Apr 30, 2009


You know, a few days ago I wondered if I would be able to finish this piece before the weekend. Woo Hoo! Looks like I just might accomplish that feat, God willin' and the creek don't rise! All that's left to stitch are the sheep, the sun, and a few smart little bees. Oh, how I've loved this one. Makes me want to run right out and plant a garden.

Don't worry. I'll come to my senses sooner or later. Besides, all of my garden implements have been taken away to Aunt Chrissy's house for safekeeping so that I don't try to do anything without supervision. She caught me digging a four-foot deep trench around the patio one time in preparation for the mulch guy, and ever since she's not allowed me anywhere near the backyard. (I was, however, very proud of myself for wearing the proper garden ensemble....complete with Martha Stewart garden hat, clogs, and gloves especially for the occasion. Didn't help though...I was still an idiot out there.)

This subject of supervision comes up a lot in my blogs, and I suppose it is with good reason. Although I am certainly a grown-ass woman of 43, I can get myself into predicaments that would make Chocolate Factory Lucy and Ethel very proud. Like the time I electrocuted myself with a screwdriver and a ceiling fan, or the time I set myself on fire. (Oh, by the way....polar fleece: flammable. Very very flammable.) So I don't get toooo upset when Aunt Chrissy drives me past assisted living facilities and says "Isn't this a pretty place?", or when she staples a Life Alert device to my forehead. I can be a handful.

Stewey has yet to make an appearance today. He had a late night of general futzing about and throwing his toys off the bed. He thinks this is completely hilarious, especially since SOMEBODY has to then haul her big fat butt out from under the covers to retrieve said toy or he throws a little fit. I'm not kidding. Stomps around on top of the blanket and throws himself right into a tizzy. If you don't believe me, ask Aunt Chrissy. She's witnessed the charm that is my Stewey.

Ina is calling me to the kitchen. We have a lovely salmon salad on the menu today, accompanied by a freshly brewed pitcher of blackberry iced tea. Now if I could just get the REAL Ina here toting some genuine New York bagels, I'd be in Bliss Ville, USA.

Have a fabulous day and do something naughty. (I don't know what makes me say that other than the fact that I am feeling the need to break a rule or two today. Hmmmm. Let's see. I think I have a few pieces of Easter chocolate left. Maybe I could eat them in the bathtub with a glass of champagne?)

Oh wait. That's not a rule...that's just a Thursday! Woo Hoo!

Apr 28, 2009


So here's the conversation that Aunt Chrissy and I just had on the telephone....

ME: Did you see the news story about the 7-4-7 that's used for Air Force One and the F-16 flying around Manhattan?

AC: Yeah, I kinda' heard a little bit about it, but I wasn't sure what the whole story was.

ME: It was a photo shoot.

AC: A what?

ME: A photo shoot. They like to have pictures of the plane in front of US landmarks.

AC: You're kidding, me, right?

ME: Nope.

AC: Let me get this straight. They flew a 7-4-7 and a military escort around New York City and they didn't bother to tell anybody?

ME: Yup.

AC: Oh yeah, right. So now you're going to tell me that Annie Liebowitz was in the back of the F-16 telling the pilot to slow down a little so that she could get a better angle?

ME: Tee hee hee hee hee. Oh, Aunt Chrissy, you should be on the radio. You're so funny.

ME: Oh! And how about 8 million New Yorkers yelling the the general direction of the White House: "You couldn't use f****** Photoshop for this??!!"

AC: Oh ha ha ha ha ha. Oh, Sissy, you just crack me up.

The end.


Stewey and I are out of synch today Methinks it's because I have been one day off for the last two weeks. I showed up for Thursday appointments on Wednesday of last week and it's been all down hill ever since.

I am pleased to report, however, that stitching hums right along on Shepherd Bush's "Garden Gate". I am enjoying every single stitch of this one and am really tickled that I might even finish it this week! Woo Hoo!

Edited to add: Damn! I keep forgetting that you can click on these pictures and enlarge them. This sad fact means that you can REALLY see that I am not allowed to use an iron without proper adult supervision....sorry for the wrinkles, kids.

Aunt Chrissy and I spent some time in the studio over the weekend organizing, so my basket is full of ten projects that I want to play with for a while. I thought I would do a little challenge with myself and not start anything new until these projects were completed, but who the heck am I kidding? So I'll just play with these until I get bored and then we'll start all over with another ten projects in the basket. And so it goes. Sigh.

