Posts filed in: September 2008

Thank you!!!

comments: 12

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for all of the orders — I am excited, keep 'em coming! We have supplies! (On order.) I messed up my internet connection today when I switched my land (phone) line to a cell phone, and didn't realize you actually need the phone line for internet stuff, etc., so I am at the neighbor's right now quickly using their connection and they are trying to get ready for bed so I need to get out. Well, not "get out," but you know what I mean. They're in pajamas. Hoping to get it fixed tomorrow, and Andy's mama is here for our long-awaited visit, but I'll be back soon! Thanks guys! xo

Ice-Skating Afternoon Felt Ornament-Making Kits Now On Sale!

comments: 56

Mainimagelabelweb

Good morning! Please allow me to officially introduce the Ice-Skating Afternoon Craft Kit, my limited-edition kit to help you create these three hand-stitched, hand-embroidered felt ornaments, now on sale in my web shop!

Included are the Ice Skate, with a pom-pon for good measure:

Pho_ornaments_skate_lg

The Hot Cocoa Cup, to warm you up:

Hotcocoaornamentweb

And the Gingerbread Girl, the sweetest of all:

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Each Ice-Skating Afternoon Ornament Craft Kit includes:

9 pieces of wool/rayon blend felt in assorted colors
12 skeins coordinating DMC cotton embroidery floss
3/4 yd rick-rack (for hangers)
2 yd wool yarn (for pom-pon)
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
Iron-on transfer pencil
Sharp fabric scissors, paper scissors, and scallop scissors
1/16" diameter hole punch (for apron)
Small pom-pon maker, or small pieces of cardboard

My sincere goal is to be able to offer as many kits as I can possibly make and still get them to you by the end of October. Please order now to insure that you will receive one! If you're just arriving here, please see this post and this one for more general information about these ornaments.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • As noted, we are in the process of putting these kits together, and they will be shipped to you sometime in October, depending on how quickly we can get everything together.
  • More information about how things work in the web shop, including answers to shipping and payment questions, can be found on my FAQ page.
  • A downloadable PDF pattern will be available soon for those of you who already have all the supplies you need. Please stay tuned for that — I'm working on it now!

Thank you!!!

More Yellow Food

comments: 47

Cornsoup1

I have several recipes for corn chowders in my recipe box. Corn chowder is my favorite soup, I think, and this is my easiest recipe for it. If your basil is growing like weeds right now, you can use a big huge handful of it in this, and it will be so good.

Some chowders call for bacon, some caramelize the corn, some call for cream — those are all good, but this one is the quickest, and its simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing: The taste is fresh and sweet, not very complicated or very savory, and sometimes that's just what you want.

Easy Corn Chowder

2 T. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced 1/3"
2 c. milk
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 c. corn kernels (fresh corn is wonderful here, but frozen [I like frozen white corn] works just fine, too)
Large handful of chopped fresh basil (if you don't have fresh basil, just skip this)

Melt butter and saute onion over medium heat until golden, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes and saute for a couple of minutes. Add milk, salt, and pepper, and simmer — don't boil, or the milk will separate — for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are soft-ish. Add corn and basil, return to a simmer, and serve. Yummy golden dinner.

Banana Bread

comments: 49

Bananabread1

Awesome! I'm so thrilled with the interest in the ornaments! Thank you! And thanks for cooperating in the head-count — sooooo helpful, and quite eye-opening. I'm so very glad I asked!

I have completely changed my estimates on this, and I will be putting the kits on sale on Wednesday at 9 a.m. PST — I'll post the detailed information here on the blog, and give you a link to my web shop where you can purchase the kits. The price will be $25 per kit — each kit includes the written instructions and photos, the pattern templates, an embroidery tutorial, and all of the felt/floss/rick-rack/yarn you will need to create all three ornaments. I truly think there will be plenty of kits for everyone, but please do try to order early — there's a time-factor here, since, as I said, I will need time to put them together, and I really want you to have enough time to work on them.

PLEASE NOTE that the kits will not ship until sometime in October, depending on how quickly the supplies come in and how quickly I can get the orders put together and processed. This will be the biggest quantity of orders I've ever processed at one time, and I would be so very grateful if you could check your shipping information on Paypal now and make sure it is updated and accurate. When the quantities get this big, it gets really difficult for me to keep track of emailed changes to shipping information after the order has been placed. I prepare my shipping labels in batches through Paypal itself, so it all goes exponentially more smoothly when the information is correct.

