Pulling Together

comments: 74











Things of Summer










Oh, where do the days go? They slide away, they slide away. It's been three months since our stay-home order went into effect. It's felt long and also short, since the days are all so similar they really do run together. I've been having a rough time of it lately. We've gotten out to the woods and the river a bit, and that has been wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. I would like to go all the time. I love everything about the river. I love stopping at Jimmy John's [edited: won't be going to Jimmy John's after what you guys have just told me — ugh, thank you, I had no idea] and picking up sandwiches right on the edge of town. I love the drive into the country, past Christmas tree farms and billowing foxglove groves. I love the smell of the woods and stopping the car for a mama deer and three babies. I love watching Amelia play with her toys in the sand. I love watching raptors circle endlessly over the river. I love reading in my chair. I love when Andy and Amelia go on adventures. I love the sound of the water. I want to go all the time. I can't wait to go back. My nerves feel better for it, for sure.

I hope you are all well and hanging in there!

Amelia is currently in the bathtub. I gave her a can of shaving cream and said go for it. She's hooting and hollering in there right now. She just asked me for another can (no). She's spent most of the day in her underpants, watching Inspector Gadget in the office and eating water chestnuts out of a can with a fork. It's over 90 degrees outside and sunny, without a breeze in sight. I watered the garden at about 8:30 a.m. and then shot right back into the AC. Andy is back at work today for the first time in maybe a week. But we'll pay for that now, all that glorious time off; I think he is working seven days out of the next nine days. Twelve-hour shifts. An hour bus commute on either side. That's rough, though he never, ever lets it show. But we miss him when he's not here.

We stopped at the plant nursery yesterday to pick up some shade annuals for the porch and then we went to the library to pick up the book (Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid) I had placed on hold last winter. They are finally doing hold pick-ups at the library. They meet you at the front door; there there's a table blocking the entrance, and they slide the book to you on a tray. Sigh. I can't say I enjoyed being out at all, though I had been excited to go. We were only gone an hour or two. But I was so relieved to be home, back under my tree, watching Andy plant the impatiens and Amelia whack at the lawn with a croquet mallet. I guess I'll stick to the river for a while.

I have started a new Sawtooth Star quilt for myself, but I have not worked on it too much. It will be eight blocks each of ten different star combos, made of my precious calicos and hand-dyed (by me) muslin. It will be a king-size quilt that I will line with an Ikea comforter (turn and burn method [layer batting, top, then bottom; stitch around all sizes leaving an opening to turn, turn then stitch opening closed], then I'll tie it). I like my quilts to be just thin, puffy comforters now. I've decided I really don't like binding and I don't like machine-quilting — it all makes the quilt too stiff, in my opinion. I'm going back to puffballs tied with #5 perle cotton. I made one for my sister's birthday present (see first picture). Stay tuned, we'll see if I get this thing for myself finished. A precision quilter I am not, though I did buy a fancy Flying Geese ruler, and that is helping very much.

Amelia and I baked a blueberry–cream cheese babka, an Earl Grey cake (the recipe I used doesn't seem to be available any more), and a rhubarb custard pie. Today we are going to make Orange Julius popsicles and chicken tacos.

I have finished my design for Things of Summer (digital screen shot is above) and the printed patterns have arrived (though I haven't opened the box yet; fingers crossed that all is well in there), so I will start putting kits together next week, and it will be on sale soon!

What are you favorite historical fiction movies, like big, epic ones? Or series? I am so in the mood for that. I've been watching absolute garbage TV lately. I do love it so!!!


It's so nice to visit you. Thanks for having us and sharing with us and all the news. I LOVE the new cross stitch and will be purchasing the digital pattern and making this. Thanks again for the visit. I loved loved loved Room with a View. The Crown, Victoria and Abdul, Mrs Brown, Death Comes to Pemberly.

Gettysburg, for sure.


Lovely Alicia, if your blog was a video it would be this:



The Good Eatings vlogger is a Swedish girl who I discovered this weekend and have been bingeing since.

Her videos are just like your blog... cozy, relaxing, GORGEOUSLY shot, and very inspiring. I especially love her What I Eat in a Day series.

