Up and At It

comments: 424




I spent yesterday sort of organizing my computer and my bookkeeping stuff. I always dread it so much, but then when I sit down to actually do it I get all ambitious, organizationally speaking: This is fine! Why don't I run these reports all the time? How come I don't use Quicken more? Right. It reminds me of that one time Andy Paulson mopped the hardwood floor of our apartment with Murphy's Oil Soap and, while mopping vigorously, had some sort of olfactory-inspired crazy-talk fit: "This is so easy!!! It smells so good! Why do we not do this all the time??? Yeah. I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna wash this floor every night when I get home from work! I will do that! I will do it!" Pan to me, falling off the couch laughing with my hands over my mouth. That was in 1996. He did very kindly wash the kitchen floor for me one other time, just the other day. I sat in a chair with a cat on my lap and said things like, "It's so weird, it doesn't seem like just yesterday when you said you were going to wash the floors every day. It seems more like it was . . . oh . . . sixteen years ago." But I totally get it, because every year when I am printing out year-end summaries and pretty pie charts of income and expenses I have the same sort of unlikely enthusiasm for keeping house, financially speaking. It lasts about as long as it takes to hurl it all toward the mailbox and get it out of here and off to our accountant. Bleh.

Do you like the sampler? It's about the winterwoods. I'm kind of infatuated with it. It's not quite done, but almost. There are a few little things left to do. I think maybe I'll just become an alphabet sampler designer now. I really love these. I drew all the letters freehand. I wanted them to look like letters you would carve into a tree trunk with a Swiss Army knife (not that I've ever done that [wink] ). This will definitely be a pattern. Trying to figure out whether I can also afford to make this into a kit. Counted cross-stitch supplies — the really good ones, which are what I used here: varigated hand-dyed embroidery floss, 28-count Danish linen — are expensive. I always think that if you're going to take the time you should use the best stuff. Well, we'll talk more about it. Still thinking. Please raise your hand if you like kits.

Are people afraid of counted cross-stitch? I keep hearing this. DON'T BE SCARED. OF COUNTED CROSS-STITCH. I will help you.


I love counted cross-stitch...it's my first love! I'm more scared of embroidery ;)

LOVE the sampler! I haven't done one in years. Hmmm...maybe another project to add to my list. Know what you mean about procrastinating but then being glad you finally did it. That is how I am with exercising :) Happy Day To You!

I really should organize the computer too, but I dread it a lot. I love your pics here, great mix! :-)

Laurie in Iowa says: January 05, 2012 at 08:56 AM

I'm not afraid of counted cross-stitch. I like your winterwoods alphabet sampler. I enjoy using good materials too.

Oh pleeeeze make that into a kit....it looks so awesome and wintery-woodsy!

Oh, it's so lovely! I was afraid of counted cross-stitch for ages. I bought a kit at Joann's maybe ten years ago that had awful directions and therefore thought it was impossible and boring to do, but your book converted me last year.

Well, I am not afraid to look at yours and think "how pretty, how lovely, what talent, what patience..."

Love that you are up and at it, and now, with more resolve thanks to you, I must do the same!

So delighted you're going to release that sampler as a pattern. A couple weeks ago, I bought a piece of lavender 28-count linen because the color was just too pretty. Alphabet samplers are my favorite, but I have a hard time finding ones that I like. Yours looks like the perfect project for my lavender linen. (Although actually now I'm tempted to buy a kit if you decide to do them. I really enjoyed the Daisychain kit!)

Lovely sampler, why on earth would anyone be afraid of counted cross-stitch - has to be the easiest thing in the world to do!! Looking forward to the pattern or kit!! Lovely woodsy pictures yesterday!!

i'll admit that i'm afraid of counted cross-stitch...mostly afraid that i would mess up and then quit because that's what i normally do. i need to work on that bad attitude before i can tackle counted cross-stichery. :)

Who's afraid of counted cross stitch? I learned when I was 7 - it was one of my first crafts!

I love love love your kits and always buy them, but purlease not counted cross stitch!!! Gives me a fecking headache!!! Is that allowed on here? Happy New Year to you guys x x

Love love LOVE the sampler! Currently working on 'O' from your alphabet kit from the summer! Yes please to making another sampler kit with that gorgeous linen- do it!!!

From a completely selfish point of view - please can you do a kit! That way, it is highly probable that I will produce a sampler. Otherwise, I will buy the pattern and it will never happen. It does look lovely. Bx xxx

Counted cross stitch was the first stitch I learned. It was at Girl Scout camp. I still have my little pineapple.

Lovely sampler! I will definitley add this one in.

It's worth it...the expensive linen and hand-dyed floss. In my late teens/early twenties I was doing nothing but cross-stitch. I should pick it up again—but only if you provide the kit. I love how this looks.

I am loving your Winterwood sampler. I love counted cross stitch. It is one of those lovely crafts that is mindless, but utterly inspiring because it pushes you to "finsh that row, finish that small part of it you are working on" - you get to really see the development quickly.

I cannot wait for this one!! I have TONS of cross stitch supplies... gees.... that is what happens when you are in car accidents and you have a lot of free time and you don't want to worry about losing your place due to drugs (... knitting ends up a little wonky under pain killers).

Your sampler is so sweet... the little mushroom is my favorite. And yes, put me on the list of terrified of counted cross stitch.

Yeah! Another kit please!! I'm not finished with the other sampler but you make it so easy with your excellent instructions and top quality materials. I'd rather pay the little bit extra for the quality. There is nothing as frustrating as when you take the time to make a project and then pinch on cheap materials. Counted cross stitch is not my strong point but I'll try anything at least once.

I see Lady Violet helps you the way my Gracie helps me! :)
I am experiencing motivation, too, having set a record this week for completing a quilt. It went from the sewing-the-blocks together phase to finished in a matter of 5 days... usually there are years between those two points. (It's funny... I started it over the summer, and wouldn't you know! It's a log cabin quilt, which is the pattern you recently made! Creative minds think alike!)

Raising my hand. Back in the 90's, when I was nursing babies all day long, I had a cross-stitch project going at all times. Haven't done one in about two years or so, but I think it's time...

Neeeeeeed a pattern! I got one of those counted cross stitch iPhone cases but am paralysed with indecision about what motif to put on it. With a sampler pattern, I could take my pick and change them up as I pleased.

No, I don't like the sampler, I LOVE the sampler :-)!

I've heard people say cross stitch is too boring, and I couldn't disagree more! It's so soothing!!! And I too am probably more afraid of embroidery. I love the linen but have found that it is so much cheaper to just find and buy than to buy in a kit, so my first vote would be to just have the pattern. It's beautiful and I'm very interested in purchasing the pattern too! xo

Oh, you're inspiring! You make me want to organize and cross stitch and drink a cup of tea all at once! I've never done counted cross stitch (true confession: I've never HEARD of counted cross stitch! yikes!) but I looove yours and the rustic feel. Super fun.

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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 aliciapaulson.com