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Mother’s Day Ideas

Special Gifts for Mom

Are you prepared for Mother’s Day, quickly approaching on May 8th? Don’t be lame and get something from the drugstore or a ready-packed gift basket from a chain store. Here are some ideas for thoughtful gifts to remind your mom how special she is.

Rare Device
Rare Device’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide is spot-on if your mom likes charming or lovely things. Standouts include the Diana Fayt Small Vase, an organically shaped hand-cast white vase with screen-printed hand-drawn designs (choose from three, $36). RGB nail polishes from Los Angeles are formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP-free and come in fashionably fun shades like Minty, Oxblood, Camel and Beach ($14). If you opt to buy online, use the code ILOVEMOM at for a 10 percent discount until May 8th.

On April 30, Rare Device hosts a succ-u pop-up shop: San Francisco designer Len Khoo of succ-u will be on hand with her whimsical terrariums, succulent arrangements, and DIY kits. You’ll learn tips on how to care for succulent plants and learn how to make felted owls and mushrooms.

Bound to Work
San Francisco publisher Chronicle Books is well known and loved for its distinctive selection of creative and whimsical titles. The publisher has brick-and-mortar stores in the Marina and SoMa. My Mom, Style Icon by Piper Weiss ($18.95) is the best choice to show Mom how she’s inspired you sartorially. Based on Weiss’ popular blog of the same name, this title was just published in March of this year.

Encourage Mom to take up or continue journal writing (or story/poetry writing) with a stylish Anna Sui journal. Choose from two designs: Calico Cabaret, a purple-themed fabric-covered hard cover volume ($14.95) or Flight of Fancy, paperback with foil-embossed cover featuring a beautiful peacock ($12.95). If purchasing online, enter code ANNASUI for 25 percent off and free shipping.

For the dog-lover you can’t go wrong with Photobooth Dogs by Cameron Woo ($14.95), cofounder and publisher of The Bark magazine. This collection of over 100 portraits taken in photo booths over the last 80 years celebrates the bond between dogs and people.

Chronicle Books offers a large and varied collection of themed guided journals for every hobby: My Garden – A Five-Year Journal by Mimi Lueberrman ($19.95), I Was Here – A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded by Kate Pocrass ($16.95), and Drawing Nature: A Journal by Jill Bliss ($16.95) are only a few.

For new moms, Every Day’s A Holiday: Year-Round Crafting with Kids by Heidi Kenney ($22.50) contains 50 fully-photographed projects for parents to work on and are appropriate for all ages and abilities.

Family Drawing Pillow
Now is the perfect time to commission a natural cotton pillow personalized with a rendition of your family stitched in black, brown or red thread. Offered through San Francisco-based sustainable design shop Branch, this Family Pillow comes from K Studio, a mother-daughter company committed to sustainable manufacturing processes. The pillows are available in five sizes — both squares and rectangles — and start at $134. You can pick from a variety of long-legged characters to portray your family, including pets! Order now for delivery in two-to-three weeks.

Pretty Little Somethings
At Candystore Collective, you’ll find beautiful keepsakes like Great Lakes Prisms: glass pyramids filled with sand, feathers, stones and bits of driftwood ($65, made in USA). The Bodega Bird Chalets by Roost are beautiful ready-to-hang modern matte-glazed stone birdhouses sure to perk up any surroundings ($88). In non-gaudy gold with dark green-jeweled eyes, the Hippo Locket by Moss Mills looks at once exotic and nostalgic ($106, made in Los Angeles).

Trend: Reusable Water Bottles
BPA-free reusable water bottles are all the rage; be mindful of the environment while avoiding leached chemicals and possibly rogue estrogen? Yes, please! Locally produced and somewhat exclusive bkr glass bottles fit the bill. Currently available in 500mL/16oz size and silicone sleeves (for better grip) in five soft hues, the bottles are available at Toss Designs, Tre Balm, The Mindful Body, and Webster Street Studio in San Francisco. The glass and silicone are 100 percent recyclable and a one-inch opening allows drinking in “almost any position.”

Tell Your Mom a Story and Preserve it For Eternity
Listeners of Ira Glass’ This American Life may be familiar with StoryCorps, an independent nonprofit “whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.” Gift your mother with something that will truly move her and last longer than most material objects: a professionally recorded story or collection of memories told by you. It’s recorded on CD and preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. San Francisco is one of three cities you can go year-round to a physical StoryCorps booth. The booth is located in the Contemporary Jewish Museum on Mission between 3rd and 4th Streets, in the Sala Webb Education Center. Make a reservation on the Storycorps website or by phone.

Vagabond Crafts
Fair trade/local handmade gift shop Urban Bazaar hosts the Vagabond Indie Craft Fair on April 30th, where over a dozen local artists will be selling handmade wares in the Urban Bazaar backyard. You’ll find presents like handcrafted silver pinwheel and cloud earrings from Oakland-based MXM Jewelry or solid perfumes in little “porcelain tooth fairy pots” adorned with satin flowers and brass bells by Smells & Bells Organics. All Smells & Bells’ creations are made of only natural ingredients with no fragrance oils.