Jul 18, 2024


I made an attempt to go to my ANG Hoosier Heartland meeting on Saturday, but alas, had to excuse myself abruptly when my body decided it needed to be elsewhere. 

As you might remember, our project for June and July is Janet Zickler Casey's Sugarplum Santa:

I was so excited to attend the meeting, because I had completed my "homework" and was going to learn all about the beard, but...drat.

So I came home and futzed about for several hours and:

Something just didn't seem quite right, and the more I looked at that space between the beard sections, I realized that they just had to be wrong. So out came the mobile, and a few texts to Miss Charlene later, I was back in business.

(My error resulted in running out of thread, naturally, but thanks to what I am sure is a Stash To End All Stashes, Miss Charlene located a few extra cards for me, so I should be able to complete the beard this weekend.

My EGA South Bend/Michiana guild met Tuesday night, and we are completing ornaments that we will learn how to finish/finish at our annual picnic later this month. We were instructed to stitch anything we want within a four-inch circle, so I futzed a bit and came up with:

The linen is from my Colour & Cotton stash, and is called Red Velvet...thread is also Colour & Cotton in Tusk. 

My plan is to use the top two back to back at the picnic and then give the finished ornament to our "Tree Committee". Each year, our Guild decorates a Christmas tree at the Copshaholm Museum (one of the Studebaker family mansions in South Bend), and I am going to add my ornament to those that have come before!

I think I might do one more snowflake (or possibly two), and then finish those for myself so that JB and I can enjoy them with the Festive Display of Craptastic Spinster Christmastide 2024.

I wish I could tell you that I am back to "normal", but unfortunately, I am still really battling whatever this awful demon is. In addition to the tummy issues, the joint pain has ratcheted up to DefCon One, so I am just not a happy camper.

Never fear...we're still working on a plan and if it hasn't started to work by the end of the week I will submit myself to an MRI under what I pray will be heavy sedation. Just the thought of that test makes me want to run far far away, since I am ridiculously claustrophobic.

Happy Friday to one and all! Come tell me all about the shenanigans in your neck of the woods!


Jul 12, 2024


Remember when Kathleen Kelly flips her Pixie cut at the Cafe' LaLa and goes into a rant at Joe Fox and all of the crazy comes spilling out and she tells him exactly what she wanted to say at that very moment she wanted to say it and then she feels really bad about it?

Well, cue the Spinster.

The difference is that my very own rant this morning did not include a twin set or a Pixie cut or a crimson rose and a cup of coffee sitting in front of me on a whimsical little cafe table My wig flipped right off in the middle of the living room while wearing eighteen year old Costco pajamas and involved more f-bombs and fist shaking than I care to admit while Fox News blared away in the background.

(Note to self...a good title for this chapter of my memoir is "How Fox News and the 2024 Presidential election cycle tried to kill me").

(I will NOT engage in political, religious, or sexual debates, conversations, or comment wars on this here blog, Dearies, because political, religious, and sexual debates, conversations, and comments live in ABUNDANCE here on the internets, and I'm looking for a big fat deep quiet hole to crawl into and this is the best that I could come up with.)

I don't feel good.

And when I don't feel good I become something akin to a rabid opossum protecting her nest of ugly little ropy-tailed babies that just want to scuttle about your back garden and eat bugs and errant trash.

After two visits to two doctors yesterday, I really am nowhere closer to knowing just what the heck is going on, but more labs were drawn and pancreatic enzyme samples were given and I came home determined to keep a cheerful and loving attitude in the face of trying to ignore the freak show in my head.

I have self-diagnosed ovarian cancer, anal/rectal cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver failure, lung cancer, lupus, arthritis, spinal cancer, a Crohn's flare up, a diverticulitis flare up, medication reactions, medication interactions, medication allergies, and a bacterial infection caught from a micro-cut on my legs after shaving that allowed a rare paramecium into my bloodstream from the apartment complex swimming pool.

