Posts filed in: October 2006

Scary Hairy Barker

comments: 40

Pumpkin3Part of the reason that I'm never completely jazzed about Halloween is that for the last five years we've had Audrey, and Audrey doesn't really get the whole trick-or-treating thing. She normally goes absolutely berserker when the doorbell rings, on a normal day. And when it rings about fifty times in one night, you'd think (Pavlovianly speaking), that she would get weary of the barking, or at least get the idea that it . . . wasn't getting her anywhere, since no one actually ever comes in. But no. She barks. And barks. So much. Forget the Ghost Whisperer. I need the Dog Whisperer. I do not know how to train my dog.

I'm thinking of just putting a bowl of candy out on the porch, here by the pumpkins. . . .

Sing It Again, Stephanie

comments: 31

Tiramisu2I have trouble thinking spatially, or in quantities. I remember talking to my friend Andy Greer (child of scientists who became a writer, super-fan of Apartment Therapy) about this a long time ago, and he said, "When people say, like, 'How many drops of water do you think there are in that lake?' I'm always like, 'I don't know, four thousand? A hundred billion? Past a hundred, it's pretty much all the same to me — no idea." I can still picture him saying this on the sidewalk in Missoula, in his particular Andy Greer–ish way, self-deprecating and lovable though he is, in fact, quite a smarty. I bubbled with laughter and squawked that I was the same way! Most of us are, probably; where we're different is that there are some people like Andy Paulson who go around even asking things like "How many drops of water do you think are in that lake?" and those of us who would no more think to ask that than to ask whether dogs have names for each other in Barkalanguage, whether the Hamburgler could beat up Mayor McCheese, or if a tree falls in a forest, etc. I'm just saying: It's a world of wonder I have no doubt I'll never comprehend, and I don't even try, though I admire those who do. As long as they don't need my help.

Now. I really shouldn't be beating up on the new crochet patterns out there when I know it's hard to write them, I do. People ask me almost every day to just "rewrite" my own patterns for a different yarn or a different size just like, right there on the spot or something. And I just stand, open-mouthed, like — I don't even know what I'm like. Speechless. (Not that I'm not flattered that they like the pattern, of course, but . . . I don't think on my feet in crochet abbreviations, trust me.) But there is no denying that writing patterns for some people comes easily. More easily than it does for me. For instance, when Andy Paulson taught himself how to knit from a book several years ago, he, within minutes, decided he wasn't happy with the pattern the way it was written and planned and built his own chart by which to include his initials, garter-stitched in relief, across a scarf. I sat open-mouthed with envy. Occasionally, he'd hold up his perfectly knitted thing and say, "Gee, does this look right, hun?" Yup. You got it, hun. Grrrr. I was over there staring at my own pattern, which swam beneath my gaze and became incomprehensible, needing nothing less than the Rosetta Stone to decipher. Something like this shawl, made and written about by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at Yarn Harlot, seems to me as accomplished as the Coliseum, or the Empire State Building, or really it belongs with the unanswerable questions above: "If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear?" and "How did she do that?"

Hard work, skill, hours, no magic wand. Still, magical effect. It can be deceiving. My mom was talking about Martha Stewart's article in the November issue of Living, about the handmade Christmas cards Martha made. We both agreed there was something sadly poignant about this part, when Martha (after admitting she'd eventually been abandoned by everyone she'd roped into helping her) mews: "What was strange was that, because the cards looked so professional (except for those I smudged or overheated), no one seemed to realize they were homemade with loving care in my kitchen."

Tiramisu1Personally, I like hearing the backstory, myself. I've long admired Annie Dillard, one of my favorite writers, but I fear we probably wouldn't get on well, in real life. She would find me simpering and wimpy; I would be terrified of her. She says in The Writing Life:

"Every year the aspiring photographer brought a stack of his best prints to an old, honored photographer, seeking his judgment. Every year the old man studied the prints and painstakingly ordered them into two piles, bad and good. Every year the old man moved a certain landscape print into the bad stack. At length he turned to the young man: 'You submit this same landscape every year, and every year I put it on the bad stack. Why do you like it so much?' The young photographer said, 'Because I had to climb a mountain to get it.'
   "A cab driver sang his songs to me, in New York. Some we sang together. He had turned the meter off; he drove around midtown, singing. One long song he sang twice; it was the only dull one. I said, You already sang that one; let's sing something else. And he said, 'You don't know how long it took me to get that one together.'
     "How many books do we read from which the writer lacked courage to tie off the umbilical cord? How many gifts do we open from which the writer neglected to remove the price tag? Is it pertinent, is it courteous, for us to learn what it cost the writer personally?"

