Feb 7, 2016


Oh, what a lovely day yesterday!  I came home from my stitchy outing and fell into a blissful four hour nap...dreaming about projects and threads and the sheer joy of being allowed at the cool kids' table.  These ladies are so extraordinary -- funny and smart and generous and talented and kind.  How blessed can one poor old lonely spinster be to have them in her life?

I made a minor adjustment to "Blossoms" by moving a couple of crocheted snowflakes around.  The piece seemed unbalanced to me, but now I think it's a little better:
I think I'm going to get this one into a frame this week, and as luck would have it, I might have everything I need right here in the studio!  Who's happier than me?

Next is an almost FeeNee.  As soon as I sign off here today I will attach the beads and then we can call this one completely finished.  Oh, what fun this was!  I am contemplating having it made into a dimensional padded wreath:
Laura J. Perin 
Valentine Wreath
18ct. ecru mono canvas with gold sparkles
Threads per the chart: DMC perle, Threadworks perle, Petite Very Velvet, ribbon floss

Stewey and I are having a lazy lazy Sunday and then it's off to the races next week.  I have lots of appointments and laundry, and I'm starting a job search after being "retired" all these years.  Wish me luck...the wardrobe alone should prove to be very interesting!

If you're doing the Super Bowl thing...may your dip be spicy, your favorite team win, and may you travel safey home with lots of winnings in your pockets!  As for me...I'm watching it for the commercials!

Feb 6, 2016


I feel like a six year old.  Today I'm going stitching, and you would have thought that I was going to Disneyworld to meet Jeffrey Dean Morgan for waffles.

I love waffles.  Almost as much as I love Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Do you suppose that I will be able to just keep my crazy on the inside today and not make a complete boob of myself by chattering like a circus monkey and breaking out into song like some kind of TeeVee nut job that lives multiple crazy lives in her head but that is actually just a mild-mannered spinster by day?

Why can't I just be normal?

Naaaah.  That would be too easy.  And God knows I'm all about the non easy these days.

Well, kids, after a long hard week of not feeling well and fretting over almost everything, methinks a few hours with my stitchy friends is just what my pitiful self needs.  My bag is packed, my shoes are shined and the sedatives should kick in any minute now.

Here's hoping that your Saturday is off to a wonderful start.  Do something fabulous and tell us all about it!

Feb 5, 2016


A few more hours, and I think this one will be complete!  

Stewey and I decided to watch "Love Story" last night.  I didn't quite get what all the fuss was about.  Stewey, of course, wept copiously into his little handkerchief.  

Hmmmm.  Must be something wrong with me.

I hope that your weekend is filled ith everything you want it to be!  Stewey is hosting his ladies' luncheon on Saturday and I am going to stitch with Miss Charlene, Miss Jane, and Miss Myrtis!  

Woo Hoo!

Feb 4, 2016


Last September, I got the bright idea that I was going to start being a big girl, and that I would paint my nails with a different color each month.

(I also decided that I would try to conduct myself like a real grown person who was raised indoors and should know better, but...baby steps, people.  Baby steps.)

January was supposed to be a lovely icy grey blue, but ended up being more navy-ish by the time the end of the month rolled around.  I think the verdict is still out on whether or not I am cool enough to carry off a fashion color like that....the memory of my dear departed mother says "Absolutely, not, Constance JoAnn!".  The twelve year old geeky bookworm trapped inside me says "Like, totally rad, dude!"  So, the blue goes in to the basket until next year.

For February, I decided that I wanted the perfect red.  This might not seem like a tall order, considering that most cosmetic companies offer a gazillion shades of the color, but when your skin tone is somewhere between ecru mono canvas, an old banana, and a brown paper sack depending on the lightng, this can be a challenge.

So in pops Laura J. Perin with the solution.  I don't know if it's a trick or not, but all of this time spent playing with Valentine Wreath convinced me that if I could just find red nail polish the same shade as the bow, I would be happy as a clam.

Enter OPI Red.

Probably the first color they ever made, and judging from the age of the bottle in my beauty closet, probably in my colllection all along without me knowing it.

