Posts filed in: February 2013

You Just Know

comments: 125



















We had a busy weekend here! Greta and I spent most of it assembling kits and things are moving along really well. Right now my plan is to put the bunny kits on sale in my web shop on Friday.We are making a lot of kits so please don't worry about them selling out. I'm pretty excited! Thank you for your enthusiasm about these so far. I have such a soft spot for this project. There is a lot of love stitched into this little bunny and her clothes. Thank you for being a part of it!

(BTW, I added an email subscription thing on my left-hand blog sidebar. Also, to those of you who have written to tell me that when you click on the "Subscribe" link it gives you a page of code: I asked Typepad about that and they told me that if you use Chrome for your browser that will happen. So they suggested adding the email subscription like FeedBurner as a solution. I hope that helps! I don't use feeds myself so my knowledge about them is totally limited — I'm sorry!)

I'm feeling pretty tired and quiet, so Amelia and I are having a lovely, quiet day here. We've already walked up to the store and back, had lunch, rolled over about a hundred times, and now she's playing with her play gym. I love watching her play by herself. I love hearing her talk to and study and yank on and swat at the toys that hang from the play gym by herself. She's very busy! She is awesome. I'm completely fascinated every day. I just love babies. They're so cool.

Spring is in the air! Don't you love that moment, when you know? I'm ready. I want to be outside more!

Oh, and I forgot to say thank you for the plant suggestions and tips! Don't overwater — okay, roger that! Thank you!

*The first photo is my favorite blueberry-cheesecake waffle from the Waffle Window that Andy and Amelia brought me on Saturday morning. Officially: breakfast. In reality: dessert! Still, yummers. :)

Rain Rain

comments: 165
















A storm is moving in! I'm excited, even though it will only rain here. No snow. It's been a very mild winter, without even that much rain. I'm so jealous of the snow everyone has had these past few weeks out east and in the Midwest. At least it's really blustery here, and rain is streaking the windows, and my baby girl is sleeping peacefully after a long morning of rolling over! She learned how to do this yesterday. It's just so incredible to be able to watch these things. It was so beautiful and cool. She was so pleased and proud. I got a little choked up. She is a genius!!! ;)

I'm determined to grow houseplants. These are the easy-to-grow types, I hope. I PRAY. I can't tell you how many times I have redone this window. Everything I try to grow here eventually croaks. Any advice is very appreciated! I figured these succulenty ones would be good for someone like me. But I don't even know how often to water them? (Window faces west.)

***Her dress. Her sweater. Her book. Her quilt. The log cabin quilt. And her hat was from this Etsy shop. :) I'm meaning to write a post about Amelia's clothes. I'll do that sometime.

Making Progress

comments: 164

















Okay. Hi. How are you guys?

Bread. Make it!

Really, you've gotta make it! It's so easy and so good.

Bunnies. Yay for little bunnies! I'm getting a lot of questions about them which I'll try to answer here. Here's where we are: We (and when I say "we" I mean mostly the amazing Greta) are still in the process of preparing all of the materials that will go into the kits. We're planning to start assembling them next week. The kit will include a printed pattern (with instructions and templates), all the felt you need to make the bunny and the boots, embroidery floss, dress fabric, ear fabric, yarn for knitting the capelet, and elastic (to finish the dress). Once all of the kits are completely assembled (it will probably take the whole week), I will put them in the web shop and make an announcement here on the blog. ***UPDATE, 2/26/13: We are making really good progress on assembling the kits, and I'm hoping to put them on sale in the web shop on Friday, March 1. Thank you! There will be twelve different dress fabrics (with coordinating yarn for capelets). This will probably be a kit that we will try to keep permanently stocked in the web shop, but the dress fabrics will definitely be changing once these particular ones are sold out, so if you want a particular dress, don't wait too long. We do ship overseas. There will be a downloadable PDF pattern released at the same time that the kits are released for those of you that already have materials — and materials lists will be posted in the web shop so you can see what you need before you purchase either the kit or pattern only.

I'm hopelessly in love with this bunny, whose name, by the way, is Maggie Rabbit. This pattern (and kit) that we are working on right now will only include instructions (and supplies) to make the bunny herself, a dress, a capelet (yes, you need to know how to knit, or find someone who can), and the boots (all pictured here). But I have many more clothes planned. Like, a lot of clothes planned. I can't help it. This little blue knitted dress? I designed and made it over the weekend and it made me very happy. I expect it will be the first in a line of items all designed to fit this bunny. Those patterns will all be available (as I design them, one at a time) only as downloadable PDFs, and we will stock the yarn and most likely the fabrics separately, so you can pick and choose just the ones you want. My plan is to have crocheted things, boy-bunny things, more knitted things, and a basic wardrobe of sewn things.

I expect I'll have the blue dress pattern ready in a few weeks. But I want to finish these kits first, and get them out the door.

