Aug 31, 2016


When I sat down to stitch last night a very novel approach entered my tiny little brain.

"I'm going to follow the directions, use the tips and hints that I've collected over the years, breathe deeply, and enjoy this stitching."

And then I plunged into the sections that call for...gasp...shock...horrors abound...DMC metallic thread.

This stuff had been the bain of my existence from the very first time I picked up a needle.  I have approximately eleven hundren spools of it in my stash (OK...maybe that's a bit of a stretch), and every single time I tried to use it I ended up on the floor in a heap of teary frustration.

But this time I was determined to show it who's boss.

I cut shorter lengths than I normally would and I used Thread Heaven.  A LOT of Thread Heaven.  And, in a brilliant stroke of genius taught to me by Miss Vonna Her Very Self on her Twisted Stitcher channel on the Flosstube, I took it out of the container and wadded it up into a ball before pulling the thread through it.  

Can I just say that the beast was tamed once and for all and I love the way this looks?  

I'm pretty sure that my feelings about this will change by the end of this piece, since there looks to be a LOT of stitching with this stuff, but for now I am affixing the gold star to my forehead and moving right along.

Now all I have to do is hope that this same spirit will infect me when it comes time to bead this sucker. Somebody told me that there are 40,000 plus beads.  Or maybe it was 4,000.  All I know is that anything over 2 or 3 is going to be an enormous challenge for me, so...

Let.  Us.  Pray.

After three or four really bad nights, Stewey finally slept peacefully through last night.  He awoke this morning with his little eyes bright again and immediately complained that his tea was too tepid for his liking, so methinks today will be good as well.  He spends the majority of it sleeping in his little bed in the sun, but that's what he always did when he was well, so I am comforted by that immednsely.  

We're off for labwork and a few small provisions.  I am craving bagels with peanut butter like a crazy person, so that's what it will be.  I haven't decided on a Labor Day cookout menu, but I'm leaning toward ribs and pasta salad.  We'll see.

Happy Futzingday, dear friends!  

Aug 30, 2016


If you'll indulge me, I'd like to answer some questions from you, my faithfiul friends.  I have been remiss in doing so these last few months, but between running a Stewey hospice and keeping myself from finally going completely get the gist.

Robin asked about my propensity for starting my pieces at the bottom.  I do this because I have the feeling that if I don't the stitches will all fall off the bottom of the fabric.  Weird...I know, but I feel like I am building something and start from the ground/foundation and work my way up.

Golden hair stitcher wants to know who I watch on Flosstube.  Will you allow me a few more weeks of playing with this before I answer?  Right now, I go to YouTube and type "Flosstube' into the search area and then just click away until my eyes cross.  I don't know how to select favorties or look for specific people yet, but...stay tuned.

Karen had a dream that Stewey was in her house.  I hope he behaved himself properly and that you had a moment to cuddle him and sniff his baby shampoo warm fuzzy little lovey self.  We had a very rough night last night, so reading that he was in somebody's dream was quite comforting.

Dale commented that Bosco and Stewey looked like they were getting along famously and asked if they were now sleeping together.  Um...not so much.  Stewey just doesn't have the patience for Bosco lately, but has decided to stop baring his little bunny teeth and growling whenever Bosco comes within eighteen feet of him.  

Elisa commented that Flosstube is mostly cross stitchers and wondered if there are any Flosstubing needlepointers out there.  Good question!  I would love to know the answer to that too!

needlenut10 wants to know what I will do with Olympic Good Stuff once completed.  Well, I have to imagine that it will go into the pile with all the other finished pieces...waiting for their final destiny.  

Grandma Andi made a nice comment that I am stitching while dealing with all that life is giving me at the moment.  Actually, i think I'm stitching BECAUSE of this crazy bit of bother.  It really is saving my life, as are all of you and this here blog.  Guess I should stick with it.

Kristen wondered if radiation might be an option for Stewey.  Thank you for the suggestion...I don't remember the reason, but I think Dr. Niemann mentioned that we wouldn't be able to go that route with him.

Melinda thought that the music might be the reason that synchronized swimming creeped me out.   To be honest, I didn't even realize that there was music involved...I was too busy getting creeped out.  maybe it's the nose plug thingies?

capecodgirl565 gets a shout out for using the word "feckless".  I love that word and wish I used it more often.

LIZ asked if I have ever considered writing as a profession. Oh, dear kind of you to think that I might fit into that world.  I think, though, that for now I will just stand in the lobby and press my face up against the glass.  I admire so many good writers that I would never imagine being able to live in the same space.

Suzanne asked if I've watched You've Got Mail lately.  Would you be surprised to know that I've watched it twice this week, and it's only Tuesday?  What can I say?  YGM is the equavalent of a Xanax for me and given the goings on around here, I am reaching for it more and more frequently.

Cactusneedle gave me the excellent suggestion of replacing my dietCoke addiction with sparkling water.  To that end, I have invested in my very first pack of LaCroix.  I think you might be right on the money about the bubbles!

Both Gracie and Heritage Hall asked if I would be posting pictures of my haircut.  My dears, all I can say to that is...have you met me?  If I ever do post a picture of myself, it will be me sporting a brown paper sack over my head while standing behind a Range Rover.  But, thanks for asking.

CalamityJr solved the mystery and the math of Michael Phelps wingspan versus the height of the women's gymnastics team members.  Remind me to give you a gold star for that one, Calamity!

Bunny S wanted to know the issue of Needlepoint Now from whence Twilight came.  It's the March/April 2016 issue, Bunny dear.

