Jul 28, 2010


Once again, I am forced to submit a post to my adoring public sans photographs. I am typing from a remote location today, and alas, I am unable to access the photographic evidence that my stupid mo-ther has, in fact, been stitching.

Most recently, she has been working on and loving every single minute of Madam Perin's Daisy Chain. This piece appeals to me enormously, and I am hoping that Mommie Dearest will find it in her heart to allow me to hang it in my very own boudoir.

Speaking of you-know-who, did you happen to see the new piece she talked about today on her blog? It's one long piece of gorgeous! One quick call with my brand spanky new Visa card, and all was ordered and in the queue for stitching. Just such a lovely lovely thing to behold, and I can't wait to see how it too will look in my little sleeping area.

Mo-ther has been hobbled by my lack of movement during the night. What I mean by this is that when I get into the bed and stretch myself out for sleep, I'm not likely to move. Ever. So I guess this has caused my mom's knees to become irreparably twisted up, so she's limping around like someone who thinks she's going to get a little tea and sympathy.

Nice try.

We're having a summer thunderstorm here in Hoosierville, which means that my tomato and cucumber plants will be very happy. Aunt Chrissy and I have really taken to this whole gardening thing, and I'm thrilled to report that she has weeded and pruned everything exactly as per my specifications.

I do hope that wherever you are is exactly where you want to be. If you're stuck with this dreadful heat, remember to hydrate!

Until next time!

With love from your pal,

Jul 23, 2010


Woo Hoo! As you can see from the above pic, I managed to finish the yellow ring around the flower last night. This look was achieved by couching Boucle thread with a single ply of floss. To couch, you basically just lay the thread on the canvas, smoosh it into the shape that you want, and then tack it down with floss.


It's a technical term.

I know that a lot of yous out there in Stitchy Blogville are cross stitchers who say "Oh, that looks really cool, but I could never do something like that." Well, please allow me to affirm that:

1. If I can do it, you can too. Absolutely. I'm not kidding. No, really. I'm about as bright as a 20 watt bulb, so if I'm able to sit in the Happy Chair and putz around until the needle hits the canvas properly, then you can most definitely do it with your eyes wide shut.

2. As my Stitching Sen-say Aunt Chrissy likes to say: "Cross stitchers know how to read a chart. Once you figure out how to adjust your brain to counting threads versus counting holes, transitioning to canvas work should be rather smooth".

She might not have said it in exactly that way, but you get the idea. I hope that if you're on the fence about trying something new that you just jump right in with both of your perfectly pedicured feet and give it a try.

We're off to the weekend! Stewey is looking forward to tending the garden with his Aunt Chrissy. He loves it when she comes over and picks the cucumbers or dead heads the geraniums. I love to look out the window and see her carrying on an entire conversation with him.

Wonder what they talk about?

Jul 22, 2010


So I sat down in the Happy Chair after dinner last night to start applying the new thread to the Maggie flower canvas.

"It's too dark", I said to no one in particular.

Then I tried blending a few pieces of the dark and a few pieces of the bright, but that didn't work either.

"It's too stripe-y", I whined. This time, Stewey popped his little head up from his perch and gave me a look that said "If you don't get your freakin' act together and just stitch already I'm going to go pee on the drapes."

Then I tried using some Flair that I had in my stash. Disaster. Pure, unadulterated disaster.

Just as I was about to give up on the thing entirely, I shouted "EUREKA!" and dashed upstairs to a very special container. (Well, I didn't DASH, exactly. It was more of a very determined waddle, but you get the general idea.)

A very special designer friend of mine (wink wink grin grin) sent me some fabulous fibers that were from her very own personal collection. In addition to being the most very special stitchy designer on the planet, she also hand-dyed a bunch of threads and was gracious enough to share them with little 'ol moi.

I ran right out and bought them their very own special container thingie, but aside from taking them out and lovingly petting them every now and then, I never imagined that I would actually use them. (I have this weird thing about "Oh, no. They're just too pretty to use! I need to save them for a special project.)