What is perfect about this for me right now is that I do all the design while sitting on the chaise lounge with Amelia sleeping between my legs. I don't have a lot of time to get into the studio (though she does like to sit in her bouncy seat in there — skylights!!!), so tiny clothes are things to work such great things to work on out in the living room. My sweet muse is just so inspiring! I have a million ideas for things I want to make for her. She already loves to play with Maggie. I bought her a vintage doll closet thing and some tiny hangers on Etsy the other day, because she will need it!!! Anyway, it's so much fun.

We also got her the cutest little play gym (that's what they call them, I guess — this is the one we got) last week. It's kind of amazing, because last week she was just sort of looking at it. And this week she is completely into it. Now she reaches for it, talks to it, calls to it, makes bubbles at it, bats at it, laughs at it, tries to roll over under it, looks at herself in the little "mirror" thing. It happens so fast. Every week, every day, she can do something she couldn't do the day before. It is so exciting. Her favorite toy is still her burp cloth ("burpie"). And her dress. She likes to hold the hem of her shirt or her dress in her hand. Everything she does fascinates me.

Let me know if you have any bunny kit questions and I'll come back and answer them here, okay? Thank you!

*The bunny and boots are completely hand-sewn with 2-plies of embroidery floss and blanket stitch (this is a great tutorial). The dress is machine-sewn, with a row of running stitches at the neckline and cuffs to gather. The capelet is knitted in garter stitch with short rows (and for these short rows, I just turn the work and start knitting back — no wrapping or anything else). Very easy.

*There will not be a separate pattern or kit for a boy bunny, but you can easily make this bunny into a boy bunny by changing the ear fabric (just use something less flowery, like stripes or gingham or polka dots) and leaving off the blushy cheeks. There will be boy clothes — pants and a shirt and a sweater and overalls — coming soon.

***UPDATE, 2/26/13: We are making really good progress on assembling the kits, and I'm hoping to put them on sale in the web shop on Friday, March 1. Thank you!

Hearts and Flowers

comments: 105













Isn't that just the sweetest little bunny print? I got it here.

Wishing you a most lovely and wonderful weekend, dear friends. I feel like I'm just now finally getting organized again. That feels good. Xoxoxoxoxoxoxo :)

***The lasagna recipe is in the previous post ;)

Little Flowers

comments: 149













Ah, February. In Portland, it's sort of a non-month, in my opinion. Not really winter — at least, I stop pining for snow about now. Not spring, though the daffodils show up at the grocery store. Gray as gray ever gets, and brown on the ground, to boot. It's cold, often windy, frequently drizzling. Dark in the morning, dark in the afternoon. I have absolutely no motivation to leave the house in February. I surrender. My little flowers are all indoors. I watch HGTV like crazy. Andy said, from the kitchen, "The brothers are so funny!" Me [very excitedly]: "The Property Brothers??? I know!" Him: "No, the brothers from Oceans Twelve." Har.

Guess what? We're COOKING SOMETHING this week. Actual food that comes out of an actual pot on the actual stove. WOW. Lasagnas for Valentine's Day. Our longstanding tradition.

Lasagnas Rozale
Our version of these, from Martha Stewart
Serves 2

For the sauce:
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
2 t. olive oil
2 t. butter
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 oz. lean ground beef
3 oz. ground pork
3 oz. Italian sausage
Salt and pepper
1/2 c. red wine
12 oz. chopped tomatoes (boxed or canned)
2 c. chicken stock
1/4 t. nutmeg

For the bechamel sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 c. plus 3 tablespoons milk
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg

Other ingredients:
6 lasagna noodles
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan

To make the sauce:
1. In large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and have let off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add carrot, celery, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, 3 to 4 more minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in separate skillet, break up and brown all meats over high heat, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add 1/2 t. salt and 1/8 t. pepper. Drain off fat and add meats to skillet containing vegetables; mix everything together. Add wine and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, stock, and nutmeg. Lower heat to medium low and slowly simmer, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Much of the liquid will evaporate but sauce will remain very moist. It can be made 2 days in advance and stored in refrigerator. You will have extra sauce after lasagnas are assembled to use over pasta, etc., for lunch the next day, too.

To make the bechamel:
1. In a saucepan, melt 2 T. butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring milk and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk the milk into the flour mixture until completely incorporated and smooth. Add the nutmeg and reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

To assemble the lasagna:
1. Boil lasagna noodles in large pot of salted water until about a minute before you normally like them to come out. Drain and rinse with cold water, then cut (shorten) to fit two 12-ounce individual ovenproof casserole dishes.
2. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat; add spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until wilted and tender. Remove from heat and drain in a colander. Set aside.
3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 5 T. meat sauce into each of the casserole dishes. Cover with 1 lasagna noodle and spread 5 T. meat sauce evenly over. Spread 2 T. bechamel over the meat sauce and evenly distribute 2 T. chopped spinach over the bechamel. Sprinkle with Parmesan and cover with 1 lasagna noodle. Repeat layering process. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of Parmesan and dot with butter.
4. Bake until tops of lasagnas are golden and juices are bubbling, about 20 to 25 minutes. If the tops are not yet brown, increase heat to broil and place lasagnas under broiler until tops are speckled brown. Let stand 10 minutes; serve with red wine, simple salad, crusty bread, fancy deserts, and lots of love. Xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Catching Up

comments: 216
















Ahhhh. Feeling much better, thank you! Much better. I finally feel like doing something other than whining and drinking Sprite for dinner. Actually, what sounded good was just a Big-Gulp sized cup of Airborne with ice. Bah.

And — glory! — the cabinets are done. Yesterday. Today I'm playing catch-up. Paying bills. Changing sheets. Finishing painting the stairwell? Vacuuming. Getting some drawer-divider things so I can start putting stuff in the new drawers and cabinets. I'm looking forward to all of it. Spring cleaning's coming early this year.

Alas, not in the back yard. It's kind of a wreck. Stuff is sprouting through the gunk — we planted stuff — bulbs — I don't remember what. Allium, I hope!

Amelia turned sixteen-weeks-old over the weekend. It seems utterly impossible that that much time has passed already. She is so big and luscious and beautiful and funny and sweet and wonderful. She is so easy-going and laid-back; I still just cannot believe anyone on earth is just like this. My mellow yellow. She is such a cool person. Her infancy has been nothing short of complete delight. And it's going, as everyone said, so fast. But every new day is so much better than the one before. Our three days a week alone together are long — when Andy's at work (yes, he's an R.N.), morning starts at about 5 a.m. and the day doesn't end for me until her bedtime, around 8 p.m. Andy gets home around 8:30. She naps a little during the day, but she sleeps through the entire night, no problem. I think I'm finding a good rhythm during the days, though. Starting to get the hang. We've been managing really well lately, especially now that the weather is getting a bit nicer and we can easily walk up to the grocery store and stuff like that (and now that construction is over and we can actually leave the house). Not that I'm not exhausted at the end of the day. I am! But it's a good, honest, awesome kind of exhaustion. The days just feel so good to me now. Her happiness (and ours) is so straightforward, and filled with joy and sweetness and ease that I am encouraged, and so grateful, and nothing seems too hard then.

Now, wallpaper. People! Do you see how pretty it is? How can it possibly be chosen. Someone said that vintage wallpaper has nasty stuff in it. That stands to reason, but I'd never heard it before, so thank you. I'll probably pass on it. The swatches on the table are vintage. The swatches hanging on the wall are actually new, they just look old. From Fabrics and Papers. The one I like is the last one I thought I'd like. Can you guess? I still have a few more samples coming from other places. I want to wallpaper about fifty things now.

Finished Bernadette! I liked it (though I have to admit, I liked the first half better than the second half)! Next up is Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods. Of course I had to get that one! Thank you again for all of these. I'm really looking forward to them!

Do you see Greta up there with all of that Liberty? I am drooling!!! We have ten different ten-yard lengths here right now. I want to roll around in it. But none of it is for me!!! Liberty torture.

***Forgot to say: Here is my Pinterest board with some more wallpapers (and some of these).

Sick Days

comments: 126

















Blug. I got sick. Coughing, sneezing, headache, eyeball-ache. Been laying low. How Amelia has not gotten this when both Andy and I had it (one after the other) I know not. I've been washing my hands fifty times a day, but still. Poor dear! I think she thinks that coughing is just how people normally talk to each other, so she's imitating it. Typical conversation:

Me: "Hun [sneezing fit], can you bring me the [coughing, hacking coughing, disgusting sounds, throat            clearing, sneeze, sneeze, nose blowing] blanket?"

Amelia: "Goo goo, gah, fake cough, fake cough, goooooo [bright smile]."

Andy: "Sure [sneeze]."

Me: "Wonderful."

Dear lovies.

I seem to be rounding third on the sick. I feel a lot better today. I made the soup that my mom always used to make us when we were sick — the Lipton's chicken-noodle. Always makes you feel better. Maybe we'll make some real stuff this weekend? That sounds really good!

The construction has been delayed by a week [fake crying]. The doors and drawers were all scratched and dinged because they were wrapped for delivery before the paint was fully cured (note use of passive voice in attempt to not assign blame). But, agh. All had to be returned to paint shop for re-sanding/re-painting. We were only a half-day away from being completely finished when this was discovered, too [real crying]. Oh well. Better to do it right.

I'll be happy when it's finished so that I can put everything away. Right now boxes of things that belong in the guest room are still all over the house. We have bunny kit stuff coming in, as well. Naturally, then, I started a new quilt for Amelia!

I decided, with the books, to only read one at a time. First one, recommended by tons of you, Where'd You Go, Bernadette? It's absolutely exactly what I wanted. I'm flying through it! 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




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.