Sugar Pie

comments: 68

























I've been sort of a slug lately. Sitting a lot, weaving a lot, reading a lot. Subtext there is, of course, that every other moment, indeed almost every single waking moment, is spent toddler wrangling. Motherhood is so physical. I really underestimated that. The moment she is occupied elsewhere or sleeping, I go careening across the house and onto my sofa and start gulping big, deep breaths of air. Eventually, trance-like, I start to weave until I'm less windblown and catatonic. Honestly, I feel like around 4:00 p.m. there should be people standing on the sidelines with Gatorade, offering to empty water bottles over my head as I keep picking up my feet and putting 'em back down until bedtime. The minute I get to sit, I sink. Only my hands have energy. Occasionally I read books, usually while eating. I take Amelia to the library just about once a week. We get as many as I can carry in my basket to the car; we usually park quite a ways away and linger on the way there. I have truly loved the freedom of reading library books again, not just for Mimi but for me. My choices are seriously random: whatever's facing out; whatever doesn't seem like it will be too sad, or too hard, or too serious. I loved Oh! You Pretty Things (which reminded me, in a weird way, of If You Follow Me, which I also loved). Currently reading Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse. I honestly hadn't been to the library in years, mostly because I am such a slow reader, and I couldn't get my books back on time, and I always wound up paying for them anyway, and it just wasn't convenient, somehow. But with a little kid it's totally different, of course, and although I do have to pick out my books very, very quickly, I am enjoying the complete freedom of choosing books by their covers, without reviews, and without the risk of spending money on something I won't want anyway.

Weaving #2: The one with the pink tassels. Inspired by Marianne Moodie, Erin Barrett, Rachel Denbow. I'm just making stuff up as I go along. Talk about noncommittal — you just add things on the fly and if you don't like them, you take them out, no prob. Teaching myself to do some shapes, some beads, a little bit of bling (gold embroidery floss). I have all of this yarn in my stash, so many small skeins, none of it really enough to actually knit anything besides something striped, and then, you know, gauge, care (washable? non-washable?), fiber content, etc. Weaving does not make me think about these things.

Weaving #3: Sheep in the Fields. I just had an idea and I wanted to see if it would work, and it did (meaning, it came out pretty much just like I was hoping). You build up curves by doing short rows (knitters know the term). I like this one.

Weaving #4, on the loom: Tiny Houses. I was so inspired by the pictorial weavings of Kayo here. I mean, look at this one! Isn't that smashing? Apparently, you draw on the warp to get your shapes. I didn't do that — I just started weaving with no plan, and I put some houses in, then I put some path in, then some background. I have no idea if that's how you're supposed to do it. But it's working for me, post-toddler-catatonia. Excited to finish this one. It has taking the longest of the three because it's all done with the needle, and not with the shed or shuttle. See how I threw a weaving word in there. Don't ask me to define, I'll get them wrong. But I know 'em when I sees 'em.

I actually wanted to do a little village in cross stitch. Maybe I still will. That would require some attention to detail that I will have to unwillingly muster, and is unlikely to happen in the near future, though I'm nothing if not craft-capricious, so you never know.

Oh jeez. I forgot to tell you about the pie. Rhubarb custard pie. If you like eggs and sugar and rhubarb, I highly recommend. Meems added "candles" (dried spaghetti) because apparently it was Weaving's birthday (he's four, like Ceiling). Also, sauce: Meat Sauce from Apples for Jam, one of my favorite cookbooks. Do not add the 3 cups of water to this sauce. I've made it that way before and you basically water down a perfectly delicious sauce for absolutely no reason. I added 8 oz. of sliced and sauteed mushrooms to this. You must add salt and pepper while cooking, to taste. Eat over spaghetti with a big blob of ricotta. Amelia asked for more. Thumbs up.

***Teepee poles are just replacement tent poles that Andy put together. I can't remember what we used to use, but probably bamboo stakes? Fabric held on with binder clips. :)


I love her so much..from afar..I can't believe how tall she is getting..everything either looks beautiful or delicious.
We had snow again last night so all the lilacs and clematis and blooms are still hiding deep in winter weather for now.

Well thank goodness you've enough energy left for blogging... Visiting Posie Gets Cozy is my *people on the sidelines!* Your posts revive me, and inspire me.

You are surviving toddler tending brilliantly, I think, Alicia :) I was surprised to learn that my library habits mirrored yours in my before toddler years. Now as a gramma I am more apt to buy what I want to read as my five six foot tall crammed with books IKEA bookshelves will attest! Your weaving is lovely...whatever method you are using. Our sunny week had me dreaming of going camping, and seeing Amelia's tent makes me wonder why I don't put up my pop up tent in the yard! Your cooking looks yummy...we have been given fresh caught salmon several times lately. Delicious! Happy Spring! xxxxxxx

Our porch is covered in lime green pollen. Yes, that is as pleasant as it sounds, but soon we can wash it all off and be free to enjoy our porch and yard again. I enjoy Spring vicariously through your posts because I can look at your beautiful pictures and not have to sneeze!

Toddler wrangling is exhausting and so much fun. Amelia seems like she'd be such awesome company.

the photos of rhubarb, lilacs, groupings of chairs, sweet girl.

reading tired momma words and remembering since my baby is 14... BUT the gbaby girl is over more and she is 18months...phew!!

our yard has been taking turns blooming..first the row of plum trees primroses and pear tree, apples are starting, forest hyacinth (are everywhere), two pink rhodies and when I saw your photo of lilacs I had to peek out to that part of my yard that has a lilac and YES in bloom...swooning at the though of a vase of lilac colored lilacs :)

Have a wonderful week Alicia!

ps. if you ever get a second from chasing little sweet girl can you reply a little something about the bedlike thingy in your backyard. it looks like something I could make and enjoy a whole bunch! :)

The rhubarb lattice pie looks divine. Just as soon as the rhubarb is up at the allotment I shall give it a go. Love the photo of Amelia stirring in the kitchen, it's fabulous. The weaving is amazing, honestly you're so good at all of this craft stuff. Gorgeous flowers (lilacs?) and I think hydrangea petiolaris? Your garden is looking absolutely beautiful. Here in England we are still waiting for a little spring warmth. CJ xx

Oh, every picture in this post makes me happy. As I look outside my window and see still a foot of snow (in northern Ontario), I can smell the lilacs in your world.

Maybe it's the leggings but gosh Amelia looks tall in photo #2.

I love all the weavings!

I totally understand the toddler wrangling. Unfortunately, I usually fall asleep during moments of quiet. Sitting up. Usually when I'm trying to get some knitting or reading done. ;)

So envious of your weather and all those dogwoods! Have enjoyed Patti Smith's, "M Train" recently. Picked up, "Just Kids" now from the library. I once read that the AXIS bomb scientists, when brought to the US to work after WWII, all got library cards immediately. I deal ever! Happy Spring!

Thank you for the rhubarb custard recipe although when I clicked on the link I almost wept. Also, I am jealous of all the green and flowers. Hopefully it'll make it to southwestern Ontario soon.

Motherhood . . . Tiring often!
But oh the rewards and blessings . . .
I used to weave like you are doing years ago . . .
Inspiring me . . .

Waving hello from out in the gorge! I love seeing all your things in bloom and Mimi enjoying the backyard and your comfy furniture. I think we need some new outdoor furniture. I have my annual bouquet on the table of my 4 colors of lilac - 2 lavenders, 1 dark purple and 1 white. I have a photo on my blog. I love how your weavings are coming out.. wonderful heirloom artwork. I have woven some things but they were more utilitarian. Have a fabulous week and I hope you get some "me" time. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Your weaving is pretty darn good, the little houses are wonderful and I am a little in awe actually that you have picked it up so quickly. I dabbled a few months ago. Really plain but nice enough until I spoil it by sewing in the ends and then it all unravels and turns ugly. So annoying but such a basic thing I have been unable to pick up info on. Also trying to work out what you do if you want to make things without a fringe but not finding any answers.

Everything I love is Japanese, the crochet (it's the proportions and colours), the embroidery, the fabrics, the cute drawing books and now that oh so cute and clever weaving you linked to. So frustrating because all that knowledge is wrapped up in a different language and pictures only go so far. I would love to be able to actually read all those wonderful craft books/

I love the library. I can never resist and as you say, you get to try new things out of your comfort zone.

Yes, yes, to the 4 p.m. energy crisis. We do need people with gatorade! I've got a 3-year-old and a 7-month-old and some days I feel like they are BREAKING my body. Agh! But then there are days, like today, when we bake strawberry muffins (the toddler clad in only a t-shirt and underwear, of course) and make meerkats out of modeling clay and toothpicks, and build a room-sized tent to eat our afternoon snacks in. Those days feel so good.

Your weavings are inspired and inspiring. Oh, it makes me want to get a loom. But I'm trying not to buy all the things! I'll weave vicariously through you. Keep sharing!

Hi Alicia! I was wondering about the teepee for Amelia. It looks like you have a more substantial frame for it now. Do you mind sharing what you used?

I read your post today at work - as a librarian in a public library! How wonderful to find your way back to the library for your little one and really for you! It's a no-commitment way to read (and watch and listen) to new things. As a mama to two tiny humans I have similar reading criteria right now. Thanks for sharing and for your inspiring work!

Ah, Apples for Jam! Doesn't it make you homesick and nostalgic and joyful and weepy all at once? It does for me. I make that apple cake all the time, thinking of when she talks about round faced, pink cheeked children playing on a hill. Come to think of it, Mimi might like that cake. She certainly fits the description! She talked about drinking orange soda as children, and we were on the way to Ukraine to adopt our youngest daughter four years ago, and had a 23 hour layover in Paris. We had our (then) three and five year olds, and one of the shops had orange soda and I bought it and small ceramic pots of yogurt for them and we looked at the eiffel tower. It made me so happy. I love that book.

I'm a mama to 8 yr old boy/girl twins. I can tell you - it gets easier! You will have such great memories with these photographs and Amelia will know them all by heart. The great thing about my memory? I've forgotten all about the tired!

Hello sweet Clover!

I love your dogwood pictures! Ours are blooming now too, and I took a million photos of them today. They don't look as pretty as yours though, frost came through over the weekend and turned things a little brown. :(

Id never thought of being able to treat weaving like tapestry and jump around a bit, I'd have assumed that you had to work it all up together like crochet! All three look absolutely amazing; I love the roving sheep! And oh yes to the physicality of life with pre-schoolers, I have no idea where they get all their energy but it's amazing to see!!

Must. Have. Rhubarb.

I think this week I have to get to the farmer's market or die trying...after this string of photos, nothing in the world will do except for rhubarb pie.

And golly....she's getting tall!

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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