Sep 29, 2009
I'm known for keeping my house cooler than a meat locker, and apparently the damn dog has decided to throw a massive guilt trip my way. I was frantically searching all over the house for him moments ago and found him on his perch:
And clutched in his little paw was a note to the ASPCA and this photograph:What he NEGLECTS to tell, however, is the ridiculous lower back ache his mommie is sporting today because SOMEBODY had to curl himself up into a little ball and glue himself to the absolute damn center of the big girl sleigh bed all night. Damn dog.
I planted my b-u-t-t in the Happy Chair yesterday at about 4pm and looked up at the clock again at 2am. Without even realizing it, I watched "Atonement", "Miss Pettigrew", "Dirty Dancing", and "P.S. I Love You" while stitching on "The Riddle".
For the life of me, I cannot figure out what the heck the black and white thing is to the left of the sheep. A dog? A horse? The perspective is wonky on this, so I can't judge it by size. (You'll note that the blue columns at the top of the little hill are actually legs. Quite large, Marge, when compared to the little teeny weeny building in the back, no?
Man, I wish I would have paid more attention in art class!
Sep 28, 2009
Today is our first official cool and blustery day here in Hoosierville. Stewey has decided to declare this the "Day of the Blanket" and spend it cuddled up on his perch. His little hands and feet were popsicles this morning, so I'm hoping he gets warmed up before my nap time. (*)
I worked on "The Riddle" this weekend, but the progress looks a little meagre in the light of day. I had completed a good portion of the bargello grass in between the two trees, but had to frog it and the tree on the left due to a temporary lack of counting skills brought on by a little overdose of hunky-tude.
(I need to start writing things down: Never work on something that requires concentration when Gerard Butler and/or Jeffrey Dean Morgan are in the immediate vicinity of the TeeVee.)
I'm going to have a cup of tea now, and I am determined to figure out how to make a good one if it kills me this year. For some reason I think about how lovely a cup of tea would be, but then the end result leaves me a little...blech. Maybe I should stick with coffee?
(*) Yes, I know the damn dog doesn't have hands and feet and I completely anthropomorphise him, but a Spinster's gotta do what a Spinster's gotta do, eh?
(Wow. Such a big word for a Monday.)
Sep 26, 2009
First up is "The Riddle". It doesn't look like very much, but that stitching on the bottom took me through the entire "Sex and The City" movie. Twice.
I have to say that it really is quite enjoyable to stitch, but I have to remind myself to be delicate...the silks are really lovely and soft compared to heavier threads I've been slapping on canvases.
Speaking of....I outlined the hearts on "Floating Hearts" but am not sure that I like it. I know, I know, y'all told me to leave well enough alone, but I just had to see what it would look like with Very Velvet stem stitched around each:
That took me all the way through "Finding Forrester". I wonder how long it will take to rip it all out?
Finally, there's "Wandering". The silks arrived, so I was able to complete the backgrounds and change those dots from Impressions to Soie Cristale:
I'm still not too thrilled with the stem stitched outlines of the swirls, but I have promised myself that I will leave it alone until the entire piece is finished and I can see it all at once. I do like the silk backgrounds, though, even it it did take all of "Howard's End" to do two lousy blocks.
Uh oh. Stewey has just stomped into the office to advise me that the laundry needs to get done today or he's going to find accomodations elsewhere. Considering the coolness of the evenings lately, I suppose I better hop to it, or I'm going to lose my little furry leg warmer.
Happy Weekend, kids!
Sep 24, 2009
She is now lusting after some of the delicious painted canvas work that she's seen. (I really need to learn how to block her from adding bookmarks. The time it's taking away from her care of me is just criminal, I tell ya'. Criminal.)
First there was Stitchy Aunt Jane's work on a canvas that had been badly damaged: http://www.chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/. The loving care that Aunt Jane is using to work on this piece has brought my stupid mo-ther to tears at least seven times, and she's threatened to go to Chilly Hollow to find the hooligans who dared to disrespect this "thing of ours". (And yes, she said that in her best Tony Soprano voice.)
