that I do NOT, under any circumstances, talk above a whisper?  IT'S A LIBRARY PEOPLE!  YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE QUIET IN A LIBRARY !)

(So now I'M the one pounding the keyboard...)

Here's the progress on Royal Gardens.  I managed to complete all of the Amadeus stitches while plowing through more of The West Wing last night after Aunt Chrissy had hit the hay.  I think I had done a few Amadeus stitches before, but must say that these were real...pips:


Stewey found his little bed in the sun again, which makes me very happy.  I am worried about the adjustment to our new roommates, but I think he's got the right idea...when in doubt...take a nap with your face in the sun.

Bosco, of course, is Bosco and has decided that he will spend his mornings on the ottoman.  He doesn't like having his picture taken (unlike You Know Who), so he squints every time I try to get a decent shot of him:

Thank you, my dear friends for all of the kind and lovely things you have to say about me being a generous and accepting hostess and sister.  If only it were all true....

We're hurtling headlong into the week, kids!  Tonight is EGA South Bend at the Martin's and then I'm going to finish the week with some labwork and doctors' appointments for good measure.  The sun is shining, the birds are sweetly tweeting, and I don't have one darn thing to complain about. 

Life is beautiful, indeed!


Apr 18, 2016

ROYAL GARDENS UPDATE

Here's the progress thus far on DebBee's Royal Gardens:

Holey Schmoley am I having fun with this!  Instead of fretting over color selection and placement, I am simply sitting down with the piece each evening and...playing.  I look at the chart to see what's next and then dive into the basket to see what color/thread blows my skirt up.

I'm doing stitches that I've never really done before and really enjoying the challenge of them.  I always thought that my favorite stitch was the waffle, but after a few hours doing Walnettos, I have to say, I might be hooked.  I'm sorry that the picture isn't clearer for you to be able to see them, but trust me when I tell you that they are definitely cool!

I'm at the library today and then headed home to do laundry, change the bed, and spritz the bathroom.  I figured that I would try to start the week productively, but if you know me at all, you can bet I will probably decide to take a nap with my face in the sun instead.

Would that be so wrong?

Apr 17, 2016

THE NEW NORMAL

Remember the old view from the Happy Chair?

Well, now it looks like this, thanks to a deck chair rearranging session with Aunt Chrissy:

It's no secret that I am not good with change.  As a matter of fact, both Stewey and I have been wandering around the house the last two weeks wondering who the hell moved our respective cheeses, but...we're coping.

It was critically important to me that Aunt Chrissy have a Happy Chair of her very own.  The 20-year old loveseat that served as Stewey's perch just wasn't cutting it for her any longer, so we relegated it to the office and pulled this little recliner into service.  I'm not sure if it's the BEST solution, but for now it's what we've got and it has accomplished the goal, which was to get her stitching again.

I could bore you with all of the sordid details of the last year or so of Aunt Chrissy's life, but suffice it to say that her not stitching has been (in my humble opinion) the source of all of her problems.  (Well, that and the fact that she still works for and interacts with the hyena every day.  Once she gets rid of him and his evil empire, all will be well once again.)  

Selfishly, I looked at Stewey this morning and just wished for my old life back.  But, I am really trying to view all of this change as a blessing (or maybe a big fat test to see if I'm learning anything).  In the meantime, I am just concentrating on the positive and hoping that the experience doesn't kill me.

So...how are your deck chairs today?

Apr 16, 2016

LOVELY, LOVELY, SATURDAY, SATURDAY

I managed to put my shoes on and make it to House of Stitches and lunch and back without any drama whatsoever.  How the heck did that happen?

I wish I could take credit for it, but I must say...Miss Charlene and Miss Jane are absolutely excellent supervisors and both manage to keep me out of trouble without the least bit of provocation.

My puppy tot nephew, Bosco has claimed the magic blanket and ottoman as his own.  I don't mind too much, but he is not quite as "dainty" as Stewey and sometimes causes my legs to fall asleep when he decides to camp out on them.

Here's hoping that your Saturday was simply splendid!  

Apr 15, 2016

JUST MAKING IT UP AS I GO ALONG...

Wow.  I am just agog over the kindness of the world right now.  THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for all of your lovely comments, notes, words of encouragement, and best wishes.  I floated around on them all day yesterday and put my head on my pillow last night feeling like the absolute luckiest girl on the whole entire planet.

You.  All.  ROCK.

Speaking of rocks....the ones in my head continue to rattle around as I play with Royal Gardens.  I really wish I could tell you why I get the bright idea that I can just pull threads and colors as I go and that the result will be spectacular, but alas, I am a bit dim-witted and have not yet learned from my past mistakes.  Every now and then a happy accident happens and the colors mishmash quite nicely and I don't want to drive my car over the piece, and other times I really do wonder if I should be left to my own devices.

The jury is still out on this one, but I am doggedly determined to keep plugging on until the bitter end. I actually love the combination and don't mind that it looks like I pulled threads in a dark closet at the bottom of a well, but...that's just me.  I can tell you that I'm having a blast stitching it, though, so if you like the design but hate my colors, I say go for it! My methodology makes professionals cringe, I know, but I basically dump out my threads and then pull those that make my heart sing and blow my skirt up.  Then, when I'm stitching the piece, I just look at what I've done so far, what the picture looks like, and then try what I think will look good.   It took a while, but do you know the most important thing that I learned by doing this?

If you don't like it....take it out!

Once I realized that nothing was permanent, I felt the freedom to really play.  Now, I know that there is an argument to be had about proper color theory and paying attention to thread content and texture, but that's another argument for another day.  For now...my goal was to get stitching again after a long dry spell, so suspending all of the "rules" was exactly what I needed to do to get going again.  If I were entering contests or taking classes or asking for my work to be judged, then I would certainly be a better citizen, but for now....it's all good, my friends.  It's all good.

Holy crap!  Is this what 50 is all about?  If so...I'm IN!  I can't wait to have this "let it all hang out" attitude with other aspects of my life, but I suppose we had better alert the public that the Spinster is about to get her groove on.

Wooooo hoooooo!

Spring has sprung once again, so the boys are doing their thing and driving me nuts by barking at the landscapers.  Stewey is zonked out in the bright patch of sunshine, but you can't see him because his furry little self is so sparkly white.  (Damn dog.)  Bosco (the one on the red blanket) has overtaken the perch as his very own comfy spot, so for now we're going to just go with it and hope for some peace and quiet.



I really do have to say THANK YOU again...I don't think it's a secret that I am not exactly the most well-adjusted spinster in the world, so having all of you say and do and write such wonderfully kind things is more of a blessing that I can adequately articulate. My day was filled with all of the things that I love....good coffee, good friends, stitching, blogging, reading, writing, a snoozy nap with my Little, and the knowledge that life really is swell and I'm going to do my level best to enjoy every moment of it!

We're off like a herd of turtles to the weekend's shenanigans.  I am heading over to House of Stitches with my Stitchy Sisters and am already telling myself to just be quiet and not suck all of the oxygen out of the room.  Do you think I'll succeed?

Apr 14, 2016

IT WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DAY THAT LIMA OHIO HAD EVER SEEN...

Today I am 50.

Wow.

Time sure flies when you're having this much fun.

If I've told you these stories before, forgive me, but they've been rattling around in my brain since the wee hours of the morning, and I guess they must be in there for a reason...

When my mom went into labor with me, my dad happened to be in San Francisco giving a speech.  The urban legend/family story has it that he was addressing the audience at a podium and someone passed him a note that said "Mr. Rich, your wife has gone into labor" and Dad looked out at the crowd, and said "Excuse me, please.  My wife is having a baby" and walked off the stage to a standing ovation.  (I'd like to think that this was my first).  Then he found the nearest telephone, called my mom and said "Don't do anything until I get there" and hung up.

The second part of the urban legend/family story is that he made it back to Lima in time for my arrival, and after traveling all day and night, patiently waiting in the waiting room (as dads were wont to do in those days) and then kissing me on my tiny little head, he got in his Pontiac and drive to a plant nursery and bough a little flowering tree that he took home and planted in the front yard of 25 Beaumont Place.

I don't know if any of that is true or not, but when I finish this here blog post, I'm going to Google Earth 25 Beaumont Place in Lima, Ohio to see if my tree is still there.

The title of my post is courtesy of my Aunt JoAnn.  Every year (for as long as I can remember, anyway), my Aunt JoAnn calls and leaves a message on my answering machine that starts out with "It was the most beautiful day that Lima, Ohio had ever seen".  And then she tells me the story of how she was with my mom at the hospital and how she held her hand and told her to be brave, but not to embarrass anybody by crying.

