Here's a truly meaningful gift that you can pull together for Mother's Day, if you work fast. But this is definitely something that transcends Mother's Day . . . you could even make one for yourself. Chances are, each one of us could use an opportunity to slow down and reflect upon our blessings.
All you need to do is collect some smooth, interesting stones of various sizes, and make a little pouch to put them in. The stones should feel pleasing in the hand. I collected these at a local riverside, but you should be able to find rounded stones in streams, at ocean beaches, or anywhere water has a chance to work its smoothing magic on rough bits of rock.
Once you have a collection of stones that make you happy, you need to make a pouch for them. A pouch is one of the simplest things to sew, and it's small enough that you can make this even if you don't have access to a sewing machine. Just remember to keep your stitches nice and small so your stones can't escape.
First, cut two pieces of cloth the same size and shape: squared off at one end and rounded at the other. Just cut them freehand, this doesn't require exactitude.
Next, fold down the squared-off end and sew across twice. Make your seams about a half-inch apart -- the space between these seams is where the drawstring will go.
Next, put the right sides together and sew from just below the drawstring channel on one side, down around the curve, to just below the drawstring channel on the other side.
(If you have a momentary lapse of reason and sew a seam directly through your drawstring channel on one side, as I did, no worries. You can snip little holes on the inside of the channel to let your drawstring through. But it's easier if you don't mess up to begin with.)
Next, find a piece of string, ribbon, whatever you'd like to use, and attach one end to a small safety pin (small enough to fit through your drawstring channel). Oonch the safety pin through the drawstring channel (yes, I believe "oonch" is the technical term) all the way to the other side. Pull through, remove the safety pin, and tie the two ends together.
Now turn the whole thing right side out, and you have your pouch!
Fill with your stones, and now you have something really special. In fact, you may not want to give them away.
But if you do, be sure to include a little note about what these little beauties are all about. I also like to write a few lines about where the stones were collected. These little details are what lend meaning to your gift.
Whatever your spiritual background, we all could stand to spend a little more time reflecting upon the many blessings in our lives. And what better way than by holding in our hands these little pieces of natural beauty?
Laura is the mother of three kids who range from toddler to teenager. She is passionate about healthful, sustainable food, and making things from scratch. In her fantasy life, she has a farm with chickens and goats, but for now raises her vegetables in the flower beds of her suburban garden. She chronicles her adventures at Chicken Counting.