I Love Coming Home

comments: 81


I think it's kind of weird that I had already designed and named this year's ornaments before we had any idea that we'd be away from home at all this summer (and this upcoming fall). As we prepare to leave again soon, this little collection feels particularly poignant to me right now, and just makes me happy.

Please meet my 2011 ornament collection, SWEET HOME!


It includes a Blue Door, with a wreath to welcome you home . . .


A Glowing Candle, to light the night . . .


And a Wild Bunny, playing with his woodland friends in the yard.

Each Sweet Home Felt Holiday Ornament Craft Kit contains materials to make one of each of the three ornaments, including:

20 pieces of wool blend felt in assorted colors
12 skeins coordinating DMC cotton embroidery floss
1/4 yd imported French gingham ribbon (for hanger)
1/2 yd imported French eyelet lace (for hangers)
Beads and sequins
Stitching instructions
Pattern templates
Illustrated embroidery tutorial

You will need to have your own:

Wool batting or Polyester Fiber-fill
Sharp embroidery needle
Dressmaker's chalk pencil or fabric marker
Dressmaker's chalk carbon paper
Sharp fabric scissors and paper scissors
Television to watch the new season of Psych if they ever start it for goodness sakes!!!!!!!

We have also put together limited editions of previous years' kits, including:


2010's kit, SNOW DAY:


It includes a Red Wool Coat, to keep you warm and dry . . .


A traditional Norwegian Selbu mitten, to keep your hands toasty . . .


And a Polar Bear, far from the Arctic Circle, peeking out from behind the trees.

2009's ornament-making kit, WALK IN THE WOODS, is also available:


It includes the Cozy Cottage, with the wood fires burning:


The Snowy Tree, sparkling with ice crystals:


And my favorite, the Little Deer, who watches shyly from the trees:


And there are also a few of 2008's kit, ICE-SKATING AFTERNOON, as well!


There's the Hot Cocoa Cup, to warm you up:


The Ice Skate, with pom-pon for good measure:


And lastly, the Gingerbread Girl, the sweetest of all:


Please click on the links for each of the kits above to take to you the web shop pages, which list what's included in each and what you will need to have. All ornament kits cost $30 each. I must tell you a couple of VERY IMPORTANT THINGS before you order, though:

1) Because our life in the near-future is extremely unpredictable, we originally decided that we would not ship these overseas this year. But NOW we have changed our minds, and have decided that we will ship kits overseas and to Canada, but only electronically through Paypal, and not by handwriting customs forms and standing in line at the P.O. they way we usually do. This means that your overseas shipping will be very expensive, because shipping internationally on-line is more than three times more expensive than taking your package to the P.O. International shipping is pricey, complicated, and time-intensive process when you are sending hundreds of kits overseas, as we do, and we just don't have the ability right now to take on the extra hours of work it takes to keep the international shipping costs lower, the way we usually do. I don't know why there is such a difference in cost when shipping international on-line or at the P.O. counter, but there it is. I sincerely apologize, but I promise that this is the best we can do right now, honestly.

2) If you do place an order, please (begs, pleads) make sure that your shipping address in Paypal is entirely correct. Every time we ship kits, I get dozens of emails asking me to change an address that has been placed on an order. Tracking and accommodating these changes is a complicated process (for reasons I won't bore you with right now), and I definitely won't be able to do it this time. It may happen that someone other than me (hi Julie) needs to take over the shipping process in coming days, and with close to 1,500 individual orders expected to ship all over the world, I cannot trust that your kit will get to you unless you have an accurate address on your Paypal account. If you do send in an order and realize later than you need to change it, you can email me, but the best I will be able to do is cancel and refund your original order (if it hasn't already shipped), let you make your changes with Paypal (not me), and ask you to place another order with the corrected information. If you are in the process of moving, perhaps you can have a friend or a relative order a kit for you with their account, and then they can ship it on to you when you know your new address?

