No Children Were Harmed in The Making of This Mother’s Day Card

Made by hand or by foot?

We all did it in preschool, some of us in camp, but when was the last time that you made a greeting card by hand?

My mom always encouraged my creativity and whatever I made, she always said something overwhelmingly positive and always uses the word “BEAUTIFUL!” As a child, her praise was so loud that while many other kids became discouraged away from art by criticism, I was insulated.

Everyone has only one mom but you can send more than one card. Every year I made Mother’s day cards for my mom, wife, mother-in-law and grandmother. My favorite was a collaboration (pictured) with my son when he was only one month old. Pouring a set of washable finger paints on a tinfoil palette, I used his miniature foot as a stamp. He was not pleased but not harmed either.

Making Mother’s day cards is the one time of year that I paint flowers. One year, when I was living in Tribeca, I found some tulips growing in Hudson River Park. As I was painting them a class of toddlers came by and their teacher said that the children planted the flowers from seeds. The kids were happy to see me painting their subjects, and being all experienced watercolor artists and card makers themselves, we had a sophisticated discussion about techniques.

Mother’s day is this Sunday and there is still time to make a card. You don’t need anything fancy. Get a sheet of paper, fold it into four and draw, paint or paste something that you think your recipient will appreciate. Then, just write something nice on the inside. In today’s world of e-cards, don’t be surprised if your real paper card ends up hanging in a frame. Beware that once you start making cards, you raise the bar for next year.

What memorable cards have you received or what were your favorite cards you made?



  1. Melinda says:

    That is just beautiful! I love things made with their footprint. My littlest one always draws a card for me. She’s already done this year’s and “hid” it under her drawing table where she thinks I can’t see it. I love I’m always a princess by a castle.

  2. You daughter could be right, Melinda you may be a princess by a castle. its so funny how they hid things, why are they so transparent about hiding things like cards and so good at hiding things like our phones and keys?

  3. That’s an interesting stamping outfit, David! 🙂
    I do most of our cards on the computer these days, mostly with photographs we’ve taken. But both of us (me and my husband Bruce) used to hand-make cards.
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    • I know you are more into digital art these days Val. Have you ever tried to upload your images to one of those companies that print cards like shutterfly. I bet your artwork would look brilliant on personalized thank you cards and they will print small batches so you can try several designs.

      • I have some qualms these days about having my digital work printed. You can read more about it in a post I wrote back in September called Waking the creative spirit.. That said, I’ve had a few printed by Moo (a well known internet printing company based in the UK) which do small and large batch print runs and they’re really nice. However, I think I’m going to concentrate on my photo colouring work as that’s really what my heart’s in at the moment. I love painting – both ‘real’ media and digitally, but I get much more of a kick out of colouring photos for people. (And I hope I can eventually get some money for it, though it’s not happening yet.)

        Thanks David.
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        • I often hear painters say they don’t like how their artwork looks on a computer screen and I have heard writers say they don’t like reading from a computer screen – sculptors say they want to display their pieces in the light conditions it was designed for.

          After reading your post, I see your point that your artwork is designed to be displayed on a back lighted screen and it would not look properly being printed on paper. Thanks for adding your perspective Val.

          I’ve seen your photo restoration and they are incredible – by using your artistic talents to make old photos into something better-than-new, I’m sure make it’s making people happy.

  4. That’s a very impressive idea. I could even imagine or visualize myself from coming up with that kind of idea. That’s very cute, I know mothers would be very happy and satisfied seeing those cute little footprints of babies in the cards they will receive.
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  5. I do like creating cards not only for my parents but also for my friends. Moreover, I also create
    different personalized stuffs for family and friends during special occasions. I used to believe that a gift with personal touch is more valuable than any expensive things in the world. Anyway, nice concept with the card! I wonder how long it took you to finish it together with the baby.
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  6. I remember my younger sister who had something like that.. But its not exact as i can see.. She had her birth certificate with her foot prints on..