Jan 31, 2012


I used to tease Aunt Chrissy all the time about her lack of patience. Turns out that she is actually the most patient person I know. (Especially since she has to deal with moi and moi d-o-g.)

I've started Laura J. Perin's Stained Glass Windows in a lovely pink/chocolate colorway, but all I have to show for a Sunday's worth of stitching is 4 3/4 block outlines. I'm driving myself nutso with the "I hope these colors will look OK" and "Why can't I stitch the outline of a square without having a fizzy tit about it?" and "What the heck happened that Adrienne and Lisa hate each other?".

So sometime in the year a billion and seventeen we should see this one finished.

But if anybody knows the answer to the Adrienne/Lisa conundrum, I'd love to hear it.

Jan 30, 2012


Dust of Snow
Plum Street Samplers
32ct. Navy Bean linen
Needlepoint Inc., Silks

Thank you for such sweet encouragement! I must confess, however, that it really is an illusion, because if you look carefully you will see that I really don't finish all that much in a given year. I also must confess that it is easy to stitch a lot when you a) never leave the house and b) haven't seen the working end of a dust mop in months. But thank you, anyway.

Stewey spent the entire weekend toasting his little buns. I get such a kick out of him twisting up like a little pretzel when he sleeps that I just had to share a crappy photo with you. (I'm sure I'll hear from his legal team for this, but the cuteness factor is worth it, n'est pai?)

Jan 27, 2012


I can hear you chanting "GO....GO....GO....GO!". Methinks the second season of Mistresses will get me through to the finish on this one, don't you? Have a great weekend, everybody! Woo Hoo!

Jan 26, 2012


Please please please forgive the very dreary pictures today, my sweets. It is a gloomy day here in North Hoosierville, and despite my very best attempts to find the camera book that would tell me how to fix this issue, I cannot.

'Member this one? It's Snowflake Serenade from Country Cottage Needleworks. The mat is actually a lovely mossy green, and the frame is a nice warm barn wood, but alas, it looks rather muddled. (And crooked. Hmm. Just noticed that. Looks like I'll have to do some fixing today.)

I put Lizzie Kate's Winter Alphabet above that damn shelf that I don't really like anymore, but it's bolted to the big white wall of nothingness in such a way that I can't get it down! The long pieces above and below the shelf are from Bent Creek, the far left piece is Shepherd's Bush, and the bird is (I believe, anyway) Twisted Thread? ***Nope! It's from Heart in Hand! Thanks, Wendy! Woo Hoo!***This angle is looking toward the front of the house.
And this is looking toward the back of the house.
Progress continues very nicely on Dust of Snow. I finished two of the trees last night and am headed to the Happy Chair to finish the other two today!

Hope your skies are considerably brighter wherever you are! Woo Hoo!

Jan 24, 2012


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's standing in the middle of her closet trying to find a new "outside" getup. The previous "outside" getup of eighteen year old sweatpants and old man slippers from the Kmarts isn't cutting it anymore, and the recent arrival of a restraining order from our municipality has finally prodded the old lady into action.

After all of the nature around here, last night's trip for a final potty included a) me on a leash, b) a huge black and white golf umbrella with a Viagra logo that can be seen from space, c) a straw hat, and d) a pair of rubber rain boots that were probably fished out of a clearance bin at the Tractor Farm and Fleet about a billion years ago.

My stupid mo-ther read every single one of your comments and immediately decided that in the unlikely event that we were confronted by an angry mob of suburban wildlife, she wanted to be prepared. For most people this would mean the addition of a sharp stick, a cell phone, and a whistle to one's sensible "outside" getup of proper underpants, a well-fitted brassiere, slacks, a suitably patterned sweater, a coat, hat, gloves, scarf, and a smart pair of all-weather loafers, but this is my mo-ther we're talking about.

So, as I'm sure you can imagine, we made quite a pair out there in the driveway in front of God and everybody, with me in my handsome little Burberry and Mo-ther looking like an escapee from the nearest mental health inpatient facility.

Needless to say, she takes every single thing you say to heart and promises me that we will be ever vigilant for vultures, man-eating deer, and any other crazy thing that decides to drop by for a snack in the wee hours of the night.

