To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On making Valentines.

Just so you know, I don't like Valentine's Day. I have serious issues with it being used as a holiday that requires two people to show their love for each other by 1) buying cutesy cheap trinkets that aren't necessary or practical or 2) buying overpriced flowers that die in three days or 3) using gifts as a measure of proving 'how much do you love me?'. Really, I don't like it. I'm just saying.....

So, now that I've properly trashed the day, I must tell you that I do love the day for the kidlings and I'll use any opportunity to make fun little tokens of love for them. Heck, I'll use any excuse and sometimes I don't even need an excuse. Anyway, getting back on track, I spent my evening creating Valentines for the favored little ones. Yep, these were fun to make. Here's the process for how I made them:

1. Using white cardstock, cut out as many hearts as you will need. I used a die cutter so they are all the same size, but these would look great if you cut them free hand as well. For mine I made 3 and 4" hearts.

2. Stamp each heart with a love message using embossing ink.

3. Emboss the message using clear embossing powder. This makes the message hidden, but permanent.

4. Decorate the back side (do not cover the message) using bits of ribbon, more hearts, stickers, sparkles, etc., really, anything you wish. I used this as an opportunity to use up some of the bits and scraps I had acquired from other projects.

5. Give to your special Valentine with instructions to paint over the white side with watercolors to reveal the hidden message.

What I really like about giving these Valentines is that while I was able to have some creative fun making them, the kidlings will also have crafty fun when they use watercolors to reveal the hidden messages. How fun is that?

This is where I found the basic original idea. BHG says to use a white crayon, which would work great, but I happened to have the embossing ink and powder already, and while these turned out adorable, you might want to use decorator scissors to jazz up some of the edges a bit.

See that cute little fabric envelope? Yep, borrowed that idea from Mary Beth. A similar envelope held the postcards that were part of the give-away that I won on her blog. Did I mention how surprising and cool it was to win? Oh, it is. The envelopes are super simple 5x7 pieces of scrap fabric sewn wrong sides together along 3 edges. Ok, one of the pieces is really 5x8 with one of the short ends turned under a 1/4 inch, pressed, turned an additional 3/4 inch, sewn along the edge and then sewn to the other piece, wrong sides together, but you don't have to do that part if you don't want to. (I did it to honor the spirit of Mary Beth's very generous gift to me.) So that's it, and they're perfect for holding the Valentines. Geez, sometimes it really is the simple things that work the best. Whodathunk?

Speaking of Mary Beth, this jar is holding the wonderfully decadent 85% dark chocolate she included in her package to me. It's the perfect Valentines treat and I'm trying to be very deliberate about eating it. Delicious!

Ack, now I want more chocolate! Can't wait to see what the rest of you have come up with.


  1. Your cards turned out awesome! And I agree with you about Valentine's Day, but any excuse to eat dark chocolate is a good thing! Happy day...

  2. LOVE your hidden message idea! so much fun. and great pictures of your children stitching in the last post. thank you for visiting my blog. you have a beautiful space here.

  3. Oh that is such a wonderful idea, and these cards turned out so beautiful. What a great way to celebrate.

  4. such a sweet idea, and fun for the kids : )

  5. ditto! and i love what you came up with!!
    oh god....chocolate. i have been sooooo good (after too much junk the week of my birthday), but that might send me to the chocolate chip bag.