Sep 30, 2008


I'm still not fully awake. Not sure if it's the cooler weather coming in, or the fact that my blood pressure is 90/50. Hmmmm. I'm all for being relaxed, but this is ridiculous.

Stewey had bath night on Sunday and I gave him a little spritz of his "Aramuts" cologne. This was a bad thing to do, since all I wanted to do last night was snuggle up with him and watch bad TeeVee. I know I stared at the darn thing for hours, but I couldn't tell you what I watched. Bad sign.

I didn't put one single stitch into one single thing, and I've decided that this has to stop. I don't know why it has to stop, but I sure feel silly sitting here in front of this machine trying to think of witty things to talk about when there's no stitching to show. I suppose I could regale you with tales of my boring little life, but the truth is that there are no tales to tell!

Chrissy in en route for a trip to PetSmart. I figured Stewey could use a little pedicure to go with his spiffy new 'do. News at 11!

Sep 29, 2008


If I knew how to pronounce it, I would say that I'm suffering from a good case of ennui this morning. Bo-ring. Yawn. Ho hum dee dum.
I did a little bit of stitching this weekend, but not much. Friday night was devoted to "Indian Summer" and Saturday found me up in the studio rummaging around in the "Misc" basket looking for something small and fun. Out came "Reading" by LHN.
I'm stitching this on 28 count Natural Pearl linen, and I must say that is DIVINE. Very lovely in the hand and nice to work with. The Crescent Colors are also nice and the overall experience is definitely an A+.
Nothing much is blowing my skirt up today. Kind of a cloudy, gloomy Monday. I'm going to brew a pot and see if I can perk up a little bit before the day is done.

Sep 26, 2008


Warning: What you are about to see is real. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Don't try this at home. No animals were injured in the writing of this blog. If swelling persists, contact your doctor immediately. Drowsiness may occur.
I blame Stewey. Tuesday night resulted in a full two hours and seventeen minutes of sleep because SOMEBODY had to throw toys off the bed and make a general pest of himself until SOMEBODY ELSE had to go into the guest room and slam the door for a little peace and quiet. From the moment we hit the bed until the moment I started banging my head against the wall, my little nine-pound bundle of joy acted like a MANIAC and I feared for my very life. If I didn't know better, I'd say that he had absconded with my car keys and had spent the better part of the evening at the Starbucks counter shooting espressos.

"Mom, Starbucks called. Can I have your credit card to pay my tab?"

Needless to say, Wednesday dawned and I was just not right in the head.
But did I let that stop me? Noooooo. Why, of all nights, would I decide to try FINISHING WORK when I was running on empty and was tired, hot, sweaty, and cranky. Why?

This is the sad result:

Here I am...just an innocent little frame weight.

Now before you start looking at it wondering why I wouldn't be happy with it, take a look at this: Hmmmmm. I know that purple border was there a minute ago.

As God is my witness, I am going to staple Miss Vonna's Finishing Service address onto my forehead and never ever never ever do this type of thing again.

You wanna' know the best part about it? Chrissy and Bosco sat right here and said "Are you SURE you want to try this tonight?" And then she proceeded to show me how to pin everthing carefully and measure and tweak and this and that until I just grabbed it out of her hands and headed for the sewing machine.

So she got out of my way and I heard her mutter "You need a license to drive a car and yet they'll let any idiot on the planet use a sewing machine" as she plopped into the stitchy recliner to watch the disaster unfold. I'm pretty sure that I heard her say "SLOW THE *&$^# DOWN AND TAKE YOUR $*%&# TIME YOU MORON", but I could be mistaken.

So I ended up with a rather flop-sided uneven mess of a thing that will now have to go live on the Island of Misfit Toys until I can gather the humility to admit I have a problem and ask for help.

The Island of Misfit Toys

See, it all started when I watched a documentary on the Sundance Channel about the fashion designer Ralph Rucci. I thought it was fascinating, and althought I wouldn't know haute couture if I fell over it, I noticed that he had a lot of workers STITCHING THINGS. He is well known for his use of HAND EMBROIDERY and BEADS on some of his creations, so I got it into my head that since I'm known to needlepoint and cross stitch every now and then I'M A FULLY TRAINED AND LICENSED PROFESSIONAL AND WHY THE HECK SHOULDN'T I TRY TO CREATE MY VERY OWN HAUTE COUTURE FRAME WEIGHT. Tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk. Who knew that making little tiny x's on a piece of linen and creating the wheel could be so very different?

