Mother’s Day Project

The week before Mother’s Day I posted a picture on Facebook of a project I was designing, and then a quick little teaser of the piece done. I have to apologize as I said that I didn’t have permission to post the full after picture yet as it was a surprise gift someone commissioned. And that’s not exactly true. You see, that piece I was working on was for my own mom; I just knew I wasn’t going to see her anytime soon and didn’t want to ruin her surprise 🙂


Graphite and colored pencil on linen parchment paper.

Size: 8″ x 10″, framed

Purpose: Gift for my mom 🙂

Time to complete: From starting to design to completion, I’d say about 4 hours with doing other odd jobs in that time as well

History behind the piece: My mom LOVES genealogy, and is in fact pursuing opening her own genealogy business. I saw this family tree design on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and knew that I had to do something similar for her as a gift at some point. Mother’s Day sounded like as good as any time, so I got to work.

Thought process: The original piece is done on a pillow case. I wanted something that could stay nice for a long time, and as there are 6 people and 2 animals living in my parent’s house, I didn’t think a light colored pillow would be the best option. Something that could hang on the wall, even in my mom’s computer/office area might be nice. I didn’t exactly like how the names on the left side of the original piece were upside down, so that ended up getting switched so all the names are easier to read. I thought the piece needed some more color, which is why instead of the knot in the tree, I added a heart 🙂 All the names are lowercase; I was going to try and do capitals where necessary, but knowing that a ‘P’ would just look funny was not the best option. I think it turned out okay regardless of capitalization or not.

Detail of trunk

Problems I encountered: Oh. My. Goodness. Getting those tree branches to be spaced just right was ridiculous! And as there are an odd number of people in my family, and knowing I wanted both of my parents at the top was just crazy to figure out design wise. I think it took me an hour and a half AT LEAST to get the branches positioned in such a way that looked okay. I even had to trace my sketch onto the final paper as that was the only way I could get the position to stay just right.

Design stages

Another problem was my niece and nephew have longer names than my kids do, so getting the tree to not look lopsided or super awkward as one side was sticking out farther than the other was challenging.

My favorite part: I love the way it looks framed on a wall. It looked amazing on our living room wall that I actually kept it there for a few days after photographing it. I just like how simple it is. I may even make another one just of the five of us for my living room!

My least favorite part: I don’t know if there’s anything I don’t really like. I wish I could have put more leaves on the trees, but that would have made it very crowded.


What did you do for your mom for Mother’s Day?

One thought on “Mother’s Day Project

  1. I was nearly in tears reading this! What a surprise and a wonderful gift! Thank you for using your God-given talent to design another “Shawna original” for me. 🙂 ❤

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