The title of this post comes from a conversation I heard (OK, monitored) between my mo-ther and my Aunt Chrissy last evening. I had been watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills marathon, but one glimpse of Lisa Vanderpump's tiara and I was so disgusted I had to retch into my handkerchief. So when I heard Mo-ther dialing the telephone, I figured that a little listen-in would be considerably more entertaining:

MO-THER: Chellooooo, Aunt Chrissy! What did you have for dinner tonight?

AUNT CHIRSSY: I had oven baked potatoes, a boneless skinless chicken breast, and some green beans.

MO-THER: Wow. That sounds really good. And healthy. Don't you want to know what I had for dinner tonight?

AUNT CHRISSY: Not particularly, no.

MO-THER: I'm glad you asked. I had ham and cheese crescent roll ups, potato chips, and Rice Krispie treats. All I needed was a juice box and I could have been a six year old.

AUNT CHRISSY: Six year olds don't eat like that anymore. They have apple slices and low fat milk.

MO-THER: They do? When did this happen?

AUNT CHRISSY: Right about the time they got trapped behind you at the Targets and had to watch your ample rump waddle its way down the candy bar aisle in your eighteen year old sweatpants. Haven't you heard? You've become a cautionary tale.

MO-THER: I thought that was Paula Deen's gig.

AUNT CHRISSY: Nope. She's a well-paid spokesperson. You're just a chronic condition waiting to happen.

(Perhaps I exaggerate the EXACT wording for effect, but suffice it to say that there was a very long conversation in which my mo-ther tries to convince my Aunt Chrissy that ham and cheese crescent rolls ups and potato chips can be technically considered to be a protein, a carb, and a vegetable and that all meet the USDA requirements for a perfectly balanced meal.)

(As for me, I had a lovely piece of steamed fish, some quinoa, wilted Kale, and an impertinent little Merlot.)

We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming soon, I promise. For some reason, the battery on the camera didn't make it into the charger yesterday, so alas, no stitching picture updates.

Happy Tuesday, my very dear and loyal friends! Until we meet again, I remain your devoted pal,

Jan 23, 2012


From what I hear on the TeeVee, there's some fancypants video game that all the kids are playing these days called "Angry Birds". I'm not sure what it is, exactly, since I am not allowed to use anything electronic without adult supervision, and I don't own one of those cell phone gizmos.

Anywhoo, on Friday afternoon I was in the kitchen minding my own business (OK, if you must know, I was making Rice Krispie Treats), when I heard a very loud BANG coming from the general direction of the back patio window.

A bird had apparently decided to conduct a suicide mission, had flown directly into said back patio window, and was laying deader than a doornail in the pee snow that Stewey created that very morning during his constitutional.

I kept checking on the bird to see if it was moving, and since it wasn't and since I am also a nutjob of the highest order, I decided to take the snow shovel and gently lift the carcass out of the pee snow and give it a proper burial under a nice tree in a meadow. (Or, failing that, I figured I'd scoop it up and fling it into the middle of the big ass field behind the house and be done with it.)

As almost everybody on the planet (except me, apparently) knows, when birds fly into stuff they stun themselves senseless and fall to the ground in a lifeless heap so that they can get their wits about them. (Much like I used to do in my 20's after a night of drinking Long Island iced teas.)

But I digress.

The very moment I got the shovel under that bird, it decided to come back to life and FLY FLY AWAY as I screamed bloody murder and then wondered how long it would be before the neighborhood association served me with eviction papers.

Damn birds.

So as I was standing out there in the back forty trying not to have a heart attack, I catch something moving out of the corner of my eye. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a 42 pound meatball wearing feathers, perched about thirty feet up in a tree. Wanna know how BIG this damn thing was? Let's just say that if it would have turned around, I would have pondered the fact that it had the strength capability of carrying me (and my little dog too) several thousand feet up into the air before dropping us off the edge of a cliff to our early (and somewhat disappointing) demise(es).I know, I know, this fantastic photo makes it look like it's just a bird in a tree. But can I just point out that I used the magnify thingie on the camera and that the branch upon which that thing is sitting is about three stories up in the freakin air?!!

