Apr 19, 2009
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
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
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
Apr 12, 2009
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
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
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
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!