(Before you cancel me and label me ridiculous and offensive to anybody who has had any if the above, may I just point out that I had thyroid cancer, have Crohn's, diverticulitis, pancreatitis, and kidney failure, am a solid organ transplant patient and who has a chart that explains how my family history IS the history of heart disease, cancer of multiple types, and a ton of crap that probably wasn't even invented yet.)

So when I tell you I don't feel good, I'm not trying to get out of gym class. When I don't feel good, something catastrophic usually follows.

I have faith. I really do. And I practice gratitude and pray to God OFTEN and only ask for one thing...that I can live in a way that is worthy of all of the ridiculously amazing blessings of my life. But every now and then I guess I just need a good little wig-flip to clear the cobwebs.

Now if you'll excuse me, in the words of Hugh Grant in Four Wedding and a Funeral, I think that I really must be where other people are not for a minute. Fortunately for my Jersey Boy he is working over on campus this evening, and I'm hoping that a few hours of stitching will screw my head back on straight.

I'd love to tell you that I've embarked on something new and wonderful from my July basket, but the truth is that I'm just going to pull out a WiP and stab it a few thousand times to see if that exorcises my demons.

Updates when I have them, I promise. For now, I promise you that I am doing absolutely every single thing that every single doctor has advised me to do. My (bleepity) might not be together, but I'm damn sure not doing anything that's going to make anything worse. I swear.

Happy Weekend! Enough about me and back to you. What are your plans for the next few days? Come tell me all about it!

Jul 7, 2024


Dearies, I'm afraid you're going to have to continue shenanagins without Yours Truly for another minute. I am just sickety sick sick.

I have absolutely no earthly idea what the heck is going on, but I promise you that I have every single doctor I know on speed dial.

My tiny little brain tells me that this is simply my gut misbehaving, and now that I am decidedly older (ahem) and only have one kidney (hang in there, BellyBean), it's getting harder and harder to bounce back from flare ups.

Tons of labs and cultures and tests have been taken, so once those come back we might have a better grasp, but until then, I am concentrating on hydration and keeping calm and happy thoughts.

I am stitching...here and there. I managed a finish of:
Please excuse the wrinkles, but getting it off the q-snaps and photographed was as far as I could get.

And I've made progress on:

In between there have been several days of doing lots of nothing at all, but that is perfectly fine with me for another little bit, if I'm being honest. The quieter I am, the better, I think.

Please carry on. I'll keep you posted and will do all of the things I'm supposed to do. In the meantime...what's new with you?

Jul 6, 2024


This is a repeat post from many years ago, but today I celebrate the day in 2005 that my life changed forever.  

He was my baby from the moment I picked him up on July 6, 2005 until the moment I let him go on November 14, 2016.  This little creature was the best thing that ever happened to me and I miss him so much I think my heart will break.

Happy anniversary, Baby Dear.  Mommie misses you and hopes you are snoozing in a patch of sunlight with some daisies to keep you company.

Jul 1, 2024

Jun 26, 2024



I'm pouting today, Dearies.

My Jersey Boy is on his way home to see his mom for her birthday, and what was supposed to be a pleasant little get away has turned into an epic....well...I just can't bring myself to say it, but let's just call it a....musterduck. 🦆

Plan one was that JB and I would head down to Indy for a lovely dinner at the St Elmo's, and then he would fly out the next morning and I would head back north to meet up with my Guild ladies for a Supper&Shop at the House of Stitches.


Frontier Airlines decided to change everything all around, and instead of leaving on a Tuesday morning, JB had to switch to a Wednesday morning to avoid having to get to Philadelphia by way of Denver. 😖

So that meant I had to withdraw myself from the Supper&Shop fun, but we figured we'd still make a little trip of it and try a place called Hoagies and Hops on the way to the hotel airport, and then I could stop by the Keystone Crossing bookstore on my way back north the next morning.


