Warm and Water

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She would prefer to stay outside at all times. Around four o'clock, the time between (hopefully) nap time and before dinner time, she's lately letting out a plaintive scream: "'SIDE?!?!?!?!?!" and pointing toward either the front door or back door while scrambling to find some shoes/frantically signing "shoes"/jamming shoes on her [wrong] feet. "'SIDE?!?!?! 'SIDE?!?!?!?!" Oh my lord. This is after being outside for most of the day. The desperation and hysteria that follows if 'side is not an option at that moment is profound. The girl loves to be outside. With a bucket of water, a little pan of water, and sticks, stones, and fancy water cups she makes stone soup, and it is sweet.

I'm making stone soup too, just about. At night I've been watching cooking shows (I finished all of the Restoration Homes and I swear I have post-partum. I love that show so much. That is an awesome show.) Cooking shows are my go-to relaxing shows, and I'm trying to get some cooking inspiration. For something other than ice cream and salad rolls. My cooking of real food, for Andy and me at least, is a total fail lately. Amelia is so easy: tons and tons of fresh fruit and steamed vegetables, occasionally cheese, turkey, chicken, beans, tofu. I feel bored with everything I've made before and I'm not even sure what I want to do.

One thing I do want to do is switch out my plain white dishes for thrifted calico dishes. I seem to have inherited my dad's penchant for getting new dishes once a year. I hadn't been to Goodwill in ages but we went this week and it was so much fun. My little collection of dishes and candlesticks and that sweet little stripey dress came from my local GW the other day. I've missed Goodwill. I'm obsessed with the photo of that kitchen (from the book English Decoration: Timeless Inspiration for the Country Home which I just treated myself to recently). Maybe if I make my kitchen a little cuter, and thrift some fancier plates, I'll get my cooking mojo back. It's been gone for so long!

I just heard Andy talking to Amelia while getting her dressed. "And now we're going to pick out something to wear from the drawer. Most likely it will be what's on top." I busted out laughing. So that's how he does it!

Speaking of clothes, I made a skirt out of a pretty purply brown calico. I used the 'Tis the Season skirt in the book Sew What? Skirts: Sixteen Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics. This book teaches you how to take your own measurements and draft patterns for several different kinds of skirts. The one I made is a full circle skirt on an attached waistband with a side zipper and button. It was super easy (though it takes quite a bit of fabric), but the calculation for the waist cut on the skirt didn't come out correct for me at all. The skirt was way too big for the waistband. It wasn't a big deal to fix, but next time I'm going to be really careful about calculating that (I would take the exact waistband measurement [minus the seam allowances and button overlap], use that as the circumference of the top part of the skirt, calculate for the radius, draw that line on the folded fabric from the top corner, then cut 1/2" inside that line. This won't make sense unless you make the skirt, I wouldn't think. But it should work). Anyway, the finished skirt came out exactly as I wanted it to, and is a total joy to wear — very swishy and comfortable. More to come.

Oh, and thank you for all of your recommendations on hoses! I read through all of your comments before deciding what to do and wouldn't you know it, I decided to try the X-hose after all. So far is has been awesome (though I've only had it a couple of weeks, and it rained for one of them). I detach it after I use it and coil it up in a basket on the porch. It's so small and light that that is completely possible, and about fifty times easier than wrestling the maddening coil of filthy tubing onto its screeching wheel. So far the fittings have worked perfectly and have not leaked, but I have my eagle-eye out for the smallest spout (not that I'll know what to do about it if it does leak, since it's made of weird fabric, etc.). It seemed worth it to try this, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. And I must remember to take pictures of the flowers in the raised beds. They worked — I have wildflowers! — and they are darling.


So glad for your mention of Home Restoration a couple of weeks ago...just LOVE it.

Smiling... I have a little 'SIDE?!!!' proclaimer here too. It's so sweet (but also a challenge when Mama needs to be doing things inside!). I'm all intrigued about this Ben fellow now. Off to investigate.

Miss Mama says: June 21, 2014 at 10:28 PM

This made me laugh out loud: and about fifty times easier than wrestling the maddening coil of filthy tubing onto its screeching wheel.

THE SCREECHING WHEEL. YES. Totally. Also, the maddening coil! SHAKESPEARE LIVES! The maddening coil of filthy tubing... so funny and perfectly written.

