Last night was my wonderful cousin Katie's small engagement celebration dinner, our growing family took over the private room at Gabriel's for a delicious cocktail hour followed by a decadent, intimate sit down dinner. I was lucky enough to sit with Katie's Uncle R and Aunt J, who are just as much my Uncle and Aunt and had lots of words of advise and wisdom on various aspects of my life (graduate school, jobs, etc). I mentioned my new series of presents for moms and sisters from sons and brothers, and Aunt J had a great, great idea--something I had forgotten, this is why I love talking to people, and telling them what's going on here, it connects this site to the world, and gives me great ideas.

Anyway, Aunt J said that no gift from her kids meant more to her than the ones they made. I pointed out that J's three kids Jamie, Brett, and Kyle are particularly creatively minded and artistic. But she insisted that anything a child makes for their mother will warm her heart, make her happy and very, very proud.

If you consider yourself creative and artistic and have confidence in your work go for it. For the past few years Olivia, Collin, Tess and I have written a poem round robin style for my father and presented it to him in a beautiful frame. He enjoys this much more than ties, I assure you. Olivia has gifted quilts to so many deserving families and kids, and I recently presented a sweet little girl dealing with some health issues with a stuffed bird I made. Find something you can do and do it for your momma. Buy a canvas for cheap at Michael's or AC Moore, draw, paint or sharpie a creation for your mom. Knit? Crochet? Make a hat, it's fast and thoughtful. Go simple and write out a quote or a poem, that you wrote or that you love, and frame it. What I'm trying to say is gift your mom something to place on the mantel.

If you don't consider yourself artsy (or even if you do) go to Color Me Mine, Our Name is Mud, or locally, for you Huntingtonites, Claytime and paint a piece of pottery. It's hard to truly mess up a plaster plate, mug or "I love Mom" plaque, the shiny over glaze seems to make even the worst messes (and if you go with Olivia, you get to see the worst messes) look Avant Garde and fantastically creative.

I'll keep thinking, you keep asking-- and if any of you lovelies have any great idea, please, please email us at!

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