Advent Calendar Wrap-Up

comments: 22

8Owl1

Oh, hello! How are you? Guys, it's been kind of a sloooow start to the year here. . . . I'm trying to get caught up with 2018 and I feel like I'm treading molasses. We've all had colds, me the worst. Feeling better now. Andy is downstairs making Autumn Woods lotion bars (which were sold out — now back in stock, if you need). We were both looking forward to having a quiet day at home working (he just got home from working four-twelves in a row at hospital) but woke up to a text from the school saying there was a major water leak at school and it's closed. Sooooooooo. They'll probably go out and find somewhere to play today. I'm going to try to play catch-up and try to collect myself, now that I can actually breathe through my nose (kind of). Such is January. It's okay.

9Yarn1

What I've been wanting to do is show you the rest of the treats that were in the Northern Light Advent Calendar.

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There were lots of pretty, fingering-weight mini-skeins in light, icy, starlit colors. I painted some original watercolors and sprinkled them with salt to make starbursts. Then I scanned the paintings and created some little gift tags. There were six of these, with tiny glassine envelopes.

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We made a mini lotion bar we called Pomander Ball, scented with orange and cloves. It smelled so bright and fresh, like a winter kitchen. I'm still using mine daily. Especially on my nose, which is smarting because I've been blowing it every four and a half minutes.

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There were eight rustic, lovely mother-of-pearl 1/2" buttons. With lots of blue, purple, and gray lights, I thought they would be perfect on any winter cardigan. These were nice and chunky. I love how they feel, all uneven and rough and smooth at the same time.

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I couldn't decide whether to have you open this tiny honey jar before you opened the tea or after, but we ultimately chose to make the honey December 12th's present, hoping you would guess that the 13th would deliver delicious tea. This sweet little bee-skep jar of creamed honey came from Bee-licious Honey, a local bee farm here in Portland. And the gorgeous, fragrant tea was Inland Grey from Winterwoods Tea Company. Inland Grey is an organic Earl Grey tea with bergamot oil with dried orange peel and pretty blue cornflowers. It's a pretty as it is delicious, and together I thought they made such a nice treat.

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On Christmas Day, there was a full-size skein of fingering-weight single-ply Merino. I loved dyeing these yarns for the 25th. Every one of them was different, but most were in a range of pale blues, aquas, and lavenders with splashes of pink and bright yellow. (And, unrelated, but I just wanted to show you the sweater I am working on for myself with yarn I dyed on my Merino-cashmere-nylon base. It's the Wool and Honey sweater by Andrea Mowry and it is such a fun knit:)

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Anyway, okay. So, let's get on to this: some things that were in the advent calendars that I have made more of that are now available to order in my web shop.

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Firstly, handmade stitch markers. You might remember that I showed you these from the advent-calendar reveal I did a few weeks ago. For the calendar I included five of these little rings: four non-tarnishing silver-plated markers and one brass (to mark beginning of round). My thinking was that you'd have four markers for a raglan sweater, with a special one for beginning of round. For my web shop, I'm making these in bigger collections of ten silvers with one brass. The rings are all handmade by a jeweler in the Midwest. I purchase them directly from her and decorate them with various kinds of pretty glass beads. The beads are in a random assortment of colors that I will choose for you. They fit up to a size 11 (8mm) needle. You can purchase them right here. Depending on how many get ordered, it may take me a week or so to get them out to you.

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Also in the advent calendar, I made sweet little botanical wax rings and discs like these. While I was researching lotion bars and candle molds, I kept running into several Japanese designers who were making these and I thought they were so beautiful I really wanted to try them. I love making them. Each one is unique, though sometimes I try to make several that look the same if I like what I did. Generally I would add essential oils but for the advent calendar I did not — because there were edible treats in the box, I did not want any scents from the wax rings to affect the flavor of the marshmallows, etc. (There were essential-oil-scented candles and lotion bars in the box, but they were in capped jars and tins, so the scent stayed in.) I've now made some of these lightly scented rings and discs for my shop. These are made with local beeswax, soy wax, essential oils, dried flowers and other botanicals. They have brass eyelets and are tied with various colors of French gingham ribbon. You can choose whether you would like a ring or a disc, and you can choose your scent from Lavender and Mint, Bergamot and Grapefruit, Ylang Ylang and Jasmine, and Cedarwood and Fir, or Natural Beeswax scent (no essential oils). They are $22 each. They are available here. I have three of each already made. If more than that sell, I will take pre-orders and make more next week. These would make such sweet little Valentine's presents, especially if you've recently cleaned out your closet. . . .

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Steel cut oatmeal at home. Sugar cookies. Snowy branches. Cozy quilts. Lacy legwarmers. Winter lights. My favorite part of the advent calendar was this: a collection of eight 5" x 7" postcards (and eight plain white envelopes) of my favorite original photos that evoke my love of winter days here at our place.

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It's been quite a while since I've had new postcards made and I could not be more pleased with how these came out. I took all of these photos myself, and they are professionally printed on 15 pt. satin-matte-coated paper with rounded corners. The back of each postcard is blank pale green except for my copyright line at the bottom. If you haven't written your holiday thank-yous yet, these would be perfect. They are $20 per set of 8 cards/8 envelopes and they are ready to go! They are available here.

Thank you for all of your enthusiasm for this calendar, and for your patience with me as I've strung out this reveal. I swear I meant to post these every day of December! Well, that didn't work. I truly hope that those of you who received the treats in real life enjoyed them as much as we enjoyed making them for you. We have so many new plans for 2019, and I am excited to share all my ideas with you, and so grateful that you hang out here to see them come to life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Xox xox x o x, A.

22 comments

Alicia,
I feel so blessed to have gotten one of the Northern Lights Advent calendars. It was quite a splurge to purchase for myself, but I'm so glad that I took that leap. I was a like a kid looking forward to each morning in December when I could open a gift. Such a treat! I'm enjoying every perfect little item. From the marshmallows and hot chocolate to the lotion bar and sachet, beautiful postcards, and the gorgeous yarn, it is all so lovely. I'm working on the Northern Lights cowl right now and using the stitch markers too. Thank you, thank you! This was a brilliant idea.

I absolutely loved the Northern Lights Advent calendars. My daughter and I took turns opening the gifts each day and it made the Christmas season so fun!!! Alicia, everything was perfect in them. You are so creative!! Thanks!!!

Such lovely treasures in your first Advent Calendar. Hopefully this year I will be fortunate enough to have one for myself.
The fragrant wax rings are so pretty and delicate. Plus those postcards are special enough to frame.
I do hope you'll think about dyeing more yarn this year and perhaps designing more knitting patterns, too. One can dream (smile).
Take care and be well. Hugs~Lacy

Lynn Marie says: January 18, 2019 at 05:11 AM

I loved seeing the items in the Advent calendar!! It makes me wish I was a knitter. Possibly sometime there will be one for hand stitchers of embroidery? hint....hint....☺

Alicia, I loved seeing all the beautiful things in your Advent box again. I feel so lucky to have been able to get one. Your amazing and specially chosen things made each day feel like Christmas for me. Women spend so much time making the "magic" happen for their families that your box of treasures just for me made me actually feel loved and cared for! So, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are wonderful.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Such beautiful attention to detail, Alicia! I can only imagine the joy the recipients felt each day upon opening them.

Beautiful! What a special and delightful gift those advent calendars were. And just fyi, we have found that A&D ointment is fantastic for soothing and healing raw noses during and after a cold.

Happy New Year! Hope you are feeling better by now. Loved seeing all the wonderful items from your advent calendar!! I missed it - they were sold out soooo fast (which is wonderful for you). Everyone must have loved opening them up! I hope you will repeat something like this again. I would love to purchase one of the fragrant discs or rings. Please let us know when you will have more, but which one can be hung up - the ring? I'm amazed how talented you are and how you get things done! Wonder woman!

Susan Michelle Campbell says: January 19, 2019 at 02:54 PM

Hi Alicia!

I thought I’d let you know that my postcards in the Advent Calendar did not come with envelopes? Probably just an oversight in the jumble of getting them together.

I loved every single thing so much-a treasure box for sure! Like being 10 years old again-so fun! Thank you so much!

Best Regards!
Michelle Campbell

I'd lllooovvveee one of your sweet little botanical wax rings; I do hope you have time to make more.

And I definitely wouldn't complain if there were more cedarwood and fir ;)

Axo

Oh how i wish i was in America to get one of those. It looks like such a treat to open each day! I might have to make some myself this year and give them to friends. Just for fun.

Hello~
(Always a pleasure to stroll by, even if all I can muster, is a quiet 'hello,' know that I am smiling, awestruck, inspired, and heartened, as always.)

Good morning! I want to share with you a bit of morning exchange with my husband:

Me: (Showing him an image of your dear Clover) Look how sweet she is! I love Corgis! I love their short, little legs and their big heads and ears.

Him: You do?? They look like they got short-changed. Like there was supposed to be something great there, but then...it didn’t happen.

Me: (giggling, trying not to choke on my breakfast)

Have a wonderful day!

Thank you so much for posting the reveal, I was really looking forward to seeing what all the lovely gifts were, everything looks so very special and filled with love. I am not in the USA and not able to get one of the calendars but it was so lovely to enjoy the beautiful pictures and your magical gifts! You are so very talented :)

I'm on a serious spending break but of course I still ordered some stitch markers and a gorgeous botanical wax ring. All the items look so perfect.

Wow, so much beauty and thought in each item and evokes such feelings of home, comfort and handwork. Thanks for sharing these with us.

Dear Alicia,

I am completely in love with those wax rings! They are so pretty and the colours you've chosen are completely perfect. I always love looking at your blog for the beautiful warm and cosy colour palettes that you use.

Have a peaceful weekend,

Erica

Oh, Jen and I loved our Advent Calendars! Each day brought a wonderful treasure! Thank you for all of the joy and loveliness that every item brought to every morning! 💞💞

Tina Sheffield says: January 28, 2019 at 01:30 PM

Alicia Paulson, I love your Tiramisu Baby Blanket!!
however I have trouble with the edges, I would call myself an
advanced crocheter, but this issue with the edges is driving me
crazy, and just wanted to talk to you about it & get some advise
from you if you have time. I would really appreciate it!!

Thank you so much for your time.
Tina Sheffield
tsheffield @wt.net

Hello! I so enjoy looking at the pictures of all the lovely things that you create! I wasn't able to purchase an Advent Calendar, but was wondering if perhaps you will be making some of the orange/clove pomander balls and the cedar and fir wax rings? I think it was cedar and fir? :)

That photo of the moon! We missed the eclipse because we were caught up watching a British TV show! Ha!

Good morning - I've been looking into getting my photos printed to postcards and was wondering which company you use to print your lovely cards? Xx

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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.