You seem to be having some nice Oregonian summer-days!
Just celebrated Swedish midsummer and the weather was throwing tantrums. Good things we could dance around the maypole...

Love these photos and the book Coop..met Michael Perry and his family in Panama a couple years ago.he is a good guy and I love his writing. Happy weekend, hope it is a lovely weekend in Portland.
Have made two Does so far and 26 of your Maggie Rabbits, do you know how quickly they multiply?

I love the pictures of Amelia playing with the little cups, one really can see that she's "in the zone". So sweet!

Have you ever seen The English Home magazine? Gorgeous gorgeous photos of all kinds of wonderful homes. I so love it.

My daughter is about Amelia's age and does the whole SIDE?!?! thing, too. I love outside myself. She helps me in the garden :)

Cute skirt! I just made my daughter a full circle skirt, and the instructions I used said to subtract a couple of inches from your carefully-measured waist circumference, to account for the bias stretch of the fabric. Even with that, her skirt is pretty loose. I'm making myself a half-circle skirt soon, and plan to take out 3-4 inches.

Ah, nothing's better for a little kid than a summer day and a bunch of containers filled with water. So much important work to do!

Restoration Home sounds like my kinda show! What channel are you watching? I can't seem to find it. :(

Don't we all go through the blahs of some sort or other. We don't know what to cook any more or we don't know what to knit any more or whatever. But it sorts itself out in the end.

I've been yearning for new dishes lately and finally found some cheap rectangles. I was so relieved to read your post and see that I'm not the only one wanting different dishes each year!

oh my! i do love your blog! you always inspire me so much! i can't believe how long amelia's hair is getting :) she is absolutely adorable. i am so glad you left a link for the book that you used for the skirt... i am in love with it :) and i also need some new skirts. i will have to go check it out... like right now :)

Cooking is a chore at times. Here's an easy supper I made last night: Tilapia with grilled zucchini and rice. Prepare rice or salad of choice and set aside. Wash zucchini, approximately 1 medium size per person, and slice lengthwise into four planks. I removed a little of the skin from the 2 outside planks so they will sit flat on the grill. Brush the zucchini on both sides with a small amount of Italian Salad dressing (I like Ken's Northern Italian) and place on grill or griddle. Cook on medium heat until lightly brown, then flip and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Remove and set aside. Wash and pat dry fish (as many fillets as needed) and salt and pepper them on both sides. On a griddle melt a couple of tablespoons of butter (a must!) and place fillets on buttered griddle and cook at medium heat for a few minutes. Flip fish over gently and add in a few cloves of sliced garlic to the pan. Remove fish and garlic when both are lightly browned to dinner plates. Warm up zucchini if necessary and serve. So easy, light and yummy! If there are any ingredients you don't like, they could be easily substituted. I hope this helped.

Truly love your blogs. If you like Restoration Man, I think you will love George Clarke's Amazing Spaces.

I think I would love this show Restoration Homes...what website do you watch it on?

I ADORE Tessa Kiros cookbooks! I need to own Apples for Jam, I've only borrowed it from the library and looked through it really hastily. I own her Falling Cloudberries and here's a confession: I only look at it and read it, I haven't made anything from it yet! I love the idea of the more family fare book.

Enjoy, enjoy all the summer days with your little one! They grow up way too fast - forget all that cooking! Before long, you will have more time for that. Do crock pot or easy things for right now and don't feel guilty (like we all do)! I love your blog - as does everyone else. Just finished Miss Maggie and will start (before too long) on making some of her friends - for my grand kids... there is never enough time, believe me! I plan to make that strawberry shortcake too! Happy Summer!

I've been watching BBC Gardening videos on You Tube - Here's a link to a bunch of them. I just love them. So interesting and inspiring!


Amelia is as adorable as ever, she looks so squishable! Love the skirt and I'm obsessed with your tablecloth, thanks for the close-up!:)

I'm a longtime reader, but rarely post comments. Had to today because I spied the Kristin Lavransdatter. I love that book. And I thank you for years of inspiring writing, stitching, & capturing.
All best the from a lovely grey day in San Francisco. ~Cortney

Look at all of your plants! I remember when you used to say you couldn't grow plants. I think you can. Amelia is lovely.
xo, Cheryl

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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 aliciapaulson.com