Mar 31, 2014


My mo-ther can't come to the blog right now.  I've sent her to the market on a fool's errand of looking for a very special organic dog food that I read about online.  We'll just keep it between us chickens that this particular dog food is only available in Australia, OK?

I was doing just fine, sleeping with my silk pajamas and sleep mask firmly in place, when the old lady started bellowing "Oh, what a beautiful morning!" at the top of her ample lungs at 5:30 this morning.  We apparently are experiencing some sort of weather related phenomenon that does not involve freezing my little heiney off, so Mo-ther felt compelled to welcome the day in what can only be described as her own special way.

Progress continues on Aunt Laura's Stained Glass Windows.  I think this piece is particularly fetching, and have already selected a place for it in my study....just above the davenport.  Methinks the color scheme will go quite nicely with a new Persian I've just had my broker bid on for me at Southeby's, so as long as Mo-ther remembered to pay my AMEX bill this month, we should be good to go.

Life continues along quietly here at Chez Spinster.  I see my Aunt Chrissy from time to time for a little intellectual stimulation, and make do with whatever inane conversation Mo-ther concocts in the interim.  My cousin Bosco continues to amuse me with his antics, and there was a brief moment that I considered joining him on Spring Break this year before I remembered that I care neither for board shorts or beer parties.

I do apologize for my absence, but between trying to keep my idiot mo-ther from doing stupid human tricks that will surely result in a trip to the local emergency room and writing my novel, there just isn't a lot of time in the day.  

Are you all well and enjoying your own particular corner of the world?

I hope so.

Until we meet again, know that I remain your loyal and devoted friend.  Keep those cards and letters coming!

With love from your pal,

Mar 27, 2014


So there I was, daydreaming about this thing of ours, when I happened upon a comment on this here blog by the lovely JP.  In my last post, I mentioned that Stewey and I were captivated by the costumes in Game of Thrones, and JP was kind enough to provide the link to the Embroideress of said costumes.

(Fair warning, kids.....when you go to this sight, you are going to want to quit your day job, move to London, and bang on the door of her studio to beg for an apprenticeship.  (At least that's what I am thinking about doing today.)

I mean, come on.  How freakin' COOL would THAT be?

RANDOM PERSON AT A COCKTAIL PARTY:  So, what do you do for a living?

SPINSTER:  I'm a Needleartist.

(OK, so this is the answer I give whenever somebody asks me this question already, but I do so because saying "Oh, I'm a big fat loser who hasn't a clue as to what she was supposed to do with her pitiful little life" kind of kills the moment.)

RANDOM PERSON:  A Needleartist?  What's that?

SPINSTER:  Well, I do hand embroidery on textiles that are used in film and television productions.

RANDOM PERSON:  Wow.  That's amazing.  Have you worked on anything that I would have seen?

SPINSTER:  As a matter of fact, I just finished work on this season's costumes for Game of Thrones.

RANDOM PERSON:  Wow.  That's incredible.  You're perhaps the most fascinating person I've ever met in my whole entire life.  Can I get your number and take you to dinner sometime to hear more about this?

Ahhhhh. What a happy daydream for today!  Thanks for the reference, JP!

Here's the link:

Mar 26, 2014



Stewey and I are having a quiet, yet lovely Wednesday morning.  The sun is shining, but it's cold.  I think the thermometer said it was in the 20's before she muttered "Later, kids" and headed south for the duration. 

Sheesh...even the meteorological measuring devices have had enough.

I've been happily stitching away on Laura J. Perin's Stained Glass Windows while re-watching the previous seasons of Game of Thrones.  Aunt Chrissy and I decided to get ready for the premier in  a few weeks by refreshing ourselves on the characters and plot points, so it's been all things codpieces all the time around here.

Last night, Stewey got such a case of the giggles when he caught sight of Cersei Lannister in her copper breast plate.  I looked up from my stitching to see what all the fuss was about, and have to confess that my Stewey Little was right-on with his assessment: 

I was thinking that the level of detail was a little extreme for a copper breast plate (since I thought I saw a n***le) but it turns out that it just must have been the lighting in the shot.  Here is a close-up of said breast plate:

Isn't the embroidery on that costume swell?  Makes me wonder what all of the stuff from the show must look like up-close and in person.

Speaking of up-close and in's my progress on Stained Glass Windows.  In case you're wondering about the odd pattern of completion, may I just point out that I was smart enough to turn the canvas upside down so as not to reach my stubby pork chop arms across an 18-inch stretcher bar set?  I figure I'll work the other two boxes in that row and will then head to the center portion of the design last.
That's the report for today.  I hope that your neck of the woods is fabulously happy and full of all the things that make your heart go pitter patter! 

Mar 22, 2014


On Tuesday, I awoke at the crack of dawn with a bright idea.

"Stewey!" I said,  "Mommie Dearest is feeling particularly motivated to get organized this year.  Let's make a list of all the chores we need to do around here and then spend Saturday getting them all done once and for all."

He was beyond excited, I can tell you, because before I knew it, he had donned his little reading glasses, strapped on his little apron, and grabbed his copy of the Martha Stewart Homekeeping Handbook.

So we plotted and planned and planned and plotted, and for the rest of the week I thought about how nice it was going to be to have a proper weekend of getting stuff done around here.

Friday afternoon, I realized that I would need to complete all of my shopping and errands in one fell swoop, because if I tried to do them on Saturday morning,  the long list of getting stuff done around here would never happen.

