May 29, 2009


The sheer brilliance of my photographic skills dazzles the mind, doesn't it? One of these days I might actually READ the darn instruction book that came with the camera so that I don't have to keep subjecting you to these simply dreadful photographs.

I stitched my little eyeballs out last night while watching "Finding Forrester". I forgot how much I like that movie, and God knows a girl can ALWAYS use a little Sean Connery now, can't she?

The dirt is officially in the garden, so now the planting can commence! I got some very good advice from the nice guy that put said dirt into said garden, so I'm off to Lowe's to stock up on all of the stuff needed to keep critters and bugs at bay. Fresh summer salads for everyone! Woo Hoo!

May 28, 2009


Oh, Holey Schmoley. When I went back and read my last post I immediately said to myself "Gee, could you BE any more of a princess?" My goodness gracious, why y'all put up with me is just a complete mystery.

So I climbed down off of the ledge and did what any normal stitcher would do.....I ordered some thread keeper thingies (Annie's, I think) in a starter pack for $18.99. You will be very happy to note that I refrained from paying a $50 overnight air fee to get them here by tomorrow, but I did ask for a rush so that I might get them next week.

What is it about this thing of ours that makes us stay awake nights looking for the perfect solution to a stitchy problem? (Or am I the only one out there who jumps out of bed when an idea hits me in the middle of the night?) Stewey is not amused when Mommie Dearest goes shrieking up the stairs to the studio hollering "Bwa ha ha ha ha! Eureka! I have figg-urred it out at last!". Damn dog.

My garden soil will be here tomorrow, which means I better get the inside of this house cleaned up. I figure if I can get laundry and housecleaning done today I will be able to plant my little veggies in their new bed and then sit with a Limeade without too much guilt. Who knows? Maybe I'll even get some stitching done? Woo Hoo!

May 27, 2009


Where the hell the post title comes from, I'll never know, since I am the only person on the planet that has not seen any Star Wars movies. (Oh, give me a break, will ya? I've been trying to get to the cool kids' table my whole life, but I figure every village needs an idiot and I seem to have a lot of spare time.)

So here's my problem. The Prairie Moon piece that I'm working on (Spring Trainin') is still wonderful, but it has a thread palette that includes 27 different Gentle Art Sampler Threads. 27. And since this is a spot-type sampler, there are a lot of color changes. A lot.

I've never worked on anything like this before, and I am finding the color changes very very frustrating. As a matter of fact, I have futzed around with finding the perfect solution so much that I don't have any stitching progress to show (grrrrr).

How the hell do y'all do this? What system have you devised that will allow you to stitch a project that uses a lot of threads?

I started with the Floss Bags in the perfect basket. The problem I have with this is that every time I have to change colors, I have to flip to the right bag, pull out a tangled mess of thread, pull out one skein, and then separate out one ply so that I can double it in my needle (I'm stitching this 2 over 2). If I leave the thread on the card and tug on it, I invariably rip the cardboard label.

So I got the bright idea to make my own, more sturdy labels. I think what I was trying to create here was a floss drop. Aunt Chrissy and I went to Michaels and I bought Shrinky Dinks and then cut and punched and cut and punched until I had thingies that I could put on a ring and put the thread on without ripping the hole open. This just sucked, since the thread was long and got all messed up with the other threads hanging next to it.

So then I went up to the studio and found one of those big ass metal boards that you can use to mount a chart on and I stuck a bunch of magnets across the top with a paper label of each symbol. Then I threaded a needle with each color and stuck it to the magnet. Again, I don't like the mess of thread that hangs and gets all tangled up. (Stewey finds it all very unseemly.)

Will somebody PLEASE tell me what in the world is wrong with me? All I want to do is sit down and stitch this, but the time it's taking me to futz with the colors is ridiculous. What am I doing wrong?

So help me, Obi Wan. You're my only hope.

May 26, 2009


Aunt Chrissy and I don't drink alcoholic beverages (for reasons which are REAAALLY apparent when you've been with us for more than fifteen minutes), but that doesn't mean that we don't enjoy cold bevvies every now and then. This last weekend, we implemented the STITCHIN' SPINTER SISTERS SUMMER OF THE MUMU AND MOCKTAIL with three days of non-stop mumu-wearing, mocktail-sipping, stitcy-pawing fun.

Now I know you're thinking that this probably involved a lot of party decorations and several days of non-stop entertaining, but the truth of the matter is that we spent the last three days doing nothing but putzing around our respective houses, getting together in the evenings for dinners and movies, and wearing the ever important mumus. (I mean, you can't exactly have a SUMMER OF THE MUMU without actually wearing mumus, no?

So while Aunt Chrissy and I did nothing but sit on our stitchy a**es, Stewey and Bosco were hard at work making the places look ready for the season. They asked me to share with you the results of their labors, since both of them are just plain tuckered out today and are taking longer than usual snoozy naps.

