Thanksgiving is almost here! This year, instead of food recipes, I was thinking I would share a drink recipe with you. My friend Matt and his buddy Eric recently started a cocktail spice and beer sauce company called Addition. I have primarily been a hard cider drinker, so it’s only been lately that I have started getting into the whole craft cocktail thing. For me it started when Matt brought me some of Addition’s clove and cinnamon cocktail spices (still in test phase), promising it would make my cider taste like apple pie, and that it did. To me that was magic. A couple of years later, they were in full production with 25 cocktail spices and 3 beer sauces. Their philosophy? Every chef has a spice rack, why shouldn’t a bartender? And thus Addition was born. They also encourage their customers to expirement and that’s how I came up with this drink- The Tarragon Whiskey Sour. The cool thing about Addition cocktail spices is how subtly they can change the flavor of a classic drink. Tarragon is the perfect pairing for this drink, as it takes the sour down a notch and gives it a nice mellow tarragon and citrus flavor.

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You have to make a simple syrup for this drink, but’s it just a matter of boiling water with sugar and adding fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice. It’s a little extra effort but so worth it!

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Tarragon Whiskey Sours
 
Ingredients
Sour Mix
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice
Tarragon Whiskey Sour
  • 3 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. sour mix
  • 3 droppers of Addition's Tarragon Cocktail Spice
  • Soda Water
Instructions
Sour mix-
  1. In a small pot, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the sugar and reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the lemon and lime juice.
  5. Stir until incorporated and then remove from heat.
  6. Let cool and then pour through a mesh strainer to remove and seeds.
Tarragon Whiskey Sour
  1. Fill a glass halfway with ice and pour in the bourbon and the sour mix.
  2. Stir.
  3. Fill the glass to the top with soda water.
  4. Add the Addition Tarragon Cocktail Spice.
  5. Stir.
  6. Garnish with lemon.

Stores that carry Addition*-

Seattle

Wine World (University District)
Delaurenti (Pike Place Market)
E Smith Mercantile (Pioneer Square)
Capco Beverages (West Seattle)
Downtown Spirits
Liquor & Liquor (Tacoma)
Surgarpill (Capitol Hill)
Picnic (Greenwood)

Portland

The Meadow
Pearl Specialty

Los Angeles

The Cocktail Lab

New York

The Meadow
Chelsea Market Baskets

*the assortment at these stores may vary. Wine World has the full line, Delaurenti has almost the full line and the rest of the Seattle stores I know have the Tarragon.

Or order online at drinkaddition.com

They also have a couple of events coming up-

Dec 5-7th they will be selling their wares at Urban Craft Uprising

Thursday, Dec 11, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm they’ll be at MOHAI for Antifreeze, where Matt will be doing a short presentation about how to use cocktail spices in other holiday drinks, like eggnog and hot cider.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

**This is not a sponsored post. All views expressed are my own.

Getting sick of wedding posts yet? I hope not, because I still have a few things to share! Don’t worry, this won’t be a long, wordy post or a tutorial or any kind. I just wanted to show you guys the rest of the wedding decorations we made, because they came together so nicely. Plus, I listed where we got everything, in case you wanted to know.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Matt was able to repurpose some sandwich boards that his step-dad had made to protect some of the plants on their deck in the winter. He sprayed them with chalkboard paint and then hand drew and lettered the signage to go out on the street and at the end of the road.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

He also made all this signage with a neat sign making jig he bought at the Woodcraft store near us.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

The birch for the signs and the arbor came off the property.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Matt’s mom borrowed the beautiful container plants from a friend!

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

 I bought these letters at Joann Fabric and spray painted them for the photo booth.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

The background for the photo booth was made from the leftover burlap I had from making the bunting. I sewed three panels of it together to get a wider width. We also bought some small chalkboards from Joann’s to use as signage.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Matt constructed the big chalkboard for the seating arrangement. I drew the tables and Flower wrote in the names with her nice handwriting!

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

The galvanized vases came from Seattle Floral Supply and the flowers we got in bulk and arranged ourselves from the Stray Cat Flower Farm.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

The table cards were designed by me, with assets from Creative Market and were printed by Zazzle. The adorable candles on the tables were provided and hand decorated by Flower, with all sorts of fun materials like burlap, ribbon, string and chicken feathers.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

I was amazed at how the house became a wedding venue seemingly overnight. In reality it took days, but it was so cool to see what we could do. It also took everyone helping out; me, Matt, Flower, Matt’s mom, step-dad, sisters and their boyfriends, cousins and aunts… everyone! It really is fun to look back, so a big thank you goes out to all our friends and family that helped create such wonderful memories!

I think my favorite part of planning Matt and I’s wedding was making the decorations. I’m not sure if bunting is trendy or classic at this point, but I love how it looks and it’s a great way to create signage, so I knew wanted to make some for our wedding. It’s also easy to make in different materials and colors, so there are ways to make it your own. I’d been seeing burlap all over Pinterest and in floral supply places (I guess it’s all the rage now), but it kind of makes sense. It’s a cool texture, it provides a neutral color to work with and it’s cheap. Sign me up! As a gardener, I use burlap in my garden, so I am already a fan of the material. Our wedding had a loose woodsy, campfire theme, so I figured some burlap bunting would fit right in.

