Pretty in Pink

comments: 53

Cottagecandies3_3 Saturday night we had our Christmas sleepover with our niece. We stayed home and made "gingerbread" (graham-cracker) cottages together. These were originally in the December 2006 issue of Martha Stewart Living (and look at this cute one, out of sugar!). I think they are the perfect size — you're done decorating just as you are ready to be done, which is important. We were considering doing something fancy downtown, or riding the Santa train, but it turned out that she wanted to stay home and decorate, like we did last year and the year before. I love a girl that loves tradition!

And for all those times I've stood in my kitchen looking at the dozen or so little vintage cups I tend to gather and thought, "Why do I have these?" — now I know. They're perfect for corralling tiny 'Nilla wafers and mini marshmallows.


I do so love projects that start with the same basic materials but evolve into wildly different and creative ends. You gotta love the flowery cactus-like shrub here.


Here's Uncle Andy's cottage and boat house (his is a beach cottage in Manzanita), tiled in burnt peanuts, Chex shingles, and an Anchor Steam bottle cap. He had a window box on the side that I neglected to photograph but he wanted me to tell you about it, and it was very cute. His has a cactus shrub, too.


I got way into the pretzels, and went traditional Tudor, with the Douglas fir in the yard.


I just love this picture. I think it's on the top of the list of my favorite photos. It was hard for her to sit still the length of time the shutter wanted to stay open in this dim light. Which, in its own way, says as much about her now as anything in focus could have. So sweet. A great night.


Everything always seems so much fun at your house. No wonder your niece likes spending time there. I would too.

Great little cottages ... great imaginations.
Carolyn xxoo

Your place looks like loads of fun. your nieces are sooooooo lucky :-) Your blog always brings out "the little girl" in me. Love it!! and thanks :-)

Can we all come over to make Christmas gifts and treasures please? You're making some wonderful memories for your niece! I just wish my nephew was a bit older so we could do that. Maybe in a few years.


i wish i had an like you would be the best!!

i love all three of your houses..

xo laura

ps where did you find those cute snowmen?

I love these photos! Your niece is a very lovely girl. I so look forward to doing fun 'aunt' things with my niece.

What fun! I'm with the other commenters - we want to come and help next time, please!

this is so lovely! it makes me so happy to see everyone's fun pre-christmas activities, since all of my family is abroad. enjoy it a little bit extra for me, please!

Oh, the little houses came out beautifully! I really have to give this project a try with my kids... Can you believe we've never tried it? Thanks for being so inspiring!

These are the kinds of things that the holidays are all about. :)

So very sweet! The husband and I have been talking about making houses all season long, but it looks like it will have to wait for next year now. Thanks for the inspiration!

Thanks for reminding us that a picture doesn't have to be perfect in order to be the best.

I love these, what a darling idea for spending time with your neice. She will cherish this I am certain. Now, off to the market for sugar cubes thanks to you!

awesome. i think andy's house needs a surfboard, dude.

I love these, what a darling idea for spending time with your neice. She will cherish this I am certain. Now, off to the market for sugar cubes thanks to you!

Elizabeth Mackey says: December 18, 2007 at 09:46 AM

So very sweet and literally eye candy!!!! When I have grandchildren, I would love to start this tradition. When my girls were little,there never seemed to be enough time during the holidays. So I'm looking forward to starting a new tradition with the next generation.

Gingerbread houses have never interested me that much - until I looked at your pictures! That really looks like fun! I've been reading your blog for several months and am blown away by the quality of your photography.

Very cute and whimsical...I particularly like the Peeps snowman!

I love the houses, and I love that tablecloth in the picture with the cups of stuff!

so awesome, alicia!!! what fun. tell andy i wish i could have seen his window box.

Now that is what I call a creative gingerbread house! I hate the prepackaged ones! :)

My mom just told me that she started making her houses out of graham crackers and she loves it. Yours turned out great!

your last few posts are just killing me with the lovely pink/red/holiday goodness of you and your home. So beautiful, and make me smile so.

Oh how sweet! I love the little houses. The kids and I are going to try our hand at it this weekend. I am sure it will not last long before we break down and start eating our houses!

Alisa Noble says: December 18, 2007 at 11:03 AM

I thought about making houses this year, but decided there just wasn't enough time. After seeing yours though, I'm thinking it might be a fun Christmas Eve activity for the whole extended family to join in on if they want.
Thanks for the inspiration!

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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