Not Doing Much

comments: 68
















Mostly, I study the map of my side of the city and try to find flat places to go in the woods, thinking there will be solace there. The weather this fall has been so beautiful. Despite these pictures, we haven't gotten out of the house as much as I would like. City living in a little house so close to its neighbors, where you can't see the sunrise or sunset: The days sort of slip away. When Andy is home I get my work done (I have a Things of Winter kit and a new hand-embroidery [not cross stitch] kit called Winter Ring coming out this month) and then go upstairs and sit on the bed with Agatha Kitten and knit and watch whatever I want. I'd give anything to just go out to lunch and read my book. Sometimes I'll order Thai food on GrubHub and just sit in bed and eat it. Amelia does her regular school on the computer in my office and it's always so messy. I also can't really work in there because I make a lot of noise and am distracting to her. My happy place here in the house is not mine anymore. Sometimes after school is done for the day we go up to the woods all together, and those afternoons are the best. But generally, good lord, I am so tired at the end of the day. I miss everyone and everything about my old life. I try not to think about it anymore. It's all just too surreal. I pray for those who have lost so much more.

I've lost my voice a bit. Thank you for sticking with me. I just don't seem to be able to talk.

I've started to design a cowl pattern to use up a lot of my leftover (well, let's be honest, a lot of it isn't even leftover — it's just never even been used) fingering-weight hand-dyed yarn. I really like cowls (though I think this is technically more of a dickey) and I've ordered some fancy cashmere yarn to make the turtleneck part. It's still not here yet but I'm really looking forward to knitting with cashmere! I'll take a picture as soon as I'm done. These are going to be my Christmas presents this year.


surreal is am accurate description for how I process life right now too. Ive stayed busy with my flower farm and health coaching through the Summer. Im glad you are getting away to the woods when you can.
xo Lori

You and I had the same idea this year to knit a cashmere cowl. I’m still researching yarn but will order soon. I’m so excited that you have a hand embroidery kit coming out this month! Yay, my fav! I will be ordering that the day it’s out. Thank you for designing one.
Your fall photos are beautiful by the way!

It’s all so hard right now! Hugs to you, and hugs to everyone struggling right now!

Thank you for the calming photos as all the chaos swirls around us.

Kristen from MA says: November 02, 2020 at 05:04 PM

Life does seem surreal these days. That said, your "not doing much" seems awfully nice, Alicia. :)

Pretty pictures of pretty places are a tonic for the soul.
And your video dance, on IG, did my spirits a world of good.
I don’t think I am doing much either, so why is this so tiring? Don’t answer that;I think I know. Even trying to remain calm has me exhausted. I am glad you say aloud some of the feelings and thoughts so familiar to me… like about messes, about missing what we had, feeling tired, and the glaring way things are unreal. I miss so many things, and maybe what I really miss is not having to think about all the new do’s and don’ts. You haven’t lost your voice, not entirely… I hear your hope, your respect, your caring, your wonder, in the pictures you share. It’s a comfort to feel like we are in your company, appreciating the woods, the leaves, the softening light. Thank you, for sticking with us.

Kelli from New England says: November 02, 2020 at 06:07 PM

It's okay to "not be doing much" you're allowed to. Just don't lose're not alone.

This is for sure a twilight zone year. I kind of live in a state of worry/stress/nervousness due to trying to navigate through this new world and then add in how upset I've been for 4 years watching our leader behave so badly and the outright terror waiting to see how the election turns out... it's just too much.

We will overcome. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

A new post here always brings me joy, just so you know. These are hard times. I keep thinking of Little Women, and Little House on the Prairie, and all the childhood faves. They may have been better preparation for this time that requires such fortitude than almost anything I’ve read. As always, thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and thoughts with us. (And I might even try to learn how to knit again, thanks to your influence.)

jean birch-leonard says: November 03, 2020 at 03:31 AM

We're all in this together and I share your feelings. There will be an end to it, and I'm trying to get as much joy from life as i can under the circumstances. Little wins. Keep your chin up ole thing.
lots of love

I have spent the last months of evenings with my feet up, under a quilt I made working on your fall cross stitch pattern watching netflix and prime series. Its how I end my day and unwind. Your patterns are really appreciated and I look forward to your pictures and stories every week. Hang in there, you're surrounded by friends!