I think that's it for today.  As I mentioned, we had a rough night last night, so methinks I might scoop my BabyDear up and head back to the big girl sleigh bed for some cuddles and a nap.  It's a little gloomy here today, and I did manage to get a few things done yesterday, so I won't feel too guilty about it.

Happy Tuesday, kids!  Please keep those questions and comments coming and forgive me for being so remiss in getting around to them.  I'll get better at it, I promise!

Aug 29, 2016


You've heard of "Sunday in the Park with George"?  Well, I had a positively lovely Sunday evening in the Happy Chair with Vaceila.

A few confessions, firstly...

I am stitching this piece on 28ct. Irish linen evenweave tea dyed fabric that I bought at the Michael's with a 40% off coupon.  It cost $4.80.  My thinking was that I didn't want to invest twenty or thirty dollars in a gorgeous piece of hand dyed linen, and then have it languish in a drawer if I flaked out and stopped stitching this.  Can I just tell you that I am now a properly chastised linen snob?  This is absolutely lovely and perfectly suited to both the size and thread.

See that Sharpie?  Well it's a retractable Sharpie, and in a million years I never would have imagined how much of a difference such a small thing could make.  But I need to apologize to the Flosstuber who gave me this brilliant idea, since I was too stupid to record your name and channel, and now I feel like a genius for remembering to buy this at the Target, but I can't give you proper credit.  You did a video about the tools you use, and you basically explained how a retractable highlighter is invaluable...and you were right on the money, sister!  Something about being able to click the thing and mark the chart without having to fuss with a cap, etc etc is amazing. cheaters.  They, too are a Michael's purchase, and they too were cheap and bought with a 40% off coupon.  I think the original price was $4.99... so the end price!  These are 2.5 magnification.  Normally I use 1.5 or 2.0 for canvas work, but I found that the little extra really helped by the end of the evening.

So all in all a very happy first session indeed.  I managed to watch two movies and a few Beachfront Bargain Hunts and left the ipad over on the dining room table to avoid distraction.  Both Bosco and Stewey settled in for the long haul and approved of my progress before we turned in for the night.

Today is all about getting a few things done so that I can get back to this.  I'm so glad that I decided to get it started is exactly what I needed!

Happy Monday, dear friends!  Hope your current piece is making your heart sing!

Aug 28, 2016


In an effort to get out of my current state of general ennui, I decided to really shake things up.  I blame the Flosstube for this, specifically Miss Emily from eclecticpossessions. She is one of the first stitchers that I started stalking (um, I mean following) on the damn thing, and as I flipped through her WIP's, one in particular stopped me dead in my tracks.

Herewith is my new project that will be started as soon as I brush my teeth, find my extra strength stitchy glasses, and get all of these supplies tidy and organized...
This is the Angel of Love by Lavender and Lace and I think it is just gorgeous.  Her gown in almost completely beaded, hence the big pile of Mill Hills...that in itself really makes me question my sanity...but I determined to give this a go in the spirit of stretching my wings.

Speaking of's a better pic.
I even think that I am going to name this beauty.  Moments ago, I immediately thought "l'm going to call her Vaceila".  That was my Mom's name, and for some reason the idea of all fit together nicely.  Besides, I like the idea of saying to myself "As soon as I get this bed changed and this laundry put away I can go play with Vaceila."

So that's the big reveal today, kids.  I am going to spend some time with this today and promise to get back to Olympic Good Stuff in short order.  For today, though, methinks I just want something a little different.

Happy Sunday!  Hope your needles are flying and your playmates are exactly who and what you would wish them to be!

Aug 25, 2016


We've been so completely off kilter around these here parts that we decided to make today all about re-kiltering.  I don't have one clue as to what that means, exactly, but stay tuned...Spinster v9.0 is on the horizon!

A little stitching yesterday afternoon, but not enought to crow about.  I am determined to finish this piece before the end of this weekend, though, since I am just crazy excited to start something new.  I am kitting it all up now and will show you as soon as everythig is in its little plastic box.

Happy Thursday, kids!

Aug 24, 2016


One silly little block.  That's all that I managed to stitch last night before giving in to the temptation of bad TeeVee and allowing my tiny little brain to click off for the day.


I also notice that the outer right leg of the starfishy thing next to the phooey block is wonky, so that's going to have to come out before I can move on...otherwise methinks it will drive me further round the darn bend.

Happy Futzingday, kids!  Back in a flash!

Aug 23, 2016


Just a quick progress update before I head out to appointments today:

Aug 22, 2016


I am laying bricks.

As in, paving my way to You Know Where with my good intentions.

I sat at the dining room table with my planner and my pens and my stickers and my Crystal Lite and I wrote list upon list of all of the stuff I was going to accomplish yesterday.

Wanna know what got done?

I painted my nails and I took a nap.

Yup.  Nails and nap.  Not exactly a banner day in the productivity department.

I did stitch a few minutes last night during the Closing Ceremonies, but for some reason I just couldn't get myself into the groove and I just don't have enough progress to show at the moment.  I did, however, decide to stick with the piece until finished, since I'm pretty sure a few days of dedicated stitchy time should do the trick quite nicely.

The good news is that I see my kidney doc tomorrow and I can confirm whether or not this catatonia is part and parcel of the progression or if it's just all in my head.  If it's the former, then I promise to suck it up and stop complaining about it and just get on with things.  If it's the latter...ditto.

Stewey had a rough night last night.  His pain meds seem to be wearing off earlier and earlier.  I have a call in to his vet to see what we can do for him, but I can tell you that I am definitely not ready to lose him just yet.  Aside from an occasional whimper, he is still eating and drinking and playing and snoozing in the sun and just being his happy little self.  But those whimpers make me want to just rip my arm off to take the pain away from him, if only for a moment.

