Jun 30, 2008


Wow. I was all over the place with stitching this weekend. I suppose it didn't help that I discovered BLENDED GREEN TEA LEMONADE at my local Starbucks. We pulled up to the drive-through and I asked for something "cool and invigorating" and the handsome boy at the window furthered my addiction. Bliss.

Saturday was a finishing day for us. Chrissy made beautiful pin keeps out of several of her Shepard's Bush Monthly Musings. Shepard's Bush is her favorite designer and someday we will go to the store and just stand there holding hands in awe. I would post pics, but I should probably get permission from her first.

As for me, I made four thingies! I pin-keeped two charts: "Faith" and "Cottage Garden", re-fixed my Glory scissor keep with new cording and ribbon from JoAnns, and made an "I don't know what" with the salvaged parts from my Friday mess. Fortunately I stopped while I was ahead and called it a night.

I also have TWO new starts for the weekend. "Joyful Summer" by CCN and "Garden Pleasures" by LHN. Really strange for me to start two new things, but I'm enjoying both.

So today is Monday and methinks I should get back into rotation. I have almost 30 open WIP's and I know I would feel better if I worked on one this week. I did add all of the new starts to the list, so there is the possibility I might pick one of them.....drum roll please.......and the pick is: BIG RED SUNFLOWER!

This is a painted canvas that Chrissy gifted me with several Christmases ago. I am using lovely threads for this one and it will be really pretty when finished. It's a biggie...20" X 20", so I probably won't be doing a lot of toting this one around.

Well, that's a long enough post for the day! Thanks for stopping by!

Jun 28, 2008


I have a head like a rock. I think it's my Greek and Italian heritage that makes me "rather stubborn", but I'd rather not question it. It's managed to work for me thus far, so I suppose I should probably just go with it.

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.

It was about 3:00, and I heard her stomp upstairs to the studio muttering something about not letting some silly-ass idea get the best of her. What followed was a string of swear words that I don't think exist in nature. I don't know what any of them mean, but I can tell you they were definitely NOT for prime time TV. I don't think she's been this mad since I peed down the register in the family room and then decided that the drapes needed watering too. Wow. I could almost see the vein throbbing in her neck as I listened to the crashing and slamming that was coming from above.

When the coast was clear, I snapped a few pics for the file. I'm building a case with the ASPCA that this environment is just not amenable to my continued growth as a puppy and that the old lady really needs to be locked up.

Anywhoose, I hope you can make sense of this mess. I certainly can't.

I do know that she stitched on "Garden Girl" from CCN last night. I tried to tell her that she was supposed to be using two strands of floss, but she didn't listen to me until she had to frog the girl out two times. I can't even repeat what she called the poor little thing. Here's more evidence for the file:
She was so mad that she didn't give the poor thing any hair! Or a face! Or arms!
I think I'm going to grab my travel bag and hit the road for Aunt Chrissy's tonight. Even though Mom said we were having pizza and pop for dinner, I don't think I should push her too far....she might blow.
Uh oh...looks like she's coming to! If she catches me on the 'puter again I'm gonna' be grounded FOR SURE! Gotta' go!

Jun 26, 2008


I have long suspected that stitchers who do their own finishing are either a) complete and total geniuses or b) certifiably insane.

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.


When I sit in the Happy Chair to stitch each evening, Stewey lays beside me and gets his beauty sleep. Charles Schultz had it right....happiness is definitely a warm puppy. Have I mentioned that Stewey has soft downy fur? It's like sitting next to a little mink coat.
The lattice work on "Primrose Path" is complete, and I started to add the smyrna crosses at the intersections. I have to admit that this piece has a lot more BLING than I expected, but I'm still loving it anyway. I suppose that when I'm 99 and have my lipstick drawn up to my nostrils I'll think this is too tame, but hey, a diva's gotta' start someplace, right?
I'm thinking about picking up a cross stitch today. I'm not bored with "Primrose" just yet, but I seem to have a hankering to have some linen in my hand. And since I'm not exactly the type to go get dressed in a lovely linen dress and sip tea on the veranda, I might as well grab a 28 or 32 count and go to town.
We're having a case of the uggies here today....very warm and muggy. So methinks it would be wise to grab a cold bevvie, hit the Happy Chair and just settle in for the duration. I should do laundry, but I think I'll do my part for the environment and save and gas, water, and electricity.
Ciao for now!

