Nov 10, 2014

BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING...

Forgive me, but it took me a minute to get smart enough to delete all of the crap from the hacker.  Thanks to a loyal and devoted reader explaining it to me, I now know that the only thing that mess was about was trying to spread a virus.  And since the LAST thing I want is to cause grief to those I love  (that would be all of you) I opted o.u.t.

Here's a little progress on Shepherd's Bush "Harvest of Plenty".  It is such a joy to stitch....pulling that silk through that linen is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Nov 4, 2014

I REALLY NEED TO GET RID OF THIS DARN BLANKET

Scene:  A living room somewhere in the Midwestern United States.  A portly spinster is sprawled in her Happy Chair, needle and thread in hand, a stupid-soft throw wrapped about her substantial frame.

A little dog appears.

He hops up onto the spinster, peers over his little reading glasses, checks for a pulse, and then gently pokes her a few times to see if she can be persuaded to either a) stop snoring and let him resume his perusal of the latest New Yorker, or b) haul herself out of said Happy Chair and stumble into the big girl sleigh bed for some shut eye.

The spinster grunts, clutches the stupid-soft blanket tighter to her ample (yet saggy) bosom, and mutters something about Jeffrey Dean Morgan and animal shelters.  She does, however, manage to let go of the needle and thread long enough for the little dog to park it safely on the designer pin cushion that the spinster and her sister just had to have during a recent late-night excursion to the WalMart.

Sighing heavily, the little dog turns off the spinster's stitching light, pats her on the head for being the simpleton that she is, and then pees on the ottoman as he makes his way back to his study.

The End.

Nov 1, 2014

SATURDAY SPINSTER BLISS

Stewey and I are snoodled up under our new cozy blanket, the Irish are playing Navy, and I'm stitching "Harvest of Plenty" by Shepherd's Bush.  We had snow for Halloween, I made a lovely cauliflower chowder, and tomorrow is the first official Sunday brisket of the autumnal season.

Who's happier than me?


Yes....you're seeing that correctly.  You Know Who insists that his toys remain organized according to season.

Damn dog.

I have no idea what the score is....I've been too busy looking at stitchy blogs!

Ahhhhhh.  Is there anything better than pulling silk through a gorgeous piece of linen? 

Our new blanket is from the Wal-Mart.  It's stupid soft, has a sherpa backing, and was $15.  I am, however, convinced that it has some kind of magical fairy tale sleeping curse capabilities, since I lapse into a serious coma every time I get under the darn thing.

Please forgive my absence these last several months, dear friends.  I don't mean to be away so long, but life keeps getting in the way of things.  All will be well.  Keep the happy thoughts and here's hoping that your own corner of the world is cozy, too!

Sep 25, 2014

SORRY, BETTY

Do you remember our friend, Betty, who wrote to me every day to tell me how much she hated every single thing about me and my stupid little life?

Well, brace yourself, Betty.  Because all I have for you today is drivel.  No pictures of stitching.  No pictures of the lovely autumnal decorations that Aunt Chrissy has strewn about my house.  No funny photos of Little Lord Fauntleroy doing whatever it is that makes Little Lord Fauntleroy such an...interesting...companion to one lonely old spinster.

Yes, it's true.  I have been eating my fair share of bruschetta and pudding these last few days, but at least I have a good excuse for it.  I've re-watched Julie and Julia about a dozen times, and one of the opening cooking scenes is Julie making bruschetta for her husband.  You know the one I'm talking about....she fries the thick-cut bread in olive oil and then mixes up some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and basil.

What can I say?  That sounded pretty good to me, so I did what any normal person would do.  I went to the grocery store, bought about eight dozen loaves of fancypants bread, a truckload of heirloom tomatoes, a small bush of basil, and went to town.  Last night I added crumbled feta just because I could.  Here's the way I perfected Bruschetta a 'la Spinster:

Thickly sliced crusty bread (mine was sliced to precisely 1 1/2 inches)
Good olive oil
Heirloom tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Balsamic vinegar
Feta or Blue Cheese crumbles
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic cloves (you need a few really big ones peeled to rub on the bread)

Pre-heat a toaster oven to broil.  Brush bread with olive oil, add a little salt and pepper, and put it in to toast while you're dicing and mixing the topping.  Chop the tomatoes and basil, drizzle on a little balsamic and olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Add cheese, if you're so inclined.  Flip the bread over to get the other side golden brown, and when it is, take it out and rub it vigorously with the garlic clove.  Top with the tomato mixture, pour yourself a big glass of red wine (or, in my case Raspberry Ice Crystal Light) and enjoy!