I emailed my friend Kavanaugh under the guise that he knows a lot about birds and would probably be able to tell me what the heck this thing is, but the truth of the matter is that my friend Kavanaugh is a police officer and has a weapon that I am sure he uses with deadly accuracy. Or, if he wasn't willing to come over here and shoot the damn thing in the head (which I want to be very clear he would in NO WAY ever consider), I guess I was hoping that he would instead bring his bagpipes and scare the living beejeesus out of this and and every other living creature within an eight mile radius of Chez Spinster.

Fast forward to last night when I was in the kitchen again (OK. So. I have a Rice Krispie addiction problem), when I spy SOMETHING moving the bushes immediately adjacent to the patio. (What IS it about this darn patio?)

Stewey fired off a few snaps with his cell phone camera, but didn't manage to focus them very well:
So now we know that the sounds I hear while fretting in the big girl sleigh bed at night are not, in fact, thieves and vagabonds trying to break into the house. They are (instead) the din of Happy Hour at what constitutes a TGI Friday's for the Marlin Perkins set.

I hate nature.

I did get quite a bit done on the Plum Street piece this weekend, and I also started a counted canvas piece from Threedles yesterday, but all of this nature photography has depleted the battery on the camera. As soon as it recharges, I'll post some updates.

Happy Monday! Hope your weekend was a bit more....civilized.

Jan 20, 2012


My mo-ther can't come to the blog right now. I've sent her away on a fool's errand to the PetSmart looking for potty pants. She thinks that if she brings them home I will gladly slip them on to help alleviate the urine elimination situation we're having. I'm sure she'll also buy a Potty Patch, a Belly Band, vitamins, and any other stupid thing she can think of to keep me from watering the furniture.

In the spirit of full disclosure, however, I feel that I must reveal:

1) I was fully housebroken on day TWO of my life here in Crazyville. Mo-ther and Aunt Chrissy were sitting in the living room, and when I went to the back door and indicated that I'd like to go outside to urinate, they both hollered and shrieked and danced around so much that I thought they had won the Publisher's Clearing House.

2) I remained fully housebroken until a) the "special surgery" that Mo-ther insisted would be better for my overall health and would help curtail the shorty Jack Russell terrier population, and b) the arrival of my pesky little cousin Bosco.

3) I pee not so much out of need to do so, but rather as an indictment of the filth that I'm forced to live in with a deranged spinster. I feel that the house should be cleaned at least four times a week and that Mo-ther should channel her inner Amish woman and wash walls, etc., but she seems to think that a bi-annual pass with the Swiffer qualifies as appropriate homekeeping. It does not.

4) The Christmas tree ornaments were not wired onto said Christmas tree due to MY failure to leave the tree alone, but rather, they were wired onto said Christmas tree because my mo-ther insists on sitting on the floor each evening after dinner to "play", and she cannot throw anything with any degree of accuracy whatsoever. During the holiday season she typically knocks at least four or five dozen ornaments from the tree's branches when she misses the dining room completely and launches the tennis ball deep into the recesses of said tree. This, of course, is followed by more curse words that I am allowed to hear.

So before you decide to type "Oh, you poor Spinster Stitcher. How terrible that you have to live with a snarky little dog that pees, I ask you....

Would YOU like to come over here and massage her back fat?

Would YOU like to watch Jeffrey Dean Morgan movies on an endless loop until you think your eyes will bleed?

Would YOU like to listen to her blather on endlessly to my Aunt Chrissy about whatever the obsession du jour happens to be?

Would YOU like to explain to the neighbors that the sounds they hear escaping up the chimney on a cold winter's night are due to my stupid mo-ther's lack of planning and that she has probably realized that she will be short one strand of thread to finish her latest project and that the Michael's and the Hobby Lobby and the JoAnn's are all closed and won't be open for another twelve hours and why oh why can't she just get organized and plan her projects out better so that she's not having to sneak into Aunt Chrissy's studio in the dead of the night like some 300-pound stitching ninja that really should be locked up but who remains free because nobody will have her anyway?

