Posts filed in: For Sale

Spring Soaps Have Sprung!

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SoapBeauty

Hello dear friends! And happy spring to you! This is just a quick note to let you know that we have made a lot of beautiful new cold-processed soaps for you and they are now available to ship.

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All of the bars are so pretty and they are in a range of lovely spring scents, from lavender to lilac and lots of wonderful fragrances in between (including an unfragranced bar, as well). All of the bars are individually wrapped and ready for giving, either as a treat for yourself or someone you love. I am really proud of all of these new soaps and I hope you love them.

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Let me know if I can answer any questions about these (or anything else!) and thank you so much for coming along on our soap journey! Should we make some videos to show you how we do it? There are a lot of soap videos out there but maybe it would be fun! I don't know!

February Fancies for Sale!

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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!

A Tender Year, 2024 Calendar Version!

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UPDATE: Calendars are restocked, but going fast! Quick link here: A Tender Year 2024 Watercolor Calendar by Alicia Paulson. Thank you, thank you, beyond words, everyone! XOXO, a

 

Thank you so much for all of the sweet comments on Amelia's quilt! It has been pure joy seeing her sleep under it every night. I am about halfway through my thank-you notes for the fabric, I swear. I'm sorry I am so slow! Today I need to finish making sixty sweet pink poufy flower barrettes for the Little Flowers and the Big Flowers dancing in the Nutcracker in a few weeks! I will show you them when/if I finish them (due on December 1). I also have a hand-smocking nightgown project I want to get going on for Amelia. And I'm trying to knit some washcloths as Christmas presents. 

I'm a very capricious crafter. To write this post, I was thinking back on all of the crafty things I started trying when lockdown began in 2020. Short list: Jewelry making (mostly with beads, and I learned how to properly finish strung beads with crimp beads and crimp covers and fancy clasps). Perler beads (fun craft, and if you have kids you probably have and giant jar of these somewhere, and they really lend themselves to using cross stitch patterns, too — it's all just pixel art, after all). Pottery (I took a wheel-throwing class at our community college and it was AWESOME). Norwegian tole painting (I bought a kit that came with a video class, but didn't get that far with it). But my favorite was watercolor painting.

I started by watching a few YouTube videos (Shayda Campbell and Emma Jayne Lafebvre are great) and took some Skillshare classes (I love Elisabetta Furcht's classes — super unintimidating) and just started painting things from around my house and from some little embroidery designs I had started drawing the year before (still hoping to finish those someday, too). Sometimes Amelia would sit with me and we'd paint together, watching Skillshare classes together or just listening to music and sharing my pretty Japanese watercolor set that I had splurged on when we first started Covid homeschooling for third grade.

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But often, it was just me, painting at my desk throughout the autumn, with the TV on for company while Amelia was at school and Andy was at work, and I started to curate little subjects to be part of compositions for each month. I would paint them somewhere between maybe three inches tall to about six or seven inches. And I just kind of lost myself in the process. And it was really nice. It was nice to be in watercolor world.

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Little by little my piles of paintings grew. I started to have actual opinions about things like whether I like hot-press watercolor paper or cold-press watercolor paper. (I like hot. It's smoother.) I thought about brushes and bought MANY brushes. I went to the art supply store down the street and started making actual wishlists of painting supplies I wanted. I kinda became a painter, just because I was painting.  It was such a cool feeling to learn something new.  

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Eventually, I started watching more YouTube videos to learn how to scan my artwork and prepare it for printing. I decided to make a calendar that was very simple and kept all of the artwork in a small grid on top, with a very simple monthly calendar on the bottom. I printed some 2023 calendars for my Christmas presents to friends and family last year.

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But this year I redesigned all of the dates for 2024 and took the calendar down to my local printer (Rhino Digital) and worked with them to find a paper that reminded me of the hot-press watercolor paper that I loved. They have printed up 100 200 [we're printing more—thank you!] calendars for me to sell and I must say, they look absolutely amazing. If I do say so myself. I am THRILLED. I am literally thrilled with this.

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So here I am, officially introducing A Tender Year: A 2024 Calendar! It is 8.5" x 11" (U.S. letter sized) and comes with months from January through December 2024. It is professionally printed, single-sided, on lovely, heavy, 80# paper called Cougar Natural, which has a really pretty, warm, vanilla-cream tone, and is almost exactly like the texture of the paper I originally painted all of these little creatures and crafty things on. All of the pages are held together with an "antique bronze" wire binder clip, which comes with your calendar. So it is totally ready to go. It costs $30 and is available to ship immediately.

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And when you're done with each month, you can trim off the dates part and frame just the illustrations. These pages are all printed single-sided, and I specifically did not want to bind this calendar so that you could re-purpose this artwork when each month has expired.

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If you'd like to see an enlarged version of these thumbnails for each month, please click the image above (and there are also larger actual images of each month on my web site):

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Please let me know if you have any questions about the calendar or painting or . . . anything! I am so excited to finally have this calendar in the world. It is such a special project for me and I hope you love it and give it to all your friends for Christmas! :)

So Many New Things I Want to Tell You About! Phew!