If you need a break from crap, I guarantee you will fall in love!

What is "turn and burn"??

Beautiful Alicia, you have filled my senses with your words and pictures, thank you once again. You are a kind, intentional, constant inspiration, truly a gift.

Your decor makes me think of ice cream; it just came to me. Have you seen Lark Rise to Candleford? Four seasons - wonderful! If you like Dickens, Our Mutual Friend is excellent.

Nicole James says: June 23, 2020 at 07:18 PM

Historical fiction:
Dances with Wolves
Malcolm X

Tracie McDonald says: June 23, 2020 at 07:30 PM

Oh you are so funny! Garbage TV...who hasn't these days? My fav historical fiction movie is Far From the Madding Crowd. The newer version with Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts is the one to watch. The story has stayed with me and I love the kindness theme displayed by a Farmer Oak. It is so beautifully shot. Thanks for your lovely blog. I have been reading, smiling, and crying with you for a long time(2007?) and just love being able to follow along with you and your precious family. Lots of love from Michigan.

Anna Atterfors says: June 23, 2020 at 08:10 PM

Not historical, but it really takes your mind away and gives all the feels... "The King, eternal monarch" on Netflix. At least it's on Netflix in my country. Korean, so one has to really focus, which I find I need right now. Å bit of fantasy, which I also need now. Keep going! 🤗

Hi Alicia, it's a joy when I see your blog pop to the top of my list. I enjoyed all the photos and of course, your dialog. I think I know what river you enjoyed and your drive through the countryside. I know Jimmy Johns makes a tasty sandwich but did you know he is a really awful man who shoots and kills all kinds of beautiful animals like elephants and giraffes? Google it and you'll learn about it. So, I don't go there no matter how good his food is. We put in 4 raised beds here on the farm and are really enjoying growing our own salad and look forward to zucchini and tomatoes, peas and beans and potatoes. Stay well and be happy. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Hi Alicia:
This is the first time I've commented on your blog and want to thank you for your thoughtfulness and kindness shown though out these last months of isolation. I do not do cross stitch, but if I did your new design would be one that I would love to do and treasure. I knit, crochet, needlepoint and do embroidery. I also sew and brought dinosaur and mermaid fabric for new shorts when Jo Anne open this past Monday. My library is doing curb side pick up for holds too, but the instructions they give on the web are very confusing. I will wait a while before trying this -- right now I have enough reading material to last me to the Fall.

I have just finished reading The Nightengale and The Sussex Serpent.
I've started reading Norah Loft's the Suffolk trilogy (The Town House). In times of trouble my go to authors are James Harriot, Miss Read and Tolkien. For movies I enjoy Rosemary and Thyme, Foyles's War and Cranford and then there is always LOTR and the Hobbit to watch.

I love your blog and seeing all the beauty that you create. Mimi is such a precious treasure and a real cutie to boot!

My love to you, Andy and Mimi.

May peace be with you,

Susanne aus dem Süden says: June 23, 2020 at 11:08 PM

What a lovely entry. You made me crave rhubarb pie. Why haven't I had any rhubarb yet this season? It's a criminal oversight!

Historical movies ... it's historically inaccurate (very) and contains some male nudity (in particular young Paul Bettany's delectable tush), but I love love love A Knight's Tale. It has some of my favourite themes, found family, making your own destiny despite the odds, true friendship, lovely scenery and the humour is great.

Not fiction, but I watch this every few years: Ken Burns' The Civil War. - I like the quiet style in which it is told, no fuss, people reading from letters of the time, matching photograps, narration by historians, lovely music, and - I'm very gratefully for this - no docu-play! If I want actors to play out certain scenes I'll watch Gettysburg or Cold Mountain and the like.

Not a historical series, but a very nice one about a group of people living quiet lives in the English countryside: Detectorists. The two male protagonists are detectorists living unassuming lives. You get to meet them doing their quirky hobby, you meet their friends, their family, the small club of other detectorists they belong to. The whole series is lovingly written, acted, filmed. There is nothing twee about it, no murders, no large ups and downs, the humor is quiet and never nasty and the countryside is filmed in a very lovely way. Detectorists is my go-to series when I'm in the dumps. It always picks me up marvelously.