Bosco seems to be mending from his tummy issues, but I suspect that they are definitely Crohn's related.  He and I had a long talk this morning over Cheerios and cartoons, and I explained to him that worry and fretting are not good for him and that, for now, he should leave all of that to me.  He replied with an "OK, Aunt CJ" and then hopped down to go find a frog to put in his pocket.

The differences in these two boys never ceases to tickle me.  Stewey is....Stewey.  Quiet.  Contemplative.  Fussy.  He is the puppy equivalent of Little Man Tate, I think.  Very smart, but a little awkward socially.  Bosco, on the other hand, is a bisterous little tank of an imp, splashing through mud puddles and looking for his next adventure.  

So we're going to continue to muddle our way through today, and if the laundry happens to get done or some major stitching progress is made, we will celebrate accordingly and move on to the next item on that darn list.

Before I leave you, the entire cast and crew at Chez Spinster wants to send our most heartfelt HAPPY BIRTHDAY greetings to Miss Jane.  She has had so many troubles of late, so here's hoping that this next new year of being 29 (teehee) will be filled with nothing but peace, love, happiness, prosperity, and stitchyness!


Aug 21, 2016


I sure wish somebody would take a look inside my punky little head and tell me why my silly little brain works the way it does.

(But if you could do it without messing up my hairdo, that would be swell.  It took me a long time to get my Snookie bangs just the way I want them this morning.)

Synchronized swimming gives me the creeps, but I am sitting here totally transfixed by rhymic gymnastics.  As I just asked Misses Charlene and Jane...aren't they basically the same thing, but one has water and the other has sticks and hoops and stuff?

The whole Lochte/ND thug thing has turned me into one of the old man muppets, sitting in the balcony bitching about stuff.  I am muttering and stomping around like these guys did something to me personally.  Why?  What is it about these incidents that has my drawers in such a knot?

In the case of Lochte, I think it's because I keep thinking about the swimmer who was fleeing her country on a raft, and when the boat motor failed, she and her sister jumped into the water, tied the raft to themselves, and swam it to safety three miles away.  THAT is an Olympian.  

The ND jackasses just make me mad.   There are enough reasons on this planet to hate Notre Dame without these idiots piling on.  I am so weary of the "we were just blowing off steam" excuse.  You're twenty something.  You have no freaking idea what steam is.

All of this brings me full circle to the rant that I spewed to nobody in the Target parking lot.  Every year, I tell myself to stay the heck away from anywhere remotely related to a storage solutions aisle the weekend all of the college kids come back, and every year I inevitably find myself trapped behind  some pouty brat staring at SnapChat while their poor parents try to figure out if the $99 futon really is a good deal, and whether it will fit into the rental van parked outside.

I just want to shake the bejeesus outta these kids and tell them a few, for instance, the world is more than the eighteen inches beyond the tip of your nose.  Put the damn cell phone down, wipe that puss off your face, and show a little gratitude to the parents who are sweating your tuition, have taken a third mortgage on your childhood home, and are watching their retirement savings complain that the wifi signal is "like so totally weak in here".

For the other ninety-seven percent of you who are coming to college to work hard, keep your noses clean, and incur enough debt to sink a battleship...I say welcome.  Suck up every single ounce of fun, knowledge, happiness, and heartbreak you can these next four years because...and I'm really sorry to be the one to tell you this...adulting absolutely positively sucks.

Speaking of adulting...I am going to get my act in gear today and prepare a few things for the week ahead if it kills me.  Stewey and Bosco and I are all, but we made a pact to get it together this afternoon.  This will mean snoozy naps in the sun, some laundry, some planner time, and lots and lots of stitching.

Speaking of which...I'll leave you with the latest progress pic of Olympic Good Stuff:

Aug 20, 2016


You'll note my use of the word "boys" and not "men".

As I made the mistake of watching the news tonight, I found myself hollering at the TeeVee "THROW THE BUMS OUT!!"

The first dumbass did what he did with the world watching, and then had the unmitigated gaul to lie about it and then hire a PR firm to justify his bad behavior.

Bad form, man.  Bad form.

And these dumb asses were all arrested last night.  Know what they have in common?  They are (and hopefully will be were) members of the Notre Dame football team.  Wonder how many other eligible high school football players would have enjoyed a $250,000 education and the opportunity to play on television every Saturday?

Speeding with drugs and a loaded gun in the car, assault, and resisting arrest.  Nice job, boys. 

I'm going back under the covers now...

Aug 19, 2016


It started out innocently enough.  I was just supposed to take a shower, put some clothes on, go get labwork done, and return some library books.

Eight hours later and I am home wondering who that crazy woman was that dragged me around from place to place putting things into shopping carts like a drunken coupon clipper.

I did go to the lab...check.

When I got into the car to head to the library, I noticed that my phone wasn't on.  One quick check of the battery confirmed what I should have known...dead dead dead.  So off to the AT&T store for a car charger (which I should have had anyway, but seeing how I never leave the house I figured I'd just get around to it eventually.)  (Today was eventually, apparently.)

I did go to the library...check.  But instead of using the drive up thingie to just return the books I went inside and browsed the new fiction section and checked out another three books.

This is where it went a little off the rails.

My car somehow magically turned itself from the library to the Targets.  I did get a few things I did need, like toothpaste and plastic spoons and Quilted Northern and cotton balls, but as I was passing through the cosmetic section, my eye went to the nail polishes.

I was immediately drawn to a lovely pinky brown type color and figured it would be swell for September.  So into the cart it went with a few treats I fished out of the dollar bins:

Guess what the name of the polish is?  I swear, I didn't know this until I looked at it moments ago because I did not have my glasses with me in the store:
Can you believe it!?!?  IN STITCHES!!

