Jan 29, 2009


So which would you rather have, recovery from a root canal or a splitting sinus migraine?

How about recovery from a root canal AND a splitting sinus migraine? Ugh. Somebody pass me the Tylenol, will you please? Oh, who am I kidding? Screw it. Pass the vodka.

I went to bed last night thinking to myself "Gee, I wonder what everybody complains about. Root canals are no big deal. As a matter of fact, I've never felt better." Somewhere around 4am life changed. And not for the better.

Don't cry for me, Argentina. I will survive. (How the hell did I just manage to incorporate TWO song titles into a blog post, hm?) I am going to plant my fanny in the Happy Chair today and hope that Stewey stays in another room. (He is experiencing some 'technical issues' with gas today and I am about on the floor with the stench of it all. How the hell does something that small manage a stink that big?)

Oh, man is he going to have my head on a stick when he reads this. Just pretend like I didn't say anything, OK? I can't endure another lecture from him about "respecting his boundaries", nor will I sign another bloody confidentiality statement from his "legal team". A girl's gotta' blog what a girl's gotta' blog, after all.

I did start something new last night. Blackbird Designs "Strawberry Garden". I've had this forever, but I always put it back in the basket because of all of the lazy daisy stitching involved. I just never felt confident enough to give them a go, but last night, armed with Novocaine, I went for it. Here's the result:

I'm stitching this on 28ct. Barn Owl linen, which is gorgeous stuff. I'm not sure if they make it anymore, but they should, because it's lovely. Too bad the picture doesn't do it justice. Can I blame the weather? And I'm not sure if I'm actually executing the lazy daisies properly, but I am NOT going to frog 'em. These little bast****s were hard enough for me to figure out the first time.

Uh oh. Better run. Here comes Stewey waving a clipboard. Methinks he's going to point out that I am infringing on his computer time. Just remember, if he calls you about the "information" I shared above.....mum's the word, K?

Jan 28, 2009


So there I was, sitting the endodontist's chair having my very first (and hopefully last) root canal, when it struck me.....

I was fretting over the seemingly spontaneous multiplication of my stitchy stash and wondering if maybe, just maybe, there's a whole lotta' partying going on up there in that studio. You know what I mean....one chart invites another chart over for a drink and the next thing you know there's a new litter of little charts added to the basket?

Rabbits, I tell ya'! Rabbits!

So I've decided that my stash needs BIRTH CONTROL!

(Gasp....eye-popping sounds of horror...sudden intake of breath because you can't believe I just said that out loud.)

This little thought would have been just fine if I would have kept it to myself, but sadly, I did not. I started to giggle, which made the doc think I was having some kind of convulsion, which made him stop doing whatever the hell he was doing and yell in my ear: MISS RICH! ARE YOU OK!? MISS RICH! CAN YOU HEAR ME OK?

So I did what any normal person would do....I pretended that I just needed some air, apologized profusely, cleared my throat, and got on with it. (He didn't need to know that I was sitting there thinking about STITCHING, after all. I mean, how much of a geek can one person BE in public before somebody notices?)

Two extra-strength Tylenol and I'm off to the sleigh bed. I feel pretty good now, but methinks I'm going to have one hell of a headache when this Novocaine wears off!


I did it! I did it! Pat me on the head! Slap a gold star on my forehead! Give me a cookie! Woo Hoo!

I have always been a person who gets distracted by "visual noise". You know what I mean....crap all over the place that needs a home or needs to GO. My stash had enough visual noise to drown out everything else in my head lately, and it was causing me to funkety funk funk.

So I did what any red-blooded courageous stitcher would do...I hitched up my big girl sweatpants, poured a vat of dietCoke into a big-ass glass and headed up to the studio, determined not to come down again until peace reigned in the kingdom once more.

I started with painted canvases. I took every single solitary canvas that I have ever laid eyes on in my entire life and made a pile on the floor. It didn't matter if I had stitched on it or not -- into the pile it went. Then I picked up each one and made a FAST decision: DO I LOVE THIS? If the answer was a fast YES, then it went to the right of me. If it was UM, WELL, I'M NOT SURE, then it went immediately to the left. No rationalizing or sentimentalizing...just ruthless culling. At the end of this pile I hung up the "keeps" with their respective thread bags and put the "nopes" into a big basket:
Next up were the counted canvas charts...same procedure here. (Interestingly enough, NOT ONE Laura J. Perin chart made it into the NOPE pile). These were a little easier, since I keep counted canvas charts in notebooks.

Finally, I moved on to...gasp...brace yourselves....THE DREADED CROSS STITCH baskets, containers, envelopes, books, and project bags that have been reproducing at will for the last several years. Again, every single piece of cross stitch I own (even if it was a WIP) went into the pile (OK, I had to break this up into several piles since there was so much of it), and away I went with the LOVE IT or NOPE decisions. I purposely did this fast...if it didn't hit me as a LOVE right away, then I threw it into NOPE without agonizing over it....brutal. Just brutal.