What's in the basket, you ask? Well, OK. I'll tell you, but only because you asked so nicely:
DeBee's: Shenandoah Spring
Sew Much Fun: Lily Frog
Needle Delights: Cherry Cordial
LJP: Daisy Collage
Drawn Thread: Cloister Garden
Shepherd's Bush: Shepherd's Spring
Class project from SB retreat
LHN: Needleworker
LHN: Be Rich in Good Deeds
I think I have a pretty good start on all of these, with the exception of Cloister Garden and Needleworker, which I want to stitch on different linen. Oh, and I didn't start Rich in Good Deeds yet because that's a newbie.

I'm going to go channel my inner Ina and make something fabulous for lunch. I actually puttered in the kitchen all day Sunday and made three wonderful pasta salads, so putting something good on a plate won't be too much of a challenge today. Whew....just what a girl needs on a Monday that is actually a Tuesday.

Apr 26, 2009


Since y'all have commented about the picture over my fireplace, I suppose I should tell you how it came to be.

I'm famous for getting an idea in my head and then not shutting up about it until I get what I want. I am rather impatient that way. I'm also rather impulsive, which means that I am known to make ridiculous decisions on a moment's notice just because "I felt like it".

Aunt Chrissy and I were shopping in Bed, Bath, and Freakin' Beyond a while ago for nothing in particular (well, actually we were probably looking for things for her house, but what fun is THAT?), and I spotted a lovely floral painting that I thought would look just fabulous in my bedroom. I loved the fact that it was large and colorful and that it would be the perfect thing to lay my weary eyes on first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

So without any thought process whatsoever, I loaded the thing into the cart (actually, I probably made Aunt Chrissy carry it because that's the kind of girl I am), and headed to the register. Turns out it was on sale so much that they were practically paying me to take it (at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

Just as I was feeling all smug and self-satisfied, Aunt Chrissy gives me a look and says "How the hell do you think you're going to get that thing home?"

Silly me. I forgot that Sophia was a little sports car and not, sadly, a flat bed cargo truck. (Sophia was my previous car. She was a navy blue little Cadillac CTS with tan leather interior and I loved her. Yes, I name my cars. Let it go.)

(My current car is named Gia, by the way. I've also had a Birdie, a Beatrice, and an Olive, but those are stories for other days.) Back to our story...

Well, because I have a head like a rock, and because I'm the matriarch of our stupid little family, I made Aunt Chrissy stand there with the painting until I had grunted myself into a full flop sweat trying to figure out how the heck I was going to wedge this thing into the back seat.

Alas, it was not to be.

So we left the painting with the lovely kids at Customer Service and headed to Aunt Chrissy's house to pick up her SUV. (Sadly, this is the vehicle that she rolled four times and planted in a corn field a few years ago during an accident, so we don't have any names for her. We are, however, eternally in her debt and will always think of her fondly.)

We made it back to the store in about five minutes (we live just a mile or so away), and just as I was thinking that this was going to be easy (you can see this coming, can't you?), it started to rain. Hard. Ridiculously big huge fat raindrops that came at us from every direction.

I couldn't quite fit the picture in the back of her SUV properly, so I somehow convinced my grown-ass woman of a sister to get inside, lay on her stomach, and then reach up over and behind her head to hold onto the painting (while laying face down just inches from the pavement)...with the back hatch door wide open.

Let me summarize for you....."Coni Jo, I swear, if I live through this I will never forget that you made me lie face down in the back of my own car while driving home in a rainstorm holding a gd picture that you will probably decide you don't want anyways because you're so freakin' impulsive that you get these stupid hare-brained ideas at the worst possible times and then you involve me because I was stupid enough to be born your little sister and if I weren't related to you you would never dream of asking me to do half of the the stupid things I do for you and why can't we ever go out in the day time when it's not raining and do things like normal adult people who have some damn sense instead of a couple of doofus heads who are dumb enough to do crap that will probably end up with them getting seriously hurt or worse yet they'll ruin some piece of important property and then they'll end up in jail where there will be no television and they won't be allowed to stitch."

And then we got home.

I took the painting out, hung it up in the bedroom and have loved it ever since. I rotate it into the living room a few times a year so that I can enjoy it, and the big ass pear picture that normally hangs over the fireplace doesn't mind going into the bedroom one little bit.

Do you think now would be a good time to tell Aunt Chrissy that I'm thinking about buying a new mattress and box springs?

