comments: 118





The weekends always go too fast. I love the feeling of . . . lowered expectations. Something like that. It's early Monday morning here now. Crows calling outside. The heat blowing through the register. The sky turning bright gray. My neighbor's screen door slamming as the kids leave the house, one by one (there are six) on their ways to school. Cars starting up. I have a busy week, too. An inch of rain promised for tomorrow, so I'd better get at it today. What I really want to do is sit around dreaming about the veggie garden we're going to start on the parkway. Maybe I'll do a little of that. I need a stack of seed catalogs. Must get one of those!

I figured out the shirring on my machine — thank you for the advice. Turned out that I just needed to loosen the tension on the bobbin case (and I didn't even know bobbin cases had tension). Then it worked perfectly. I used this pattern to start, but modified it heavily — adding 3" to the neck/upper sleeve edges, lengthening the sleeves another 6", lengthening the whole thing and turning it into a dress, adding shirring at the waist. It was fun. And it will be pretty in linen. (By the way, my apron from last week, which I totally adore, is from here.) I have several yards of nutmeg brown linen and another inky blue. My Tasha Tudor dress.

Cross-stitch tutorial tomorrow. Candlemaking? Here is some information for you. Bread talk is here. Any seed catalog recommendations? I am the world's most pathetic gardener so I'll need help.


I second the recommendation for (Pinetree Gardens, in Maine). Most of their seed packets run in the $0.95-$1.15 range and are sized perfectly for most home gardeners. They have an excellent selection of seeds for both vegetables and flowers, including many heirloom and hard-to-find varieties (e.g., French greens, vegetables used in East Asian cuisine). Excellent customer service, too. I've been ordering from them for over ten years and have never been disappointed.

Oh, and don't worry about getting a stack of catalogs. Once you request catalogs from one or two vendors, you'll quickly end up the mailing lists for all the others. :)

OOoo - also maybe check out what Margaret has to say on awaytogarden. She has some good guidelines and ideas - I guess she just doesn't get carried away with cute pictures in catalogues like I do!

Seed Catalogs! My favorites are Baker Creek Seeds and Seed Savers. (As I am typing I see someone has already mentioned them...)

Johnny's is the best seed catalog. I have looked at a lot of seed catalogs and we have even grown for market. Johnny's is the best. They offer quality seeds and excellent growing information.

I found this tutorial on shirring - I knew I had seen it somewhere. I know it's a bit late and it is all done now but I thought it might still be of some interest.

I've never done it so I don't know anything, but I did notice that it says you shouldn't change the bobbin tension as it can cause problems resetting it back to how it was. Anyway here is the link

Good luck with your garden. I love plants but do not have green fingers at all sadly.

I'm looking forward to the cross stitch tutorial too, I'm quite excited actually!

Linda Dominick says: January 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Beautiful pictures! Have you considered publishing a photography book? I would buy it.

Renee's Garden Seeds! Super reliable, great info on the seed packs, west coast company. Best of luck veg gardening! It's a complete addiction :)

Gurney's is a great place to start. They have very good, no-fail directions on all of their packets and I've always had such good luck with their seeds and trees. I've also recently discovered Jung's, which has a bit more variety. Good luck!

How do you manage to make the most vilified day of the week so lovely? We're so unfair to Monday, generally. I will try to break free of my conventions and see its beauty.

Oh Tasha Tudor. I still want to shrink myself down and live in her doll house. Especially on Mondays.

Wow, my new view of Monday lasted ten seconds...

Jordan in Seattle says: January 24, 2012 at 01:57 PM

I love Territorial Seed!

You did not tell us what that wonderful pile of garter stitch was.... It looks an awful lot like the Annabel Cardigan that I'm working on right now. I love Baker Creek Seeds. I live just south of San Francisco and I have to make it up there to Petaluma some time to see their store. It looks yummy. Just the seed packets alone are frame-worthy.

Love your description of 'bright gray'. :) Don't think anyone outside of the Pacific NW would get that. Totally works.

Also, thanks for continually documenting and reviewing your local haunts! I was in town last weekend and Kornblatt's definitely came in handy. I didn't need to eat again for a week.

Sonicka Salisbury says: January 24, 2012 at 09:41 PM

A great book on gardening for those of us in the Willamette valley is "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades"- it's super specific. An excellent read!

Love your blog Alicia! And your pictures as always!
I recommend Victory Seeds for quality heirloom seeds, they are a small family owned company and I believe they are based in Oregon (I'm not sure about this but its somewhere out west at least!) I have grown delicious heirloom mouth- watering tomatoes and other yummies with the same packs of seeds as they seem to keep really well in the refrigerator for the next years crop. That is if you order a bunch of different seed types but only plant a few seeds of each like me.

Hey there
I love pondering the seed catalogues this time of year and am especially excited as the other half has promised to build some raised beds for vegetable growing!

I have pottery envy... love the jugs your flowers are filling in this blog entry and "on saturday".

I have just started a folk style sampler like the one in your book inspired by your latest cross stitch. Thanks so much for your beautiful blog, photos and ideas. Mrsbris x

I was going to give you the name of a Heirloom Seed place. It looks like you have many already. Heirloom or non-hybrid are the way to go :o)

Hi. Your blog is soo cute and your pictures so inspiring!
Your daughter Amelia is adorable! Thanks for the tutorials too.. I've
Always envied people who have so much time to create such
Wonderful things!

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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




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.