Jul 31, 2008


Before we commence with the random blathering of the day, I thought I would share a little progress on "Joyful Summer". Now, please keep in mind that I fully intend to put more beads on this sucker than a Vegas showgirl....so stay tuned. (Which reminds me of what started this mess with the beads....there I was, minding my own business stitching this piece when a voice in my head said: "I FEEL THE NEED....THE NEED....TO BEAD.")

Edited to add: You wanna' know what's even worse than the above paragraph? Well, imagine me....ME! rolling around on the floor practically wetting myself because I crack my own self up so much. Pathetic. Just pathetic.

(Which reminds me of a day in sixth grade when Sister Catherine Noreen yelled at the top of her lungs...."Constance! I can assure you that despite whatever is going on in that stupid head of yours, you are NOT as funny as you think you are!")

(May she rest).

And now on to a topic that has been on my mind a LOT lately, especially since I have been the blushing recipient of these lovely blogging awards. I do love them so, but always feel a bit perplexed as to how I select only a few of yous to pass it along to. I mean, it's like asking me to pick a favorite food. Or stitchy project. Or puppy. So I cop out and say "Oh, I couldn't possibly" and then feel like a boob for a day and a half. So suffice it to say that I do feel that EVERY SINGLE STITCHY BLOGGER out there should get EVERY SINGLE STITCHY BLOGGER AWARD available, since you are putting it out there and contributing to the furthering of the artform. Besides, reading 400+ blogs a day keeps me off the streets and out of harm's way, so perhaps we should think of these awards as HUMANITARIAN as well.

So did ya' see that Ms. Laura J. Perin Her Very Self nominated me for one of the said awards? Did ya? Huh huh? Did ya? Laura J. Perin. You don't have to scroll back very far in this bloggy mess of mine to learn that I have had a serious stitchy crush on her from the moment I laid eyes on that very first chart. Ahhhh, I remember it well. It's called "Equilibrium" and I looked at it and looked at it and looked at it every day and promised myself that "someday when" I would stitch it and hang it on my wall and be very very proud. (I'll let you know how that works out, by the way.

This, of course, lead me to thinking about me and my celebrity crushes. Laura J. Perin is certainly one, but I have hundreds more. There's all of you (of course), and then there's SamToft, who, I am thrilled to report, sent me an email today! Me! An email from Sam Toft! Hot damn, I'm on a roll. Now if I could just get Chef Robert Irvine His Very Self to come give me a kiss on the cheek I would die a happy girl. (Note to self....must depilatorize cheek before said visit from Chef Robert Irvine. No need to scare the man with a full beard and mustache.) (Hey....I'm Greek and Italian. Let it go.)

I'm frantically reading "Brideshead Revisitied" because I am determined to go to the theater tomorrow night for the premier. I saw a preview for the flick when Chrissy and I went to see "Sex and The City" and thought it looked like the perfect movie to get lost in on a hot summer night. So I'm going to take the book outside onto the patio and not come in until it's done. Send flashlights and bug spray, please.

What's that? You want to know where "Aunt Pooh" comes from? Well, I'll tell you. I am the lousy stinking no-good Godmother to two wonderful girls named Jacqueline and Sara. They live in Lima, Ohio (our hometown, by the way....hi Lima!), and they are....hmmmm...well, I have no damn idea how old they are because of...well, see above. When the girls were little, I demanded that they give me a cute nickname so that I could prance around like the Princess I am and tell everybody what a perfect Godmother I am. I picked "Pooh" since I intended to decorate their nursery with all things Winnie. Two commemorative plates and a baby blanket later and these kids were definitely "over" the whole Pooh thing. But the name stuck. So Aunt Pooh I be, even if I haven't called, written, or seen these chicklets in over a year. (Denise, if you're reading this, I fully understand if you'd like me to return the Fairy Godmother wand and badge...it'll be in tomorrow's mail.)

One thing I DID manage as a Godmother was to teach little Sara something that completely irritated the hell out of her parents. I was living in New Jersey at the time, and when they came to visit me, I taught Sara to say "Who's betta' than you?" every time somebody did something. So the next time they went to the grocery store and the clerk handed Denise her change, this little voice piped up from the stroller below....."Who's betta' than you? (in a perfect Jersey accent to boot)" I was told that it was quite the hit at the Clyde Evans that day.

OK, I'll leave you with a wish for a Happy Thursday. I need to go downstairs to attend to poor little Stewey. He sneezed and "tooted" at the same time moments ago, and this has sent him straight under the bed in a hysterical fit. You'd think with all of the bodily functions that go on around here he wouldn't be so skittish, but this is Stewey we're talking about.

