Feb 23, 2009


If you thought I was completely nuts before, this post will confirm it for you. I spent the better part of the weekend organizing stitching up in the studio. Yep. You read that right. Organizing. Again. For the six thousandth time. (Go ahead. I'll give you all a moment to snicker and snark amongst yourselves at what a crazy whackadoo I am.) OK, feel better now?

I prefer to think of my semi-daily organizing tantrums as "inspiration gathering". Kind of like doing research before writing a book. I figure if Doris Kearns Goodwin can take eight years to research one of her books, then I am certainly entitled to a few OCD hours up in the studio, pawing through my stash.

What can I say? I am just in love with the idea of sitting down with canvases and charts and linens and threads and playing with them all day. When I was a kid, it was Barbie. Now, it's stitchy stash. I can put things in piles or throw them in heaps and I can not clean it up for a day or two and not feel at all guilty about it. It's just the most relaxing way I can think of to spend an afternoon. If I'm not shopping for stash or organizing stash, then I'm thinking about stash, so I might as well just admit I have a problem and move on.

One of the organizing areas that I've just never seemed to tackle was writing stuff down. My sister, the illustrious Aunt Chrissy, has several stitchy notebooks that she is very faithful to. She updates them, consults them, and even carries them with her when we stash shop. (Yes, it runs in the family, so wipe that look off of your face.) I think she has been keeping these notebooks since she's been stitching, which would be about 22 years, but I can't seem to find any of the old ones when I go over and snoop through her house.

Oooops. I mean, I don't see any of her old notebooks laying around when I go over to play with my PuppyTot Nephew Bosco. (Whew! That was a close one!)

Well, on Saturday I decided to start a notebook of my own and I decided to stop making it so damn complicated. Instead of trying to re-create the wheel, I decided to just write down what the heck I'm working on so that I will know if I made any thread changes or stitch changes, or what linen I used. I also figured it would be nice to put down a start and finish date, and then I got really jiggy with it and decided to put a space for an estimated cost. (I'll probably frog that last category. Sometimes I just don't want to know what I spent on silks or linen for a project.) I also have a daily journal that tells me what I stitched on a particular day, but I seem to be using that more and more as a "what I watched on TeeVee" book or a "how many times did I want to smack Stewey today" kind of thing. Since I am already telling the whole wide world what I'm stitching every day, I might just get rid of that one or decide to donate it to the National Archives. (That would be the kind of thing that would be critical to documenting American history wouldn't it?

Progress on "Beyond My Heart" continues:I finished the basket and the stems. It's all flowers and letters from here! I really enjoyed stitching the basket. It's a combination of eyelets and satin stitches and the effect is really pretty:Considering that we are in the midst of yet another snow squall today, methinks I might actually have several hours of time on this one in the Happy Chair today. I'm still really loving the linen (30ct. Gardener's Blend from R&R), so I guess I should be happy that those linen horizons stayed open.

I see from the last post that Stewey was on the computer Friday telling you all of my secrets. Geeze, Louise. I make ONE mention of his wienie penis issues and he has to get retribution. Damn dog. Suffice it to say there will be some serious "discussing" tonight about boundaries and personal issues on the computer. If I can figure it out, I might even put some kind of parental block on here. Knowing my proficiency with this silly machine, however, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

Thanks for stopping by, kids! I am, as always, astounded that you would actually like reading my drivel. Y'all should get some kind of medal or something. Maybe a cookie? Or a milkshake? Oh! I know! A big fat steaming cup of coffee with a perfect little biscotti!



  1. Actually I believe that to be a brilliant idea! There has been more than once I bought the same chart twice and then needed thread. I don't live near any place that carries the specialty thread (overdyed, etc.)

  2. I keep a notebook myself and update it with all my starts and finishes and other bits and pieces. People laugh at my "weirdness" but I like to make lists and it doesn't hurt anyone and keeps me happy so why not.....
    Mmmmmmmm coffee and biscotti. I think a little trip downstairs to the coffee shop near my office building is in store in the next few minutes.

  3. Hi Coni! That's too funny that you said that about the barbies. I'm the same way. I would spend hours and hours playing with my barbies and now it's my stash. I have cross stitch fashion shows. I pull out threads and put them on fabric and put them away again. I love the notebook idea! I love notebooks anyway. Whenever I'm near the paper aisle in any store I always look at the notebooks.

    Beyond my Heart is looking beautiful!! I'm loving your progress... can't wait to see more! :)

  4. Well, being the OCD obsessive stitcher that I am, I have an excel spreadsheet that tracks everything that I buy, stitch and finish, so I can relate to your list making! I love your progress on Beyond My Heart! It's beautiful, your eyelets are gorgeously done. And I too could spend hours fondling stash. Do you think it's part of the stitcher's disease that we have?

