Near the Summer's End

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The Paulsons, Portland, OR, August 4, 2022

Our vacation was really fun, sunny, wet, and hot. We will remember our favorite memories which are mourning doves, floating in the river, crayfish, cool mornings, eagles, wildlife, sandwiches, sleeping, photography, Great British Baking Show, crocheting on the porch, tacos, taking baths, ridiculous tubers, reading, watching Sonic 2, warm rain, eating lunch while relaxing in the river, flowers, fresh air, geese, sleepovers, knitting, pancakes and bacon, which rock is bigger (game), fishies, music, nice rooms, birds, clean, cold water, and listening to meals being cooked.

(Written by Amelia [though we all contributed our favorite memories] in the guest book on the morning of our departure from the river house; edited for spelling :)

I know I've been gone for a while, and I'm not even that sure where I've been. Nowhere, really. Honestly, this summer has been quietly wonderful. We didn't do anything big. There were days at the library and days at the park, days at the pool and lunches in the shade. Ice creams and popsicles. Play dates, playgrounds. A lemonade stand. A trip to a movie theater for brunch. A day at the mall. Days spent outside at grandma's, afternoons spent watching television at home in the air conditioning. Bike rides and reading. Before school starts, we're planning a trip to the zoo next week. The sweet, simple pleasures of a summer where we didn't have endless heat waves (they were short) and the sky wasn't filled with wildfire smoke; I've never been so grateful for a summer.

We went to the river house for several days this month for our annual summer vacation. The owner texted me the morning before we were supposed to leave and said, You guys can actually come today if you want to — no one's here and it's ready for you. For free! We were all just sitting around for once, so we packed real-real quick and headed down a whole day early. Bonus day! It was great. That was just so nice of him.

Amelia used my big camera a lot and took some of the photos above. I usually have epic reading experiences at the river but this year — I really had no book that pleased me! And it was kind of a bummer! But, never mind. I sat in the river under my beach umbrella, listening to eagles calling, listening to the water, listening to Amelia and Andy play. The riverbed is covered with a thick layer of giant, slippery cobblestones. Millions of them. It's very shallow where we are, but very hard to walk in, so my foot and I usually stay put. Amelia walked up ten or fifteen yards and floated back toward a waiting Andy dozens of times. Every day, all day. He patiently waited for her to "swim" down to him. She loved it so much. I loved watching them. Overhead, swallows swooped. I tried to take some quilt pictures but it was so hard — I had forgotten the tripod, so it was impossible to get good shots inside. (I'm still planning to sell some of these but I seriously cannot get decent photos of them and it stresses me out.) For dinner, we made tacos, or chicken verde, or spaghetti. For lunch we ate sandwiches in the sun. At night we watched The Great British Baking Show, something we did last year and loved doing again. We have traditions there. It's our ninth summer there. We've been going since Amelia was baby. She says it's her favorite place in the world. I think it's mine and Andy's too. Gosh, it was just so nice.

It was sweet but short, though. The end of summer is nearing so quickly. Amelia starts school back at her neighborhood elementary school on August 30, and as that date approaches I am filled with so many conflicting emotions I can't even count them, let alone name them. I am a spaghetti tangle of feelings. Andy and I have both been working a lot the past few weeks. I have some new designs coming up that I am excited to tell you about — I will have a birthday/birth announcement sampler pattern release this fall, and then a whole brand new seasonal cross-stitch kit (and pattern) series available for 2022-23. The first one of the new series will be released as a pre-order in a few weeks — it is a winter design called Evening Skate. I have winter, spring, and summer already (digitally) designed, and am working on autumn 2023 (so, a year ahead — wow, first time for me to plan ahead!). Anyway, I also have some exciting (to me, at least) announcements coming up this fall — my wholesale preparations are getting going (I'll be talking more about that soon), Andy and I are testing out some brand new lotion-bar shapes and scents (and yes, we will finally be restocking our classic bars [and a lot of our sold-out supplies in general] as well), I want to have some cross-stitch Christmas ornament patterns for you, I will be dyeing some yarn for a holiday release, I want to write a new quilt pattern, and my friend has invited me to participate in something really awesome next spring (more on that soon!). So, school is starting for Amelia and work is starting for me!

Before that, let's have a sale! In preparation for making my web site ready for selling patterns wholesale, my web designer added something I've been wanting on my site for a while now: a discount code! Yay! I have been wanting this for ages and finally it has happened! And as a way of saying thank you to every one of you for being here on this blog and in my web shop through thick and thin, I would like to have an end-of-summer sale of 15% off everything in my web shop from now until the end of August.


In addition to that, every single person who orders anything on my web site during the sale time will be ENTERED INTO A DRAWING for one of three prizes:

Third prize: One Stitcher's RSVP kit (currently sold out!), or any in-stock kit of your choice if you already have this one

Second prize: One Stitcher's RSVP kit (see above), one Hardwicke Manor 4" embroidery hoop, one package of twill tape (for wrapping hoop), one package of Bohin size #24 tapestry needles for cross stitch

GRAND PRIZE: One Stitcher's RSVP kit (see above), one Hardwicke Manor 4" embroidery hoop, one package of twill tape (for wrapping hoop), one package of Bohin size #24 tapestry needles for cross stitch, one Bohin heart-shaped 3 1/2" embroidery scissors, one skein of hand-dyed fingering-weight yarn, one yet-to-be-released new-designed lotion bar, one big bar of all-natural handmade cold-processed soap, and one handmade-by-me ceramic soap dish!

You don't have to do anything besides order to enter (and you can place as many orders as you like, but there will only be one entry per customer). The sale will go from now until midnight on August 31! After the sale ends, I will put all of the customer names who have ordered during that period into a hat and have Amelia draw three winners. I will announce them here on Thursday, September 1!

I've never done anything like this before but I've always wanted to! I've been so conflicted about summer ending, but I hope this will be fun for all of us, and I look forward to seeing who wins! And thank you very much for participating!


Michaelanne says: August 22, 2022 at 02:42 PM

Its so good to see you! Amelia is SO grown up looking! I hope she has the BESt year back to school...IN PERSON!!! It feels like we are headed for way better days ahead! Your quilt is GORGEOUS! So happy you had such a restful, happy time at the river. Welcome back friend!

Oh, that vacation house looks dreamy. I've been craving a vacation by the ocean or a lake or a river -- really any water -- but I'll have to settle for your (and others') pictures.

I'm excited to see the Christmas ornament patterns!

Sounds like a delightful summer. Amelia is so beautiful. I love her freckles!

It's not "tacos" - it's TACOS. Just thought I'd let you know!

Welcome back, Alicia, I've really missed your posts this summer. Amelia is so grown up, wow! And the quilts are great, I love the log cabin ones, the are my all-time favourites. And this little embroidery with the year and your initials is lovely. I did embroidery on the quilts, but never tried to use linen, looks fantastic!
The river house is wonderful as always, and it's so great that it only belongs to you during your vacation there. No other people, just nature and birds. We've been on vacation near the lake on the north of the country: warm sweaters and jeans, but the stones, moss, little trees, and small running rivers made me so happy and calm, taking everything that's going on in the world away for a few days.

I loved seeing her journal:)She is growing up but still has that sweet sweet face.I love GBBO too:)

So excited to see you post again - and SO excited about all your upcoming projects. You are one of my favorite people on the internet and the only blog I still read. I just love your work.

I have been hoping to find a summer house like you have, that we can return to year after year. My family used to do this when I was a child, but so far no luck! Your find looks wonderful. Slow summers really are the best.

I envy you that beautiful vacation! Your photographer aide does a great job!

I'm into the middle of a really great old book and thought I'd pass the title along. Maybe everyone's read it - somehow I missed it in 1957 (probably because it was the year I graduated from high school and left home.) It's "Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God," by Paul Gallico.

Love that you are back! Love your blog!! Your vacation spot is absolutely gorgeous!!You lead by example in photography so your daughter seems to love photography.Good for her! One can see by these photos that your husband has a sense of humor! Love that!!If you place any of your quilts for sale everyone will be interested! No need to have the perfect photo, everyone knows your work is beautiful! Ohh her journal is fantastic!!May you have a wonderful school year A.!!

What a wonderful summer you're having. I understand about the school trepidation exactly though. Have you read 'The Thursday Murder Club' by Richard Osman? I think you would love it. And also the second one, 'The Man Who Died Twice'. CJ xx

Melaine Leboeuf says: August 24, 2022 at 07:43 AM

Hi! just a quick thought. For those on a fixed income ...say SS or disability, could you run your sale thru say Sept.14th. Would help for us to buy, I'd love to. Thanks

I was not expecting the tiny fish photo. Made me laugh!

Carmen Wyantt says: August 24, 2022 at 05:44 PM

I have a book for you to read. It is the BEST book I have read in a great long while. It is "Waltzing Montana" by Mary Clearman Blew. Let me know what you think after you read it, it is wonderful.

Amelia is such a grown up little girl!!

Megan Drennan says: August 28, 2022 at 03:39 PM

" A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles...or anything by him is excellent. I am reading now a book called "Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore" by Matthew Sullivan" set in Denver Colorado and that is mysterious...but just enough...and enthralling. Loved your pictures, I live by the Irish Sea but rivers are very soothing to be beside. Love to you and the lovely family you have created. Megan in Wales.

Grandma Payne says: August 29, 2022 at 07:12 PM

When I was much younger (like some 60 odd years younger) than I am now, my Great Grandmother gave me a quilt she'd made. Your quilt brought it to mind. It was what is called a crazy quilt, many different irregular shapes cut out and sewn together. My ggrandmother's pieces were made from her old silk dresses, some dark, some light, but with a blanket stitch in golden embroidery thread marked the shape of each piece and then was backed and edged with red satin so it always slipped off the bed at night but I loved that blanket. She made two, one for me, one for my brother. I don't know what happened to them but I wish I still had mine.

Your river trip always looks so dreamy and I secretly wish you would tell me how I could visit it too! But seriously, I think it's brilliant to go back to the same place over and over and build your memories and traditions like that. Sometimes I think we believe we have to own the house to do that! Not so! As you have proven.

What a tonic this post was. I didn't know I needed to see something so wonderful, but I did. I'm so happy you all had a lovely summer! Here's hoping for a magical autumn.

Just wondering where is the lake house? It looks absolutely divine.

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About Alicia Paulson


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