Apr 24, 2009


So there I was, sitting in the Happy Chair fretting about something. I do that a lot. Fret. I couldn't even tell you what it was. Let's just say it probably had to do with the state of affairs in the kitchen, or the dust bunnies on the floor, or the fact that Stewey was prancing around with socks on because he decided he didn't want to "catch anything" from the filth that is me. Damn dog.

But I regress.

I decided to get up off my fanny and do something, and then decided not to do something, so I just sat down in a chair that I have by the back door. I don't think I've ever sat in this chair before. The truth is that it's a little recliner that Aunt Chrissy uses if we stitch downstairs rather than up in the studio.

So as I'm sitting there, I started looking at my little room. I mean really looking. And I didn't let myself look at the blah blah paint color or the mismatched end tables or the 20-year old tee vee. Instead, I looked at stuff that I love, yet take for granted on a daily basis. Like books. Or crazy-ass knick knacks that I bought at Hobby Lobby during a five minute shopping spree because I just HAD to merchandise the pot shelf that day and the store was closing. Or Stewey's perch (which always cracks me up when I see him curled up there watching the birds).

I kind of liked what I saw. So I got back in the Happy Chair and picked up Shepherd's Bush "Garden Gate" and started stitching away.

The end.

Apr 22, 2009


Please don't be alarmed and/or change the dials on your television sets, folks. This is me...officially 'round the damn bend.

Dr. Drew Pinsky of "Celebrity Rehab" fame has been called and should arrive at any moment with a camera crew and some medication for what has proven to be "The Gentle Madness of a Spinster Stitcher Who Clearly Has Too Much Time on Her Damn Hands".

It all started innocently enough (as most all things do). I was thinking about retrospectives and their place in the art world when I wondered what it would be like to have a retrospective of one's stitching year. I started to envision the gallery space. The lighting. The Chris Botti soundtrack playing softly in the background. Ina manning the ORE-DERVES table. The hunky waiters passing out champagne.

And then I regained consciousness. Who in the holy hell would ever want to go to such an affair?

So I did the next best thing. I devised a method whereby I can look at a row of little jars containing orts and I will instantly be transported back to the project or time when I was stitching on something and having the most profoundest thoughts.

For the first time in my adult life, I was actually able to EXECUTE my vision. So often I have these really great ideas (in my pea-sized brain anyways), but when it comes to actually DOING the thing in said pea-sized brain, I fail. Completely and totally and miserably. (Kinda' like the time I saw a perfect English tea garden in my head and then ended up with a patch of crappy dirt and rocks the size of a bedspread.) (Or the time I envisioned the perfect Mother's Day Hummingbird Cake, but ended up with a soggy, disgusting mess because I didn't use self-rising flour.) (Or the time.....). Well, you get the idea.

So I'm going to put all of my orts in these little jars (starting now, of course, because I can't go back and retroactively retrieve all of my orts from Jan, Feb, and Mar...heavy sigh), and at the end of the year I will be able to look back at my progress and be amazed. Or disappointed. Whichever comes first.
I bored myself right into a nap with the "Traveling Stitcher" thingie, so I put it away after getting this far:
Then, late last night I got some Shepherd's Bush mojo workin', so I headed up to the studio and found this: It's "Shepherd's Spring" and despite my craptastic photographic capabilities, I assure you that the linen is a lovely lavender color called English Rose. This one uses all silks, so the feeling of it all is just divine.

Speaking of divine, I am still rather haunted by "Grey Gardens". Stewey has informed me that if I don't stop waltzing about the place in my turban he's going to sick Aunt Chrissy on me. He has also informed me that a) I am (in no way, shape, or form) heiress to the BOO VEE YAY fortune, and b) Jackie Kennedy Onasis Her Very Self if NOT going to show up with a generous offer of cleaning up this place.

I suppose that means I had better go empty the dishwasher and put the laundry away. The little bast*** runs a tight ship around here, so if I want to have any stitchy time tonight I better get my chores done.

Have a simply sublime day. (I'm sure I have no idea what that actually means, but you get the idea.)

Apr 19, 2009


Bwah ha ha ha ha! (Cue the spooky music and fog machine). I fixed the little red wagon and made lemons out of lemonade and then sang Kum Ba Ya till the cows came home!

Or something like that.