First up is the view from the Happy Chair if you happen to be standing on the seat cushion (which I highly disapprove of, by the way):

Looking to the left when you step out onto the patio, you'll see the grill shoved into the corner, and then a few little plantings. Stewey selected hot pink geraniums because he thought they would contrast nicely with the sagey green siding, but Bosco wanted dandelions. Considering this is the site of the demise of Stewey's tomato plants last year, he felt that HE was entitled to pick the flowers for a sort of memorial:

Looking straight ahead, you'll see the fancy new solar post light that we found at the garden center. Stewey is always a little concerned about the overall critter population in the dark recesses of the back yard when he goes out for his night night potty trip, so he emptied his allowance account to pick this up:

And finally, looking to the right is the new vegetable garden:

Now, I know this will come to a HUGE surprise to most of you, but did you know that a 4-foot by 8-foot garden requires a LOT of dirt? About 1.25 cubic yards to be exact. This would have involved the purchase of 60+ bags of said dirt from the garden center and then poor Aunt Chrissy would have been tasked with carrying each bag around from the driveway. I didn't even have to ask her if this was something she wanted to do before she was on the phone to the landscaper ordering the dirt and labor to get my garden all set up. They'll be here Wednesday provided it doesn't rain.

This doesn't mean that I didn't get the veggies, however. I bought tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cauliflowers, cabbages, basil, sage, AND a huge bowl filled with salad greens that will continue to grow all summer long:

The one thing that we just couldn't pass up were some lovely Boston ferns. Mom used to grow them on the front porch of our Lima house, and people would drive by and actually get out of their cars to come up and touch them to see if they were real. One year we measured the diameter of them and they were almost five feet across! Mom always gave them away to friends at the end of the summer, and one year Mr. Murino had to bring his van to get it home. This one isn't quite that big yet, but methinks it looks kinda' pretty:

And last, but certainly not least, is a progress pic of "Spring Trainin". I'm still really enjoying this and will probably keep right on stitching it until something else distracts me:

So that's the report from Chez Spinster today, kids. I hope to have a lot of stitchy progress for you this week, because I'm feeling the need to plant my butt in the chair and not get up until something is fnished. Stay tuned!

May 21, 2009


I walked into the living room today to discover that Stewey has replaced his perch blanket with a white terry cloth towel. His perch is the back of one of the loveseats, and from there he can supervise the patio, the living and dining rooms, and most of the bedroom. Apparently, the purple fleece blanket that WAS on the perch was causing him to get sweaty, and he doesn't do sweaty. So he felt that white terry cloth would be reminiscent of a swanky spa and that he might be more comfortable when he sips his afternoon cucumber water. Damn dog.

Aunt Chrissy and I are determined to have a good weekend. We're heading to the grocery store for provisions tonight, and then tomorrow night we're going to hit the garden centers for flowers and vegetables for my gardens. That means that Saturday we'll plant, Saturday evening we'll bitch about how tired we are, and Sunday we'll eat. By Monday, we'll slap a few hot dogs on the grill and be done with it.

I love all of the seasons, but summer is definitely my least favorite. I don't do heat. I don't do sun, and I definitely don't do bugs. Given the whack-a-do temperature range that we can experience here in Hoosierville, I'm never really sure if I'm going to be spending the summer in front of the air conditioner, or if I'll be able to step out a few times for a breath of fresh air. I don't go camping, I've never really been that much into nature, and for me, the perfect idea of a vacation is a suite on the concierge level at some big city Marriott. (The one in Chicago is particularly nice, especially if you can get a good view and have a little room service breakfast while you're reading your complimentary USA Today.)

(Hmmm. Re-reading that has me thinking one very obvious thing about myself: CAN YOU SAY PRINCESS???!!) Oh well, I suppose that one is allowed to get to a certain stage of life when one can stay inside without having to apologize for it. Besides, I don't have stitchy sunglasses, and the glare would be rather unpleasant, methinks.

When I turned 40, Aunt Chrissy and I spent a week in Turks and Caicos. We rented a villa called Limbo Cottage and we did absolutely nothing but sit and look at the gorgeous water. I think we might have put our toes on the sand once so that we could say we did, but we were quite happy to see the fishes and things from above the waves rather than below. This, of course, was ridiculous, since I've been told that the diving in Grace Bay is some of the best in the world, but what do I know? Anywhoose.....I spent the next two years apologizing to people that I went away on vacation (my first, by the way), and didn't do a damn thing but stitch. (Oh, and have a minor heart attack when a flying cockroach the size of a Buick decided to join us in the living room one night, but that's a story for another day. Suffice it to say....two grown women who are terrified of bugs should be allowed to carry firearms.)

