Oct 29, 2010


I tried. I really did.

Every year, it's the same damn thing. Halloween approaches, and I'm left standing in front of the linen closet looking for an old sheet that can become a ghost costume on a moment's notice. If there were a real live man in this house (as opposed to the fantasy Jeffrey Dean Morgan), I could raid his closet for an old sports jacket, a hat, and a belt and whip up a "hobo" in two seconds flat. Alas, neither are to be this year.

Stewey is supremely miffed at Mommie Dearest (yet again) that I did not get my inner Martha on and concoct him a Halloween costume of epic proportions. He threw out the usual suggestions...Lady GaGa, the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, a Chilean Miner, and Monica Lewinski...(?)....(!)...but I didn't hear a word of any of it. Instead I said "Uh-huh. Don't worry. I'll get to it as soon as I finish this" and then, before my very eyes, the big event was upon us.

What can I say? Mo-ther of the year I'm not.

I had visions of dressing my little bundle of joy up each year, and along with the dressing up would come fabulous pictures for his scrapbook that I would produce with glee when it came time for his prom date to meet the 'rent. I had plans to scour the costume shops and the old Martha magazines gathering dust up in the studio for that one perfect look that all of the other kids in the neighborhood would talk about for months into the New Year. I would bake and decorate and sew and stitch and gather and harvest and give thanks for everything that came my way during the Autumnal Wonder, and I would stand out in the front yard and gasp at the sheer brilliance of the changing colours around me.


So today I'm planting my big fat white hairy butt in the Happy Chair and doing nothing. I'm not going to fret over the lack of festivity around here and I'm certainly not going to cave into a spoiled little brat of a five year old Jack Russell terrier who feels compelled to share with the world my failings as a mom. Screw 'im. He can damn well fend for himself this year.

(She stands with hands on hips and defiantly cocks her head upward, as if to say (in the words of her own dear departed mo-ther) "Eye's dee boss and hees dee boss-ee", while attempting to look somehow "final" in her decision.)

(This lasts eight and half seconds)

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go brainstorm over a pile of grocery bags, some left over felt, and the remnants of seventeen years worth of abandoned craft projects to come up with SOMETHING that will get the damn dog out from under the bed.

Oh, and I've got drapes to wash.

Oct 28, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She too busy accepting the "Queen High Exalted of the Whole Entire Universe" award while standing in front of the bathroom mirror clutching a shampoo bottle.

Really, people. You have GOT to stop being so damn nice to her. It goes straight to her head, and I'm the one that has to live with her and her ridiculous ego for days and days after she has one of these silly "FEE NEES".

So, in the name of all that is holy, I beg you. Please, just silently mutter something under your breath like "Gee, a lousy five finishes in a year and that woman expects us to jump up and down for her?" and then get on with your day. K?

Mo-ther and Aunt Chrissy were out most of last night. I at first suspected that they might have joined the 18th century and decided to go out on the town, but it looks like they went to the Targets instead. (Hence the shampoo bottle in the bathroom). Mom let her supplies get dangerously low this month, and I was almost on the verge of having to drive myself over to the PetSmart for some cookies, but all is now well thanks to a few well-chosen coupons. I always love it when Mom does a little shopping for the homestead. I get to inspect each and every bag and noodge noodge through them until I find what I'm looking for. Usually it's a new toy for me (!) or a bag of something tasty that gets my undivided attention, but last night I discovered that we are soon to be sporting some new drapes in the living room.

Yes, you heard it. New drapes in the living room.

Now before you admonish me not to pee on them, may I just point out that I've already checked the label, and they are, in fact, machine washable. I, furthermore, have no intentions of watering said drapes, provided I get the proper care, nutrition, and attention that I require. In other words, unless the old lady wants to be washing drapes every day this winter, I suggest that she forks over my AMEX card and the car keys, or I might have to get my naughty on.

There wasn't one bit of stitching last night, but today looks like a good one for the Happy Chair. Mom's headed to the grocery store and then I suspect that she will be in the jammies and slippers by late this afternoon. I wonder if I could convince her to fire up the fireplace, given the fact that it's about 47 degrees in here?

Either that, or I'm going to have to get my Snuggie out of storage.

I hope that wherever you are is exactly where you want to be. Stay warm and safe and dry out there and know that I love you very very deeply.

Your pal,

Oct 27, 2010


Live Laugh Love
30ct. Iced Cappuccino from R&R Reproductions
Gentle Art Sampler Threads

Oct 22, 2010


OK. Confession time.

When I start my 'puterizing for the day, I go through a silly little routine of:
1) check email
2) scan through the AOL headlines
3) post to my blog
4) read misc blogs (like Pearls Before Swine, Crazy Aunt Purl, Posy Gets Cosy, etc.)
5) read stitchy blogs

You'll notice that I don't have a "check the comments on my blog" listed. There's actually a really good reason for that.

I save them.

Yes, you heard me. I save them.

