Snow Day

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Oh, snow. I wait, I wait. When it comes, I'm beside myself, even though, almost every time, snow in Portland quickly turns to ice. I can't get off my own front porch. The enormous orthopedic shoe I wear on my left foot has as much traction as a salad plate, and is almost as big. Nevermind; the winds were too strong to brave going out, anyway. The branches on the black trees whipped and whistled. The air was ice cold. I pushed open the back door against the wind and scooped cup after cup full of snow; she ate it with an espresso spoon. We sat in the upstairs windows and watched the slice of neighborhood we are granted to observe. No one came, no one went. The mail lady came and quickly went. Inside, Amelia nibbled on raspberries and watched Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I drank hot chocolate and took a bath and read Farmer Boy. By dinnertime it was raining ice. I flung salt toward the front path from the front porch. Not even from the porch β€” from the door. Ice covered everything. On the way home, around 9:00 p.m., Andy's bus broke a tire chain on the bridge. Everyone but Andy got off the bus and onto some other bus. He sat and chatted with the bus driver, who was from Cleveland. Eventually, someone came with new chains. He made it home and I relaxed. This morning, ice still covers everything but it's raining hard. We're having a party tonight.

Above: the ornaments I made for Amelia's little tree and our mantel. I loved making every single one of them. The gnome and mushroom and raccoon and owl are from Little Dear (Aimee Ray); the running bunny and animal portraits are from Bumpkin Hill; the angel is from I. Manufatti; and the winter girl is from Mimi Kirchner. I bought a bunch of these patterns last year and just never got around to making them. I made almost all of them over Thanksgiving weekend, and stitched the year on the back of each (unless I forgot, which I did sometimes). I got the stockings from Etsy, too; just search for "vintage quilt stocking." There are tons of them.

Every night, for weeks now, I have been knitting Amelia this sweater. It's bottom up, and I'm not even to the sleeve join. I've never knit anything so slow in my life. I love it but . . . ugh. Every. Single. Night. That lace pattern just doesn't grow. I've looked at a few versions of it on Ravelry and I like the look of the lace unblocked and sort of squished down, so, there ya go β€” even slower, then. Hopefully I'll finish it while it's still cold out. Last night while I was putting her to bed, we were lying in the dark and she said, "Mom? I want you to knit me a [insert me bolting upright here] sweater . . . with buttons on it, in the front." Me [feigning nonchalance]: "Oh, a cardigan? Sure, baby. I'd love to. What color?" Her: "Pink . . . no, rainbow!" It took every ounce of strength I had not to jump out of bed and run downstairs and start surfing Ravelry for patterns. Fifteen hours later and I've got pattern picked and yarn on order. . . . Hurry up, Faunajakke lace!!! I've got an order for a sweater from my kid.

Another conversation: "Meems, don't you think it would be nicer to keep your room cleaner and not have so much stuff on everything and falling off of everything all the time?" Her: "No." Me: "But don't you think that when it's too cluttered and there's too much stuff on your nightstand you can't see what you have to play with because there's too much stuff everywhere?" Her: "No."  Me [flailing]: "Oh. But if there's too much stuff in your way it's kind of overwhelming and you can't, like, play with it . . . very well . . . because it's falling . . . everywhere?" Her: "No." Me [twitching]: "Um. . . ."

Santa Lucia nightgown at the ready. Milk-white flannel. Tiny lace trim and a silk ribbon. Simplicity 3586. We do agree about this.

70 comments

I love her nightgown! I am making (hoping to, at least) both my girls nightgowns for Christmas, and this is perfect. Question--I googled Simplicity 2586 and a women's dress pops up. Am I doing something wrong? Is it a vintage pattern? (Sorry for the questions; but this nightgown is perfect!!)

Wah! Fixed. Sorry about that Sarah. And yes, the pattern is from 2007, I think.

Thanks! That was fast! You've saved our Christmas :)

Such beautiful decorations. Absoloutely enchanting Xx

Love the bird in the tree. Winter birds are some of my favorite. The ornaments are just darling. New ornaments are a Christmas tradition in our home.

Oh, I am so jealous of your wintry, cozy-to-stay-at-home weather! When my daughter was about Amelia's age, we still lived in Minneapolis. I have memories of times like you are having. I heard from my daughter this morning about the weather, where she lives not so very far from you in Corvallis. And my son sent a snowy picture from Seattle. I was happy to think of them being cozy in things I've knit them. And of the new hand knit wool socks I've done for them for Christmas. And for the daughter's fiancΓ© (even if he is stealing her away from us for the holidays, taking her home to his family in the South.). At least my boy is coming back home to Arizona for a week.

(Subtext:enjoy every moment of Amelia's childhood. They are gone from the nest too soon!)

