Tree Day

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"Hi, sheep." Like your coat. ;)

Saturday, November 30, 2013, at Kirchem Farm and Becks' Farms, Oregon City, Oregon.

Happy Thanks

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Good morning, dear friends. I hope you had a slow and peaceful and lovely Thanksgiving weekend. Ours was wonderful. It wasn't all that slow (and Andy had to work Saturday and Sunday) but it was wonderful. The weather has been cold and crisp and mostly clear. Most of the deciduous trees have lost their leaves now, and though it's dark and damp, the sky feels more open now, and I like that. We cooked and ate our ways through the weekend, and have been tumbling into bed as early as possible. Mimi is still waking up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. She goes back to sleep after eating, but I don't right away, really. I doze and turn. Then we all get up around 5:00 (just when I'm pretty much completely back to sleep). Eeeesh, I'm tired, it's true. The bed is so cozy (I have the flannel sheets on now). I could probably sleep until 10, and I've never done that in my life.

This beautiful baby girl is growing so fast. She took four or five wobbly steps on her own over the weekend. She ate spinach, carrots, quinoa, stuffing, turkey, beans, cheese, potatoes, and apple. She is such a good eater. That's her, sleeping off her Thanksgiving dinner outside, after our walk. I love her so much.

Today, oh today. It's our first day alone together in the house in I don't know when. Andy and Aunt Susie are at work. Greta took most of last week off and will be back in tomorrow. I've been making little animals in my spare (ha!) time, getting them "right." I've made a kitters, a fox (he's a boy), a mousie, and a doe. They make me happy. They each have their own outfits: for the girls, a Liberty dress, a pair of boots, and something knitted (a cowl, socks, a scarf); for the fox, jeans and a gingham shirt and a scarf. Then there are two other sets of clothes and things: One set is for cold weather, with a duffle coat, sweater, pants, and a satchel; the other set is a nightgown, teddy bear, and mattress/sheets/wool blanket/pillowcase/comforter. I know, I'm insane. These will all be kits and patterns. They won't be available until sometime this spring. But slowly and surely they are coming together and I'm pretty excited. Amelia seems to love them all but has a preference for the fox and the mouse. So funny. I lay them all out on the table and she picks the mousie. She says, "Hi!" and smooshes her face into mousie's face. Over and over: "Hi!" Waving. Oh dear girl. You are the sweetest thing.

I'm looking forward to decorating for the holidays this year. We have a little tree that we are going to keep on the sideboard instead of on the floor this year. He's the cutest little thing. I spent alllllll day Saturday making a photo book of the last year and sending it in to be printed, hopefully in time to arrive for our little party mid-December. I used Artifact Uprising (and the funny thing is I scoured the internet hoping to find a discount code early Sunday morning to no avail; not ten minutes after I'd given up did they send an email saying that everything was 10% off through Monday at midnight. Score! [Use the code MERRY to get the discount.]) I don't know if you can get a book done today or not, but you might be able to take advantage of that coupon. I've ordered one of their books before, a softcover 6" x 8" and it was really nice. The books I made over the weekend are 100-page hardcovers. It was a big project and I'm very happy to be done, but it does feel really great to have finally gotten sooooooooo many photos organized and printed. I'm excited. I bought books for family, and two copies for us. I thought I would have one for us and save one for Amelia, for when she is grown. I want to do one for her every year. I also got our Christmas cards done. I was kind of a machine. But I hate waiting until the last minute on this stuff.

So, half of my Christmas shopping is done already. I actually went out by myself on Wednesday and got a bunch of things I knew I wanted. My car was broken down (my poor little nineteen-year-old car) and I took the bus and the streetcar downtown. It was kind of an exciting (I never go out!) and exhausting day. I like Christmas shopping early. I was hoping to be completely done by now!

December goes so fast. I'd like to get the house ready this week, and then sock in. Thank you for all of the awesome Netflix and other documentary suggestions! I'm tucking those away until January, when the Christmas movies are over. I'll make my list of those favorites this week. My sister said she heard is was going to snow? I can't imagine; the weather has been so mild. But I've got tea and little mouse sweaters to knit and fake fireplaces and snuggly walking babies (she just took five more steps, chasing the dog, as I wrote this — today is the day, I think!) and road trips and tiny, critter-sized Pendleton blankets to source, so I'm busy. I'll stare longingly at Mt. Hood (I took that photo from the side of Mt. Tabor, here in town) from afar and we'll plan a trip there for after the new year.