So I am banned from the sewing machine and Stewey has hidden all of my finishing supplies. I think I saw him emailing his attorney for a restraining order, but since I pay the mortgage on the studio, I'm pretty sure that he can't keep me from it.

"I can't take it anymore. Let me know when it's over."

Sep 23, 2008


I love it when somebody does something to make me feel like all hope is not lost. I love it when I can hang up the telephone and think "Gee, that was great. I'm so glad I called to ask for help."

It all started on Saturday when I opened my mailbox to discover what looked like the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue. I say "what looked like" because I either a) really ticked off my mail carrier or b) a band of gypsies broke into the box during the night and used the magazine for some type of ceremonial dancing ritual that involved the tearing and ripping and the otherwise disrespecting of craft magazines. It was a mess and despite our best efforts, neither Chrissy nor my very self were able to read/enjoy it. At all.

So today I picked up the phone and called the folks at Just Cross Stitch and do you know what they said? "Gosh, Miss Rich, we're so sorry for in the inconvenience. We'll get a new copy out to you."

I don't know why I sat there in stunned silence. I mean, it's a cross stich magazine and not the secret of the lost tomb, so why wouldn't they be willing to send me another copy? I guess I just expected them to say "Sure we can send you another one. Just fork over a credit card and pay for it all over again and we'll get to it when we get to it." But that didn't happen. They were friendly and helpful and willing to help me. Sa-weeet.

So then I got cocky and called Shepherd's Bush. I bought a chart last year called "Autumn Blessings", but I didn't actually open it and look at it until a few days ago. Sadly, two of the silks were missing and I didn't have a little package of buttons. Since I had never opened it, I was pretty sure that I hadn't used either, so I called SB to ask if I could order replacements. Nope. Couldn't order them...they would be happy to replace them for me at no charge because "we might have missed them here on our end, Miss Rich, and we're sorry for your inconvenience." Oh, and did I mention that they are in the middle of their retreat, yet the person on the phone was lovely and helpful and friendly and not at all peeved that I was interrupting something?

Is it just me, or is this type of lovely customer service missing in the world? Here I am, happy dancing all over the place because people just "did their job", yet I feel like they went above and beyond. Sad, or just the new state of affairs?

This reminds me of a most all thing do.

I had moved back to South Bend in 1999 and on my way to work each morning I stopped at my local McDonald's for breakfast. (I'd love to tell you that it was a friut and granola or something else totally healthy, but an Egg McMuffin might have been involved a time or two.) But I digress. So each day I place my order and then pay at the first window and as I drive to the second window, my food bag is thrust out of said window with nary a good morning, screw you, drop dead, or kiss my ass. I let it go for about a month, but then one day in some kind of fit, I grabbed the bag and the hand all at the same time and yelled at the poor kid holding said bag: "I am an angry white woman who just wants a little courtesy with her damn breakfast. Would it KILL you to say something to me once in a while? Would it? Huh huh? Would it? I will NOT be DISRESPECTED, do you understand?!!!" I thought the poor kid was going to have a heart attack and that the breakfast police would come haul me to jail, but I managed to get a "Good morning, Miss. Have a nice day." from that point onward!

So the moral of the story, kids, is to exect the worst and be thrilled to pieces when it doesn't happen.

Sep 22, 2008


I seem to be craving all things orange lately, and it's carrying over into my stitching.
This is the first project that I started on Saturday afternoon. I love love love the's 32ct. Firethorn. Unfortunately, I must have been half-asleep when I pulled the thread, since you can see that it's just not right for this. At all. So I'll frog this eventually and come to my senses and try try try again.
Yesterday I picked up "Indian Summer" from LJP. The center block called for Rainbow Gallery's "Fyre Works" in copper. I've never used it before, but must confess that I was very pleasantly surprised. It was lovely to work with and I love the effect. Hmmmm. Methinks I'm adding metallics to my repertoire!

One of my loyal readers asked what I do with all of my finished projects. Well, um, er.....the truth is that I haven't a clue. I frame some of them. Others I've had made into pillows. I even had a cute little Santa canvas made into a stand-up. But the majority of what I stitch sits in a box labeled "NEEDS TO BE FINISHED". I've never actually given my stitching as a gift since I'm still a rather insecure/shy stitcher, and I suppose that I just love the process of it rather than the end result. Hm. Now you've got me thinking about what to do with all of this stuff.....

