Aug 31, 2009


I'll be gone for a few days, kids. Don't have too much fun without me, please!

Aug 29, 2009


Stewey's watching some documentary about some war or something and I'm not really interested, so I thought I'd come play on the 'puter for a bit before bed.

Thank you for your lovely comments about my finish. I'm trying not to think too much about it so that I don't jinx myself right into a case of Startitis.

Valerie: I think you'll really enjoy stitching "Traveling Stitcher", but I must caution you to be careful about those pesky arrows on the chart. They indicated the middle of the entire piece of paper...not the individual designs. Also, I don't think there is enough of a margin around the two pieces if you stitch them exactly as charted, but what do I know?

April Mechelle: No stitchy shops within 250 miles?! Holey Schmoley, girl! Have you considered moving to a new location? I shop all over the place and feel very strongly that we stitchers need to share the love with our bloggy pals, our designer pals, and our shopkeeper pals. Once you find a great online store, you're golden! I'm quite partial to MaryKathryn over at because I am addicted to her blog, but there are several wonderful sites out there!

J Rae: The linen that I'm using for "Wildflowers in Sage and Stripes" is called Carnivale and it's from Picture This Plus. Thanks to my craptastic photographic skills, you can't really see how gorgeous it is, but it's stunning. Trust me.

Well, I think I'm going to call it a night. My neighbor has been sitting in her driveway for the last half hour blaring the "Mamma Mia" soundtrack on the stereo of her car, so I'm hoping she wears herself out before I get my teeth brushed or this is going to be a long night. (And they call me the problem in the neighborhood. Sheesh.)


"Traveling Stitcher"
Little House Needleworks
32ct. Platinum Cashel
Crescent Colors threads from kit + WDW Cognac

I see from the last post that Stewey filled y'all in on my "disappointment" over not finishing this as quickly as I had hoped. Thanks to my excellent perseverance,i.e., a dog who wouldn't leave me alone until the damn thing was done properly, I am happy to report that Little House Needlework's "Traveling Stitcher" is done. Finshed. Fee Nee.

Last night I picked up "Wildflowers in Sage and Stripes" by Country Garden Stitchery.
After about six minutes of stitching those solid blocks, I realized why this one was in the pile. BORE-RING! I'm going to need a big fat RedBull martini to get through this one. Or maybe somebody hunky on the TeeVee to keep me distracted.

Thanks for commenting on Stewey's "Special Accessory" from his picture. Yes, that's an invisible fence collar that he refuses to wear. He was happy to sport it about town when Martha was on house arrest and wore one too, but now he thinks it's gauche and won't go near it. Damn dog.

Aug 28, 2009


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's in bed sleeping off a Stitchy Hangover of epic proportions.

It all started last night when I was on my perch trying to watch the "Sex and the City" movie. As you all know by now, I am particularly smitten with the wedding dress montage', and I like to watch every bit of it with rapt attention.

Well, the old lady had other plans apparently, because right in the middle of said montage', she jumped up and started Happy Dancing all over the living room. This would not have been a big deal had it not been for her poor choice of night-time attire. (There comes a point in every woman's life when the word B-R-A must become second nature, n'est pai?) In any event, as I tried to duck and cover from all of the fleshy bits bouncing about, I got good and mad that, once again, my mo-ther had to interrupt my movie watching.

She was still singing " the friends" when I innocently pointed out that she had not, in fact, achieved the necessary state of finish-ness to qualify her for a Happy Dance.

"Mo-ther. You didn't finish this."

"What are you talking about, Stewey? Look! Mommie put the last stitch in on the border moments ago! Isn't is the prettiest perfection you've ever seen?"

"I'd prefer not to comment on your actual stitching technique because it always results in TIME OUT, but if you look at the chart you will see that there is indeed another portion that requires stitching before this can call itself completed."

"Oh, yeah. That. Well I decided that I don't need to stitch that part. Look! Isn't it wonderful that I figured out that WeeksDyeWorks Cognac is a perfect match to CC's Brandied Pears?"

"I'm not sure why you wouldn't stitch that, mo-ther. It is clearly meant to be part of the overall project, as is evidenced by the needle case that most definitely requires something stitched for the front of it."


She just stood there in slack-jawed denial, but as I silently pointed my little paw at the Impe, Hattie, and Bea set that she just HAD to have, she slumped dejectedly into the chair and picked up the needle.

I made her stop at 3:30am before tucking her into bed with a little pat on her shoulder for comfort. She was muttering something about Pet Refuge and the Humane Society, but methinks it was the fatigue talking.

She's still sleeping now, but I'll wake her in a few hours and put the q-snaps next to her coffee so that she can get going. I would expect that with so little to stitch, we might even have another Happy Dance before luncheon.

Let's just hope she wears a bra.

Aug 27, 2009


The first order of business today is to send a big fat sniffly thank you out to all of you faithful readers who put up with my drivel day after day. I'm truly humbled that y'all think this little corner of the Bloggy-verse is worthy of your time, and I hope you'll keep coming back.

Today is a particularly interesting day here at Chez Spinster. I woke this morning with an urgent need to go buy school supplies. I have a school supply fetish that would make Mead, Bic, and Crayola proud. I come by it honestly, since the best day of my entire life was the day that Flossie Percy's box arrived on the doorstep.

Flossie Percy was my mom's best friend when we lived in Athens, Tennessee. I was a soon-to-be kindergartner and was naturally a little anxious about the first big day. Mom reassured me that it would be just like I imagined it and almost exactly like the little play school that I had assembled in the basement. (What can I say? I was a weird child. I used to play school.)