Mr Crohn's has decided to rear his ugly head once again, and I have been just sickety sick sick. Monday night was a total mess of trying to get my act together or find a rental car or change JB's plane to the train or cancel everything altogether, and by the time I fell into bed all teary and miserable, I was pretty sure JB would have happily WALKED to New Jersey if it meant he didn't have to listen to me whine and complain in between running to the powder room every fifteen minutes. 🙄

One call to the DoorDash later, I got myself some good 'ol liquid Imodium, I girded my loins, and decided to pull up my socks and britches (literally) and just get his a$$ down to Indy, spend the night, and get myself back home to the friendly confines of the big girl sleigh bed.


You know I don't do anything without doctor supervision, so my BellyBean team had me get my TummyTeam on the phone, and Dr Manbeck decided that an early morning visit might be a grand idea.


Instead of having a lovely little excursion to Indy, dinner at the St Elmo's, shopping with my Guild ladies, and a lovely relaxing kick-off to my Spinstercation, I had a frantic scramble to get presentable (i.e., get out of my pajamas and take a shower), more than a few prayers to the BVM that I wouldn't have any kind of accident for the next eight hours, and then a text to Aunt Chrissy asking if she might be able to drop everything and provide some adult supervision for her idiot big sister, because JB was terrified that in my Imodium-induced stupor, I would end up in Kokomo trying to break into a gas station restroom.

(Pause for sympathy).

Looks like I will now be heading over to the laboratory to pick up a kit to bring home with me to "collect some specimens" for testing. Since this is a family show, I won't go into details, but suffice it to say I am very happy that JB is 1,000 miles away and will not be witness to any of THOSE particular shenanagins.

All of that nonsense isn't the worst part, by the way.

As my sister and I were almost home (after having been in the car for seven hours), we were driving along the highway when I kind of noticed a car to my left with its windows down and my sister said "Oh no, we must have a flat or something because the people in that car are waving at you", and when I turned to look...there were my Guild ladies on their way home from the Supper&Shop, happily waving and laughing and having a wonderful time all together with what I presume to be lots and lots of new fun stitchy things from the House of Stitches shopping excursion that I didn't get to go to because Fronteir Airlines is a big fat jerk and no matter how hard I try to be nice to it, my body is determined to ruin all of my potential fun and then eventually kill me.


So there you have it, Dearies. I'll keep you posted on the "developments" with Mr Crohn's and Co. and will get back to regular programming asap.

What's new with you? 😬

Jun 25, 2024


This was my post from June 25, 2013. James Gandolfini had died on June 19th, and this was the day of his funeral:


I was doing just fine.  Really.  I was.  I managed to actually get out of the bed, dry my eyes, blow my nose, and sit up in the buggy like a real live person. 

"What ever happened to keeping your crazy on the inside?" I wondered as I poured my morning coffee. "The way you're carrying on, you'd think that you had lost a close family member.  For pity's sakes!  You didn't go this far over the edge when you really DID lose close family members!  What the heck is WRONG with you, anyway?"

So I got on with the business of things until Aunt Chrissy told me that his funeral is going to be on Thursday at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

And I puddled all over the place again.

No, in case you were wondering, I never met or dated or married or touched or talked to or even came within the same zip code as James Gandolfini.  But I loved him as though he were my very own soul mate, imported straight from New Jersey its Very Fabulous Self....just to make me giddy.

James Gandolfini was the only reason I actually put my glasses on my face some days.  And watching him in The Sopranos was a ritual that I performed as a way to forget about reality for a few hours and go deep into a world full of gabba-gool and Christo-fa!

Yeah, I lived in New Jersey for six years, but I never really "was" Jersey.  I tried.  Really.  I did.  I came home to Hoosierville and impressed the dickens out of anybody who would listen with my tales of life on the shore and all of the amazing things you could find there in the way of food and family and attitude.  I admit it. I became a total wanna-be from the moment I laid eyes on the Garden State Parkway, and planting myself in front of Tony and Carmella and the gang made me feel like I could fit right in rather than get laughed out of the neighborhood for calling it pasta and sauce instead of noodles and gravy.