When the cross stitch pile was done, I put the NOPES into the basket and separated the LOVES into three piles....the WIPS:

Then a basket with projects that are ON DECK:

And finally, the seasonal storage baskets:

So here's my plan.....I'm going to send the NOPE basket over to Aunt Chrissy so she can paw through it and take whatever she wants. Then I'm going to put this basket away until August. In August, when Miss Linda at House of Stitches has her Midwest Stash Exchange, I'm going to rent a table and have at it. If the Stash Exchange doesn't happen for some reason, then I'm putting this basket into storage for ONE YEAR. Next January I will take this basket out and do the LOVE IT/NOPE thing all over again. And, if I don't have anything that I just have to keep, then it's all going to a school or a nursing home for somebody else to enjoy. My theory is that if I don't miss it for a year, then it wasn't meant to be in my stash in the first darn place.

I would bet that you want to a) strangle me in my sleep, b) could care less, or c) are happy that you now have a plan for your very own stash. Please understand that the only reason I am blogging about my adventures is that I am old now and have a TERRIBLE memory. So next year, when I pull the basket out of the closet and say "What the *$&%^?", I can look back at this entry and remember what the heck I'm supposed to do with it.

(Besides, what' s the point of doing something for six hours if you can't get your friends to fawn all over you and tell you how fabulous you are?)

Stewey gave up on the entire exercise after ten minutes and I came downstairs to find him sacked out on the floor:

There was a patch of sunshine here, but methinks a cloud happened by right at the very moment I snapped the pic. Sigh.

So that's it, kids. I am purged, organized, and ready to rock! Now that I have crap put away I am feeling that I deserve a new start. Oh, what will it be? Stay tuned!

Jan 27, 2009


All I wanted was some lousy Chinese food to celebrate the New Year. So Aunt Chrissy and Bosco come over and we call our favorite place and.....wait for it.....THEY ARE CLOSED. ON CHINESE NEW YEAR.

Now I'm not insensitive enough to assume that a Chinese establishment should forego their holiday just to feed me, but this place is owned and operated by a POLISH guy from South Bend. Unless he is of mixed heritage, I am completely unsure as to why he would decide to close on Chinese New Year.

So we re-heated chicken wings and I bitched and moaned and complained until Aunt Chrissy and Bosco left me to my own devices.

I worked on "The Riddle" while cursing the TeeVee (not a darn thing on), and I managed to get a fair amount completed. I'm still really enjoying this, and hope to continue doing so for a few more days.

My intentions of going upstairs to do some massive stash purging/re-organizing was foiled by...ALL OF YOU! I sat down to "just read a few blogs" and four hours later I was still oogling and drooling over all of the wonderful work that you're doing out there in Cyber Stitchy Ville. I am continually amazed and inspired by your work and enthusiasm for this little art form of ours, and I can't help but wonder how I got so lucky as to be invited to sit at the table. Let's just say that y'all ROCK and I am like a little kid each day as I greedily page through all that you've done overnight.

I spent the morning daydreaming about Spring Cleaning. Yup. I did. I am determined to take my house apart room by room this year and get it in some kind of order. Oh, and maybe paint. And re-carpet. Definitely re-carpet (thanks to you-know-who). If he's really good and stops peeing on everything, I might actually get him a new toy or two, despite the seven-foot high pile of toys he has now and doesn't play with. Damn dog.

Stay warm and safe and dry today, kids. It's cloudy and pretty cold here today, so methinks some Happy Chair time with a blanket and some stitching might be necessary. Toodle ooo!

Jan 26, 2009


I would love to tell you that I Spring Cleaned my entire house, did eleventy-seven loads of laundry, paid bills, finished taxes, and solved world peace over the weekend, but alas, I did not. I was "at leisure".

Saturday found us at Villa Macri for a birthday lunch. A lovely time was had by all, and I am particularly struck by the fact that my girlfriends are the most fabulous people on the earth. They're funny and smart and warm and very very interesting. How the hell did I get so lucky to be surrounded with such excellent friends?

I started LHN's "My Needle's Work" on a beautiful 32ct. Vintage Patina linen and am loving it thus far. The color of the linen is a pale green, so I think it will be quite nice with the threads that came in the kit.
I'm wondering if I would be able to find itty bitty teeny tiny little buttons for her apron and blouse. Wouldn't that just be the cat's a**? (I have no idea where that expression came from, but I heard Sharon Stone say it once and thought it spectacular. Wouldn't Mom be so proud? Um. Not.)

Yesterday I was futzing about and decided to start a BAP that I've loved forever....The Drawn Thread's "The Riddle". I am doing this on the linen that is called for...a 32ct. Vintage "Fawn"...also quite pretty. I've never worked with Needlepoint Silks before, so it's quite a treat to do so with this one.

Today is supposed to be the Spinster Stitcher Stitchy Rotation Drawing Day, but I'm procrastinating. I keep thinking that I want to do some canvas work and/or start the Bohemian Paisley canvas that I bought forever ago, but the WIP's keep calling to me. I wonder what would happen if I just put them all in a big bin and forgot about them? A clean sweep....just archive everything that I've got sitting there unfinished and start all over again. Would that be so wrong?