So I went to the bank and the car wash and the grocery and the lab and the Targets and every other damn place I could think of, and by the time I got home at nine in the pee em, I was worn out.

"Oh, Stewey! "  I sighed, as we tucked into bed last night.  "I'm so worn out, but tomorrow is going to be our day of finally getting stuff done around here!  I'm so excited!"

"Me too, Mommie Dearest!" Stewey said "Shall I ask Cook to prepare us a special breakfast in anticipation of our big day?"

I didn't have the heart to tell him that "Cook" is actually Your Truly, and that the only reason he hasn't figured this out yet is that he's usually still wearing his little sleep mask when the breakfast tray hits the bed each day, so we moved on.

The alarm went off at seven and after I stumbled out to get the paper, I realized that something was amiss.  Why did everything seem so fuzzy, and why did every part of me feel like I had been dropped from the top of a tall building?

I got my coffee and headed to the Happy Chair and....BAM!  I got the flu.

When I called Aunt Chrissy to tell her the news, she allowed me to have my tantrum and then told me to go back to bed.  "Its fourteen degrees outside and miserable" she said.  "Besides.  This might be the last lousy winter Saturday we're going to have, so you might as well enjoy it."

You gotta love that about Aunt Chrissy.

So I'm headed back to bed and hope to woke up sometime in May.  Don't cry for me, Argentina. I guarantee you that the chores will still be there when I wake up and You Know Who will be there to share his disappointment with me that our Super Perfect Saturday of Cleaning and Polishing and Organizing will have to wait.

What's new with you?

Mar 9, 2014


It's not quite Spring, but Winter seem to be gasping her last breath.  The sun is shining today, but based upon the shivering Stewey that I see toasting his buns in front of the fireplace, methinks it's still cold outside.

So up to the studio I go....determined to refresh my stitchy basket and get some inspiration.  My mojo has been OK, but my stamina seems to suck the proverbial wind by the time 7pm comes about and it's time for needle and thread.

I decided to go with the idea that I would find two cross stitch projects, two counted canvas pieces, and one painted canvas piece.

First the cross stitch.  I heard the birds chirping as I went to get the paper this morning, so I figured that it would still be suitable to play with Rosewood Manor's Winter Quakers for a little bit more.   Besides, my start on this was pretty pathetic.  So into the basket it went:

For my next cross stitch piece, I decided to go with Come Tarry from Shepherd's Bush.  What is it about these long band samplers that can make even the worst day wonderful?

For counted canvas, I found this lovely Laura J. Perin Stained Glass Windows lounging in the WIP bin.  I don't know why I ever put it down in the first place, to be honest, so adding it back in to the mix seems like a no-brainer:

I don't know if I ever shared a pic of this one before.  It's Kimberly Crum's Floral Block Two, and as you can see from the tiny little bit of progress I made, it hit the back of the archive before I was able to really get into some of those colors.  Purple and olive green really blow my skirt up sometimes, so this one should be fabulous once I get 'er done:

When I started to paw through my stash for a painted canvas, I started to get a little frustrated.  Something in the back of my mind kept saying to me "I just know that I have the absolutely perfect thing to go in this damn basket, but for the life of me I can't think what it might be!"

And then I spied a little cabinet tucked into the corner with some of Stewey's crafty things.  OMG!  THIS IS THE EXACT CANVAS I AM LOOKING FOR!  WHAT THE HECK IS IT DOING IN MY LITTLE DOG'S CRAFTY THINGS?!

He couldn't offer an explanation, but I think he was miffed that I haven't yet started this beauty.  Remember it?  It's from Zecca, and is all kitted up and stitch guided by Miss Ruth Schmuff Her Very Self.  

Oh, what joy, what bliss I am going to have today!  I am freshly showered, in clean pajamas, and armed with a gallon of diet Coke.  I don't know if there's anything of interest on the TeeVee, but for the first time in quite a while, I could care less.  I've got a MAJOR love affair going with this little Intermission Basket and I'm not afraid to enjoy it!

Here's hoping that your Sunday is as lovely and joyful as you want it to be!  Onward!

Mar 1, 2014


The view from the Happy Chair on a cozy Saturday evening....

Supplies for the "as yet to be completed" Olympic project:

And here's the progress...

I really am enjoying this immensely, so even though the torch has been extinguished, methinks I will keep playing with this for a few more days.

My reading life is back on track.  This morning I finished "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt.  I'm still working it all out in my head, but I think I loved this book.  Next up is either "That Part Was True" by Deborah McKinlay or "An Unnecessary Woman" by Rabih Alameddine.

I picked up the book about Zentangle thanks to Miss Susan of Plays With Needles fame.   After reading her post about a recent family class, I went into a three-day obsessive frenzy of learning, watching, and devouring everything I could find on Zentangle.  I completed my first one yesterday with simple pen and paper, so I imagine that once I get my hands on some proper materials, there will be no stopping me.

Have you read Miss Susan's blog, by the way?  If not...take thee there immediately and prepare yourself for the most soulful, lovely, wonderful blog reading experience you'll ever have.  You can find it here:

Stewey is munching a Chewee while silumtaneously toasting his little buns in front of the fire.  We took a nice long snoozy nap this afternoon, and he's been Little Mr. Cozytoes all  day.  Damn dog....sometimes it's all I can do not to just sit here and grin at him.

I'm going to pour another dietCoke, pop a blanket into the dryer to toast, and then snuggle in with some stitching and Sopranos.

What's on your agenda?