Aug 29, 2008


This is the lovely "Falling Leaves" from Laura J. Perin. As you can see from the pic * , I have about 95% of it completed. Only four borders to go! I'm using Needle Necessities (now Threadworx) variegated floss and DMC#5 perle cotton. Methinks if I put my mind to it, this one will be ready for the framer by the end of the holiday weekend! Woo Hoo! What a great kick-off to my Fall stitching!

*EDITED TO ADD: Damnit, Gumby! I just had the picture here a minute ago! Talk amongst yourselves while I try to figure out where the hell it went.
Oh drat I can't find it. I'll have to show it to you later. Sigh.

I've also decided to ask for help with the "Bohemian Paisley" canvas, so I ordered a stitch guide. Unfortunately, I've never taken any needlepoint classes, so my ability to pick stitches and fibers for painted canvases isn't very good. I also suffer from a complete lack of confidence when it comes to doing it, so I figured I'd start with some help and then move on from there. Who knows? Maybe I'll like it so much that I'll get stitch guides for all of those lovely canvases languishing away in my stash?

Today is the semi-finals of the Doozie Ball world championships, so I have to go carbo-load. Stewey and I are tied at 5 matches apiece, so I am determined to teach the little squirt a lesson. Here we are on the practice pitch getting ready for the first kick-off.As you can see, my opponent is pretty formidable. Besides...he cheats.Here he is after a technical time-out due to the Doozie becoming trapped under the computer armoire. That's a two point penalty and requires the use of the stick (that would be the feather duster in real life) to get the ball back in play. Fortunately for us, Aunt Chrissy will be here shortly for dinner, so we'll have to take a break for the halftime festivities. Rumor has it that Sir Elton John will be performing and BLT's and pasta salad will be served in the concession stand.

Tune in to your local station for tournament results, or check out ESPN's whistle to whistle coverage.

For those of us in the good 'ol US of A, Happy Labor Day! For everybody else, Happy Weekend!

Aug 27, 2008


I know, I know, it's only August 27th, but I'm headed out to the pumpkin patch to wait for Fall to arrive. I'm so ready it's not even funny.

It's not that the summer was awful or that anything made it seem like it lasted forever (but it sure did), but I'm ready to walk outside and smell fireplaces burning and then come in with cold cheeks and a runny nose. I want to watch Notre Dame football on the TeeVee and eat hard pretzels with cheese and then put something good in the crock pot. And, most importantly, I'm ready to wear clothes that don't make me wonder how the hell I manage to shrink everything in the dryer. Let's face it kids.....there comes a point in every Spinster's life when you just want to COVER THAT MESS UP.

So in the spirit of wanting it to be September for at least eighteen months a year, I put together my Fall Spinster Stitching basket. Yup. All ready to go with NEW STUFF that I haven't stitched yet, and some oldie but goodies that I have. Woo Hoo! (I swear, as God is my witness (you have to say that while shaking your hand at the sky like Scarlett O'Hara Her Very Self), I will NOT stitch "springy" again!) Well, OK, at least not for a little while anyways.

My plan is to work on this basket until November 1st, at which point I will bitch and moan and complain that I'm sooooo over Fall and that I'm ready for Christmas. Then I'll haul out the Christmas Spinster Stitcher basket and all will be merry and bright. (O Come, All Ye Faithful and all that good stuff.)

So what's in the freakin' basket, you ask? (You didn't actually think I would let you sit there yelling at the computer TOO long now, did ya'?) :

1) Birds of a Feather: "Bohemian Paisley" painted needlepoint canvas
2) LHN: "Peace" (I started this and got the word "Peace" finished)
3) Lizzie Kate: "Hocus Pocus"
4) La-D-Da: "Daisy Daisy Kit"
5) Shepherd's Bush: "Into the Night"
6) Shepherd's Bush: "Autumn Blessing"
7) Full Circle Designs: "Punkin Patches"
8) Bent Creek: "Autumn Snapperland" (I've almost got the border/outline finished)
9) Raise the Roof: "Witchy Wash" (I've got the dress and bloomers finished)
10) Julia Lucas: "Autumn Mosaic Pillow" hardanger (Y'all saw this one a few days ago)
11) LJP: "Indian Summer"
12) LJP: "Equilibrium"
13) LJP: "Falling Leaves" (This just has the outer border left to go!)
14) Kimberly: "Wandering" (I've finished two of the to go)
15) The Drawn Thread: "Sampler Game Board" (Four houses down, a gagillion to go)

Hmmm. So out of the 15 projects listed above, I've got a pretty decent start on 7 of them. If I was the type of person to get all statistical and such, I would say that I've got over half of them started and less than half of them brand spankin' new. Guess which half I'm most likely to start with tonight!

