Aug 30, 2011


Stars For The New Millennium
designed by Mr. Tony Minieri
18ct. mono canvas
(For a complete thread list, please see the post dated May 16, 2011)


Last night at precisely 9:21 p.m. I finished stitching Stars for the New Millennium by Tony Minieri.

Today at precisely 10:02 a.m. I realized that my digital camera is not to be found.

I suspect that it's either a)under the big girl sleigh bed or b)in Stewey's man purse.

(But I'm not exactly sure).

Please stay tuned for photographs as soon as I can either a) unwedge myself out from underneath the big girl sleigh bed or b) I can figure out how to dismantle the combination lock on the man purse.

Aug 29, 2011


Stewey and I had a rather uneventful weekend. Given the alternative, I suppose that this is a very good thing, so I'm not going to complain one little bit. There were the usual chores and errands...

uh....(she looks dismayed and scratches her head in wonder)

I didn't do any chores or errands.

(I guess that this means that it was a very normal weekend at Chez Spinster.)

Stewey grounded me from the hurricane coverage on CNN and The Weather Channel, so we watched Cleopatra in its entirety instead. He was fascinated by the hair and costumes. I was fascinated by Richard Burton's short skirt.

(As he surgically removed the remote control from my grip, he explained that a person with my level of anxiety really shouldn't be allowed to sit there for sixteen hours wringing her hands over the fate of New Jersey, and that I should probably find something more productive to do with my time.)

So I stitched. And stitched. And stitched.

If all goes according to plan, I should have a colossal Happy Dance for you within the next day or so. And if said Happy Dance happens before sundown on Wednesday, it will mean that I accomplished my goals for August.

How the heck did THAT happen?

Aug 25, 2011


On any given day I am completely tickled pinkety pink pink to be the blushing recipient of several wonderful comments and emails. I do get a random "I hate you, your writing style, your stitching, and everything about your stupid spinster life" every now and then, but then I see that the return address is and I ignore it completely.

SALLY asked about the dog in window canvas that's in my 2007 slideshow. This is a painted canvas by Two Dog Dezigns and I purchased it forever ago from a LNS that is now closed. I did, however, find it (and a few other canvases by that designer) here:

ELLEN and DAWN asked about the colors that I used in the Aquamarine piece, and whether or not I followed the chart. Well, the answer to that is yes and no. I pulled my own colors and then used the chart as a general guideline, but I didn't think too much about it (to be perfectly honest with you). I just pulled whatever I thought would be pretty in a given area and then stitched it. Here's the thread list:

Caron Watercolours: Oasis
Vineyard Silks: Iceberg, Seaport, Reef Waters, and Seafoam
DMC #5 perle cotton: Ecru, 959, 991
Anchor #5 perle cotton: 169
Splendor: 865

JENNIFER asked about Aunt Chrissy's stitching, and which big-ass sampler she recently completed (while I was blathering on the phone about something completely inane, I'm sure). Well, Jennifer, I'm afraid that I used a little poetic license there, and that AC has been working on several different things. One of these days I will convince her to let me show you her work, since it is positively exquisite. (I've refrained from doing so thus far because then y'all will quickly realize that SHE is the stitching queen in our little universe and that I'm just a big fat loudmouthed fraud.)

MISS QUOTED asked if I've seen Jeffrey Dean Morgan in Supernatural yet. Nope, MQ. Haven't done that yet. But you will be happy to know that I've printed a list of every single thing he's ever appeared in, and I'm slowly making my way through it all. (I will confess, though, that I've worn a groove in the disc of P.S. I Love You because I've paused the heiney scene so many times.)

SHELLY stays with the Jeffrey Dean Morgan theme with her comment that he looks like Robert Downey, Jr. on steroids. Well, all I can say to that is.....well. Um . Gee. Give me a minute.

(We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming right after the spinster is able to recover from her latest case of the vapors.)

I did receive a rather lengthy email warning me that all of this talk about Jeffrey Dean Morgan is getting old and that nobody wants to know that much about the inner workings of my brain, but to that I say....piffle. I mean, come on kids. Have you SEEN him?

I was wracking my brain the other day trying to figure out what it really is about him that blows my skirt up so, and I've come to the conclusion that it is, quite simply, thus: He smiles with his eyes, he looks like he would be nice to me, and I bet he would never get tired of my strange compulsions, my crazy little dog, or meatloaf.

And in the event that you think I am incapable of devoting myself to anybody else, may I just point out my James Gandolfini obsession of 2006? And wasn't last year the year of Gordon Ramsey? And, least we forget....Chef Robert tomorrow.

Here's the latest progress on Stars:
I'm really going to make an effort to finish this one this weekend. The overdyed colors in that outer border are driving me nuts, so I might have to re-think that area, but from here I think it will be all downhill. Woo Hoo!

Tomorrow is Aunt Chrissy's turn for a procedure, so I will wish you a Happy Weekend a day early! Woo Hoo!

Aug 23, 2011


As y'all know from reading this here blog, we work on a reward system here at Chez Spinster. This means that for every good thing that I do, I get a little treat.

(Kind of like the way Stewey gets a cookie when he pees OUTSIDE instead of INSIDE, or when he gets a Snausage for not alerting the ASPCA that I am completely incompetent as a mo-ther.)

Now before you think me totally self-indulgent (which I am, by the way), I'd like to point out that after 45 years of perfecting procrastination, I have finally hit upon a system that seems to prod me into motion and out of the Happy Chair for more than six minutes at a time.

I write a list of all of the crap that I have to get done, and I review said list with the idea that if I finish all of the crap on it I can have a treat.

Seeing how Jeffrey Dean Morgan has yet to accept my invitation to come over for meatloaf, I figured that a nice reward would be a day of stitching. Yes. You read that right. Just a day to sit in the Happy Chair and stitch whatever my wicked little heart desires. So that's what's on the agenda today. Stitching.

(But I'm still available in the event that Jeffrey Dean Morgan wants meatloaf.)

Here's a little progress that I made on the Prairie Moon piece:

* The title of my post is the result of my unfortunate choice of footwear for yesterday's excursion to the eye doctor. I figured that I would run a bunch of errands since I was already out of the house and had a bra on and all, but I forgot that running through a Wal-Marts and a Targets and whatnot while wearing cute little sandals that really don't fit anymore but are just too damn cute to throw away would result in sore tootsies today. My poor little pinky toes look like they've been in a cage match.

I suppose that would be another good reason why my big b-u-t-t will be planted today rather than attempting to re-tar the roof or dig up the back forty for a cutting garden.

Too bad. I would have really liked a cutting garden.

Happy Tuesday!

Aug 22, 2011


Despite Stewey's fears that I would do nothing but think about Jeffrey Dean Morgan all day on Friday, I turned myself into a big fat ball of energy and got a lot done. (But yes, in case you were wondering, I still managed to think about Jeffrey Dean Morgan all day long.)

(Note to self: Must really get a more age-appropriate hobby.)

(Like needlework.)

(Or collecting cardigans.)

My kitchen is now officially clean. I mean crazy lady white glove ODC get down on the floor and wash baseboards and then take the window screens out for a good scrubbing and then dismantle all of the appliances clean.

(The repairman will be here Wednesday.)

I'm not sure what got into me exactly, but let's just say that things are much better here in Spinster's Corners now that we know that the cuisine will be Health Department inspection approved. Aunt Chrissy and Bosco even came over for Sunday dinner last night, and I was able relax and enjoy the meal rather than worry about when she was finally going to call in the authorities.

(There was, however, an unfortunate incodent involing drool, a sugar coma, Ina's brownie tart with vanilla ice cream and Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch Caramel Fudge, but that's another story for another day.)

I finished Aquamarine on Friday night while watching The Losers. (This movie has replaced You've Got Mail as the one that I watch obsessively when I'm just too damn lazy to get out of the chair to switch the disc thingie in the machine.)

I think I'll mat and frame this sucker, but I haven't one clue as to where it will hang in my house. Maybe I'll re-colorize the laundry room to accommodate the colors. Wouldn't they be perfect as the underpants and such splosh around in the washing machine?

I putzed and putzed and putzed on Saturday, and when I finally made it into the Happy Chair for a little stitchy time, I picked up Stars for the New Millennium.

A lot of you have asked why I've selected red, white, and blue as my colorway. Sometime back in April, I was thinking about the fact that this will be the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, and I wanted to "do" something in observance of it. I've always really loved this project (designed by Mr. Tony Minieri His Very Self), so I figured this might be a good time to stitch it. So far, I've been really thrilled with the results, and I've enjoyed every moment stitching it.

Aunt Chrissy got a fabulous little surprise this weekend. She had ordered some stitchy things (as she is wont to do) from The Silver Needle in Tulsa, OK. When she opened the package, there were two perfect little bags of treats in there labeled "Stewey's Mom" and "Bosco's Mom". Now while this wouldn't seem interesting to most people, it just blew our skirts right up because we didn't realize that the girls in Tulsa had ever heard of Stewey and Bosco, let alone heard about us, so we were both just tickled pink and more than a little humbled. Woo Hoo!

