...because home doesn't happen overnight.
05.09.11 / Mother’s Day Wrap

One last blurb about Mother’s Day then, I promise, I’m done until next year.

It seems I’ve started my own little Mother’s Day tradition.  I just realized it this past week.  Mother’s Day weekend has turned into my ‘time to plant annuals’ weekend.  The risk of frost is usually over and I’m itching to get outside.  This year, I kept plantings to a minimum just because we’ll be moving sometime…whenever we get The Underdog whipped into shape and our current home sells.  Still, I wanted to add bright pops of color to boost curb appeal.  I bought a trio of burgundy petunias and added them to our perennial flower beds.

They are so bright they almost look neon.  We have the best little hometown nursery just down the road from us.  The selection is wonderful and everything I buy from them grows to be so lush.  In our window boxes, I planted hot pink geraniums with sweet potato vine.  I love using pinks and fuschia alongside chartreuse and lime outside.

The window boxes are located on the second story of our home right outside the master bedroom. I’ll be honest.  They aren’t easy to fill and the process usually creates a mess in our bedroom.  I have to carry the potting soil bags and flowers upstairs, remove the window screens and carefully dump and plant everything while leaning through the window.  For that reason, I try to plant fairly maintenance-free blooms.  I love being able to see the flowers from my bed, so it’s all worth it.  I peek out at the window boxes every morning and check to see if they’re in need of water.  {Yep, I have to water them through the window too.} Each year I’m amazed at how quickly the window boxes fill out.  The geraniums and potato vine look quite puny against the house now, but in a month or so they’ll really take off and start overflowing.  In case you’re wondering, we added two of these self-watering flower boxes to the house shortly after we bought it.  They’re great – totally maintenance free!  We get compliments on them every summer.  I’ll have to remember to take some pictures and share them with you when they’re at their prime.

In other Mother’s Day news, I gifted my mom this glass jar matchstick holder/lighter and candle…similar to the one I previously shared here.  The glass jar and lid combo was 59¢ from Goodwill. It’s sort of ironic that it resembles a baby bottle.

I added jute twine and a scrapbooking vellum tag.

The bottom has a lighting strip to ignite the matches.

My mom loved her gift.  I had to point out the strip on the bottom, but she thought it was ingenious. I always enjoy making gifts for my mom because she appreciates them.  Prefers them, in fact.  I fondly remember her hand crafting many things for me, other family members and friends when I was little.  Ballet recital costumes {I took ballet classes for 10 years}, pottery {we had a kiln in our laundry room}, watercolor paintings {she saved up money to take classes…which was a big deal because she was a stay-at-home mom and my dad was a blue collar worker…and there were 4 kids in the family!}, crocheted blankets {loved the way my toes felt wiggling through the holes}, and even school clothes {when we couldn’t afford the newest styles, she’d copycat them for cheaper}. She indirectly taught me to sew.  For which I’m very thankful for now.  I don’t ever remember her sitting me down and instructing me to sew; I just picked it up from watching her do it so often.  Her drop-down sewing table was one of the most beautiful pieces of furniture in our home.  My mom suffers from schizophrenia now and her mind is often elusive.  Creating things for her and watching her realize that I put time and love into them is about the only way I can connect with her.  Plus, it reminds me of better days when she was healthier.  Her love for all things handmade is something she’s passed onto me.  And I’m grateful for that.

Okay, so that just got all sentimental.  Whoa.  Sorry.  But it’s hard to talk about Mother’s Day without actually talking about your mother.  Did your mother teach you a certain skill that you’re most appreciative of? Baking?  Piano?  Gardening?  Canning?  Make Mom proud!

images:  Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



I really enjoyed this post. Your mom sounds like a beautiful, amazing lady. My mom taught me a lot of creativity indirectly too, and every time I do something creative with the kids, I think of her. Thank you so much for sharing this and the wonderful gift you made for your mom. Hope you have a great day!!! :)


My Mom taught me stubbornness can go a long way: it can keep tears back when they want to fall at inappropriate times, it can help us push through pain and painful situations, and when you know you’re right-put your foot down. I blogged about it for her birthday back in April. http://pitchperfectpicture.blogspot.com/2011/04/dear-mom.html Happy Mother’s Day!


My mom was a high school math teacher, who finish her masters degree in math by correspondence whilst raising 3 kids…she taught me not to give up on your passion!

What a lovely gift for your mom…it’s great that you can connect with her in this special way…


I love the candle idea, such a great gift. My mom taught my the DIY mentality, which has been invaluable. She was always making things, sewing dresses for us as little girls, refinishing furniture. Without her I would be so lost and I’m so thankful for her guidance!


How sweet a gift for your Mom! I love giving practical and meaningful gifts and one important thing my own Mom taught me was that very thing, along with a deep passion for all things creative. Have a great week!


I love this! Great tradition – we always planted my grandmother’s flowers with my Mom on mother’s day – that was her gift. She isn’t living at home now, but this year I was with my Mom putting in some vegetables in a little corner of the yard.

I love the jar – i just bought 2 of these exact jars last week! What a great idea!!!


My mom taught my cousin to crochet, but she wouldn’t teach me. It’s been more the 45 years, and still ticks me off. My sister did teach me some stitches, and I did a little crochet, but now I have osteoarthritis in my wrists and thumbs, so all handwork is out.

Mother did teach me some practical things, like “following the sun around the house”. During the summer, pulling shades and drapes closed against the sun, and in the winter opening the shades and drapes. Now it’s called “passive solar heating”. And it still works!


My Mum taught me how to cook, along with all the little tips that come with cooking – like never break an egg straight into any mixture in case the egg is bad! – but her best and lasting gift to me was when I was 10 she taught me how to knit. I have been custom knitting orders for years and more recently selling at a local market and also online – what a gift to give. She passed away three years ago, I miss her every minute of every day but I feel her close to me when I’m knitting ….


Wow – watering second floor window boxes DOES sound like a pain. I’ve never really thought about it before, but now I’ll never even consider it! :)


Just found your blog via apt therapy. Thanks for sharing about your mom – mothers day was bittersweet for me as well. Love your gift and story!


My mom innately knows how to do all mom-things. There are a million things I picked up from her, and it makes me so happy to think of the ways that I’ve become more like her as I’ve gotten older. But I think the most important thing she taught me was to have a fierce devotion to the people you love and that your family can bring you endless amounts of happiness.

One of the nicest things about reading H*T is reading about how much your family seems to enjoy each other. I’m sure your boys will have such an appreciation of all the things you taught them and did for them, as they grow up, just as you so fondly describe your mother. Happy belated Mother’s Day!


dana, my mum passed away about 3 years ago …. when I was 28 – unfortunately she didn’t get to teach me how to be an amazing mother that I know of (I don’t have children yet) but she did teach me how to bake and I celebrate her every year by baking on her birthday and mother’s day. My mum also taught me how to dance – she was a semi-professional ballroom dancer in australia and she used to teach me to dance in the middle of our kitchen – her acting as the boy!
it still makes me laugh at how silly we must have looked but it was priceless now that she’s gone ……

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This is nice. I still don’t know what to give my mom for mother’s day so I will definitely put this one in my list.