Man, it's a good thing that I didn't have kids. I'd be like that Mrs. Duggar down there in Arkansas that has 17 of 'em and just keeps on going! I suppose that it's the idea that starting something new is exciting and wonderful and you've got at least fifteen and a half minutes before you manage to screw it all up.

Which reminds me of a story.....when I lived in Atlantic City, I had to take a cab to Arkansas and the Boardwalk to meet some people for dinner. So I get in and politely say to the driver "Hello, kind sir, may I please be driven to Arkansaw and the Boardwalk, please?" At which point the driver turns around and says "Lady, there's no such thing. We don't have a street called Arkansaw. Do you mean Arkansas?" (He said it like Ar-KAN-sas.) I'm not kidding. It is pronounced ar-KAN-sas. Not AR-kan-saw.

Needless to say, it was a long six years for this stupid Hooiser. At least I kept the locals guessing what nutty thing was going to come outta' my mouth next.

Gotta' run. I promised Stewey that we'd watch "The Devil Wears Prada" again if he helped me fold the laundry. Ever since I bought him Martha Stewart's "Homekeeping" book he insists on supervising the folding of the linens and such. I swear I'm gonna' slap a tutu on that dog and call it a day.

EDITED BY MASTER STEWEY ANGUS WILLOWSWAMP HIS VERY SELF: OK, I've had it with the old lady and her derogatory comments about me and my likes and dislikes on this here damn blog. I like Martha Stewart and I like my linens folded properly. I also like the fashion montage' in "Devil/Prada" and I'm not ashamed to admit it. A tutu. The nerve. I blame all of you and your awards and your comments and your "Oh, Spinster Stitcher, you're so funny and brilliant". Humph. YOU don't have to live with her, people! Don't encourage her, OK? Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get my little silk smoking jacket out of the dryer and apply my night cream before tucking myself into bed.


So I was sitting there minding my own business when this utterly profound thought hit me smack dab between the eyes. I have replaced the Sex and the City girls and my obsession with watching every single solitary thing that happens in their lives with....wait for know what I'm going to say, but you can't quite believe I'm going to.......YOU!

That's right. I now anxiously read about the comings and goings of the stitchy bloggy community as compulsively as I once watched Carrie buy shoes and Miranda have babies and Samantha entertain "gentlemen callers". I am like some kind of soap opera nut that just cannot function properly until I get my daily fix of being Gladys Kravitz and seeing what the heck is going on in your lives!

What are you stitching? What are you watching? What stash did you buy? How's the family and the pets and the car and the job? Did you have that conversation with that neighbor yet? Will you make tacos or salmon for dinner? When are you going on vacation? What will you take to stitch?

Oh. My. God.

When I was a kid, we would take walks around the block after dinner, and my favorite thing to do was peek into all the neighbor's front windows and see what they were up to and how they lived their lives. I confess to trying that here in this neighborhood, but since I'm the Neighborhood Watch Person In Charge of All Things Necessary To Pay Attention To, it isn't quite the same. Besides, my neighbors all close their drapes at night. Bastards.

So when you get that creepy feeling like somebody's watching you as you blog your way through Blogland.....don't panic. It's me. I'm actually a very friendly voyeur and won't cause any problems. I promise. Just keep me fed with all of the wonderful details of your lives and your stitching and your hopes and dreams and fears and aspirations and I'll be fine.

As for me, I got too wrapped up in some damn thing on the TeeVee tonight to make any stitchy progress, so I'll share pics tomorrow. Gotta' go now. Stewey has just thrown himself on the floor in a full-blown temper tantrum over the Doozie ball, and if I don't go un-wedge it from under the couch he won't speak to me for the rest of the evening.

So, thank you Stitchy Blogland for the endless hours of inspiration and entertainment! You've really made a difference in this poor little Spinster's life! Woo Hoo!

Aug 25, 2008


Well, I managed to completely dehydrate myself last night watching the closing ceremonies. I have no freakin' idea what my problem is, but I was WAY into the Olympics this year. Given that I'm not a huge sports fan, this was a very weird two weeks for me. You would have thought that I actually knew what I was watching half the time. There I was yelling and jumping up and down as if I had a clue and a half. I bawled my eyes out when they extinguished the flame and I was so moved to see the highlights of each day projected around the top of the stadium. So I cried so hard I gave myself a headache and had to go to bed with a cold washcloth on my head.