(This, of course, is why Aunt Chrissy and I have no less than eighteen different sets of "good" dishes between us and why I have "good" sheets that have never been out of the package they came in. I'm just a nutjob that way. God only knows what I'm saving all of this "good" stuff for, but it's somehow reassuring that if the Queen of England ever comes for a visit I'll have new stuff to haul out and use.)

So look what I found....the most perfect varieagated perle cotton that ever was:

I'm spectacularly thrilled and can't wait to use this as the perfectly perfect in every way solution to the bright green "situation".

At least until I change my mind in the next seven minutes.

Jul 21, 2010


Laura J. Perin
Daisy Chain
18 ct. mono canvas in eggshell
Watercolours, DMS #5 perle, and YLI ribbon floss

Spring Flowers?
18 ct. handpainted mono canvas
about eleventy-thousand different threads, button, beads, and doo-dads
(The green on the right was just a little too bright for me, so I'm replacing it with the darker green on the left. )

Jul 20, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She and my Aunt Chrissy are working off hangovers of epic proportions. Now, I would imagine that you're assuming that these would be real live hangovers caused by too much alcohol consumption (based upon the title of this post), but I'm afraid to report that they are actually....well...I can't believe that I'm going to tell you all this...

My mother and aunt are experiencing hangovers caused by the marathon viewing of almost every single episode of....the....

Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Yup. You guessed it. My stupid mo-ther and her sister are now knee-deep into the shenanigans of Caroline, Jacqueline, Dina, Teresa, and Danielle.

I can't stand it anymore.

I won't begin to tell you what they're thinking about doing tomorrow night, but let's just say it involved an email from my mom to my aunt with an invitation to a dinner that will consist of Italian sausage, potatoes, onions, and peppers on the grill, accompanied by a bottle of red.

My mother has decided to start drinking red wine.

Apparently she thinks this will get her more in touch with her Italian heritage.

I think it will get her more in touch with the Tylenol bottle.

On the stitchy front, there has been a lot of activity around here, but alas, I do not have any photographs for you. SOMEBODY forgot to re-charge the camera battery, so you'll have to make do with my descriptions.

Mom cleaned the studio to within an inch of its life yesterday, and I'm happy to report that everything is now back in its proper place. She put all of the random charts and threads and kits away and even managed to bring a SMALL basket of goodies downstairs for us to play with.

The new threads arrived for the Maggie canvas, and I heard Mom exclaim "These are EXACTLY what I was hoping for!", so methinks that one might see a little action tonight. She did manage to frog all of the offending beads and threads and I have to confess that it only took a few minutes to do so. I thought it would be an all day affair, but everything came out toot sweet.

Mom started Aunt Laura J. Perin's Daisy Chain last night and I have to say that I think this is my favorite piece in the stitchy basket. The colors are just lovely, and I'm thinking that I will hang this over my little bed after shopping for a new duvet cover to match.

That's the Tuesday report for now, my dear friends. I hope that you are fabulously happy today and that if you're in a steamy area of the big blue marble you're keeping cool and hydrated.

With love from your pal,

Jul 16, 2010


Hello, my dear friends. It has been quite some time since you've heard from me, and although my stupid mo-ther would have you believe that it was HER decision to keep me away from the computer and Blogville, please know that this is most definitely not the case. I've been a busy pup, and although she thinks that I've been entrenched in my fort, I've managed to slip away for some very high-level meetings in some very high-level places.

If and when all of my recent plans come to fruition, you will be the first to know. I can't reveal too much at this moment, but let's just say that Harry Potter won't be the only one with his own theme park , and I intend to create a worldwide phenomenon that will rival ANYTHING having to do with vampires. Stay tuned, won't you?

So yesterday was another "interesting" day with the old lady and her stitching. As you might know from recent posts, she's been happily stitching away on a delightful canvas from Maggie, and despite my strongest objections to getting all "up in her head" about it, she officially went right over the edge at about 11:42 last night.

