Posts filed in: Embroidery

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.

Night Before Christmas Ornament Kits (SOLD OUT): Older Kits Now on Sale!

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On the night of December 24, Santa will be getting ready to visit one little house tucked under some great big oak trees in a sparkly little city in the great Pacific Northwest. . . .

Introducing my new 2013 ornament-making kit: NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

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It has a Nestled Child, all snug in her bed with her kitters . . .

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There is a mouse we call Notevena, and she is definitely stirring . . .

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And there's that everpresent little dream I dream each year: How I would love (for my baby girl) to wake up to the new-fallen snow!

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Each Night Before Christmas Felt Holiday Ornament Craft Kit contains materials to make one of each of the three ornaments, including:

16 pieces of wool blend felt in assorted colors
Coordinating DMC cotton embroidery floss
1/4 yd imported French gingham ribbon (for hanger)
1/4 yd imported French cotton lace (for hangers)
1/2 yd imported French cotton ribbon (for curtains)
Beads and sequins
Stitching instructions
Pattern templates
Illustrated embroidery tutorial

You will need to have your own:

Babysitter
Wool batting or Polyester Fiber-fill
Sharp embroidery needle
Dressmaker's chalk pencil or fabric marker
Dressmaker's wax-free chalk tracing paper
Glue
Tiny needles for sewing on beads
Sharp fabric scissors and paper scissors
Motivation
Snacks
Fireplace
Kitty-puppy foot warmers
Television to watch streaming Netflix documentaries
Someone to cook dinner and bring it to you because these will take you a while

:)

We have also put together limited editions of previous years' kits, including 2012's kit, WINTER CABIN:

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There is a Lighted Window, to welcome all passersby . . .

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There is a Western Bluebird, to provide the winter song . . .

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And there is a Whistling Tea Kettle, to make the Earl Grey . . .

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And 2011's kit, SWEET HOME:

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It includes a Blue Door, with a wreath to welcome you home . . .

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A Glowing Candle, to light the night . . .

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And a Wild Bunny to keep you company . . .

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We also have 2010's kit, SNOW DAY:

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It includes a Red Wool Coat, to keep you warm and dry . . .

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A traditional Norwegian Selbu mitten, to keep your hands toasty . . .

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And a Polar Bear, far from the Arctic Circle, peeking out from behind the trees.

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2009's ornament-making kit, WALK IN THE WOODS, is also available:

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It includes the Cozy Cottage, with the wood fires burning:

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The Snowy Tree, sparkling with ice crystals:

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And my favorite, the Little Deer, who watches shyly from the trees:

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And last but not least, the first, 2008's kit, ICE SKATING AFTERNOON, as well!

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There's the Hot Cocoa Cup, to warm you up:

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The Ice Skate, with pom-pon for good measure:

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And lastly, the Gingerbread Girl, the sweetest of all:

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Please click on the links for each of the kits above to take to you the web shop pages, which list what's included in each and what you will need to have. Each ornament kit costs $30 each, plus shipping.

About the skill level needed to complete these: In previous years I said that, while I don't think of these kits necessarily as a children's or a beginner's project, if you have some experience working some basic stitches, these ornaments take more time and patience than skill. I will include directions on transferring the designs to the felt, and basic diagrams for completing the types of classic embroidery stitches you will need to know — backstitch, lazy-daisy stitch, satin stitch, French knot, and blanket stitch — but once you are comfortable working those stitches, if you just take your time and settle in, you will be fine. Someone asked which the easiest kit is, and I have to agree with Lori (I think it was my dear Lori) who said the Walk in the Woods kit is the easiest. Snow Day is the hardest, I think.

If you are interested in ordering any of these kits, the very best advice I can give you is do not wait to place your order. We will ship them out as fast as we can. In previous years, these kits have sold out every year long before Christmas. This year we are doing a slightly larger quantity than we usually do for the new kit, but a lot larger quantities of the older kits. Even so, once these are sold out, it is very unlikely that we will be re-issuing these kits again. This is it!

All six patterns are also now available as downloadable PDFs HERE. A list of the specific felt colors and piece sizes and floss colors you need can be found HERE. You will need that list, so don't forgot to click on it (and a link to it is available on each of the product pages, as well). If you are purchasing a kit, you do NOT need to purchase a pattern. Printed patterns come in each of the kits.