So whatever your pleasure may be this weekend, please do enjoy yourself. I fully intend to stitch my eyeballs out and get my heiney so numb that I forget it's there (and that's a LOT of forgetting, don't you know). If I don't sleep or take too many potty breaks I just might be able to finish a thing or two, so we'll see how this goes!

Happy Memorial Day, you USA'ers! (Damn! Do peoples in other parts of the world celebrate Memorial Day? Oh dear, please forgive me if I've offended.....Happy Weekend to you too!)

May 20, 2009


I'm pretty sure that's not really a word....serendipitous...but I like it and I'm going to use it. OK, wait a minute and I'll get up off my big fat lazy heiney to go look it up...WOO HOO! It really IS a word! Right there in the dictionary and everything! So there.

I use it, because for the last few years I have been looking for the perfect box or basket to use for projects requiring a lot of different thread colors. I think I've tried just about every stitchy thread organizing technique known to man, but I think that Floss Bags work best for me. I seem to waste less thread that way and I like that I don't have to constantly pull the thread off of its card.

So yesterday, I was putzing around up in the studio when I started looking at a little basket that I was using to hold rings. Well, wudda ya know? It was the exact size that I needed to hold Floss Bags!

I couldn't let this piece of serendipitousness go without celebration, so I started pawing through my stash to find a BA project that would require a lot of Floss Bags so that I could use my new basket. Do you suppose that I am the first stitcher in history to use THAT as an excuse to start something new? Tee hee!

So here's Prairie Moon's Spring Tranin'. I'm stitching this on a gorgeous piece of 28ct. Cafe Kona linen, using two over two. At first I thought I would try one over two, since my two over two stitching has been so "clunky" lately, but this is working out quite nicely: I know it doesn't look like a lot of stitching took place last night, but that little block took me all the way through "P.S. I Love You" (yes, yet again). You can blame Jeffrey Dean Morgan for it. Go right ahead.

May 18, 2009


Dear President Obama:
I'd like to apologize to you and all of the passengers aboard Air Force One on behalf of my mother. When she heard the roar of the engines overhead, she ran out into the driveway and started waving to you like a crazy person. This display was sadly accompanied by her unfortunate wardrobe choice...a pair of twenty year old pajamas and a mismatched set of tube socks. I watched in horror as my old lady jumped up and down without a bra on, thus causing her to black both of her eyes. (I applied cold compresses and assured her that the resulting "shiners" would be a badge of honor.) She explained to me that this was indeed a non-partisan jumping up and down, since she did the very same thing a few years ago when President George W. Bush flew overhead. So, please forgive her, Mr. President for ruining what I am sure was a lovely pre-landing luncheon. She's a good person. Really. She is. It's just that she slips out of her invisible fence collar every now and then and I find myself having to account for it later.
Your friend,

So I did a little stitching this weekend, but when I snapped the progress pics today I was disappointed at how little I actually accomplished. It felt like I would have more to show you, but alas, I do not. So I suppose this will have to suffice:

I also got the hankering to do a painted canvas, so I kitted this one:

I've learned a very important fact about myself. I always thought that I was completely incapable of stitching painted canvases. Turns out that I'm not incapable, I just need a little help picking stitches. So I have promised myself that I will work on some of the lovely canvases I have up there in the studio, but that I'll do so with the help of a stitch guide. (I justify this by the rationalization that we can't all be experts at everything, can we?) So my hope is that I will be able to incorporate a few more painted canvases into my half-assed rotation system (that changes daily, by the way), so stay tuned.

I'll leave you with a picture of what I assume to be a bird's egg? Stewey stumbled across it when we stepped outside to get the mail today. At first I thought it was one of those candy-coated malt ball thingies that you get around Easter time, but when I reached for it, Stewey promptly smacked my hand away and proceeded to protect the damn thing as if he had laid it himself. Damn dog.

May 17, 2009


As y'all might remember, I have been having quite the love/hate relationship with my university. For the last several months I have felt...disconnected. And so I bitched and complained and moaned and bitched about it until I just decided that I hated the place. The good news is that I didn't take my diploma off the wall and throw it in the trash...I just stopped looking at it every day. The bad news is that I stopped wearing my ring.

The ring, you ask? Well, we're kinda' nuts for college rings in my stupid little family. As a matter of fact, my very first piece of published writing was a story about my dad's class ring that resulted in letters, postcards, prayer cards, and gifts arriving from around the world.

My own ring's significance came to be when I went home for spring break during junior year and complained to Mom that the center setting was loose. She told me to leave it there and she would get it fixed. A few weeks later, my ring was sent to me at school with a letter from Mom telling me that she hoped I didn't mind, but that she had replaced the original setting with a diamond that Dad had given her for an anniversary. She knew that I'd always wear the darn thing, so I suppose she wanted me to have something of hers in it to remember her by. She didn't make it to graduation, but the ring did. It's been 20 years ago this week and I don't think I took it off once until recently.