Unless Aunt Chrissy calls me to say "Did you read what so-and-so wrote on your blog today?", I save up for days and days and days and sometimes weeks and weeks until I need a big fat chocolaty boost from all of my stitchy pals. I pretend that I've just been sent an 87-pound box of Godiva truffles and I get to sit down and eat every single one of them. While wearing my underpants and an old Notre Dame t-shirt that should have been thrown in the "use this as a dust rag" bin ages ago. Oh, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan is sitting there at the table with me. And he's wearing Tony Soprano's bath robe. And we're watching Eric Ripert cook fish.

That's about all of the details I can give you on this here family network, but suffice it to say that my hair looks really good and I weigh less than what my driver's license says I do (and it's off by 200 pounds).

So today I thought it might be a nice day for some chocolate, and to my horror I discovered that several of y'all were kind enough to comment AND ask a question or two and I HAVEN'T RESPONDED TO YOU.

This, of course, makes me think that Emily Post is going to knock on my front door and confiscate my secret decoder ring that tells me how to behave in public (I generally go with the principle of "keep your pie hole shut and give your bus seat to old people and pregnant ladies), and that I will be shamed forever as a boorish spinster who has no manners and who simply cannot make a decent cup of tea.

SHELLEY asked who designed the piece in my Halloween tableau called "Faith". Well, Shelley, I believe that it was Country Cottage Needleworks. Or maybe it was Little House Needleworks? Anywhoose, the whole thing reads "Faith is being sure of what we hope for" and I liked the way that sounded. So I stitched it. Why it's in a Halloween tableau is beyond me at this moment, but I assume that it has something to do with the fact that I thought the ribbon was kinda autumn-y.

DONNA asked how I liked working with the Valdani threads in the Quaker Diamond project. I actually enjoyed them and didn't have the knotting problems that so many others did. I did notice a few slubs, but nothing that threw me too much off my game. What I really liked was the fact that they were balls. Pulling a strand to use was very easy, and I wish there was a way to wind all stitching threads into balls henceforth. I will say that it was a little hard to get used to using all of the strands together after stitching with so much silk, but by the time the piece was done I was still happy with the overall experience.

JENNIFER H followed my whacky ort jar project through to conclusion, but I'm mortified to say that I gave her no help whatsoever in finding all of the components. By now, I'm hoping that you are on your way to ort organization nirvana, Jennifer, and that the next time I reel you into one of my nutso schemes I'll remember to give you all of the necessary details. You also asked about the Annie's Keepers labels. I actually used the labels that came with the set that I bought and I wrote the symbol from the chart on them with a Sharpie. I'd love to tell you that I was clever enough to come up with that system on my own, but the fact of the matter is that the girls at Prairie Moon deserve all of the credit.

CONNIE FROM NEBRASKA went off in search of the Blackbird Designs Moonlit Garden chart, and discovered that it is sadly OOP. I'm so sorry, Connie. I would have been happy to share mine with you, but I'm afraid that it was already spoken for. It would have been nice, though, if I would have been courteous enough to tell you that BEFORE you had to run around hell's half acre though, wouldn't it? So sorry.

WENDY gets the award for throwing me into a full-blown "I have to go breathe into a paper bag and then have a shot of tequila and a small slice of cake" panic attack by telling me that there is a movie out there in which somebody is buried alive! I think she said his name is Ryan Reynolds? BURIED ALIVE? IN A MOVIE? Oh, holey schmoley....I can just imagine how long I would have lasted in the the-aay-ter for THAT one!

DIANE mentioned that she was at a quilt retreat and that when the last miner emerged and waved all the ladies at the retreat waved back at him. This reminded me of the TWO times that Air Force One flew over South Bend and I stood in my driveway in my pajamas waving like mad. The first time I was mortified that I had done so, but the second time I realized that there was absolutely nothing wrong with waving at my President, and I decided to do so with impunity from this moment forward whenever Air Force Once flies over South Bend.

DENISE asked me about the crop of scissors on my stitchy table. I know. It's obscene. But these darn scissors are really the only thing I collect, and Stewey's college education is fully funded. If he goes on for a second PhD we're in trouble, but for now I don't feel too bad about an occasional $17 or so to add to the collection. Besides....I just saw that a pair from 2001 was selling for a ga-jillion dollars, so I figure the return on my investment is pretty good, right?

EDY...you liked the thistle pillow on the guest bed. Thank you! I like it too. Sadly, I'm not sure who the designer is, but I can tell you that it is a painted canvas that I stitched with perle cotton.

ALICE noted that I've been rather calm and not flitting from thing to thing like the 300-pound hummingbird that I usually am. I wish I could tell you why this is, but for now we're not going to question it, but rather enjoy the relative peace and quiet around here.

KATHY asked if I would share my color selection for Live Laugh Love. Well, yes, Kathy. I would be happy to! I'm using all Gentle Art Sampler Threads and the colors are: Forest Glade, Burnt Orange, Mulberry, Gold Leaf, and Dark Chocolate. Hmmm. This is interesting. Now that I look at them all up close, they are extremely reminiscent of the Valdani colors in Quaker Diamonds. I guess I enjoyed that piece even more than I thought....it's permeating everything in the house!

