Jun 30, 2008
Jun 28, 2008
So here is the finished product.....at last. It's all I wanted. A nice little scissor keep to keep my scissors.
An amazing thing happened to me today. Did you know there is a place called JOANN'S? Did you know that they have stuff to make scissor keeps and other what-nots? Did you know that they have aisles upon aisles of rick rack and ribbon and cording?
Did ya'? Huh huh? Did ya'?
Oh man oh manochevitz......I went a little nuts, but methinks I am now fully stocked on all of the crap that will be necessary for yet another craft night gone awry.
So THANK YOU from my pitiful little heart for all of your love and encouragement. It was that good juju that got me through....Y'ALL ROCK!
Oh and P.S.....Chrissy is here and we are going to have an OFFICIAL STITCHER SPINSTER SISTERS STITCHING FINISHING NIGHT!!! News at 11!
Jun 27, 2008
My mom can't come to her blog right now. She's slumped over in the Happy Chair with a cold cloth on her head. I have no idea what happened exactly, but I think she tried to make a scissor keep again.
Jun 26, 2008
It all started innocently enough. I was happily stitching away when I noticed that all of my scissors are nekkid. Nope. Not a thing on them. Not a fob or a keep or a wee little biscornu in sight.
So I got all patriotic-like and decided to stitch a little something for my Gingher Freedoms (or maybe they're Glorys, I can't remember.)
But I digress.
I used a borrowed Shepard's Bush chart from Chrissy and came up with a little stitchy piece that seemed to be the perfect size for what I envisioned.
That's always the fatal flaw, isn't it? What one envisions and what one is able to execute are often not remotely on the same planet.
Considering the infamous GLUE GUN INCIDENT of 2006 I suppose I was already taking my life into my hands by even attempting such a thing, but I got it into my head that I could make a lovely little scissor keep.
I give you exhibit A:
The thing on the left is supposed to be scissor keep. I say supposed to be, because, as you can plainly see, there isn't a keep on the damn thing. As a matter of fact, the only thing this KEEP is KEEPING is a lot of fabric glue and about eighteen feet of really crappy twisted perle cotton that is trying desperately to be cording.
But did I give up, go downstairs, regain my senses and forget about this little disaster? Absolutely not. In the spirit of all that is stitchy and holy, I proceeded to make this:
"Well, gosh Coni", you say behind your horrified expression. "It's not THAT bad."
Oh yeah? Well, take a look at the back of it that I couldn't even photograph clearly because it was SO crappy the the camera simply refused to focus on it:
Yup, you guessed it. More glue and even more facacta cording. Only this time, just to make it interesting, I decided to put some pins in it to make it really REALLY pretty.
Oh. My. God. The tragedy that was this finishing session will follow me forever. The stench of failure is so heavy in the air that I am simply gasping for breath and wishing for the sweet release of unconsciousness.
Never, never, never again.
Jun 24, 2008
I don't feel at all guilty for abandoning my rotation this week. This piece had me at hello and I can hardly wait to see it completed!
Now for a big huge APOLOGY to the folks at Heart In Hand. I'm so sorry, but I mentioned that the birds in my slideshow were designed by Bent Creek. They were not. They are from Heart In Hand and I sincerely regret the error.
I also wanted to take a moment to beg forgiveness for not labeling all of the finished projects in my slide show and giving proper credit to the designers. This is definitely a project that is underway and I will get it completed as soon as I can.
Stewey decided to go out and tend to his little garden today, so I better go see what's keeping him. He's still really miffed about the tomato plants, so I suppose I should get out there and help him before he throws more guilt my way.
Thanks for stopping by!
Jun 23, 2008
1) PRIMROSE PATH: I have to say that this piece is as fun to work on as any I've done. It's kept me on my toes and is very satisfying as you move from place to place. Methinks I will do more of the "open-work" pieces in Laura's catalogue.
2) CYN: Yes, I have worked with clamps on a table before and I loved them. The birds are from Bent Creek and they were a wonderful way to learn for me. I think I stitched all of them in a row when I was first starting cross stitch. And, yes...good eye! The "Santa Moon" is indeed Pat Thode. I picked up two of her canvases over at City Stitcher in Chicago but had never tried them. Once I did, though, I fell in love and now hope to do more!
3) CHRISSY: Well, this could be a post in itself, but suffice it to say that the reason she is so special to me is that she's all I have left. Both Mom and Dad are gone and Chrissy and I cling together as the remaining members of the little Rich family. She is also special to me because I named her. When Mom was pregnant they told her that she wouldn't carry the baby to term because of a tumor on the kidney, so she and Dad didn't really say anything to me about having a new baby. Mom kept finding all of my toys hidden throughout the house and when she asked me about it I said "God told me I was going to have a baby sister named Chrissy and that I should get ready for her." Well, aside from the crazy shock at having a little maniac for a first-born, Mom figured this might be a good sign. So she went on to have a healthy and happy pregnancy and the resulting success was my fifth birthday present, Christina Louise. (I'm not kidding....I was sitting at the table waiting for my cake when they came in with Chrissy just home from the hospital.) (For the record, I wanted a red wagon.)
4) GUEST ROOM: Yes, you are all welcome to come stay for a visit and paw through the studio. Unfortunately, my guest room is pretty small and only has a queen sized bed. To date, I have received at least 38 requests for a visit, so unless y'all intend to get real friendly-like, you might want to take a number and pace yourselves.
5) DONNA: Your "Amethyst Dreams" in shades of black, white, and grey makes me want to run upstairs and colorize everything I have in this scheme! Simply stunning....I can't wait to see more of it!
Well, that's it for now, kids. I do so appreciate your kind reviews. Please come again real soon!
I got a lot more done on "Primrose Path" this weekend than I expected. The center primroses are all satin stitch in DMC floss and the laying went very smoothly this time. It took me a while to do so, but I finally found a comfortable position in the Happy Chair to accommodate my floor stand.
The marbled pink canvas has turned out to be a good choice, since the colors of the threads really show nicely against it. I think this one might be really pretty in my dining room when it's finished.
Now comes the hard decision about either a) continuing with this or b) making my rotation selection for the upcoming week. Think I'll sleep on it.
Jun 22, 2008
I sat in the studio and choked back tears as I watched my sister tenderly teach Moriah the basics of counted cross stitch. Chrissy had gone on a little shopping trip and had loaded up a pink box with some stitchy tools, tons of floss and aida cloth, and several cool kits. Moriah chose the "Girls Rule" pattern and watched patiently as Chrissy showed her how to thread a needle, find the center of the fabric, and then make her first stitches.
Moriah peered over the top of her glasses, said "OK, I understand", and started to stitch the most perfect little x's. She was so careful and meticulous about each movement. When she made a mistake, she calmly pulled the stitch out and started again. Within minutes, she had it figured out and decided to start on the kit. I think it was about a half hour later when she proudly showed the first petals of the flower that she had copied from the chart. Just perfect.
I'm in love with this little girl. She is the bravest, most gentle soul I think I have seen in quite a while. She sat with us and learned something new that will hopefully see her through long hours of waiting in doctors' offices or those "boring days at Grandmas". Her concentration was amazing to watch and an inspiration to us.
I am also so very proud of my little sis. I tease her all the time because she's the least patient person I know and she tends more toward "bitchy" most days than kind. But the Chrissy I saw on Saturday amazed and awed me. She took her passion for stitching and gave that gift to a little girl who will enjoy it tremendously. She was very patient and gentle and so concerned that we make it a nice day for Moriah, even if it meant having to step out of her comfort zone.
Jun 19, 2008
Jun 17, 2008
You see, I've been fretting over learning crewel for a long time and I had myself worked into a snit that I wouldn't be able to do this at all and then I'd look like a boob.
When did stitching become a competitive sport for me?
So I took a few minutes on the drive to the library to talk myself off the ledge and decided that it was a beautiful Tuesday, and that if nothing else, I was going to go be surrounded by books and other stitchers and just HAVE FUN. What a concept. Having FUN while doing a hobby instead of trying to figure out how I could a) make a living doing it, b) change the world with it, or c) convince the universe that I was the best at it.
For cryin' out loud.....this is supposed to be something that gives me the freedom to learn and to enjoy and to flex my creative muscles! So I walked into that library determined to just let it all go and sit my heiney in a chair and let it come in.
I did it! I really did it! I didn't care that my stitches weren't PERFECT or that it took me fifteen minutes to learn how to thread a needle the way the instructor wanted me to. I didn't agonize over the practice thread color or the quality of the cotton fabric or whether or not my scissors and fob matched the project perfectly.
I sat in a chair and I stitched and I talked and I laughed and I learned that sometimes it's perfectly OK to be new at something and not have one damn clue about what you're doing every single moment of your miserable little life.
I can now do the stem stitch and the split stitch without breaking a sweat and/or needing medication to do so.
La la la la la la la.
Jun 16, 2008
"My mother is an incompetent. I could have thrived with a smarter owner."
