Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mom's and Birthday Presents

Sunflowers, Ornamental Peppers and Rosemary from the Sacramento Farmer's Market

Is it a dilemma for any of you to pick a birthday present for your mother? When a person is trying to rid themselves of the clutter that accumulates after many years on the planet, what do you give that doesn't add to the problem? My Mom is one of the most interesting people I know. She has lived in California: Pasadena, Venice Beach, Malibu Canyon, Napa and Healdsburg and Petaluma. She lived near Santa Fe New Mexico in a village called Galesteo and also in Taos. She lived on Vashon Island in Puget Sound. She lived in Hawaii for a period of time as well. Along the way, she gathered beautiful things and mementos from all of the friends that she has acquired.

This Country Beidermeier armoire has traveled from Pasadena in the home where I grew up, to Galesteo New Mexico, to Vashon, to Healdsburg, Petaluma, and now to Sacramento. The marble topped table has traveled the same path. There is a crow from an artist, John Cannell, in New Mexico sitting on the armoire with two large metal finials that I think came along in Headlsburg. Then, there is the large handcrafted tin framed mirror that was purchased from an artisan friend by the name of Robert Stanfeld from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

There is this Folk Art man standing next to a carnivorous plant, which is so beautifully cool I think! I mean, who's mom chooses a plant like this?. The man is from a New Mexico Folk artist as well. And the Lamp is from Mom's antique Dealer days in Healdsburg. It used to be a beverage dispenser.

TV/Sitting Room

My mother collects ironstone, and has one of the most interesting collections I have seen A few of the pieces are atop just a portion her overflowing bookcases. (Now you know where I got my book fetish......and my ironstone interest.) The small hexagonal table is Victorian, picked up from an antiques dealer in Napa. And on top is an Indian Basket from my Father's side of the family (a few generations ago) filled with very old American Indian pottery shards gleaned from a forgotten New Mexico dumping site. The green Art Deco lamp is by Weller one of a pair and is from Mom's Healdsburg days. The glass pedestal the lamp is sitting on is an old Gas Pump cylinder.

So what does one give when a person doesn't want or need anything else?

We brought books to read, flowers to enjoy, goodies to eat, and wine to drink.

We brought our very favorite cake: a Pims Cake from Freeport Bakery, our favorite bakery. (It is a rich almond cake topped with orange marmalade and chunks of chocolate fudge, modeled after the Pims English Tea Cookie).

But most importantly we brought ourselves, our time, and too much love to fit in any sort of wrapped up package. And the undying promise of more.



High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

It sounds like a beautiful celebration. The cake sounds amazing and I'm now craving it.

Would love to see more pictures of your mom's home.

Anonymous said...

I find that "time together" is the best gift for anyone you love!

katiedid said...

Hi HHF! It reall is the best cake ever! IT was a very fun evening.

Hello anon! Amen!


And I'm sure you provided the only present she could really want. That cake sounds amazing by the way. Happiest of birthdays to your mom.
Lisa & Alfie

Callie Grayson said...

awesome post!
your moms place is lovely and filled with joyful items.

Cote de Texas said...

This is so wonderful!!!! What a neat mom you have. I love those pieces of ironstone - they look really unusual - not the typical pieces. Aw, this is sooo sweet!!!!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Sounds perfect!

Brilliant Asylum said...

What a touching post. The best homes (and lives, and cakes) have several layers.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Seems a strong design sense runs in the family. That is a gift not easy to come by.

A Day That Is Dessert said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother! I see where you get your sense of style.

Joyce said...

I love how you spent the day with your mom, a very priceless one!
I love her ironstone collection!!

stacey said...

I can imagine your mom must be a very special lady! After all she shares the same birthday as my 13 yr old son! :) a special post I enjoyed reading!
P.S. The cake sounds divine, we indulged in a Chocolate Fudge (baskin robbin) special that I have been sneaking bites off all day..oops!

WH said...

That's a lovely birthday celebration. As long as there is love and warmth, material gifts are always secondary, isn't it? :)

Velvet and Linen said...

It is nice to see where you get your appreciation for all things beautiful.
Moms are a wonderful thing. My Mother has given me so many gifts including the love of flea market finds, of fantastic Thanksgiving stuffing, and of English Country gardens.
Happy Birthday to your Mom.


halcyon said...

Katie, You've given your mother the gift of pride in a well-turned out and happy daughter, the gift of grandchildren, the sense of contentment in seeing you succeed in a field she is in love with (obviously) and thoughtful gifts to mark her birth anniversary. What else can one ask? What parents want more than anything is that their children are happy and content. Anything else is pure gravy! But HEY! Where are the pictures of dear Mom! The Apple certainly doesn't fall from the tree!

createacraft said...

moms are great ..
they not only give birth to us..
bur also make our lives .. shape us..

happy birtday to your mom..
let here live long nd healthy..

my mom always preferred personal gifts.. thing she could carry with her..
not anything related with her.. crafting cooking parenting abilities..
gifts for the woman she was..
this is what I like too..


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your story of your mom. Thanks for sharing. vicky darnell, TN.

KarenB said...

It's obvious that your mother gave you an incredible sense of design. I love ironstone myself and envy her collection. Your presence with her on her birthday is truly a treasure. My Mom lives across the country and I know that would be her greatest wish for her birthday. You hit it on the mark!

Jackie Von Tobel said...

What a sweet post - it is so interesting to gain insight into how creative people become who they are. It's obvious that your Mom had a lot to do with your choices in life.

drey said...

hi, this i think is my first time commenting on your blog...

i love what you said about your mother in the beginning about what to get as a gift for a woman who's spent all her life getting rid of clutter... i have a mother who HATES clutter. she lives alone so any clutter "drags" her down.

so we three sisters have been trying hard to think of pressies she can USE and not decorative items (which she abhors) which will clutter the small home. for her birthday she got a big bouquet of roses from us (an incredibly expensive extravagance in Malaysia, we don't live in Malaysia anymore, just mum). this year, we want to get her mosquito screens repaired for christmas...

thanks for reminding and exhorting those who with their giving, try to raise another person's living experience... in ways that THEY need, not what WE enjoy. :)

bijou kaleidoscope

jae said...

I think you chose perfectly for her. Time is often overlooked as a gift. If you are struggling again with her in the future.....i.e. the Holidays, I would suggest some beautiful stationery that suits her style. However, I would use one piece of it and write her a thank you. When she opens it, she will see your letter on top. Thank her for all you are because of her and tell her what she means to you....much as you did in your post. She'll hold onto that note forever. (That little idea is in my gift guide coming out soon)