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Hello dear friends! Are you as happy as I am that autumn has arrived? I know that not everyone withers and melts in the summer sunshine as I do. But honestly, I lovvvve it when it starts to cool down. I'm so happy when I come downstairs to make coffee in the early morning and can open the back door to that cold air and the sound of crows cawing as they commute back and forth across my neighborhood. I start to feel much more like myself when it's colder.

I've been working on all sorts of new things over the past few months. The first is the final installment of this year's seasonal series and it's called HARVEST MOON.

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Harvest Moon is the fourth installment of my seasonal series of samplers (along with Evening Skate, Full-Moon Planting, and Summer Breeze) done on 32-count Belfast linen from Zweigart in Whisper with DMC floss. It has a stitch count of 138w x 168h and on 32-count fabric finishes with a design area of 8.63"w x by 10.5"h (22cm x27). It is also available as a downloadable PDF pattern.

I've also been working on an entirely new collection of mini cross-stitch patterns and kits for beginners and kids. This has been a dream of mine for quite a while and this summer I finally was able to dig into the idea and pull it together. Here are just some of the designs in little 3" hoops done on 8-and 14-count Aida cloth that are some of my favorites:

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There are a lot more than these on my web site (and in my brand new Etsy shop) so please have a look! Kits include a printed pattern, Aida fabric, 3" hoop, all floss needed, felt for backing, a ribbon for tying, as well as a tapestry needle and needle threader, all packaged in a recloseable zipper bag so they (and you) can keep everything together and tidy.

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It was so much fun to test these kits out with some of my friends and their kids and see how excited the kids were to start and complete their projects, some of whom had never picked up a needle or hoop before. I just love this picture of beautiful Mila and her bird so much.

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I don't know. That photo just almost brings a tear to my eye because . . . KIDS. They're all so sweet and brave and I love them so much. I really just wanted to do something cool for kids because they deserve some good, old-fashioned, analog, non-screen FUN!!! There are a lot more designs on my web site (and in my new Etsy shop) so please check them out! These will make great little presents and stocking stuffers for anyone! More will be coming for Christmas and winter.

Anyway, yes! I have opened my first Etsy shop! When I designed these new patterns and kits I knew I really wanted to get them in front of an audience that is searching for more beginner and kid-centric crafts, so I am really hoping to get some traffic in my Etsy shop. Even though I've had an e-commerce web site for Posie since 2000, I have never had an Etsy shop before and I am so nervous! Excited, but nervous (my resting state)!

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When I started doing some research on Etsy this summer, I learned about print-on-demand products, as well, and I have been having so much fun designing some needlework swag in the form of tee shirts (as well as a burgeoning collection of mugs, and tote bags). These items are designed by me but printed to order and shipped directly from various "printing partners" around the country. (I use a company called Printify that manages that process). They will ship separately from other kits or supplies you might order from my shop. They all have FREE shipping right now, so please have a look through the tee shirts on my web site and the tee shirts, mugs, and tote bags in my Etsy shop and let me know what you think. :) I ordered several of the tee shirts and I love them so much. They are soft and comfortable and exactly what I wanted. I got one for Andy.

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HOT, right? I know. :) Anyway, I am regularly cracking at least Andy and myself up while designing these, but if you have any ideas for a stitch tee shirt you would like to see, seriously let me know and I will try to make it. I have a running list of ideas and I will be making more in the next few weeks. I'm going to keep most of this swag in my Etsy shop because I think that's where most people are shopping for things like this.

Thank you guys so much for reading this far! This was long! Thank you for bearing with me. These always feel so impossible to write because they actually represent so much alone-time for me, kind of working in little pockets of time that I have and not really having the organization or wherewithal or time to share the process. But now that everyone is back in school and I have more time, I really want to do that more, and expand on the development process because it has been really, really fun. I have a lot more ideas and am currently working on getting my watercolor calendar I was working on last year printed, and I am excited to show you that, as well. Okay, now I will stop talking!!! Thank you!

Summer Breeze, and a Parade of Summer Stitches

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Oh dear me, it's already the end of June! I am finally here with my summer design! She is, without further ado, SUMMER BREEZE!

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This is my dream of summer: A beach house. Clear skies. Butterflies and kites soaring on the wind. Lazy days spent by the daisy-bordered lake, swimming and playing with our friends. Aspirational, yes, but truly heartfelt, as I hope your (and my!) real-life summer includes all of these dreamy things.

The design area on this (and its two season companion pieces, Evening Skate and Full-Moon Planting) is 8.63"w x by 10.5"h (22cm x27) on 32-count fabric, or 138 stitches wide x 168 stitches high. The fabric I used for these kits is Belfast linen from Zweigart in Whisper, color 786 cut to size 14" x 16" (36cm x 41cm). Please note: There is only about 2.5" extra fabric widthwise for this design, so please make sure you start your stitching in the middle of the fabric. As I mentioned last time, we definitely try to maximize cutting fabric so as to have zero waste, so this design fits a bit tighter on the fabric called for. I'm starting to think that having full 3" (7.5cm) margins around the design area is a bit big, myself — it's just a lot of extra fabric to crunch up in your hand (if you stitch in a small handheld hoop, as I do) and you wind up cutting off most of it when framing, anyway.

