Dec 8, 2010


Well, Frank is finally dressed and almost ready for the big day. I'm not sure what any of you will think of the pattern that I chose for his coat (especially since it's the exact same pattern that I used for the background, but with minor changes), (I guess that would mean that it's not the EXACT same pattern now, wouldn't it?), but I like it and I suppose that's all that matters when it comes to my silly stitching. As for his hat....I like the woven effect, but I'm fretting over what to do with that jingle bell. Should I try to find a real jingle bell to affix, or should I use a metallic thread and some careful stitching to do the trick?

I'm stumped by his hands and how to achieve the outlines of his fingers. I futzed around with that for about two hours last night as I was watching a movie on the TeeVee, but I finally put the needle down and called it a day.

I think outlining this sucker is also going to be interesting, especially since I have never been a big fan of outlining/backstitching, so we'll see how this goes.

So I've been thinking a lot about blogging. About the reasons why I blog and whether or not this is just one big huge ego boost for me, or whether or not it might be my stupid little way of putting something out there in the world.

Turns out, it's both.

It's no secret that I am a spinster recluse who has never been very happy and/or popular in polite society. It's not that I don't like people or places or things,'s just that I am at a loss as to why I need to be out in it to participate. Is it shyness? Lack of self esteem? Or just a really good case of agoraphobia that makes me want to stay inside my little hovel wearing pajamas and drinking dietCoke. Either way....I know for a fact that I am much better when taken in small doses and that if I'm ever elected Prom Queen you'll need smelling salts and a cold rag for my forehead , toot sweet.

So writing the blog has become an enormous exercise in vanity for me. I get to jump up and down, waving my arms, hollering "Look at me! Look at me!". And then I get to assault you with whatever crazyass idea or event or thing that's presently occupying my stupid little life. And, because I went to school (and somewhat paid attention), I know that I do this in a style that is at once both offensive to the English language, as well as filled with the most bombastically fantastic hyperbole that can wear on your very last nerve.

But it's my blog, isn't it? Isn't this supposed to be a place for me to blather on aimlessly, without thought or care as to whether or not I'm educational or entertaining?

I know that there are about a million different kinds of peoples on the big blue marble, and I know that most (if not all) of them are going to find me "a bit too much to take sometimes". But I'm not trying to gain membership at the cool kid's table...I just want to be able to listen in on a conversation or two to know that this "thing of ours" might just be the one place where I can let the proverbial chin hair down and have some fun.

Stitching is more than a hobby for me, thanks to my little sister Aunt Chrissy. It has evolved into a passion and obsession that makes me want to suck the marrow from the very bone of its existence. I love to read and learn and see and talk about and lust after and marvel at every stitch that every stitcher out there is kind enough to show me. I like to know what makes them they sit in their chair or wind their floss or dye their linen. I cheer them on when they are nearing the finish line and I empathize with their stitchy slumps as though they were my very own. In short...I think that any person who puts a threaded needle in their hand and attempts to push it through a piece of linen or canvas or Aida cloth or sheep's skin should be applauded and patted on the head for trying...never vilified or criticised that their work is "not executed properly" or that it won't win any awards when judged by "certified professionals".

I'm NOT a professional. Duh. I'm an idiot spinster stitcher who could just pee her pants over the sheer joy that is brought to her each day by the people she has been fortunate enough to "meet" through this here blog. I'm gobsmacked on a daily basis that there could be so many smart, funny, decent, and wonderful people who stitch. I'm thrilled that I get to peek over your shoulders and sit next to you on your Happy Chair as you do what it is that we do.

So from the very bottom of my very whacky heart, I say thank you for allowing me the pleasure of goofing off and for balancing the voices that tell me to just knock it the heck off already.

Stewey, however, would like to remind you that for every "You're so brilliantly funny, Spinster Stitcher!"...he has to find yet another way to bring me back down to earth, and that there are only so many hours in a day that he can complain about my eighteen year old sweatpants or my propensity for failing to scale Mt. Laundry. Damn dog.

Thank you for your time. That will conclude the "I just want to be loved and understood" portion of the program. We will return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. Woo Hoo!