And finally, SUZANNE commented that she thought the previous post was from me and that I was taking about my mom or mother-in-law. Nope, Suzanne. Mom's in a drawer in Phoenix, and I never married so I don't have a mother-in-law. (Although I always wanted one. I always thought that I would be a very very good daughter-in-law because I would treat her son like a king and would always remember to address her as Mother Morgan.) I know it can be very confusing to read a blog from somebody who has a precocious little dog that likes to write his own posts every now and then, but he can be pretty funny sometimes, and you gotta' love those little buck teeth! I'll remind him that when he posts he needs to indicate that in the title so that you are ready for him and that the people who would rather eat a can of worms than read a blog post by a talking dog can move to the next entry in their Google reader.

That's it for today, kids! I am so thrilled that you all stick with me through thick and thick around here and that you care enough to ask questions and leave such lovely comments. I'll try to do a better job of answering your questions, but if you like, you can always send me a super secret email (or send the bat signal), and I'll be happy to respond.

We're off to the weekend! I've got chicken rice soup on the stove and I'm not afraid to use it! Woo Hoo!

Oct 21, 2010


It seems to me that it has been quite some time since I've reported on the goings-on here in Spinster's Corners, so while my stupid mo-ther stands in the closet with her hands on her hips (presumably because she can't find anything to wear), I thought I'd give you a little shout out.

The first order of business is to report that the house positively stinks of garlic and shallots again today. Last night as I was tucking in to watch the news on the TeeVee, the woman that I live with (read: endure) went into the kitchen and concocted her evening meal. I can only assume that she used an entire head of garlic and at least a dozen shallots, because the smell in here is unbearable. Methinks she's taken this whole "I'm going to have roasted vegetables for dinner" thing too far.

Whatever happened to a bowl of popcorn and a nice little Merlot?

Anywhoose, I heard her talking to herself about the lack of Fall color around here and I imagine that she created a bowl of food that would represent all of the colors that would normally be on the autumnal trees. Personally, I think it looks like something she should be cleaning up off the rug after my little twerp cousin Bosco has been for a visit:
The need to add color didn't stop with dinner, though: From what I can tell, Mom broke out the artist's pencils that I got her for Christmas last year and decided to change the design up a bit. The original calls for only three colors, but it would seem that, again, we're trying to create some kind of autumnal color palette with thread.

I'm not sure why the colors were non-existent this year. It probably has something to do with the weather and how much rain the trees got and whether they are chloroforming or something, but I'm too busy these days to go look it up on the internets. All I know is that every time we go outside to play PUMPKIN (!), Mom just stands in the front yard and sighs heavily.

I'll leave you with a little self-portrait. I've been taking a class on hypnotherapy at the local community college, and so far the old lady has been a very easy mark. I just lay here on my perch and stare at her for a few minutes and suddenly she's off to the garage to clean the tires on the car or out to the back yard to rearrange the grass. Anything I can do to get her out of my hair is worth it in my opinion, so I might have to think about what else I can do with her under my spell. We're hurtling toward the weekend. I hope that you have fabulous plans in the works and that wherever you are is exactly where you want to be!

With love from you pal,

Oct 20, 2010


It occurred to me that I hadn't taken a peek into my stitchy basket in quite some time, so I took advantage of a perfectly made guest bed (thank you, Aunt Chrissy!) to see what's what:

This year's autumnal selection seems kinda small compared to those of years past, and seeing how I am on this whole "one at a time" kick, I'm not sure that these will ever see the light of day before I start hauling out the Christmas stuff and kvetching about how far behind I am with the whole celebration of the season thing.

At the top we have Ms. Laura J. Perin's Magnolia Collage. I loved this piece the moment I saw it, and now that I am reminded of how much I love it, there might just be some canvas work in my stitchy future today. (By the way....did you know that Ms. P is teaching her very first cyber class?! I am so excited about it that I am pretty sure she heard the WOOOP WOOOP all the way out there in California! You can check it out here: http://two-handedstitcher.blogspot.com/

The second row is: Shepherd's Bush Into the Night, Laura J. Perin's Autumn Kimono, and then Bent Creek's Big Zipper Live Laugh Love.

The bottom row is Blue Ribbon Designs Black Cats and Flying Bats, The Drawn Thread Autumn Arbor, and Shepherd's Bush Autumn Blessings.

Not too bad for an amateur, but I must say that I am amazed at my restraint this year. Normally, when I put together my basket for a season (or a day, depending on how crazypants I am at that particular moment), I have enough stuff in it to cover a football field. I must be entering a "minimalist period" or something.

(Now if I could just figure out how to do that with my menu selections, we'd be all set.)

Stewey must have wondered why I was standing at the end of the guest bed talking to myself, because he came to investigate: "Why are you standing at the end of the guest bed talking to yourself, Mo-ther?"

