Mar 29, 2010


I should preface this story with the simple fact that I love my stinky little puppy nephew Bosco with a white hot love that rivals that of the surface of the sun. I mean it. I really do. Bosco and I have a very special bond because when he was a very tiny little guy I would go over to Aunt Chrissy's house to check on him and he invariably greeted me from his nylon travel cage covered in poop.

Bosco has a face and a personality that make you want to carry on long conversations with him. He is curious about everything, and if the dog could talk (which I'm pretty sure he can, but shyness prevents him from doing so), he would use words like "cool" and "dude". Bosco is all boy and plays and romps and barks and jumps with abandon. Then he comes inside panting and smelling like a little two year old who is sweaty and wants a juice box.

I love him. I really do.

Today, however, convinced me that there is a camera somewhere in the universe capturing my every move so that if "The Truman Show" ever has a sequel, I will be the star. I swear that I hollered enough today to last me a lifetime, and if I said "ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME??!!!! one more time I was going to wash my own mouth out with soap.

Bosco decided that today would be the day that he would RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN from the front of the house to the back of the house and that he would BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK at every damn thing that came within an eight mile radius of Aunt Chrissy's lovely little abode.

(You should probably know that Stewey arrived at Aunt Chrissy's half asleep and promptly curled up in a patch of sunshine for a nap. All. Damn. Day. Long.)

I figured that little Bosco would calm down after a few minutes and that he was just happy and excited that his Aunt CJ had come to play for the day, but after the fourth hour I called Aunt Chrissy at work to advise her that Puppy Day Care was not going to have a very good report for the little fellow and that if she didn't come directly home after work she was going to find me face down in a pie and minus one dog.

The good news is that nothing was broken and no animals were injured in the filming of today's episode, so I'm pretty sure that we'll be raring to go again tomorrow. Aunt Chrissy will be here at 8:00.

Stewey has asked if he can stay home. I'm seriously considering letting him and hiding in my closet until she leaves, thinking that I've finally flown the coop and am on my way to Jeffrey Dean Morgan's house.

Stay tuned. I'll have pictures for you soon of progress on Lily Frog, I promise. I'd gladly share them now, but methinks it's time to go find a pillow and a Valium (and not necessarily in that order.)

Mar 28, 2010



By the time you read this, I am hoping that Chez Spinster will be minus one roof and I will be safely tucked into Aunt Chrissy's stitchy chair. God willin' and the creek don't rise, the roofer will be here at o-dark hundred and Stewey and I will be away from the noise and mess.

Thank you all for such empowering comments about me feeling like such a schmuckatude all the time. It's nice to know I'm not alone, but troubling somehow that there are so many nice people out there on the big blue marble that are getting lousy customer service. I really thought that the bad economy would make everybody sit up in the buggy a bit and be more on point with their skill sets and all, but apparently I am still living in a parallel universe of rainbows and unicorns.

On the stitchy front this weekend, I ripped out the tiny progress I made on Fascination and re-kitted it in Wildflowers and Vineyard Silks. The chart calls for Watercolours and Silk & Ivory, but the thickness of both of those fibers was giving me fits beyond what normally gives me fits. The new threads are precisely what the doctor ordered, however, so methinks I'll get going on that more in the upcoming days and weeks.

I also futzed around for about six hours during Saturday Studio Stitching with Sissy time, so I'm happy to report that everything is now in tidy piles and my side of the room looks a little less like the Tasmanian Devil had a picnic in there.

Today I worked a little on Cirque de Fleur but got impatient with the Neon Rays, so I tucked it safely into its little bed and wished it a good night night. Before I knew what hit me, I was plugging away on Lily Frog, so stay tuned for some progress pics! Could it be that I just might stick with this one until the bitter end?

Only The Shadow knows....

Mar 26, 2010


What do y'all do when the world constantly thinks that you are just one big fat pushover? You know what I mean. A stooge. A milquetoast that wouldn't speak up if her hair were on fire. A timid, quiet, mousy little person who won't mind waiting for/foregoing/passing up on something that somebody with a bigger mouth or more pressing need wants/needs/does.

I wish I could tell you where it all started, but the last few days have been one "Here, please bend over so that I can chooch the pooch" experience after another. If it wasn't my fancypants glasses needing repair and the fancypants boutique owner telling me that "they're supposed to look like that", it was the fishmonger throwing $30 with of halibut in a bag and saying "'s freezer wrapped." (Sadly, it wasn't.) I spent the morning at Aunt Chrissy's house because I was supposed to get a new roof today and I didn't want Stewey to have to go batshit every time he heard a noise outside, but apparently the roofer decided that somebody else was more important than the testy spinster who has been waiting since last August for the guy to bother to show up. I am, in short, the Rodney Dangerfield of Spinster Lane.