I also have new supplies like glue (though we can't ship that internationally; see below), sewing needles and tiny needles for adding beads, wax-free chalk tracing paper, and water-erase fabric markers that will help you make these ornaments. You can find them all HERE (and the specific items you need for each kit are suggested in the sidebar for each kit, too). I have a limited supply of these items, so if you are interested in them please order soon before they sell out!

We do ship internationally. Please read my information about that HERE. The only thing we cannot ship internationally is the fabric glue, because it is prohibited. If you are overseas and you do accidentally put it in your cart, we will refund that part of the order and ship the rest of your things.

Because we are shipping so quickly, PLEASE make sure that your shipping address is correct when you place your order. In some cases, we are shipping orders the exact same day the order is placed, so it's important that you check your address on your end properly before submitting your order, because once it's out there, it's out there! If you do need to change your address, or anything about your order, or add things to your order, etc., please email me immediately. I will not be able to change your original order for you (because the system won't let me), but what I will do is cancel the original order and have you place a new order with everything you need in it. Because of the volume of orders that come in very quickly and the number of people that are helping me with this project, this is the only way that works for us to minimize mistakes on our end. I do not accept phone orders, or checks in the mail.

Okay. I will stop talking now. Thank you again, I truly and sincerely thank you, for your interest and enthusiasm for these kits for all of these years. Your generosity and your excitement mean so much to me, and it is a privilege to be able to make these kits and patterns for you. I love this job and I truly thank you for kind words and your purchases, every single one. Thank you. Xoxoxo

***UPDATE: To anyone who was trying to order the digital PDF of the Night Before Christmas pattern and was getting charged shipping, I made a mistake on the web site and had something check-marked that I shouldn't have — you should NOT be charged any shipping on digital patterns. This is fixed now and I apologize for the frustration (and thank you to those of you who let me know!). Sorry about that!

That Color

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It's weird that a woman with no time and a baby that is crawling all over the free world pretty much every minute of the waking day would do something like hand-pleat a big piece of fabric and then smock it by hand and then block it and then baste it and then cut it and then sew it into a tiny dress that needed a ton of hand finishing (linings sewn in, a giant hem). Weird but true, people.

Meems goes to bed at 7 p.m., and I swear, the minute I turn on that monitor and click that nursery door closed my basket explodes, and out bursts the yarn, the floss, the needles, the thread, the fabric. The flying fingers. A flurry of quiet industry ensues, until . . . I pass out around ten. . . . I like it. I like to sit and think about her, about the day, about the year. It's especially nice to do it with my feet up, and my face washed, and my nightgown on, and a breeze blowing through the evening window, and a puppers or a kitters on the bed. Nothing else to do. A deep, deep sigh. Slowly the fingers find their rhythm. One of my favorite parts of the day.

I bought vintage McCalls pattern 2447, intending to use the smocking iron-on transfer that was included, only to find that forty-some-odd-years later the transfer didn't work. So, plan B: hand gathering, using this tutorial. That went fine. I made up my own smocking design and colors. Random. Don't overthink these things or you'll never get anything done. I followed the directions on the pattern for finishing the rest of the dress. It was a handful, but I was in too deep to turn back. Need a hook and eye for the back. Boom. Can't wait to see it on her. The color is just dreamy to me. I must really like this color. It's a dusty pink but warm. I must think of it as Amelia's color because I keep using it for her.

My Lilla koftan? Meh. It's okay. Came out sort of oddly proportioned. Didn't like how the placket didn't overlap. I've seen other peoples' versions of this sweater and they are much cuter. I think I would use a plied yarn and larger needles next time. Make it drapey. The Milk Glass Pink came out quite pretty, though it's still on the blocking board. Too hot lately to put these on the poor child. We had an enormous thunderstorm the other night, however, and that was just awesome. Cool and cloudy today and I am beyond delighted.

Now on my needles is Ravi Junior. Isn't that the most gorgeous pattern? I look at patterns all the time but I only just ran into this one. I'm using Quince and Co. Chickadee in the color Chanterelle. It really is such a lovely color. Or kind of a non-color. Sort of brown, sort of pink, like the underside of a mushroom, or a very old ballet skirt, or an antique book about flowers, or the wallpaper from the back bedroom in your grandmother's house in Iowa. That kind of a color. One that's just right for summer's slide into fragrant, cloudy, rose-hipped early autumn.

