Jan 29, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. Truth is, she's driving me nuts today with her pacing about the house. When I ask her what's wrong, she says "Stewey Darling, Mummie feels like half crap today."

First of all, may I just point out that she's taken to calling herself "Mummie"? I'm not buying it one little bit. She is Mom, Mommie, Mommie Dearest, or Mo-ther. Period. And, until she buys me a First Class airplane ticket so that I might actually visit the land of my ancestry where they DO call their adult women people Mum, I'm not playing along.

Apparently half-crap means that she doesn't feel bad enough to go pull the covers over her head, but she doesn't feel well enough to be upright and/or productive. I suspect that it has something to do with her lady time, but given the hysterics that topic brings up around here, I'd rather just say "she has a touch of the flu" and get on with it.

I knew she wasn't faking it when she awoke and headed straight for the thermostat to ratchet it up to a whopping 64 degrees. 64! Imagine my delight when I realized that it might actually get warm enough in here now to melt the little icicle that's been dangling from the tip of my peenie. I'm all for staying comfortable, but my stupid mo-ther's idea of comfortable is a meat locker. So when she decided to crank the heat up today because "her bones were cold" I knew something must be amiss.

Now before y'all go off half-cocked and write comments telling me to be nice to my mommie today, may I just point out that I am the one who heads into the bedroom every afternoon and stands patiently at the side of the big girl sleigh bed until somebody gets a clue and comes for a nap? Might I also point out that I am lobbying fiercely for an electric kettle so that I can finally make the old lady a proper cup of tea each afternoon? And, for the record, I am also the one who calls my Aunt Chrissy when I suspect that Mom is lonely, and good 'ol Aunt Chrissy comes over armed with my smelly little cousin and sitchy gossip.

So don't you dare judge me, Argentina. I do a pretty OK job of being nice when I have to.

There wasn't any stitching last night. I know that Mo-ther is determined to get that damn LHN ornament finished this weekend, but I still don't think it's supposed to be an ornament. At five inches square, methinks it will be much too large for the crappy little tree that we normally have. If she does carry through and stitch all of these things this year, maybe it will prompt her to pull out the big 'ol nine footer and we will have a proper tree for once! (Oh, if wishes made it so!)

I'm off to the bird feeders. I decided to give up my attack on the squirrels, and I've been experimenting with a few different recipes to see what they like best. Turns out, the little buggers will eat ANYTHING, so I'm going to order some more black sunflower seeds and be done with it. They just didn't seem to appreciate my cooking or baking skills, so I'm going to throw in the towel and feed them like the filthy little rodents they are.

We're off to the weekend! I am hoping that we get some West Wing viewing time in. We're almost finished with the fourth season, and despite the absence of Rob Lowe, I'm enjoying most of the plot lines immensely.

Cheerio! Stay warm and safe and dry and stitch/quilt/make/bake/eat something fabulous!

With love from your friend,

Jan 28, 2010


Do you see that white flag waving madly in the general vicinity of Hoosierville? Well, that would be me declaring my powerlessness over ever having a shot in h-e-double-toothpicks of getting the laundry done.

How in the holy heck can one person create such massive amounts of laundry? You would think that I'm executing at least eighteen wardrobe changes a day, when the truth of the matter is that I am very rarely out of pajamas for weeks and weeks at a time. Sheesh.

Thanks to Aunt Chrissy I have an assignment today that will require use of my very little brain. Fire extinguishers are standing by!

Stay warm and safe and dry, kiddos!

Jan 26, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. Once again, I've locked her in the laundry room with her Kindle and an extra jug of Tide for company and have instructed her to get to it.

My first order of business is to clear up some confusion regarding the hard hat "situation". For some strange reason, my mo-ther insists on parading me around the world as though I were her trained little monkey. And, I am sad to report, she does so with an obvious bias toward wanting a GIRL monkey, when I am most certainly NOT a girl monkey. I resent the implication that my taste is for all things pink. True, I do think a well-appointed pink tailored shirt is a necessity in any man's wardrobe, but as a matter of rule I do not wear it as the feature color of my accessories.

As as to my desiring a hard hat....peeshaw! While I certainly admire and respect everyone who dons one in the name of safety, I am NOT in any way envious of those who find it necessary to wear any special equipment when it's time to make their way in the world. Unless, of course, that special equipment involves a martini shaker and a brilliantly fashioned cravat.

One of these days I will allow my mo-ther to photograph me in my natural habitat so that you can see that my role model is indeed Mr. Hugh Hefner, and not Ms. Anna Nicole Smith as Mother would have you believe. In the meantime, I beg you not to encourage her, nor do I wish you to entice her to share any more of my private information. I have a hard enough time fielding media requests without all of the silly tabloids wanting to exploit my image on their latest issue. I am, however, readily available should Charlie Rose want to have me at the table.