I put my ring back on today. At first it felt a little funny and I wondered if it would drive me nuts. But now it feels like I've gone home again and I probably won't even realize it's there by tomorrow morning.

I dehydrated myself today bawling my eyes out while watching the coverage of the commencement. I was reminded what that place means to me, and I was ashamed that I let stupid reasons get in the way of my love for it. I don't think I solved my silly life or made a difference in anything that's presently wrong with the general state of affairs, but I'm pretty sure that I can, at least, know that I'm part of something whether I realize it all the time or not.

So, God bless you, Class of 2009. May you have nothing but peace and health and love and success in your life. And may you always remember that you really can come home again.

This is my dad's class ring. Robert P. Rich, Notre Dame Class of 1954.

And this is mine. Coni J. Rich, Notre Dame Class of 1989.

May 14, 2009


On Monday evening, I decided to play around with Laura J. Perin's "Reflecting Pools":
I'm doing this in shades of purple and green (instead of blue), and I'm really enjoying it thus far. I always follow Laura's step-by-step directions so that I can whiz right through these (instead of trying to recreate the wheel), but for some darn reason I couldn't keep the count straight in my head. So I gave up and watched the "Sex in The City" movie for the hundredth time. (And yes, Stewey was captivated by the wedding dress montage.)

Last night I started Laura J. Perin's "Cut Glass Dishes", and if it weren't for the need to get some sleep, I'd still be sitting in the Happy Chair plugging along. This one is going much faster and I am drooling over the combination of the lovely greens and browns. I did change the colors a little bit to Watercolors "Green Tea" instead of "Kelp", but the overall color scheme is almost identical:
Today the weather is lovely, so Aunt Chrissy and I are going to head out for a bite and then stitch a bit in the studio. Then tomorrow, she has promised to come over and help me set up the back patio so that we can enjoy some outdoor stitchy time toot sweet! Woo Hoo!


WARNING FROM MOMMIE DEAREST: If you're tired of reading about the adventures of Stewey (damn dog), please skip to the next post in which I promise to give you a stitchy update. If, however, you are as fascinated with his life as I am...proceed.

Dearest Friends: Oh, how humbled I am to receive your wishes for me on my birthday. I am overwhelmed at the response to my mom's announcement, and will have to point out that it generated more comments than any other topic she's written about. Tee hee for me!

I will send my proper thank you notes forthwith, but I presently await my embossed stationery order to arrive. I felt that my current logo was a little juvenile, and since I'm four now, I thought I would go for a more manly monogram.

My day was wonderful. It started with a little snack in bed, followed by SEVEN tummy rubs! Seven! I usually only get two or three before the old lady drags me out the back door for my morning constitutional, but yesterday she really indulged me.

At six o'clock precisely, we picked up my Aunt Chrissy and headed to: The most important thing I had to do as soon as I entered the store was to select my treats from the bakery counter so that the nice sales clerk could wrap them while I shopped. My Aunt Chrissy help me decide:
Once I got that out of the way, I decided to check out the "healthy options" treats that they offer. I've decided to go all organic all the time, and this place had a pretty decent inventory:

Next it was on to the clothing section. I really liked the pink, orange, and brown combination, but alas, they didn't have anything in my size:

This little stuffed toy was my favorite thing in the store! I played with it for a few minutes to make sure it was suitable, and decided that it would suffice as a little memento of the day:

My only disappointment was that my mom and Aunt Chrissy wouldn't let me get the pink studded collar and matching leash. Pink! And studded! Oh well, I'm saving my allowance, and I'll go pick it up when I have enough cash: The last thing I had to do was pose for a pic with the dreaded hat. Mom and Aunt Chrissy cart this thing out every year for both Bosco and I, and they practically pee themselves giggling over trying to get the perfect picture to share with the world. I, however, was not amused: We did head over to PetSmart after this, but mom forgot to take the damn camera into the store with her. I swear, if her head wasn't attached.....

I managed to find a few new cool toys, and Mom even bought me a bag of some all natural/organic cookies. (They taste awful, but I'm afraid to tell her that since she wanted to get me good 'ol Milkbones and I threw a fit. I'll just stuff them into the sofa cushions until the bag's empty, and then I can go back to my regular ones.)

Aunt Chrissy played Doozie Ball with me once we returned home, but I quickly realized that she cheats, so I forfeited the game. Besides, she looked a little tired after our big adventure, so I figured I'd let her go home to my pesky cousin and call it a night.

So that's it, folks. I'm so glad that you decided to share my day with me! Thank you again for all of my birthday greetings. I am just overwhelmed by your kindness. Now if you could just go back to pretending that you come here to read all about my mom's stitchy stuff, that would be good for all of us.


