The Sweet

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Oh, the luminous, exquisite loveliness of early March. I tried to capture the riotous beauty of our plum tree day by day as she blossomed, her lacy boughs like garlands against the storm-dark skies. Amelia walks around the house in pink ballet slippers (which I've decided must be the best baby shoes ever, as they're the only thing she's never taken, or wanted taken, off her feet). She carries a model horse in each hand. Back and forth, around the table, to the toys, to the door, to the sofa, to the chair, back and forth. It was the sixteenth anniversary of my accident last week, a day which can alternately feel like it was a thousand years ago and then, occasionally, and only for a few seconds, like it was just yesterday. I remember looking up at the sky out the back windows of the ambulance. I remember the trees as we went up the hill. Amelia stops and kisses the little black horse squarely on its baby-mouth-sized nose and makes her humming-kissing noise, holding it out toward me. I try not to explode with secret joy, a charging froth of pink plum petals shooting straight out of my heart. God, how lucky I am. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, God.

Spring does seem to have truly arrived this week. I spent yesterday morning looking at photos of the gardens of Piet Oudolf and dreaming of new borders for our front yard, inspired by his enchanting meadows. It's time to clean up. Our yard is a swampy disaster. I do rush to the clean up because so much is blooming — it's just buried under piles of dead leaves. My 'Minnow' daffodils and my pink woodland violets. My one little hellebore and a carpet of blue vinca. We walk through the neighborhood and look at everyone's parkways. Things are a mess all over, really, though every once in a while we'll come across someone who has already laid a new carpet of compost and mulch, and I love that earthy, strangely medicinal smell. This is my favorite season, this long, chilly, wistful, anxious, shyly budding month of awakening and hope. At night we keep the bedroom window open and can hear train whistles calling off in the distance, and birds waking and singing at the same time as Amelia. In the big bed she stands and pulls on the shade, falling over and pointing, "Buuurdy?" Eyes bright, inquiring. "Tweet, tweet," I say, pushing her hair out of her face. "He's singing to you."

My to-do list is a million miles long. All I really want to do is build block towers, watch movies, sew hexagons together, and plan perennial borders and future rail vacations to Glacier National Park. But: taxes, patterns, logos, floss winding, bill paying, paperwork, blah. I've really been procrastinating lately. Spring forward. I gotta do that!!!


I just love your photos, they're really gorgeous. Must visit more often. I've not been updating my own for ages now, but reading yours is an absolute pleasure

The squirrel and the moon! Gorgeous shots. And your little sweetie, soak it up, that block building. Have the squirrel do the taxes:)

I love every photo here. The photo of that sweet face in the pink dress could be a portrait from the 1920s. I wonder what colour scheme you set for your patching when you started the hexagon stitching or if you picked up random pieces of fabric. I would love to know how you make your choices. I am a big fan of E.M. Forster in print and the screen adaptations. This article by Zadie Smith is also very good (she calls him a chatty librarian):

Amelia is absolutely beautiful! She reminds me so much of an Eloise Wilkins drawing. She is right out of one of her books! I owned many of them as a girl. My favorite being The Visit. I still have it:)

oh my your silver-tongued gal you, your lovely description of march is almost enough to entice me to like it. alas, it is one of my least favorite months...I think because it reminds me that the heat/bugs/work/humidity of summer is just around the corner. but what a shame I waste time dreading a future I have no control over, rather than enjoying today...must stop that!
precious muffin in her precious clothes, and oh my that paper piecing! lovely lovely post!

Spring has never looked more beautiful. The colors, the flowers, the garden. But the prettiest blossom in the entire post is little Amelia.

Oh such beautiful pink world!

The way you see the world is beautiful.

Spring! I'm so jealous -- but happy for you. Happy someone is having spring.
(Missing photos of the lovely dog though!)

Those blossoms are divine! I always love to see some veggie garden shots as well :) Hello spring!

Such pretty pretty photos and inspiring words. I can't wait for spring to reach Minnesota and for the apple trees to blossom.

One more thing I love about your blog... no outside ads! Definitely the blog design too, all neat and tidy, with that easy-on-the-eyes green (pale teal? olive?), but I think mostly it's the lack of "busy" ads. I understand they are necessary in most blogs, but the lack of them here is so calming... all Alicia all the time, and I think it helps the reader to just settle in and enjoy the posts, without distraction. Also, if your blog had a smell, it would definitely be something comforting like gingerbread - that's what I imagine your home smells like... hope that's not too creepy! :)

So happy for you. Glad she has started early with the horses :-) Howards End is my favorite.

Oh, that last photo; she glows like a rosy little lantern, all lit from within. She is magic, Alicia. I'm so happy for you.

I've been thinking about growing violets. You can never get little bunches at the florist - I think that tradition must have died in the 19th Century, huh? - and it's such a romantic idea. I think, eventually, I'll get around to planting and growing my own. Then I'll be my own Liza Doolittle, with bunches of "voiolets" in a basket.

A sad anniversary is coming up for me this year; it's only my first one, and right now it's still hard, this contrast of life blooming forth and me feeling rather alone with the memories of what is gone. You always have such grace about these things, these moments that change a person. I wish I could be more like that. Maybe I just need time to get used to it.

Every year, I re-read the story of your accident. I was around the first time you wrote it....I'm realizing that I've been following your blog a long time.
Every time I read the story, I'm so overcome with your courage, and Andy's love for you. I wonder how many newlywed s could weather a storm like that together.
You and I are the same age, and that same year was the worst of my lifeas well. We were still at that early married stage, and our little boy was born very sick, and died 7 weeks later. He never left the hospital. I'm so thankful that time brings some healing, and also to have my best friend of a husband to face life with.
SO, SO, SO thankful for little Miss Sunshine that makes your life even more beautiful. It's strange to be so happy for someone I've never met!

Love her head scarf! I am old enough to remember wearing a head scarf often. I loved it!

Shelley Noble says: March 12, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Second half of middle paragraph. That. Oh my goodness. That.

And the photos. sigh.


I have only been reading your blog a short time but I just love the photos. I want my dining room to look like yours! And I am envious you manage to keep clips in your little girl's hair! My daughter is 3 and it is still a battle. Love the MAggie rabbit pattern. I have only sewn one softie in my life but was so happy about how it went I am keen to do more!

Kathy, FRANCE says: March 12, 2014 at 03:38 AM

Brings a little tear to my eye to see your new heading photo' - I remember you making that blanket and it seemed so far removed from the little hands resting on it now - how the world turns - this was so meant to be...and you so deserve it!

How enchanting your Amelia, photos, house, food, everything, is. Just precious. Thank you for brightening my day. I look forward to every post!!

Love all the photos. The banner with her hands is so precious. I enjoy seeing what you are up to and watching your angel grow.

Lovely post!

Love how your pictures feel like a big spring breath of fresh air! Crisp and cool like spring should feel like :) We have the sunny skies and all the blooms, but it is warm and the air feels so very heavy with pollen. Oh beautiful Amelia! She no longer looks like a baby, but a beautiful little girl, and you can just tell how smart she is by those eyes!
Happy spring!!!

A beautiful time, love what you have captured here

I love reading your blog. Just went back to years to 'catch up'. I love your pictures, your house, your toddler... Everything is so romantic and tasteful.

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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.