|I made this one for V last year|
I feel really really sorry for kids today. The valentines I see in the stores are all tied to some TV show or movie character. Dora the explorer valentines? Are you kidding me? Gone are those charming old-fashioned valentines with dopey puns and silly rhymes. I loved the ones that had the flocked (furry) red hearts and the ones with the moving parts. When I was in elementary school, we spent a week making valentines during our art time. We would also decorate plain paper bags with our names on them and they would be affixed to the back of our seats. Then on Valentines day, there would be a party with cupcakes and red heart tarts. All the kids would deliver their valentines to the decorated bags. Back then, there was no ministry of political correctness so it was not guaranteed that you would receive a valentine from each of your classmates. So there was some suspense and anxiety involved, just like real life.
My mom would help me craft valentines. Sometimes we would just doctor up store bought ones with glitter. Some years we made cookies and piped on the names with icing and packaged them in tissue for delivery. My mom never made me give a valentine to everyone, but she did use the opportunity to discuss levels of expression. For instance, I was very disturbed by the notion of giving a lovey dovey valentine to a boy I didnt particularly like. She would look through the cards and find one with a monkey or a walrus or something relatively benign and reassure me that it expressed nothing more than friendship. And I remember even going to the trouble of cutting red hearts off a card just to be sure.
|The Love Bug Ornament|
I still enjoy crafting Valentine's day gifts. Its a bright and cheerful, if commercially imposed, holiday in the middle of freezing gray days. And it's right about the time people peter out on their new year's diets and go ahead and enjoy some chocolates. I've been celebrating the holiday by making these LoveBugs for a few years, a logical addition to my Christmas ornament designs. And I make valentine garlands too.
I haven't put them together yet, I am still creating all of the elements.
Today I got out some of my materials and made a valentine or two before I leave town for a week. I was inspired by Susan at 29 Black Street who is way ahead on making hers. I have painted many valentine themed illustrations over the years but I tend to not use them to make my own valentines. Instead I try to craft the whole thing by cutting and layering paper. Here are my favorite tools for the job:
Lots of paper; you need heavier stock to build the card on and lots of other papers for cutting designs. You need solids and patterns. Heart shaped doilies, glitter ( I like "Art Glitter" brand the best ), great scissors like the "cutter bee" shown; a white pen and a fine point glue pen. I also use those tiny pieces of pre-fab sticky foam squares to lift certain parts of the card. I used a paper punch to make that frilly edge at the bottom of the card. Here's the finished card:
I'll be blogging from the road this week. Im going to see about my Mom. I believe the valentine I made for her today is the last one I will ever give her. I hope to have some good pictures from my travels and look forward to visiting your blogs while I am traveling.
Anybody have some cool corny valentine rhymes they want to share with me?