Then there were the moments when I watched other things with my boy in, like The Mexican and The Last Castle.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  He's going to be remembered for his portrayal of the world's favorite white terry cloth bathrobe wearing mafioso, but to me he was also a guy who could make ice melt with those limpid pools of deep brown love once he set them on you.

Oh.  Sorry.  I got a little lost there, didn't I?

From the time I could begin remembering, Mom carried a coin in her purse that she always said was her good luck charm.  All I knew was that it was about twice the size of a quarter and had a church on it.  I'm sure that she probably told me a thousand times where it came from, but all I heard was something about New York and a cathedral called St. John the Divine.  I don't know if Mom got the coin during a visit there, or if it was given to her by one of her brothers as a souvenir, but she carried that thing every day of her life and then it passed along to Aunt Chrissy and moi as our very own good luck charm.

Over the years, we've kind of passed it back and forth as a little secret way of bolstering each other up during tough times.  We've never actually said it aloud, but when the coin change hands there's an implicit "Boy, are things sure screwed up for you!" that necessitates the transfer of the coin and all of its hopeful good luck.

So as I was sitting and minding my very own business yesterday, Aunt Chrissy walked in and handed me the coin.  I figured that it was her way of saying "Snap out of it!", but instead she just let me hold it for a minute and then she told me that James Gandolfini would have his funeral in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

And I bawled all over again.

OK.  I'm done now.  Sorry to let my crazy on the outside, kids, but it was getting pretty full in there and I'm almost afraid of the permanent damage that would have resulted from me going one more day with a smile plastered on my face and a simple "Fine, thank you.  How are you?" coming out of my mouth every time somebody in polite society asked me how I'm doing.  So, finally, we're moving on.

Stitching continues on the Rishfied canvas.  I'm concentrating on the center flower and hope to make some significant progress this weekend when we get together with some lady friends for a little Saturday afternoon stitch fest.  I'm so excited about it I can barely keep from prancing around, but I've promised Aunt Chrissy that I will take my medicine and not "be me" no matter how hard it might be to just fake a little normal for a few hours.
Is it just me, or does this look exactly like the progress pic that I posted nine months ago?


Stewey sends his love.  He has his very own obsession at the moment, so we're currently in an "all Liberace all the time" mode around these parts.  I swear, if I have to watch Behind the Candelabra one more time I'm going to break something.  When you combine that with the fact that I keep finding rhinestones all over the damn place, it's any wonder I haven't gone further round the bend.

 "Sorry, Mo-ther.  You've got your crazy obsessions and I've got mine.  Get over it already."

I hope that this finds y'all well and safe and happy and healthy and stitching to your heart's content. 

Can you believe that it's June already?

Jun 21, 2024

Jun 19, 2024






New meds, no exercise, and some splurges (OK, a lot of splurges), have lead me right back to the scale and treadmill. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get my head out of my ample heiney and get back to paying better, careful attention to what goes in my pie hole. BellyBean is happy and healthy and labs are the best they've ever been, but I need to knock this foolishness off and do better. Period.

(In case you're keeping track, this is the 1,342nd time I've made this announcement on this here blog.)


Jun 17, 2024


The frogging went much faster than I anticipated, so I was able to remove stitches and replace stitches and add a few extra stitches for good measure before bed last night.

Today we managed to bob about in the pool for a bit before a pop-up shower started, and I am now happily ensconced with stitching, a cold brew, and the greatest movie ever made...Fatso.

Dinner in a few hours, and then I'm looking forward to a stitchy evening!

What's new with you, Dearies?

Jun 16, 2024



See those three curly leaves on that long green horizontal stem?

They have to all come out. 😖

Why, you ask? If you look at the area where the stem connects to the base of the red flower, and you check it against the chart (something I did eleventy-seven times last night), you will see that I muffed it and left out about three whole rows of stitches.

No, I can't fudge it, and no, I can't ignore my error. This is the right side of a symmetrical design, and it will just throw the whole. thing. off.