OH! I FORGOT! Today is the start of Chinese New Year! Isn't it the tradition that you are supposed to clean things out and start fresh??!!!! Woo HOO! I declare this the official Spinster Stitcher Chinese New Year Putting Crap Away Day and Starting All Over Again Because I Damn Well Feel Like It! Won't you join me in the celebration?!

Stewey is waving his little paws "hello". He's a bit miffled at me because I made him sit through some ghastly movie called "The Hitman" last night. It was incredibly violent, ridiculously "manly" and testosterone-filled, and all about things getting "blowed up". I couldn't tear my eyes away from it. Stewey, however, wanted to watch "No Reservations" with Catherine Zeta-Jones, so he's making me pay for it today by not getting out of the Happy Chair to get his chores done. Guess he showed me.

Jan 24, 2009


Forgive another post with a non-stitchy topic, but I wanted to share a proud moment with y'all.

When we were kids, growing up in Lima, Ohio, Chrissy and I spent a lot of time with our two cousins, Brian and David. David is the oldest and lives in Columbus, and Brian (who is my age) lives in Phoenix. They are more like brothers to us than they are cousins, and now that we're all grown-ass people, I beam with pride at the fact that they are such fabulous men. My mom loved these two so much...sometimes I think that she would have given her stitching arm to trade us for them, but her little sis, Aunt JoAnn wouldn't have it.

Anywhoose, Brian is an artist specializing in metal sculpture, and I've just received an email from David announcing one of his pieces:

Attached are a couple of pictures of the "Halo" sculpture crafted by Brian Stevenson's company "Hammercraft". Brian worked for the artist - created and welded this piece just outside of the Phoenix Convention Center - weighing in at over 5,000 pounds. It was impressive to see.

Thursday morning, construction crews lifted a 32-foot wide public-art piece called Halo above the Monroe Street entrance to the Phoenix Convention Center's North Building.The $75,000 bronze-colored wreath is intended to look like stylized agave leaves, said Kim Cridler, a former Valley resident who designed the artwork with her husband, William Bennie.The North Building, which is bounded by Washington, Monroe, Third and Fifth streets, will open in January. The North Building is the final phase of the $600 million expansion of the Phoenix Convention Center, said Lexie VanHaren, a spokeswoman for the convention center.The expansion project includes $3.2 million in public art, which was paid for through the city's Percent for Art Program, she said.

Pretty cool, huh? And here's a really weird factoid....in the 1940's, my dad's family owned a restaurant in Phoenix, and I think it was almost on the exact site as this entrance! (Considering how proud Dad was of his nephew, I'd say this is a wonderful coincidence, wouldn't you?)

So thank you for allowing me to brag! I promise that I will post some stitchy pics and progress in my next post. Stewey is outside with the camera at the moment trying to capture the sun sparkling on the snow. (I'll let you know how he does. Apparently the lack of thumbs is causing quite a dilemma.)

Jan 22, 2009


I promised myself that I would try to stick to the subject of stitching today, but alas, that is not to be. I didn't do any stitching last night, but Stewey and I did get a few good games of Doozie Ball in before settling down to watch:

See? I told ya! Humina humina. If I could figure out how to get this image made into a poster, I'd tack it up onto my wall like some kind of boy-crazy teenage girl. Come to think of it, methinks I have become some kind of man-crazy non-teenage woman! Is that so wrong?

I have visions of myself sitting in my chair at a lovely assisted living facility with my lipstick drawn up to my nostrils and my boobs in my shoes, all the while lusting after the "little hotties" that bring me my strained peas. This, of course, will be after I've given up riding my Harley with my 40-something boyfriend named Brad. I wonder if I'll get any stitching done then?

So bear with me, and I promise to get back to it. I'm thinking that it's just something in the air and all will be well again soon.

I mean, come on. How could you NOT?

Jan 21, 2009


Praise Song for the Day

by Elizabeth Alexander
A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other's
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what's on the other side.

I know there's something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,
picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,
praise song for walking forward in that light.

Jan 20, 2009


So I'm watching the Inaugural coverage like I'm going to have to write a book about it, and I just don't know where to look next. I'm fascinated by the proceedings, the pageantry, the solemnity of the occasion, and I'm aware that standing up in the middle of my living room to sing the National Anthem in my pajamas probably looked pretty silly.

I must confess, however, that my very favorite part of the ceremony was Aretha Franklin. The girl can sing, what can I say? And, there was the lovely poem that was read, that (in my humble opinion) boiled down to.....it's all about LOVE. (Which then takes me to the Jonathan Larson song from "Rent" in which he explains that the measure of a man is all about the love he gives and receives in his life. And then I look at our new President standing next to his wife and opening the door for her and holding her hand and then looking at his little girls and I'm a big fat sobby mess all over again.)

Oh, fer cryin' out loud. Will somebody PLEASE get me a hanky!?

Enough of that. I'm sure that the media will gladly fill you in on anything that you missed from the day. Ad nauseum. Let's just say that watching three million people on the Mall was quite a sight to see. (Yes, there were three million. I counted them. So there.) And yes, there was a whole lotta' prayin' goin' on today. A lot.

