Apr 24, 2017
Today was paperwork day in the Spinster HQ cockpit.
This means that I just spent the last five hours paying bills, organizing files, planning the week, and sticking my stickers in my book.
There's something very ironic about the fact that I am diligent about sitting down every week and doing a lovely spread in Erin (my book), but the odds of me actually DOING any of the things on the spread are thin. Very very thin.
But you have to admire the way I blithely slap that laundry sticker in there every week without the slightest hope of avoiding a hamper dive for socks by the end of the week, right?
So the bills are paid, the medical paperwork is all complete, appointments are confirmed, and I am ready for a nap! No stitching to report due to the lack of any, but I promise to remedy that as soon as I regain consciousness!
Happy Monday, dearies!
Apr 23, 2017
Bosco and I had a little adventure today and went for a little picnic in a park. It was so wonderfully swell, that we came home and took a long nap with our faces in the sun! I am the kind of person who says things like "I'd really like to have a picnic someday" and never does, so this felt like a major accomplishment.
As soon as I get my wits about me and my contact lenses back in, I am going to return to a little stitching. I have been playing with Poppers, but am thinking about a new little Ink Circles piece called Oscar's Corsage that I kitted up yesterday during a visit to the studio. Stay tuned for details!
Here's hoping that your very own weekend was wonderfully swell, too. On to a week full of fun!
Apr 22, 2017
Apr 21, 2017
It's a caftan.
Worn by Mrs. Patricia Altschul.
With picture of her pug, Chauncey on it.
Brace yourselves, kids. Rumor has it that a certain spinster is thinking about spending the day looking through photographs of a certain little dear departed Jack Russell terrier and checking the box for "plus size" and "expedited shipping" before she comes to her senses.
I am home from another full day of testing at the hospital and am just plain old tired. As soon as I get some water and a snack in me, I am heading to the big girl sleigh bed with a book and Bosco for company.
(I might not get out of said bed until Monday.)
Thank you for your continued prayers, support, encouragement, and happy thoughts. They carried me through again today, and I have lots left over for the long road ahead!
Happy, happy Friday. I hope your weekend is swell and fabulous and exactly what you want it to be!
Apr 20, 2017
I always told you dearies that I take craptastic pictures...guess who gets to go back to the St. Joe tomorrow for another set of tests?
(I'm not even going to think about what they saw or what's going on in the inner depths of me that requires me to do this again.)
(Can I just pretend that they thought I was cute and wanted to get to know me better, or that they left the lens cap on or something?)
So that was...interesting.
I am home safe and sound in the Happy Chair with a grateful heart that you all were able to get me through my morning. I'm not going to sugar coat it...there were lots of tears and hysterics and panic, and a little dry heaving, but once I got out of the car and into the lobby I was able to semi pull it together.
The kind souls in every department took great pity on me, and not one person questioned the fact that I was clutching a skein of Watercolours Tahiti so hard I gave myself a forearm cramp. I closed my eyes, whispered a few prayers, and then imagined that we were all hanging out on a beautiful porch overlooking water with stitching, dietCokes, and Stewey.
Bosco and I are going to hit the big girl sleigh bed for a nap. Needless to say, there wasn't a whole lot of resting achieved last night, and I'm a bit...woozy.
Thank you, my dear friends. Once again, your love, encouragement, and support have pulled me from the very depths. You should all get a medal or something, but all I have to offer is my eternal gratitude!
Back to stitchy stuff tomorrow, I promise! Hope your Thursday is swell!
Apr 19, 2017
So there I was...minding my own business, when St. Joe hospital called me to confirm all of my tests for tomorrow. Not five minutes before the call, I was sitting here patting myself on the back for being so brave and organized when it comes to this whole kidney transplant thing.
That should have been my first clue...
Spinster Nation, I need a little help, please. If you think about it tomorrow at 9am EST, could you send a little happy thought my way that I don't have a full-on Tony Soprano panic attack right there in the machine in front of God, the radiologist, and everybody? Or that I don't have a heart attack or stroke from the stress of it all? And that, for the love of Mike they'll give me a gown that will actually cover all of my wobbly bits and not make me feel like an elephant wearing a postage stamp?
And I'm nervous and sad and frustrated and overwhelmed and tired and worried and just plain old worn out from trying to be Polly Cheerful and live like I'm made entirely of rainbows, unicorns, cross stitch, and glitter.
But...and this is something I know to be true...if I can just close my eyes and think about all you out there in cyberland squeezing my hand and saying "You've got this, girl" I might actually survive it all and make it to the actual transplant in a few months (God willing).
Geeze, Louise...why in the heck did I pick today to have my nervous breakdown?!
The tissue typing vials are on their way to Indy, I've got my little instruction sheet all ready to go for the morning, and Bosco has finally decded to stop pooping on the rug to see if I'm paying atention. Poor little guy has tummy issues, so we're trying to practice calmness and deep breathing together to see if we can put things to rights once again.
I know, I know, this too shall pass. I just need to remember to channel my inner Big Girl and get on with things. But do there have to be so darn many of them all at once? Health, money, house, family, chores, global warming, war, strife, laundry...eye yai yai! It's enough to make even a sane and competent person a little nuts.
Onward. There's a ham sandwich calling me, some stitching to be done, and lots if bad TeeVee to view. I'll be back tomorrrow with a full report...I hope!