Please see my FAQ page for more information on how my web shop works, and how to order from it. Thank you! This is going to be so much fun! I worked on the pattern all weekend with my sister and it all looks so pretty. I love it. I'm very excited. The downloadable PDF of the pattern will be available in a few weeks, and don't forget that if you are purchasing a kit you do not need to download the PDF — a printed copy is included in your kit. Okay, I think we get it, right?!

Bananabread2

Now. BANANA BREAD. I love you, banana bread. You are good for breakfast, lunch, or dessert. (I would say dinner, but that slot I reserve for banana milkshake.) You are always moist. You always come out of the pan. You are always welcomed as a gift. You are made out of rotten fruit (a staple of our kitchen). Even if someone forgets to put you in a Ziploc bag and leaves you on the counter alone all night it does not even matter. You do not hold grudges. You are happy to be here. You never, ever fail me. There is nothing I don't like about you, banana bread. You are my roll model.

Alicia's Version of Nigella's Banana Bread
Makes 2 (9" x 5") loaves

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c. 1 T. + 1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
5 medium bananas, mashed
2 t. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and combine well. In a stand mixer (or you could just mix it by hand, I'm sure), mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas and vanilla extract. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture — I just add it all at once, to be honest. Stir just until mixed. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9" x 5" loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. A toothpick should come out "cleanish," as Nigella says.

*Sorry about the baking powder error! I am insane.

Banana Binge

comments: 57

Wowza! Yesterday's response almost made me fall (like an immobilized rock, with a clunk) off of the couch — thank you. I'm so very pleased that you like the ornaments! That is so great. So, I will be recalculating my numbers and ordering more supplies early next week. If you are still interested in throwing your name in (and again, I'm only trying to get a sense of the numbers, but many people mentioned they would like several kits, so if that's true for you, please mention that, too), there is still time. But make sure you comment not on this post but on yesterday's, okay? 'Cause I'll only go through the comments on that one and do a count on Monday, and order supplies then. I think we'll be much closer to 300 than 150, so thank you!!!

(Oh, and a few people were unsure how to leave a comment, but it's easy: Just click on the word "Comments" at the bottom of the post, and then under where it says "Post a comment" just enter the name you would like to appear on the screen and your email address [which will not be displayed or linked to] — you do not need a blog or a web site or any other url to leave a comment. If you don't have a blog or web site, just leave the box that asks for a url blank [if you want to enter a url there, your name will show up as a link to it], write your comment, and press "Post." Easy!)

A couple of things that I thought about yesterday: I'm going to include printed patterns in with the kits (and also make the pattern available as a separate downloadable PDF for people who already have felt and floss, etc.) because I'm getting the sense that a lot of people will be giving these kits as gifts, and they will make great gifts. The finished ornaments would of course make truly lovely, heirloom-quality gifts for any special people on your list (but no, I won't be selling the finished pieces :-).

A few of you asked about the skill level needed to complete these. I would say that, while not necessarily 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. The holiday season, with all of its hustle and stress, is actually the very best time to stop, settle, and focus on the little things for a few hours. Projects like these are the perfect opportunity to do that. There is great value in taking time to do something special for yourself or those you love for the holidays. Otherwise the whole season just disappears in a long, frantic blur, and no one likes that.

Yesterday, I just couldn't get my petulant old back to cooperate very much. Several people mentioned freezing the bananas, which is a great idea! I didn't even think of that. That made me think of making a banana milkshake. So I did.

Bananashake1

Man, it was good. I used Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream, too. I am bad, but it was good. Have you had one lately? I recommend it.

Ornament Kits are Coming!

comments: 560

Squareornaments2 It's true: For the past month, in the midst of summer, I have been working on designing these little felt ornaments for the holidays! Inspired by one of my favorite winter activities, this little collection is called Ice-Skating Afternoon: Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Girl, and Ice Skate Ornaments. I'm so pleased with how they came out!