We hit the Happy Chair at about three in the afternoon and Mommie Dearest decided that she was going to tackle the beading on the first flower. (You know...the one with the chenille center.) Anywhoose, she got the beads out, fished through the kit for the very special beading needle and the beads, and got to it.

Seven and a half hours later, the canvas went flying across the room and a string of expletives spewed forth from her mouth that had me running for cover. I didn't hear every single word, but I got the gist of it based upon how red and sweaty her face was and how furiously she was looking for her seam ripper.

Turns out that my stupid mom doesn't like the particular shade of green that's on that flower. At all. As a matter of fact, I think she said something about not liking that particular shade of green the very day that she GOT the canvas, so why she decided to spend seven and a half hours putting beads on that area (that are sadly the same particular shade of green that she doesn't care for), is beyond me.

All I know is that after a fitful night's sleep, I heard her on the phone leaving a message for the girls at Beadecked and Beadazzled. I think it went something like this...

"Hello, darlings! (My mo-ther thinks she's Barbara Streisand sometimes.) (Trust me. She's not). This is Coni out here in Indiana and I've got a stitchy 9-1-1. I just can't live with the green on my canvas, so I need you to send me Splendor, Boucle, floss, and beads that will match Fuzzy Stuff F32. So is you could just mail those off toot sweet, that would be FABulous."

She tried to sound all chipper and breezy, but even I could tell that she was on the very tippy edge of a nervous breakdown. The thought of having to remove a ga-jillion and a half beads from this canvas has sent her straight to the big girl sleigh bed with a bad case of the vapours.


I suppose that now would be a very bad time to point out that the bird is stitched in the wrong color. Do you think I should tell her, or save it for AFTER she's had a proper lunch of Merlot and Wheat Thins?

So that's the report from Lake Woebespinster today. All in all a pretty normal day. I'm doing exactly what I want to do when I want to do it and mo-ther is stumbling around in a freakin' daze. I have NOT, I'll have you know, watered the drapes yet, so I suppose that progress is being made on at least one front around here.

Stay cool, kids! It's gonna' be a scorcher, so make sure to hydrate!

With love from your pal,

Jul 15, 2010


So it appears that y'all think that I am the only amoozing one in our stupid little family of two. (Ahem, I meant to say family of FOUR...forgot the pups, don't you know.) Actually, that letter was written by Aunt Chrissy Her Very Self, and if I may say so, she is most definitely the better EVERYTHING of the two of us.

I will admit that her humor is a little more sophisticated than mine, but if I think real hard and get all concentrate-y and stuff I can almost understand her subtle sarcasm.

Anywhoose....seems that Bosco is not the only puppy around here that's peeved at moi. Stewey has decided that he is going to run away from home if I don't let him back on the 'puter to write to his adoring public, but I am trying to be THE MOMMIE and make sure he behaves himself like a fussy little gentleman this summer. That means that he has been enrolled in Comportment Classes at the local library and that we are trying to dial down the overall "attitude" around here.

In short, I am trying to re-establish myself as the alpha.


It's not working very well.

In the Mergers and Acquisitions department, I do have a few new things to share. First up is Laura J. Perin's Daisy Chain. Isn't it just the cutest thing you've ever laid eyes on? Isn't it? Well, let me tell you that the photograph doesn't do this justice. The colors are simply....divine. I can't wait to get this one on stretcher bars.

Next is a BAP that I saw on a bunch of blogs that caused me to have lust in my heart. It's Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor, and I'm going to stitch it on a fabulous piece of 28 count "Country Mocha" linen. Methinks this one is going to have to go on scroll rods. I can already see myself getting flusterated with the excess fabric hanging over the q-snaps. (Well, will you look at that? I'm actually THINKING AHEAD and not getting myself into fizzy tits over a simple problem that has an even simpler solution.)

Ooops. I just typed "fizzy tits".

(Tee hee hee hee hee.)

Sometimes I just crack my own self right up. Can you tell?

