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.


Megan Bellwoar Hollinger says: November 09, 2020 at 01:02 PM

Just catching up with this post, and hoping you feel the empathy in all these comments! I finally finished the embroidered alphabet sampler you designed so many years ago, and it was so satisfying to frame it. I don't know if I ever would have finished it without this "sacred pause," as my yoga teacher calls this time we're in. Reminding myself that it's all temporary, and there are even parts we'll miss and cherish when this evolves into what-comes-after...

I hear you… we have survived a year of remote working and daycare closed for many months but you nailed the hardest part.
My sewing and crafting has taken a backseat, having lost my dedicated crafting space as well as working longer hours. My one free night a week comes, and its just not worth unpacking all-the-things, just to have to pack them away again :(
Jealous of SO at least having a garage to escape to, where tools and multiple projects can safely lay about until its time to pick them up again.
I feel like this was a part of motherhood I tried most to prevent - having to lose the thing that brought personal joy and meaning. Its just day to day living, weeks go by and I feel so aimless. I hope that we are all able to find our space again.

Yes, I feel trapped much of the time, too. Our son is a senior in high school. All his friends are back at school but he is home because we made the difficult decision to keep him here due to his major heart defect. My husband is home, too, and I’ve lost my solitary moments. We, too, have been getting out to hike and each time I do, it feels like the happiest moment of my life. What I try to think is how lucky we are to have our precious son with us a bit longer at a time where we’d be losing him to extracurricular activities and friends. We will never regret this time together and when I get my solitary time back, I will be reminiscing about these days. Hang in there.

Sue from KS says: November 10, 2020 at 11:30 AM

Your post made me think of one of the poems I am memorizing with my kids, “The Peace of the Wild Things”, by Wendell Berry. It’s not really a kids poem but the rest of the poems are for them so I threw that one in for me. 😉
You can find it with a quick search. It’s very soothing.

girl, I love you so much. hang in there

BB in SE PDX says: November 10, 2020 at 08:50 PM

Like you, I often find myself studying the map in search of quiet places to get into nature and find space and solace. (Bonus if my kiddo can run and get some energy out.) With distant trails so much more crowded now, I’ve enjoyed finding overlooked gems closer to home. A recent trip to Scouters Mountain was well worth the 20-min drive, with lovely views, cool art to find, and just two other cars. Wishing you peace and respite in this difficult time. Thank you for the comfort and joy you bring others with your blog and art.

Thank you for continuing to share, Alicia, it is a true gift to us. XO

Please keep posting. Just hearing of your everyday is beautiful and helpful. To help us get through this hard time

It has truly been a surreal and hard year, but there is always hope and I pray you can find that in the small things day to day. I come to your blog whenever I need peace, I find your words and picures so calming...a real tonic for the soul as a previous commenter wrote...thank you for them and also your beautiful kits and patterns...I might actually get around to doing one one of these days!

I'm struggling too. You're not alone. It dawned on me that I need more laughter in my life and more things to look forward to, so I'm working on that, and it is cheering. God bless you.

Donna Leone says: November 16, 2020 at 02:08 PM


It's continues to be a challenging year and my Australian heart breaks, and brain struggles with what you are all going through. Life will get better, but it is harder not knowing exactly when and this is the stressful part. You and your beautiful family are love. This is your strength. Never forget that. Take every good care of yourselves. x

2020 has become (and will be reminded for being) the year of isolation.
I'm very sorry you're struggling, but please don't feel bad or guilty. There are so many people in the same situation.
I've been sad because my father died in a nursing home in September and I wasn't allowed to hit him for the last 5 months of his life. He was 91 and had very advanced dementia and couldn't understand why we couldn't take him out of the home.

.... The comment above should have read, "I wasn't allowed to VISIT him for the last five months of his life."

Oh, I hope you find your solace. This is so hard on everyone. Except maybe babies and dogs.

Such lovely photos... getting out of the house - especially now - helps cleanse the spirit.

I think we're all feeling like we are suspended in a glass ball, not quite falling, but the fear is there. It's the uncertainty that makes us so fragile.

For now, we just need to wait. Hang in there.

Thank you for making us laugh and bringing healing to this world through your talents, Alicia. We're all going to make it through this year! Best wishes.

Dear Alicia,

Your posts have gotten me through so many dark days.

I am grateful you are sending prayers out to the less fortunate in this world.
So many people have lost jobs and are struggling.

The less fortunate that struggle with sobriety, mental illness, losing loved ones need our prayers.

Bless you and your sweet family, always a light that shines in the darkness!

Enjoy you time with you daughter and husband. The nature walks are very healing.

Your voice and prayers are still heard even if they are in a whisper.

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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.