a one of a kind gift for a one of a kind lady

This weekend I flew back to Hilo to surprise my mom for her *ahem* 50th birthday! Well...her birthday was last Tuesday but her party was on Saturday and I just knew that she would LOOOOVE to see Noweo (and me, but especially Noweo) so I made sure I was there for the big shindig.
Since I was flying solo, I was a bit preoccupied with keeping myself and the little one reasonably sanitary (which is HARD with a 14th month old switching between shoving saucy chinese food in her mouth and playing in dirt) and didn't get to take any pictures. I sure developed a greater appreciation for my husband (4 hands are better than 2) and greater admiration for parents who fly solo 24/7.
BUT, the reason why I wanted to save this post until I found my camera was because I wanted to show you my mom's birthday present. Graphic design lends itself stupendously to unique gift creation and I seized the opportunity to practice illustrating.
So I created this notecards for her to use at work. She's a Hawaiian studies teacher at the elementary school we went to as kids. Manaʻo means "thoughts or ideas," makua" means parent. Usually the Hawaiian studies teacher is of the grandparent generation and is called "kupuna" but since my mom is still young, the kids call her "Makua Meyers" instead of "Kupuna Meyers."
The flower is a lehua blossom, which is famous in Hilo and the bird is a Hawaiian Honeycreeper. It took me FOREVER to get those wings right but I'm pleased with the end result of the design. Printing was a different story. It didn't turn out as sharp as I would've liked, but still had a nice overall effect.
I was a little short on supplies so I tied the cards together with a piece of thread.
I wanted the wrapping to have an organic feel, so I crumpled up a piece of brown paper bag. Keola's grandma asked if I wanted "something nicer." I think she was a little horrified that I was putting my mom's gift in what she saw as a piece of trash.
I hadn't gotten her a card, so the thought occurred to me to write on the wrapping like so:
Once that was done, I  wrapped it up and happened upon a piece of brown rope that was the PERFECT length so I used that as ribbon and tied a bow. Didn't get a picture of that because I was rushing to the airport, but believe me when I say it couldn't have come together any better.
I love the feeling of creating something unique and thoughtful that no one else has. Mom got a truly one-of-a-kind, personalized item. She loves thrift, creativity and practicality, and my gift utilized all three. Forgive my boasting. It's usually really hard for me to come up with a good gift for my mom and I'm proud of myself for this one. I really need to give props to the creative community because there are so many inspiring bloggers that help me think outside the box and find joy in making things.
More on my mom a little later because she deserves a blog post all to herself. Have you ever given a gift you were REALLY proud of?