Thanks for coming! Ciao for now!

Jul 29, 2008


I love the word serendipity, and I especially love it when serendipity happens to me!

On Sunday I finished Part One of the Laura J. Perin blackwork mystery. I was just sitting there thinking about how excited I would be to start Part Two when I just happened to visit Laura's blog and see it for my very own self!

So after a lot of wrestling with the ^&$#% printer, I settled in to the Happy Chair for Part Two.

Now you observant fans will notice that my original plan for this piece called for DMC #8 perle cotton in 316 for the second layer. But, being the stitchy goddess that I am, I decide to get jiggy with it and see if I couldn't pick out a contrasting color all by myself without too much angst.

I did it! DMC#898, a lovely chocolaty brown that goes just swell with the pink. I felt like I had re-created the freakin' wheel, when it occurred to me that every college bound girl in America was standing in the Target picking out a pink and chocolate brown bedspread. Sigh.

Oh well, points for trying for sure. I just love this project and am tickled pink that I'm now ready for Part Three!

HA! Tickled pink! I just crack me up.

P.S. The scissor fob is actually a key fob that I bought at Borders a grillion years ago and the decorative felt under my q-snaps is a new thing I'm trying so that I can be like all of yous with your fancy-pants accessories and all.

Jul 28, 2008


I love seeing gardens on blogs. All of my friends are fantastic gardeners, and I can't wait to see what's new in their gardens. I also come from a long line of "garden people" and can remember Mom's flowers being gorgeous year after year.

The gardening gene apparently skips a generation, since all I've ever been able to grow is unsightly facial hair. I try....I really do, but all I come up with is achy knees and a pitiful mess. After my "sod removing day gone awry of 2005" I'm not allowed outside without proper supervision.

Thanks to a wonderful lady named Carol, my front gardens are starting to come into their own. They were planted three years ago and I enjoy them tremendously. Here's a pic of the front of the house.

The weekend brought a special treat in that the lilies are starting to bloom. I seem to remember them blooming in June last year, but this year they are coming in a bit late. I snuck a few pics of ones that I thought were really cool:

This is a hibiscus that I bought at Lowe's for $6. I bought two of them and stuck them in containers on either side of my garage door and they have gone nuts. On some days there are at least 20 blooms per bush. Now I just have to figure out what to do with them for the winter. Can I bring them inside?

OK, enough garden talk. I did manage to get some stitching done this weekend. On Friday and Saturday I worked on Laura J. Perin's blackwork mystery. I've completed the first part and am ready for the next!

Last night I played with CCN "Joyful Summer". I've decided that when I'm finished stitching this one, I'm going to really tart it up with tons of seed beads. I'm all about the fancy, don't you know.

I'll leave you with a pic of my dining room. The cabinet was our Mom's, and on either side of it are two pieces of her needlepoint. I look at these and treasure them every day. Mom did pre-worked canvases on penelope canvas and she stitched the backgrounds in tent stitch using the sewing method. I know....not one part of that makes any sense at all to us "modern stitchers", but everything she did is gorgeous and Chrissy and I love them all. One of these days I'll sneak over to her house so that I can show you some other pieces Mom did...they are amazing!

P.S. I sure am glad my table is clean! Stewey had the boys over for poker last night, so I wasn't sure what I would wake up to today!

We're off like a herd 'o turtles!

Jul 25, 2008


(NOTE FROM THE EDITOR ON THE MORNING AFTER: I would like to clarify that the mess below is not at all a prime example of BUZZ BLOGGING. I was perfectly sober when I wrote it and my sister will attest to that fact. I am not against imbibing in the alcoholic arts....I just don't do it for medicinal reasons. But, you'll be happy to know that I seem to have one heck of a hangover this morning.)

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. I am in some SERIOUS STITCHY WITHDRAWL and I need a fix. Anything will do....an odd little piece of cross stitch on Aida or a little counted canvas that I could stash into my purse.....anything. Anything at all. Just give it to me. Let me run my fingers through some Silk & Ivory, or just give me a glimpse of a new Laura J. Perin. I NEED it! I need just a little something to get me through until the weekend. I promise I'll be good...just give it to me. GIVE IT TO ME NOW!

I'm sorry for the dismal lack of stitchy progress, but the truth is that I have not stitched in 47 hours, 15 minutes, and 24 seconds. I don't know why this is, but I just looked at the clock and said "Stewey! It's after midnight and Mommie hasn't put a thread in a needle since....Stewey? Are you listening to me? Where are you?"

