Now Me and the V.

comments: 77


The other day I was at the P.O. When I went to check my P.O. box it was stuffed with bookplate-requesting SASEs! They actually fell out of the box and onto the floor when I opened the little door. I laughed out loud with happiness. People!!! How cool are you! I love you. Thank you for making me feel so special, and for making this book time so wonderful. Thank you for all the sweet notes tucked into envelopes, the emails, the kind reviews on your blogs, the comments you've left on book-selling sites. I'm really so overwhelmed by your kindness. There are so many generous magazine articles and reviews and book excerpts out right now, too, and I will point you toward all of those as soon as I get them organized. Monday. I will also get a Flickr group going to share photos of projects. Today I am signing and sending out bookplates ASAP, under Violet's supervision. She's sitting on a pile of book postcards.

Our kitters, Violet Paulson, has been with us a long time. She's fourteen this fall. I got her in September of 1994, in Missoula, a few weeks after I'd moved there. Andy moved to Missoula a few weeks after I'd arrived and didn't know about the kitten. He likes to tell the story of how he arrived in Missoula, after driving straight through from Chicago, and found not me (because I was downtown buying a nightgown) but the teensy-tiniest tabby cat you ever did see, meowing up at him. I got her when she was about three weeks old — too early to be separated, but her living conditions were atrocious. So she came home with me, and sat on my shoulder, like a bird, for several weeks. I lived in a big house with some of my other ex-pat-Chicago girlfriends then, and between them they had four dogs, including Rue, a Rhodesian Ridgeback (bred to hunt lions), who sat outside the closed, kitten-containing bedroom all day and stared at the crack between the door and the jamb, hoping it would open. But little Violet eventually came out of the bedroom and held her own with all the dogs, finding places to hide between chair legs, good ambushing spots from behind plant stands. I think she loved all of the dogs, even Rue. One time, in that house in Missoula, long before we started actually letting her outside, I couldn't find her anywhere. I looked everywhere, every single nook and cranny, and I knew that all the doors and windows were shut. Except for the skylight in the bathroom, which was open. How she jumped through the open skylight in the ceiling (from the sink? It had to be the sink) I'll never know. She was so tiny. She fell off the roof and landed in a pile of rhubarb. When I found her, sitting under her rhubarb-leaf parasol like a wide-eyed and thoroughly rattled baby owl, her ears out sideways, she hissed at me like How could you let me do that? I apologized profusely, my heart pounding. And she hasn't been too far from one or the other of us ever since.


She's also helping me finish the runner. This is the ironing board. Where I was trimming the edges and just turned around for one second to go get the pin holder. One second is all she needs: V. jumps up, makes herself comfortable, notices the scissors and when I return she looks at me like How could you leave these big huge scissors here where I could get hurt?


At least she's not around for convos like this (as I slipstitch squares in bed while watching the Hallmark Channel when Andy walks in):

"Honey, I have some bad news. There's a #20 sharp somewhere in the bed."
"What's a #20 sharp?"
"It's a #20 sharp . . . needle."
"NOT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And then, later that night, or two nights later, usually at about 3 a.m., while rounding the turn on a precious REM cycle:

"Cool! Thanks hun!"
" . . . Sure."


Yes, it's life on the edge here at Paulson Place.


What a sweet kitty helper you have. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of your book. I can't wait! (I'd better remind myself to send you a SASE.) Hope your hand doesn't cramp up before then... Congratulations on all the positive feedback! ♥

i love how your cat helps out with the craft work, too! My boy cat always lays on my fabric pieces, while my girl cat prefers the self-healing mat. and this post reminds me to send you my own SASE!

I love your book, your blog, your pictures and your stories.

Thanks for all of them.

My SO actually sat on a few needles a time or two and um..found them for me. I usually craft while sitting on the couch with our cat, Karma sitting on top of me (found her living in a truck). Now he won't sit down on the couch until it's been checked for needles, even if I wasn't using any that day. Oh well. LOL.

