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!)


Wads of Tp - hehehehe. I think a schedule like that would be nice. Time together is so, so good. I wish we had more.

Oh Alicia I have always loved your fureplace and its amazing that you did it yourselves. Great to hear the secret. It is beautiful- not toilet roll at ALL! The picture is lovely too! Jo x

I was looking through the Westminster photos last night and as soon as I saw that sweet Corgi I said to myself, "Oh, I hope Alicia sees this!"
Such sweet photographs and I love seeing the handlers in action, running around the ring with lovely pretty dogs.

Oh, Alicia! Beautiful, Beautiful!! Your images are always so heartwarming and soothing. Images of a lovely home!! Your first photo makes me wish I could see more...I can see a shelf hanging above your kitchen doorway. Have you shown that on your blog before?? Adorable!! Your tall hutch is amazing,,especially with that high window with the potted plants all in a pretty row. I can see why you never tire of that sheep painting. The colors are so soft and lovely, I love it too!
And...I have always loved how you altered your fireplace. It is so like your DH, Andy, to make a funny observation about what it looks like at times. My DH, Richard, and funny son-in-law, Mike, might observe the same thing. They keep me smiling!
Happy day to you...:)

Thank you for sharing about the Jacobs art. I love it. Everyone is into Downton Abby and I just haven't had time to watch yet. One of these days. I enjoy all of your photos. They lend a sense of peace and calm in the middle of hectic days. :)

I love the roses, have never seen anything like that on brick before--very clever. Your rooms always look so much cozier--due to the candles and crackling fires in the fireplace. I need to remember to light the candles at home more often... Your table looks beautiful, too--your lucky friends!

Your life seems so calm at the moment. I do hope that the impression is true. I have just got a Pembroke corgi puppy (to go with my 3 year old Pemmie). She is such fun. There is nothing like having a corgi (or two!) in the family. No docking of tails on the mainland but they still do it here in Northern Ireland, so I have one with a tail and one without, which seems very odd. More photos of Clover, please.

paisley looks slightly Welsh Alicia

Sounds lovely. And boy oh boy, does that pancakey thing look good! My mouth should not be watering after spiced cauliflower soup for breakfast, but that pancake is making me drool in a somewhat excessive and rather unladylike fashion. Yum!

Alicia, where do you get your beautiful everyday dishes? Please do a post. Thanks.

I'd been admiring the roses; this being Rose City and all. A very sweet touch, I think! Nicely done, Alicia.
I've been out of sorts today and quite honestly I think I felt cheated when that Pom got Best in Show. The thing looked like a caterpillar and not like a dog at all. What was this woman thinking? Certainly, the Corgi and the Cairn should have been in the running!! ;o)
I will say, though, I fell in love with that wonderful "I could be great" ad about the dogs -- welled up some each time they ran it!

Thank you, Alicia, for explaining the fireplace roses. I always look for them in your photos. I had assumed they were an original bungalow feature. They are charming and you did a beautiful job. Our current fireplace is river rock, but if we ever move to a home with a brick fireplace, plaster of Paris roses will be my first priority. Happy you had a lovely Valentine's Day <3

your tablescapes invoke a feeling of comfort, warmth and of course, coziness. however, the garden is calling. our foot of snow is beginning to melt. my husband and i are retired so we save errands for the weekdays, too. alicia, if you were a book, your pages would be so well-read. you are such a joy to read. (as an aside, i just unearthed my copy of 'the wonder book' illustrated by arthur rackham. *sigh*)

Love the fireplace rose relief.

But I can't help wondering where you found that beautiful basket/bag sitting on the coffee table. It looks perfect for toting projects.

Happy Belated Valentine's Day

One can never have enough sheep paintings! XO

I love seeing your table everyday. I have been really trying to look at my kitchen table everyday. What we eat, read or just the kids mess. Mine never looks so beautiful as yours.
I look forward to ending each day reading your posts and admiring your pictures. Peace...

I know that "painting"! It hangs in my parent's downstairs bathroom. I think it deserves a better place than that!

I had to go and check out the video of the Cardigans and I also saw Pilot in the Herding best of class...he was quite a star...loved the one black eye!

I've always loved your fireplace roses! So funny and perfect that you did them yourself.

I have admired your roses for quite a while. I thought that you must have added them, I just knew they were your creation.
The sheep painting is wonderful.
Your house looks so peacefully soothing. Right now, we have my son and his wife and their two little guys staying with us, along with two dogs and one cat. My house looks like a tornado went through it several times over. Yours, Rosemary

Your home always just looks like the coziest and calmest place in Portland. Love it!

Thanks for turning me on to Downton Abbey! Watching season one streamed onto my computer while cross stitching--heaven for this 12 hr shift nurse!

You have a beautiful house and you make life seem so peaceful and calm.
I love visiting your blog you make my day!
Nearly the weekend yippee!
Its a lovely sunny day here in the Uk...sending you some rays :)

I love your photos so much!
And those roses are very cute :) and the sheep picture too!


Am I the only one who is experiencing some disappointment with my once (and probably still) beloved Downton Abbey? I feel like it's gone to a weird soap opera place. Murder! Intrigue! Elopement! Adultery! Near-death-illness! Paralysis and miraculous recovery! Heir returns from the dead!(maybe!) It's like they're throwing every possible (if improbable) drama into the stew, hoping that the gorgeous dresses and Maggie Smith keep it all respectable.

And of course, I'll keep watching. For the dresses. :)

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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