Here We Are

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I want to redo my office soon, so I took some pictures of some of the pictures on my bulletin boards. Baby Mimi!!! So cute I can't even stand it. Aaaaaagh. And darling Audrey. XOXOXOXOXOX

Spring is heeeeeeere, and with it days in the 90s and nights in the 40s. Broiling and then freezing. Andy had a cold, then Mimi got the cold, now I have the cold, and Andy's poor mother has been visiting this week, right in the thick of the coughing, sneezing, and nose-blowing. And copious amounts of complaining. Boy, is she a good sport. She does not have the cold. Fingers crossed. We are having a lovely visit in spite of the gnarly sinuses and it's flown by. Everything in Portland is blooming right now. Tomorrow is our school's May Day dance and I'm hoping for warmer weather so that the children can dance outside instead of in the church basement due to cold and rain.

I've been sewing a lot, working on a pattern for a knitting project bag. That's it, above. I have to say, it's been really fun trying to make something with a very specific function in mind. I've made three so far and I think I've got it down. There is a pocket on the back side for you to keep a pattern in, and three skinny pockets next to that for DPNs or crochet hooks or pens. Inside there is another pocket with three grommets to thread your yarn through. I'd seen this on several project bags and it really was thrilling to find that it works. Cool! Right now I'm sourcing leather and hardware and zippers so that I can offer little packs of those things, along with a pattern for you to make your own. More info on this to come, as usual. But it's happening, and it feels good. I do love it when a plan I didn't even know I had comes together.

I made kind of a yummy pasta recipe, adapted from the New York Times cooking app. It's a classic you've probably had.

Pasta, Prosciutto, and Peas (adapted by me from the original by David Tanis)

1 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 heads of fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 lb. rigatoni
4 slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
1 tablespoon finely cut chives
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Put crème fraîche, cream and butter in a wide, deep skillet over medium heat. Turn off heat as soon as mixture is hot, and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg.

Plunge broccoli boiling water and let cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a mesh spider or slotted spoon and add to cream mixture.

Drop noodles in boiling water and cook until almost al dente. Add peas to water with pasta.

Drain pasta and peas and add to skillet. Sprinkle with prosciutto and chives, then toss gently to coat with sauce. Divide among warmed bowls and serve immediately. Pass grated Parmesan at table.

Do you remember the sideways sweater I had started for Amelia a few weeks ago? I frogged it. I had dyed the yarn myself and couldn't get the vinegar smell out of it and it was annoying me. I don't use vinegar anymore (I use citric acid). I let her dye some yarn and I dyed some yarn and I started this same sweater again, alternating stripes of each of our yarns (hers is the pink, mine is the green). It's such a great sweater for TV watching. It's hard to find sideways sweater patterns like this that aren't in French. (This one is from DROPS, but a lot of this style are French.) I might write one for sport-weight yarn, maybe without the peplum. In all my spare time. But I think it would be pretty easy. It's kinda funny because the very first sweater I ever "favorited" on Ravelry was this one. And I still love it.

I think I'm going to try to get Andy to do a video of how I dye my yarn now, which even works with kids, to show you how I do it and how you can, too. Our ten-year-old neighbor was over one afternoon last weekend and I helped both girls dye their own yarn. And WOW do they ever have different personalities and learning styles. It was really fascinating and mildly freaked me out. B was careful and a bit anxious, Amelia was like a runaway train. Keeping them both on task at the same time was a serious learning experience for me. They are five years apart but get along really well. Anyway, it was a lot of fun to do and would make a really cool project to do with a small group for sure. I'll put that on my list. We'll see if Andy can make a video without setting it to ear-shattering heavy metal. Or maybe it should be set to metal. It's not that rad, but he can probably find a way to rad it up.

46 comments

Candyce says: May 01, 2018 at 08:33 AM

The knitting bags are amazing. I look forward to the pattern/kits as you just solved two Christmas gifts that I could start on now. Thank you.

Hope everyone is feeling better soon. The recipe sounds yummy! And, as always, your home looks so nice and cozy. I love all the spring flowers! Happy May Day!