Flowers and Fruit

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My favorite part of summer is now, I think, when everything is still green and plump and hasn't been frizzled to a hollow. Barbecues with old friends, and baby is crawling. We spend our time together walking, or I ride my bike on the sidewalk so we can go as far as we want without my foot getting angry. Up and down the streets, past house after house and garden after garden. This is my favorite thing. The winding. The talking. He says we can go anywhere — and as far as — I want. Ending up at a restaurant, the bead store (yep, working on a new ornament kit), a pie shop. On and on. Amelia is so game. Amelia goes everywhere, does everything, and takes it all in with this placid, happy-go-lucky way she has. There's a sparkle in her eyes, but she is mellow yellow. There are no moments where I do not marvel at this quality. Knawing on her kitty, waving her foot up and down, she's watching. She shows me her bottle cap, her little deer. I like it. I kiss it, her. We rub noses. I ride in front, zig-zagging, about to fall off going two miles an hour and trying not to crash into everyone's rose bushes. Mommy the goofball. Andy buys a guitar made out of a cigar box and puts it on top of the stroller. Can't resist playing it while he walks. We're the ragtag parade, carrying a ten-pound sweet-cream raspberry pie and a stolen daisy.

By the way, brunch at the Woodsman was a delight in every possible way. I had pancakes and very strong coffee and I was about as happy as anyone's ever been about anything, I think.

I told you I'd tell you about Amelia's midsummer dress. It was inspired by a traditional Norwegian bunad, or folk costume. Each region has its own style of dress. Amelia's birthfather is three-quarters Norwegian, and his family is from the Dovre region of Norway. The dovrebunader, like this one and this one, are just so gorgeous. I have always loved these, so I was ridiculously excited to make her her own baby version. I made the pattern by tracing the bodice pieces of one of her basic little dresses from H&M, and then added a skirt that was 10" long by 44" wide. For the embroidery, I used the traditional dandelion-like design on the dovrebunader, and then just chose two other random designs from one of my clip art books. I traced everything onto copy paper and made a copy onto a special paper called Transfer-Eze. This stuff is VERY COOL. When you peel the top (printed) layer of the paper off of the heavy paper behind it, the top layer has a sticky backing. You press that smoothly to your fabric, then hoop it, and embroider away, right through the Transfer-Eze. (See the photo of my embroidery-in-progress in this post.) When I finished the embroidery, I cut out the bodice (adding a seam allowance) and then soaked the whole thing in cool water for just a few minutes. The Transfer-Eze dissolved and disappeared without any problem at all. It was wonderful to use, especially since transfering is kind of a pain, especially on dark colored fabrics. This was my first time using this and I will definitely use it again. The only thing I noticed is that my hand and fingers were a little bit sore after I worked these pieces; you do have to push the needle a bit harder as you stitch, but it's not too bad. I was doing a lot of satin stitch in a pretty short span of time. I haven't really looked into who manufactures this product but maybe I will try to carry it in my web shop because it is pretty awesome. I'll let you know if I do. Anyway, I thought the little dress came out very pretty and it was really cool to make something by pulling together parts and pieces of inspiration.

I also finished her midsummer sweater, and just have to put the buttons on. I think this is the first time I've ever done anything in reverse stockinette. Kinda cute. I think the yoke looks too deep, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll put the buttons (covered, I think, in Liberty lawn) on today and try it on her and see. It's cold and chilly today, so this will be good.

In our yard the rose mallow is blooming, and the hydrangeas are just starting. The apple tree had three tiny green apples but they all fell off already. We built a little teepee (using this tutorial — really easy, really fast, really inexpensive) on Saturday afternoon when it was still sunny and gorgeous. She played in it for a while, though it got kind of hot; there was no breeze, especially in the teepee. After Amelia went to bed, I sat out in the yard and ate pie and watched the darkness arrive and pretty much became infatuated with the teepee at dusk. So far we haven't really used our backyard lights that much because it stays light so late right now, and I can't stay awake! But I stayed out Saturday night and it was worth it. Oh, how I do love a good ambient light source!!! It's sooooo romantic back there now. We had the lights done by this company. I basically told them what I wanted — two strands of light bulbs crossing over the seating area, hardwired into a dimmer switch on the garage wall — and they did the whole thing (even more romantic). I don't fool around with electricity, and I knew we wanted this to be permanent. Neither do I have the details about the cord because Chris the electrician provided that, but it was twisted black and brown, and what I liked about it was that he was able to put the lights into it only and exactly where we wanted them — right over the chairs, and not down the entire length of the cord as they stretch from the corners of the garage to the pergola thing, and then across to the fence (they added a little 2" x 2" board so the cord would connect at the right height). The bulbs are 40 watt clear appliance bulbs. The dimmer is fantastic. I'm really pleased with how this came out. Now we just need to drink some coffee after dinner so I can stay awake and enjoy it.

