Couch and Cake Topper

comments: 63

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WHEW. There is little rhyme or reason in how these pictures are presented here. Everything's all over the place and that's probably a good metaphor for my mental state. Some of these things, like that sweater up there, I've been working on all summer. The pattern is called Carl's Cardigan and I used Woolfolk Far in Pollen for the yarn. I'm not even sure why this is the first time I've taken a picture of that sweater, since I've had it in my hands almost every single night for months. The stitch pattern seemed endless. It's basically ribbing, so you're constantly going back and forth between purling and knitting in each row, with a wraparound thing every fourth row. Et cetera. I finished it last night, now just need to block and add buttons. It's cute. The color is going to be really versatile. It's super stretchy, so even though it looks skinny, I'm hoping it will fit for a while. I'm turning into Practical Mom about kid-knitting anymore. It's weird how that happens. I never thought that would happen.

Okay, next. COUUUUUUUCH. I love it. I sit on it and never want to get off of it. It's called the Radley sectional from Macy's. I think the color was Chrome. It looks a lot like our old sofa but 1) it is soft and not scratchy, 2) it is tall instead of the height of a toddler bed (as was the Kivik, at least for me) and 3) it's firm and doesn't collapse like a souffle when I park myself on it at the end of the day. I got the protection plan thing with it so my goal is for it to be here for a long, long time. Thumbs up on that. Andy and I actually sit around at night and talk about how much we love our sofa. Middle age.

CAKE TOPPER. I made it. :))))))))) SUPER FUN. I started it this summer and I wish I could tell you exactly where I got everything for it but it was either JoAnn's or Michael's — I went to both places when I was shopping for supplies for this. The cake is made out of Fimo and I didn't make that — I got it years ago from someone's Etsy shop but I can't remember whose. The present is just a wooden block wrapped with origami paper. The bunting is washi tape cut into flags. The flag poles are stripey straws topped with mulberry-paper flowers (also had those, from way back when, when we used to sell clothespin doll kits). The balloon is made out of yellow Model Magic. Her dress is made of the same fabric Amelia wants her Hunca Munca birthday dress made out of (still gotta do that). I basically hot-glued everything together when I was done with the pieces and it was a total blast. I spent a long time looking at cake toppers on Pinterest for ideas, and then I actually whipped this out in a day or two, as I tend to do. This will go on top of the cake for Amelia's family birthday party, here in a few weeks.

The felt birthday crown: I got the idea for this entirely from the one that Ginny made for Mabel's first birthday. The embroidery pattern comes from this book. I forget how cool waste canvas is, because you can cross stitch (or, in this case, evenweave stitch) on anything. Then you soak the whole thing in water and that canvas becomes totally pliable. You use tweezers to pull the waste canvas threads out from under the stitches. It really isn't hard at all and it's really cool. The crown shape I just drew on a sheet of paper — well, I drew half of it, then flipped it. The crown is lined with really soft, thin pink polar-fleece. Amelia was mildly disappointed when she saw the birthday crown. She wants flowers all over it. She's sure I can do this. I'm not sure how I'll do this. . . .

I knew I'd taken a picture of her school dress before she wore it and put it on Instagram, but I wanted to post it here so I would remember it, because she didn't get to wear the blouse on the first day of school, since it was 100 degrees. . . . It's McCall's pattern #7590 from 1981. It's the same dress that I made her for her first day of school last year, but that one was plaid. I loved that one, too. This is one of my favorite-ever patterns on her.

Okay, what else. I rearranged Amelia's room for her last weekend. The lovely artwork in her room is from various places, but my favorites are the things made by friends and family: Amelia riding a bunny, which is possibly the coolest thing ever, and was a gift from Emily when Amelia was really little; a floral monogram from my friend Rebekka; the sweetest deer pair painted by my sister, Julie; the gorgeous dandelion photograph was taken by Amelia's birthmama; the silhouette of her when she was one was made by my brother-in-law. The mushroom light I got years ago and I don't remember where now. Maybe Smallable? It's European, I do remember that. The alphabet samplers are my designs and patterns are here (and by the way you can get a wool pack for that project now) and here. The pillow on the chair is a project I made for my second book, years ago. I'm going to make a new one with my punchneedle and I can't wait to start it. I found vintage Laura Ashley sheets on eBay and I was psyched. They are hard to find.

I'm finished with my new wintertime cross-stitch sampler for this year, and will open pre-orders for it in few weeks, after Amelia's birthday parties when I'm more organized again. You can see a glimpse of it up there. I am excited about it. I have some ideas for the cover photo I want to try. So stay tuned for that. I don't have a good sense of what the numbers will be for this kit so that's why I want to do pre-orders to make sure we get the quantity right. Not too many, not too few. Normally pre-orders make me ridiculously nervous. But we have the floss in hand already for up to 600 kits, and the fabric manufacturer has the fabric coming in in a few weeks, so I think it will be a good idea to do pre-orders this time. These projects are easy to do when I'm doing them but hard for me to re-issue once they're sold out, so if you're interested in this, I'll keep you posted. Many of my old kits are sold out and won't be reissued. Now that Amelia is in school every morning, I have more time to work, and I want to focus on my new ideas for patterns and kits for 2018.