Oh, and a big fat P.S....not one cookie has yet to emerge from the kitchen here at Chez Spinster. I HAVE, however, discovered that Archway Peppermint Chip cookies make an excellent addition to daily tea time. Bone appiteet!


  1. When I began my blog it was for two reasons...For ME to be able to jot down and think about what I enjoy doing. Secondly, to meet all of you...all of the different people out there and learn from you and share with you. Isn't that what you are doing? I know I enjoy visiting with you and if not I have the choice to click off. In the meantime, keep them posts a coming...and you too Stewey!

  2. I always stop in to see what's up and leave with a grin. I find myself thinking.. hey that's how I feel too. Keep it up both of you.

  3. I just discovered this blog and am enjoying it immensely. Keep it up, no matter what the reason!

  4. Coni, I LOVE reading your blog. I know exactly what you mean about wanting to share every iota of this hobby of ours. Thanks for letting me into this part of your life! Keep it up!! Meredith

  5. I am grateful for your blog--
    your comments inspire me to get back to stitching and help keep me sane.
    You serve as an alter ego for me, and, I suspect, many others.... it helps to know that decisions don't always come easily, that plans go awry, and that laughter is always the best medicine.
    'The greatest gift we give others is a portion of ourselves.'
    Thanks for the gift of you, Coni.

  6. Whatever your reasons are, I hope you keep on writing and making us smile! Thank you.

  7. Keep up the good work. I really enjoy your blog. You once said you save your commets. I save your blog to read last because I know I will leave with a smile. BTW...Frank is looking good.

  8. Coni, your blog is wonderful. You are smart, funny, an inspiring stitcher and you love Stewey. In short, you are my kind of people!

    You never become 'too much' for me. I read snippets of your blog to my hubby, and he enjoys it as well. You have a definite way with words.

    If you lived close to me, you`d be cursed with my presence for coffee in the mornings (well, maybe at noonish!) but as i`m in Colorado, I have to be satisfied with the peek into your life with this blog.

    Kisses to Stewey...

  9. Connie... YOU ROCK!
    From a wanna be half way decent stitcher to an awesome Mentor HAPPY HOLIDAYS and NEW YEAR!

  10. One vote for real jingle bell.

    Also, even though I am decidedly not Greek, I do have koulourakia experience to offer. Or I could just send you a dozen when my cousin has whipped up a batch. Given that our recipe contains a dozen eggs and a hundred weight of flour I'm sure she won't miss any.

  11. I vote for a real jingle bell and maybe couching for the hand outlining?

    Though I do not claim to be any kind of needlepointer, nor play one on TV, so take it as you like!!

    I'm happy with any reason you blog. I know I read because it's nonstop entertainment :D

  12. I just love your blog. I may not comment often but I do read every entry. (And I MUST stop letting Rory read Stewey's entries!) So please continue and be just as you are.

    Why do I blog? Well, it began as a way to show off my stitching and as an outlet to write down the experiences I was going through in caring for my Mom during her final weeks. Well, I didn't know it at the time but it turned out that way. Then my blog became more. A way to share my life, my grief and my stitching. A year and a half ago it was taken over by my silly pup, Rory. So it has evolved. I think all blogs do. And I do enjoy reading and seeing others lives and works.

  13. Your blog seriously??? I have to read it everyday! It is like checking in on a member of my stitchy family! I always saying stuff about my cyberspace stitchy friends and people just look at me like I am crazy!
    PS- Your stitching is pretty spectacular too!

  14. Your santa is looking great Coni!! I love your blog - I really look forward to your posts. Don't let Stewey bring you down - you are great!! :)

  15. Love your Santa, I wouldn't outline the hands and I would recommend a real bell for his hat.

    I am a recluse also but oddly enough found someone who really wants to marry me. Guess it is my charming nature, which you seem to possess also.

    Love your blog. God Bless

  16. Well, I telephoned Stewey -- we discussed how to finish Fred - we think you should find an actual bell to match and outline his hands/him in memory thread. Easy, quick and suits the style.

    Love your blog - actually wish you would write twice a day! And, how would Stewey feel if you DIDN't have the blog? I look forward to your "crazy" world every day. (My siameeze cat, the Emporer Shanghai, would like to me to start a blog, but we all know cats just plan their lives trying to get humans to do their bidding. So, I'm still resisting).