Stewey is safely tucked away in his little bed, peeved at my "night out" with the girls for Mexican food. (Note to self....four lemonades and a border cobb salad were probably not the best idea for a heartburn-avoidance type of meal. Oey.)

So, I will take this opportunity to share this fact with all of yous (Yes, I meant to say "yous"..it's a New Jersey thing. Leave it alone.) (P.S. DON'T write to me and gripe about that comment....I LOVE New Jersey and happily lived there six years of my life and I'd do it all over again in a New York minute.)

(Does lemonade HAVE caffeine?...hmmmmm.) (I'm suddenly feeling like the crazy-ass jazz guy from Sex and the City.)(I think his name was Ray.)

OK, what I wanted to say is that I am pretty sure y'all have lost your damn minds because a) you keep reading my ridiculous drivel, and b) you keep giving me these wonderful awards for doing it! Don't you know that nominating me for these things just encourages me to keep going? If we're not careful, people, I'm going to get cocky and NOBODY needs to be subjected to that. (At least not without cocktails and a well-qualified mental health professional on standby.)

But I can tell you this (cue the dramatic music)....I am so thrilled to be a part of this thing we call stitching. I feel as thought I have been invited to sit at the cool kids' table, and I'm not getting up. Nope. No way. So thank you for being the cool kids and thank you for not minding that I've crashed the party. Your accolades and support are genuinely appreciated and I hope that you know the feeling is very heartfelt and very mutual.

I know that I am supposed to be nominating folks in return, but I simply cannot limit myself to a few of the blogs that I read daily. I am humbled and inspired and wowed and blown back in my crappy desk chair every single time I see what you're up to. Thanks for letting me into your stitchy world.

Goodnight Cleveland! We love you!

Jul 24, 2008


I bought a great print at Michael's a few weeks ago and picked it up tonight from framing. It's called "Grand Day Out" and the artist is Sam Toft from the UK. I fell in love with this piece the moment I set eyes on it, and after visiting her website methinks I might need to have everything she's ever done! I've posted a pic over on the side-bar, but if you'd like to see more, please go to: http://www.samtoft.co.uk. Brava, Miss Toft! Now can we please have these in stitchy kits, hm?

Jul 23, 2008


I finished my crewel project last night! Here's "Birthday wish" as per the perfect little kit that I received from Wool&Hoop. It measures approximately 6 inches square. I just can't say enough wonderful things about this artist and her company: (http://www.crewelworld.com)

Since I am feeling the crewel, I have decided to make a big-ass wall hanging in celebration. I positioned the iron-on transfers I received in my kit (all from Wool&Hoop) on the wonderful ulster linen twill. Yes, I know that I'm missing one in the lower right, but a mere click of the mouse and that situation is rectified.

I'm not sure about color, but methinks I shouldn't over-think it and just go with what moves me at that moment. I've got lots of yummy choices, thanks to my kit from you-know-where (are you detecting a theme here?)

I think the reason why I am so tickled about this whole crewel thing is that it's the first needleart form that I have attempted all by my very own self. Chrissy has been my teacher for all of the other forms. (Ooops, sorry Miss Sharon from House of Stitches and the hardanger lessons.) So I suppose that I feel as though I have had a safety net for my stitchy journey thus far. Crewel is my first solo flight, so to speak, and I'm really happy that I tried something new and didn't throw it out the window when I couldn't be "just perfectly perfect in every way" at it from the get-go. It took a little bit of patience and confidence...two items totally missing from my grocery list.

I love this one...it's called "Ruby Shoots".

I'll leave you with a pic of Stewey. He has been rather contemplative all morning long. I think it has to do with our discussion about "marking" and "territorial behavior". I explained that he is a big boy now and has no need to pee on everything that isn't moving. He retorted by pointing me to Martha's blog on which she showed pics of her very own French bulldog "Sharky" peeing on the sisal. This launched us into a very late-night argument over all the ways Mommie is NOT AT ALL like Martha, and, despite her very best attempts to do so, she will NOT be remembered for her parenting/homekeeping/negotiation skills."My mother thinks she's Annie Freakin' Leibowitz. Somebody call Vanity Fair."

Jul 22, 2008


By 8:00 last night I had boo-hooed myself into a splitting headache. I thought about just going to bed, but decided to hit the Happy Chair with "something perky" to take my mind off of missing my Dad.
Out came Laura J. Perin's "Primrose Path" and onto the tube went my boyfriend Kevin (as in Costner, don't you know). I had already spent enough time with my other boyfriend Robert (as in Chef Irvine from Dinner Impossible), so I decided a little Bull Durham was just what the doctor ordered. Nope, not a big baseball fan. I just like to watch Kevin do just about anything on the screen, including (but not limited to) eating Wheaties, dancing around in a robe, and polishing Susan Sarandon's toe nails. Hubba hubba.
But I regress...
I managed to do all of the little pink buds on the outer border of Primrose. These are actually smyrna crosses done in DMC#5 perle and they turn out to be quite cute. Sorry my close-up shot is so blurry, but this wouldn't be my blog if there weren't a few really crappy pics to aggravate the h*** outta' me.
Today I went back to the library for the Beginner's Crewel class. The instructor is on vaca, so we had "free stitch" today. Well, I whipped out my little kit and away I went.
If you're interested in learning how to do crewel, I highly recommend www.crewelworld.com. I got a full kit of stuff that included an excellent book, fabric, iron-on transfers, needles, hoops, and fabulous crewel yarn from Appleton. The projects in this book are more modern and funky than your typical crewel stuff (which is just what I wanted), so methinks I will do several of them. The little piece I'm working on is called "Birthday Wish" and it is supposed to be mounted on a card when stitched. For a first try, I thought it was super dooper easy and very fun.
Before I go I have to send my very best teary hugs and kisses to you all for your lovely comments. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me (Chrissy thinks it's medication issues or the onset of menopause), but I am just a big fat mess lately. Your love and support and attention to me and my stupid little life has meant more than you will ever know. I am, as Bobby Bacala says to Uncle Junior "in awre of yous".
Kiss Kiss!

Jul 21, 2008


This is Dad. Mr. Robert P. Rich. He would have been 76 years old today. This probably explains why I have been fighting off the boo-hoos all damn day long. I miss him so much I think I think my heart will break.

This man was a hero. He was a kind and gentle soul. He lived in "houses with women" all his life.....first Grandma and Aunt Lou (because his own father died so young) and then Mom, me, and Chrissy. He used to joke that even the dog (Charlie) was "fixed". This probably explains why he was the way he was. I don't think I ever heard him raise his voice or say a bad thing about any one or any thing. He was funny and ornery and had twinkly eyes, especially when he was hiding cookies in his shirt pocket. You could talk to him for hours or just sit and watch a football game on a Saturday afternoon, and you'd come away feeling better about yourself and the world you lived in. You could depend on him for anything and knew that no matter how much you had royally screwed up, he was still your dad and he loved you.

He loved chocolate and Snyder's hard pretzels. He always smelled nice and he always combed his hair the same way. He didn't like guilt or mean people and he quietly went about making his little corner of the world a wonderful place. He never bragged or lectured. He never hit or grounded. He talked and explained and made you want to be a better person so that he would be proud of you. He hugged and patted your cheek and always let you know how special you were, even when you felt like the least special person on the planet.

Dad could do math in his head and Chrissy and I called him Rain Man because of his ability to do this. He went to Notre Dame and graduated as an engineer, but spent all of his working life as a management executive for Westinghouse. Chrissy and I never knew how "powerful" or "respected" Dad was until he died and his former collegues wrote to us. We found out that this man we loved wasn't just our hero....he had fans all over the world.

The men that came to the funeral told us that our dad was the smartest guy they ever met and the women told us that they all had secret crushes on him. Turns out that this guy we thought was a "nerd" was actually a very popular fellow and could be the life of the party.

Dad married the love of his life on May 23, 1964 and he held her in his arms the morning she died on November 12, 1987. Dad loved Mom more than anything in this world and he gave life to Father Hesburgh's words: "The greatest thing a man can do for his children is love their mother."
I think that the reason why Chrissy and I remain single is that we decided that we saw what perfect marriage was and we weren't going to settle for anything less.

Happy birthday, Dad. We miss you.


Wow! What a weekend! I managed to spend almost all of it in the Happy Chair with fabulous stitching projects. Bliss.
Friday night's project was a floss ring tag. I have been lusting after these on all of your blogs and I shamelessly lifted the design from a fellow stitchy goddess. NOTE TO FELLOW STITCHY GODDESS: Because I am a total boob, I cannot find your blog to give you proper credit. So if you will simply comment that I am, indeed, a boob and tell the world that I shamelessly lifted your design, I will be happy to apologize profusely in my next post.
Saturday found Chrissy and I running around in the 600 degree heat and 900 percent humidity to pick up prescriptions, do the grocery shopping, banking, etc. I was a damp and cranky mess by the time I got home to a cool shower. But did I let that stop my evening stitching? Noooooo. Being the trooper I am, I decided to start yet another new project: The Drawn Thread's "Cloister Garden". Oh, this one is yummy. I didn't have a very big selection of linen in my stash that would fit the dimensions of the piece, but I did find a package of 28ct. Waterlily linen in the bottom of the drawer that was just perfect. It's a lovely pale green and I think it shows off the color of the silks quite nicely. (Thanks to my excellent photography skills, you can't see it at all, but trust me, it's beautiful.)
Sunday was a real treat. As you all know, I simply adore Laura J. Perin. Well, our girl Laura threw down a gauntlet on her blog with a blackwork challenge, and I'm stitching along! I found a piece of 28ct. cashel in antique white, and my thread choice was "Fraises du Bois" Wildflowers for the first installment. I've never done blackwork before, but I fell in love with it the moment my needle met the linen! Woo Hoo! One more needlework form to put on my list to master in the future! (Again, EXCELLENT photography just makes this one POP, doesn't it?)
Stewey is a happy camper today. Last night was BATH NIGHT and he got a little spritz of his favorite "big boy smell" afterwards. For his birthday I bought him a bottle of "Aramutz", which is the puppy version of the men's cologne "Aramis", so he is prancing all around the house smelling wonderful. I swear, if that dog could wear pants and put me on his health insurance I'd marry him.
I'm having a really hard time figuring out how to be perfect and polite and answer all of your comments on my blog. I so appreciate them...they make me feel like Miss America Her Very Self. I am humbled by your encouragement and simply floored by your kindnesses. Thank you from the bottom of my pitiful little heart.
Now I understand that I have been nominated for a Creative Blogger award. I graciously accept this award on behalf of the cast and crew and promise to treasure it as long as I live. THANK YOU!

Jul 18, 2008


Chrissy wanted to have some time alone at her house tonight to organize beads, so I decided to stock up on projects for the Happy Chair. I watched Candice Olson of "Divine Design" take a big basket and put stuff in it for a room design, so I took a clue and put together a big basket for a weekend of stitching.

The blob of stuff in the lower middle of the pic is a pile of counting pins that I made last night. Really pretty, actually, and methinks I might make some more for the Midwest Stash Exchange.

The Midwest Stash Exchange is August 16th at House of Stitches. For $10 you can rent a table and sell, swap, or give away your stitching stash. It's like having your own little stitch shop for the day! Chrissy and I help the ladies at HOS organize it, and you'll find us at the admission table. If you just want to come shop, the admission "fee" is $5. All of the table rental fees and admissions are then donated to the American Heart Association. I'll write more about it later, but if you're in the general vicinity of LaPorte, Indiana in August, come on over and say hello!

I'm off to the Happy Chair loaded with a cold diet Coke and a basket of goodies to play with! Have a simply fabulous weekend!

Jul 17, 2008


Well, I have not quite finished the class project, but I decided to post a pic anyway. This is "Wool and Flax" from La-D-Da. In addition to the gorgeous linen and silk, we made pretty beaded pins and received some perfect cording for finishing. I'm still leaning toward a frame weight for this one.

A frame weight (thanks for asking) is usually a heavy "pillow" that you can use when needlepointing. If you're doing stitches that require two hands and you don't want to use a formal stand, you can lay the canvas (in its stretcher bars) on a table and weight it at the top with a frame weight. Then your hands are free for laying, etc. I've always wanted one and have tried a few times to make one, but methinks this design will be just perfect! I suppose, come to think of it, that you could use it for cross stitching too if you needed two hands for something like a french knot...woo hoo!

(Edited to add: I just looked at the pic and realized that my "with willing hands" is totally in the wrong damn place! Frogging to ensue....)

So I am in the studio futzing about today. I found myself "should-ing" all over the place last night and I decided to put a stop to that immediately. So today is about play. Nothing else. Just futzing and playing and letting my brain look and love the stuff around me and take a mental breath.

This is a canvas from my stash called "Bohemian Paisley". The designer is Birds of a Feather. I've pulled lots of Flair, Splendor, Silk and Ivory, and perle cotton for this one. I tend to get really "matchy" when it comes to canvases and have a propensity for trying to use all the same stuff all the time. This is me trying to flex my creative wings a bit. I had let this canvas intimidate the heck outta' me in terms of stitches to use, but I am feeling pretty calm about it now and think I will just.....play.

Another Birds of a Feather canvas called "Yellow Vase with Flowers". This one is much smaller in size, yet more complex in terms of shading and colors. I haven't pulled threads for it yet, but this one is screaming "silk" to me. I have some gorgeous Waterlillies that might be pretty cool, and I do have a ton of Splendor that might work. Again, the stitch choices boggle my mind, but I am firmly commited to just getting a needle loaded and seeing what happens.

On the cross stitch front is a kit from La-D-Da called "Daisy Daisy". Sorry for the terrible pic. This is an exclusive available from Lori and is simply smashing in real life. Her email address is: lorimarkovic@hotmail.com if you'd like more info.

So no "SHOULDS" for me today. I have declared the Spinster Stitcher Stitchy Studio a "SHOULD FREE ZONE" and I intend to keep it that way.

Have yourselves a wonderful day! Ciao and thanks for coming!

Jul 14, 2008


I would bet that you're all just dying to see my latest stitchy progress pics, right? Well, I'm afraid that we must interrupt this regularly scheduled program for an important message from our sponsors.

It looks like a pretty peaceful scene....a living room in the Midwest. Letterman on the tube, stitchy things next to the big comfy chair, and the cute little dog asleep on his perch. Domestic bliss? I think not.

Exhibit A:

And then there's this:

After closer inspection, a certain"attitude" was detected. When confronted, the suspect acted as though he couldn't be bothered to answer the questions put forth:

So I proceeded to stomp about cleaning up after Little Lord Fauntleroy and told him that if he didn't shape up soon I would be looking into military academies for the fall. We seem to be having difficulty lately, and I can only assume that it's the alignment of the planets. My sweet little pup is slowly turning into a moody-ass teenager and I'm not equipped to deal with it. We've been through acne and dating dilemmas, but now methinks he's all torked-off because I refuse to let him drive and get his own apartment. Damn dog.

Nope....you're not seeing things. That really is my nine-pound bundle of joy sticking his tongue out at me. I swear I heard him say "Military academy? I've got you're military academy right here."

I've almost finished the class project and I will post pics as soon as it is completed. It is supposed to be finished into a long pin keep, but I am going to make mine into a frame weight for needlepoint. (See? Always thinkin'.) Amazing what comes to me as I lather, rinse, and repeat.


Phooey....I stitched my eyeballs out last night, but am still unclear as to whether it is OK if I post pics of it. Oh, where's that damn rule book when you need it? (See, I figure that I p*** enough people off during the course of any given day....I don't need to add the NANI girls to that list.) So if anybody's out there who knows whether or not it is acceptable to post pics of a class exclusive project, please weigh in.

Today has me thinking about guilt. I was sitting in the office typing away when I noticed the landscaping crew weeding my flower beds. Stewey decided that he needed to go out to supervise, and I felt like a boob watching them work without "doing something". So I whipped up a big pitcher of lemonade and pranced outside like Miss Martha Friggin' Stewart Her Very Self. Although much appreciated, the girls doing the weeding thought I was nuts. "Miss Rich...you PAY us to do this. You don't need to feel like you need to give us more. Weeding your flower beds is part of your monthly HOA dues."

I still felt like a boob.

So then I had to call the mortgage company and ask why oh why my monthly payment was going up $200. Turns out it took about an hour and half to do this, and I found myself apologizing for taking up so much of the gentleman's time. (His name completely escapes me, but I'm not sure I'd get it right anyway since he was in India). So as I'm offering up the metaphorical pitcher of lemonade and apologizing for taking up so much of his time he says "Miss Rich, clearly this situation was our mistake and we should be apologizing to you for the length of time it is taking us to correct it."

Boob feeling time #2.

What the heck has me so damn guilty? I'm a nice person. Really. I am. I try to be pleasant and polite and not step on toes. I mind my manners and pay my taxes and do the best I can not to be a drain on society. I'm just a spinster who needs a little love every now and then....is that so wrong?

Well, the good news is that Chrissy is en route to talk me off the ledge and I am sure that all of this guilt will just wash away in mere moments. I'm going to adopt her reverse rotation, and I'm going to do it with impunity. Methinks we might actually start something new! WIP basket be damned! Guilt schmilt, folks! It's time for some stash-fondling, color-izing, canvas-unrolling, chart-perusing goodness! Woo Hoo!

Jul 13, 2008


Woo Hoo! Chrissy and I have returned safe and sound from the NANI guild stitchy day with Lori Markovic of La-D-Da fame! It was a wonderful day for these stitchin' sisters, and I am thrilled that we were invited to attend.

