Doing Random Stuff

comments: 88




Sunrise 660












The biggest news in my life lately is that I bought a new duvet cover and king-size pillows. And also these shams. I just felt like our bedroom, which has become my Mom Cave, needed some cheering up. I also wanted those red gingham shams from Zara. They are a really weird size — they call them for "big pillows." A "big pillow" is 27.5" x 35.5". That's huge. That's like the length-of-a-standard-pillow high, and a yard wide. Those pillows sell for like $85+. There was no way I was paying that. I spent hours on Google looking for the same gingham shams (dark red gingham, not red gingham) but in a normal size (like, a king-size pillow, or even a standard) or big pillow inserts that weren't $85+. I Googled every word for dark red — maroon, wine, burgundy — and I couldn't find the right gingham that was like the Zara gingham. I finally found  floor pillows with yucky covers from Overstock that were the same size as "big pillows" but were about $30, I think. Then I gave up and ordered the Zara shams. I went totally crazy. I spent a week doing that.

So you see, you have missed nothing re: my lack of blogging.

Andy has received both doses of the vaccine, so that's been a huge relief. Amelia and I still live as if we are under house arrest but I don't care how long we have to wait, now that Andy is more protected. I send my prayers for all of you adversely affected by this virus. It's been hard. I'm eager for spring to start arriving. Amelia and I have spent many mornings watching for beavers at a local pond, but we're not having much luck. I need to start going very early in the morning because beavers are nocturnal, and I think they start heading home at dawn. . . .

I'm working on the three projects I told you about, and almost all of the things I've ordered for all the kits are here. The jewelry kit will include Weeks Dye Works hand-dyed embroidery floss, so that is still being dyed. The are going to be such nice kits. I am so excited for them. My assistant, Ivy, is working on cutting fabric and assembling jewelry pieces at her house and I'm trying not to overwhelm her with stuff to do — she has a full-time job and works for me only when she can. But we will get there. I'm hoping we can start shipping stuff sometime toward the end of March. I will definitely let you know when everything is ready.

Here's a list of the British mysteries and cop shows I have watched on BritBox and Acorn TV and Netflix this year: Happy Valley (my favorite), Vera, Shetland, Broadchurch, Scott & Bailey, Grantchester, No Offense, Dr. Foster, Unforgotten, The Sounds, The Nest, Marcella, Collateral, London Spy, and lots of Marple, Midsommer, and Morse. Also Loch Ness. What am I missing. Case Histories. I finished Catastrophe (loved it) and lost my mind for Normal People. Gosh that was good. What should I watch next?


Dee Deadman says: February 05, 2021 at 01:55 PM

See if you can get the Pembrokeshire Murders

Highly recommend Endeavor! It’s the prequel to Morse and is on Prime and Masterpiece. There are 6 seasons to get lost in...

Hi Alicia! LTNS! I enjoyed visiting your home, so cozy and pretty. That cat has the most beautiful face, but what a scamp! I will be ordering one of your small kits.. perfect diversion from my Meadow blanket I'm working on. You must watch "Discovery of Witches"! Also - "All Creatures Great & Small". You need a piece of jadeite in your home. LOL! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Linda Munro says: February 05, 2021 at 05:37 PM

Have you been watching PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre remake of All Creatures Great and Small?

Try the 1985 series version of Mapp & Lucia! There was a remake done a few years back, but it doesn’t compare to the older version with Prunella Scales and Geraldine McEwan.
If you’re still in the mood for British mysteries, and haven’t already watched them, Poirot is excellent. They changed the style of the episodes around 2006, and I think they’re better. They have more of a movie feel than the early episodes.
Both shows are available through Acorn and Brit Box.

I have watched and enjoyed all of the shows you mentioned. If you don't mind subtitles, I would recommend two series: Borgen (Danish) and Call My Agent (French). Also the movie The Dig ... all on Netflix. Enjoying the new series of All Creatures Great and Small and Miss Scarlett and the Duke both on PBS. And, of course, Bridgerton, also on Netflix. Clearly watching way too much TV over here!

Ladies of Letters on Acorn, Boomers on Acorn, Everything Monty Don that you can consume.

Thought I’d add two more. Father Brown and Rosemary and Thyme.