May 13, 2009


Four years ago today, at Willowswamp Farm, this little creature was born to the puppy parents Headley and Angus. After spending some time with his two brothers, he came home to live with me, the lonely old Spinster in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Stewey weighed 2#3oz on the night that I brought him home and I gingerly cuddled him to me until Aunt Chrissy told me that it was time for bed. I just couldn't imagine putting him down for one single second, so I placed his little playpen next to my bed and watched him sleep all night long.

I dutifully photographed his every move and growth milestone and even took a class on scrapbooking so that I would have a suitable memory book for him when he grew up and decided to get a place of his own.

This damn dog has meant more to me than anything I ever could have imagined. He's peed on everything I own, has provided me with countless hours of giggles and playtime, and has loved me unconditionally from the moment we met. He is, in short, the best thing that ever came into my life.

So today I will take him to PetSmart and Canine Crazy and we will pick out some new toys and a few treats to eat. We'll browse the clothes to see if there's something wonderful to add to his wardrobe, and we'll come home for a rousing game of Doozie Ball on the back patio.

Thank you, my stitchy friends, for allowing me the luxury of blathering on and on about this little guy. He's my baby and I love him dearly, and I'm thrilled that the world is getting to know him.

Happy Birthday, Stewey from Mommie Dearest!

May 11, 2009


Well, Woo Hoo Dee Do! I finished Shepherd's Bush "Shepherd's Spring" last night. I originally thought that I would get this done on Friday evening, but I was otherwise occupied (read: locked in the laundry room because SOMEBODY felt the need to have clean underpants for the weekend. Damn dog.)

I would have finished it on Saturday night, but I got sucked in to "P.S. I Love You" yet again, and God knows I couldn't waste any eyeball time on stitching when there was some Jeffrey Dean Morgan to be had.

And last night was almost a wash, because I got sucked in to "The French Lieutenant's Woman". This is a film that I had never seen before (you should know that I didn't see my first "R" rated movie until I was 17-years old), and I really liked it. What's not to like? Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons for cryin' out loud! So now I'm on a quest to watch all of those movies that prompt an "I can't believe you've never seen that before!" response from any normal adult grown-ass person with whom I happen to be in conversation.

Today I must make a very hard decision as to which project I will start next. If I was playing by the rules (at least the ones that I came up with yesterday), I suppose that I would go into the basket and pull out something from THE LIST. You know the one....the one that I revise and revise and revise until I finally throw my hands up and say "Oh fiddlesticks, I'm just going to stitch whatever the h-e-double hockey sticks I want to, so why do I keep making these stupid lists?"

The cause of the dilemma is the kitting that took place over the weekend. I found/bought threads for Luara J. Perin's "Reflecting Pools":
"Cut Glass Dishes":
and "Pineapple Quilt":

I love them all, and I wish I could adequately capture how pretty the colors are in real life. Trust me. They are. So I will either a) pick something from the basket, b) pick one of the LJP's, or c) start 'em all because God knows I could walk out my front door and get hit by a bus at any moment. I'm leaning toward "c" at this point.

Stewey is lounging in the sun today. When I downloaded my pics for the post, I noticed that he had taken a few self-shots over the weekend. I can't understand how to adjust the exposure on the camera, but my nine-pound Jack Russell terrier has mastered the finer points of artistic photography. Apparently he feels it necessary to have a selection of suitable shots for graduation. Considering that it's a few years away (he's only turning four on Wednesday, after all), methinks we have plenty of time to find Mr. DeMille.

May 8, 2009


My mo-ther can't come to the blog right now. I've locked her in the laundry room until she decides to either a) behave properly or b) do the ridiculous pile of laundry that has accumulated there for the last eighteen months (or what I perceive to be that long).

The above photograph will be submitted as Exhibit A in my case against her with the authorities. I was snoozing on my perch when she came at me with these stupid baby socks and told me to start dusting or find another place to sleep tonight. Apparently, she thinks that the filth level around here is completely MY fault, and that I should be part of the solution.

So I did what any intelligent Jack Russell Terrier would do. I called Merry Maids, and they will be here at any moment. I'm going to walk them around the place and show them what needs to be done, and then I think I'll head to my fort for some shut eye. Besides, I don't like the vacuum cleaner very much, so this will give me an excuse not to pitch in.

Methinks I'll let the old lady out about 8ish so that we can watch Mistresses together and she will be able to finish up her "Shepherd's Spring" piece. I want her to get this finished tonight so that she can play with some new Laura J. Perin charts that came in the mail today. If she's reaaaalllly nice to me, I might even share the little meatloaf that I made for lunch. My mom loves meatloaf. So much so, that I usually have one made to use as a diversion when she gets totally peeved about me peeing on the drapes.

