From Portland with love

In Portland, there is no shortage of talented and creative folks making beautiful and useful products. These are a few of my favorite things made right here in Portland. Great for gift giving!

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Gorgeous hand-thrown mugs, cups, bottles and more from Mazama Wares. If you’re local, you can stop by Mazama’s open house at their North Portland studio this Sunday, December 21st for the best selection.

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Covet-worthy chopsticks from Hank by Henry— handmade from untreated hard woods and free of chemicals. I can’t resist red, but the subtly metallic versions are really lovely, too. I first spotted these at the holiday gift shop at the Portland Japanese Garden, where they’re selling individual pairs and boxed sets.

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This handcrafted mixer from RAFT Botanicals makes a very chic and tasty mimosa when mixed with prosecco. And it’s delicious in soda water with lime, for a fizzy agua de jamaica. I’m also a big fan of their smoked tea vanilla syrup. Can’t decide on a flavor? They have a gift box with mini versions of all three and don’t miss their recipe archive for inspired drink ideas.

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Delicious jams with a savory twist from 3 Little Figs. These versatile jams are great with biscuits and the like, but are also fantastic on a cheese plate or grilled cheese. The citrus and smoked salt is my absolute favorite.

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This Grayling necklace is clearly for someone very special. Like all of Grayling’s pieces, it’s handmade at their NE Portland shop. Not only is it gorgeous, it cleverly converts from a short to a long necklace.

Happy shopping!

20+ thoughtful gift ideas

Can you believe we’re under the two-week mark? I put together some of my favorite gift ideas and made them customizable, so you can choose your own gifting adventure. 20131211-231804.jpg

Who doesn’t love jam? Especially really good jam. Package up a couple of the following for a sweet gift:

  • Vintage jam spoons from your local antique/vintage shop, etsy or ebay
  • A jam cookbook, if they cook (or would like to)
  • Homemade jam, if you cook
  • Great jam jars, perhaps with a recipe tucked inside
  • Artisan jam from the store or farmer’s market, like Ayers Creek here in Oregon (so good!)
  • Fresh-baked bread or scones

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For those who like to entertain, mix and match items to spice up their next soirée:

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For new homeowners, choose a selection of heirloom-worthy ornaments like these from Schoolhouse Electric to help start their collection.

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For those who appreciate creature comforts, help them get cozy with one or more of the following:

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Jewelry is always a great option. Pair a stylish jewelry box with something sparkly. Or if you’re feeling unsure, tuck in a gift card for a local boutique or etsy. (Necklace, earrings and ring shown above.)

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Know someone who’s serious about teatime? Any combination of the following would be perfect:

Happy shopping!