Kits include a professionally printed full-color pattern with a four-page chart, the fabric, and all the (DMC) floss you need, along with a piece of chipboard that you can use to make a floss caddy. To do that, cut lengthwise strips of chipboard about 2" (5cm) wide. Mark 1" (2.5cm) sections across the top of each until you have 10 marks. Snip a ½" (1cm) -deep notch at each mark. Label each notch with the color number of the floss. Separate the colors and place the floss in your labeled floss caddy. You may have to double up in some notches. Please note, in case you have not purchased a kit from me before: We include all of the floss in one big hank of thirty-five colors that you will need to separate yourself. It is not as hard as it seems! The color chart will list a color chip, the name of the color, and the number of lengths included, and with that information you can do this within a few minutes, I promise.

The frame is not included in the kit. :) The kit is available here. The PDF pattern-only is available here with both full-color and black-and-white four-page charts. This is a big pattern. I recommend printing PDF patterns at 100% (no scaling) at high quality for best results.

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And now that it's midsummer you do need thiss lotion bar, Summer Day. Made with beeswax from local bees; coconut oil; shea butter; a touch of lanolin; and essential oils of grapefruit, orange, lemon, tangerine, neroli, and a drop of balsam Peru (which smells like the natural version of vanilla), the Summer Day lotion bars remind me of sitting on the porch on a summer afternoon eating a Dreamsicle after spending all day at the lake.

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And here is the last design that I did for the (partial) A Tender Year series, June. I was planning on finishing this series in embroidery, but instead, as I've mentioned, I've done it in painting. Still putting that calendar concept together for 2024. But I love this little design.

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Ah, Summer Storm. I just took some pictures of Amelia in the garden that reminded me of this one so much. We have some tall grasses that are blowing in the wind with their feathery plumes, dwarfing all else, and it's funny how sometimes life imitates art, years later.

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"I only have to break into the tightness of a strawberry and I see summer — its dust and lowering skies," says Toni Morrison. Same. And again, the daisies I planted in my front and back yards many years ago have now taken real hold and bloom reliably, in drifts and drifts of volunteers, just like I had dreamed. This is Strawberry Season.

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More summer florals in the Summer Wreath kit. These are so easy and quick to do and make great gifts. The hoop, backing felt, and ribbon are included along with the fabric and floss.

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Things of Summer, one of my absolute favorite designs ever. I have this hanging in our upstairs hallways right now. For some reason I had not framed it until I was getting everything ready for Nashville and I'm really glad I did. I loved this whole "Things Of" series, I have to say.

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All of the above kits are available as downloadable PDF patterns here, but I have to remind you of two older designs that are only available as PDFs (and not kits). One is 'Night, Neighborhood, this enchanted little counting design that I made for Amelia when she was very small and just learning her numbers. This design never got the traction that some of my other designs have had but it remains a steadfast favorite of mine because it just evokes the summer magic for me, kind of like the Elsa Beskow books I used to read to Amelia at that time. I need to do more designs like this. I love the feel, and miss those days, when we were learning to count.

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And this pattern, Midsummer Sprigs, created when I was in my Mary Delaney phase, is actually one of the better sellers to needlework shops. Stitching on black fabric can be tricky unless you put a white dishcloth on your lap. I'm not kidding — you will be stunned at how much easier it is too see the holes, and then it's a breeze. 

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Also, look at this little darling in her Scarborough Fair skirt the other night at the Midsummer festival. If you have not made one of these for your summer days yet (this pattern is only $8.00 and there are NO pattern pieces to cut out — the skirt is made of rectangles based on your own measurements), YOU SHOULD GUYS.

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And these two summery oldies but goodies: The Jane Market bag and the Ollalieberry Ice Cream quilt (which is now in real life so faded and soft it hardly resembles this very old picture [cracked heart emoji here].

Please let me know if you have any questions! Thank you so much for your interest and your orders (in advance, and in the past) over all of these many years! I am working on a kids' cross stitch kit using gingham but I have not gotten very far now that Mimi is out of school. (If you have any requests/ideas/feedback about that, let me know — it's totally in development and it will be my first thing for kids!) Just cooking breakfast (then cleaning it up) and lunch (and cleaning it up) and snacks (she cleans those up) and dinner (and, yeah, cleaning it up) feels like a full-time job, my god. I literally am either watering my plants or cooking or cleaning. Wow. I don't know what to say about that. What's been really nice is that Amelia has been having lots of playdates here this summer where the girls play in the hot tub (we set it to 82 degrees and it's basically a giant kiddie pool), play games and draw, play MarioKart when they get bored, etc., and wow, it's the greatest. Ten-year-olds are AWESOME. I cannot believe how self-directed and cool and fun they are. I love it. I absolutely love it.

New Designs Now on Sale, and a Spring Parade!

comments: 11

Good April morning! It's a cold, wet, flowery morning here. My hands are freezing and I'm sitting on a heating pad, but outside I can see my apple tree is starting to leaf out. In that spirit, I have spring designs for you!

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The first is FULL-MOON PLANTING. Have you ever heard of moon gardening? It's the practice of planting depending on where the moon is in its cycle. The theory is that just as it causes the ocean tides, the moon also affects the amount of water in the soil.  To take advantage of its changing influence, it is said that fruits and vegetables should be planted while the moon is waxing, and root crops should be sowed from the time it is full through its waning phase. This design is the second in my 2022-23 seasonal series, of which Evening Skate is the first. In Full-Moon Planting spring fever has taken hold, and we are busy getting the young garden ready for the season ahead by the light of the full moon. (I'm working on the next in the series right now, and it is called Summer Breeze. . . . I'll have some digitals to show you in a couple of weeks!)