Well, the official consensus on "Primrose Path" is to stop now and leave the center trellis empty of all bud-type motifs. Chrissy took a good look at it and decided that she liked it better without, so without it is! Miss LJP Her Very Self did her model on a pretty green canvas, but I don't think it was marbleized, so I don't feel like too much of a boob for changing it. The pink canvas I used is just so pretty that I'd love for it to show through. So Happy Dance for me on the Primrose Path!

I picked up the September 2008 issue of Cross Stitch & Needlework magazine to see the Halloween Fairy that so many of you are working on, and I found this pretty hardanger piece to play with for autumn. I'm using a 28ct. evenweave in an antique white and Threadworx floss in color #1148. For the accent, I'm using a DMC #8 perle cotton in color #356. So far it's been really nice to work on and I hope to finish it this week.

I promised myself that if I got a few pieces done I would put together my fall basket on September 1st, but I don't know if I'll manage to wait that long. I already know that I want to put a painted canvas in there, along with a couple Laura J. Perins, and my big ass crewel sampler, but I'm not sure what cross stitch charts to do. I'm leaning toward the Shepard's Bush "Into the Night" and a few others, so methinks a few hours up in the studio poking around might be in order tomorrow. (Provided, of course, that I get the laundry done.)

Does anybody else have to bribe themselves to do stuff so that they can play without guilt?

Gotta' boyfriend Anthony Bourdain is in Egypt tonight and I want to tune in!

Oh, and are some answers to a few questions I've received in the comments: Hannah, Stewey has his insurance through VPI. I believe that you can find them online at Petra: I use stetcher bars and tacks to hold the marbleized canvas for stitching. All are usually available at your LNS or you could check an OLS too. Sheila: ditto for the marbelized canvas. I believe that it is made by Zweigart.

Aug 22, 2008


If I finish this tonight, it will be the third finish for me during the Olympics. Not bad, eh? Makes me almost happy that I gave up on the PROJECT THAT WILL NOT BE NAMED...EVER.

I'm filling in all of the trellis work with the little flowers. I almost got the outer border done last night, but realized that I still need to put little yellow buds on the tops of some stems. I should be able to do that pretty quickly and then on to the inside trellis!

I must confess that there is a part of me that wants to leave that inside trellis empty. The canvas has a marbleized effect, and I think it would be so pretty to let it show through. But that's a whole lotta' buds that would be left off, and I'm not sure if it will look right. I'll make Chrissy take a look at it and give me her unvarnished opinion.

Stewey's physical went swimmingly. He got an excellent report and Mommie Dearest was told to "keep doing whatever it is you're doing -- he's in great shape". Woo Hoo! I may be a lousy human being, but I'm a great Dog Mom! His little allergies have just started to pop up, so we're back on medicine for the time being and hopefully that will prevent it from getting too bad. Poor little guy....he's got seasonal allergies that make him just miserable about twice a year.

The happiest news was that the bill only came to $300, and that included all of his meds! And, with his insurance reimbursement, I think my portion will only be about $50. Just can't beat that. Here he is grabbing a power nap after his big day yesterday....see how he twists himself up like a little pretzel?

"Please, Mommie, I just need to have a little time to myself. Don't pick me up and kissy kiss me all day today. Can't you get a hobby or somthing?"

Aug 21, 2008


I have not one, but TWO finishes to share! The first is a free chart from and is called "Icelandic Motif". I did this on gorgeous tobacco linen and used Waterlilies in Burnt Toast. This was one of the official 48 open WIP's and took me about a half-hour to complete. Humph.
Tonight's finish is "Garden Pleasures" by LHN. I flaked out at the end and decided to put my initials on the bottom instead of the words, but I'm not sure if it looks quite right. I'm going to fish through my button stash to see if I can find some bees for the upper left.

Woo Hoo! I'm not trying to get all of these things finished, but I sure am glad that I am! Stewey is dazzled and amazed at the amount of stitchy production that's coming out of the Happy Chair. He is, though, fretting about the looming box of finished/unfinished items that are stacking up in the "fuppy" box. Fuppy....I just love that. I saw it on a blog the other day and thought it was just the cute-ty-est.

We're off to the v-e-t tomorrow. Poor little guy has been having bouts of projectile up-chucking and he's awfully itchy. Methinks his allergies are starting to kick in and he'll probably have to get back on some medicine. He's also due for his annual physical, so I'm probably looking at about a thousand dollar bill to get out of there alive. Good thing Mommie was smart enough to buy puppy insurance!

OH! I'm sorry that I forgot to talk about my "necessary" today, but I promise that I'll get to it soon. Nighty night!