When I moved to New Jersey, I made the mistake of stopping for my very first bagel and coffee without one damn clue how to do so. The place that was on the way to work was very very busy, so after standing in line for about 15 minutes it was my turn at the counter.

"Whadda ya want?", said the big burly guy behind the counter.

"Oh, well, hello and good morning! I've just moved here from Indiana and I've never been in your nice little establishment here before, so I thought I'd try one of your....."

"Lady, if you don't know what you're doing, go sit over there and figure it out so that I can wait on everybody in line behind you that does. NEXT!"

I skulked out of there and never went back because I had just been told that I was too stupid to order a bagel and a coffee.

So when I went to the next place I got my act together and memorized my order precisely. I was just getting ready to squeak it out when a woman barged right back up to the counter and said "TONY! I TOLD YOU I DIDN'T WANT SESAME SEEDS AND YOU GAVE ME SESAME SEEDS! YOU DID THIS TO ME YESTERDAY, PAL, AND I'M NOT LEAVING UNTIL YOU GIVE ME THE POPPY SEEDS THAT I ASKED FOR. GOT IT?"

Tony smiled sheepishly, took the bag with the offending sesame seed bagel in it and said "Sorry, Loretta. Here's your poppy seed. You have a nice day now."

I was stunned.

Here was someone who had asked for something, and when she didn't get it, she spoke up. And, more importantly, the floor didn't open up beneath her feet and suck her down to hell in one fell swoop. She spoke up and she got her bagel.

It occurs to me that what I'm doing is giving off a vibe that says "Oh, please don't respect me or listen to what I have to say or what I want. I'll just stand here quietly and take whatever you give me and I'll be happy about it. " And, if you happen to be a waiter or waitress... this is your lucky day. Because I'm one of those schmucks who will leave you a 40% tip if I'm so bold enough to ask for something a clean knife. Or a glass that doesn't have bleach in it.

Damn. Where the heck did I get this from? It certainly wasn't from Dad, since I know that he could tell somebody to go to hell and they'd look forward to the trip. And as for it coming from Mom...well, let me tell you that there is a Mrs. La-Z-Boy who will attest to Siggie's firm determination to be the recipient of good customer service. Here's the story:

When we moved into our Lima house, Mom bought two chairs for the family room. Dad's arrived and was wrong. The fabric was flawed, the mechanism was bad, and it was, in short, a lemon. Mom sent it back. About four times. The fifth time, the salesman was standing in the family room arguing with Mom, and when he said "Lady, I don't know what your problem is. We've sent you five different chairs now and you're not happy with any of them", Mom said "'ve sent me the same chair five times hoping that I won't notice it."

Here's where he made his tragic mistake. "Oh, come on, lady. This is a brand new chair. We at La-Z-Boy would never do such a thing."

With that, Mom flipped the chair over and pointed at her black magic-markered signature written across the bottom of the wood frame.

"See that, fella? That's my signature. And I'll have you know that you've been delivering that signature back to me for about six months now. So if you'll excuse me, I think it's time for me to take this little complaint of mine to the next level. Good day."

Mom packed that chair up and had it delivered to the home of the biggest muckety muck she could find at La-Z-Boy. On it she taped a note that said "Dear Mrs. La-Z-Boy. If you'd have this chair sit in YOUR living room, you're welcome to it. It will not sit in mine."

We got a new chair two days later. And there wasn't one thing wrong with it.

So why can't I just strap on a big fat pair of Mom b-lls and get on with it? I'm not talking about being mean or rude or nasty or unreasonable. I'm talking about speaking up when somebody out there has done me wrong and I'm not feeling particularly compelled to thank them for it.

Stewey wanted me to thank y'all for your concern over these birds of his. We've discovered that they are chickadees. All Stewey wants to know is how something with such a cute little name could be so ridiculously vicious.

That's the Friday rant, kids! I hope that whatever you do this weekend is exactly what you want to do and that if somebody doesn't treat you swell, you'll think of me. And speak up.

Mar 25, 2010


For some reason I awoke at the crack 'o dawn and decided to get out of bed. This is pretty strange for me, since I am more likely to hit the radio button and listen to NPR while drifting back to sleep, but alas, it was not to be.

I managed to do two loads of laundry and watch almost all of Brideshead Revisited before Aunt Chrissy came to make the morning paper delivery. (Yes, you read that right. Aunt Chrissy stops at my house on the way to work to retrieve the paper from the box and place it on the inside garage steps leading to the house.) (I believe she does this to prevent my neighbors from taking up a collection to buy me some proper nightwear.)

