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In addition to picking out our wedding favors these past few days (which, by the way, is still not a done deal: s’mores or candy rock?) I’ve also been looking into handmade wedding thank-you gifts for family and friends who’ve helped out. Naturally I’d like to knit and crochet some of these gifts. And I don’t just want to knit pretty flower pins and small gift bags either; I want my gifts to be personalized, practical, and something people would want to use or wear because, let’s be honest, the handmade movement is at its best when made-from-home crafts compete with factory-made items for usefullness and prettiness.  Otherwise, why would people bother with handmade? So picking the right gifts/patterns is key.

The other factor is, of course, time. Seeing as it’s taken me three months to get through half of a shawl for my sister’s wedding gift turned birthday present (granted, I was in the middle of finals), I know it’s better to be realistic than optimistic — game day is, after all, under three months away. Yikes!

But because I’m stubborn, I’m determined to at least try. Plus I’m sure these adorable gifties won’t take too long to whip up. What do you think?

1.) I love this Crocheted Hemp Flower Necklace from Crescendoh, which I’m thinking would be an adorable gift for the mothers and/or my soon-to-be sister in law. The kit comes with hemp yarn, a crochet hook, 40 hand-dyed buttons and intructions (v. important!). Of course, I think I would use different colored buttons and maybe throw in some novelty items, i.e. felt leaves, shells, and wooden buttons. We shall see.

2.) For our somewhat “green” wedding (whatever that means), I  thought this simple yet lovely market string bag from Erin Vaughan would make a nice gift.  You can never have enough of these washable, stretchable  bags, especially now as farmers markets are regaining popularity across the country.

3.) Here’s one for the winos and, incidentally, the men in my life.  I hope they wouldn’t feel too girly caring a “handbag” even if it is for wine. I don’t care either way. They’re cute as all.

Harry wine bottle tote by Tante Sophie.

I’ve never tried felting before but the instructions look pretty straight forward. I’d say now’s as good a time as any to give it a try.

4.) In the same vein, these crocheted baskets are darling. Perfect as fruit baskets, napkin holders, anything really.

5.) Finally, who doesn’t love an adorable, multi-purpose tote? What’s more, it’s made from recycled bread bags. Again, this would complement our eco-conscious wedding theme, plus it’d be great as a market or beach bag.

I love the colors on this one. Wonder what bread they used... Sarah Lee?

So will I have time for all these projects on top of writing this novel, on top of planning the wedding, on top of applying for real jobs? Okay, probably not. But one can dream, right? Besides, they’re great projects to put on the backburner if I don’t finish them before the wedding.

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As many of you may know, I’m getting married in August and I’m currently in the process of planning a mountain wedding for a (gulp) modest guest list of over 200 people. Yeah, not so modest, I know.  Well let me tell you, no one has been more surprised than me at how gun-ho I’ve become about planning this here shin-dig. After all, I am the girl who in high school ruined my sister’s and every other girlfriend’s dreams of a white wedding when I decided there were undeniable symbolic similarities between the modern white wedding in the West and virgin sacrifices of yester-years. Not to mention I’m not a spot-light kind of girl, and I didn’t relish the thought of spending beaucoups of money on a party that would last a couple hours when that money could go towards a down payment on a house.

But then a friend and fellow bride-to-be gave me an awesome gift: The Green Bride Guide by Kate L. Harrison.  Swooning starts here.

One of my former hang-ups with planning a big wedding was that I couldn’t see how I could be a good steward of my money and the Earth’s resources and still throw  a whoppin’ good party. Take the meal, for instance. My fiancé and I are vegetarians. Would we force our guests, mostly good ole’ country folk and meat-and-potato-lovin’ brits to eat quinoa salad and barley loaf? Or would we give in to our guests’ culinary tastes and decide our wedding was worth the price of four pigs’ lives and a pretty penny to boot?

Not only did Harrion’s bride guide give me a lot to think about in the food arena, but she helped me realize that planning a green wedding can be fun, challenging and, best of all, it can be an excuse to get crafty. And by the way, we ultimately decided not to have meat. Hurray, the pigs can live!

So this week’s wedding craft was to come up with an idea for a cute, preferably edible, favor for our 200+ guests. And after much deliberation, i.e., surfing of the blogosphere, I think we have a winner. Of course, in hindsight, it was so obvious. What better favor for an outdoor mountain wedding than personal S’mores goody bags! We’re even having the wedding at camp — so why didn’t I think of this? Of course, we did… we were already planning to have a bonfire with marshmallow roasting in the evening, but the thought hadn’t even crossed our minds to combine the two and make them into wedding favors.

In any case, I’m loving this idea featured on Once Wed with the super cute tag  designed by Miss Pickles.

Not to steal this bride’s style, I’m thinking of making our baggies out of burlap with maybe the Hershey’s logo stenciled onto the front. And I might just have to convoy this Miss Pickles for a similar darling tag.

Also, what do we think about incorporating straightened-out coat hangers, i.e. marshmallow skewers, into the table flower arrangements? I’m picturing them bursting out of the zinnias and hydrangeas like those curlicue, gold sparkley twigs you stick into the Christmas tree… Anyone else? Just me? Okay, so maybe not.

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