Phooey. Guess we know what I'll be doing today!

P.S. It's hot outside..

Jun 15, 2024



I used to listen to the BBC overnight on our local NPR station, but the world's news was not making a good night's sleep quite possible. I mentioned this to my JB, and he suggested that I listen to a podcast instead.

Podcast, you say?

What is this thing you call podcast?

So I went onto the amazons, and I discovered this thing called Amazon Music, and lo and behold...podcasts.

I entered "books and reading" into the search bar, and before I knew what hit me, I was off on a wonderful adventure with new bookish friends. One podcast in particular is called Novel Pairings, and they examine a classic novel in depth each Fall and Summer. 

I've not read a lot of Edith Wharton, but I am so excited to lose myself in this one for a bit!

What are you losing yourselves in this weekend, Dearies? Come tell me all about it!

Jun 14, 2024

Jun 13, 2024


Thursday night. Phillies/Red Sox from Fenway. A full sippy cup of lemon water, some stitching, and a cleaned-up kitchen after a light and healthy dinner.


Jun 12, 2024

Jun 10, 2024


On Saturday, I got my shoes and socks on and headed to Hoosier Heartland, which is my ANG chapter. (ANG = American Needlepoint Guild). This used to be called Library Guild, because we met at the library branch south of town, but now we meet at the bank branch in front of CS2.

(I'd call it Bank Guild, but the evening group of South Bend/Michiana EGA meets there, too, so it might be confusing.) 

(EGA = Embroidery Guild of America).

(Then again, the morning group of EGA meets in a library, so I suppose that might be confusing too.)

(And then, there's the fact that the Elkhart Chapter of EGA meets in a Church...which is tonight, and just happens to be on the same day as Library Guild, but not the Library Guild that is ANG...the Library Guild that is EGA...but South Bend/Michiana, and not Elkhart...which meets in a Church.)

So there. (*)

Welcome back to Batshit Crazy Spinster Theatre, Dearies. Sorry for the crazy detour we just took, but my tiny little brain is just chock-full of all things Guild and stitchy-licious-ness, and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

First up...Saturday. Hoosier Heartland. Needlepoint.

Each year, Miss Charlene guides us in the stitching of a Janet Zickler Casey Santa. I have one completed and one unstarted one in my stash, and this guy is this year's version. Isn't he swell?

We started by stitching the foundation of his nose, and then we were told to stitch his cheeks and face using the basketweave stitch.

If you're a needlepointer, you are probably intimately familiar with the basketweave stitch. As a matter of fact, I think learning basketweave stitch is the very first thing that needlepointers do in their needlepointing journey, but alas, I never learned how to do the basketweave stitch.

(I'll pause here for all of the veterans in the gallery to take a sharp gasp of breath and then shake their heads disapprovingly.)

Me not knowing how to do the basketweave stitch has always been a tremendous source of shame and humiliation, since I was just certain that absolutely every single stitcher on the planet knows how to do basketweave stitch except me, and that as soon as the needlepoint authorities discovered that I had perpetuated this fraud, would come into my house in the middle of the night to revoke my certificate and confiscate my decoder ring.

Nope. Not so much.

When one of my Guild stitchsters ratted me out, Miss Charlene came over to my side of the conference table (it's a bank conference room, so...conference table), and within about thirty-seven seconds flat...basketweave!

I had to be cool, calm, and collected there in front of Guild, but can I tell you that when I came home that afternoon I prancy-danced so hard over this whole "I now know how to basketweave stitch" thing I pulled a muscle, spilled my sippy cup, and had my Jersey Boy running for the pharmaceuticals.

Total. Game. Changer.

But wait...there's more to the story!

Here's how Santa looked when I stopped prancy-dancing and got back to stitching him Saturday evening:

And then here's how he looked after I completed a good portion of his face:

Hang on a second.