I think the one that threw her over the edge, though, is Stitchy Aunt Ruth's work on a Melissa Shirley canvas. You can see it at: http://www.tistheseason.org/blog/ruthsBlog.html. Apparently, zinnias are one of Mom's very favorite things on the planet, and the fact that this piece incorporates ribbon-work has her itching to try it herself.
And if I am understanding her muttering correctly, THAT is the type of needlepoint that my silly mo-ther wants to do on painted canvases, but she knows that she is going to need to invest in some serious class-taking and stitch-guide purchasing before she will be anywhere close to this level of skill.
My Stitchy Aunt Laura is always able to calm Mom down with her fabulous designs, but now Mom realizes that she needs to HURRY UP and get going on all of the flower collages if she is ever going to get them done in this lifetime. I keep telling her to finish "Lily of the Valley Collage", but ever since she finished that damn "Daisy Collage" she's afraid that she won't be able to find the perfect silk flower for the center, since she's convinced that Flower Collage Serendipity only happens once in a great while. Sheesh.
And then my Stitchy Aunt Laura had to go and stitch a LHN piece on congress cloth: http://www.two-handedstitcher.blogspot.com/. Mom decided that she needed to do the same, but she couldn't decide if she should go back and repeat a piece that's she's already done, or if she should look for the perfect NEW piece to do with this new medium.
Then there's all of YOUR blogs in which you happily share your progress on your projects and do so with such casual elegance. Mom just about foams at the mouth as she sits in front of this silly machine looking at your latest stitches in every single thing you've ever stitched in your entire life. (I'm not kidding. She's very very stalkerish this way.)
Now do you see why I've left a message with Dr. WhosyWhatsits about increasing her meds?
I caught her sneaking up to the studio this morning, but I quickly coaxed her back downstairs with a fresh cup of coffee and the promise of a nap if she would be a good girl and stick with her Stitchy Plan. She wasn't very happy about it, but once I threatened to pee on the drapes she decided that a few hours in the Happy Chair with the newspaper would be much better for her than spending the entire day pawing through her canvases and threads. I'm not sure how much longer I can distract her, but I'm going to give it my best puppy try, since she has NEVER stuck with a plan this long in her entire life. I'm determined to get her to November 1st without any new starts if it kills the both of us.
She did do a little stitching last night. I selected The Drawn Thread's "The Riddle" as her next "We're Going To Only Work On WIP's Until November 1st" project, and she seemed pleased to put a few stitches into it: It would be amazingly swell if she would stick with this one for awhile, especially since I have already decided the wall on which it will hang once framed. I checked her project book, and although she didn't have any notes on this (bad Mommie), I suspect that she is using the 32ct. Vintage Fawn linen that the chart calls for.
I need to poke her with a stick until she starts writing stuff down on all of these stitchy projects...methinks I'm going to need these details once she finally kicks it and I'm able to open up that eBay shop.
With love from your pal,
Sep 22, 2009
And! Thanks to all of you, I realized that I didn't need to outline the hearts and that they're fine just as they are. I did, however, throw a long strand of #32 Kreinik on there as a border to the border and I think it added a little oommph somehow!
Y'all were fabulous midwives for this one! Thank you for seeing me through to the bitter end!
Sep 21, 2009
Sep 18, 2009
I am presently engaged in a game of playing Hyper-Vigilant Watch Dog Saves The Day so that the neighbors will finally acknowledge me as a force to be reckoned with, and not some trained monkey that my mom insists on parading about in fancy outfits. So far, I've managed to scare the bejeebies out of three old ladies who were taking their morning constitutional. That'll teach 'em to walk so slow! Move on, people! Nothing to see here but a Spinster and her Hyper-Vigilant Watch Dog Who Saves The Day:
Mom worked on the background to the Floating Hearts canvas last night, but there really isn't anything exciting to show. After all of your lovely comments, she is now re-considering whether or not the hearts need bordering, so I'll be sure to let you know.
She would have completed more of the background, but she got caught up in watching "The Other Boleyn Girl", and all I know is that we have a new piece of handsome man meat for her to ogle. I think his name is Eric Bana, and how he escaped her lusty clutches thus far is beyond me. Damn Mommie.
I do hope that you are headed into a fabulous weekend. I myself am planning on a few sunshine naps, one or two snoozes with my mom, and more treats than a nine-pound bundle of joy can handle.
With love from your pal,
Sep 17, 2009
This overbite comes in handy for him whenever he a) wants to look adorable by throwing his little head back and laughing like Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor (see side bar for photographic evidence of this), or b) when he wants to noodge you into doing something.
(Like wake from a dead sleep so that he can twirl himself into a ball on the warm soft spot that WAS the three inches of bed that you were previously sleeping on.)
At 2am I was rudely awakened by those buck teeth and the noodge-noodging of my nine pound bundle of joy that decided he was cold and that he needed to tuck his nose into my cleavage for safekeeping. I thought I was having a heart attack, but no, it turns out that he was noodging me with those damn teeth right in the solar plexis. Damn dog.
I worked on Floating Hearts while watching the Opening Gala of the New York Philharmonic. I didn't really mean to watch the whole thing, but I just sat there and stitched away, and before I knew it, the credits were rolling and I had just heard the entire "Symphonie Fantistique" (*). I'm all cultured now. I decided to do a skip tent in Silk and Ivory for the background of the piece, and a simple tent stitch in DMC #5 perle cotton for the border. Those hearts really need to be "outlined" in some way, though, so before the day is done I want to try to come up with a solution for that. At first I thought I would stem stitch around each one with DMC#5 perle, but I tried one and didn't like it at all. So now I'm thinking about couching Very Velvet? Damn, that would mean a trip to my LNS, and God knows how much trouble I'll get into.
Ms. Monica asked about the stitch that I used for the small green heart. It's a diagonal stem stitch, with the vertical and horizontal legs done in Watercolors and the diagonal tie-down stitch in Splendor.
That's the report for today, kids. Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving such nice comments. Right back at 'cha!
(*) I know, I know. You're cringing at the way I butcher the Engligh language and just spell stuff any 'ol way I want to. You should also be aware that I make stuff up too. Like words and phrases and gramatical constructions.
Sep 16, 2009
I have decided that I will not change anything and will start working on the background tonight. For this, I will do something very very simple (maybe a skip tent?), so that the eye has a resting place. I'm still not too sure about the border, but methinks this will be simple also so that the hearts take center stage.
It cracks my heiney that I've had this thing for soooooo long and then all of a sudden I'm finishing it! I swear it was a lightning bolt that prompted me to pick this up after so many years, but I'm not going to question it. Maybe it will strike again and I'll finally get some other long-held WIP's finished before my deadline?
Do you realize that I've been at this since July24th! I don't think I've stuck with anything this long before. Now I'm on a mission to make it to the bitter end. November 1st will be here before I know it and I might actually get to go into 2010 with a manageable number of unfinished projects hanging over my head. Woo Hoo!
Thanks again for all of your comments and for taking time out of your day to stop by...I am truly not worthy to know such wonderful peoples!
Sep 15, 2009
Do you think the stitches in the teal heart and the purple heart and the yellow heart are all too similar? And, since they are similar, does it make the stitches on the other teal heart look out of place?
A lovely reader asked for the artist information for this canvas. I am ashamed and mortified that I don't have a clue. This was one of the very first painted canvases that I bought, and at the time I had no inkling to record the information for future use. The name Alice Peterson keeps jumping into my brain, but I looked and looked on the webinets and couldn't find it. Please forgive me for this. I am a boob.
Thanks to some new allergy meds I am loopier than usual today. Methinks a nap might be in order. Night night!