What kind of self-respecting Spinster Stitcher would I be if I didn't have my fingers and toes painted with a nail polish color called IN STITCHES!?

A disciplined gal would have called it a day at this point, but this is me we're talking about.

I went to the Michael's.  

My intention was to pick up a few skeins of floss for my next project, but I somehow managed to make it to the planner aisle.  Y'all know how much I'm loving playing with my Erin Condren life planner, so it would make complete sense that I would opt for a Happy Planner this time, right?  I'm still a little undecided as to whether or not I will make the switch next year, but in  the meantime, I have some new stickers to play with.

After all of this running around, I went totally and completely insane and ended up at Five Guys for a burger, fries, and....oh my gosh I can't believe I'm confessing this....please don't think less of me or delete me from your Palm

I gave up dietCoke some time ago because my nurse case manager told me to, but I just couldn't take it anymore and I totally caved.  It was only a small one, but I can tell you that the five or six sips of it that I managed to have while waiting for my burger were....nirvannah on steroids.

Bosco and Stewey are wondering why, after all of this crazypants shopping, I couldn't be bothered to get them anything, so as soon as I get my wits about me, we're going to head over to the PetSmart for a toy or two.

So that's that for the day.  I promise...back to stitchy updates tomorrow.  In addition to some progress on Olympic Good Stuff, I have the reveal of a project selection that will finally convince you that I am, in fact, a few bubbles off plumb.

Happy, happy, happy day to you and yours!   WooHoo!


1. Synchronized swimming gives me the creeps for some reason.

2. Water polo looks like something I could do....provided I could learn how to tread water and not just float on a floatie thingie with a beverage.

3. If you are an Olympic medal winning swimmer with blue hair, you are nine feet tall, and you travel in a pack of similarly recognizable should probably learn to behave yourself like a grown ass man and not a spoiled little bratty idiot that gets caught acting like a dumbshit and then lies about it.

4. Olympic medal winning swimming post-party shenanegins have given me a potty mouth.

5. Platform diving.  Am I the only one that feels guilty for enjoying watching somebody fling themselves off a three story building?

6. Do you suppose that platform divers are actually afraid of anything, and if they are, would they be able to tell anybody?  ("I'm a platform diver and fling myself off three story buildings, but I'm terrified of ladybugs.")

7. Are there actual steps to the samba?  Or do you just jiggle about madly while pretending to walk across a hot waffle iron?

8. I would not be able to beat Usain Bolt in a race if I was driving in a car and he gave me a eighteen minute head start, tied one leg behind his back, and promised me a Krispy Kreme doughnut if I won.

9. Running the 100 meter dash is not for beefy gals like me.  Nor is gymnastics, diving, beach volleyball, cycling, or any other sport involving any amount of spandex whatsoever.  

10. As I watch the women's triatalon with waffles and syrup dribbling down my pajamas at 10:30 on a Saturday morning, it occurs to me that these ladies and I are not only very different...we might actually be two different species.

11. I feel like I have been on vacation for two weeks while watching these games.  But, what it is I am on vacation from exactly is completely beyond me.


In case you were wondering (and I just know you were), despite my status as a portly, yet lovable spinster, I do, from time to time, take a gander at the menfolk that pop up on the TeeVee.

For many years now, the one and only (OK, maybe one of many) that has captured my heart is the actor and soon to be known as the Former Mr. Spinster...Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

But for the last few days I find myself pining for and obsessively Googling (and oogling) another.  I am bewitched.  En-sore-sulled.  Completely captivated.  Last night, as I gazed fondly at my new crush, I actually felt a little case of the vapours come upon me.

(Either that, or I have finally stepped from the vestibule into the living room of menopausal hell.)

His name is David Faherty.
He was a professional golfer and is now a commentator.  I won't go into his full resume, because I want our newfound relationship to develop slowly, and I want to get to know him over a time span longer than the minute and a half it takes to read the average Wikipedia page.  But so far methinks he is charming and lovely and quite a snappy dresser.

(That last part, of course, was supplied by Stewey.)

But you wanna know what made me go positively weak in the knees?

I know, I know.  You're thinking it's the voice and the accent, right? (Mr. Feherty was born in Northern Ireland.) (Make of that what you will, but the guy could read the back of a cereal box aloud and I would puddle.)

Nope.  What got me about this guy is that...

He can write.

And by write, I mean write your socks off.  Turn a phrase, develop a tone, tell a story, and deliver a quip.

He did a little piece on NBC's coverage about why the Olympics are important last night, and I thought it perfectly captured all of the crap that's been rattling around my tiny little brain this week and turned it into something beautiful.  If you get the chance to see it, brace yourself and clutch your hankie, because it's good.

Damn good.

And I won't lie...the accent doesn't hurt anything either.

So, forgive me Jeffrey Dean.  There's a new boy bestilling my heart.  Have a seat and get yourself a beverage with your compatriots...I'll be back soon.

But for now, at least, my heart belongs to another.

(Cue the sappy music, please.)

Aug 18, 2016


The day is rapidly getting away from me, so just a quick stitchy update today:

This is called a Walnetto stitch.  Jean Hilton created it.  Isn't it swell?

Aug 17, 2016


This little self-imposed news sabatical has turned me into a myopic idiot.

I knew that it rained here, and I knew that we got more of it than we had seen in quite some time, and I knew that the weather peoples were jumping up and down hollering "EIGHT INCHES!  EIGHT INCHES!", and I knew that Miss Jane had water in her basement...

