Fireworks and Flowers

comments: 54

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

44th7

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

17ipad6

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

16Park2

Slow day, today. Meems and I have decided to just stay home, which we don't often do. I think it can be stressful to stay home all day. I'm not sure why, exactly. It always surprises me. Parenting an only child can be seriously bonkers sometimes. You don't get much of a break. My days are long — Andy is gone from 6:00 a.m. until almost 9 p.m. three or four days a week, so I'm on my own a lot. It's a lot. When he's home he's super hands-on, but we also then, all three of us, do a lot of stuff together. So I don't get much time to myself. Most of the time it's fine, but sometimes, when the days have really stacked up, by Day Four I'm fried, no lie. The cooking and cleaning gets old, too. Mimi is easy to feed — veggies, rice, fruit, chicken, yogurt, tofu. Granola. More fruit. But during the day, we eat out a lot. Self-care, Alicia-style, I guess. We eat a lot of simple Thai food out. She's been ordering for herself since she could talk and, aside from spilling entire glasses of water almost every time they don't have lids, she is pretty great in restaurants. And I like to just sit and catch my breath. I frequently read my book while we eat lunch together. People think that's weird, but what can I say. Introvert mothers gotta do what we gotta. She draws, I read, someone else cooks, we eat, someone else cleans up.

Today, apparently, we're going to bake a cake. Vanilla with vanilla frosting and flowers, I'm told. She's downstairs watching Secret Life of Pets. I'm procrastinating watering the garden but I will do it, because I really am sticking to my resolution. It's been nice. My silly little garden, bringing me so much joy. We got the giant, 100-foot-long hose, which makes it easier to take care of things. The weather has STILL been cool and cloudy and occasionally rainy and, yes oh yes oh yes, just plain glorious. When it's so nice like this you can actually go to a park and play right in the middle of the afternoon. It's amazing! It's not 95 degrees! It's 75! Life-changing. No exaggeration. I’m so sorry for those of you sweltering in heatwaves right now. It’s so hard.

I made the sweet little romper for the @knit.beyond.borders auction that's running right now to benefit @raices.texas . It's from the Billie romper pattern from Strikdet. It is 100% merino and has sweet little buttons on the back. I used snap tape, hand-sewed in, on the crotch. I love these little rompers and I wish I had made more for Amelia when she was little. I have a lot of knitting projects going on right now, and a future lot going on in my head. I just sent off the last batch of new-doll knitting patterns to Laura, my tech editor, so there will be probably ten or so new knitting patterns for dolly sweaters, skirts, stockings, cowls, and other things coming out this fall when the dolls are launched. All of the knitting and new sewing patterns (also coming) will fit all of my animal softies, as well; they all, dolls and animals, have the same bodies. After I sent off the tiny samples, I started thinking about what Amelia needs for fall. First up was a new ballet sweater. I've made this one and this one so far, and she wore neither of them, claiming both were too itchy. New sweater is being knit off of the same pattern, which is perfect. But this time I'm using very soft acrylic yarn because 1) cheap and 2) soft. Cheap and soft are now my guiding priorities when knitting for Amelia. It's a relief, on some level, to finally realize how much going Cheap-and-Soft is increasing my joy in knitting for this kid, at least for stuff like this which is worn close to the skin! I had two coupons for 50% off two separate items at JoAnn's, so we wound up spending $4.99 on the yarn, total. The sweater is black (she's moved up to the next class, so black-leotard dress-code) so choosing pretty colors, which a lot of acrylic yarns, I've found, do not come in, at least in my opinion, was not a problem here. The yarn is also washable and anti-pill. The best is, though, that knitting with it is not as annoying as I was worried it would be. Acrylic notoriously doesn't stretch or give or feel that nice to knit with. But this really is not so bad! I'm quite pleased. I need to find the yarn label to see what the yarn is called because I can't remember. But I will post a picture here and details on Ravelry when I'm done (and I'm almost done). I have a lot of things to put on my projects list, I think. I'm behind with that.

At night I knit and knit and watch episode after episode of Gardener's World and Monty Don (on Acorn TV, I think?). It is literally the most relaxing television show in the history of the world. I love it so much.

54 comments

Lynn Marie says: July 17, 2019 at 10:40 AM

As always, I love seeing what you and yours are up to. I totally "get" the eating out for lunch with you two doing your own thing. I practice this self care alot with just me, myself, and I now that my kids have left the nest. My two favorite pictures are the ones with Amelia being goofy--eating the cookie and then with the ice cream cone.

I love your photos, and it's especially good to see Clover and the Bee! But Clover needs her nails trimmed...that looks painful...

I LOVE Monty Don - I've watched all his shows on Netflix and picked up a few books, but haven't been able to see Gardener's World yet.

Eagerly awaiting the yarn reveal. I need to find a soft, no-pill acrylic and I've disliked so much of what I have bought.

(1) I'll gladly buy your size 4-6 ballet sweater for my daughter, if you'd like to sell. (2) I have such a crush on Monty Don! Did you watch the French Gardens series, where he speaks flawless (?) French? Pretty great, if I do say so myself.

I fall asleep to Monty Don every night!

This post just says Summer so well. Long and slow and then speeding along when that little urge to prep for Fall starts up. Your sparkler photos are magical!

Gardener's World is wonderful isn't it, with Nigel and Nellie hanging out and looking beautiful. I know what you mean about the stress of staying in. Going out means that for at least a little while no mess is being made. I'm a big fan. CJ xx

I love those ballet sweaters. I had one back in the day when I took ballet and tap.I know how Amelia feels. I can't wear anything with even a hint of wool in it next to my skin, it's super sensitive. I can't even have the ends of my hair touch the back of my neck when I'm lying down! Which is really annoying when I'm trying to read in bed.

Thanks for your beautiful posts, and as an introverted mama to a five year old and two year old, I empathize and commend your restaurant reading/coloring dates. Also, do you adopt adults and their families? Cause I would love to just be a part of yours:)

Monty Don OMG! Cannot recommend enough his audiobook Nigel (available on Audible). It’s him alternatively describing Longmeadow and the dogs of his life, with particular focus on Nigel. All in his wonderful voice and accent. It’s the audiobook equivalent of curling up in a warm blanket on a cold, rainy day and drinking fancy rich hot chocolate from a crockpot, with every dog you’ve ever loved snuggled up beside you.

He calls him Mr. Bear. I almost die from cuteness.

Oh my goodness, I know, Monty Don's voice. Sometimes I put one of his shows on when I'm stressed and need to rest.

I remember when my kids were small and that need to leave the house. I don't understand it, but very definitely felt it.

"Introvert mothers gotta do what we gotta." Truer words never spoken! I read at breakfast time and my daughter is like TALK TO ME. I feel for her, she has two very introverted parents and she is all extrovert all the time. I am not complaining about our PNW weather, seriously give me ALL THE 75 DEGREE DAYS - best summer weather wise ever! I am so so happy. Poor everywhere else. I looked at the impending heatwave stats projected for the other side of the country and shuddered.

Have you seen 'Travels by Narrowboat'on Amazon Prime? It's a silly little show but strangely I find it very relaxing. This is the description written about it:
"Starting at Wigan in England's northwest, Kevin & Aslan head east along the 110 mile Leeds & Liverpool Canal - cutting a swathe through Lancashire, Yorkshire and the Pennines. During one of the hottest summers on record, encountering quaint towns and villages and the cities of England's industrial past, our intrepid duo tackle many obstacles - ultimately arriving at the sprawling city of Leeds." It's a great knitting show as you don't have to have your eyes peeled to the TV screen. (smile)
Sure would like to know the, 'cheap & cheerful' yarn you're using. I've not found an acrylic yarn I was completely happy with, yet.

DaShannon says: July 17, 2019 at 06:40 PM

I haven't visited in so long! Crazy how much Amelia has grown up
! So glad you've kept writing, I find it so peaceful and lovely.

It’s always so nice to read your blog, can’t wait for the doll pattern. I am also the mom is an only child my girl is 10 and my husband works long hours all days of the week...I hear you on the hard work! I was wondering about the night gowns from the picture. Did you see them or buy them? It’s so difficult to find cotton night gowns . 😘

Have you ever tried the Paintbox Yarns in acrylic? There’s a big color range and I’m trying out the cotton aran, but just wondering if you had tried them already. The gauge on the cotton seems small though.

Monty Don's book are terrific too!

Vicki Jane says: July 17, 2019 at 10:52 PM

Lovely post. Yes I am another Monty Don fan. Another relaxing show you should try to seek out is a British show called Escape to the Chateau. It is a British couple who buy a run down French Chateau and then start to renovate it. She has the most incredible interesting design skills and they are funny and very caring of the building. Delicious viewing.

I chose to homeschool my kids and a wise mom of 5 shared with me when my kids were young (I have 4 kids) to establish a quiet time every afternoon because we all needed a break from one another. That time usually went 2 hours because as the kids got older & no longer had naps they enjoyed reading, drawing, listening to books on tape, crafts, legos, etc. and mom got her much needed break. Sometimes a rest, reading my Bible or a book, sometimes baking them a special snack, and just working on what I needed to get done. But it was funny - as they got older they begin to ask me if it was time for their quiet times. They never hated it. They needed that time to enjoy what they enjoyed without siblings bothering them. We all needed it. Two of my kids have graduated high school now and two are still at it. So now school & their hobbies takes up a majority of their time but we all still need our own times. So I totally understand your need for quiet time to sit and think, be refreshed even when it’s just one child. So enjoy your summer together. Looks like you guys are having a blast!🌺

I had raised an eyebrow at the comment "a single child is a lot to raise..." as I have four little ones, all under the age 8. I have a Mimi, too (Madeleine btw)... but then I thought, actually, four little ones are loud and they are a lot to clean up after and cook for, but they (kind of) entertain each other, too. Loudly. An only child could turn to me constantly for attention and play. I get it.

ave you ever tried the Paintbox Yarns in acrylic? There’s a big color range and I’m trying out the cotton aran, but just wondering if you had tried them already. The gauge on the cotton seems small though

Single mother here, although he is now 37 and rarely needs his mom (sad face) but yes it is hard when you are the caregiver all the time or most of the time as in your case. The eating out, chilling and letting someone else do the work. That's a big sized Yay. I am also happy to see you have entered the dark side and come to realize the joy and simplicity of acrylic yarns, especially for kids. I do love me a yarn snob, and especially their expression when they use non natural yarn. It's like those of us who do use it have had a luscious secret. I'm all about the feel over what it is made of and some of the acrylics/rayons etc are amazing to touch. Don't get me wrong I would love to not use what I do most of the time but for me the freedom of the wash and go part wins out more often than not. I love your blog and especially love seeing Amelia growing up.

I ADORE that doll house! Could you share where you got it? :)

Can I just say how great Mimi looks in hats?! Adorable. Looking forward to the yarn reveal as well. Soft and cheap are so where I’m at these days, as long as it doesn’t itch. Also, thanks to you and all your commenters here for the Monty Don and other show suggestions. I’m adding these to my watchlist 😊. Oh, and long live the reading and coloring dates at restaurants!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

post a comment

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

Archives

Photography

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.