So please, my very dear friends. Don't encourage her further with any kind words, kudos, or praise. That will only result in her prancing around the house chanting "They LIKE me! They really really LIKE me!", and nobody needs to see that more than once in their lifetime. Trust me.

I hope that you remain warm and safe and dry this weekend and that you do whatever it is that your stitchy heart desires. As for me, I will be supervising this, Miss Paulette's Dust of Snow:And THIS beauty:
This is the latest Laura J. Perin that Mo-ther has been chomping at the bit to start, called Stained Glass Windows. I suspect that she will hit the studio the moment she returns from the PetSmart to paw through threads and canvas. Stay tuned for updates. I bet this one gets started before you can say "obsessive compulsive".

So that's it for now, my dear friends. As soon as I water the drapes I'm off to my patch of sunlight for a little snooze. We're supposed to get a winter's storm today, so I guess I better get snuggled in and ready for the flakes to start falling!

With love from your pal,

Jan 17, 2012


Note to self: If you decide to wire seventeen thousand ornaments to the tree next year because "Surely, that's the way Martha does it", you need to be taken out to the back yard and smacked about the face repeatedly with a two by four.

I've been un-wiring ornaments from the *@#()&% Christmas tree for the last nine hours and I'm not even half way through yet.

(And yes, in the event you were wondering....I exaggerate for effect, people. It's how I roll.)


Lizzie Kate
Winter Alphabet
32ct Wichelt Natural Light linen
Weeks Dye Werks, Crescent Colours, DMC floss

Jan 16, 2012


I'm blaming this one on the dog. I was all settled in to the Happy Chair last night, happily watching the Golden Globes and stitching away. You know...la la la la la...all is well with the world...I'm happy and content and haven't a care in my little brain. There was a cheery fire in the fireplace, my toes were cozy with some fabulous new socks Aunt Chrissy got me at the Targets, and I figured within a matter of an hour or two I would have my second FeeNee of the new year.

Alas, it was not to be.

At 11:01 exactly, Little Lord Fauntleroy decided that it was time to go to bed. First he whined at the back door. (I let him out promptly, just in case you were wondering if THAT might be the reason why he pees on anything and everything that isn't moving.) Then I went to the cookie jar to get him a tiny bone because he did, in fact, pee on the outside of the house and not on the inside as is his usual custom. Usually he stands right beside me as I reach into the jar, so when I looked down and didn't see him, I panicked a little.

"Stewey! Where are you, my Baby Dear? Come get your tiny bone!"

The reply came from the doorway to the bedroom. (It is here that you should note that he was not IN said bedroom because we now have a lovely baby gate that prevents him from going in there without express permission from moi.)

"Mo-ther. I'm standing here like patience on a monument waiting for you to open this ridiculous contraption so that I might go to bed."

(At this point he turned and gestured dramatically in the general direction of the baby gate.)

"Stewey, Mommie had to put the baby gate there so that you wouldn't go into the bedroom and decide to water my closet, my bathroom cabinets, and the big girl sleigh bed."

"How do you know it was me? Have you been trained in the scientific arts that would conclusively determine that I am the sole source of the problem? How do you know that you aren't waking up in the middle of the night and lifting your very own leg on your clothes, the bathroom cabinets, and the big girl sleigh bed, hmmm?"

(This is when the dumbfounded look came across my face as I contemplated the possibility.)

(And then I realized that I was getting gaslighted by a nine pound dog.)

"You know damn well that it wasn't me, Mister, and if you don't stop with this whole marking thing I'm going to take you back to the swamp where I found you. Enough already. I'm 45 years old and deserve to live in a house that doesn't qualify as a "before" situation on TLC. Now come over here and get this damn tiny bone so I can finish my stitching and then go post about it on my blog."

(With that, he peed on the baby gate.)

