- GNOMES: They're what Mom wants.
Two things I got from my mother: I’m always late, and I’m efficient under pressure — because, well, I’m always late.
So just under the wire, I’ve gathered up a nice and varied list of Mother’s Day gift possibilities, arranged in such a way as to minimize the usage of both time and gasoline.
We start at Lakewood Gardens on North Hills Boulevard in North Little Rock — conveniently located both near my house and Interstate 40. They’ve got all the usual hanging baskets and container gardens, but my gift of choice is one that won’t fade when summer does: A garden gnome. The ones here are understated — simple gray concrete, no loudly painted ceramic or anything. Prices range from $39 to $54. But if your mom wouldn’t appreciate the kitschy goodness of a gnome, you could opt for the more straightforward whimsy of a Geeky Beeks metal bird statue, $19. These are brightly colored, maybe two feet tall, little bobble-head bodies perched on really long skinny legs. I’d like to see a cat go after one.
From there, hop on the freeway back across the river, and head west on Cantrell to Riverdale’s Cynthia East Fabrics — yes, I know there’s no time to sew anything, just go with me here. For the mom who’d like something a little more interesting to look at while she’s paying bills or doing the dishes, check out the collection of gooseneck desk lamps ($64), brightly painted with circles, stripes and flowers, and the sets of Xochi tea towels in colorful retro prints ($14 for three).
Back on the road. Soho Modern is next, where, conveniently, everything is at least 25 percent off as owner/designer Becca Hayley prepares to move into Interior Design Row on Cantrell in front of Cajun’s Wharf. Her latest addition is a selection of modern baby furniture, including a turquoise changing table and a comfortable-looking upholstered rocking chair. Soho also has crib bedding sets from DwellBaby. But back to Mom. Choose from lamps (I like the streamlined spiral art-glass table lamps, $114 before discount — the glass looks like a stylized candle flame), funky clocks, or, for that matter, splurge and get the woman a new couch. The curvy red one I’ve been drooling over for a year now, for instance, is half off. The sale lasts through Saturday, at which point they’ll pack everything up and move it down the road. Then comes the “storage sale,” May 17-20, of overstock and slightly damaged merchandise, also in the old location. The new store will open sometime in June.
A few blocks further west is Catering to You, which, despite its name, devotes almost none of its store space to food. There’s a wealth of kitchen-related gifts to browse through, including a few (handbags and candles) that even a stove-phobic woman could enjoy. But my favorite gift here, appropriate for the new mom or mom-to-be, is a little hardback called “Mom’s Book of Answers.” Each page contains a single truism you’re likely to remember from your childhood, and would do well to keep at your fingertips with your own curtain-climbers: “Play nicely.” “This too shall pass.” “You’ll get what’s coming to you.” I’m also very fond of this store’s selection of aprons. A cotton one with big polka dots ($15) comes in four colors, and if you’ve got a really messy job to do, there’s a vinyl style that comes in a ’60s retro floral print ($21).
Across the street at Open House, pick up a chocolate scented Archipelago jar candle ($30). Seriously, you could eat it, it smells that good.
One last stop, if you’ve still got time. Hang a left and head to Rodney Parham. If your mother is the traveling sort, Always Unique carries small, stylish chess/checker and backgammon sets ($29). The boards are made from green and pink suede, and they fold up into a nice soft pouch, perfect for tucking in a backpack.
I’m out of time and out of space. All you moms, enjoy your day.
Because I said so, that’s why.