The peepers are going to get checked today, and I suspect that Dr. Rhodes will say "Well, Spinster Stitcher. I told you that the day would come when you might need bifocals. Judging by the fact that you can no longer see anything up close with your contact lenses in and no magnifiers in sight...methinks it's time."

(I am ridiculously nearsighted, which means I wear contact lenses so that I can see further than seven inches from my face. I slap a pair of magnifiers on to stitch so that I can still see the TeeVee, but in the course of normal every day life, I can't seem to see a damn thing close up anymore. So I guess I have to a) perch a pair or magnifiers on top of my head, or b) think about bifocals.)

(Given my propensity for setting my hair on fire with the damn magnifiers....perhaps we should look into the bi-focals?)

Oh, and in case I forgot to tell you all this.....Dr. Rhodes is the one that told me that you CANNOT "ruin" your eyes by stitching yourself silly. He said that your eyes are your eyes are your eyes, and unless you injure them, you won't wear 'em out by stitching to your heart's content! Don't you just love that guy?

Happy Monday, everybody!

Aug 19, 2011


I've received so many comments and emails saying "Hey Spinster Stitcher! Who's this Jeffrey Dean Morgan you keep going on and on about?!"

Please allow me to introduce the future Mr. Spinster Stitcher in all of his hunk-i-tude. Isn't his smile sublime?
Stewey, however, feels that THIS is the better picture of his future special daddy. (JDM'S dog is named Bisou...French for kiss.) (Damnit. I just typed JDM, French, and Kiss all in the same sentence.) (I have to go take a shower now.)

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's frantically searching the Hoosierville Yellow Pages for a "theatrical agent".

(Or at least I think that's what she's doing. I've given up trying to figure this woman out.)

She was sitting at the kitchen table having her brunch (scrambled EggBeaters and whole wheat baguette, thank you very much), when she saw a new show being advertised on the TeeVee. I didn't catch the official name of it, but suffice it to say I heard the words "crazy", "obsessive", and "collections" at the exact moment the old lady jumped up and spilled her cranberry juice cocktail all over the hardwood.

Apparently the folks at one of the discovery/learning-type channels have come up with a new show that will feature various people and their "strange collections". I think one of the young men featured collects vacuum cleaners, and unless my eyes deceived me, there is a woman who collects dolls.

Lots and lots of dolls.

(Really creepy dolls, if you ask me.)

(Now before you send hate mail, please understand that we here at Chez Spinster have absolutely nothing against doll collections per se. As a matter of fact, my mo-ther tells me that she and Aunt Chrissy had a rather extensive collection of Dolls From Around The World, and that it was in perfectly lovely condition before they decided to give Miss Poland a haircut.)

But I regress....

My stupid mo-ther thinks that there is a place for her in the television world, and that it would be fascinating to watch a portly, sweaty, and somewhat deranged spinster careen her way through life...obsessions, exasperated sister, and little dog in tow.

(I, it must be said, am not of the same opinion.)

I would imagine that when my Aunt Chrissy gets home from work tonight, there will be a phone call that will go something like this:

MO-THER: Hi, Aunt Chrissy. How was your day.

AC: Well, I worked on a project and....

MO-THER: OK. Back to me. Have you seen this new show on TLC about crazy people and their obsessional collections?!

AC: No. I work for a living and am not accustomed to sitting around watching television all day.

MO-THER: Well, there's this show, see. And it features people who collect things. And they're not exactly normal things like needlepoint canvases or skeins of Caron Watercolours or cross stitch charts. They're things like vacuum cleaners and really creepy dolls! Can you imagine! Do you know how much fun I would have on a show like that...showing the world how a REAL crazy obsessive collector does things? Oh my gosh, Aunt Chrissy! We're going to be famous! Can't you just imagine it?!!!!!

AC: Put Stewey on the damn phone.

STEWEY: Hello, Aunt Chrissy? This is Stewey.

AC: Hi, Stewey. Do you need me to come over to pick you up?

STEWEY: Yes, please, Aunt Chrissy. I'll be waiting in the driveway.

And so it goes. Another night with my aunt because my mo-ther has decided to go into one of her "Let's think about this and research it and devise and plan and then go write it down and then review it" kind of modes.

Actually, I'm not really all that upset about this one. The happy side of it is that it's gotten her out of her whole Jeffrey Dean Morgan obsession. THIS is the phone call that happened during the apex of all of THAT JDM pondering...

MO-THER: OK, Aunt Chrissy. I need you to pay careful attention. I'm going to go on the Dr. Phil show, see. I figure that I could be one of his special projects, and in the course of sweeps week, he could point out everything that's wrong with me and then fix it.

