The Little Rambler

comments: 28

ApronsI am ready, I am sooooo ready for spring. Can't get here fast enough. Nevertheless, at this time of year, as in fall, I am always scrambling, trying to finish the season's new products, so spring is actually coming too fast for Posie. Too slow for me, too fast for Posie. Today will be a total scramble, as I finish what I started on the weekend (Pirouette handbags and Fleur Button Bobbies) and head to the P.O. to do the international packages from last week. International shipping is ever so slightly more challenging, as it requires filling out customs forms and standing in a long line and then talking to an actual person, instead of ramming everything through the "robot," as we call him, or APC, the way we like to. We don't like to speak to any actual people at the P.O. This is the one place where I would say that automated progress is just much, much better. Actual conversation with postal people always goes badly for me, especially at the SE Station on 7th. If you ever feel like you need to feel worse about the state of our federal services, just go there. I remember once buying a stamp at the P.O. somewhere in Italy. I said, "How much is a stamp for this letter?" (though I had a phrasebook and said it in Italian).
     The guy sort of leaned back, looked me up and down, crossed his arms as if we was considering whether or not to sleep with me, too, and said, "For you? For you, 1000 lira" (or whatever it was).
     I stood there, mouth agape, predictably incredulous. I said, "No, not just for me, for everybody."
     "One thousand lira."
     I wasn't sure if I should be reverse-offended -- apparently now I wasn't cute enough to get a discount.
     "Okay." I paid for the stamp, he stamped the letter, then threw it backwards over his shoulder.

Just kidding. He didn't really throw it over his shoulder. But that's sort of what it feels like at an Italian P.O. And the SE Station. Like you're completely shocked when your mail actually makes it out of there and reaches its destination.

Littlehousesl But anyway, never mind about that. What I wanted to say is that aprons are coming to the Posie product line, inspired by this little book, one of my favorites. Remember it? It's The Little House: Her Story by Virgina Lee Burton (1948), a cautionary tale about urban expansion and the dangers of being too curious about life in the big city. My copy was actually mine when I was little, published as part of the Weekly Reader Children's Book Club my mom enrolled me in when I was very small. This book was always a favorite, yet it haunts you; I felt a strange dissatisfaction and unmitigated anxiety at the end when the plan to restore the house to her bucolic lifestyle required jacking her up off her foundation and moving her further out to the country. Even now, upon rereading it, I am much more disturbed than relieved by the solution, feeling its message keenly yet resisting it all the same, thinking, "There has to be a way. We must save the Portland public school system!" (Which, in case you didn't know, is flat-lining, too.)

Littlehousepage So, okay, what this has to do with aprons. Well. Hopefully today I'm going to do some aprons. (Those ones in the picture at the top are vintage and Anthropologie, by the way, and I just keep them on display like that in my bedroom 'cause I think they're so pretty, and I have stacks and stacks of aprons folded elsewhere in the kitchen, and about three or four others being used as curtains in the pantry. So, obviously, let's make more. No, but what's so cool about wearing them over jeans or skirts or whatever is that they don't have to be sized, the way skirts do. When skirts were part of the Posie product line way back when, I loved designing them and I think people loved buying them, but what I didn't like was fitting them (though A-lines tend to fit almost everybody). But I find selling clothing that actually has to fit someone perfectly on-line a bit too challenging. So, aprons, which always fit, and anyway, we should all be wearing way more aprons over our jeans and skirts and dresses anyway because they just look totally adorable, no? I mean, hanging them is cute but wearing them, far beyond the kitchen, is cuter.) And the aprons will have pockets, and on the pockets will be silk-screened one of my favorite quotes, and a little drawing of one of my favorite things, so stay tuned for that.

Wow. Note to self: Start drinking decaf, or get a friend, pronto.

Oh, and honey, if you're reading this before I talk to you, please call the music store where you picked up your French horn yesterday. They want to talk to you.


i loved this book! and i can't wait to see your aprons. perhaps i will have to send you more fabric to include in them. can't wait to see.

ohmygod.....another French Horn? I'm thrilled! When I think of the years we worked to improve Andy's embouchure, I could weep. I'm usually feeling eternal regret that I let the "professionals" talk me into having Andy take French Horn instead of the drums he had his little heart set on. I have always feared that his minor (?) obsession with collecting as many musical instruments as humanly possible might be my fault. But then, what isn't a mother's fault! So....check his "pucker" when he starts to play, and hold your ears until he gets that lovely, haunting sound that only a French Horn can make. I adore the pictures and words in your last two blogs. I feel like I'm slowly walking around your house, sipping coffee, waiting to start a lovely, leisurely Spring day. Clearly, that isn't going to happen for you today either. Love!

ANOTHER French horn? Does he have more than one that I don't know about? Why doesn't that surprise me. I didn't even know he had ONE until yesterday. . . . And to think I was making fun of him for having one. Two is like, off-the-charts harrassment and mocking.

The man, though readily accessible in so many ways, does have his mysteries.