I didn’t want to have to do a lot of sewing, so burlap was also a good material for only doing one layer of fabric. I did sew around the edges, so it would not fray, but that was still faster than cutting out twice as much fabric and sewing two pieces together.

I knew I wanted to use bias tape to hold it all together, but had to figure out how I was going to do the letters. I wanted it to be quick and easy, so I didn’t want to spend time cutting stencils or sewing on individual letters. I had the amazing font that I used for the wedding invitations and had been wanting to try printable fabric for a while, so that is the route I ended up going for the letters.

Materials:

Burlap- The amount of fabric needed depends on what you want your banner to say, and how wide your burlap is, but I was probably able to get about 30 triangles out of 1 yard of burlap.

Bias Tape (in whatever color or pattern you want)- Determine the length you need by adding an inch in between each flag and at least a foot to each side. I added two feet to each side, so I would have room to tie it to something, if need be. Some pre-made bias tape only comes in lengths of 3 1/2 yards. The bias tape I bought came in a giant roll, so I was able to have it cut at the length I wanted. Or you can make your own!

Printable Fabric- I used the June Tailor Colorfast Sew-In Ink Jet Fabric Sheets.

Fusible Web- I used Wonder Under Fusible Web. You can get printable fabric that is iron-on fabric and then you don’t need this, but I couldn’t find it so had to get sew-on printable fabric and apply this to the back.

Rotary Cutter or Scissors

Iron

Sewing Machine

Sewing Gauge (optional)

Instructions:

Step 1- Decide what you want your bunting to say and cut out a flag for each letter. I added a blank flag to each end, but that is optional. I created this bunting template in Photoshop to use as a pattern piece for cutting, which you are welcome to use and is downloadable, by clicking on the image. I printed it on a heavy card stock, so it would hold up better when cutting around it, but plain paper will work as well. I used a rotary cutter, and just cut around the pattern piece. If using regular shears, you might want to trace around it and then cut.

bunting_templateStep 2- To prevent flags from fraying, stitch around the outer edge of the flag at a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

Step 3- Print out the letters you want (in the size you want) on the printable fabric.

Step 4- If you did not get iron-on fabric, attach fusible web to the back of the letters. It’s easier (and cleaner) if you do this before you cut the letters out. Otherwise you will get sticky stuff either on your iron or your ironing board.

Step 5- Cut out your letters.

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Step 6- Iron letters onto the flags. I used a sewing gauge to make sure the letters were generally in the same spot.

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Step 7- Pin bias tape to flags, by sandwiching the top edge of the flags inside the fold of the bias tape.

Step 8- Stitch bias tape to flags. Stitch as close to the flags as possible (about a 1/8 inch seam allowance) and make sure the flags are staying sandwiched in the bias tape, so that the flag is caught by the stitches.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

This is a great project for having your friends over to help (which is what I did) and is even wine and conversation friendly, because it doesn’t require a whole lot of concentration. I had pre-printed the letters before people came over, so we had a few girls cutting letters, one cutting flags, one person sewing and one ironing. We made 4 banners total in just a few hours!

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

I was very happy with how they all turned out and I think it really added to the look of everything.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Pinterest worthy indeed!

Invitations for our wedding presented an interesting challenge for Matt and I. Neither of us are good at graphic design and we didn’t have it in our budget to hire someone. I briefly looked at websites like Minted and Wedding Paper Divas and while there was a wide variety of customizable designs on both of those sites, I still wasn’t seeing exactly what I wanted. When it comes to designing something on my own, one of my limitations has always been that I don’t know Illustrator or InDesign. Enter in Creative Market. Creative Market is like Etsy for designers, with all sorts of unique and affordable fonts, graphics and themes. As a photographer, I do know Photoshop and that was all I needed to know to be able to use the design elements I purchased.

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Here are the elements I purchased:

Font- Veneer by Yellow Design Studio

I purchased the web and desktop fonts, so that I could use them on our wedding website as well as in Photoshop.

Tree Graphic- Vector Clip Art Evergreens Pack by Artist of Design

Stamp Effect- Texture Press- Ink Stamp Effects by Vintage Design Co.

He also has a really cool Instagram where he showcases his work- Instagram.com/ianbarnard

Wedding Website WordPress Theme- Me + You, A Wordpess Wedding Theme by Angie Makes

I am a big fan and returning customer to Angie Makes and she designed the template I use for this blog as well. Again, I looked at customizable wedding websites, like the Knot, and didn’t see what I was looking for. I found it all in this theme, so it was worth the money and I was happy to support Angie again. This is a really great wedding website theme as it includes a countdown clock, a registry page, a guestbook feature, a page for location and direction info, the ability to RSVP through the website and so much more. It was pretty quick to set up too. Here’s what we did with it- www.mattandlilly.com

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The Veneer font already had a stamp effect to it, but I wanted the tree element I was using to match it. I couldn’t figure out how to do this in Photoshop on my own, so I was very happy to find Texture Press. The description says, “TexturePress uses Photoshop smart layers (smart objects), so all you have to do is paste your compound artwork in to the smart layer, save and you’re done.” There were a few more steps to it than that (since I wanted the tree layers to be specific colors), but it came with detailed instructions, so it was easy enough.