Now as for the pudding....I ate that because I wanted something a little sweet and I had two boxes of sugar free/fat free chocolate fudge instant pudding mix in the pantry and I needed to use up the vat of skim milk that I bought because I swore I was going to drink more skim milk.   (I'm not much of a milk drinker, as it turns out, so any time I can figure out a way to sneak it into something, I'm pretty happy.)

So there you have it.  That's the sum total of the last two months of my life.  I have not stitched or even thought about stitching in so long that it's making my skin itch, but I have promised myself a studio day very very soon to remedy that.

Stewey, as you know, is perfectly fine and is getting PLENTY of evening games of Pumpkin(!) in before the snow flies, and Aunt Chrissy and Bosco are making sure that we behave ourselves and don't do anything too terribly stupid.

What's new with you?

Sep 24, 2014

SOMEBODY CALL WEIGHT WATCHERS

My mom can't come to the blog right now.  She's sitting in the Happy Chair....eyes glazed over....mumbling something about being normal and just doing things like a person does without having to fall into the "all spinster / all the time" trap.

For the last eight days, my stupid Mo-ther has consumed nothing but bruschetta and pudding.

Bruschetta.

And pudding.

What can I say?  When the old lady goes on a tear, there's not much that I am able to do that will snap her out of whatever crazypants mess she's got cooking in that hot crock pot full of obsession she owns.  Best to just let her tire herself out, and then when she finally falls into a heap, I can call my Aunt Chrissy to come help me clean up the mess.

I hope that your corner of the world is a lot more.....normal.  Until we meet again, I remain your loyal and devoted pal.

With much love,
Stewey

Sep 11, 2014

PUMPKIN STORY

Once upon a time, there was a spoiled little dog who loved pumpkins....



Sep 5, 2014

IN WHICH OUR HEROINE FINDS A PROFILE PICTURE SHE CAN FINALLY LIVE WITH.....

So I don't suppose it's any secret that I remain anonymous on purpose.  The truth of the matter is that I simply cannot STAND to have my big fat face anywhere near a camera and/or profile picture.

Today, at last (!)  I have finally found one that I can live with.

You might have heard that there is a football game in these here parts tomorrow night.  My beloved Alma Mater (she says with a hearty "Ahem") is playing the University of Michigan.  This rivalry goes back a ways and is intense...just like almost every other rivalry we have with schools like USC, Miami, and anybody else that we've ever played in our storied 150+ year history.

(Wait a minute...could it be that a little Irish Pride has started to creep back into my veins?!  How the heck did that happen!  Somebody alert the authorities...she's starting to cave!!!)

Anywhoose....I thought y'all might get a kick out of having a little inside info in the event that you and yours decide to watch the game:

Notre Dame has officially launched the GOLD GANG.  This gang is a group of student ambassadors that will roam the campus wearing full body suits (of gold) along with t-shirts that commemorate each of the 11 years that Notre Dame has won a National Championship.  The idea is that these roaming gold guys will generate team spirit, hype the hype, and generally be something cool for devoted fans to look at while they're roasting their tailgate wienies.

Now here's where the inside info comes in.....you can tell everybody you know that you just happen to be close personal friends with the person that decorated the uniforms of the Gold Gang!  Yes, that's right, our very own Aunt Chrissy is the person responsible for physically applying the digital transfer to the fronts and backs of all of the Gold Gang's t-shirts!  How freakin' cool is THAT?!

Stewey and I will be back soon with updates on all of the shenanigans at Chez Spinster.  We've managed to accomplish a LITTLE stitching, a little MORE cooking, a LOT of reading, and a TON of sleeping!

Until we meet again.....here's hoping that your very own corner of the world is indeed....GOLDEN!




