Posts filed in: December 2013


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In the mornings, I listen to her waking up. She hums and talks to herself in her baby language. Da-dee-dee. DA-dee-dee. Outside it's still black and cold. The lights from the baby monitor, the alarm clock glow in the dark. I listen to her: Hmm-hmm-hmm, hmm-hmm-hmm. The first six notes of "Jingle Bells," over and over. I hum the rest to myself, smiling. Eventually she insists — HMM HMM HMM! — and I know it's only a minute or two until it's a flat-out squawk — Come and get me now, people! I got you, babe. I am here.

These bright, brisk days the house fills with her sounds. The humming, the chatting, the thumping of the walking, the thumping of the dropping of things, the sliding of chairs across rug, across wood, the bongo drums, the tiny piano, the jingle bells that she shakes and bangs, the stumbling, the falling, the crying, the giggling, the chasing of the dog, the banging of spoons on trays, the banging of blocks on gates, the clatter of the tin cake-carrier when she drops it (favorite thing to carry around), the bubble-blowing, the singing, the questioning, the humming, the dear, sweet, jolly blah-blah of babydom, and oh, my stars, oh, oh how I love it so.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful week of peace and tenderness, and simple pleasures wherever you find them. I hope joy comes to you, and your family, and your friends, and your animals in this wintertime, and I hope there are wonders, too, and wishes that come true. I hope you get to give a kid a great present, walk in the snow, go ice skating, see the city lights, sit in front of a crackling fireplace, or hold a sleeping baby. I hope you find magic in the season, especially in the moments when you least expect it. Thank you for being a part of our lives this year, and, from all of us Paulsons, I wish you much love and happiness. Merry, merry Christmas to you.


Out and About, and In

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A sweet day downtown :: Shopping and noshing :: An a capella concert with Aunt Susie :: Brunch with dear friends :: Wrapping presents and writing cards :: More Swedish meatballs :: Foggy morning on Mt. Tabor :: Knitting tiny sweaters :: She ate half a dill pickle :: A night walk in the neighborhood :: Tea and Judge Judy :: Late afternoon naps :: Christmas movies at night :: Runny noses :: Very gray days, with all the lights on :: Reading Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford and laughing out loud (several times, but the scene where Paul rides the horse was hysterical [and the one where he complains about the kids]) :: Cards from old friends making me miss them :: The Psych musical soundtrack on repeat :: Candlelit baths and cookie plans. I need to make some, stat!

Little Tree

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The Christmas bustle! It's on. Cards to be written, gifts to be wrapped and mailed (and some to be, firstly, gotten at all), neighbor and friend presents to be made (this chai mix with these labels and these recipe cards), events to be scheduled and prepared for. It really is busy, as slow as you try to make it. Whoosh. Another December week, here and went.

I made a little cardboard bed for a little bunny. I also made a ticking-striped mattress, pillow, fitted sheet, flat sheet, pillowcase, wool blanket, calico comforter, and pink knitted wool throw. And a polka-dot nightgown. The bed was SO MUCH fun to make. Except for the legs (which are little wooden doll pins, turned upside down), it's entirely made out of cardboard, masking tape, paint, and varnish. Mint green. This darling bed was my inspiration for the shape. The design that I painted on it is the same as the one that I embroidered on Amelia's baby bunad. I varnished it all with triple-gloss varnish, which made it super glossy. I enjoyed making this so much. I wish I were making it right now.

Our girl is walking everywhere she wants to go, and pushing her little cart everywhere. She's so amazing. I adore her. Christmas with one-year-old is beautiful.

Snow Day

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Snow! And ice! And freezing temperatures! Everywhere! Do you have them too? I've been quite elated (except for that part where the weather cancelled our plans to go out of town of a day or two — wah) by the cold and am enjoying every minute of it. I love it. We've only really had one day of snow and many days of cold, but they say there might be more snow on the way today.

What do you think of my hawk picture??? Weirdest thing: Meems and I were setting out for a long walk on Sunday afternoon. About a block away from the house I saw the light shining through those seed pod things and wanted to take a picture of them. I debated going back for my camera; I almost didn't. We went back, got it, took a snap of the pods, and we continued on our way. It was strangely quiet. Amelia was asleep in the stroller. It was sunny and very cold, and for some reason (I guess no one wanted to go out in it) I could hardly hear any traffic (usually it's quite loud) and we hadn't seen a single car. I thought about what our neighborhood was like when it was just woods. I used to think this about my neighborhood at home, too; when you look at those giant oak trees, you feel like you can see settlers. The sun shone low in the sky behind bare branches. We walked another few blocks when suddenly there was the most awful and startling noise: bird violence, and in the air. I'd never heard the sound before, but I knew what it was somehow. I thought I'd seen a swoop and a flash some ways up the road but I couldn't be sure. We turned the corner and there, in the middle of the street — a Cooper's hawk, straddling a bluejay, the pair of them all giant wings and eyes. I stopped in my tracks, and an oncoming car rolled quietly toward us all, and stopped a few feet from the birds. We were all frozen, when suddenly the jay sprang back to life and made a break for it. He darted, low and sharp, toward the houses, stunned to be flying. The hawk casually hopped into a tree and looked around: Oh well. He cleaned something off his chest. I dove for my camera, tucked into that (maddening) net basket under the stroller and started snapping pictures as fast as I could. He was about twenty or thirty feet from me, not more. I snapped and snapped, amazed that he sat. Snap snap snap. I could see a very bundled couple walking their dog coming toward me. Snapsnapsnap. I tried to wave them off, knowing they would flush him, but they didn't understand my waves and points. He sat in the tree until they got right up to it, oblivious to him, and then he flapped off. They noticed the camera and said something polite like, "Oh, how nice, a crow" and I was apoplectic with frustration, excitement, and delight, sputtering, "It was a HAWK!!!" Oh! I showed them the photos on my camera's little LCD screen. Wow! Cool! We each told our only hawk stories from the neighborhood — it's so rare to see one! They watched one divebombing at the park a few years ago; I saw one other in our front yard tree one afternoon, and thought I was hallucinating. It made my day.

