My friend, Carson, has a lovely blog: Pine & Plum. You should check it out. She organized a Handmade Valentine Swap where you make and send Valentine’s to other crafters and get them back in return.
I mailed mine last night.
I had just recently made and sold two special Valentine’s for a friend and colleague to give to his lady love and her daughter. The first one has a little vellum pocket with a sweet tag tucked inside. The tag has a retro design of a little boy with a pot of honey that I filled in with water colors and decorated with glitter, a red button, a tiny “love” tag and an embossed key embellishment. The card has hearts, flowers, washi tape, lacy doilies and a silver embossed greetings. The whole Valentine enchilada!
The second was less elaborate but still very cute.
Inside it says:
Of course! (See more owl cards below).
They both turned out well and I ended up making cards for the swap based on the pocket and tag card.
I’d found little key embellishments at Michaels in their dollar bins, and loved how the pocket cut from vellum lets you get a glimpse of the tag. Doodles in white gel pen, lace doilies, and a paper-strip heart are all part of the final card.
The five cards I made for the swap are all very similar but not identical, each tag is unique.
Each tag had a snippet of poetry and artwork out of a used book I picked up for my Art Journaling. There were several different key designs.
I was finishing the last of the cards when I had a call from Carson, would I be willing to make a few more cards for the swap to round out the numbers? Well, I didn’t have the keys to make more of the vellum pocket and tag cards, but I’d seen another card technique I wanted to try using double masking.
My first attempt was a little frustrating. In the site I visited, Belle Papier, Julie Stainton uses a die-cut bird stencil with Eclipse Tape. I don’t know what Eclipse Tape is and I didn’t have the stencil or a die cutting gadget. But I found a bird picture, carefully cut it with an X-Acto knife and adhered it to my paper. But I did two things wrong: my paper for the stencil was too thick so when I tried to stamp over the stencil, none of my design ended up on the card! And the adhesive I used was too sticky and ended up pulling up part of the paper.
I carefully cut another stencil out with thinner paper, used an adhesive that when dry is tacky but removable and tried again.
I’m thrilled with the results! I also found using smaller stamps and a sponge scrubbed on an ink pad worked well to fill in the bird design. After completing the bird, I took the cut out shape of the bird and carefully masked the stamped bird on the card, covering it before using my air spritzer tool to spray turquoise ink around the bird for the background.
This card is less elaborate than the first one, but it still took a number of steps and included another paper-strip-heart, washi tape, an embossed greeting and my favorite “Dianne Dots.”
I picked up the little crowns at Michaels on the same shopping trip (and in the same dollar bins) as the little keys.
When it doesn’t work the first time around, it is extra satisfying to create something and have it turn out well. Although these cards don’t look like the beautiful ones that inspired them, I’m still really happy with the results.
The owl card also inspired a big batch of mini Valentine’s that I gave to out at my choir rehearsal last night.
I found several sheets of scrap-booking paper printed with cute owls that I cut out and layered onto punched hearts, bits of old sheet music and a few cute embellishments. The little cards were from that same visit to Michaels! Ten plain little cards with envelopes for a dollar – a perfect base for little Valentine’s.
I made a whole flock of them, complete with googly eyes.
With all the stuff on my swap cards, I decided that padded mailers would help them arrive damage-free. I added some stickers and tape to jazz up the boring Post Office design.
Now I’m happily anticipating the cards I’ll be getting back in the swap.
Thank you for your visit!