Keeping On

comments: 64




Hello, hello! I truly hope you are all healthy and well and staying safe. I am thinking of you and wishing you all every good thing right now, wherever you are and whatever your circumstances. These are hard days.

Here we are, keeping-on keeping on. Mimi is doing what Mimi does best — that is, whatever she wants at (almost) all times. For the record, I have zero problem with this. She jumps on her mini-trampoline, writes a letter to one of her friends about her trampoline, does some math problems on the computer, and reads quietly to herself every day at 3:00 (on that I do insist, just to get some quiet). She climbs her tree, she shouts across the street to our neighbors, she is nervous that I've ordered her a new bike without training wheels, and declares she has no interest in learning to ride it. We have gone nowhere but the loading dock at the post office for two weeks now. Well, occasionally we do go walk around the block. I don't enjoy it. She helped me work on cleaning up the front garden and did a surprisingly great job at pulling the stuff I told her to pull. So it goes. She is amazing and carries on without fear or frustration, cheerfully accepting the changes and taking everything in stride in a way that I find humbling and inspiring. She and her friend FaceTimed the other day and just played their toy pianos for each other for a half an hour. I didn't even really hear them talk. They had a fine time.

Andy (cardiac nurse) toggles between home and work, leaving the house in the dark, coming home in the dark, busy at the hospital all day. Empty busses. The sound of crows through the night sky in an empty downtown. The sound of a streetcar bell ringing four blocks away. He gets home around 9:00 p.m. and goes straight to our neighbor's guest house to shower and change clothes before coming home through the mud-room door, which we haven't used in years. Our neighbors are wonderful, and are letting us use the guest house as a place for him to transition between the outside world and home. His shift was cancelled today and a continuing-education class next week was also cancelled so he is home for the next eight days, and I am grateful. So grateful. It is stressful. There have been many tears (mine) and a lot of stress and a lot of worry and a lot of sadness and then just a whole hell of a lot of trying to do everything right when so much is out of our control.

I know people around the country are also sewing masks at home and some people have asked me about that. I am no expert here — I don't pretend to know if they are effective or who is using them. I know that OHSU is not accepting them right now. JoAnn's has collected patterns here and will collect your finished masks for distribution directly "to medical professionals who can best decide how to use them." This article also has information about making masks. I am going to try to make some this week in case they help.

I spent last week assembling and packing up all of the Things of Spring kits to ship off to you. Thank you again so much for your orders. The kits are sold out and I wish I had made more. I always hold out ten or so kits until I know what everyone has received theirs without a problem (and there is always a problem because I always screw something up) and I will trickle those ten back into inventory soon. Don't judge my handwriting on your postcards because it's insane. I know. I was stressed and wanting to get everything out as fast as I could, before our stay-at-home order became official. I do hope you enjoy cross stitching the kit and that it gives you some hours of peace and quiet. I will make the PDF available in the next couple of days as soon as I get organized. ***Update: Here it is! Thank you!

Until then, make pretzels!


For now, Maggie (and Foxie) are staying cozy and warm. If you'd like to make someone a rabbit for Easter, I've made Maggie's pattern available for free for you. Please enjoy making her and send me your pictures when you're finished, or tag them with #maggierabbit or #missmaggierabbit on Instagram. I love seeing them so much. You can't imagine.

Stay well, my friends. Wishing you every good thing in these hard days. XOXO


Thank you for getting the cross stitch kits out quickly. It brightened my day to get it in the mail. I'm prepping my thread and linen to begin soon. Blessings to you and your family for health and happiness.

Jude Walker says: March 25, 2020 at 12:14 PM

Such a joy reading your posts from my home in Shropshire, England. Thankyou Alicia.
Do take care as we live through this strange and challenging period.
I thought you might enjoy reading this... A dear friend shared it with me last week.

"And the people stayed at home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made Art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met with their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

Hi! Thank you for the rabbit pattern, I think this will keep us busy for a few days working and learning. Is there an online store where all supplies can be purchased? Do you have a recommendation. i googled the felt to start, and see lots of options, but hoping you may know of an online craft store where I could add all the necessities to one order. THanks!

