Getting Done and Getting Ready

comments: 23

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Oh, hello!!! Sorry for the delay in responding! I've been paaainting. And I mean paaaaaaaaaaaaaaainting. A lot of painting. I painted . . . 72 things! Seventy-two different little things and I haven't enjoyed anything as much as I did those paintings in years. Literally, years. Every day I painted. I loved every single minute of it. I've made a calendar out of them. I will show it to you soon. Right now I am printing up calendars to give to my family and friends as Christmas presents but I may sell them if I can get more together in time for new year!

Painting all of the items was so much fun. I feel like a painter now. I have opinions about paper and brushes and paint. I am stunned that I have opinions about these things because when you are just starting like I am, you watch videos and the artists in the videos are always talking about their paper, or their brushes, or their specific brands and colors of paint and I would be like, "Uh . . . I don't care about that. How do you paint a flower?" And I mean, they do show you how to paint a flower. But a lot of painters will give you the details of the actual stuff they use and I would never care about that. Until — I guess this is how it happens! — eventually I had painted enough that I actually cared! Tell me about your paper. Tell me about the brushes. What kind of paint again? That was so weird! But that's how it went. I mean, that's how it goes! Imagine learning to knit and actually caring about whether your yarn is plied, or highly twisted, or, you know, superwash or something. You don't care about those things until you care about them, and, I don't know, it's kind of a really fun moment when you find that you can care about them. Like, you have enough knowledge and experience to have even the slightest opinion or interest in them, and that's just kind of a cool little moment.

To learn to paint I have been watching some YouTube videos, mostly from Shayda Campbell and Emma LeFebevre, as well as some Skillshare classes. I have taken Skillshare classes from Elisabetta Furcht and Nianani. I love taking Skillshare classes. I love Elisabetta's classes the most because she is very calm, she talks at my pace (Shayda and Emma can be a bit fast-talking for me), and she does not focus on a lot of technical stuff (Nia is very technical, if you like that). Elisabetta just has the style that I really like, so I love her. A few days ago I got a book out of the library called Everyday Watercolor by Jenna Rainey and now that I am done with my calendar I am going to do this book. Maybe a little backwards to paint an entire calendar of paintings and then do a beginning watercolor course but even though I am happy with my paintings and I love them because they are truly a snapshot of where I am right now, I have a lot to learn. And I am really enjoying the learning process. I love that I can do this at home in my office with my TV on during the day while I paint and I don't have to go anywhere to do it, too (like I did with pottery). I don't know how long this particular fever will last — will it be short-lived like my other lockdown passions? Or will it be something random I decided to do and refused to give up on even though I sucked at it for a very long time (like knitting -- here are my knitting stories, here and here, if you are interested) that is thirty years later a major part of my life? I don't know. (That first knitting post isn't entirely true anymore, I realize — I do knit for "work" sometimes and have written some knitting patterns at this point — but I don't really like writing knitting patterns that much and still don't do it that often. But I mean, I have an entrepreneurial spirit and have been selling stuff I make [or design] since I was thirteen years old, so I should never say never.)

Anyway, speaking of knitting, I knit the little mittens for Amelia from this pattern and embroidered them with Appleton's crewel wool, loosely following the suggested pattern (but not using stabilizer because I couldn't find mine). Yesterday at drop-off her Amelia's friend said to me, "Bye! Great job on the mittens!" and I'm still thinking about how cute and sweet that was. :)) I also made her a new hat (the pink one with the ties, not the one she's wearing in the mittens photo; that was another one I forgot about. I'll try and get a photo of it, too) using this pattern and some hand-dyed DK-weight yarn, but I don't remember the brand and it was already caked up. Very fun pattern to knit although I had to do it twice because the beginning is a bit of a bear until you figure out what is happening. Interesting construction, and the pattern is sized from babies to adults, which is nice.

I also made a hat for Andy like this:

Hat2

A Woodsman's Hat for Andy:

Gauge: 14 sts x 20 rows per 4" using two strands of worsted-weight yarn and size US10 needles

Cast on 64 sts, PM, join in round.

Work 1x1 rib for 4" (brim), then stockinette for 5".

Now, decrease:

*K6, k2tog; repeat from * around to end.

*K5, k2tog; repeat from * around to end.

*K4, k2tog; repeat from * around to end.

*K3, k2tog; repeat from * around to end.

*K2, k2tog; repeat from * around to end.

*K1, k2tog; repeat from * around to end.

*K2tog; repeat from * around to end.

Break yarn and thread through remaining sts. Pull tight, weave in all ends, and block.

Getting ready for Christmas. I'm going to use this pattern to make some more gifts. I haven't knit that many hats in my life and it turns out they are really fast and easy, especially when you're making them pretty bulky and warm, like Andy's.

We got absolutely sucked into watching seasons 1 and 2 of Alone. Oh wow. I loved that show. Note: I am linking to it on the History Channel but I honestly don't know if there are any spoilers there; there are several seasons and I want to know NOTHING about who wins the seasons I haven't seen so be warned, I haven't actually looked at that link. Just look for it on your TV to see if you will like it, honestly. I loved it. I'm trying to get into season 3 (they're in Patagonia now) and I can't seem to get into it — I'm not sure if I was so into seasons 1 and 2 because they both took place on Vancouver Island, and that terrain is pretty much exactly like what we have here in Oregon so it felt very familiar and to me as a viewer, and you could tell it was pretty unfamiliar to most of the contestants. I was turned onto the show from listening to the SmartLess podcast (with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes), which my sister told me about and which I listen to while I'm waiting for Amelia to get out of ballet. Those guys are all into Alone (I think it's all of them — it's definitely Jason and maybe Will). I think it's a funny podcast and I laugh out loud constantly while listening to it, which feels really good right now (though it's not for kids, so just listen while you're driving alone or waiting or whatever).

We're gearing up to start nonstop Nutcracker stuff next week and beyond, so we need to get our tree and decorate this weekend. I'm wishing all of you a wonderful start to the holiday season! 

23 comments

I am just blown away by your watercolours. of course you have always been an artist, but to pick up a new medium and become so good at it in such a short time is both amazing and inspiring. Thank you for talking about your process. I get the suddenly moving to a point where you are thinking about the technical details, the paper and ink etc. It took me back to starting gardening. I just love your paintings and the Finlandia plate really highlights the beauty of the original design. Happy December to you all.

Have you watched “A Place To Call Home”? It’s a lovely Australian series, a family saga, set just after WW2 and it’s FABULOUS. I think you’d love it.

May I ask where you purchase your Crewel embroidery yarn?

I love your little paintings! I just picked up a package of 5 x 7 watercolor paper figuring I'd play a bit this winter! I'm not a painter at all, but I keep seeing little videos that look fun!

Wow, did I ever need that blog post. We are renovating an old house (1860) and sprucing up our house to sell, ugh. So between Reno burnout and endless disturbing news cycles, I haven’t sketched in my sketchbook since February. So, I’m going to watch your suggested YouTube’s, pull out my sketchbook, stop moping, keep cleaning, clearing, and mainly keep calm and sketch on.

I love your water colours! And I am só glad for the links. I started doing bits a year ago and would love to get better at it. My hands have such bad arthritis that I need to look at doing something else than hand quilting. I do love Alone! We have also watched Alone Denmark and Alone Norway, those were my favourites! There is also Alone The Beast which I am struggling to get into.

....and I forgot to add, did you see the beautiful Nutcracker themed cushions on Amazon?
...and thank you @Sarah for recommending "A Place to call Home!"

I'm a big Alone fan too. It's about so much more than survival-I always walk away thinking about something one of the contestants said. I agree though, I prefer the Vancouver Island seasons the best.

Oh my goodness! My family LOVES Alone. We've watched nearly all the seasons. Season 6 and Season 7 are the best!! You should skip ahead if you aren't getting into Season 3 :)

I cannot get over your watercolors! They are amazing! Of all the things you've done over the years -- I think this is my favorite. What joy you bring into the world!!

Your watercolor vignettes are perfect! I was bitten by the watercolor bug about 3 years ago and I am still just as obsessed as you are, and enjoying the same tutorials. Here's another artist worth checking out: dragonflyspiritstudio.com (also on YouTube). Her tutorials are excellent. There's no shortage of books, but the two that I keep returning to are Lisa Solomon' "Field Guide to Color", and in a very different vein (but more related to your own painting subjects) Samantha Dion Baker's "Draw Your Day".

Your painting of the Royal Copenhagen plate is SO beautiful! Really well done! My late Norwegian grandfather was working somewhere where there was a Royal Copenhagen store that also sold seconds and bought a coffee & dessert set for my grandmother. I have it now - the last time I used it was probably about 20 years ago for a tea party but I still treasure it.
Keep up the painting! Looking forward to seeing more.

I love everything here you have created and all the photos. Thank you for the hat pattern. My husband likes to point out that I’ve never made him anything (he’s quite picky) so maybe I should try your pattern.

Love your paintings. You might enjoy looking at emily lex. similar style. :D

Fantastic paintings, I love them, and your enthusiasm is contagious. There is nothing like that feeling of being so 'into' something suddenly is there. Going to sleep thinking about it, waking up thinking about it, finding new supplies. Love it. CJ xx

posie i am so thrilled to hear your painting adventures and even more thrilled to see them .. please paint more, you are talented, and they are beautiful :*)

Love your watercolor paintings! Please keep up the good work! The hat you made for Andy looks beautiful and very useful. I also love those gorgeous gloves you made for Amelia. You're so talented! I have never seen "Alone" but should check out. I have been watching lots of youtube Vlogs. Don't know why but it is relaxing seeing people clean and decorate their houses awhile the same time talking about their lives. you have a wonderful Christmas time!!

As I scrolled through your photos I was anxious to find out if you had, indeed done the paintings, or if they were your sister's work. You can paint, too! ! Oh my goodness, what can't you create, and create so beautifully??! You are so super gifted!! I hope I can get in there in time if you sell the calendars. Lovely, Alicia!!

Bonnie Kramer says: December 18, 2022 at 09:30 PM

Lovely watercolors. If you want to see some different and just gorgeous watercolors check out Ohn Mar Win. She just released her first book, but watch her paint and listen to her calm and gentle voice as she gives you a whole new perspective in watercolors.

Everything is beautiful! Right down to your dinner!! Recipes!!?? Thanks

Michaelanne says: December 21, 2022 at 08:04 AM

YOU are so amazingly talented! I love your artwork...its very beautiful..and has your signature style..and colors. A very cozy look! I love your "beloved" and the mittens! I have knit that bonnet probably four times now as gifts..its just so adorable!
Merry Christmas to your sweet family! Thank you for continuing to blog, create, and share. It really feels like a gift to me every time you post! Sending hugs <3

the light in the woods was exquisite! thank you for sharing. my girl is now 16 and too busy for our walks in the woods and I miss them like crazy.

Ooh, watercolor! I do that, too, and yours are lovely. You might enjoy Paintcrush with Kristy Rice on youtube. She is so forgiving of our individual differences, like Bob Ross’s “happy accidents,” but with a different vibe. Plus she’s fun. I, too, took a little while to care about my materials. They do make a difference. Paint on!

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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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