I CAN BARELY SEW ON A BUTTON, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling a kinship with Alicia Paulson, whose needle and thread seem as natural an extension of her hands—and more to the point, her spirit—as a pruner or long-handed shovel are to mine. With them, she cultivates a charmed botanical world I love getting lost in (lately, she’s making a real garden in her Oregon back yard, too). Meet a treasured pen pal of mine—and maybe win one of two copies of her delicious new book, “Embroidery Companion,” that I bought to share with you:
From the first time I landed on her popular blog Posie Gets Cozy, I knew there would be a connection—again, though I was the hopeless (and embarrassed) girl who hemmed her junior high school dressmaking project right onto the lap of the skirt she was wearing, and when the bell rang for next period had to go there “wearing” both.
Alicia (self-portrait, left) welcomed me into her sewing circle, anyhow, charming me in the funniest Alicia-style ways. I mean, what’s not to like about a woman you don’t even know who says, “I want to be a gardener. Like Margaret.”
A woman who emails you—though you are still total strangers, really—and asks you about the potato she has planted in a smallish flower pot, and how to care for it? (Answer: Get it out of the confines of that pot, a.k.a., my curriculum of How Not to Grow a Potato 101.)
A woman who sends you links to funny cat trick videos? (And who understands when you send her back jpgs you took of your Jack the Demon Cat’s ultra-pink paws?)
A woman who with counted cross-stitch, traditional embroidery and crewelwork skills created places I want to go and flowers I want to put my nose into, like these:
A woman who writes things like this, about the months following her very serious accident—at 29, Alicia was literally hit by a truck, and almost lost one foot, undergoing many surgeries:
“Embroidery was my best travel agent—and doctor,” she says. “Through almost every moment of almost every day of my recovery, I stitched a wonderland of hearts and flowers. Each morning I set about creating the world I wanted, so different from the world I was in. Every night I fell asleep with a tiny garden in my hand.”
In other words, she gardens within the confines of her embroidery hoop for exactly the reasons I dig and plant and prune inside my deer fence. In order that I may thrive. Sound familiar, anyone? Tell us about it, and win the book.
How to Win ‘Embroidery Companion’
ALICIA PAULSON’S LATEST BOOK includes 30 of her own designs—from an entire alphabet adorned with petals, to a crewelwork Tree of Life wall hanging, and pillows bordered with strawberries or blooming with stylized dahlias. There are fanciful animals in Alicia’s garden, too—the “place” she conjures just teems with color; it lives and breathes.
To enter and have a chance at winning one of the two copies of “Embroidery Companion: Classic Designs for Modern Living” that I bought for this latest book giveway, all you have to do is comment at the end of this post by doing this:
Tell me how you are transported—whether it’s pruning or mowing or maybe something other than gardening altogether—in the way that Alicia describes. (Or if you’re shy or perhaps otherwise feeling speechless, just say hello, and we’ll count your entry anyhow.)
I’ll pick two commenters at random after midnight Friday, September 3, when entries will close. Good luck!
More about Alicia
- Wander through Alicia’s world at Posie Gets Cozy, her bountiful blog featuring much more than needlecraft.
- Browse the assortment of craft kits and patterns (free and to buy) in her shop (products are listed down the right column…scroll!).
- Want a copy of “Embroidery Companion” right away? Buy it here.
(All photos here and in the book by Alicia Paulson.)