AC: Uh-hmm. (Not really paying attention, because she's pretty sure that even Dr. Phil wouldn't touch what's wrong with her stupid sister with a ten foot pole).

MO-THER: Now when the producers call you to get background information and childhood pictures and whatnot, I need you to tell them that I am just nuts for Jeffrey Dean Morgan and that if there's any way they could convince him to come on the show to surprise me for the "big reveal", that would be damn good television.

AC: (sound of crickets chirping, because she's put the phone down and gone to the kitchen to fix dinner)

(Don't worry....she comes back every now and then to see if her stupid sister is still blathering.)

(She is.)

MO-THER: So Dr. Phil fixes all of the stuff that's wrong with me, don't you know, and after some extensive plastic surgery, a wardrobe consultation, and maybe a haircut, he invites me to come out on the stage and show the world how I single-handedly re-invented myself. Then, just as I'm about to tell the world how single-handedlyI re-invented myself, Dr. Phil says "I understand from your sister that you have a thing for Jeffrey Dean Morgan". And I say "Why yes, yes I do, Dr. Phil", and at that very moment, Jeffrey Dean Morgan appears on the stage to thunderous applause. So then Dr. Phil tell me that as a special reward for single-handedly re-inventing myself, I'm going to spend the entire day with Jeffrey Dean Morgan. And then we go off hand in hand and have cheeseburgers and fall in love and he forgets all about What's Her Name and we live happily ever after.

AC: (Who has managed to prepare her dinner, eat it, clean up the kitchen, play with Bosco, and finish a huge reproduction sampler she's been stitching while her stupid sister blathers on). Uh-hm. OK, Aunt CJ. You have a good night now. Is Stewey there?

STEWEY: Hello, Aunt Chrissy? This is Stewey.

AC: Hi, Stewey. Go get the dart gun.

STEWEY: OK, Aunt Chrissy.

AC: I'll be waiting in the driveway.

OK, that's enough of our little Masterpiece Theatre for now. Suffice it to say that I'm headed for my fort under the bed for the duration, and that my silly mo-ther will probably NOT be cleaning the kitchen (like she's supposed to be).

Here's her progress on Aquamarine:
Happy Weekend to all! I hope that wherever you are is exactly where you want to be!

With love from your pal,

Oh, and a big fat P.S. I just saw a report about the new feud between Anthony Bourdain and Miss Paula Deen. Now, while I certainly can appreciate her propensity for Southern flair and her ability to accessorize, I'm afraid that I must agree with Mosieur Bourdain about the dangerousness of teaching fat Americans how to slather mayonaise, butter, and cream cheese on their corn. I mean, come on, Miss Paula. Would a salad every now and then actually kill us? Besides, if you don't stop teaching my mo-ther how to deep fry everything and then salt salt salt it to within an inch of its very life, she's NEVER going to lose enough weight to be the internationally famous super model that she aspires to be.

Aug 16, 2011


I receive a fair number of emails every day wanting to know this or that about me and my stitchy habits. The comment that I seem to get most often is "Wow, Spinster Stitcher. You sure stitch fast and crank out those finishes! How do you do it?"

In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that it's all an illusion.

If you reaaaallllly look at this here blog, you will discover that I have only completed seven things so far this year. Seven! Do you know that there are some stitchers out there who complete HUNDREDS of things in a twelve month period?! (You know who you are, so don't get all bashful and such and pretend like it's no big deal. It is a big deal. You should be quite proud of that accomplishment and shout it from the stitchy rooftops.)

This year I seem to be stitching for the sake of stitching. I don't know what that means exactly, but if something starts singing to me, I pick it up, poke it with a threaded needle a few times, and then see where it takes us. Sometimes I am captivated (like with the Stars piece), and other times I get about five minutes into it and realize that there is no future for us and I quietly leave the table before the appetizers have arrived.

I stitch for can I put this politely? I stitch so that I don't go out in public and make a complete and total jackass of myself by talking ad nauseum about something that most people could care less about. I also stitch so that I don't have to leave my house or go out into nature. I hate nature, and I'm pretty sure it hates me right back.

So while I do thank you for ranking me right up there with the Olympic Stitchers, I have to tell you that I don't belong there in any way shape or form.