Stewey woke up at 9:30 and asked for waffles, so I made up a little tray and the two of us had breakfast in bed while talking about the day's agenda.

"I'd like to go to Macy's for the Clinique bonus, mo-ther. And then maybe we can stop by the PetSmart for some cookies."

"You don't need any more cookies, Stewey. There are at least eight boxes of them in your pantry, and Mommie really doesn't want to have to move stuff out of another closet to accommodate your growing pile of crap."

"Well, if you won't take me, can I have my Visa card back so that I might call a car service?"

"Nope. You're staying inside with Mommie today and I'm thinking that we might clean the house."

"I don't like you very much, Mommie. May I please go live with Aunt Chrissy?"

With that, I gave him a look that said "Don't mess with the Mommie today" and he skulked away to his fort. Dishes were done, the bed was changed, bathrooms were cleaned, and rooms were dusted and swept before they knew what hit them. Bliss.

So now I'm showered and dressed and ready for some heavy duty stitchy action in the freshly plumped Happy Chair. I'm thinking that it will be a day for a springy cross stitch piece, but I think I'll let the wind take me where ever it wants to.

Thank you for all of your concern over the bird situation. I'm still not sure what the heck they are, but I can tell you that the little suckers are fast and ferocious. I stood outside with an umbrella while Stewey had his constitutional this morning, and I thought I was going to be minus an eye.

Looks like it's time for some front yard potty action. I just hope the neighbors don't gossip about Stewey's pajamas.

Mar 24, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. I've sent her off to the library to get a book about birds. Stupid little jackass twittering birds that have black heads and grey bodies, to be exact. I was having my morning constitutional when all of a sudden I felt a nip on my heiney. Seeing how I was "otherwise engaged" at the time, there wasn't a lot that I could do about it, but when I finally was able to turn around, all I saw was feathers and two beady little eyes mocking me. The nerve.

Mother, apparently, really doesn't have one single maternal bone in her big fat body, because all she could do was stand there in her robe and gleefully holler "Oh look, Stewey! Those birds are giving you little kisses on your heiney!"

Kisses, my a**. They were attacking me and took several little chunks of fur from my nether regions without so much as a "how do you do".

So I sent my stupid mom off to get a book about these little bast**ds so that I will know the most effective way to rid the world of them once and for all.

Forgive my surly mood today, please. Between the joy that is the "Wild Animal Kingdom" in the backyard and my mom's stitchy funk, I am about ready to lose my mind. Last year at this time I was sunning myself on the beaches of St. Tropez. This year I'm getting my heiney pecked by birds while coyotes run amok. What a difference a year makes.

Mom did work on Springtime Bouquet a bit yesterday. She is enjoying this piece, but for some reason her fingertips are getting very very sore from pushing the needle through the canvas. Methinks it's time for her to start using a thimble. If she's very very good and makes me a decent lunch today, I might consider sharing a few of the ones that I've stashed away in my fort. (What can I say? I like shopping on QVC as much as the next guy, and a deal's a deal.)

That's about it from here, folks. I do hope that you are off to a pleasant SpringTide and that all is well in your little corner of the world.

With love from your pal,

Mar 22, 2010


I'm pretty sure that I was hit by a bus in the middle of the night. And on that bus was a mob of very very angry people who felt compelled to pummel me with their fists while throwing me under the bus wheels. Repeatedly.

I also had dreams about elephants.

Further evidence that I really do have major compulsion problems when it comes to all things stitchy related:

Laura J. Perin Her Very Self
Springtime Bouquet

OK. Really. How could I resist that? Have you ever seen a more perfectly lovely piece to start on the first-ish day of Spring?

Well, I've just turned around in my chair to see that Stewey is standing in the doorway to the bedroom holding his little night night blanket and his teddy bear. Looks like somebody else is ready to call it a day too. How am I supposed to resist curling up with him for a nap when he smells like baby shampoo and is as soft as a bunny rabbit?

I think he does it on purpose. Damn dog.

Mar 18, 2010


*First of all, please allow me to vehemently state that in no way do I consider myself a Celebstitchy. I am just not creative enough to figure out some other pithy and catchy title for today's post and for a reason unknown to me I have Dr. Drew Pinsky on the brain.

(Celebstitchy = A stitcher of worldwide fame who brings delight and inspiration to needleworkers everywhere.)

So I did it.