About the skill level needed to complete these: In previous years I said that, while I don't think of these kits necessarily as a children's or a beginner's project, if you have some experience working some basic stitches, these ornaments take more time and patience than skill. I will include directions on transferring the designs to the felt, and basic diagrams for completing the types of classic embroidery stitches you will need to know — backstitch, lazy-daisy stitch, satin stitch, French knot, and blanket stitch — but once you are comfortable working those stitches, if you just take your time and settle in, you will be fine.

If you are interested in ordering any of these kits, the very best advice I can give you is do not wait to place your order. Unlike previous years, we are not taking pre-orders this year: We have instead made up a limited number of each kit, and will ship them out as fast as we can. In previous years, these kits have sold out every year long before Christmas, and once they are gone, they are absolutely gone until next year (and even then, there are no guarantees that we will continue to do them, of course). Usually, Andy and I put these kits together ourselves, sourcing all of the materials, cutting the felt and the ribbons, packaging the embroidery floss, scooping beads and sequins, winding yarn, and then doing all of the shipping. This year, we are so lucky to have a lot of people helping us with every aspect of this operation, because the reality is that we could get a phone call summoning us to Illinois any day now, and we'll have to pack up and go as fast as we can (and then we'll be gone for several weeks). My trusty assistants will take over, but this is a big job, and if at any time they (or I) get too overwhelmed, we'll stop taking orders. So, all that said, my advice is to order early, because I'll start packing up orders for some of the kits tomorrow, and do as much as I can before that important phone call comes!

I also don't think I'll have time to write postcards for everyone the way I usually do for all of my orders. But I'll do them next time, I promise!

I will eventually be offering all four patterns as downloadable PDFs — but I do not know exactly when they will be available. We usually make them available sometime in October, but again, I'll just have to see how everything goes.

THANK YOU again, everyone, for your patience and for your very generous enthusiasm for these projects. I absolutely love making these ornaments and these kits, and I can't tell you how cool it feels to imagine you at home making these for yourselves. It's one of my favorite things, and I'm so grateful that you collect them, year after year. I really like how each collection stands alone, but I also really try to make each of the collections work together as part of the larger group. It's just fun to see them all together, and they are SO much fun to make. I really, really hope you enjoy these!


Thank you so much for deciding to ship overseas (for UK folk = £38) as I'm sure we all quite understand why this year is different! Sending you all much love from rainy England xxx

Oh my, you caused much excitement around here in the middle of dinner. My daughter asked to be excused...I said yes, and please go refresh the page on my computer. She did and I said, "Is the picture the same or different.". She yelled, "It's different!".
I ran over, placed my order, and the rest will be history. I'm looking forward to a wonderful Fall season with lovely ornaments. You are all amazing, and I thank you so much for this gift you have given us.
My daughter is in the other room right now sketching ideas for her own ornament kits:). You give us inspiration and memories. We appreciate you!!

I'm thrilled to have ordered mine!

Just placed an order ... your ABC Sampler kit was amazing and such an incredible value for the quality of design, instructions and materials. Thank you so much for putting these together. I ordered your first 3 kits and shipping to Canada was $23 ... not as bad as I expected.

You are enjoying your own anticipation, and we thank you for the one you have created for us. This is promising to be the loveliest Fall... a happy herald for the family holidays ahead!

Whoo-hoo, the ornament kits are in the house!! Alicia, I can't thank you and Andy enough for undertaking this project, especially with everything else you've got going on lately (remodeling, traveling to Illinois, reassuring Clover Meadow, remembering to breathe...).

I hope you'll forgive me if I look ahead a few years and picture your production line including a Small Paulson. More chaotic perhaps, but more fun in the long run. :)

Sweet Home is just so beautiful, Alicia! The darling bunny looks just like my daughter's lovely brown bunny, Bo. Thank you so much for making the kits available for Canada; I don't mind the shipping cost, since the kit is so precious, and the price is reasonable (and they're just such fun to make!)
Hope all goes smoothly in the coming days and weeks.

I knew they'd be wonderful- but you have truly outdone yourself! The ornaments are spectacular! And you two worker bees have accomplished what seemed impossible just a few weeks ago. I can't wait for the next few weeks to fly by (oh, please go fast!) so the cuddling can begin!

