Presents? Did Somebody Say Presents?

comments: 2

Gifts Now these babies ain't no oranges! These are presents from last year that I finally dug up today, as I am sadly tardy in unearthing my winter clothes. Well, I've unearthed them, yes -- I just haven't gotten them all (any, actually) put away.

The gloves were made for me by Rhian, my fascinating and much-missed friend, who I met in Missoula, Montana, when we both went through the MFA program in creative writing from 1994-96. Rhian has since moved to Ithaca, NY, where she gardens and writes and spins yarn and is mom to Owen and Toby and wife to John, my husband's faithful digital-music accomplice. We lived for a year (or was it two?) on the same floor of the same apartment building as Rhian and John, and I miss their wit, creativity, and constant company. They are endlessly inventive, true "project" people, more passionate and sincere about the creative process than almost anyone I know. Rhian made these gloves for my birthday last year and they are so perfect for me -- they fit so perfectly and are the most lovely and unexpected combination of soft lilac and lightning-bug yellow -- I truly couldn't have picked out anything I would like more if I'd been alongside her myself. Aside from my mother, who sewed me a substantial childhood wardrobe of riding coats and eyelet sundresses and kilts and gauchos (and who made dresses for me well into college, actually -- the steel gray pinafore I took to Europe and wore with Doc Martens, the Tartan plaid Laura Ashley, the enormous calico flannel nightgowns my two roommates wore around the dorm one night, dying of laughter), I don't think anyone has ever worked so hard or long on a present for me. 

The neckerchief was made by my sister-in-law, Jennifer Clare, and it closes with a little turquoise-and-pearl earring that belonged to her (and Andy's) grandma, Ruth. Jen is another creative genius, but her medium of choice is the viola -- she is an accomplished violist and dedicated musician. When she stays at our house, she often practices, and I love hearing live classical music coming from the guest room, especially in the summer, when it goes out her open window and back in through the screen door downstairs. I also like to imagine her in snowy Wisconsin, knitting and listening to koto music. She has a keen, sophisticated sense of style, and I love the juxtaposition of this  nubby, rustic yarn finished off with its elegant bauble. I don't know if Jen saw my coat (pictured coyly beneath my gloves and neckerchief above) before she made this for me, but there just couldn't be a better pairing -- I feel so grown-up and put together when I'm wearing them.

I feel so special when I'm wearing my presents! But really, an orange would be just fine. Really. Seriously. Really.


I love those gloves! I want gloves just like those! And a lovely neckwarmer too. What a lucky girl you are!

Speaking of "plaid" and "dying of laughter", whatever happened to the Daniel Boone Slumberparty Nightmare Dress? Do you wear it? Do you love it? If not, I have a proposal. Send it to a reader who thinks she could pull it off, and if she can't, she'll send it to the next hopeful! I'll start by listing my qualifications: 1) I'm 5'11". This makes some aspects of clothes-shopping difficult, but generally helps for dress-rocking.
2)I spent 4 months of every year at my grandparents farm, and still adore any farmgirl style. Urban Farmgirl, I suppose. 3)My girlfriend & I just bought a cast-iron skillet for our 6th anniversary (Iron), and I need something proper to wear while yielding it. 4)It's a lovely dress! Okay, thanks!

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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.