Have a lovely summer with Andy and Mimi, and stay healthy
Love Susanne

Beautiful post as always! I would love to know more about the quilting technique you mentioned... puffballs tied with perle cotton!

It always bring a smile to my face when I see that you have posted. Even more so now with our current medical dilemma. I was also just terribly relieved that you are all well and keeping busy. Your lovely photos so carefully taken, your inspiring projects and your allowing us to pay a visit with you and Mimi...well, it is the highlight of my day when you "come 'round". Historically speaking, "Turn" was terrific but my favorite is "Outlander" both the books and the series. Do stay well and know that we care deeply about you.

Courtney says: June 24, 2020 at 03:06 AM

I really loved Any Human Heart. There’s a PBS (I think) series. The book was also wonderful.

Historical Fiction Movies: This time of year we usually watch Gettysburg, Gods & Generals, and Dances with Wolves. There are also my seasonal watchings of the Austen movies I favor which tend to be the lengthy BBC renditions. Historical fiction books I love the author Susanna Kearsley. Her settings are phenomenal and make you want to visit the places she writes about. Highly recommend. They all are fairly easy reads, chock full of history, and generally (if not always) have good endings. Perfect for summer!

The newer 3 episode mini series of Little Women, the one with Maya Hawke in it, is SO good. Very nostalgic since you already know the story and better than the movie remake that came out last year. And you can watch it with Amelia. My 8 year old loved it. I believe it is free on Amazon.

Lovely post as always. Peaceful and relaxing.

Historical fiction movies....my ab fab is The Patriot with Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger ( swoon). A Knights Tale has some lighthearted moments and again...Heath Ledger. Marie Antionette is a beautiful, colorful, fun movie, not necessarily fiction, more non-fiction with a current soundtrack. As for series, I just finished The Great on Hulu. It is loosely ( very loosely) based on Katharine the Great of Russia. The language is awful, so definately not one to let Amelia see or hear, but it was fun. Reminded me of the Marie Antionette movie.

These aren't movies but tv series, but they are lovely. The A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. Victoria on PBS. The Crown on Netflix.

Lovely photos as always!

Stefanie Price says: June 24, 2020 at 07:20 AM

Thank you as always for the peek inside your lives...Amelia is growing before our very eyes...she is clearly a "pistol"...which is a good thing!!!
LOVE how you and Andy are parenting her...love the photo of her with the very large leaf on the stick...what was she imagining?

I recently watched Mrs. Wilson on Amazon Prime...based on a true story...oh my!...what a story...also, the Murdoch series...which is somewhat historical, as many of their characters were actual people (e.g. Thomas Edison)...it is a mystery show...takes place in Canada...back at the turn of the century (?)...Enjoy these years...they are fleeting!!

Penelope says: June 24, 2020 at 07:24 AM

If you haven’t watched Lonesome Dove, soooo great ! Not historical fiction, but just wonderful !!!!!! 😁

Why am I so confused... I see two dining room tables with two different windows. I've been following your blog since your craft table had bricks underneath it's legs, and before your wonderful Amelia was born. and I only seem to remember one dining table. Am I getting old these days and loosing my memory. Please help me please.

Love, love the idea with the shaving cream.

The river must be so lovely. Things feel like they are returning to normal in the West suburbs. At first I couldn't wait to get out - just to do food shopping at best - but the experience was always so weird I'd return to home glad to be back and mentally exhausted. The farmers' markets have been my saving grace. They 'almost' feel normal. I wish I lived in the city - so many great bakeries/delis I'd like to support with pick-up. I binged Poldark the other week and Grantchester the other month. I think I'm going to splurge and pay for Killing Eve - not historical, but just a weird BBC that sucks me in. :)

Barbara Gardner says: June 24, 2020 at 09:03 AM

Here's a great TV watching tip: sign up for Acorn TV and watch The Detectorists...you will love it!

Thank you for another soothing post Alicia. My favourite epic movies are Out of Africa with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, Tea with Mussolini with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and a host of other top actresses, Mrs Brown (Judi Dench again) and Dr Zhivago with Omar Shariff.

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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 aliciapaulson.com