Sep 20, 2008


Today is my nephew Puppy Tot's birthday. Bosco is officially three years old today. Although the grand celebration won't take place until tomorrow, he was happy to sport the little birthday hat for a few pics.And then he wasn't.
EDITED TO ADD: Yes, Bosco and Stewey are related. They are cousins. Bosco's mother Twiggy and Stewey's father Angus are brother and sister. So the Spinster Sisters' pups are actual cousins....creepy, or what? Their last name is Willowswamp, because the name of the "farm" where they were born is called the Willowswamp Farm.

Stewey was seemingly nonplussed by the whole affair and kept himself glued to "Something's Gotta' Give" on the DVR thingie. He thinks the house that was used for filming is spectacular and I caught him Mapquesting Sagaponuk on his laptop shortly after the movie started. Aunt Chrissy and I had a great cook out while Notre Dame was getting beat by Michigan State and we whipped up our very first batch of bagels after things had settled down for the night. I must say that for a first try they are fabulous! Methinks this might be a weekend ritual for the winter. I loves me a damn good bagel, and I haven't had one since leaving New Jersey in 1999. Sigh. Don't tell anybody, but we used pre-made pizza dough from the grocer's freezer. We shaped them into balls, poked a hole in the middle, dropped them in boiling water for a few minutes and then baked them at 400 for about a half-hour. Perfection.

Then we decided to ruin somebody's party by calling 9-1-1 to report a fire that looked like it was ready to engulf an entire city block. Turns out it was only somebody having a bonfire in their backyard, but thanks to the Spinster Stitcher, Aunt Chrissy, and the St. Joe County Fire Department, we put the kabosh on that one, I tell ya'. Seriously....when I drove Chrissy and Bosco home we noticed a few of her neighbors out in their driveways looking at something. Upon further inspection, we saw a huge fire and immediately called for help. (OK, so we weren't the only idiots who did...the neighbors claimed they heard an explosion and did the very same thing.) So if you live near Day and Fir Roads in Mishawaka, Indiana and had your big party ruined by some nosy neighbors, it was us. Sorry.

I'm off to the Happy Chair for some stitchy time. I started a new project last night but in the light of day decided that the thread choice was so WRONG WRONG WRONG! So I think I'll set it aside for a few days and pick up something else for a bit.

Happy Saturday, kids!

Sep 19, 2008


It's waaaay past my bedtime, but I wanted to share a pic of the finished "Equilibrium". Such a bittersweet feeling on this one -- I just loved every minute of it and am tickled with the result.
I did make one substitution. One of the patterns called for a DMC#5 perle "trellis" with a smyrna star in the center of Tiara. Well, my Tiara must have been from very very old stock because it just about disintegrated in my hands. So rather than get all fussy over it, I decided to use the Waterlilies silk instead. I love how it turned out.

Sorry about that shadow. I still haven't a clue how to take a decent picture. Sigh.

Sep 17, 2008


It all started innocently enough. Stewey and I were just finishing our after-dinner fruit cups when I asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween this year.

"A Jonas Brother", he replied after peeling a small green grape.

"A what?"

"A Jonas Brother. Mo-ther, don't you know anything at all about the current state of popular culture?"

Apparently, I live in a cave and have only my stitching and wall drawings for company, because I, Miss Coni J. Rich Her Very Self have never heard of or seen whatever it is that constitutes a Jonas Brother.

So I googled them.

Turns out my Puppy Tot is actually an eleven year old girl.

Bosco, as luck would have it, is quite a normal dog and decided that he just wants to be Batman. Or Speed Racer. Or any other character that will result in him being fed an inordinate amount of treats in a short period of time.

Oh well. I couldn't keep him a baby forever. It seems like just yesterday that he was still wearing his Target onesies with the bottom cut off to accommodate his little tail. Now, I'm lucky if he'll even THINK about wearing "kiddie" pajamas.

And yes, in case you're wondering....all of this is a shameless attempt to distract you from the fact that I don't have a stitchy pic to show tonight. I am THIS close to finishing "Equilibrium", but I keep putting it away for the night because I don't want the fun to end! Methinks I am going to either a) do this again in a different colorway or b) take a gander at some of the other charts in this particular collection. Either way I know it looks like I'll just HAVE to break out the stash over the weekend and paw through canvas, charts, and threads. Oh, damn.