Given the fact that I am in a FREE STITCHY ROTATION WEEK, you would think that I went crazy on about fifteen new projects. Alas, this was not to be. I spent a good amount of time upstairs playing with my stash (linens and patterns and threads...oh my!) and I kitted up about ten things that looked like something I might want to play with. Instead, I sat down with CCN's "Needlework Shop" and put about ten stitches into it before getting distracted by Chef Gordon Ramsey His Very Self and his show "The F Word". The opening montage' is of Chef walking down a hallway stripping off his suit jacket and shirt before donning his chef's whites.

Um. I need a minute here.

OK. Whew! The man has an effect, what else can I say? I'll try to capture the pic of him that sends me into tizzies when I watch the recording tonight. For now, though, let me just say: HUBBA HUBBA.

So here's what I accomplished:

Stewey wants me to announce that he has FINALLY appointed his Secretary of Nap Time. May we present....Dr. Loofa Dog His Very Self. Dr. Loofa has a long and distinguished career as the facilitator of many Presidential naps and President Stewey looks forward to working with him quite closely in the future. (Especially if there is a spot of sunshine in which to nap.)

Jan 19, 2009


I have it on very good authority that the makers of Kleenex brand tissues, as well as the maker of Wal-Fed nasal decongestant will be announcing a major surge in the trading activity of their stocks. If you've got it, but 'em now, kids. I can guarantee you'll make millions.

I've just finished the last episode of the last season of "The West Wing" and I am spent. Just spent. I am a dehydrated mess of a person, who can't seem to stop the hiccupy tears from spilling all over my pajama top that I've had on since yesterday. Stewey has retreated to the safety of his fort under the bed and I gave up on trying to get the contact lenses back into my head an hour ago.

Wow. What a way to spend 26 straight days of television viewing. There should be some kind of prize for this, don't you think?

Oh, and before I forget...MEMO: David Chase, Creator of The Sopranos. Please call Aaron Sorkin RE: what the last episode of a wildly popular dramatic television series should look like. And if you've finished reading my treatment of the last episode that I fired off to you on the night of the final viewing of all things Tony, would you please return it? I've got a book and/or possible movie deal in the works, and you're clogging up my marketing system. So there.

OK, we're back.

Not one stitch was completed this weekend, but I did manage to dump a 48 ounce tub of diet 7-up all over the Rainbow Bird canvas. It's a little warped and will probably require some re-stretching to get rid of the resulting wonkiness, but it'll live.

So Aunt Chrissy was kind enough to participate in the Spinster Stitcher Weekly Rotation Drawing Extravaganza, and, bless her heart, she pulled a WILDCARD! Woo Hoo! This means that I get to stitch any ol' thing my fingers desire this week! I am just giddy with the prospect of it all. Methinks some serious contemplating will have to take place up in the studio tomorrow after all of the requisite chores are completed for the day. (I am determined to get this house spic and span so that I can sit on my heiney and watch all things Inaugural on Tuesday.) (That's not a political statement or endorsement, by the way....I'm Switzerland when it comes to discussing politics, sex, or religion (in that order), but given the last 154 hours of my television viewing, I'm kinda' interested.)

It's time for me to find my pillow. Night night and sweet dreams! (And yes, I wake Stewey up each morning with a kiss on the nose and the question: "Did you have good sleeps and happy dreams?", so I'm all about the night night around here.)

Jan 16, 2009


TO: Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III, US Airways
FM: The World
RE: Landing a plane on the Hudson River and then searching the cabin TWICE to make sure that all passengers and crew had escaped safely before you.

You rock!

(Will somebody please pass the tissues?)

Seriously, folks. In the midst of everything else I was futzing with, yesterday's news stopped me in my tracks to thank God for this man, the citizens of New York who ran to help, the rescue personnel, The United State Air Force, Purdue University, and whatever angels there were up there who allowed 150+ people to survive.


Jan 15, 2009


Ready for a little stream of consciousness today, kids?

It all started with another *$&#^% sinus migraine yesterday morning. Now I know I keep kvetching about them, but I thought I had finished these in my 20's. Nope. Looks like they are here to stay. At about 4pm I decided to stop stuffing stuff up my nose and to stop popping the Sudafed and Tylenol like m&m's and I hit the sleigh bed for a nap. Miraculously, I awoke with the headache gone and I felt rather clear-headed for the first time in a month. So I have decided to do nothing. Maybe all the medicine was giving me rebound headaches? I mean, I'm not a doctor (I just play one on TeeVee), but I think the cure was worse than the curse.

So I sat down to watch my boyfriend Brian Williams after having a lovely bowl of soup for supper, when what did I see but Maria Bartaromo on the floor of the NYSE. Normally this wouldn't be news, but as Maria reports that the economy is ridiculously bad and that we are all going to end up on the streets and that the economic world is coming to an end, there are people behind her with COCKTAILS AND HORS D'OEUVRES in hand having a cocktail party. A COCKTAIL PARTY. ON THE FLOOR OF THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE IN THE MIDST OF THE WORSE ECONOMIC CLIMATE SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION.

