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Cheers! How About Some Holiday Punch?

Has all that shopping got you knackered? How about sitting back, perhaps in front of a fire or yule log, and relaxing with a glass of punch? I love punch and I'm pretty confident in saying I am quite the punch maker. I think anyone who has been to a holiday party can attest to that. I remember making punch with my mom when I was little and I'm thankful that I still have that same fabulous crystal punch bowl were the magic happens. I even remember the recipe my mom and I would make! I've got quite the collection of punch recipes and today I'd like to share my newest concoction:

This punch calls for 2 parts apple cider, not juice but cider, and 1 part cranberry pomegranate juice. If you'd like an added kick my Thanksgiving guests and I experimented with which spirit would be best...turns out they're all good! We tired Prosecco, tequila and vodka, not all together, but three different batches and the results were delicious. They each tasted slightly different but great all the same. Dangerous...

Have You Heard? It's Cyber Monday

Since it's cyber Monday and everything online is devoted to buying or selling, I thought I'd get on that band wagon but with something totally different that I'm sure most of you don't have but it would be an amazing addition to your home. If you're looking for a super unique, super cozy gift I invite you to check out Comma Workshop:

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Kerry, who owns Comma Workshop, is incredibly talented and specializes in hand and machine crafted modern quilts. She's taken storytelling and quilting and mashed them together in a modern, hip way. Who wouldn't want one of these in their house?!?!? I'm trying to think of what text I'd have on mine...I'm thinking "Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes:

"The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding--
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door..."

Photos of Kerry's quilts are by David Tegart of David Tegart Photography

DIY Name Cards

Running a few errands today, prepping the big dinner and of course, still setting the scene. Materials: paper, scissors, turkey template, stamps, ribbon and napkins. I found the silhouette of the turkey online, printed that out then traced it on the red paper I wanted to use then cut, cut, cut. Once that was done, I stamped my name, punched a hole and tied it up all nice and pretty. Now I just have to make the rest and we'll be set. Have a lovely Thanksgiving evening!

The materials:

Gobble, gobble:

Setting the Scene

Preparations are well underway for the big (non) Turkey Day. We're having a Legal Seafood Thanksgiving...mmm. Last night I cooked and pureed the pumpkin, today it's pumpkin ice cream and rum ball making along with getting all the goods together. Check out my table inspirations, harvest colors with a twist on traditional.

I'm obsessed with yellow glass lately. I just found a set of small tumbler glasses...look how crazy it looks! I'm very much into texture and pattern.

And here's my favorite new little thing, a salt shaker! I love bears and just found this for .99 cents at a thrift store. Yeah! The other day I actually said I wish I could find another interesting salt shaker, I had a turkey in mind but when I saw this bear I just knew he'd be a perfect fit. And we have had bears on our back porch. Off to ice cream making...

Thanksgiving Beer Taste Off

Mmmm, my favorite holiday of the year. I just love Thanksgiving, nobody does it like my Aunt and it's always been my fave. I love the entertaining, kicking off the holiday season, over indulgences galore. Everything in moderation, including moderation people! This weekend I figured out my menu, it's tasty, and did all the shopping. A little research had to be done on which beer would be best, the contenders:

This wasn't too scientific but I did keep notes, the goal being to find my favorite pumpkin beer. First up, Punk'n Harvest Pumpkin Ale by Four + Brewing Company:

Putting my fine arts degree to good use. On taste: a bit hoppy with light pumpkin and spice notes. On packaging: like the modern take and especially like the name, so cute. I very much enjoyed this beer.

Second up:

America's Original Pumpkin Ale by Buffalo Bill's Brewery. On taste: goes down smooth, tastes "seasonal" as in it has a great mix of pumpkin spices. On design: I like the pumpkin illustration more than Punk'n, I'm feeling more traditional these days.

Third up:

Pumpkinhead Ale by Shipyard. On taste: it was a good beer but in terms of pumpkininess...mmm, there were spicy notes but it wasn't as seasonal as I would expect a pumpkin beer to be. On design: Awesome! There is nothing like that illustration and the crazy pumpkin head.

