Posts filed in: June 2011

Sampler Kits Update: Now Shipping!

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MollieMakes2 Isn't this the cutest little magazine cover you've ever seen? This is the latest issue of a new British craft magazine called Mollie Makes. So cute. I am looking forward to seeing the whole issue. I haven't been out to my P.O. box in several weeks but I think it is there waiting for me. There are several photos of my office (which we rejuvenated last summer) in this issue and I am very excited to see them. The spread is really darling. You can click on the image below to see it as a big PDF (and subscription information for U.S. folks can be found here). Thank you for including me, Mollie Makes!


I wish the studio looked nice and clean like that today, but it is trashed! We finally received the last of the crewel wool we were waiting for yesterday, and began assembling kits within minutes of its arrival. So, the gears are churning here at great speed and kits are starting to move out. If you are in the U.S. you will be receiving shipping notices with tracking info this week (if you haven't already). All of the international orders are mailed by hand and are not able to be tracked — so you will not receive a shipping notice for those, but they will start going out as soon as all of the domestic (U.S.) packages have shipped. Thank you so much to everyone for your cooperation and patience as we work on finishing these! I will keep you posted!


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A day with sweet Keely and Josh.





















A perfect day xoxo.

Date Night

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Date-night bike ride.


Around about the neighborhood.


Coconut lemon saffron sorbet. My my.




Looking at doors and windows.





A telephone conversation in a yard we couldn't see.


A rose reaching.


Someone playing "Sawdust and Diamonds" across the street here.


Great date night.


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But before, before all that happened with the fridge (your planking mentions were slaying me — so funny), before all that there had been waffles.


To round out the aforementioned silverware fit.


Since the silverware had arrived, looking lovely, just the day before.


Princess Royal, made by the National Silver Company in 1930.


Incidentally, we saw Company (fantastic) with some friends the other night.


Dark, rainy Sunday morning breakfasts are kind of nice. I'm rethinking this whole candle deal. This past winter I was done with them, and used fake, battery-powered ones. But I got so tired of recharging the batteries all the time. Like, all the time. Since this "summer" has been pretty much as dark and cold as this winter (except with more flowers; that's about the only difference), I've had candles lit a lot. And I've finally determined that I just botch all of the pillar candles, so forget those. And all of the ones in jars, forget those. So just tapers. Maybe tea lights. Mostly tapers. Any recommendations on particular brands? Maybe some pretty beeswax ones, the color of pear nectar, for summertime.


I still don't like the smell of blown-out candles, though. I don't think I'll ever like that.


Things are moving forward. The kitchen floor is almost in, and it is really, really pretty. Sort of a grayish-brown, very dull (I think they call it hand-oiled or something like that) 5"-wide oak planks. I also got confirmation that our crewel wool did indeed arrive in Texas yesterday from London (yeeee!). Today it is on its way here to Oregon, and the minute it arrives we'll start assembling and shipping kits, so that's really good. Summer has been slow to get going.


We sat out on the porch until late last night.

The Kitchen's in the Dining Room

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Thank you for all of your really nice comments on our yard yesterday. That was so, so nice. I wish I could say that our house looks as nice as our yard right now; the kitchen, including the stove, refrigerator, table, and big storage cabinet, has been in the dining room for several days while a contractor makes the old kitchen floor come out and the new floor go in. Oh how I wish I had painted the hall and the kitchen before the new floor goes in, but I didn't. Didn't have time, or energy. Also forgot to take a photo of the kitchen before the old floor came out. Did take a photo while the fridge was coming out.


Or getting wedged in the doorway and not coming out, as it were. I wish I could say this was some sort of scene we staged just to be funny, but no, no, this really is the refrigerator on Saturday, wedged between the cabinets on its way to the dining room, an inch too big, and Andy climbing through the "transom" to take the door handles off while lying on his stomach on top of the fridge. It's so much funnier now than it was at the time! At the time no one was laughing because were too many thrilling opportunities to wail sentences that started with "I told you," such as "I told you to take them off before you moved it!" and "I told you I could fit through there!" In the interest of protecting the innocent (though no one was), I won't say who said what. I will say that this whole scene lasted hours — hours — and ended with cutting the plastic tube that makes water come out through the refrigerator door (and I had thought it was just magic that made the water come out through the refrigerator door!) in desperation, cutting it only inches away from the valve (which we couldn't see or reach, since the bottom of the fridge was, as mentioned, utterly wedged into the cabinet) that could've been capped in order to remove the doors. Oh my stars. Clover was a wreck; she sat on the sofa wimpering and wringing her paws in distress, then plastered herself to my torso until I stopped having a cow and Andy's feet were back on the ground. I had to peel her off like a decal.

Well, we got it out. Andy, ever the cheerful optimist, brushed off his hands with satisfaction: "See? We got it out! No problem! Well, okay fine, a little problem. . . . But it's all guuuuud!" I was just sort of laugh-sobbing.

This is why we hire people. Usually.

I was thinking of that hilarious scene in Baby Boom where she goes, "I just wanna turn on the faucet and have water, I don't want to know where it's coming from, another $6,000!!!" [screams and falls over backwards while wearing a giant parka].

All Dappled

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I walk out the back door, and it's all dappled.


