Dec 30, 2015

Dec 28, 2015


We awoke to an ice storm, the sounds of neighbors leaving for work, and about a thousand comments and emails from friends both far and near making the world perfectly right once again.

Thank you, my friends.  I am ashamed that I let my crazy out, but very soothed by the fact that I am not the only person on the planet that gets her heart crushed over and over by the one person who is supposed to not do that very thing.  

We should form a club or something.

Moving right along...I am happily stitching away on Laura J. Perin's "Victorian Ribbons" in Christmas colors.  Many if you have asked about my colorway....the only changes I made were to the canvas (from ecru to red) and to the Caron Watercolours (from Camouflage to Holiday).  Other than that, I am using the DMC #5 perle cotton and the ribbon floss that Laura calls for.

I also got smart and decided to read and then follow the instructions carefully this time, rather than get cocky and just go off on my own little tangent.  LJP knows what she's doing when it comes to designing and charting and I absolutely do not, so by listening to the professionals I am simply enhancing my overall stitchy experience.  Amazing how that works!

We made it through seasons one and two of Downton Abbey over the last two days, and we have a very carefully calibrated schedule of viewing this week to get us ready for Sunday's premiere of Season Six.  Stewey is so relieved to finally have a little civilization back after months and months of Housewives and Kardashians, so he's been on best behavior and enjoying the glow of life in Yorkshire.

Given all of the changes around here lately, I can't blame him.
So we're off like a herd of turtles today, armed with cozy blankets, green tea, and lots of goodness and happy thoughts for company.  Thank you again, dear sweet friends, for all of your love and concern.  You've fixed what ailed me!


Dec 25, 2015


Question: How many Rich Sisters does it take to screw up a Christmas?
Answer: Two...Clark Griswold and The Antichrist.

Question: How was your Christmas, Spinster Stitcher?
Answer:  Fine...nothing a bottle of Tylenol and a certified mental health professional can't fix (provided that the certified mental health professional happens to be named Jack Daniels).

Question: Did you do anything special for the holidays?
Answer: Why yes, yes I did.  I became an only child.

Question: Hey, Spinster Stitcher!  Where's your sister, Aunt Chrissy?
Answer: I don't know.  I'm an only child.

Next year, I am going to throw a Christmas for all of the people in the world who just want to have a Christmas.  You know the types...full of love and good wishes and Yuletide cheer.  People who don't ask for much....just a little common courtesy and to be treated with just a smidgen of respect.  And, I'm going to make sure that everybody that comes to the Christmas knows that it's OK to be a total schmuck and hope that somehow, just once, this year will be different and that the people that are supposed to love you will know how to behave and not decide to be a colossal (*) instead.

There will be food and decorations and music and presents and so much happiness and joy you'll want to gouge your eyes out.  And then, just when you think you can't take it anymore, it will get better because you'll look around and realize that the person who has peed in your Cheerios and generally screwed up your life is off having a grand time with all of the other stupid selfish cruel Misfit Toys who deserve whatever sociopathic fun they've cooked up for themselves and you, my friend, don't have to have your heart broken yet again.

So, Merry Christmas to all of us Clark Griswolds out there in search of a good old fashioned fun family Christmas.  May our trees be brightly lit, our eggnog be eggnoggy and may our hearts continue to overflow with joy, wonder, and hope.

Did anybody, by any chance, get a time machine for Christmas that I could borrow?   I need a do-over...only this time I'm going to say "Sorry, no room at the inn" and just eat my Christmas brisket and twice-baked potatoes in peace.

(Oh, and I'm going to skip the part whereby I stand in the driveway and try to look authoritative in my Christmas pajamas.  It's hard to look authoritative in your driveway when you're covered in penguins wearing Santa hats and your shirt says "Chill".)

(My God.  The irony.)

Never fear, kiddos.  I am made of pretty hearty stock and promise to bounce back from this latest calamity toot sweet.  As soon as I finish my newspaper puzzles and have a couple of damn Greek cookies, I'm heading to the Happy Chair with needle and thread, my coloring book, and five seasons of Downton Abbey for company.  Season six starts on January 3rd, and besides...who couldn't use a little escape to the English countryside about now?

Here's hoping that your Christmas didn't have a Rich Sister in sight and that you got everything you hoped for and nothing you didn't.

Woo Hoo!

(*)  I had to delete what I had here originally after giving it a, my dear sweet friends simply do not deserve to have to read it.