I made a little bit of progress on "Primrose Path" last night while watching a Bravo show called "Flipping Out". Methinks I have a new Tuesday night obsession coming.
I know the progress is rather pitiful, but I did have to carefully lay all of the yellow sparkly bits. I'm using RG's Sparkle Rays and wanted it all to look nice. I'm not a very proficient/fast lay-er, so this really was a lot to get done for on evening's effort.
I know, I know, I said I would use the Ribbon Floss that Laura J. Perin calls for, but I just couldn't do it. Baby steps, OK? I mean, I had the Flair picked out and everything and decided to try the Sparkle Rays and I just have to get a little credit for that, right?
Jun 13, 2008
One of the things I love about this wacky art form of ours is that you can spend an entire evening doing nothing at all and still feel completely satisfied (artistically speaking, of course).
I changed the canvas color for "Primrose Path" to marbleized pink and then decided to just "play" with some other Laura J. Perin pieces that I've collected. (I told you I love her....I wasn't kidding.)
This one is called "Indian Summer". I loved it the minute I saw it and REALLY loved it when I saw it in progress at a stitchy retreat. Wow. The color combinations are very rich and yummy, and the orange/pumpkin canvas is going to be nice to work with.
This was one of the first Laura J. Perin designs that I ever purchased. It's called "Equilibrium". I had originally colorized this one in reds, but decided last night to pull all of the original colors. Again, wow. I find it weird that I don't have one speck of blue in my house but I am constantly drawn to it as a theme color in my stitching. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something?
Yes, I have all of the requisite metallics here, but I am still fretting a bit about using them. I like Flair, damn it. But...if I am ever going to spread my wings then I should probably just TRY these before I complain about them, right? Kinda' like brussel sprouts. (Which, by the way, I love sauteed in a little olive oil, with shredded parm and red pepper flakes!)
I did some more flitting about and managed to look at the clock at 2am. Definitely had "attention issues", since I spent the night going "Oh look! Canvases! Oh look! Charts for Halloween! Oh look! I can put this on that and that on this and... oh look! Stewey slept on the chair while I plopped down on the floor with canvases, charts, threads, and linen and surrounded myself in "ahhhhhhhhhh".
Didn't put on single stitch in anything at all but went to bed with visions of projects dancing in my head. Bliss.
Jun 12, 2008
Jun 11, 2008
I do hope that you will continue to enjoy her blog and the entries regarding her handcrafts. As for any further information that she chooses to share with you about me...well, we'll just have to see about that in court.
Jun 10, 2008
So many things to answer/talk about, that I feel I must pace myself. Firstly, please forgive/understand if I blunder my way through things for a bit. I am rather computer-challenged, so I might miss a thing or two along the way. I also have no clue about the proper etiquette of it all, so until I find the Rule Book, I'm flying without a clue. But I am determined and not afraid to try, so buckle your seatbelts and grab a cocktail.
My studio is open to one and all. I'm serious. Come for a visit and stay in the guest room and I'll make muffins and damn good coffee. You're welcome any time at all. (Hmmmmm. Wonder if I'll make Oprah. "Girl invites world to home and ends up making muffins for a living.")
Stewey could/should have his very own blog. For a few years, I wrote email stories all about him and sent them to the poor, unsuspecting members of my address book. I do intend to share some of these stories with you too, but I'm hoping I can concentrate on stitchy things here initially. Suffice it to say that if he were a person, he'd be Nathan Lane in "The Birdcage".
Two other things that hit me in the head this morning....guilt and spinsterhood.
As for spinsterhood....I know that some folks are really put off by that word. I personally think it is a fabulous word and am here to re-define it. A Spinster is a woman of "a certain age" who has never been married and doesn't have children. Spinsters are funny and sexy and smart and usually live in happy/cozy homes. Spinsters are great girlfriends, because they'll let you bitch about your husband and kids but won't remind you about it later, and they'll be there for all of the happy occasions in your life. They travel and read and write and usually have pets. Sometimes cats. Sometimes dogs or birds or hamsters. Spinsters know how to fix stuff around the house, or they know how to call somebody who does. They plant flowers and mow the grass and drink martinis and occasionally have great love affairs. They don't envy your life and they would be sad if you envied theirs. They need friendship and looking in on every now and then and watering. Spinsters can be lonely or not, but they don't always come with a rumpled cardigan and sensible shoes. So if you're a gal about town who hasn't had the white dress or a labor and delivery room experience, shout it from the rooftops and get on with it. Life's too short.