  17. You and your blog are extremely addictive for us poor souls who wallow blindly thru the blog world hoping to laugh or smile for a fleeting moment. I truly appreciate it. Thank you!

  18. We love you! Don't stop!!! Love your posts, your stitching, your home, and of course, Stewey!
    Like you, my blog blathers on about my cross stitch obsession and anything else that crosses my mind. I am glad to be connected to such a wonderful community that you are a part of!
    (Oh and a note to Stewey: My German Shepherd, Daisy, is in serious lust with you...)

  19. Coni, your blog is required reading, pure and simple. You should seriously consider being published. Or you could write for Tee Vee.

    For Jeannie, I help my cat with her blog. We don't post very often, but she likes a few people to know what she's up to.

  20. Aw, we luv ya, and your little dog, too!

    I vote for BOTH fancy schmancy metallic stitching AND a real jingle bell on top. Because I think the jingle bell will dangle a bit, so the stitching may show through? Or will you just glue (gasp!) it into place over the gold paint on the canvas?

    Thanks for all the fun and inspiration and EVERYTHING your blog delivers! Here's to lots more in 2011 and beyond!!!!

  21. I just want to thank you for sharing your life and talent in your blog...I check everyday for a post from you or "Stewy" make me smile...keep up the blogging, can't wait to visit again soon!!!

  22. Coni, reading your blog is the highlight of my day! You are so warm, funny, genuine and talented. I love reading about your and Stewey's escapades, and of course oohing and ahhing over your wonderful stitching. Don't stop! With love from a very cold Scotland, Vicky xx

  23. Oh, my, gosh.....when I first started reading your blog today, I almost had a panic attack---I thought you were quitting the blog world!!! What would I do if you left here---you are the first blog I read if you have blogged that day---I hate weekends because you don't blog on the weekends.... anyway-don't give this lurker a heart attack. I love reading your funny happenings about Stewey, Aunt Chrissy and Bosco and you. I am still looking forward to your book, when you write it and I want an autographed copy - first edition. You are at the cool kids table in my book!

  24. What would we do without blogs? I love to read and enjoy everyone's stitching. I can't believe how slow my fingers fly compared to others but that's ok. I enjoy stitching!
    Happy Blog Reading!
    Happy Stitching!

  25. I love your blog - I save it each day to read on my study break. I love to laugh with you and with all the wonderful people who are reading along with me. Miranda loves Stewey. I have a sister that I love like you love Chrissy. You are a very special person. You write even better than you stitch. I feel like I am your friend though we will never meet. I hope you have good holidays and a good ham!

  26. Love are one very talented stitcher... And you are one very talented writer. I love your blog and I'm right there with ya.... Keep up the excellent work1 Hugs

  27. Frank is fabulous! I like the idea of a real jingle bell.

    You haven't paused to think about what else you do with this blog of yours.... You help me and I suspect many others realize that they aren't alone in the world. There are other crazies out there just like us. It is very comforting to be a part of something like this. If there is ever a zombie apocalypse I know beyond a doubt I could count on my stitchy friends to survive and rebuild humanity. So thanks for your blog!

  28. Frank is fabulous! I like the idea of a real jingle bell.

    You haven't paused to think about what else you do with this blog of yours.... You help me and I suspect many others realize that they aren't alone in the world. There are other crazies out there just like us. It is very comforting to be a part of something like this.

    You aren't the only one who prefers the comforts of her home, and for sure not the only one without a seat at the cool kids' table. In fact, you make it kind of cool to be not cool...

    If there is ever a zombie apocalypse I know beyond a doubt I could count on my stitchy friends to survive and rebuild humanity.

    So thanks for your blog!

  29. I read bits of your blog to Masterchief sometimes and we both bust a gut laughing. You have a way of bringing us right in to your home.

    I'm still having a problem with the 18 year old sweatpants.....

