Posts tagged gifts

stuff other people made

I’m a total sentimentalist – it’s always the thought that counts with me. If you just happen to accidentally by chance give me something really nice that I’ve always wanted, I’ll never love or appreciate it as much as I would something simple that shows that you really thought about it. There’s nothing much worse than being the afterthought of someone who is your forethought. (She postulates.) 

Since I’ve been supremely uncrafty lately, I thought I might share with y’all just a few of the things other people have made for me. Get excited!

1. Table by Dad. He made this table as a wedding present 30 years ago and when the happy couple didn’t need it anymore, I did! He fixed it back up and we stained it and now you will have to pry this thing out of my cold dead hands. I could write a whole essay on what this table means to (and for) me, but I’ll spare you. (For now.)

dad table

dad table 2

2. Jane Painting. Sister J made this for my birthday a couple of years ago and I love it. She is quite crafty as well (it just might run in our family). I also happen to be the only in the family to have such a gem. Lucky me.

flower painting

painted flower

3. Bookmarks. One by my gramanie, which is quite simple for her if you know her at all, but means the world to me all the same. The other a valentine that Thing 1 gave to me last year as I was leaving the house. He said “Aunt Kate, wait a minute!” and returned 2 minutes later with this valentine made out of paper, a leaf, and a press-on earring.


valentine bookmark

valentine bookmark 2

4. Necklace by Megan. I wear this necklace almost every day to work and hope that all my friends will come to their senses and move to Austin already. (Sorry for the terrible photography Megan, it doesn’t do your necklace justice.)

bow necklace

5. Painted pottery. This was the “thing” to do when my parents would visit me in college. I now have painted pottery all over my apartment. My mom, of course, did the plate with the house; my dad, the bowl that cheerfully says “good morning.” This actually pretty accurately highlights their personalities.

mom plate

dad bowl

6. And just for good measure, here’s a picture a homeless man drew of me and then my friend bought from him. As he was drawing he looked at me and said: “Something in your eyes makes me want to apologize to you.” That has always stayed with me.

kate drawing

These things might look goofy or downright silly to you, but they’re my treasures. There are some (relatively) expensive things I own that wouldn’t even cross my mind in an emergency situation. But, just try to put a glass on my table without a coaster and you’ll see a very unpleasant side of me. When Lil A broke that bow necklace (kids, hmph) I basically demanded my friend make me a new one. And when I thought I lost that red bookmark on a plane I got grown men to get on their hands and knees to look for it.

Do you have something like that? Some gift that only you know the significance of? I’m guessing it’s probably not your Xbox. Unless, of course, you fought tooth and nail for it, in which case it might always remind you of that one time you got pepper-sprayed in the electronics section of a Wal-Mart. Which is, let’s hope, a kind of once in a lifetime experience.


Leave a comment »

the most narcissistic gift i’ve ever given and how you can make one too

My grandma loves to go have coffee and breakfast at the cafe in our hometown. When one of my siblings or I am in town we go with her; it gives us a special chance to catch up on what’s happening in eachothers’ lives. Since I stayed with my parents a lot this summer, I ended up getting to  have breakfast every Monday morning with my grandma before heading back to the city to work. 

When I recently relocated myself back to my beloved city ole Grandma was pretty disappointed that our Monday morning coffee time had come to an end. I know what she was thinking:

Now that I’m gone, who will call her and schedule breakfast for 8:00am the next day and then almost-make-it-out-the-door-on-time-but-of-course-always-be-15 minutes-late?

Who will smile awkwardly while everyone stops to fill her in on all the diseases and ailments affecting the quickly aging population of the town? 

Who will be there to explain to her that it’s not THAT weird to be 28 years old and not really know what you want to do with your life?

Flat Kate will.

flat kate

"yum yum yum...mmmm i sure like coffeee...oh um, hey....i'm sorry i was late to breakfast...again.

Yep. I made a flat version of myself for my grandma to take to coffee. And guess what? Apparently we had coffee on Saturday morning together. I’m sure we had a lovely time.

Making a flat version of yourself is the easiest thing in the world. My dad has this tool and special printer that will actually do the whole thing for you in a pretty awesome way. Unfortunately, I did not have that tool at my disposal, and I’m guessing you don’t either, so here’s how I did it:

1. Gather posterboard, glue stick, photos, scissors, exacto knife and perhaps tape. A glue stick is important because regular glue will make your picture wrinkle. You only need an exacto knife if you want your cutout to be really exacto.


Step 2 – Glue pictures to poster board, let dry and cut out pictures. In the above picture I have already glued my photos to my posterboard. After you cut out your pictures, you will cut some right triangles. Mine look to be isosceles but I don’t think that’s essential. (Yes, I really did just want to type the word isosceles.)

Step 3 – Make a stand. To make a stand you fold your little triangles so that you can tape/glue them to your flat self.

Step 4. Affix your stand to your flat self.

Step 5. Admire your work and then give to someone who might miss you.

flat kate

…or someone who might miss your dog.

Now I’ve got to work on my flat Grandma to keep me company…

Comments (8) »

makin a mix cd for a 7 year old

Recently my nephew and niece (whom I will affectionately call Thing 1 and Thing 2) rode with my sister to dinner. While we were waiting for our food, Thing 1 pointed at my sister and said (oh so cutely):

“Aunt Kate! She wouldn’t play our song.”

Our song! Rays of joy shot right out of my face. Thing 1 and I have a song! The stuff I do impresses him! He remembers our time together! I have an impact on his little precious life! (This never ceases to amaze me, by the way). I couldn’t be happier.

I also couldn’t figure out what the heck he was talking about.

After much back and forth and getting only one clue from him as to what our song might be – “You know, the one where everyone is screaming” – I figured it out. Kids by MGMT.

WOW. Ok. I was going to post the video for Kids right here, but oh-my-god-and-jesus-christ that’s the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life. When in doubt, just go with the PS22 version:

Well, Thing 1 turned 7 this summer and I decided it was about time for his very first mix cd, which will of course, determine the whole course of his future life and control his destiny. This is a lot of pressure.

To start off I added a couple of songs I already know he’s into.

Then I threw on some songs I thought he might enjoy:

Some songs I really, really  hope he’ll like:

A little Cat Stevens for good measure…

…and some songs that he better love or he’ll be cut off!

Almost done, except….it just doesn’t feel complete without Radiohead. Hmmm…how about a Radiohead cover?

And now I’ve done it again. Gone right overboard. Gift giving is so hard! I had to remind myself constantly that I was making this mix for Thing 1 and not for myself. Do I add songs that I don’t particularly like but think he’ll love? (I did.) Do I add songs I don’t think he’ll like at all but I love so much that I can’t make a mix without adding them? (I didn’t – though y’all know I had to squeeze a White Stripes song on here.)

Feeling fairly confident in my choices, I wrapped it up and wondered where in the world I can get the boy a discman to play the thing.

Comments (3) »