Now guilt is another matter entirely. As it relates to stitching, I simply refuse to let it in. I was standing in the grocery store with Chrissy and a woman gave me the hairy eyeball because I was selecting the $11 a pound Starbucks beans. So I looked at Chrissy and said (fist thrust in the air): "I refuse to lay in my coffin and wish I would have stitched less or drank lousy coffee." So there. I start new projects with impunity, I lust over new silks and linens like Carrie Bradshaw over Manolos. I might lose an entire weekend to the studio doing nothing but looking at charts and color. Stitching Blogs are my porn and stitch shops are my Mecca. I save my pennies and savor every new purchase and my Christmas and Birthday lists are full of things stitchy related. It is my sanity, my refuge, and my saving grace. It's lowered my blood pressure, kept me out of jail, and decorated my home with wonderful things of which I am very proud. So go on out and spend that grocery money on good coffee (or tea, if that's your thing) and ENJOY your passion.
Jun 9, 2008
Last night's stitchy pic is of a little progress on CCN "Garden Girl". Methinks I am going to do some pretty little beads or french knots on the insides of the flowers instead of a single stitch. I'm all about the fancy, don't you know.
I've added a pic of Stewey to the right. It's my favorite of him, since it captures him laughing his little fool head off. It was taken a few years ago so that I could adequately document his "special feature" for all of my friends and family that doubted my tales of his overbite. Yup....all we need to do is slap some black horned-rimmed glasses on him and he would be the Nutty Professor.
Today is Spinster Stitcher Stitchy Rotation drawing! Drumroll, please.....
It's "Folk Art Sewing Roll"! Ahhh, an oldie but goodie that has just a wee bit left to finish. I happily supply the current state of affairs:
The finish-finishing, of course, will be placed in the hands of capable professionals. I'm not allowed to attempt sewing, glue-gunning, or creative crafting in any way, shape, or form this month. I am only allowed one "Craft Night Gone Awry" each quarter, and I'm all done until July. (This little tidbit comes to you from the files of the Mishawaka Police and Fire Departments, respectively.)
Thanks again for your comments!
Jun 8, 2008
Chrissy dropped Bosco off for babysitting today while she attends the Parade of Homes in Elkhart. Her company has one of the homes that's featured, so she gets to play tour guide and show folks all of the ins and outs. I get to cuddle with my furry nephew and try to convince him that the roof isn't going to fall in from the storm. Stewey is normally the one with more delicate sensibilities and Bosco is our little Joe Pesci, so I am somewhat surprised that he is as skittish as he is today.
Today is "free" stitching for me. Last October, I started a rather half-baked attempt at a rotation, and I am trying to adhere to the rules. I pulled every single WIP that I have and wrote the title on a little card. Each Monday night I have a "drawing" whereby I select the project that I will work on that week. If I get the project done I draw a new card. If I don't get the project done, I put it back in the pile for the next week. Weekends are "free" and I can stitch anything I want, including new stuff. Since I don't do any type of "obligation" stitching or "gift" stitching, this system seems to help me work through some stash and finish some nice projects in the process. Of course, all of this completely flies out the window about every ten minutes when I decide that I want to do something completely different. So much for being disciplined. Sigh.
Jun 7, 2008
Jun 6, 2008
My name is Coni and I am the Spinster Stitcher. Now, for those of you easily offended by the term "Spinster", relax. It is my intention to reclaim the title and make Spinster Stitching the most fabulous thing on the planet.
I'm 42 (ahem). Never married, no children (hence, the Spinster). I live in Mishawaka, Indiana with my dog Stewey. Stewey is a nine-pound bundle of love dressed up in the form of a shorty Jack Russell terrier. More about him later.
I've been stitching since 2003 because my sister told me I was going to. She had moved in with me for a bit and decided that staring at the walls each evening was not her idea of fun in the big city. So we stitched. And stitched. And stitched.
In 2005 I converted the bonus room over my garage into a bona fide Spinster Stitching Studio. Pictures will follow, but I must warn you that my alternate name was The Anal Retentive Stitcher. You see, it's all about the organizing, and I do confess to spending countless hours up there tidying to my heart's content.
I do it all. Cross stitch, needlepoint, canvas work, and hardanger. I'm taking a crewel class in two weeks, so my attempt at becoming the veritible Spinster Stitchy Goddess will surely follow.
Here's what I can promise you, my faithful readers: 1) I'll try to keep the swearing to a happy minimum. 2) I won't go on and on and on about my Stewey, who just happens to be the love of my life and I would marry him in a heartbeat if only he could wear pants. 3) My stitchy pics will be blurry, out of focus, generally terrible in terms of lighting, but somehow "hopeful".
So buckle your seatbelts, kids. We're off!