We started off nice and early for gas (yipes!) and provisions. Our normal provisions need to be packed into a separate covered wagon that we drag behind the vehicle, because if we're more than fifteen minutes from home I figure we'll need supplies for the wilderness. I'm known to stock up on food, water, and emergency supplies for a short trip to Chicago, and we could probably run a Red Cross disaster relief truck from the back seat if we had to. But I was good and medicated enough that I managed to survive with only a Starbucks and a lovely little breakfast sandwich to get me through. (OK, and a bottle of water and extra socks and a little overnight bag "just in case".)

Oh, what lovely ladies! Each and every one of them was kind and nice and sweet and friendly and I wanted to just sit there and bask in their stitchy-ness all day! I feel like I made new friends and learned a lot, and I even got the chance to meet and talk to a real live designer!

Lori Markovic is just about the coolest chick on the planet, if you ask me. She really is an artist with a great sensibility. She created an exclusive project for the day's event and offered her expertise and encouragement all throughout the session. I love her....she's like bud-da.

I don't have any pics for you, because I am a) sensitive to those of you who might actually be in the witness protection program, b) not sure if it's cool to photo an exclusive project, and c) I forgot my camera. Just take my word for it.....a grand time was had by all!

P.S. Stewey got a "B" on his report card from Nanny. Apparently he was a semi-good boy but had some "attitude issues" that prevented a perfect score for the day. Damn dog.

Jul 11, 2008


It must be something in the air....I woke up ornery yesterday and decided that I was going to do whatever the h-e-double toothpicks I wanted to. I managed to kick a few pairs of underpants around the closet floor, throw a tissue at Stewey (he was not amused), and just generally make a mess of myself all day long.

So when it came time to sit down for my evening stitching I looked at my "Rotation Rules" and threw them in the trash! I pulled out LHN "Garden Pleasures" just because I felt like it and stitched away while watching Bette Davis. What a freakin' rebel I am.

(A side note: I do this about once a month or so. My house looks like a fraternity has moved in and I am a beast for about 48 hours. Then I crash back to reality and fret over not being a perfect homekeeper/dog mommy/sister/general member of society, and I clean my act up. But those few days of sitting on my big fat white hairy butt and swearing like a sailor are just blissful.)

Thank goodness I live alone.

So I was reading blogs this morning and was floored by a mention on Laura J. Perin's blog! For me, this is like the best kind of celebrity sighting and I am still floating around like the Goodyear Blimp over it. ME! On Laura J. Perin's blog! Woo Hoo!

That got me to thinking about what I would do if I met/saw any of you other celebrities out there in stitchy blogville. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, you are ALL fabulous in my humble opinion, and I think I would break into a full-on flop sweat and faint dead away if I were to ever meet any of yous. So if you see me in the grocery store, please be gentle and understand that I am rather in awe of/admiration of all of you and your stitching/blogging/commenting abilities. Remember....it took me a YEAR to get up the guts to come out of the lurking portion of the program, so when I tell you that I think you're all famous and intimidating, I mean business!

Chrissy and I are off tomorrow to Shereville, Indiana for a stitchy day with the NANI girls and Laurie from La-D-Da designs! Stay tuned for news at 11!

Jul 9, 2008


Stewey and I went to Chrissy's house last night for some Spinster Stitcher Sissy Stitching. I worked on "Spring Snapperland" and made good progress on the fourth block called "Hutch".

Sleepy sleepy sleepy day today, but not because of Stewey. Methinks I need to learn to go to bed a little earlier. I'm like a little kid, though, and find myself saying "ten more minutes" until it's 3am and I'm not one step closer to turning in for the night. I guess I should follow Stewey's lead and hit the hay at 7:30.

Jul 8, 2008


Last night was Spinster Stitcher Stitchy Rotation Drawing night. I have been in such a fog lately that I decided to pull a WIP and get on with it. The results:

It's Bent Creek's "Spring Snapperland". I managed to finish the border and get a few rows of block four started. I'm stitching this on a gorgeous piece of linen called "Pink for the Cure". Very "springy" in real life.

I also managed to watch an interview with Sydney Pollack on TCM. I love Sydney Pollack. Forget the fact that he's from South Bend....I think he is simply fabulous. A few years ago, my friend Michele and I went to see him at a screening/discussion of "Out of Africa". We sat right there in the front row and I probably could have reached out and touched him. He talked about making the film and his career and then fielded questions from the audience. Magic. Just magic.

"It's Tuesday, so I better make sure to get my chores done. Blankets back in basket....check.""Am I done now, Mom? I want to take a wee nap before dinner time.""Whew...I'm bushed! The old lady sure knows how to make me work for a living!"