So that's why I didn't get the piece finished last night. I am determined to do so this afternoon, though. Right after I take down the Christmas decorations, do the laundry, clean the house, solve world peace, and finally determine why hot dogs come in packages of ten and buns come in packages of eight. If there's any time left over, I promise to go upstairs to fetch the eleventy-billion projects that I've started, organize every scrap of thread in my stash, and separate the ice cubes into categories according to size, texture, clarity, and shape. Finally, I'll watch all of the crap I've taped on the recording thingie, write pertinent and smart essays about each, and then, once and for all try to figure out why Jeffrey Dean Morgan hasn't returned any of my invitations to come over for meatloaf and Merlot.

Stay tuned, kids! I'm feeling inspired!

Jan 13, 2012


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's presently under the bedclothes, muttering something about dog pounds, laundry, and Flomax. I'm not sure what all of THAT could be about, but I'm pretty sure that the last little jibe is intended for me. Ahem.

Today is a full-on snow day here in Hoosierville North. I awoke at 4:30 am to hear the scrape-scraping of the nice men on the front porch, making it safe for fat old spinsters and humanity by getting rid of the drifts and such. I wish I could have reached the doorknob so that I could have told them not to waste their energy on a perfectly shoveled front pathway....nobody comes to visit and we don't use it for my constitutionals, so it's just a lot of work for nothing. But alas, I am only ten inches from pedicured paw to shoulder, so all I could do was bark at them through the side light instead.

(I wonder if that's what has the old lady in such a state?)

Anywhoose, I am going to spend a lovely day on my perch enjoying some peace and quiet. I've had breakfast, perused the paper, and written in my little journal, so it looks like all that needs to be done now is a good soaking pee on the footstool and then I can get some shut eye.

I hope that you and yours have a splendid weekend and that you spend it doing whatever it is you like to do. I have a feeling that ours will be spent in "time out" with a lot of upholstery cleaner nearby, but I could be wrong. Perhaps my Aunt Chrissy will take pity on me and take my stupid mo-ther out for a cheeseburger or two.

Stay warm and safe and dry, my dear friends. Until we meet again, I remain your loyal and devoted pal,


Jan 12, 2012


Y'all are just lovely for soothing my savage beastie self. I'm happy to report that this morning has gone substantially better than yesterday, but I'm thinking that it's because I haven't left the friendly confines of the Happy Chair and I'm heavily medicated with dietCoke and a ham and cheese panini.

So, to explain why I was mean as a snake and twice as ugly yesterday....

The culprit:

The result. (In this case, the focus should be on the "SANITARY" button):

The task that prevented me from driving him to the pound:

A happy thing that will prevent me from standing in the Hobby Lobby aisle next year saying "I KNOW I have wreath hangers somewhere. I just can't find the damn things!"

The evening's viewing selection. (Because I needed to hear Joe Pesci say the eff word a billion and a half times and watching him act like a homicidal maniac was somehow very very soothing):
The stitching progress:

This morning's evidence that I probably shouldn't have been left to my own devices. (Those are Rice Krispie treats, by the way, and if Pfizer ever figures out a way to make them in pill form.....sign me the heck up already.)
*This is where I should show you a picture of my knee, but I have winter legs and I'm not about to go Neet-ing them just for a silly blog picture. When I was helping Aunt Chrissy unload groceries at her house, my puppy tot nephew decided to freakin' clock me in the right knee, thus capping off what could only be described as a day from h-e-l-l. Imagine a fifteen pound little meatloaf projecting itself at you at the approximate speed of light and then hyper-extending your already fragile knee until you hear a lot of crunching and ripping of things that pretty much confirm that you are going to have to get a HoverRound sooner rather than later.

(But to avoid the whole "Why am I so gd passive aggressive thing, may I just send a very heartfelt apology to Aunt Chrissy and Little Bosco for my ugly-cry meltdown? Please forgive me. I didn't mean to get so emotional, but the shock of having my knee broken by the last person on the planet who loves me was just more than I could bear. I'm on my way over to see him this afternoon to show him that there are no hard feelings...just a knee the size of a basketball in a lovely shade of puce.)

So there you have it, my dear stitchy friends. Another day in paradise here in Hoosierville. The weather has just taken a rainy/foggy/miserable turn, so things are definitely looking up! I see a cheery fire in the fireplace and a stitchy movie marathon in my future! Thanks again for your comforting comments -- I've printed them out so that they're ready for the next time things go awry. (At least I'm prepared, right?)

