comments: 86














My crew was busy assembling floss packets for ornament kits this week. (Yes, amazingly, it's that time of year again!) For the majority of the early summer I had pretty much decided that I probably wouldn't design an ornament kit this year, just because I've been so busy with the web site and am fried. Then, one day when my computer was broken and I was sitting there with nothing to do for an hour and a half, I started drawing and wouldn't you know it three ideas for new ornaments popped out. I guess that's what it takes — a whole hour and a half with nothing to do and I can think of a major project to do. So the machine started it squeaky but irrepressible crank back up again. And so we will re-issue a limited edition of the past four years' ornament kits, as well as this new one, of which there have been glimpses around here lately and which is called Winter Cabin. Wouldn't you know it's probably my favorite one of them all. I love the palette for it so much. More details on the new kit (and the old kits) to come! For now, my trusty sidekicks assemble floss packs and I make them cappuccinos in the afternoon (good trade off for me, no?). I got this little stovetop espresso maker the other day, and the little milk frother I got last winter has been awesome. These were actually pretty good little cappuccinos, I was surprised!

Hot coffee in the afternoon will probably be a thing of the past this weekend — it's supposed to get up to the high 80s and maybe even 93 over the weekend. Once again, it's only 59 right now so I am enjoying that while I can. Thank you for the perfume recommendations!!! I ordered several testers from CB I Hate Perfume, which several of you recommended, I think. I can't wait for them to come. Maybe my sissy and I will spend a day searching around town for the others you recommended and having a smell-a-thon while she is here. I will report back. :-)

I didn't make the roasted corn soup above (it's from New Seasons), but I aslo have to think of some things to cook while Susie is here. Dear chocolate lovers, she says she has brought the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe in the Whole World with her. She told me I had to get this kind of baking chocolate (Cacao Barry Extra Brute), which I did, so I am ready to taste proof! I'm also hoping she might help me clean my oven with the self-cleaning function because I am afraid of it and need a professional chaperone. Do we know how to entertain our guests here, or what??? Perfume shopping and oven cleaning — thrilling!!!

***The seed pod in photo six is called scabiosa — thanks Jessica!


I am so excited for the ornament kit! I look forward to it every year! Have a great time with your sister!

PattiRNinMI says: August 01, 2012 at 09:51 AM

Looove how the you must have to crawled under a chair to snap Miss Clover's photo! And what are the adorable tiny flowers in the jar?

lol, I agree, that self cleaning button intimidates me as well :)
especially since my friend who lives down the street tried hers and almost gassed herself out of the house.

That soup looks so good and warm. I can't wait for the temps to drop again to enjoy a good soup.


PattiRNinMI says: August 01, 2012 at 09:53 AM

Scuse the misplaced words in last post...need to figure out how to disable auto complete!

Any time with a sister IS thrilling!! Enjoy your time together.

Oh you really do take the most fabulous photos! I wish I had your talent!!

i meant to recommend "for strange women" on etsy for amazing, earthy, foresty, natural perfumes. she sells small samples of her perfumes so you can try them all out. my favorite is "winter kitty," which i wear year round. she has some mossier, earthier blends, too. even if it doesn't smell great on me, all her blends are lovely works of art. (her lip balms are AMAZING, too).

I´m an avid coffee drinker but during last week when I was at Zakynthos (Greek island) and had absolutely no desire for it - didn´t have one cup! If you knew me you´d understand how very weird that is..! :-D

Lovely pics as usual!

I wish It was 93 for the high here. Its predicted to be 114 today in good ole oklahoma. Maybe I should come for a visit because I'm pretty sure hot coffee would sound good to me even if the temperature was that high.

No matter what you are up to it always looks like the perfect way to spend a day. Plus, there is that chocolate cake to look forward to. :)

I'm a new follower who spent a solid week reading your past posts (can't decide if that makes me sound lame or eager...anyway) I was really hoping you would put out the old ornaments again as I missed them- so this is great news for me! Hurray!!

Eeeeeee! I can't wait to see the ornament pattern for this year. The coffee and cappuccino look lovely and make me want one even though I'm a tea drinker.

I hope when she says she's bringing the best chocolate cake recipe that she means the chocolate cake recipe from BAKED. (because it really will be death by chocolate.) crossing my fingers for you.

Hi Alicia,

Not sure if anyone mentioned it ealier, but you could try the Fig Perfume by Pacifica ( The website describes it like this: Earth meets ocean in this green, full-bodied blend with Sweet Fig, Palm, Cyclamen, Moss and Clove, all set in a luscious Sandalwood base. Sensuous and complex, it's a wonderfully imaginative take on classic fig.

They have it at Anthropologie sometimes. It's a very good scent for fall/winter. And if you discover you like it, they have candles, lotions, soaps, etc. in the same scent available online.

Melissa L. says: August 01, 2012 at 10:32 AM

It's refreshing to hear the word "floss" used in a context that has nothing to do with dental hygiene!

I absolutely spend time each day looking at your photographs. You are so talented at taking them, and at making your home such a special place. You inspire me! Thanks for being you, and for sharing your home and gardens. :)

A botany question here - what is the flower in photo #6 from the top of today's posting? It looks quite dear and perhaps it is something that would grow in Seattle? I cannot wait for the new ornament kit, even though I'm still working on last year's kit . . .

I also want to know about the flowers in photo #6!
And I hope it doesn't get too hot this weekend, I have to organize my tiny warm laundry room.

I guess I need to get working on last year's kit. Yikes. How did that happen. That soup does look delicious even if you didn't make it. I love soup although the weather is a bit too warm now. Keep me updated on the perfume. I keep thinking I want to wear it again.

I can't wait to see what you had one and one half hours to dream up for a kit. I love your kits! Everyone of them!!

Your perfume link goes to the coffee maker on Amazon, thought you might like to know.

Your pictures are beautiful as always.

ah, more gorgeous photos!

perfume shopping and oven cleaning sounds lovely to me. Two things that I do often!

Have a great visit! We have family coming into town next week and I can't wait to share our summer with them!

And I didn't get a chance to comment, but I loved your thoughts about your garden. I totally agree.

Oh, the furred head on the pillow! aww

For perfume shopping, check out The Perfume House on Hawthorne. Amazing selection and knowledgable folks.

I had heard of it for years and finally made it there last month when MY sister was visiting.

I perused the perfumes at
and ordered a couple (so hard to choose). I can't wait for them to arrive! I also added a note saying I found their website through a link on your blog and that they should send you a gift certificate! :) Thanks so much for the link!

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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




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.