Into the Woods

comments: 38










Helloooooooo out there! Hiiii. How are you?

I'm sitting on my bed. Amelia is crying because she just fell down five stairs while wearing her new slippers and carrying a gigantic toy piano (everyone's fine — that was scary). Andy is handling the general chaos today: Children crashing. Dogs repeatedly going upstairs even though they can't come down (anxiety). Cats jumping on wide, high, plant-holding windowsills and knocking plants to the ground in a crash of ceramics and soil (four times now). Dog and cat standing six inches away from me no matter what I'm doing when they're not doing those things. Child recovering quickly and now playing "Good Morning Dear Earth" on the same piano. Husband is absolute saint and most skillful manager of creatures big and small, encouraging me to stay out of it all today and let him know if he can do anything elllllllllse for me. Too good to me, that guy!!!

December 3rd, then, and these pictures are several weeks old. The leaves are gone from the trees, and on Tuesday the wind whipped the around the house so hard the windows rattled. Not a fan of wind. I grit my teeth through it. Winter in Portland includes white skies, cold rains, and lots of wind, generally speaking. We've been out to the woods a bit and there was some complaining about being cold. I like the cold (though I do find myself dreaming of the river house frequently [which I believe survived the fires this fall, fingers crossed]. I picture myself sitting in the middle of the river reading my book in the sunshine.) We haven't decorated for Christmas yet, though that's on the schedule for today. Maybe driving out to the country to get our Christmas tree tomorrow? Will Agatha Kitten destroy the tree? Seems likely. She does not hesitate to wreak kitten-havoc wherever she can. She sits on the mantel, steals and hides stuffed animals and balls of yarn, and tries to run out the door every chance she gets. Soaking wet, she cares not when she gets sprayed with the water bottle for climbing and hanging on the screens. Oh, but I love her so! I love that little hellion!!!

THANK YOU so very much for every single order you placed here over the last few weeks! I'm so, so grateful for that. Ivy assembled everything and I shipped everything and somehow, in three days, I got all of the orders out before Thanksgiving. Now I'm just back to shipping a couple of times a week. I hope you all enjoy making these things. It warms my heart more than I can say to imagine you stitching in your homes across the country and in Europe. I love it, and thank you again for supporting my work all of these years. I recognize so many names every time I do the shipping and . . . it's just so nice. Thank you. XO

We've decided to take December off of Oak Meadow and study Christmas carols and The Nutcracker. I bought the curricula online but they're not super comprehensive and I don't know that I recommend them yet. Yesterday Amelia and I finished painting our cardboard Christmas village that we made out of box sides. I really have had the urge to bake lately. We made yeasted doughnuts and they did taste exactly like my grandma's; she used to make doughnuts (but she didn't call them doughnuts, she called the "pizzared" or something [Italian] like that?) once a year, some time in the winter. It would be a special treat. Our whole family would go to her house in the morning and eat them as she fried them. She cut the dough into strips with a pizza cutter, and then into rectangles. She stretched a hole in the middle of the piece and friend it in her cast-iron frying pan. When the doughnuts came out we sprinkled them with plain white sugar or honey from the honey-bear bottle. They were so delicious. I haven't had one in forty years. But the ones I made the other day were perfect and tasted almost exactly like my grandma's. I used this recipe. I highly recommend it. I have pictures of the doughnuts on my Instagram if you want to see them.

(Mentioning my grandma sort of makes me want to talk about DNA testing and my experience with it and my [many, intense] feelings about it, but I will save that conversation for another day, because I think it will be hard for me to write.)


It was strange not being with family for Thanksgiving and I know Christmas will be strange too (and Andy is working Christmas Day, as well). My heart breaks for people who have lost a loved one to the virus. I just can't even get my mind around it and am still just in a state of bewilderment and sorrow, to be honest. I wish you all peace as we move into the holiday season. Peace and joy in the little things be with you, friends. And thank you for being here with me. XO


Its certainly been a strange old year. For those that did have family gatherings for Thanksgiving, I hope they all remain well. Distancing is hard , but with digital help we can all still see each other. So delighted to hear of a vaccine being rolled out from next week. In New Zealand, we are not going to see the vaccine here until mid 2021, most likely. So we keep our borders closed and test and test and test. Stay strong, keep knitting and sewing and schooling your wee girl. All the best for a wonderfully relaxing Christmas xx

Strange, indeed... the whole year. I was about to launch into all the ways it's confounding, but I will leave that alone. I'd rather imagine your thoughts and words are a conversation shared out on the trail, an exchange with long pauses as we stop to inhale cold air and watch leaves drop. I want to make donuts, and fill the strange hours with activities, and every kind of effort to keep moving forward, keep seeking and sharing that peace and joy. Thank you for bringing us along, for sharing your journey.

What a lovely, warming post. I am wondering similar things about my dog and the Christmas tree. He will see it as a challenge I think. Not many leaves left here in SW England, but plenty of rain. I do love the winter, wild and cold and wet and cleansing, but mostly I like when I'm cosy inside. Off to have a look at the doughnuts now and see if my 12 year old would like to make them. I'm guessing he would. CJ xx

Sending you and yours LOVE!

Hang in there, sweet Posie!
Your photos have been such solace for others in this strange time.
My ten year-old daughter and I have found enormous comfort in looking through your images together, and we can't thank you enough.