But I was completely and totally clueless as to the extent of the devastation both here and in Louisianna.

Shame on me.

Please don't think poorly of me over what appears to be a total disregard for the plight of others.  I simply made a decision a month or so ago to stop putting things in my basket.

(In The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood, the Yayas are explaining what happened to Vivvie, and they say "She dropped her basket".   I always thought that was a simple, profound, and utterly perfect way to describe what it's like when someone simply cannot live in the world as it is for one moment longer and they just regather their wits.)

Between Stewey's diagnosis, my own crazy health issues, family drama, the current political climate, war, pestilence, and famine, etc etc damn basket is just full to overflowing.  In what can only be described as the very first adult and wise decision I've ever made before in my pitiful little life, I told myself "ENOUGH CRAP IN THE BASKET!" and I stopped putting stuff into it.

This means that I decided to go headfirst into things like the Olympics and crazypants stitching projects and the Flosstube and spending hours upon hours doing nothing but cuddling my Stewey Little while reading Namcy Drew mysteries to him.

It's been great for my mental health, but I have to really does make me feel like an uninformed boob that comes off as singing la di da, la di, da while the world crashes, floods, and burns all around her.

So...dear friends...if you are someplace that is having troubles of any kind, or if you are having a particularly rough go of it in your own pitiful little heart and you feel that I'm  not paying attention or give a flying fig, please don't fret.  I say my fervent prayer every night that all will be well for you and yours and hope that whatever ails you will soon pass.

On to stitching...

After a lovely evening out with my Church Guild stitchy sisters, I un-stitched and then re-stitched a few blocks of Good Stuff.  The varieagated just wasn't blowing my skirt up, I had a mis-matched blue, and my center double fan doubled was troublesome with both the texture and the hue of the thread.

So here is where we stand as of this morning:

I've cleared the decks for nothing but stitching today.  As you can see, if I have any hope of finishing this piece before the games conclude, I had better put the pedal to the metal!  I have, though, in the spirit of this newfound gentleness with myself, decided that I can continue to work on it through the end of August if necessary amd that I shouldn't ruin such a fun stitch with a crazy/frantic deadline.

Wow. Wee.  Who knew that turning 50 would mean I would start to get it?  Maybe I'm not so clueless after all...

Aug 16, 2016


I'm closing in on finishing the first of four sections of Olympic Good Stuff.  I have to say that this was the perfect example of why you should just put the needle down, walk away for a minute, and then take another look at your stitching before deciding to rip everything out.  Just before bed I decided that I didn't like anything in this section, and I was thiiiiiisssss close to tearing it all out when my better sense prevailed.  Today, in the light of day, after my coffee, and now standing a few feet away from lovey!

So I suppose that this little life lesson will have to go into my tip book.  I am compiling a list of tips and tricks that help me be a better stitcher, and "JUST WALK AWAY" has got to be right up there with "DON'T POKE YOURSELF IN THE HEINEY WITH YOUR LAYING TOOL".

More Flosstubing is keeping me off the streets and out of polite society.  Is there any better thrill than connecting with somebody that you just know in your heart of hearts would really "get" you if you were to actually meet in person?  I swear...this damn internet thing is the salvation (and maybe, simultaneously, the total downfall) of civilization.  

Tonight, I get to have dinner with my Elkhart EGA stitchy sisters!  As I type this, it's only 10:30 in the morning, yet I am already getting all prancypants with the prospects of playing with my friends.  

(Hmmmm....I've been struggling to find the perfect stickers to use in my planner to indicate Guild meetings.  Maybe I should just get a bunch of ones that say "Play Date" and be done with it!)

Stewey and Bosco are still both under the weather.  Yesterday was a total bust in the sunshine department and today isn't looking much better, so I suspect that we'll have to haul out the sun lamps before too long or there will be hell to pay.  We do try to have a day or two a month whereby we pretend to be on the beach...Bosco in his little board shorts at Daytona...Stewey in his best summer weight linen aboard his luxury yacht...and me in my mumu at the Jersey Shore, but methinks the season has come to an end.  Time to pack and get ready for school.

Speaking of it a little crazy that I love Back to School time like crazy, yet I do not have any children and am not a student?  Something about all of those school supplies and the prospect of new shoes and underwear and stuff makes me positively giddy inside.

Well, I suppose that's enough disjointed rambling for the day, kids.  I am going to get a little stitching in before I get ready for tonight.  Hope your Tuesday is swell and that if you are in these here parts or any other place where the rains came your head is above water!  (Hoosierville got seven inches of rain yesterday....yowza!)

Aug 15, 2016


I had quite a marathon of stitching and puppy tending yesterday.  Both boys needed constant love and attention all day, so I planted my fanny in the Happy Chair, hit the remote "on" button and went to town.

Here are the results:

I really love how these Amadeus stitches turned out, and can I just say that they are both easy AND fun to do?:

I wasn't too sure about my color selection for these areas at first, but now methinks I like them:

So that's where we stand today, kids.  Another Monday morning has kicked off with the best intentions for a good week ahead.  After a quick trip to the Targets and the grocery, I am heading back to Spinster HQ for more stitching Olympics!

What's on your menu for the day?

Aug 14, 2016


Bit of an off morning here at the Spinster Clinic.  My little patients and I are all a  Stewey can't seem to get comfortable, Bosco's hind quarters are quite sore , and I am operating under water. (*)

My poor Baby Dear...
(Saran Wrap on dining room chairs...classy, huh?  My mother would be so proud.)

And my poor Baby Nephew...