Jun 24, 2008


It just gets better and better! My mouth waters as I stitch this because of the colors and textures. The outside lattice work is Watercolors and the inside lattice work is in Waterlilies. Just scrumptious to work with on both accounts, and the difference in weight is a wonderful effect.

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


Oh, I get so overwhelmed by all of your lovely comments! Thank you, and keep 'em coming! They are definitely what the doctor ordered for this poor little wretched soul....

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


On Saturday afternoon, Chrissy's work colleague Debra came for a visit with her little daughter Moriah. Moriah is eleven years old and suffers from some very very serious health problems that make it hard for her to get around easily. She is the most beautiful and smart little girl, and Chrissy wanted to teach her to stitch since Moriah loves to do things with her hands.

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


I managed to get the inner foundation border completed. Now it's on to the outer portion. I am loving this piece so much that I decided to forego my rotation drawing this week to stay with this for a while. (I told you the rules were flexible!)
Sparkle Rays and I are learning to be friends. We're not as close as I am to my beloved Flair, but I think I can add this to my list of metallics that I will definitely try again. This laying, though, can be a real pain in the neck when you don't work with a proper stand and/or sit in good stitching posture. I do have a wonderful stand, but I was just too damn lazy to go up to the studio to get it last night. Besides...why make it easy when you can complain about it the next day, right?
Thanks for stopping by!

Jun 17, 2008


Today I attended a beginner's crewel class at my local library. I must say that I am pleasantly surprised at my success at this, but more so with my attitude.

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


So there we were....having a stitchy Sunday afternoon up in the studio when I thought my house was going to get up and run away. At first I thought it was just a heavy rain, but Chrissy yelled "THAT'S HAIL!" and I thought she was nuts.

We stood at the window and watched helplessly as hail rained down on her car parked in my driveway. They said it was "golf-ball" sized, but if those were golf balls I'm a petite blond triathlete. You could have dribbled these things.

Chrissy's car suffered dents, but her poor house took the worst of it. Her siding looked like somebody took pot-shots at it with a shotgun, and her chimney also looked like it wasn't too happy. Most of the neighbors in her subdivision will be standing in their yards with insurance adjusters today I would guess.

Here in HappyVille, Stewey's little tomato plants took the worst of it. He's very sad today....moping about and sniffing over the fact that Mommie Dearest couldn't have had the foresight to go out and rescue his little pots from the patio. I did some propping up this morning and told him they would recover, but the guilt will last far longer than the clean up effort.

"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


My new selection for last night was Laura J. Perin's "Primrose Path". Laura J. Perin is one of my very favorite designers, and I think I have done about twenty of her charts. I watched the creation of this newest design on her blog, so I couldn't wait to get my paws on it.

Unfortunately, my DVR had other ideas for my stitchy progress last night, since I decided to watch a documentary on the writer/historian David McCullough. I've not yet read anything by this man, but within five minutes of listening to him, I was hooked. So, naturally, I spent the next forty-five minutes going through my bookshelves to see if I had anything that he's written. Turns out I have "1776", which I will start soon.

So my stitching was done rather half-a**ed, I'm sorry to say. In the morning light, I have decided to change the canvas for this to a marbled effect rather than just plain canvas. I'm working with marbled canvas on another Laura J. Perin, "Lily of the Valley Collage", so methinks it would be a good idea to try it on this one too. Here's a pic of what that looks like:

This will be one of the first times I'm going to use the metallics that the pattern calls for. I am not very metallic-proficient, so keep your fingers crossed for me. I usually switch anything metallic on canvas to Rainbow Gallery's Flair. I love Flair. It's my metallic and I'm not afraid to use it. I think it is pretty and subtle. Although I'm all about the fancy, I'm just not a gold lame' kind of gal when it comes to my stitching.

I keep promising myself to make a stitch book of metallics. I have the canvas pieces cut and several different kinds of metallics to try, but I just haven't made myself sit down and do it. The idea is to take a 3" X 5" piece of canvas and "doodle" a few stitches on it with the various threads to see what the effect will be. As usual with me, I'm on the launch pad with my helmet on and seat belt fastened, but I just can't seem to hit the "go" button. Oey.

Jun 11, 2008


Mommy pays for the Puppy Chow. Now get off the computer, hang your smoking jacket up, and put that damn pipe away! You know you're not allowed to smoke in the house!


