This summer I was working in the garden when I caught a light-colored rock out of the corner of my eye. I picked it up and brushed away some of the dirt. It wasn't like most of the rocks I've picked up and thrown out of the way (and there have been an almost literal ton) it was an interesting...finish...I guess you'd say; not porous. Plus it looked remarkably like the shape of a charm I'd put on a bracelet I gave to my mom one year for her birthday.
My mom has always rallied to her children's aid when there was trouble. "Mama bear syndrome" is what she called it - you don't mess with the cubs of a mama bear. Because of that, and a pair of ceramic bears (mama and baby, which are discontinued - the bears shown are similar though) that I spotted in a Coldwater Creek catalog one Christmas, I have been giving Mom "mama bear" stuff for gift-giving occasions. The aforementioned bracelet with a dangling bear charm and finally the pair of ceramic bears that initially inspired me.
Once I saw the rock in the garden I knew it would make another perfect addition to the Mama Bear collection and I stuffed it into my pocket and later sat it on one of my many bookshelves. About three months later, I finally got it down and washed it thoroughly then allowing the surface to fully dry. Using a paint pen in black (although a Sharpie would probably work just as well) I traced over my previously pencilled on lines that mimicked the design from the bracelet charm bear. I stuffed a repurposed and redecorated box (number 3) with tissue paper and made a card insert and there was the gift (everything in matching tones of course!)!
How easy was that? Easy, free, and yet meaningful.
Next time you are out and about, take a little time to look downward and see what shapes you can find. Your rocks may not be jumping out to you as animal shapes, but an interesting rock with a non-porous surface would be a great place to write a word or message important for you to remember. Try the fruit of the spirit, encouraging words or even Latin sayings. Then keep them in bowls or trays or give them away.