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Hello there! How are you? We're settling into fall here. It's come on with speed and determination. At 6 a.m. this morning, Amelia and I laid in bed in the dark bedroom, listening to the rain outside. She noticed it. It sounded beautiful. It's so dark in the morning now. We snuggle until the quilt and the wool blanket, both kitters and puppers in the bed, too. After a long summer of tremendous heat, everyone's suddenly cold, and grateful for that. The transition to new season and new routines has been unexpectedly hard for me these past few weeks, though. I feel like I'm scrambling to find traction somehow. I think I'm getting it, but I've been a bit all over the place. I was so anxious for it that I immediately started panicking and flailing about once it happened. Typical.

We went to the river for the last time this summer. It was so shallow it was hard to believe. A flock of geese sat on the sandbar all afternoon. The leaves, tinged yellow, fell into the water. I really loved all the days we spent there this summer. I know Andy and Amelia did, too. Our intrepid explorer has grown so much these past few months. What a blessing, to have these nearby places to be free together. Home by dinner, bath, and then early to bed, clean and tired.

Thank you so much for your incredibly kind comments lately, and for all of the glorious-sounding apple recipes, and for the big-girl-chair advice. I made my sour cream apple pie and this thing just never, ever disappoints. Highly recommend. Double the topping if your pie plate is big and wide. (Put tinfoil under your pan if you think that stuff might bubble over and drip off, though; you don't want that spilling in your oven.) Next I'm going to go through the recipes you suggested and find some more that sound good (they all sound good!). I'm getting back into the whole cooking routine I was so excited about a couple of months ago. SOUP is going to make life just ever so much easier. It tastes just as good the next day. I made kale and potato soup with corn and chorizo and it was fantastic. I had it again the next day and it was absolutely just as good. Tonight I'm making the chicken with wild rice soup I made last year, because I know that was really good. Should walk up to the store and get some sweet potato to make biscuits to go with. And boom, that's tomorrow, then, too.

The big-girl chair is a work in progress. We got a Keekaroo — I happened to spot one at the kids' resale shop that cost the exact amount of the credit I had. I like it (though, as everyone says, we've tripped over it literally every single day since it's been here) but the seatbelt has got to be replaced — she is totally able to take it off herself, thus completely defeating the purpose. Dinnertime now is a constant negotiation where I try to get her to stay in her seat. Last night I said, "Well, I just started eating, and if you can't stay in your seat for a little while I might have to go get your old high chair and bring it back, if it's really hard to stop getting down." I thought that warning might work, since just last week the idea of sitting in the high chair was so distasteful it caused all sorts of pandemonium . But she just got these big, bright eyes and said, "Oh! Can I have my high chair?" Pfffft! LOL. But the big-girl chair'll be good with a toddler-proof seatbelt. The clip is just too easy to snap open. She's not quite ready to be free yet, and, quite frankly, neither am I. Getting there, though. She and I eat dinner alone three nights a week when Andy is at work, and our days start around 5:00 a.m. By 5:00 p.m., I just need to sit for a little while.

Do you like the poncho? I think I like it — well, I love the pattern, I just don't know if I like my colors that much. Does it look like I went to Michael's and got one of those little strips of acrylic paint pots (the "country" colors), and then matched them? Maybe that works, I don't know. This has yet to be blocked. I was going to wait for a warm day and block it outside on the outside table so it will dry faster. The details are on my Ravelry page. Her groovy dress is from a vintage nightgown pattern (Simplicity 4719) that I shortened. I like peasant dresses that gather onto a bias strip, and have a continuous placket and a snap in back. I added pockets to this one but I matched them to the fabric so they almost don't show. It's the softest baby wale corduroy, from Fabric Depot, a few years ago now, I think.

Some very cool vintage postage stamps to use on Amelia's birthday invitations. And paper party hats I can't stop making: I used some of the floral designs in this most awesome book, printed them onto lightweight cardstock on my ink-jet printer, then traced my party hat pattern, glued them together at the seam, added some cotton rick-rack, and made a yarn pom for each. These are for everyone besides the birthday girl (who will get a felt one, of course). I absolutely love party preparations. Love them.


That photo of Amelia is in smart dress with her polka dot lunch box is a keeper for sure. All too perfect.

Mary Hennessey says: September 18, 2015 at 07:37 AM

I think the poncho is charming and the colors are beautiful! Amelia will look adorable in it!

Oh, I love the poncho. I think the colors are beautiful. I want to have one for myself. :)

I do like the poncho and think the colors are just fine! Thanks for all the great links in this post. I have chicken thawing out and I'm eyeing that wild rice soup for tonight....yum.

That poncho will look awesome with some jeans or leggings. Perfect for a fall day! I hear you on the soup! It tastes good as leftovers and you can start it cooking in the morning and not at 5:00 when it feels like everything is crashing down.

I made the poncho in colors like yours, but they just weren't "me" so I gifted it to a friend who wears it constantly. I think made one for me in 2 shades of grey and cream and I love it! An easy crochet and comfortable to wear. I had it on at the fair a couple of evenings ago and was asked why it hadn't been entered in the needlework category. A nice compliment.

love the outdoor photos...makes me want to go on a stroll through my pasture and woods taking photos.
the poncho is adorable and snuggly looking.
I am going to read about the creamy chicken and rice soup and apple pie right after leaving you this message. yum.
i am floundering with getting my traction with fall settling on the PNW too.

Fall. Sweet word. If we can't see it here, I am glad you share all you have!
The poncho, the pie, the dress, and Mimi... all of it, as always, right down to those stamps, are lovely and appealing. I stared at the stamps, and sighed, because they're so pretty, so dear. You know colors, and details, and light, and you express them beautifully.

She looks like such a big girl with her lunchbox. My threats to get the highchair back out totally fail too, because LMC loves to play baby. It's a funny age. They want to be big, but they still want to be babied. We're running into that a lot at bedtime these days.

I love the poncho.

My advice to stay in the chair is the approach I used for staying in the 'big-girl bed': gently put her back in every time she gets down. Repeatedly. Without discussion (or a calm "Let's eat together at the table"). x40 times the first day, maybe 15x the second day... then hopefully not again! It works, though you may need to wait out a few temper tantrums and/or hire some arms to do all the lifting in and out. Good luck!

That food looks delicious!! The stamps are awesome. I don't know what I would do with them (just collect them?), but they will be adorable on invitations.

Hi Alicia! Last night we celebrated a birthday for someone in our household. Rain fell just before we ate navy beans and ham with cornbread and salad and carrot cake for desert. Down the center of the table we had a woodsy theme decoration of little pine branches with pinecones and flickering battery candles nestled here and there. Perfect...but we did not have hats! I am going to investigate your felt hats as well as your paper ones. We have more birthdays to celebrate soon. I did not make it to the river nearly enough this summer, but I hope to go on an overnight campout next weekend with a group along the Clackamas River. The poncho for Amelia looks cosy and warm and designed in a lovely color combination as well. I must go finish my autumnal toned shawl so that I can wear it...this...year...before...winter. I am committed! Happy Weekend! xx

The poncho is beautiful! So is Amelia. It's lovely to see her growing up and changing. There's a real 'little girl" look about her now that wasn't there a year ago. Or maybe a few months ago! Thank you for sharing her. I love her outfits. It's been fun watching them be made and then seeing them on your daughter. Makes me wish I had a little girl to sew and knit for! Alas, only sons, and six grandsons who are getting huge! The only grandgirl is now twelve, and I don't make things for her any more. But I send her earrings and purses and art equipment! And yarn. She's just like me!!!!! So all is not lost. :) I don't post often here, but read faithfully. This is one of my favorite blogs.

Judith Hogan says: September 18, 2015 at 09:44 AM

Alicia, your photography is so beautiful, and so is that enchanting daughter of yours. What a beauty she is. I love the poncho, I think it will suit her perfectly. My two daughters were born in the 60's and so the dresses you are making for Amelia are also ones I made for my girls so long ago. The classics never change. Good luck with your cooking, soup is always a successful meal, especially at this time of year.

The baby's getting so big - and so adorable as always. We used a Fisher Price booster chair for my grandsons. You can strap it onto any chair with a large enough seat and slide the tray in close. There was no escaping. Then when they got older, you an just remove the tray and push them in. Love the poncho!

I love the poncho! It makes me think of Scandinavian design with all their bright colors against a sea of white. I now I will enjoy preparing your recipes. Thanks for a lovely visit and give that darling Amelia a hug from me.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

I want to make this for my 9 year old, how did you workout how big to make the neck. The pattern says a huge amount but that's for an adult. Amelia looks gorgeous in hers.

I love the poncho x

Really, the colours in the poncho are just lovely. That was the first thing I noticed about it. I like it very much and Amelia looks so cute wearing it. They are lovely colours for the autumn too.

It's been a funny kind of summer here, it looks like it has gone away now but you never know it could yet come back for a few days. It often does that.

Hi Alicia.. I enjoyed the images of the river.. rather bittersweet as it was the last one of the year. We have the sun back today! Your soup looks good.. I'm determined to make a bean and ham soup with cornbread. Gracie and I will swim today. I am working on a simple neat ripple of cream and beige cotton.. for a niece's wedding afghan. Must. Finish. ASAP. Enjoy your weekend!! I love the poncho! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

I just love those darling party hats! And the dress. Ok fine, I love everything you make!

Love the colors in that poncho...and just about everything else in this post. Can't wait for soup and apples. Fall arrives here about the week of Thanksgiving....it's a long wait!

So beautiful as always :) Alicia, over the past few years you have inspired me to make a wardrobe full of beautiful dresses for my now almost 3 year old (despite having started out with serious doubts about my sewing abilities). We have beautiful quilts (floral of course!) on our beds that I have made (I had no quilting experience - I just bought your pattern and went for it!). Oh and of course someone has strewn all your little animals around the house (and has some ABCs help on our walls). I wish I could convey to you just how much energy and confidence to try new things your blog has given me. Thank you thank you thank you.

sharon stanley says: September 18, 2015 at 12:42 PM

ok so here's what i am inspired to do: make party hats for my farmer and i. crochet a poncho. make apple sour cream pie. take farmer and pie, go to the river. sit on bank and eat pie wearing party hats and poncho. it's all just so fall-ish.
you are too fun.....really.

I love the poncho!!

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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