This design area is a little bit bigger than my usual sizes (which I generally like to fit in 8"x10" standard frames). The design area on Full-Moon Planting is 8.63"w x by 10.5"h (22cm x27) on 32-count fabric, or 138 stitches wide x 168 stitches high. The fabric I used for these kits is Belfast linen from Zweigart in Whisper, color 786 cut to size 14" x 16" (36cm x 41cm). Please note: There is only about 2.5" extra fabric widthwise for this design, so please make sure you start your stitching in the middle of the fabric. We definitely try to maximize cutting fabric so as to have zero waste, so this design fits a bit tighter on the fabric called for. I'm starting to think that having full 3" (7.5cm) margins around the design area is a bit big, myself — it's just a lot of extra fabric to crunch up in your hand (if you stitch in a small handheld hoop, as I do) and you wind up cutting off most of it when framing, anyway.

But anyway, this design also uses DMC floss and has such a pretty, springlike palette. (Pro tip: I've never had anyone run out of floss with any of my kits [at least, not that I've ever heard about!] but if you like to stitch a lot of my kits, keep any extra floss you end up with when you're finished in a little bag. I have a palette of just over two hundred colors, but I use a lot of the same colors over and over again, so you might someday find a need for a little bit of floss in one of those colors.)

Kits include a professionally printed full-color pattern with a four-page chart, the fabric, and all the floss you need, along with a piece of chipboard that you can use to make a floss caddy. To do that, cut lengthwise strips of chipboard about 2" (5cm) wide. Mark 1" (2.5cm) sections across the top of each until you have 10 marks. Snip a ½" (1cm) -deep notch at each mark. Label each notch with the color number of the floss. Separate the colors and place the floss in your labeled floss caddy. You may have to double up in some notches. Please note, in case you have not purchased a kit from me before: We include all of the floss in one big hank of thirty-five colors that you will need to separate yourself. It is not as hard as it seems! The color chart will list a color chip, the name of the color, and the number of lengths included, and with that information you can do this within a few minutes, I promise.

The frame is not included in the kit. :) The kit is available here. The PDF pattern-only is available here with both full-color and black-and-white four-page charts. This is a big pattern. I recommend printing PDF patterns at 100% (no scaling) at high quality for best results.

Spring Splendor for Blog

This is SPRING SPLENDOR. I love this design. I just love it. It's simple yet elegant and so pretty and sweet. It's 122 stitches wide x 90 stitches high, or 7.6"w x by 5.6"h (19cm x14cm) on 32-count fabric, and fits into an 8" x 10" frame. (The frame in my photo is a vintage one I think I found on eBay or at my local antique mall — believe it or not, it's pretty easy to find a white vintage frame like this, if you like this look. Check eBay or Etsy.) This design uses some absolutely gorgeous hand-overdyed floss from Weeks Dye Works (and I honestly can't say enough about how much I love working with this company — they are some of my very favorite people in the embroidery industry, and I love using their floss). It also uses some DMC floss. Our kits include WDW floss for the stitches that call for it as well as DMC floss, and a conversion for the WDW colors to DMC is also given in the pattern itself (you'll only get the WDW floss and not the DMC-conversion-for-those-colors floss). Please note, as above, that the floss comes in a hank and you will receive a piece of chipboard in your kit to make a floss caddy. 

This design uses some "one-over-one" stitches for all of the body text (not the initial caps). That means you will be stitching with one ply of floss over one thread of fabric. This, too, seems intimidating until you start doing it, and then you will find that it's actually super fun. I used the same alphabet that I created for The Stitcher's RSVP (which is back in stock, by the way, see below) and I don't know why but I just love this font. It's just sweet and clean and also kind of modern, which I think helps keep this design from being overly fussy.

I also absolutely love the color of the fabric used, which is 32-count linen called Touch of Blue by Wichelt.

Kits include a professionally printed full-color pattern with a two-page chart, the fabric, and all the floss you need. The kit is available here. The PDF pattern-only is available here with both full-color and black-and-white four-page charts. I recommend printing PDF patterns at 100% (no scaling) at high quality for best results. 

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And last of the new designs is Little Women. This design is only available as a PDF pattern. I designed it after I saw the Greta Gerwig version of the movie is 2019 but it's taken me a while to release it, and it was my Nashville Needlework Market exclusive, so I've had to wait at least thirty days since launching it there before I was able to make it available myself. When I posted it on Instagram before market, a few people gave me suggestions for other book titles to design, and I've since designed ones for two of Amelia's and my other favorites that we've read aloud together, The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables. I will be releasing those later this summer and will have digitals of the designs to show you in a few weeks. I had no idea I was going to love designing book-inspired compositions so much! I love them! I really enjoy the limitations that designing to a theme imposes, and I love interpreting the elements. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this pattern, which was my #1 seller at Nashville. :) It done on 32-count linen in Chestnut from Wichelt with DMC floss and is available as a downloadable PDF pattern here.