I LOVE this book! This was one of my favorite that I read to my boys 15 - 20 years ago. Unfortunately, ours was only paperback but still the illustrations are so cute, and I loved how each page's picture showed the changes all around the little house, but it remained the same. Thanks for reminding me of this!

I love that top image!
so sweet and lovely!

Aprons!! (insert squeal) Very exciting! I made some for all our kid friends for Christmas this year-- the idea of 'grow with you' sizing is so easy with smocks and aprons. Maybe some kid versions...? It's the gift that keeps your kid clean-- what more could you ask for?

how funny to see that you are thinking about this book - we have the Little House on loan from our local library now along with loads of other vintage books. I'm in love with the old illustrations and find myself smiling each time I pass by our "library basket" and see all the little gems!

i heart aprons! i can't get enough of the pics of your house! 1. you take great pictures. 2. you have a great eye for decorating 3. i love how you display/decorate with such adorable items.

I've never posted here before but I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog! Your pictures and words are always very beautiful and inspire me on a daily basis. I've always loved The Little House and I had almost forgotten about it until I saw your post today. Not to add any pressure, but I can't wait for the new spring collection! It sounds so lovely! Thanks so much for sharing!

The apron photo is a work of art. You should think about doing a little calendar or note card with your photos - they are that good! More, more, more....Pleeeeease!

Stephanie says: March 13, 2006 at 11:12 AM

1. very excited about the aprons.
2. just home from the SE P.O. and i couldn't use the robot because there were no priority mail stickers to be found so i had to wait in line. the asian gentleman who i used to be afraid of, but who now calls me the "expensive toy lady" (from reading my customs forms) and gives my kids blue lollies saw me, smiled, and put up his "closed, next window please" placard as i approached (SNAP!)
3. i love all the v.l. burton books (i think i have mike mulligan memorized), but i, too, am a little conflicted about the message in "the little house". there should be some cute solution involving responsible urban growth, but i can't come up with one.

I've had tons of fun with my aprons and was so glad to add them to my line! I can't wait to see your version...surely it will be darling and clever, and just so posy.

I enjoyed reading about the man at the in Italy. That´s just plain old machismo latino! There are still a few specimens here in Spain too. But we don´t have robots here yet, i always have to talk to someone when i post my packages, and it´s been good so far!

I love the way you display your aprons.
Your post office experiences make me laugh. I use to work in one. I think the Italian guy was just having a bit of light fun. I don't think you should take it personally. It's an incredibly dull job being asked how much to post this.

Oh, Alicia, don't fret about the Italian post office guy, he saw how cute you are and was just flirting. I know it's frustrating for independent women, but that's the Latin way. Trust me, I know.

I love those Anthropologie aprons! I would have them in my bedroom too... Not too sure how hubby would feel about that, though :-)

I know I've said it many times before, but your house looks absolutely adorable. You must live in a fairy tale book :-)

"The little house" is one of my favorite stories too!, Can't wait to see your aprons. I like to wear them as an 'accessory' as well. I have gotten dumb comments like "what are you baking today?" and "did you forget to do something when you left the kitchen this morning?" but I don't care. My latest is to take beautiful tea-towels, and convert them into aprons with big fat ribbons on top. I will try to post some photos later...

lol you crack me up. yay, aprons. bring 'em on! ;)

I have the very same book! It is from Weekly Reader when I was in first grade. It is one of the first books I remember reading. There is a gorgeous biography you would probably enjoy called Virginia Lee Burton: A Life in Art, by Barbara Elleman. Hers is a fascinating story. And check out Folly Cove Designers, her textile design school in Massachusetts. I could go on and on but I will stop!

How funny that your blog might reach your husband before your voice! Isn't technology dreamy? ;) I adore the polka dot apron hanging in the first pic. Can't wait to see yours.

i can't wait to see the aprons you create!! i had never heard of this book until i picked it up at a book fair a couple of weekends ago. how funny that you would write about it now. the illustrations are so enchanting.

When I lived in East Harlem, my local post office was named Hellgate. Nothing could be more aptly named!

Can't wait to see the new aprons! I agree with you about the ending of that book being unsettling. But it does have lovely illustrations!

I'm laughing, laughing, laughing again!! I think I should print out your posts and read them aloud to Mark at night so we can laugh some more!:) You really have a humorous gift. Oh no! we're going to Italy in Sept. and I sure hope I don't need to post a letter..eekk! I don't think I'll get a discount either.

The aprons on the wall=too cute! The fabric combos are making me drool. Yours no doubt will be mouth-watering! Love the book, we own it too. Andy plays the French Horn? Two even? What a guy.

Aprons!!! How sweet!! I have some vintage style ones too!
Looking forward to seeing yours!

I just found you thru "wee wonderfuls" and gotta say "I Love It!" My 5 yo dd (who loves pretty things) and I looked through your blog. I even started a new bookmarks file titled *inspiration* because of your pics and ideas. Love it! Love it! :)
I'm an Oregonian, (suburbs of Portland), & lived there until our recent move to Idaho. We now have a charming, fixer, 1918 home to make cozy. I hope to pop into your little shop on our visit home.
Roberta :)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at