So I did what any normal outraged citizen would do. I picked up the phone and called NBC Universal right there in New York City (after having a fabulous conversation with the directory assistance operator) and expressed my....um....disappointment. I'll be sure to watch tonight to see if Brian Williams comments on the "nut from Indiana who ranted and raved about a cocktail party going on while Rome was burning , etc. etc." but I won't hold my breath.

Then after very careful consideration, I decided that I am taking Crazy Aunt Purl's advice and not participating in the recession. Nope. Not going to read/listen to/discuss or agonize over the state of things. And right after I made this decision I heard on the BBC that a professor at Oxford discovered that the NEWS of the recession was actually making it worse, i.e., people are so scared that they are not spending or saving or investing or innovating. So I'm out, kids. I'm not going to buy an island or a private jet just yet, but I am NOT going to let the bastards get me down. I'm going to be careful and watch what I spend, but I'm going to keep patronizing local businesses and living my life as best I can without the news that the sky is about to fall right on my big fat head. So I guess what I should have REALLY ranted to NBC about was the fact that I wasn't invited to the party. What I did instead was call back and say "Nevermind" on their answering maching.

Then Aunt Chrissy called to tell me that she has just received a needlework catalogue and there are several charts therein that look amazingly like those of our favorite girl designer's work. So today when I received my copy, I saw it too, and got very peeved about this subject in general. Now I'm all for being inspired by someone else's work, and I can imagine that there are only so many themes that one can use when designing needlework. But when your designs are practically identical to a sister designer's and you make no mention of it (or hope that we won't notice), I think this is bad form. See, we respect your copyrights and greatly appreciate the work that goes into creating and publishing new things (which we demand on a regular basis), but it makes me sad that one's "brand" is not protected in a creative art form. So why not come up with new stuff on your own, or at least say that you are offering the piece as an homage' to Designer X. Wouldn't that be a nice thing to do?

I started Season Seven of The West Wing and I'm a little bummed. Most of the episodes are on the campaign trail, and I much prefer to see the inner workings of the White House. I do, however, wholly endorse Jimmy Smits for president. Hubba hubba. What ever happened to Jimmy Smits? Or, for that matter, Benjamin Bratt? Can't a girl get a little love on a cold winter's night? Where are you boys hiding yourselves these days? (And yes, in case you were wondering, I am fully aware that my one-true-love boyfriend Chef Robert Irvine His Very Self is headed back to Dinner Impossible. Woo Hoo! Now where did I put my lipstick?)

Stitching last night was on the background of the birds. I have decided to do a slanted gobelin stitch in #3 perle cotton. When you look at the pic, you will notice that I started on the OUTSIDE of the purple border, which seems kinda nuts. Well, there are actually two reasons for me doing this: a) when finishing needlepoint into a pillow you need to have a couple of rows of extra stitching on the edges and b) I think I'm going to try to couch a purple ribbon for that border and I want it to nestle down into the white perle cotton. Woo hoo, aren't I just getting jiggy with it? Although very boring, I think I will continue to plug away on the background to see if I can finish it up before Friday night. Then, methinks it's time to pull out something new.

OH!!!!! One of my lovely commenteers mentioned that she clicked on my photograph and was able to see my stitching up close and all personal like. WHY DIDN'T I REALIZE THAT THIS WAS EVEN POSSIBLE? If I knew that y'all were able to actually SEE my craptastic stitching, I would never have posted pictures at all. Yikes...its' like having somebody seeing the crumbs under your kitchen table...know what I mean?

That's the rant for today. Thanks for stopping by! Please don't feel too bad that I'm over caffeinated and tilting at windmills...it's actually good for me to get a little hepped up about something every now and then.

Oh, and if I've offended anybody out there, I'm truly sorry. Not my intent at all. If I want to offend you, I'll do it right to your face. I promise. So please don't be mad and come back real soon!

Jan 14, 2009


OK, I admit it. I am not very good at the fine art of compensation. Now for all you non-stitchy types, that means that you have to kinda squish a stitch when the area you're stitching doesn't have enough room for the whole stitch.

That's the technical explanation, don't you know.

Anywhoose, I finished the specialty stitches on all of the birds and think I did it well enough that the stitchy police won't come in and haul me away anytime soon. I think I like the patterns that resulted, and I know that I love the colors (even if that orange is a little "hot").

Now I'm on to the background, which I think I'll do in perle cotton in a very simple stitch. As for the purple border, I'm going to head upstairs today to see if I have a Flair that will do. (Y'all know how I love my Flair!)

It's a tundra here today, with blowing snow and bitterly cold temperatures. I promised myself that I wouldn't bitch about the weather anymore since there are so many people out there who don't have the luxury of a Happy Chair, a warm and fuzzy pup, and lots of stitching to keep them occupied. God help them and watch over them all....

On a completely separate note, I am contemplating a new rotation system for the month of February. Instead of pulling a WIP on Monday and stitching it the whole week, I think I might set aside one or two days a week for WIP's. That way I can go put some stitches in all of these new BAP's that are screaming my name. The alternative for February is to revert back to my normal thing, which is to stitch whatever the heck I want, whenever I want. Hmmm. Which one do you think will win? (Hey, you have to give me credit for making it a whole TWO WEEKS on this silly scheme before getting bored, now, don't you?)