I suppose that's all I have to report today, other than the fact that I've just discovered that there is a real live Hoosierville right here in the great state of Indiana. Who knew?

Oct 19, 2010


Next up on Ye Olde Q-Snappes is La-D-Da's Live Laugh Love. I'm stitching this one on a lovely piece of 30ct. Iced Cappuccino linen that I found in my stash, and am using Gentle Art threads instead of the threads called for on the chart (which I didn't have....sigh).

You can't see it in the pic, but I did manage to get quite a bit of the border completed last night, so today it's on to the moteefs!

Oct 18, 2010


Moonlit Garden
Blackbird Designs
32ct. "Days Gone By" linen from Silkweaver
Weeks Dye Works threads

So I happy-danced my way around the living room last night with the recent addition of Moonlit Garden to my FUPPY box. (That's finished-unfinished-projects.) I only made two changes to the instructions on the chart this time: I changed the linen to a piece that I had in my stash and instead of using WDW Straw for the bricks and windows, I switched to Gentle Art Flax. The Straw just seemed to pinky-dinky for me.

The title of my post comes from Saturday, the day on which I watched Notre Dame play a football game. This in itself is not exactly unusual, but I must say that the boys' choice of outfits was. Apparently, the people at Adidas have developed some new fangled "compression" jersey that helps with aero-dynamics and such, but in my humble opinion, I think they looked like they were designed by a very peeved eliminated contestant from Project Runway.

(With all due respect to very peeved eliminated contestants from Project Runway, by the way.)

I'm sorry, but I don't think that getting a full-on view of armpit hair enhances my viewing experience in the least bit. And the way the shoulders were cut, you would think that these boys were actually wearing cute little tank tops intended for twelve year old girls to wear to a Jason Beeber concert. (You'll note that I don't have one damn idea of how to spell the kid's name. I just know that every time he sings Happy Birthday on that American Cancer Society commercial I want to take my new Ginghers to his stupid little haircut.)

I don't get it...if you were flinging yourself around outside and crashing into everybody and everything within a mile radius and breaking bones and such, wouldn't you want MORE covering yourself rather than LESS? Wouldn't you want your jersey to be made of something padded and substantial and have the magic ability to protect your flesh AND make you look thirty pounds lighter at the same time? Wouldn't you want everybody in the world to say "Wow. Look at that jersey. I think I need to run right out to my local WalMarts and get me one of them."

Instead, the Fighting Irish looked like they were the latest additions to the Village People.

(And that, most definitely, is with all due respect the the Village People. I love them with all that is holy and will be the first in line to buy tickets if they ever decide to come to South Bend for a concert.)

I guess this is why I will never fulfill my lifelong dream of playing professional football.

Or any other professional sport, come to think about it.

Does stitching qualify as a sport?

We should look into that and get started on our jerseys.

******EDITED TO ADD********

Apparently, the fancy schmancy jerseys are called TECHFIT jerseys by adidas, and there are several commercials on the YouTube explaining all about them.

(I still think they look silly though.)

Oct 15, 2010


I seem to be fix-a-tated on it. I just can't stop watching and reading and googling the whole Chilean mine thing. And, if I weren't babysitting today I would already be in the car headed for the Borders to buy books about the history of Chile.

So here's the random thoughts...

1. The whole "33" thing has me fascinated and just a little creeped out...the drilling took 33 days...there were 33 miners...their note that said they were alive had 33 characters in it....the opening of the freakin tube was 66 centimeters, which is 33 times two...the date on which they were all rescued was 10-13-10, which when added together comes to 33. I'm sure there are a bunch more (I vaguely heard something about Jesus in there, but I was probably hallucinating?), so any numerologists out there, chime in.

2. I was just starting to quell the panic attack over the whole "Look at me! I'm a human colonoscopy!" aspect of the rescue capsule/freakin tube thing, when I heard that the capsule itself didn't just come up the freakin tube like an elevator, but rather that it spun around. IT SPUN AROUND. This is why NASA gave them the drink before hand that contained some kind of high-calorie concoction that would help them not upchuck from the ride. (It's OK. They didn't need to upchuck from the ride. I upchucked for them just THINKING about the ride.)

I think this last little item is worth thinking about, don't you? And if you don't think every stupid amusement park on the planet is thinking about how they can make this ride, you're more naive than I am.

SCENE: An amusement park headquarters somewhere in Middle America. A group of be-suited and be-speckled business men sit around a conference table discussing plans for their latest and greatest attraction: The Chilean Mine Experience.

GUY #1: OK, gentlemen, how can we capitalize on this whole Chilean miner rescue thing?

GUY #2: Well, we could invite them and their families to come to our park for photo ops and handshaking and such and we could charge people a $28 admission fee to gawk at them.

GUY #3: Make the admission fee $33!

ALL THE GUYS TOGETHER: Brilliant, Murray! What else?

GUY #2: How about an entire environmental display that simulates a trip through the entire country of Chile? You know...we could start with the topography and scenery in the north and then work our way down to the south, with interactive exhibits all the way.