Mom worked on a Christmas ornament last night:
This is the first ornament in the Little House Needlework monthly series, so she still has another few days to complete it if she wants to be on track for the year. I believe that she is going to steal her finishing technique from Ms. Vonna (shamelessly, I might add), so I'll make sure to share the final pics with you for critique. (Trust me, it'll suck and will most certainly send the old lady into a tailspin the likes of which we have yet to see.)

If I toss this into the laundry room today and swipe the Kindle, I might be able to share a finish with you tomorrow, but let's not hold our breath now, shall we? I know not to anticipate things around here and find that if I expect absolutely nothing from this woman I am very rarely disappointed.

Do have a splendid day today. I'm going to hit my perch for an afternoon screening of Dr. Zhivago. I've had it recorded for quite some time now, and seeing how it's rather cold and blustery outside today, methinks it's the perfect time to enjoy! Ciao!

With love from your pal,

Jan 24, 2010


Aunt Chrissy and I spent all weekend in the studio doing various and sundry things stitchy related. I framed four pieces and am shocked to report that I thought I would be a pinner, but it turns out, I'm a lacer. Well, actually, I pinned AND laced so I'm not sure what the heck it all means in the end, but two are done and hung: (Holey Schmoley! That is one big white wall! Ironically, this will be the last wall to be painted here at Chez Spinster, since it is approximately the size of an airplane hangar and will require the use of a ladder. I'm not allowed to use a ladder without adult supervision, and Stewey has refused to cover for me. Methinks it's because he's throwing a pout over the lack of a little pink hard hat for use during his "I'm a building contractor and my mo-ther is an idiot" phase.)

The other two pieces aren't hung yet because I haven't quite decided where they will live. For now, they're living behind the cookie jar and are also keeping Zhu Zhu company:

All in all, I will say that it was an enjoyable experience, but it took me a full four and half hours of cussin' up a blue streak before I finally got the hang of this whole "home framing" thing. It's very satisfying, though, so I highly recommend that you give it a try. Just make sure to get yourselves a really good tutorial like the ones on Ms. Vonna and Ms. Laura J. Perin's blogs:http://thetwistedstitcher.blogspot.com/ and http://two-handedstitcher.blogspot.com/ .

Once the framing was complete, we settled in for a few hours of The West Wing. I futzed about at great lengths until Stewey finally pointed his little paw in the direction of my WIP basket and suggested that I get back to work on this(the top pic is Saturday's progress, the bottom, Sunday's):

This is a painted canvas from Amanda Lawford, and it was the very first stitchy Christmas present from my little sis. Isn't it lovely? It's painted on 13ct. canvas, so it's very kind to tired eyes, and the stitches seem to go very very fast. I don't have a stitch guide for this one, so I'm kind of making it up as I go along. I've tried a few things on the black and white border, but I'm not sure that it's the right stitch. Methinks I will keep on stitchin' on with this one.

I also completed Lesson One on the cyber class that I'm taking from Orna Willis:
I did a few stitches I've never done before (like crescents and jessicas), so it was fun and very very satisfying:
All of the poster boards are hung. I'll show you the one in my office first:

OK, so it's not exactly blowing my skirt up just yet. I did change out the print on the wall to see if it would make me like the color more, but I'm not really sold just yet. Believe it or not, I'm leaning towards making this room PUMPKIN!....a very deep and rich orange color. I think that would look pretty cool with the black furniture. I do like that print there, though, so maybe we'll just keep playing in the yellow-ish family for now and stop thinking that it looks too much like 1970's Harvest Gold (not that there's anything wrong with that).

That's the Monday report from Chez Spinster on this lovely Monday morning. I hope that you're off to a fabulous week ahead! Kisses from Stewey!

Jan 22, 2010


Cherry Cordial
Needle Delights Originals
24ct congress cloth
Caron Wildflowers, #4 Kreinik braid
Well woo hoo hoo hoo hoo for me today! I finished Cherry Cordial last night, and it's a good thing I did, because I was watching a movie at the time and had to keep rewinding it. Who says I can't do more than one thing at a time? (The movie was "Cop Land" and I thought it was very very good.) (But I've always enjoyed staring into the deep limpid pools of love that are Sylvester Stallone's, so what do I know?)