I went upstairs and pulled all of the WIP's that were not languishing on the Island of Misfit Toys and put them on the guest bed. Then I took pictures of them and put them right back into the basket. This basket shall heretofore be known as the HANDBASKET TO HELL.

Oddly enough, I haven't gone off the reservation this time, but rather am quite interested in taking a look at the various projects to see what I might want to play with next. (I guess all of this navel gazing is finally paying off and I have learned to leave my stitchy angst at the studio door. Woo Hoo for progress!) (Is this what we might call a breakthrough?!)

Several of you out there in Stitchy Blogville did posts in which you showed your WIP's and gave some interesting notes on each. I loved that, and think I might do the very same eventually. In the's the overall pile 'o stuff:

Not bad for an amateur, eh? To be honest, I actually like most of the stuff in this pic, so I don't think my description of it as the HANDBASKET TO HELL is quite accurate. But the name seemed to stick with me somehow, and seeing how I will probably mood-swing back to peeved at this mess in the next four and a half minutes, I might as well keep it.

I've posted a slide show over there on the right hand side so that you can see each item individually. Forgive the craptastic photographic skills, but Stewey has the instruction book for the camera in his little fort and I'm not allowed to rummage through without his supervision.

I did start something new last night (wipe that smirk off your face, please). It's Daisy Daisy by La-D-Da:
Aunt Chrissy and I went to a NANI guild event at which Ms. La-D-Da her very self taught a class, so I picked this up and thought it was just the cutiest thing ever. Don't know why I hadn't started it before now. This is a kit that comes with Weeks Dye Works 30ct. Tin Roof linen and all of the Belle Soie silks needed.

Today is another beautiful day in the neighborhood and Stewey is hard at work protecting the bird feeders from the marauding squirrels:

"Leave me alone, please. I am hard at work ignoring the squirrels."

As for me...I managed to finish all of the laundry yesterday so I am rewarding myself with a few hours of guilt-free stitching in the Happy Chair. Now if I could just do something about those darn dishes in the sink....

Happy Thursday! Hope wherever you are is exactly where you want to be!

Mar 16, 2010


Don't you just want to pat its little corn mealed bottom and coo gently to this? I swear, this damn bread has become an obsession. I polished off loaf #1 yesterday at lunch and thought about loaf #2 all night in my sleep. (It certainly didn't help matters that I discovered yet another ridiculously wonderful thing to put on sandwiches...avocado spread! Mash an avocado with some garlic, onion salt, pepper, lemon juice, and a little Tabasco and you've got a wonderful alternative to mayo (if you're in to that sort of thing). I am. Trust me.)

What this tells me is that I really need to get a hobby.

Oh wait! I do have a hobby! Stitching! From the looks of it, though, you'd think that I had packed it all in and hadn't put thread to needle in months. Sure feels that way, but I'm feeling a little better about it now that I read that so many of you too are in a stitchy schlumpafunk.

Exhibit A
measley, lousy, pitiful little progress on Rainforest Crunch

In order to snap out of it, methinks I will pull all of the WIP's out of their basket and lay them out on the guest bed like I did last year. That seemed to help quite a bit in the "what the heck do I stitch now department", so I'm willing to give it a try. Anything to feel like I'm not a big "The Book Group" watching blob every night. (Have you seen that show? On Ovation? About two or three years old?). Between that and "Be Good Johnny Weir" it's a wonder my brain hasn't rotted right out of my head.

Stewey is peeved at me today. Every time I go into the kitchen to talk to the bread he gets pissy and stomps off to the family room. I think he's hatching a plot.
"She thinks what I do to the drapes is ugly....wait till she sees what I come up with for that damn bread."

That would be the goings on for a sunny Tuesday here in Hoosierville, kids! Stay tuned for more bread news at 11!

Mar 14, 2010


I think the cooking/baking/Julia-ing would have been much smoother yesterday if I didn't feel like I was having to clean the kitchen every six minutes. Despite this, however, I managed to a) bake my very first loaf of bread (Woo Hoo for me!) that was simply delicious and perfectly perfect in every way, and b)make two quarts of pickled beets. More about those later.

If you haven't tried this darn bread recipe yet, may I just say that if I can do it, a monkey wearing striped pajamas could do it. I think it has to do with baking it in the dutch oven. The steam that's captured makes the crust perfectly crunchy and the interior chewy and wonderful. Yum. Me.

As for the pickled beets. They tasted great, but the work to produce them was a little more than I expected. And, considering the fact that the beets were organic and cost about five bucks...I probably would have been better off just paying the $1.69 for a little jar of ready-mades and forgetting about strapping on my inner housewife. I am determined, though, to find beets at the Farmer's Market this summer so we'll have another go with all of the new knowledge I now have.