Dec 24, 2015

Image result for christmas tree 
 Merry Christmas, my friends.
May the joy, love, and peace of the season be yours.
With love,
The Spinster Stitcher and Her Little Dog, Too!

Dec 23, 2015


So there I was, minding my own business, when my fabulous new gastroenterologist said "Gee, Miss Rich.  I don't see any reason for us to have to do that colonoscopy next Wednesday.  Unless something comes up, I think we're good to wait another six months to a year."

And then, without thinking about the fact that this was a) my NEW gastroenterologist and, therefore, not yet fully initiated into what it means to have to deal with me, and b) that I was outside of my house and not, in fact, sitting in my Happy Chair wearing my eighteen year old sweatpants and old man Hanes t-shirt that I fished out if the bottom of the laundry basket...I jumped up, kissed him full on the face, and hollered WOOOOO HOOOOOO!

The truth of the matter is that the actual procedure doesn't bother me in the least bit, and the resulting confirmation that I've managed to dodge the colon cancer bullet a little longer is well worth having to eat green jello for a day.  I also do not fret the prep, since I read somewhere that Gweneth Paltrow spends a ba-jillion dollars a month to have somebody clean her plumbing for her, so I figure if it's good enough for Gweneth....

The part of the colonoscopy that I most dread is the prospect of somebody new being subjected to my heiney parts.  It took me damn near 20 years to get used to the idea that my old doc was going to have to witness all the glory that is me, and now I have to go through all of that with a new guy?  No, thank you....I prefer to succumb to that sweet sweet anesthesia drip with the comforting thought that the healthcare professionals assigned to my nether regions will NOT, in fact, require trauma counseling.

So it would appear that a Festivus miracle has happened right here in Hoosierville and I can remain fully clothed and unexposed for the duration.  Egg nog for everybody!

Stewey (and Bosco!) and I are doing laundry and housecleaning today in preparation for.....well, not much, actually.  We're going to be very very quiet at Chez Spinster this year, but I did promise a little field trip to view some Christmas lights if everybody behaves and we get our chores done.

Progress continues on Victorian Ribbons.  I promise a picture soon when it's not so darn gloomy that it makes everything look like we're living with the Addams Family.  I get it...we're not going to have snow for Christmas.  But does it have to be 48 and MISTing?!

Dec 19, 2015


I'm 49 years old.  This means that for at least the last 30 years or so I have attempted to make THE DAMN GREEK COOKIES for Christmas.

The damn Greek cookies are koulrakia...a very simple butter twist cookie that is sometimes made with orange juice, anise, or whiskey.

I'm thinking that the whiskey part is what I'm doing wrong every year, since by the time I finish making the damn Greek cookies I am in desperate need of a drink.

It always starts out with the best intentions.  I gather my ingredients, measure them carefully, and start mixing.

Here is where I should probably explain the part about my mom laughing and laughing.  First of all, my mom was a very funny person, and she took delight in silly things.  For example, she would probably think it hilarious that a 49 year old semi-accomplished baker like me throws a fit every year when she reads the recipe instructions....and they say "Get the dough so it isn't sticky and then roll the cookies like pencils and twist them."

That's it.  No order of addition of ingredients.  No oven temperature or helpful tips.  Just a crazyass sentence that was probably the exact way my mom was told to make the damn Greek cookies, so that's how she wrote it down.

This year, I found another random piece of notebook paper in my recipe box written in Mom's handwriting, and lo and almost looks like it could be more information: "Mix the butter and sugar and eggs together and then dump in the rest of the flavorings.  Put the baking soda into the orange will foam up.  Use a big box of Swan's Down Cake Flour."

Holy crap on a cracker, I really should have bought that whiskey.

Now before you tell me that I could just Google a proper recipe for koulrakia, or I could go to the Greek Orthodox Church here in Hoosierville and ask one if the nice Greek ladies to take pity on me and teach me how to make the damn Greek cookies....I've got one word for you.


My mom loved these damn Greek cookies and evey year that I go through this I think of her and how much she loved the holidays.  I laugh and laugh and wonder how I manage to get flour on the ceiling.  Every.  Single.  Year.  And when it's all over, I make a cup of coffee, give Stewey a bit of a damn Greek cookie, and I wish my mom a Merry Christmas wherever she is.

And I hear her laugh and laugh and tell me that next year we'll figure it out.

Tomorrow we're making Dad's favorite....the damn Italian cookies...cuccidati.  Stay tuned!

Dec 16, 2015


Stewey is out of surgery and did very well, thank goodness.  They emded up removing a total of four teeth and are flushing him with antibiotics for a nasal infection.  Poor thing...I guess the extent of the problem was a lot worse than we realized.  But, I only gave myself 30 lashes instead of 40 since I did get him in right away and didn't delay getting him back for the surgery.

That has to count for something.  Right?

Now the fun part comes.  I get to pick him up at 3:30 and bring him home to his apartment for 48 hours of rest and relaxation.  He can lounge in front of thr fireplace if he wants and can even have a puppy cup, but I think he will have to forego his weekly card game and cognac night with the boys.

Can I just tell you how happy I am that he has insurance?  I'm pretty sure that this is going to be a doozie of a bill, so knowing that a portion of it will come back is comforting, indeed.

That's it for now.  Thank you for holding my hand through this!  You really have no idea how much it helped!

Woo Hoo!
Nurse Mommie Ratchet


It's been two hours, twenty five minutes, and seven seconds since I took my Little to the vet and I am climbing the walls.  I've cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and living room, washed the bedding and all of Stewey's blankets, organized paperwork, answered emails, paid bills, prayed a rosary, and made a vat of iced tea.'s the thing.  As much as I love to complain about him and pretend that he runs riot over Chez Spinster, the truth of the matter is that this house just isn't home without him in it.  Every time I turn around I'm looking for him to be lounging in front of the fireplace or back patio window, or standing by his cookie jar looking at it longingly.

This creature is my life.  He is, by far, the very best thing that ever happened to me and I don't think I could love him more if I had given birth to him myself.

Thank you for all of your lovely and supportive thoughts and prayers.  For pity's sakes....I am an idiot for thinking that this is a crisis on any level that requires so much attention, but I guess this is me we're talking about, so even the silliest thing turns into a Lifetime Television for Women movie of the week.

I'll keep you posted once the patient is home. 

Thank you again, dear friends, for your loving kindness!

Dec 14, 2015


Well, I thought we were just going in for a mani/pedi this morning, but as with most things in life, it was a little more complicated than that.  My poor bubbe has an abscess in his mouth that needs to be fixed, so he's going to have surgery on Wednesday morning.

I was doing just fine until the vet tech came out and said that they needed to see me back in the exam room.  (Normally they take Stewey back and do whatever it is they do and return him to me freshly pedicured and happy to see me.)  Today, though, I walked in to find him being cuddled by his favorite assistant with a look on his face that said "How could you let this happen to me?"

Good grief, Charlie Brown!  I broke out into the ugly cry and practically had to be sedated.

So, if you would, please keep us in your thoughts these next couple of days.  I'm sure Stewey will be's me I'm worried about!  I will take him in on Wednesday morning at 7:30 and should be able to pick him up later that day so nobody will need to supervise me overnight.

Do you think they would let me crawl up on the table and hold him during the surgery?

Oey....they really should make pills for this.

Dec 13, 2015


Boy, I am really being spoiled rotten with these lovely weekends!

Friday night was movie night for us.  Stewey's pick was a wonderful film called "Philomena".  I enjoyed it immensely, and was gutted when I learned that it was based on a real story, and was then TOTALLY gutted when I found out that the subject of the movie, Michael Hess, was a Notre Dame grad. 

Do you thonk it's a little nuts the way I think of anybody who went to Notre Dame as family?  I'm starting to wonder if maybe I need to re-think that policy, because I'm pretty sure that complete strangers would be a little put off by a portly, yet lovable spinster in Hoosierville calling them family and wondering why we can't just all get together and have dinner and fix the world.

Saturday was the Christmas luncheon for Elkhart EGA, and once agIn, I spent a few hours with my stitchy sisters.  We went to an Irish pub style restaurant in Elkhart that was right on the river.  Gorgeous!  And I had a Cobb salad that was so good it made me want to go back for one today.

But I didn't.  That would have meant putting clothes and shoes on, and I'm quite comfy in my jammies, thankyouverymuch.

Last night we watched the Reese Witherspoon movie "Wild" and then the Frank Sinatra Birthday Concert  I think I enjoyed the concert more than the movie, but Stewey was completely riveted by the idea of hiking the Pacific Coast Trail as a means of mourning one's mo-ther.  I told him not to get his hopes up, because I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, and besides, I don't think he'd do too well in the wilderness with nothing but a silk smoking jacket and a hoity toity attitude for company.

