So in case you didn't know, because you live under a rock or something, Mother's Day is this Sunday! Are you excited? I know I am, because it's my first as a mom! Well, actually since I was quite pregnant at this time last year, this is really my second, but you know.
Anyway, enough about me. Let's talk about my mom! Specifically, how awesome she is. She's the kind of mom that, when you're feeling down, sends you bars of dark chocolate and a box of chamomile lavender tea. Yeah, she's the best. She's always calling me just to chat, and no matter what's going on in my life, she's ready to listen. And sometimes I think about how she raised all four of us kids and somehow managed to not kill us all. Actually she didn't kill any of us, not even one. :)
So I wanted to do something nice for her on Mother's Day. She totally deserves it. I wasn't sure I could pull off everything I wanted to do and mail it in time, but I did! So let's go over my Momma's gifts this year. (No worries, she doesn't have internet so she won't see this and spoil the surprise. I know! No internet! I could get away with anything on here with no parental supervision....)
Because I have Lila now, I wanted it to involve her in a cute sort of way. So I decided to pretend that everything was from her to her grandma. That way the three separate elements sort of make sense together. Like the three of us. So, first, the framed picture of Lila. That was obvious and easy, and didn't require any work on my part other than to pick out the frame I thought my mom would like best. However, I want to tell a story about the photo itself, if you'll indulge me.
It goes like this: my very good friend Melissa entered me into a contest at the beginning of the year, which I won. (Yay! I've never been entered into a contest by a friend like that before, much less won!) What I received was a free photo session with Debbie Koehler here in the metro Atlanta area, as well as a ton of free prints. Allow me to brag about Debbie. She is Wonderful. I'm serious. She's not only friendly and personable, but she's awesome at what she does. Lila's photos turned out fantastic. I'm not even being paid to say that! I was just so pleased with the session, the storyboard Debbie created for me, and the quality of the prints. You can check out her work here. So that is how I came to have the incredibly sweet picture of Lila in a tutu, which I knew would be perfect for my mom for Mother's Day. End of story. (But not end of blog post - read on...)
So that was the easy part of Mom's gift. Next I needed to work on a card. I had this idea to make an accordion card and include several little wallets from the photo session. I did just that. For the front of the card, I used an alphabet stamp set and simple black ink on lavender card stock. Lila's name means purple in German, so it was a play on that, and of course, it's signed from Lila to her grandma. I thought about stamping out "Love Teresa and Lila", but I figured my mom is savvy enough to know I had a hand in all this.
Here's the inside, featuring those wallets. I attached them using those clear sticky-backed photo corners you can get from the scrapbooking section at JoAnns. Since there's no adhesive actually touching the photos, if my mom wants to remove them for long-term storage in an album, she can.
And this is the back. When I developed this project in my imagination, I knew I wanted it to have some sort of ribbon closure. Since Lila's learned to push shopping carts around stores as a means of walking (she can't walk by herself yet, only with some wheels) I was indulging her in JoAnns. And rather serendipitously Lila pushed the cart down the aisle which contained these little metal tags with adhesive backs. They were perfect! I just knotted the ribbons to keep them from slipping through the holes, and mounted it on a lavender square to match the front.
This is what the back looks like with the ribbon tied up.
And finally, the butterfly painting! A couple months ago, I came across this pin on Pinterest, and I knew I would be making one myself. This is everything I love - colorful, simple, beautiful, personalized, and handmade (or footmade, he he). What grandma wouldn't love to get this from their grandbaby?
If you decide to make some of these footprints of your little ones (and you should!) then I have some advice for you. Four pieces of advice:
1) Buy extra canvases. See the top two prints in the above photo? Not so great. They will probably get painted over and reused for some other project. (The bottom one is for us to keep).
2) Be prepared. If your baby is too little to take instruction (and aren't they all) then you'll want to have everything ready and lined up just as they are waking up from their nap. Lila was still in her sleepy and relatively tame mode when I made these. I put her up in the highchair with snacks and sippy cup and toys, and she let me have my way with her feet for five minutes. (I swirled the paints around on a dish with a paintbrush and then pressed her foot onto the plate to get it on her foot easily.) Have the soap and water and paper towels lined up too.
3) Paper plates. The two prints above would have turned out more like the bottom one if I'd used a paper plate to get off the extra paint before using her as a stamp.
4) Roll with it. Use the outside edge of the foot as the starting point and roll the foot onto the canvas, being sure to press the toes down too. Just like when they take your fingerprints in jail. Calm down. I'm kidding, I've never been to jail. Just the Army. They take your prints in the Army, and they do that roll thing.
If you'll notice, in the bottom print I didn't paint in a butterfly body, just the antennae. I like that look best, and wish I'd done it with the others. But I see more of these in my future, in other color schemes. I originally had the paints lined up to do some prints in aqua and light green, but quickly realized that would be impossible. By the time I was finished with these and then cleaned up her feet, the golden window of opportunity was gone, and she was in Rocket mode. She's a handful, that girl, but I love her that way.
So what are you giving to your mom for Mother's Day? If you're a mom, what's the most memorable gift you've received? I'd love to hear about it!