The Advent Spiral at Amelia's school looks lovely. I love that Waldorf tradition. For some years at my school we've switched to doing it inside like that too, but it didn't feel right this time, not here where the skies are clear and blazing with brilliant stars at night--some of us want to go back to doing it at night under those stars like we used to, originally. So much nicer for singing "Over Stars is Mary Wandering"....

the hair in the tape on the wall! yes! is that a bit of clover meadow? i've shared my home with newfoundlands for 14 years now, and few people if any have been the recipients of gifts from me that didn't include a hair or two in the tape.. xoxo

Kristen from MA says: December 09, 2016 at 03:47 PM

Oh to have a personal knitter ready and willing to knit anything I'd want. Amelia is a lucky duck!

So sweet of Andy to wait with the bus driver. He's a keeper.

I live in Seattle, I almost woke up my 4 year old at 10 pm because everything had a dusting of snow and I was worried it would melt before he woke up. We didn't wake him up, and luckily it didn't melt, everything was nicely covered with about two inches and we made a snowman and did snow angels at 6:30am, and went back out at 10:30. There is still some left, which never happens here. It always turns to rain and lasts less than 4 hours. Such joy for my little guy, which brings me joy.

What is the framed embroidered piece above the mantle??????

All so lovely!!!!! Could you please tell me where you purchased your windowsill candle? Thank you😊 -janie-

Constance Ward says: December 09, 2016 at 08:02 PM

Another year is rocketing to its' close and i wanted to thank you, Alicia, for your blog. Your words, photos, wisdom, creativity and happiness offer light, peace and joy to me, a long-time reader. Thank you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

Oh what a wonderful post. Lovely pics. What a sweet husband. Did he stay on the bus just to keep the driver company? Wow. You have such a wonderful way of writing - laughed at the line about throwing de-ice stuff...from the door. Too funny. Your talent truly amazes me - those ornaments are gorgeous.

That is a gorgeous sweater pattern you are working. I'll love to see it when you are done. It must not fit the order that just came in?

Your decorations are so warm and homey, and your use of light in capturing the cozy-wintry mood is exemplary! I'm so thankful for a warm house and lots of light in the winter time.

Oh Alicia... Everything about this post makes me smile and my heart warm with joy and my gives my soul respite. The photographs, the words, the spirit of snow and Christmas time is so magical and you have a way of bringing it to life. I'm off to hunt for that gnome pattern because I now must have one on my mantel too. And perhaps tonight I'll draw myself a bath cause man that looks cozy.

Oh Alicia.. each of those felt ornaments were eye candy.. is the top Santa done by you also? *LOVE* . We're snow and iced in out here in Corbett. But life is good, the tree is decorated and is sparkling. I'm crocheting bright colored Christmas tree lights as ornaments.. they are turning out so cute. Enjoy your weekend.

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*M*E*R*R*Y* *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*
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((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Well, dearie, if you can still see the floor in your daughter's room, things aren't anywhere near as bad as you think! :)

I love ALL of this! I'd like to be a little mouse in your house and enjoy all those cosyness with you!

The photos are soooo gorgeous. I wish it snowed where I live! Everything looks so cosy.

- Charmaine
http://charmainenyw.com

What a beautiful mantel. Everything looks so cozy and warm. Have a great Christmas:)

Life through your viewfinder looks so peaceful and contented - I love it!

Thanks, too, for giving me a new way to look at winter (my least favourite, indeed dreaded, season). It is surprising what a few candles at 4:30 pm and 7:00 am do for my worldview!

Love your lovely photos, your daughter's request, your words, and that Andy stay on the bus!

You know, Alicia, when I look at these pictures I feel like I did as a little girl looking at pictures in a favorite story book: cozy, warm, safe, and filled with the certainty that life is just full of possibilities. I can't help myself from coming for a visit over and over. Thank you for that. If you ever decide to publish another book, and I hope you do, it should feature your beautiful photos, and some of your personal stories, too, like the post you wrote about walking all day in rainy London and taking a hot bath at the end of the day with your favorite scented soap...I love that post plus all of the stories people offered up in the comments. We are all connected somehow on this planet, and it is the simplest of experiences that reminds us all of that. I think your dear hubby knows that too, staying to chat with the stranded bus driver. What a guy. Hug them tight, that beautiful family of yours. Have a most lovely and safe holiday.

β™₯
And thank you for the links towards the patterns..having made all yours I needed inspiration..your ornaments for Amelias tree are beautiful.what a fortunate princess.

Alicia, So glad you had a snow day! I'm sitting in my living room watching the snow fall (Michigan!) An event we had scheduled today was canceled and I was practically giddy with excitement.

Could you please share where you obtain the felt? Your ornaments are beautiful! thank you!

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About Alicia Paulson

About

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

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Photography

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.