So Aunt Chrissy had to haul out the heavy equipment last night to get me partially off the edge. Yesterday I had every intention of cleaning my office, but it resulted in me shoving all of the furniture into the center of the room and then deciding to paint the walls instead. So rather than doing anything productive at all, I sat in a chair and fretted over the fact that I built this house in 2002 and have yet to add any color to the Big. White. Walls.

A trip to Lowe's armed with some Sherman Williams color cards, and I've got a lovely little project for the day....painting poster boards.

Yup. You read that right. Poster boards.

See, Aunt Chrissy knows that I have the attention span of a 300-pound hummingbird and that my "I have to paint these walls RIGHT NOW" mood will probably only last until Tuesday. So rather than going out and buying eighteen gallons of paint and then slapping something stupid up on the walls, we selected six colors and purchased the little sample cans. And, since we all know that I will probably have a nervous breakdown when I see said colors on the big white walls, Aunt Chrissy suggested that I paint poster boards and hang them up instead. That way, when I come to my senses, I can take the poster boards down, stash them in the garage for safekeeping, and nobody will be the wiser.

I know that you're sitting there thinking "For cryin' out loud, Spinster Stitcher! It's only paint!". but I have a way of turning something very simple into something very angst inspiring, so we've learned to adapt.

What can I say? It's not easy being me.

So today I'm going to clean the kitchen and the office and then go outside to paint a few poster boards. I'll tack them up throughout the house and then take pics so that we can all vote on what the appropriate colors should be for Chez Spinster.

Won't this be fun?!!

(I saw that. Stop rolling your eyes at me!) Have a Happy Friday and a Splendid Weekend!

Jan 21, 2010


I'm so close I can feel it! Methinks we'll be Happy Dancing before the day is done! Stay tuned!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go move the couch further into a patch of sunshine before Little Lord Fauntleroy falls off the back of it.

Jan 20, 2010


As you can see, I'm moving right along on Cherry Cordial and am really hoping that I might finish it this week. Could I really have three finishes in the first three weeks of the new year? Could it be? Is it possible that somebody who stitched a lousy eighteen projects last year might actually be on track to stitch more than that this year? Will wonders never cease?
I got the coffee cup at Crate and Barrel. How cool is THAT?!

Stewey is back to his perky little self and sends his thanks for a speedy recovery. He's still not allowed to romp and play just yet (come to think of it, he never actually romps and/or plays), but methinks we will go outside for some fresh air later this afternoon. The sun is peeking out a bit and I want to take full advantage of it.

Have you read these?:

I never recommend books to people because I have strange taste and am always worried that the person to whom I recommend will wonder what the hell is wrong with my brain...but these books are the literary equivalent of bon bons made for you personally by your boyfriend Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Who is standing in your kitchen. Wearing nothing but an apron. (Hubba hubba).

I'm reading the latest installment on Ellison* and am really enjoying it. I confess, though, that I have to really slooooooowwwww myself down because the language can be very dense and full of hidden meanings and you'll blow right by them if you're not careful.

Today is paperwork day, which means I will be elbow deep in crap that has no meaningful impact on anything at all, and I will have murdered several large trees before the day is done. I've developed a rather nasty habit of tossing the mail into a big basket and then dealing with it all at once, so the time it will take to wade through the ads for new furnaces and chiropractors to get to the electric bill is going to really butter my biscuits. Better load up on provisions (read: cookies) to get through it all.

Happy Hump Day!

*Ellison is the name of my Kindle.

Jan 19, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's making me a little tea this morning since I woke up with a bit of a tummy "situation", and I'm just not feeling too well. (Methinks it's because I overindulged on the cookies yesterday, but don't tell HER that, or she'll do something stupid like monitor my intake.)
Sometimes a guy just needs to wear his robe. Don't I look particularly fetching?
Mom worked a little on Cherry Cordial last night, but didn't make enough progress for me to get out my camera. She's still really enjoying it, though, so I suspect that she will keep at this one until completion.

I do hope that you have a splendid day. I'm going to tuck into my blanket with the remote and catch up on all the stuff I've been taping. There's all of the Men of a Certain Age episodes, the premier of Big Love, and a two-part Masterpiece Theater called Cranford that I want to see. Should keep me busy and distracted from the damn squirrels for at least an hour or two...

Just look at these filthy little buggers! Now they're inviting friends over! Damn squirrels.

Jan 18, 2010


scur-ri-lous (skur-a-les) adj. 1. Given to the use of vulgar or low abusive language; foul mouthed. 2. Expressed in course and abusive language. [From Latin scurrilis, buffoonlike, jeering, from scurra, buffoon, possibly from Etruscan.]