No Irish Soda Bread. Truth of the matter is that I just couldn't stand one more round of cleaning up/wiping counter tops/running the dishwasher. What can I say? I like a clean and tidy kitchen, especially when I cook, so three projects in one day was a little ambitions for me. Maybe I'll take a crack at it this week.

Not much stitching to report. I've just moved the clocks forward and will now head upstairs to futz around until bedtime. (Which will now seem like it's coming at 7:30.) Damn daylight savings time.

Stewey is rather unwell today. He ate a full breakfast (which is extremely unusual for him) and then he upchucked all over the patio. He must have had a hungry belly when he woke up, but didn't know to pace himself. I've tucked him into his perch with a little 7-up and his silk smoking jacket, and last I checked on him he was channel surfing and grunting obscenities at the TeeVee.

Mar 12, 2010


Right after my love of stitching (at least in the "Things I Like To Do Because I'm A Lonely Old Spinster" category), is my love of cooking. I'm not a particularly good cook, and I most certainly am NOT a good baker (please refer to the cupcake incident of 2010 for reference), but I have decided to try a few things this weekend. Aunt Chrissy and I will hit the Panera for a tuna sam and then it's off to the grocery for fixin's.

First up is Ina's Irish Soda Bread. I've never baked bread in my entire life, but Ina says this is really simple to make, and I listen to absolutely everything Ina tells me. (Good thing she's never been compelled to tell me to jump off a bridge....or it would be bye bye Spinster.) Anywhoose...I'm going to make a loaf or two of this for toast in the mornings.

And then, because I've been riveted to all of the baking escapades on some fellow stitchy bloggy buddies blogs (say THAT three times fast), I am going to make the now world famous Sullivan Street Bakery "no knead" artisanal bread. For those of you in the know...this is the one that you bake inside your dutch oven. I watched a YouTube video of a guy making the bread just moments ago, and I said to myself "If you can't put flour, water, yeast, and salt in a pot and cook it, you should probably just head on over to the Wonder Bread aisle immediately". We'll see how this goes, but if it turns out as well as I think it more $4 loaves of artisanal bread for me! This, of course, will be used for sandwiches at lunch time, most particularly since I am all about the sandwiches.

Lastly, I am going to make Alton Brown's pickled beets. Now stop that retching. I happen to love pickled beets and go through jars and jars of them. Aunt Chrissy loves them too, and seeing how we're coming up on the Easter Season and all, I figure I'll make these so that we can add the hard boiled eggs to the jar just like Mom used to make. (Were we a totally weird family, or did you do that too? Hard boiled eggs and pickled beets in a big jar at Easter time?)

I don't usually transition into Summer eating mode until much later, but methinks the "something on the grill and a lovely salad" menu will commence toot sweet. Now that I have a big girl grill, I'm not afraid to do stuff like planked salmon. Or cheeseburgers.

So my stitchy confession for the day is that I secretly envy y'all and your ability to pull charts and then re-colorize them to your heart's delight. I see how you are able to take a design and convert it all to silk, or change the colors around to suit your taste. I, unfortunately, have never been able to do this. Whenever I need new and/or different colors for something I either copy you shamelessly (like I did Margie on that Bent Creek Big Zipper thingie), or I pout enough that Aunt Chrissy comes over and does it for me. (What can I say? She's the stitchy genius in the family...I'm just happy to be here.)

But! Yesterday I marched myself upstairs and re-threaded LePrintemps all by my very self! Woo Hoo, me! The original colors kind of made my eyes twitch, so I decided to go a little softer. I also decided that WDW Hibiscus was a little too bright pink for skin tone, so I went with WDW Cherub instead. A few other changes, and I think I've come up with a palette that will work:

I did finish all of my lessons for Cirque de Fleur, but I realized that some of the colors didn't match the design picture. I probably could have gotten away with leaving everything as was, but I like the design so much that I decided to duplicate it as per the picture. So a lot of frogging commenced and I am almost back to square one:

Stewey re-appeared from his little fort just in time to commandeer the remote. He watched all of the episodes of "Be Good Johnny Weir", and I have to say that after the third or fourth hour I was a little in love with the guy too. I know absolutely nothing about figure skating, but I now have a much deeper appreciation of what it means to dedicate yourself to a sport. My God, the practicing! (And, in Johnny's case...the vacuuming!). In any event, Stewey was so happy that he got to watch the TeeVee and have a little popcorn before bed that he's behaving himself beautifully today, thank you very much.