Jan 11, 2012


I'm having the type of day that one does when one suddenly realizes that one should have just stayed in one's bed and pulled one's covers over one's head. Damn, drat, and phooey. Everything I've touched (or even looked at, for that matter) has fallen apart, broken, peed, or otherwise ruined a perfectly lovely Wednesday.

But enough about me. Back to you.

What's new, pussycat?

Jan 9, 2012


I swore up and down that this would be the year that I would stop throwing my crazy out there into the universe and just make this a stitchy blog, but then I realized that my wiring requires that I blather on aimlessly and there's no way I will ever be "that really lovely civilized woman who takes such pretty photographs and who writes with such eloquence about her stitching", and I got over myself.

(I also swore that this would be the year that I assemble a relatively decent sentence that doesn't make you want to gouge your reading eyes out, but I'm pacing myself people. I'm pacing myself.)

Sylvester Stallone was my very first crush. The year was 1978 and I somehow convinced my parents to let me see Rocky. When they finally relented (in 1984 or so), I fell madly, deeply, head over heels in love with him. He was everything I ever wanted. Sure, I liked the way he looked, but it was his character's undying love for a girl that could have been me, were it not for the fact that I didn't wear glasses and was afraid of pet stores.

Over the years, I discovered that the real life Stallone is actually a very smart guy and that he read books and enjoyed painting when he wasn't hanging from a helicopter someplace trying to save the world. This juxtaposition of brain and brawn completely blows my skirt right up, and to this day I am determined to marry a man who is rough and tumble on the exterior, but who will understand the importance of good skin care and who isn't afraid to settle in for a Meryl Streep movie marathon on a winter Sunday afternoon. You know the type...is as comfortable in a ballroom as he is in a bowling alley....can recite hockey stats in addition to Shakespeare....and who will be as happy with boeuf bourguignon as he will be with meatloaf.

It suddenly occurs to me that this explains a LOT about my obsession with a dog-loving, book-reading Jeffrey Dean Morgan, as well as manly man chefs who also have the ability to write prose that makes me swoon.

That last one is Anthony Bourdain, by the way.

But I'm sure that Robert Irvine would be equally as adept at constructing a rather good story or two.

And what about the fact that Gordon Ramsey cooks AND played professional football in his younger days?

All of this explains the sixteen hours spent sitting in the Happy Chair watching of all of the Rocky movies, as well as the two hour Biography Channel special commemorating the 35th anniversary of the original.

What can I say? I have a box set and I wasn't afraid to use it.

Progress on Lizzie Kate's Winter Alphabet continues. This is definitely a fun one and stitching up much faster that I would have imagined!So that's the report from Chez Spinster today, my friends. Stewey has retired to his fort under the bed and won't come out until I promise to put the inside Christmas decorations away, so methinks I better get to it. He can be a real pill if things aren't exactly in the right place on a Monday, so I might as well forget about getting any peace and quiet around here until the last box is packed and stored away for next year. Damn dog.

Jan 7, 2012


I'm not normally on the 'puter on a Saturday, but inspiration struck during breakfast and I decided to get my next column for Needlepoint Now sent off to Miss Elizabeth.

(How's THAT for a shameful plug?)

(And before you encourage me further, I should probably warn you that the title of the column is "Coming Soon to a theater near you....Needlepoint, The Musical".)

(As I told Miss Elizabeth in my apology/email to her: There is a reason why people like me should not have coffee machines that brew on demand.)

(Yes. I have forsaken my beloved Capresso for a Keurig, ladies and gentlemen, and I'm never going back. The only problem is that I now refer to the pods as "Crack Cups", which completely mortifies my sister when I announce (quite loudly, I might add) in the Bed Bath and Freaking Beyond that "I NEED CRACK CUPS, AUNT CHRISSY! I NEED THEM NOW!").

But I regress...

Bronny asked about the windowpane linen that I'm using for the Sam Sarah monthlies. Well, Bronny, believe it or not...it comes that way! It's called 28ct. Newport Natural and it's made by Zweigart. Cool, huh?