Finally, I want to share a lovely RAK that came from our VBDSF "Daisy Girl". She said that she thought of Stewey when she saw this. Isn't it the cutey-ist? I was only able to play with it for a few moments, though, since Stewey snatched it from my paws and took it to his stitching studio in his little fort under the bed. Methinks he has a new summer project commencing soon.. Damn dog. But...THANK YOU DAISY GIRL! You just rocked our little world over here in Hoosierville.

Last night I added some stitches to my canvas, and, in the light of day, I am wondering if cocktails and stitching past midnight are really such a good idea. The stitch guide (written for me by Ms. Ruth Schmuff Her Very Self) told me to do a basketweave twill with Planet Earth silk and Rainbow Gallery's "Fuzzy Stuff". Here's what I came up with:

Too much? Or just the perfect little puff of whimsy that will give this canvas that something extra? I actually like the little poofs of white fluff and will probably leave them there as an o-modge to my little Stewey and his downy white furry little self. I'm just a little concerned about getting the beads in there adequately. Maybe I'll randomly space them for a little bling without getting too terribly fussy? (But wait....soft white downy fur naturally calls for fussy, doesn't it?)

So those are the decisions and updates for the day. I'm off to find a cool drink and an even cooler Happy Chair. It's going to be a real scorcher today and God knows I'm not built for this.

I hope you're doing exactly what it is you want to do today! Woo Hoo!

Jul 14, 2010


I came home to a rather unpleasant "situation" today. My puppy tot nephew, Bosco, has apparently retained an attorney and is suing my big fat white heiney over my recent post....

I herewith attach a copy of the letter for your perusal.

(And yes, Aunt Chrissy and I REALLLLLY need to get a life.)


Law Office of Sniff-em, Poop-em and Pee-em
53920 East Park Ave.
New York, New York, 51126

Constance J. Rich
AKA: Aunt C.J.

RE: Bosco Oliver Willowswamp Rich
Blog Post of July 13, 2010 and posting of picture

Dear Ms. Rich:

Bosco Oliver Willowswamp Rich has retained this law firm to represent him in a dispute he wishes to discuss with you regarding your Spinster Stitcher Blog post, dated July 13, 2010.

The picture posted on your site was taken without our client’s knowledge. Mr. Bosco feels that it depicts him in an unflattering pose and he is concerned with his on-going web image. He is rather concerned that his ‘money maker’ was not properly positioned for optimal viewing.

Although he is rather flattered that you choose to include him in your blog post, in the future he would like to be able to discuss any posing, lighting and possible eyes closed issues.

Mr. Bosco would also like to be included in all past and future profits for his image posted on your site. His remit address for payments is XXXXXXXXXX.

Finally Mr. Bosco would like to extend his greatest love and appreciation for his ‘Aunt C.J.’ and would like to humbly thank you for including him on your Spinster Stitcher Blog.

Jack T. Flying-Monkeys, P.C.

Jul 13, 2010


Aunt Chrissy and Bosco came for wienies on the grill this weekend and my puppy tot nephew discovered a new friend....a frog! Believe me when I tell you that little Mr. Pudge Pot is all boy and he was under that grill before we knew what he was up to.

Stewey, of course, was much more tentative:
"Did you see it, Bosco? Was it ferocious and beastly? Does it look like one of the women on Real Housewives of New Jersey?"

So then I got the proverbial burr up my...nose and pulled out all of the daisies on the canvas that I'm still working on, and thankfully, still in love with. And instead of futzing with them further, I put some attention to the background and then tried just one daisy to see if I was on track:
See the center of the flower? It's couched boucle'....makes it look like one of those old fashioned bedspreads that your grandma had in the guest room. Don't you think? The green part will have beads in between the green silk stitches, so bling bling bling is soon to ensue.

I'll leave you with a pic of some glads that I picked up at the grocery store this weekend. They were a buck a bunch. How the heck could I NOT?

Aren't they pretty? I'm just amazed at how lovely they make the whole darn room look. Dog pee and all.

Gotta' go....Danielle just got the weave ripped off her head at the North Jersey Country Club....