GUY #1: Yeah, but we'd have to make this a ride-along exhibit, since the majority of the people who would want to see it are fat-a**ed spinsters who wouldn't be able to walk the length of Chile on a freakin bet.

ALL THE GUYS TOGETHER: Yeah, yes, mumble mumble mumble. Demographics, large-bodied Americans who won't ride it if it doesn't have cup holders for their 87 ounce Cokes, mumble mumble mumble.

GUY #3: Make the Cokes 333 ounces!

ALL THE GUYS TOGETHER: Brilliant! What else!

GUY #1: OK. So here's what I'm thinking...we drill a hole the approximate length of Nebraska into the hot, stinking, humid, fetid Earth. Then we drop an MRI machine down there and we suspend it from a set of cables that have the same diameter as Calista Flockhart's waist. Then we'll turn off all the lights and let the guest suit up in a nylon green jumpsuit, strap on some Oakleys and a miner's hat, and have at it.

GUY #2: Yeah, that sounds good...but what if we only used ONE cable? And we put that one cable right in the center so that the capsule can spin around?

ALL THE GUYS TOGETHER: Brilliant! This will be the ride of the century! Space Mountain can bite us! Wait until CNN gets a load of THIS!

The scene closes as the guys clap each other on the back and congratulate themselves over the successful exploitation of an international human interest triumph that will result in a 7% increase in attendance for sure.

Murray upchucks on the table.

3. Could the Chilean people BE any more beautiful? (I mean it. I had to stop myself at least twice from thinking HUBBA HUBBA over a few of the hunky faces that were on the TeeVee.) And if I were stuck down there in that mine (which of course would mean that I would have fallen into it by accident and NOT voluntarily decided to go underground) and a hunky dunk rescuer climbed out of that freakin thing that was the same size as a Tylenol, I would have INSISTED that we ride back up together, clutched in a romantic, yet wholesome embrace.

4. Do you think that the reason Chilean people seem so wonderful is because they make some of the best wine in the world there?

5. Stewey wanted me to point out that Super Mario's first question to his wife was "How is the dog?". I pointed out that if Mommie ever emerges from hell and death she will most assuredly ask about his welfare immediately.

6. I am wondering if this whole thing will make me want to actually leave the house sometime in the future to visit a foreign land. To eat their food, meet their peoples, see their scenery, feel their culture...if it will make me be more adventurous and stop thinking of the world in terms of the four foot area that surrounds my Happy Chair.

Cheers, Chile. In honor of you and yours, I'm going to make sea bass for dinner.

Oct 14, 2010


I've been sitting here all morning trying to figure out how to articulate the overall thoughts, feelings, and reactions that are happening here at Chez Spinster as a result of the happenings of last night, but I'm at a loss.

At first I thought I would start with something pithy, like "Thank you, Chile, for showing the world how to behave". And then I thought about all of the things that could have gone wrong but didn't, and how it's just all the result of damn good planning, some very tightly-constructed teamwork and logistics, and then finally, flawless execution.

Then I started thinking about this in the context of life as a whole, and I realized that (in my humble and whack-a-do opinion) sometimes idiots like me shouldn't try to define or process or explain any of it.

So instead, I will summarize....

Last night as Aunt Chrissy and I bawled our way through the coverage, I started thinking about that very last rescue worker, and what it must have felt like when he sent that capsule up that freakin' tube for the second to last time. And then they reported that he was, in fact, the very first guy to climb in the damn thing to "try it out" to make sure that the whole system would work. As I pondered his mind-set and bravery and mettle and moral conviction and physical stamina and spiritual strength and professional expertise I looked at Aunt Chrissy and delivered what I think is my definitive explanation from my perspective:

"Aunt Chrissy? See that rescue guy sitting there in that mine waiting for that thing to come back to get him? Well, it's hard to believe that he and I could even be the same species."


The view from the Happy Chair this morning (this is my puppy tot nephew, Bosco):I'm pretty sure that he's thinking "Why does my mom think I'll have any fun here with this crazy woman and her prissy little dog?" right about now.

And to the left, we have the latest progress Moonlit Garden: Happy Thursday, everybody. I'm off in search of fluids to re-hydrate me. (Who knew you could lose so much liquid from your eyeballs in one 24-hour period?)

Oct 13, 2010

Oct 12, 2010


With all due respect to Christopher Columbus, every year it's the same thing. Right about this time, I start getting all out of whack with what day of the week it is. Or what the date is. Or what time it is.

Or what planet I'm from.

Aunt Chrissy and Bosco are hanging out with Stewey and I for a few days for a little staycation. So far we've managed to go to the grocery store, laugh our fool heads off at the stupidest things, and watch almost the entire first season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. We're still trying to figure out that last bit and why we feel compelled to get sucked in to yet another group of lovable misfits, but say la vee, we're riveted.

I'm plugging along on Moonlit Garden and really enjoying it. The linen is plush....very nice in the hand and lovely to work with. Now if I could just stop with the tarnishing of the needles, we'd be all set.

