February Fancies for Sale!

comments: 9

BeautyWithBars

I just had a strong urge to let myself go and make lots and lots of pretty, romantic, one-of-a-kind, (I think) quite delightful treats for Valentine's Day! 

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These are just a few of the really pretty cold-processed soap bars (and hearts) that Andy and I made this December (soap has to cure for many weeks before it is ready for you, so we started early!). We learned how to make soap several years ago when we were working on my Secret Garden collection (and here was the inspiration for that), and we've always wanted to do more of it. This time, we're really starting to do it again in earnest, experimenting and dreaming up lots of new scent/color/ingredient combinations, so look for more soap from us every season. I'm so happy to be using our own soap again because if I do say so myself, it is awesome — it's creamy with excellent, bubbly lather, and just feels so good in your hands and on your body. We are still working out our soap sizing, and the amount of scent that we prefer (most of our soaps are quite mildly scented — I, personally, prefer a light scent and I'm making what I like these days) and I'm excited to share this very first collection of this new phase of our soapmaking with you! Please have a look and let me know if you have any questions! All soaps are wrapped and labeled and ready for you to give to your Valentine. They can all be found here (or by clicking the images above).

A few weeks ago Andy and I went to a fantastic estate sale near Powell Butte. The lady of the house collected china in the sweetest '80s patterns and I got a whole bunch of pieces of exactly what I had been looking for (it's called Heartland from International China). She also had a really delightful mostly red quilt top (every seam was hand-stitched) that I loved and scooped up for myself. It was too big for what I wanted (I'm going to finish it and make a throw), so I cut off a few inches on one of the edges and made some little quilt hoops and embroidered some cross-stitched hearts on them with waste canvas. I also had another really pretty cutter piece from the 1930s that I did the same with. I love these.

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There are seventeen of these quilt hoops in total and each of them is unique. Please have a look through them here and see what you think!

I also started making lots of pretty earrings. I learned to wrap wires a few years ago when I started making knitting stitch markers, and if you remember those you'll see these earrings are very similar in spirit. I guess I just like these dangly, flowery styles! These are just a few of the pairs of earrings that I've been making lately. Please click here or on the images to be taken to the entire collection — there is a lot of variety in color and bead type and earring-wire type and I hope you like them!

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I also started (wait for it) painting taper candles. I know.

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This is the direct result of surfing Pinterest in the quiet dark of my 5 a.m. mornings, snuggled in bed drinking coffee and just fooling around looking at pretty things on my iPad. Painted taper candles! I used two different types of tapers (all details are on the product pages) and painted them with non-toxic acrylic paints mixed with a binder that helps them stick to wax (this is what I used, if you are interested). I just love them so much and I love having them on my table. There are several different colors of candles and painted designs so please check them out.

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Last but not least, I hand-dyed a small batch of DMC six-strand cotton embroidery floss just for Valentine's Day.

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The floss comes in a collection of five colors (colors are not available individually), with ten one-yard lengths of each color (or fifty yards total). This collection, Collection #001 is called Rose of Love and it is a palette of pretty, pinky, subtly shaded colors that I just love. Please see the product page for a detailed description of each color and how to care for hand-dyed floss, and let me know if you have any questions!

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I hope you like all of these sweet Valentine's treats and that you enjoy seeing some of these new crafts and mediums that I've been exploring. Thank you for your interest! I am truly excited to branch out and learn some new things. I want this year to be filled with new creative endeavors for me, and I would absolutely love to hear if you are feeling the same, and what new things you are looking forward to doing and learning this year! Please share your new activities with me and let's enjoy some fun new hobbies together!

9 comments

Mary Smith says: January 29, 2024 at 01:51 PM

All very pretty things! You are so talented! I just learned how to do the binding myself on my quilts. Yay!! My other hobby I want to take up soon is soapmaking but I have no idea where to even start with that. Question regarding the painted tapers ... can you burn them? What happens when the flame hits the paint? Thanks for the info! --Mary

This post is just lovely. The soap is so pretty, it looks like you could eat it, and the dyed threads are beautiful. I will be taking a class in applique quilting in March and am really excited to give that a try. Would also like to try pottery, but as of yet, have not found a local class. Excited to see what all you get into this year. Your creative work is inspiring.

ellen patton says: January 30, 2024 at 07:14 AM

you're so creative!

Thank you for sharing all that crafts, Alicia. Candles are lovely, so Swedish. I was always worried that I’m so inconsistent: today I’m into knitting, next year I study illustration, embroidery, patchwork, etc. But reading your blog through all that years I found that this is totally ok, because you are so creative and you always learn new things, create surprising crafts and that is so inspiring! I also love you posts about life, home, nature, you see the world in a very unique and special way.

What a joy, to read about your leaning into simply doing whatever brings you pleasure.

Beautiful work!! You have magic hands!! I got to late in ordering the soap so they're all sold out but I imagine there will be more coming!! Hope Winter has been good for you, snow is all melted here!

Kandy Smith says: February 06, 2024 at 01:13 PM

I received a pair of earrings that i had purchased from you. I just want to tell you that I LOVE THEM!!! Absolutely stunning!!! Beautiful beautiful work you do and also the packaging was beautiful!!!!

thank you!

What pretty hand-made soaps! I would love to be able to make my own soap.

Ellen Griffin says: February 16, 2024 at 01:37 PM

Everything you do is so beautiful!

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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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