Ladies and Gentlemen: It's been brought to my attention that my mother insists on including embarrassing stories and pictures of me on her new blog, Spinster Stitcher. While I was wholly supportive of her endeavor to spread her creative wings a bit, I simply cannot abide by the sheer lack of decency that is being perpetuated on me and my reputation with this drivel. My publicist and legal team are in conference now and should have a press release shortly about how we will handle this breech of maternal trust. For now, please disregard that ridiculous photo that is so shamefully being used on the header of this blog. Those are my baby teeth, for crying out loud. How undignified. As for me and my relationship with my mo-ther, please know that I will refrain from any midnight peeing and will conduct myself like the perfect little gentleman than I am.

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.


Hi Kids! In the interest of being polite and answering some of the questions I've received via comments, I hereby post the following:

My bookshelves come from a company called Shelf Expressions. You can access them online. Tell 'em I sent ya! My shelves are actually combinations of short, medium, and talls. They are completely adjustable and are quite perfect for my space:

I read/lurked on almost 300 blogs for a year before I started this here blog and before I went "public". Thanks to Vonna/The Twisted Stitcher and Anna/Stitch Bitch for input and publicity!

In the interest of paying that input/publicity forward, please visit: http://www.sunflowercross.blogspot.com/ for yet another lovely Hoosier stitchy goddess!

Yes, methinks a get together would be simply fabulous! At the moment, I am involved in planning the House of Stitches Midwest Stash Exchange on August 16th, so perhaps we could all meet there?

If you'd like a stitchy room like mine, all you need is a label maker and some containers. Then watch Helen Buttigieg on "NEAT" and organize to your heart's content! Actually, I found that putting "like with like" and then figuring out how I use the stuff before purchasing the containers worked best.

Craft Night Gone Awry is a pretty regular occurrence here at Chez Spinster Studio. Usually the result of watching too much HGTV and standing in the Michael's aisles saying "Well, heck, I can do that."

Mishawaka Fire Department visit was courtesy of my friend Cheryl about ten years ago. She was a candle consultant at the time and asked me to host a party. Synopsis: old apartment, old fireplace with tricky flue, rooms full of smoke, twelve ladies out on the front lawn with martini glasses in hand to greet the nineteen trucks, pumpers, and squad cars that responded to my "it's not really an emergency, per se" call. The best part of the evening was when the Mishawaka Fire Chief said "Lady, I've seen a lot of ways for women to meet men, but this one takes the cake."

Moms with children...yes! I had one too! And all walks are welcome here.


Oh drat and phooey. I suppose I had better delete "photographer" from the list of things I aspire to be.....please forgive these lousy pics. I promise I will either a) learn how to use this little $&#^* or b) ask Chrissy to borrow her camera right after I sweep this one off the driveway.

Finished "Folk Art Sewing Roll" last night. My sheep are a bit "zaftig", but I suppose sheep can be that way if they want to. There are also some lovely little white stars in the sky, but atmospheric conditions prevent them from being seen clearly, i.e., this bloody camera will surely be the death of me. I also fiddled around with the block containing my initials. I wasn't sure that I liked the flower or the "07" but I came to my senses when I realized that they were stitched 1/1 on 32ct. linen.

A few minor housekeeping details:
Chrissy, I'm sorry, but you're Chrissy. I named you and you are going to stay that way. You can be Crys all you want in the real world, but you're Chrissy to me and always will be. Now for the rest of you out there....please note that my little sister is indeed a very competent, very grow-ass woman of 37 and she has registered an objection to being called "Chrissy". She would prefer me to call her Crys, but, alas, I do not wish to do so. She should just be happy I'm not referring to her as Chrissy Lou and get over it, hmmmm?
Stewey is throwing a big pout today because I screwed up his coif royally. Last night was bath night and I apparently didn't get him properly rinsed off. So today he's sporting a lovely little soap-induced cowlick that has him fretting in front of the mirror all day. He refused to take off his pajamas and told me he might as well carry on with the entire schlumpadink ensemble. Geeze, no need to get huffy about it.
So now I have to decide if I should pick another item from the WIP rotation or start something new. Let me see......oh, who am I kidding? Something new will always win! Stay tuned for the final selection!

Jun 10, 2008


Here is last night's stitchy progress on "Folk Art Sewing Roll". I bet you're wondering why I didn't stitch the top row of light green grass, right? Well, I did stitch said row of light green grass, but I did it in cross stitch instead of satin stitch and had to rip it all out. That darn Richard Gere.
Note to self: You can't stitch and lust after famous Hollywood movie stars at the same time.
P.S. Could this picture BE any more blurry? Arrrrggggghhhhh.