Thank you for being here, with your enthusiasm and kindness and interest and generosity, all these many (eight!) years. I've very grateful. I wish you all a wonderful, warm, peace-filled start of the holiday season.

Xoxoxoxoxox, a (and a and a and c and the b :)


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On yesterday's menu we had butternut squash soup from the book. It was awful. It was a lot of work and ultimately tasted raw and boring and made me mad. Don't make it.

Earlier this week, however, we made Cat's suggestion, Honey Sesame Chicken, which, everyone, including Amelia, agreed was delicious. So I think I've made four things now and three of them have been good so I am pretty psyched. I know, I'm still talking about this! What's really tricky is that every single time I have put a bunch of stuff into the crock pot and turned it on, I have looked at it and said, "Gross." Because it really does not look like it's going to work. So far, 75% of the time it has. The other 25% of the time, you're hungry and mad. But I will keep trying, because the schedule is just too tempting. IT works great. Just gotta keep trying to find those seven or eight recipes I can rely on. . . . The Honey Sesame Chicken stays.

I've been something steaming hot to drink every afternoon. Today I made hot chocolate. But usually I make tea. Some people asked what my little hot-pot thing was in a photo a few posts ago. It is this little milk frother/steamer. It is awesome. It holds 12 ounces of milk, and you can froth it or just spin and heat it. Much, much better than the microwave or the stove. I've been obsessed with the chai from Townshends lately. My favorite is the Masala Chai. What I do is pour 6 ounces of milk and 6 ounces of water into the little pot (with the flat disk, so it doesn't froth), add 1 and a half tablespoons of tea, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Then I press the button with the three plumes of steam coming up (that means "make it hot"; two plumes mean "make it kinda hot"). That takes about six minutes, so I leave the tea to steep in it for two more minutes while it's still on the hot plate, and then I strain it (I use this strainer). It is so yummy. They have about ten different chais there and I am working my way through them all. So far I have tried the Kashmiri chai, the Bond Street chai, and the Pumpkin Spice. Masala is my favorite.

My girl is so sweet. She napped today for quite a while while I played with the dog and read. I've never seen anyone who wakes up happier than she does. All sleepy and drowsy and fuzzy and smiley. Oh my gosh I love her so much.

What I also love about these November days is that they are already playing Christmas movies. MY FAVORITE GENRE. I watch Christmas movies every day, from the minute they start playing them. I should make a list of my favorites. I will. But someone asked me which Netflix documentaries I have watched and these are the ones I can remember (though I swear there were more that they have taken off of streaming and just made DVDs now?):

You've Been Trumped — Trump builds a golf course in Scotland. Ugh. This guy.
First Circle — Three families in the foster care system. Heartbreaking. Discouraging.
Park Avenue — Disparity of wealth in the U.S. Depressing. Discouraging.
Somewhere Between — Adoptees from China. Very moving. I cried.
Fatherhood Dreams — Gay men who are fathers. Very moving. I cried.
First Position — Young ballet dancers in competition. LOVE.
No Impact Man — NYC couple with toddler give up electricity and more for a year. (I think this one is only on DVD now, but it was good.)
Nursery University — I don't even know what to say!

I love documentaries. I like that the Netflix thing suggests ones to watch, too. I need that. What are your favorites?

Today it's freezing! Frost! Excited! Can't wait to go out.

The Crock Pot is Hot

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It's been nice and cold and dark and a little rainy and a little windy and just . . . Novembery. Mama is tiiiiiiiired. What is with the time change, seriously. Why does one little hour of difference make such a difference? Baby Mimi wakes at 3:00 a.m. Or 4:00 a.m. Or, blissfully, 5:00 a.m. (which is the old 6:00 a.m.). Ugh. It's too early even for birds. There's nothing up besides us at 4:00 a.m. She's the most chipper (and adorable, it must be said) person I've ever seen in my life at 4:00 a.m., I will give her that!