Here's the progress on Laura J. Perin's "Victorian Ribbons" with a Christmas colorway:

The red thread is hard to see, I know, but it really does look pretty in real life, I promise.

I hope that your weekend has been as swell as mine and that your needles are flying!
Woo Hoo!

Dec 9, 2015


This is absolutely positively NOT Santa Claus.  This is a handsome man with white hair and a beard wearing skinny jeans in the Yorkdale Mall in Toronto.

THIS, my friends, is Santa Claus thankyouverymuch and if I was at all hip #quitscrewingaroundwithcrapthatpreventsmefrombangingmyheadonthepavement:

I'm sorry, but Santa Claus is sacrosanct to this here spinster.  He is the only man on the planet that has a remote possibility of fulfilling my every need.

Except, maybe for this one:

You slap a Santa hat on HIM and we just might have a situation. 

 I'm just saying.


Progress continues on Laura J. Perin's Victorian Ribbons.  I finished the outline while watching Homefires on Masterpiece....if you haven't seen it, I thought it was swell!

Dec 6, 2015


Do you remember the Burger King commercial from about 25 years ago in which a guy has all of these happy things happen to him as he's walking along the street on his way to get a Whopper?  I think he finds his lost wallet, wins the lottery, and then his long lost dog falls into his arms, and when he gets inside the restaurant the voice-over says something about Fred and how happy he is to get things his way?

Well, that's been me this entire weekend.  I've just had one happy thing after another just fall right into my lap.

On Friday, the team that I've been "playing with" on a project these last few weeks decided that we are really doing quite well, and that our previous schedule could be altered a little bit to give us a small pause and catch our breath, rather than race to a pre-Christmas finish.  I was really getting nervous about being able to deliver on time, but now I can pump the brakes a little and get my wits about me.

On Saturday morning I was futzing around in the guest room, and I came across a pile of stuff that I vaguely remember setting aside a few months ago as "really important" and that needed to be sorted and organized.  Needless to say, this pile has been out of sight/out of mind for so long that I was half tempted to just chuck it all into the recycling bin and be done with it, but lo and behold, there was a savings bond in there from 1993.  I don't really know anything about savings bonds, so I figured that I would just ask the teller at the bank if it was worth anything when I stopped for cash on my way to lunch.   Not only was it worth had gained a nice little chunk of interest too!

I then had the most lovely luncheon with my EGA ladies.  I belong to the Elkhart and South Bend chapters of EGA and the Hoosier Heartland chapter of ANG,  and have just recently become active again thanks to Miss Charlene.  This was the South Bend group's holiday party.  It was so nice to spend time with these ladies, and thanks to the suggestion on Miss Myrtis, I ordered one of the best salads I've had in quite a had apples and bleu cheese and pecans and grilled chicken and the perfect balsamic dressing.  I got a great Secret Santa gift from Miss Beth and loved making new friends.  Throw Jeffrey Dean Morgan in there as a waiter, a fireplace with Stewey curled up in front of it, and take off the crazy high heeled boots I was wearing, and I never would have left the place!

Stewey and I had a perfect late afternoon snoozy nap with our faces in the sun, and then I watched movies and stitched until 2am!  This is Laura J. Perin's Victorian Ribbons with two substitutions: I'm stitching mine on red canvas, and I swapped out her called for Watercolours to Holiday.  Otherwise, I'm following the chart as is.
Oh, and the movies?  They just happened to be You've Got Mail and Moonstruck.  Somewhere, the teevee programming gods were in my head, I tell ya!

Today has been a quiet and happy day.  I managed to order my "book" for next year and I think I even got it with some stickers and free shipping!  I had so much fun playing with my Erin Condren day planner this year that I decided to give it a go for another year.  Yes, I look like a six year old with my stickers and coloring books and markers and whatnot, but if putting a pink laundry basket sticker on the calendar helps motivate me to wash my underclothes...who cares, right?  Besides, I'm not exactly running IBM over here, so no need to impress anybody in this particular boardroom.

(My CEO, Master You Know Who would probably applaud the use of stickers in my day planner as long as his every whim is met and his little smoking jackets remain in good supply. )

So that's the report, kids.  I'll leave you with a completely craptastic photo of sone winter/Christmas that I hung on the Big White Wall of Nothingness.

Here's hoping that your weekend was blissful, too!
Woo Hoo!

Dec 3, 2015


It's all your fault.

Yes, you read that right.  I am officially blaming each and every one of you for making it positively impossible for me to function like a normal human person in polite society.

With the exception of our dear friend Betty (who has been alarmingly quiet lately), you have petted and coddled and encouraged and loved and cooed gently and basically made me feel like the Queen High Exalted of the Whole Damn Universe every minute of every day.

You're kind to me, and you offer wisdom and tips and generosity to me in the form of messages and emails and letters and presents and prayers and sweet and considerate thoughts and companionship.

You know that old saying..."I'm in my own little world, but it's OK because they know me here" ?  Well, I live that motto.  In freaking spades.

I've had the opportunity to play in a different sandbox these last few weeks (doing a little helping as a volunteer for an organization).  The work has been exhilarating and quite a mental challenge for my tiny little brain, but so far I've managed not to make too much of a mess of it.  The problem, though, is that I am reaching for the duct tape every afternoon to prevent any more stupid crap from coming out of my face.  Today, after a conference call, I had to go into the bathroom and say to the portly spinster staring back at me: "Will you just get a grip already and stop thinking of these people as your  stitchy peeps?  These people don't "get" you, and since none of them are stitchers, they probably don't have the highly-developed tolerance for your nonsense and propensity for making up words that don't exist, but that you think are hi-lar-ee-us.  Stop acting like an idiot hermit spinster who hasn't had the good sense to leave her Happy Chair for nine years and act like you know what it means to be normal!"

This, of course, would have been even more effective had I not been delivering this speech in my eighteen year old sweatpants and purple fuzzy socks that are too slippery, but keep my feet warm.

(It was a conference call, kids, and I was participating from home.  Let's not get too nuts.) whole point in all of this is that this thing of ours really is a safe place.  I tried watching the news tonight and found myself hollering at Lester Holt as if he could hear me, and I made the mistake of looking at the Facebook, and all I got was a lot of vitriol.  But the very moment I click on that little Blogger button, I know that the troubles of the world will wash away and that I can put the duct tape least for another day.

Thank you for that, my dear friends.   There aren't a lot of safe places left to fall these days, so believe me when I tell you how much I appreciate this one.

Finally, a note from Stewey:


Dec 1, 2015


I know that I'm getting older (ahem), and I know that I'm not exactly what you would call "in shape", but is it too much to ask that I have the ability to get out of the big girl sleigh bed to use the powder room in the middle of the night without falling down?

Stewey laughed so hard he gave himself the hiccups.

Seriously, though...I think that the physical exertion of decorating the outside of the house, combined with the fact that I must have been sound asleep and not fully in control of my senses or something caused the latest calamity.  All I know is that I threw the blankets aside, swung my legs over the side of the bed, and then hit the floor like a sack of doorknobs.  I looked like the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy cuts him down from his post and he goes completely jelly-legged.'s not easy being me.

I'm off to soak in a hot epsom salt bath, armed with a couple of Tylenol and a book.  Never fear...Stewey has his iPhone at the ready in the avent of catastrophe.

I swear, 50 can't get here fast enough!

Nov 30, 2015


 I awoke to the smell of gingerbread, the sounds of Christmas music, and the sight of Stewey in his little Martha Stewart craft apron affixing ribbons to pinecones.

"Mo-ther. Today is the day that you are going to put your shoes on, find a suitable pair of old lady sweatpants, fix your hair, and go outside to decorate the house for Christmas.  You've had a week and a half in the Happy Chair with your coloring book and your turkey it's time to throw a little bit of good cheer around and hope that the neighbors will let us stay here another year."

I had decided to forego decorating this year, but Little Lord Fauntleroy made a good point.  My neighbors are subjected to me and my crazypants outfits and my bleary-eyed trek to fetch the paper every day, as well as the weekly argument we have as to what constitutes proper trash recepticle organization.  (For the record, I don't think that the recycling guy gives two hoots that I put the damn bin at the left edge of the driveway instead of the right edge, because he flings it smack dab into the middle, once emptied, regardless of where it starts out.)  

But this is Stewey we're talking about, so I quickly calculated that there would be NO peace to be had here at Chez Spinster until the annual tarting of the homestead was complete.

Two hours of grunting and sweating and cursing later:

I know.  Pitiful isn't it?  I think it looks much better after a few inches of snow.  And at night  And if you close one eye, stand on your left foot, and view the entire mess from the other side of town.

The good news is that my neighbors really do appreciate it, and I will too when I take You Know Who out for his evening constitutional.

I just hope he doesn't notice that the bows are all crooked and half the lights don't work.