I'm off to watch "Martha" and then "Whatever Martha" again. I taped them, but caught a bit of each when I was channel surfing. "Whatever Martha" is a hoot....Martha's daughter and her friend Jennifer watch old Martha segments and then comment on them. I confess to having a girl crush on the lot of them.

Speaking of girl crushes.....I see that my girl Ina will be back with new episodes in October. I swear I have seen every single "Barefoot Contessa" episode at least eighty-eleven times, but I just can't get enough! Where's that damn genie to blink me into the Hamptons with a lovely husband and all the LeCreusert I could use in a day? Why can't I just quit screwing around and just go BE Ina? Why can't I wake up in her guest room to the smells of blueberry scones baking and a lovely cuppa' fresh French Roast on the nightstand beside me? Why? Why?

Sep 16, 2008


So here's the pic of my progress on LJP'S "Equilibrium". This thing is just a blast to stitch, but I have to confess a dirty little secret....

I glued.

Some of the metallics just wouldn't stay put. No matter how hard I tried to tuck 'em, they just kept coming loose and I would discover that they had magically unstitched themselves in the middle of the night.

So I glued 'em to within an inch of their miserable little lives.

Yup. Glue. Now before you go having a heart attack on me, please understand that I did use archival/appropriate/OK for fibers fabric glue and not whatever tube of old Krazy Glue I had hanging around the house. Besides....I'm pretty sure that Stewey will be more concerned with his trust fund than he will be with setting up a stitchy museum upon my demise, so these things don't necessarily need to last into perpetuity now, do they?

So I'm all glued up and everything is as it should be. Only a few more areas to go and I will Happy Dance myself all over the place.
This is the "Stars For a New Millennium" that I was talking about the other day. Upon closer inspection, methinks this one will need to have some SERIOUS consideration as to colors/threads before I go off half-cocked and start stitching. There are twelve blocks....perhaps one a month for 2009? Ooooooh, that would mean that I actually would have to think about stitchy goals and schedules and planning and such. Heavy heavy sigh.

Not sure what will be on the agenda next. I am thinking about some cross stitch so I can give my fingers a rest. In addition to being covered in glue (see above), for some reason they're a little sore from pulling through the canvas. That does happen to me sometimes, and all I need is a few days with some linen and I'm right as rain again.

Happy Tuesday, kids! From my stitchy chair to yours....I send you love and best stitches!

Sep 15, 2008


So I've been trying to load pics of my progress on "Equilibrium" for over two hours now. Blogger is either a) on the fritz or b) I'm a total boob and shouldn't be allowed to use one of these silly machines.

The progress is lovely, I swear. I'm almost finished and must confess that this has been one of my very favorite stitchy projects. Ever. I learned some new techniques, played around with threads I never would have tried on my own (like Treasure Braid Petite...who knew?), and managed to watch quite a bit of TeeVee and not do too much frogging at all. Very very satisfying.

So I will try again tomorrow to post so that you can all Happy Dance along with me. Woo Hoo!

Oh, and PS...yup, we got eleventy-seven inches of rain. Stewey built a little ark and put all of his toys on it for safekeeping, and he even wore his little rain boots without too much fuss. Sigh.

Sep 10, 2008


When we last left our heroine, she was hopping about with her stitchy supplies neatly towed in her 8th necessary, shouting "Look at me! Look at me!".

Today we find her in a more sedate state, but nonetheless off her nut.

Here's a few pics of my stitchy journal. Now, by journal, I mean the scrapbook that I keep of finished projects. When I've put the last stitch in place and pulled the item off its q-snaps or stretcher bars, I run right upstairs into the studio and take a pic and fill out a journal page. Then, on a rainy day, I "scrapbook" the pic to make it all purty-like and I put it into a journal.

This, of course, is completely separate from the stitchy journal that is actually a date book. In this stitchy journal, I write down what I did that day and maybe what I watched while stitching, or maybe some ridiculously profound thought that came to me while organizing something for the eighty-eleventh time.

Then there's THIS journal, which tells y'all how crazy I really am. You see, for me it's all about the organizing and the journaling, and the bloggy reading goodness that occupies at least eighteen hours of my day. The actual stitching is just a bonus. It's all of the other crazy cracker-ass crap that I do to get READY for stitching that convinces me that I should be put on a barge and floated off the coast of a large, yet friendly country.