Sep 14, 2009
I think the reason why I didn't get a lot of separation on the top layer is because Flair is a) relatively flat, and b) it's stretchy and was easily pull-able.
(Miss Jane from Needle Nest calls Flair "Barbie pantyhose" because it's a tubular nylon...tee hee!)
Now before you defend my mo-ther, please understand that I've had to put my little paw down on this whole situation. I feel that if the old lady is going to parade me about the neighborhood like some kind of trained monkey, then I should be able to look good doing it, n'est pai? And since it took me almost three whole years to get her to stop buying my clothes in the Target baby aisle, I feel justified in caring for my things as a proper gentleman should. (I've asked Santa Claus for a valet of my very own this year, so we'll see how that goes. I would prefer someone in the order of Sir Anthony Hopkin's character in "Remains of the Day", but I'll settle for any help I can get.)
Here's what she worked on yesterday:
The lower right heart is stitched with Watercolors and two different colors of Splendor in a Burden stitch. This was pretty easy to do, but it took the entire screening of "A Few Good Men" for Mom to knock this out.
The upper left heart is combo stitch...Milanese with Giant Scotch. This one she's doing in Watercolors and DMC #5 perle cotton.
I suspect that she would have finished the heart on the left if she would have stopped pausing the DVR-thingie to watch the volleyball scene from "Top Gun" over and over and over again. I swear, I thought she was going to break the remote control. (And her lusty commentary on the whole thing was rather inappropriate for me to hear, I might add.)
Anywhoose, here are a few close ups of the stitches. First the Burden stitch:
And now for the Milanese with Giant Scotch:
I guess that will have to suffice for the report from Chez Spinster today. I've been barred from further detail by my mo-ther's legal team of late, so that would account for my sporadic blog posting. Sorry about that folks, but I'm afraid that she'll attach my assets if I do too much tattle telling. Don't worry, though, I've contacted several brilliant legal brains of my own, and I hope to be unfettered real soon.
In the meantime, please continue to read her drivel and make her feel welcome. It takes a tremendous burden off of my shoulders not to have to reassure her every ten minutes. I've got napping and peeing to do, after all, so I can't be bothered with her insecurities and needs 24/7.
Have a splendid day!
With love from your pal,
Sep 11, 2009
Such is my life with "Wandering".
I loved this chart the moment I saw it, so naturally I had to have it RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE! I bought canvas and all of the threads, etc. etc., and then promptly put it in my stash.
Then, as confessed previously, I started/stopped the damn thing multiple times. I can't find the first try, but trust me when I tell you that it wasn't pretty.
For the second attempt, I got cocky and picked out my own colors. As you can see...disaster: Just what in the heck I thought I was trying to do here escapes me at the moment, but I'm sure in my head it was lovely. Just lovely.
So then I decided to try this piece on congress cloth:
Finally, we arrive at the current incarnation....a Wandering v4.0, if you will:
Why is it that my confidence level as a stitcher drops dramatically whenever I try to do something on my own and it just doesn't come out like I had envisioned in my punky little brain?
This thought rattled around last night until I jumped out of bed at 4am shouting: "EUREKA! I am not a needlework DESIGNER! I am a needlework STITCHER! It's OK if I just do what I'm told and enjoy the project as is. It's OK if I realize that the DESIGNER is smarter than I am and that he/she has spent hours and hours of toil to get the piece just right! It's OK if I can't come up with something better! I am a STITCHER! Not a DESIGNER!"
(The real reason I jumped out of bed at 4am was that my nine-pound puppy tot decided to have a round of projectile vomiting that would have made Linda Blair (of The Exorcist fame) proud. Poor little guy must have had too many treats yesterday, because it was all he could do to come up from under the covers to spew all over me and the freshly laundered sheets. Sigh.)
(The best news is that I did NOT freak out at all. I gently scooped him up and placed him on his perch and then calmly stripped the bed, washed the sheets, and disinfected the entire room before settling back down for the remaining ten minutes of sleep.)