My taste winner: America's original. Out of the three it has the best mix of spices and pumpkin flavor without being overbearing. Mmmm, so good. My design winner: Pumpkinhead Ale, it's just so unique and interesting and seasonal. I can't wait to raise my glass this Thursday!

More and more I'm noticing, and keeping, caps of beer because we're going to expand our special walkway next year! There will be an all orange stone...

Mad for Hats by Arturo Rios

I think I may need to rename my fashion Friday posts Hats Off Friday or something because again, today, I'm obsessed with hats. Thanks Kate!

Actually, thanks Will too because I'm on the hunt for a new hat for him and, wow, I've just spent 30 minutes looking at things for me. I'm shopping for a special occasion and we always wear hats or sometime in my case feather headpieces! All of these are by Arturo Rios. I am in love with this first one...LOVE:

And to carry all these things I'll of course need hat boxes. For more amazing hat pictures check out this awesome blog on royal hats, Mad Hattery. It's divine! I tip my brim to you for a wonderful weekend!

Get With the Program

One of my favorite componants of Sarah's wedding was the program. It was quite the project because I hand made every single one. The inspiration came from a Martha Stewart DIY program but of course I had to make it my own! I had a lot of paper, a lot of glue, a lot of jumbo craft sticks and ribbon galore of course. I wanted to make sure that in addition to being a pretty program it was useful too!

My workspace, two kinds of scissors, one for paper one for ribbon, I'm sure there's some Krazy glue, sticks and piles of ribbon on that counter. I think this was a late night project because once I got going...watch out!

Assembly line:

All done:

Ribbon, ribbon everywhere! When I first started this Sarah wanted blue and red ribbon but as I started going through all of my ribbon I had so many beautiful colors that fit into Sarah's color palette. I figured go big! It's a party!

Everything packaged up to send to the bride:

At the church:

Sarah keeping cool:

And they lived happily ever after!

Photographs from the day of the event by & unlimited.

More Accoutrements to Set the Scene

Up today: even more paper. The best events really come down to the details, all those little things that add up to something spectacular. Sarah loves her pups and of course they had to be incorporated into the wedding! I was able to photoshop a picture of the Pointer Sisters and then construct each table number:

At the welcome table there was a little card directing people to write a note (on a typewriter!!!) to the couple:

And a bird cage to keep all the notes safe:

It being summer and a celebration, refreshments were necessary:

Photographs today are by & unlimited.

The Wine Taste Off

More paper fun today! In addition to the invitations I crafted for Sarah and Chad, I designed and constructed wine bottle sleeves and wine taste-off score cards for an event Sarah and Chad put on for guest. I also made programs, welcome cards, table numbers and drink labels but today it's all about the wine taste off:

The event, New York wines (Sarah's home state) vs. Maine wines (Chad's state), was the day after the wedding and everyone was asked to bring their own bottle of wine. I designed these sleeves to put around the wine for the blind taste test keeping in mind the overall aesthetic Sarah wanted, including of course lots and lots of poppies!

The score cards took some tinkering, I wanted to come up with something that was easy enough to understand after several glasses of vino. For each bottle guests just had to write down the bottle number then rate the look, smell, flavor and overall taste on a scale of 1-10. Highest score wins!

Bottoms up!

Contest Winner!

Happy Monday and a big thank for reading my blog! Today is exciting because it's contest time. I'm trying to grow my readership and any person that followed my online accounts this past week was entered for a surprise. Tah-dah! That paper surprise made by me is an assortment of holiday cards that Jessica P. will receive shortly. How fun is that? Here are a few shots of several of the designs:

I'm pretty obsessed with trees at the moment but:

If you are bummed you missed out...no worries! There will be more contests soon. What a coincidence though, you can purchase any of these hand made lovely pieces from me! I'm featuring one design on my Etsy shop at the moment. Can you believe that the holidays are just around the corner? I'm working on my Turkey day menu but this week on the blog I'll be featuring the rest of the most fabulous things I made for Sarah and Chad's wedding. Stay tuned!