Thank you for the crock pot — slow cooker — suggestions! Very cool! We made Jennifer's Split Pea Soup that day and it was amazing. It actually needed longer than I had given it, so we saved it for the next day and made some Dutch oven bread and yeah, that was a seriously good dinner for a cold November night. Thank you, Jennifer! I printed out a bunch of other recipes that you suggested and will work my way through them. I also noticed that several people recommended America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution, so I got that. A lot of people seem to like this book, and most of the criticisms I read — you need to do a lot of prep before putting stuff in the cooker, the meals cook in four to six hours, which isn't long enough if you are at work all day — aren't problems for me at all. I have much, much more time and energy in the morning to shop for and prepare stuff. I actually really like cooking at that time of day, and since I'm home all day I can time it so that it's ready at dinnertime. We eat by five and are thick into the baby-bedtime routine by six. And honestly, at around four I just want to know what's for dinner, not be trying to make it. I don't always feel like this, but in the fall I definitely do.

So yesterday we thumbed through the new book and decided to try the Swedish meatballs. True to America's Test Kitchen style, the book is super informative and they give you lots of explanations for why a recipe asks you to do this or that. (I've watched the show for years and gotten the magazines, and I love this approach, though sometimes the dishes that I have made from them don't actually wind up being my favorites.) I think these came out really well, though I would not add the sour cream in the last step — the result was a sauce that seemed too heavy and almost cloying and too-sweet; but I should've known that was going to happen, because I don't really like the taste of sour cream in most sauces. I think I would stick with heavy cream thinned with broth or water to finish it off. That's just me. Served over buttered noodles with a green salad topped with roasted roots, yum. Good. Two dinners in a row!Next I'm going to try some chicken.

Thank you for your sweet words about the new animals! I'm really excited about them and have a lot of new ideas. Unfortunately no, neither patterns nor kits for anything new will be available before Christmas. But they will be available eventually. We are making some pretty awesome changes to our production process around here. I met with a business consultant a few weeks ago and it has been kind of life-changing for me. One result of that meeting is that I will be outsourcing all of the fabric cutting for future kits to a local sewing production factory called Spooltown. I've needed this for a while, and I am so excited about it I can't even tell you. This place is so cool, and I am thrilled that we have an amazing local resource like this. I was so excited at my first meeting with them that I couldn't stop talking. Their sewing and production space is gorgeous; I will take some pictures of it when we start the cutting for the new stuff (which won't be for a while, though). Anyway, I have lots of new ideas in the works, and now there will be more time for me to design. I will fill you in as things progress!

Works in Progress

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What a busy week we've had. Lots of coming and going and people in the house and then us going out and then coming back. Activity. In my mind I'm making a fox and a kitters and a smock dress and leg warmers and duffle coats for tiny animals. Well, not just in my mind — in real life, too. But more often in my mind, and only occasionally in real life. Testing out designs to see if they work is kind of crazy! There's no way to do it but to do it, and there are a lot of fails. The coat prototype took all day. I think I made five kitterses before I had one I liked. That's a lot of blanket stitch. But blanket stitch is weirdly satisfying. I really don't know what it is about blanket stitch. It's such a great stitch.

So, new projects! I will tell you about them as I get myself organized. I have a new sketchbook, so that's a start.

Today it's gorgeous out. All sunny and bright and breezy, with some leaves still falling and fluttering, shadows flickering. Yesterday Amelia and I had a very long walk. We sat in the coffee shop for an hour and people-watched. She fell asleep. I just sat. It was really fun. I can't remember the last time I've sat in a coffee shop alone without working, or without writing, or without talking to someone, or without eating (I had a hot chocolate), or without reading the paper, or without texting. Just sitting. Sunday morning. Lots of people out. The weather was perfect. You can tell that everyone is out, trying to soak it up before it starts raining again. We took the short way home, through the shops and restaurants, and it was so nice to be out with everyone.

Any favorite crock-pot dinner recipes out there? This is iffy territory for me. Crock potting it has been hit or miss. This always seems like such a good idea but it never sticks. Is there a reason for that, or do I just not have the right recipes? I've got one standby I think I'll make tonight, but if you've got any links to any real HITS, let me know?

I send my sincere gratitude out to all veterans and those in the military and their families today. Thank you for eveything you sacrifice to keep our country, our homes, and our families safe. Thank you.

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I bought a new sewing machine a couple of days ago! It's a Pfaff Ambition 1.0. I was sold on it almost entirely because of the way it makes buttonholes. You put the actual button you are going to use in the back of the buttonhole foot and pick which type of buttonhole you want to make, line up the bottom of the buttonhole, and press a button. Automatic stitching commences. Done. The buttonhole is done. WHAAAAAAAT! You may have known that sewing machines do this, but I did not!!!

My old machine was ten years old. It was . . . okay, not great. This new machine is only my third sewing machine in over twenty-five years of sewing. My first one that I took to college and had until I got the second one ten years ago basically did a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch, period. My second one did a bit more (it is also a Pfaff, but pretty near the bottom of the line — can't remember the model number because it's in the shop now). When the guy at the shop looked at it he actually congratulated me on being able to sew on it — it apparently has so many problems he was pretty amazed I was getting straight seams at all. So that's being fixed and I will keep it, as a backup machine. I'm ridiculously excited about the new one. It purrs. It really does. I thought that was just an expression of speech but it turns out its for real. I think this is the first thing I've owned that is not a cat that actually purrs. Excited.

I made Amelia a little brown dress from a couple of vintage patterns (mostly Simplicity 9532). (I would've used just one but it didn't have all the pieces, so I had to mix and match.) The fabric was old — it's been in my stash forever, and I think it was from the '80s. The shape of this dress is one of my very favorites. If you start looking at sewing patterns you will start to notice that even within the same basic dress shapes, there is a lot of variation in the shapes of the pattern pieces. I had two patterns for dresses that looked pretty much exactly the same in the cover illustrations. Turns out, the skirt front and skirt back on one was about 50% wider than the other, which obviously results in a much more gathered, much fuller skirt. I've been looking at the pieces a lot and trying to come up with my favorite set of basic pieces for a wardrobe for Amelia. If you have a bunch of patterns it's pretty fun to actually mix and match sleeve shapes and skirt widths and yoke shapes and make new combinations. Well, I think it's fun at least!

I wrote to the lovely Lindsay a month or two ago and asked her if she wouldn't mind if I copied the adorable matryoshka costume she made for her adorable daughter, which I'd seen on Pinterest. She very kindly said yes and I was thrilled. It was so much fun to make. I drew the design with a fabric marker and then painted it with fabric paints — my first time using them. Then I lined that painted panel with more white cotton and stitched the whole thing like a pig patch to the front. I took Amelia up to visit Daddy at work for Halloween and she had a blast. She was very serious in her costume, which cracked me up. We had a very long, very fun day and she conked out by 6:00 p.m., so no trick-or-treating this year (and Aunt Susie stayed downstairs to answer the doorbell for the neighborhood. Her favorite costumes were the "Sleeping Cowboy" (ha!) and the "Gothic Prom Girl." It was definitely my favorite Halloween so far!

(Oh, and her knitted booties [which are some of the only things I can get to stay on her feet!] are from Misha and Puff. I just love them.)

Fall continues to roll through the city. The rains have started this week — rain in the forecast every single day now. For the first time, I feel a little sad about that: It will change my daily morning walks with Amelia a bit. I have rain gear, yeah, but walking around in the gray old rain definitely won't be as nice walking around through the golden sunlight, under a canopy of red trees, through the crunchy dry leaves, over the snapping acorns, smelling the delicious scents of woodsmoke and frying onions and crab apples. It'll be walking through mud and very cold water falling on your head. Aw, well. That's what chai and cinnamon buns were made for. At least I'll feel like I've earned them now.

The Light is Changing

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Ohhhhhh, dear. It's getting dark so early now. The light is changing. In the afternoons, the light in the kitchen is just gorgeous, all rosy and glowing and warm. But by six p.m. it's dark. And at six a.m. it's dark. And those dark hours always seem to sneak up on me somehow. Every single lamp in this house, either table lamp or overhead, is on a dimmer switch. I tweak them throughout the day, if necessary, and sometimes don't turn them off until afternoon. I'm remembering our winter routines: oatmeal in the morning (which Amelia and I both love), soups in the evening, and pick out all of your colors for anything you're making at midday. Never pick them out by lamplight. Unless you like to live on the edge.

Knitting and sewing, knitting and sewing. My sister Susie and her fluffy cat Ellie, recently relocated from Charleston, South Carolina, have moved in with us. Aunt Susie babysits for an hour or two every morning and Amelia is beside herself with joy over her new playmate. I go back to the studio and sew. I have so many ideas. It feels so good to have time to work on them. Getting time to work on them a bit gives me energy and also sort of calms me for the rest of the day. During nap time I stitch hems by hand or tack down linings while she sleeps beside me under the big quilt. (I have to remember to bring eeeeeverything out there with me before she falls asleep; woe to the hand-stitcher who forgets the spool of thread when she still has three-quarters of a hem to stitch, and a sleeping baby's head on her lap.) When she wakes, we go into the kitchen and cook for dinner. She sits in her high chair eating diced apple and watching me. We talk. She doesn't have any actual words yet but she never stops talking in her own Amelia language, which includes lots of pointing and lots of saying "Uh oh!!!" Adorable. Little lovey. I like cold weather because she's snuggly and warm.