I'm off to the Happy Chair armed with a pot of coffee and some valium. I've decided to watch the extrication of the Chilean miners, and, given the fact the I am claustrophobic enough to pass out in a car without a sun roof, this is going to be very interesting. (Yup. The thought of them in that mine for this length of time, coupled with the thought of that cage contraption that will suck them out of a hole the size of a small cafe table has me in fits.

This, of course, reminds me of a story regarding a very sick father, a 3am MRI experience, and why the folks at St. Joe Hospital in Phoenix will probably never forget me and/or my antics. When Dad was sick and in the hospital, they decided that he would need an MRI, and apparently the only open time slot was 3am. I just happened to be there, so when they came in and cheerfully announced "OK, Mr. Rich, we're just going to pop you down to Radiology for an MRI", I went into an immediate panic attack that prompted a call to the pharmacy for a dart gun and some sedatives. Fortunately, Dad was sleepy and didn't get the gist of why I started to babble "This will be a piece of cake, Dad. No problems at all. All you have to do is close your eyes and think happy thoughts and the sound of the test will be like steel drums on a Caribbean beach somewhere nice and sunny and warm and there won't be any problems at all and I will be right there to hold your hand and give you support and if you have any questions or concerns I will advocate for you because that's what daughters are for and if Chrissy were here right now she would say the very same thing but she had to go home to get a little sleep so that she could go to work and...."

Long story short, when they asked me if I'd like to accompany Dad into the testing room, I misunderstood and thought they said "Would you like to accompany George Clooney to his villa in Italy and drink lovely red wine while the sun sets on your native homeland" and I found myself standing next to the machine gawping in terror and clutching my dad's foot while they did whatever it is they do. It was fine, really. Except for the part where my hair barrette would suddenly affix itself to the side of the machine and pin me there like some kind of freakshow post card on a nuclear bulletin board. This was intermittent, of course, so just about the time I regained my senses and was able to continue providing moral support....THWACK!....it did it again. And again. And again.

Needless to say, everybody survived the test, but I'm pretty sure that I heard one of the nurses say "OMG! That was so freakin hilarious I almost peed my pants", and I decided right there on the spot that that's why God made waiting rooms for people like me.

So pray for me that watching these guys come out of the center of the earth will not traumatize me too much and that Stewey and Bosco won't pee themselves over my propensity for panic.

I just hope they remember the sedatives.

Oct 8, 2010


See this look on my face? See how I am doing my level best to keep my little mouth shut and not spew forth with a ton of obscenities that would land me in Time Out forever?

It all started yesterday when Aunt Chrissy got it in her head to pee in my Cheerios by bringing my little twerp cousin Bosco over for a play date. Yeah, some play date. He clickety clacks around the house all freakin day trying to look all cute and inquisitive, and I get my heiniey smacked for growling at the little bugger. He throws the toys all over hell's half acre and I'm the one that gets scolded for making such a mess. He pees on the drapes....

Oh wait. That was me.

It's not that I don't like him, actually. I do. I like him just fine when he's at HIS house playing with HIS toys and sucking all of the attention out of the room with HIS mommie. It's when he comes here that I have a problem. It's all "Watch the baby!" "Stewey, share your toys!" "Stewey, don't tell your little baby cousin to jump off the roof!" "Stewey, be a good example!" "Stewey, put that pipe down, take off that little silk smoking jacket and go outside to play ball with Bosco!".

It's a crime, I tell ya. I had a really good gig going over here until HE came along. Three squares a day, a nice big bed to sleep in, treats galore, toys up the ying yang, a woman so wrapped around my little finger that she would rather die than upset, displace, or offend me in any way, and a perch from which I have been benevolently running the universe in the exact fashion I wish to run it.

And then along came Bosco.

Oct 7, 2010


I made a very small dent in Black Cats and Flying Bats last night. The linen arrived at about 2pm, and within seconds it was measured, cut, binded, and slapped onto the q-snaps. (My postman thinks I'm a little nuts, but then again, he's used to seeing me out there in the lawn chair awaiting the Christmas ornament issues of all the mags each year.)

(Too bad he's not a stitcher, or we'd have something to talk about.)

(And, too bad he's so darn ethical....would it have been so wrong to tell me who else in this neighborhood gets mail from stitchy companies?)

Today I'm hosting my puppy tot nephew, little Bosco. From time to time his Aunt CJ likes to spend the day with the little guy, so Aunt Chrissy happily obliged, and we've got a big day planned. There will be the requisite chasing of the squirrels, some hearty growling and barking at Stewey, a few snoozes in the sun, and a field trip to both Starbucks and McDonald's. We normally have our date day on Wednesday, but I missed it yesterday due to some unexpected laziness on my part.

Oh who am I kidding? My laziness is never unexpected. You can pretty much set your clock to it.