Normal People's love story enthralled me like nothing else I think I've ever seen. Watched it, and then promptly re-watched it, and then read the book. I'll probably watch it again. There was just something about those crazy kids and their Irish accents. ARE YOU WATCHING 'ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL'?????? It is the sweetest. I want to move into the kitchen on the show. I want to move into the closet that one of the boys is sleeping in. It is the hygge-est show and I wait wait wait all week for the next episode to come out on PBS!

I've never commented by seeing the pictures of your cat stretching up by the window- made me laugh out loud. Thank you, I needed that. What was the cat after? Sunrays? a bug? or just stretching? Grateful for pets that amuse us. Have a wonderful weekend.

Line of Duty on acrorn. It’s very very good.

Oooh, I love good British drama. I really enjoyed ‘Line of Duty’ which is a British cop drama, about a team hat investigate corruption within he police. I was hooked. It may be on Netflix? I’m also big Spooks fan which is about MI5- and there are ten seasons!!
Thinking of you, I live in New Zealand, life is very different to your reality at the moment, but I hope things change for the better in the USA soon. X

Seeing you all cozied up makes me long for cold nights again. It hasn't been that hot in Australia this summer (i think we hit 37 one day but its been around 30) but over night hasn't been getting below 17 :( cant recommend any British dramas, but i am enjoying a Buffy marathon. I forgot how funny that show was.

I think you would love Father Brown, the villages are gorgeous. And George Gently and Endeavour. Have you watched the Durrells? Not a murder mystery, but absolutely wonderful, you'd definitely like that I think. And the Robert Galbraith adaptations (JK Rowling) which are (in order) The Cuckoo's Calling, The Silkworm, Career of Evil and Lethal White. Happy viewing! CJ xx

Seconding Endeavour and George Gently. Also, kind of a sequel to Morse, Lewis. And Criminal UK on Netflix. Not crime, but worth watching: The A Word, about family dealing with an autistic kid. I also enjoyed The Crown (not crime, unless you think royalty is a crime ;D).
Always enjoy the pictures of your life and your blog - thank you so much for it!

Luanne Graham says: February 06, 2021 at 04:08 AM

I highly recommend William Brown on Acorn. There are only 4 episodes, but they're great.

Kitty Bourne says: February 06, 2021 at 05:12 AM

I have so enjoyed almost all shows mentioned--to the point of buying some (eg Morse, Mapp & Lucia) which are hard to find. Am watching Death in Paradise right now. Your blog is delightful.

I’m so pleased that you love Happy Valley! We live in the village of Ripponden, which features in it, and despite the scary story it is a wonderful place to live! The school I teach at also features. Love your phots, so glad that Andy has got his vaccine.

Katie Morene says: February 06, 2021 at 06:02 AM

Prey. Paranoid. Criminal United Kingdom. The Strangers. Unbelievable. Peaky Blinders. Land Girls. Traitors. All on Netflix or Hulu.

Hope you enjoy, continue to stay safe, congratulations for Andy on his double-dose of the vaccine! Love and blessings to all of us as we continue to make our way through such isolating and challenging times.

Question from a puzzled Brit: what is a pillow sham? I know that what we call cushions you call pillows, but I don't know what you call pillows (for beds)! Can someone sort out the pillow/cushion/sham confusion for me? (If we have a pillow for sleeping we put it in a pillowcase or a pillow slip. Cushions go in covers.)

I have been watching A word and loving it. I have added some of yours to my watchlist. Thank you

We've been watching "DCI Banks", a good British police procedural series set in northern England.

I’m here to cast another vote for All Creatures Great and Small. It is so sweet and beautiful to watch and such a treat-highly recommend. The Dig is a movie (on Netflix? I think?) and it was very good.
I have pillow shams from IKEA that look very similar in size to your ‘big pillows,’ I don’t have the correct size inserts in them, I bought the more standard size, but they still hold a nice shape on my bed, perhaps because they are made of a thicker, quilted material. Glad to hear Andy received his second vaccination, I know what a relief that must be for your family. I am feeling the green tendrils of hope. Be well :)

Happy Valley was my favorite too, such a good show. Have you seen Last Tango in Halifax? That has the main actress in it. I also will chime in to say that you should definitely watch the new All Creatures Great and Small!! I'm also enjoying Miss Scarlet and the Duke. And Bridgerton!

I'm working on my Things of Winter cross-stitch kit right now and it is a true delight.

Barbara Gardner says: February 06, 2021 at 09:26 AM

not a mystery or a cop show, which are my favorites...but a must watch is THE DETECTORISTS on acorn. the best thing i have watched in a long time. was so sad when i was done.

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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