Is it me, or does Santa look kind of...gee...what's the word?  How about FREAKING orange!  Yup, the called-for "flesh" colored silk looked decidedly more like an Oompa Loompa than it did like a jolly old elf, and then it started to look a LOT like a bad spray tan...so out it came.

After about seven hours of basketweave stitching and patting myself on the head every fifteen minutes because I am now a person who knows how to do the basketweave stitch thankyouverymuch, he looked like this:

Oh...so much better! And all it took was a little switch from the called-for color to a more pinky-pale color, and we were back in business!

See? It's amazing how different they look, isn't it?

I left Santa looking like this late last night as the final few minutes of The Jinx played and JB and I looked at each other wondering how we get caught up in these crazy programs on the TeeVee every now and then:

So. Once I finish that tiny little corner that I missed next to his left eye, this will go back into the ANG bag for next month's meeting.

Today was the morning meeting of EGA, and I opened my fancypants Guild notebook to take the minutes and was quite taken with myself when asked a question and I was able to respond with all of the pertinent details because there they were...all nicely recorded in my fancypants Guild notebook. And then everybody patted me on the head and remarked how organized I am, and I basked in the glow of...

Gee. Wait a minute. Something seems...askew.

I guess I missed the big fat note on June 1st that said WRITE AND SEND NEWSLETTER, because today is June 10th all day long and the smug, full of her big fat self, organized Secretary FORGOT to write and send a newsletter.


So. I took copious notes and made pitiful apologies, and will hopefully get my silly act together in the next hour and a half, because then it will be time for me to put my socks and shoes (and bra) back on and head out to Church Guild.

That's the report for the day and the weekend, Dearies! I hope your very own day and weekend have been wonderful, that you've done whatever makes your heart sing and your skirt twirl, and that you'll come tell me all about it!


(*) They're called humorous asides, Betty, and you can look them up under TANGENTS that this stupid Spinster uses to distract you from the fact that much of what is recorded here is complete nonsense and drivel. You're welcome.

Jun 7, 2024



Wouldn't you think I'd learn how to take a decent photograph after all these years?

Dearies, thank you for your lovely notes and comments about the anniversary of this here blog. Each and every one touched me very deeply and means the world to me. Thank. You.

So many things have changed in my life over these last several years, and yet many other things have remained the same. Despite my "longevity", I still think of myself as a bit of an oddball outlier, and I'm amazed and grateful to have been invited to this thing of ours with such warmth and love.

It's remarkable what can happen to a human person when they feel safe and supported and cared for. In my case, that support quite literally gave me a new life, and although I've said it before, it bears repeating: my prayer is simple...please help me to live a life that is worthy of all of these blessings.

So now we begin the next year of stitching and spinster foolishness, and I hope you'll continue to tolerate me and my shenanigans for a bit before I grow up and become an actual adult.

Happy Friday! We're off like a herd of turtles and looking forward to a wonderful weekend! What's on your agenda for the next few days? Come tell me all about it!

Jun 6, 2024


Jun 6, 2008


Well....climb aboard the crazy train, folks. After spending a year happily lurking on every stitching blog, I decided it was time to jump into the fray. This first post will be all about me, since I'm sure you've been perched on the edge of your chair just waiting for this very important information.

My name is Coni and I am the Spinster Stitcher. Now, for those of you easily offended by the term "Spinster", relax. It is my intention to reclaim the title and make Spinster Stitching the most fabulous thing on the planet.

I'm 42 (ahem). Never married, no children (hence, the Spinster). I live in Mishawaka, Indiana with my dog SteweyStewey is a nine-pound bundle of love dressed up in the form of a shorty Jack Russell terrier. More about him later.

I've been stitching since 2003 because my sister told me I was going to. She had moved in with me for a bit and decided that staring at the walls each evening was not her idea of fun in the big city. So we stitched. And stitched. And stitched.

In 2005 I converted the bonus room over my garage into a bona fideSpinster Stitching Studio. Pictures will follow, but I must warn you that my alternate name was The Anal Retentive Stitcher. You see, it's all about the organizing, and I do confess to spending countless hours up there tidying to my heart's content.