I had hoped to clean the house to within an inch of its life today, but I feel that it's much more important to spend quality time with the dogs....reading books to them, watching Ina and Julia, contemplating the Christmas stitching basket....you know, all of the urgent matters that are at hand. Besides...last time I checked the Queen Mother wasn't coming for tea today, so the laundry and dust balls will just have to wait.

We're sliding head first into the weekend. I am very very anxious for Sunday to get here. Do you realize that it will be 10-10-10? I think that in the Far East they celebrate a 10-10 holiday (at least I think they do in Taiwan and that it's a very lucky day?), so I'm thinking that Sunday will be a good day to buy lottery tickets and plan the rest of my life.

Time to go. Methinks that snack and nap time need to be implemented immediately. (I hear a rather terse argument taking place over whether or not the boys will play baseball or bridge this afternoon, so I better get in there and referee.) Damn dogs.

Oct 5, 2010


Thanks for your confirmation that I am, in fact, a brilliant moeychandizer. (You know...merchandising? That thing that Target does to get you to put the beef jerkey and hand sanitizer in your cart while you're waiting for the check out lady to get the heck done with the guy in front of you who can't be bothered to pull his pants up so that you don't have to see his heiney in all its glory?)

I think life is simply a matter of merchandising. You take what you have and slap something shiny on it and suddenly it looks much better to the world. You stack things just so...you fold things just right....you polish and smooth and flatten and suck in and all is well.

Crappy furniture that the dog pees on? Put a vase or two on a shelf and you're freakin Pottery Barn. Bangs that seemed like a good idea at the time? Gel those suckers to within an inch of their very lives, and you're suddenly very hip and retro. (Let's face it, kids. NOBODY can rock the 80's bangs like I can). You weigh as much as a small building and have enough facial hair to grow your own wiglet? Slap on some mascara and...voila! You're an internationally famous uber super model.

(Oh wait. That last one is something that I do in order to convince myself that one must really go outside every now and then to face one's public and one mustn't do so with the idea that a burka really would be a better autumnal fashion decision than one's current wardrobe of eighteen year old sweatpants.)

But I regress...

Since the damn United States Postal Service hasn't yet employed the use of the USS Enterprise for its transporting of needlework orders, I had to pull something out of my stash for last night's stitching. Low and beehives, I found this Blackbird Designs chart that I had started forever ago:
Isn't it swell? When I started this, I decided to use only one ply. But after further consideration, I decided to beef it up a bit, and I'm going to go with two ply for the whole entire thing. (Yes, I'll have to frog and then re-stitch "heaven".) The linen is a very nice piece of 36 ct. "Days Gone By" from Silkweavers.

As you might remember, I have a real thing for the British artist Sam Toft. I have several pieces and hope someday to devote and entire room to them. Aunt Chrissy has gifted me with most of my collection, and on Friday she added two more:

I just can't enough of these, I tell ya. I have one of the biggest pieces hanging in such a way that it's the first thing that I see each day, and I can't tell you how much I get a kick out of Mr. Mustard and Co. And how could I NOT love Doris, the little Jack Russell terrier? (I tired calling Stewey by that name, but he wasn't too thrilled about it and decided to voice his displeasure by watering the drapes.) Damn dog.

Oct 4, 2010


Well, I just don't know what to say about all of your lovely comments about my FEE NEE of Quaker Diamonds.

Oh who the hell am I kidding? I know exactly what to say and feigning false modesty has never ever been my strong suit.


Or something like that.

But seriously....do you ever wonder why we all walk around blushing furiously when somebody makes a nice comment about our stitching? And then we say "Oh, thank you, but it's not that great. The back is messy, the stitches aren't perfect, blah blah blah." Why do we do this? And, more importantly, why do we do this when we are secretly giving ourselves cramps from doing an internal Happy Dance while simultaneously patting ourselves on the backside?

Stitching isn't rocket science, I'll grant you, but it is hard to do (in some cases), time consuming, and demanding of one's inner creativity, need to produce, and propensity for collecting. It takes up large portions of our days, even larger portions of our wallets, and we spend hours and hours and hours not just stitching, but reading about stitching, planning our stitching, shopping for stitching, and then fantasizing about stitching.

So let's be honest and just say that we all just FREAKIN' ROCK because we're in this thing of ours and recognize the fact that finishing something and then having your stitchy pals comment about it feels absolutely wonderful.

Once again, may I just say....thank you.

Last night I pranced around until Stewey told me to knock it the hell off already and then I headed up to the studio to fish out something that would qualify as my next stitching adventure.

(A note about my use of the word "studio". I know that it throws a lot of people, and those poor souls who have never had needle and thread in hand can't for the life of them figure out what the heck one does in a "needlework studio". I also risk the chance that you will think me pretentious and snotty and that rather than just saying "the big ass room where I keep all of my stitchy crap", I call it a "studio". As if I were up there painting the Mona Lisa or sculpting the heiney on the David or something. But the truth is that I call it a "studio" because it sounds so much nicer than "the room over my garage" or "upstairs". "Studio" implies that I create and rest and clear my head and solve all the problems of the universe up there. It also means that Aunt Chrissy and I can have Studio Saturday and that we can combine this with MooMoos and Mocktails and rewrite Spinster history. So if you're offended by the use of the word "studio", might I suggest that you create one for your very own self? And if you don't have a whole room or closet for your stitching stuff, why can't your stitchy BASKET be your studio? Or the chair that you sit in? Or the kitchen table? It's all a state of mind, really.)