Aug 19, 2008


I only have a few minutes before I have to hit the road for my Beginner's Crewel class at the library, but I wanted to post pics of CCN's "Joyful Summer". I'm not sure that you can see it in the photo, but I did tart this up quite nicely with a lot of seed beads.
Oh and does occur to me that if I would have stayed with the PROJECT WHICH MUST NOT BE NAMED, I never would have had two finishes during the Olympics. Woo Hoo!

Aug 18, 2008


Methinks a good time was had by all at the Midwest Stash Exchange. Chrissy and I would like to thank everybody who stopped by the admission table to say hello. I was a bit overwhelmed to meet y'all, so I hope you will forgive the flop-sweat babble-headed way in which I greeted yous. (I can't help it....I'm terminally shy!)

Miss Linda and Miss Nancy and Miss Sharon and Miss Cherry and Miss Joy and Miss Sarah were all crazy-busy inside the shop, so I'm hoping that if you made the trip over you found lots of wonderful goodies to get you through the rest of the summer. Shall we do it all over again next year?

Now on to some important housekeeping matters.....viewer mail:

Miss Laura J. Perin: I used a pink Kreinik for the final installment of your blackwork. Part one was done in Caron Wildflowers "Fraises du Bois", Part two was DMC floss in 898 dark brown, and Part three was Kreinik #4 braid in 007HL. I just loved this piece and am thinking about doing it on several other color-ways. It was a GREAT introduction to blackwork!

Miss Teresa (of the fabulous Vera Bradley bag!): The plastic case inside my necessary comes from an organizer thingie that I bought at Michaels in the scrapbook section (why do they get all the cool toys?). Here's a pic:

And here's how you saw it on Saturday:Yes, of course, you can use any plastic organizer thingie that fits inside the bag, but this one has nifty compartments and still leaves room for a project or two. Stay tuned for my next post...I'll talk all about my necessary and what's in it.

Thread gadget: If you posted a comment asking me about the metallic thread gadget, would you be so kind as to send me your mailing address? Please email with your name and address. Also, if you could please type "THREAD THINGIE" in the subject line I won't delete you as spam.

Yesterday was a bit of a blur, but I remember watching the Olympics and stitching "Joyful Summer". I will probably be able to finish this one up tonight and then on to the beading! I thought I would get it done last night, but I just couldn't tear my eyes away from my new boyfriend Michael. I need to talk with him, however, and let him know that once we're married he'll need to pull that suit up just a bit. Nobody needs to see Little Michael. Damn, that kid is yummy. And, as Stewey pointed out to me numerous time......HE LOVES HIS MOMMIE!

Aug 15, 2008


Ahhhh, bliss. Since abandoning THE PROJECT WHICH MUST NOT BE NAMED, I am back in the Happy Chair and loving stitchy life once again.

I happy-danced my way to finishing the Blackwork Mystery from Laura J. Perin. I don't think you can see the metallic very well, but it sure is purty in real life.

Metallic threads are normally the bane of my existence and I avoid them like the plague. Thanks to a stitchy Goddess friend, Miss Jean Her Very Self, I finally got the right tools to stitch with metallics. Have you seen these?

Well, let me tell you...these little gizmos are going to change the way I stitch. All those drawers full of metallic threads that have languished over the years are now going to get a workout! All you do is wrap an end of your thread around each one of these and then gently pull to get the bounce and kink out of the thread. Magic! I never in a million years thought I would use Kreinik without needing an emergency trip to the therapist's office, but viola', I used it last night and enjoyed every stitchy minute of it.

I also made some nice progress on Joyful Summer, and it shouldn't be too long before I can break out the beads and tart that thing right up.

Aunt Chrissy and I will be loading up the car for the Midwest Stash Exchange tomorrow. If you stop by, we'll be at the entrance table collecting your hard-earned cash. They say it's supposed to be beautiful weather...woo hoo!

Off to PetSmart for Stewey's spa day. He's extremely fastidious about his appearance and personal hygiene, and he asked me to take him in for a little spiff up today. He'll have a b-a-t-h and get his nail trimmed. If he's really good, they'll give him a little spritz of GameTime cologne and then I won't be able to leave the damn dog alone.

So from my Spinster Stitcher Studio to yours, I wish you love and best stitches! (Oh, tee hee! I just made a typo there and said "love and best bitches! Woops.)

Aug 14, 2008


Judges decided. Stripped of medals and sent home. Tears, hair pulling, and head-hanging. Packed with bellboy watching that I didn't take the soap. Cab driver asked how I fared in competitions. Sobbed quietly while boarding flight home. Coach. No movie, blanket, or pillow. Home to empty house. Town cancels welcome home parade. Stench of failure so bad I have to move.

We must never speak of this again.