Patti Smith says: May 01, 2018 at 10:42 AM

Baby Mimi, you and Andy. You make a cute couple and are a nice little family. Your blog makes me happy!

Wait, have you been living in a Calico Critters/Hunca Munca house all along? I should have guessed!

Seriously, I am a French-American knitter who would be happy to translate any knitting pattern for you (I also teach and translate for a living). Don't let language issues stand between you and a pattern you are itching to try.

So much to say about this post! I will try and hold back from commenting on every photo :) First you get 90 degrees in the spring? that's amazing. And even better that it's cooler at night. I love all the old photos. And the photos of Amelia's bottles and flowers is lovely. My 5 year old granddaughter likes to do the flowers with me. We use small bottles too and a pansy ring vase. It's great for short (how 5 year olds pick flowers) stems, like pansies or nasturtiums. I also wanted to comment on the brave dyeing wool with TWO children experience! Those are the same kind of differences between my 5 and 10 year old granddaughters; caution and planning vs leaping in with elan and enthusiasm. I am still keen to try this with them and look forward to the video. Hope the colds and bugs all fly out the open windows and don't come back!

Wow, baby Mimi. These photos give me such strong feelings. I'm trying to hard to savor, appreciate, and remember my 18-week-old daughter's infancy, but I also can't help but feel this excitement at what she's going to be in a year, two years...it's like too much happiness to handle. Every day I try to focus on her little baby hairs and the faces she makes and how she feels in my arms because I know how fast it will change. Thank goodness we can take so many zillions of pictures.

love all the photos of course but the one that tugs my heart is audrey!

Oooh, yes please do a video, or a write up of how you have been dying your yarn! My little is a bit little for yarn dying still (not quite 3) but this will be a great activity for her next spring/summer. Seattle is in bloom too and it is glorious. The pasta looks delicious, I love a good, simple recipe.

Such a sweet post!! I love that little AGA stove in the dollhouse! That is just too cute!!!

The photo of Mimi lying in the grass with the tiny white flowers is absolutely beautiful. It is like a painting. Your photography is all lovely, but that one especially stands out. Happy May.

Hi Alicia, I just received my Time if flowers kit and it is wonderful! Although I sudddnly faced an unexpected problem, found it difficult to match the floss color with the corresponded number (it was my first embroidery kit ever). Anyway, I just love the spring in your place, that dogwood and lilac. And Mimi in her bedroom, on that patch worked blankets. And your old b&w photo, it’s hilarious.

I think I see a Mosser cake plate! The factory is in the area I live, and they have a wonderful sale just before Thanksgiving.

Very excited about the knitting bag! The photos are so beautiful; I can't tell the difference between Amelia's room and the dollhouse -- would like to live in either one :)

Susan R. says: May 05, 2018 at 04:38 AM

Awww - all the cute things, from the doll house, bedroom, Amelia, and your cute dog and his look-alike pal! Love your knitting bag - how difficult is it to make? The yarn video sounds tempting and I can't believe it is not difficult to do - very cool. Nice to have helpers! Hope you all are on the mend by now!

Carline Anthony says: May 06, 2018 at 02:27 PM

The recipe looks so good. Where do you find cream fraiche? I live in Vancouver but would drive South if I could find it


Nicki Machin says: May 07, 2018 at 08:40 AM

I loved everything about this post! I can just imagine those girls, it's amazing to watch kids at work, especially when they are working together! I am so excited for the project bag pattern. I already have a knitting bag but who ever only has one project on the go? Not me!

Susan from Tsawwassen, BC says: May 08, 2018 at 12:46 PM

My goodness ... how you inspire me!!!

Can't wait for the knitting bag pattern! Wonder if vinegar smell could be eliminated the way you do moth balls - hang out in the sun. Have no idea why that works, but when I had to find a way to get rid of that awful smell, that's what the internets told me. And it worked!

Jane Copeland says: May 09, 2018 at 09:53 PM

I just finished that DROPs sweater. It is just lovely! Now I am starting a second one for my granddaughter who will be 2 in October.

Please show us how you dye yarn. I've been dreaming of some lovely yellow variegated yarn and I'm confident you can show us how it's done!

I just these beautiful pictures. It's lovely post. Thanks for sharing.

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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.