It feels good to slow down. It's been, really, a pretty intense year, and I think I'm just realizing how intense it actually was. In my mind, I'm formulating my plan for this next year and already it feels so good. It's slower, quieter, more deliberate. It's like a stash-busting plan: Dig into what you already have and do more with it: fabric, yarn, dry goods in the new pantry, recipes, time, these spaces, quilts, my people. But without rushing. Afternoons. Make tea and chill out. It's okay to do that. I have to keep reminding myself. Slow and steady is what I like. Let this baby girl grow and change and whirl through the woods and the rooms with what seems like lightning speed, and give her big soft arms and a pile of quilts to nest in when she gets tired. The fake fireplace is glowing and fake crackling. I have plans for an Earl Grey latte. Greta cleaned the office yesterday and it is bright and shiny. There's more wool than I know what to do with. And my sister is home. Happy.

Oh, This and That

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This past week: a little o' this and a little o' that. Sewing a bit, knitting a bit, hand-sewing a bit, cooking a bit, just like I wanted. The weather has been so beautiful that everyone in Portland is just pretty much walking around in a haze of delight. This — this lovely, warm, sunny, crunchy, very colorful, very beautiful month — is just not what we usually get, for autumn. Usually, just as the leaves turn October-pretty, we get them for one day. And then the next day we'll have a huge rainstorm and everything will get knocked off the trees. And then everyone will rake all of the leaves in the pouring rain, and the city will come and collect them in the rain, and then that's winter. This picture-postcard autumn — well, everyone, all over town, is smiling. It makes such a difference.

I made Mimi a little lamb from a pattern in the book I Love Patchwork for her birthday. Her name is Heather. We all love her. It was really fun to make her. I embroidered a panel on the back of her skirt with a special message and the date. It reminded me that I had a stuffed Winnie the Pooh from about birth until I was about in high school. Maybe I even took him to college, I can't remember. I took him with me to horse camp at Culver Military Academy in Indiana. My third year there, I was probably fourteen or fifteen. I was roommates that year with both my first-year roommate and my second-year roommate. We had a triple dorm room on the third floor. My two roommates were as different as night and day. One was a teen beauty-pageant queen from a little town in Michigan. The other one was street-smart and edgy and snuck out every night to smoke pot with her secret boyfriend (who I would later meet again many years later when he was, totally coincidentally, dating a [different] friend of mine at our college). I loved bothmy roommates. They didn't like each other at all. The only thing they did enjoy doing together was taking my Winnie the Pooh and hurling him out the window into the quad. I would be screaming with laughter, and have to run all the way down three flights of stairs to get him before someone picked him up, and then I'd have to run back into the dorm so no one would see me with my bear. And then the girls would wait until I'd forget about Winnie for a minute, or one would distract me with talk of trail rides and hoof picks, and the other one would grab him and throw him back out the window. And everything would start again. They could not believe I still had a stuffed animal. We would be laughing so hard we couldn't talk, and I could barely run. They must have thrown him out the window twenty-five times. I was exhausted. There was nowhere I could hide him that they wouldn't find him. That bear was so threadbare and gross it didn't even look like a bear. It looked like a hairball. Which was part of the reason for all of the screaming as the bear got tossed around — no one but me actually wanted to touch him. But I really loved him. And it made me happy to see the girls getting along for any reason. To this day it sticks out in my mind as one of the funniest things that ever happened to me. The other thing I remember is saying to the beauty queen one time, "Don't you hate it when you go somewhere and you're totally wearing the wrong thing?" And she said, quite sincerely, "No. That never happens to me. I'm always wearing the right thing." Hah! Awesome! You go girl!