Anywhoose, the week before Labor Day was quickly approaching and we hadn't done anything other than order the "little missy" sized school clothes from the J.C. Penney catalogue. (Why didn't they just call them what they were?....."Bigger sizes that you won't want anybody in your age group to know about and that will haunt you for the rest of your miserable life"). So as I was stressing out over the fact that nary a pencil had been procured, a HUGE box arrived on the doorstep addressed to ME! My name and everything! Right there on the box!

It was my first parcel-receiving experience, and let me tell you, it didn't disappoint.

That box could have outfitted a small elementary school, let alone one lonely little six year old. Pens, pencils, papers, notebooks, rulers....oh, the bounty! There was stuff in that box that I wouldn't use for decades, but who cared?! I had my very own, official, Flossie Percy provided, first day of school supplies and I wasn't going to let anything get me down!

Flossie Percy sent that box to me every year until we moved to Lima and I started the sixth grade. I'm pretty sure that I have some remnant of one of those boxes around here somewhere, and although Flossie passed away years ago I think about her every August.

Stewey is ready to go back to school. Summer bored him to tears this year, and I suspect that me being a general fool everyday didn't help matters. We had intended to get through a comprehensive reading list, organize his little desk, paint the bathroom, and buy a new lunch box, but alas, there was just too much stitching to do. Maybe next year."Traveling Stitcher" is nearing the finish line. All that's left to do is the lettering, but I fear that I won't have enough Brandied Pears to see me to the end. Damn, drat, and phooey on that one, but if I put my mind to it, I bet I can find a suitable replacement. I'm auditioning a few different choices here on the left:I suppose that this will be finished tonight and a Happy Dance will ensue. I am really quite shocked at my progress on this WIP pile, but I don't want to get too cocky or it's sure to stop dead in it's tracks.

Thanks again for all of your fabulous commentary about The Sister Mary Etiquette Project. I'll keep you updated as she goes about town righting wrongs and making the world a better place for humanity!

Woo Hoo!

Aug 26, 2009


If you live in the general vicinity of Mishawaka, Indiana in the good 'ol U.S. of A. you should probably brace yourselves. In the next 24-48 hours I am determined to launch a project that has been in the works for the last several months.

To begin, I should first tell you that I am not a small woman. I'm not. As a matter of fact, I'm as big as a house and I'm one tomato sandwich away from qualifying for my own zip code.

I should also reveal that I am a dead ringer for the actress Kathy Najimi. That is, I am a dead ringer for the actress Kathy Najimi before she got skinny. If you don't know who Kathy Najimi is, please rent "Sister Act" and view the shenanigans of Sister Mary Patrick. That, my friends, is me. Really. I'm not kidding.

So with all of this in mind, I am off to the costume shop to rent/buy/find a full-length nun's habit in the style of the sisters of old who only showed their lovely little faces and possibly a whisker or two of chin hair. (As a Catholic school girl I often marveled at the smoothness of their complexions and I agonized over whether it was the fact that they didn't wear any makeup or if the headgear thingie they wore secretly contained a Clearasil-like substance that prevented even the tiniest pimple from emerging.)

Once I am properly attired in said nun’s getup, I intend to roam the streets of my little Gotham on the lookout for rudeness, blatant buffoonery, and general inconsiderateness everywhere. I might even develop my own logo that can be projected into the sky whenever I’m in need, and if I think I can manage it, I will find the perfect motorized vehicle to transport me to the scene of "courtesy crimes" in a manner that will draw the envy of every pre-pubescent boy and the giddiness of people everywhere. I’m thinking, of course, that this vehicle needs to be pink. Or fire-engine red. And it should probably have a lot of chrome and look like it came straight out of Orange County Choppers, but these are details for another day.

It all started, of course, as most things do, when I attempted to go out in public. I should have known better, but I was determined to see “Julie and Julia” on the big screen, so I handed over my $87.50 and proceeded into the theater with the rest of the semi-literate masses like the sheep that I am.

I won’t bore you with the ENTIRE two and a half hours of agony, but suffice it to say that I was subjected to: talking, whispering, chatting, snot sucking, throat clearing, and elbow-hogging-the-arm-rest hooliganism for the entire length of the movie. People conducted themselves as though they were stuffed into their Barco-loungers and despite the fact that the sound of the movie was loud enough to split eardrums, they felt the need to talk, whisper, chat, and snot-suck over the din.

I tried, I really did, but I found it impossible to enjoy the movie so long as the gentleman (and I use this term loosely) felt the need to clear his obviously clogged sinuses and then spit them into what I can only hope as a relatively clean hanky.

The grocery store trip that same weekend wasn’t much better, nor was the treat of a dinner out at a favorite restaurant, thanks to a population that has just generally lost all sense of decency and consideration for other people. What the hell has happened to us?

This weekend brought the arrival of college students back to our little town, and I was pleased to see that the community welcomed them appropriately with business signs and bus tours here and there to show them the sites. Where, however, was the informative talk on manners and how to live in community with tax-paying hard-working townies that just can’t take one more influx of rude, obnoxious, spoiled brats who think the Target is there solely for their shopping pleasure?

Sister Mary Etiquette to the rescue!

Sister Mary Etiquette will roam the streets armed with nothing but a ruler, some little note cards, and the sheer determination into shaming people into behaving themselves. Sister Mary Etiquette won’t be afraid to walk right up to somebody and say “What’s the matter with you?! Were you born in a barn? Comport yourself properly young man!”. And with that, she will hand over a little note card that outlines (in very simple terms) the proper amount of space to give someone at the grocery checkout. Or why it is NOT acceptable to slouch your way through a store while talking on your cell phone to your girlfriend who just has to hear every little detail of your hot date the night before with some investment banker who picked up the check and was really hot in bed but who has no intention of calling you for a second date. Ever.