This was our project tonight at grocery guild. I had so much fun starting it there that I came home, got back into the jammies, and finished it! Miss Charlene's tutorial made me feel like a rock star...very clear and simplle directions that even I could follow!
The charts are backordered, so when they arrive I will share all of the details with you. The cupcake liners, though, are Wilson brand from the JoAnn's.
Don't you think a big tiered tray of these in all different colors would be a swell seasonal decoration?
Added today: This was a very very quick little project. The actual stitching took about three hours and the "finishing" took about ten minutes! Miss Charlene had prepared the finishing materials for us, so all I had to do was wrap the stitching around the batting and foam core and then stitch it into the mold. You use DMC floss and a tapestry needle and just go right through the silicone underneath the "petals" to secure it. So I managed to do this and still make my bed time! Seriously kids...very easy and user friendly!
Apr 18, 2017
Well, after playing with linen and silk, I decided to switch it up and play with Watercolours and canvas:
I forgot how bright and cheery the colors are in this piece! Just what the doctor ordered as the weather starts to warm up and the flowers and trees start to bloom.
Here's a closer look...this is 18ct mono canvas mounted on stretcher bars with Watercolors and Vineyard Silk threads:
'Scuse the open areas in a few of the blocks...Kreinik goes there, but alas, I did not have the proper colors in my stash. No problem, though. They are on order and should be here shortly.
I get a fair number of questions about whether or not I prefer canvaswork (this tyoe of stitching) to counted cross stitch. The truth is that I love them both and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. I like the variety and challenge of specialty stitches in canvaswork, but also crave the feel of a good piece of linen in my hands. I also like painted canvas needlepoint, but prefer to work with a thread and stitch guide for those. I know that I'm capable of selecting both threads and stitches on my own, but somehow I find it more enjoyable when the professionals do all the heavy lifting.
Hardanger, crewel, punchneedle, surface embroidery, beading....love it all, but don't do as much of it as I would like. I suppose that I would also like to learn goldwork and Japanese embroidery too, but for now methinks my little plate (and stitchy basket) are full!
Today is mammogram and "lady appointment" day and then Thursday will be a day spent at the hospital getting all of the heart and lung tests completed. I've already been to the dentist, so now I think the only thing left will be an eye exam and everything should be complete for the team down at IU! Talk about a stem to stern approach to one's healthcare!
So that's the report for the day. Tonight is grocery guild, so I am going to catch a good nap this afternoon in preparation!
Hope your corner of the world is exactly as you want it to be!
Apr 17, 2017
Plum Street Samplers
32ct Vintage Autumn Gold by Lakeside Linens
Belle Soie silk in Vanilla Pudding and Old Crow
Such an enjoyable stitch from start to finish! I even managed to break out Ye Olde Iron and gave it a good swipe before its close up. What a novel idea! Ironing one's finished needlework before slapping it in a frame!
I am thinking about starting the Heart of my Heart piece from Shepherd's Bush because I have been inspired by a fellow stitcher. but I caught sight of the Poppers canvaswork piece a few minutes ago and wondered if it might not be a nice change of pace.
Woohoo! Such a wonderful dilemma to have! A veritable plethora of stitchy options on the buffet!
Who knows? Maybe I will...pause for a gasp...start a ROTATION!
Happy Monday, my dearies! The sun is shining, the birds are sweetly tweeting, my bagel is toasting, and soon the laundry will be sploshing. Who could possibly be having more fun than Yours Truly?
Apr 16, 2017
Apr 15, 2017
I was having too much fun with this to put it down yesterday, so I just went with it. My birthday gift to myself was Coffee Quakers...complete with linen, thread, and cup, but methinks it will still be there in its little bag all ready to go for another day or two.
Miss Charlene took me out for a delicious lunch, then to a cupcake shop, and then dropped me off so I could get my act together and gather provisions for tomorrow's Easter Feast. Bosco and I will be having ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, pickled beets and eggs, and cupcakes for dessert! If I think of it, I might also make a nice little fruit salad to have on the side.
Not bad for a spinster with no appetite, eh?
OK...back to the Happy Chair. I think we're going to settle in for some afternoon TeeVee and stitchy time...Bosco seems ready to go!
Hope your very own Saturday is swell and that you're doing exactly what you want to be doing today!
OK, first things first.
A very large and hearty THANK YOU to you all for my birthday wishes, happy thoughts, and greetings. I am so tickled by the number of you that wrote or called or sent your good vibes my way. I had a positively wonderful, happy, happy birthday.
Now on to our order of business for the day. Please bear with me while I climb atop my soapbox for a moment. (Gentlemen in the front row there, would you be so kind as to lend me a hand?)
Now...if you will all repeat after me:
"I (insert your name, Instagram handle, Flosstube channel name, or however you choose to call yourself) do solemly swear that on this day, the 15th day of April, in the year 2017, that I will take and accept the OATH OF SASSY NESS. This oath, which I undertake freely and with sound (ish) mind and whole heart means that heretofore I will STOP ALL STITCHY SHAMING if I have been engaged in such, and, more importantly, I will heretofore henceforce and forthwith STOP ALL SELF SHOULDING. Forever and ever. Upon my sacred vow. By the powers vested in me. Amen."
Enough is enough, kids. I have been watching Flosstube videos, attending Guild meetings, and reading stitchy blogs like a crazy person, and last night the same thing kept hitting me right between the eyeballs:
"Forgive my lighting...my nose itching...the paper crinkles...my camera focus...my dog/cat/baby wanting attention...sorry for being away...the angle...I really shouldn't have bought all this haul...I really should finish a WIP...sorry, sorry, apology, apology, apology, should, should, should..."
