Is there anything from where you are that he likes and can't get where HE is? (I don't know what provinces yer in, etc.) For me, the boy lives in Scotland, I'm in Montreal, and I give him weird Frenchy things or candy he likes that they don't sell in the UK (like peanut butter M&Ms, and anything blue). It's cheap-o for you but priceless for him.
And whenever we ARE together I try to drop "stealth gifts" everywhere--notes in his jacket/jeans/hoodie pockets, plastic dinosaurs or action figures in the nightstand drawer, puzzle pieces inside a CD case, or if he's here junk in all the different pockets of his rucksack and a letter tucked between the pages of the book he's going to read on the plane, etc etc...it's best if he keeps finding stuff days or weeks after you're gone.
In the middle of the Endless Anniversary Present right now, so thought I'd chime in:
we work at a summer camp together, and our (one-year) anniversary is right at the start of the camp season, so I'm going to be giving it to him out in the woods there. It's half "summer supply kit" and half "real present."
The parts I'm buying are *bug spray and sunscreen--he's the most bite-prone, burn-prone guy ever *a watch (he doesn't have one, needs it for camp) with the Batman logo (he loves superheroes) *peanut butter M&Ms (his favorite) *this hilarious "Punk Rock Coloring Book" that I found in a bookstore in Toronto...and Spiderman crayons
THENNN what I'm making is *a mixtape with a sweet collaged case *a hollow book with a "ransom note" in the flyleaf made of lyrics from liner notes, and a letter inside in lieu of a card *the whole thing will be in a painted/decoupaged box that can double as a letterbox for storing mail and personal effects in tent-land during the summer
He is the sort of demonstrative boy who will consider all the elaborateness endearing rather than discomfiting. I am excited! Now if only I can finish all the collaging...I have been a lazybones lately
Totally only opened this post because of the title--and so glad I did! It's lovely, and that's a brilliant idea about the boning. I've been toying with making Pipettesque clothing for a while and you may have just given me the kick in the pants necessary...
I was flipping through (scrolling through?) old posts and saw "Saves the Day" and was immediately yanked back into tenth grade...lovely lovely. A thought: forget another desk, as soon as you get bored of the fish just replace them with the video game controller...why wait when you can recraft, right?