Aug 21, 2014

A NOTE FROM MASTER STEWEY ANGUS WILLOWSWAMP, HIS VERY LITTLE (AND SNIFFLY) SELF

My mom can't come to the blog right now.  The old lady has been on a complete tear ever since THEY revealed the Shamrock Series unis this week.  I swear, if it weren't for the fact that I've been feeling poorly lately and have been unable to accompany her, she would have climbed into the Big Girl VeeHickLe and sped over to campus to demand an audience.

So many of you have sent emails asking where the Spinster Stitcher rant is regarding said unis.  Mo-ther asked me to pass along the message that she is.....formulating.  Stay tuned for what promises to be a rather entertaining few minutes in the life of an idiot spinster.

As for me, I am under the proverbial weather with my allergies.  I awoke this morning with puffy eyes and a runny nose, and I have been sorely tempted to chew at my forearms.  One quick call to my internist, however, and I am soon to be on the mend once my script is on board.

Now if I could only get a prescription for whatever it is that has my stupid mo-ther such a hot mess, all would indeed be perfectly swell here in Hoosierville.

I'm sorry to report that there has been absolutely NO stitching happening in the friendly confines.  I suspect that it is due to the usual August ennui, and that once the temperatures return to something OTHER than that of the surface of the sun the needles will fly once again.  In looking at my previous years' reports, I do see that we seem to enter a very major stitchy slump this time of year, so I'm giving it until Labor Day before I call in the (Aunt Chrissy) authorities.

I do hope that this finds you well.  Please know that I remain your loyal and devoted friend and send you my very deepest and most heartfelt wishes for a wonderfully happy day.

With love from your pal,
Stewey


Aug 11, 2014

Aug 9, 2014

WHAT I'M STITCHING NOW...

This is Zecca's "Bird in a Nest".  Threads and stitch guide by Miss Ruth Schmuff Her Very Self of Beadecked and Beadazzled fame...

Aug 4, 2014

THEY REALLY SHOULD MAKE PILLS FOR THIS....OH WAIT! MAYBE THEY DO!

Chelloooooo!

I am utterly and totally bobcumdistulated today.  I'm pretty sure that it has to do with the fact that I have just spent the last TWO weekends out of town, but the more likely explanation is that I had to be ME out there in the public and not be too MUCH me for more than fourteen seconds at a time.

I think my head is going to explode.

What can I say?  You spend the majority of your life hiding in your house with a fussy little dog and you get a little nuts when you have to wear shoes and a bra and carry on polite conversation about something other than ort receptacles.

The first trip outside of my comfort zone (Read that as: outside the eight-foot perimeter of Chez Spinster), was to Donaldson, Indiana and the annual Sit 'n Stitch with 50 of the most amazingly wonderful ladies you will ever meet.  It was life-changing for me in many many ways, and I learned how to take a shower in the glove compartment of a Ford Focus.

(If you've ever been to the Lindenwood Retreat Center at Ancilla College in Donaldson...insert your guffaws here.)  All I can tell you is that the size of the shower and the amplitude of Yours Truly made for a very interesting morning.  At one point, I figured that the best way to get clean would be to apply the body wash to the walls of the shower/glove compartment, and then just shimmy my way to a bright and spot free shine, but the resulting jiggly bits threw me into convulsions that could be heard all the way down the hall.

A fair amount of thread was applied, removed, and applied again to the Zecca Bird in a Nest canvas, but alas, I do not have it or my camera here for photographic evidence.  Tomorrow....I promise.

This last weekend found me in Lima, Ohio for my 30th high school class reunion.

(I'll save you from having to do the math in your head.  Ready?....I'm 48.)

(You're welcome.)

Now here's where I confess that I fretted and fretted and fretted about this for six months, purposely missed the deadline to attend, and then turned my car around about nine times because of the full-on panic that ensued every single time I thought of having to say "Hi, do you remember me?  I was the one sitting in History class trying to look like I had a clue about what I was doing, but all I really wanted to do was go hide in my locker until graduation."