Jan 13, 2009


Now I don't know if you can tell what the hell is in this picture, but if I said "OH DEER!" would you believe me? This is a herd of about 20 deer that were having a snack in the back field at 3am.

What was I doing at 3am you ask? Well, let's just say it involved wanted to put my eye out with a stick. A sinus migraine got the better part of me last night and I was pacing around the house wondering how many Tylenol I could take before putting myself on the kidney donor list.

After the deer incident, I thought to myself "Gee, if they can have a snack at 3am, so can I", so I made a little tiny turkey sandwich. Within 15 minutes my headache was completely gone. Go figure. The resulting heartburn, however, seems to be here to stay. (Heavy and dramatic sigh.)

I made really good progress on the Rainbow Birds! I'm not sure if it was the headache or the fact the Stewey put himself to bed early and wasn't there to inspect, but I didn't stress myself out over this one at all and just had some fun:

I'm sorry that I can't tell you the name of the stitches. I just kinda' made them up as I went along. There is a LOT more variegation in real life, so the stitches almost look like feathers! Who's better than me?

I'll futz around with this some more and than have some fun with the background. I think the fact that I decided to hang this in the laundry room took a lot of the pressure off. Nobody will see it except me, so I won't have to worry about theme, composition, color selection, etc. etc. as if I were entering it into the Mother Of All Stitching Competitions. This one is just for fun. (As they all should be, right?)

Methinks Stewey has a little cold. He's been curled up on his perch sniffing all morning, and I caught him tucking a little handkerchief into the sleeve of his cardigan just like the nuns used to do. I think he's trying to get the sympathy vote today since I told him that if he thinks he's going to avoid peeing outside in a blizzard he's got another thing coming. (Now before you feel sorry for the little fella having to brave the eighteen foot snowdrifts, may I remind you that Mommie ALWAYS shovels a path for him before pushing his little tush out the door?! Forget the fact that I'm usually doing it in pajamas and slippers...this dog doesn't know how good he's got it!)

Jan 12, 2009


I finished Spring Snapperland! Put the last snaps and buttons on it Saturday afternoon. I am just in love with the colors and must confess that I never thought I'd get this sucker finished in my lifetime! I know that the linen color is called "For the Cure", and it's really very pretty in real life. (Sorry about my lousy picture taking skills.)
I futzed around on Sunday kitting up a few new projects and finally settled on CCN's "Needlework Shop". I'm stitching this on 28ct natural pearl linen and am loving every single minute of it. I think I made pretty good progress, considering the fact that I was glued to the TeeVee during most of my stitchy time.
Today is Spinster Stitcher Rotation Drawing Day. After the requisite parade, donning of the tiara, and drum roll, I pulled this:I don't know the name of the artist, but this is a painted canvas. I've pulled some variegated Watercolors for the birds and will look to find some funky little stitches for each. I have visions of this hanging in my laundry room, since I usually try to find colorful and perky designs for in there.

I hope this finds y'all warm and safe and dry. If my sinus migraine has anything to say about it, we are expected to get some pretty nasty weather lather this evening, so bundle up ye Hoosiers and drive carefully!

Jan 9, 2009


OK, so that last block didn't get done last night, but I figure I still have tonight to finish (since technically the week ends on Fridays, right?) I had good intentions of getting it done, and I even stayed up until 3am to do so, but I was experiencing technical difficulties.

Alright....I'll confess. I cried so hard watching The West Wing that I popped my contacts right outta' my head. And then I was so vaclempt that I just couldn't concentrate on anything but the damn TeeVee and it was the wee hours before I even realized it. (Hey, give me a break, will ya'? If Oprah Winfrey Her Very Self can cry her eyelashes off, I figure I can at LEAST cry my contacts out, can't I?)

Now as to this whole West Wing obsession, please keep in mind that there are 22 episodes per season and I am almost done with Season Five. That's over 100 hours of viewing time in about a week and a half. I know, I know, I need to have my head examined.

What's that you say? Moderation? I'm sorry, but I don't know the meaning of the word and you might as well tell me to go pole vault my house than get me to figure out how to stay in the middle of the road. I'm an extreme kind of gal, don't you know, so we'll just have to learn to live with it and love me anyways, K?

Do you suppose that there is some element of OCD/compulsion that makes us com padres in stitching? I mean, how many non-stitchy people do you know that would spend hours upon hours organizing threads. Or charts. Or obsessively collect patterns because they're part of a "series" and (God forbid), you don't have all eleventy-six of them before nightfall? How many times have you stitched in your sleep, or spent those sleepless nights thinking about your next project?

Am I alone here, kids, or will you join me in CrazyTowne? Can I be the Mayor?

(Which reminds me of a funny story....I was the Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio for a day. Yup. Sworn in and everything. I even managed to pass important sewer and waste water treatment legislation and I signed some law about a park somewhere. You can look it up. Really. You can. And, what's even MORE impressive than being the Mayor of Cincinnati for a day was that I was all of 17 years old when I did it.)


