David knows my foibles and my Achilles' heels. And he knows that an extended family gathering can bring such things into relief as almost nothing else can. His advice was solid.
My mother turned ninety at the end of April, but in order to accommodate multiple schedules, my siblings and I had planned a birthday celebration for last Saturday. And though I had given my mother some small gifts on her actual birthday, I wanted to have something to present to her on Saturday.
I knew I wanted to make something using colored paper, and that it needed to have ninety of something! And, as David suggested, it seemed a good idea to do something that I would enjoy making, rather than taking on some big project that might cause more agony than pleasure. That way, no matter what kind of reception my gift received or how it stacked up against anyone else's gift, I would at least know that I had had fun making it and could forever be glad for the experience.
Toward the middle of last week I kept noticing a springtime fringe of green, heart-shaped leaves--common wood sorrel, I believe--running along the front edge of our garage in cracks in the asphalt of the driveway. I stopped several times to admire the green accent and to look closely at the leaves.
They are most definitely heart-shaped!
Later in the week I peered closely at some lupine blossoms and noticed how they, too, (in profile) look a little like lop-sided hearts--and also in some cases like mittens! Many lupine blossoms are two-toned; some even sport fine stripes!
With the sorrel and the lupine as my inspirations, and with a fresh packet of solid-colored origami paper, I set about cutting free-form heart shapes in multiple sizes, keeping a rough count as I cut. When I had a little more than ninety shapes, I took a large sheet of watercolor paper, folded it in half like a gigantic card, and took a stab at an arrangement of colored hearts on paper.
I worked quite quickly really, mostly trusting my instincts and not bringing a whole lot of thinking to the process. I arrived at a pleasant arrangement and then glued the hearts in place. Lastly, I cut some letters from various colors of paper to say "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" on the inside of the card. I felt a bit like a little kid again, giving my mother a home-made card for her birthday!
Best of all, I really did enjoy the process. And I hope some of my joy comes through the card.