Can I just say this once and for all? This thing of ours and this community of like-minded souls is comprised of a lovely, gentle, wholesome, creative pastime loved by the kindest, most talented, bravest, smartest, and genuinely most wonderful people on the planet. What in the name of all that is holy do we have to feel bad about?!
Too much stash? Sorry, but there's no such thing. No, I agree with you that it's not a contest, but when it comes to spending money on something, I can certainly think of about eighteen things at least that are worse than beautiful linens and threads and needlepoint canvases. So you spent the rent money on cross stitch charts this month. Instead of beating yourself up about it, why not think of the shop owner or designer who made a llittle something from your purchase, or the fact that you might have contributed nicely to a grandchild's college fund?
I get it. I really do. I have spent 51 years on this planet mired in guilt, shame, and humiliation for this, that, and the other. If I could, I'm sure I would find a way to take the blame for global warming, the fall of Enron, and whatever mess is breaking out in another corner of the world that I have never been to, let alone find on a map. I take crappy photographs, do stuff ass backwards, have more quirks and bad habits than I can list in a book, and I will probably never win the Nobel or Miss Anything. Ever.
But why should all of that follow me into my stitchy world? Why can't we all just grab our oversized bags full of our stitchy stuff, hold hands, sing Kum Ba Ya, and get on with it? We're not running a crack den or selling puppies into slavery...we're stitchers for pity sakes! And our stitching brings us joy and happiness and comfort and stimulation and peace in a world that could use a whole lot more of all of those things.
So you just get on with your stitchy self. Don't you worry one little bit about any more silliness when you're making a video or posting a picture or writing a comment or stitching your stitching. I, for one, love every single bit of it and every single part of you, and am just feeling incredibly lucky to have found a place here.
No more shaming.
No more shoulding.
Thank you for your time. We'll get back to our regularly scheduled programing as soon as we finish flitting about this rainbow on the back of our purple glitter unicorn.
Apr 13, 2017
Please scoozee the wrinkles, but here is my progress thus far on Plum Street's "Beans Beans":
Two more ladies and the lettering and this will be ready for a frame! And...rather than futz with it and stuff it into a ready made (and screw it up like I usually do) I am going to take it to House of Stitches and let Miss Cherrie work her magic on it.
Bosco and I are still enjoying each other's company. He is quite funny with his little quirks and routines, and I catch myself laughing at his antics throughout the day. At the moment, he is snoring under the ottoman blanket...happy as a little clam. He will do this until our afternoon play time, and then, after dinner, he will snuggle in for a little TeeVee and stitching. He sleeps with me in the big girl sleigh bed, but it is about as different from Stewey's sleeping as you can get. Stewey weighed almost nothing, was as soft as a little bunny, and smelled like baby shampoo. He also slept under the covers next to my legs, and never moved very much throughout the night. This little guy is quite a heavy little meatloaf, and insists on sleeping on top of the covers...belching, snoring, and tooting his way through Dreamland while I try to un-trap myslef from the twisted sheets. He also has a propensity for making his way to the head of the bed, so that by the time he decides to get up at 6:30 am he's laying fully on top of my head.
Flosstube has also been my constant companion, and I am continually amazed and humbled by the love and wonderfulness of this thing of ours. I feel like I've made a thousand new friends, and can't wait to visit with them each afternoon... much like my anticipation of visiting with all of you in the mornings.
Is there any better feeling on the planet than to have found one's tribe at last?
Thank you for your comments about Chez Spinster. I am absolutely gutted that I will be leaving here (it is not at all by my choice), but I am trying to think of the move in positive terms and have promised myself that one day I will come back, walk up the front sidewalk, ring the doorbell, and tell whomever happens to be living here that I would like to buy it back. This is my little dream house, damnit, amd as God is my witness, they are going to carry me outta' here feet first one day. I know that this plan sounds a little nuts, but it is literally the only way I can bring myself to face the idea of moving. So unless y'all know where I can find a winning lottery ticket, I suppose I better get started with the purging and packing!
So that's the report for the day. I expect to be in the Happy Chair stitching away as soon as I finish a little paperwork and do a few chores. Ideally, I would like to finish this piece tonight so that I can start my birthday off tomorrow with a new start! We'll see how it goes...
Hope your very own Thursday is swell and wonderful in all sorts of ways, my dearies. Do something fun and come tell me all about it!
Apr 11, 2017
Things are starting to fly at me fast and furious. In the next few months I will be running around with my hair on fire trying to get appointments and testing and testing and appointments complete for the next stage of my journey.
I am also going to be looking for and moving into an apartment, losing what little sanity I have left trying to fit "ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag", and oh...I still need to make sure to lose weight, get some exercise, and keep my sleep pattern under control.
You know how I always tell myself to stop worrying about sitting in the Happy Chair all day because it's not like I have to fly a plane of puppies and orphans through a hurricane?
Well....welcome aboard, kids! We're about to take off!
This is Beans, Beans by Plum Street Samplers. I'm stitching it on 32ct Vintage Autumn Gold by Lakeside Linens using Belle Soie silk in Vanilla Pudding and Old Crow, all as per the chart (except the chart calls for 36 ct.) What a lovely pleasure! I was so worried about being able to see 32ct, but so far, so good, and the silk is like butt-a!
So that's it for today. I have to hurry up and finish my library book so that I can get it returned and pick out a new stack. Nothing like leaving it until the last minute...it's due today!! Yikes!
Apr 10, 2017
My little nephew Bosco and I have always had a very special bond. I think I'm his third favorite person...right behind his Mommie (my sister) and Miss Charlene. I always told him that if he ever needed me, all he had to do was send up the bat signal, and no matter where I was, I would come get him and make sure he was safe.
The bat signal came today when a nice lady named Jessica called to ask if I knew a little dog named Bosco. Apparently, Bosco escaped his babysitter's place today and made a run for it, and a kind hearted citizen took him to the shelter. His microchip prompted a call to the vet, and the vet gave them my name as the "in case of emergency" person.
So off I went to get the little guy, and after talking to my sister a bit, she agreed to let Bosco stay here for a little vacation.
(Kind of like going to Daytona for Spring Break.)
We've managed to settle in quite nicely, and after a little walk down the block, I think we'll snuggle in the Happy Chair for a little stitching. I was supposed to go to Guild tonight, but they are predicting thunderstorms and I don't want to leave Bosco home alone.
Besides...how can I resist this little face?
That's the report for the day! Back tomorrow with updates, I promise!
Apr 9, 2017
About an hour or so ago Buzzy decided to let me know that marathon stitching sessions with a 20X20 inch q-snap were...problematic. I knew this was coming, and I think I even mentioned several days ago that my left arm was hurting from holding such a monstrosity and that I was going to have to switch to a lighter project, but this is me we're talking about.
When the pain got too intense, I swallowed a couple of Tylenol, slapped a BenGay patch on my forearm, and got on with it.
Tonight, though, my entire left arm is sore and swollen, Buzzy looks a bit forlorn, and I have finally come to my senses.
(For all you nurses out there...no occlusion...good thrill...no color change, numbness, or cold fingers, and I am pushing liquids and have him elevated.)
Firstly, though...I did manage to finish that second tree and two of the three birds atop said tree on Good in Everything.
I am still really enjoying this (obviously), but am somewhat kicking myself that I didn't exercise patience and order a lovely piece of linen from Picture This Plus. Mottling would have made all the difference in the world, and were it not for the sacrifice of what little mental health I have left I would scrap this and start over.
(Rats...now that I've put that thought out there in the universe, I might actually do it!)
(Stay tuned for the results of the war between my rational and irrational brains, but don't bet the farm on me making a good decision...)
So my dilemma comes in the form of wanting to continue to stitch tonight, but needing something small to play with. Should I pick up one of the Kurdy Biggs class pieces? Well, I do love them both, but they require me to sit under a better light and use a lap stand and laying tool...not feeling that tonight.
How about starting my birthday present?
Nope...not gonna. I promised myself that on my birthday (this Friday), I would wake up, make myself some cinnamon donuts, and I would open my present and play with it all day.
I thought that I might start this little guy:
And then I remembered that I needed to grab my beading mat for church guild tomorrow night (EGA Elkhart chapter meets in a church), and I kind of randomly flipped through my "Misc" basket.
EUREKA! I found a kit that I totally and completely forgot about! And it coordinates with my birthday present!! And it's Plum Street! On gorgeous linen! With Belle Soie...which I've never used before!
So...as soon as this Tylenol kicks in and I've given Buzzy a little rest, I'm going to set about stitching this puppy.
Hope your Sunday has been everything you wanted it to be! I never made it out of pajamas, but I did manage to watch a gajillion Flosstube videos, put stickers in my Erin Condren life planner, and water the plants! All in all a very lovely day indeed!!
Do not adjust your screen, kids. What you are seeing is real...right there in the Targets ad today. I was paging through...muttering to myself something about Easter and Halloween getting bigger than Christmas, when the toy section stopped me dead in my tracks.
Dog p**p. Right there in Barbie's p** per scooper.
What self-respecting six year old sits down to play Barbies and says to herself (or himself...#nojudgement) "Today we're going to take FeeFee for a walk with her tiny little leash and her tiny little collar and her tiny little pink backpack, and we're going to scoop her tiny little p**p"?
What ever happened to going on dates with Ken in his GI Joe helicopter, or taking that pesky kid sister Skipper to the beach in the convertable Mustang that you just had to have, but broke seven minutes after your dad put it together?!
Dog p** p!!
What...pray tell me...happens when THOSE get sucked up in the vacuum? I have very distinct memories of my dear departed mother muttering to herself as she sifted through the vacuum cleaner bag for the pink stiletto pump that Barbie misplaced during a furious wardrobe change in between the Midnight Special Ball and her mad dash to her law firm (Barbie, Barbie, and Sabrina, LLC), but can you imagine the commentary track if the shoe search would have been a p**p retreival instead?
Holey schmoley...I simply cannot fathom the words that might have come out of poor Siggie's perfectly lipsticked mouth.
OK...back to our regualrly scheduled programming. I just had to share. But...aren't you glad Stewey isn't here to comment on this? I can almost see the steam coming out of his ears now...
Apr 8, 2017
After a semi-decent night's sleep, I am up, showered, in my robe, and half-caffienated for the day. For somebody who struggles so in the mornings to get going, I sure do love this time of day!
I had a happy surprise last night when I went upstairs to poke about in the studio for a new tool box to stick in my stitchy bag. I had been wracking my brain all week, trying to figure out when I actually started stitching.
Not only did I answer my question...I found lists and notes from 2008 to 2012 of my projects, WIPs, finishes, and baskets! (I started stitching in 2003 by the way.)
Do you know that at one point I had 48 WIPs?
The sad fact of the matter is that I probably have even more than that now, but my feelings about them are totally different. I used to get frazzled with goals and challenges to myself and plans and lists, but now I just...stitch. I am, what Miss Katy calls it...a PROCESS stitcher now rather than a PROGRESS stitcher. Doesn't matter what I'm playing with or when (or even if) it gets done. I am stitching for the joy if it and the therapy of it and the peace of it and nothing else.
I have a feeling that all of this will go right out the window once my life settles down a bit and I get a new kidney, get back to work, have a different schedule, etc. but for now I am just loving every minute of it.
I do, however, want to get a handle on a few things upstairs. For instance, I want to get all if my finished/unframed things in a box, and I want to get back to journaling my stitching better with date started, finished, materials, etc. I have relied on my blog to do so for me these last many years, but I miss having that physical book that I can page through that tells me what I stitched and how I stitched it.
So those are the ponderings for the day, my dearies. I hope that your stitching and this little neighborhood of ours brings you as much bliss as it does to Yours Truly here. I'm off to Library Guild and then over to House of Stitches to pick up my birthday splurge.
Thank you for your lovely thoughts about Stewey. I'm sure he misses you all too and would tell you how very grateful he is that you look out for his Mommie.
Apr 7, 2017
If I write about my silly life and don't show pictures of my sitching, Betty throws a hissy and tells me that nobody gives a (you know what) and that I should just stick with showing whatever I'm working on.
If I show my stitching and don't write about my life, she tells me that I'm a terrible stitcher, do almost everything wrong, and that I should have a disclaimer so that new stitchers don't think my methods are correct.
(She was once particularly cruel about Stewey. I immediately blocked and reported her, but alas, she appears to be more technically sophisticated than I, and reared her ugly head yet again.)
(There is, quite terrifyingly, the possibility that there are actually several Bettys out there that are writing to me. This makes me want to go sit on the floor of my closet at the prospect that somebody could have that many haters yet not be a Real Housewife of Somewhere or Other or...dare I say it...Kayne West.)
Today, Betty is especially vexed because she's "sick and tired of people posting randon crappy quote and pictures thn they get from the internes." (sic)
(sic), Betty, means sic erat scriptum, and is used in text to denote that it is being shared in its original form, including any errata, misspellings, anomalies, etc.
Or, in this instance, to demonstrate your own lack of intellectual and editorial gravitas that, if at all present, would adequately shame me for writing (as I do) in such a casual and colloquial manner.
But I digress.
What I wanted to tell you, dear Betty, is that all of your hate and venom are lost on me today. I got your email, chuckled a bit over its complete lack of anything worthy of my attention, and got back to stitching and watching Flosstube. No hate there...just more fun and inspiration and joy and giggles than I've had in a long time.
But...because I know that you are probably spitting fire and readying your next diatribe, I'll throw you a bone. (What can I say? It's Friday night, I'm warm and safe and dry in my Happy Chair, and tomorrow I get to play with my Library Guild sisters and eat a cheeseburger.)
Here's my progress on Good in Everything:
Night, night, Betty. I hope your dreams are as pleasant as you are.
To everybody else...love and kisses and happy thanks for your continued good wishes and support. Stitch on, my friends, stitch on!
Apr 6, 2017
I'm running late for an appointment, but I wanted to check in with you all first.
Priorities...don't you know.
More progress on Good in Everything.
Apr 5, 2017
This is definitely a very low key, low productivity, low energy week thus far. My Happy Chair and I are spending an awful lot of time together...mostly with me half awake and drooling into my sweatshirt.
Here's last night's scene:
(Or the thought of Jeffrey Dean Morgan making waffles in my kitchen in his underpants.)
(For the record...I like the clean and sparkly JDM in a crisp white dress shirt and jeans, thankyouverymuch...not the one that looks like he needs a good scrubby bath.)
(Whoopsie...hang on a minute...JDM in the bath.)
(Excuse me while I am briefly overcome with the vapors...)
OK. We're back.
I am still enjoying it, but might switch to something a little smaller for a day or two. I noticed that my left arm and wrist are a little sore from holding such a big q-snap, and I don't want to irritate Buzzy any more than I have to since he has been so nice and trouble free thus far.
Still a bit gloomy here in Hoosierville, but we are expexted to have a bright and sunny day on Saturday, which will make a trip to Library Guild the perfect thing to look forward to! I might also have some goodies waiting for me at House of Stitches that will require a quick trip over to LaPorte, and it looks like Misses Charlene and Jane might be up for supervising me and my shenanegins.
(I decided to treat myself for my birthday, so emailed Miss Linda at HOS to see if we could get the whole Coffee Quakers kit and caboodle...chart, linen, threads, and mug. Hopefully it will come in time for me to pick it up, and on the 14th I'm going to wake up, put my coffee in the new mug, sing a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday to myself, and spend the entire day stitching it. Then...if all goes according to plan, I'm going to take myself out to dinner and have a wedge salad and scallops.)
Good Grief...all I need is a little tiara and I can REALLY be Princess High Exhalted of the Whole Entire Universe, can't I?
So that's the report for today, my dearies. Quiet...boring...but peaceful. I figure these days are going to be few and far between in the future, so I might as well enjoy them while I can!