Ahhhh, stitchy peace brings manicurial delight!  I am chuffed...feeling like a lady with my red nails and toes, and over the moon that all things stitchy and spinstery are matchy matchy!

Woo Hoo!

Feb 3, 2016


You switch a dog from English Breakfast tea and toast in the big girl sleigh bed to a vitamin and a couple of cookies on the ottoman and you hear about it for days.
Damn dog.

Feb 2, 2016


I didn't get started until late last night, but I did manage a little progress before it was time to hit the big girl sleigh bed:
Amazing how it's really starting to look like a wreath!

Feb 1, 2016


I finished the hearts on Valentine Wreath and moved on to the greenery.

One note of advice, though...don't try to smoosh that last heart in there while simultaneously watching Downton.  I must have stiched and frogged it seven times before I had to hit the pause button.  I suspect that my bow might be one or two threads off kilter, thus throwing off that last little bit.

But I think the end result is still fine, and now I'm happily stitching the green background!

Stewey is unhappy with his breakfast selection this morning.  He feels strongly that a lovely tray of tea and toast should be presented to him in the big girl sleigh bed.  Instead, he gets a milkbone presented to him on the living room rug.

Oh, the indignity.

Jan 31, 2016


Gentlemen, please avert your eyes.

OK.  Are they gone?

Girls....the party hats are tiny little band-aid type devices that often have little metal beebees in them. They are affixed to the nipples as markers for the radiologist, since sometimes nipples can appear as abnormalities on the mammogram.  I think they also use them for moles or other areas that they want to mark to avoid a mis-reading of the picture?

Sorry for the very non-technical explanation.  It's all I could find on the internets.

And sorry for saying nipples twice (uh, I mean three times) in this post.

Jan 30, 2016


You really can't take me anywhere.

Yesterday's adventure was completely uneventful from a medical standpoint (at least I hope so and will find out in about a week), but it did confirm the fact that, like Tylenol, I should have come with a warning label:

"Warning! Spinster should be taken in small doses.  Overexposure may lead to having to suffer through fits of hysterical blathering meant to deflect awkward situations, but really only add to the circus-like atmosphere of having to examine the pendulous attachments of one very giggly, shy, chatterbox idiot who can't stop muttering about field trips, amusement parks, and Happy Meals."

I was doing just fine..reading my book in the waiting room, then changing into the capelet and promising that I didn't slather on deoderant or powder, and even when I was signing the form that said this was  just a routine visit. (Hello?  You've met me.  Is anything I do ever routine?)

But the minute the technician came at me with the nipple stickers (I'm sure there's a term for them, but all I know is that taking the damn things off is more shades of grey than THIS portly gal ever bargains for)...I immediately burst into a fit of nutso and blurted out "Oh, look girls!  Party hats!"

Yeah...that definitely broke the ice.

The poor tech looked like she wanted to call for backup and it was all business after that.  They really should award her combat pay for having to deal with the likes of...me.

So today will be a lesson in being q.u.i.e.t. and getting back to some stitching.  The sun is shining and Stewey is snoozing happily in his little window bed.  At some point I'm going to have to ride the vacuum around this place and hit the market for provisions, but for now methinks a few hours of solitude might be just what I (and the rest of the world) needs.

Have a spectacular weekend!  Here's hoping YOUR party hats are the non-adhesive kind!

Jan 29, 2016


Today is mammogram day.

This means that I am frantically fishing through the closet for something suitable to wear.  As much as I would love to just throw a coat over my pajamas, I'm pretty sure that the nice people out there in Hoosierville haven't done anything to deserve that.

Besides...this is the one day a year that the girls get to see the light of day and go on a little adventure and ride a special ride in the radiology amusement park, so I want them to feel suitably festive for the occasion.

So underpants and bra it is.  And, if my expedition proves sucessful in the depths of the closet, I might even find a nice sweater and some clean jeans to complete the ensemble.

Don't worry, kids.  All manner of things shall be well.

And afterwards I'll buy the girls a Happy Meal!