Okay, what else. Mimi's sweater coat. Thank you for the advice on lining the coat! It turned out that it wasn't bad at all! I laid the sweater out on the fabric and cut each shape (back, two fronts, two sleeves, hood) out with a generous 3/4" seam allowance. Then I sewed everything up with 1/2" seams. So there was plenty of ease and it just went in like a glove. I stitched the lining in, all the way to the edges, by hand, and then did the buttonholes in the lining just behind the knitted buttonholes by hand as well. I should have taken a photo of that. I'll do that. I'll get a picture of her wearing it, too. It's pretty darn cute, and now she has a cozy winter sweater. Happy! And proud. It was a pretty big project, actually!

What else. Sausage-kale soup! It was DELICIOUS! Better than the Olive Garden ;)! The recipe is here. My friend Sarah convinced me that I needed to make better use of my food boards on my Pinterest. I just had one food board at the time. When I went to take her advice and reorganize it, everything I had pinned to the board was either 1) a sweet, 2) a curry, or 3) a fish taco. Everything. That's pretty much all I had pinned. Sugar, curry, and fish tacos. Oh-kay. No wonder I never know what to eat for dinner. So I am determined to do better with this. I really think it will make life so much easier because I enjoy cooking but I am mostly pathetic at figuring out what to make. It's like my mind just blanks the moment I have to decide. It's really unfortunate. I've created a few more food boards now and I really do need to take the time to add more things to it because in the long run I think it will be a fun thing that will actually make life easier, too.

I did use the Pinterest boards to try to find another black bean soup recipe and then wound up making up one of my own. We baked the no-knead Dutch oven bread to go with it. And it was a very nice weekend fall dinner, if I do say so myself. With some butter and honey on that bread, aw yeah.

Black Bean Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 14-ounce cans of black beans, with their liquid
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper sauce
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 pound broiled shrimp (toss them with some olive oil, Mexican seasoning, and salt and pepper and put them under the broiler for a few minutes, under pink), cut into bite-sized pieces
Sour cream with a little chipotle sauce stirred in

In a large soup pot, saute the jalapeno, onion, and carrots in the oil for ten minutes or so until soft. Add spices and garlic and saute for another minute. Add the black beans in their liquid, the stock, the chipotle sauce, and the molasses. Bring to a boil then turn soup down to a simmer and let simmer for 30 minutes, more if you like your beans softer (I do). Garnish with broiled shrimp and sour cream. Not bad.

The Pumpkin Patch

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I've never been a big fan of Halloween. Pumpkin patches, though — pumpkin patches I like a lot. Pumpkin patches out on the island, with dear friends and excited kiddos, with the morning fog settled into the hills and dales, with the trees turning red and the brown fields starting to sleep, with the birds swooping and singing in the cold morning air, with the flowers bright against the grayish-greens, with the pumpkins bright against the murky mud, with rumbling hay rides out to the farther fields, with caramel apples and sausages and apple cider for lunch, with cow trains and corn mazes and a big bag of apples to bring back home. With a little girl who's seeing it all for the very first time. I am, too.

Then: One

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Thank you for all of your sweet birthday wishes for Amelia. Oh, but it has been a brilliant sort of blur around here the past few weeks! A lovely blur, sort of like watching a merry-go-round whiz by. Our party was so, so nice. Everyone came, all of our friends, and neighbors, and Andy's parents came from Chicago, and Amelia's birthparents and birthgrandparents were here, and my family, and lots of kids of all ages. We had gorgeous weather, and there were crabcakes (and cupcakes), and hot cider, and wall-to-wall partiers all through the afternoon, and Amelia had a blast. We did, too. I hardly took any pictures because there was just so much going on, and there wasn't room, somehow. Balloons, flowers, children, presents, people: To watch her eyes light up the way they do at all of it, for everything and everyone, is just pure magic. Oh, dear, dear girl. You love, and are so very loved.

Right now the child is crawl-herding the corgi, and that's pretty much how it goes. Around and around in circles, always the corgi fleeing, always the baby giggling. She's just beginning to walk around the furniture on her own, and many, many (many) times a day we practice marching, with me holding her hands, and her giggling, both of us marching back and forth, back and forth across the house. It's pretty awesome, this whole learning-to-walk thing. I watch her standing with her hands balanced on the sofa cushions, then letting go with one hand, then both hands, wobbling and sitting down hard. Looking over at me to see if she should cry. Aw, naw. You're doing great. Try again!

The day after Amelia's birthday felt much more like New Year's Day than January 1st ever has, to me. I was surprised at how it felt. I'm so looking forward to this next year!!! Less working. More cooking. More sewing. More playing. More outings. One is pretty cool so far!

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




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.