Spring-a-ling

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Halllllooooooo out there! Sorrrrrry it's taking me so long to do anything lately. I feel like I'm slamming around my life like a pinball, actually. This reorganizing thing is no joke. I've barely scratched the surface but . . . it's happening. Bit by bit. Andy and I are each trying to dig in to various parts of the house and come up with better systems. Then Amelia comes in and, tornado-like, wafts kiddo-debris from corner to corner: ponytail holders and Calico Critters and tiny bits of paper and pop beads. Bunny slippers and miniature Legos and a tennis ball and her collection of toothbrushes. Dried-up flowers and pieces of grass and wooden spoons and teaspoons. Puzzle pieces and straight pins and stickers and porcelain bells and brass bells and bathing suits and toy-veterinarian check-up cards and peg dolls and seed packets from Burgerville. Typo-correction tape. A slide whistle. A wind-up ladybug. A rhinestone tiara. A feather. A Saltwater sandal. More beads. It's as if a fire-hose filled with stuff from the bottom of every junk drawer and toy box in the world let fly its torrent of glittered swag upon the house all at once. And then, with a whoosh, she is off, and on to something else.

* * *

I had a friend once who said she didn't like spring. It was too much. Too dramatic, too capricious, too beautiful, too heartbreaking. Too gushing with promise, too inconsistent, too intense. Too beautiful. Too heartbreaking. It made you want to cry for the fragile, fraught, barely there-ness of the world, the newborn leaves, the colors more almost-colors than colors. The buds more pouf than plant. And as far as I know, she'd never been to Portland. Good thing. She probably would've screamed.

* * *

At home, I make lotion bars and twist wires into stitch markers and dye piles of yarn. I'm not sure what I'm doing but I think I'm planning to sell all of these things eventually. Aren't I? It seems there's nothing else to do lest the house be further taken over with mountains of lotion bars and mini skeins. I apply for wholesale accounts and think through tin sizes and sketch out packaging concepts. I bombard Andy with my every thought and question: Can you try this lotion bar? Do you like Ylang Ylang, or cedar? Cedar? Are you suuuuure? You like the cedar? You like them both. Do you like this color? You do? You don't. You do! Look! I made a stitch marker! I made five! I made fifty-five! I know! I made a hundred and fifty-five! No, maybe just fifty. It feels like a hundred and fifty-five! Yes, I'm still winding yarn. Now I'm dyeing yarn. Now I'm drying yarn. Now I'm winding yarn again. Let's make spaghetti! Will you make some spaghetti? THANK YOU HONEY!

I really want to do all of these things. I'm enjoying the experience of learning new things and developing new ideas so much I can't even believe it. It's been so long since I learned how to do new stuff, it seems. It's really exciting. We cleaned out our office closet and I went to Ikea to get a shelf on which to store my yarn supplies and lotion bar supplies. While at Ikea it started to pour. Andy was home with Mimi — it was early one Saturday morning and I was just planning to run out there quickly, alone, and get the job done. I enlisted a generous passerby to help me lift the giant box (it was more giant than I was expecting, and I was determined not to have to bring it back into the store to have it shipped) and slide it into my car. I pushed down that middle thing in the back seat and the box slid through the hole with not an inch to spare. Determination. Rain whipping. Windshield wipers going wild. I made it home and Andy put the shelves together for me and I think I was grinning the entire time I loaded them with bare yarn, my beeswax, my electric griddle (that's what I cook the yarn on), my tinfoil roasting pans, my food coloring, my dishpans. It was thrilling. I have a closet! My very own closet of stuff for my new hobbies, dream-scented with clary sage, jasmine, cedar wood, Ylang Ylang, bergamot, and beeswax. Opening it is like walking into another world.

Mimi wears her Thousand Tiny Tulips sweater from this post, a bit more than one year ago. I let her dye her own yarn the other day and she wants me to make her something with it. But what? Sport weight, about 430 yards, I think. I need to look for something. The weather is warming. I'd better be quick. . . .

61 comments

Your journal is my favorite online journal. Thank you for the joy and beauty that you share with us.

Cindy Huxtable says: April 18, 2018 at 02:01 PM

Alicia I am so excited about your yarn. I need some nice cotton yarn and I love your colors. I hope you are going to sell some on your site. I just taught myself to crochet last year and made a couple of Attic 24 blankets. Please let me know if you add your beautiful yarns to your site. Love your work!!!!

I love you . You're my favourite

Please dye up some hanks of sock yarn!

Love reading about your discovery of new crafts, and this is really inspiring me to try dyeing myself too :D

I would love to learn more about the lotion bars. My sister wants to make them as favors for a baby shower. Share more please!

I will buy all of the things, just fyi. I really love sandalwood. Here's hoping you do too ;)

its been far too long since i visited your blog....so much to catch up with! i've spent far too much time on my own little projects...i've fallen for calligraphy. i tend to attack new projects with a vigor that is almost like falling in love. i eat, sleep and drink calligraphy. its the newness don't you think? your yarn is spring itself in long strands and just beautiful. i am envious of your hose that spreads glitter, hair bows and girl dolls over the house..when my BOYS were small, i thought my house looked like a goat ate all the tractors, dirty/muddy shoes, cars and rocks then vomited them all over the house.

Ha ha! I am laughing because I understand! I am having that kind of creative renaissance, learning new things and loving it. I am learning to play piano, at 45! Now can you please show us your cabinet so we can walk into that world with you? Please and thank you.

Oh Alicia, your beautiful photos of blossoms and blooms are a balm for my soul! Here in Canada we are still snow covered and the lake in front of my little home is frozen solid. It has been such a long winter and I feel like it will never end. I know spring will come, and I pray it won't bring flooding like it did last year. Thank you for sharing those beautiful photos and your life.

Jennifer W says: April 20, 2018 at 07:02 AM

I am not a crafty person at all; but I love your blog. I am excited about you new hobbies and look forward to reading more about them. I love to visit your blog and to see cute photos of Mimi and all the crafty things you do! Thank you for your dedication to the blog; I have been a long time reader and I love it so!

A very nice post thank u for sharing it

Deepack gupta says: April 21, 2018 at 12:28 AM

love your photo collection its looking awesome thank u for sharing this amazing things

For a moment I thought I was reading Ginny’s Small Things blog. Dying yarn and making stich markers and lotion bars. My two favourite blogs ever colliding! I think I need to try one of these projects.....leaning towards lotion bars!

WOW! Frogginette, such a lovely pattern! This would be absolutely beautiful with Alicia's Home-Dyed...

I had to do some snooping and also checked into your 'Madame'- sized offer.

Please add a link to this wonderfully creative idea of yours!

Greetings across the Pond...
Heidi

I love your energy! Spring house reorganizing feels so good!

How about Dottie, a cute short-sleeved sweater for your yarn? I think you have just enough and it would be cute on Mimi.
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dottie-5

goodness! where did you find spring?! i live in oregon and i swear it just showed up yesterday ;) i absolutely love your collection of photos here. so many beautiful things happening in your world! very inspiring. i absolutely love taking on new crafts. my problem is i take on so many new ones that my craft areas are absolute chaos. i suppose i just need to take to your idea and just buy an exclusive cupboard for each craft... love it!! thanks for all of the lovely inspiration!

This post was just as scattered as my brain. I’m working on new “systems” and organization right now, too. Hubby comes home for 12 hours before another trip and I catch him: “I’ll go get the girl, I just need you to try on these 12 pairs of shorts and get rid of half. Then, do you really need 10 work shirts? Find 3 or 4 of the oldest ones to get rid of. Love you, Babe...No, don’t worry about the dress shirts, we’ll do that next time. Keep your focus.”

Focus, focus....let me check Posie real quick. Oh! IKEA in the rain. It’s raining. That would be fun. Swedish meatballs. Maybe next week.

what about making her leg warmers? she can wear them to dance year-round and on rainy days to protect her legs.

Christine says: April 25, 2018 at 05:21 PM

Love, love, love these periodic glimpses into your beautiful creative world! Thank you.

A poet's life. It's wonderful to read the poetry of your days. Thank you.

Are those TURNIP GREENS? In APRIL? In OREGON? I hope you bought some!

So many lovely pretty things. I want some pretty stitch markers even though I have no idea how to use them. And I love all of the soft pretty hand dyed yarns. The photo of Amelia at the window is perfect. It's just the right height for her to look out on her world. Happy spring! Here every time I go outside I am in love with the way the bright red autumn foliage on the blueberry meshes with a hot red geranium!

joyce goodman says: April 27, 2018 at 11:25 AM

Alicia,
Love your site. Is your plain vest pattern that I see a lot on pinterest still available somewhere. I have not been able to find it.
Thank you,

joyce

love our Spring in Portland !

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About Alicia Paulson

About

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

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Photography

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.