Thank you for this post. I appreciate you being in contact to lift our spirits and to give us the useful links to the mask etc. It's day one of lockdown here in New Zealand and I was so pleased on this weird day in our scary times to see you here this morning. How wonderful to have neighbours that are assisting Andy's transition from work to home, making sure you all keep safe. Aren't children amazing, taking charge of their own activities? keep on being your wonderful self Ameila! Thank you Alicia and take care xxx

Danielle G says: March 25, 2020 at 01:37 PM

Thank you to Andy and your family from a fellow Oregonian. That is all I want tos ay.

Amanda Hatcher says: March 25, 2020 at 01:49 PM

THANK YOU!!! for Miss Maggie rabbit!!!

That is so kind of you to make the rabbit pattern available! I bought it several years ago then got hung up on ordering felt and haven't made it yet, and probably won't in time for this Easter because my kid is still kind of a terror with her things, but maybe in the next year I'll get it all figured out and it will be there in her basket :) I started on Time of Flowers the night before last and am enjoying the color of the linen so much. I also bought Bohin needles on your recommendation and dialed in my preferred size - 22 - and now things are going soooo smoothly. I was using a mystery multipack needle for The Leaves by Hundreds Came and stabbed myself many times :)

Thank you Alicia and Andy - it is both of you who are giving. It can be hard for those waiting and supporting as well as those doing. Thank you for the delightful Maggie rabbit, she is lovely and you are very thoughtful and kind to her made her available to everyone.

Best way to learn to ride a bike is to take off the pedals and use it as a coaster. Develops balance. Once she's comfortable with balance, put the pedals back on. Presto!
Took my daughter two days. Never needed training wheels.
Best wishes, and stay safe.

Thank you for the mask patterns link, I've been looking for that. Stay safe and well xox

Jennifer Park Cox says: March 25, 2020 at 07:46 PM

Hi! When will you start teaching your daughter to knit/crochet/crochet/needlepoint? She is the perfect age no? And has the perfect teacher and no has time especially now. :) I wish I would have started my daughter that early. When they did start learning we framed their first project with many many holes. So cute!

Andrea S. says: March 25, 2020 at 09:57 PM

You guys stay safe. Thank you, Andy, for your hard and important work. Thank you neighbors for your kindness. Thank you for posting and giving everyone a moment of happiness during troubling times. I'm staying home for many reasons but people like Andy (and by association your family and the families of other healthcare workers) are just one more really good reason to stay home.

I can understand how stressful it is to have Andy working in such a scary place right now. How nice of your neighbors to let him use their guest house to transition home. I made the Maggie Rabbit and it's one of my prized possessions. I have the doll to make next. I guess this would be a good time! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

I love all of these comments so much! I feel like I could echo them all. I, too, am grateful for your lovely posts that make my day brighter. I am grateful for the sacrifices that your entire family makes when Andy goes to work and helps others to heal. I love that your neighbors have offered their space to make your space safer. Neighbors are so important and so often in our world we no longer interact with them. Your neighbors make me happy. I am grateful for the pattern you have offered to all. That is so thoughtful of you and your generosity will reach out and touch so many people, making the creative corner of the world just that much more comfortable during this period of fear and uncertainty.

I am also grateful to have shared this post with your other readers and those leaving comments. When we are all burrowed in our individual homes, it is hard to see the sharing/giving/helping that is resulting from our shared experience. You have helped to connect us all which brings me joy!

I hope that all of you remain safe and well!

susan maclean says: March 26, 2020 at 01:31 AM

I don't usually comment but always read.... so I just had to - today - send you a big UK hug: it's for all three of you. x

Waltraud R. says: March 26, 2020 at 01:55 AM

Hello, best regards from distant Germany. Keeping a distance and avoiding the public helps spread the virus. Take good care of you.

Lynn Marie says: March 26, 2020 at 04:46 AM

I was so happy to see you had checked in here on your sweet blog. It is encouraging to see how others are weathering the storm of this virus. I love that Andy is able to shower and change at the neighbors before coming home--I am sure it is a haven of decompression for him as well. Enjoy your next 8 days together--how wonderful. Thanks for the Maggie pattern. I am going to make it for my granddaughter. ☺

Grand Pam says: March 26, 2020 at 07:37 AM

Thank you for this sweet encouraging post. Glad Andy is able to do all things to keep your family safe and still
accomplish his much needed work. So glad you have the lovely sweet independent Mimi for your entertainment.
I will use the adorable rabbit pattern for my three Greats and probably the youngest Grand. Thank you so much for sharing and please keep posting just so we know you are OK. Love to you and yours during the Pandemic.