Another question that I get a lot is about my stash and its apparent expansion at a moment's notice. The secret here is that I have a little sister who has to put up with me and my crazy obsessions, and every time I say "OMG! Did you see the (insert something stitchy and wonderful here) on the blogs today?!" she orders it for me. A few days will go by and then she'll say (in the course of a completely unrelated conversation) "I did something bad", and as I'm waiting to hear that she's become a Columbian cocaine czar or that she burned down a day care center (because those would indeed be "bad" in my opinion), she tells me that she ordered whatever it was that I was obsessing about just days ago and that it should be in her mailbox within the next day or so.

So in the case of the recent Prairie Moon piece, we were talking about it and I probably said something like "Oh, Aunt Chrissy. You have to buy that for me right this very minute", and she did so and then had to put up with me prancing around asking "Is it here yet?" every ten minutes.

And that, dear friends, is how I acquire my stash.

A lot of you want to know if Stewey is really as precocious as he appears to be. The only answer I can give you to that is the following conversation that took place between Aunt Chrissy and my very self this weekend:

ME: Oh, Aunt Chrissy. I just don't know what to do. Stewey won't listen to me, we're not getting along, and he spends all day stomping around the house moping because I can't figure out how to make him happy. I'm just so worried that I'm not equipped to give him everything that he needs and that he will eventually decide to go live with somebody else.

AC: HE'S A FREAKIN DOG! Listen up, Aunt CJ. If you don't' get your head out of your b-u-t-t when it comes to this damn dog, I'm going to stop coming over here to separate the two of you. You need to take control. You need to be the boss. You need to establish yourself as the alpha in this household, and he has to figure it out and the get over it.

ME: (weeping copiously) I know, I know, but it's just that...I...can' get ahead with him. He gets so mad at me and then he goes on that blog and writes such mean and terrible things and then he takes the car and disappears for days and days at a time and I worry. Oh, how I worry so, Aunt Chrissy.

(Sound of door slamming as Aunt Chrissy decides that the only thing that's going to fix this particular situation is to put her idiot sister in a home and let the damn dog turn the house into the Mishawaka Playboy Mansion.)

So to answer your question....yes. Stewey is, in fact, the most unusual little creature you could possibly imagine. But I will tell you what I told him recently: "Stewey, if Jeffrey Dean Morgan His Very Self came into the house and said "Hello, Spinster Stitcher. I'm Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and I'm here to marry you and love you and take care of you and kiss you on your face and be nice to you forever, but you've got to get rid of that weird little dog", I would say "No way, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It's nice to finally meet you in person and all, but the dog stays". That's how much I love you, Stewey Dear".)

This brings us to our final frequent question/comment. Many of you notice that I seem to flit from man to man and that my obsessions seem to change a lot. This is true. I have a stable of hot and handsome men that I think about from time to time, and depending upon my current mood and/or situation, I'll insert the appropriate character into the scene.

For example, if I'm chopping salad vegetables, I imagine that Chef Robert Irvine is there with his big guns....teaching me proper knife skills while wearing nothing but an apron and a British accent. If I'm out tending the garden, then I see Kevin Costner out there in that corn field from Field of Dreams telling me that he's heard a voice saying "If you build it, she will marry you".

Most of the day, though, I tend to rely on my Old perfect version of what my perfect boyfriend would be. He's tall and dark and handsome and he looks like he would be very very nice to me. He knows the importance of a crisp white dress shirt and just how far one can push the scruffy facial hair look without appearing sinister, and because he's from the Seattle area he understands my need for a proper cup of damn good coffee every morning. He loves a good joke, smiles easily, isn't afraid to show emotion in public, and (if his role in The Accidental Husband tells us anything), he moonlights as a New York City Firefighter.

(Come on, girls and boys. Is there ANYTHING more wonderful than a New York City Firefighter? Maybe a Jersey boy. Maybe. Or a professional British chef. Maybe. But a firefighter? From Queens? I don't think so.)

So yes, to answer the question. I'm a 45-year old woman who has an unhealthy obsession with Jeffrey Dean Morgan and other men on the TeeVee that will never ever take me to dinner. I kind of like it this way, actually. It means I never have to shave my legs and I can order onion on my egg sandwiches.

Well, I think that's enough peeking into the mind of a deranged spinster blogger today. Please feel free to keep those questions coming, though! It makes me feel good to know that after hearing my whacky perspective on stuff you know that you are, in fact, the most normal person on the planet.

Oh, and before I forget....the linen that I'll be using on that Prairie Moon piece is called "Camofudge" and it's from Stitches and Spice, an Australian Hand Dyed Fabric company. (I think that's what the chart calls for).

(Here's where I can hear you screaming "I HAD TO READ NINE PAGES OF DRIVEL BEFORE YOU WERE ABLE TO TELL ME THAT NAME OF THE DAMN LINEN!!!".) Ooopps. Sorry. I'll try to remember to put the important stuff first, crazy last next time.