When I was a little girl, my grandma Loukos used to say "Coni Dough, you're a little bull head". She told me this, because whenever somebody told me I couldn't do this or that, I would place my hands on my hips (which were tragically large, even then), and I would screw up my face with the sheer determination of somebody who was going to grow up to be the very first Queen High Exalted of the Unites States of America.

Or Miss Universe. Whichever came first.

I see that Stewey filled you in on my little stitchy mishap with the LHN "Traveling Stitcher". Yes, it was tragic, and yes, I feel like the biggest boob on the planet for getting that far before realizing my mistake, but I'm happy to report that it's all forgotten now.

After consultation with Aunt Chrissy, I decided to just put the project down for a bit and play with something else in my toy box. So I went over to the dining room table (where I keep a few stitchy things in a basket because I'm too damn lazy to walk up the 14 stairs to the stitching studio), and I saw an amazing miracle of science. Or maybe it was just happenstance. Either way, it has resulted in this:

Right there before my very eyes was a fat quarter of "Peach Orchard" linen from Silkweavers that had just come in the mail not two days ago. And it just HAPPENED to be laying right on top of the damn stitcher traveling wallet thingie, and it just HAPPENED to be the most very perfect color, texture, and shade for this piece in the whole entire wide wide world.

I had the sucker cut and on q-snaps faster than you can say "What 32 count lambswool linen that came with the kit and that you wasted THREE ENTIRE STITCHY DAYS ON BECAUSE YOU'RE A MORON AND CANNOT READ A STITCHY CHART?". I was tempted to start with the house on the right, but decided not to tempt fate. I stitched the little girl (who shall heretofore be known as Coni Dough), and got all of the green parts done before calling it a night. Wall. La.

Stewey and I just finished watching "Grey Gardens", and he had the dustmop in his little paws before the credits rolled. I think it kinda freaked him out a little when I said "You know? I could see that happening to me. One day you forget to empty the dishwasher, and the next thing you know you're feeding a raccoon in the dining room".

He was not amused.

So don't cry for us, Scranton. I'm in the Happy Chair with the stitching and Stewey is on his perch watching the ducks make a mess of the new mulch in the back gardens. (Well, I would like to think of them as the back gardens, but the fact of the matter is, they are just a few feet of mulch surrounding the patio. On which Aunt Chrissy will HAPPILY place all of the furniture. Next weekend. Please.)

Apr 18, 2009


My mom can't come to the blog right now. I've sent her to her room so that the profanity that's spewing forth from her mouth won't hurt my little ears.

It all started on Wednesday when Mom decided to start the "Traveling Stitcher" thingie from Little House Needleworks. Aunt Chrissy came over and put the edges on the linen, because Mom is not allowed to use the sewing machine up in the studio without adult supervision, and I wasn't available for consultation.

So she started stitching this as she does with almost all of her cross stitchy projects...in the very middle. When Mom looked at the chart, she was tickled pink because there are these very convenient arrows on the top and side of the chart that allow her to find the middle pretty easily.

So she did. And she started stitching.

As you might have guessed, this project is actually two charts for two different pieces of the traveling thingie, but they are on the same piece of paper. So the ARROWS that Mom thought were so fabulous are actually for the center of the PAPER and NOT THE CHART THAT SHE WAS STITCHING. I suspect that Mom didn't figure this out because she had folded the right side of the paper back so that she could concentrate on one chart at a time. Tragic, tragic mistake.

I was watching "You've Got Mail" tonight and I glanced over at Mom's stitching, and I noticed right away that the house looked like it was waaaaaaay too far over and that if she kept on stitching this thingie in this fashion she would run out of linen on the left hand side. I suppose that I should have kept this to myself, because when I pointed it out, Mom sat in stunned silence for a good three and a half minutes. (And if you know my mom, you know that's a LOT of time).

Well, lemme' tell ya'. The q-snaps went flying, the ottoman got knocked over, and a bottle of gin suddenly appeared (I didn't' even know we HAD gin). After stomping around in her bedroom shoes for a while, the old lady let loose with swear words that I don't think I've ever heard...not even on HBO. I finally coaxed her into the bedroom with a piece of red licorice and got the door shut, but I'm sure that at any minute she's going to come back out and look for her car keys. You see, when Mom gets REALLY frustrated with a stitchy project, she throws it out into the driveway and runs over it with the car. Repeatedly.