Hope you neck of the woods is exactly what you want it to be today!
Apr 4, 2017
It's no secret that I watch a lot of bad TeeVee.
(What can I say? It's a guilty pleasure and one of the few vices I have left.)
So there I was, minding my own business and watching the premier of the new season of Southern Charm, when I looked up and saw Mrs. Patricia Althchul Her Very Self doing needlepoint!!!
I could watch Patricia Altschul do just about anything, and I confess to having a fantasy in which I don a caftan and visit with her in Charleston and we immediately bond over martinis and art, but to know that she is a STITCHER just put me right over the edge.
(For the record, she was stitching a picture of her little pug, Chauncey.)
(I mean...come on. How could you NOT love this woman with every fiber of your being I ask you?)
As for my own stitching, I made the executive decision to use my Kurdy Biggs pieces as traveling projects for this Saturday's library guild meeting. Those damn envelopes are just too perfectly suited for my stitchy bag not to take advantage of them.
Besides...I have a strange compulsion to do needlepint or canvas work at ANG meetings and cross stitch or beading at EGA meetings and not to mix the two.
(Don't even act like you were surprised at that...yet another in a very long line...of my quirks).
Today is rather grey and blustery, so methinks I will concentrate on some laundry and stitching and not much else. Can you believe that I am STILL a little hung over from last week? I just can't seem to get a pep in my step. Oey...this healthy adulting things is for the birds!
Hope your Tuesday is swell. Do something fun and come tell us all about it!
Apr 3, 2017
I swear, these Mondays keep right on coming, don't they?
I made some good progress on Solitare last night after catching a mistake, frogging, and correcting. I had that bottom elongated Jessica in the wrong place so it was throwing off the border stitches.
(I swear that's what happens when I let my evil twin Charlotte play with my things...she always does something to screw with me and leaves me wondering what the heck else she's been up to.)
(I need to remember to lock her in a closet.)
I got a lot of requests to show the fancy poly envelope. It's kind of hard to photograph...especially when you are as challenged as I am in that particular area, but in the pic above I am showing the front of the envelope with the chart tucked neatly inside the pouch.
Here's what the back of the envelope looks like:
As you can see, the chart, project, threads, and scissors all fit very nicely inside. FYI...this is on 8X10 mini stretcher bars.
Miss Charlene tells me that it's actually OK for me to share a photo of the second day's class. It is called Crescents and Crystals and was even more fun than Solitare!
Miss Kurdy will be offering this at ANG national, so hopefully if you're signed up for it I've whetted your appetite even further.
Here's the back of the fancy envelope...strether bars for this one are 8X12's and also fit very nicely inside:
This is actually a two-sided piece, so you stitch the design twice and then put them back to back. The color of the canvas that comes with the kit is a very pretty blue, but like a dork I had already mounted ecru canvas on the bars, so I just went with that instead. The thread colors are blues and browns, so should show up nicely on ecru. (I had mounted ecru for Solitare also...like a dork..but that is stitched in whites and golds and would not have worked. So I had to live a nightmare and quickly mount the dark green canvas.)
(SpinsterStitcher quirk #587: A phobia of having to mount canvas to stretcher bars in public. When I do it here at home there is a lot of grunting, cursing, and sweating that takes place, and I am keen to keep that little display to myself thankyouverymuch. Besides...I always feel like I can't obsess enough about getting the canvas absolutely perfectly perfectly taped and lined up if anybody is watching me.)
(Don't act all surprised by that latest tidbit, my dears. You all know that I am flying short of a crew and co-pilot most of the time, so let's just chalk it up to being part of my charm and move on, shall we?)
I have absolutley nothing to do today except take a bath and sit in front of the firelplace and stitch. I am feeling a bit poorly and am more worn out than I thought I would be, but fortunately I can just stay in recovery mode a little longer.
So Happy Mondy to one and all...hope your week is off to a fabulous start and that your needles are flying!
Apr 2, 2017
But...not in the way you would think.
Four days of non-stop needlework happiness and good news partying later, and I am in the Happy Chair feeling like the guys in The Hangover.
(Without the Mike Tyson cameo and tiger in the bathroom, thank goodness!)
Wednesday night's dinner...Thursday's doc appointment...Friday's class, dinner, and visit with Miss Becky...Saturday's class...holey schmoley! More activity than I've had since that time I tried to read an entire semester's syllabus in one night.
I came home, got the makeup and bra off, grabbed my sippy cup, and hit the Happy Chair for a three-hour pass out before finally hauling myself to bed. Today, I am bleary eyed and actually sore from what I assume is the tense state of muscles I must have had while trying not to be me for an extended length of time.
A hot soak and some quiet time and silent apologies for any buffoonery, though, and all will soon be well, I'm sure.
So, enough about me and my inability to function as a normal human person in polite company...on to the important stuff!
Our first class taught by Kurdy was her piece entitled "Solitare". You cannot tell this from my craptastic photo, but this is stitched on dark green 18ct mono canvas with white and gold sparkly threads and beads. The finished model is just gorgeous, and I am determined to finish mine in much the same way.
Although the stitches themselves might seem fiddly and complicated, Kurdy walks you through them step by step and even stitches them for you live and on camera so that you can follow along. And in a stroke of real genius, she gives you a piece of plastic practice canvas and brightly colored thread to use as your audition board. Theoretically, you could just sit and practice the stitches on the plastic and still come away with something beautiful.