Oh, and the other outdoor wicker pendant we have over the table we've had for several years, and it just plugs into an extension cord. I think it's like this one.

I did wind up ordering a battery-powered lantern for the teepee, too.

What else. I'm playing catch up today. I sincerely apologize to anyone who is waiting for me to answer an email. I am not good at this and the email just keeps piling up and up.

Wimbledon starts today. Yippee! Does anyone know the name of that little daisy-like plant (feverfew — thank you!), and the pink frothy one (spirea — thanks!)? Those were out in the neighborhood somewhere, but I'd love to plant both of them. Pretty.

***My tablecloth is from Powell's Books for Cooks; the teepee cover cloth is from eBay or Etsy; our bedding is from Pottery Barn; I made my skirt several years ago from cotton calico (don't know the name of it — I'm sorry); and I think the pillow cover was from Pottery Barn a few years ago, too.

Midsummer Magic

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Oh, in the midst of summer! What a lovely weekend it was: glorious weather, great fathers and grandfathers, a festival, lazy mornings, good company, good food, tiny lights, sun spots, a picnic on the hill, cool breezes through the pine trees, ukelele songs, a wedding in the distance, baby singing, bright nights, rose mallow blooming, a sleepy kitty in my spot on the chaise, a baby bunad, a band playing. Birds singing. A blue jay that visits us in the back yard lately, making me feel like little Mary Lennox. I was buzzed by a hummingbird. Oh, June. You've been so good to us, June.

***I will definitely tell you about the dress and the lights when I have a minute more to write. And to make the daisy chain you just pick a bunch of little daisies that grow in the grass at the park, keeping their stems as long as you can. Braid the stems tightly together (with the flowers at the top), adding new daisies in when you have about an inch or so of stem left on the previous daisy. The stems are flexible so just tie the end of the chain gently to the beginning flowers when the crown is big enough. Place on baby and kiss one thousand times.

Winterlikes

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I like winter. I like wool socks and toasted oatmeal and the rocking chair in front of the fireplace and a warm little baby cheek on my chest. I like beeswax candles that smell like golden honey and glow through the evening. I like gray afternoon skies swollen with rain, and black birds that hop from fence to tree. I like nightlights that go on at dinnertime, and curry dinners that start early and end early, with Mexican hot chocolates at the end of them. I like travel shows about how Christmas is celebrated in other countries. I like piles of tiny wool undershirts and booties that don't fall off and baby blankets stacked in every room. I like tiny white lights that brighten every corner, and electric Swedish candles in every window. I like my pale gray flannel sheets. I like Medieval Christmas carols and a new stack of books about snow (I have this one and this one so far) on my night stand. I really like hours and hours of sitting with the baby in my arms, watching her tummy move up and down as she breathes, watching her rose-colored eyelids flutter as she dreams, feeling her fingers thread themselves through my fingers while she half-sleeps. I like tiny warm baby feet in my hand. I like little handmade stuffed-animals and dolls and little mice that wear sweaters and calico aprons. I like bunnies. I like plain white nightgowns with long sleeves. I like things with peppermint chips in them. I like Pillsbury sugar cookies decorated with buttercream frosting by kids. I like corgis that lean on you when they sleep, and stare longingly at you when they're awake. I like husbands that are great fathers. I like knitting with a baby asleep on my legs. And for the record, I like miracle snow, and if Brother North-wind wanted to send some this way this December, I'd do fifty pirouettes and faint with glee. Not that I want for anything at all, but . . . just saying.

*Her pink sweater and her Christmas dress, halfway done! I finished the stocking yesterday :) Yay!

