Sweater Weather!

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Good day! Hello! How are you? Hellooooooooo! It's me. I've been bonkers busy and I'm so happy I finally have time to sit and write. Hello! [I'm waving.]

* * * T H A N K   Y O U   S O o o o o o   M U C H * * *

lovely, lovely people for all of your orders over the past couple of weeks. I'm so excited about the new kits and lotion bars and it's always just so nice to get your feedback after scurrying away behind the scenes for so long. Things are coming together and it feels great! Kady (new assistant) is sitting across the room writing postcards to go into orders in the next weeks, and yesterday she packed up our little business card packages, and Andy is about halfway done pulling floss. Next he'll start cutting fabric. Kelsey has an infant so she's at home in her kitchen making hundreds of lotion bars for me. Amy's darling daughters are wrapping and date-stamping mini-skeins for the advent calendar at their house. Kady and I dyed thirty new skeins of yarn on Monday, and those will be mini-skeins for the advent calendars soon. It's truly like a hive of activity around here, and I like it. It feels as if we are squirrels ourselves, industriously preparing for first frost. School has been awesome. At home, there are new railings on the front stairs and new scents being tested in the kitchen. Yarn is being wound, and there is lots of knitting, and I'm teaching myself to make candles. Amelia has been drawing and writing and creating little books constantly. Andy's been cooking for us and there have been park visits and neighborhood adventures. We're getting ready for his parents to visit, and for Amelia's big family birthday party in a few weeks. Everyone is excited! I'm doing that embroidery (from this pattern from Florals and Floss) on a bodice for Amelia's birthday dress that I need to finish. It's go-time.

Pictured above is the Sorbet Mini sweater I'm knitting for Amelia. The kid's pattern is only in Danish, so I'm using the English version of the adult pattern (which I made for myself but apparently haven't photographed yet; I will do that) and plugging the kid's numbers in. She saw my sweater and wanted a mini version, so I had to cast on immediately, as you will when your child shows even the slightest interest in your knitting. I have so many things I need to get up on Ravelry that I haven't yet, so don't bother looking for this from me there. But I will do that soon. I have a basket full of WIPs, it's crazy. All I want to do is knit. I splurged on some yarn from Churchmouse Yarns (along with a candle and a bar of soap) and I'm planning to make Amelia a Volo sweater with that after seeing Kyrie's on Instagram the other day. (That picture just literally destroys me. It is so gorgeous.)

Amelia was home with the sniffles yesterday so we made applesauce muffins, which is one of my mom's recipes from my childhood. They are so delightful.

Applesauce Muffins

2 cups Bisquik*
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup applesauce
1 slightly beaten egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

*If you don't have Bisquik (I don't have it but my mother always did, and this is her recipe) you can use 2 cups of all-purpose flour plus 3 teaspoons baking powder and then add in 2 tablespoons of melted butter, as well.

Mix ingredients together until just combined. Fill 12 muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 12 minutes at 400 degrees F. Let cool a bit then dip top in melted butter and then in cinnamon sugar.

And here is the recipe for applesauce that Andy always makes for us and it is wonderful. I know it seems odd to use the microwave but this applesauce has a really fresh taste that is so much nicer than cooked applesauce on the stove top, in my opinion:

Applesauce
from the New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins

2 McIntosh apples
2 Granny Smith or other tart apples
1 cup water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Halve and core the apples: peel them if you like. Cut each one into 6 wedges or 1-inch chunks. Combine the apples, water, and lemon juice in a deep microwave-safe 2 1/2-quart casserole. Toss the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and add to apple mixture. Cook, uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir, pressing apples into liquid and return to microwave. Cook for another 5 minutes. Using a hand blender, mix apples into applesauce.

Would you also like to make carnitas? We used this recipe from The New York Times and it was absolutely scrumptious.

Pictured above is the rainy afternoon bath I was taking last weekend. I was in the happiest spot — perfect water temperature, vanilla bubble bath, bath pillow that my dear mother-in-law gave me for my birthday, reading Little Women — right before Andy almost cut the tip of his thumb off (thank you for saving it, fingernail) and Amelia went outside to talk to some people (?!?!?) and the dog started barking her head off and running down the front steps to the sidewalk (never, ever does she do this, but naturally she picked that time to do it, and it turns out she was talking to/barking at a fellow neighborhood Cardigan corgi named Mulberry). Andy howling, then wandering out with a bloody dishtowel on his thumb and his face white as a sheet and not explaining anything, Clover losing her mind, Amelia talking to strangers. It was full-on Donnybrook. Naturally, by the time I had hauled myself out of the tub and dried off and put my clothes on the situation came back under Mr. Paulson's control (he's okay, and Clover came back up the stairs, nonchalant, as if nothing had ever happened). I should've gotten back in the water but I didn't. Nevertheless, that tub and that book and I are going to need to reschedule. I want to make my own soap and bubble bath, too. I got one of those things that covers the drain on the tub and lets the water get really, really high and it is literally life-changing.

Oh, and also thank you so much for all of the kind words and inquiries about Amelia's portrait from a few weeks ago. I painted it myself. It was a total fluke, I literally don't know how I did it, and I'm pretty convinced it was magic, so naturally I haven't tried to paint or even thought any more about it since.

***The cowl is an advent calendar sneak peek . . . :))) More on this soon!

35 comments

I love catching up to your life on here and seeing all of the coziness is fullness since Autumn has arrived! Your new products are so lovely as well as your lifestyle. <3

Oh, the cowl is pretty, but the model is completely gorgeous!

My hubby did a major slice of his thumb too! (How often do you hear of a woman doing herself such grievous injury????)

Just so you know, the photo of the red berries you posted, is deadly nightshade. Yes, they are extremely poisonous. If they are in your yard you best get rid of them.

I have been following your blog and life for many years (and feel a real kinship to you)- I have mourned with you and celebrated with you and enjoyed the bits of life that you have shared with us over the years.

I adore reading what you write. I look forward to everything you share. Today I noticed that your dog is named Clover and so is ours. I can't wait to order a full array of your bath line (lotion bar, soap and bubble bath). I've never heard of a plug for that part of the bath. It would take away feeling like a self basted turkey which I'm all for.

You had me at Advent Calendar. So. I know you're all cross-stitch cray, but have you thought about doing another e m b r o i d e r y pattern or patterns? Also. Your environs. I wish we had that kind of cozy in Texas. It is getting to thunderstorm right now, thought, so that has me all googly eyed. Still hot and humid,tho. Poo.

hi, alicia.

i don't comment here much (ever?) ... sorry. love your art and appreciate your ideas about so many things. thanks for all the inspiration to do creative things!

also, earlier this week i sent an e-mail about something to the e-address on your "about" or "contact" page. did you get it?
hope so.

thanks,
kathy

oh dear so much to comment on....school, squirrel/nut lotion bars, photos of lovely amelia, your lucky cool temps...oh my. so envious as it's still 85 here in virginia. unheard of heat. AC still humming along like it's july. ugh. since almost a month and a half of autumn have been totally wasted in heat it's quite distressing. so your george cooper poem came at the perfect time in your other post.
aside: my favorite poem of all time is also his, come little leaves. my grandmother learned it in l910 in her one room school house and taught it to me....i taught it to my boys (!)....come little leaves said the wind one day, come over the meadow with me and play. put on your dresses of red and gold, summer is gone and the days grow cold. as soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call, down they came fluttering one and all. over the brown fields they danced and flew, singing the soft little songs they knew. dancing and flying the little leaves went, summer was gone and they were content. soon fast asleep in their little beds, the snow lay a blanket over their heads. sigh.

Allyn Adell Humphreys says: October 15, 2018 at 12:50 PM

I received my order today, with “the leaves” embroidery kit and needles and knitter’s lotion bar. Everything is so lovely . . . I really appreciate the time you put into these projects and especially love your little personal touches. I plan to work on the embroidery while on a transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary later this year, while sitting in one of the lounges sipping champagne. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon, eh?

When I first read your post last week I knew I wanted to try your recipes. Someone brought bags of crisp green apples from their tree to church Sunday. I don't know what variety but I made your microwave applesauce. Oh my goodness!! Delicious!! Thank you for this one! Quick and easy and only takes four apples. I can see this coming in handy over and over. The only change I made was equipment wise. In between cooking times I used my potato masher as the spoon was getting me nowhere. Harder variety of apple maybe? At the end I put it in my blender for a few seconds to get it the consistency I liked. So yummy!

Then I made the muffins and they turned out perfectly. Even using a gluten free flour because that's how we need it at our house. I wondered about them not having any salt. But the cinnamon sugar topping is so good my crew just gobbled them up.

Love her drawings and that striped sweater looks dreamy soft!
Take care...

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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.