I hope you all have a simply fabulous weekend. My Aunt Chrissy is going to come over in the morning to take mom out for some grocery shopping, so that will give me an opportunity to hatch my next evil plot. I'm pretty sure it will involve some blondes and my smoking jacket, but we'll have to see how far the liquor holds out.


May 7, 2009


EDITED TO ADD: Oh nooooo! Please don't take my Ms. Bitch comment below to be anything other than a polite shout-out to one of my very favorite sister bloggers. I am an ENORMOUS fan of Anna Van Schurman of "Stitch Bitch" fame and was only trying to address her by her stitchy moniker!!!! Oh please don't think I was being snarky (she says while wringing her hands)....I really really didn't mean to offend!

Ms. Anna of Stitch Bitch Fame Her Very Self asked me about the ort jars. Well...let me tell you all about them. (I can hear the sighs now...."Why can't she ever just respond to a simple question with a simple answer?"). That would be too easy.

So there I was, minding my own business, when I spied this craft project in a Martha Stewart Living mag. The article was a how-to on how to "etch" glass jars for storage. It involved finding pretty glass jars, stencils, and etching cream.

I obsessed about this project until Aunt Chrissy put her shoes on and told me to just get in the damn car already, and we headed to Michael's.

What should have taken ten minutes, i.e., get the jar, get the stencil, get the etching cream, turned into a PROJECT OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS! Actually, as I stood in the jar aisle fretting over the perfect size/shape, I gave up and went in search of etching cream. When Aunt Chrissy saw that the directions required adult supervision, she immediately started brainstorming for a way to keep me far far away from caustic chemicals. So we headed over to the scrapbook section.

As luck would have it, they were having a 50% off sale on all of the organizing stuff for scrapbooking (why the hell do THEY get all the fun?), and we found the jars...six of 'em for five bucks! The are made by "Making Memories" and are called "Scrapbook Embellishment Storage Jars".

I was peeing myself with delight over finding the PERFECT jars when Aunt Chrissy realized that these are actually plastic...not glass. The etching cream, therefore, would not work. Just as I was about to throw a major pout, I saw the back of Aunt Chrissy scuttle-ing over to the sticker section. She quickly realized that stickers stuck on plastic jars would be the perfect project for her craft-impaired sibling, and she was sure that they would have months of the year.

Sadly, they did not. BUT! We have a scrapbook store here in Hoosierville called "Pages in Time", so we headed over there. Within three minutes we had the perfect rub-ons in hand and I was just beside myself that FOR ONCE one of my crafty visions was actually going to come out exactly as I had visioned it. WOO HOO!

So, Ms. Bitch, to answer your question....jars are plastic. Labels are rub-ons. You can get both at scrapbook store. (Ours is Pages in Time, Granger if you google it.)


Well, I guess the proverbial cat is out of the proverbial bag, so I might as well do my big reveal....TA DA! I am happy to report that my very first column has been published in the magazine "Needlepoint Now". I was approached by the new owner, Miss Elizabeth, and on March 15th, I submitted my very first blatherings for scrutiny. Oddly enough, not one word of it was changed, so I now realize that Elizabeth either a) felt ridiculously sorry for me that I have not yet mastered the English language, or b) figured she'd give me a shot at humiliating myself and that I would crawl back under my rock and be a good girl. Yoo Hoo! Miss Elizabeth! I'm ready for my next issue!

If you're not a subscriber to the mag, I say run right out and get one at your LNS now or give 'em a call to order! God knows we can always use as many stitchy magazines as we can get our hands on, right?, so I'm supporting the cause by spreading a little love.

Don't get too excited...most of what I wrote is what you see here on a daily basis. So if you are a faithful reader of all of this drivel, you'll probably say "Well, hell's bells. I already knew all of this. Why didn't she tell me something I didn't already know from reading about her and that damn dog of hers." All I can say to this is....stay tuned!

Now before I head to bed with Jane Austen (OK, you knew what I meant by that, so don't pretend you didn't), I do have a few VIEWER MAIL items with which to dispatch (see murder of the English language, above):

SHELLEY: You asked me about the lovely tea pot that was one of my birthday gifts. Yes indeedie, it is quite sweet, and it's actually a "tea for one". The pot sits on top of the tea cup! Woo Hoo! My sister bought it at our local Hallmark Gold Crown Store.

SUSAN: You don't know who Jeffrey Dean Morgan is? Gasp, choke, cough cough, gasp gasp gasp. Oh, do yourself a favor, girl, and go google the man. Some of those black and white head shots are worth booting up the computer for, I tell ya'.

CYN: Regarding the silk flower that I stuck in the middle of the LJP "Daisy Collage" piece. No, it wasn't on Stewey's Derby hat, but I did find it in his craft cupboard. I was in the carefully labeled "Silk Flowers for Spring Projects" bin, and I don't think he's even caught on yet that it's missing. This is a major miracle, since he usually throws a major hissy whenever I use so much as a single crayon or piece of handmade paper from "his personal things". Considering the fact that I have to crawl under the sleigh bed to get to this stuff, you'd think that I would just go to Michael's and avoid the resulting back ache, but it's the principle of the thing. We share our crafty things in this house.