Have a wonderful weekend! If you hear a primal scream come from the general vicinity of Hoosierville, you'll know that mine went awry at some point. Never fear, though. Monday will be here before we know it.

Mar 11, 2010


Aunt Chrissy completely exonerated herself last night by showing up with:

*a package of freshly made CJ pub burgers ready for grilling
*TWO bags of kettle cooked potato chips (one of them salt and very favorite)
*a pound of potato salad (what can I say? I love potato salad)
*FOUR two-litre bottles of diet orange Crush

*my stinky little puppy nephew who promptly pooed in the back yard

Now before you lecture me on the ridiculous lack of nutritional value in that menu, may I just point out that the night before was a meal of grilled chicken, rice, and roasted vegetables? (Which really sucked and made the house smell like garlic, but I'm trying not to think about it.)

Truth is...I usually eat like an athlete in training, and despite my rotund-ity am quite happy with my ability to make good choices in the eating department.

But sometimes you just have to have a damn cheeseburger.

So all in all it was a wonderful evening. I got a cheeseburger and even managed to cook it to perfection by not fussing with it like I usually do. The chips remained un-opened, which means I can go head first into the bag today at lunchtime, and I think the orange pop will last at least until dinner time. (Yet another weird compulsion of orange pop).

No stitching has taken place at Chez Spinster for the last two days (gasp!), but I am determined to hit the Happy Chair later this afternoon to remedy that situation. In reviewing my little journal, I see that there have been very few days of no stitching in 2010, so I don't want to start any negative trends or anything.

Off to the bedroom to find Stewey. It seems that he went into his little fort yesterday afternoon and I haven't seen him since.

I wonder where I put my Kindle?

Mar 10, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's out in the driveway shaking her fist at the sky while muttering something about wanting a cheeseburger. I think it has something to do with the fact that she woke up this morning and realized that it was going to be 54 degrees outside, which, for my stupid mo-ther, is a tropical heat wave.

This yearning for a cheeseburger lead her to the garage and the bar-be-que grill. Normally, my Aunt Chrissy comes over and opens the garage door and hauls all of the summertime crap around the house and deposits it onto the patio, but Mom decided that she wanted to see if she could be a grown up and do it all herself this year.

Alas, it was not to be.

See, before hauling all of the crap around the side of the house, Mom wanted to wash the patio so that it would be all clean and sparkly and devoid of any Stewey pee. (At least that what she told me when she tried to find her outside shoes in the bottom of the closet and a pair of sweatpants that wouldn't cause the neighbors to call the home owners' association.) The outside shoes never made it outside, but she did manage to find a pair of size 10 men's slippers that she got at the WalMart one year with the hopes that they would be simple and chic'. (They're not. Trust me about this.)

When Mom stepped off the patio to go hook up the hose, she fell out of the size 10 men's slippers and right into a big 'ol pile of dog poo that Aunt Chrissy had shoveled off of the patio sometime this winter.

I don't need to tell you what kind of words started flying out of her mouth, but I can reveal that I learned a few new cuss words to use on the school bus some morning.

So what should have been a simple 10 minute task has turned into an afternoon of scrubby showering and clothes washing and more scrubby showering and more clothes washing. When I finally got a good look at her a few moments ago, she was missing at least seven layers of skin, and her face was beet red from all of the aggravation over just wanting a freakin' cheeseburger.

Needless to say...I don't think there is going to be a whole lot of anything accomplished around here tonight other than some heavy guilt laying on a) Aunt Chrissy for throwing the poo in the yard and b) me, for pooing on the patio in the first damn place. (You'll notice that my pesky cousin Bosco is nowhere to be found in this whole mess, despite the fact that the very first thing he does whenever he comes over for a visit guessed it...poo.)

I'm going to grab the Kindle and head to my fort for the duration. I might also grab a few stitchy projects to see if I can help the old lady out a bit by adding a row or two here and there. If I'm not back in a few days, please alert the authorities, and remember me fondly.


With love from your pal,

Mar 8, 2010


That was the phrase that came spewing forth from the Happy Chair during last night's Oscar telecast. Every time the camera showed director James Cameron, I caught a glimpse of the woman seated next to him and bellowed. Was it just me, or did she appear to be in desperate need of a cheeseburger?

So I'm blaming Siobhan for my Saturday. (Her blog address is I was drooling over all of her lovely stitching when I came across pics of the "Seasons" girls from Birds of a Feather that are hanging in Siobhan's home. "Oh, Holey Crap, those are beautiful!" I said as I grunted up the stairs to the studio. "I have to do those! Right this very minute!".