Jul 9, 2010


I've got daisies on the brain. Somehow I think that the ones on my canvas just have too many darn petals. (Is that even possible...for one to have too many darn petals?). In looking at things last night, I decided that I like the daisy that is on the far right. It seems more "daisy-ish" to me somehow. The others seem a little too full:
And the one on the far left is a total disaster in relationship to the bird. That one DEFINITELY needs to come out:
Speaking of the bird, he's stitched in Rainbow Gallery's FUZZY STUFF, a fiber that I've never used before. It's a combination of fuzzy and sparkly and Stewey thinks it lends a rather festive flair to the little beast:

His tail feathers are stitched in Petite Very Velvet, and his twiggy little legs are Splendor, and his beak is Petite Perle. (All Rainbow Gallery threads.) For his eyeball, I attached a shiny black bead that gave Stewey the creeps. He felt like it was watching him all night long.

A profound thought hit me as I was fretting over the daisies. "Why don't you", I said to no one in particular, "just keep stitching along and leave the daisies alone and then if you don't like them at the end you can rip them out, call Ruth for more ribbon, and start them over again?"

And then I laughed heartily over the image of me not fretting over the damn daisies as I stitch along.

Needless to say, methinks I will frog the damn daisies and move on to something else. Like the background. Which, if memory serves me correctly, is usually the very best place to start on a painted canvas so that you can fudge it all around and then cover up your fudgie bits with the design/center. So methinks that after I frog the damn daisies it's definitely on to the background.

But the bird stays right where it is.

Your comments were lovely and funny and much appreciated. As to the question of what Stewey is reading on his Kindle, turns out that he's knee deep into the classics this summer. I spotted Anna Karenina, Bleak House, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Animal Farm. In addition, there were a few books about the Tudor realm, and then finally a great funny novel by Garrison Keillor called Pontoon. I snuck a few pages of that one and chuckled myself right into full on giggles. I just love it when a book can make you snot iced tea out of your nose. Don't you?

On the book front, Stewey and I had a long discussion about Mommie's former life when she was a reader. In looking back over my book journals (yes, yes, I know....I can't seem to have ANY hobby without it involving some form of obsessive compulsive list making/organizing/fretting), I saw that I used to read one to two books a week. A week! I used to know about all of the hot stuff coming out of the book world and which authors were doing what and who was writing about whom and what was doing this or that. I was SUCH a book nerd. Read for hours and hours and hours each day and never EVER thought I would slouch through a summer without some plan in place for all of the great stuff I was going to read. What the heck happened?


I started stitching. And then thinking about stitching. And then reading blogs about stitching. And then thinking about reading blogs about stitching. And then writing about stitching. And then thinking about writing about stitching. And then there was a while lot of shopping for stitching. And organizing stitching. And obsessing over stitching. And then the actual stitching itself.

They really should make a pill for this.

We're off to the weekend like the proverbial herd of turtles! Methinks the mumus and mocktails need to commence on the patio toot sweet. Hear that Aunt Chrissy? Grab the little guy and your stitching, slap on the mumu, and let's get on with it!

Jul 8, 2010


Is there such a thing as a daisy farmer? If so, that's exactly what I want to be when I grow up.

When I planted myself in the Happy Chair yesterday I was completely out of sorts. (Nothing too serious, mind you, just life and all that comes with it.) So I stared and stared and stared at my big pile 'o stuff and finally decided to just put a few stitches onto the Maggie flower canvas.

A few stitches lead to a few more stitches, and before I knew it I was on the phone with Aunt Chrissy shouting about how fabulous River Silks are to work with. (If you've never tried them before, or if you're like me and had never done any ribbon embroidery...I say go for it and have fun!)

I realize that my daisies probably don't look like Ruth intended them to look (or the designer of the canvas for that matter), but I like them and that's all that matters. Ahem.

(Oh. Sorry. Should have explained that Ruth wrote the stitch guide for me for this canvas.)

Stewey asks me to send his heartfelt apologies for not writing lately. He is suffering from a rather bad case of writer's block and has decided to just do some summer reading instead. I'm not sure what exactly is in his Kindle, but as soon as he goes down for his nap today, I'll take a peek and let you know. (That, of course, is provided he hasn't installed any type of Mommie Dearest Security Block on the damn thing.)