I love those stories.

I guess, come to think about it, I love almost all of the stories of my life thus far.  Some have happier endings than others, true, and some have handsome princes and evil queens, but all in all I just don't have one darn thing to complain about.  I have been spectacularly blessed with incredible things and interesting challenges and wonderful opportunities and hilarious perspectives, and I don't think I would change one single solitary moment of one single solitary day.

Oh, what a ride it's been.  I can't wait to see what happens next!

So, my dear friends, I thank you from the bottom of my pitiful little heart for being such a huge part of this crazy life of mine and for making it so....lovely.  I'll leave you with the card that was attached to a beautiful vase of flowers that arrived as I was heading to the library.  They are from my dear dear friend, Lou, and I think it is the perfect example of why I walk around with a silly grin on my face....how did I get so lucky to have people like this in my life?

Apr 13, 2016

AND THERE WAS FEASTING, AND IT WAS GOOD!

Miss Jane and Miss Charlene hosted a spectacular birthday dinner for Aunt Chrissy and moi, and I'm still thinking about it.  I don't know if the food or the company was better, but both were absolutely wonderful.  I had bison (!) meatloaf and can only tell you that it ranks right up there with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, an afternoon snoozy nap with my Stewey Little, and waffles.  All...most excellent!

I'm loving each and every stitch of DebBee's Royal Gardens, kids.  When last we left our heroine, we had just completed the double fan stitch in the middle of the piece, and now we have FIVE (FIVE, I TELL YA!) crescent stacked crescent stitches!  Holey schmoley, I wish I could adequately capture the dimension that FIVE (!) stacked crescent stitches gives you, but hopefully this will suffice:

Spring is springing and the birds are sweetly tweeting in these here parts, so I hope you're having much the same.  

Back to the gardens!

Woo Hoo!

Apr 12, 2016

AND.....WE'RE OFF!





I started Royal Gardens by DebBee's Designs last night and am running around patting myself on the head today like I'm some kind of stitchy savant.

See that last picture?

That's called a double fan stitch, and I am happy to report that I did that all by myself without having to wash out my potty mouth, slug back a gallon of dietCoke, or call in the authorities.  I took a deep breath, read the instructions nine times, and then....jumped right in there like the brave little soul I am.

If you've never done that, may I suggest that you do it immediately?  The resulting feeling of "I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to" is going to carry me right through the week.  I can feel it in my bones.

This chart calls for a lot of really lovely and exotic (to me, anyway) threads, but I am stitching with the basics from my stash.  I did pick up the Caron Watercolours in Black Iris, but am using DMC floss and such from the stash.  We'll see what happens, but if last night is any indication, I think the end result is going to be spectacular.

We're having a lovely sunny day here in Hoosierville.  I am going to enjoy it this afternoon by putting my face in the sun for a few minutes before heading out to our EGA Elkhart guild meeting tonight.

I hope that your week is off to a great start and that the sun is warming your face today too!  Do something fantastic and them come tell me all about it!

WOO HOO!

Apr 11, 2016

SPRINGY TIDBITS FEE NEE



Tidbits
Needle Delights Originals
18 ct. mono canvas in ecru

Here are the threads that I used:
Caron Watercolours: Papapaya, Faded Linen, Natural, Blush, Orange Blossom, Mountain Meadow, Moss, and Apricot Blush.
Caron Waterlilies: Mountain Meadow
Vineyard Silks: Apricot Brandy, Pale Honey, Shell, Sahara, and Peppermint
Kreinik #12 braid: 221, 273

If you decide to do this one in your own colorway, please don't fret about the placement.  I didn't and think the results are pretty swell.  I just tried to pull threads that were somewhat complementary to one another and then went for it.

Oh, and for all you math geeks out there: There are 192 blocks in this piece, each consisting of 81 stitches.  That's a whopping 15,552 stitches in this here piece, kids.  15,552 stitches.  WOO HOO!

Apr 10, 2016

AND EVEN MORE PONDERINGS...

Remember my friend Dr. Dan?  He was the one that nicknamed me Coni Island because spending any time with me was such a fun ride of ups and downs and ups and downs.

Can I just point out that this was a full 30 years ago and that I was in my 20's at the time and it is expected....dare I say MANDATORY to be a bit...DRAMATIC at that age?

What in the holy hell was I thinking to introduce so much change into my life recently?  What stupid self-help book did I hear about on NPR that told me the best way to keep young and active was to completely upend oneself into a mess of loose ends, uncertainty, and general swirling chaos?   What happened to doing the Jumble to keep my brain nimble?

I come from very normal, relaxed, sane, organized, calm people.  I really do.  Both Mom and Dad were relatively quiet, competent, happy, grown people that did what they had to do to live good, healthy, well-adjusted, productive lives.

Me lately?  Well, let's just say that the freakin' apple didn't so much as FALL from the tree as it SPRINTED and then ROLLED about a thousand miles away from the damn orchard.

I think that I finally made an executive decision in the wee hours of the morning as I was waiting for the sun to come up so that I could shower, dress, put my shoes on, and go to Guild yesterday.

Enough.

I've "enoughed" before.  On April 30th of last year I told the hyena to find another target for his feces-throwing, soul-crushing tantrums and I put down my little clipboard and walked out.  Later that same year I "enoughed" Stewey when he insisted that I jump like a crazy person every time he rang his little bell and hollered "Carson!  Mrs. Carson!  I'm ready for my tea and toast now, please!"   Both decisions resulted in a calm, happy, normal Spinster who did things like read and write and stitch and blog and cook.

Well, I'm still reading and writing and stitching and blogging and cooking, but I have allowed an element of hyena-ness/little Mr. Fussypot-ness back into things and I just don't like it one bit.  So instead of going right down the drain that I've been circling these last few weeks, methinks I'm going to just climb right out of the tub once and for all.

All of this navel gazing and fretting about the dumbest stuff can't be good for me, and I know as sure as I'm sitting here that it has probably been b-o-r-i-n-g as hell for you too.  I don't DO high maintenance well, but I sure have given it my level best these last few weeks, huh?

So...enough.  The world is not going to end tomorrow if I don't find the clue to why I am the way I am or why I do the things I do.  And!  I am hereby stopping the roller coaster of change that I brought about with the "I really need to get out of the house more and pay better attention to how I use my resources" routine.  I like my house and there's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to stay in it for a minute.  And if I secretly want to watch marathons of Housewives while eating a Cheeto or two, then...so be it.

Well, I guess that would be the manifesto for the day.  Stay tuned, because (if you know me at all) it's sure to change tomorrow.  Today, though, I'm going to get back to it and see what I can do about finishing Tidbits and jumping in to Royal Garden....updates soon, I promise!

Apr 9, 2016

HOLEY SCHMOLEY!

Today is Guild day at the library, so I am trekking through THIS to get there:

What the heck happened to April?!

Apr 8, 2016

WOO HOOOOOOO!

Thank you for your kind response to my crazypants idea about having a retreat in October.  I really didn't figure anybody would be at all interested, so now I will sit down and start to pull together details...and a plan.

Tentatively...I'm thinking that we'll open the weekend with a cocktail (or mocktail) reception on Friday night, stitch all day Saturday with trips to House of Stitches and Notre Dame for those that are interested, and then close the weekend with a brunch on Sunday.

Details to follow...I promise.  If you would like to be added to the mailing list for information, please send me your deets:  spinsterstitcher@aol.com

Here's hoping that your weekend is lovely and fun and peaceful and stitchy!  I'm off to the library tomorrow to see my peeps!  Simply.  Cannot.  Wait.


Apr 7, 2016

THURSDAY PONDERINGS...FROM THE LIBRARY

There are days when I feel like I've been hit by a bus.

Today is one of those days.

Lots of cha-cha-cha changes at Chez Spinster....some good, some not so good, some yet to be determined.  Needless to say, this portly yet lovable spinster is a bit on overload.

But the good news is that I am upright and here to complain about/observe it, so that in itself is a good thing, so....let's get on with it!

In an effort to be a better steward of my limited resources (physical, financial, mental and otherwise), I decided to suspend my cable and internets at the house to see if I could live without them.  Turns out that they are NOT the luxury item that I thought they were, but rather the only way I find to engage with the world.  So...I'm thinking that it might be rather important to re-install both so that I can stop fretting my evenings away in front of antenna TeeVee and no way to connect with you...my touchstone to normalcy.  Stay tuned....methinks a call to Comcast is on today's agenda for sure!

As many of you might have guessed, my relationship with Aunt Chrissy (my sister) has been....fraught.  Well, we've really decided to poke the snake, since both she and Bosco have moved into my little hovel as of last Saturday and we are going to try it as roommates.  Stay tuned for what I am sure will be hours an hours of programming from Dysfunction Junction.  For now, we are exercising patience and are trying to be kind and loving to one another, but given our history, this could get interesting really quick.  (I'll just be happy if we can keep Bosco and Stewey from killing and/or permanently maiming each other!)

I am happy to report that I still have my original kidneys and that they seem to be limping along quietly.  My last monthly report had a few labwork glitches, but we're trying to fix them with meds and "lifestyle modification" and prolong the inevitable.  Considering the fact that stress reduction is a major part of the modification, I'm not optimistic that success is on the horizon, but I continue to eat sensibly, rest when needed, and do things like stitch and talk to all of yous to keep myself from clutching the ceiling.

Stitching is the one category of life that continues to bring me great joy.  I feel like I've stitched more in the last few months that I have in ten years.  I hit that Happy Chair in the late afternoon and the troubles of the world just wash away,.  Then, before I know it, I look up and another evening has passed and I have managed to complete a nice chunk of a lovely project that just blows my skirt right up.  Man, oh manachevitz....if we ever figure out a way to bottle and sell this we'll be rich!

My Stewey Little is my Stewey Little.  He is adjusting nicely to life with Aunt Chrissy and Bosco, and all I need to do is remember to pat his little head and whisper sweet nothings in his funny bunny ears before he falls asleep each night and all is well. I think he knows that Mommie Dearest is in a "transitional" phase at the moment, so he's doing his level best to be kind and helpful and not add to the swirling vortex of chaos and uncertainty that has enveloped us of late.

So all of this brings me to a decision that I made at 7 0'clock last night regarding my 50th.  As it turns out, Aunt Chrissy will turn 45 on Tuesday the 12th...a full two days before I turn 50 on the 14th, and it would seem that we are just not in the right "place" for festivities at the moment.  Normally, I would have said "Oh, let's just forget about our birthdays this year and not celebrate them in any way" and we would have just gotten on with it, but THIS time, I think I've come up with a very good and reasonable alternative....postponement.

Yup.  You read that right.  I am officially postponing The Rich Sisters' Birthday Extravaganza for the period of six months.  So on October 12th and 14th respectively, there will be cake and ice cream and presents and dinner at LaSalle Grille and all will be well.

So this brings me to another idea I had....would anybody be interested in coming to Hoosierville for a Misfit Convention?  I'm thinking that we could book a lovely hotel that has a great stitchy space, and we could spend the weekend stitching and eating and drinking dietCoke and acting like introverts.  The weekend of October 22nd happens to be an idle weekend for Notre Dame, so there might be some hotel availability, and the weather might be decent enough that we could leaf peep and wear chunky sweaters and drink hot chocolate with impunity.

If this sound like something that might interest you, send me your info (name, email address, mailing address, and notes about what you would want/not want for such a weekend) and I'll start pulling together information.

That's the report for today, my friends.  Sorry to ramble, but my tiny little brain seems to be in triage mode and wants to get rid of as much as it can that's rattling around in there to free up space for  other things.

Here's hoping that your mental RAM is humming along nicely and that your little corner of the world is full of nothing but goodness and needles flying!  Woo Hoo!

Apr 6, 2016

WEDNESDAY WEDNESDAY

OK, I know that the stitching is the same, but I thought I would catch my little nephew in the background of this one to show you that I have adult supervision when I'm using my iPad camera:

Apr 5, 2016

TUESDAY TUESDAY

I'm getting a little confused with postings, since I am doing multiple days at once, but here is an update on Tidbits:

Apr 4, 2016

MONDAY MONDAY

Wow.  Who knew that me being me would prompt such wonderful lovely-ness from all of you?  I have to confess that I am rather ashamed at the attention, but I did let your words wash over me like the healing waters of Lourdes.

Hmmm.  Wonder if there is an internet equivalent for a place where miracles happen to portly old spinsters just by virtue of them being themselves amidst their peoples?

So lots of progress to report on Tidbits:
I wish I could adequately capture the fun of this in a craptastic photo.  Each of those little blocks is more fun that the last, and I am chuffed that my colors are working themselves out without any supervision whatsoever.

Stewey and I are still wading through the entire West Wing series each evening.  I go to bed with smart things pinging around in my brain and then I pick up my library book and really get a workout. After so many months of mindlessness with the Housewives and whatnot, this has been a nice change of pace.

Now if I could just practise the same philosophy when it comes to getting a physical workout, we'd really be on to something!

The week has started and we are none the worse for wear, my friends.  Thank you for.....well.....you know.  I am going to see what I can do to tackle a bit of laundry today and then get back to Tidbits!

What's on your agenda for the day? 

Apr 3, 2016

MORE PONDERINGS FROM COWPATCH COUNTY

In exactly eleven days I am going to turn 50.  And in an effort to really mark the occasion I've been doing a lot of navel gazing and pondering and contemplating of all of the things rattling around in my tiny little 49.969 year old brain.  I won't bore you with all of the really deep and twisted psychological crap that a well-trained team of mental health professionals would be stumped to solve....instead I'll just state the obvious.

I am a neurotic mess of crazypants agoraphobic introvertedness that just shouldn't be out in public polite society without adult supervision.

For the last few weeks, I have been trying a little experiment on myself.  In an effort to get out and about, I have been trying to go to public places like libraries and Starbucks and such and do the things that people do at places like libraries and Starbucks.

Can I just tell you that the results of this little experiment have been less than encouraging for my future as a normal human?

My first test was to see if I could strike up a conversation with a stranger in public and just exchange pleasantries about the weather or something inane like the color of the carpet.  Instead, I got locked into a forty minute tirade from some lunatic crazy guy that wanted to tell me all about his political theory, why his bitch of a fourth wife just left him, and how we were all going to end up working for the Chinese sewing soccer balls with our teeth if we didn't do something drastic like throw a revolt and build a thirty foot and a half foot wall between us and California.

OK...so much for that idea.

Yesterday, I decided to head on over to the Starbucks with my little ipad thingie to see if I could do a blog post or two and catch up with all of my peeps in the stitchy world.

Can I just say that sitting there with my latte trying to pretend that I was perfectly happy to be there was the second hardest thing I've  had to do in the last 30 years?  Who knew that writing my drivel on this here blog was so.....intimate?  I felt so nekked and exposed and unhappy that I had to try to figure out how to look normal doing something that had heretofore been very unstressful?  In other words...this here blog is one of the few places where I feel pretty fine with just being me because for whatever reason, all of you have decided that every village needs its idiot and I was the only qualified applicant.

All of this self-thinking is for the birds, if you ask me.  Why I thought it would result in a new life after 49.96 years is beyond me.  Quite frankly...it's just exhausting.

Stewey tells me that there is no need to change our ruts/routines, and the next time I get it in my head that our quiet little life is out of order somehow I should just take a nap until it passes.  I think he's on to something, so this afternoon is going to find me happily snoodled up in the big girl sleigh bed with him and John Irving for company.  (The John Irving library book, that is.  Let's not get nuts here, kids).

That's the news for today.  And, I am very happy to report that this will conclude this decades's episode of "Let's think about our life and see how we can make it better."

Man....60 is going to be a LuLu!

Apr 2, 2016

JUST A LITTLE BIT...

I was good.  I really really was.

But I just couldn't resist adding just a few things to my little shopping basket at DD.

As you may have noticed, I'm on some wierd matchy matchy kick whereby I match what I'm stitching to both my mood and the season.

Oh, and apparently my nail polish color.

In January, we tried the icy blue.  No comment from the peanut gallery as to the relative success of THAT particular idea.

February was all about the OPI red and that big velvet bow on Miss Laura's Valentine Wereath.

March was....green.  (OK, maybe not my very best idea, but green nonetheless.)

And now, for April....purple.  I spotted this beautiy as a finished model and decided that it was exactly what the doctor ordered for our April/purple project.  

This is DebBee's Designs Royal Garden and I am going to stick with the colors pretty much on the chart.  The Watercolours is a gorgeous one called Dark Iris, and it just happens to match the purple nail polosh I've been sporting called Shades On from Essie:

When I picked it up I didn't really think about the match, but as I started to play with the threads I looked down and realized what I had done.  

Wonder what the heck is up with this?

So once I finish Tidbits it will be Royal Garden and all things purple.

What's new with you?