This pretty much sums up Stewey's attitude and general demeanor this lovely morning. He woke up on the wrong side of the bed, with his hair sticking straight up and one eye partially closed. I told him that the sexy rock star look suited him, but he just grumbled and went to the back door to begin his morning ritual of chasing the damn squirrels from the bird feeders. Apparently the chattering and skittering of the little buggers woke him up, and we all know what happens when Little Lord Fauntleroy misses his beauty sleep.

"Woo Hoo! Breakfast!"

"#*$%&*(# SQUIRRELS!"

First, some housekeeping. Join your hands together for MS. ALANDA JACOBS HER VERY SELF! As I was perusing the comments this morning, Alanda gently pointed out that I had NOT, in fact, finished Shenandoah Spring, and that I had completely missed a portion of the lower right corner! Good eye, girlfriend! Thank you! (I'll be rectifying this immediately.) (Can you imagine the language around here if I would have taken that sucker to the framer/finisher without catching that?) (Talk about scurrilous!)

After finishing (ahem) Shenandoah Spring, I fished through the basket and came up with:

This is Cherry Cordial from Needle Delights. I'm not sure (yet again) why I ever put this one down because it's really quite fun to do. This is the first time I ever marked the blank canvas before stitching, and although I was pretty nervous about doing it, I think the guidelines are essential:
Well, I suppose that about sums up the state of things here at Chez Spinster today! I'm off to the bird feeders!

Jan 17, 2010


I suspect that Stewey called his Aunt Chrissy yesterday, because at 1:30 I received a telephone call from her telling me to get out of bed and put some freakin' shoes on already. (What IS it with these two and shoes?). Then, she showed up with Bosco to help me take down all of the Christmas decorations, put them away, organize the garage, flip my mattress, and change my bed. Whew! Add #14 (take a shower) to the list, and I had a rather good day!

Today is an even BETTER day, since I put the final stitches into "Shenandoah Spring" moments ago:
Shenandoah Spring
DebBee's Designs
18ct. mono canvas in light blue
Watercolours, DMC floss and #8perle, Neon Rays, Kreinik #4 and #8 braid

When I finished this section, all I could hear in my head was Donkey's voice (from Shrek), saying "I'm making WAFFLES!"):

This is the center of the piece and was stitched all the way back in April of 2008. What the heck took me so long to finish this one?

I used Caron Watercolours "Seaglass" for this one, as well as DMC 504 and 503. The Neon Rays colors were N62 and N88, and then Kreikik braid in 3214 added the sparkle. I can only imagine what this one would look like in a different color pallette...maybe somthing like a rich, deep blue, or even a combination of brilliant reds. The imagination wanders...

What to stitch next is still rattling around in my brain. I might pick up those LHN ornaments and get a jump on those, or maybe finish the Merry Christmas piece from Raymond Crawford. Or I could pull out any of the billion and a half Laura J. Perin's I have and have fun with them, or maybe even do a little crewel piece?

It's nice to have such a dilemma!

Jan 15, 2010


My mo-ther can't come to the blog right now. I've dispatched her to the garage with some sensible shoes and a to do list. (I demanded the sensible shoes because she normally scuffles around the house in her bedroom slippers, and I just can't take the sight of them one minute longer.)

Here's what's on her TO DO list:

  1. Take down all of the Christmas decorations.
  2. Retrieve the appropriate storage receptacles from the garage and then insert said Christmas decorations into said receptacles.
  3. Organize the garage shelves where said receptacles are stored.
  4. Fluff up the guest room, dust and sweep it thoroughly, and remove excess crap from the bed. (This is in the event that my Aunt Chrissy wants to come over for a marathon Stitchy/West Wing evening.)
  5. Clean the guest bath, since I've decided to creep in there every now and then (and you never know what will be lurking for you on the rug).
  6. Do the laundry. All of it.
  7. Put the laundry away. All of it.
  8. Change our bed. (I really mean it, mo-ther. I demand freshly pressed bed linens or I'm going to find a new place to snuggle at night.)
  9. Dust. Everything.
  10. Clean the floors. All of them. Especially the area around the drapes.
  11. Wash the drapes. Again.
  12. Fix me a snack and put my Prince blanket back on my perch. (Might I suggest boef bourguignon and a sassy little Chianti?)
  13. Shovel the ice off of the front walkway so that the UPS man won't sue you when he hurts an ACL slipping his way to the front door to deliver something stitchy that you ordered but didn't need and promised you wouldn't buy now that your needlework stash is valued at a dollar figure more than the home in which we live.
  14. Take a shower, shave those legs, and do something about that unsightly mustache that makes me want to say "MISTER Mommie, I presume?"
  15. Give me cookies. Lots of them.