Well, the Olympic Judging Committee is in conference to determine whether or not I can continue to compete in The Games. I've received several warnings and "bad form" reprimands from my team coach, and it looks like I might be sent home. Oh, the shame of it all.

This #&@$*#&-ing project is causing me waaaaay too much angst to qualify as a pleasant pastime anymore. With each block I am increasingly angry that I decided to do this damn thing, and I just want to chuck it all and start something new.

I confess...I was drawn in by the pretty picture on the cover and my heart swelled with national pride as I daydreamed about me sitting in the Happy Chair cheering the US on to victory while happily stitching away. I imagined the crowd's roar as the piece was presented for framing, and I drooled over the thought that every single person who entered Chez Spinster would be agog over the amazing piece of stitchy-ness hanging in the hallway. Hells Bells, I even thought of dedicating a whole new wing to this piece, heretofore called the "Spinster Stitcher Goddess Project That Is The Most Wonderful Thing On The Planet" wing.

I should have just read the damn thing, and then I would have realized that this is NOT a stitch guide, per se. It's a pretty picture of a flag, a list of threads that the author used (which, by the way were a bloody $#&%^ fortune!), and then 247 stitch "suggestions" that you can put in the boxes. With all due respect to Ms. Donegan, I was kinda' hoping that I'd get a little more direction for a piece of this size, but, then again, I am extremely high maintenance when it comes to "stitching it correctly".

I'm thinking that if I would have started with the painted canvas then I'd be standing on the podium clutching those daffodils and kissing a medal. But as it is, I'm standing in my driveway clutching my fists and kissing nothing.

Maybe I should just have a cocktail and go with the flow. (That would be swell if I cocktailed and went flow-wise). As I mentioned in a previous post, I am so determined to keep going on this because I really AM the type of person who says "screw it" and quits at least eleventy-seven times a day. This thing represented a new leaf for me. (You would think I could have picked an easier thing to work on, like nuclear fission or folding the clothes in the dryer without needing an act of Congress to do so, but this is me we're talking about.)

I'm chalking it all up to PMS.....Project Mental Strain. A few Midol and I should be just fine. Let's just hope the judges show pity on me.

Stay tuned, loyal viewers. The final decision will be handed down within the next 24-hours. In the meantime, Stewey and I are heading over to the pool to see the teeney weeney bathing suits on the mens' synchro diving teams. (Geeze, Louise...those things give "tuck" a whole new meaning.)

"I can't take it anymore. Maybe if I just lie here quietly, she'll go away."

Aug 13, 2008


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's out in the driveway driving the car back and forth over her Olympic Stitching Project. I told her she could use my scooter (given gas prices and all), but the old lady tore outta' here with her hair on fire. Man, I haven't seen her this mad since I peed all over the clothes hanging on the bottom part of her closet.

All I know is that the last several days around here have been miserable. Things got so bad that my Aunt Chrissy won't even come over for dinner any more! And that's the only time of the day that I can usually count on some kind of civilized conversation for cripe's sakes! I can do without my pesky little cousin Bosco coming over, but Aunt Chrissy is my salvation!

From what I gather, Mom thought that this book was going to be a stitch guide that would tell her how to make the flag picture on the front cover. She saw the book a few years ago at the needlepoint shop, and Aunt Chrissy bought it for her for Christmas. Mom was holding on to it to stitch at the "perfect occasion", and she figured the Olympics would work rather nicely. So she put together the huge-ass canvas (oops, I'm not allowed to say bad words), gathered up about a bazillion dollars worth of threads, and she even broke out the big floor stand to get ready. (By the way, I hate the floor stand. I scares me and I can't sit next to my mom in the Happy Chair when it's there....poop.) (Oooops, must be the stress that's causing me to lose my manners. Sorry.)

Well, when mom called Aunt Chrissy to complain about this thing tonight, she said that the book sucked in so many ways she didn't know where to start. I guess it doesn't tell her what thread goes where and then when she tries to figure out the stitch, some of the charts are all wonky.

I just don't know what to do. If she doesn't come inside soon, the neighbors are going to call the Mishawaka Police Department, and that will be very embarrassing. My mom is the Neighborhood Watch Captain so I can only imagine what will happen when they take her away in a "special van".

Uh oh. Looks like she's coming. I have to go now. I'm not allowed to use the 'puter without supervision.

Goodnight Cleveland! We love you!

P.S. I snapped a few pics of the Olympic Stitching Project before Mommie Dearest took it outside:


I apologize that I am not responding to individual comments, but I am training for the Computer Incompetence event that will take place this afternoon, and I don't want to jeopardize my chances for winning what will surely be a gold medal. Stupid bloody box. Why can't they make a machine that makes sense to me?

