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.


Even if you've lost your voice, I still love everything you post. Can't wait to see the new embroidery designs. Cross stitch has been so soothing the last few months.

I've been following your blog for years and years. My youngest child is a little son whose birthday is only a few days apart from Amelia's. He's also 8 years old, we are also navigating shared learning and work space, we are also tired. I recently took up writing fiction for the first time in my life, in early middle age, and I'm finding that it's very, very hard to be expressive right now. I want to tell you that I receive calm and comfort from your photographs and your words, and from the way you life your life with so much intentionality and authenticity and love. I go back to your post about your accident and everyday angels sometimes, actually when things are at their worst in the world or in my life. And every time, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and hope. Thank you for being here. <3

Marcia L Love says: November 03, 2020 at 06:58 PM

I think we're all just holding our breaths, waiting for this all to be over. Of course, even when it's over nothing will really be the same. sigh!
Your pictures are just wonderful; they fill my soul. You are a wonderful photographer. I appreciate what you do so much.
But take heart; things won't be this way forever (I keep telling myself!)

I want to try hand-embroidery again. Where are your kits listed? I live in a small rural town that does NOT have any crafty stuff. As I no long venture into the city I must find full kits. I sit most days with my four year old grand daughter... I need something to keep my hands busy and still keep my eyes on her. Always love looking at your pictures as they are so very beautiful.

Courtney Marlowe says: November 04, 2020 at 03:42 AM

Your words are what so many of us feel. For reasons so much beyond out control we are losing our voices and our happy places. It’s hard right now not to just turn completely inward and hide, and eat takeaway in bed. Hang in there, A., and we will too.

It's hard right now. I also have a 2nd grader that we're homeschooling and a very busy business that we run our of our home. Sometimes I just don't have enough space to breath but I get outside and that makes me feel much better. I drink coffee in the cold sometimes wet yard. That makes me feel better to start the day. Our sweet daughter and our sweet dog make everything better too. I am trying not to lose my patience with my mom who is lovingly staying with us to celebrate Halloween & my birthday and is helping with Homeschooling and just general fun for our daughter. We have a small house but a wonderful neighborhood and river to go down to. Rivers are wonderful because they just keep going. I miss being alone and having enough time to go to the bathroom without another person trying to get in there. XOXO Sam

Oh Alicia-
Thank you for your beautiful photos and brilliant words. Just reading people's thoughts here is comforting. Natalie Chickenblogger said it so well...
This morning a few friends wanted to get together to talk about the Election, and I couldn't do it, and couldn't really figure out why until I read your post- "I've lost my voice" too - We ARE all in this together, and it DOES help thinking about phases in history as Ginene says, of people who have been through similar, or even tougher, times. Here's to hoping our voices will return soon! XOXO

I, too, can relate to the feeling of having lost my voice. I am so saddened by the fact that we cannot talk and sing and laugh with each other during this darn pandemic! I live alone and am retired. I am only seeing 1 or 2 people on a regular basis. I have decided I am going to sing on my own, every day, just to remember the joy of singing. I love Christmas music and songs, so will sing those to my heart's content. Stay well.

I hear your voice, and you sound sad (Though I did love your Instagram dancing!). This too, all, shall pass. Nothing is permanent -- except for love, and our souls, and …. Everyone can fill in their own permanents. Keep the faith, our friend. Blessings and love to you and your family --

We are all on such an emotional roller coaster this year. Focus on your loved ones, your creativity, embrace the slowing down & simplifying, reach out and help a neighbor when you can, and we will all come out of this stronger & more connected & and our new normal (because now that we've woken up we must stay awake) will be even more nourishing & rewarding than the times past we are all longing for.....And know that your posts, however frequent, bring us all tremendous joy. ♥

Thanks for continuing to share Alicia, despite feeling lousy. Things are just hard, it's okay to feel the way you are feeling. We'll get through this somehow, hang in there!

We turn to you for solace and these are the times we need to remember to say, thank you. When life gets tough there is nothing better than to go to and see what is happening! Your photographs are works of art, your beautiful needlework, your tasty, comfy recipes, your beautiful Amelia that I have watched since she was a baby, your recommendations for books to read, seeing the world through your eyes and talents are an amazing gift you share with us all. Take care, sweet woman. Take time for you and your family. We will wait for posts and understand that at times creativity needs rest.
Yours with peace and comfort,

Just for your fun, I am your 65 year old groupie, grandma to 4, mom to two men, and have bought several of your kits.

