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.


Thanks for sharing your kitten story (and the reminder to send me SASA!). My cats love to help with projects too. One likes to hop up on my sewing table and bat at the fabric on the other side of the machine. It can be a problem...

I'm so excited!! I got to be one of those bookplate requests! I also have a sewing helper but she's a Rottweiler and she loves to lay on ANY project I try to piece out on the floor.

Laughing so hard about the needle in the my southern momma would say (and I now say to my girl)..."You're a mess."

I got a box from Powell's today...and YOU were inside!
THANK YOU for all of the work that went into the LOVELY book!
All the best,

Too funny - bless the V, it's good to have a feline supervisor on hand at all times

I love your kitty story! We've got a Siamese named Seuss and my daughter has a little black kitten named Coco Chanel. They too love to help with projects. They start circling when I pull out the fabric...

Nobody likes a spiky bed, do they Alicia? Nope. They don't. Lovely furry pretty pics, Miss!

Love the post. In our household, I live by the strict rule that everybody needs to be up to date on their tetanus shots. I can't be responsible for all loose needles and pins in the house.

I just (finally)got your book today! It looks so beautiful ,I can't wait to finish up working so I can sit down with a cup of hot tea and enjoy it.
I hope it's not too late to send you an SASE for the bookplate??
Love your little crafting mascot, Violet!

I adore Violet. As a cat lover myself with my Mable, I chuckled out loud many times while reading your blog. I'm also a former near-Chicagoite (Sycamore,IL), so we have that in common.

I can't wait for your new Flickr group to start up. I'll be watching for it!

I always just say, I love how you write. Over and over, I say this, and you must get so sick of it, but I do.

Fur children add so much to our lives

Your husband is so understanding of crafting's various hazzards. When I was learning to embrioder, I lost fourteen little needles in our carpet (before I bought a nice lined work basket) when my mother-in-law was visiting. My husband did not have the same level of patience as Mr. Paulson.

So cute and funny! I've never lost a needle in bed, but I have sat on a sharp edged pair of scissors on the loveseat. Totally forgot they were there until they pierced the soft cheek of my underside. Ouchy! I had to make a trip to get that looked at as soon as it happened. Imagine the laughter I heard at the hospital. :) xxoo

My cat does the same thing on my ironing board...Sometimes I just don't have the heart to move her, so I abandon my ironing task and do something else!...Who's running this house, anyway?...Katie

Loved your Violet story! It just triple confirms how much I miss having a kitty-cat. Rocky (our dog, little Mr. Tough Guy)hates cats with a passion..:( Not sure if he was attacked by a cat before we adopted him. But I am guessing it is a strong likelyhood since I have never seen any of our past dogs hate cats like he does. Our neighbor's cat hops the fence to come see us when Rocky is sleeping inside the house. He is a lovely all gray, silky guy. With tons of purring and loves for us. He knows how much we wish he could be ours...:)

*grin* and THAT is why I've been formally requested to not craft in bed. My sweetie snuggled up to me and I barely missed putting out his eye with a lace knitting needle (sharp, thin, very pointy).

I love your blog. It brings me such a quiet joy, thank you. When my ducks get in a row, I intend to send in for a bookplate...don't run out!!!

Karen Dodson says: November 21, 2008 at 07:08 PM

You SO make me smile!!!

Your story reminds me of how my parents came with my dog, to visit me in my apartment. The apartment was on the third floor. While we were out running errands the dog busted out the board surrounding the window a/c unit, and jumped/fell three stories. We found him in the next neighborhood. He even crossed six lanes of traffic to get over there. He was perfectly fine. Not a scratch on him. Amazing super dog!

It's nice to have such a helpful kitty! I have one too. She loves to sit on top of fabric AND she likes to pick up the round headed pins off my magnetic pin cushion with her teeth, when I'm not looking! Not good. She's a little nutty, that one.

Guess what finally arrived on my side of the world this morning?
I haven't even unwrapped it yet - which is taking an unbelievable amount of willpower - because I have grand plans of curling up a bit later with a mug of hot chocolate, a dog at my feet & a cat{or 3!} on my lap, to savour every last detail of your beautiful book...

As a fellow kitty mom & lover of all things feline{with the exception of headless mice presents & cat puke} I have come to the following conclusion - despite their unique personalities & individual little quirks, cats clearly share a few universal qualities:

1] Their insatiable need to lie on top of stuff, especially stuff their human seems to be paying more attention to than them.
2] Their uncanny ability to have all sorts of hair-raising adventures without really trying too hard at all. {Thank heavens for 9 lives!}
3] The way they quietly pad into our hearts on soft paws & manage to stay there, no matter what, forever.

Have a happy day Alicia, I know I will :o)

What a darling Violet is. She's actually sitting in Cat Position #1 in those first photos. We have numbers for all the postions cats get into...#1 is naturally their most favourite.
That runner is looking almost finished, as I expected. Well done. x

Hello, Miss. Violet. So nice to meet you!

thats so funny about the needle in the bed!..I may try it with my boyfriend...hehe...sewing in bed is so thereputic.

looby xx

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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