  30. Thank you for just being you Coni! Your posts always make me smile!

  31. Heck, we must have been separated at birth, except my preference for stitching attire, aka my bum suit, tends to run to the flannel pants and thermal shirt, the jaunty plastic clip holding back my straight as a poker hair. I am sure my lack of makeup frightens small children, and I long for a dog like stewey, instead I have very smelly miniature schnauzer that never needs a thing until I park my butt in yonder stitching chair. Whatever your reason for doing, keep doing as you bring a smile to my un-madeup face everyday.

  32. Deborah says:

    Well, hellooo there, Coni!

    First, let me say that because of you I am going to have to get a Google account to leave comments on your WONDERFUL, FABULOUS, ADDICTIVE, FUNNY blog. I hate the idea of having a million different accounts everywhere, but I can no longer keep silent (at least on your blog). (For this comment, I've borrowed my husband's log-in.)

    I've been reading your WFAF blog for about a year and, like most of your readers, it makes my day. Some days I check it twice a day in the hopes that you have double-posted. Sigh. That never happens...but hope springs eternal.

    I want to state that I am not a stitcher...well, not a needlepoint, crewel, cross stitcher type stitcher. I am a quilter, but I confess I'm not as passionate about it as you are about your needlecraft. However, we are both Needle Wielders! And, as such, sisters in crafting spirit.

    However, your blog makes me wish I was a...well, a stitcher of your type. Your finished projects are all wonderful. Who cares if they are all different styles? Look at where Picasso or Klimt started and where they ended up. Artistic geniuses both of them...exploring a gamut of styles (well... inventing styles)...So let's have no more of this trying to restrain ourselves, shall we? Stitch whatever draws your fancy.

    Actually, I'm a bit jealous of how passionate you are about your stitching. I think I'm finding my passion (through crafting perfume) and it's people like you who give people like me the courage to go all in for something that will bring more LIFE to their existence. So don't apologize for bringing your very wonderful self to our attention. We are grateful to have you on the planet!

    "...knock it the heck off already?" Who says that to you? I mean, what are they thinking? Tell me who they are and I'll go whack them with a fat quarter! (Quilting reference.)

    Last, well almost last, but not to people...maybe you're just sensitive and easily overstimulated when around people. (Or it could be the diet Coke.) I can handle 3 people in a gathering. That's it. More than that and I whither, but first I whine and bitch and moan and generally make everyone (or at least my husband) miserable. Since I hate doing that, I, too, spend a lot of time at home. That way everyone's happy.

    Last (really), but not "Stewey" is the world's most adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (I'm not kidding here). Her name is Jemimah and she is an angel.

    Well, there it is. A very long comment, but that's what happens when you read a blog for a year and can't express yourself. I will be getting a Google account (Toot sweet, as you say), but promise to leave shorter comments from now on.

    Really, I just wanted to let you know how special you are and how you do positively affect all our lives.

    Thank you!

  33. I just want to say ditto to all the comments. My day is incomplete without peeking over your shoulder while you are sitting in your stitchy chair.

    Have you thought of doing. . .wait, I'm having one of those moments. Uh, oh yeah, it's called a bouillon knot. Four or five of them next to each other. This is for the fingers. These moments are like hot flashes. They come and go.

    Best to you.

  34. Coni,

    Love your blog. Keep doing what you are doing. You make all of us smile and know that we are not alone in our stitching madness!

    Frank looks fantastic. My vote is to fill in the bell area with metallic basketweave and then affix a real bell. Like the idea about bouillon knots for fingers. That might eliminate the need to outline that area.

    I am about to finish cleaning up the kitchen and then settle into my own comfy clothes for a few hours of stitching.

  35. Don't change a thing!!!!! I want to be your best friend! You may have not been popular as a young person, but believe you me, I never miss a day going to your blog! I think you are smart, witty, funny and even though I have never seen you, I KNOW you are a lovely person. You keep alot of us going and coming with all of your expertise about stitching and about life!! Please don't ever stop blogging. Sometimes I can't seem to get it all together and I feel like I have a kindred spirit in you. Thank you for all of your time and energy that you put into your blog, I know it takes alot of both. As for Stewey, I have fallen in love again. Even though he likes to dye the drapes at times, I feel the love you have for him and understand completely. Thank you for giving of yourself everyday.