But, we've had our Starbucks and now we're all planted in the Happy Chair for a day of stitching and Olympics.  Nothing else...all of the chores and fretting and planning and scurrying about like a crazy little three hundred pound hummingbird can wait until tomorrow.

(If they gave medals for procrastination, I would have Michael beat...hands down.)

Here's the result of yesterday's stitching at Library Guild and then again in the evening:

That center stitch is called a double fan doubled, and it has become one of my favorites.  Miss DebBee calls for it to be done in several different threads, but I wanted to feature the Watercolours Firecrackers as a focal point for this, so I just used it for the entire stitch.

Today we move to the upper left and start with some Amadeus star like things, so I'm excited to thread up and get in the saddle!

Hope your Sunday is lovely, my dears.  Do something wonderful, treat yourself well, and come tell us all about it!

(*) I get a lot of questions asking me what's causing me to feel unwell and how exactly do I feel.  About the only way I can describe it is...imagine you have the worst flu of your life on a day after you have pulled eight consecutive all nighters and been dropped from the roof of a tall building into the path of an oncoming cement truck.  Unfortunately, I think this is pretty much par tor the course with Crohn's and kidney disease, so I am just doing my level best to follow directions, keep a happy thought, and not do anything stupid to land me in more medical trouble.  So no dietCoke (she sobs, piteously), healthy (ish) diet, vats of water, a small pharmacy of meds, and lots and lots if rest until it's time tor dialysis.  So, with that explanation now in place I'm going to go back to "I'm fine, thanks, how are you?" as a response...which is much easier for this nutball introverted hermit social misfit.

Aug 12, 2016


When left to my own devices, I can be dangerous on the Amazon.  Here's the latest addition to my semi-pro cockpit...a wireless keyboard for my iPad:

So far, I've had the thing five minutes and all seems to be well.  With my big 'ol man hands, sometimes typing on the iPad keyboard is a little hard to do, so this provides the perfect solution.

(Plus, it was a whopping twelve bucks, so if I hate it I can stick it in a drawer and not completely hate myself for giving in to late night online shopping temptation.)

Just a little more progress on Olympic Good Stuff ('scuse the thread, but I pooped out before I could finish that section):

Stewey is enjoying a little snooze in the sun:

I'm going to try to resist the temptation to head to the big girl sleigh bed for a nap today and try to get some stitching and Olympic watching in instead.  I have been so worn out lately that I'm taking longer and longer naps during the day, which means going to bed later and later at night...not smart if I want to get on a better schedule.

Hope your Friday is off to a roaring start and that you are ready for a great weekend.  I get to go play with my library guild sisters tomorrow and then run a bunch of errands, so.....WooHoo!

Aug 11, 2016


Well, well, well.   Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know about everything, I go and discover a completely new obsession.

Have you seen Flosstube yet?  Flosstube is a "channel" on the YouTube that is all about this thing of ours!  I didn't know anything about it until I happened to catch up on Miss Danielle's blog (Stitcherista), and she provided a link to her videos.  And then! I found Miss Vonna Her Very Self (The Twisted Stitcher) and her videos and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

I have, um...stalked Danielle and Vonna and all the rest of you via blog for quite a while now, but watching you all come to life on Flosstube is a whole other experience.  I felt like I was sitting right there with the girls...ooohing and aaahing over their stitchy spaces, their finishes, their WIP's...all of it.  

So..fair warning that it is very addictive...head over to YouTube and enter Flosstube in the search function, and then sit back and be prepared to enjoy the next 26 or 27 hours of your life!

I managed to get a lovely haircut and lose half my body weight in the process.  Well, maybe not HALF, exactly, but my head sure does feel lighter.  My hair had gotten totally out of control and was halfway down my back.  Now, I'm sporting a faux bob type thing that is much lighter, cooler, and more age appropriate.

(Stewey wholeheartedly approved and immediately sent Miss Brandi a thank you note.)

And then, just to see if I really could start to resemble half a human again, I got my brows done too!  This is probably where all of the weight came from, to be honest, since I heard the technician fire up the weed whacker before giving them a go.

(And I can actually see better!)

Here's the latest progress on Olympic Good Stuff.  I enjoyed several hours of stitching yesterday after getting beautified and after I had McNuggets for dinner.

(They were absolutely delicious, by the way, which means I am going to want to eat them again in about ten minutes.  I was prepared for disaster but was met with crispy excellence instead, damnit.)

(And yes...I ate the damn french fries too because I saw that they do not contain trans fat, which in my book makes them a health food.)

Back to the Happy Chair and the Olympics!

Aug 10, 2016


Yes, friends...I have decided to leave well enough alone and just go with the crazy nails for the duration of the games.  I did re-do them last night and replaced the sticker with something similar, but slightly different, but the meathooks are, for now, still sporting their red, white, and blue finery.

Our little goat rodeo of a family is on the mat with all of these illnesses, but after a good night's sleep in the big girl sleigh bed and a double Starbucks this morning, I am determined to right the ship.  Bosco's tummy issues will hopefully calm down soon, and Stewey is still hanging in there.  My issues are mostly fatigue related, so unless I have to save the planet or fly a plane, I think we're going to survive.

(At least maybe for one more day, anyway.)

I managed to add a little more to Olympic Good Stuff last night in between Michael Phelps doing his thing and the tiny little gynmasts doing theirs.  It occured to me that his wing span is probably longer than the tiny little gynmasts are tall, and then I spent the better part of the evening trying to figure that out geometrically.  I finally went to bed with a headache and the question of why I can't just be normal and Google these things like everybody else.  Phooey.

Today is Futzingday, which means I have a full schedule of nothing ahead of me.  I am getting my hair cut at 5:15, and unless something happens to talk me out of it before then, I am seriously considering a Pixie cut.