Anywhoose....welcome to all you new readers out there! I hope that you've found a comfy seat and that you're properly belted in for your journey through CrazyStitchyVille. Pay no attention to the stash debris along the side of the road, and don't get offended by an occasional swear word or two. I promise the journey will be worth the price of admission.

Michael Symon on Dinner Impossible: Are you KIDDING me? As y'all know I am single-mindedly obsessed with Chef Robert Irvine. What genius at the Food Network decided that Michael Symon would be a suitable replacement? With all due respect to Chef're no Robert Irvine! Sorry, but I can't trust any man with a neck.

English tea time at Chez Spinster: Thank you for all of the lovely offers to send me tea. Thanks to TARGET! I am now the proud owner of not one, but TWO tins of Archer Farms brand loose tea. Every afternoon Stewey and I settle in for a pot and a snack. We haven't mastered the fine art of tea sandwiches yet, so I just cut up a few Pop Tarts and call it a day.

My WIP basket: I blame it on medication withdrawl. Why I decided to count my open projects is beyond me, but you'll be happy to know that I whittled down the basket to contain only 21 projects. My logic was that there were 21 weeks left in the year and I might actually be able to complete some of them before the clock stuck midnight on December 31st. This was a great plan except for the fact that I completely forgot about my *%#$^% Olympic Stitching Project. (Heavy sigh.)

Frame Weight/La D Da project: All stitched, but not finish-finished. I am struggling with the contents of said frame weight. I thought of ammunition, since it would be heavy, but Chrissy pointed out that me buying anything remotely dangerous at the local Wal-Mart is simply out of the question. So methinks I need to get some of those pellet thingies at JoAnns or Hobby Lobby. Since I am not allowed in either establishment until September 1st, this one will have to wait a little while longer. (I've had an electronic monitoring device installed on my ankle and every time I decided to go buy something related to stitching it beeps like crazy until I slink back to the car and go the hell home).

Advice for doing canvas work: Laura J. Perin! I am a proud member (and future potential President) of her fan club. I highly recommend starting with something from her American Quilt Series. Her charts are simply excellent and you can really play with color and still do the design justice. I would NOT suggest starting canvas work with my %$*&^%^ Olympic Stitching Project, since God only knows we don't need TWO people bitching about it StitchyBloggerWorld.

Lily canvas that is in my slideshow: Wow, this is the second time somebody has asked me about that canvas (beaming with pride, but then realizing that it's probably just because you like lilies...I'm such a boob). This is a painted needlepoint canvas by LEE. I did it in Gumnuts silks and Soie d'alger. I struggled with the stitches, but was tickled pink when it was finished. Now, sadly, it languishes in the "what the hell do I do with it now" drawer.

Whew! I think that covers all of the questions from the floor. Thanks for coming to today's press conference. I'll be back again soon with pictures of the progress (or dismal lack thereof) of the %&$*# Olympic Stitching Project.

Oh, and P.S....yes, I'm in my own little world, but it's OK. They know me here.

Aug 12, 2008


We're four days into The Games, and I've managed to earn two golds and a bronze.

My first event was the Bitching, Moaning, and Complaining Triathlon. I not only won a gold medal in this event, I beat the world record time of fifteen seconds of daylight before I was in full-snit mode.

Winning Pouting was also tough, but somehow I managed to push through and I again found myself on the podium with the gold and a lovely bunch of daffodils for my efforts.

I was only able to take a bronze in Being a General Pain in the Ass, since I spent too much time in bed pulling the covers over my head to fully qualify.

This Olympic Stitching Project is going to be the death of me. I've managed to finish fifteen blocks (out of 247), and I've had to resist the temptation to throw this damn thing out the window at least a dozen times. I'm in love with it one minute and then hating it the next. There's no rhyme nor reason as to why I can't get my brain around this one....I mean, all you need to do is pull thread and stitch a stupid little box of 18 stitches by 18 stitches in whatever stitch the book calls for. So what if the (Sorry, but I am having one heck of a time understanding the stitch guides for this one and methinks it can't possibly be my fault). (Note: My next event is Passing Blame, so we'll consider that last remark my training for the day).

I am, however, determined to persevere. I'm not exactly known for my stick-to-it-tive-ness, so I'm giving this one everything I've got. Usually when the going gets tough I find a book and a diet Coke and wait until somebody else figures it out. Not this time, though. I. Will. Keep. Going.

Aug 10, 2008


Dear China: Y'all sure know how to throw a party! If your goal was to showcase your country and get people like me to want to travel there... mission accomplished.

Dear London: I, for one, would not be at all offended if you decided to just say "Sod it" and not have Opening Ceremonies in 2012. I mean, how the heck do you top Friday night? Maybe we could all just come for tea?