  36. I'm bad about commenting on blog posts, in part because I read them in the wonderful Google Reader, and I have to push the button on my mouse to click through to the blogs, which is one more step than I care to do most days. But I do read nearly every one of your posts and love to peek into your life and share your stitching with you. When it comes to blogging, it doesn't matter WHY we blog, but that we DO. Even if few people read our blogs, we have a wonderful record of our projects, our thoughts about them, and what was happening in our lives at that time. So keep up the good work!

  37. Thank you for a very entertaining blog.

  38. Your blog is one of the few that I check every. single. day. My little world is better because your blog is part of it. Thank you for sharing your life, Stewey's life, and all the wonderful stitchey stuff. You'd be welcome at my table any time.

  39. Pssst... Hey, Stewey Angus Himself (or whatever your name is), pay attention, but don't pee on the drapes!! The ladies on the message board are gossiping about you and your Mo-ther's blog. Go over there and read what they are saying about Chez Spinster. Don't trust them, though, because a lot of those stitchers are CAT lovers. What horror! In the meantime, keep us updated about your Mo-ther's antics and her stitiching. Merry Christmas! Your devoted fan, Addie

  40. You totally scared me. I thought you were going to say you were going to stop blogging. I'm so happy to drop in every day and see what you are up to. And you even inspired me to try to blog. Not that I really have anything to say but I'm trying. I love Frank. You are doing a wonderful job and he's going pretty fast too!

  41. Hello, Con. Tell His Royal Highness hello from me, ok?

    As for the Santa, looking good! You know you can turn the bell into a fluffy ball if you like and avoid having to stitch it as a metallic ball or have to add a real one. (Finding the right size bell is always a pain, trust me.)

    You can also hit the scrapbooking stores and see if they have metallic paper you can glue on the "bell." Or even a big fat charm that is meant to be glued to a scrapbook that will look good there. Lots of choices....

    I am afraid I can't come up with anything for fingers except backstitching but you can always leave them as is....

    Jane, shouting advice from CH and hoping you'll do the same for me one day

  42. LOVE Frank's hat...the woven stitch is perfect! I, too, suggest a real Jingle Bell for his hat.

    That being said, I must add that I adore your blog. I found you about the time you had the charming incident with the little 5year old boy at Walmart (when you got down on his level to find out what was troubling him and realized that he only wanted someone to listen to him.)

    When we write our blogs, that is basically what we are doing, writing "listen to me, I have something to say."

    Keep it up! I check for you (or Stewey) every day, and I also miss you on weekends.

    Love Ya..........Edy

  43. Dearest Coni -

    You rock! Blog for any reason you want to. I am actually at home today, nursing laryngitis and a sore throat - a bad combination when you work in inside sales as I do -- your blog has recuperative powers..and at least I am maybe less depressed than before I began reading. Take care...and I would also vote for a real JINGLE BELL for Santa.

  44. I like it - one of the few I read regularly. You have a nice knack for humor. I would have beaten the dog to death for all the peeing, but chacun a son gout, as they say!

    How about a big jingle bell for the hat? I do love what you've done withFrank.

  45. Frank looks great! For someone who says she's needlepoint-stitch-choice-challenged, you truly amaze me with your creativity!

    I love reading your blog, for whatever reason you do it. It always brings a smile to my face (and believe me, not much does these days). If you had a daily column in a newspaper, I would definitely subscribe, just to read your wit! If you're not a professional writer, you should be!

  46. Hi hun; I dont believe I've ever commented on your blog; but I read it everyday (when u do post); no matter how tough my days been I can always count on you and your blog to make me smile. You are a very special lady. Love your stitching hun.


  47. I will have to try the peppermint cookies - sounds good.

    I have thought about the reasons for blogging too - and I think we (or dare I say - me) likes to read the blogs for inspiration, yes - but also because I'm nosey and it's somewhat like reading a diary.

    I think it would be really fun to hang out and stitch with you, Coni - and I too, think some of my friends can only take me in "small doses of time".

    And I don't know about you, but I am thrilled when I see my blog listed on someone's sidebar as one they ready - that means they like me or what I have read!

    Hope you don't get slammed with the storm heading our way - I am just a wee bit north of you in MI! have a good rest of the weekend.