Wow. I feel like the friggin' Prom Queen today! (Oh, so sorry about the friggin'....Sopranos carry over.) I just cannot believe what a wonderful response I've had to starting this here little act of random creativity.

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


My first important order of business is a big fat teary THANK YOU for the wonderfully warm welcome to BlogVille and the accompanying lovely comments. I think Stewey and I will be very happy here.

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


I would love to share some stitchy pics, but we are having what can only be described as "Auntie Em" weather at the moment -- high winds, heavy rain, tornado sirens blaring away. Yikes! I suppose I had better head for the closet and grab the pups rather than blog, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

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


Last week I watched the entire Sopranos series from beginning to end. I finished it late Thursday (very heavy sigh), so I had to figure out something to do for Friday night. So I hauled out the girls and started watching Sex and The City from the beginning while stitching a bit on two projects.

The first thing I worked on (for about an hour, I think) was CCN "Garden Girl". I'm working this 2/2 on Platinum Cashel linen. You'll see me working on that linen a lot, since I seem to have developed a new fascination with it and Crescent Colors.

The second piece that I pulled from my WIP basket was Bent Creek's "Spring Snapperland". I've already done winter and summer, so next up was spring. I'm stitching this 2/2 on the prettiest pink linen, which I think is called "For the Cure". Unfortunately, I didn't keep the little tag, or I'd tell you for sure what it is. All I know is that the colors are pretty darn springy, if I do say so myself, and I have Chrissy to thank for changing them up for me.

I spent four and a half hours doing paperwork and bills today (ugh), so I've invited Chrissy over for pizza and some Studio Stitching with Sissy time. Hopefully the boys will behave and we can just kick back and enjoy.

The boys? Stewey is my little guy. Just turned three on May 13. Chrissy's little one is Bosco, and he will be three in September. They are actual cousins, since Bosco's mother Twiggy and Stewey's father Angus were brother and sister. Their last name is Willowswamp, since that is where they came from. I promise more about them and their exploits later, and if I'm really on the ball I'll get some pics posted.

Ciao bella!


Rather than bore you with pics of every single thing I've ever stitched (in my whole entire life), I am going to attempt a web album. Stay tuned.
I do have, however, two nice little happy dances to share, since I finally decided to get my journal updated. I photograph every piece I finish and then "scrapbook" it with details about the threads I used, the linen, etc.
Now before you go thinking that I truly am the Stitchy Spinster Goddess, you should probably know that the only reason for doing this is that I have about a billion dollars worth of scrapbook crap up here (in Chez Spinster Studio) that I have no use for. I'm not kidding. I don't have a darn thing to scrapbook. So, in the interest of NOT getting frustrated with my prior crazy-a** idea to buy the billion dollars worth of scrapbook stuff, I decided to use it. So there.
The little guy is CCN "Cottage Garden". I stitched it 2/2 on a lovely piece of "African Daisy" linen. The larger piece if LHN "Nature's Beauty", and I stitched this on 2/2 on Platinum Cashel. Yummy.

Jun 6, 2008


Well....climb aboard the crazy train, folks. After spending a year happily lurking on every stitching blog, I decided it was time to jump into the fray. This first post will be all about me, since I'm sure you've been perched on the edge of your chair just waiting for this very important information.

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!


This is where the magic happens! Once upon a time this was an unfinished "bonus room"/attic over the garage. Thanks to my sister Chrissy and a wonderful contractor named Ray, we now have a perfect oasis for all things crafty.

The center table is about ten feet long and about four feet wide. Chrissy's space is on the left and mine is on the right. Most of the items you see on the built-ins are for stitching, but we also have beading, painting, and scrapbooks projects too!

A few things that I do to keep organized: Cross stitch charts are in baskets and are labeled according to season. (I'm a seasonal stitcher, don't you know.) Needlepoint canvases are hanging on skirt hangers on a shower rod that I installed under the built-in on my side. I keep DMC floss on bobbins in labeled boxes and every other thread/fiber is in a labeled drawer. I even got a little crazy and made alphabet tags to separate my Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Art threads.

Yes, kids, it is true. I have a Brother P-Touch and I'm not afraid to use it.
The final picture is of my WIP basket. Everything that has any stitching on it whatsoever is mounted on q-snaps or stretcher bars and is in this basket. The materials for the project (i.e., chart, threads, etc.) are in mesh project bags.
In my next post, I'll show you the Spinster Happy Chair, which is where I actually do most of my stitching when Chrissy isn't here.
Hope you've enjoyed the little tour....come again real soon!