Andrea Rose says: November 05, 2020 at 07:17 AM

It is uplifting to hear from you, no matter what or how much you have to say. You are part of "my happy old life routine." Thanks for being here. You uplift so many.
Love to you from Minnesota! xoxo

Yes to all of your post! (except I haven't been knitting with cashmere-- crocheting with acrylic, I suppose!) Reading your words I am reminded of the novelty and importance of hearing from someone personally in the early days of this pandemic, when all of this was new. And I think I have stopped doing that. This is often a rough time of year anyway, so it's high time that I reach out again.

Miss Madeleine says: November 05, 2020 at 01:48 PM

I am at home with four virtual schoolers. All young. Plus a telecommuting husband. I worked all units on a hospital and gave that up because I couldn't afford to be lost to my family (I know you understand the terrifying nature of hospital work). Try to hang in there.

Voices are a tricky thing sometimes. Your life has been turned upside down and while homeschooling is a wonderful thing you are doing, it also brings with is a loss for you. This too shall pass, I keep reminding myself. I think the thing is...when? And how different will we be when it does? Keep finding little ways to treat yourself and give you something to look forward to! I think that's so important. Hugs to you, Alicia.

Christine capece says: November 06, 2020 at 11:07 AM

I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your feelings. I feel the same. Sending you hugs and good wishes. Hoping on HOPE.

Janet from Pittsburgh says: November 06, 2020 at 11:28 AM

Prayers to you and your family. It has been such a roller coaster of emotions this year for so many of us. I try to be grateful, when I see how much worse it is for some. I think we all mourn the loss of our normal lives. I will never take for granted again the mundane, the little trips to the store, the feel of a bookstore or conversation with a friend in a favorite restaurant. When this is all over, I picture a time like the roaring 20s. Happiness, lots of activity, large gatherings, small gatherings, parties to celebrate the smallest of happenings. I hope to be a better person on the other side of this pandemic. More loving, more empathetic, less judgmental, more understanding, more volunteering, just more, more, more. I feel I owe it the world to be the best that I can possibly be. Blessings.

Of course we will stick by. I only read your blog and Ginny’s blog anymore. Don’t stop. It is a beautiful bit of time to visit with you ever few weeks. So enjoyable.

I feel sorry for young people there are so many changes in one year of your life when you are young there are changes in adults lives too but usually not so marked. My husband and I had our ‘golden’ wedding with no family as my children live in Seattle and Dublin and we live in the S of France. We had planned big family party. My husband turned 80, same story, but we are both here and still healthy that is the important thing. Keeping others safe is what it’s all about.

My hands are working on my needles....or dishes, laundry. Staying away from “real” TV. Long walks with our dogs. Praying more. Hope and faith Lanes of life. Trying to deal with Grief and Loss post election. Lots of Sad. With the Winter Cold coming and the Grey days upon us it is hard. Hope the vaccine comes soon. Take care.

I hope you're feeling better today since the election results are known. I have felt uneasy and sad often since Covid and unrest have changed our lives so much. We are lucky though compared to so many others, and when I go out for a hike with a friend I'm able to forget it all for a while. I feel hope today that things will begin to improve. My heart lifts when I see you've posted and shared your feelings, whatever they are. We need more of that. 🤗✌️

I hope you are feeling better today!! Yesterday (Saturday) America got the best news ever! I know I had been in a fog (name it terror, if you like) for quite some time. I turn to your blog -- so many times through these 10 years I've been following you -- to hear the sounds of calm and domesticity and love. Perhaps we have drained you! But rejoice!!! There is promise of normalcy! We just have to keep the faith and stay focused and safe. We are all exhausted but we can do this! We have to do this!!!
In my family, our children are grown. One lives close by with our first grandchild. We cannot hold this precious being, but we get to see them in our yard, on walks. Our oldest drove 2 hours to see us this weekend -- again, just for a front porch visit and a walk. Each time this happens I say my goodbyes and rush into the house for fear of bursting into tears and sobbing uncontrollably; I miss holding them all so, so much. It is very difficult and seems to be endless. But staying safe is tantamount. Hang in there! Thank you for sharing yourselves with us -- it means so much -- whether you are bubbling and joyful or even in your quieter times.
An Instagramer (in UK) shared this a few days ago and I thought of you instantly: "When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting for their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." - Wendell Berry
Be well! Marguerite

Maria St John says: November 08, 2020 at 01:20 PM

I have been following you for years. I love your artistic gifting as it brings with it such serenity and calmness. But with times like these soothing pictures and art are not enough to soothe my anxious heart. I do not want to be preachy but want to share my hope. During these trying times my firm foundation has been on Jesus. He has sustained me like no earthly person could and He continues to give me great hope. His plan is all layed out in the scriptures and in the end He wins the battle over evil and sin. May you, Andy , and Amelia draw close to Him.

Was talking to Lisa (Congdon) recently about how difficult it's been to really.../work/ in our usual modes. Voicelessness is not uncommon right now, it seems.

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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.