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I think I got the most mileage out of the font. We used it for so many things, including our table cards and banners (which I will show you in another post), save the date cards, and last but not least, thank you cards.

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We had them printed by Zazzle and were very pleased with the turnaround time, quality and price (they have sales all the time). One thing I didn’t realize when ordering them, was that what I thought were envelopes were more like folders and when closed were still open at the top and bottom, so the invitation and rsvp cards could still fall out. That said, they couldn’t be mailed as is. There are outer envelopes that I could have ordered, if I had realized this. Since we didn’t want to wait for those to be shipped to us, we solved the problem by writing the addresses on the outside of the folders and then sealing them in clear envelopes from Packaging Specialties (which is a local brick and mortar near us, so we didn’t have to have them shipped). I got printable stickers for sealing the folders from there as well and printed our initials on them. We checked with the post office first and as long as you put the stamp on the outside of the clear envelope, they mail just fine. In the end, I think it looked kind of cool and everyone got their invites no problem. So it was a happy accident!

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There you have it: a cohesive, branded wedding suite.

Amy Kiel Photography

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

I can get so frustrated when trying to design outside of my ability, so by purchasing design elements like fonts and graphics, I was able work within my skill limit and it was totally not stressful at all (which should be the goal when planning a wedding). It was actually kind of satisfying! We wanted to make our invitations ourselves, but aren’t graphic designers, but still wanted something unique… so I feel like this was the perfect way to go for us. If you are in the same boat, I would highly recommend checking out Creative Market. All it cost was $83.50 total for all the fonts and graphics, plus $70 for the WordPress theme (printing costs not included). The fact that I had a fun, stress-free experience designing all of this, makes it totally worth it and I got to support indie designers in the process!

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

We got the photos from our amazing wedding photographer, Amy Kiel, so I can finally share my wedding dress with you guys! The first few photos I took in my studio on my dress form, but the rest are by Amy. There are posts about the planning and fitting (here and here) of this dress, if you want to read about that, but this post is mostly just pictures, and some details about the construction, of the dress.

Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

front

The Details-

Pattern- Victory Patterns Ava
Main Fabric- Silk Shantung from Pacific Fabrics
Upper Dress Fabric- White Crafter’s Lace form Joann Fabrics
Underlining Fabric- Silk Organza from Pacific Fabrics

Started- 4/19/14
Completed- 8/31/14
Practice dress- 28 hrs.
Final Dress- 47 hrs.
Total time- 75 hrs.

Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

back

I’ll start by saying that making my own wedding dress was such a great experience for me and has to be my greatest sewing achievement so far. I learned so much. This dress was totally the style of wedding dress I wanted, and luckily it also happened to be within my skill level as well, so it worked out.

There was a lot of hand sewing involved that was time-consuming, but it was worth it for what it added to the final construction of the dress. I underlined the silk shantung with silk organza by hand basting them together, which helped the opacity of the dress and also added a heft and crispness to it. I then took each underlined piece and surged the edges I could and used fray check on the rest. Between the underlining and the fray check, the silk wasn’t too bad to sew at all!

I’m really proud of the way I finished the hem and the front and back necklines. I hand sewed the bias binding to the lining and also the hem to the underlining, so the thread would not show on the front. I’m also especially proud of my invisible zipper. I think it’s the best one I have ever done!

Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

zipper detail

I enjoyed seeing all three versions of this dress (the muslin, wearable muslin and final dress) hanging together.

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Now on to Amy’s photos of me actually wearing my wedding dress on my wedding day!

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

Getting ready. There’s that awesome invisible zipper again!- photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

back detail- photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

sweetheart neckline detail- photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

hem detail- photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

Matt and I’s “first look”- photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Flower who was my maid of honor extraordinaire, and was a huge part of part of planning our wedding, (as you will read in future posts about the party favors, decorations and desserts), had the foresight to thrift lovely fur stoles for me and the rest of the bridesmaids. She also made all of our amazing headpieces, but more on that later as well. I think the furs totally made the styling of the whole bridal party and they kept us toasty and warm all day, as it was chilly and rainy most of the day.

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

We did it!- photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

Thanking everyone for being there- photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

First dance- photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

Showing off my crinoline- photo by Amy Kiel Photography

Amy Kiel Photography, Victory Patterns Ava wedding dress

I had so much fun dancing and swishing my skirt around all night!- photo by Amy Kiel Photography

I won’t lie, this dress had some fit issues, but I am not going to point them out to you this time. Once again, this dress is “happily imperfect” (just like life), but I had a blast at my wedding, felt beautiful all day and danced the night away, which is exactly what I wanted to do. That’s all that matters, right?