Early in May, a facebook friend, Colleen, who was taking a ecourse class along with me went to an “Art Camp” in Oregon hosted by our teacher. It looked amazing. I messaged her about the camp and she said it WAS amazing. She sent me a link to her blog and I read about it.

The camp brings 20 or so artists from all over every year and they stay in houses on the coast. They make awesome projects. BUT this is what I LOVED- Before camp, the teacher drew names and assigned camp sisters and exchanged names and contact information so they could get to know each other before camp. Their assignment was to take an old cigar box and decorate it and fill it with goodies their sis would love. Colleen’s blog was about her and her sis exchanging their boxes at camp. They were decorated so wonderfully and full of lovely things. I thought this was so neat and I shared the link with my Mom and she loved it too. Mom said “I want to do that. Why don’t we exchange boxes.” I readily agreed to this fabulous idea and we set the box exchange for September 1st, giving us plenty of time to gather treasures for each other.

Gift giving comes easy in my family. We don’t have to have reason.

September came fast too. It was fun collecting things here and there for Mom’s box. She is a quilter so that was easily the theme for her box. The problem was finding things small enough to fit in her box. Things that didn’t make the fit will be in her stocking. I found some quilt blocks of sunflowers that absolutely would not fit, whats a girl to do.  I rolled them up and tied with lace and brought them along as a freebie. They couldn’t wait till the stockings!! I really enjoyed decorating her box by covering it with vintage papers and layering it with paint and then the words of poems about gathering. I wrapped each item up and placed it inside and wrapped it up with a long vintage dresser scarf.

We met for lunch and decided beforehand that whoever was served their plate first would get to go first. Mom was waiting at the table. She said she thought about ordering and having her plate served before I got there so she could be first, but she played fair and still won. She was first. We waited till after we ate and even had to chase down the waiter for our coffee and dessert order. We had things to do! Mom opened her box and it was sheer delight watching her unwrap each layer and hold and marvel and ooh and ahh over each item I had carefully gathered over the summer. The ladies beside us couldn’t contain themselves and wanted to look in at what we had. They really liked our goodies too.

As we discussed where each item came from and who was with me and how I made this or got that it was finally my turn. It was so hard not let my eyes gaze passed what I was holding to the next treasure as there was so many things to behold. There are many favorites treasures in my September box but tucked away in the box are a pair of clip earrings that are slightly falling apart but they are the earrings my mom wore on her “going away” outfit on her wedding day and this year marks their 50th Anniversary. What sweetness these clip ons hold.

my mom’s going away earrings


The September Box. I think it’s a new tradition now. It was too much fun to just let it go.


PS: To read about Colleen’s exchange and see their wonderful boxes click here. 







12 thoughts on “Gathered

  1. Katey!!! LOVED seeing your box exchange with your Mom and seeing all the sweet treasures tucked inside, and how precious to be given those earrings from your Mother’s wedding day 50 years ago! Thanks for sharing this and for adding the link to my own gift exchange… I went back and read it and it brought back a lovely memory. P.S. Your box is gorgeous!!! xo Colleen

  2. katey, what a blessed and lucky mom you have!! she is probably still squeeling with delight every time she walks by and looks at her box of blessings!! you are so sweet to share not only the boxes but also the wonderful relationship you and your mom share. love, Mom!

  3. I can’t rave enough about how much I like the idea, the new tradition you and mom have established, and especially the gifts you each made/received. What creativity, talent, attention to detail, thoughtful & symbolic treasures, and tributes to the recipients! My goodness! touches my heart as though I were there.

    I want to know more about how this is done, and try it myself — though I’m not sure I can without help. I am definitely going to check out the exchange you mentioned and see what I can find re instructions. You and your mom are inspirations! jerry

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