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And because it's spring and you may be in the mood for treating yourself to a few other goodies, I thought I'd collect all of my spring designs and offerings through the years in one long spring parade of flowery things on this cold and rainy day. We still have a good supply of my favorite lotion bar, Forest Flower. Made with beeswax from local bees; coconut oil; shea butter; a touch of lanolin; and essential oils of cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, clary sage, bergamot, sandalwood, and jasmine absolute, I wanted them to smell like a walk in the woods after a spring rain.

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You might like my design for the (partial) A Tender Year series, April. I was planning on finishing this series in embroidery, but instead, apparently, I've done it in painting. Remember all of my watercolors I was doing last fall? I did finish an entire year's worth of them and will be launching a 2024 calendar later this year. But I just couldn't get all the embroidery done, so I'm hoping to finish the second six-months' of designs next year (fingers crossed; I am so busy I honestly can't find time to do it all). Anyway, the calendar, which is based on the Tender Year concept, is really pretty and I will be showing you that and maybe asking for some feedback on what format you would like to see it all printed in. More on that later. . . .

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Here is my darling Blackberries and Heather-bells, which I designed after Amelia and I finished listening to the audiobook of The Secret Garden when she was in kindergarten. She was probably a bit too young for it then, but gosh, I remember this as one of the great reading/listening experiences of my life. I absolutely love this book. Blackberries and Heather-bells has long-since sold out as a kit, but it is available as a PDF pattern. Try searching for a "6-inch Flexi-hoop" online to frame it as I have.

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Oh, Time of Flowers. Gosh, this design will always be magical to me. When Andy and I were young and first living in Missoula, I remember that someone had a sidewalk garden with a bleeding heart plant in it and it was the first time I'd ever seen one, and I was just captivated. I think of it every time I see this design.

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Whan That Aprille. Also one of my favorites (designed in spring 2021) that never really sells that well but I ask WHYYYY??? Why you guys? Why don't people like this design??? I love this design! Please explain!

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Sweet little Spring Wreath kit. People often ask me if I crocheted the little goose in this photo. I did not, but I bought it finished at the long-gone Daisy Kingdom store that we used to have here in Portland many, many years. Lord how I miss that store! Oh that store was the greatest. I still carry my umbrella I bought there for $5 when they were going out of business. I think I've had it for almost twenty years. [I checked: They closed the store in 2004. :(.]

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Things of Spring is only available as a PDF pattern, as this particular fabric I used is (naturally, as soon as I picked it) discontinued. I might suggest Peaceful Purple, which is a bit more "purple" and less pink than this but still pretty, I think.

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We still have a few Flower and Frond jewelry-making kits available. Flower and Frond was only ever available as a kit, because the directions are completely specific to the materials in the kit. I loved making these. I should find the necklace I kept and wear it today.

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Lastly, the Daisychain ABCs Sampler Pattern is always available as a downloadable PDF. It is done in crewelwork, with Appletons crewel wool, which you can find here and in other places online and on Etsy. It's kind of fun to stitch with at this time of year because it's wooly and kind of craggy and really makes you feel like you're close to the source (sheep) somehow. And sheep always make me glad it's spring.

Okay guys, I'm going to stop now and let you go. Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you so much for your interest and your orders (in advance, and in the past) over all of these many years! Thank you for indulging my parade of past designs, as well. I get kind of emotional seeing the seasonal stuff all collected together. It gets me in the mood for the season, and oh my goodness would you believe it — the sun just came out! Wah! [Sobs, grateful tear.]

P.S. I forgot to tell you that we've reprinted and kitted The Stitcher's RSVP and it is also in the shop while supplies last!

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New Year's Sale on Dollies and Softies!

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Let these sweet dollies and softies share some love with you this winter! I promise you will love making them for yourself or sharing them with a Valentine. To ring in the start of New Year 2023, from today through the end of January all of my kits and patterns for dolls and softies are 23% off! But you must use the code "newyear23" when you checkout. (And if you want to use PayPal or ShopPay, the discount-code window will be on the screen after you choose either of those things, FYI.) Gosh, I just love all my little babies so much! I don't think I've ever done a post that has collected them all in the same place (these aren't even all of them — you can see them all here) and I mean, come on, how cute (and jeesh, baby Mimi!) are they??? If I do say so myself! Enjoy them! Lots of love, a

New Designs Now Available!

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Evening Skate Blog

Update regarding Typepad problems: Apparently the problems at Typepad have been solved and the blog should be working these photos should look normal now — I truly apologize for the frustration, and thank you all for the orders! Back tomorrow with a normal blog post, fingers crossed everything works!!! Agh!

BUT: Hello! Do you like WINTER? Oh boy I do. I have three new designs for winter and Christmas for you! The first is EVENING SKATE, above!

This design was inspired by its frame. Weird, I know. But one morning I was browsing eBay for vintage frames, as I do, and I found four of these matching frames available for a pretty decent price, so I bought them. They're nice and generously sized — the frame opening is about 9.5" x 12.5" — and the frame itself was thin, the way I like. The wood color and finish just reminded me of some of my mom's embroideries from the '80s. And it got me thinking about what I wanted to design for this.  Since I had four of them I knew I would do a seasonal series for winter, spring, summer, and fall. And I've been wanting to do something kind of Grandma Moses–inspired for a while. So I had the idea of the ice-skating rink I used to go to in my old neighborhood, when I was a child. It was an outdoor rink at Keystone Park in River Forest (Illinois), a few blocks from the house where I grew up. Every year they would flood the park and make an ice-skating rink for the neighborhood. On winter weekends when we were growing up, my friend Monica Sloger and I would meet up at the end of my street and walk with our pom-pom-decorated skates hung over our shoulders to Keystone Park to skate. It would be so cold, so we'd have double-socks on, and hats and mittens and scarves. Sometimes we'd bring thermoses of hot chocolate to drink in the warming house there. Oh, we used to skate for hours and hours. They would shovel snow off of the rink and pile it up around the sides. Sometimes the big boys would play hockey on one side of the rink so you'd have to watch out. Neither Monica nor I had ever taken any lessons or anything like that, so we weren't very good. But we'd hold hands and try to help each other skate backwards, occasionally do a wobbling spin. When it got dark, we'd head home, walking under the train tracks and near the woods. Funny how I was never afraid then. If it was Sunday, I knew my mom would be making dinner, maybe spaghetti sauce (just "sauce," if you're Italian — we are [though apparently not by DNA, I've come to find out — story for another day]) or chicken and dumplings or beef Stroganoff. Something rich and warm. And my fingers and toes would be just bone cold, and I'd run them under warm water, trying to resist turning it up as hot as I could. Gosh, I just loved ice skating. I remember when I first moved to Portland twenty-five years ago I was stunned to find out it doesn't really snow here. I'd had no idea! I'd never lived anywhere that it didn't snow, and Portland seemed pretty far north to me? But no. Skating happens indoors here (and I have a reconstructed foot, so it doesn't happen for me now at all). But those starry, sparkling-cold nights walking home from Keystone Park still live in my dreams as one of the best parts of childhood, and one of the things that I look back on with longing.

So Evening Skate is my tribute to that place and that time. I have three more designs for spring, summer, and fall planned, and spring and summer are already designed. All four designs are similar in that they share the same alphabet and general design elements, though the details are different. Spring is has a group of people planting a garden, summer has them swimming in a pond, and fall will have them picking pumpkins in a pumpkin patch.

It is stitched on 32-count Belfast linen in Mystic Gray. The design area is 8.63"w x by 10.5"h (22cm x27) on 32-count, and 138 stitches wide x 168 stitches high. The work is done with DMC six-strand cotton floss. Almost all of the design is done with 2 plies of floss over 2 threads EXCEPT for the doggie, which is done 1 over 1. It's not as hard as you'd think, so please don't be intimidated by that. (I just needed that dog to be a dog, and I couldn't do it 2 over 2.) Kits include a printed full-color pattern with a four-page chart, the fabric, and all the floss you need. The frame is not included in the kit. :) The kit is available here. The PDF pattern-only is available here with both full-color and black-and-white four-page charts. This is a big pattern. I recommend printing patterns at 100% (no scaling) at high quality for best results.

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Next up is CHRISTMAS IS COMING! This is a cross-stitch ornament kit that includes everything you need to make the four ornaments here. The finished size of them is about 3" x 3" (and the stitching area is about 2" square). The pattern with the kit includes full-color charts as well as a photo-illustrated tutorial on how to mount the stitching to make the ornaments. The kit includes the cross stitch fabric (32-count Belfast linen in Stone Gray), the cardstock on which you will mount the stitching, the vintage calico fabric, quilt batting to make the stitching a bit puffed up, the ribbons, and four of these cute little "2022" charms with 8mm jump rings to attach to the back (or front, if you like):

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Cute! We have Andy Paulson to thank for these! (And I still have many extra charms on-hand, so if you are buying the PDF pattern for this but you need some charms, please email me and I’ll send you some!)

Anyway, these little ornaments were designed kind of on a whim – I don’t know but I have just been feeling so nostalgic lately, and yearning for things that remind me of home (as in, childhood home). I was remembering this time when I was around Amelia’s age, probably a few years older, and I was in a play called Ebenezer. It was a version of A Christmas Carol that was put on every year by the Village Players in Oak Park (Illinois) and I was a member of the children’s cast for several years (any suburban Chicagoans out there remember the Village Players?). We kids had a pretty small roll (it was a mostly adult community theater company) so the group of eight or nine of us kids spent a LOT of time just hanging out in a room backstage, waiting to go on. It was such a fun time. The production was Victorian and we had to have our own costumes. One year (this was sometime in the early 1980s) I saw the cutest outfit probably at Marshall Field’s or Weiboldt’s (those were two of our department stores in Oak Park) and it was a long skirt and a vest made out of dark green velveteen trimmed with cream-colored rosebud calico, worn with a high-collared, full-sleeved kind of prairie blouse with a little self-tie at the neck made out of the same calico as the trim. Oh, I wanted it so bad! But it was expensive and my mom said it was too expensive. At the time, Weiboldt’s still had a fabric department upstairs. And I remember we went up there and looked through the pattern books and found a pattern (seriously, it was probably this one, or something very similar to this) and found green velveteen fabric and cream rosebud calico and she literally made me practically the exact same one that I wanted but even better. It was perfect. I loved that outfit so much. I felt so excited to wear it every night of that play. My mom could and would sew me anything I ever wanted, even in college, and it was all beautiful.

Well, these little calicos are vintage ‘80s and remind me exactly of that outfit, and the cream rosebud one might have even been the exact fabric that my mom used for my outfit. It looked exactly like that. I wanted to design something that was very simple with very few colors that would be really good for beginners, or if you just wanted to whip something up for a friend or co-worker in one evening. And if you want to make all four for your own tree I think that would be wonderful. And I hope they spark a happy memory of days gone by for you, too. The Christmas is Coming! kit is available here. And the PDF pattern is available here. :)

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Now on to what I think/hope might be a memory for Amelia. This past summer, the ballet school she’s been going to since she was three closed down permanently. Amelia is a casual dancer – I mean, I don’t think she’s serious enough about it (or anything yet) to really pursue it to any great extent. But she enjoys it well enough and I want her to do some kind of after-school sport (I have a lot of thoughts about this that I find myself needing to express to someone, anyone, somewhere, but I will spare you here and save that for a post for another day), so we decided to keep doing ballet but at a different ballet school (further away, more expensive, but we’ve decided to give it this year to see if it’s still something she wants to continue to do. This school is lovely (from what I can tell; parents aren’t let in the buildings anymore, unfortunately) and they do quite a production of The Nutcracker every year.

When Covid hit, Amelia was in first grade and she was a couple of months away from being in her first ballet recital, which was scheduled to be held in the big theater at a nearby community college. That got canceled and never was rescheduled. Then they had a very small in-person performance for just parents this past summer, but it was basically in their regular classroom and not particularly fancy. So this year, she will be in her new school’s production of The Nutcracker and it feels like kind of a big deal! She is a “party girl” from the “rich family” (which of course she is thrilled by, ha!). This is in the party scene at the beginning. She is wearing a fancy white dress (and apparently her sash is purple, though I didn’t know about the purple sash when I designed this, or I might have made it purple instead of blue; though I guess blue feels more traditional) and also a “wiglet” (I wish I had a video of the first time I showed her the wiglet – her face was hilarious – she just stared at it like she was trying to figure out what it was and then she finally understood it and burst out laughing – it’s basically a cluster of ringlet curls that they wear over their buns).

Anyway! I personally love The Nutcracker and I designed this for Amelia because I think, even if she doesn’t decide to continue to dance, this will be a memorable experience for her, just like my childhood theater stuff was for me. Aside from singing one song onstage with her first-grade class at parents’ night a few years ago, she’s never been onstage before. I just wanted to make something to celebrate this ballet that is beloved to so many people during the Christmas season. In my design, NUTCRACKER SWEET, Clara wakes from her snowy, sweet dream under the giant tree. . . .

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I had more fun stitching this than I have had in a long time! It is done on 32-count Belfast linen in Blush with DMC threads. You could easily change Clara’s skin tone and hair coloring to reflect your own dancer’s with a little bit of extra floss that you might have, or if you need some let me know what kinds of colors you need and I’ll be happy to send along. My favorite parts of this design are the owl clock and the mouse crown (which Amelia herself suggested). I will say that it has been really difficult to get this Belfast Blush here – I’ve been waiting for it for way over a month, and they were only able to send me seven yards. (“Supply chain issues” are real, and really frustrating.) So we have a total of only EIGHTY kits in stock right now – if you want this one, don’t wait. We will make more when more fabric comes in, but I’m having a very hard time pinning my distributor down on when exactly that will be. So I honestly feel incredibly grateful that they were able to send me seven yards, and I’ve been waiting to launch these here until I had it in my hot little hands (because mama has been burned before, people). Anyway, we have eighty kits in stock right now and will be shipping all orders next week. The Nutcracker Sweet kit is available here. And the PDF pattern (with both color and black-and-white charts) is available here.

And to go with this, my gosh this is a lengthy post, but we also have a new lotion bar, called SUGARPLUM lotion bar:

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Yes. I could not resist. This would make such a sweet little stocking stuffer. It is a bit more petite than our other lotion bars. It is made with beeswax from the local bees of Mickleberry Gardens (and their beeswax is absolutely the best, and I have tried a few); coconut oil; shea butter; lanolin; and a natural fragrance oil from my favorite trusted source for apothecary supplies, Brambleberry (you can read about the difference between essential oils and their natural fragrance oils here). It has a sweet, fruity scent that is a mix of grapefruit, raspberry, melon, sweet pea, rose, and coconut. It is perhaps a less sophisticated scent than our other lotion bars made with essential oils. But it is just delightful and I’m so happy to add it to our collection for the holiday season. We have just restocked ALL of our lotion bars after being sold out for a while (they go quick) – but Andy made a ton of these for me last week while he was home on vacation, thank you babe! So they are ready for you and make great little teacher gifts, stocking stuffers, or hostess presents. As always, they come in a reusable tin, ready for gifting.

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Okay guys, I have rambled on for a long time here. I’m sorry it’s taken so long to post this but as I said, I needed to have that pink fabric in hand before I said a word about any of these, and on top of that, Typepad does not seem to be working properly, either (I can see that these photos are cut off on the side, but I think it's on their end, so will try to investigate). I also think I will trot out my backlist winter designs (I forgot to do it for fall) again here soon because I do like to do that on the blog to see all the seasonal stuff together, but that will wait until next week. I’m so excited to have these new things out here, and I truly wish you many happy hours of stitching these designs in the coming colder days. Much love to you all, and thank you for being here. Xo, a

Also: I'm just so curious: What are your memories like this, that you find yourself returning to? Specifically, I mean? Do you have a certain winter memory that just makes you smile, or cry, or . . . something in between? If you have time please share them here with me, especially the little details. I'm feeling so strangely full of longing these days (maybe this happens when your baby turns 10? I don't know) and I really want to hear if anyone else can relate.

Ceramics!

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Pottery Blog

My office is overflowing with pottery things I've made so I listed some ceramic pins and soap dishes in my shop. All between $10-20 each. I love pottery! It's so much fun. Update: All sold out! Thank you!

Pumpkin & Moonshine, and Something for the Birthday Girl!

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Hello! This is my new kit and pattern for Halloween! It's called Pumpkin & Moonshine (inspired by one of our very favorite books). I have always wanted to do some little silhouettes and this seemed like the perfect opportunity! These designs are done on 32-count Belfast linen in the color Antique Ivory, which is sort of like this wonderful, warm pale pumpkin-rind color. And they are stitched with two skeins of DMC six-strand cotton floss in color #3371. The kit is $23 and includes a full-color printed pattern with a black-and-white chart, a 14" x 16" piece of fabric that you can use to stitch both designs, and two skeins of floss. The kit is available here. The downloadable PDF pattern is available here.

The framing supplies are not included in the kit, but here's the story of how I framed these: I often surf eBay for vintage and antique frames for my cross stitch. Some old frames come in really weird sizes that are not standard. I found two little 3" x 7" frames, new in their package, and the price was right so I ordered them. Before they came I was excited and I went ahead and designed these based on the reported frame opening. By the time the frames came, the stitching was done — but the stitched pieces looked really bad in the frames. (The frames were too dark and heavy, and the stitching went way to close to the opening edges, and I just didn't like it.)

So I cut two pieces of 1/4"-thick foam core that were 4" x 8" and wrapped my stitched fabrics around them. (By the way, I buy these boards to use for my cross-stitch pieces, and cut them with a sharp Exacto knife if necessary, and I use short sequin pins to secure the fabric through the edges of the foam core — if you are interested in a tutorial for how I do this, I have details here.) Then I cut a few pieces of kraft cardstock (you could use a cereal box, or some cardboard pieces, or a leftover flat mailer) that were just 1/4" wider all the way around than the mounted embroidery (so, 4.5" x 8.5"). I happen to have a plum tree out front with very straight twigs on it, so I cut some of those perfectly to size (keep the top one a bit longer) and hot-glued them to the cardstock just on the verrrry edges of the cardstock. Make sure you can fit the mounted embroidery in the space and then you can glue that in, too (though I just used fabric glue for that — hot glue around actual embroidery kind of scares me because I'm not that good with it and the glue gun is always falling over and getting on everything). Then I tied a little piece of leather cord (kinda like this one, which comes in a bunch of colors) to the longer ends of the top twig. And voila! I really like them!

I am using a new printer and all four of my new patterns that I am kitting (including three Christmas patterns that I will be releasing in the next week or two) were sent to the printer last week and they are due to arrive here on Monday, September 26. As soon as they get here we will get Pumpkin & Moonshine orders out the door on Tuesday, as I have all the fabric cut and the floss is waiting!

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I have also designed this sweet little treat, called Birthday Girl. I made it for Amelia's upcoming birthday because this girl just loves her candy, and her cute little things, and balloons, and everything sweet. (It didn't seem right to use her actual name and birth date for something I was going to sell, so I just purposely made up a name and date that would fit her name perfectly, but I apologize if this bears any resemblance to someone's actual name/birth date! I'm going to frog all of this and replace it with Amelia's details when I get a chance.) I think it would also be so cute as a birth announcement for a new baby! It's quick to work up and really fun to stitch. The Birthday Girl pattern comes with both a full-color chart with symbols and a black-and-white chart with symbols, as well as a full alphabet chart with both capital and lowercase letters, numerals from 0-9, and a blank worksheet for you to create your own text at the bottom of the pattern. It is available only as a downloadable PDF pattern, not as a kit.

I am going to start designing more patterns that I release only as PDFs. This just sort of frees me up as a designer sometimes, as I don't have to worry so much about which fabric I am using and whether it's going to be available by the time I go to kit it, and which floss colors I'm using and whether I have enough to kit, etc. And also — it's just easier and faster to do a pattern, for obvious reasons! So yeah, more patterns coming in the future!

That said, as mentioned above, I have three more new Christmas/winter kits/patterns coming, and they are all finished and printed and are being shipped to me as I write. I don't want to launch them until I have the fabric in hand (that's the most important thing to have, and let me tell you, it can be tricky to get fabric in large quantities these days) and the fabric has been ordered, and some of it has been shipped (and some of it is on its way from Europe). I'm crossing every finger until it all gets here and then I will show you pictures and have all the information! I'm really excited. It feels so good to be making things!

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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