Old Bones and Simple Stitches

comments: 56


I've been riding a lot the past few days and it's all still kind of just blowing my mind — can't quite find words to talk about it, really. I probably will find some words at some point, knowing me. For now, when I get home I am sooooo tired, it's actually quite hilarious. I'm speechlessly tired. I take my shower, eat, stretch, and climb into bed, where I lay almost completely flat. Pointing the clicker at the TV and changing the channel feels like a major accomplishment. Then I fall right asleep. I thought I was appreciating the new showers before — that was nothin', people! I sit in the shower under steaming hot water and go like this: "Uhhhhhhhhh. Nice shower. Good boy. Nice shower [patting tile]." Anyway, it's been just the best thing ever. I am so happy. I have a few days off now (now that I'm an athlete-in-training and all, you know, I have a few days off) so I expect to get caught back up here. I hope you can bear with me!

Thank you again for all of the generously kind feedback on the alphabet sampler! That has also made me so happy! (What a good week it was!) I expect to finish the sampler today or tomorrow (I have just three letters left) and then frame it on Monday. Then I will take its photo so you can see the whole thing all nice and stretched, and then I will start taking pre-orders for the kit next week. The kit will include the cotton background fabric with the design already silk-screened, all of the crewel yarn you will need, and a needle. I am also going to be carrying a small, curated collection of my preferred embroidery supplies, including the best birchwood embroidery hoops (along with the twill tape for wrapping them, and instructions on how to do that), beautiful embroidery scissors, and other necessities. You don't need many supplies to embroider, but it's really very wonderful if you can treat yourself to the right ones. I am so excited to be able to have these things available right in my web shop so that if you need them, you can order them when you order the kit. So, more on all of that. Oh and yes, we do ship overseas.

For now, just know that as soon as I am ready to start accepting pre-orders for the kit, I will leave the pre-orders open for a couple of weeks. Everyone who orders a kit during that time will get one. We will make some extra — but not many — because that's how we roll, so please make sure you place a pre-order if you are interested. We order supplies based directly on the number of pre-orders we get (because that's what we can afford) and then we go into production mode: I get the pattern instructions written (which I haven't actually done yet), designed, and printed; Andy gets going on the silk-screening (this all gets done in one major push); and then we'll assemble everything together for you and start working on the packing and shipping. I expect that will all take several weeks. But we'll do it all as fast as we can so you can get working on this. It is going to be a really fun summer project, I think. I had kind of a Sister-Golden-Hair thing going on in my mind as I designed it, and I like to think of you sitting on your porch in a halter top and bare feet, drinking peach iced tea, working on this as you watch the dandelions bloom and the summer unfold.

Oh — and I wanted to mention: A lot of people have left comments about being intimidated by crewelwork. Don't be!!! It is really nothing more than embroidering with wool thread, that's all. The stitches I use are (generally) exactly the same as they are for cotton-floss embroidery, and you know I like the basics: backstitch, stem stitch, satin stitch, lazy daisy, stuff like that. I will include illustrated stitch guides for every stitch that's included in the design, so do not worry. These are all very easy stitches and you will be fine. I will also have a page on my web site that will give you enlarged images of every letter, bigger than I could ever do in print, so you can see the stitches up close and really get a good look at them.

What else. Oh yeah, I wanted to tell you one more thing. When I frame this sampler on Monday, I will do a photo tutorial at the framing place and show you exactly how to do that. I frame all of my embroidery myself with the help of the do-it-yourself framing place. It is so easy, and so much fun (if you like that sort of thing, which I do), and in my opinion, if you've gone to all the work of embroidering it you might as well frame it yourself, too. Because no one will care about getting it just right as much as you do, and it's really satisfying to see it all into completion. I had never framed anything myself until a couple of years ago and I totally love framing now.

Anyway, okay. Apparently I have no words about horseback riding but I can still find millions for embroidery. Sorry! ;-)


Thank you, thank you, thank you for the recommendation of Chosen by a Horse book!!! One word: A.MAZ.ING! What a fantastic story. I absolutely loved it. Now I am reading Chosen Forever. =-) Am looking forward to the sampler!

I love the idea of doing my own framing and very interested in your tutorial. I had no idea we had a do it yourself frame place. Cool!

I am beyond excited!! I have been looking for something to keep my busy this summer and this sounds perfect! To top if off whats better than new supplies!! :)

You had me at Sister Golden Hair...

So excited about the kit! Also, I'm moving to Portland this summer!! I must hear about this do-it-yourself framing place! Thanks for your hard work on a lovely project!

Any horse who helps you on your journey-to-athlete is a lucky animal. Above all your amazingness and accomplishment, it's your time with horses that most inspires and moves me.

You are a persuasive woman... I hadn't really considered ordering a kit, because I have a million wips and projects on the list... but, but, but... who can resist your encouraging words, and your beautiful example?

i am SO SO SO excited!
really really really...can't wait, i know it will be a beautiful kit, thank you
Cute horse!
j x

Crewel embroidery helped me graduate from High School a year early. So don't underestimate its power. :)

I am very interested in your crewel sampler kit! I love the idea of stitching it through the summer on my porch with bare feet and iced tea and all. love that. also looking forward to the framing tutorial!

jeanne e. says: April 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

can't wait for the kit!!!!! will the fabric be the color in your blog posts? will there be choices of color (like 1 or 2)? so excited! have you thought about offering the letters as iron-on transfers? looking forward to the framing tutorial! thanks! :)

Alicia.. you are an inspiration on so many levels. You can count me in on the sampler. I've done embroidered samplers before but never crewel, so this will be a new accomplishment to add to my list. :-)

I owned my own horse so I can so relate to the joy or riding and also how exhausting the whole thing is! I rode in the Corbett 4th of July Parade many times.

Have a great Easter weekend!!

Teresa in the gorge

lolo...laying flat, pointing the clicker at the TV lolololo ahhhh, I do that too. so funny. A happy kind of exhausted:)

The sampler kit sounds very tempting but I want to hear all about the riding too!!

S x

I love that you are feeling so happy and sharing that all with us! I have a special place in my heart for horses. I've never owned one personally but I've been around (and on) many and I am certain that they carry a sort of energy of...well....how to find words...it's almost like they will take you to a whole 'nuther world of healing and self-confidence and inner peace. (All seem quite inadequate as adjectives in this situation).
my 14 year old "wild pony" spends two days a week with a horse that is the PERFECT sassy match for her. They are both growing so much and to see my already confident daughter become more and more trusting of her quiet, strong ways warms the cockles of my heart like nothing else! :)

Oh...and the sampler....I SO can't wait!!

The last time I rode a horse I was in OK on vacation. I fell off and broke my collar bone. What an adventure that was, but the airplane ride home had 7 people on it and we were treated like we were in First Class.
I am so excited to see the kit. I am a quilter but lately I have been into the needle arts. My goal is to own every color of the DMC floss, so that my choices are unlimited.
I am reading a book set in England on the moor so I planning on sitting by the fire reading and enoying this Easter weekend if I am not watching the Trailblazer's win!

I just ordered your embroidery book and am hoping it is here tomorrow so I can brush up on my embroidery skills and prepare myself for the lovely alphabet sampler kit!

The horse looks mighty suspicious of your phone/camera!

I was on the fence about ordering the kit (because I'm a slow stitcher) until you mentioned Sister-Golden-Hair. I'm in. I want the exact afternoon you described.

I am most definitely going to be getting this kit, I can't wait! The market on easy-to-start AND cool embroidery projects is slim. It's easy enough to use a transfer pen, but even EASIER when it's already ready already :)

I envy you on the horse and it reminds me of my own goal. I'm setting my goals high on a couple fronts and horse-back riding, which expensive, is something I've wanted to do for a few years now. I've a friend who loves horse-back riding, she tells me, "Don't wait too long." I think that's reference to joints...anyhow, I'll bet you drop a couple of dress sizes, Alicia, the more you ride. Enjoy. And I look forward to more of those kits...

I'm thrilled that you are riding, and hope it continues to bring you much joy! I recommend a hot bath with epsom salts for those sore muscles. I waited all my life to be around horses (and to eventually have my own horse) and it is the best thing EVER!

The nose!

I'm looking forward to seeing your embroidery project go live. I have a number of cross-stitch projects that took a major backseat to knitting a number *cough5ormore* of years ago, but I like keeping my fingers wet.

I haven't done embroidery, crewel or otherwise, for years! You have inspired me. Now with your books & the new kit, I'll be set. I haven't ridden for years either. My two mares just look at me in disgust. So, maybe this can happen too!! Thank you for all the inspiration.

Yay, I'm happy you're 'en-selle' as they say. Nothing brings me more peace on this planet than being around horses, it's been a part of my life since I was very, very small. I hope, that if by some miracle I do get pregnant, or I end up getting a child from the state adoption program, that I will be able to buy him/her a little pony and I can pass on this passion to them. :) There's nothing better than a pony. FYI, my sister is holding a horsemanship clinic in Eagle Creek in June if you're interested. And our barn is going horse camping on the beach in July. ::sweet::

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 aliciapaulson.com