Happy Tuesday!

Aug 15, 2011


I make it a habit to go back a day or two to review my posts. Sometimes I crack my own self right up, but other times I am so ashamed at my ridiculous bitching that I have to go sit on the naughty step to think about things for awhile.

Thus the predicament that I find myself in today. I am feeling very sheepish that in light of all of the truly serious stuff in the world that's wrong and sad and broken, I'm bitching about house painters and colonoscopies.

I owe a very big fat apology to the lovely young gentlemen who painted my house, because the results are spectacular. The leader of the crew showed up early Saturday morning to paint my front door, and after talking with him I realized that he really wasn't so bad after all. (This crew was from one of the high schools here in the area, and their boss/mentor is the drama teacher. Most of these guys were recent graduates who will go on to study the arts in college, so instead of the miscreants that I thought I was dealing with, they were the cast of Glee.)

It also turns out that there is a right way and a wrong way to paint a door. (Yup. It had been painted the wrong way.) So now I have a beautifully painted Black Forest Green front door and a lovely sagey green on the cedar. Looks like a brand new house.

(That'll teach me to judge a book by it's iPod-wearing Red Bull-swilling cover.)

My "procedure" went well. The only complaint I have with Dr. Mark is that he tells you something funny or interesting at the exact moment he's injecting the knock-out drugs, so you end up with the fact stuck in your head for the better part of a week or so. (Kind of like when a hypnotist can get you to squawk like a chicken whenever you hear the word "broccoli".) One time I wandered around for a week thinking about Iceland because he told me he was going to quit his practice and move to Iceland (he didn't, thank goodness, but I couldn't stop thinking about Iceland). This time, he made the mistake of telling me that he and his wife got to meet Chef Robert Irvine down at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival. (Like y'all, Dr. Mark knows my feelings on THAT particular subject.) So I've been thinking about my beloved and walking into walls all weekend long.

(But that didn't stop me from having a Jeffrey Dean Morgan movie marathon into the week hours of the morning while reassuring Stewey that I don't need a therapist to help me get rid of my crazypants obsession with the guy.)

(Hey. A spinster's gotta do what a spinster's gotta do.)

On the stitchy front, I finished Shepherd's Bush Beekeeper's Cottage:

And worked a bit on Needle Delights Originals Aquamarine:

And tonight I will start this lovely piece:

Stewey sends his love. He's started suffering with his seasonal allergies, so most of the morning has been spent in the office chair trying not to gnaw his little feet:

My heart goes out to the folks that were at that concert in Indy. Every time I see the footage of that stage coming down and the crowd then rushing forward to try to help the victims, I get overwhelmed by the thought of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. One of the people in the grandstand was interviewed, and he said that as the crowd started running, he thought that there must be a tornado coming, but he then realized that they were all running TO the stage to help, not FROM the stage to save themselves.

I can't imagine what that must have felt like.

Aug 9, 2011


It all started when some (insert dirty word here) hacked my email accounts and then sent crazy messages to everybody I've ever corresponded with (up to and including the customer service team at Clinique).

Many many thanks go out to those of you who got one of these messages and replied "Hey, Spinster Stitcher! Looks like you've been hacked, girlfriend! What a crappy thing to happen to you! Chin up!".

A big fat "REALLY?!" goes out to the people who've known me for 25 years, yet still felt it necessary to send a "Don't ever send me stuff like this again" email, or decided to tell me that they thought it highly inappropriate that a spinster would sell a "sex drug".

Yesterday, just as I thought we were turning a corner around here, I was rudely jolted from a deep deep sleep by the sound of a huge herd of young men with ladders clanging about in the back yard.

(Apparently my house is getting painted and this is the crew that has been entrusted with things.)

(Somebody remind me to send a big fat muffin basket to the HOA.)

From what I can tell, the oldest member of the Painting Crew that Hails from the Seventh Circle of Hell is young enough to breastfeed, so I'm not thoroughly optimistic. When you combine that with the fact that the leader of the group thought it hilarious to stand on the patio and taunt Stewey into barking himself hoarse, I was sorely tempted to unleash my inner bee-yatch and send 'em all home and then call their mothers.

At quitting time, they packed up their iPods and Red Bulls and left all of their crap strewn about the place, so I'm guessing that we're going to have a repeat performance today. (And, yes, just in case you were wondering.... I was too busy looking up at the pretty pretty clouds today to notice whether or not Stewey decided to pee on said crap when he went out for his morning constitutional.)