Eight cucumbers out of the garden last night are now in the fridge in the form of bread and butter pickles. I've never made them before, so I'm not sure how I did, but if they taste as good as they look and smell, I might have stumbled across a new career path. Pickle maker.

Hmmmm. Coni J. Rich, Pickle Maker and Daisy Farmer Extraordinaire. Do you suppose that will fit on a business card?

Jul 7, 2010


Y'all are just too darn nice to the Spinster Stitcher! Thank you very kindly for the lovely comments regarding Stewey and the fee nee finish. Now, as to this whole puppy breath situation...may I just point out that my Stewey had the most wonderfully good puppy smell for about the whole first year of his life? They really should figure out a way to bottle that, don't you think?

Decisions, decisions today as I try to think about what to stitch next. I am still feeling the canvas, so methinks I might go in that direction, but will it be a painted canvas a' la Maggie, or will I pull another beloved Laura J. Perin? Maybe the brand spanky new Needle Delights Originals that came in the mail yesterday and made me weep with joy?

Stay tuned....only the shadow knows!

Jul 6, 2010


Lily of the Valley Collage
Laura J. Perin
18 ct. mono canvas in marbleized green
Caron Watercolours, Waterlilies, DMC #5 perle, and Flair
started 5/23/08
finished 7/6/10

It's way past my bedtime, so I'll keep it short and sweet. May I present Laura J. Perin's Lily of the Valley Collage?

(Please keep in mind that the whack-a-do idea of using silk flowers on this is purely MY idea and in no way reflects how simply gorgeous the design is if you stitch it as Ms. LJP Her Very Self intended.) (I'm just a boob and thought I would try something different.) (And, I'm too lazy to tent stitch the middles of these and am using the silk flower idea purely as an excuse for being so lazy.)

Oh, and please note that the flowers won't look like that in real life....they are just placed there for photographic purposes and will most certainly be carefully attached with invisible thread in a most artistic fashion. I swear.

Today is the 5th anniversary of the day I brought Stewey home. Aunt Chrissy and I drove to Ligonier, Indiana to the Willowswamp Farm by way of corn fields, and when we got him home I rolled a ball down the driveway and he chased after it and I squealed with delight that my itty bitty little two pound dog knew how to fetch and then Aunt Chrissy rolled her eyes and things have never been the same since. Damn, but I love that dog.

Jul 5, 2010


I've completed all of the moteefs on Laura J. Perin's Lily of the Valley Collage, so now I'm on to the background. I think it looks like fishnet pantyhose. (Thus the clever title post.) (Where DO I come up with this stuff?)

The July 4th holiday weekend was a quiet one here at Chez Spinster. Aunt Chrissy and Bosco came for cheeseburgers on the bar-be-que grill, and tonight we managed to have the first corn on the cob of the season. Methinks it wasn't quite ready yet, since both AC and I looked at each other and said "Eh" and then passed the pickles. We like to slather it with mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese and then steam it in a foil pouch on the grill. (Stop that retching....you have to try it before you think we've officially lost our damn minds. It's really quite good.) Actually, I would love to take credit for the recipe, but those honors belong to Ms. Paula Dean Her Very Self. (As I just re-read the last few sentences, I realized that my description sounds awful. So let's try again....make a lovely paste for your corn with a little mayo, some fabulously fresh Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, cayenne, and a little paprika and then steam on the grill.) Better?

Stewey is on his perch enjoying a hot summer evening. He was out on the patio earlier tanning his little heiney on the hot cement, but I made him come in. Just looking at him out there was making me sweat. I don't know how the darn dog does it with that little fur coat on, but Mommie Dearest here thinks anything over 55 degrees is just too damn hot.

I'm off to the Happy Chair to plug away on this background. I noticed that my DVR thingie is almost full, so I suppose I should watch a movie or two to make room for some new stuff.

Happy Monday!