"Equilibrium" is progressing nicely and I am loving every minute of it. Who knew that composite stitches would be my thing? I've been holding on to Tony Minieri's "Stars For a New Millenium" for months now, but maybe it's time to dust it off and give it a try? From what I can tell, Mr. Tony His Very Self is just nutty for those composite stitches.

And, for all of you movie buffs out there (waving "hi" to Edgar and Kendra), the theme of this piece is stars from Hollywood's Golden Age. The stars/block are linked by a movie in which they both starred. So there's Marilyn Monrow, Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, and many others! Cool, huh? If I can get thread pulled and some blank canvas purchased, I might actually jump into this one, although I promised myself that I would use it as a BAP for 2009. Oh well, we'll see.

EDITED TO ADD: Marilyn MonroW! Tee Hee! Now before you think me a complete nincompoop, please observe that the W key is right smack dab next to the E key on the typing machine. Stubby do the math.

ALSO EDITED TO ADD: Ruth, the magnet thingies that I use on my projects are....wait for it....magnets! You can buy small round or square magnets at your LNS. Usually they're pretty plain, so I tart mine up with a dab of bead glue and a pretty gem of some sort or another. Then, if I'm feeling really sassy, I'll match my tarted up magnet to my scisssor fob!

Back to the laundry room! I left the piles neatly in place for the laundry elves to come along last night, but the little bastards didn't show up. Sigh. I'd make Stewey do it, but he's all thumbs when it comes to folding the sheets, and he leaves a fine patina of white downey fur on everything he touches, so alas, I am left to do it myself. If I'm not back in a week or so, please call the authorities.

Sep 8, 2008


Several years ago, Chrissy and I attended a Stitchers' Day Out hosted by House of Stitches. The instructress for the event was the lovely Miss Sharon Henderson, Her Very Self. Sharon spent a few minutes at the beginning of the session talking about things one should carry in one's Stitcher's Necessary. I, of course, ran right out and bought every single item on the list and then carried the damn thing around with me like a handbag for about six months.

I've gone through several editions of my necessary, but the basic insides stay the same. It's the outside that changes according to my mood or what catches my eye at Michael's. The current version of the Spinster Stitcher's Stitching Necessary (version 8.0) is a little wooden box that was on sale for $7. Woo Hoo!

Now when I attend retreats or classes, I usually dump all of this stuff into a little bigger container and add a few more essentials, like cash, gum, breath mints, a small first aid kit, and some white cotton socks. Oh, and my traveling light. at home, this is all of the crap that lives on my $8 Target TeeVee tray next to my Happy Chair: A mesh bag with floss bags (hmmm, bags inside of bags), Thimble It stick-on thimbles, "My Favorite Stitches" stitchbook, some strips of felt for under Q-snaps.

Wet wipes, magnifying glasses, a glass cleaning cloth, and a little screwdriver to fix screws on said glasses.

Big scissors, a calculator, a mini stapler, small post-it pad, pencils, pens, and highlighters.

A hair tie, nail files, cuticle clippers (because I'm determined not to chew them anymore....disgusting habit), ChapStick, a tube of Vaseline, and some vitamin C drops.

A small tape measure, boo boo stick, seam ripper, laying tool, magnetized ruler, see through magnet chart marker thing, thread rings, Thread Heaven, Thread Thingies, tweezers, a star de-tailor, a needle tugger, magnets, counting pins, straight pins, needle threaders, scissor fob, ball of #12 perle cotton in ecru, a Sticher's Friend, Stitcher's Lotion, Liquid Stitch, Fray Check, and needles from 20-28 in separate marked containers.

A glass vase that only cost $1 at the Dollar Store holds all of my scissors and the blue thing next to it is The Bucket, which holds all of my orts.
When traveling, The Bucket folds flat, or I use a little plastic container that Chrissy gave me to shut me up when we went on our last excursion.

That's about it. There is, of course about a million different ways you could customize this for your very self. I know that I used to carry doodle cloths of linen and canvas for practice stitches, and I'm sure that I usually always throw Q-snaps into the bag too when I'm heading out into the wild blue yonder.

If you're headed someplace all official-like, then you'll definitely need a name tag, and I know that a lot of stitchers carry address labels so that they can swap info easily.