I read this first many years ago, 1992 actually. It's always stuck with me, and I've always been very conflicted about it. I think I just don't agree. I've tried, many times, to be brave enough to cut the cord from my work, to not have to tell you what it cost me, but I fear I'm not that brave, or maybe I just don't agree — I can't decide. All this is not to say I'm not also just a whiney complainer in general — certainly this blog is filled with a detailed account of how I "climbed the mountain" (complete with flailing, moaning, and groaning loud enough to be a downright neighborhood nuisance, and not just gracefully "informative") right alongside the photo of the mountain, or even the molehill I made seem like a mountain, and then some. But then again, Annie wrote a whole book about how hard it is to write a book, so if that's not meta-struggle, I don't know what is. Perhaps what she's really saying in the passage above is, "I really wish I didn't have to tell you this, but here I go anyway." (But she says it like a love song, and I say it like an air-raid siren, so I do see the difference in that, at least.)

Anyway, this is all to say that I never mind when I hear how long, how hard, how diligently someone else worked on something. That's part of the thing, for me. Objectively, I guess it doesn't change whether I like the thing or not, but maybe it does. Knowing that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee made that shawl without a magic wand, seeing how she and her friend blocked it — I'm totally okay with that, Annie Dillard. Tell me again, Stephanie: I might be daft enough to miss what really happened there. In fact, I'm going over again right now to hear you sing it once more. It's absolutely one of the most amazingly beautiful things I've ever seen/heard. You should be very, very proud.

*NOT to compare the shawl to a bad photo or dull song!!! I didn't see it this way when I wrote this. Bad analogy, actually. But I'm just saying, and maybe even moreso with the truly extraordinary pieces, I really want to know how they got here. I agree that the backstory can't necessarily make the dulls things good. But I really don't mind listening, even to those, if you'll tell me the story of them, as well.

Real-World Ruffles (Tiny Waves)

comments: 25

Priscilla2If you don't like flowers (and there really are some people who don't like flowers) you probably wouldn't like my studio. Or my antique booth. Or probably me (what?). Or my dress form, Miss Blossom (after the original Miss Blossom — Cassandra and Rose Mortmain's dressform in I Capture the Castle, remember?). And you definitely shouldn't look at these. I found them this morning while googling Luscher Farm, which we passed on our way out to the "country" last night, to our friends' house for dinner. We drove by twinkling Luscher Farm at that beautiful golden-hour around six p.m. and it was absolutely magical. Talk about storybook. And once again I ask myself why I don't wear my camera around my neck at all times.

It's early morning, Sunday. It's been a weekend of dinners with friends, which is just one of the best things about life. Friday afternoon Andy and I recreated the First Fall Feast: French for Sarah and David and made Ina's Apple Crostada instead of buying tarts and I'll just say that, as good as that first dinner was, it was no fluke. It was even better the second time, with dear friends. Saturday night we were cooked for by Chris and Larry, two of our very first and most beloved friends here in Portland, and I felt like it was my birthday. Everything was so beautiful and delicious and special. Larry has been cooking passionately for over thirty-five years. At one point we were talking ingredients, and he jumped up from the table to get a clearly beloved hardcover copy of The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook, as big as a bible and stuffed with extra pages, decorated with a cover-sized homemade hologram of a Marc Chagall painting (seriously!), and filled with penciled notes — the "Egg Rolls" page had a list of the exact dates on which C & L had made egg rolls between 1970 and 1978 (dozens). It was incredible. Talk about a blog book; I saw them there. The book had been used so much it was completely detached from the binding. I think Andy was afraid to touch it — it really did have that feeling of relic about it, like some sacred tome from Hogwarts — but then Larry sort of scooped the ruffling thing up and said, "Ah, it's always falling apart! My mother rebound it for me once, but then it came apart again!" He flipped to find the won-ton soup recipe. There was a note about pork: Use only the corn-fed, not the garbage-fed, and don't include the gristle. Wow. That's realism. Anyway, gosh I had a good time cooking and eating and talking and relaxing with all of my friends this weekend. It was just what I needed.

Vintagestuff4 My friend Josie came over yesterday and we worked on getting a lot of new vintage stuff (new vintage?) cleaned and packaged nicely and priced to take over to the booth, either today or tomorrow. (This corgi puppy watched as the boxes filled up. He's a birthday present for a soon-to-be-eight-year-old corgi lover, but I'll tell you that Andy Paulson would be one very happy little girl if I'd let him keep it, instead.) Old children's records, cornhusk dolls, birthday-party supplies, tiny deer, puffy paper bells, the Priscilla curtains above (though I should probably say, that pink dress? Not for sale. She's one of my prized possessions; I just keep her in my studio so I can look at her). But the booth's getting all sorts of sweet things. There was a kind of relief in the anonymous innocence of all of it, somehow — whose was it? Who knows. Either that or I was projecting again.

Thank you to everyone who joined in the conversation about feeling overwhelmed by big marketing on Tearfest Friday. I read and was grateful for every single one of the comments because, as with all discussion, I rely on other perspectives to help me figure out, enhance, change, and develop how I feel. When I write posts like that, especially when I'm very emotional about something, or working to get a grip on a bigger picture than just my own little sofa, I feel very vulnerable, trying to explain, publicly flailing around. But I don't mind that feeling sometimes; I think it's worth it. I struggle, just like anyone else, to figure out how to be, how to balance, how to find a "way" that I can live with. Sometimes I buy organic, sometimes I get an extra-value meal at the McDonald's drive-through and eat it in the car. I do live and want to live, as my friend David says, in the real world. It is, I think, why I am encouraged by webs of lives and experiences behind blogs (and in that are absolutely included not only the people who have blogs but also the people who read them, who love them, who appreciate them, who "participate" in them even though they don't have a blog, will never have a blog, have never left a comment, and will never leave a comment) — the many preferences, the many voices, the many ways of being, the many histories — working to explore the world, affect it, and learn from it. I truly find it interesting that they're doing it free-form, casting out lines and creating a net that challenges and connects and supports without big bucks, without big anything. Just lots of littles, reaching out. People trying. Don't get me wrong: I mean, I love books. They're my second-favorite thing after corgis. And I don't think the blogosphere is some sacred virgin, it's not perfect, or pristine, or better — but, as a medium, I do think it's uniquely democratic (and radical for that reason), and has the theoretical ability to include everyone, like paper and pencil: Just do it. You need no permission, no money, no marketing strategy, just (preferably, I must admit) a familiarity with and respect for the Golden Rule. Join/(read). Only if you want to, of course.

Corgi2 He wants to.

Fog in the Front Yard

comments: 39

Foginfront3While we don't get much snow here in Portland, we do get this deliciously mysterious, frosty fog that settles into the hills and dales of town and down our street. This morning, it really feels like fall is here in its more quietly Novemberish (rather than its blazingly Septemberish) way.

Foginfront2I have so loved the comments that have come in here this week — thank you for all of those, especially yesterday's, about influences and what engenders them. It's funny to stop and think about it, really; when I woke up this morning the first whispering thought in my mind was Oh, Arthur! Arthur Rackham, a huge influence in my life. He captured these frowsy, sylvan atmospheres (my favorite kind of weather) in almost every painting. I could look at them forever.

FairiestiffThis is The fairies have their tiffs with the birds, for instance, 1906, from Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. When I was studying in London for a little while in college I lived just blocks from here, on Queen's Gate, and I sat in front of the Serpentine for hours, trying to imprint it. I wrote my senior thesis on Arthur Rackham in 1991, a year-long project where I analyzed Rackham's fascinating blend of magic and the prosaic, fairies dressed in tattered calicoes. I had been mesmerized by his paintings all my life — my mother was since childhood and is to this day a great lover of fairy culture — and Rackham's work still moves me. In 1990 it was difficult to find information about Arthur Rackham, believe it or not — a major biography came out about him that year, just after I was finishing my own research, but previous to that it was hunt and peck, at least from my study carrel in Denkman Library. Around that time the Grunge and the Waif movements were happening in fashion, so there was a bit of a Pre-Raphaelite revival, too, and it became easier to find images and information about John William Waterhouse, for instance, whose art also had this same blend of magic and realism, with its tangly haired, melancholy beauties in their moody realms. There have been some gorgeous books published on Victorian painting in the last decade, and I now have a few. Doing research was so different before the internet. Wow. Now it's all here, in seconds. Then it was hardcover editions of the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature and a bunch of inter-library-loan-request slips, and weeks of waiting, or a long, blizzard-blinded drive out to Iowa City to use the University of Iowa library.