City peeps. We need to get out more, don't we!!! :)

*The dancing photos are from ScanFair, and yes, I'm still fiddling with CHAI. I can't stop.
**Her peasant dress and blouse are from Alice à Paris, and her booties are from Misha and Puff.

Tree Day

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"Hi, sheep." Like your coat. ;)

Saturday, November 30, 2013, at Kirchem Farm and Becks' Farms, Oregon City, Oregon.

Happy Thanks

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Good morning, dear friends. I hope you had a slow and peaceful and lovely Thanksgiving weekend. Ours was wonderful. It wasn't all that slow (and Andy had to work Saturday and Sunday) but it was wonderful. The weather has been cold and crisp and mostly clear. Most of the deciduous trees have lost their leaves now, and though it's dark and damp, the sky feels more open now, and I like that. We cooked and ate our ways through the weekend, and have been tumbling into bed as early as possible. Mimi is still waking up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. She goes back to sleep after eating, but I don't right away, really. I doze and turn. Then we all get up around 5:00 (just when I'm pretty much completely back to sleep). Eeeesh, I'm tired, it's true. The bed is so cozy (I have the flannel sheets on now). I could probably sleep until 10, and I've never done that in my life.

This beautiful baby girl is growing so fast. She took four or five wobbly steps on her own over the weekend. She ate spinach, carrots, quinoa, stuffing, turkey, beans, cheese, potatoes, and apple. She is such a good eater. That's her, sleeping off her Thanksgiving dinner outside, after our walk. I love her so much.

Today, oh today. It's our first day alone together in the house in I don't know when. Andy and Aunt Susie are at work. Greta took most of last week off and will be back in tomorrow. I've been making little animals in my spare (ha!) time, getting them "right." I've made a kitters, a fox (he's a boy), a mousie, and a doe. They make me happy. They each have their own outfits: for the girls, a Liberty dress, a pair of boots, and something knitted (a cowl, socks, a scarf); for the fox, jeans and a gingham shirt and a scarf. Then there are two other sets of clothes and things: One set is for cold weather, with a duffle coat, sweater, pants, and a satchel; the other set is a nightgown, teddy bear, and mattress/sheets/wool blanket/pillowcase/comforter. I know, I'm insane. These will all be kits and patterns. They won't be available until sometime this spring. But slowly and surely they are coming together and I'm pretty excited. Amelia seems to love them all but has a preference for the fox and the mouse. So funny. I lay them all out on the table and she picks the mousie. She says, "Hi!" and smooshes her face into mousie's face. Over and over: "Hi!" Waving. Oh dear girl. You are the sweetest thing.

I'm looking forward to decorating for the holidays this year. We have a little tree that we are going to keep on the sideboard instead of on the floor this year. He's the cutest little thing. I spent alllllll day Saturday making a photo book of the last year and sending it in to be printed, hopefully in time to arrive for our little party mid-December. I used Artifact Uprising (and the funny thing is I scoured the internet hoping to find a discount code early Sunday morning to no avail; not ten minutes after I'd given up did they send an email saying that everything was 10% off through Monday at midnight. Score! [Use the code MERRY to get the discount.]) I don't know if you can get a book done today or not, but you might be able to take advantage of that coupon. I've ordered one of their books before, a softcover 6" x 8" and it was really nice. The books I made over the weekend are 100-page hardcovers. It was a big project and I'm very happy to be done, but it does feel really great to have finally gotten sooooooooo many photos organized and printed. I'm excited. I bought books for family, and two copies for us. I thought I would have one for us and save one for Amelia, for when she is grown. I want to do one for her every year. I also got our Christmas cards done. I was kind of a machine. But I hate waiting until the last minute on this stuff.

So, half of my Christmas shopping is done already. I actually went out by myself on Wednesday and got a bunch of things I knew I wanted. My car was broken down (my poor little nineteen-year-old car) and I took the bus and the streetcar downtown. It was kind of an exciting (I never go out!) and exhausting day. I like Christmas shopping early. I was hoping to be completely done by now!

December goes so fast. I'd like to get the house ready this week, and then sock in. Thank you for all of the awesome Netflix and other documentary suggestions! I'm tucking those away until January, when the Christmas movies are over. I'll make my list of those favorites this week. My sister said she heard is was going to snow? I can't imagine; the weather has been so mild. But I've got tea and little mouse sweaters to knit and fake fireplaces and snuggly walking babies (she just took five more steps, chasing the dog, as I wrote this — today is the day, I think!) and road trips and tiny, critter-sized Pendleton blankets to source, so I'm busy. I'll stare longingly at Mt. Hood (I took that photo from the side of Mt. Tabor, here in town) from afar and we'll plan a trip there for after the new year.

Thank you for being here, with your enthusiasm and kindness and interest and generosity, all these many (eight!) years. I've very grateful. I wish you all a wonderful, warm, peace-filled start of the holiday season.

Xoxoxoxoxox, a (and a and a and c and the b :)

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.