Whew! You'd think that with all of the crap I have in this box I'd get a lot more stitching done now, wouldn't you? Well, I did start Laura J. Perin's "Equilibrium" on Thursday night and I am really loving every minute of it. This was the very first LJP chart I purchased way back when, and at the time I changed all of the colors to reds. I am, though, stitching in all of the suggested threads this time and have to say that the blues are just gorgeous. I just can't figure out why I am constantly drawn toward blue in my stitching, yet I don't have one spec of it anywhere in my house. At all.
That's it for tonight, kids! Thanks for indulging my "look at me!" needs today. Right back at 'cha tomorrow morning, I promise!

Sep 5, 2008


So who knew I was so gd passive aggressive?

This is a public apology to my little sister, Chrissy. During our evening phone call last night, she informed me that my post about her "stung a little bit". Naturally, I went on the defensive and got all bitchy-like right back at her and said "Gee, I was just trying to do something nice".

So today I went back and read what I wrote.

Uh. Duh. You're right, Chrissy. It was rather "sting-y". You aren't high stress, high anxiety, high maintenance, or the strung out witchy pooh that I made you seem like. I am sorry.

So I got to thinking about why I would write such an awful thing and I couldn't help but get fixated on the whole doughnuts thing. Last weekend I noticed that we have a new doughnut shop in town that is supposed to be a great place for good old fashioned homemade doughnuts. So I got it in my head that it would be wonderful to have one of these good old fashioned homemade doughnuts with my Saturday morning coffee and newspaper. So I dropped about a billion hints Chrissy's way hoping that she would show up on Saturday morning with a dozen or so of these good old fashioned homemade doughnuts and she pretty much told me to go pound sand. Rather than get my big fat white hairy butt up and go get them myself, I pouted all weekend that I didn't get any doughnuts. So I suppose that my "Gee, look at what a wonderful stitcher my little sis" entry REALLY was all about was the fact that I was miffed over not being waited on hand and freakin' foot like the very Princess of the Universe that I am.

Now before you start to feel sorry for me that my little sister wouldn't bring me doughnuts and I am reduced to writing a snarky blog post about it, please let me tell you that when I get up in the morning, SOMEBODY has driven her little self over to my house to retrieve my newspaper out of the mailbox and deliver it right to my garage entry door so that I don't have to walk down the driveway to do so. SOMEBODY has been doing this for almost a year now, and every time I open that damn door and that paper is there I thank God for the little SOMEBODY that cares about me enough to make life a little easier for me. (Besides....she is scared to death that I will either a) fall down on said driveway and die a slow death until the UPS man finds me or b) that I'll get arrested for indecent exposure due to the state of my nightwear (see previous post). Either way, it's a gesture that does more for me than she can possibly imagine, and I am very grateful to her.

So Chrissy.....I love you and am sorry that I hurt your feelings. Please forgive me and know that there's nothing more important to me on this earth than your safety, health, and happiness.

P.S. I'd like sprinkles or a cream filled long john, please.

Sep 4, 2008


I'd love to show you stitching. Really. I would. But there is NONE to show since I had to undergo/endure a sleep study last night. I am living proof that you can, in fact, fail at almost anything if you try hard enough.

I arrived at the appointed time of 7:30 pm with pillows and stitching bag in hand, as well as the semi-new pajamas that are semi-decent enough for public consumption. (Am I the only person on the planet that pulls scraps of material out of the dryer that should go immediately into the rag bin, but decides that they're "good enough to sleep in"?) If my house ever catches on fire, I'll be the one clutching a raincoat around me trying to hide the 15-year old t-shirt and bike shorts ensemble that I used to wear when working out. And since it's been at LEAST 15 years since I've worked out, you can imagine the state of my night wear.

Chrissy told me that I would just sit there and watch movies and stitch until it was time to get hooked up for bed. Nope. Not THIS sleep lab. Within 10 minutes of putting my fanny in the green pleather recliner, I was scrubbed, pasted, and attached to wires and probes and sensors. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't move, and, most tragically, I couldn't stitch.

So I sat in the pleather recliner and pouted while flipping through the six channels on the TeeVee set. I will confess that three of the channels were broadcasting the RNC convention, so I did manage to catch about 3/4 of Sara Palin's speech. (Am I the only person who thinks she looks like an Entertainment Tonight correspondent?) Now if you're looking for me to start talking politics, sorry, kids. I would rather show you pics from my latest colonoscopy than get into any discussion of politcs, religion, sex, drugs, rock 'n roll, or the general state of affairs at my local Target store. I'm just not gonna' do it, but thanks for asking.

At 11:45 ON THE DOT, my new BFF Joanne came in to tell me it was time for bed. So I did a pitiful attempt at my nightly ablutions and headed back into the bedroom for what I assumed would be a pleasant 10 or 11 hours of shut-eye.

Here's a summary:

J: OK, Coni, into bed so I can hook you up. That's a good girl now. Just let me attach all of this stuff to the monitors and you'll be on your way.
ME: OK. I'm usually a really good patient for almost anything you have to do to me, so I'm sure this will be easy.
J: All hooked up now, dear. Now just make sure to sleep on your back and I'll come in and wake you up at six.
ME: My back? I'm sorry, but did you say sleep on my back?
J: Yes, you have to so that we can get a good test.
ME: Joanne, you've got a better shot at watching me pole vault this building than you do of even getting me onto my back, let alone getting me to sleep that way. I don't DO back.
J: Well, you're going to have to try. Now close your eyes and go to sleep.
ME: But I can't! I can't lay on my back! And what's that red light blinking at me on the ceiling?
J: That's the camera.
ME: You mean you want me to try to sleep on my back and then you're going to WATCH me try to sleep on my back!!!!
J: Yes, now go to sleep.
J: You're not a turtle, dear. Now go to sleep.

I won't bore you with the next six hours because a) they involved a lot of swearing and finger pointing (hey, if they were going to watch me lay there helplessly I figured I'd put at least ONE finger to good use) and b) I am so ashamed that I wasn't able to do a basic human function for six lousy hours that I need to go hit myself in the head with a rock.

Needless to say, it was a LOOOOOOOONG night and I swear, as God is my witness, I will never go near a sleep lab again so long as I live, so help me God, as I live and breathe, etc. etc. etc.

So that's why there's no stitchy pics today, and that's why Stewey and I are headed for the sleigh bed for the next week or so to do some much-needed commiserating that Mommie had to go through such an awful trauma and nobody wants to give her any sympathy whatsoever. Sniff sniff. Sigh.

A lovely stitchy friend reader pointed out that I have not talked about my necessary. So sorry, Kathy. I do promise that my next post will be all about it.

So, goodnight, Cleveland. If I'm not back in a week or so, please send a Starbucks and my stitchy bag. I'm in for the duration.

Sep 3, 2008


Isn't this fabulous?!! This is one of Chrissy's Happy Dances....Laura J. Perin's "Rambling Rose". Chrissy used Watercolors in "Cherry Cordial" and that wonderful chocolaty brown DMC #3371. I confess that this was the inspiration for my blackwork piece done in the chocolate and pink.

Now for bigger confessions.....Since June 6th (my very first post), I have definitely been bogarting all of the stitchy attention in our little family. The truth of the matter is that I feel very very bad about this, especially since it is all Chrissy's doing that I am even a stitcher in the first damn place.

Chrissy started stitching in the womb, I think. I know that when she was a little girl, she would watch mom needlepoint and that one of her very first projects was a little rabbit with the letter "R" on it. I think it was pink. I don't remember other things that Chrissy might have stitched when she was little, because I was too busy hogging all of the attention in the universe as the BIG SISTER WHO MUST BE WORSHIPED ACCORDINGLY.

When she was about 17 or so (at least I'm hoping I get these ages right), she worked for a doctor who happened to be a spinal surgeon. When he was in surgery, his office staff had enough free time that they could craft and sew and stitch. So Chrissy learned to use a sewing machine (something I still can't do), craft, and stitch. She picked up a few kits with DMC floss and Aida and away she went.

Her very favorite place in the whole world was a shop called "In Stitches" in Phoenix. I'm pretty sure that Chrissy spent almost every moment of her free time there, as well as a good portion of every paycheck. She was living with Dad at the time, so I would bet that there were a lot of nights when she be-bopped over to the store after work.

When she moved into an apartment, I happened to be in Phoenix, and Dad and I went to "help". At one point, Dad pulled me aside and said "CJ, I'm so worried about your sister. I think she has a drug problem. When she lived with me, she would come home with bags and go straight to her room, and she wouldn't come out for days at a time. Now there are all of these boxes, and I can't figure out what's in them. She never has any money, she's in her room all the time, and sometimes she disappears for hours and I have no idea where's she's gone." Just as I was peeking into one of the "boxes", Chrissy came up and said "Dad, all of that stuff is my stitching. I'm not drinking it, I'm not smoking it, I'm not sitting on a bar stool next to it, and I'm not sleeping with it." When she walked away, I thought Dad was going to keel over from relief. He never said a word again about her stitching or her stash. (Oh, yeah, BTW, the drinking, smoking, barstooling, and sleeping with it all came later, but that's another story for another day.)

