comments: 68








We had such a nice day yesterday. I had some girlfriends over for a Valentine's pancake and then Andy and I spent the rest of the day making bread and soup and watching the rest of Downton Abbey. Andy has had the past five days off, which has been wonderful. I have a hard time when he goes back to work after being home for quite a while. Hospital shifts are 12-hours, so generally a full-time week is three days, overtime is four. Sometimes one week's days off lead into the next week's days off, and we get five days together in a row. Pretty awesome. We've had this schedule for seven or eight years now. It works really well for us and I love it. I have to admit that the first day he goes back to work is always hard. But then when he goes back to work I have long days to dig into, and I like that they're long, because I am kind of slow to get going. Once I get going, I can stay going for long periods of time. I don't really get distracted when I am by myself. Time passes quickly and when I look up, I'm always surprised at how much time has gone by. Another thing I like about our schedule is that our days together are frequently weekdays, when it's so much less crowded out and everything takes about half as long to get done as it would take on a Saturday.

I put the roses on the fireplace a long time ago, maybe ten or eleven years ago. I saw someone do this on HGTV. My mom helped me mix up some plaster of Paris and we poured it into plastic chocolate molds shaped like roses and leaves. Then I just hot-glued them onto the bricks, and piped the "stems" with the pastry bag and a round tip. Then I painted over all of it with flat, khaki-colored paint (I don't know the name of it). I will tell you that the hot glue worked very, very well. Someone told me once how to get the glue/roses off but I can't remember. The fireplace had been painted white before we moved in. I like the roses, though in dim light Andy thinks they look like someone threw wads of toilet paper at the fireplace. He's not wrong. They kind of do.

(We have the sheep "painting" over our television. It's called Spring at the White House Farm by Billy Jacobs. I love it. Usually I get tired of whatever is hanging on the walls but for some reason I never get tired of this one. Did you see the Cardigan corgi at the Westminster dog show on Monday night? He was so cute!!! Stubby, fluffy little legs. Oh how I love them!)


I love the way spring is creeping into your winter pictures!

Such lovely, peaceful photos. Love the simple lighting and the quiet mood you evoke with your shots.

I recently got "your" Macro lens (finally) and I'm excited to put it to good use.

Take care and enjoy the day.

I agree with you - I would never get tired of that painting either. I am a HUGE sheep fan. Your painting leaves a lot to the imagination. And, the feeling can be so changebale it seems to me - adding to the long-term delightment perhaps? It's lovely for certain.

Guess what happened in sunny Arizona yesterday? Granted I am at a higher elevation - but still.

It snowed.

Yep. Snowed.

And I baked all day, and it was quiet - and I was out in it til I was drenched.

i know why you love snow so.

There is a vast peace in it - accompanied by beauty.

Oh snow.

Winterblooms - sheep, fire, friends.


Love, V

ps: The plaster of paris roses are beautiful. Wads of toilet paper in dim light and all ;)

Yes! I always watch for Corgis and Dachshunds (a longhaired one took first in his division) at Westminster and in TV/movies in general. People are rather confused when I tell them that the stars of "Hugo" were two sweet long haired dachshunds.

The sheep makes me think '...serenity...serenity...all is serenity...'

And I love how your new dishes blend and mix and add texture to your table!

I'm so happy you and Andy had a lovely Valentine's day :) I have always admired your rose covered fireplace.

Oops - that was the Wirehaired Dachshund that won...

laurie in georgia says: February 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM

How funny you should write about your fireplace roses today! I was just thinking of them and wondering if you'd ever written about them. I've always assumed they were original to the house. I can't believe you made them, but of course, I shouldn't be surprised--they're beautiful!

Let me reiterate that I am loving your photography lately. :)

I like that print of the chamomile (and other?) flowers. That one on the bottom left looks a lot like feverfew! Sir Basil Worthingblood Feverfew.


Ah... I've wondered about those roses. They evoke an old fashioned feel and look, while seeming, to me, entirely original.

It's nice how Andy's schedule and your own working rhythm work so nicely together. Things like this go a long way toward keeping peace and happiness.

I watched four or five recorded episodes of Downton Abbey, season 2... all the way up to the Spanish Flu. It will be nice to see the first season, too. But finally I am piecing things together and feeling *at home* with all those characters. My children are watching with me, but they are more devoted to Larkrise to Candleford... I just love that they enjoy watching either program with me.

Gosh, I feel all chatty and familiar... thank you, for making strangers feel welcome.

How I just adore your posts and very cozy home. Beautiful!!

Sorry this has nothing to do with your post today, but I just had to tell you that I ordered your embroidery book today, and I don't think I have looked forward to anything so much in quite a while! I can't wait!!!

I LOVE the roses! The moment I saw the picture I thought they were fantastic.
Very pretty toilet paper wads indeed! :)

I enjoyed your photos very much, especially the lamb.
I also missed Downtown Abby this week. What an episode!

so very pretty! i am loving your tablescapes. oh the corgis at westminster were so fetching....i just love the dog show and we enjoyed it so much...i was pulling for a corgi win...oh well...there's always next year.

I have only found your blog recently and love it. Your photos are great and I really like your 'table' shots. I'd like to know how you take them... Every time I see one of those birds eye photos I imagine you standing on a perilously high step stool or similar, wobbling around (as I would!). If that was me I would totally be getting the giggles each time I took a photo from such a cool angle!


Love the basket! Where did you find it?

I found your lovely website by searching for cozy things--so happy that I did. I had finished re-reading The Wind and the Willows, which has to be the coziest book ever written, and I just wanted to "wrap up" in more cozy things. I love Downton Abbey as well. Regarding your Westminster comment, though, funny you should mention it, because I just wrote to them today to voice my displeasure about their dropping Pedigree as a sponsor because their ads about shelter dogs were "too depressing." We have the most adorable shelter dog who has changed all of our lives in so many wonderful ways, and those poor dogs need all of the media attention they can get--especially with a dog-loving audience. Anyway, didn't mean to soapbox, but Westminster is on my "meanies" list right now! Please keep posting your relaxing and beautiful photos, and thanks so much for doing so. Your dog is such a cutie!


Your Andy sounds like my Andy...I can totally hear him saying that it looks like wads of toilet paper thrown at the wall. Sigh. I on the other hand think they look sweet and pretty. And I like your sheep picture. Did you see last Sunday's Downton Abbey yet? It was wonderful. And long.

Woops! I meant The Wind IN the Willows!

my random comments:
I love the background color of the latest embroidery kit photo up in the right hand it.

sitting here thinking of us girls who are slow to get started but then stay for the long haul

looking forward to a get away for coffee with one of my girlfriends in a couple of days...need some girlfriend time


I look forward to your blog so much. It makes me feel so calm and all cozy all over. Your photos are to die for.
OK, please share with us how you take the tablescapes. Do you really stand on a chair. (becareful of you foot) I tried one last night, but no so good. Wondering what lens you use for those shots.
Love Downton Abbey too. Need to find out how I can see Series 1 as I missed all those.
Have a lovely day - I know I will as you inspire me.

Susan Firth says: February 15, 2012 at 12:16 PM

thank you for posting about the roses. I am ever so grateful for the technique. now that I know the project will move up considerably on the to-do list! one of these days I will send you a picture of my attempt to embellish our fireplace. kind regards, Susan

I like the roses. They are orginal, unique, and yours.

Beautiful images, as always! I'm pretty into botanical prints right now, myself--so detailed and exquisite!

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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