Several years ago, I started Le Printemps on a beautiful piece of 28ct. linen the approximate size of a bedspread, but for some reason I put it down and didn't get very far. So I stripped it off of the scroll rods, slapped it into some q-snaps and sat down for a little marathon.

Within about six minutes, though, I was frustrated and calling Aunt Chrissy to get me off the ledge. The colors! The colors! What the heck is up with the colors! Siobhan's doesn't look like this....hers is lovely and perfect and I want mine to be just like it. So why can't I figure out what the heck is up with the colors!

And then I realized that I miscounted somewhere and the entire bottom portion of the dress is off by one stitch. Damn, drat, and phooey. Back into the pile it went.

(So, Siobhan, if you ever feel compelled to show a spinster a little stitchy love....can you tell me if you changed the colors that were called for? Oh, and then please beat me over the head with a rock the next time I think that I'm remotely qualified to sit at the cool kids' table with you....).

On Sunday I decided to pick up my Cirque de Fleur and I managed to complete lesson three. A few more Jessica's and I should have Lesson Four well in hand: I'm not sure what will be on the agenda for this evening, but I know that a nap will be required before anything commences. Stewey and I tossed and turned all night listening to the howling of the coyotes, and I kept jerking awake to make sure he was tucked in safely beside me.'s not easy being me.

Mar 5, 2010


Hey kids.....sorry for being such a boob that I did not mention how to obtain your very own copy of Rainforest Crunch. You can either order/buy from your LNS, or you can purchase it directly from Ms. Kathy Rees Her Very Self (the designer). Here's her info:

Needle Delights Originals
1813 Creighton Road, Suite B
Pensacola, FL 32504
tel: 850-478-8898

I purchased mine as the whole kit and kaboodle, i.e., chart, threads, and canvas. I would imagine that if you needed stretcher bars, Ms. Kathy could accomodate that too!

Happy Stitching!

Mar 4, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's stomping around the house with a roll of paper towels and Pine-Sol. Apparently, she was none too pleased when she saw the puddle I left for her this morning on the newly cleaned bathroom floor. (That'll teach her to ignore me the whole damn day while reading stitchy blogs on the internets.)

In any event, our morning has gotten off to a rough start. You see, we are experiencing a coyote problem over here at Chez Spinster, and this little development has thrown Mom into some sort of terrible fit. Instead of opening the back patio door to let me out for a little pee-time privacy, she now insists on accompanying me out to the yard while armed with a flash light and snow shovel.

Yes, that's right. I said coyote.

Mom spotted one about ten feet from the back patio last week and when she alerted the neighbors about it, the responses she got were rather astounding....

"Oh yeah, there's a big pack of them living behind my house and I hear them howling every night."

"No big deal. I just put a little food and water out for them each evening and they seem to really like it."

"Coyote? Have you taken to drinking in the afternoon, you Crazy Spinster Lady?"

Mom did lots of research (being the good mom that she is....ahem), and she discovered that coyotes are not, in fact, no big deal, but rather dangerous wild animals that will eat me for a snack before you can say "Why is that crazy lady wearing a black hat with a veil and digging herself a grave in the backyard?". Apparently, when there's more than one of them, coyotes become rather aggressive and will attack anything they damn well feel like. Yikes.

So all of this potty supervision has completely thrown me off my game, particularly since I prefer a little privacy while making my deposits and my stupid mo-ther won't let me out of her sight. I'd creep around the side of the house where it's all dark and such, but I think this would send her directly to Panic Attack Central, and nobody needs to see that.

I did manage to stop her dead in her tracks though, since she is apparently incapable of carrying on a conversation and wipe up dog pee at the same time:

ME: Mo-ther, what are you doing? It's 10:30 and I haven't had my poached egg and toast yet.

MTHR: Damnit, Stewey! I swear, if you pee on one more thing around here I'm going to put a clothes pin on your peenie and slap a set of Rumba Panties on you!!!!

ME: Rumba Panties!!!!! But those are for girls! (NOTE: Please go immediately to Mr. Edgar's blog to learn all about Rumba Panties:

MTHR: Well, Mommie just doesn't know what to do with you anymore. You're a big boy now and should NOT be peeing in the house!

ME: Bees do it.

MTHR: What are you talking about? Bees don't pee!

ME: They most certainly do, as is evidenced by Ms. Martha Stewart Her Very Self on her blog this morning.

MTHR: ????????? What were you doing on the computer without permission?

ME: Don't change the subject. Bees pee and you should know that I feel that if a bee can pee than so can I. This will conclude our discussion of this particular topic. Now please go make my breakfast while I go blog about what a boob you're being.