My heart, my mossy little Oregon-gray heart, turns the color of warm sunlight.


Come and see the yard with me:


















I love those two so much.

Thoughts about Things

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The kitchen and the hallway are getting a new floor on Monday and Tuesday. Unlovely broken tile with dirty grout (oh how I do hate grout) will be removed and hardwood will be installed. Very many things have to come out of the kitchen before the floor goes in. So I'm reorganizing a lot of the dining stuff that lives in both the kitchen and the dining room. It's a little overwhelming. But we are very, very excited. This is the dining-room hutch that I just reorganized.

Something that really pleases me in life is to have just the right amount of space for things, including myself. Not too much, not too little. I get very claustrophobic if there isn't enough space; I am made ridiculously happy when things fit, when they are all in their places with bright shining faces. This is a physical feeling. I think I'm overly sensitive to it. I remember it from childhood. I liked neatness and order. I'm like a corgi. I don't think I'm obsessive about it (like a corgi), but I do feel seriously contented when everything has its own place, with white space around it. Conversely, too much space is too much to manage, and seems exhausting. Whenever I watch those shows on HGTV where people are house hunting, I can hardly believe it when they say, about what seems to me, anyway, like a perfectly fine bathroom or a perfectly fine bedroom, or especially a closet, "Well, it's a little small." They would not like it here.

By the way, I'm working on the Portland list. And that thing is huge! But it's gonna be good. I think I'll post it in three parts. Coming soon.

And I like Dijon and navy together, too.

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Trying to eat breakfast every single day. Maybe if I make it look nice and take a picture of it I'll be inspired to actually eat it. I like breakfast but half the time I never remember to make any. Bad habit. Thinking I might start gathering up a little collection of mismatched old china again. I had a lot of it for a long time, then in a cleaning frenzy took it all back to Goodwill. Quite a while ago. Yesterday I bought a little vintage tray and a candlestick. I swore I saw a bowl I'd donated six months ago. It's sort of like a lending library, except you pay a bit. Just renting. The rent money goes to a good cause. I'll make some room for the new old today. For some reason I have been in a serious thrift-store shopping mood. It comes and goes. But if you're capricious stylewise, like I am, it's kind of nice — you can keep recycling. And the hunt is just really fun, for some reason. I find it very relaxing, if I'm in that sort of a mood.

Weirdly, I also had some sort of silverware fit (you know those, I'm sure) and bought a set of silver-plated flatwear from 1930 on eBay yesterday. I was talking about it at 4:30 this a.m. to a very drowsy Andy. I had a very floppy-drowsy little black darling doggie's chin on my shin and a kitters breathing on my eyeball. It was like a big pile of pillows, pets, and people, with snoring (dog and cat and man) and a stream of chatter about silverware coming out of it. I don't know.

Quiet Rainy Sunday

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Lettuce from our "garden."


Making a turkey, Swiss, and bacon sandwich on raisin bread with mayo and Thousand Island dressing, like at Belgian Village Inn in Moline, Illinois.


Not as good as theirs, but nothing is.


Some antiquing: Eyelet trim, pretty jars, Japanese pruners, paper garland, wire basket.


And candle holders.


Monday morning.


Still rainy. With toast and tea.

Sampler Kits Update

comments: 44


For the past month we've been busy behind the scenes here, working to get all of the sampler kits ready to ship. The silk screening is finished, the patterns are proofed and printed, the packing slips are printed and organized, the postcards are written, the customs forms are filled out, the crewel needles are ready, the scissors and hoops are waiting. Seven out of nine colors of crewel wool skeins have been received, but I just found out that the last two colors we've been waiting for are still in London being dyed, and won't leave the UK until June 16. The Appletons company (the company who manufactures the crewel wool) had an unexpected week-long shut down last week, and part of our order was delayed by that. I've been on the phone with my US distributor, trying to expedite things, and I'll find out tomorrow if that June 16 shipping date will hold (*as of Friday, they say it will). If it does, that means that stuff will take about another week or so to arrive here in Portland, and then we will begin the final assembly of kits and the printing of postage immediately. It will take us several days to get everything ready and shipped. So, a little delay, but we are here anxiously waiting the arrival of this one last box, and the minute it shows up we will work light lightning to finish these and send them on their ways to you. If you have any questions, just let me know.

In the meantime, I'm sort of sitting around doing nothing today. Our new back door is scheduled to be installed around July 8, so I have to find a deck plan, and a new back path plan, since we've decided to have the sidewalk back there removed to make way for a bigger deck. Can't use the door until the deck is built; can't build the deck until the door is installed. I'm trying to learn patience, in so many ways big and small, these days.

Thank you for the calico cake commiseration! Silly Paulsons! I did wind up baking another one, it's true. Cream-soaked banana cake was banana mush, and as I mentioned, I had twelve thawing 'nanners (seven left, at that point) so there were supplies.


Besides, our boy had a wish to make! You don't turn 40 every day.

Well, actually, you kind of do, around here. Since we had four cakes (five, actually) and the b-day went on for a week! Pffft! :-)

*** Oooo — I forgot to mention that the downloadable PDF of the sampler pattern is now available HERE. It also includes comparable DMC six-strand cotton floss color numbers, if you'd prefer to use floss instead of crewel wool. The stitches work either way. Thank you!

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