I, of course, will be camped out on my perch watching the squirrels eat the sunflower seeds out of the bird feeders. Damn squirrels.

Here's my list for the day:

  1. Nap.
  2. Stretch and yawn.
  3. Watch the damn squirrels.
  4. Nap some more.
  5. Pee on drapes.
  6. Eat cookies.

I do hope that your day is as productive as I'm sure my mo-ther's will be. (What can I say? If she doesn't get up off of her big fat heiney and do what I've asked methinks there will be consequences that she'll find most unpleasant.)

Stitch something fabulous!
With love from your pal,

Jan 14, 2010


Hi kids.  Sorry for the drive-by, but I'm off to a ridiculously important appointment.  (Man o'man a chevitz do I hope that I can not be ME for an hour and not screw this up!)

Anywhoose...here's pics of Stewey enjoying the snow.  Turns out he really IS a dog afterall...

Jan 13, 2010


Oey.  Today is January 13th and I think I have now worked on 86 different needlework projects in the last fifteen minutes.  I know that I said this would be the year of stitching "Whatever The Damn Hell I Feel Like", but this is really ridiculous.

Aunt Chrissy is not only my stitching sensei, she is my biggest suppoter.  She always says "Oh, that's beautiful!" whenever I hand her something for perusal.  So imagine my surprise when, in the course of one of our conversations last night, she said "What the EFF are you doing?".  (Well, she didn't really say it that way exactly, but when I pointed out that I have been feeling rather discombobulted with my stitching lately...she agreed with me!) (Normally, she would just coo gently and talk me off the ledge, all the while making a mental note to call the doc in the morning for a sedative.)

So here I am again....showing you yet another project that I picked up last night.  This is DebBee's "Shenandoah Spring", and I think it's been languishing in the WIP Pile Of Death for about two years.  I love this piece, and am not sure why I ever put it down in the first place, so maybe I've hit upon something that can occupy me for more than nine seconds before I'm bored. 

I suppose that part of my problem is that I'm trying to "force" it.  For whatever reason, I am really in a mood to stitch canvas pieces, yet I feel obligated to throw a little cross stitch in there so that I don't lose an entire population of my reading public. (Oh, who the heck am I kidding?  Y'all just come here to see if Stewey will make an appearance, so I should probably check my ego at the door and just get on with it.)

The first two ornaments in the LHN series arrived in the mail yesterday and I promptly went upstairs to hem the linen and get it onto q-snaps.  I settled in for what I thought would be several hours of cross stitchy love, but after two crosses, I was back upstairs fishing through canvas projects.  Sigh.  I suppose that I should just go with the flow and enjoy what I'm working on n'est pai?

No snowman for the StewMeister.  Just as we were about to go outside, he picked up his "baby" and headed to the big girl sleigh bed for a nap.  His baby is a little white teddy bear that Aunt Chrissy got him for Christmas, and for whatever reason he refuses to go to sleep without it.  So a nap we had, and I woke up just in time to get the lights on before the neighbors called the authorities. (What can I say?  My neighbors know how routine I am, and if they don't see my porch light go on at 4:30 in the afternoon, they panic.)

As much as I would love to make the snowman today, methinks I had better concentrate on laundry and housecleaning.  It's time that I start to realize that a 43 year old spinster is NOT a 22 year old frat boy, and as much as I love doing it, kicking one's underpants of onto the floor is just...not...civilized.

Happy Hump Day!

Jan 12, 2010


I'm pretty sure that the world has lost its damn mind.  Last night I caught parts of the news (which I stopped watching ages ago), and it was story after story after story about people behaving badly.  Today, the morning newspaper tells me more about one of our Mishawaka police officers who was killed Saturday night by a criminal dirtball degenerate idiot that I hope rots in a jail cell drunk driver, and the noon celebrity gossip was full of stupid people doing stupid things.  I finished my lunch muttering to myself that the world is going to hell in a handbasket and then decided to check in with y'all to see what's new and exciting in your little corner of the world.

Now what do you suppose greeted me as I checked my comments?

Yup.  You guessed it.


Silly, stupid ass, porn all dressed up in the form of a comment right here on this here blog.  You might not have seen it if you just scanned through the comments, and I'm pretty sure that absolutely nobody but me really reads them, but I still can't believe that somebody out there has the unmitigated gaul to create some bloody computer program that has the ability to assault a poor unsuspecting spinster with their crapola.

(If you read the comments and clicked on that mess and were offended in any way, I am truly sorry and promise you that I will get to the bottom of it and fix the little red wagon of the person who did it.  I swear.  As God is my witness.)