Thank you for sharing today. I always love your sweet blog, but today was a very hard day and your post felt like a friend dropping by for a cup of tea with a warm hug to offer comfort and solace.

Your words, "Peace and joy in the little things be with you, friends. And thank you for being here with me" somehow were exactly what I needed to hear today. THANK YOU!

It is so lovely to hear that you enjoy recognizing names as you send out the packages....a wonderful (and distant) way to feel connected in this strange year of disconnect.

I cannot wait to hear your DNA story. It sounds very intriguing, as almost all DNA stories are. I hope that you find the right time to share it.

Warmly and with deep gratitude for all that you bring to others,

In the second picture it looks like Mimi is using her wizardly wand to set fire to a tree! Or is it must my crazy imagination at work? What a wonderful place to take a walk.

Sandie morgan says: December 03, 2020 at 04:30 PM

And...please wear a mask

Maybe get a second kitten to keep the first one entertained? Or perhaps that would make things worse...

Did your grandma maybe call them zeppole? That's what our local Neapolitan pizzeria calls the deep-fried crack/dough balls that seems to add themselves to my take-out order all by themselves every time we get pizza from them.

I'm sending peace and joy to you three up there from down here in the very south of the Pacific (the South Island of NZ). The kitten antics will keep you all distracted I'm sure. What a crazy long year it's been. i feel like we've had 2 years' worth of it. I wish you some sweet times in the lead up to the holiday season and some special goodies to help you two get through Christmas day without Andy. I am excited to try the doughnuts with my family.

DNA testing, can you imagine all the TV shows, movies, podcasts that will result?! 2020 has been an endurance test, I hope we pass😘

All is damp and drear here in the UK. Even the ginkgo is letting go of its leaves. Always cheering to see a post from you though. I would love to follow you on instagram but cannot find you and the link came up with no data. Which name do you use? Doughnuts needed for grandchildren!

I want to echo what Melissa said and say your posts and beautiful photos have provided me with much joy over the years but especially this one. In a year when i haven't been able to see much of family and friends (and when i have they have been far from joyous occasions) your posts feel like a letter from an old friend, so thank you!
The donuts look yum but as someone rather accident prone i feel that i should probably give hot oil a miss!!!

I am still working on your beautiful kits from years past! I have a job (medicine), and back when I just had two kids, or even three, I did more focused crafting. But four?! :) Especially as the older ones got bigger and had more activities to do. I mostly have simple knitting projects these days that don’t require a lot of concentration. Maybe this quiet holiday will enable me to stitch a few ornaments (finally).

Happy Holidays to you and your sweet family Alicia! Goodness what a year we have had! We are all so ready to move on past it. There has been good but the hard has been so incredibly hard--who could have imagined the whole fiasco? Lovely thoughts for you as you decorate your adorable home and place your presents under the tree.

Penny Guglielmoni says: December 04, 2020 at 11:24 AM

Discussions of DNA testing are of great interest in our household. My husband found out when he was tested that his father isn't his biological father. He is in the middle of his family and his parents were married over 50 years. That means without equivocation that his mother had a relationship outside of her marriage. No one can understand that but it is true. We have met his biological father's family. His father and one sister have died but he looks like his brother and his interests are much like his. His sister originally wanted nothing to do with my husband because his existence means her dad wasn't perfect, but she has now welcomed him warmly. The tests can be a blessing, but they can be painful. Please know that whatever difficulty you are having it doesn't reflect on you and that the people you love may have made decisions based on what was happening in their lives. You can't walk in their shoes and can't know what they felt. As I told a niece forgive don't try to understand.

Karen Durfee says: December 04, 2020 at 11:47 AM

We use orange and tangerine peels on our pellets for the pellet stove. We store them where neighbor cats can spray them, uuuu. This keeps the cats off them and no urine on the bags. Yeah. So I would think you could place tangerines around the tree, maybe some peels in the potted plants, a tangerine or two on the mantle. It will not hurt the kitten. The neighbor cats still hang out on our property, and get mice. They just avoid the pellets now.

Check out Maestro Classics Nutcracker if you haven't already. Also, my 8yo likes The Story Orchestra books and they have a Nutcracker version.

Your comments are like a breath of fresh air and so appreciated... Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos and thoughts about this unique time we are living in. We're all coping as best we can!

Michele Holmes says: December 04, 2020 at 05:24 PM

Oh, how I miss the northwest coast - the wet chill, low fog and weak sunlight. We live in Texas now and although it's great here, I miss my northern California winters.

Blessings to you, Andy and Amelia in this very different holiday season. I have a handful of blogs that I go to for relaxation and spirit lifting. Yours is one of those blogs. Thanks for sharing so much joy over the years. It truly is a gift that I greatly appreciate. Love to you and your family.

We are sure living in strange times.
I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures with DNA testing. Our family had a HOLY MOLY experience with my brother and I testing. Thankfully we found a whole new family to add to what we already had.

Susan from Tsawwassen, BC says: December 08, 2020 at 09:50 AM


Jennifer E. says: December 09, 2020 at 11:40 AM

Zeppole! (I live in Italy)

MMMM sounds delicious.

Always a delight to look at your photographs and read your writing. Thank YOU for sharing.

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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