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!!!


My favorite movie is "Enchanted April" but it is unfortunately very hard to find. My favorite love story is Audrey Hepburn's "Roman Holiday" and I recommend the BBC detective series "Grantchester". An old serialized book adaptation that I loved was "A Town Like Alice". If you can find episodes of the sewing version of the Great British Bake-off, called "The Great British Sewing Bee" you will be binge watching with your tea and cake. Filled with the loveliest people, all so kind to each other and guaranteed to make you cry for the winners. You will love love love it.
Wishing your lovely family days of bliss and good health

I love your peaceful blog. Came for the crafts and stayed for the beauty.....your pictures are so lovely.
I so enjoyed Last Tango in Halifax... Jane Austin anything.... oh and a movie that is just fun, The Jane Austin Bookclub.
Enjoy your summer. Stay safe. .

Susan Boyd says: June 28, 2020 at 10:43 AM

After seeing your quilt for your sister, and your star blocks, I went and found the pattern I had for your Calicozy Comfiquilt. I have a full/queen Ikea bedspread for one, but you said you were going to make your star quilt and use a king-size one from Ikea. They still don't make a king-size one, do they? Could you give us an explanation of how you're going to do it in king-size? That's the size I need! Thanks. I love your blog and after 2 weeks I start checking to see if you've posted again.

We are watching McLeod's Daughters (Australian show) and really like it. Also The Durrell's in Korfu, Murdoch Mysteries, Little Man (1998, with Michelle Burke.) Father Brown Ekaterina (with subtitles but it's fantastic and historical.) Detective Anna. The Crown, Vitoria and Poldark. Thank you for your post!! May we please have a kit for queen size quilts like the one you made for your sister?? In either or pink like you have it. :) Ok, wishful thinking! Love your pie plate, I'm looking for a new pie plate and wonder where you got yours, I don't like the ones with exaggerated ruffles. Love the one you have. Beautiful Cake!! Lovely to have windows open with the curtains blown with the wind. Continue to be safe. Blessings!!

These are old TV mini-series, so I hope you can find them. Each one is based on a wonderful novel of the same name:
#1- A Woman of Independent Means (1995, 3 episodes; starring Sally Field. Novel written by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey.)
#2- A Woman of Substance (1984; 3 episodes; starring Jenny Seagrove. Novel written by Barbara Taylor Bradford.)
#3- Centennial (1979; 12 episodes; starring Robert Conrad; Novel written by James Michener.)
I love them all... both the novels, and the TV mini-series.

Epic historical fiction is a delight. Obviously anything Austen, but also The English Patient, Atonement, The Duchess, The Young Victoria, and (this isn't historical) The Horse Whisperer (the documentary based on the ACTUAL horse whisperer is also excellent). I feel like I have more in my "costume drama quick draw" section of my DVD folder, but I'll have to look when I'm home. Austen spoofs are also fun - Lost in Austen is my fav, but Austenland was good.

A show, not a movie, but The Durrells in Corfu was great, from PBS Masterpiece.

Can’t wait for things of summer!

Hi Alicia, long time reader, occasional poster here. First of, so glad to hear that Andy is doing well, I'm sure you must be so worried for him during this time please let him know how much he is appreciated even by a total stranger! Secondly, historical movies - others have recommended the PBS version of Little Women it is SO good, far and away the best version IMO aesthetically everything in it is just perfect. Both Beecham House and Indian Summer are very good if you're in the mood for that sort of thing. I tend to eschew American historical dramas, our history is nothing to celebrate and I loathe Hollywood's take on most of it, that being said my husband and I both enjoyed Boardwalk Empire which takes place in the early 1900's-1920's (such great clothes!) - we watched it twice as well as the new version of Roots and the series Underground. Back to Europe and the UK, Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette was also very good (again, the clothes!) and you cannot go wrong with the Crown as other's have mentioned.

Lisa Burr says: June 29, 2020 at 05:10 PM

For TV shows, I really love Outlander, The Durrells in Corfu, and Call the Midwife. A recent historical fiction movie that I liked was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

I am reading The Splendid and the Vile right now about England during the Blitz. It is dense but so good.

We’ve been watching a lot of historical fiction lately and I would recommend Medici: Masters of Florence on Netflix. It’s amazing. Season 2&3 are even better than the first season.

The Great on Amazon Prime is comedy but also I felt like I learned a lot about Russia and Catherine the Great.

For a more serious take on Russia there’s a docu-drama series called The Last Czars on Netflix. I’ve always been fascinated with the story of Anastasia so I loved it.

As for period pieces but not really history, nothing beats the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice in my opinion. And the new Emma is pretty good too.

Lovely quilts! I’ve started stashing calicos whenever I find them at the thrift store. Well, I had started but then COVID stalled that plan. Someday though, I’ll have a lovely quilt like one of yours.

Oh, you are so beautiful ! Your life, your family, your work, and your litlle girl.Thank you to do what you do !