I do it all. Cross stitch, needlepoint, canvas work, and hardanger. I'm taking a crewel class in two weeks, so my attempt at becoming the veritible Spinster Stitchy Goddess will surely follow.

Here's what I can promise you, my faithful readers: 1) I'll try to keep the swearing to a happy minimum. 2) I won't go on and on and on about my Stewey, who just happens to be the love of my life and I would marry him in a heartbeat if only he could wear pants. 3) My stitchy pics will be blurry, out of focus, generally terrible in terms of lighting, but somehow "hopeful".

So buckle your seatbelts, kids. We're off!

Jun 4, 2024



I had my annual checkup this morning, and came home for a lovely afternoon of newspaper-reading, puzzle-solving, and stitching. I put a documentary on the TeeVee called "The Fourth Estate", which was on a continual loop during my time in Indianapolis, and it called forth many of the feelings I had from then...all of that peace and gratitude and determination to live a good and happy life worthy of my new BellyBean.

If pushed for an honest answer, I would have to say that I am scoring a solid C- in the healthy living success department. There are a lot of factors that are challenging me at the moment, but Jimminy Crickets, Batman! I need to get my act together!

I had hoped to splosh about in the pool today, but alas, it's broken again. I suspect that it's the result of huge crowds over the weekend that probably had a lot of little ones in diapers, so the water quality probably failed inspection. Phooey...life with neighbors strikes again! Remember when I had the place to myself?

Time to get back to needle and thread. I am seriously trying to limit my time on this here iPad so that I can be more productive in both the stitching and reading departments, and it is getting close to bed time, so I will bid you a good night full of good sleeps and happy dreams, which is what I wished for Stewey as I tucked him into the big girl sleigh bed.

Good night, good sleeps, and happy dreams, Dearies!

Jun 3, 2024


For those of you who have known me since stitchy birth (circa 2008 when I started this here stitchy blog), you might remember a crazypants 300-pound hummingbird that would frantically flit from thing to thing to thing, and who just couldn't get out of her own way when it came to this thing of ours.

When I think about the amount of time, money, and stress that I wasted on trying to find the next best thing to bring me some level of stitchy peace, I am gobsmacked.

From bags and totes and drawers and floss cabinets and scrapbooking tools and chairs and hoops and scissors and q-snaps and ... stuff even I can't remember that I bought, looked for, or tried to create on Craft Night Gone Awry, it's amazing to me that I ever managed to put thread to needle.

My stitching life these days is as close to blissful as I ever could have imagined. I seem to have fallen into a nice quiet rhythm that has me enjoying every single stitch rather than fussing about looking for the next best thing.

It only took 16 years, but I think I finally cracked the code of what it takes for me to calm down and stitch...a list of stuff that helps me focus on the doing rather than the organizing. Some things were there all along, and others arrived when they were developed and sold by makers in our community, but finally figuring this crap out is just priceless.

So, in the interest of continuing to share every waking thought with my Dearies...here's what's blowing my skirt up in my stitchy life:

Project bags that come with matching smaller bags for threads.
Q-snap covers that match the project bags and smaller bags.
Chart, fabric, threads...duh.
A copy of the chart to serve as a working copy.
Scissors with polka dotted covers to match the project bag, smaller bag, and q-snap cover...duh.
A retractable highlighter to mark finished sections of a working chart.
Bling...needleminders, thread ring charms, scissor fobs, zipper pulls (from my sister's shop).
A Bitzy of some sort...(shown above) to hold working threads (from that's so kelly co).
11X11 q-snaps when cross stitching or stretcher bars when working on canvas.
My little plastic jar for orts...labeled monthly.

So that's it. The Official Spinster Stitcher List Of Crap That Helps Her Feel Like A Stitcher Instead Of A Person Who Just Used To Buy A Bunch Of Stitchy Crap.

How about you, Dearies? What's giving you stitchy peace?