(Just like my "library" happens to be two crappy bookshelves and a box full of old magazines stuffed into a closet. See? Studio and library. What more could a Spinster want in this life?)

Boy, did I go off the reservation on that one, or what?

Here's the chart that I pulled and then clutched to my droopy boobs all night long...with hopes and dreams of getting it under way:
Alas, it was pure torture for me since I didn't have one darn piece of linen that would work for this. The chart calls for Lakeside Linens "Tarnished Silver", but I don't have anything remotely close to this in Ye' Olde Pile O' Linen. So I woke up bright and early this morning, took Stewey for his constitutional, and then picked the phone up and called Ms. Amy at Down Sunshine Lane.

You know how things are just meant to be? Well, this one most definitely was, because Amy had the perfect package of linen just for me and it's winging it's way to me as we speak.

(Here's where I need to apologize to Amy for babbling on like some king of hepped-up idiot while on the phone today. What can I say other than the fact that I was THRILLED to meet another one of my stitchy heroes on the phone?)

(Amy, if you'd like to learn more about this, Laura J. Perin can tell you all about my blathering on and on and one and how sometimes you just have to accept the fact that the President of your Official Fan Club is a whack-a-do.)

So today I'm going to putz about the house and see what kind of trouble I can get into. Methinks it's time to do a little re-organizing of things and perhaps the vacuum cleaner will make an appearance. I also want to get a few minutes of PUMPKIN (!) in with Stewey out in the front yard, since he seems to be a little forlorn at the overall lack of physical activity around here.

Happy Monday! I hope that you're off to a rip-roaring start to the week! Woo Hoo!

Oct 3, 2010


Quaker Diamonds
Designed by Karen Kluba of Rosewood Manor
28 ct. Country Mocha
Valdani 3-strand floss overdyed threads

Oct 1, 2010


My Mom can't come to the blog right now. She has just returned home from a day out with my Aunt Chrissy. I don't know what the heck these two do when they get together, but all I can tell you is that they were both a little bleary eyed when they walked through the door and they smelled of cheeseburgers.

The alarm went off at 8 am this morning, and as Mo-ther was pouring her first cup o' joe, I spied a "TO DO" list on the kitchen counter:
1. Aunt Chrissy bank
2. Panera
3. Lowe's
4. Aunt CJ bank
5. Varner's nursery
6. Michaels

(Nowhere on there, by the way, do I see any mention whatsoever of cheeseburgers.)

Anywhoose, Mom came home with five huge plants for the outside of the house (I think she called them Mums), some heavy duty wooden sticks to block all of the windows, and four wrapped parcels that I assumed were from Michaels.
After the old lady collapsed into a heap, I opened up the parcels and discovered that she did, in fact, pick up her framing order. So I did a little re-arranging of the decor around here, came up with a little autumnal tableau, and decided to get the stuff up on the walls before Her Majesty awoke:
Pitiful, I know, but if I don't attempt a little spruce up every now and then Mommie Dearest looks around and decides that living like a frat boy is how we're going to behave around here, and I just can't have that.

In the bedroom, I moved a few little shot-skees around:

The first framed piece is a little Autumn Sampler from Painted Pony designs. This one is sitting in the armoire right next to the eighty-five year old television. (That's in case any robbers are reading this and want to know if there's anything worth stealing in here.) (There's not. Trust me about this.)

(Oh. And now that Mom crammed those sticks in the windows, I'm not sure how the heck you'd ever get in here, and once you do, I'm going to chew your leg off.) (So there.)

Autumn Sampler:

Here's a close up of The Riddle by Drawn Thread:

I think this next one is my very favorite. It's Laura J. Perin's Idaho Star done all in Vineyard Silks:
And finally, is Laura J. Perin's Falling Leaves:
Not too bad for an amateur, eh? I know that Mom mentioned that the girls at Michaels did a lovely job on these, and I also know that my little piggy bank is a lot emptier than it normally is.

(Don't worry about me, though. My broker has me carefully invested in both stocks and bonds, so I should be OK in the long run.)

(I am, however, getting increasingly worried that my stupid mo-ther thinks that having a needlework stash the size of Montana is a wise investment strategy.)

So that's the Friday afternoon report from Chez Spinster. I'm going to finish watching a few movies on cable, and then I think I'll call that little twerp Bosco to see if he wants to go out tonight. I'm not really that fond of him when it comes to socializing, but I need somebody to push the gas pedal while I steer Mom's car.

I hope that you have a fabulous weekend and that you get to do whatever it is you want to do!

With love from your pal,