Flowers and Fruit

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My favorite part of summer is now, I think, when everything is still green and plump and hasn't been frizzled to a hollow. Barbecues with old friends, and baby is crawling. We spend our time together walking, or I ride my bike on the sidewalk so we can go as far as we want without my foot getting angry. Up and down the streets, past house after house and garden after garden. This is my favorite thing. The winding. The talking. He says we can go anywhere — and as far as — I want. Ending up at a restaurant, the bead store (yep, working on a new ornament kit), a pie shop. On and on. Amelia is so game. Amelia goes everywhere, does everything, and takes it all in with this placid, happy-go-lucky way she has. There's a sparkle in her eyes, but she is mellow yellow. There are no moments where I do not marvel at this quality. Knawing on her kitty, waving her foot up and down, she's watching. She shows me her bottle cap, her little deer. I like it. I kiss it, her. We rub noses. I ride in front, zig-zagging, about to fall off going two miles an hour and trying not to crash into everyone's rose bushes. Mommy the goofball. Andy buys a guitar made out of a cigar box and puts it on top of the stroller. Can't resist playing it while he walks. We're the ragtag parade, carrying a ten-pound sweet-cream raspberry pie and a stolen daisy.

By the way, brunch at the Woodsman was a delight in every possible way. I had pancakes and very strong coffee and I was about as happy as anyone's ever been about anything, I think.

I told you I'd tell you about Amelia's midsummer dress. It was inspired by a traditional Norwegian bunad, or folk costume. Each region has its own style of dress. Amelia's birthfather is three-quarters Norwegian, and his family is from the Dovre region of Norway. The dovrebunader, like this one and this one, are just so gorgeous. I have always loved these, so I was ridiculously excited to make her her own baby version. I made the pattern by tracing the bodice pieces of one of her basic little dresses from H&M, and then added a skirt that was 10" long by 44" wide. For the embroidery, I used the traditional dandelion-like design on the dovrebunader, and then just chose two other random designs from one of my clip art books. I traced everything onto copy paper and made a copy onto a special paper called Transfer-Eze. This stuff is VERY COOL. When you peel the top (printed) layer of the paper off of the heavy paper behind it, the top layer has a sticky backing. You press that smoothly to your fabric, then hoop it, and embroider away, right through the Transfer-Eze. (See the photo of my embroidery-in-progress in this post.) When I finished the embroidery, I cut out the bodice (adding a seam allowance) and then soaked the whole thing in cool water for just a few minutes. The Transfer-Eze dissolved and disappeared without any problem at all. It was wonderful to use, especially since transfering is kind of a pain, especially on dark colored fabrics. This was my first time using this and I will definitely use it again. The only thing I noticed is that my hand and fingers were a little bit sore after I worked these pieces; you do have to push the needle a bit harder as you stitch, but it's not too bad. I was doing a lot of satin stitch in a pretty short span of time. I haven't really looked into who manufactures this product but maybe I will try to carry it in my web shop because it is pretty awesome. I'll let you know if I do. Anyway, I thought the little dress came out very pretty and it was really cool to make something by pulling together parts and pieces of inspiration.

I also finished her midsummer sweater, and just have to put the buttons on. I think this is the first time I've ever done anything in reverse stockinette. Kinda cute. I think the yoke looks too deep, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll put the buttons (covered, I think, in Liberty lawn) on today and try it on her and see. It's cold and chilly today, so this will be good.

In our yard the rose mallow is blooming, and the hydrangeas are just starting. The apple tree had three tiny green apples but they all fell off already. We built a little teepee (using this tutorial — really easy, really fast, really inexpensive) on Saturday afternoon when it was still sunny and gorgeous. She played in it for a while, though it got kind of hot; there was no breeze, especially in the teepee. After Amelia went to bed, I sat out in the yard and ate pie and watched the darkness arrive and pretty much became infatuated with the teepee at dusk. So far we haven't really used our backyard lights that much because it stays light so late right now, and I can't stay awake! But I stayed out Saturday night and it was worth it. Oh, how I do love a good ambient light source!!! It's sooooo romantic back there now. We had the lights done by this company. I basically told them what I wanted — two strands of light bulbs crossing over the seating area, hardwired into a dimmer switch on the garage wall — and they did the whole thing (even more romantic). I don't fool around with electricity, and I knew we wanted this to be permanent. Neither do I have the details about the cord because Chris the electrician provided that, but it was twisted black and brown, and what I liked about it was that he was able to put the lights into it only and exactly where we wanted them — right over the chairs, and not down the entire length of the cord as they stretch from the corners of the garage to the pergola thing, and then across to the fence (they added a little 2" x 2" board so the cord would connect at the right height). The bulbs are 40 watt clear appliance bulbs. The dimmer is fantastic. I'm really pleased with how this came out. Now we just need to drink some coffee after dinner so I can stay awake and enjoy it.

Oh, and the other outdoor wicker pendant we have over the table we've had for several years, and it just plugs into an extension cord. I think it's like this one.