The flop sweat hit ten minutes after I left the hotel and the red blotches appeared right about the time I realized that there was no good way to run screaming from the banquet room without drawing attention to my big fat heiney hastily packed into twelve year old capris pants and a blouse that was apparently made of thermo-nuclear fabric. (I'm pretty sure that I could have baked a ham in there and had plenty of heat left over for the green bean casserole.)  (Note to self.....find.  better.  deodorant.) (Second note to self....burn. blouse.)

By the time the event started (oh, did I mention that I was about four hours early?), I had worked myself up into a froth of bug-eyed, sweaty, blotchy, messiness that could only be contained in the corner stall of the ladies room.  I spent a fair amount of time in there quietly gritting my teeth and chanting "Get a freakin grip already.  Get a freakin grip already" until it occurred to me that people were probably starting to wonder about the weird girl who spent the night in the john talking to herself.

Yeah.  THAT'S the way to rebuild a reputation.

Despite having to be ME, I managed to have the time of my life, and I can't believe that I was actually lucky enough to go to school with this group of people.

Thank God, though, that I've got five years to recover, get a grip, and find better pharmaceuticals.

Stewey sends his love.  He was happy to spend some time with his Aunt Chrissy, but a bit miffed that it was not (as I had promised him) a vacation aboard a Viking Cruise through the waterways of Europe.  (Can I help it if he's getting harder and harder to please?  A mo-ther's gotta do what a mo-ther's gotta do to get the damn dog in the car seat, after all.)

Here's hoping that your last few weeks have been filled with all things happy.  If you've gone to your own events this summer and would like to pass along any helpful tips about how one might learn to be a little less....Spinster Stitcher-ish, please drop me a line.  I'll take all the help I can get.

Woo Hoo!


Jul 19, 2014

JUST ME AND MY EYE PATCH

We awoke at the crack 'o dawn (it really was, but you have to expect that sort of thing when you go to bed at 7:30) , had coffee, and then.....drumroll please...

WE SPENT THE MORNING IN THE STUDIO!!!

I figured out how to turn the record player on and while jamming to Elton, I colorized this:





I'm in the Happy Chair....needle and antiseptic bandaids at the ready, and now....off to stitch!

Jul 18, 2014

POKED...

I poked something, all right.

Myself.

Right in the eye.

No, seriously....I sat down to start stitching and promptly reached up to brush a forelock from my forehead and poked myself in the eyeball with the needle.

If it weren't for the fact the Stewey laughed so hard (*) he peed the ottoman, I would have been really traumatized.  As it is, I checked for blood, slapped a cold compress on my head and went to bed.

Sometimes it's just not at all easy being me.

Now here's the good news in all of this.  Because I'm stupid enough to do this stuff and then even stupider enough to tell you all about it, I will get thousands of comments expressing sympathy and suggestions as to how I can live in the world and still be me at the same time.

What would I do without you all?  Thank you for your kindness...your inspiration...your tolerance...and most of all for just understanding . You ROCK!

Here's to happy weekends all around.

I. Am. Determined. To. Stitch. If. It's. The. Last. Thing. I. Do.

(*) In case you're wondering, his laughter is rather like that of the beloved Snoopy of Peanuts fame....high pitched, squeaky little giggles that make his whole little self jiggle and shake.

Jul 17, 2014

IT'S LONELY OUT IN SPACE....

I think there's a line in Elton John's "Rocket Man" that says something about "I miss the Earth, I miss my life".

Or, maybe it's supposed to be "wife".  I don't know.  Either way, all I know is that I miss my old life.  I miss having an entire day to think about stitching and then do the actual stitching and then write about stitching and then do more of the thinking about stitching.

Stewey is completely miffed that we seem to have fallen into a terrible trap of....nothingness....that includes a lot of bad TeeVee and even worse meals. I suspect that if I don't clean up my act soon he's going to hit the road for greener pastures.  (I swear I came home the other day to find him furiously stuffing smoking jackets into his little valise while simultaneously berating his stuffed toys for not being more helpful.)

The good news, though, is that I actually had wonderful dreams last night that I WAS stitching.  Nothing too Earth-shattering, mind you.  Just a very pleasant nine and a half hours of dreaming that I was sitting in a lovely comfy chair with a pretty blanket over my legs stitching away on something wonderful.

I awoke hopeful.