Nov 28, 2015


So I decided to throw out the to do list and  Stewey reminds me that this new policy looks amazingly like the old policy, but I'm all for a little do nothingness for a while longer.

Here's last night's progress on Copper & Turquoise:

And here are a few pages from my coloring book.  This one is called "Balance" from Angie Grace.  I'm still using the Bic Mark Its, but every now and then I throw a Sharpie in there for good measure.  I am, however, doing my level best to resist the temptation of Copics, since I think they are more of an investment than this amateur is ready for.

That's the report for today.  Not a "should" in sight!  The laundry, housecleaning, decorating, and baking will be there for me to ignore again tomorrow.  To the Happy Chair!

Nov 27, 2015


I really need to stop writing to do lists.

Today was suppsed to be a laundry, housecleaning, bed-changing, Christmas decorating, cookie baking day.

Instead, I slept in, read the paper, drank coffee, took a shower, and did the Jumble, Sudoku, and crosswaord.  I took my meds, had a turkey sandwich, watched a movie, and am now contemplating a nice long nap.

I keep trying to convince myself that it's OK to have a lazy day, but Stewey informs me that it's only OK when it's the exception rather than the norm.

Can I just point out that HE  has been snoring away in front of the fireplace for the better part of three and a half weeks?

Oh well.  It's gloomy and cool outside and the last time I checked Her Royal Highness, The Queen of England had better things to do than to come disapprove of my homekeeping skills, so I guess I'll give it a rest.

Here's hoping that YOUR Friday is considerably more interesting...and productive.

Nov 25, 2015


It took longer to stand in line at the Honey Baked Ham That Has Turkey That Tastes Like Ham store than it did to buy provisions for tomorrow's feast.  Stewey and I are, the paper, and a mini quiche while watching the parade, and then all of the normal stuff for dinner.

I am, however, completely ashamed to confess that I had a turkey sandwich for dinner tonight, thus breaking all kinds of tradition by indulging a day early.  I couldn't reist the idea of a Siggie Special...turkey, mayo, celery sticks, salt and pepper on Pepperidge Farm white bread.  I guess the fact that I only have them once a year gives me a pass...right?

Copper & Turquoise is coming along quite nicely:
Ideally, I will complete this one soon so that I can start to think about the Spinster Stitcher Basket O' Yuletide Fun.  For some crazy reason, I am really looking forward to it this year.  I've even started planning my baking, decorating, and shopping!  Friday was going to be outside decoration day, but the forecast calls for rain, so methinks we might do a little inside decorating that day instead.

Or I could just take a nap and have another turkey sandwich.

If you're celebrating, I hope that your table is overflowing with love and health and happiness!  If you're not celebrating, I hope that your table is overflowing too.  

Happy Thanksgiving, all!  I'm thankful for you!

Nov 22, 2015


This is the first time that I can remember our first snow fall of the season being so significant.  They say we got nine inches.  I believe them!

Progress on Copper & Turquoise:

 Yesterday was a bit light in the productivity department.  I managed to make goulash, eat goulash, and stitch.  Today, I think, will be more of the same!  After all, isn't that what Sundays are for?

Nov 21, 2015


The view from my Happy Chair cockpit is so swell, I almost can't stand it. The only thing that would make it any better would be the addition of Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the kitchen...baking his underpants.

I found the notepad in the Target dollar bin, and couldn't pass it up since it was a) a dollar and b) matches my favoite winter coffee mug.  Starbucks French Roast is the last vice I have left:

Can I just tell you how happy I am that I managed to get all of the patio stuff inside earlier in the week? (I also cleaned the garage to within an inch of its life, but that's a story for another day.  Suffice it to's actually cleaner than the inside of the house, so I'm contemplating moving out there for the duration).

I wish it would stay just like this....pretty, fluffy, and white....until March:

I know, I've seen this view so many times before that you're probably ready to delete me from your Palm Pilot.  There's just something about my Stewey Little toasting himself in front of that fireplace that makes me feel like everything is right with the world.  

And besides...who doesn't love a little Snoopy dressed up as Santa Claus as an early holiday accessory?  (You should know that he managed to find Snoopy all by himself.  I have not yet transistioned his toy basket from Autumn to Christmas.)  (Damn dog.)

That's the story for today.  I am determined to stay in this chair...stitching and reading and contemplating and whatnot.

I hope that your Saturday is equally as blissful!