Today I am prepping for a "procedure", which means I am only permitted clear liquids. This means, of course, that the splitting headache has started, and I am compelled to stand in front of the open refrigerator to look at all of the lovely things I cannot shove into my gaping maw. Like ham. Or bing cherries. Or leftover spaghetti.

I'm normally a real trooper when it comes to this "procedure", so I'm not sure why I've got the big baditude today. I will, however, remedy this tomorrow when I tell Dr. Mark "If you see Jimmy Hoffa in there, please give him my regards", just as he's hitting me up with the Fentenal and Versed.

(I usually say "See you on the other side, Ray", but I seem to be the only person who gets that obscure Ghostbusters reference. This, of course, kinda takes the fun out of it.)

Aunt Chrissy has promised to take me to the Barnes & Nobles this weekend so that I might look for books on planetary alignment and/or astrology. I am assuming that Grumpy has entered my seventh house of Discontent and the rising tide of Are You Effing Kidding Me has caused my sense of Crazy to go into overdrive.

Or something like that.

Don't cry for me Argentina. All will be right again soon. Methinks Stewey and I will retreat to the studio today armed with a vat of dietCoke and You've Got Mail for company. I'm about seven stitches away from completing Beekeeper's Cottage, so hopefully there will be pictures and Happy Dances in my future!

Here's hoping that things in your corner of the world are a little less....fraught.

Aug 8, 2011


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's out trying to find a big fat bunch of sage to use to cleanse the house. (She saw that on a TeeVee show once and figured that anything was worth a try to get rid of whatever bad karma is floating around the place these last few days.)

We thought that this week would get off to a better start than the last one did, but alas, it was not to be. At approximately 6:30 this morning, I tapped her on the shoulder and then projectile-upchucked all over the freshly laundered sheets. I felt really bad about it, but I have to say that the old lady was a real trooper and didn't yell or get upset or swat my heiney or anything like that. She just jumped out of bed, stripped off the sheets, and then ran them into the washing room and popped them into the new machine.

(I didn't want to say anything, but my upset tummy is entirely HER fault. She was having a Jeffrey Dean Morgan movie marathon yesterday, and every time I tried to interrupt her for something, she said "Here, have a cookie and go be quiet for a little bit longer." Then, when she took a lunch break, she decided to give me a tiny little piece of the fancypants buffalo chicken deli meat that she and my Aunt Chrissy are addicted to, and then once the movie-watching started again, she went back to the cookies.)

For the record....I AM A DOG and will eat cookies until I get sick to my tummy, which is exactly what I did.

So that was how we started the day.

After things had settled down a little, Mom decided to go out to the garden to see what she could do about fixing the tomato plants. We had a storm yesterday, and the combination of wind and rain did a real number out there. So, armed with some perle cotton and her best intentions, out she went to start propping stuff up. Let's just say that it did not go well, and I saw vines and leaves and tomatoes flying through the air, along with some very salty language.

Gardening is definitely NOT on the old lady's color wheel.

We did manage to get the house tidied up, but not before I pointed out that the water machine in the kitchen had peed all over the floor again. (It did this on Thursday, and the resulting mopping and grunting and sweating and cursing that ensued trying to rectify the situation were almost more than I could bear.) This time, Mom just stood there with a defeated look on her face and then she headed to the closet for her cleaning outfit that consists of eighteen year old bike shorts and a Notre Dame t-shirt that she fished out of the rag bin.

It took every ounce of strength I had to make sure that the blinds were closed and that she didn't wander out to the driveway where the neighbors would see her. (We've got enough trouble with these people thinking she's an idiot without adding any fuel to THIS particular fire. Trust me.)

I almost don't have the heart to tell Mom that it looks like the cable box is broken. I decided to watch a little TeeVee a few minutes ago, but I can't seem to get it to turn on properly. I just keep getting an error message and then when I try to call the Comcast the line rings busy.

Maybe she'll decide to read instead and won't notice.

I do have a little stitchy progress to show. Here's Beekeeper's Cottage by Shepherd's Bush:

That's all the news from Lake Woebespinster today. I hope that things in your world are considerably peachier!

With love from your pal,

Aug 5, 2011






Aug 4, 2011


I've been remiss in keeping you updated as to the travels of Madame Muriel. As we speak, she is jetting her way (First Class, I might add) across the world to Miss Margaret in New Zealand.

Her departure was not without drama, though. First we had to find a suitable "sleeping compartment" for the long journey. Muriel insisted that we duplicate those on Virgin Atlantic, or, if that wasn't possible, we should try to replicate the private pods on the sheik's plane from the Sex and The City II movie. (Methinks she spent too much time with Stewey and became influenced by his "ways".)