Sister Mary Etiquette will confront the man in the restaurant who insists on yelling at his dinner companions so that they can be sure to hear every word of his inane opinion and who insists on imposing said inane opinion on every table within a square mile of the place.

Sister Mary Etiquette will know how to form an orderly queue, won’t take the last piece of anything, and will always be the first to gladly give her seat to an elder, a pregnant woman, or anyone who looks like they just might need a seat on a crowded subway more than she does at the moment, and she will NOT, ABSOLUTELY NOT feel compelled to talk on a cell phone unless something is on fire or a small child is trapped under something heavy.

Sister Mary Etiquette will always bathe so as not to offend others with any “personal smell issues”, she will not block access to anything somebody else might want to see/grab/hold/witness, and she will know when and where it is appropriate to show affection and/or groom one’s eyebrows.

Sister Mary Etiquette will put a stop to this ME ME ME culture of obnoxiousness and will do her part to return society to the genteel atmosphere of a Jane Austen novel.

Sister Mary Etiquette will know how to use proper turning indicators in a vehicle, when to send hand-written thank you notes for gifts received, and will R.S.V.P. promptly to every invitation that draws her forth from her well appointed, clean, and orderly home.

You get the idea here, right? There’s no need for me to blather on and on about the entire Sister Mary Etiquette agenda, but suffice it to say that I will not rest until every person of age in this country of ours…nay the entire planet….learns how to behave properly and act like a person should.

I’m off to the the costume shop, and then the bookstore for the latest Emily Post. One mustn’t be loathe to update one’s knowledge of things now, mustn’t one?

(Note: This is a little something I'm working on. What do you think?)

Aug 25, 2009


It takes forever to build a house! I swear it took all of six hours to get that stupid brown house stitched. AND! The poor little girl in the red dress can't even fit in it!


***EDITED TO ADD: THANK YOU! Thank you to you kind fellow stitchy friends who revealed that you too started this project in the wrong place because THE STUPID CHART HAD STUPID ARROWS ON IT INDICATING THE STUPID CENTER, BUT IT IS THE STUPID CENTER OF THE WHOLE DARN PIECE AND NOT THE STUPID CENTER OF THE STUPID MAIN DESIGN. I swear, I thought it was just me.

Aug 24, 2009


"The Needlework Shop"
Country Cottage Needleworks
28ct. Natural Pearl
DMC floss

I seem to be in a LHN/CCN state of mind. After I put the last stitch into "Needlework Shop", I pulled out "Traveling Stitcher" and re-started it on 32ct. Platinum Cashel. Yup. I know. But I figure that the third time's a charm, right?

EDITED TO ADD: I started this once, but mis-read the chart and had to abandon ship. Then I started it a second time on a different linen because I was mad at the first linen. This makes the third start of this project on a linen that I think I can live with for at least the next eight minutes.

Aug 20, 2009


The Happy Chair is back in place and all is well once again. Thanks to Aunt Chrissy and her considerable patience (and muscles), we managed to re-arrange all of the furniture one last time so that I could have a little sanity in an otherwise nutty little world.
We even managed to preserve a stitchy spot for when Aunt Chrissy comes for MooMoos, Mocktails, and Movies! This is much nicer than having to drag a chair, table, and lamp around before the festivities can begin.
I'm ready for the weekend, and it's only Thursday. I am envisioning something fabulous on the grill and about 75 hours of uninterrupted stitching time. I am hoping that I will be able to finish "Needlework Shop" today or tomorrow and then pick up a canvas piece for the weekend. I'm jonesing for a little Laura J. Perin action, or maybe I'll see if I can finish up "Wandering" by Kimberly.
Stewey did four loads of laundry yesterday, including all of his little stuffed toys that he's peed on, and then he swept and washed the floors. So today I'm overlooking the fact that he's glued to his perch rather than in the kitchen emptying the dishwasher.That's the report from Chez Spinster today. Here's hoping that your kingdom is peaceful too!

Aug 19, 2009


Further evidence that my life seems to be one big cosmic joke...

Aunt Chrissy came over for moral support during the cleaning of the Happy Chair yesterday. (It came out PERFECTLY! by the way, and now looks like a brand-new seventeen-year old piece of furniture.) As payment for her services, I asked her to stay for dinner and some stitching.

Just as we were settling in, my little puppy tot nephew Bosco started going nutso over something in the back yard, so I kind of half-assed looked outside and said "Oh, he's just barking at the deer in the field".

So Aunt Chrissy let him outside on his lead (he doesn't stay in the yard the way Stewey does), and after a few minutes she yells "RACCOON!" "BIG RACCOON!" and dashes outside to pull the now fully-alert Bosco out of the yard and onto the patio. He had been standing at full-on fight mode and was in a staring contest with a raccoon.

Considering it was still broad daylight out there, something in the back of my brain said "Hmmm. That's strange. I think those are only supposed to come out at night" and I quickly realized that the poor thing was sick. Or caught in the fence that runs along the back of the property. Either way...NOT a good situation for Nature Girl here and her little sister.

I called the Animal Control Department, who told me to call the Mishawaka Police Department, who told me to call the Humane Society. Within minutes, a lovely man (in a uniform and with a badge and everything, hubba hubba) showed up with a stick and a cage. He had to climb the fence into the field, but he managed to find the little critter, use the stick thingie, and put him in the cage without incident.

Apparently, the raccoon was suffering from distemper, which meant that it was completely disoriented and neurologically impaired. When I asked the officer if he was going to take the little guy to a farm in Upstate New York (because that's where all sick animals go), he looked at me like I was completely nuts and then proceeded to explain to Aunt Chrissy (clearly the rational adult) that because it was suffering and could injure itself, another animal, or a human it would likely be put down.

I thought about that poor raccoon all night long and felt like a schmuck for hitting my proverbial panic button. As I was wringing my hands raw, Stewey jumped up into my lap, looked deeply into my eyes and told me that if I didn't snap out of it, he was going to send me to a farm in Upstate New York.

Here's the lousy progress on "Needlework Shop":

Aug 18, 2009


Dear Mr. Macy,
I would like to put my name into consideration for your Thanksgiving Parade Extravaganza. I consumed enough salt yesterday to cause me to plump up to a good-sized balloon this morning, so if I attach my Tammy Faye Bakers and find something festive to wear, will you consider me? I think I would be a nice addition to the event, and stitchers everywhere will be glued to their TeeVees wondering what the hell I'm up to now.
Thank you for your time,
The Even More Zaftig and now Very Thirsty Spinster Stitch

Hoooo, boy. I'm not sure exactly when the wheels feel off the bus, but I went to bed last night with my heart pounding and my blood pressure thumping my ear drums. I must have used half a box of Kosher salt on tomato sandwiches throughout the day, and all I could think of was the vast quantity of water that I was going to drink as soon as my feet hit the floor this morning. For a person who doesn't normally use a lot of salt, I seem to have made up for spades.

Progress continues on CCN's "Needlework Shop".
If I put my mind (and needle) to it, I just might finish this one today.

Aunt Chrissy mentioned that "Garden Girl" would look really cute in a "shabby-chic" white frame hung in the guest room, and I'm thinking that this one might be a good companion. Who knows? Maybe I'll go get all of the LHN/CCN pieces that I've finished and get them all done together for a motif, so to speak. And if I ever realize my dream of having all of my Laura J. Perin's made into pillows, I might have to consider sleeping in there permanently (as opposed to just on the nights when Stewey makes me).

I'll leave you with a pic that I just snapped through the front window of what I think is a Blue Heron? All I know is the damn thing stands about five feet tall and I'm not going to go anywhere near it. Sheesh...I swear I live in Marlin Perkin's Wild Kingdom.

Aug 17, 2009


Woo Hoo! I've just returned from a trip to the hinterlands and have harvested my first tomato products from the garden! AND! You'll be happy to note that I did so with my very own bare hands and only a smidgen of the willies as I reached into the vines for these little gems: Methinks a tomato sandwich might be in order for luncheon today.

After an "eventful" weekend, I am happy to report that there was actually real live stitching going on. I picked up CCN's "Needlework Shop" and made a good bit of progress:
I'm stitching this on 28ct. Natural Pearl, which felt very very clunky at first. Now, however, I'm loving every single stitch and I'm going to keep on plugging until this one heads for the FUPPIE box.

ChemDry will be here tomorrow afternoon to clean the Happy Chair! Because the "situation" is only on the bottom portion and not the padded arms or cushions, it's likely that this treatment will take care of the problem and my b-u-t-t will be back in it by Wednesday. This fact makes me so happy it's not even funny. Who knew that a seventeen year old piece of furniture could be the answer to so many of my problems?

Aug 16, 2009


In the movie "Serendipity", one of my favorite lines is "They should make pills for this". This phrase is uttered by the pesky side-kicks whenever the heroine or hero acts all crazy-ass and does something totally nuts.

Welcome to Aunt Chrissy's world.

Scene: Friday night in a Midwestern living room. A spinster and her sister have settled in for a night of stitching and movie watching. They are almost half-way through "The Gates" when...




(Ottoman and precocious little dog go flying, as does all stitchy materials and about four hundred skeins of DMC floss).





The Spinster dashes into the laundry room where she retrieves a dust mop. As she's rushing back into the living room, she makes a mental note that if she did more housework, the dust mop would probably not have dust and cobwebs on it from lack of use.



The Spinster runs into the guest room, and as she's climbing over the dog-proof baby gate, moving the eight decorative knick knacks sitting on the floor in the front of the closet, and re-arranging things so the shelves don't come tumbling down upon her, she makes a mental note to find a new place to store the vacuum cleaner.


Chaos ensues as Aunt Chrissy throws the Happy Chair seat cushion across the room, plugs in the vacuum cleaner, and then hops on top of the chair so as to expose the dark recesses where the spider is surely hiding. The Spinster cowers in the corner while the dog pees on the drapes.

SPINSTER: Is it gone?

AUNT CHRISSY: Um....well....I'm not sure.


AUNT CHRISSY: Well, I sucked up a LOT of crap out of this chair, but I don't know if the spider was in there or not. What the hell do you do in this thing anyway?

SPINSTER: Never mind that! How am I supposed to sit in that chair again knowing there's a spider in there!!!!!

Aunt Chrissy braces herself and takes a deep breath, since she knows what this all means.

She looks at her little dog, contemplates grabbing the car keys and making a break for it, and says (dejectedly): "OK, go open the garage door".

The Spinster and Aunt Chrissy haul the Happy Chair out to the garage, where it is left to sit....looking sad and forlorn to be abandoned over an insect. As the Spinster contemplates what to do next, Aunt Chrissy wonders how fast she can get power of attorney.

SPINSTER: Will you help me get the chair from the studio down the stairs?

AUNT CHRISSY: You mean the big recliner that is exactly like THIS one that I sit in when I come over to stitch? The one that Kavanaugh almost killed himself carrying up there in the first damn place? The one that you swore would never be moved again?

The Spinster and Aunt Chrissy go up to the studio and man-handle the big recliner down the stairs. Sadly, they have miscalculated the size of said recliner as compared to the size of the stairway door, so they decide to man-handle the big recliner back UP the stairs to re-convene. Aunt Chrissy momentarily thinks about leaving the Spinster wedged on the stairs trapped under the big recliner, but she soon realizes that if she does this she won't be able to get up to the studio to retrieve any of her stuff. She takes yet another deep and cleansing breath and hoists the chair up the stairs.

After several minutes of sweating and grunting, Aunt Chrissy and the Spinster manage to "disengage" the back of the big recliner from its seat, and they carry down all of the pieces one by one. The big recliner is placed in the exact same spot that the poor Happy Chair used to be:

Just as Aunt Chrissy is settling in to watch the rest of the documentary, she glances over at the Spinster, who has big fat sweaty tears in her eyes and she seems to be wringing her hands. The pause button is pressed, a heavy sigh is released, and Aunt Chrissy asks the Spinster what's wrong.

SPINSTER: This just isn't the same, Aunt Chrissy. It's not my Happy Chair.

AUNT CHRISSY: I know it's not the Happy Chair, but the Happy Chair has a spider in it and you won't sit in it with a spider in it, so we had to put it in the garage.

SPINSTER: I know, but this chair isn't very comfortable and I just feel like the whole world is against me.

AUNT CHRISSY: It's almost one o'clock in the morning. Let's watch the rest of this documentary and then we'll figure something out, OK?

SPINSTER (sniffing delicately into her hanky): OK

As they finish watching the documentary, Aunt Chrissy thinks about the fact that the artist Cristo was able to create a work of art that involved placing 7,000 two-ton steel frames with saffron-colored nylon curtains throughout Central Park, but her stupid sister is unable to re-arrange a living room without needing a Valium the size of a Buick to do so. She also wonders if you need a license to purchase a dart gun and how hard it is to obtain sedatives to load into said gun.

Aunt Chrissy leaves for home and the Spinster sits and frets. And frets. And frets.

The next day the women run their Saturday errands and then go to the Futon Factory to see if they can find a solution to the whole Happy Chair "situation". (Aunt Chrissy has decided that the Happy Chair has enough dog pee on it to qualify as a bio-hazard, and she tells the Spinster that until the damn thing is professionally cleaned, deodorized, and re-upholstered, she would suggest that it stay in the garage for safe keeping. After getting a whiff of the chair in the hot garage, the Spinster agrees with the understanding that they find a suitable replacement.)

$200 and a lot of grunting later (they had to man-handle the big recliner back up to the studio), they arrive home with:
Later that evening, the Spinster and Aunt Chrissy settle in for another night of movie watching and stitching, but the Spinster is so uncomfortable and miserable in the new chair, that all she does is sit and weep quietly.

Sunday morning dawns bright and early and the Spinster calls Aunt Chrissy, and in a trembling voice says:

SPINSTER: Aunt Chrissy? Will you come pick up this chair, please? I don't want it here anymore. I want my Happy Chair. I know I have to get it cleaned and fixed and de-spidered, but can I use my bedroom chair as a stitchy chair instead?

AUNT CHRISSY: I'll be there as soon as I put on some LIPstick.

The Spinster and Aunt Chrissy take up the rugs, move the side tables, sweep the floor, load the new chair into the car, move the bedroom chair into the living room, the guest room rocking chair into the bedroom, the rug back to where it was to begin with, the Aunt Chrissy stitchy chair into the corner, and end up with:

Aunt Chrissy takes a look around the room, sees the dog pee on the drapes, and decides that she will definitely look into assisted living facilities first thing in the morning. She goes home to her little dog and tells him that he's damn lucky that he ended up with her and not her insane sister. The little dog looks up at her, realizes what she's just said, and feels really bad about peeing on the piano while she was gone.

The end.

Aug 13, 2009


Country Cottage Needleworks
"Garden Girl"
32ct. Platinum Cashel
DMC floss and CC thread


It was brought to my attention during this evening's viewing of Toddlers and Tiaras that TLC will air a show entitled Truth Be Told: I'm Obsessed With My Pet next Wednesday evening at 9pm EST.

Yes. The recorder is set and I am contemplating throwing a viewing party.

So there.

Aug 12, 2009


Yesterday was Stewey's annual check-up with the lovely Dr. Niemann. Normally this wouldn't be worth posting about, but I've been a piddle puddle of tears all damn day because my dog....actually....loves me.

Aunt Chrissy went with to help keep Mommie and Stewey entertained, and when we were in the exam room, she did a fabulous job of cuddling and inhaling enough dog hair to last her a lifetime. (I had to read my list of carefully written questions, don't you know, and God forbid I not write down every single stinkin' detail of the visit in "the book" for posterity).

Stewey is normally very very good during his v-e-t visits, but for some reason he seemed a little skittish yesterday. At one point (this is the part where my heart melted), my little furry son looked up at me with tears in his little eyes and said "Mommmmmieeeeee" and then tucked his little head into my shoulder.

OK, now I KNOW that he didn't actually say "Mommmmmmmieeeee", but if you would have been there and seen the look on his little sweet face you would have heard it too. I swear.

So last night as we were getting ready for sleep, I told him all about the day he came home and how much my life changed forever. I also told him every single story that I could remember from the first year of his life with me and I drifted off to sleep with my little dog all cuddled up next to me.
Today we're back to normal. The landscaper just mowed the grass and Stewey peed on the ottoman. Damn dog.

I finished half of the border of "Garden Girl" and am determined to finish the rest of it tonight! I can't believe how cutie cute cute this thing is and I have no idea why the heck I ever put it down in the first darn place. In looking at my pile of WIP's, I notice that there are more LHN than anything else, and I can't figure out why this is. I seem to love them when they're finished, but for some reason can't buckle down and do them in the early stages. Hmmmm. A question for the ages. 'Scuse the magnet in the middle of the pic. SOMEBODY was too damn lazy to re-take the photo after she realized it was there. (Man, I hate myself sometimes.)

Aug 11, 2009


I'm fascinated by the speed with which y'all stitch. I myself am a very sloooooow stitcher, but then again, I do have the attention span of a humming bird. I'm not a slow stitcher because I'm methodical or neat and tidy....I'm just slow for the sake of slowness itself.

I sat down at approximately 3pm yesterday afternoon and after the full-length version of Casino, four episodes of Chopped, two viewings of the Sex and the City Movie, and countless other TeeVee drivel, I managed to get the inside design of "Garden Girl" completed. Now I'm on to the border and this one gets to go into the FUPPY box.

(Chopped, by the way, is the Food Network show that challenges chefs to open a basket containing obscure combinations of food to come up with a suitable appetizer, entree, and then dessert. And yes, I yell at the contestants that they're hacks, and I could certainly come up with an entree made of trout, turnip greens, Parma ham, and marshmallow cream or a dessert made with blueberries, red wine vinegar, caramel, and brussel sprouts.)

But I regress....

During my daily blog reading (which probably accounts for my lack of progress on actual stitching), I glue myself to the screen to see the latest updates on all of your projects. And the worst part of it all is that I actually get all a'flutter when I see that you're nearing the end of a piece! I wait with breath that is bated for the eventual happy dance and all of the joy that comes with it. Then, when the final pic is posted, I scream "WOO HOO" loud enough to make the dog pee on the drapes.

Sadly, after I run to the studio to fish through my stash for the project you've just completed, it doesn't jump onto the q-snaps and stitch itself spontaneously, so I must be doing something wrong. I try and try to tell myself that "it's the journey and not the destination", but I get all Violet Beauregard about it and find myself stomping feet and saying "I want it NOW". Then I spend hours and hours calculating the exact number of minutes it will take to get all of my current WIP's finished BEFORE I start the new thing that you've just completed, and the resulting figures depress me for a week and a half.

I really need to get a new hobby.

****Edited to add after reading the comment/question from Amy****

Hi, Amy!

Thanks so much for stopping by my silly blog and for leaving a comment! I believe that you had a quiestion about my eyesight....I am RIDICULOUSLY near-sighted, which means that when I take my contacts out (or my glasses off) I can see about two inches in front of my face. Usually, I put my contacts into my head first thing in the morning and I'm able to see the entire world in all it's technicolor wonderfulness without a problem. And for some wierd reason, I am also able to see realtively well close-up, even though my eye doctor tells me that this is sure to go away soon.

For stiching, I wear my contacts and then I perch a pair of 99cent magnifiers on my face. (I use the +1.50 magnification.) This allows me to see the TeeVee, as well as stitch on everything from mono canvas to 36-count linen pretty well.

All of this would be really simple if it were not for the fact that I just bought myself a new pair of glasses which cost more than my first car (or so it seemed). This traditional gal walked right into the fancypants eyeglasses boutique and asked for something that would be a little different than the eight year old plastic frames I had been clutching to my chest as though they contained the key to everlasting peace in the Middle East. So I am now sporting one-of-a-kind European custom funky frames that supposedly look simply fabulous. Alas, I cannot stitch with them for some reason, since the close-up distance is not as good as it is when I wear contacts. Heavy heavy sigh.

So on days that I have to put on somthing other than eighteen year old sweatpants and leave the house, I wear my fancypants glasses during the day (Who am I kidding? It's solely to impress people, and I know it) and then I put my contacts and magnifiers in place for all of my evening stitchy goodness.

I blame it all on Aunt Chrissy, who bought frames that were five times more expensive than mine and needed somebody else to fall down the rabbit hole with her.

Gee, arent' you glad you asked?! :-)

Woo Hoo!

Aug 10, 2009


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's been overcome by a case of the "Robert Downey, Jr's." My Aunt Chrissy came over yesterday afternoon for some stitching and movie watching, and although I thought we should have viewed several Merchant-Ivory films, the consensus was "Factory Girl" and "Ironman". (Damn that Bosco and his seven-year old boy attention span.)

I liked "Factory Girl", but got really depressed by it, so Mom made me go in the other room for a while to collect my thoughts. Just as I was about to re-join the family, the volume went up, the lights went down, and both Mom and Aunt Chrissy sat transfixed by what should have been a pre-adolescent boy movie. Geeze, Louise...the number of "hubba hubbas" that was flying around was just too much to take after a while. I will say this, though...those muscles and that goatee kept my old lady quiet for the rest of the night.

You would think that a lot of stitching was done, but alas, it was not to be. On Saturday, Mom put some stitchy WIP's on the guest bed to get a better look at them for her next selection: She decided to work on "Cherry Cordial", which is a counted piece done on congress cloth (it's the pink one in the middle), but the whole R.D., Jr. thing was just too much for her pea-sized intellect to handle. I think she stitched and then ripped out a section at least seven times before putting it away.