MTHR: You're grounded. Go to bed.

ME: No.

MTHR: (She stands...staring blankly...obviously defeated and without any recourse other than a retreat to the bed to pull the covers over her head.)

ME: Night night, Mommie.

So as you can see, I dodged that bullet (at least for the time being, anyway). But I was indeed very serious about bee pee. See?

Here's the bee:
And here's his pee:
If you don't believe me, go to Martha's blog and you can read a fascinating account of her very own bees at Canticoe Farms.

Oh, I love you so.

Mom promises that she will have something stitchy to say. I'll poke her with a stick this afternoon to see if she'll get up and take some crappy pictures to share. She has been working on Rainforest Crunch, but I'll let her take the pic. I'm not allowed to use the camera ever since I got caught sexting.

Have a lovely day, all!
With love from your pal,

Mar 2, 2010


It's that time of year....I seem to futz about like a 300-pound hummingbird with nothing specific to keep me focused on any one thing. It's not warm enough to have Spring Fever just yet (or is it?), so I'm chalking this one up to Olympic Withdrawal Syndrome.

Here are a few updates on some pieces that I've played with recently:
Ahhh, Laura J. Perin's Lily of the Valley collage. This one really is so much fun to stitch, and now that the borders are finished it goes very very quickly. I have a silk LOV flower to attach in the middle (a' la Daisy Collage), so I'm anxious to get moving on this one. I wanted to do ten of these this year. Looks like I might be a little behind with that particular goal (she says while rolling her eyes and dripping with sarcasm).

Next up is the Cirque de Fleur class from Orna Willis. I received the next lesson, but have not yet completed it. I feel like I'm in school again and am late studying for mid-terms. Better get a move on with this if I want to keep up with the group. One of the things I love about classes like this is the opportunity to play with fibers that I've never used before. I discovered that I kinda' like Trebizond but that Neon Rays just doesn't blow my skirt up. At all:

I pulled The Drawn Thread's Spring Arbor because I loved the color of the linen. Sadly, I didn't write anything down when I purchased this a ga-jillion years ago, so I have no idea what the linen actually could be, but methinks it will be fun to work with:

This is the piece that I will probably play with tonight and for the rest of the week. It's a brand spanking new design from Needle Delights Originals called Rainforest Crunch. It's on 18ct. mono canvas and uses Watercoulours in fabulous colors in some fun specialty stitches. Who couldn't love this one?

I finished everything but the lettering on Shepherd's Bush My Land. I just can't decide if I want to do the lettering all around the outer edge as charted, or if I want to wait for some clever stitcher to provide an alternative. Aunt Chrissy thinks I should wait and finish it up later. What do you think? (A small sample of the chart lettering is at the bottom of the piece.):

And finally, we come to a piece from the Needlepointers magazine. (This is a publication that you receive when you're a member of the American Needlepoint Guild.) Ro Pace designed a tribute to Jean Hilton called Top of the Hill. Although this was charted for canvas, I decided to try it on congress cloth, and I switched out the colors. I never knew Jean Hilton and have not yet worked on anything she designed, but I think this is just lovely. The first Jessicas (the round stitches) are a little rough, but once I got the hang of them I really did enjoy doing them. I'm going to stitch the design four times in a big block:

That's the report for today! Happy Tuesday!

Mar 1, 2010


My stupid mo-ther can't come to the blog right now. She is in Vancouver. At least I think she's in Vancouver, since she said "Stewey, Mummy is going to Vancouver to get you a special uncle. Lock the door, no parties, and stay off of the internet until I get back."

It all started when we were watching the Olympics (for the fifteenth damn day in a row, I might add). Something called the four-man bobsled competition was on and suddenly my mom's head popped up from her stitching and she became transfixed with the guy that drives the silly contraption.

Normally I don't pay too much attention when the old lady sets her sights on some new piece of man meat, but this one put her right over the edge when she found out that she and this man share the same birth date. Please note I said birth DATE and not birth DAY. From what I can gather from the internets, Mom has underpants that are older than this guy.

In any event, she seems determined to meet and then kidnap Mr. Holcomb and bring him back to Chex Spinster for what can only presumably be refered to as a wedding "under extreme duress". Normally, I wouldn't worry too much about whatever cocka-mamie scheme my mom has dreampt up, but this time, she produced a picture of her intended groom and his groomsmen, and has now pasted it in her little book:

So that's the report for today. I hope that this little update will allow you to stop worrying about her (and me too, think you very much). We're fine...warm and safe and dry, without a watered drape in sight.

Happy Monday!

With love from your pal,