Spring 2011 ~ Nature comes calling

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All I can say is “WOW!”   For some reason, we’ve been overrun by nature’s sweet creatures at The Seasonal Home. 

First, a sweet Pea Hen visited.  She was so shy and quickly retreated to the back yard when I entered the family room to find her about to enter my back door.  Then, after hanging around in the yard, she was distracted by a passing Dragonfly, flapped her wings and lifted her huge body on to my roof.  I was amazed at her athletic agility!


Next, a darling little brown Wren took up residence in my potting bench, made her nest and laid her eggs, but she wasn’t too happy when I tried to capture a quick photo of her (boy, if looks could kill! LOL) ~

But, when I checked on progress today, I noticed (through a zoom lens so as not to disturb her) that we have new chicks inching out, into the world ~

And finally (at least so far!) today, we received a visit from a family of cranes.  Here’s Mom and Dad ~

Here’s their adorable, fuzzy, baby chick ~

As you can see, Mom and Dad never stray far from their sweet baby chick ~

A Sweet Easter Story-Basket

This is a gift idea I’d like to share with those of you who also have an elderly parent.

My Mom will be 87 in June and I am blessed that she is also healthy enough to enjoy living in her own apartment.  When my Dad was still with us, the two of them were so much in love with each other and always had a running joke (between them) that he was her “Baby Duck”… they even used a cartoon voice when they’d say it to each other.  It was hilarious and adorable!  Now that my Dad has passed, I have tried to make sure the holidays are cheerful for my Mom, so I made a tribute Easter Basket (for her) this year… a tribute to the L-O-V-E between she and my Dad – her Baby Duck.

Mom & her baby duck... my Dad

The basket has a pair of boy & girl rubber Baby Ducks (to represent each of them), also a vintage, porcelain Baby Duck Easter ornament (to represent their era & add a decoration to her apt. living area), a Baby Duck-shaped little bar of soap (something fun for her apt. bath), a plush Baby Duck named “CUDDLES” (to represent how my Dad loved to hug her), a Baby Duck plant spike (to go into the potted plant by her front door (so my Dad can help her “welcome” guests too) and finally a Baby Duck watering can (because she loves to tend to her many plants on her apt. porch).  And of course, I added a few Cadbury chocolate eggs to represent Spring’s new life.

Let’s face it… when our folks get in their 80’s, they don’t need a lot of “things”, but they love their “memories”.  And since that is what I and my book are all about, I wanted her Easter basket to reflect her memories.  So, if you want to make a little Easter basket for your parent(s), consider my idea (of creating a theme) to represent and celebrate a special part of their past .  I know my Mom’s going to love this… as a matter of fact, it will probably make her cry, but with tears of joy.

Creative Mother’s Day Ideas and Gifts!

Unique Gift Wrap Idea!


This sweet teddy is holding a uniquely wrapped gift… a fun idea for personalizing Mom’s (or anyone elses) present.   Cut unwired ribbon long enough to slightly overlap.  Use double-sided transparent tape to adhere ribbon to the gift and itself, which will keep it flat.  Because the ribbon is lying flat, you can easily add self-adhesive vinyl letters to personalize your gift with the recipient’s monogram. These self-adhesive letters come in all sizes, colors, fonts and are easily found in office supply stores.

Use several coordinating (NON-wired) ribbons to weave a beautiful tabletop display for Mother’s Day.  And don’t forget to personalize the ribbon too, using foam letters (found in store craft depts.)


AWESOME gift ideas in EVERY price range  (from $0 – $70)

Choose your favorite gift ideas, from the suggestions below, to help Mother’s Day shoppers in their quest to  make Mom happy!

Whether YOU are the mom, need a gift FOR mom, are going to BE a mom or you PARENT a pet or two, below are a few gift ideas to make life a little more enjoyable on this special day:

  • Make Mom a CD of her all-time favorite songs~ it’s a proven fact that listening to favorite songs lifts a person’s spirits!
  • Have Mom fill a box with slips of paper on which are written chores she dreads doing herself.  The gift-giver can then pull out a slip (or 2) & perform the chore(s) for her, allowing her time to relax.   Ideas? Car wash or detailing, garden weeding, laundry, clean floors, run errands, clean & organize the refrigerator, clean windows, etc.  The gift of time & help is much more valuable than something purchased.
  • Install a small fountain in Mom’s garden & plant some pretty flowers around it.  Who doesn’t love the sound of a little babbling water while relaxing in the shade? (fountains are available at D.I.Y. & Discount stores and on eBay as inexpensively as $30, plus S/H of course!)
  • Order a Portable Hammock (hinged, so it folds into its own tote bag; apx. $70 at Walmart.com or eBay) paired with Mom’s favorite magazine or book store gift certificate.  Don’t forget to include some time for Mom to enjoy it all!  (This new item on the market is available in many stores; and like the folding chairs  we are already familiar with, it is so simple to fold-up, store & therefore, keep clean for each use!)
  • Purchase a digital photo frame and load it up with tons of family photos for Mom to enjoy any time she needs an infusion of nostalgia!
  • Finally, I’d like to share a gift I received personally…  from one of my own children.  Because he is a college student, one of my sons doesn’t have  any extra to spend on gifts.  Even though he knows I would be perfectly content to receive a BIG bear hug, he still wanted to give me something tangent.  So, he came up with an absolutely wonderful idea.  My son wrote a letter to the world, so to speak, (but gave it to me) outlining what he admired about me and my parenting skills.  So, if you know someone looking for a “no-cost” gift idea, suggest they write a letter about someone they love because this gift is PRICELESS!  This small excerpt (from my son’s letter about me) should explain why it is one of the BEST gifts I’ve ever received:  My mom always made sure we understood that even though she reprimanded us, she still loved us unconditionally.  To me, this made me feel important and loved as a child, which is a necessity to building future relationships.  If someone never knows or feels loved growing up, it is nearly impossible to know these feelings later in life.  My mother made me understand responsibility, at a very young age, as I went through school and extra-curricular activities.  She always encouraged me 200%, but ultimately made me responsible for my successes and failures. Growing up, my mom was the Queen of creating special memories.  She made every event, whether it was birthdays, holidays or just get-togethers, a special memory for all involved.  In doing this over the years, with myself and my three older brothers, my mother created her own unique traditions that I feel absolutely need to be shared with the world.  She is, by far, the most creative person I have ever met.
My Wonderful Boys!

My Wonderful Boys!

And now, you know why I wrote my book.  I not only wanted to grant his wish by adding my creativity to the rest of the world’s, but I also feel it is incredibly important to practice traditions within a family (and friends) to create memories.  In my book, I put my best traditions (the ones my boys love so much), alongside several of my creative seasonal & holiday decorating ideas (for 15 years, I’ve been a professional holiday decorator), recycling ideas and my original poetry and photography.  Check out my video, which is a FREE SAMPLE of my book.  It features just a few of my creative & awesome ideas and you’ll find it on my website: www.CreativeFamilyTraditions.com
BONUS IDEA:  And if you’d like to include a little poem in your Mother’s Day card, feel free to copy the one I wrote, below:
You dried my tears with your tender
hugs, scripted my life with hopes
and dreams;  I’ll never know how many
sacrifices you’ve made, but will
always treasure your legacy of
unconditional love.
Author:  Eileen Bickerstaff

CLICK ON your favorite  “CATEGORIES“ (on right) to view more of my ideas from different seasons & holidays!

And don’t forget to check out my videos and product shop while you’re here.  I am proud that everything is American Made.