Homemade Valentine Day Cards on Nathan Olivera Paper

I made valentines cards with Jack and Fiona this past weekend. I used my good paper, a roll that used to belong to Nathan Olivera, who was a famous bay area painter. Just then I picked up my phone and dialed my sons school to tell them that, that I made the cards out of a famous artists paper! The phone rang, the voice mail picked up and I hung up! I wanted to tell them that I was very disappointed that I was the only parent to make homemade valentine’s day cards with their kids. We were given instructions last week to make Valentine cards for all the kids. I was expecting Jack and Fiona to bring home an assortment of uniquely different cards from all the kids. I imagined some with little hand prints and some painted all over, some square, some in the shape of hearts. I imagined talking to Jack and Fiona about the cards, asking who gave them to you? But instead they came home with a scatter of tiny store-bought cards, a few bags of candy hearts, Band-Aids and stickers. It’s the thought that counts and Jack and Fiona loved their homemade boxes and bags filled with valentine booty. I wonder why the parents didn’t make any cards? Jack, Fiona, and I had such a good time together over the weekend making the cards. I laid out a giant piece of paper on the table first. I drew heart shapes all over it, my original idea was that jack and Fiona would fill in the hearts, but as many painting projects go we, yes of course I helped them, started painting all over the paper. I cut up lace and we glued it on. Then I took the paper out to the deck to dry. I thought it needed more so we painted more, we splattered paint, jack and Fiona took off all their clothes and rolled in the paint. They had a blast! Then I sprayed them off with cold water from the faucet. They thought that was really funny! The next day Fiona and I went to the store and bought tons of glitter and glue! In the cracks of my kitchen table glitter sparkles still. I cut out hearts from our giant painting on Nathan Olivera paper. Laid them all out like a factory production. Jack poured a whole container of glue and whole container of glitter on one painting. Fiona worked on many, she did a great job! I was left to glitter the bulk of the cards myself, but I’m not complaining. I love glitter! I don’t use glitter in my studio, I will not use glitter in my studio! But I want to! The Valentines cards dried, and they were beautiful! The hearts were all different sizes, rough around the edges! But beautiful. I was so proud of our cards! I know that Jack and Fiona were too. That must have been cool to have the most amazing valentine’s day cards at school! I just keep wondering though, why didn’t anyone else make valentine’s day cards? Aren’t these the lessons that kids remember forever? Making things for people, giving things away, spending time being creative with your parent? I took a bath yesterday afternoon, I let Jack and Fiona watch T.V. all day after school. They ate a whole box of popsicles! I saw the box hidden under a step stool this morning as I was making my breakfast. But they let me take my whole bath without interrupting me! As I lay there in the bath I saw images of our Valentine’s day cards floating around in my mind. They were all about love and giving love, making people smile, sharing creativity. I am disappointed that no one else took the magical journey I took with my four-year-old twins but I’m glad we did. It is a memory that will last forever and a tradition I will keep every Valentine’s day until they get too embarrassed to pass out funky homemade valentine’s day cards which I hope will be never!

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist