Getting Back in the Swing

comments: 108






Nice and cold today. Makes me happy. I'd like some snow, please. Perhaps everyone would. Or not? I am routinely surprised by how many people don't like snow. Like, really don't like it. I never seem to stop missing it, somehow. I've got problems.

Black bean soup tonight from this great magazine. This will be the fifth thing I've made from it, and we've been very happy with all of it. I love slow winter cooking. We've been cooking a lot. Thank you for all the sweet comments about my birthday cake, by the way. The recipes for it are here, and for those who have asked, I got the little pink cake stand at Sweetwares here in Portland. (Also, a few people have asked me about my gray dishes with the blue flowers. Unfortunately those were from Target on-line quite a while ago and I know they don't have them anymore. They just say Euro Ceramica on the back. My blue and white dishes are "Blue Delft" by Maruta Japan.)

I finally finished the sampler! Took me a while. It, too, made me very happy. I will definitely offer it both as a downloadable chart/pattern and as a kit. I am sourcing materials now and making sure we can get what we need. I plan to work up a new sampler with a few changes that I made while testing this one. I'll photograph the new one properly as soon as I finish and frame it, but I don't have it in me to rush. In the meantime, I will tell you what I know about counted cross stitch so you can see if it is something you would like to do. I am really, really looking forward to this one. Thank you for being interested. I think it is going to be so much fun.

If you have anything to ask about counted cross stitch, please do ask here in the comments on this post! And then I'll do a little tutorial next week or so.


Snow is pure feather down loveliness and no winter is complete without it no matter how much the naysayers nay.

I confess to wanting Andy to try cross stitch and you photograph the results. He is so charmingly earnest, his efforts always make me smile. Turnabout is always fair-should he have you try accomplish one of his work jobs?

It looks like we might get snow next week! I am also ready for a layer of white although do confess I've been enjoying this cold sunny windy weather.

I love counted cross-stitch, too. I haven't done enough of it in the past few years, so I'm looking forward to seeing your complete sampler! By the way, I'm one of those people who would be totally happy if we had a winter without snow here in the Northeast.

Rebecca Bauder says: January 11, 2012 at 04:33 PM

Of all your fans here, I may be the only one who purchases your charming felt ornament kits, knowing I'll just admire the package because your description makes the process sound so fun. I think I will channel you if I stare at it long enough. Once I sewed on a button, and that's as close as I've ever been to a craft. But you MAKE me want to create all of it! Of course I will be buying the new sampler because I know it will connect me to your lovely woods and the views you paint of your life. So, in addition to your little tutorial next week, I would really appreciate any suggestions on reference books for newbies and the totally unskilled. (P.S. Light snow and gorgeous sunshine here in Bigfork, MT--so close to your old home).

My cross stitch experience is very limited, so I don't even know what counted cross-stitch is. The peak at your sampler is very charming! I'm looking forward to finding out more about it.

Beautiful photos! Your cross stitched sampler on that linen is SO very fine. I love the job you did on that, it goes perfectly with your cozy home! I can't wait to see a full picture of it. Your vision must be excellent! :)

Thanks for the inspiration today, sweet Alicia.


In the swing and upbeat... makes me happy for you.
And, please, what flowers are those? I rarely get to see a flower I don't at least recognize, and these look completely new to me.

Erin Miller says: January 11, 2012 at 04:51 PM

I've doing counted cross stitch since I was a teenager. I love and am looking forward to this!

Snow makes me happy too. January is my favorite month of year. It's like an extension of the holidays but its all cozy nights and white lights, no stress or hurrying about. Oh January ... please don't leave so fast!

So pretty! What type of cloth, thread, and size needle do you use? I would love to give it a try on linen, I have only ever used aida cloth before.

Oh, the wood of the tabletop! So rich and old and lovely.

I haven't cross stitched since I was a teenager. I am going to buy your kit for this one!!

Alicia, we are supposed to get snow tomorrow and Friday here in Southern, IN Personally, I would love to get snowed in.I have supplies bought to bake. xo, Cheryl

I haven't cross-stitched in years, but your later project is enticing me to pick up a needle and thread again. It looks like a great project for spring break (hint!). Adorable!

I love your sampler and would love to do one...but I am older now and my eyes are always an issue. I love all sewing but 'cross stich' is a disciplin that I have always had trouble with......I get LOST. ha It has been at least 15 years since I even tried. I used to give it a try every once in awhile but when I became involved with other types of sewing I just let it go.
BUT....with your knowing WHERE TO in CENTERING and watching your tutorial..maybe I would be able to give it a try. I hate 'avoiding' anything, know what I mean? I can't wait til you get sure and tell us right away.
I have loved your recent recipes....curry lentil stew and baked bread.....perfect for our winter weather. Thankyou dear Alicia.

I am waiting for more snow too... This sampler is so pretty. I love the pink and red with brown and black, a nice transition for me between Christmas colors and Valentines.

The sampler looks beautiful and I am so glad you decided to do a kit for it! I can't wait. My Daisychain sampler is finished up and framed and I am looking forward to getting something new to start, you have an amazing aesthetic that I always find inspiring.

An afternoon of sledding is the best way to justify vast amounts of steaming hot cocoa and chocolate cookies. We have had only one week of sledable snow and I feel cheated out of winter fun. There is something so glorious about the smell of spring with the sound of snow melting- dripping water off of the house and the rushing of water under the snow and ice on the street.

Oh, from what I can see of the motifs so far, I am already in love with this sampler! Mittens, snowflakes, and a Swedish woven still MY heart!

oh I can't wait to see more of the sampler! I already love the look of it!

I am a stitcher so I am really looking forward to your new chart release! It's very pretty!

Loving the sampler - the colors especially! My cross stitch question for you: If your trying to stitch a motif where you have to skip around a bit with one color, what is your approach? (For example, the pine tree motif on the lower right of your photo.)What does the back of your work look like for this type of motif? Do you constantly stop and start threads?

I think this one is my very favorite so far. Can't wait until the kit is available. I am with you about the snow. I become ridiculously pout-y about the lake of snow here in Portland. I have done enough snow dance and bargains with the snow fairies that I feel we should have FEET of it by now. SIGH.

I can embroider and do a some hand quilting and even a little needlepoint but somehow I never learned to cross looks totally intimidating with out the little x's even!

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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