Shine Bright

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We are each growing and changing so much every day. Outside our windows, autumn leaves shine bright — it's the prettiest autumn I can remember here in a long time.We've been getting out for a walk every day since it feels like only a matter of minutes before the rains come. Today is rather dark and quiet, which I like. I need it. I'm drowsy and flopsy and warm. The baby is drowsy and flopsy and warm. She's sleeping beside me as I write. She snorts and bubbles and wriggles in sleep, stretching her legs and curling her toes. Oh how I love this girl. I guess I'm still in my "speechless" phase. I'm so in love with all of this. Even the hardest parts of it are still so much easier than anything was, before she was here.

(Her sweater is here, and the pillow pattern is in here.)

Winter Cabin Ornament Kits, and a New Web Shop!

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Hello! Do you like bluebirds? And tea kettles? And lighted windows? I do!!!

Introducing my new 2012 ornament-making kit: WINTER CABIN:

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There is a Lighted Window, to welcome all passersby . . .

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There is a Western Bluebird, to provide the winter song . . .

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And there is a Whistling Tea Kettle, to make the Earl Grey . . .

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Each Winter Cabin Felt Holiday Ornament Craft Kit contains materials to make one of each of the three ornaments, including:

16 pieces of wool blend felt in assorted colors
11 skeins coordinating DMC cotton embroidery floss
1/4 yd imported French gingham ribbon (for hanger)
1/2 yd imported French rick-rack (for hangers)
1/2 yd imported French calico bias tape (for curtains)
Stitching instructions
Pattern templates
Illustrated embroidery tutorial

You will need to have your own:

Wool batting or Polyester Fiber-fill
Sharp embroidery needle
Dressmaker's chalk pencil or fabric marker
Dressmaker's chalk carbon paper
Sharp fabric scissors and paper scissors
Motivation
Snacks
Fireplace
Kitty-puppy foot warmers
Television to watch the new season of Psych if they ever start it for goodness sakes!!!!!!! This is exactly what I said last year and it's double-true now. C'mon, son!

We have also put together limited editions of previous years' kits, including:

Group-labeled

2011's kit, SWEET HOME:

BlueDoor-labeled

It includes a Blue Door, with a wreath to welcome you home . . .

GlowingCandle-labeled

A Glowing Candle, to light the night . . .

WildBunny-labeled

And 2010's kit, SNOW DAY:

SnowDayGroup

2010's kit, SNOW DAY:

HiResCoatlabeled

It includes a Red Wool Coat, to keep you warm and dry . . .

MittenFrontlabeled

A traditional Norwegian Selbu mitten, to keep your hands toasty . . .

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And a Polar Bear, far from the Arctic Circle, peeking out from behind the trees.

2009's ornament-making kit, WALK IN THE WOODS, is also available:

AllOrnamentsLabel7

It includes the Cozy Cottage, with the wood fires burning:

Cottage2

The Snowy Tree, sparkling with ice crystals:

SnowyTree

And my favorite, the Little Deer, who watches shyly from the trees:

LittleDeer2

And there are also a few of 2008's kit, ICE SKATING AFTERNOON, as well!

MainImageLabel

There's the Hot Cocoa Cup, to warm you up:

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The Ice Skate, with pom-pon for good measure:

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And lastly, the Gingerbread Girl, the sweetest of all:

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Please click on the links for each of the kits above to take to you the web shop pages, which list what's included in each and what you will need to have. Each ornament kit costs $30 each, plus shipping.

About the skill level needed to complete these: In previous years I said that, while I don't think of these kits necessarily as a children's or a beginner's project, if you have some experience working some basic stitches, these ornaments take more time and patience than skill. I will include directions on transferring the designs to the felt, and basic diagrams for completing the types of classic embroidery stitches you will need to know — backstitch, lazy-daisy stitch, satin stitch, French knot, and blanket stitch — but once you are comfortable working those stitches, if you just take your time and settle in, you will be fine.

If you are interested in ordering any of these kits, the very best advice I can give you is do not wait to place your order. Unlike previous years, we are not taking pre-orders this year: We have instead made up a limited number of each kit, and will ship them out as fast as we can. In previous years, these kits have sold out every year long before Christmas, and once they are gone, they are absolutely gone until next year (and even then, there are no guarantees that we will continue to do them, of course). Usually, Andy and I put these kits together ourselves, sourcing all of the materials, cutting the felt and the ribbons, packaging the embroidery floss, scooping beads and sequins, winding yarn, and then doing all of the shipping. This year, we have been so lucky to have Greta helping us with every aspect of this operation all summer long, and together we have completed 1,200 kits total. It's a lot of shipping to do in a couple of months, but I think we have a great system now, and with the new web shop and shipping system, I am beyond excited about how easy it will be to ship these kits quickly — they're finished! — and easily. And yes, we do ship overseas, and THAT has been ridiculously simplified now as well. So — I'm really excited.

