Book Signing at Modern Domestic on Friday!

comments: 61

Gingerbread Heart Mobile from Embroidery Companion: Classic Designs for Modern Living

Good morning! Mmmm, I wish I was having heart-shaped waffles for breakfast this morning. It's cold milk and O's here, though. I don't think we ever did eat these waffles when we shot this photo a few years ago for the book. It was about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and oh, the coffee was about eight hours old. You know how it is. I do love this picture, though. It is one of my favorite pictures and favorite projects from the book. I'll bring it with me (along with lots of other finished projects from the book) to the book signing on Friday, along with as many chocolate cupcakes with Cloudburst Frosting as I can manage. Please come!

Embroidery Companion Book Signing
Friday, December 3, 2010
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Modern Domestic
1408 NE Alberta, Portland, OR 97211

I have a new full-time job. It's called Painting and Driving Around. Not at the same time — alternating. First I paint a bunch of stuff until I can hardly move, then I realize that we are missing some key piece of hardware/bathroom fixture/tile/grout/grab bar/whatever that needs to be gotten immediately for installation, and I haul my weary body down to the car and go drive somewhere to go get it (in the freezing cold/dark/pouring rain). The inefficiency of my process is staggering, though I try every day to think it all through and get everything. But between the constant Painting and the Driving Around, it seems there is no time left for actual Thinking Ahead. I would blame the paint fumes but I used all low-VOC paint, so it's not that. I did get all of the Christmas shopping done, so I plan to go absolutely nowhere for the entire month of December to make up for this.

In the past two weeks, I've painted the living room, the dining room, the downstairs bathroom, the downstairs hallway, the stairwell, and the upstairs hallway, and all of the trim in the halls, stairwells, and bathroom. Pretty much mostly by myself, except for the stuff I couldn't reach. I keep expecting Andy to be more impressed with this than he is. Me: "Honey [pointing], I painted the entire living room by myself!" Him: "I know — that's awesome!" Me: "No, seriously, honey, honey — watch [cutting trim with newfound ease] — by myself !" Him: "You're awesome!" Me: "I did it by myself!" Him: "I know that honey!!!" Apparently, nothing short of a parade in my paint-spattered, wrist-weary honor will satisfy me.

Oh yes, we have great conversations these days. One: "There's too much stuff in my office! I can't move!" "I'm sorry!!!" [repeat 450 times]. Another: "I'm so tired!" "I know, I'm so tired!" "I'm exhausted!" "Me too!" There's: "I painted the hallway myself!" "I KNOW. YOU'RE AWESOME ALREADY." And endlessly: "Where is the curtain rod/bathtub grab bar/hammer I just got?" "I don't know I didn't touch/move/take it" [repeat fifty times]. My favorite: Him: "Have you seen my stud finder?" Me: "I didn't use it. I've already found my stud [wink]." Saturday night while driving home in the rain from the home improvement store again: Him: "That person's license -plate holder thing says 'I'D RATHER BE SAILING'." Me: "I want a license-plate holder thing that says 'I'D RATHER BE AT HOME'." Him: [Busts out laughing.]

Impulse remodeling — interesting. You start one thing and it snowballs into fourteen things. I was probably warned. I probably ignored. Definitely ignored. Good news: This will be the last week of chaos, I think. I really mean it this time. Other good news: I love everything that we have changed. It feels like an all-new house. It feels good to repair and take care of the house for the future. I'm surprised at how satisfying that's been. I believe our bathrooms will last for a long, long time. I will have lots of pictures and details for you, too! Need to find the curtain rod.


Oh can't wait for the pictures! Remodeling is tough - we are still doing it on our new place we moved into in August.
I paint like a mad woman getting paint all over me (I actually have a set of painting clothes) and sometimes I forget and go to the store with paint all in my hair and splattered on my face.
I have to agree with Andy though, you are AWESOME.

Congrats on the book signing. I look forward to bathroom close-ups. SO exciting!

You're funny and adorable.

Hang in there! Remodeling is Hard! And hard on a relationship. Glad to see there are some moments you can laugh!

My goodness you two are ambitious! Also: You've finished your Christmas shopping already?!! .jealous.