(Nope...just kidding there, kids.  Considering my ample girth and bowling ball shaped head, my stylist is not likely to allow me to come out of her chair looking like Moe from the Three Stooges (provided, of course, that Moe is the chunky one with the short dark hair).  No...methinks I will just do what I always do, which is sit down and say "Time to kill the squirrel" and let Brandi have at it.  Anything would be better than the heavy, frizzy, untamed, cowlicky mess that is currently living atop my noggin.)

That's the report for the day.  I hope that your very own Futzingday is lovely and that you get to do everything you want to do today!

Aug 9, 2016


Move over, Mayo Clinic.  There's a new game in town.  Deep in the hinterlands of Mishawaka, Indiana, U.S.A., a new medical facility has opened up for ailing pups and wayward middle-aged women.

The Spinster clinic is a multi-bed treatment and rehabilitation center (two human beds, umpteen spoiled rotten little dog beds) that presently has hospice, nephrology, and gastroenterology care available.  (*)

Meals are served from our almost award-winning kitchen...lovingly prepared by a Food Network trained home cook that knows how to run amok in the produce section of her local megamart.

The pharmaceutical dispensary inventories a drawer full of the latest in advanced treatment options, as well as a ready supply of Pill Pockets and Virginia ham to help the medicine go down.

And finally...because we believe in a holistic approach to wellness, there is ample time scheduled for TeeVee viewing, napping in the sun, and hours and hours of needlework therapy.

Here, you'll notice that our team has carefully separated the pill bottles so as not to cross-medicate our current patients.

Ask your primary care or veterinary professional about continued care at the Spinster Clinic the next time you have an illness, booboo, or issue that requires mending.  We may not be as big (or as accredited) as Mayo or Cleveland or MD Anderson, but what we lack in respectability we make up for in enthusiasm.

(*) Opening in September 2016... our inpatient mental health department!


1. Our friend Miss Charlene is nuts to ever get on a bicycle and go a million and a half miles an hour down a hill.  In the rain.  While wearing nothing but spandex.

2. Men's indoor volleyball is a lot more fun to watch than almost any other thing men do indoors.

3. Women beach volleyball players must have tiny little heineys and mustn't mind wearing dental floss and kinesiology tape for an outfit.

4.  Rugby.  Holy crap.

5. If Stewey could be any Olympic animal he wanted to be, he would be one of the prancypants horses that they ride in Dressage.

6. It cracks me up that Notre Dame sends more fencers to the Olympics than they do football players to the NFL.

7. Tennis matches can last a very very long time.

8. I'm patriotic, but sometimes I like to cheer for an underdog to beat the U.S.  Go, Tunisia!

9. Kathleen Baker, an American swimmer is my new hero.  She has Crohn's and wins Olympic medals.  I have Crohn's and have to sit down after brushing my teeth for three minutes.

10.  I think I could be very good at judo.  Particularly after a long day of dealing with nitwits.

11. When did Michael Phelps have a baby?

12.  If you're going to have a whackadoo haircut or a crazy tattoo, you had better be a total bad ass.  Otherwise, when some guy that looks like an insurance salesman beats you by a gazillion points, you just look silly.

13. Our little Hoosier swimmer can throw some fiesty shade now, can't she?

14. Did anybody else take a Tylenol (like I did) after watching the gymnast break his leg?

15.  Mmmmm.  McNuggets.  And an ice cold diet Coke.  (When is the last time I had McNuggets?  Shouldn't I have McNuggets more in my life?  Why can't I stop thinking about McNuggets?  And a diet Coke!?)

16.  Cupping...who knew?  Wait a minute!!  I just saw one of the Housewives get cupped!!  A Housewife knew!!!

Aug 8, 2016


We awoke at the crack of dawn so I could get my wits about me before taking Bosco to the vet.  As I stumbled to the kitchen to turn the coffee pot on, I happened to look out the patio window...

I know, I know.  My craptastic photographic skills once again impeed my ability to impart the impressiveness of the vista.  But, if you look closely at the edge of the grass, you just might see the entire Eastern Hemisphere Delegation of FREAKIN TURKEYS!!! that decided to come participate in the Spinster Olympics.

You also cannot tell from this fantastic photo, but the lawn sprinklers are on and the turkeys are, I presume, showering in them after what must have been a tiresome morning of garden eating, yard pooping, and Jack Russell Terrier dodging.

(Stewey thinks it's more likely that we have become a resort destination and that this was a last hoorah vacation for a few turkey families before the children head back to school.)

Borders are complete on Olympic Good the fun can officially begin!

Aug 7, 2016


Evidence that I can, in fact, almost touch my toes.

This might not seem like a big deal to most of you, but when you are the size of a condominium and have the flexibility of a fence post...little victories are celebrated when you are able to paint your nails without an extension ladder.

I feel very very silly with the mulit-colored and stickered thing I've got going on, but confess that the bigger feeling is that of...rebellion.  All my life I've tried to be buttoned-up...quiet...appropriate....and a rule-follower.  No make-up to school until it was allowed, etc etc etc.  Now, with all this crazy nail polish, I feel like I've just bought a motorcycle and am running around terrorizing the neighborhood with punk rock music and a devil may care attitude.

(I have a dentist appointment tomorrow.  Do you suppose that I will leave this on and wear it with impunity, or will I slink off to the bottle of polish remover and regain my senses?)

Hmmmm.  I think it's time for me to re-examine just how low my threashold for change has become.