Nov 18, 2015


OK, it's not much, but the center of Copper & Turquoise is in.  As soon as I get my chores done for the day and then re-organize my stitchy stuff, I'm going to hit the Happy Chair for some therapy.  I noticed that my dvr thingie is almost full, so it looks like I need to catch up on my TeeVee viewing and clear the darn thing out!

Why do I need to re-org the stitchy stuff, you ask?  Well, it's because SOMEBODY pointed out that he can't find his favorite reading glasses due to the untidiness of our current basket of stuff/crap:

His assistant informed me that he will supervise from the cozy confines of the Magic Blanket:
 Damn dog.

Happy Wednesday!  

Nov 13, 2015


Do you remember when I used to take pictures for this blog with an actual camera?  I'm not sure that the quality was any better than the pic posted below, but I'm too snoodled up under the magic blanket to go remedy the situation.

This is Copper and Turquoise by Needle Delights Originals and I'm sitting here like a little kid on Christmas Eve wanting to tear into it.  I've been petting the threads for an hour now and just can't get over the fact that this combination has grabbed my attention so.  I think that all of the coloring I've been doing has really expanded my horizons.

Last Saturday I went on a little stitchy shopping trip and my travel companions are still talking to me!  It was hard to NOT be me for the day, but I did my very best and managed not to end up on the side of the road thumbing it for a ride home.  We went to Designer's Desk in Geneva, Illinois.  If you've never been....well, all I can say is....put it on your list.

We went to Greek Islands for lunch, and I'm mortified to tell you that I had not one clue as to what we were eating.  Thank God for Miss Jane and her extensive knowledge of the menu, and for her tact in not pointing out that I'm Greek for crying out could I not know what a dolmides is?  All I do know is that it was a real treat!  Thank you again, Miss Jane!

Tomorrow I will have to sneak out of the house early to spend the day with Miss Charlene and my Hoosier Heartland guild friends.  If Stewey finds out where I'm headed, he'll throw a tizzy of epic proportions and I will never hear the end of it.  Miss Charlene is one of very few humans that Stewey loves in real life...he's devoted, of course, to all of you (his faithful and devoted readers), but the mailman or the neighbors or the nice lady at PetSmart that always insists on giving him a cookie and patting him on the head?   Not so much.

Here's hoping your needles are flying!
Woo Hoo!

Nov 4, 2015


I am happy to report that the two fantabulous donut puff zeppole thingies are the ONLY two that I've had since making the darn things.  Photographic evidence, as certified by Master Stewey Angus Willowswamp, His Very Little and Official self follows:

I read that loss of appetite might be one of the side effects of one of the meds that I take, but I just laughed and laughed and laughed at the very thought of that.  Now I'm starting to think that there must be some cosmic shift of things in the universe that's brought us to a time when I, the very rotund but loveable spinster that you've come to know and love (um, I mean tolerate), has been able to not eat an entire container of fantabulous donut puff zeppole thingies in one sitting.

Woo to the Hoo, people.

Woo to the Hoo.

Nov 1, 2015


What evil genius figured out that you can take a can of Pillsbury buscuits, cut them in quarters, deep fry them, cover them in cinnamon sugar, and then go face first into delishiousness all within four and a half minutes?

I've had two.  Two little puffs of mmmmm mmmmm good that will last me for at least a month because this is the new me that exercises self control and has the discipline to avoid polishing these off while standing at the kitchen counter.

(As soon as I finish typing this, Stewey is going to hide them from me....I swear.)

Oct 30, 2015


It started early this year....

Mo-ther: Stewey, have you decided what you would like to be for Halloween?

Stewey: Yes, I want to be Super Girl.

Mo-ther: Super Girl?  Why not something fun like a zombie or a ghost or a vampire? (She frantically tries to remember what other costumes are stashed away in the carefully labeled bin in the guest room closet). Oh!  I know!  How about a lady bug!  You always wanted to be a lady bug!

Stewey:  Lady bugs are sooooo 2012, Mo-ther.  I want to be Super Girl.

Mo-ther carefully ponders just what will be involved in assembling a Super Girl outfit, and whether or not her limited skills will result in a successful outcome, or an unfortunate mess that will cause yet another epic tantrum.

Mo-ther:  OK.  Super Girl it is, but on one condition.  Under no circumstances are you to wear your wiglet.

Stewey:  The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize, Mo-ther.  Now pass me my tights and cape.

Oct 29, 2015


It's 48 degrees outside and not much warmer inside.  I play this game every long can I go before firing up the furnace?  I love it cold...makes the blanket and fireplace seem all the more cozier!