I had about half of the stitching completed in class and then came home and finished up the last few inner motifs pretty quickly. Now I'm working on the border Jessicas.
Once the stitching is complete, I'll move on to beading...all of which was demonstrated, and is excellently explained on the chart.
Let's face it, kids...we all know that a good chart, patience, and the ability to count is really all it takes to feel like a stitchy rock star, right? I had to remind myself of that when I got frustrated or put something in the wrong place about seven times. Breathe...count...stitch. Simple.
Our Saturday class was a pilot piece, which means it is a project that will be offered in the future and we were the "test" subjects to help proof and practice. I don't think I am supposed to share that one, but I will tell you that it was equally as gorgeous and fun to stitch and will definitely be a project that Iwill finish and enjoy!
So there you have it. The only thing that put this entire experience right over the top for me was the fact that the kits for the classes came complete...in a poly envelope with a pouch on the front. A pouch! Right there on the front of the envelope!
(You all know how much I simply adore a good storage solution, don't you?)
OK, my dearies. Time for my bagel and then a hot bath and a nap. I think today is going to be a recovery and not much else day, but if anybody asks, will you tell them that I'm recovering from an Ironman or something instead of a two day needlework class?
You know...just between us chickens.
Apr 1, 2017
Oh, my goodness, what fun I'm having! If I have any more of it, we're going to seriously have to consider switching me to decaf.
You know how you get an idea in your head about how wonderful something is going to be, and then the thing happens and it turns out even better than you could have imagined?
Well...multiply that by infinity, take it to the end of time, and dip it in glitter and rainbow sprinkles and you've got the picture of just how special yesterday and last night have been.
OK, OK, I know it's not exactly normal to wax rhapsodic about a needlework workshop, but...Kurdy Biggs!
I met the Shepherd's Bush girls and Miss Kathy Reese Her Very Self when I was a newly newbie, and I really didn't "get" how truly special it is to meet a stitchy heroe live and in person. (I mean...you're talking to the person who envisions Laura J. Perin floating around in the sparkly thing with a magic wand in her hand like Glinda in Wizard of Oz.)
(Don't even get me started on what will ever happen if I meet Mr. Tony Minieri...I simply cannot imagine.)
But Kurdy (I call her that now because I'm one if her peeps, don't you know) is funny and warm and lovely and smart and inspiring and kind and loves dogs and is cool and brilliant and everything you would want in a teacher for your first officially sanctioned class.
In another post we'll talk about my classmates and how they continue to stun me senseless with their stitching. Now, though, I need to go get ready for Day Two!
Happy, happy, Saturday my dears! It's April!!
Mar 31, 2017
Mar 30, 2017
WARNING TO BETTY...THIS IS NOT A STITCHY POST!
Psssst...is she gone?
Forgive me if I ramble a bit my dears, but I am just about as excited as I have ever been and feel like it was Christmas morning and my birthday all rolled into one today.
I met with Dr. Goggins, the head of the IU Transplant team, and he has agreed to take me on as a patient! He would like me to lose a little more weight (which I am doing anyway), but he feels that we can move forward quickly and do a transplant in a few months if my sister is a good match!
If she is not a match for some reason, he feels pretty confident that I can still expect a new kidney sooner rather than later. This would mean that I can by-pass dialysis altogether and go directly to transplant and start my life again....as long as I stay the course and try to keep what little function I have limping along.
(No biggie here...plenty of rest, good nutrition, lots of water, and avoid getting sick or anything that will give the beans a hit...like my beloved dietCoke!)
It took every ounce of self-restraint I had not to grab this man and kiss him full on the face, I tell ya. It's been about 37 years of one bad thing after another with me and my silly life, and within five minutes he made up for almost all of it.
The next thing that will happen is tissue typing and some final tests, and then my sister and I will go to Indianapolis for education classes and more appointments with the team.
In the meantime, I am going to put my socks and shoes on and head over to the Grotto on campus. I am 1000% convinced that the prayers and happy thoughts and good wishes that have come my way are what's made all of the difference. I am sooooo blessed.
So that is the very happy report from Chez Spinster on a Thursday night. My bag is packed and I am ready to go to our two day workshop with Kurdy Biggs! I'm so excited I almost can't stand it!
Ciao for now!
Our ANG group is hosting Miss Kurdy Biggs Her Very Self this weekend, so a few of us welcomed her to Hoosierville last night by going out to dinner.
Can I just tell you that I really don't think I could have had a better time if you would have put me in a chocolate cake shop with nothing but a fork, a glass of ice cold milk, and my Jersey boy for company?
Meeting a designer and having dinner with her stitching friends was just about the most wonderul evening this girl could have asked for. I wanted to stand up at one point and holler "I've waited my whole life to find you people" but I got distracted by the pasta in a jar concoction that they were delivering to another table.
(I somehow managed to eat light in preparation for my big meeting with the transplant team today, but I can guarantee you that THIS spinster will be going back for one of THOSE jars. Toot. Sweet.)
But I digress.
Like I said...I was completely overwhelmed with a feeling of belonging and appreciation for how much being a part of this thing of ours has meant to me and done for me, and it occurs to me that I just don't say it enough.
Navigating my life would be impossible and unbearable without you, and your love, prayers, support, encouragement, and project enablement has been a true life line for me. I have not one single solitary clue what I would do without you.
So here's hoping that your Thursday is off to a lovely start and that by day's end your needles will make you happy! Hopefully I'll be back with good news tomorrow...