I did wind up ordering a battery-powered lantern for the teepee, too.

What else. I'm playing catch up today. I sincerely apologize to anyone who is waiting for me to answer an email. I am not good at this and the email just keeps piling up and up.

Wimbledon starts today. Yippee! Does anyone know the name of that little daisy-like plant (feverfew — thank you!), and the pink frothy one (spirea — thanks!)? Those were out in the neighborhood somewhere, but I'd love to plant both of them. Pretty.

***My tablecloth is from Powell's Books for Cooks; the teepee cover cloth is from eBay or Etsy; our bedding is from Pottery Barn; I made my skirt several years ago from cotton calico (don't know the name of it — I'm sorry); and I think the pillow cover was from Pottery Barn a few years ago, too.


My goodness. The teepee is everything!

So sweet. I LOVE that teepee!

So, so adorable!

Hi Lovely photos I think the daisy like plant looks like FEVERFEW not sure if Americans give it another name. Marie

Lovely pictures! Your daughter looks so cute. And the food makes me hungry:)

The pink fluffy plant might be SPIREA Really like the idea of the garden lights, may try that one Marie

I believe the pink flowery plant is Spirea. Not sure what the white daisy looking one is. It's very lovely. I wouldn't mind having that in the yard also. Love the teepee. We made a couple a few years ago for the girls and they still drag them outside to the backyard and use them. So awesome!

Hi Alicia, a long-time lurker from the UK here. The pink shrub is comes in lots of colours and flower-types. I've got a few in my (rainy - we're having a terrible summer here) garden: one with bright yellow foliage, one called 'Bridal Wreath' with trailing sprays of leaves and frothy white flowers, and the pink variety in your photo.

Always a pleasure to read your blog.

Oh lovely! I want to spend the summer in an Indian print teepee! I am giddy with anticipation seeing the sneak peek of the ornament kit! The pie- oh man, yum.

yup, those are feverfew and spirea. Spirea comes in other colors too--pink, purple, white...

Happy International Fairy Day to you Miss Alicia and to Mimi as well :) ~ your house, and yard, and THAT TEEPEE..all remind me of a fairy house...:)

These images portrays perfect summer days, thanks for sharing! :-)

yes, that white daisy like flower is feverfew. I grow it in my garden and love it.. your pictures are just live such a beautiful life.
Love, Mona

The tiny daisy plant certainly looks like Feverfew (I just saw the comment above and we do call it that here, as well). I LOVE the teepee idea! And the dress is just adorable (as is your little one :). I've wondered how that kind of transfer paper might work. Thanks for letting us know about it.

Love the summers you have. So different from ours. I would love to have our teepee outside. Instead it resides in the house to play camping in.
We don't knaw on our kitties lol. So cute
Your evenings sound glorious and i so know what you mean about missing the night sky...sleep is good :)

I thought I spotted an ornament kit in the making :).
Just finished the midsummer sprigs sampler. It's more beautiful than the pictures show. Your pictures were great, but you just have to see it to believe how pretty it is.
Your summer pictures make me want to get outside.

I'm always salivating when I see the food pics you post. :) You're so lucky to be within walking distance of these great restaurants..all we got is yucky fast food joints nearby.
The fairy lights do make your backyard even more romantic..such a nice oasis. Baby girl always looks so squeezably sweet and the tee-pee is darling, too.

Beautiful fabric, and beautiful photos, as ever. I'd like to visit that pie store :)

your blog is my escape from the monotony of cubicle life. i love all your pictures - your house and yard and other adventures around PDX always look so amazing. and ms. amelia is getting so big!

happy summer from the steamy district xo

Pie! Tee-pee! Cheeks! I die. :)

I love the feverfew growing up your steps. Beautiful! Feverfew is the only things I've managed to grow from seed that has well and truly thrived. Also, it's great for headaches when brewed as tea!

I love how your pictures tells the story of your day. Wonderful as I have to get to bed and don't have time to read more right now. Thank you. Always a pleasure to peek in to your life. :D
My Rose Valley

I was just thinking the same thing when I was in the garden earlier today - it is my favourite time right now, when everything is green and lush and fresh and before it all starts to go over. The teepee is just wonderful. I think we shall need one of these for the summer holidays; my littlest boy would just love one of his very own. And the raspberry thing, oh I definitely need one of those of my very own. How utterly delightful everything is chez Alicia. Thank you for sharing the beauty.

I second the feverfew! I just sprinkled some seeds and boom! I have cheerful little flowers everywhere. I have a nice double petal version from Renee's seeds. Just yesterday I made a wonderful bouquet with that feverfew, germander, white echinacea, strawberry foxglove, and some tiny pink daisies. My best bouquet made from my tiny yard yet!

Beautiful pictures as always. Thanks for commenting about transfer-eze...been thinking of trying and truly value your opinion ;). And new ornament kit - yippee! Cannot wait! Happy summer to you and yours.

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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