So here's to a Thursday on which I, the Spinster Stitcher Her Very Self, do so solemnly swear to pick up a needle and poke something with it before days' end.

How 'bout you?

Jul 7, 2014

STEWEY/MO-THER VERSERY

Mo-ther's version:

"Nine years ago yesterday, Aunt Chrissy and I traveled to the wilds of Indiana to pick up my two and a half pound bundle of joy.  I knew the very moment I held that little creature in my arms that my life would never be the same.  I looked deeply into his eyes, took a deep breath, and said:  "I.  Am.  Your.  Mommie."  We drove home, with Stewey sleeping peacefully in his Aunt Chrissy's arms (I think I even made her sit in the back seat for safety purposes!), and then I spent the rest of the night watching my new baby snore happily away in his playpen.  He was potty trained the next morning, learned to fetch a ball the next afternoon, and fully in love with his huge basket of fluffy toys by the end of the day.  What can I say?  Those first several months were sheer bliss and I would not trade one moment of the last 3,285 days for anything in this world."

Stewey's version:

"I couldn't have been picked up by that nice pediatrician and his wife from Cincinnati?"

.....................................................

Hard to believe it, but it's true.  Stewey and I celebrated nine years of being.....us.....yesterday.  I snuggled him every chance I got and he did his level best not to pee on the drapes.  All in all, a very good day.

Jul 3, 2014

FIREWORKS

Happy 4th of July to all of our U.S. friends.....

Stewey and I are gobsmacked by the tons of emails that we've received in the last few days asking if we weathered the storms OK.  The short answer is, yes, thank goodness, but many in our area weren't so lucky.

The tornado sirens went off at 1am, we headed for our bathroom bunker shortly thereafter, and the lights went "poof" at about 1:05.

Power is back on and we are none the worse for wear (except for a few trees that look a bit naked), but we're not looking forward to doing THAT again any time soon.

Here's hoping that the weekend is calm and bright and full of stitchy goodness for everybody!  Thanks for thinking of us....WOO HOO!

Jun 24, 2014

BLOG? WHAT BLOG?

So there I was, minding my very own business, when I looked up.

"Holy crap, Batman!" I exclaimed to nobody in particular.  "It's almost the end of June!  How the h-e-double-toothpicks did THAT happen?"

The truth of the matter is that time seems to be speeding by us here in Hoosierville quite quickly this summer.  It's not due to anything exciting, mind you, but rather just the general blah blah blah that is my life.

Stewey is fine...toes are all in tact and healed very nicely.  He was totally miffled that he had to have his little cast removed, especially since the sight of it gave everybody a case of the "Awwwww, isn't he the cutest little thing you've ever seen" bug.

Chez Spinster has remained spiffed up, but no visit from the Jersey Boy just yet.  I wait with breath that is batied for the day he crosses the threshold, but am doing my level best not to get too excited about it until I see the license plate in the driveway.

(You have to love that about New Jersey...front license plates!  We don't have them here in Indiana and I really do miss them terribly.)

(I find it comforting to know the home whereabouts of the cars that you're careening into on any given day.  Don't you?)

Aunt Chrissy is all skinny now and sporting her fancypants glasses where ever she goes.  I'm not sure how she did it, but my little sister has managed to get even cuter, all while maintaining her usual aura of exasperated patience with moi and moi's little you know who.

I am stitching a bit.  Managed to finish the little all-tent-stitch-all-the-time piece that I was playing with.  If I ever find the battery to the camera, I'll show you how it came out.

So that's it, kids.  Nothing new.  Nothing Earth shattering.  Just me,.

I'll make sure that Stewey gets back to it soon and updates you on all of his shenangins.  Until then, know that we remain your loyal and devoted friends and hope that you are well and safe and happy and stitching to your heart's content!

Ciao, mee amorays!
Coni

May 29, 2014

MY POOR BUBBIE....

We've had a sports-related injury here at Chez Spinster.  As of this morning, the Doozie Ball World Champion has stubbed his little toe.  From the sounds of things coming from You Know Who, you'd think we had suffered a partial amputation....

Damn dog.


We're off like a herd of (injured, yet sporting a cute little cast with chickens on it) turtles!

