Summer Starts

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A mostly cold and rainy start, but still, it's a start! We've had a busy and fun few weeks, with a ballet recital, a midsummer festival, and a trip to Oaks Park amusement park for Father's Day. I love these traditions and it feels so, so good to be back at them. The weather held off raining for the most part, but you can see how muddy it was at the midsummer festival. We broke a record for rainfall in April, May, and June (so far). No one is really complaining, not out loud at least, because I know we all think that if it can keep the place from burning down in August, we'll take it. This week has been beautiful, and everyone is ready for sunshine. Yesterday it was about eight degrees, and even the plants were thrilled. I mean, you could see it! Everything sort of stood up a bit straighter, faces pointed toward the light.

Amelia was a bit bummed that she hadn't dressed fancier for the midsummer festival, and I promised to make her a cute Swedish or Norwegian (turns out she's both, along with having ancestors from Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Mexico, Northern Africa, the Levant, Indigenous North Americas, and Spain — amazing! Thanks Ancestry!) dress for next year. I'll have to do some research on that! I do love a challenge that involves folk-wear. Andy is 60% Swedish. Turns out, Ancestry says I'm 7% Swedish myself. Never knew! Matching family outfits???

I'm in my office, trying to get caught up a bit. I've finally had a bit of time this week, and it's clear that I have so much work to do to just . . . get myself back on track. Back on track. I have a million projects that are about 90% finished, with the hardest, most un-fun last 10% abandoned, pre-completion. Hmmm. Necklaces, paintings, ceramics stuff, glazes, underglazes, kiln stilts, beads, quilting stuff, yarn stuff, just . . . lots of stuff, and lots of allllllmost-finished but definitely not-finished stuff. I have cross-stitch designs that I've never stitched that I want to complete. I have a box of cross-stitch fabric that I want to turn into a few small runs of kits. I have three big boxes of undyed yarn that I want to dye. Maybe I'll get my mojo back in the fall? I'm usually a finisher. . . .

Thank you so much for all of the book recommendations for Amelia and I to read together this summer! It's just so exciting. We finally finished Anne of Green Gables last week and it was just a wonderful experience. I had read the book before but I absolutely loved reading it out loud to Amelia. For our next book, I decided to go with Thimble Summer, which was one of my childhood favorites. It's must longer than I remembered, so it's just perfect for her right now, and I think the main character, Garnet, is actually nine, going on ten, just like Amelia. But I'm thrilled to have the list that you all recommended, and I thank you for your suggestions and thoughts and memories. I love them.

I myself am reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, which was a birthday present from my sister Julie that I'm only now getting to. I really like it. I recently finished The Good House and An Innocent, A Broad, both by Ann Leary. I also really liked both of them and read them very quickly. Another library book that I am reading is called Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation by Maud Newton. (I read an interview with Ann Leary and she recommended this book; I actually read the interview before I had read any of Ann Leary's book, but I liked the interview so much I decided to look the books up. Here is the interview.) Not sure why I'm spending so much time reading when I actually have four hundred other things I need to be doing, but there it is.

I have finished my design for A Tender Year: June and I also have a brand new cross-stitch kit and design finished and I am going to stuff those kits today. I need to run right now but come back tomorrow and I'll have a post so that you can see them!

P.S. Amelia got a little autograph book at her end-of-the-year class party and had the idea to take it to Oaks Park on Father's Day and get signatures from all of the ride operators throughout the day, which was basically the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life.

18 comments

I loved Thimble Summer too. Gosh, it has been 55 years since I read it.
I always enjoy reading your blog. You have a lovely family.

Ooh Life after Life, I love Kate Atkinson but hadn’t read this one but we’ve just watched the TV adaptation here in the UK, praps one to check out after you’ve read the book 😊

Thimble Summer is the BEST book. Now I want to go read it again.

Late for the recommendations here, but any of the Eleanor Estes books are great. I still reread them every now and then.
For yourself, a vintage read I love is Forever Amber. The title sounds so much like a bad romance novel, but it's really good - set in 1600s England, history mixed with fiction.
Happy summer to you all!

Kulturschnepfe says: June 24, 2022 at 02:44 AM

I love that picture of Andy goofing off with Amelia as the driver. Reminds me of my dad who did similar fun stuff for us :D

Oh, and Life after Life was one of my favourites last year, a close tie with Lissa Evans' books about people in WW2 - they were surprisingly uplifting for the dark times they describe.

https://lissaevans.com/books-new/

Love the DADDY WILL FIX IT t-shirt! Andy seems like the perfect dad to wear it, too!

I love your roller coaster photos! I think (after seeing your photos) I've decided that I need to go back to using my DSLR. When I take photos with my phone the glare of the sun is in the way and I can't see up close so basically I'm taking photos blind. You've inspired me to get that "real" camera out again. :) Thanks.

If you need more distraction from unfinished crafts, I think you would adore this channel on traditional irish crafts.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa8bRby_2ZJpXSxcpDiWUlg/videos

Someone uploaded all 37 episodes of the "Hands" series lovingly captured by Sally and David Shaw-Smith back in the 1970s and 80s. Oh my goodness, the craftspeople are so skilled and lovely. Even topics I thought I had no interest in like Shannon dinghy building was fascinating. A couple of episodes even in Irish with English subtitles. I bet the whole family would enjoy them, so wholesome and inspiring. Have an awesome summer....wishing you lots of pleasant weather for hammock reading!

Taking her little book to get all the ride operators to sign it is definitely the cutest thing! Just precious.

Marg Kalinovich says: June 25, 2022 at 12:53 PM

Fantastic photos .... love the Festival. How did they make the flower crowns? I would like to do that for my granddaughters, if there is a tutorial somewhere.

Enjoy your summertime! It has finally arrived.

Fantastic photos, I love the flowers in everyone's hair. Have you read either of The Thursday Murder Club books by Richard Osman? I think you'd adore them. Cosy and funny. CJ xx

Have you seen the film Midsommar? Kinda scary and horrific BUT at least Google for the costumes, they are so lovely! I adored Angelia's checklist and notes 😭 just so darn cute.

Mary Keating says: July 03, 2022 at 05:54 PM

I recommend the Secret Garden! I just read it for the first time and I loved it and I'm 62! I think you and Amelia will adore it if you haven't already read it! Have a wonderful summer!

Andy’s joy in the amusement ride pics is palpable, and made me smile. As a parent of an only child myself, I find myself rediscovering the joy of childhood when I do things with him like go on rides. It started as doing it for him so he doesn’t have to do it alone, but now it’s like ‘yeah! I want to do that too!’ Adults can also have a blast and live life at 1,000%. Love it.

As Amelia gets older, you might want to continue the Anne of Green Gables series. It follows Anne all the way until she has adult children. The final book primarily features her youngest daughter (and it's wonderful, but some sobering content related to WWI). The books are some of my favorites and I still reread the whole series every year or two. They're delightful, and nothing inappropriate, just might be more interesting to her as she grows up along with Anne.

Love these photos! The joys of Summer! I love to go to fairs. Those Scandinavian costumes are so beautiful!! Your family's ancestry is beautiful! I am quite Portuguese. Love your blog! Take care and continue to enjoy Summer!

If you liked Anne of Green Gables I highly recommend watching the 1985 film with Megan Follows. It is the BEST of all the adaptations. Charming, funny, beautiful scenery and pretty true to the book.

Oh, this was such a delicious post! I just grinned all through the festival photos - the lovely lovely people in the lovely lovely flowers!!! And your guy in that great tee shirt. And Amelia with an autograph book, oh my. Just so winsome. Thank you so much for sharing.

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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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