As a long time follower of you, dear Alicia, I am so glad to hear you and your family are safely sheltering in place. I love what your neighbors are doing for you with the guest house; if my husband was not retired from his nursing career now, I would be in a panic too. . . They are trying to get him to come back to work, in fact, but with his chronic lymphocytic leukemia, that is not an option--unless he can do some part time work remotely, which is possible. (As he finished his career in nursing admin, there actually might be some task he could do from home that would free up others to do more patient care.)

What a strange time this is indeed! But also, in certain ways, a very precious time as people realize how important their loved ones and neighbors are, and strangers are kind, and we have time too stay home and just be cozy in ways that we usually long for. . . I love talking to neighbors (from a safe distance) as we go walking or jogging through the neighborhood. I also love having long hours to knit and embroider. We are going to plant a vegetable garden for the first time in years. So when I don't read too much of the news and get anxious, it's actually sane, for now.

With my daughter and son-in-law are working from home for OSU in Corvallis, and my granddaughter's daycare has closed--permanently, apparently--we have twice daily FaceTimes, which makes up some for the fact that we had to cancel our upcoming visit next month--and may not even be able to be there for the baby's first birthday in early June. Thank goodness for the technology that keeps us all connected from within our homes!

May you and all your readers be safe and healthy!

Erin in PA says: March 26, 2020 at 08:58 AM

This is such a strange and surreal time. I live in PA and am a teacher librarian. We have not been in school for 2 weeks now, although this week I am getting things organized for my students to learn online. Last week my daughter (13) and I did some sewing together and I got a bug to organize my fabric storage (a dining room hutch). Inside one of the drawers was the kit you made YEARS ago of the floral ABC sampler. I think I ordered it to make for my daughter (or my then-newborn neice) but life got in the way and it got stored away. I may be picking it up soon!! Currently baking a lot and sewing a lot of squares into a quilt. Take care and a big THANK YOU to Andy and all the front line fighters in this pandemic. Sending peace and love out into the world.

Thank you to Andy - first of all - and you and Amelia for sharing him in this time of crisis.
And thank you for the lovely pattern - I made the kitty and have wanted to make the bunny too!
Crafting is a great way to get through these stressful times!

Debbie Johnson says: March 26, 2020 at 09:25 AM

I love reading your blog...Thank you. I too love living the creative life. And big (((HUGS))) for the sweet Miss. Maggie Rabbit pattern. I will be making it for my two little granddaughters. I know they will love her. Wishing you and your darling family health and joy.
A new friend,

Thank you so much for the Miss Maggie pattern. Gosh I love your blog.

Again I have looked to your blog for cozy comfort and to see how your sweet family is coping during this unreal moment in time.

First off I want to say thank you to Andy for being a front line hero, thank you to his family for being there for him!

What a great idea to transition from work to home by using the neighbors guest house!!

My husband and I are over 65 and my husband has heart issues. We have been staying sheltered at home for weeks now. Our daughter comes in sometimes to bring goods and we have our zones we stay in then I clean everything down. It makes me very anxious. My park where I run every morning is closed so I run back and forth on my patio and exercise the best I can. Routine is important during times like this.

I'm getting very creative with leftovers, and crafts, reading and puzzles are a great way to calm the mind.

Praying that you and your family stay healthy!

Please send recipes and pictures our way when you cook something yummy.


It's always the same... I look forward to your posts, because your way of seeing the world, and how you share it, is uplifting, inspiring. Only... now it's more dear and welcome than ever. You've made me, so many of us, feel like we are all there in the neighborhood with you, calling from across the street, sharing the same views and concerns, hearing the same crows. Thank Andy, for me. My husband was on the phone with his cardiac physician's assistant, getting test results, and being looked after, from a distance. We are so thankful for all of the people who are going above and beyond. And reading about Andy's new routine, brings me to tears. I'm going to stop now... I hardly want to make this a therapy session for myself. Stay safe, and I love the extra moments and glimpses at IG, just any of your light and honesty, is welcome. Thank you.

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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