(That said — I also wanted to mention that because we are shipping so quickly, PLEASE make sure that your shipping address is correct when you place your order. In some cases, we are shipping orders the exact same day the order is placed, so it's important that you check your address on your end properly before submitting your order, because once it's out there, it's out there!)

All five patterns are also now available as downloadable PDFs. (Usually we wait until all the kits are shipped to release the PDFs, but I got everything finished early this year.) A list of the specific felt colors and piece sizes and floss colors you need can be found here. The cool thing now, too, is that all of the items — from kits, to digital downloads, to embroidery supplies — can all be put in the same shopping cart. I will give you a full-on tour of the site later this week, too, but when you go over there you can cruise around a little bit and see what's available to help you complete your projects.

The new web shop has been quietly open for about a week as I've worked out various kinks. I feel really confident that it is funcioning well now, but if you have ANY problems, questions, or comments, please leave your messages on the blog there (there's a little News blog that is just for the web shop), and I will do much best to keep a sharp eye on that and fix anything that comes up. And of course you can always email me at posie@rosylittlethings.com.

Again, thank you beyond words for all of your enthusiasm for and support of these kits over the years. They are a big part of my life and I am so grateful that your interest and orders allow me to continue to do exactly what I love to do, every single day. Thank you, more than I can ever find words to say, for that.

Summer

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Ah, yes. It speeds up now. I remember.

Works in Progress

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I finished my own Alpine Frost shawl over the weekend. I had actually started mine a few months ago and I liked it so much I wanted to make one for Julie's birthday. When hers was finished I immediately went back to mine. And then finished it. It's quite a bit longer than Julie's — mine is about 90" long and about 25" wide. I blocked it like crazy, stretching it in every direction as far as I could. A pin holding every picot point. (I added the picot edging; it's not in the pattern as written, but the details are on my Ravelry page for it.) What I love about this yarn is that it really has no shine at all. It's completely matte. And downy soft. And light as that feather. And tumbles into a copious mound of frothy billows around my neck. Where it sits right now since it's 56 degrees out. Which I don't mind now that I have this thing.

Now on the needles (as it has been since May, also) is Quill, Quill the color of antler, its garter stitch center section complete and on round 12 of its Old Shale border. Fingering-weight yarn feels heavy after so many hours (and hours and hours) or crocheting lace-weight.

It's been a really busy few weeks. I've spent my time alternating between building my new web shop and working on the new ornament kits. Neither is finished. The web shop — it's shocking how many hours it requires. I'll be beyond thrilled when it's finished and functional. Occasionally I have my doubts that it will ever be either. Occasionally I feel that I've taken the DIY thing too far in trying to do this mostly myself. But that's what I can afford. And I want it to be a certain way that doesn't quite fit the standard template. I'm hoping it will be up and running sometime next month. I will be so happy!

I meant to say thank you for all of your sweet anniversary wishes last week. Thank you so much for those! I haven't had a chance to even scratch the surface of the iced tea recipes, partly because the weather has turned so cold again that it makes hot tea more appealing than cold. Not complaining, but . . . it's strange. I suppose it makes for good TV-watching weather, though, with the Olympics coming up. (Actually, there's nothing I like more than all of the programs leading up to the Olympics that explore different aspects of the host city [especially when it's London]. I love those!) The news of the world has been so sad lately (my heart goes out to Colorado this summer) I'm hoping that the Olympics can truly foster a spirit of brother- and sisterhood on an individual and international level.

My own little sister, Susie, comes to stay with us for a two-week visit a week from today. Andy has ordered the sour-cream-and-onion popcorn seasoning and I need to get stovetop espresso maker to cook up her quadruple-shot lattes. I can't wait. We're planning a movie marathon of our individual and family favorites. Obviously, Seems Like Old Times tops the list. Oh I adore that movie. Can't wait to see my sissy.

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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Photography

Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.