After movie time, she picked up Country Cottage Needlework's "Garden Girl". When last we left our little heroine, she was bald and didn't have any hands. Now, at least, she has some lovely brown hair and a nice hat to protect her from the sun. I like this one, so I hope Mom sticks with it today and heads for the finish line.

I noticed that y'all were kind enough to post nice comments about the pillows on the guest bed. Here are some close up pics for you (but please forgive the loose threads on the sunflower pillow...Mom needs to take that one apart and re-stitch it.)

That's the Monday report from Chez Spinster. Thanks for stopping by today!

With love from your pal,

Aug 9, 2009


This is Jennifer Pudney's "Tall Poppies", a little kit that I purchased all the way back in 2006 for my birthday trip. This was the oldest WIP in my pile, so I'm really tickled to get it finished and off the list! Sorry for the craptastic photo, but it's dark and I don't know how to use my damn camera. *

Stewey is already on his way to dream land. He'll sack out on his perch and then I'll coax him outside for one last potty trip before lights out. He's been a little quiet today...methinks it has something to do with the lousy hot/humid weather outside. Good thing we've got lots to keep us busy in here... and it's as cold as a meat locker! Woo Hoo! "Please, Mommie. Do I take pitures of you when you're trying to sleep?"
*Edited to add in the light of day:

Aug 7, 2009


Three cheers for Jane from The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure! In her comment yesterday, she suggested that I try doing a tent stitch over every other thread for the background on Tall Poppies. Woo Hoo!Like a good little stitcher, I sat my heiney in the Happy Chair and just GOT TO IT. At first I wondered if I would be able to figure out how to do a tent stitch over every other thread (I know, I know), but once I got into the rhythm of it, things just moved right along! I got about 3/4 of the way to the top and then got a little bug-eyed, so I played with the black squares a little bit for a change of pace. If I stick with this one again today I could....wait for it....gasp with delight....jump up and down with glee.....FINISH THIS ONE!

I find it fascinating that I can go months and months without finishing anything, and then POOF! I get one thing done and get on a roll. I suppose that it's all part of my "all or none" personality, but it seems that if I'm not in a stitchy rut, then I'm flying through WIP's with the greatest of ease.

I had a friend named Dr. Dan who once told me that he had never met a person who had absolutely no grey area. It was either A or B with me...nothing in between. We had a good laugh over it that, and I asked him if I had to be a roller coaster, could I be one of the twisty/curvy ones that made people throw up?

My friend Dr. Dan and I first met on the school bus when we were in sixth grade. He was the tallest kid in the class and was the star basketball player. His family moved away to Mansfield, Ohio once we entered high school and I lost touch with him. After I had been at Notre Dame for a few weeks, a Lima friend of mine said "There's a really cool guy in my dorm that I want you to meet. His name is Danny Guagenti and he's originally from Lima." (Please note that my friend Dr. Dan's last name was not was Gaughan.) So in walks this little guy (about 5'3" tall) and he introduces himself with a little twinkle in his eyes. It took me about a half hour, but eventually I smacked myself on the forehead and said "OMG! You're not Danny Guagenti! You're Dan Gaughan! What the hell happened to you?! You used to be tall!"

Now you would think that this comment would have ended the friendship right there. But nope...without missing a beat, Dan looked me deeply in the eyes and said "Uh, Con? You all were four feet tall in sixth grade. Everybody looked tall to you."

So our friendship continued through the years and we followed each other from place to place. Dan graduated from Notre Dame and then attended Wright State Medical School on a U.S. Navy scholarship. Once he finished med school, he then served in the Navy as a Naval Flight Surgeon. (I like to tell everybody that Top Gun pilots all have their own physicians, and that those physicians have to be trained as Top Gun pilots that's what my friend Dr. Dan was, but I'm sure I screwed that all up and only remember it that way because Dan looked exactly like Tom Cruise in his flight suit.)

I moved to Atlantic City in May of 1993 and within three days of getting there, Dan called to tell me that his ship was going to be in New York for Fleet Week and that I had to come for a visit. (He was on the USS America). Did I mention that I was still traumatized by the drive from Indiana to New Jersey? Did I mention that I was afraid to leave my crappy little apartment for the first month that I lived there because New Jersey was the biggest and loudest place I had ever been?

God only knows how the hell I did it, but Memorial Day 1993 found me in my little Pontiac Sunbird on the Garden State Parkway headed to NEW YORK CITY. NEW YORK CITY. ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. (Man, you talk about your country bumpkin...). Well, I made it and Dan and I spent the entire day hanging out. We toured his ship (which was bigger than Lima, Ohio by the way), we took a subway to SoHo, and we ate new York pizza. It was the first time that I EVER did anything that adventurous, and when I made it back home to tell people about it, they were amazed that ANYBODY could get me out of my apartment, let alone out of New Jersey.

Anywhoose...after finishing his time in the Navy, Dan started his residency in Toledo, Ohio and got married. Six months later, he suffered a massive heart attack while driving himself to the ER and died. He was thirty one years old.

There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of my friend Dr. Dan, and sometimes I wonder what the hell he would think about me writing this silly blog. He sent me an article once about writing children's books, but I never thought a thing of it. Now, I wonder if he was trying to tell me something that would have changed the course of my life.

Man o' manachevitz. I have NO IDEA where all of that came from! One minute I'm talking about putting tent stitches on a piece of needlepoint and then BAM! I'm reminiscing about a lost friend. STEWEY, GET THE MIDOL!

