f.o. | peyote bead church key.

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I love making these bottle openers for wedding gifts. They are really perfect–something most people need, but also not on a registry and unique to me. You aren’t getting more than one peyote beaded bottle opener at your shower, are you?

I completed this matte bead one back in early August, as a gift to a former colleague and friend who had been married in recent weeks. I never did get final snaps of the finished product, but I think she was pleased with the gift and I hope she and her husband have popped a few cool ones with it.

I really love mixing it up–sometimes making matte bead ones and other times all shiny, metallic beads like this one I made the previous summer for another friend getting married.

What are your go to small, handmade gifts?

holidaze.

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Nothing screams holidays like extra dirty martinis in vintage mid century glasses and fair isle snowflake motifs in red and white.

This hat ended up being an amazing stocking cap gifted before I could get finished snaps. It only took two evenings to knit, so I’m definitely starting another one this evening.

Happy merry.

friday.

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Homemade fried tortilla chips and ceviche in my house on Fridays. It’s a glorious. glorious way to spend a Friday.

I find shrimp to be one of the best, and easiest, ceviches to make at home. The shrimp take a longer time to cook in the acid (lime juice) and can turn tough as a result, so now, I’m quickly flash poaching them in some boiling salted water before submerging them in lime juice, cilantro, extra jalapeno, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and salt/pepper. After its chilled and soaked up the flavors, I add avocado at the last second.

Perfection.

Always fry your own chips. You won’t regret the work.

olives.

My mum and I found this amazing cocktail mixing glass and shooters recently on an antiques browse. This set is in mint condition–complete with glass stirrer and two glass picks for olives or cherries or onions. It’s a dream come true; the perfect addition to my bar cart. And it was only $20.

Last night, Sean and I enjoyed our first extra dirty martinis in this new set. Cheers, indeed.

porch life.

Finally, home feels settled. And after years of living in the city without proper outdoor space, I have not one–but two–giant porches. One facing east toward downtown in the back, and one facing west and the world’s best sunsets.

The back porch is a great place to enjoy an after work cocktail, or a book on a warm Saturday morning. I love that it feels like a living room. And our pooch, Jackie B, certainly loves it, too. I’m spending as many fall evenings out here as I can.

cheese plate.

My guy was in town for the extended holiday weekend. It was a blast just to catch up, relax, play cards, and make plenty of cheese plates to go with our pints of beer. It’s simply nice just to spend time, especially when you are 3,000 miles apart and see each other once every other month if lucky.

This slate cheese board was a gift from my good friend mack. 

cardamom & bourbon.

One of the first experimental drinks I’ve made from my new bar cart. Small batch bourbon, gifted to me by a coworker, cardamom bitters, and a cherry to garnish. I made this one for the coworker who gifted me the delicious Texas booze. It was a hit.

What other kinds of cocktails should I try out?