Anyway, what else. My charity quilt. When Hurricane Hugo Harvey (!) hit, I wanted to make a quilt to raffle off for charity. There have been several other heartbreaking disasters since then, including Irma and now Maria in Puerto Rico, that I would like to contribute to as well. I haven't started the quilt yet the way I thought I would have time to, but I'm still planning to do it soon. I'm not quite sure how to make it available — someone told me they did a raffle and got in trouble for it because it was considered gambling, or something like that, so I will have to look into it and I just haven't had the wherewithal yet. But it's all on my list. The needs are great. I don't even know the best ways to help. Helpless feeling.

We went with our pre-school to see the swifts the other night. That's an event that happens here every fall where the Vaux's swifts use a local school's (unused) chimney to roost in at night on their annual migration. See all of those little freckles in the photo of the school chimney up there? Those are the birds. Here is a pretty rad video of what this looks like when they final spiral in. It was a really fun night. Everyone brings blankets and picnics and watches from a hill — it's a perfect viewing spot for the show. The weather was excellent, too.

Well, that's it for me, I guess! I hope you are all well! Thanks for looking at all my stuff! Have a great weekend!

***Ooops, forgot the sweater picture originally but it's there now, and thanks for the head's up on Harvey! Doi! Slaps forehead.

63 comments

Sweet & cozy attic bedroom..one of my very favorite scenes. Super cute birthday handmades..the ballerina doll looks just like her Irmi lamp. Wow, growing up fast!

Kerry Lucas says: October 03, 2017 at 12:18 PM

The cake topper is beautiful. x

I have to tell you I love your decorating skill and wish you'd come to Denver to do my house. On a random note, I was in Portland last week and you have our weather... we'd like it back please. It has been cold and raining pretty much since last Saturday and it was 90 when I was there!

Annie Vennerbeck says: October 04, 2017 at 02:22 PM

H O W D I D F I V E M O R E Y E A R S G O B Y ?
love you - love your family - love this blog - my first and still favorite - found you looking when for John Nettles (ha! Midsomer Murders ?)- been here since...pocketbooks on Create (?did that happen?)
L O V E L O V E L O V E.
Oh and love the couch - may truly get one for here in NH - yes!it is couch perfection xoxoxoAnnie

Seriously, Amelia's room is perfection, I study these pictures, hoping to gain inspiration and glean your decorating talent! I had an idea of how to do the quilt. Just list it on ebay, link to it here, and put it up for "bid" with a deadline date, the highest bidder wins the quilt, easy-peasy. The ONLY downside would be the ebay fee, which unfortunately I don't know what that is. The OTHER slightly harder way to do it, is to just take bids on the comment section of the blog post where you list the quilt with an ending date and time, then - once again, find the highest bidder. This would just involve slightly more administrative work on your end. Just some ideas....

Oh, I can't wait for the cross stitch pattern. It looks lovely.

Do you, by any chance, remember what paint color you painted the wood work and the small table in Amelia's room? I'm trying to find something similar, and need a good suggestion for where to start.

Ah this is just the cutest! x

adelelydia.blogspot.com

Karen on Bainbridge Island says: October 05, 2017 at 07:12 PM

I noticed the waste canvas immediately....haven't seen or used that stuff in years. It's fun stuff.

The cake topper is a collectors item...it's a keeper for sure. This could be the best birthday so far! Enjoy...and happy birthday to your adorable daughter.

You have such talent for everything you do, everything you make. Beautiful.

New embroidery project! I will definetly buy a pattern, although I won’t be able to buy a kit. But it’s so great, I love last year one so much, with red cardinal:) Amelia’s room is cozy and warm, looks great with all those pictures on the walls. Thanks for sharing your everyday magic!

You are soooo inspiring !!! 💕

I really want to live in your house, is so cosy and the colours are so calming 😊 I love the cross stitch and I'd like to think I am up to the challenge but when I tried doing the cross stitch mitten from your ornament collection I got so boggle eyed and cross. I kept thinking I must be doing it wrong because my eyesight is not that bad 😂 I need to try again. The cake topper is beautiful, as is the crown. I made a crown for my boy (youngest) and for two of my friend's girls but never for my own girl! Bit late now as she will be seventeen next birthday. Seventeen 😱

Hi Alicia, I’m so glad you got reinspired at OFFF! Don’t forget I also sell the supplies through my website, everything from punches, Monks cloth, hoops and designs! https://www.woolywalkers.com/ Cheers, Una

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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.