Michaelanne Neal says: November 03, 2020 at 04:00 AM

You feel the way SO many of us feel....Tired. Thank you for sharing all that you do. It is a comfort, because visiting you here, and enjoying this happy space has always been such a joy! It never fails to be an inspiring encounter <3...that is a gift that you give every day just by being you!!! Never lose hope. Working in the hospital throughout this time, has been incredibly painful. I hope that if everyone can just do a little....some wont have to do so much. Sending you love! Stay safe..and I cant wait to see what crafty goodness you are working on!

Thank you for writing on Election Day, something soothing to the soul. Your pictures really do speak a thousand words, autumn in all it’s splendor. I’m tired too, I feel like I’m running a marathon (I hate to run) and I’m in the home stretch watching them grab the finish line and move it further away as all the spectators board the bus and wave goodbye leaving their trash behind. The only consolation is my family on the sidelines cheering me on, and of course the cleanup crew doing their thing. Lots of hope packed in that last line.

Penny Guglielmoni says: November 03, 2020 at 05:36 AM

I have read your blog for years. You need to know you are finding beauty and love in these trying times. The isolation is taking a toll on everyone. Hug those you can and look at how much life and beauty you share. Not the same as before but you are doing well. It will be remembered by very few as a great time but those who share love and keep finding the good will have some memories that make them stronger. Your new kits will fill some crafters with a beautiful memory of filling isolated hours with beauty. Hold your head up and know you are making a difference even with your struggles. Lunch out will come, but not now.

Your words & photos are so beautiful. Life is hard these days and today especially challenging. Sending you and your little family love & hugs form MN!

laura Nelson says: November 03, 2020 at 06:42 AM

I think alot of us feel we have lost our voices, heres to hoping and praying the darkness will be lifted. Woke up to snow this am. I am trying to stay off social media, FB to be exact. Trying to stay calm and not be overcome with anxiety on this election tues. I cannot believe how tall she is...

I may eat my words tonight (god, I truly hope not), but I feel a lot of hope right now. It’s easier, I know, because I’m still on maternity leave and haven’t started the work-from-home life up again with childcare for two in the mix. But I listen to the podcast This Week in Virology and I believe that by this time next year we’ll have *a* vaccine if not yet the best vaccine. Enough to hug friends again. I also think school can be done safely with the right resources and transparency (there’s the rub, right?) So I try to think about how I want things to be in the new era, because it really will be one, and I’m optimistic. That my oldest can finally start preschool next year, that my company has really reckoned with our role in anti racism, and that maybe we can have Pasta Fridays with neighbors next fall. ❤️❤️❤️

This life is just weird. I've become rather manic getting things done. I'll be incredibly productive for a bit and then wham, can't do anything for days. I've come to accept it and be at peace with it because, again, these are just really weird times and you do what you must do to get through them. So happy the trees are beautiful this year! I was worried the smoke damaged them. :)

Alicia, I think many of us are kind of stagnant right now and missing our "regular" lives. I am hearing from's all so wearing on us all. But, I truly feel this time next year will be different from now. Closer to "normal". Please know that your writing, your sharing, your creativity, and your photos are a blessing to me and so many others.

diane willard says: November 03, 2020 at 09:00 AM

Sur reallll. Thanks for sharing all the calming pictures of nature as you walk through the woods. Enjoy your blog

BIG HUGS ALICIA. All the hugs.

This post was very helpful to me. I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one feeling like what you described. I haven't been out except for the grocery store and walking for 7 months. I often count my blessings because I am still able to pay my bills being retired. Some people are not so lucky. I think about relatives who went through WWII and lost a son, lived through the Depression, a great-aunt whose young husband died in 1918 from that pandemic, and who had to leave her two boys with her husband's parents and move to a city to work to support them. So many people have gone through such hard times. I think "I can do this." I think it is not knowing how long this will last that is hard. Then there is the election. It is definitely a time to be kind and gentle to ourselves and others.

I'm not surprised you've lost your voice. This year has been HARD. Hang in there. Hopefully change is on the horizon and things will be looking up soon. Hugs.

I lost my studio/happy place when my husband started working from home this March. You need to carve yourself a little desk corner, maybe in the bedroom, with a few of your favourite things around. It's not quite the same but it helps!

Susan from Tsawwassen, BC says: November 03, 2020 at 11:11 AM

I echo so many of the comments here! Thank you for your cherished posts. Please take care of yourselves. We will get through this. Much love to 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




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.