Remember doing these in the '70s? Or your mom doing these in the '70s? My mom did several of them, along with appliqued felt stockings. Recently I was asking her about them and she said that all of the pieces were blanket stitched together, and you could buy lots of different kits at Lee Wards (remember Lee Wards?). I always loved those.

Many years ago, one of the first Posie products I produced on a large scale (for me) were my felt photo albums. There were actually six of them, in all different colors, with all different designs on them. (Anyone here remember those? I will have to pull them out and take some photos of them — I think my original photos are long gone.) But when I was done producing that collection, I had a lot of felt left over, and it has been taking up a ton of space in my studio. So I really wanted to design something this fall that would use up that felt and give me more space for other stuff.

So, my idea is to offer both a downloadable PDF pattern as well as a kit containing all the felt you will need to make all three of these (though you'll need to transfer the patterns and cut out the shapes yourself, but it's easy, don't worry), along with twelve perfectly coordinated colors of embroidery floss, rick-rack, and yarn for the pom-pon.

Since it takes me a long time to put things like this together, I'm starting early, so please forgive me for talking about ornaments! But I can't help it. I special-ordered the floss several weeks ago, and wound up estimating I would do about 150 kits. Yesterday, however, I spent many hours cutting squares of all the different colors of felt for the kits, and — naturally — it turns out I am going to need to order much more felt in at least three of the colors (oh, the irony) if I really am trying to get to 150 kits! So I thought I'd put these out there and see what the response is before I do go and order more felt. Maybe I'm totally overestimating, I don't know? I never really know. So, let me know here if you think you'd like a kit — no commitment, just trying to get a good idea. Once those sell out (assuming they do) there won't be any more available, mostly because I absolutely want to have these shipped to you in October so you have time to really settle in with them as the season approaches. Much more fun that way. That said, though, I'll try to make enough kits for everyone who wants one, so I thought it best to get a better idea of real numbers before I place (or amend) my supply orders.

Thank you and have a nice day! I wracked my back yesterday (only I could hurt myself while standing practically still) so I will be sitting here trying to figure out how to get something done from the sofa (one of my special talents, at least). I wish it was possible to bake banana bread from the sofa because my bananas are about as black as they can be before they belong in the garbage can. We'll see. . . .

*Yes, I do ship internationally. More info on shipping is here :-)

What I Did with the Eggs

comments: 50

First, I made Ina's Apple Cake Tatin:

Tatin2

I'd made it once before, and I know I liked it then, but I didn't like it this time. I don't know why, I just didn't like it. I'm fickle like that. I even put whipped cream on it but I still didn't like it. Oh well. What's next.

Eggs1

Hard-boiled eggs. Thank you for all of the eggy suggestions the other day! There were so many delicious-sounding suggestions, but Lauren's, for pan-seared deviled eggs, was so intriguing I had to try it. I love deviled eggs. If deviled eggs are at the party, there will be trouble, as I will stand next to the hors d'oeuvre table and sneak deviled eggs until they're gone. And then I'll go home. This will happen with crab cakes, too. Those mini-crab cakes they sometimes serve at weddings. I will risk embarrassing myself for crab cakes, no problem. I don't care. Let me at 'em. Apparently, there are some people who do not like deviled eggs, but I think that's one of those crazy stories people tell you just to make you think the world is falling apart because it cannot be true.

Eggs3

These are Pan-Crisped Deviled Eggs on French Lettuces (or just "some kind of greens," in our case) from Lynn Rossetto Kasper's (of NPR's The Splendid Table) book How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show. The recipe can be found in the right-hand column of this article about the book. I must tell you that they were amazing. After filling the little devils, you fry them up in a bit of olive oil (extra light for me — and if you use a non-stick pan, you can go with just one tablespoon of it, instead of the two to three she calls for, I would say). You mix the remaining filling with a little more mustard, oil, and vinegar, and toss that dressing with the greens. We had some French bread that I decided not to toast and just to butter. And all of this for Saturday lunch was really delicious. I might warn you against sampling any of the deviled eggs before they have been pan seared — a few of these really seemed to go a long way, taste-wise. So this was the first time in my life I 1) sat down while eating deviled eggs and 2) left the remaining ones for someone else. Who hadn't eaten four of them while preparing the lunch.

Eggs4

What can I say. They were halved, you know?

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

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.