Foginfront1I've had a conflicted relationship with the forest all my life, and that stems from childhood. It's what happens when you have a father who wakes the whole family up at 3 a.m. to head out to the woods and help him search for wild dogs. I can imagine my mother, zipping coats over our own torn nightgowns, dragging her three little girls through the dark streets to the edge of our neighborhood forest preserve, and then inside that pitch-black otherworld, my father stumbling ahead of us. It makes my heart hurt now, just thinking about it, the fear I felt both about the wild dogs and the adults leading me to them.

With some influences, there is little-to-no mystery about their genesis. I only rarely feel at home in the woods, though I long for them some days. My front yard has, most of the time, magic enough (dogwood buds with fairy wings and silken-stranded cobwebs) for me.


comments: 34

Musicbox1I don't have many things from my childhood, but I do have a few. I've written many, many times about how starting a blog (among other things, but starting a blog was a big one) inspired me to look more carefully at my stuff, my spaces, my places. One of my favorite posts I've written about this was back in February. I reread it this morning and I still love it, and it reminds me that not very long ago I . . . didn't think about things like this.

Amy and Stephanie posted their cuckoo clocks the other day and it reminded me to look at my music box and my grandma's cuckoo clock (which I'm going to rehang in a better location so that I can pull the big pinecones down every day and let it actually work, the way she did, every day). This is the music box, which I've had since I was very little. It was given to me by my real godmother, Aldona Nakutis, in the early '70s. I opened it yesterday because I couldn't remember what was in it. All my old dogs' collars or tags. Wow. That was kind of a moment. Odin, Bear, and Loki. Sweet, sweet boys. Haven't thought about you in years and years. Dear sweet complicated and neglected dogs of my childhood. My parents were not great dog people. Anyway.

I was the firstborn and my godmother was a very fancy lady. She bought me beautiful gifts, most of which I do still have today. I always think of this when I'm giving gifts to my nieces and nephews, especially gifts that they don't really seem to care much about. I didn't care either, back then. But I'm so happy to have this music box now, to know that it is was mine, to realize that its style has been inspiring me for years. Is our "style" planted within us, early on, embedded in baby gifts like these? So it would seem; many of the things I love today are exactly the same as the ones I loved then: tiny roses, mint green, ruffles and pleats. I told my seven-year-old niece a few weeks ago that the horses she was teaching herself to draw today would be with her forever — she would always know how to draw a horse, as I still do, the only thing I practiced over and over and can draw from memory, from heart. Huh? She worked on her paper without looking up. She is so naturally talented that this confused her; I don't think the idea that she wouldn't be able to draw anything she wanted to ever even occurred to her, so I shut up quick. Nevermind, darling. Draw draw draw. Draw it all. But as I watched her, I thought about it. What things get planted today, to germinate, grow, and blossom, endlessly perennial?

Just for You

comments: 34

Pumpkinbread6 I did stop crafting long enough yesterday to talk on the phone for several hours, until the phone actually died, and bake the Ginger Pumpkin Bread from Everyday Food. I like baking little loaves because you can keep one and give away the other, which is always nice. This one is for my crochet class this morning. I did an experiment with my oven yesterday. When the oven said that it was preheated to 375 degrees, I checked the temperature on the little thermometer I keep inside the over and it said 275. I waited another 20-25 minutes for it to get all the way up to 375. Then I put the loaves in. Ten minutes before they were supposed to be done I could smell that they were getting a bit dark so I whisked them out. Not only were they done, they were dark. So now I don't know what to think. (Where is algebra when I need it, see what I mean? And is it even algebra that I need?) Well, the bread's good anyway, though I forewent it's glassine sugar-glaze. It's sweet enough, and perfect with a cup of coffee.

Pumpkinbread4 My little "made with love" tags came yesterday from A lot of people use these — you can find the order forms in almost every fabric store — and I kind of like them for that reason, like it's a sort of Brownie patch for handmade gift-givers, all of them pretty much the same. I've been ordering labels from them for personal use for years and they take about twice as long as they say they will take, so if you're thinking of getting some in time for Christmas I would say you'd better get over there. These took over six weeks. Not that I'm personally planning to make anything handmade for Christmas gifts this year, alas, but you never know. They're good to have around.

