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February 27, 2014 11:20 AM   Subscribe

I need to get a Most Helpful Person of the Year gift for a late 30s, artsy teacher. Please show me things that would work!

Going from 2 year -> 4 year university, and one particular teacher has been the most helpful person on the planet. Since graduating from 2 year school, she's invited me to her home to review my portfolio (graphic design), written a stellar recommendation letter, and provided me with all sort of resources and, in general, has just been really awesome and helpful.

Things about her to help decide:
•Early 40s, but tend to be more 'hip' (or whatever) than people in her age group. Think mid 30s for a demographic.
•Artsy/designery (?). But not too into technology.
•Likes quirky things. Has a cuckoo clock and neon painted dinosaurs in her house, which otherwise feels like trendy ikea.
•Wears a lot of jewelry. By that I mean she wears jewelry every day and owns a lot of different pieces, but doesn't necessarily wear a bunch of jewelry at one time.

Here's some things from her pinterest to give you a sense of style (I don't want to link directly to it because of privacy)
Jewelry: 1 2 3 4
Household goods: 1 2 3
etc: 1 2 3



This should be easy because our tastes are practically identical, but I just don't know what kind of gift is acceptable. Can I buy her a necklace and have it not be creepy? What about nail polish? She paints her nails. I know nothing about nail polish. Unique/artsy posters for her office or some other quirky gift would be cool. There are too many options.

Budget:$25, I have amazon prime.
posted by FirstMateKate to Shopping (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Essie nail polish sets

Pantone Color Book

The jewelry you linked reminds me of Vince Camuto jewelry.

Any of these items would be nice. Wrap them nicely and present with a card and you're good to go.
posted by Fairchild at 11:29 AM on February 27


Butter London is a very fancy luxe nail polish brand that comes in pretty bottles. I'd link to some of the independant polish brands too, but people are fanatics about that sort of thing and they tend to sell out immediately upon releasing collections.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:30 AM on February 27


I would probably stick with a book. Nail polish and jewelry seems too personal for a student-teacher relationship.
posted by Flamingo at 11:30 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Those pantone magnets you linked to are pure gold. I want them!
posted by mochapickle at 11:34 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]


@mochapickle, the tutorial is here.
posted by koroshiya at 11:44 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


I wonder whether an Etsy gift card would be nice. The pictures you linked all have a sort of Etsy vibe to me (although I know they're not handmade), and I bet she could find a bunch of quirky/vintage/awesome stuff on there that suits her tastes, and she'd be able to pick out the exact things she likes. In some ways this might not be as nice as getting her a particular gift, of course. On the other hand, it's really difficult to gauge someone's tastes well enough to buy them decorative things, and I also agree that nail polish, jewelry, etc. is a bit too personal for a student-teacher relationship.
posted by ClaireBear at 11:59 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Nail polish seems maybe a little frivolous or young (unless you both wear nail polish and it is a thing you share and love to talk about together.)

Is there a shop/boutique/gallery that sells items by local artists and craftspeople in your area? Handmade jewelry or a household item from a local artisan would be unique. Totally random things that come to mind as appropriate and possibly available handmade locally: a ceramic bowl or vase (could be small), a tablecloth or table runner, cloth napkins, a scarf or shawl, jewelry (I would say a cuff bracelet or statement necklace or pendant would run the least risk of seeming too personal).

You say you're in graphic design but could you make a small artwork yourself that would be meaningful to her? Even some sort of small digital print which you could mat/frame for her. Or dig around for DIY gift ideas on pinterest.
posted by dahliachewswell at 11:40 PM on February 27


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