Jul 7, 2008


I know we had a weekend. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that it was a three day holiday weekend. But what I did with it completely escapes me. Now before you think there were cocktails involved, let me reassure you that there wasn't anything remotely mind-altering in sight.

I have absolutely no clue what I did for the last three days. It certainly wasn't laundry or housekeeping. I think there was a grocery trip in there someplace, but what it was I bought remains a mystery. I think we went to House of Stitches, but did I dream it?

Stewey seems fine and well-fed and watered, so I' pretty sure he didn't spend the last three days out foraging for food and shelter, so that's always a good thing.

So maybe I'll check the stitching pile to see if I perhaps got totally lost in a big-a** project and just forgot the world for awhile:

That's it!!!???? Some stems and a lousy leaf?!!

Man, I hate it when this happens. Three whole days lost and I didn't manage to finish any projects, solve world peace, find a cure for cancer, or settle that nagging dilemma of ten hot dogs/eight hog dog buns.

Oh well, I seem to have all of my limbs intact and I'm pretty well rested, so I suppose we'll just chalk it up to the mid-summer doldrums and call it a day.

Today is supposed to be a rotation drawing day, but I'm kind of itching to get back to "Primrose Path". Hmmmm. I think I need to think about this for a bit. Stay tuned!

Here's hoping that your weekend was a lot more.....memorable.

Jul 3, 2008


I'm so sleepy today because SOMEBODY had to play and be a general pest until 4:30am. I am pretty sure that it was because I wouldn't let him watch "Damage" with Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche, so he decided to get his revenge. Damn dog. At one point there were six stuffed toys, three cookies, a chewey, and the guts of Stumpy the Moose all over the blanket. Forget the fact that I was trying to cling to the very edgy edge of the bed and fall asleep....nope.....it was HAPPY TIME! I should have just gone into the guest room and called it a night.

So now he's on his perch trying to catch a nap and I'm going in there every fifteen minutes to wake his little heiney up. Can you say MOMMY TIME?!

Chrissy and I went to the library for the Needle Nuts stitching group. We met Miss Bessie and Miss Pam, both lovely knitters. Miss Bessie does all hand knitting and Miss Pam does both hand and machine knitting. (Up until last night I didn't even know there was such a thing.) We managed to babble away and I got a few more petals of my sunflower completed.

The drive home was rather interesting since it decided to hail. I hate driving in hail. It feels like the windshield is going to shatter. So my brilliant sister yells (over the noise of the hail, of course) to pull into the bank and park under the drive through canopy. Four spaces there and three cars already waiting it out. Ahhhh. I must confess, I would never have thought of it, so I suppose that she gets the gold star for the day for that one.

Let's all have a Happy 4th, shall we?

Jul 2, 2008


So there I was, minding my own business, when the phone rang. "I've decided", Chrissy announced, "that I am going to start a reverse rotation."

We usually start our conversations that way....no preliminaries. Just get right to the point. Well, apparently, my sister has decided that life's just too darn short and her stash of projects is just too darn tempting.

So....every Sunday night she is going to start a NEW project. That's right. Something new that is in her stash that she has been wanting to work on forever. She'll play with it during the week and see how much she gets done, and then, on the next Sunday night.....wait for it.....she'll start something new again!

I personally think this is a wonderful rotation. It basically says "If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, at least I will have had a blast picking up projects that I've wanted to stitch forever". Chrissy said that if she gets to the end of the year and has 100 open WIP's she won't feel one bit bad about it. Brava.

As for me, I plugged away on my big red sunflower last night. Painted canvases always intimidate me a bit, because I never seem to be able to pick the "right" stitch for a particular area. So last night I just went with whatever I felt like and I really like the results! I can't believe I've let this one languish for so long....it didn't growl at me or bite my fingers or leave me with any bruises. It just sat there patiently while I added Silk 'n Ivory to a few of its petals. Ahhhhh.
I think I'm going to do all of the black parts in the actual sunflower in shiny black beads. Really glitz this up. As for the black background...I'm not sure yet, but I've got stitch books for reference and I'm not afraid to use them!

We're off to the library tonight. I saw an ad in the paper for a group that meets there every few weeks to stitch, so Chrissy and I thought we'd give it a try. The lovely lady on the phone said that most of the attendees will knit or crochet, but that stitchers of all types are welcome. Just what I needed to hear! Methinks we'll hit the Starbucks for some sustenance on the way. Woo hoo!