Days of Woolen Roses

comments: 42

Sweaterflowers5I miss school. I wish I had paid better attention. I wish I had realized then that I really would care, years later, about what I was learning. I would do all of my classes over again, every one of them. I wonder how different it would be, a second time. I'd like to do all the friendships again, too. I'd be nicer this time, a better listener. I wouldn't worry as much, or be so blazingly self-centered. I remember going back to the dining hall one night to apologize to someone, an older friend, for being really obnoxious over dinner. I felt that it had been an unusual situation, but my friend looked at me like he couldn't believe I was actually apologizing and said, "Well, Ali, you're always totally obnoxious." Eeeyikes. I'd take more pictures. I have so few from back then.

Sweaterflowers7 I was not eager to leave college, or for anyone else to leave. When my roommates graduated a year ahead of me we bawled our heads off in the street in front of our little house when their parents came to pick them up. I'm sure mine thought we had completely lost our minds. I howled as if my life were over. I floundered terribly for quite a while after graduation. I really didn't know what I wanted to do, other than be a student. I had never known. So I waitressed for two years post-graduation. I was so reluctant to become one "thing." I absolutely could not imagine what it was I was supposed to be. I had a bachelor's degree in English, but I'd never thought about what I'd do with it; I actively avoided thinking about what I'd do with it, for fear that someone would tell me to change my major to something practical like elementary education, or speech pathology. We didn't really talk about things like what to do with an English major at our school. The world after school was not a big part of our world at school; I hardly knew anyone who had plans. I knew English and art history majors, philosophy students and potters. I didn't know practical people, business majors, or people in pre-med. I remember thinking occasionally, "Shouldn't I be getting an internship or something? Wait, what is an internship, anyway?" I think things are different right now; the economy is much worse, for one thing, so people don't go to college in a vacuum like that, maybe. But back then, at that school, we were allowed to indulge in the liberal arts for their own sake, and I don't regret that. I just wish I could remember more of what I learned.

Sweaterflowers2Somewhere in those two waitressing years I took a train trip out west, to Montana, to visit a friend from high school who was living in Missoula. Amy picked me up at night, in Whitefish, a trainstop-town not far from Glacier Park, and we spent the night in sleeping bags with her dog on a big rock sticking out into Flathead Lake. She knew this trick: If your friend has never been to Montana before, you walk her out to the rock at night, when it's impossible to see the lake or the mountains, anything but the beautiful stars and moon. And in the morning she wakes up to the most incredible view — the gorgeous cerulean water, the snowcapped mountains, her sleeping bag just feet from the edge of the rock. It's the moment when she, as a girl from the prairies of Illinois, says, "Gotta live in Montana now, I guess!" Amy knew, cause it had happened to her. So I went back to school there for a while. I loved graduate school, too, but it was not the same as that first time. I didn't like living in a college town, where everyone was always just passing through. Andy and I left for a place we could settle, and stay.

Sweaterflowers1_1 What any of this has to do with wool flower pins I don't know. Nothing. Except the sweater-weather this weekend as I made these was crisp, bright, cool. I could smell leaves. It felt like the best days at school, the ones when you thought you could stay forever, when the light on the glass floor in the library was magical, when we'd fire up the wood kiln at the pottery studio and drink beer and roast potatoes while babysitting it overnight, when someone was discovering that they liked you and you could just tell.

See, darling Emily, 23, I think it's true: There is no solution. Seek it lovingly.

Scallop-y Saturday

comments: 20

Cabinet1_4Wow, if I'd known that two days on the sofa would've resulted in this kind of productivity I would've gotten the sniffles a lot sooner. These are my Scallop Buntings. I made lots of them yesterday. They've long been a regular part of the Posie product line but they've been sold out for a while. Again, these are going to Studio Craft, but I will be updating the Posie web site quickly after that, and lots of this stuff will be for sale for you out-of-towners. I'm going to do a big update all at once, so don't worry — there will be lots of stuff.

Cabinet4_1I want these for all my shelf edges, especially the upstairs bookshelves. I like them. They're just held up with little tacks. They're actually about four feet long, with about 9" ties on each end. You can use them as little swoopy banner things, too, like hung over a table for a birthday party, or maybe across a window. Maybe I'll set up a photo of that when I do my crocheted birthday cake. That would be adorable. Or I could see them swooped across the mantle in Christmas-y colors, too.