SUE: Yup...I changed my masthead and I did it all by myself. I didn't do it without a few martinis and a whole lotta' swear words, but I got that picture on there and everything. Twice. (Good eye, for those of you who noticed that I updated it for May). Woo Hoo to you!

That's it for tonight kids. I made the tragic mistake of having a damn good cup of coffee at about 7pm this evening, so methinks I'm going to be vibrating until the wee hours. It's too bad that I can't channel this energy into housecleaning, laundry, stitching, or reading....instead I will probably stare at the ceiling and fret over the caffeine hangover that will surely come tomorrow.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by to see me. Y'all just rock my freakin' world!

May 6, 2009


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's too busy dancing around the house in her underpants pretending to be Julie Andrews.

Please send help.


May 5, 2009


So there I was, minding my own business, when I decided to start watching the eleventy-seven hundred movies I've recorded on the DVR thingie. Before hitting "play", however, I decided to pick up Cherry Cordial to see if I could make a major push toward home on this one while watching "P.S. I Love You".

Mistake. Big mistake.

Jeffrey. Dean. Morgan. In Ireland. With an accent. And stubble. And artsy fartsy rings and bracelets that I normally wouldn't like on a man, but oh hubba hubba, these somehow worked for me and I had to go get a cold compress for my head.

So I've decided that I need to move to Ireland because I am convinced that there's a Jeffrey Dean Morgan waiting for me in one of the pubs and that he'll take one look at me and say "Now there's the woman I've been waiting for my entire life", and "I bet she'll really love living on my thousand acre estate that includes a needlework shop and rose garden. And indoor swimming pool."

In the event that you haven't noticed, I go into a stream-of-consciousness overdrive whenever I talk about men that make my heart go pitty pat. I'm not sure if it's the Spinster in me, or the particular place I presently occupy in the vestibule to menopause hell, but let's just say that my typing can barely keep up with the thoughts racing around in my head (and boy are they racy) and I get all flustered and sweaty and then I have to go sit down quietly until it passes.

And how stupid is it that my comment on this movie was over Jeffrey. Dean. Morgan. and not the lovely story or the weepy-ness of it all. Am I losing my sentimental edge?

But I will say this for ya', Ireland.....y'all sure have some pretty scenery over there. If your country is half as beautiful as it looked in this movie, I can't imagine why anybody would want to live anyplace else. I, for one, think I would especially like it there because it looked cool and damp. I do pretty well in cool and damp. It's the hot and humid that gives me the vapors.

So not much stitching to report, folks, but I do intend to turn off this silly machine and get back into that Happy Chair this afternoon and go to it. I might even put "You've Got Mail" on the TeeVee so that I'm not tempted to sit and drool the day away.

Oh Wait. "You've Got Mail" makes me drool over her apartment. And her life. And her perfect little twin sets and skirts and her great haircut.

Maybe I'll just listen to the radio.

Stewey will be out of his doghouse (tee hee! dog house! he's a dog!) soon. He brought a lovely breakfast tray into me today, complete with a damn good cup of coffee and a lovely scone. Methinks he's finally got the message that....EYES DE BOSS AND HEES DE BOSSEE.

Happy Cinco de Tuesday!

May 4, 2009


Stewey can't come to the blog right now. He's grounded. Forever. I won't air our family laundry in public, but let's just say that Mommie Dearest is not very happy about the attitude we've been experiencing around here lately. So I put the proverbial foot down and decided to just be. the. mom.

I re-started LHN's "My Needle's Work", but got so bored with it that I almost fell asleep with the needle in hand:

So I did what any rational person would do. I woke up and fretted over it for about an hour and a half and then decided to...wait for it....just stitch something else! Whew! For a minute there you thought I was going to say that I just gave up and went to bed, weren't you? Well, I didn't. I picked up something else. So there.

"Shepherd's Spring" is coming along nicely, and I might even get this one finished and into a frame before the end of the week! The linen is a little different than the linen that I usually use, so I'm learning how to adjust a bit, but this sure is fun to stitch! I highly recommend these long samplers if you want variety and the chance to stitch with beautiful silks:
I also recommend trying a canvas work piece if you'd like to transition from cross stitch to needlepoint. Here I thought I was some kind of genius in thinking about how one might progress as a stitcher (cross stitch on Aida, cross stitch on linen, canvas work, painted canvas, hardanger, crewel, etc. etc.), when I see that Debbie Rowley is actually teaching a class on this very subject at the summer market in Columbus!