So over the years, my sister developed into quite a needlewoman. Her first passion is counted cross stitch, and she would probably give her right arm for a trip to Shepard's Bush. Someday I hope I can take her there. She loves Shepard's Bush. Always has. Always will. She also does counted canvas work (as is evidenced by the LJP above), needlepoint, and hardanger. Well...not hardanger. She hated hardanger and swore at me for a month because I made her take a class with me.

I think the thing that most fascinates me about my sister and he stitching is that it is just not something I would think she would enjoy. My sister can I say this nicely?....just not the most PATIENT person in the world. She's pretty high energy, high stress, high maintenance, and high anxiety most of the time. She's not one to just sit quietly and enjoy quiet. Or peace. Or calm. She's either yelling at the dog or stressing over the state of her aluminum siding, or bitching about something that happened at work. But you put a needle in her hand and she shuts right up and becomes a Zen Freakin' Master.

Like I said, I feel like a boob that I get all of the stitchy attention. I have adopted stitching as a passion now too, but I really feel like I came in and plopped myself right in the middle of her parade. I'm like the big ugly-ass float that you see in the Rose Parade every year and you wonder why the hell they let that thing in there and then you find out that the designer was the sister of the committee chairperson.

I'm trying to convince her to start a blog, I really am. She doesn't seem to be too keen on the idea, but I am assuming that a letter-writing campaign will do the trick. Or maybe a telethon. Either way, please stay tuned for more on my Stitchy Sister, since I think her stuff really needs to be shared with the universe.

As for me.....I made very very little progress on Witchy Wash last night. I don't know what my problem is with this, but every single stinkin' strand of Weeks Dye Works I've picked up in the last 48 hours has twisted and knotted beyond belief. Hmmmm. Maybe I need to switch to something else for a bit. Must be the moon."I'm so exhausted from all of this convention coverage. Why can't I be a simpleton like my mother and watch re-runs of "Sex and the City" instead?"

Sep 1, 2008


Woo Hoo for me! The first Happy Dance of the Fall season happened at 11:30 last night, which means I am a whole 30 minutes ahead of schedule. That has NEVER happened to me in my life, so I'd like to take a moment to relish in the delight of actually getting something finished ahead of time.....ahhhhhh.....there. All done now.

This is Laura J. Perin's "Falling Leaves" from her American Quilt series. I used different threads than the chart called for, but the result is pretty good, doncha' think? For the variegated, I used Needle Necessities floss. Everything else is DMC/Anchor #5 perle cotton. I especially like the tone-on-tone border in ecru that looks like repeating leaves. I just love tone-on-tone design.

This is a new addition to the Fall basket. Isn't she cute? Her name is Lily Frog and she is a painted canvas/three dimensional from Sew Much Fun.This is so totally NOT my usual style that I just had to have it. I believe that I was influenced by by Stewey's pet toad, Teddy. (I'm serious....since early Spring, we've have a cute little toad living in the front porch plants. One evening I was looking for Stewey and there he was, looking out the front side-light window with his little nose pressed against the glass. On the other side of the glass was a little toad. We named him Teddy and Stewey has to chat with him at least ten times a day or it's pout city around here.)

Speaking of Stewey.....he's unavailable for comment at the moment. Ever since he won the damn Doozie Ball World Championships he's been impossible. I tried to talk with him this morning and he put his little paw up and said "Sorry, you'll have to talk to my agent. I'm not doing press at this time." Hummppphhh. Damn dog outscores me by one lousy little stinkin' point and you'd think he had invented the game. (Actually, he did. But that's another story.)

For those of you who are just dying to know....a Doozie ball is basically a tennis ball on steroids. It measures about eight inches in diameter and is covered in the same yellow fuzzy stuff as a normal tennis ball.

What can I say? Stewey LOVES his balls.

Off to the Happy Chair! Aunt Chrissy and Bosco are coming over for some Labor Day stitching, movie watching, and then steaks on the grill! Woo Hoo!