I'm off to find a sheet for the loveseat and a TeeVee tray for some ginger ale and saltines. Ahhhhh, memory of my youth. Whenever we were sick (or faking it, ahem), Mom would put a cool crisp sheet on the couch and then let us camp out there with a little glass of ginger ale and saltines for company. Bliss.
Happy Weekend to all and to all a....well, um..Happy Weekend!
Sep 10, 2009
So like a boob, when I re-colorized this, I decided that I would be a rebel and ONLY go with Impressions and the little bit of Waterlilies. Stoo-pid, because those backgrounds are done with one skinny-minnie strand of the Soie Cristale silk and Impressions is a silk/wool non-strandable fiber.
WAIT A MINUTE......
Holey Cow! When I just re-read that paragraph, it actually sounded like I half-way knew what I was talking about! Strands! Fibers! Non-strandable! Who knew that I could remember so many needlework terms all by my very self?!
(They're probably all incorrect, but you have to give a Spinster points for trying, don't you?)
But I regress...
So the answer to the question is: I'll work on all of the blocks with what I have now and will then add the backgrounds with the Soie Cristale. I'm thinking that the bubbles look OK in the Impressions, so for now....they're staying right where they are.
Hmmm. This is definitely the most boring post I've ever written. I sure hope y'all don't figure out how far I'm REACHING for something to talk about. Don't you hate that? You know, when you don't really have anything to say and you really don't know too much about anything at all, but you hate silences so you just babble on incoherently until somebody either smiles at you in pity or they get up and leave the room?
" " (That would be the uncomfortable silence part.)
Stewey has decided to start a series of self portraits with his new camera. I wasn't too sure about this one, but he insists that the lighting is supposed to create an "atmosphere of mystery". Damn dog.
Sep 9, 2009
Lily Frog is a painted canvas that comes with a stitch guide from Randi Gelman of Sew Much Fun. And! Ms. Lily is only one of many many different animals that are available for your stitchy pleasure!
There have been five finishes (along with resulting Happy Dances, of course):
The next thing I pulled out of the guest room was Bent Creek's Big Zipper, which I only just today discovered is actually titled "Live, Love, Stitch". All this time I thought that Big Zipper was a rather odd name for the project, especially since I couldn't figure out where the Big Zipper came into the design. Then I realized that Big Zipper refers to the Big Zipper bag that the initial chart comes in.
Uh, paging Mrs. Duh.
Next I pulled Lily Frog from the guest room. (If you're wondering why the guest room....I put all of my WIP's in there so that I won't be tempted by anything in the studio. This way I am banned from the place and can't use the excuse that "oh, this just caught my eye and I just absolutely had to put it on q-snaps and stitch it".) Before you get too excited, this is just the pic from the front of the chart. I haven't finished the entire thing yet...just the tummy and the two front paws. Or legs. Or whatever the heck frogs have in the front.
The last project that I picked up is "Wandering". OK, I'll confess that I did have to start this one over again from scratch (for the fourth time, no less), but I think I finally hit the right color combination. This might be the one that I stick with until completion, but I don't want to say that out loud and jinx myself or anything. Now for all of you who posted lovely comments telling me that you anxiously awaited my return, may I just say a 'la Sally Field..."You like me! You really like me!". Thank you very very mucho from the bottom of my pitiful Spinster heart. It does this body good to know that so many of you stop by from time to time to see what I'm up to. I guess this is kinda' like Virtual Assisted Living.
Wonder if we can market that?
Sep 2, 2009
My evil plot is revealed! You have discovered that I, Stewey Angus Willowswamp, am the evil genius behind this whole "Spinster Stitcher" phenomenon.
Pay no attention to that puppy behind the curtain!
Bwa ha ha ha ha!!!
(Cue spooky castle organ music, please.)
Seriously, kids...relax. The old lady will be back toot sweet. I promise.
Bwa ha ha ha ha!