Your story was so cute; I always get a little emotional with cute kitty stories! Kitties are the best helpers. V looks a lot like my helper, Roger. My favorite are the kitty elbows. Roger has a kitty cold now, so he's been curled up next to me at my desk confined to the borders of my planner.

that's such a great story! Our two cats boss our ridgeback around like they are the king and queen of the house. Stealing her food, demanding to be licked, kicking her off her bed. They've actually stolen remnants from my fabric stash that I've found in their hiding spots and litterbox! Got to love them.

Marilyn from Simmer Till Done gifted your book to me and she sent in a sase addressed to you for me. She's the bestest!

I'm NOT ALLOWED to sew in the bedroom. Life with a needle phobic...scads of fun! LOL

Such great kitty stories!
And your needle story left me in stitches (ouch)....Thanks for the laughter!

lol! I love how Violet loves to help! I got my kitty in September 1994 too. Helpfulness must have been the character trait built into that month/year.

Very sweet of Violet to supervise. Kittylove.

Aww..the kitten sweet! and I love the needle reaction.."NOT AGAIN!!" Priceless..

Your kitty is very sweet! My two lovies like to hang out with me too. It is one of my fav things about life. You kitty looks very much like my Maggie mae. :)
Congrats on the success of your book-I hope Santa brings me a copy this year!

Ummmm welll, I guess I need to send a SASE to get a book plate ASAP....

I just wanted to tell you that I just came back from the grocery store, got the 7 grain cereal for breakfast tomorrow can hardly wait to try it. I read your post while trying to UNFREEZE from my outdoor horseback riding lesson in 18 degree windchill here in Mass. the cereal looked sooooo warm and satisying.

Love the runner!

As an inexperienced cat-owners, I find myself torn between being annoyed and being charmed by my sister's cat, who I'm pet-sitting.

She likes to 'help' me sew too, and tries to paw at the items coming through the machine, sending me into a tizzy of fear that I might stitch right over her paw.

She also likes to use the barn-board and pine that clad most to the interior of my cabin as a scratching post. I've threatened my sister that she will return to a davy-crocket hat made from Luna's calico pelt.

Dogs are just so much simpler.

Oh, the needles. We've been there. The worst - WORST - was when our youngest needed emergency medical attention late at night, right before county fair judging. There was a formal gown and a lined jacket in progress, all over the living room floor, pattern instructions taped to walls, with pins and scraps and scissors everywhere. I told the EMTs, feebly, "we sew a lot". (But I couldn't honestly tell them, "It doesn't always look like this.")

Adorable! I love kitty stories. Violet is beautiful and so is the runner ;)

That is funny about the needle. When I was little, I was scared. to. death. of losing a needle in my bed. My grandma made it sound like if I dropped a needle while sewing in bed, it would migrate into my skin and kill me or something. It's not easy to freak a little kid out. I still get all twitchy about it when sewing in bed.

Sometimes, Alicia, I think your blog can't possibly get any more fun to read, and then you pull out this lovely, sweet, funny anecdote (okay, about tow of my favorite topics, given, animals and crafting)and I'm reminded why I come here for a little downtime and respite from my hectic days.
Thank you, thank you!

Can we still send requests for bookplates?

Great stories. It all confirms my theory that cats are not of this world. We cannot contain them with our ideas of reality or skylights. Puhlease.

Oh, A., you made me laugh out loud yet again! With our ever-attentive and helpful kitties (two of mine snuggled in my lap as I type) and lost pins and needles (which my poor husband all too often finds as well), our lives are not so very different at all!

alicia, please be careful with those needles. i know someone who was in the hospital for weeks because she stepped on a needle and it went all the way in. they couldn't find it!

violet is such a pretty cat, in fact, all of your pets are pretty.

you simply MUST write the new-kitten story for a children's book. It has just the right amount of whimsy and danger - and a happy ending!

Did you got to UM? I grew up in Dillon, MT & went to school in Missoula - go Griz!
Love your stuff - very sweet!

What a lovely little post! Who knew reading about cats falling off roofs and needles in bed could be so warm and fuzzy. You have such a talent for making your audience smile. Thanks again!

Thanks for the bio on Violet. My cats also love to "help," especially when I am sandwiching a quilt on the floor. BTW, love the runner!

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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