We ended up with a Crystal Light container:

Her passport and travel documents are safe and sound in a document folder and a few treats were wrapped and tucked inside for her future hostess.

For such a tiny little woman she sure packs a lot!

You can follow her travels with Miss Margaret here:

Give it a few days, since the United States Postal Service warned me that traveling across the world will, in fact, take a little more than fifteen minutes.

I'll leave you with a copy of the text from her travel journal...

June 8, 2011

After my fabulous visit to Pennsylvania, USA I find myself unceremoniously dumped on the doorstep of a humble little abode in Mishawaka, Indiana….also in the US. My hostess, The Spinster Stitcher, seems excited to meet me, but I will confess that my first impression is that this is going to be a looooonnnnngggg visit.

June 18, 2011

I was correct. So far my stay here has included almost nothing in the way of local attractions or historic sights. We seem instead to be hell bent on running errands, watching a lot of bad telly, and going to the crafts emporium otherwise known as Michaels. I’m not impressed.

June 19, 2011 – June 30, 2011

Hurrah! At last an entertaining, if not somewhat bizarre development! The little dog that lives here with The Spinster has decided to take pity on me and show me a good time. We had a wonderful meal of sushi (and too much sake’, I’m afraid), at a local restaurant, and then it was on to days and days of driving around to see the local features.

The University of Notre Dame was absolutely lovely and probably worth more than a few minutes peeping through leaves at the Golden Dome, but downtown South Bend beckoned and the light was fading. So many pretty buildings…the South Bend Civic Theatre, Tippecanoe Place, the Morris Performing Arts Center. I suppose that one could have a very agreeable time of it on a Friday or Saturday night if one was so inclined.

July 29, 2011

An entire month has elapsed! Due to a rather unfortunate case of meatloaf poisoning, I found myself in the hospital for rest and fluids. Fortunately, the service there was superb and I have now mended back to my former self. I insisted, however, on booking my plane ticket immediately, so I will keep this short so that I can pack. Fare thee well, Indiana! I promise to speak well of you, despite my hostess!

Off to New Zealand….I can’t wait!

Aug 3, 2011


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's taken to the bed with a good book, a vat of dietCoke, and all of your lovely comments and cyber hugs for company. Oh behalf of all things Chez Spinster, won't you allow me to send our most heartfelt thank yous for all of your kind words?

At first my stupid mo-ther thought that her feelings of "blech" were the result of this ungodly heat and humidity. Then she suspected that it could be due to an impending stitchy slump. Finally, however, she came to her freakin senses and, after a brisk smack on the forehead, she realized why she wants to go retch into the bidet....

STUPID MO-THER: "Stewey! Mommie has just realized that she's taking the new dosage of one of her pills, and that must be the reason why she is unwell these last few days!"

ME: "Well, well, well. Aren't you just the cleverest Miss Marple? How did you come to that striking conclusion, given the fact that you've got more pills in you than a Walgreens?"

STUPID MO-THER: "Well....I pondered and pondered and pondered (as I am wont to do don't you know) and I realized that I switched to the higher dosage on Sunday morning when I filled up my pill boxes for the week."

ME: "Uh huh..."

STUPID MO-THER: "That, and the fact that your Aunt Chrissy said to me on the telephone the other night..."Are you taking all of your medications?" when I launched into my latest diatribe about something or other and she wondered if they made pills for it."

ME: "Well, that's a good thing, Mommie. Now go back to bed, and I'll alert the public that you're going to live."

STUPID MO-THER: "Night night."

So you see....all of this fuss is due to a 5mg increase in one of the many tiny little pills that the old lady forces down her gullet twice a day. You would think that a mere 5mg would go completely unnoticed, but this is MY mo-ther we're talking about.

We did spend all day up in the studio yesterday (despite the fact that it was approximately 191 degrees up there), and I'm happy to report that after seven and a half hours of futzing not one single thing was accomplished.

Happy Wednesday, folks! I do hope that you are all well and safe and cool and dry and that your needles are doing exactly what you want them to be doing!

With much love from your pal,

Aug 2, 2011


That's all I have for today. Just....ugh.

Aug 1, 2011


Have you ever had a day when you just can't bear the thought of being you?

That's me today.

When Stewey poked his little head out from under the blanket, I threw my forearm across my eyes (quite dramatically, I might add), and said "Oh, Stewey. Mommie Dearest is just too tired to move!")

This prompted him to snort rather dismissively, twirl himself around a few times, and then go back to sleep.

So...short and sweet today, my lovelies!

Progress on Aquamarine:
and Beekeeper's Cottage: