Jun 29, 2012


I've been so out of sorts with my stitching lately that I decided to fix it once and for all.  I had originally intended to hit the studio yesterday, but considering the fact that it was 118 degrees here in Hoosierville (*), I thought better of it and decided to wait until today.  It was still hot enough to bake a bundt cake up there, but I lived to tell the tale, and thanks to a gallon or two of iced tea, all is back to normal.

(Well.  Whatever constitutes normal in these here parts.)

 So without further ado....here's what I've decided to play with for the next few months.  Some things are started, some are for the Olympics, some are just wishful thinking.  But if this array of projects doesn't smack me right out of the stitching blah dee dahs, I don't know WHAT will.

 I've got a really great Zecca canvas that I'm just itching to start, but I've promised myself that I'll finish these two painted canvases first and then use the Zecca as a "reward".  First is the Melissa Shirley:
 And second is the big red sunflower:

For counted canvas work, I know that I want to start the red, white, and blue piece during the Olympics, so I figured a way to reward myself in this category would be to finish LJP's Stained Glass Windows:

This is the red, white, and blue piece:

I had been working on Alphabets, but got frustrated that the tone on tone was so subtle:

This project is going to be an experiment.  The colors on the chart are very autumnal, but I want something a little more summer-y.  I tried and tried and tried to re-colorize it, but I got so frustrated I almost threw it out the window.  Then I got the bright idea to just think of the threads as a box of Crayons.  So when I sit down to stitch, I'll just look at whatever part I'm going to work on and pull a color.  Wish me luck with this -- color selection is definitely not my forte'.

I enjoyed stitching the Winter Alphabet so much, I wonder why I haven't jumped on this one already?

A little something else in the whole "I'm going to stitch this one during the Olympics" category:

I thought this would be nice to add because it's not the size of a bedspread:

And how can I have a stitchy basket o' fun without some Shepherd's Bush?

I'm thinking that this one will be for much later -- maybe toward September-ish?

Same thing here:

Ahhh, the big a$$ Olympic project.  I can only imagine how stunning this thing will be once completed:

Again....think small, Spinster!  What do you want to bet that this one comes out of the basket first?

Another bright idea....I think I might change the centers of the daisies to red so that this will look a little like fireworks.  What can I say?  I've been jonesing for a little crewel lately.

That's it for today, kids.  Thanks for bearing with me and my craptastic photographic skills.  I hope that your basket is packed and ready for your own summer o' fun!

Have a fabulous weekend!  

Woo Hoo!

(*) Yes, I exaggerate for effect, but it was indeed very very hot here.  Rumor has it that the actual heat index reached 112.  So I guess that 118 really isn't that far off, wouldn't you say?

Jun 27, 2012


I'm so sad today.

Nora Ephron, one of my personal heroes, passed away yesterday.

Methinks it might be a good idea to climb into the Happy Chair with all of her movies on the thingie....

See you tomorrow.

 Here's the Imdb filmography for Ms. E:
2009 Julie & Julia (screenplay)
2005 Bewitched (written by)
2000 Hanging Up (screenplay)
1998 You've Got Mail (screenplay)
1996 Michael (screenplay)
1994 Mixed Nuts (screenplay)
1993 Sleepless in Seattle (screenplay)
1992 This Is My Life (screenplay)
1990/I My Blue Heaven (written by)
1989 When Harry Met Sally... (written by)
1989 Cookie (written by)
1986 Heartburn (novel / screenplay)
1983 Silkwood (written by)
1978 Perfect Gentlemen (TV movie)
1973 Adam's Rib (TV series)
For Richer, for Poorer (1973) (story)

Jun 26, 2012


Although I'm really touched that so many of you have requested before and after pictures of moi with moi new glasses (and, I assume, the old glasses too), I have only one thing to say.....

No way.  No how.

Nope.  Sorry.  Not gonna do it.  In addition to being a hermit of the first order that breaks out into a full-on flop sweat over the thought of venturing beyond the end of my driveway, the idea that I would have to have my picture taken sends me right into a paralytic orbit of epic proportions.

So let me give you a mental image instead....

I'm 5'6" tall, weigh almost nothing, and have the musculature and body physique of a trained tri-athlete.

Oh, wait.  That can't be right.

Here.  Try this.....

Did you see the movie Sister Act?  Do you remember Sister Mary Patrick, the delightfully cheery nun played by award-winning actress Kathy Najimi? Well, add about a hundred pounds and lots and lots of unsightly facial hair and you've got me.

Good thing I've got those killer glasses....

Here's a little more progress on Laura J. Perin's Stained Glass Windows:

Hope you're having a splendid day and that you'll come again soon!

Woo Hoo!

P.S.  Stewey has no issues with having his picture taken.  Obviously.

Jun 25, 2012


My mom can't come to the blog right now.  She's in the master closet practicing her elocution while looking for a decent bra to wear to the mailbox.

Yes, you read that correctly.  There has been an absolute FLURRY of change and activity around here lately. Methinks we are finally on the proper course into the old lady's twilight years, in which I hope that she will be suitably attired and will stop saying things like "Hoosierville and this here".  (One can only hope that it will also mean the retirement of the eighteen year old sweatpants that she's apparently had surgically adhered to her ample backside, but I suspect that she's pacing herself and we should celebrate whatever small victories come our way.)

I have no complaints whatsoever about these recent developments, particularly since I have been pushing for said changes for several years now.  I am equally as thrilled that my stupid mo-ther has wed herself to such an admirable course of self improvement, but I'm not holding my breath that it will be a lasting endeavor.

The best place to begin would be at the salon, where Mo-ther gamely announced to one and all "I'm here to kill the squirrel".  While this would have been a somewhat startling thing for most people to say, this is MY mo-ther we're talking about.  So I would imagine that the hostesses there led her to the shampoo bowl with nary a thought as to the crazy spinster with the twenty two pound sweaty mess of brunette ponytail on her head that was just crying out for a nice cream rinse and a firm yet authoritative touch with the scissors.

Eighteen inches later, I'm happy to report that Mo-ther's hairstyle now resembles something you might have seen within the last twenty years or so and NOT one that grandchildren are known to snicker at while perusing old high school yearbooks. (She's still, alas, quite attached to her Snookie bangs, but I am hopeful that a little gentle persuading from Aunt Chrissy will encourage her to stop freeze framing them into a crispy-curlled mess atop her forehead once and for all.)

Speaking of Aunt Chrissy, I have her to thank for the next dramatic improvement to the old lady's image.  As you might know from reading this blog, my Aunt Chrissy has developed a rather Elton Johnesque addiction to boutique eyewear.  (This, of course, is my way of saying that my Aunt Chrissy sports glasses on her face that cost more than my mo-ther paid for her car.)  She's acquired an amazing wardrobe of some of the most exclusive and beautiful pieces available, and when she comes to visit me I can hardly wait to see what new style has been added to the collection.

During a recent trip to the fancypants eyeglasses boutique, Aunt Chrissy decided that it was about time for Mo-ther to update her look, so she generously gifted a pair of fabulous new frames.  I must say that it's obvious that Mo-ther never would have selected these for herself, because they actually look fantastic on her.  Had she been left to her own devices, I'm fairly certain that she'd still be standing in the midst of a Target clearance aisle trying to figure out how to put prescription lenses into 99 cent sunglasses.

In keeping with the theme of self improvement, Mo-ther sat down with her Laura J. Perin's Stained Glass Windows project to determine what it was about the colors that was throwing her so much.  It was, in fact, the brightness of the hot pink ribbon floss, so a quick trip upstairs to the studio fixed the problem once and for all.  Fortunately, we had the perfect shade of Fyre Werks in the stash, so it was replaced and stitching continued on without further angst:

London 2012 is definitely calling, so Mo-ther decided to start assembling her Olympic projects.  First up is a counted canvas piece from AmyBear called Seasons.  As you can see from the photo,  the theme has been switched to USA and the colors adjusted accordingly.  (Please forgive the rather untidy nature of these photos.  The battery in the camera is close to expiry, and I was rushing to snaps these off before having to plug it in for a re-charge.)

In the category of Olympic cross stitching is One Nation by ByGone Stitches.  Miss Linda at House of Stitches selected the perfect 28ct. natural cashel linen for this one.

Last night's stitching was Alphabets by The Drawn Thread.  I think that a lot more would have been accomplished had Mo-ther not been trying to watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey at the same time she was supposed to be concentrating on this.  I'm hoping that she'll make more of an effort to pay attention to the chart when her fanny hits the Happy Chair later today.

Well, my dear and devoted friends.  That's the report for today.  I'll leave you with a glimpse of my view from my little bed in front of the patio window. In addition to my annual Aunt Chrissy daisy, I am also closely monitoring the progress of my very first strawberry plant.  Aren't the little tiny berries delightful?
Wherever you are is where I hope you want to be today!  Please enjoy yourselves fully and do come again soon! 

With much love from your pal,

Jun 18, 2012


I'm fasting this week.

Fasting from the news, crazypants neighbors, loud noises, media blathering about this or that, heat, humidity, droopy bangs, and sweaty dietCoke glasses.

I've got 1/4 of a library book to finish, a 1/2 block of shocking pink ribbon floss to frog, a fridge full of fruit, pasta, and broccoli salads, and enough freshly brewed iced tea to float a barge.

Stewey promises to send up a flare if things get too quiet....otherwise, see ya' on the other side!

Jun 14, 2012


My mom can't come to the blog right now.  I've loaded her up with several thousand milligrams of (insert name brand sedative here) so that I can finally get a little bit of peace and quiet around here.  I'm not sure if it's the moon or menopause or just her normal mania, but life with Spinster has been completely nutso lately.

Yesterday morning as I was snoozing in the sun, I felt the presence of something out on the patio.  So, being the dainty and gentle creature that I am, I gingerly opened one eye and saw a tiny little itty bitty baby deer standing on the patio.  She wasn't really much bigger than me, actually, so I guessed that her mommie was probably close by.  We just enjoyed one another's company for several minutes, and I admired her gorgeous fawny-brown spotted exteriors while she (naturally) admired my very own white non-spotted exteriors.

Right about the time I was going to give the little baby deer a warning that I live with a complete idiot, my stupid mo-ther came around the corner and bellowed "OH HOLY *^&%$!  IT'S A BABY DEER!  STEWEY!  LOOK AT THE BABY DEER RIGHT OUT THERE ON THE PATIO!!!"

This bellowing, of course, prompted the tiny little itty bitty baby deer to scurry for the back fence, where I'm assuming she realized that life with a pack of tick-ridden mammals that run like the wind is preferable to life with an idiot spinster who hollers a lot.

I hope I get to see her again.

(For purposes of stable mental health, Mo-ther and Aunt Chrissy have convinced themselves that the itty bitty baby deer was, in fact, not alone at all, but that her mother was situated just out of sight and was supervising nicely, thankyouverymuch.)

It took a while, but the old lady eventually calmed down, and just about the time I thought we would head to the big girl sleigh bed for a snoozy nap, she decided to "take care of a situation" that has vexed her for several years now with respects to a neighbor.  This neighbor is dumber and more off her proverbial nut than my mom is (if you can believe that) and for some damn reason Mom decided that yesterday was going to be the day that she solved the world's problems once and for all.

Needless to say, she didn't.

But while she was on the telephone with the lovely Kyla from Whippany (regarding said neighbor), I heard yet another bellowing.  This time it was "OH HOLY (*^%!!!!!! IT'S AN ORIOLE!  AN ACTUAL REAL LIVE ORIOLE!!!!"

Kyla from Whippany (who was probably used to dealing with crackpot Hoosiers and their sudden outbursts) said (in her very best Jerseyesque) "What the *#&$&'s an oriole?" and proceeded to listen to my stupid mother describe the intensely bright orange colored bird that had landed on the Weber grill and was now looking at her with mock exasperation.

(Can you imagine what it must be like to be that bird?  There you are, just minding your very own business, when out of nowhere you've got maniac spinsters hollering about you and how pretty you are.)

Needless to say, by the time my Aunt Chrissy called from her BatMobile to say that she was on her way home from work, Mo-ther was practically frothing at the mouth over all of the excitement over here.  I tried to bribe my Aunt Chrissy to come over, and I even made promises of a gorgeous New York strip steak dinner, but alas, Aunt Chrissy opted to get into her jammies and stitch the night away in the peace and quiet of her own home instead.

(I wonder how long it would take for the two of them to notice if I were to move out of here and plant myself into Aunt Chrissy's guest suite?)

On the stitching front, I'm sad to report that Mo-ther is ready to throw her Stained Glass Windows project through the window.  She just couldn't leave well enough alone and stitch it with the colors that Aunt Laura calls for.  Nope...she had to try to be creative and come up with her own palette.  As you can see, it's a disaster of epic proportions.  (Never fear, though.  Rumor has it that once these sedatives wear off, Mo-ther will feel very refreshed and clear-headed and will probably spend a few hours up in the studio making things right in the world once again).
That's the report for today, my dear friends.  I do hope that this finds you considerably more at ease in your little corner of the world and that you are having a pleasant and stitch-filled day!

With much love from your pal,

Jun 11, 2012


Scene: Early morning. Indiana, USA.  A little dog wearing a silk smoking jacket stands at the patio door watching the activity in his mo-ther's recently installed bird sanctuary.  He notices that all of the bird feeders are duly filled and cleaned, and that there is fresh water in the newly purchased bird drinking fountain/refreshment station.  He glances at his empty tea cup and the remnants of his burnt-toast breakfast and sighs heavily.