OK, so the plan for tonight is to hit the Happy Chair with Spring Snapperland and a diet Coke (maybe a little pizza too) and not get up until it's either a) finished or b) they come to haul me away for a little "rest" at a licensed facility. I'm promising myself not to cry tonight and to get through Season Five (and then maybe start Season Six). Who knows? Maybe I'll actually finish the whole damn thing over the weekend and you won't have to hear about it anymore. Wouldn't that be just ducky?

Stewey sends his love. He had a splendid day with his Aunt Chrissy, who did this for him:

Wasn't that sweet of her to clear a path for him and even uncover some grass for his deposits? (I don't have the heart to tell her that Stewey has decided that going outside to potty isn't on his color wheel. I open the back sliding door and he aims his weinie outside and waters the patio without ever getting his paws wet.) Damn dog. (Stay tuned, because I'm sure Little Lord Fauntleroy will have something to say about me revealing his secrets.)

In the meantime...have a happy weekend and stitch your eyeballs out!

Jan 8, 2009


Gee, I was so proud of myself that I used the "FIX" button on the photo file, but now that I see it, I suppose I should learn how to actually use it. Why can't I take a decent photograph? Why? Oh well, that's why the camera came with an instruction book. Now I just have to remember where I put the damn thing and we'll be cookin' with gas. (Oh, in addition to finding the instruction book I guess I have to READ said instruction book, but that's just picking nits.)

One more block to finish and I can start dancing. I am tickled that this was my first "draw" for the rotation, since I will be able to have a finish this first week of the new year. Woo Hoo! In case you're wondering, Stewey and I make quite a production of the weekly rotation draw. There is the parading of the magic wooden box, the ceremonial shaking of the magic wooden box, a few Stewey sniffs, and then....TA DA! the selection of the week's project. I usually wear my tiara and we have special music and everything. Once the selection is made, we retire to the garden for tea and scones.

I was looking back through my 2008 journal and figured out that I finished a total of 28 projects:

The Drawn Thread: Spot of Winter
Laura J. Perin: Nordic Snowflakes
Dog Mom painted canvas
Lizzy Kate: January
Laura J. Perin: Yankee Pride
La D Da: Bushel and a Peck *
Nancy's Needle: Jeweled Garden
Little House Needleworks: Faith
Laura J. Perin: Flamingos in Flight
Little House Needleworks: Nature's Beauty
Little House Needleworks: Cottage Garden
Folk Art Sewing Roll
La D Da: Wool and Flax
Crewel World: Birthday Wish
Laura J. Perin: Blackwork Mystery
Country Cottage Needleworks: Joyful Summer
Icelandic Motif (free chart from the web)
Little House Needleworks: Garden Pleasures
Laura J. Perin: Falling Leaves
Laura J. Perin: Equilibrium
Little House Needleworks: Reading
Artists' Collection: Halloween scissor case
Painted Pony Designs: Autumn Sampler
Maggie and Co.: Johansen Floral
DebBee's Designs: Diamond Delights III
Laura J. Perin: Grandma's Flower Garden
Laura J. Perin: Jewel Box (in Christmas colors)
Prairie Schooler: By the Chimney
Lizzy Kate: Ho Ho Ho

This is not a very impressive list by some standards, but I'm happy with it. I like the fact that I have cross stitch, canvas work, painted canvas work, and crewel on it. (I'm such a needlework tart.....I do it all). Some of the projects were more fun than others. Some will be sent off for finishing or framing, and some will languish in the FUPPY box for a while longer. All in all, not a bad year's worth of therapy, I would say.

* Oh! I almost forgot! I always loved the saying on La D Da's "Bushel and a Peck" and I loved the way the piece turned out. Well, as many of you know, I spent the last few months of 2008 with Truman Capote. So there I was....reading a collection of his letters, when I found one to his publisher in which he claims authorship of this phrase! Pretty cool huh?

Somebody better call UPS...the package of sunshine I ordered seems to be missing in transit. I'm going to quit my bitching, though, since I see how terrible other areas are doing at the moment. Please stay warm and safe and dry, and if you need a place to crash for a bit, the guest room is ready!

Jan 7, 2009


Two whole days on a rotation and I'm getting sassy. I finished the "Coop" block, but decided that the chickens looked better without eyeballs after all. I'm also a little concerned about their relative size as compared to the person feeding them and the actual coop, but I suppose that it is the result of depth perspective or something else fancy like that.

I started the "Hive" block but didn't make very good progress. I am still watching "The West Wing" and was so teary during several of the episodes that I decided to just put the needle down. I am a boo-hooing mess and can't believe that I would allow a TeeVee show to cause me so much angst. Oh well, we'll chalk it up to hormones and get on with it.

So today's goal is to finish the "Hive" block and maybe get started on the "Cottage" one too. At the rate I'm going I might actually get an extra free day this week! (I know, I have to stop calling it a "free day" since it implies that the other days are work. And we all know that stitching is NOT supposed to be work, don't we?)

Anywhoose.....don't get to impressed with me and my spanky new rotation. I am already itchin' to dump it and go start every un-started project in my studio. I just keep reminding myself of the joy and bliss of a Happy Dance, so I'll see if I can plug along for another week or two.