This, of course, makes me want to run right over to Laura J. Perin's website and order every single chart that I don't already own and start stitching them immediately. I am particularly lusting over "Pineapple Quilt", "Cut Glass Dishes" and "Bargello Roses", so we'll see how long I can hold out before I go get myself in major trouble. (Besides, I have Stewey's allowance in my pocket and since he's NOT GETTING IT THIS WEEK, I just might go treat myself a bit.)

I had a bit of a mishap while making fajitas last night. I was practicing my knife skills and ended up doing a number on the naughty finger on my left hand. Fortunately, this in no way impedes my stitching, so please don't cry for me Buffalo: The funny thing about this is that I was thinking to myself "Gee, if I was a contestant on Food Network, they would be talking about how carefully I'm julienning these peppers and then maybe Chef Robert Irvine would immediately be attracted to me and then I would be able to meet him in person and say "Hello, Darling! You're my very favorite Valentine" and then we would go to dinner and have wine and talk about food and art and books and life and perhaps I would be able to entice him to go see a movie or a play or something else in the performing arts and we would stroll the streets of New York together hand in hand and live happily ever after the end."

And that's when I cut my finger off. (Well, almost anyway.)


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's busy pouting over the fact that so many of you wonderful readers out there LOVE me and always ask what I'm up to. (Don't worry about the pouting thing. She does that every now and then and I pretend not to notice.)

I had some fabulous adventures at the Derby, but am sad to report that I lost my winning Superfecta ticket. I had it in my wallet, but methinks I might have dropped it when I was retrieving my credit card to pay for drinks. I tried to explain this to the nice man at the betting window, but he said (and I quote) "Yeah, right, pal. You and six million other people had the ticket that pays a half mil. What's with the hat?"

Sheesh. You would think that the sight of a little nine-pound Jack Russel wearing a pink hat would have been enough for this guy to cut me some slack, but alas, it was not to be.

Since I spent all of my traveling money entertaining some new "friends" at the track, I had to hitch home. Please don't tell my mom. She'd be reaaaalllllllly peeved, especially since I took her car down there in the first place and I didn't seem to remember that when it was time to come home. I'm going to get my pesky cousin Bosco to drive me back down there tomorrow so that we can have a look around to see if we can find the damn thing. (That's what she gets for calling a vehicle Gia. Who ever heard of such a stupid name for a car?) Anywhoose, I'll probably have to leave at the crack of dawn since Bosco only has access to his tricycle during the day, and no matter how hard I try, I can't get him to peddle any faster.

I did manage to get a nice spiff-up while I was gone. I had a wonderful oatmeal bath, followed by a nail trim, a good ear cleaning, and some breath spray. The place I went to didn't have my usual cologne (called Game Time), so I had to live with a little drop of Aramutz behind my ears. I prefer a more manly scent, but I suppose it's good to try something new every now and then. Besides, I didn't have time to argue with the lady at the spa...I was running late for the Barnstable Brown Party, and I hadn't even had a change to press my cummerbund yet.

Today was a rather lazy day for me. (If my mom finds out I am nursing a hangover, I'm pretty sure she'll have an aneurysm, so we'll keep this between us chickens, K?) She thinks I'm not feeling particularly well, since I bit Miss Emily that lives next door, but hey, she was trying to pet me and I just wasn't in the mood. (I'm not exactly what you would call people friendly.)

As for the title of this post, I had to do some minor surgery on the old lady this evening. She was chopping peppers and onions with her new spanky chef's knife and she damn near cut off the tip of her finger. She didn't panic too much, which was good, but now she's fretting over the fact that some lady over in Montana got necrotizing faciatis from a cut and ended up losing the left side of her body. (This is what I get for letting her watch Oprah last week.) (I'm going back to hiding the remote.)

So that's it for me, kids. Do me a favor, will ya'? Throw my mom a bone every now and then and let her think that the real reason you read this silly blog is to see what she's been stitching. She tries so hard, and I have to practically hide my face in my blanket so I don't laugh at the sight of her sitting in the Happy Chair with some project up to her nose and her tongue sticking out in concentration, so let's just try to keep her somewhat happy.

I hope you had a great weekend and that you can remember all of it (damned if I can). I'll write more soon, I promise.


May 2, 2009


Laura J. Perin
"Daisy Collage"
18ct. mono canvas in eggshell
Threads: WC "Mountain Meadow", DMC #5 perle cotton,
Kreinik 1/16 ribbon, Flair, Ribbon Floss, Sparkle Rays

I received a text message from Stewey (he's down in Louisville for the Derby, don't you know). He says the weather is lousy, but his pink hat was a big hit with the crowd. Methinks he's had one too many mint juleps. Damn dog.

May 1, 2009


Shepherd's Bush
"Garden Gate"
32ct. Creme Brulee linen
Threadgatherer Silk
(all as per the kit)