Now please understand that I am NOT going to have anything to say on the general porn subject.  As far as I'm concerned...to each his own, as long as "his own" is locked in a room with the curtains drawn and not an animal, child, or old person within an eighteen mile radius of his filthy little brain.  But Geeze Louise!  Give me a freakin' break already!  Do you REALLY mean to tell me that there aren't ENOUGH outlets on the Internets for you to get your little freak on without HACKING INTO A STITCHING BLOG!?

Bad form, I say!  Now straighten up out there, or I will hunt you down and give you something to get excited about!  (Yeah, I'm talking to you....you twisted, wretched, sophmoric, pushy little JackAss!  You!)

Ahhhh, all better now.

I started AmyBear's "Fascination" last evening and managed to complete a total of four squares before calling it a night.  Hmmmm.  Four down, three hundred ninety six to go!

This is a really fun piece to stitch, but I can tell that this is going to take a lot longer than the fifteen minutes I had previously thought it would.  Phooey.

So Stewey and I are off to the back yard to build a snowman.  I have been promising that we would do so for the last two weeks, so today I figured I have better make good or suffer the consequences.  He's been rather patient all morning, and I don't think we've had any peeing on drapes as of yet, so methinks we're making progress for a Tuesday.  Damn dog.

I hope that you're having a simply lovely day and that you'll stitch something fabulous!  Woo Hoo!

Jan 11, 2010


Orna Willis

Stewey and I thought long and hard about it, and we decided that this piece is finished for now. I didn't do the last two sections of outer borders, but I think I want to move on to something different. And, if I re-visit this one, I think I want to play with the colors a little bit since these were a little unusual for me. The good news is that Ms. Orna provides you with several options, so selecting alternatives should be easy breezy!

The weekend was cold and snowy and stitchy and West Wing-y. Aunt Chrissy and I spent good portions of the last few days on our respective heinies and I am feeling so well rested today that I think it's almost time for a mid-morning nap. Yawn.

I noticed that Ms. Ruth completed the last lesson on the Raymond Crawford "Merry Christmas" canvas, so I suppose that this one is very near the end. Oh boo hoo hoo hoo hoo. This project has been like one big box of chocolates for me, so I just can't bear the thought of finally finishing that last piece. It has been a total blast to do, and I am really looking forward to working on similar stuff in my stitchy future.

Stewey's little cold is finally gone. He did manage to sneeze all over me yesterday for good measure, but I think that's just because I wouldn't give him a cookie. We're having a bit of a battle on that front, since he thinks "All cookies all the time" is a perfectly reasonable nutritional solution and that I should stop fussing over the fact that he goes days and days without eating any of his Puppy Chow. The vet tells me that this is perfectly normal and that his health and weight are perfect for his size, but I still worry about him. Damn dog.

We're ready for Monday! I hope that the week ahead is perfectly perfect in every way for you. Stitch something fabulous!

Jan 8, 2010


First, please allow me to send you all my very heartfelt thank you for your kind wishes. As you might have heard, I have been suffering from a head cold, and my stupid mo-ther is no help whatsoever. I've heard about women who are born without a maternal gene in their bodies. I just never thought I would be stuck with one.

I did manage to launder several hankies last night, and I do have plenty of supplies in my emergency kit, so I think all will be well today. I am sipping a little hot tea, having a small biscuit, and enjoying a beautiful snowy landscape out the back window. Fortunately for me, my little smoking jacket is insulated, since the old lady insists on keeping this place as cold as a meat locker.

My Aunt Chrissy and pesky cousin Bosco were here yesterday for some marathon stitching and "West Wing" watching, but neither Mom nor Aunt Chrissy really understood much of it. They had to keep re-winding the episodes to figure out what things meant, and I swear they both had headaches from thinking so hard. I heard Aunt Chrissy try to blame the elementary school nuns for their complete lack of comprehension, but methinks it's just because the two of them together add up to about half a 40 watt light bulb. Maybe all of this stitching is rotting their brains?

While I was a PERFECT little pup and preferred to sleep on my perch most of the day, Bosco played the IN/OUT game until Aunt Chrissy yelled at him to just sit the hell down already. I think he wanted to go outside to play with the birds and squirrels at the back feeders, but I've already trained all of them to skeedaddle whenever Mom lets me out. (What can I say? I like a little privacy when I'm trying to do my thing.)

Anywhoose, the idiot...er, I mean...my cousin would go outside and throw himself around in the snow like he was having a fit of some kind. At one point, he went over to a snow drift and stuck his entire head and torso face first into it so that only his heiney was showing! Dumb dog.