A beautiful addition to your ornament series.

Kelly Grace says: September 22, 2011 at 05:46 PM

Wow! This is all so exciting! From the kits to your imminent departure to babyland, Posie Gets Cozy is all abuzz, it's intoxicating!

They are so cute! I love the door ornament, but they are all so sweet and the stitching makes them gorgeous! Exciting indeed!

Ordered mine! You continue to amaze me - LOVE them!
With all of the excitement around your home I thought we wouldn't have new ornaments this year - it's like an early Christmas gift.

Thank you! I rushed right off to order before even commenting. The 2011 kit will so special for all of us waiting with you, can't believe you managed to get them done with everything else in your hearts and hands!

What a pleasure it is to be your reader and customer. Thank you for considering us so sweetly when you have some major things going on in your life. Please know my heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you.

Yay I got one! Thanks so much. Our lives have gotten so busy - I love that I can count on doing this craft and not have to go a million different places to collect the materials. All the best to you!

These are so cute!! I think the "Walk in the Woods" set is my favourite. :)

Alicia, Do you know that according to the Chinese Zodiac, this is the Year of the Rabbit? All children born this year are considered "Rabbits"! :O) Congrats!

They are all so wonderful! wishing you best of luck with the phone call.

Oh wow, Alicia. This new set might be my favorite (and that's saying a lot because I love them all)! I started learning to embroider last winter, and one of my first projects was the Ice Skating Afternoon set. Now I'm trying to catch up with Walk in the Woods and Snow Day. :) Your patterns are always so lovely, and your pictures and stories are so inspiring. I can't wait to spend many cozy evenings stitching away.

Good luck to you and Andy. Soon "home" will mean so much more for you <3

I love them! I think my mil needs a set made for her for xmas. Perhaps my mom too.

Lisa in Lincoln says: September 22, 2011 at 08:53 PM

All of us are thrilled for you and Andy. This is an exciting yet fragile time for everyone involved. I can't imagine how you could focus and complete these kits for us - but I thank you! Imagine as we sew our ornaments, each stitch we make is a little prayer for your family.

Susie Sears Taylor says: September 22, 2011 at 09:03 PM

Odd that no one has mentioned names for the baby. I looked up names from Norway that began with A. Annike was one that matched up with one of the dresses you made but it was spelled Anneke. I wonder if you were thinking of adding another A name to the Paulson Tree.

I always notice the crocheted dress on the web page right side that is called "Mina" - a cute name. I like Mina Anneke. Some names in my family are Gabrielle, Danielle, Scout (my favorite). Of course you could go the garden route, Rose, Lilly, Daisy etc. The name Bethenny or Bethany is nice as is Elsebeth , Alice, Audra and Susanne. I am guessing you already have a name picked out and will tell us in due time but I just found it fun thinking about it.

Nameing tips: remember to take initials into consideration i.e. does it spell something you might not like and also sound alike name that would give other kids ideas for teasing etc. Also, dare I say it, unusual spellings of common names are silly like Cyndi for Cindy. Sorry but it just doesn't float my boat.

Waiting for news from Portland that you have news from Illinois soon!!!! So exciting, so exciting!!!

Oh my, the blue door ornament is aMAYzing! I love doors! And homes. And babies. Say, as far as names go.. a perfect name.. "Aimee". It means "friend" in French.

I will work on a 2nd pink cotton bootie, the first is done.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

I can't tell you how much I respect the (very reasonable, gracefully presented) boundaries you & Andy set up for these types of things. It's soooooooo tricky balancing the generous inclination to make things work for everyone with the absolutely necessary self-preservation. I am so inspired by the way you handle all of this! (And the ornament kits are darling, darling, of course.)

Squeeee! So adorable and I'm overjoyed to have snagged a kit. I have all the others and would have been SO disappointed to miss out on this year's. Wishing you and your family all the best during this very exciting time!

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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 aliciapaulson.com