So that's the report from Chez Spinster this evening. Don't worry about me, Argentina. I've got the dart gun all loaded up with some "sleepy juice" and I'm not afraid to use it if necessary. I also called my Aunt Chrissy to tell her what's happening over here, so I would bet that at any minute now she'll come to get me for a sleepover at her house.

I hope your weekend is going better than mine. I did all of the laundry today and dusted the living room, but all Mom saw was the puddle I left by the Happy Chair. Sometimes, there's just no pleasing the woman.

See ya' soon!

Apr 15, 2009


Well, let me just say that I am tickled pink that y'all took your time to say hello to lill' ol' me and wish me a happy birthday. Thank you, my dear stitchy friends! It was simply lovely to hear from you. I hope that you have as nice a day as I had and that all of your birthday wishes for 2009 come true. (I'll let you know when mine do.) (Ooooh, look! There's me, being an optimist! I said WHEN! and not IF! Woo Hoo for me!)

I finished Blackbird Design's "Easter Parade" tonight. I have to say that I'm glad I didn't flake out and not stitch the border. It does really complete it. I wish I could get myself out of that lazy mode, but every time I near the end of a piece I start bargaining with myself as to when it's really finished. (You know....well, I'll just put this last flower on and then see how it looks without all of the letters....that kind of thing.) I originally thought I would frame this, but that linen is just soooo pretty. Perhaps a pillow? If I could find a pretty paisley fabric for the back of it, I just might consider a pillow finish for this one.

Ron White is blathering away on the tee vee and Stewey is laughing his little heiney off. I'm pretty sure that he doesn't understand most of it, but it sure is funny to hear him laugh. If you've ever seen a "Charlie Brown" special and heard Snoopy laugh, you know exactly what Stewey sounds like. Considering it's already an hour past his bedtime, he should be pretty happy that I'm letting it go unnoticed (just this once). He was a good boy today and didn't bark once at the animal extravaganza in the back yard, so I'm letting him have a little treat with some extra Comedy Central tonight.

Spring was back briefly today, and I'm hoping that we might have a lovely weekend coming up. I am determined to get the garage cleaned out and the patio ready for summer, and Aunt Chrissy is going to build me a vegetable garden! I asked her to do this for me for my birthday, and she and her boss are going to build a raised planter box that I can futz around with. I'm thinking tomatoes, peppers, and some lovely lettuces, but considering I have never actually grown anything before, I will defer to the experts. Fortunately, here in Hoosierville, we have a lot of folks that know about this sort of thing, so methinks it will be farm fresh produce all summer long! Woo Hoo!

I watched Ina make a wonderful wheat berry salad today, so I am off to the market tomorrow in search of wheat berries. I have no freakin' idea what a wheat berry tastes like, but considering it's mixed with a lot of veggies and a nice vinaigrette, I suppose it will be just dandy.

So that's it from Chez Spinster tonight. I hope that you had a fabulous day and that your little corner of the world is all you want it to be tomorrow!

Apr 14, 2009


I'm pretty sure that today was a perfect day. It started bright and early with a special delivery of my newspaper, some bagels with cream cheese, and a few lovely scones. All were waiting for me just in time for a damn good cup of coffee. Aunt Chrissy always delivers my newspaper to my inside garage door for me, but today she delivered breakfast also! (I believe that she picks up the paper for me in the morning because my neighbors pay her to do so. You can only see me in my robe and red duck boots so many times before you need to take action, people.)

At noon, Aunt Chrissy and I had massages. I have been getting them frequently to scare away the migraines, so it was nice to have one on a Tuesday....just because.

We had sandwiches at Dagwood's and then went to Barnes & Noble to check out their new store at the mall. Holey Schmoley. Methinks there might be a few lost afternoons headed my way. I picked up some good reads and had a Frappucino thingie with caramel in it. Finally, it was dinner at one of my favorite restaurants followed by a nice piece of cake. (I've decided that we all need to eat more cake. Don't you think the world would be a much better place if we all just had some cake? Please....go ahead. I'll wait. Go get yourself some cake.)
(All you can think about now is cake, can't you?)

I have to say that Aunt Chrissy, Bosco, and Stewey really spoiled me this year with the gifts. I'm pretty certain that I didn't deserve any of them, but I sure am glad they went shopping! (I just hope Stewey didn't blow his entire allowance this time. He has a habit of doing just that).

On the stitchy front, I have finished the inside of BD's "Easter Parade". On to the border! I'm thinking that I might work on it tonight while watching "Gone With The Wind" )I've never seen it, so I suppose now is as good a time as any.
I'm off to the Happy Chair! Woo Hoo!