Paisley has thrown the proverbial gauntlet and hinted that L'Hiver needs to be finished this year. I agree, Paisley, but you do know that there are three other seasons, right? And you do know that I'm a nutball of the highest order and am already stressing over the fact that if I finish ONE of these damn things, then I need to finish ALL of them, and that they should all be finished in the same year. Right?

Sherry, the big red sunflower piece is actually a painted canvas that I'm needlepointing. It's a 13 mesh, and was a gift from Aunt Chrissy several years ago. I have finished quite a good chunk of it, but I just never seem to get it done. This year, though. This year.

Whitney...oh, don't be afraid to start the Threedles piece! What's the very worst thing that could happen? 1) You could fall in love with it and then obsessively rush off to purchase very single thing that this designer has ever done (witness my own Laura J. Perin obsession), or 2) You hit a schlumpadink wall and put it in your WIP pile. Either way....I'm with ya' sista' and will be right here cheering you on. (Metaphorically speaking, of course.)

Hey, Phyllis! A "ready made" is a picture frame that is already painted and assembled at the Michaels or the Hobby Lobby or the craft store mega mart near you. Instead of going the custom framing route, I am sometimes able to find a great "ready made" that I can pop a finished piece into and then feel like a framing genius! Try it! I promise that you'll get a good cramp from patting yourself on the back. (At least I did.)

Laura, as much as I would love to tell you that I whipped out "Snowflake Serenade" this year, the truth of the matter is that I started that one last January and got about 3/4 of it done before putting it away. So my needles didn't smoke exactly. They just plodded along at my usual dopey pace. (I'm not a fast stitcher, people. I promise you that. It's all an illusion, and if you peek behind the curtain you'll see my pile of WIPs that is the approximate size of a Buick. So when I finally do finish one, chances are that it only needed an hour or two to get it to the FeeNee stage.) I'm a complete fraud. A big fat complete fraud.

And finally...Ginny asked me if I was going to frame "Snowflake Serenade". Yup, Ginny. I think I am. Unless I wake up tomorrow and am able to figure out how to use the sewing machine without stitching my sleeves together...framing it shall be.

I think that about covers it for now, kids. There is a small patch of sunshine coming in the back door, so I guess it's time that I go re-position the living room furniture so that You Know Who can catch a few rays! I wouldn't mind it so much were it not for the fact that he insists I spritz him with Evian every fifteen minutes and that I ply him with umbrella drinks. Damn dog.

Jan 6, 2012


Snowflake Serenade
Country Cottage Needleworks
28ct. light mocha cashel linen
DMC floss and Weeks Dye Werks

Jan 5, 2012


...and as soon as I finish this one it's off to the Michael's for a ready-made. My big white wall 'o wonder is in need of something a little bit...wintry.

Jan 3, 2012


Well, that's what I'm going to need if I want to make a dent in the Official January 2012 Spinster Stitcher Basket O' Stitching Fun. I decided that running up and down the studio stairs would be good exercise, apparently, because I am now completely spent and ready for a few hours in the Happy Chair.

Let's take a quick tour, shall we?

This gorgeous thing was one of my stitchy Christmas gifts from Aunt Chrissy. I would have started it the minute I opened it, but methinks I need to switch those stretcher bars to the bigger ones. I like the fact that the smaller/thinner ones are lighter to hold, but this sucker looks like it will need some extra support. Maybe it's time to try Evertights?

This is what I played with until 3am. I was six episodes deep into Kelsey Grammar in "Boss" on Starz, so that little house practically stitched itself. Considering the eighteen feet of snow sitting on the back patio, it looks like this might be today's selection:

Ahhhh. My oldest WIP. I've loved this canvas forever, and as you can see, have also been stitching it forever. This is the year it gets completed! I swear!

Another Christmas stitchy gift from Aunt Chrissy. I saw this on a fellow blogger's blog and just had to have it. Little did I know, though, that there are actually alphabets for every season! Woo Hoo, Aunt Chrissy!

I think that this one has been on my "I'm going to start this on New Year's Day" list for about three years now. Why am I so compelled to "save it for something special"? It'll get started, I promise. But for now I like petting the linen and threads.