I did absolutely nothing but stitch, watch Olympics, and cuddle Stewey all day yesterday.  I'm building the outlines first, because I know it will make the overall stitching of the piece that much easier, and because it is what the directions told me to do:

So I guess I am still a bit of a rule follower...crazy painted nails and all.

Off to make some breakfast burritos for a late brunch, and then back to the Happy Chair and Olympics!  Happy Sunday!

Aug 6, 2016


I'm a total sap, I know...but there is just something about the Olympics that gets me completely mushy inside.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I get it.  There's corruption and scandal and controversy and all kinds of negative crap you can argue about the Olympics, but THIS portly spinster just wants to sit in the Happy Chair with tears in her eyes, a needle in her hand, and the feeling that we really can figure it out every now and then and come together and celebrate all that is good and decent and excellent with our crazy human race.

So....Bravo, Rio!

We watched the Opening Ceremonies last night and wholly approve of the non-flight attendantness of the U.S. outfits.  Stewey thought that the shoes were particularly fetching, and has several pair on order...size extra extra extra little.  He did, however, feel that the addition of a smart hat would have completed the ensemble quite nicely, or perhaps a lovely little crossbody bag in which the athletes could have stowed their handkerchiefs, cellular contraptions, and whatnot.

(But did anybody else feel like the look was a little bit "Venetian Italian gondolier"?   Just a little bit...maybe without the blazer?)

Bosco liked the Samba dancers and wanted to know if we could go bye bye in the car to see all of the cool peoples playing together in the stadium.

The official 2016 Spinster Stitcher Olympic Project is DebBee's Designs "Good Stuff" done in reds, whites, and blues.  It's a big one this time, kids...a full 18 inches by 20 inches, and  methinks it will take every minute of the Games to get this one completed.

All of my stitchy sisters are heading to Donaldson for the weekend.  I am sad to miss them, but know that leaving Stewey for three days would have been more than my pitiful little heart can take.  So we will settle in with our cool bevvie and the TeeVee on and we'll stitch and think of them all very fondly and will look forward to next year.

Hope your Olympics are off to a fabulous start and that your weekend is lovely and full of fun.

Aug 5, 2016


See that teevee armoire?  

See those pumpkins lined up in front of it?  

Well, it only took me eleven years of having to get up every three minutes to fish something out from underneath the damn thing before it occured to me to block the opening.

Looks like I'll need to find a new cardio now.  Does looking at Pinterest count?

Stewey really could have thrived with a smarter Mo-ther.


Thank you for your lovely comments about the Bargello Challenge.  

I've received a lot of questions about the chart for this project...where to purchase, the name of the designer, etc.  Well, brace yourselves, kids...I'm about to get all WooHoo! with myself and throw some shameless pride your way (thus the reference to Sister Mary Paperplate, who would most assuredly be aghast and disgusted with my shamefull display of conceitedness).

I designed this.

Yes, I did.

The Elkhart EGA participated in this course written by Gail T. Stafford.  The guild supplied the course materials and the canvas....all we had to do was select our threads and then design it.

I studied the materials, checked out a few samples of bargello stitching from some of my books and magazines, and then I let it percolate a few days.  After everything settled a bit, I started sketching, thought about it some more and then I started stitching to make my design a reality.

can tell you that I learned a lot, had an enormous amount of fun, amd can't wait to try it again.  If you would have told me that I could actually execute a concept from my tiny little brain (in this case a "band sampler of bargello stitches")  I would have thought you to be slightly left of center.

Or in your cups completely.

But execute, I did and the result is quite a happy achievement for Yours Truly.  The colors were totally serendipitous, and if you recall I started this challenge with a completely different pallette.  I suppose that the brightness and cheer of the piece is exactly what we needed around here the last month or when I look at it I will think happy thoughts and crave rainbow sherbert.

Sherbert for Everybody!
designed by The Spinster Stitcher with instruction from Gail T. Stafford
18 ct. mono canvas in sage green
DMC #5 perle cotton: 900, 922, 402 (oranges) ;  600, 602, 603 (pinks) ; 832, 834 (neutrals)
DMC floss: 834 (basketweave background)

Now it's off to the studio for some thread pulling, chart selecting, canvas cutting fun!  I have about six ideas of Olympic projects spinning around at the moment, so I want to get them ready to go for tonight's opening ceremonies!  

Can't wait to see all of the outfits!  Do you suppose we will break tradition and not look like Amaerican Airlines flight attendants this year?

WooHoo, Friday!

Aug 2, 2016


It hit me this morning that it is August.  Soon, the kids will be back in school, the leaves will start changing, and football Saturdays will begin again.

How did this happen so fast?  Wasn't it January just yesterday?

I like August...I really do.  All of the shopping for school supplies and thinking about new underpants and shoes.  I can do without the heat, though, and we are in the midst of an Indiana scorcher.

Progress on the Bargello Challenge has ground to a halt.  Could it be that I am sad to see it end and am dragging my feet?  All I know is that I had better get moving, since the Opening Ceremonies are only days away and I am determined to be stitching red, white, and blue while I watch them.

I'm heading to the grocery for provisions this morning.  We are out of Virginia ham, and that is the preferred delivery method for Stewey's twice daily meds.  He is such a good boy...gobbles those little pills right up as long as they are properly encased in a little piece of ham.  

Many of you have written to ask how he's doing.  He is still very "Stewey" like, and aside from his bad leg, not changed at all.  He still likes his snoozes in the sun, plays with his spaceship, and cuddles up next to me for stitching in the evenings.  I do notice that he seems to get tired a little more easily and has quite an appetite, but other than that seems to be feeling pretty good, considering.

I hope that you needles are flying and that wherever you are is exactly where you want to be today!  Do something fun and come tell us all about it!