Apr 12, 2009


Happy Birthday to Aunt Chrissy! Stewey, Bosco, and I did our best to make a perfect day for our girl, and methinks we might have succeeded. We actually started last evening with a great dinner out (Aunt Chrissy requested steak, don't you know), and then we continued the party this morning with brunch and presents. My present was "Strawberry Garden", and I'm happy to report that it is already hanging in her house near her stitchy chair. Stewey used his AMEX Black card and sprung for some Vera Bradley, and Bosco started his mom's collection of teeney weeney little mouse figurines called "Wee Forest Folk". Then, for dinner, I made her very favorite....a lovely roasted leg of lamb. (I had ham. Not a big fan of the lamb.) We stitched a little, enjoyed the beautiful sunshine, and watched a few fun movies for good measure. Woo Hoo!

Most people don't know this, but Aunt Chrissy is extra special to me for several reasons (not the least of which is that she taught me to stitch). When our mom was pregnant with my little sis, the doctors discovered a tumor on an ovary and told Mom that she would likely not carry the pregnancy to full term. On the day that she and Dad got this news, they came home to find that I was hiding all of my toys around the house. (I was four at the time.) When confronted with a "Coni Jo, what the heck are you doing?", I apparently responded with "God told me that I was going to have a little sister and that she would be named Chrissy, so I'm saving some toys for her." Considering the fact that nobody had told me Mom was expecting, they took this as a sign. (And no, I've not had any conversations like that since, despite my best attempts to get the upcoming PowerBall numbers.)

So several months later, there I was, sitting at Grandma's kitchen table with my birthday cake in front of me. I can remember it as though it was yesterday. There were five candles, the cake was chocolate, and I was wearing a short set that kept going up my heiney because it was probably too small for me (I had my favorite outfits and wore them waaaaay past their prime even then). So just as I was making my wish for a little red wagon, in walks Mom and Dad with this tiny little bundle of joy. "Happy Birthday, CJ. Here's your little sister named Chrissy." (OK, in case the math is confusing you....Chrissy was born on the 12th and came home from the hospital on the 14th.) And it wasn't until I was about 38 years old that I realized that our birthdays are almost nine months to the day after our Dad's birthday. So even though I am convinced that I was conceived through immaculate conception, alas, it is not the case. My parents actually had relations.

38 years later and I am loving every minute of my relationship with my little sister. We laugh and carry on like buffoons most of the time, but we sure know what's important in life and how to be there for one another. I never realized how cool it would be to have a sister for my best friend. It just freakin' rocks.

So Happy Happy Birthday, Aunt Chrissy! I hope all of your birthday wishes come true, especially if they involve winning the lottery and buying us a big house by the ocean filled with sitchy supplies and our pups.

Oh. And a pool boy named Brad.

Apr 9, 2009


My mom can't come to the blog right now. I've grounded her from the computer until she gets this house into some form of order and does something with her hair other than stick it on top of her head in a plastic clip. Would it KILL her to put on a little lipstick for cryin' out loud? I've hinted as much as I can, and I've snipped out every article there is on taking care of "mature skin", but she doesn't seem to be getting the hint. Let's face it kids....a natural beauty, she's not.

These are my new friends, Beatrice and Eugene. They moved in about a week ago and we've had a few cocktails together. I'm pretty sure Beatrice is expecting, since she seems to be spending a lot of time fixing up a nursery. As for Eugene, he's OK, but we really don't have too much to say to one another. He's into motorsports and tools. I'm into Eddie Izzard and a damn good sherry.

Life here at Chez Spinster continues as always....me peeing on everything in sight and mom pretending not to notice. Every now and then my Aunt Chrissy will come over and give me a disgusted look, and my pesky cousin Bosco tries to play with me. He hasn't figured out yet that although I am a connoisseur of "ball", it must only be played under strict European rules on a suitable court. Besides, my play clothes are all at the dry cleaners, and I refuse to muss my smoking jacket and cravat.

I suppose I'd better run. I've got a mani pedi at 4, and it takes me more than a few minutes to pedal my tricycle to PetSmart. I'd take the car, but the last time I did that I thought the old lady was going to have a stroke. So for now, I'm just going to have to get around the old fashioned way. Oh well, I suppose that it's better for the environment and I can pretend that I'm green chic'.

Stay tuned. I promise she'll write soon if she smartens up. In the meantime...ciao!