OK. There's no way I'm ever going to have this framed and over the fireplace unless I plant myself in front of it and move a needle in and out repeatedly. It does, however, require concentration, so no Jeffrey Dean Morgan movies. Maybe an afternoon You've Got Mail marathon instead?

'Scuse the helper, but he insisted on getting in the picture. I gather that this is Stewey's favorite WIP, since he always seems to noodge himself into my lap the minute this one comes out of its project bag. I was a little unsure about the tone-on-tone nature of that bottom motif, but Aunt Chrissy assures me that it will be gorgeous once completed (as hers almost is):

I never seem to have anything small to grab when I'm headed out for an appointment, so this one will hopefully rectify that:

Yeah, yeah, I know it's a Christmas piece, but how could you not want to stitch this all year long? I started that little bit with only one ply of the Valdani floss, but I think I'm going to have to frog it and re-start with two or three ply instead. The colors are right, but the coverage just isn't what it should be.

Well, there you have it. As of this afternoon, I am officially set. I did manage to have the perfect snow day yesterday -- laundry done, a big pot of soup made, and stitching stitching stitching until the wee hours -- so maybe we're off to a good start for the year?

I'll see you Thursday. Tomorrow is the first Futzingday of the year, so Stewey and I plan on spending it...well, um....futzing! Woo Hoo!

Jan 2, 2012


Happy New Year, friends! I hope that you are warm and safe and dry and that you are spending a lovely day in your Happy Chair with a threaded needle and a cup of something satisfying to keep you company.

Here in Hoosierville we're having our first official blizzard of the year, and I am happy to report that all is well due to the sheer brilliance and determination of my Aunt Chrissy. As Mo-ther was stumbling around yesterday in a fog, Aunt Chrissy showed up bright and early and said "Get your shoes on, Tubby! We're going to get those decorations down today!" and out they went.

(Apparently, Aunt Chrissy caught a glimpse of my mo-ther wringing her hands on New Year's Eve as she watched the weather report predicting, as always, an Armageddon like event.)

"Oh, Aunt Chrissy", she whined. "I am so worried about my Christmas decorations outside. How will I ever get them taken down and put away with all of the snow and wind that they are predicting?"

Aunt Chrissy, of course, was completely nonplussed, and muttered something under her breath about not needing to take decorations down in "the home", and then she wondered how fast she could move and not leave a forwarding address and whether or not I would reveal her new super secret location.

(For the record, I would not.)

Anywhoose, the two of them spent a full six minutes unbolting all of the wreaths and such, so when the winds started howling and the snow started flying, there wasn't one single phone call with one single bit of whining whatsoever. Isn't my Aunt Chrissy brilliant that way?

Christmas 2011 has come and gone. Because we had very mild weather and not one speck of white stuff on the ground it did seem a bit odd. But we managed to muddle through quite nicely, and the old lady even capped off the holiday with a spa day and a few little sips of Proseco as the ball dropped in Times Square.

(And yes, in case you were wondering...the spa day was Aunt Chrissy's idea and treat. I am quite happy to report that Mo-ther returned from such with a full twelve inches removed from her hair, some perfectly shaped eyebrows, and festive red polish on her hands and hooves.)

As for me, I will let the pictures tell the story. Commentary, naturally, is from my mo-ther.

Stewey can be a very vicious beastie when it comes to opening presents. And rather than take an organized and civilized approach, he decided that hurling himself into the bag would be more efficient:
His perfect little cousin Bosco, on the other hand, behaved himself beautifully, and seemed to be more interested in the goings on outside than he was on a greedy grab for Snausages:
Alas, Stewey finished tearing through his own gift bag, so he decided to convince his Aunt Chrissy to let him have a go at Bosco's:
But he lost the argument and appealed to his Mommie Dearest for back-up.
She was, however, ineffectual, as usual.

That's a small glimpse into our holiday, my very dearest stitchy friends. I hope that you and yours had lots of fun and laughter, and that YOUR gift bag was full of great stuff! We're off to the new year! Here we come 2012!

With much love from your pal,