Mo-ther felt bad that his "poor little head" was getting cold (uh...HELLO!? I'm the one with the sniffles..remember?), so she went into my closet and retrieved a hat for him.

When I tell you that this hat was definitely NOT on his color wheel and that I think it qualified him for an episode of "What Not To Wear", I'm not kidding. And, after Mom put the damn thing on him, both she and my Aunt Chrissy dissolved into puddles of laughter and "almost" peed their pants. I felt sorry for the little guy. How embarrassing.

The good news is that Bosco finally got his revenge when it was almost time for them to go home. He threw up on Mom's rug and then turned around and gave her a look that pretty much told her what she could do with her hat. I must say, I was rather proud of him.

I'll let Mom tell you more about her stitching at a later date. She's locked in her office muttering to herself over some mail that she got yesterday. Apparently she has lost all ability to decipher the Engligh language, because I hear her hollering "What the hell does this MEAN?!" over and over again. Must be tax time.

I hope that you will have a splendid weekend. I am going to park myself in front of the tube and catch up on all of my shows. There are at least six episodes of "Steven Segal Lawman" that I want to see, as well as the special "Iron Chef" that was filmed at the White House.

If you're west of us, please be careful out there...I just heard that you're going to get hit with more snow tonight, so stock up on provisions and stay inside!

With love from your pal,

Jan 7, 2010


Poor Stewey. He has a little head cold. I was giving him his requisite morning tummy rub when he got a funny look on his face and then proceeded to emit a sneeze that scared him right back under the covers. He keeps sniffling and dabbing his runny nose with his little handkerchief, and if it wasn't so hilarious, I'd feel bad and make him some waffles.

Bad Mommie.

I guess I'm really embracing this whole "Stitch Whatever The Heck I Feel Like" rotation, since I started a new project yesterday: GRACE by Orna Willis. This is a counted canvas piece that I've had in my stash for quite some time, so I figured now was as good a time as any to start playing with it:
Today will be snowy and cold, so it looks like we'll get some more time in the Happy Chair with "The West Wing" series for entertainment. As much as I love this show, it really is a reminder that I am a complete idiot when it comes to the workings of my own country. I'm mortified at how very little I know, so I've downloaded a few books on the 'ol Kindle to see if I can't get myself up to speed.

(I just wish I didn't have to search the kids' section to find ones that I could understand.)

Happy Thursday everybody! I hope that wherever you are, you're warm and safe and dry. (I say this because cold and in danger and wet would really suck, n'est pai?)

Jan 5, 2010


OK, can I just begin by pointing out that it took me a full fifteen minutes to figure out how to spell "prerogative"? All this time I thought it was PER-ogative. Silly silly me. And, may I also point out how it took me the full fifteen minutes to sit here and wonder just how the hell I was going to figure out how to spell prerogative, since you actually have to know how to spell a word in order to look it up in the dictionary?

(This would be about the time that you are sitting in your chair madly waving your arms and pointing to the "SPELL CHECK" button on the blogger thingie, right?)

(What can I say? I'm a slow learner.)

One of the things I love about my little dog is the fact that he never passes judgement on me when I decide to eat a salami sandwich at 11:30 at night.

The thing I DON'T like, however, is how he insists on starting the day with a printed transcript of everything I've done the day before so that he can check for inconsistencies. Take this morning, for example:

Stewey: Mo-ther, yesterday you said that you were going to work on the BRD "It's Cold Outside" until you completed the stitching on the smalls portion of the project.

Mommie Dearest: Yeah? So what? Grmph. Mumble mumble mumble. (She struggles in vain to open a new container of Prairie Farms Half and Half).

Stewey: Well, may I point out to you that you did NOT stitch on said project, but rather, you fished about in your stitchy basket for the better portion of the evening until you finally settled on Aunt Laura J. Perin's "Lily of the Valley Collage"?

Mommie: Why the bloody hell do they have to make these things so hard to open? Don't they know that a person needs cream in the morning? What kind of sick and twisted freak of nature designed these damn....

Stewey (tapping his paw impatiently while peering over his reading glasses): Mo-ther. Pay attention to me, please. If you're going to have ANY level of integrity going into the New Year, you need to be more careful that you actually do what you've said you're going to do. You simply cannot decided to change things to suit you whenever the going gets tough or the task at hand doesn't suit you. You simply MUST persevere.