Just found the show The Detectorists that several people mentioned FREE through the Hoopla site/app that my local library offers!

Lovely blog as always. Just thought I’d pop in to say that I work at the same place as Andy and parking is still free on account of Covid 19. The subsidized bus pass is a great perk but it might be worth trimming the commute time and avoiding Tri-met during Covid. 12 hour shifts are so very long (says this 10-hour shifter)

Deonna Bettis says: July 02, 2020 at 08:54 PM

Recently started watching Durrells in Corfu a PBS masterpiece series on Amazon Prime. I think there's four seasons. I am only about 6 episodes in but.... British naturalist family, in Greece, 1930s - I am a sucker for that in all the ways.

Samantha Coombes says: July 03, 2020 at 05:31 PM

Another lovely, comfortable post Alicia....can I recommend you watch The Luminaries? It was a gorgeous but rather too long book to read, but the series has just come out and it’s delightful. We have so few New Zealand historical novels and this is a great one! I think you can watch it on bbc I player

I love old movies and a favorite is The Women 1939 with Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard and Joan Fontaine. Clare Booth Luce wrote the play. Gorgeous clothes and sets. Also,the wonderful movie "Auntie Mame" based on the book "Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade" a 1955 novel by American author Patrick Dennis chronicling the madcap adventures of a boy, Patrick, growing up as the ward of the sister of his dead father, his Aunt Mame Dennis.

Being a Texan, I love the old movie "Giant" with Elizabeth Taylor. They touch on racism when the son of the two main characters marries a Hispanic woman. The reaction from Elizabeth when the men plan to discuss politics and send her to bed! Enjoyable with amazing sets and wardrobe. Jett Rink (James Dean) striking oil is a scene you wont forget.

If you have not ever seen, "Midnight in Paris" that is a fun movie and one I really enjoy. Love the Cole Porter music in this movie! I walk around singing it for days.

Don Knotts in "The Ghost and Mr Chicken" is corny and cute. I love "Three Coins in the Fountain" (I gues it's the clothes and the sets again) and if you like Shakespeare, you must see "Much Ado About Nothing". This came out years ago and stars Kenneth Branagh and Denzel Washington. The music is so wonderful and happy. The last scene is so joyful.

Oh! Have you seen "Enchanted April"? Wonderful.

If you like Tom Cruise, "American Made" is good and based on a true story.

Another old favorite is "The Lady Eve" starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. Starts on a cruise ship and some fun twists. Look for the scene when the horse wont leave Fonda's hair alone. I want everything Barbara wears in this film.

Just remembered another BBC costume drama serial - Elizabeth Gaskell's 'North and South'. It is incredibly romantic, and has the added bonus of Richard Armitage as the leading man - be still my heart!

Carrie Ellis says: July 07, 2020 at 11:46 AM

Hello Hello!
Thank you for putting this request out there; I've jotted many of them down. Here are my recommendations for entertainment with historical flair and not too gruesome:

Miss Pettigrew Lives for Day (Frances McDormand and Amy Adams)
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (I enjoy these so much I'm naming my next cat after Miss Fisher)
Murder on the Orient Express (star studded led by Kenneth Branagh)
The Man in the Moon (a young Reese Witherspoon - get ready to ugly cry)

I enjoyed Doc Martin on Netflix (or PBS?). I don’t know where it is on now. I bought the series. But it’s British and just the cutest, so funny. Great characters and beautiful scenery. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for years, your family, artistry, photos, cooking, book lists. Thank you for a serene place to “go.”

It's not big and epic, but I love the BBC's 1970s series All Creatures Great and Small. 1930s era veterinarians, so you get some period drama and sweeping Yorkshire Dale views. It also gets in-depth on the view of a vet dealing with a cow, so it doesn't shirk from reality and in season 2 there are ominous WWII news, but it is beautiful.
On a complete flip side - I rewatched Red Dwarf, an 80s BBC comedy that is a sci-fi spoof and it was so much better than it had a right to be from my teen memories! Season 1 is silly, but it takes off into season 2 and 3. Surprised by how smart and funny it actually was - and a diverse cast to boot.

I don’t know how you do it,but your blog,every time,before I’ve even landed on the page evokes so much cosiness,loveliness,warmth,home and hearth,old ways,authenticity and a dreaminess to the writing. it’s been such comfort on bad days and good.I watch period/costume dramas exclusively ha,I love them.I really enjoyed the light between oceans,my favourite period film though is Howard’s end.You might also want to watch The heart of me based on the book the echoing grove.Willow and Thatch is a great site for period films.Pinterest too has lately been giving me the best period film suggestions.

Your pics and writing style compel me to read your posts one by one without a break. Your posts are so wholesome.

I love the simplicity yet warmth of your dining room! Your sparely decorated dining room table is what I strive for. Soothing expanse of warm wood combined with a simple, natural centerpiece, as if it just fell into place. Nothing contrived. So comforting. Chloe

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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




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.