STEWEY:  Mo-ther, please come to the patio window.  There's something I would like to show you.

MO-THER: Not now, Stewey. I'm trying to figure out the Jumble.

STEWEY: The answer is "leading man", Mo-ther, but you're never going to arrive at that answer because you have incorrectly assumed that the third word is "sandil".  It is not.

MO-THER: (looking confused) What's it supposed to be?

STEWEY: It's "island". (He shakes his head in disbelief that an accredited university like Notre Dame could have blundered badly enough to have given this woman a diploma.)  And, for the record, "sandil" is not a word that one finds in any dictionary.  The correct spelling of the word you're thinking of is "sandAl".

MO-THER: OK, OK.  Don't get your panties in a knot.  I never said I was a good speller-er.

STEWEY: Will you please come here?  I think it imperative that you witness what's happening right outside our window.  Bring your little notebook, please.  There's going to be a test on this later.

MO-THER:  (ha-rumphing her way out of the Happy Chair with notebook in hand.)  OK.  What?

STEWEY: Do you see that mo-ther duck? 

MO-THER: Yeah.  So what?

STEWEY: Do you happen to notice that she is carefully standing guard while her seven little ducklings eat their breakfast?

MO-THER: (shrugs)

STEWEY: Mo-ther!  You almost stabbed me with a fork when I so much as suggested that you consider a lovely quiche today, and when I asked for extra marmalade on my toast points you said (and I quote) "You're a freakin' dog.  You'll eat what I give you and be glad it's not store-brand puppy chow."

(For a brief moment, the mo-ther considers arguing with the little dog.  Then she glances at the freshly laundered drapes and mentally calculates the difference in time between just giving him what he wants and the time it would take to fetch the step ladder, take the drapes down, wash them, dry them, re-hang them, and then put the step ladder away.)

(She stomps to the kitchen muttering something about animal shelters and pet-free assisted living facilities.)

The little dog takes one more look at the mo-ther duck, admires the plumage on the seven duckings, and decides that it was indeed quote fortuitous that they happened to come by today.  As the sounds of quiche-making comes out of the kitchen, he grins devilishly, lifts his leg, and pees on the drapes.


Jun 6, 2012


 Barnwood Buttons
Rosewood Manor
28ct. Raisin linen
WDW Light Khaki

I attached the very last button at the stroke of midnight while bellowing a hearty WOO HOO for all the world to hear. (Or, in my case, a quiet suburban neighborhood that is completely used to such bellows issuing forth from Chez Spinster.)

I just can't say enough about these buttons.  Each one is prettier than the next, and I'm thrilled that Aunt Chrissy included them in the kit for me.  They're a bit pricey...but definitely worth it, IMHO.

I think that this one might be my favorite:

The back patio and environs are prettier this year than they have been for several years past, and I suspect that it's because love is in the air.  I was in my office yesterday and heard Stewey going bonkers from his little perch on the back of the loveseat, so I assumed that the squirrels were in the bird food again. 

He's not a profiler exactly, but he does like a nice bird viewing session, and hates it when the squirrels take over the joint.  He thinks they should find another establishment for their raucous parties.

So just as I was rounding the corner to the living room, I heard Stewey say...

"Oh, fair and gentle Daphne.  How the light shines on your eyes of brown.  The world weeps for such lovely beauty, and my heart yearns for your tender kiss." (*)

(Or something like that.)

Anywhoose....I figured that he was practicing his elocution with a little Shakespeare, but it turns out that he was wooing his new girlfriend.  

Her name is, apparently, Daphne.

All of you animal lovers out there will notice that this picture was taken at three o'clock in the afternoon and that this little deer is a) by herself and b) not aware of the fact that she's supposed to be terrified of the little dog wearing the silk smoking jacket and quoting verse to her.
I do like her ears, though.

Aunt Chrissy and I are off to the Targets tonight.  Provisions are getting low, and it's time to replenish the shelves.  Then tomorrow night it will be grocery-getting time, and then Friday promises an evening at the Michaels to pick out a frame for Barnwood Buttons. 

Exciting life we lead, no?

I hope that your corner of the world is lovely and safe and happy and full of threaded needles that are poking themselves through something.  Stewey sends his very best, and if I can get his nose out of that damn book, we'll see if he can't provide you with a post or two.

Woo Hoo!

(*) Oh, give me a break already, will ya?  I know it's not any good, but you try writing a love poem to a deer while simultaneously trying to channel the inner thoughts of a nine pound Jack Russell terrier wearing a silk smoking jacket.