Mar 29, 2017
So part of the mystery of my recent bout of meltdowns seems to have been solved. In addition to the health, emotional, and other factors causing me to lose my mind, I got my sleeping out of whack.
And this, I can tell you, can put a person right over the edge!
In an effirt to triage, I now take myself to bed at midnight and have the alarm set to try to get me iup at the same time each day. And if I need a nap in the afternoon (which I almost always do), I am trying to limit it to an hour or two rather than the full seven I used to do.
The only problem with this new schedule is that when you start stitching at 11pm because you bobbinated all evening, you don't want to go to bed at midnight.
So you cheat and finally force yourself to put the stitching down at 1am instead.
This adulting thing is for the birds, I tell ya!
Just a little progress, but progress nonetheless!
Mar 28, 2017
I just KNEW that box of DMC would come in handy one day! I recently came across the chart Good in Everything by Rosewood Manor. I was particularly struck by the quote:
And this, our life,
Exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees,
Books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones,
And Good in everythiing.
Talk about hitting something on the head! So I got to thinking about starting it, and after a few minutes pawing through my stash, I came up with all but two of the called for colors and two different pieces of fabric that will work. (I pulled doubles of the floss because that's how I roll...but this does call for 90 different colors). So now all I have to do is put my shoes and socks on and head to the Michael's for a whopping purchase of about a buck sixty and this will be completely kitted up!
(I'm going to stitch this on 28ct, so I needed a piece at least 18 X 27... which is the exact size of the lighter linen. The roll is 20 X 24 and I could probably make it work, but I'll save that for another day.)
Who, I ask you, could possibly be happier than me?!
So that's what I'm doing today. What's happening in your neck of the woods?
Mar 27, 2017
I did stitch over the weekend, and I even managed to tidy up the studio a bit in the process. Thanks to Sir Elton and a vat of Crystal Lite, the chore was not at all a pain in my heiney.
Now if I have the same luck with the rest of the house we'll be in business!
I played with Flowers, Awake a bit, but got very frustrated with not being able to see the holes in the fabric very well. It was dark and gloomy while I was with this one, so I'm hoping that a bright sunny day might give me another go at it.
Yesterday an old favorite came out of the basket. I stitched a few snowflakes and started another motif while binge watching Grace and Frankie.
(I love that show...I really do, and the reunioin of Jedd Bartlett, Debbie Fidderrer, Leona Lansing, and Charlie Skinner just about does me in. Four of my favorite actors from two of my favorite shows. All we need is Meryl and JDM to drop by and I can die a happy spinster.)
(And maybe small cameos by Alec Bladwin and Steve Martin and Jack Nicholson just for a few giggles.)
So now I move on to something new...another Ink Circkes. This one will be a little bigger than the Chalkboard Mandala, and the fact that it's called Bee's Knees makes me want to stitch it in bright summery colors.
So far, I think I'm leaning toward this combination...28ct Firethorn with Wildflowers thread in Painted Desert:
The spool of thread is an idea from Miss Crafty Curator Her Very Self. I was watching her show on the Flosstube, and she explained how 12weight cotton Sulky thread is basically the same as two strands of DMC floss and that it might be a good option since you get soooo much on a spool. She was specifically referencing Death By Cross Stitch as a candidate since that thing eats so much thread, so I thought I might start experimenting a bit.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Speaking of Dearh By Cross Stitch, I am rabidly following Miss Emily's progress at Ecclectic Possessions. Miss Emily is the reason for my interest in Vaceila, and now I think I might chase her down the rabbit hole again with DBCS. But is that creepy and stalkery...even for me? I get so inspired and motivated by watching what you all are doing that I feel like I just want to jump right in and play, but is it impolite?
(What can I say? I was always the kid in the lunchroom that wanted to sit with you and be part of the cool kids' stuff. Once a tubby little nerd...always a tubby little nerd! I'm harmless, really, and if my meds kick in and the moon is just right I won't chatter like a circus monkey.)
OK. Time to think about something for dinner. I had an 8:00 ultrasound on my arm this morning, so my whole day has been...off. Would it be so wrong to have my Vitamin Water and peanut butter bagel for dinner?
(The ultrasound went very well, and according to the surgeon, Buzzy has grown very nicely and will be perfectly ready for dialysis when the time comes. I, however, am determined to avoid dialysis entirely and just go right to the transplant stage. We'll see how the transplant doctor feels about that on Thursday!)
So that's the report for another Monday my dearies. I hope that you are warm and safe and dry in your Happy Chairs with needles flying!
Mar 26, 2017
Sam Toft does it again. I have been head over heels in love with her and the world she created with Doris (the portly Jack Russell) and the Mustard family from the moment I first laid eyes on them. But this, I think, is my absolute favorite thus far.
Brava, Ms. Toft! Brava!
Mar 25, 2017
Instead of stitching last night, I spent about four hours in the Happy Chair drooling over pictures of what I think might become my next rabbit hole. I'm just in the discovery phase...looking at pictures and hunting for websites, but so far this looks like something that might be fun to try on those days when needle and thread are just not blowing my skirt up (which is almost never, but a girl likes to be prepared). Besides...it's paper and a very few simple tools. What's not to love about THAT?!
OK. Now I get it. I've been sitting here trying to figure out why I'm so enamored with this...is it the colors? The shapes? Playing with paper? What the heck is it that is drawing me to this?!
So I went to the Wikipedia and here is what I found: