Posts filed in: Painting

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.



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.


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.  


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.


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.

Cover Blog

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.





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.


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):


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! :)

Getting Done and Getting Ready

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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 and confidence 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 lock-down 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 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:


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! 

Finding Our Way

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Hello my friends. How are you doing? We are all home today, in various parts of the house. I'm sitting upstairs on my bed with the computer on my lap. Andy's downstairs looking for our pasta machine that we haven't used in probably ten or fifteen years. It's not going well, and he just shouted up that he's looked in every place it he thought it could possibly be. We both can picture it perfectly in our minds, in its ripped old yellow cardboard box, but it's just not in any of the places we expected to find it. Mimi was on a call with her teacher and classmates earlier, and her job today is to write a thank-you note to her uncle for the very cool wood-burned sign he made for her secret hideout, then there's ballet on Zoom at 3. The weather is cool and cloudy and wet. The yard is covered in petals and puddles. My heart is sore and full of sorrow for the people who are sick, or who have lost friends and family, or who are otherwise suffering losses of so many kinds. I send up my prayers. We are all finding our ways, I know. I would love to know how you are doing.

I have found some respite for my worried mind in a few projects that have kept me busy. I started drawing one afternoon from this adorable book that I bought several months ago and hadn't taken the time to play with. Mimi and I made paper mache faces of each other and had a good time doing that. I decided to make a mobile for her with little paper mache things that she likes. So far there are: a kitty, a mouse, a book, a rainbow, a bed, an ice cream cone, a sun, a boat, a lemonade, and a house. She still wants Saturn, a teacup, and a mushroom. I sat on the bed where I have my own little TV and binge-watched Doctor Foster (very dark but with one of my favorites, Suranne Jones, who I loved in Scott & Bailey — I really like British lady-cop and detective shows) and taped things together out of cardboard boxes, milk cartons, the protective packaging that came with my printer toner, a toilet paper tube, and various other pieces of garbage I could find around the house. It was delightful. Then I spent a day paper mache-ing them (also while sitting on the bed. Andy was impressed that someone could paper mache eight things while sitting on a bed. I told him that when there is a will I will find a way). Sometimes it is just nice to have some time and a little corner of the house to oneself so you can paper mache ice cream cones and watch scary lady-dramas in peace, you know?

Yesterday it was beautiful and sunny and we covered the new back-porch table in paper and painted out there all day. Like all day. I must say, it's pretty wonderful, in spite of everything, to have all day to do something so silly and sweet and fun. I think it was the first time that I had been able to relax in the past two months, quite frankly, and even before the virus started there would've been no way that I ever would've spent a whole day just doing something like this. I have spent entire days sewing or embroidering before, but that always ultimately, even if I'm just making something personal, feels a little bit like work for me. Doing new things, things I never usually do, feels helpful and I'm finding joy in the doing.

I made this magic custard cake and more cinnamon rolls. And I highly recommend both. Now let's hope we can find that pasta machine. I really want some ravioli.

Winter Warming

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Oh, the days of January, I love them so. I love that the weather is cold, the garden is sleeping, the skies are gray. I love that. I love hibernating, and flannel sheets, and flannel nightgowns, and hot tea, and pretty tea mugs. I love yarn, and knitting, and television at night, and dark. I'm tired, and getting over my cold, and wanting to go slow, and wanting to go upstairs early. The house is frowsy and soft. I'm gearing up to Marie-Kondo everything in sight, but not right now. No, not right now. Right now everything is a bit droopy, and needs fresh paint, and to be vacuumed for hours. I sit and make lists, stab at the taxes, pick up take-out Indian food, read picture book after picture book after picture book at bedtime, and listen to a thousand six-year-old hopes and fears. Her warm body beside mine, we listen to the wind and rain, and talk about going to Great Wolf Lodge someday, where they have an indoor water park, and water buckets falling on your head, and pool after pool after pool of warm water. I'm in. Take me there. Let's go now.

We went to a conference with Mimi's teacher the other day and it's like . . . I could just sit there and talk about my kid all. day. long. I love her two teachers and I love her school, and love how she is thriving there. I don't love the commute, but I'm trying to learn to like it. It's long, and can be ugly if I take the busy way, which I usually don't, and then it's just plain long and slow. I've been listening to The Secret Garden audio-book (read by Finola Hughes) while I drive, but it's almost over. I think I really need to get into podcasts. I don't even know what I want in a podcast, honestly. I'm not sure where to start. And can you download them so you don't have to use data on your phone while you're listening? Or . . . how does that even work? I don't seem to know anything about anything that everyone else knows lately. Thank you in advance.

I've been thinking and working a lot on the Secret Garden projects and the bath boxes that will go with them. What I think we will do is offer two different craft projects -- one is an embroidery project (not cross stitch, just regular free embroidery, of the robin, and the key), and one is a knitting project. The embroidery project is small, about 5" in diameter and will fit and be framed in a 6" hoop (which will be included with the kit). The knitting project will include a pattern for a pair of simple handwarmers decorated with with duplicate stitch, and will include hand-dyed fingering-weight yarn for the main color of the handwarmers and also all of the small amounts of yarn you will use to duplicate-stitch the designs on top. Then, if you'd like, each project can come with the Secret Garden–inspired bath box, which will include a bar of our handmade cold-process soap, a lotion bar, a really pretty apothecary jar of bath soak, a wax sachet, and a little candle.

You may order either of the kits with or without a bath box, or you may order just the bath box. We are going to take pre-orders for all of this in the next couple of weeks, and then it will take at least six weeks for us to ship everything. It will take this long because we don't know how many orders for everything we will get and we want to make sure we can include everyone who wants any of these items. So, since the soap takes six entire weeks to cure, we will continue to make soap almost every day in anticipation of orders. We also need to order the hoops I think I want to use for the framing of the embroidery project from Europe, and they have a long turn-around time (also about six weeks after ordering). So that puts us shipping around the beginning of April, and if you've read The Secret Garden, doesn't that seem kind of like the perfect time for this? I definitely will put together a post that shows you my inspiration for all the things we're working on for this, like I did for the advent calendar. I love making those collages so much and will start working on one later this week. I can't wait.

I've watched a few of the Tidying Up episodes on Netflix. I honestly get choked up every time they thank the house. It's weirdly emotional. I would've never thought to do that but it feels very poignant. It's a really beautiful moment in the episodes, I think. I also watched the documentary Three Identical Strangers last night and that was so incredibly intense. Did anyone else see it? Man. I don't even know what to say about that. As an adoptive parent, especially, it chilled me to the bone to think that they separated those babies. Unrelated, my sister Julie got me the British TV Field Guide for my birthday and I am psyched. I should do a run-down of my favorite British TV shows (mostly mysteries and thrillers) this past year. I love Shetland, Vera, Happy Valley (OH MY WORD crazy intense), Last Tango in Halifax, No Offense, Striking Out, Acceptable Risk, and Keeping Faith. Should I tell you about those or do you already know them?

I took that moon photo during the Super Blood Wolf Moon lunar eclipse! Josh was over and he and Andy were gonna go out to the garage to play video games; they went out on the back porch and flipped out because the eclipse just happened to be almost total at that moment and we had an awesome view of it from the porch. I grabbed my tripod and put it on the back table and got a few photos of the moon right before the clouds moved in. So that's almost total eclipse right there. It was just so totally cool to see that. I'm so glad they just happened to be going outside at that moment or we would've missed it!

The sweet winter field painting is the print I bought from Jo Grundy and had framed a few years ago, and I love it so much. And that beautiful watercolor of Amelia riding the rabbit? The sweetest gift from the most lovely Emily Winfield Martin several years ago. I absolutely treasure it, and it hangs over Mimi's bed.

Frost Fields

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Oh, hello! How are you? I've been doing almost nothing but making dolls, doll dresses, doll stockings, doll capes, doll hair, doll sweaters, doll blouses, doll skirts, doll collars, and doll hats, and then remaking them trying to get them how I want them. It is so much fun. I have so many ideas. I'm thinking about all the details quite a lot. I dream about them at night and wake up with potential solutions in the morning. Then I try to work them out that night. Yesterday we forgot Amelia's ballet slippers and had to borrow some from the ballet mistress. She asked me what size slippers Amelia wore. I told her I wasn't sure, but said I knew what size my doll's feet were (16 sts around on size US5's in sport weight yarn). Everyone in the foyer laughed nervously. The teacher turned and asked Amelia. Amelia said she was size 11. I knew that!!! Sheepish.

Did you have a nice Thanksgiving weekend here in the U.S.? We sure did. My family came and squeezed around our table and it was great. My sister Susie stayed on afterwards and made me laugh for hours with her work stories. Me, in nightgown, falling asleep: "Good lord, this story is taking forever!" Her: "Dude, I told you, I work 12-hour shifts! A lot of stuff happens!!!" On Friday I hung my two new prints that I got for my birthday last year from the English artist Jo Grundy. I had wanted these forever and I am so glad that I got them (for Andy to give to me [wink]). They inspired my mantel decoration this year, which is a frosty-winter-fields theme. Andy worked on Saturday and Amelia and I went out to Craft Warehouse and got some new little things: the lighted willow garland and a couple of little resin birds and her absolute favorite, the snowy owl. Believe it or not, I had almost everything else already, and a lot of it came from Craft Warehouse (a local indie craft store here in the Portland area) over the past few years. The little wooden plinths and the woolly trees and the metal houses (not sure where those were from, actually) and the cottonwood wreath I already had. Andy's grandfather carved the tall Santa many years ago. We bought a spray of fake frosted fern leaves and cut them off and scattered them around, along with a couple of little bottlebrush trees and juniper sprigs. The teapot was from Goodwill for $3. The snowflake garland I've had for years and years, and the stockings are from Etsy. We couldn't find Amelia's bunny stocking but I think it's in with the Christmas ornaments; we're getting our tree this weekend and I'm sure we'll find it when we open those boxes. Speaking of, Andy brought up everything seasonally related from the basement — Christmas stuff, other fake-foliage stuff for spring and fall that makes Andy insane, wreathes and such. We went through it all on Sunday and that was sort of an exhausting exercise. At some point while Andy was still cleaning I tried to pluck Amelia from the fray and took a bath while she played on the side of the tub. This is one of our favorite winter activities. I love winter baths and I never cease to give thanks for them, and for hot water. Afterwards, when everything in the living room was clean and pretty, Andy put on carols and made us some hot chocolate and it felt like the perfect start to this lovely (my favorite) season. Winter is here. I wish you peace and warmth and kind shelter and love in the days ahead. XOX

Color Kittens

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Oh, Mommy is tired. I've yawned about fifty times today. Once I start I can't seem to stop. Andy and Amelia are sitting on his skateboard and riding around the dining room. The house is covered in toys and books and blankets (so that makes it a bit difficult). The rain whips and the wind is whistling outside — last night, lightning and thunder! I missed them, because I was sleeping at 9:15 p.m. But still: stormy few days here, lots of inside stuff, very small house. The weather finally turned, and we have rain and rumpus.

I made a little painting on Sunday morning. Later we all went to the art supply store to get more paints and stickers and stuff. When I was finished with the little painting (which includes stickers:) I was excited because I thought it reminded me a lot of The Color Kittens, which we read almost every night. It's funny how these little books and their characters become such a part of your life. Our days and nights have a lot of books in them. They don't get photographed that much but they should, because I so don't want to forget them in the context of our sticker-covered, draw-on-your-face, pink-painted, Golden Book–filled days. I just don't ever have a camera when we're snuggled. "'Oh Angelina,'" I read, with great mama-drama, "'your dancing is nothing but a — '" "Nuisance!" yells delighted Amelia, not really able to pronounce the word, and not really knowing what it means, but maybe she does. Same with "arabesque." I'm amazed at the words it appears she understands. There are others. I need to think of them. I need to write this stuff down, and take some pictures of our little books. They're so good. I love these days.

I make the WORST chocolate chip cookies. Recipe straight off the bag, and they suck in a different way every single time, time after time, year after year. I make pretty decent broccoli and bow ties. But who can't do that. That's all Ina. Maybe I should see if she has a chocolate-chip cookie recipe. I can't imagine she does not.

Suddenly obsessed with making a toy boat we can actually float on the casting pond this summer, and having a portrait painted of Amelia (any recommendations, let me know?). Isn't it weird how you just get these ideas all of a sudden and then they're all you can think of, when you're daydreaming? When you have time to think of these things? I feel like I have a different idea about something or other every week.

Her squishy-yummy pink cardigan is here. :)

Pinky Paint

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Our pink painting, January 27, 2015. :)

Morning, Afternoon, Night

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At some point I do just sort of give up on snow.  The "fine, be that way" moment. The FBTW moment happened sometime yesterday afternoon. On our walk to the bakery, there were bulbs already pushing up through the soil outside. I brought home yellow daffodils from the market. The pale sun filtered through the dirt-spattered windows. I tossed the rest of the stray Christmas decorations (mostly those related to snowflakes) in a box. And I could see spring, which in our yard really does start to happen in February, just beyond the blurry margins of dead leaves, winter mud, and the brown and sort of weird, soupy green that the days have been, here in Oregon, in the winter. In seventeen years here, it's been the driest, sunniest winter I can remember. And, I will admit, I have found things to love about that. Because at least there are Alaska shows. I loved Esther's comment: "I think I can explain the Alaska obsession. You have Starved-for-Snow-itis. It's kind of like cabin fever, only in reverse." Oh yes, yes. Cabin fever in reverse! HA!

So, we have a Roomba. I asked for it for my birthday. I guess I'm old now. It's pretty awesome. It's like a reverse-shedding pet that doesn't really respond when you cheer it on. "Come on, Roomba! You can do it!" as it tries dumbly to find its way out from under the small side table. He whirrs and spins back and forth, banging into stuff around the room. He sends up a little victory song when he finds his way back to his dock, and so do we: "Good boy, Roomba!" Clapping. When emptied, he is filled, and I mean FILLED, with dirt (dog hair). And he has been filled pretty much every single subsequent time he's finished a room. And our carpets and floors are regularly vacuumed with the big vacuum. And dry-mopped with the pants of a toddler. The first time he was emptied I was astonished and horrified. Now he runs, almost all the time, around the house all day. He's very loud. He doesn't do stairs. No one is afraid of him anymore (both puppers and the nipper cried the first time he was let loose). His industrious motor is white noise in the background of our day.

I wish I had counted how many clementines were eaten here this winter. I save the peels and run them through the garbage disposal, which I read helps keep it clean. I think the clementine season is almost over. Amelia, if she knew that, would be very sad. I've never seen anyone eat tiny oranges so quickly. I cut them into small pieces and she literally picks them up as fast as I can cut them. I've eaten my share, as well. Have we gone through five or six crates, just the two of us? No scurvy here. That's nice. She's showing me, above, how she puts food "in her mouth" instead of throwing it on the floor, for the dog. Ahem.

Winter Olympics coming. Excited. I have my project picked out this time — the crewel embroidery that always reminds me of the view from Crown Point that I got several years ago that I've not started. I got something new for over the myrtlewood. It's a Grandma Moses reproduction (obviously) of a painting called "A Beautiful World." The quality isn't that great, because it's enlarged so much, I assume, but from afar I like it. I started getting into these primitive landscapes last year. I have another one over my dresser by Edward Hicks called "David Leedom Farm." I think I might get a book about them. I've always loved those aerial view landscapes of villages and farms and little buildings and bridges and rivers and trees. 

Go Polina Edmunds!!! I watched her at Nationals on TV last weekend and she was just completely enchanting.

My word. The sun is shining again. This is very confusing. !!!

Are you reading The Goldfinch? I can't put it down. Don't tell me what happens. I have an idea but I don't even want to talk about it.

This and That

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Thank you so much for all of your kind words about the new ornament collection. Thank you, thank you! I'm very excited that you like them. I will put them on sale tomorrow morning, Thursday, October 3. Just come here to the blog and I'll have all of the photos and links and information right here.

I've been tucked in the office for the past few days, really digging into this project that, up until now, Greta has spearheaded. It feels really good to be back in the office with the girls (we have backup this week, too!), listening to Pandora, soaking up the occasional sunshine coming in through the skylights, getting soaked by the almost-constant rain when we take the recycling out, getting frequent visits from Amelia as her dad or her grandma bring her in to say hello, eating breakfast at my desk, singing every word to "Wagon Wheel," Andy pulling late nights listening to old Willie Nelson concerts assembling Ice Skating Afternoon kits and texting me (upstairs in bed knitting) frequently about how much fun he was having (not kidding — hilarious), and also texting me a long list of ways we could improve the ergonomic correctness and general efficiency of our system. Ha! Kinda reminded me of the old days, when he and I did everything ourselves. I don't think things have changed that much, really. We just do different things now, and we have Amelia here, who makes everything wonderful. I had to re-photograph all of the kit photos for each collection yesterday, and spent a little bit of time with each ornament, remembering how each of them came about over the years. I really love them. They have been a pretty big part of our lives these past six years, actually.

Over the weekend, it seriously poured. Wind, rain, wind, rain. We had a great, sopping-wet time despite it at the flock and fiber festival with Amelia's birthgrandparents. Ten minutes after we got back home the power went out because of the storm, and was out most of Saturday afternoon, until early evening. It was kind of nice not to be able to work, especially because Andy was home, too. I took a long candlelit bath, and Meems came in with me at the end. The girl loves water and I love playing in the water with her. I got to sit on the sofa-bed and read Vanity Fair (the magazine, not the book) while she napped beside me. When the power came back on on Sunday, Andy went to work and Amelia and I cooked. Butternut squash macaroni and cheese (I kinda made it up), black bean soup, no-knead bread. Our friend Sarah came for lunch on Monday. I bought a reproduction of a painting by Edward Hicks called David Leedom Farm, 1849. I love it. It's over my dresser. At night I've been working on the little sweater coat I've started for Amelia. I'm planning to line it with flannel. The pantry is installed and finished and I literally haven't had any time to stock it. Big preparations are underway for Amelia's birthday party. I really just can't believe it's been a year. Sweetest love, a whole year.

***To those that have asked about the book with the lamby pattern, it is I Love Patchwork by Rashida Coleman-Hale. I'll tell you more about my lamb after I give it to Miss Mimilove.

Kinda Like These

comments: 40

"Dutch Still Life with Lemons and Engagement Calendar"
Paul Wonner

"Be obscure clearly! Be wild of tongue in a way we can understand!"
Maira Kalman, from the book Elements of Style

"Still Life with Plums and White Pitcher"
Hank Helmantel

Wayne Thiebaud

"Still Life with Three Eggs and Four Pears"
Braldt Bralds

The perspectives on these aren't all from above, but it is kinda interesting that in all of these ones that I like there is a big blank wall. I love these. Especially the kitterses.

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