comments: 74






I don't know that I've ever settled into or been grateful for the dormancy of wintertime as much as I have this particular wintertime. This winter, with its Dutch oven, and cord of firewood, and quiet talks, and long walks, and black-bean soups, and beeswax candles, and cable TV, and milk frother, and eucalyptus baths, and our little animals, and worsted-weight softwools, and waxflowers, and wooden table . . . well. It's spoiled us a bit. We're soft now, I guess. I was going to take a little Clovermeadow animal for a walk yesterday but it just felt too cold, too windy, too rainy, and too wet outside for such comfort-loving creatures as we. So instead we scouted the yard for signs of spring and came back in with these cuttings (comfort-loving botanists). Turns out that if you're really looking, underneath the muck of rotten leaves and winter weeds and the soft slime that autumn left behind, there are tender greens and petals at the ready. Delicate, determined beauties. I wanted to find them. I'm not that anxious for spring, really. I just like to know that it's coming, someday. I like the quiet moving-toward. I like the hiding wonders. I like the longer, still-cold days. I like the translucent, nervous greens. There's a bird that sings in the early morning now, the past week or so. His song is so loud and vibrant against the silverquiet of the mercury-gray sky. I hear the trilling when I open the back door to let the dog out at dawn. It's a new, wild, disorganized solo, and I love it.

I took artistic license with the grape hyacinth above. He actually lives in a pot in the dining room. His younger cousins do live outside by the front picket fence, but are only showing their leaves. They're several weeks out. Perhaps I'll try to clean up the yard (which is a mess) so I can watch them come up from the dining room window. Or maybe not (too warm and lazy).


Here in Australia we are at the end of the summer, and being a wintery girl I am SO ready for it! Your cozy little nook on the internet just makes me crave the dormancy of wintertime even more... Lovely photos and words, as always!

Katie x

I heard the call of a morning dove this morning. Spring is on its way...

Oooh with the mention of your new sampler idea, I can see these little cuttings turning into a wonderful sampler design!!! My hands have been giving me fits lately so I haven't ventured into your kits but this one could make me throw caution to the wind, no matter how much it may hurt afterwards!!!

I'm not the only one that thinks a sampler would be great...perhaps another crewel???

Those are beautiful horticultural studies, Alicia!

I bet that bird is a mockingbird...could be a robin, but the mockers get started early...the males sing wildly ridiculous jazz solos to try and woo a mate. I have always thought they sounded a bit like Miles Davis.

Trina-Lea Briggs says: February 23, 2012 at 08:40 AM

Alicia, I am so enjoying walking down this virtual botanical path with you these past few days...thank you.

Your photos reminded me of this great art exhibity I saw at a local museum:

This woman, Mary Delaney lived in England in the 1700's. She was a fantastic embroiderer and your photos were very much reminiscent of a dress I saw in the museum. She had a beautiful little scissor and thimble set gifted to her from Queen Charlotte. But her real claim to fame was a project she started in her SEVENTIES. She made scientifically precise botanical models by cutting paper to make these amazing collages of plants. Her work and detail was incredible. The fact that she started so late in life is inspiring. What an amazing woman and I'm sure her history is one you would enjoy learning more about.

Oh this was such a lovely post Alicia! I keep coming back to it, it's a moment of serenity and I thank you for sharing it.

I so love your blog-it's one of my first stops every morning. Have you ever read Willa Cather's "My Antonia"?
There is a flavor of her style in you. It makes me always, go back and read again, and pause and say, "Ahhhhh" and I know I smile, for that is the way it is supposed to be. God Bless dear lady, for so many reasons and for the joy, inspiration and beauty you bring to me through your written word, beautiful photographs and heart. Sharon

Seems like spring is bustin' out all over . . . on the east coast too! Enjoy the day however you please!

your composition feels like a dutch painting from the 1500's...lovely

I agree with Deco Cat...a sampler.

Kristi Shreenan says: February 23, 2012 at 05:19 PM

Alicia, I too love the coziness of winter. I live in MA and have missed the snow this year - that quiet blanket that requires slowing down, hunkering down, cuddling up. I caught a whiff of spring's potential today, and it made me both lightheaded and a tad sad to think cozy season is soon to be in the past. But then comes the beach...knitting in my beach chair, warmed by the sun's rays. I guess it won't be so bad after all! Stay warm.

I have long admired your projects, design sense, and photography.
But today I realized what a great writer you are. Thank you for making
The world a better place.

I just came over from Blue Mountain Daisy.
The photography is amazing. I just kept scrolling. Your knitting caught my eye and the Heartwarmer is to die for.
I'm now a member of Ravelry. Thanks so much.

Bonnie Kane says: February 24, 2012 at 07:41 AM

Your blog is superb!

your words just summed up winter in the most delightful portland-esque way.

Lovely photos and words.

Byathinthread says: February 26, 2012 at 07:06 AM

This post reminds me of the Gillian Welch song "Acony Bell"'s one of my favorites. Also, I will be first in line if this does indeed turn into a sampler. It's so lovely!

I think in your appreciation, you possibly created a whole new season to love here.

These photos remind me of a book a read over the summer -- "The Paper Garden" by Molly Peacock. It's a biography / memoir about a woman who made exquisitely accurate paper cuttings of botanicals in the 18th century... +Chelsea

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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