(I guess that A and B thing wasn't too far off after all.)

Happy Weekend, everybody!

Aug 6, 2009


I finished LHN's "My Needle's Work", but I screwed up the border. I knew this was going to happen, but I had convinced myself that somehow it would magically all come together in the end. It didn't.

I'm going to let it marinate for a few days before I decide what the heck to do about it. (We all know I will probably rip out the entire thing and start over, but let's just pretend that I will come to my senses before that, shall we?)
This is my oldest WIP. It's a small post-card sized needlepoint canvas by Jennifer Pudney. I purchased this little kit as a take-along on my trip to Turks and Caicos, and I stitched all of those flowers during the harrowing flight over the ocean to Provo Island. ("Are those SHARKS down there, Aunt Chrissy?! Where's my cocktail!? Did I remember to leave a copy of my will on the dining room table so that when I am no longer, Stewey will have a nice safe clean comfortable home to live in?! (And yes, I did write a will, and yes, instructions for Stewey were included in said will, and yes, I set up a little trust fund for his up-keep.) "Oh my God! Is that the pilot going into the bathroom!? Who's flying the plane?!"). And so on.

Once we got to T&C, I was more worried about the ToyoPet vehicle that we sported around in (yup, it was smaller than my suitcase and had the steering wheel on the wrong side), and whether or not flying cockroaches would get me in my sleep than I was about finishing this, so it went into the WIP pile and stayed there.

What can I say? I'm a little high maintenance.

So methinks it is next on the QUEST TO FINISH EVERYTHING THAT I'VE STARTED BEFORE NOVEMBER 1ST. My only problem is what to do with that background? I know it should be done in tent/continental/basketweave stitches, but I'm thinking that I should maybe only use one ply of the thread so that the flowers stand out a bit. Either that, or I suppose I could fish around in my stash and find something with a little sparkle to it and make this a funky little piece to put into a small purse front. (Did I just say sparkly?! Me?! Wow, I must be coming out of my "Oh, no sparkles for me, thank you" shell a bit. Woo Hoo!)

A migraine is knocking at the back door of my skull at the moment, so I'm going to go grab some Excedrin and a diet Coke before it decides to send me back to the sleigh bed today. (Is that a Breakfast of Champions, or what!)

Happy Thursaday, everybody!

(Oh, tee he! I just realized that I said "Thursaday" instead of Thursday. Am I channeling Lawrence Welk, or what?)

Aug 5, 2009


I'm thiiiiis close to finishing LHN's "My Needle's Work". I would have finished it last night, but I had to get out of the Happy Chair every ten minutes to go check the front porch to see if the brown recluse spider was still there. (At least I convinced myself that it was a brown recluse spider.)

So instead of working on that border, I sat in the chair with a case of the heebie jeebies all night.

I hate nature.

Aug 3, 2009


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's too busy stomping around the house muttering to herself. Apparently, she was watching television this morning while she was eating breakfast (Cheerios and skim milk, thank you very much), when she heard something that sent her straight into a "This is why the rest of the world should hate us" rant.

Three years ago, in an effort to help quell the childhood obesity epidemic, Sesame Street did something that (in my mother's opinion) is unspeakable. They replaced Cookie Monster's cookies with carrot sticks and apple slices. Now while I understand the need to shake things up a bit, you would think that there was an international announcement that Santa Claus is a myth the way my old lady is carrying on.


I wish I could share more of Mom's comments with you, but I truly find them to be so offensive that I fear a reprimand from the Blogger God His Very Self.

So that's how my morning has been.

On Saturday, Aunt Chrissy and Mom went to the South Bend Farmer's Market. (At least that's where I assume they went....God knows Mom doesn't get out of bed for ANYTHING at that hour, unless there's food involved somehow.) Anywhoose, they brought home a lot of lovely fruits and vegetables and these:Aren't they pretty? I've really been enjoying them as I snooze on my perch. Methinks sunflowers are the prettiest things I've ever seen. I know Mom likes her daisies and all, but these suckers have really captured my attention.

Continuing the flower theme, here are the lilies that are blooming out front:The smell of them gives me the sneezles, and Mom says that the front walkway looks like a funeral parlor, but I think they're just lovely.

So does my friend, Teddy:Can you see him there? He's kind of tucked in behind that creepy rock that Mom keeps on the front porch. The thing behind him is actually a piece of garden mulch, and NOT a huge piece of frog poo. (I was pretty impressed until I realized what it was.

Mom and Aunt Chrissy tried to can jars of cherry preserves, but (as usual), my idiot mother screwed it all up and it has to be re-done tonight. Aunt Chrissy promised to go to the hardware store tonight to get the proper tools, especially since there was a lot of yelling and cursing going on with the "improvised crap" that they were trying to use. So this is what it all looked like before:Everything sealed properly, but Mom didn't use enough pectin. So instead of the stuff being nice and thick (and spreadable on some toast), it was more like cherry flavored water. Hopefully, they'll get it right tonight and I'll have preserves this winter for my afternoon tea and scones!

Mom's still plugging away on LHN'S "My Needle's Work". She was trying to get caught up on all of the DVR shows she's taped, but apparently she cannot watch "Masterpiece Theater" and count at the same time. So progress is a little slow:
I'm going to make her finish this one before moving on to something else, because I think she should put this in a little frame next to the Happy Chair. (See? I'm always thinking.)

Well, that's my report from Chez Spinster today, kids. I do hope that you all had fabulous weekends and that you're off to a splendid start to your Monday!

With love from your pal,