Jan 27, 2016


Here's a brief look at what my universe consists of today (minus one very fussy little dog who simply refuses to be photographed without his glam squad present):

Eating (not in the picture): Greek yogurt with granola and dried cranberries

Drinking (also not in the picture, but there, I promise): Starbucks French Roast with Truvia and a splash of half and half

Stitching: Valentine Wreath by Laura J. Perin

Exercising: The Jumble, Sudoku, and crossword from today's paper  (Wait...you didn't actually think I meant exercising, as in do something other than sit in the Happy Chair, did you?  Remember, I'm an Olympic gold medalist in sloth, folks.  Gotta keep in shape for Rio.)

Reading: Just finished "A Strangeness In My Mind" by Orhan Pamuk

Planning : Added a list of errands that I need to run (like go to the library to get another book to read), as well as several calls I need to make into Erin. (That would be my Erin Condren Life Planner thankyuverymuch).

Cooking: A feeble attempt at minestrone is bubbling away on the stove, but I'm not optimistic.

Cleaning: Don't you think it adorable how I keep putting this on my list, but end up taking a nap "instead?  Dust bunnies....just part of the charm of Chez Spinster.

What's going on in your universe?

Jan 26, 2016


Good morning!

Well, judging from your comments, it would seem that my blue nail polish was a hit.  I confess that I feel rather silly trying to be cool and hip while doing nothing but sitting in my Happy Chair wearing pajamas, but it's nice to know that if I ever do leave the house again I won't have to hide my fingertips.

(And yes, in case you were wondering...my toes are also blue because I am a bit nuts about the whole matchy matchy thing and can't stand to have disparity anywhere.)

(This is also the reason why, for many years, I always made sure that my underclothes matched.)

(Now, I'm just happy if I can manage to harness the girls adequately for public review, and that my ample backside is appropriately covered in yards and yards of sensible Fruit if the Loom white cotton  expandable fabric thankyouverymuch.)

Today we are experiencing a lazy but cozy Tuesday.  Stewey is sacked out in front of the fireplace and I am a bit troubled with some Crohn's/tummy issues.  Nothing to fret about...this happens from time to time when I Iet the world get the better of me.  All it means is that I need to drink plenty of fluids, destress my tiny little brain, and forget about anything that doesn't make me run through a meadow belting out a happy tune.  So that means heavy doses of good TeeVee, some Gatorade, more stitching, a little bit of coloring, and some very definite stitchy blog stalking today.  Nothing too earth shattering...just all of the stuff that makes my pitiful little heart sing.

Speaking of...here's the progress on Valentine Wreath and the latest page from my coloring book:

Here's hoping that your Tuesday is off to a good start.  Do something wonderful and tell us all about it! WooHoo!

Jan 25, 2016


I'm getting jiggy with it in my old age.

Blue nails?  Sure...why not.

What started as an experiment to see if I could keep my hands out of my mouth has turned into a monthly quest for a "signature color".

The only problem is that I didn't  take into account that the hands on Pinterest were those of lovely well-groomed professinal hand models and not the meathooks of a portly spinster who should know better.

Don't worry...this will get vetoed as soon as You Know Who wakes up and it will be off to the Walgreens for some industrial strength clear Sally Hansen.

Jan 24, 2016


My Mo-ther can't come to the blog right now.  She's soaking in a hot tub and reading her library book. I decided to write today's post because I have been so in need of the comfort (and attention) of you, my very dear and faithful friends.

The last several weeks were a bit...fraught around here.  Mo-ther has suffered some terrible blows to her pitiful little heart and also endured a bout of tummy trouble that landed her in hot water with the medical powers that be.  I tried very hard to get the old lady off the ceiling in terms of her stress level, but alas, I was unable to do so without the help of Miss Charlene, a couple of great aunts, and an entire bag of peanut M&M's that I cleverly disguised as sedatives.

I think a seven day binge watch of Downtown Abbey also helped tremendously, since we have returned to our afternoon tradition of tea and a sensible cookie, so at last, all is right with the world once again.

My little cousin was here for quite a while, and although I did my level best to ignore him, we had a rather nasty spat as he was saying his goodbyes, and I ended up with a rather gruesome gash on my left ear.  Mo-ther was horrified, but I feel that it finally lends me an air of street cred that had heretofore been missing.  If nothing else, it gives me an interesting story to tell at the club, and my fellow card players might now see me in a more respectful light.  After all...how many of THEM can say they were involved in a bar fight?