Today's agenda is to finish Cotton Candy!  I haven't stitched in a day or two because I'm closing in on coloring the final page of my first Angie Grace coloring book!

Oct 24, 2015


My mom can't come to the blog right now....she's on the back patio, gawping like a cod fish at something or other.  Moments ago, when I went outside for my morning constitutional and general inspection of each and every blade of grass, I heard the old lady bellowing.

"Stewey!", she hollered.  "Look at this bright yellow tree with one red leaf!"

It's not unusual for Mo-ther to holler about complete nonsense, but this time the portly old dear just might be on to something...

If you look closely, you might see a small black dot in the relative center of the picture above.  Let's see if I can get a little better view for you...

See it now?  One red leaf in the midst of all of that glorious yellow.  

I'm not normally one to wax poetic, but even I can see the significance of this lovely moment....perhaps we should all strive to be that one red leaf on the yellow tree of life.

(Oh, that was just ghastly.  I feel the need to retch delicately into my handkerchief now.)

Here's hoping that your weekend is filled with lovely moments.

With love from your pal, 

Oct 22, 2015


OK, maybe I really have lost my mind.  The background of this piece is supposed to be filled in with the stitch in my inner border.  But if I do that, I am going to lose the separation between two of the blocks in the center design that are too close in color to the border.

So the original plan was to just do two rows of that border stitch with some space in between, but then I decided to fill the center of those two border rows with a scotch stitch.

I also found the perfect beads after fishing around the studio for a short bit.  I'm gonna tart this baby up like a Vegas show girl!

Woo Hoo!

Oct 19, 2015


We had a lovely weekend here at Chez Spinster.  Quiet, but lovely.  I've completed the center and am now working on the background of Cotton Candy.  As soon as I finish what's in that mug and get the dishwasher unloaded, I'm going to get right back to it!

Oct 16, 2015


When I was in college, I made a weekly trip to Macri's Deli for a veggie pita.  (OK, maybe it was more than weekly, but it was cheap and I was in college, so who's counting).  Anywhoose, for some strange reason I awoke at the crack of dawn a few days ago craving a veggie pita.

I am happy to report that I think, for the very first time in my pitiful little life, I have nailed it!  I came home from the grocery with the necessary provisions, sliced and diced and microwaved, and voila!  It was 1987 all over again.

Simple enough, really...flatbread, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and shredded cheese.  After a quick zap, a bit of cucumber ranch dressing and nom nom nom!  I have to ask...who's happier than me?

* Stewey tells me that the V in Hail to the V has absolutely nothing remotely to do with vegetables, but I'm too busy preparing tomorrow's culinary adventure to argue with him.

** Stewey also tells me that Macri's Deli is still in business (but in a different location) and that they still have the Veggie Pita on their menu and that I could have driven there in three and a half minutes to get one, but it's the Friday night of the Notre Dame/ USC weekend and I'm not going anywhere other than my Happy Chair and a few hot soapy tubs!

Oct 15, 2015


Progress continues, but I did add some additional floss colors.  There just wasn't enough contrast between the existing colors, so I pulled 919 and 920 and gave it a whirl.

It's probably too warm outside for a fire, but I decided to dial up the cozy and give my Stewey Little some bun toasting time.  He's so happy he might actually forego watering the drapes tonight!

Woo Hoo!

Oct 13, 2015


From Angie Grace "Wow"...I'm using Bic Mark-It permanent markers with ultra fine points:

"Cotton Candy" from Stickideen Von Der Wiehenburg Designs in the March/April issue of Needlepoint Now... the variegated thread is Wildflowers Sheherezade, DMC floss in 434, 436, 3834, and 3835:

I asked the ladies at guild last night if there is a correlation between color choices and food cravings.  Do you suppose they're correct that all of this dark brown means I need to eat more chocolate?

Oct 12, 2015


Updates abound!

I made some pretty good progress on Cotton Candy.  After months of not stitching my fingers feel rather clumsy and I almost impaled myself with my laying tool a few times, but so far so good!

Master Stewey is loving the sunshine today:

My view from the dining room table.  Erin is updated with all of my appointments and to dos.  I swear, it's a lot more fun to write "take the trash out" when you have a cute little sticker as an accessory!

Here's the latest coloring page and the next one ready to go!

And finally, a few that I completed yesterday in between laundry loads and swishing the dishes around:

That's about it for now...I hope your week is off to a fabulous start!