Dear Ralph Lauren: Love your stuff usually, but did you HAVE to dress the US Olympic team up to look like United Airlines flight attendants?

Dear United Airlines: Thanks for loaning us your outfits.

Dear Mariel Zagunis: Well, look at you girlfriend! Thank you for winning the gold and showing Jimmy Clausen that he's not the only athlete at Notre Dame.

Dear Coach Weis: Please put a picture of Mariel Zagunis on Jimmy Clausen's locker and explain to him what REAL athletic accomplishment is all about. Oh, and that taking a gold in the "Beer Olympics" isn't funny. At all.

Oey....what a hangover! Chrissy and I watched every single solitary moment of the Opening Ceremonies and were awed. Just when we thought were done saying "Wow, that was just freakin' nuts", we did it again. And again.

I'm not sure what the heck the fascination is for us to watch the games, but we sure are enjoying them. As is evidenced by the picture below, I re-arranged the living room a bit to accommodate a comfy chair for Chrissy and her stitching. We managed to stitch until almost 2am last night/this morning and we're ready to go again!
"Patchwork of Peace" is coming along nicely, but I must confess to feeling a little frustrated with the book. When I stitch a Laura J. Perin design, I feel like Ms. Laura is right there with me saying "OK, now this next part is going to be really fun, but a little hard. So let me show you how I did it and I'll be right here if you need help." This book leaves me feeling a little bit "You're on your own, kid", so I'm muddling through the best I can. I guess that's why it's a "teaching piece", right? Here's the first six blocks completed. (Out of a total of 247. Geeze, Louise, why did I pick such a HUGE project?)

Finally, I'll leave you with a pic of Stewey:He demanded his tea and toast on the patio this morning and now he's lounging on his little pillow in the sunshine. The little pillow next to him is actually supposed to be in his "apartment", but he dragged it out last night so that his little cousin Bosco could have a place to nap too.
This is my nephew puppy tot, Bosco. (He is Stewey's actual cousin....Stewey's Dad Angus and Bosco's Mom Twiggy are brother and sister):Isn't he just the cutest? Bosco and I have a very special bond. Sometimes I go over to Chrissy's house just to visit with him. His personality is hilarious, and he is really a little boy trapped in the body of a Jack Russell. If Stewey is Nathan Lane, Bosco is definitely Joe Pesci.

I'm off to the Happy Chair for more Olympics and stitching! I hope you're having a splendid weekend!

Aug 6, 2008

WHAT THE......

Sorry, kids, but I woke up on the wrong side of the web this morning. As Chrissy will attest, I am NOT my usually chipper self. I know it's a medication thing, but Geeze Louise, I could kick a kitten through an electric fan.

OK, now before you call the authorities, you should know that I could NEVER hurt a kitten or any other living creature, but at the moment the thought of it brings me a little comfort for some whak-a-do reason. Let it go, I beg you.

I suppose if I were, in fact, Holly GoLightly I would say that I have a case of "the mean reds". But since I'm neither Holly nor GoLightly, we'll just chalk this up to Mercury being in retrograde or something that sounds all scientific-like and move on.

So what did I do to snap my self out of it, you ask? Did I settle into the Happy Chair with a cup of tea (THANKS! by the way for all of the excellent info on that), or snuggle the dog, or stitch something wonderful?

Nope. I went up into the studio and decided to do an inventory of all of my open projects. Now why in the holy hell I decided to do this is completely beyond me, since all it did was convince me that I should probably check into a facility sooner rather than later. FORTY-EIGHT open projects. FORTY-EIGHT.

The worst part of it is that they all sat there and mocked me. Yup. Every single solitary one of them. "Remember me? I'm the painted canvas you just HAD to HAVE. You put three stitches in me and now I sit here all abandoned." Or "How about me? I'm the bargello project that you saw in a magazine and you spent three days trying to find the perfect shade of blue and then you got me 7/8 of the way done and then you got bored." And on and on it went.

Chrissy came for dinner and talked me off the ledge a bit, and then I stomped my way back downstairs with a few small cross stitch pieces to put next to the Happy Chair in the event that they decide to stitch themselves finished in the middle of the night tonight.

Methinks I will pop "You've Got Mail" into the player-thingie and just forget about life for awhile.As God is my witness, there's NOTHING that a little Meg and Tom can't fix.

Don't cry for me Argentina, I promise that this is indeed a very temporary state of mind and that I'll be back to my crazy-ass perky little self toot sweet!

So from my Happy Chair to yours...I send you love and best stitches!