May 27, 2014

THE WAY BACK?

I've been so frustrated with my lack of stitching (and reading and writing and cooking and blogging and sleeping) that I decided to go back to basics.  A lovely little needlepoint canvas done all in tent stitch with Vineyard Silks.

This is Birds of a Feather's Flowers in a Yellow Vase:

May 17, 2014

THEY REALLY SHOULD MAKE PILLS FOR THIS

My mo-ther can't come to the blog right now.  She's collapsed (yet again) into a hysterical mess of a heap over this:

As I'm sure many of you are aware, my stupid mo-ther is a self diagnosed agoraphobic with moderate to severe panic disorder....who didn't leave the house for a period of eight years.

(She says it's because she was afraid that she would break out into a flop sweat and then chatter like a circus monkey over the prospect of having normal human interaction, but I think the only reason why she played this little drama to the hilt is because she didn't have a proper bra.  Or haircut.)

So now she's thrown herself across the davenport with her forearm draped across her face while she bemoans the fact that the garden has yet to be planted, the patio furniture has yet to be placed, the geraniums have yet to be positioned, and she is never going to leave the confines of her freshly shampooed Happy Chair again.

If it weren't for the fact that I abhor violence so, I would get a garden spade from the garage and dispatch this situation forthwith.  As it is, I am going to have to call my Aunt Chrissy to ask her to prepare the guest quarters.

Methinks it's going to be a long summer.

I do hope that this finds you well and that things are considerably less dramatic in your corner of the world.

With much love from your pal, 
Stewey

May 12, 2014

AND THEN THE HAPPY CHAIR GOT A BATH

So there I was, minding my very own business, when it occurred to me that there might be a solution to the Stewey "issue" here at Chez Spinster.

"I can call people!", I thought to myself.  "I can call people who know how to clean things, and I can ask these people to bring their cleaning machines to help me rid myself once and for all of the "situation" we've developed over the short nine years that Stewey has been watering the planet!"

So at 10 am on the d.o.t., two nice men named Terry and Nick arrived with their cleaning machines to spiff things up once and for all.  At first, I was mortified that they would see that I have furniture older than Methuselah His Very Self, but they assured me that they've seen worse and I shouldn't be embarrassed over a piddle or two.

Especially when you consider that Stwey met them at the door wearing his best silk smoking jacket, and promptly offered them a cold beverage. (Martinis, thankyouverymuch.  Stirred, not shaken.  With twists.)

Damn dog.

A few Sure-fit slipcovers later and I'm now suitable for guests.  Aunt Chrissy and my Jersey Boy won't know what hit 'em.

We're not even going to talk about the state of NON-STITCHING that's going on around here.  If I don't get a needle in my hand this evening, there's going to be hell to pay.

What's new in your world?  Hopefully your furniture and carpets are piddle-free and your needles are flying!

May 9, 2014

NOW YOU KNOW WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO, BY THE SPINSTER STITCHER HER VERY SELF


I shamelessly boosted this from a fellow stitcher's page on the Facebook.  Isn't it genius?

Seriously, though, kids...all is well.  Just trying to keep my crazy on the inside.  Stewey and I are getting Chez Spinster in some semblance of order for the Spring and Summer, and I'm fretting over a complete lack of stitching progress.

Maybe I should look for a clean dress?

Mar 31, 2014

A LITTLE NOTE FROM ME TO YOU, BY MASTER STEWEY ANGUS WILLOWSWAMP, HIS VERY LITTLE SELF

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope so.

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

With love from your pal,
Stewey

Mar 27, 2014

HOLEY SCHMOLEY!

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

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

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

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

SPINSTER:  I'm a Needleartist.

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

RANDOM PERSON:  A Needleartist?  What's that?

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

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

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

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

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

Here's the link:
http://www.michelecarragherembroidery.com/index.htm




Mar 26, 2014

WEDNESDAY, WEDNESDAY

Chelloooo!

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

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

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

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




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




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

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

Mar 22, 2014

DAMN, DRAT, AND FREAKIN PHOOEY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You gotta love that about Aunt Chrissy.

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

What's new with you?




Mar 9, 2014

INTER MET ZO

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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

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