With much love,
Master Stewey Angus Willowswamp His Very Little Self

Apr 6, 2009


I actually worked on three separate pieces this weekend! I don't think I've done that in quite some time, and since it was completely un-planned, I enjoyed it immensely.

On Friday night, I worked on the lattice stitch background of "Daisy Collage". I managed to get the left side finished:Stitching this background inspired me to try this stitch on my Rainbow Birds canvas. When we last left our heroine, she was frustrated at the amount of time it was taking her to stitch the slanted gobelin behind the birds. After some careful frogging, we now have a much more interesting background:My plan is to find the perfect purple ribbon for that border, and then I think I might use black beads for the eyes. I changed the feet and legs to Flair (kel soo preese) and I think a little more sparkle is just what these girls need. Oh, and because I learned that it doesn't make any sense at all to have a piece just fall off the edges of the canvas (thanks LJP!), I think I might add a funky border to this using all of the colors of the birds...maybe a checkerboard-type effect?

Saturday dawned bright and early and Aunt Chrissy and I headed out to a craft show (my very first). We had a splendid time, and I purchased this:Isn't it lovely? This was made by Pam Lim of Heart Felt, Hand Made. The fabric is gorgeous wool, which I think might be from Weeks Dye Works. The stitching is perfectly done in variegated thread, and the colors IRL are just so pretty. I can't wait to see more of Pam's work at the next show! Woo Hoo!

Yesterday's stitching was "Easter Parade". I have to confess that I was really frustrated by how hard it was for me to follow the chart. I finally broke out the photocopy and highlighter so that I wouldn't have parts in the wrong places and have to frog them again, (a' la Strawberry Garden):

I'm hoping that I might finish this one up this week and then find a cool ready-made frame for it at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. Then I can display it for ten minutes before putting it back into the "Easter Stitching" box.

Stewey is pouty today. We got a few inches of snow overnight and he awoke completely unprepared. During a fit of seasonal cleaning, he sent all of his winter gear to storage, so he had to brave the cold without his wool muff or little snow boots. I'm not sure that he spent more than two seconds out on the back porch before he came back in, so I better go check the drapes. Damn dog.

Apr 3, 2009


OK, now before you start hyperventilating, please know that this is just a mock-up of the latest crazy ass idea I had for tarting up a needlework project. As y'all know, I have been in LOVE with LJP's "Daisy Collage" from the moment I set my beedie little eyes on it. Every stitch of this piece has been a joy, and if it weren't for all of the other things waiting patiently in my TO DO basket, I'd stitch this one over and over again.

So there I was, minding my own business, when I thought about how cool it would be to have dimension in the center of the piece. The chart has gorgeous daisies done in tent stitch, but before I started that section I thought I'd play around a little but so that I didn't disappoint myself with my lousy tent stitch capability (I want them to look PERFECT! and since we all know how far away from PERFECT! I can be, I decided to avoid the inevitable frustration). At first I thought of felted flowers or stumpwork, but since I have zero experience in those departments and cannot have another CRAFT DAY GONE AWRY, I thought perhaps a silk flower would look pretty cool? So I fished out the first silk daisy I could find from Stewey's craft cupboard and I have to admit I was pretty pleased with the result. I like the color and size of the flower, but I would definitely center it better and then mount it down into the canvas so that it doesn't project too much (because daisies are ladies, after all, and do NOT project when not necessary).

I thought I would frame the finished piece, but my VBSDF Laura J. Perin Her Very Self pointed out that this would make a really lovely pillow for that big day bed I'm planning in my head. If I knew that I could find suitable flowers for her lovely designs, I would start shipping these out to every single stitcher who is working on a flower from the "Collage" series, and we'd make the world a gorgeous place.

As you can see from the pic, I am making good progress on the lattice work stitches in the background. I'm using WDW floss...one strand...and the shading is showing up nicely!

Aunt Chrissy and I are off to a craft show tomorrow. I've never been to one, but Aunt Chrissy assures me that there will be plenty there to keep me occupied. Buckle your seatbelts, kids. This should be interesting! Woo Hoo!

EDITED TO ADD: Thank you Jane! Lovely Jane sent me to: http://alliesinstitches.blogspot.com/2008/08/spring-cqcenter-finished.html. I. Am. Blown. Away. I swear, as the stitchy gods are my witness, I will learn to make something that beautiful if it's the last thing I ever do!