Aug 4, 2008


Before we begin, could somebody please indulge me for a moment and explain what constitutes a proper English tea? I've decided to implement 4:00 tea time here at Chez Spinster, but I don't have the first darn clue as to how one goes about it. I've always wanted to know how to prepare a pot of tea in the correct manner, but the only reference I've ever seen was in Oprah's magazine. (With all due respect to our girl "O", I don't think she's the necessary authority on the subject.) So if somebody out there will help a heathen out, I'd be much obliged.

As for the title of today's post, it has to do with the fact that I'm all "up in my head" again with my stitching. As you might have observed, I have not participated in the Rotation That Must Be Obeyed in quite some time. When I was participating in a rotation I confess to feeling all smug and satisfied that I was "accomplishing" so much. Now that I'm left to my own devices, I seem to be mucking about without any proper supervision whatsoever.

Why does my stitching have to be "accomplishing" anything? Why can't I just sit in my damn Happy Chair and stitch whatever the h-e-double-toothpicks I feel like on that particular day? Why do I feel the need to "organize, assess, and plan" something that is supposed to make me get off the ledge? Why???

I simply hate having all of these WIP's, but then I see something up in the studio that just CALLS to me and BAM! I've got another new project going. So then I decide to make goals for myself and I get a rather half-assed notion of what I'm going to stitch for the next month or so and BAM! my BFF Laura J. Perin posts the last installment of the Blackwork Challenge.

Oh, to heck with it. I made a promise to myself long ago that I wasn't going to put my head on my pillow coffin and wish that I would have stitched less or drank lousy coffee. I suppose that I should just romp around all of this stuff and play to my heart's content. I could drive myself nuts with worry and stress over what to do next and what's the perfect date to start Christmas stuff, and I could walk down the driveway to get the mail and get hit by a bus. Wouldn't that be a riot? Spend all my time planning and then POOF! no more stitching.

So here's my manifesto for the day....I, Coni J. Rich Her Very Self, do solemnly swear to stitch without getting "all up in my head". I promise to work on things that make my heart sing and I promise to pay attention to how much enjoyment the piece adds to my pitiful little life. I will not bitch about my stash, my WIP's, my BAP's or any other letter-group related to stitchy things. I will read blogs and rejoice in the accomplishments of others without wondering why I can't seem to finish one damn thing myself. I will not view this as a competitive sport, I will encourage other stitchers in their work, and I will try to remember why I started to stitch in the first place. Signed, sealed, and delivered this day in August (which I don't know because I'm too lazy to go find a calendar), 2007. Or is it 2008?

My new start for the weekend is a counted canvas piece by a designer named Kimberly. The title of the piece is called "Wandering" and I've had it forever, it seems. I did start it several times, but I always abandoned it because it called for a stem stitch. Well, thanks to my Beginner's Crewel class, I now know how to do the stem stitch, so VOILA'! we're back in business! Yup, I did change some colors. I am substituting "Olive Grove" for "Antique Brass" and I changed the Impressions to reflect an olive/dark purple kind of thing. I also changed the canvas color from pewter grey to brown. I did keep all of the other silks as per the chart, and they're HEAVEN to stitch with! I'm going to get right back to this as soon as I sign off for the day.
I'll leave you with this pic of Stewey. He seems to have figured it out....when in doubt, surround yourself with things you love and take a nap!
So in the words of Ms. Paula Dean Her Very Self (adapted for us, of course).....From my studio to yours, I send you love and best stitches!

Aug 1, 2008


Stewey and I were really intrigued by the idea of taking up a project for the duration of the Olympics. I first read about this challenge on Ms. Stitch Bitch Her Very Self's blog and I haven't let go of it since. (Here....I'll try to use the thingie that allows me to add a link and we'll see if it works:

Anywhoose, I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it, and after a lot of conferences with my colleague, we decided to do this:

This is an amazing book that was a long-ago Christmas present from Chrissy. It's called "Patchwork of Peace" and the author/designer is Mary Clark Donegan. This book consists of 247 squares of different stitches that she put together in the likeness of an American flag. I suppose you could do almost any flag, but since I'm a Hoosier American and all, I figured we'd go with the red, white, and blue.

The canvas for this piece measures out to be 18 inches by 24 inches, so methinks this will be interesting to play with. Stretcher bars or scroll rods? I'll definitely have to dust off the floor stand for this one, which means Stewey will be forced off the ottoman and onto his perch for the duration.

I'll leave you with a pic of the little man himself practicing his "thank you for my gold medal, Mr. President" pose. He's really excited to be going to the games and hopes to bring home the gold in several events. If any of them involve lifting a leg or barking at the UPS man, he's got a very good chance.