Cabinet5_2I'm sad that I missed the pumpkin-carving party I was supposed to go to yesterday. I even had my little wood-carving kit ready and everything, because I've been so wanting to make a pumpkin like these. Boo. It was the most gorgeous day here in Portland, too. Well, I really needed to slow down a bit. I've been acting totally hyper for a month, so it actually feels good to be grounded. I'm just sad that our Woman in White and The Moonstone DVDs haven't arrived yet, even though we ordered them weeks ago. Need to check on those. Halloween is almost here and, as I said, mystery-master Wilkie Collins is just about the only thing I like re: October 31st.

First in Class

comments: 54

Puppies1Here are some doggies on my windowsill. I made them yesterday to keep me company on the sofa. They did a great job of that, too. You can't be sad, looking at this sweet face. Seriously.

Puppies6The litter grew and grew throughout the afternoon. Each puppy, with its little felted sweater scarf, made me smile. Love Mr. Bluestripe here, with his noble expression. They watched TV all day with me, and myriad bad shows were chosen (by the pups), including such reliable favorites as Charmed; Beverly Hills, 90210; and 101 Even Bigger Celebrity Oops!. Egads.

Puppies12These are all going to Studio Craft in a couple of weeks. I'll update the Posie site after Studio Craft, I think. Time's flying.

Puppies9Thank you to everyone for your tree commiseration (see bottom of yesterday's post if you were here early and don't know what I mean). Everyone is bumming. There is another almost-identical tree next to the one that's leaving. I can only imagine that they are best friends. They're really gigantic trees. You can see the tree-cutter-guy in relation to the cracked one here.

Puppies13I love these puppies dearly. Do they look like they're posing for their school picture in their university scarves? It's what I was going for. Lois left the Dorothy Parker quote in a comment on the post about Audrey the other day and I asked her if I could use it on the sidebar (look up to left, under Audrey's photo); it inspired these. These corgis are all at the top of their class, of course. When corgis are babies their ears are floppy. When they start to stand up they're very tentative, and sometimes one goes up before the other, like, "Really? Up?" So these are young but illustrious little puppers.

Puppies14It feels good to get some things made! It had been far too long since I'd had a whole day of messing about with stuffies.  It's one of my favorite things to do.



comments: 45

Collage2Last week I had to put these little collections of items together for an upcoming project for Romantic Homes. These things are supposed to describe me, my lifestyle, my interests, my influences, my favorite things. It was kind of hard to choose what to include, and I was conscious of the audience, I must admit. It wasn't appropriate to add the can of Coke or TiVo clicker. Or the pajama bottoms and scalding hot tea, actually. I feel like crap today. My annual October head-cold arrived overnight, I fear.

CollectionI watched the finale of Project Runway last night, and it was interesting to me how the music that each designer chose for his or her show completely influenced how I perceived the clothes. I thought Uli's plinking, happy music was adorable and made me more sympathetic to her slinky, beige ensembles; I didn't like Laura's music at all, and thought it only contributed to the rather dusty feeling of her clothes (as short as they were, they felt sadly stuffy). Although Michael was my favorite person, I've already completely forgotten his collection, let alone his music. And of course Jeffrey — who it seems to me should have been eliminated for going over budget? I don't get it; must be my INTJ side showing again — but yeah. Loved his clothes, hated his melancholy choice of music, didn't care for him personally (did anyone?), but yeah. I guess I would've picked him, too.

I don't know what kind of music I would pick to go with my stuff here. Probably the Cocteau Twins. Haven't thought about them in a long time, actually.

If I were to do it again, I'd probably start with the music and go from there. Maybe Wilco. I do love Wilco. It would be so hard to choose, wouldn't it?

Ah-choo. Moan. So glad we get the SoapNet channel today.

Update: See this tree? See the big huge crack that runs right down the center? This tree lives across the street.

TreeIt's been determined that this tree, which is 100 years old according to the tree guy, is about to fall on my next-door neighbor's house, so it must come down. TODAY. We are all very, very sad about this, because this tree is the king of the block. And I'm double-sad, because you know that couch-day-with-Theraflu I was about to have? I'll be having it about fourteen feet away from several chainsaws and the enormous, incredibly loud tree-branch-eating TRUCK parked outside which will be masticating this behemoth's branches until five o'clock tonight. I just heard the guy outside say (because of course they are wearing earphones and shouting), "We probably won't get it all today so we'll have to come back again tomorrow, too!"

Yes. Speaking of soundtracks. Double sad.

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




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.