The Mama Mother, and Batik-Style Watercolor Card for Kids

Today is my last day of paying homage to the amazing moms of all kinds who have shaped my "mama schema" (read the post to understand what in the world that means :) and sharing simple handmade cards to deliver to these women who have been so influential in my life. Check out the final card tutorial at the bottom of the post: a batik-style watercolor card. 

The Mama Mother

The mama, the one who gave birth to me, raised me, and otherwise nurtured me in my childhood and allowed me to live to adulthood, even after I cut up the dresses she sewed for me AND her wedding pictures. 

If that isn't love, I don't know what is. 

My mother is amazing. She claims she wasn't a perfect mother, but we (all 8 of us kids) are grateful that she was just perfect enough for us and our imperfections, and now she can be the perfect grandmother.

See, Debra -- my camera-face is genetic!
I credit my love of creating and learning to my mother. She claims I was always creative, but as a child -- and now as an adult -- few things thrill me more than showing a creation to my mother and having her gush excitement and praise my work. My mother isn't the gushy type, but she has always encouraged me in whatever endeavors I have taken up, whether it was basketball or rocket science or poetry.

My mother loves learning, and always has. She was a teacher and a librarian, and she was always reading and sharing what she'd read -- a new novel, a new fact, a new joke from Reader's Digest. She would often wake me up to come see the meteor shower or watch a space shuttle launch, or enlist me in testing the experiment she'd read about how to keep flies out of the house or make a fun gadget from household items.

In addition to my amazing mother, I have an amazing mother-in-law. She was one of my biggest believers when I was a teenager, and I learn from her example every day. She is a wonderful example of how to be Christlike and still have a wicked sense of humor. ;)

Most women say that they wouldn't be as happy as I am living within blocks of both my mother and my mother-in-law, but I thank my lucky stars every day for the support and examples of my two moms. 

Happy Mother's Day to each of you -- be sure to give a mama a hug and tell her that she's important to you :) and then go make her a card...

Batik-Style Watercolor Card for Kids

All you need is white paper/cardstock, a white crayon, and watercolors.

Use the white crayon to draw a design or write on the cardstock.

And then set your child loose with the watercolors. Well, not completely loose. I gave mine strict instructions that he was NOT to use the black or brown. :)

Once the entire page is watercolored, let it dry and then cut it in half (hamburger style) and fold it to make a card.

Since the watercolors (and my child's preference toward the water part of the equation) made the paper curl, I folded another card and stuck it inside using double-stick tape to stabilize and straighten the curved corners.

I love this art style! We use it to help my children write thank-you notes, and even my 10-year-old niece likes it, and keeps asking me what the trick is :)

A very happy Mother's Day to you and yours -- you have a week, so make sure that you take advantage of this (over-commercialized) holiday to give the mothers in your life a little extra love!


The Village Mother, and a Kids-Can-Do Peekaboo Card

I'm still paying homage to the amazing moms of all kinds who have shaped my "mama schema" (read the post to understand what in the world that means :) and sharing simple handmade cards to deliver to these women who have been so influential in my life. Check out today's easy but awesome card tutorial at the bottom of the post: kids-can-do peekaboo art card. 

The Village Mother

A Village Mother is a woman who watches out for my kids, just because. Sometimes when I'm not able to be present (such as when my children go to their classes at church) and other times they take and entertain my children and save my sanity (so grateful for amazing aunts and cousins!)

sorry, Di, this was the only picture I had!
Village mothers take the form of teachers, friends, aunts, cousins, nieces, neighbors, and sisters. (In case you can't tell, I sure love my sisters an awful lot :) You find them at school, at church, around your neighborhood, pretty much anywhere. While my children are ultimately my responsibility, I am sure grateful for the village of support I have!

a few of my amazing nieces
These village mothers love my kids like I do -- they are the second mothers that my children will be remembering and appreciating when they are grown and have kids of their own (but hopefully before then, too).

Most importantly to me, the biggest village mothers in my life play and play and plaaaaay with my children -- reminding me that, in spite of whatever phase they are going through -- my kids are fun.

the best babysitters, er, I mean, sister-in-laws a girl could hope for :)
One of the greatest joys I have discovered since my son was born 3 1/2 years ago is the pure delight that comes from seeing someone else fall in love with my child. Seeing someone else enjoy my child reminds me how much I DO enjoy them, and how I should not just love but also enjoy my child.

So, here's to you, my village mothers! Your adoring fans have made you some awesome (if I do say so myself) cards...

Kids Can Do Peekaboo Cards

The Second Mother, and A Mixed Media Mother's Day Bouquet Card

As I introduced earlier, this week I'm paying homage to the amazing moms of all kinds who have shaped my "mama schema" (read the post to understand what in the world that means :) and sharing simple handmade cards to deliver to these women who have been so influential in my life. Check out today's easy but awesome card tutorial at the bottom of the post: mixed media mother's day bouquet. 

The Second Mother

A Second Mother is one of those women who takes you under her wing, who tells you that you matter, who cheers you on -- even though she has no biological or legal responsibility to do so.
Rusti, my second mom throughout high school, the one who didn't get mad when we had a frosting fight in her house. :)

Second mothers love you like you belong to them, whether that means adding you to their brood or making you their honorary first child.

Second mothers, much like all mothers, give you the advice that you need, even when you don't want it.
Miranda, my manager when I waited tables in high school. 

When I was younger, my second mothers filled the gap between my own mother and my teenage brain -- telling me just what my mother had told me, but making it sound reasonable instead of unfair :)

Now that I'm "grown" (ha!), I am still finding second mothers who are watching out for me and allowing me (and my family) to become part of their families.
Yes, this is my best friend, Debra, and her mom, Sonja. Best family ever! :)

And, how lucky am I? One of my most influential second mothers later became my mother-in-law! (I think she is even as happy about the arrangement as I am ;)
My amazing mother--in-law and father-in-law

For the second mothers in your life, whip up a mixed media card... that looks like it took more time than it did :)

Mixed Media Mother's Day Bouquet Card

Just use what you have on hand... here's what I used:
  • blank card (mine is just a piece of standard sized cardstock cut in half, hamburger-style, and then folded in half again)
  • fabric scraps
  • buttons
  • washi tape
  • textured scrapbook paper
  • ribbon
  • black and yellow chenille stems (pipe cleaners)
  • glue -- I used a regular glue stick and a hot glue gun
Then, just start cutting and gluing...

  1. Draw your flower shapes on the back of the fabric and cut them out. 
  2. Stick on washi tape stems. 
  3. Fold a small (1-2 inch) piece of ribbon and stick the cut ends under the washi tape to form leaves. 
  4. Glue down the flowers. 
  5. Cut grass out of textured paper and glue it on. 
  6. Glue on buttons. 
And then, if you feel like something is missing, grab the pipe cleaners and create a tiny fuzzy bumblebee friend, by wrapping them around the tip of pencil:

And then adding another tiny piece of black pipe cleaner for antennae. Look at all that fuzzy goodness!

Glue it on, and you're done! (Once you write a nice note inside, of course!)

And now you can present your mother with a beautiful hand-picked bouquet that won't make her sneeze (or was I the only one who perpetually picked my mother bouquets of weeds she was allergic to? :)
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