Anyways, can't wait to see the pictures of your lovely home.

hang in there with the projects. as amanda said, you are awesome. we should all tell you that more often!! wish i could be in portland for the book signing, but i do make your chocolate cupcakes with cloudburst frosting about once a month. they too are awesome. also sorry it's so cold and nasty there. here's a story to cheer you up - i left my cell phone in the car overnight a few nights ago. we live in the colorado mountains and it was 23 below that night. when i brought my cell phone into the house the next morning to charge it, it said, "too cold to function"! (i made mashed potatoes for our thanksgiving dinner, but i agree with you - nigella's are fantastic too.)
love, emily c xo

Well done on all the renovating and you managed to do all your Christmas shopping too!!!!!

Oooo, yes, I know the paint-spattered wrist-weary feeling very well. My husband and I are about a month into working on our new place, and you know what that's like, I would imagine. Every vertical surface needs paint! Three coats, in some cases!

I've found that a narrow brush-- 1.5 inches, in my case-- is greatly helpful in eliminating sore wrists. Can't wait to see pictures!

Impressively AWESOME !!!!! Total house makeover, Christmas shopping done as well - wish I lived closer to come to your book signing :(

Oh, Alicia! I am laughing so hard--you totally cracked me up--have you been eavesdropping on the conversations I have with my husband?
Wish I could be at your book signing, but the drive from Ohio is, well, you know...

Oh, I HATE painting! I have huge admiration for you for doing all that by yourself - really!!
And your gingerbread mobile is absolutely charming -- as are all the lovely things you make.
Blessings & rest to you,

You ARE awesome. That's a lot of painting! (You will be glad to have all that home improvement done when your baby arrives.)

Now go sit on the couch with some knitting!

As someone in the midst of painting and remodeling I hear you! Doing this house is analogous to "If you give a mouse a cookie..."

I want my back patted (and massaged) for all the painting I've done, too. But I figure I can't expect too much since he's moving walls, installing hardwood, etc.

Congrats on the book signing! I'd go if I lived in the area:)
Love your blog, btw!
Please stop by my blog if you have a minute:)

This was just really fun to read. Thanks!

good to just get'er done!...4 years spent on this reno...enough madness!! can't wait to see the "after" photos!

I love painting... it is quiet and you can think and dream all you want... while not getting paint on the floor since the drop cloth was not moved over to new location of painting :)
Then you dear Alicia can step back when you are done and say.. WOW this house is beautiful! Nice work!

We bought a new oven/stove and fridge yesterday. I know I'm going to want to change the whole kitchen once they deliver them. I just know it. Sigh..

Oh my word. Your license plate holder idea is genius. I want one of those! Totally me.

I am in the midst of all varieties of stress and doubt, but you just put a smile on my face. Doesn't humor make life better? I think so. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs... I feel like I have company on my own bumpy ride.

thanks for the laughs! re: impulse remodeling... my next-door neighbor decided to dig under his house to create some storage. he kept digging... kept digging... kept digging. his little storage unit impulsively turned into a full-sized basement. complete with a kitchen and bathroom. (!) talk about snowballing.

well done you (as they say in the UK)!

It may be late in the project, but did you know audiobooks are to painting what movies are to handwork ? A classic analogy completely missed by the SAT people.
Here are some audio favorites probably available at your library:
Bill Bryson- "Notes From a Small Island" or "A Walk in the Woods"
Haven Kimmel-"Zippy"
Jeannette Walls-"Glass Castle" all read by the authors (important).
I painted my way through school so I know what you have accomplished is HUGE!And the savings are GINORMOUS (to quote a favorite blogger of mine)!
Get some rest. Could be a parade later.
Annie in New Hampshire

can't wait for the pictures...and you are right....there is no such thing as painting one room, or even refurbishing one's like giving the moose the muffin....he'll want that jam to go with it. but arn't you glad?

Your life sounds pretty much exactly like mine did a few weeks ago. We aren't actually "done" but we've taken a small break, thank God.

You're last paragraph: I agree. It feels soooo good when it's done; it looks good and it's clean.
As for the pile of debris in my front yard left over from the remod? I'm calling it Yard Art.

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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