Progress continues very nicely on Aunt Laura J. Perin's "Valentine Wreath".  I am particulary happy that Mo-ther has been diligently following the chart and notes on this one rather than going off to do her own thing...which, as you all know, invariably ends in disaster.  But...so far, so good:

Miss Charlene and Miss Jane deserve a gold star for taking Mo-ther out of the house yesterday.  I sent a text to Miss Charlene earlier in the week asking her to babysit, and she happily did so for me.  I just needed a few hours of alone time here in the house to decompress from all of the holiday and other nonsense, and besides, getting away from Mo-ther's fretting and hand wringing was critical to my mental state.

Any time Mo-ther spends time with her Stitchy Sisters she comes home completely renewed, and yesterday was no exception.  It was also quite a success in terms of the Spinster Stitcher Basket O' Wintertime Fun, since she added a few cool pieces.

First up is a companion to the lovely Carolyn Manning Designs tree that she completed a few weeks ago.  This one is called "Sparkle" and also has a few crocheted snowflakes to attach.  Mo-ther is going to stitch this on the same linen that she used for the previous piece and will probably also use the same thread colors so that she can hang them as a set:

Looking to February, Mo-ther decided that she would do this piece once the Valentine Wreath is finished.  It is also by Carolyn Manning Designs and Miss Joy at House of Stitches found a gorgeous piece of Sprite cashel linen for it.  The chart calls for Plum Blossom Jobelan, but that particular hue didn't quite blow Mo-ther's skirt up.  So, Miss Joy to the rescue!  Threads have not been selected for this one yet, but Mo-ther is toying with the idea of varieagted silks from her stash.  Either way, it will mean a lovely afternoon of thread petting and selecting.

The needles were  purchased because after almost ten years of stitching and knowing better, Mo-ther discovered that she was down to the last single needle  in sizes 22 and 24.  How this happened, I will never know, but the situation has now been remedied and the needle drawers are adequately full once more

That's the report for today, dear friends.  I am going to return to my cozy spot in front of the fireplace and catch a snoozy until it's time for Downton.  I do hope you are having a spectacular weekend and that you know I remain your loyal and devoted servant.

With love from your pal,

Jan 23, 2016


Oh, happy happy joy joy.

Stewey and I had a good night's sleep, followed by a wonderful Saturday.  Miss Charlene and Miss Jane picked me up for lunch and a trip to House of Stitches, and now I'm headed to the big girl sleigh bed for a snoozy nap with my face in the sun.

I don't think it would be possible for me to be any happier than I am now....ahhhhh, peace.

Tonight...leftovers from lunch (Gyros), and stitching stitching stitching!  Miss Charlene gifted me a needle threader, so I can't wait to try it.  Believe it or not, I've never used one before, and I think I'm going to love it.

I'll show you my little haul tomorrow, I promise....nap time awaits!

Jan 22, 2016


Our little goat rodeo is back to one Mommie and one Stewey as of about ten minutes ago.  Bosco finished his little staycation and left with his pink blanket and night night bed, but has promised to send the bat signal if he needs a cuddle from his Aunt CJ.
Stewey is thrilled to have my undivided attention once again, but I sure am going to miss my puppy sanwiches!

Back to the Happy Chair and LJP's Valentine Wreath!

Jan 20, 2016


You know how you'll do something under the influence of a substance and think it brilliant, only to wake up the next day to video evidence that you do not, in fact sound like Adele when you drunkenly belt out a tune, but rather, you are just a ridiculous tipsy spinster with underpants on her head and a hairbrush microphne?

Oh wait...too much information?

Well, when I finally hit the pillow at 4am I wondered if my buzz stitching was going to result in me driving the car over something, or if I really did manage to try something new and achieve success.

Turns out that I am as happy with my bow in the light of day as I was in the wee hours of the morning...dancing around with that hairbrush and those underpants on my head.

Thank God for small favors.  This one would have really been an epic fail to correct with all of that...velvet! Let's not even think about the red fuzzy crumbs that would have surely resulted in Stewey running away from home...

As soon as I get my financial house in order and have a bite to eat,  I'm going to get right back at this in the Happy Chair!  Progress contnues as we march onward!