  5. Hey wait a minute?!? You mean obsessively reorganizing and rethinking your stash isn't normal? But that's my favorite pasttime other than the actual stitching part...uh oh, guess I'm in trouble.

    I actually just started a notebook, I did have a sorta journal on the computer but I was worried someone would delete it so I put together a little folder with all my WIP info, stash lists, wishlists and pretty much anything else that will make me super organized.

  6. I love your organizing posts! And you reminded me I was going to start my own stitchy notebook.

    You're making some nice progress on Beyond My Heart. Very pretty!

  7. Coni, organizing the stash can be almost as fun as stitching. I will do that on a night when my eyes are too tired for stitching or my brain isn't quite in focus. Then I reorganize or play with something in the stash. Sometimes I'll see how many canvases I can kit up at once. Then of course I put all the thread back because I'm really not ready to stitch those canvases yet. I recently reorganized my threads by color. I didn't think I'd ever do that, but I find it's working. Since I mainly do painted canvases it makes more sense when looking for a certain color. Tonight my dogs and I are working on a Noah's Ark canvas that I started 7 years ago when my dd was expecting #1 and was going to do the nursery in Noah's Ark. I bought the canvas, threads and about 40 pairs of animals to go on it only to have her change her mind about Noah. So, I quietly put Noah and his ark away for a rainy day. Well the rainy day has come, sort of. My nephew and his wife are expecting twins and while bemoaning the fact that I would have to make 2 birth samplers, after buying the perfect pattern for one child, my friend reminded me that I had the Noah's Ark. Since my nephew's wife is a Veterinarian, this is just so appropriate for them.

    I just discovered your blog last week and have spent many hours reading it. But don't you worry, I didn't take away from my stitching time to read, I just didn't cook or do laundry. Fortunately dh and the 4 dogs don't care if I cook or do laundry. 3 of my dogs have become fans of Stewey. My male dog is quite jealous of the time I spent reading and laughing about Stewey. So the girl dogs and I read about him when the male is outside protecting us from squirrels and snow falling and other hazards in our yard.


  8. I love the idea of organization, but the act of organizing brings on a nervous tic. There are so many items in my cedar chest that I occasionally just go shopping in there to make myself feel like I've been treated. Miraculously, there have been only a couple of instances of double-charts. More power to you and your organizational ways.

  9. my computer was down for about a week
    when up and running i read your postings
    smiled from ear to ear
    chuckled out loud for a long while after, husband thinks whats up
    i tell him spinster stitcher
    he just smiles
    i read your antics out loud frequently so he is in the know
    thanks for brightening the day

  10. I get all organized and then go shopping and new things follow me home. And then leave the house in a hurry and grab a project. And then before I know it, all that organization needs to happen again.

    Fortunately, you are so very right. Fondling stash is the equivalent of grown up Barbies. Endless combinations. Endless accessorizing. Bling and pop. And fun, oh my. My turn tomorrow as I need organize the stash room before college kids invade next weekend.

  11. Hi Coni! Anything that involves looking through stichy stash is fine by me! I like your progress on Beyond My Heart. I almost bought that chart last week at my LNS, but I bought Their Song instead. The coffee and biscotti sound yummy.

  12. Your Beyond My Heart is fab! Much prettier than the chart pic. I have it ready to go & would love to have it framed this summer. I just have to fit in the 'stitching it' part. Ahem.

    Love the idea of the stitchy notebook. You need to look through Aunt Chrissy's house a little better so you can take some pics of her notebooks. ;) I have lofty goals of having a stitchy notebook. I have one booklet that started out as a stitchy notebook, but it's become more of a 'it's near the computer so we put all the passwords in it and then write some stitching stuff in it as well' catch all. I need to get myself better organized so that I can get everything all into one spot. Yeah, like that will happen...

  13. I'll be right over for the coffee, sounds perfect!


  14. I'll take the coffee, black, no sugar, thanks and pinch a couple of your ideas for a notebook (don't know though how long the resolution will last...).
    I love taking out and looking at my stash which is distributed in several drawers and cupboards in various rooms - which drives my immediate entourage crazy. Cookie-the-dog doesn't mind : while I am playing with threads and linens and charts, she has the sofa to herself...

  15. I have spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours on good psychotherapy and found an afternoon with my beloved threads and fabric and charts to be as calming to the soul as any well trained therapist. Do not feel that the time you spend with the things that feed the creative and inspire you is anything but grand!!!