That Color

comments: 135





















It's weird that a woman with no time and a baby that is crawling all over the free world pretty much every minute of the waking day would do something like hand-pleat a big piece of fabric and then smock it by hand and then block it and then baste it and then cut it and then sew it into a tiny dress that needed a ton of hand finishing (linings sewn in, a giant hem). Weird but true, people.

Meems goes to bed at 7 p.m., and I swear, the minute I turn on that monitor and click that nursery door closed my basket explodes, and out bursts the yarn, the floss, the needles, the thread, the fabric. The flying fingers. A flurry of quiet industry ensues, until . . . I pass out around ten. . . . I like it. I like to sit and think about her, about the day, about the year. It's especially nice to do it with my feet up, and my face washed, and my nightgown on, and a breeze blowing through the evening window, and a puppers or a kitters on the bed. Nothing else to do. A deep, deep sigh. Slowly the fingers find their rhythm. One of my favorite parts of the day.

I bought vintage McCalls pattern 2447, intending to use the smocking iron-on transfer that was included, only to find that forty-some-odd-years later the transfer didn't work. So, plan B: hand gathering, using this tutorial. That went fine. I made up my own smocking design and colors. Random. Don't overthink these things or you'll never get anything done. I followed the directions on the pattern for finishing the rest of the dress. It was a handful, but I was in too deep to turn back. Need a hook and eye for the back. Boom. Can't wait to see it on her. The color is just dreamy to me. I must really like this color. It's a dusty pink but warm. I must think of it as Amelia's color because I keep using it for her.

My Lilla koftan? Meh. It's okay. Came out sort of oddly proportioned. Didn't like how the placket didn't overlap. I've seen other peoples' versions of this sweater and they are much cuter. I think I would use a plied yarn and larger needles next time. Make it drapey. The Milk Glass Pink came out quite pretty, though it's still on the blocking board. Too hot lately to put these on the poor child. We had an enormous thunderstorm the other night, however, and that was just awesome. Cool and cloudy today and I am beyond delighted.

Now on my needles is Ravi Junior. Isn't that the most gorgeous pattern? I look at patterns all the time but I only just ran into this one. I'm using Quince and Co. Chickadee in the color Chanterelle. It really is such a lovely color. Or kind of a non-color. Sort of brown, sort of pink, like the underside of a mushroom, or a very old ballet skirt, or an antique book about flowers, or the wallpaper from the back bedroom in your grandmother's house in Iowa. That kind of a color. One that's just right for summer's slide into fragrant, cloudy, rose-hipped early autumn.


Jan Richards says: September 04, 2013 at 07:30 PM

As always your blog is a breath of fresh air in my day.
Love your photography and your home. You 3 are a calm
loving family who enjoys everyday to the fullest. Keep
working on all these fun projects and we will cheer you
on with each one done.

Precious precious. So satisfying, quiet time. Bliss perfect baby bliss.

Even the pancakes are beautiful:-)

Your home makes me feel so good. Of course, your amazing photography makes it feel nearly like I'm actually there. The shot of Andy with A. In the chair.....perfect. Love that so much.

You are so creative and have such an eye for beauty. You inspire me. Thank you.

I can't believe how big she is getting. As always your work blows my mind. You have such a God given talent! Beautiful!

I want your baby, your home, your talent, your photographs...everything you touch is warm, lovely and heartfelt. You can keep your everything, just keeping sharing it with us! It warms the cockles of my heart and ends my day with joy or starts it with joy (depending which end I am on). Gramma Gayle, AKA Gigi to my friends and family

Weird? No. We understand :)

Oh you have become such a wonderful west coast gal! Like you, I live for this weather. Those hot summer days, which I do enjoy, have nothing over early fall - knowing winter is nearby! I mentioned how much I love this weather, coolness and lovely misty days and a fellow worker commented ' ah yes, the perfect weather to have no excuse being inside and cosy'. Yes!

Can't believe you did that hand smocking...this is coming from someone who can barely thread a needle! Stunning work. Love the artwork about the dresser/buffet and the two little matching lamps. xoxo

your daughter is one lucky little lady to have such a talented mama.

The lack of time/getting things done thing. I remember that well. I managed to get so many things done when my daughter had her nap times. I think it was just the determination that 'now I can do something for ME for a while'.

gosh your pancakes look good.

Very, very beautiful!!! Everything!!!

Thank you so much for sharing the pictures of your everyday life, your family and your home. They are just so beautiful and I always leave your blog (reluctantly) smiling! x

Thank you for creating all this beauty-

I too have been quietly stalking your website and reading the recent as well as the previous have a heart for your family and your talent. Your words not only inspire me to do what my heart desires creatively (embroidery), but they tell me to slow down, don't get all "tangled up" in the process, and really enjoy the end results. Thanks!

Oh my, you discription of the colour at the end of your post is just the greatest thing...made me feel all warm inside...xx

I am impressed far and beyond with what you do. I think I just read that whole post with my jaw dropped. I cannot believe you produce THAT level of detail and THAT level of quality and THAT many pieces, all with a baby. I am astonished. It's all so beautiful. Your pictures are... heavenly to the eye. I love love love looking at them. I am fussing over getting some curtains made, putting it off again and again... and they are just straight seams, nothing too taxing... you inspire me to get more things done :) and also, when you say - don't over think things... so true. Love your blog and Amelia is so delightful, she's like a girl from a picture book. Have you seen the Belle and Boo books and range? She's going to be a little girl just like that. Thank you for sharing your works and your lovely life through your blog. I can't tell you how uplifting and inspiring and soothing your pages are. xx

You do these things because you love your baby! But, you already knew that...

What a lovely little dress!How much love comes out of these photos and your words!AriadnefromGreece!

She's walking! (You must be tired of hearing that already!) ;) But I feel like a distant aunt who is amazed at how much time has flown by since she was born. You must be insane to do smocking like that with a baby because there was no way I had the energy when my daughter was that young -- or I'm just lazy (that's probably it). I love it! And I love your color choices as usual. Are you doing more Christmas ornaments this year? I am glad to hear someone else welcoming autumn... this is my favorite time of year! xo

OH, those colors are it. Those are my favorite. All of them. P.S., if I were you, I'd be watching the mail today.....:) :) :)

Seems totally normal for me as I smocked, embroidered, french hand sewn and appliqued everything for my two boys and my two nieces! It's amazing what can be done during nap times.

where did you get those "gig" posters?? LOVE them! Your sweet girl is betting SO big!

What sweet little projects. I can identify with your project explosions in the evenings. Doesn't it feel wrong to miss a day of yarn or fabric fondling?

"Don't over think things or you'll never get anything done." TRUTH! I need to embroider these words and hang them over my sewing machine. I over think everything I sew and quilt.

Denise Wysong says: September 05, 2013 at 07:16 AM

Thank you for sharing your world and talents with me. I am transported to a kind, lovely place while enjoying your pictures and writings. Blessings to you and those you love!

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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