Jan 19, 2016


Miss Charlene picked me up at 6:15 for Guild this evening.

At 6:45 I drank a Venti skinny nonfat peppermint mocha latte.

It didn't have whipped cream, but I suspect that there might have been five or six extra shots of expresso in there, because I find myself ready to solve the world's problems at 1:45 am.


As in the morning.

But the happ happ happiest news of all is that I have completed the big red bow on my Valentine Wreath!

Here are the first few steps.  I used a Sharpie to draw the bow on the canvas by carefully counting and following the chart. (Those are the purple and orange marks that you see in this picture:

Next, I stitched long vertical stitches with perle cotton randomly, being careful to stay one thread inside the outline. These long stitches will act as padding for the bow and will give it a little dimension:

When the padding stitches were complete, I stitched the dark parts of the bow with the called for Very Velvet V213:

And then finally added all of the rest of the bow in long horizontal stitches with Very Velvet V282, also as per the chart:

Overall, I am totally pleased with the result.  This was my first time marking canvas with markers, padding stitches with perle cotton, and then stitching with Very Velvet.  

Good thing I had all that caffeine to fuel my efforts.  Maybe I'm on to something...


In an effort to get my proverbial house in order, I decided to set about the task of organizing and spritzing and putzing and futzing my way into tidy nirvannah by the end of the week.  Today is a nothing day, of course, because after all of that list writing and pondering over the state of things, I needed a day to go to bed and pull the covers over my head.

I am, however, going to take a bath, put my shoes on, and head to guild tonight, so I do get at least one point for doing something besides imitating a turtle today.

Tomorrow I'm going to get my financial house in order by setting up a proper bill paying basket area. Dropping the mail into a big pile and then getting to it when I get to it isn't exactly a good way to manage one's self, it would seem, since I keep misplacing things like my checkbook and utility bills.

Thursday and Friday are going to be housecleaning days for this poor slovenly spinster, and as God is my witness, I will end up with clean baseboards or I'm going to move.  I've promised myself to take it one room at a time and to allow two days instead of one to do a thorough cleaning, but given the depth of dust and other debris around here, it might take me that long just to fire up the bulldozer.

I blame Stewey and Bosco for this latest state of mess around here, since neither seems willing to put away their toys, throw away their half-eaten bones, or put their cocktail glasses in the dishwasher. I swear, it's like living in a Jack Russell fraternity house around here.

I'm happily stitching away on Miss LJP's Valentine Wreath, and if all goes according to plan I'll have a pretty good update for you soon.  I'll be very excited to get this one finish-finished, since there have been so many great ideas about making it into an actual padded wreath.  And, since we're doing all of these different wreaths in guild, methinks I just might have a new centerpiece for the seasonal displays on the Big White Wall of Nothingness!

That's the report for today, my dear friends.  I hope that you are doing exactly what you want to be doing today and that you're warm and safe and dry while doing it!

Jan 18, 2016


Six hearts down, many many more to go!  I'm really enjying this one thus far and am following the directions and notes from Miss Beth (an ANG guild sister) faithfully.  

Amazing how much easier life can be when you leave the heavy liftng to the professionals!

Jan 17, 2016


It's cold and blustery today.  Bitterly cold.  Bitterly blustery.  I've got a roast in the crock pot doing its thing, the fireplace set to Toasty! and LJP's Valentine Wreath for company:

And two little supervisors who insist on competing for my attention and Happy Chair space:

Jan 16, 2016


Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit Stewey Little, King of My Universe:

As soon as I finish the crossword puzzle and empty the dishwasher I'm off to market for provisions!  Time for vegetable soup, cheese, and crackers for the week!

WooHoo, Saturday!

Jan 15, 2016


I know we're still celebrating January and I promised not to rush the seasons this year, but next up is Laura J. Perin's "Valentine Wreath".  This is a project that we're stitching in the Hoosier Heartland chapter of ANG and I wanted to get a good start on it before the next meeting.

It's a gloomy gloomy day here in Hoosierville, so after a hot bath and a few loads of laundry, methinks that the Happy Chair is going to get a good workout!

Do something fabulous today and tell us all about it!

Woo Hoo!

Jan 14, 2016


Carolyn Manning Designs
28ct Fog cashel
Gentle Art Dungarees, DMC 3865, 3790, 3033, ecru

Jan 13, 2016


I keep my religous-ness pretty much close to the vest...not because I'm ashamed of it or out of some sense of guilty fear, but because it's one of the Big Three.

(The Big Three are the things one should probably just keep to oneself if one were to have any hope of playing well with others.)

(Oh, come on.  You know what they are: s-e-x, politics, and religion.)

But I digress...

I was talking to my Aunt JoAnn recently about a situation that has had me completely....vexed, and she said "Coni Jo, just give it up to God".

My Aunt JoAnn has given me other pieces of good advice over the years, especially the one about putting on your lipstick and just getting on with it, so I figured I'd give it a shot.  I don't normally do that kind of thing, since I always figured that the Big Man had a lot more important stuff to worry about than this idiot spinster bumble-clucking her way through things, and besides, I always figured that the best life philosophy was the one that told you to just sit in the back, keep quiet, and don't, under any circumstances, cause a stir.

But I digress again.

So as I soaked in the tub the other night I told the Big Man that I was just making a mess of this situation and that although He probably had other stuff like war and global warming to deal with, I could use a little help.

And then I remembered hearing one of the Housewives say "Jesus, take the wheel" and I thought that sounded pretty good.  So I did, and got on with things and patted myself on the head for matching advice from my Aunt JoAnn with something I saw on the TeeVee, since that just confirmed that the advice was sound and I was apparently watching the right channel.

Last night, as I was tossing and turning and fretting and worrying, Stewey popped his head out of the blankets and asked me what all the fuss was about.  So I tried to explain that I had recently decided to relinquish control over a situation and to just give it up to a higher power, but that I was a little frustrated at the path that was unfolding before me.

Stewey listened patiently, patted my hand, and nodded as if he understood and then told me that I couldn't ask Jesus to take the wheel and then bitch about His driving.

I sat in stunned silence.

He went back to sleep.

So, dear friends...give it up to God, listen to your Aunt JoAnn, and never, ever doubt that a nine pound Jack Russell terrier wearing a sleeping mask and a silk smoking jacket isn't truly the source of all wisdom.

Back to the Happy Chair today...we're closing in on a finish!

Jan 12, 2016


If life imitated art, the amount of snow we would have received today would have been three snowflakes instead of three feet.

OK, we didn't really get three feet.  It just felt like three feet as I tried to shovel a path for the boys to do their thing this morning.  I finally gave up and figured I'd deal with their thing in May.

I ventured out into the tundra last night for EGA and am glad I did.  Not only did I get to spend a few hours stitching three snowflakes, I also learned that I'm braver than I think (for leaving the house after dark and in bad weather), and I was treated to a hot chocolate by Miss Charlene.

It's a new thing...hot chocolate.  I hadn't really had it since I was a kid and Miss Charlene has introduced me to the joys of a steamy cup of it to set the world right.  After the gallons and gallons of tea that passed my lips during the Downton Abbey bingeing, this is a lovely change of pace.

I hope you are warm and safe and dry today, kids.  Here in Hoosierville we're hunkered down with blankets, some stitching, a few good movies....and hot chocolate!

Jan 9, 2016


It's almost 5 pm and I am just hitting the Happy Chair with a vat of ice water, the TeeVee remote, and my stitching.  I spent the day in a meeting that required  me to listen to a room full of very very smart people, and I left it with a splitting headache and the sad realization that I am the living embodiment of the phrase "Every village needs an idiot".

I could have been a contender....although for what, exactly, I'm not entirely sure.

So thank you, dear friends, for a safe place to land once again.  It's nice to know that all it takes for me to feel semi-human again is a threaded needle and some stitchy peeps for company!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read a cross stitch chart and feel like a freaking rock star.

Jan 8, 2016


Back to cross stitch!  This is "Blossom" by Carolyn Manning Designs.  Only the lower left corner and the crocheted snowflakes to go and this will be off to the framer!

(The crocheted snowflakes and lovely button centers come with the chart, by the way.)