Mommie (looking blankly at the little dog while wondering if she's had some type of neurological "situation" that would result in her listening to a talking dog who insists on wearing reading glasses so that he can peer over them with a look of disdain carefully etched on his little face): Stewey, first of all, I was very clear that I was going to just enjoy my stitching this year and NOT get all wrapped up in my head about deadlines or "shouldas" or obligations. I told the world (well, at least the seven people who read my blog) that I'm going to stitch WHAT I want, WHEN I want. So you can just march yourself right back to whatever little perfectly designed hell you came from and...leave (grunt)....me (face reddening as she pulls furiously at the cap)...alone!

(The entire top portion of the carton EXPLODES into a shower of half and half as the little dog scurries away and the Mommie is left standing in the middle of the kitchen with droplets of cream in her hair. She glances up to the ceiling, calculates the best position, and places her cup under a particularly large rivulet of cream cascading down upon her. She waits patiently for the perfect amount to descend, takes an appreciative sip, and gets on with her day.)

Apparently, Stewey has decided that I need to be more careful about what I reveal on this here blog. He feels that I owe it to y'all to be carefully organized, meticulously adherent to a system, and mindful of my tendency to blather on and on without concern for the consequences. And, he apparently feels that it is his prerogative to have these little review sessions each and every morning, even if I haven't yet had my first sip of life-giving sustenance (otherwise knows as Starbucks French Roast with Truvia and half and half.)

Damn dog.

Last night I picked up Laura J. Perin's "Lily of the Valley Collage" and stitched away while watching "The West Wing". (Aunt Chrissy and I started the series again on Christmas, so now I'm back into full-on addiction mode and have just started Season Three.) (Aunt Chrissy, if you're reading this, don't fret. I marked where we left off and will happily go back so that you can catch up to where I ended up after a little mini-marathon that kept me up until 5am.)

Anywhoose....it seems that canvas was just what I needed to have in my grubby little paws, because every single stitch of this piece has been a joy to do! I had completed all of the borders previously, so now we're all about the interiors of each of the boxes. Fun fun fun!

Note to Stewey: Mommie's going to think out loud, Little, so get over it honeybuns! (Yup. I call him "Little". How cute is THAT?!).

I am thinking that I'd like to try my hand at ribbon embroidery for the center of this piece. As you might remember, I stuck an actual silk flower in the center of "Daisy Collage" and I still really love that, but wouldn't it be cool to do a lovely flower in River Silks? I'm assuming that they have books that would teach you how to make the individual flowers, so maybe I'll look into that today. The good news is that I can always rely on the actual chart for guidance on this, since Ms. Laura J. Perin Her Very Self knows a LOT about flowers and always charts them perfectly.

(This concludes the brown-nosing portion of our program).

So here's my progress after last evening's stitching:
Gotta go. Looks like Stewey's legal team needs me to sign off on our TO DO list for the day.

Next time, I swear I'm going to get a goldfish.

Jan 4, 2010


Did you ever stitch your eyeballs out for four straight days and then look at your progress and say to yourself...."THAT'S IT!? THAT'S WHAT I ACCOMPLISHED AFTER FOUR STRAIGHT DAYS OF STITCHING MY EYEBALLS OUT???!!!" ?

Well, I did.

On Thursday afternoon I decided that I really wanted to finish something for year's end so that I could wake up on January 1st with a brand new start. On January 1st, I woke up and said "Phooey. I'll just go ahead finish what I was working on yesterday and we'll all pretend that 2010 actually starts on Monday."

So I stitched my eyeballs out all day and FINALLY put the last little tent stitch into:
The little guy on the left is the 2008 Prairie Schooler annual Santa. (2009 is on the right.) Please excuse the red lines...they're just there to give me an idea of where the borders of each block are. I'm not positive, but methinks I will do some kind of fancy schmancy border around all of them once they're done...maybe in a nice variegated Watercolours, like Holiday?

After the ceremonial Happy Dance was completed, I fished around in my basket and came up with the perfect project for a snowy afternoon:

This is Blue Ribbon Design's "It's Cold Outside". I decided to stitch all of the smalls on one big piece of linen and then do the sampler on another piece. I'm pretty sure that I stitched borders/outlines for a week and a half. I'm all done with borders/outlines now. Forever. (I think this is what made me wonder just what the heck I had been doing for so long since it seemed so... "eh" when I looked at the sum total of it.)

I'm not going to get discouraged, though, and think I'll keep plowing through until all of the smalls are stitched. Then I'm pretty sure that I'm going to switch to something else so that this one doesn't end up out in the driveway with me cheering Stewey on to back over it with the car.

The snow keeps piling up and Stewey has been standing at the back door for an hour now wondering when I'm going to clear him a little path so that he can go out to make a proper deposit. I heard him mutter something about the drapes a few minutes ago, so I suppose I had better hop to it. And soon. Damn dog.