Could somebody please send the sun over to South Bend/Mishawaka? We seem to have lost it and I don't think Stewey can take much more of the gloomy greys.

Jan 6, 2009



Please don't ask me what the hell I just did (it involved closing my eyes and randomly hitting a lot of keys), but methinks I might have just solved the problem with the layout of this here bloggy type thing.


I know, I know. They're creepy little chickens, considering they don't have any eyeballs and all, but I am more disturbed by the floating hat and feet in on the upper right. These will eventually be attached to a person wearing overalls and carrying a bucket, so I suppose that the chickens won't have to fend for themselves too much longer.

If I stick with this and get it done this week I will have started the whole Spinster Stitcher Rotation thingie with a bang. If I don't, the humiliation will just be too much to bear. Sigh.

Note to Mr. Blogger.com: Could you PLEASE put my stuff back where it belongs? I've tried and tried to do so, but alas, I am considerably blogger-challenged. I just can't stand opening up my blog and not seeing Stewey's laughing face....it just ruins my damn day, K?


Does anybody know how to get my "elements" back up here on the right hand side of the page? They are showing up down at the bottom of the posts, but I want them to go back to where they belong.

Stupid machine.

Jan 5, 2009


So I went upstairs and pulled all (well, not all exactly, but most) of my WIP's. I think there were a total of 29 of them, but I tried not to count and then dwell....

Today's drawing is "Spring Snapperland" by Bent Creek. I'll work on this until Friday, and will then do whatever the h-e-double-toothpicks I want over the weekend. If, by some chance, I actually manage to finish this piece before Friday, I'll pull another WIP.

I think I managed to do this rotation a total of two weeks last year, but those two weeks were remarkably satisfying. I like the idea of getting something done for a change, and God knows my WIP basket could use a good culling. (Is that a word? Hmmm. Must. Get. Dictionary.)

To make life a little more interesting, I also included two "WILDCARD" tags into the Spinster Stitcher Rotation Drawing Box. I figure that if I pull one of these it will feel like a free week of doing whatever I want, and we all know how much we need free weeks of doing whatever I want. Kind of a stitchy vacation, eh?!

Jan 2, 2009


So here it is, January 2nd, and I am still stuck in October of 2008. I had hopes. Lots of them, actually. I was going to create a holiday season so spectacular that Ms. Martha Stewart Her Very Self would call me on the telephone to beg for hints as to how I managed to pull it all off. I would bake and decorate and stitch and clean and organize and solve world peace and make lovely gifts and send perfect cards and do random acts of kindness all over the damn place.

Alas, it was not to be.

I didn't have a holiday season this year. Now I know that fact will shock and awe you, but brace yourselves. I spent Christmas alone, wearing eighteen year old sweatpants and eating a bag of stale Cheetos. There was also a warm diet Coke involved (caffeine free, even). New Year's was slightly more festive: three sips of champagne and then a blinding sinus migrane that will let up eventually. Probably in mid-June. I am hopeful.

Not celebrating this year wasn't a negative thing....it just was. November and December were here before I knew it, and then I found myself sitting in the Happy Chair on December 28th wondering what the hell all the fuss was about (religious meaning and the deeper connections to God and the universe aside, of course). In my 42 years on the planet I never dreamed that forgetting to have the Holidays would be so....well...um...easy. It was easy, I tell ya', and if it weren't for the massive guilt I'd consider forgetting to have Christmas every year.

And then a magic thing happened. I checked emails and glanced at my blog and I was blown back in my chair by the lovely wishes that were coming my way from all over the world. And then there were gifts! A package from Ms. Laura J. Perin! A package from Ms. Mary Smith! A package from Ms. Vonna Pfeiffer! I boo-hooed with the opening of each and was so touched that stitchy sisters would remember me in their holiday wishes. I am, as always, simply gobsmacked by the kindness of "strangers". (Formal thank you note are forthcoming, I promise).

So now I'm knee deep into 2009 and am determined to ENGAGE. I wish I could tell you what this will involve, but I'm pretty sure that there will be treadmilling. And lots of things written in books. And attention-paying to important stuff (like health and money and the state of the union, etc.). I would imagine that there will be broccoli. And a few non-fiction books. And fiber. Lots of things that will make me a much better person and the world a much better place.

As for stitching...which is, after all, the reason why we're here....I'm afraid that I haven't one damn clue as to what I want and/or need to accomplish this year. I've traveled up to the studio twice now to get a clue, but nothing came of either trip. The third time will be the charm. I just feel it in my bones.

So allow me to say that I do indeed hope that you have nothing but wonderful things in this new year. I do indeed hope that you are happy and healthy and well, and that you manage to stay warm and safe and dry all of the time. I hope your cupboards are full, your family is thriving, and your life is exactly what you wish it to be. I hope that you never know sadness or despair and that magic happens for you daily. I also hope that your needles and threads and linens and things make you feel perfectly perfect in every way and that the love of the stitchy universe will fill you with joy.

So pass the Cheetos and let's get on with it, shall we?