Apr 22, 2010


Last night I did exactly what I needed to do....I started something new.

Out of all of the lovely selections that were in the Spinster Stitcher SpringTide basket, I decided to go with Love the Spring by Shakespeare's Peddler. I'm stitching this on a gorgeous piece of 32ct. Spice Blend Celtic linen from Stitches and Spice. (This is a new company to me and I can tell you that I will look for more of their stuff. Yum. Mee.) I'm also using Thread Gatherer Silk 'n Colors, so when you put it all together, this one is just like BUTT-A. (OK, all done with that now.)

As I stitched the little pink house in the lower right corner, I got to thinking about my whacky stitchy progression through the years. I'm actually a relatively new stitcher compared to most, and although the dates are fuzzy, I think I started really stitching about five years ago.

At the time, Aunt Chrissy was living with me and I'm pretty sure that she was so desperate to get me to shut the eff up already that she taught me to stitch. Then, to REALLY get some peace and quiet, she opened the attic door one day and said "I think it's time to finish off that bonus room and make it into a stitching studio."

And so we did.

My very first project was a Bent Creek house. I don't remember which one it was exactly, and I'm pretty sure that the finished piece is around here somewhere, but all I know is that it was a house. Houses were all that I wanted to stitch. Yep. Houses:

I have no clue what this one is, but let's take a little look-see, shall we? (Oh, come on. You know you want to.) This piece is stitched on 14ct. aida cloth and I used all of the DMC threads that the chart called for. Then, because I was getting really cocky after about three days of being a stitcher, I attached a birdhouse charm to the tree! (Gasp! Could it be that I was already breaking the rules so early in my stitchy career?!) You'll also notice that I put my CJ initials in the lower right corner. (I thought that this was a requirement and that if I didn't do it the stitchy gods would smite me.)

For the next piece, I got totally out of control and did a few specialty stitches! Woo Hoo! I also varied the number of threads that I used so that the piece would have "dimension". I thought I had discovered fire:

Finally, I did a piece with overdyed threads. I think that Aunt Chrissy was so tired of trotting me off to the local Hobby Lobby for supplies that she took pity on me and threw me a skein of Weeks Dye Works or Gentle Art. Once again, I'm pretty sure it was just to shut me up.

The house phase lasted for quite a while, and I'm sure that I could unearth quite a few more house pieces if I tried hard enough.

What cracks me up about this little trip down memory lane is that if you fast forward to Spinster Stitching circa 2010, I would rather clean the kitchen floor than I would stitch a house. As a matter of fact, I've been known to clean the kitchen floor as a means to postpone the task of stitching a house. Sheesh.

Aunt Chrissy's School of All Things Stitchy progressed me from 14ct aida and DMC floss all the way up to stitching over two on 36ct. linen and hand dyed silk. My real turning point, though, came when I was able to do a large Shepherd's Bush band sampler and I successfully read the chart all by my very self. (I made a ham sandwich in celebration of that achievement. I can remember it as though it were yesterday....it was a very good sandwich.)

So as I stitch this piece and enjoy it immensely, I'll be thankful that there's only one little house in this neighborhood and all it lacks at this point is a roof. And I suppose that I will stitch other houses in the future and that I'll bitch about those too, but at least I'll know that I came by my aversion honestly. And...if you ever see me pull out the Large Marge Houses of Hawk Run Hollow, you'll know that I've decided to lose my damn mind in one fell swoop.

I just hope there's a ham sandwich at the end of it.


  1. I love houses! If there is a sampler with a house on it, it calls my name. The only problem is I cannot stitch a house without screwing something up at least 2 times. The door or windows are in the wrong place, too many or too few rows of something somewhere and yet I keep on loving 'em!

  2. I love houses on samplers, but they can get a bit boring to stitch. Maybe that`s why I only have one square of Houses at HRH stitched?

  3. What a cool bit of nostalgia! I think I have been stitching about as long as you, maybe 2003/4 was when I started. My sister came over Monday afternoon and I showed her some of my stash, trying to get an idea of something to stitch for her, and she said "I would like to get into something like that but everything looks so country". LOL...

    I love your new start and am looking forward to seeing more as you go...

  4. Coni,

    LMAO!!! You are such a pisser! OMG...talking about houses, and then the zinger of HRH...Here's a ham sandwich coming for you...do you like swiss with that and some Grey Poupon? :)

    Hugs to you and Stewey,

  5. Well, I guess I am an infant since I have only been doing the counted stitch work for less than a year! I haven't stitched any houses - no, that isn't true. I am currently working on Gay Ann Rogers Townhouse Sewing Case (needlepoint). If I don't finish those damn windows soon, I may go nuts!

  6. Heel-arious~~~~ Love the ham sammich part~~~!~

  7. You always crack me up with your posts. :) I still love stitching houses although I admit it can get boring especially when they have lots of windows. Love your photos of Stewey - he's a little stinker peeing thru the screen! Course I could never leave the door open even if I had a screen door because my sheltie barks at everything he sees from butterflies to planes....

  8. It was nice wondering down memory lane! I have to say your stitching was lovely even back then.

    Hopefully your house will go quickly.

  9. Well Coni, I am sure I speak for us all when we express our thanks that you are back to yourself, stitching mightly, and blogging up a storm. Apparently, the black cloud of Winter has given way to the sunshine of Spring and once again a sense of humor has prevailed and made it happily into 2010 and to Coni, her very own sweet and comical self.
    Sign me: One happy camper!

  10. Coni,

    I love your blog. I do have a quick question though. I am a painted canvas person, so I have never done or attempted cross stitch. I keep hearing bloggers discussing "over one" and "over two". What is that??


  11. Those sure are some cute houses you 'built' in the early days.

    Your latest project looks just cute with the little pink house.

  12. loved the stitching stroll past the houses.......smiling

  13. That was a beautiful trip down memory lane. Thank you for sharing. It is lovely to see where you started. I started with a HUGE piece for a beginner (I have a tendency to jump in with both feet and worry about the consequences later lol)with three black scotty dogs sitting on a chair. I gave it to my mum....she loves it....even 25 years later....I think it is gruesome! I have an aversion to dog stitcheries...I'm sure it is from that one!

  14. I love houses on samplers, I just find them tedious to stitch. I used to HATE stitching lettering--back in my Lizzie Kate days (I think because of how curly-cue the letters are)--but now I love verses. Unless they're over one. And make mine a large pizza at the end of it, rather than the ham sandwich. ;)

    I love your Shakespeare's WIP!

    Hope you & the Stew-Meister have a good weekend.

  15. Love the houses, but are you sure the first one isn't a Lizzie Kate? I could be wrong but it doesn't look like a Bent Creek to me.

    Your new start is gorgeous too. I have a special affinity for pink houses because my grandma lived in one :-).

  16. Speaking of houses, check out my blog http://grandmaelf.blogspot for a cool House in the Woods...just finished it yesterday, and feeling kind of smug about it.

  17. I love stitching cottages... does that count? It is a bit funny how our stitchy preferences change over the years. I have a ton of angels in my stash and I have yet to stitch one! I'm not sure I ever will. Maybe all I ever wanted to do was collect them. Congrats on the new start!