Tag Archives: Valentine

Hearts in a Tree

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I made these hearts for Valentine’s Day and hung them up in the tree in front our apartment to surprise Rem.

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The tree already looked pretty even before I added the hearts, covered in blossoms. It snows down white petals if you give a branch a little shake.

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People driving by smiled and some waved or gave me a thumbs-up.

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Rem thought I was out taking a walk in the neighborhood.

He was amazed when he saw all the hearts.

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Here’s some of my favorite hearts:

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Next January I’ll put up a post on how to make these hearts.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Sweet Little Valentine’s

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Although I didn’t need any new supplies for making my Valentine card this year, I couldn’t resist embellishments.

I’d already decided on a color scheme of pink and turquoise, with brown paper (reused from grocery bags). I think the brown balances out the other two colors and keeps them from being too sticky-sweet. Browsing in Once Around in Mill Valley after Craft Gym I picked up a few rolls of washi tape: gold arrows on pink background, white X’s on turquoise background, and the little skinny white tape with tiny gold printed love and gold hearts.

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I also got these Fancy Frills border stickers by Doodlebug Design.

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My inspiration for the design were these Downton Abbey Vintage Valentine’s on Doodlecraft, which I saw on Pinterest. Natalie Shaw of Doodlecraft used little brown cards embellished with lace and trim where I used strips of paper and washi tape, but with a similar result.

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Since I was using small leftover cards in cream and chocolate brown, and I also had a few sizes of small envelopes, I cut up brown paper grocery bags for the card fronts. It isn’t really sturdy enough for the card itself, but it worked as a layer.

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I used gold foil saved from inside of chocolate wrappers to make little hearts using a heart punch.

The other tip I picked up from Doodlecraft is the great graphics at The Graphics Fairy. This fabulous site has over 5,000 free vintage images and is a great resource. I chose the images I used on my cards and shrank them down to about 1.5 x 2.5 inches, or slightly larger, before printing.

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I used a glue stick to adhere the pages of printed images to card stock, cut them out with a paper trimmer and embellished each little picture with a date stamp, buttons, felt flowers, foil hearts, ink borders, sparkly little dot stickers, washi tape, etc. These are the centerpiece of each card and I stuck them to the card fronts with Zots glue dots.

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For some of the time spent on this project, I’ve been alone at my craft desk, or with the company of Kitty McNiblet who lives across the patio in our apartment building, but visits often. Here she is relaxing in the position I call “kitty loaf.”

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Last weekend I spent a lovely day making Valentine’s, eating a delicious lunch and talking and laughing with friends from grade school. We call our creative gatherings Craft & Flash.

My sister, Kathleen, joined us and brought her young dachshund, Stella. The hostess, Clare, also has a dog, Trip, who was SO nice with Stella, even when she took his chew toy!

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I stamped the inside of the cards with this stamp from Oh, Hello Friend, which I also picked up at Once Around. A few years ago I purchased some printed masking tape from this site and the order came with a tag with the same phrase, which has been on my bulletin board ever since.

YOU ARE

AWESOME

loved

wonderful

BEAUTIFUL

& ADORED

The back of the cards are stamped, signed and dated.

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I will give some of my Valentine’s away in person and some are being mailed, so the small envelopes are tucked into larger ones, big enough for mailing. After breakfast out with a friend yesterday, we stepped into PS Paper in San Anselmo and I came home with this Bird with Love Note stamp from Savvy Stamps.

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Thanks for stopping by.

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One Final Round of Valentine’s Cards (Including A Collage Workshop)

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My favorite craft shop in Marin, Once Around, offered a Vintage Valentine collage workshop with collage artist and author, Anna Corba.

We each got a sweet little packet in a stitched paper bag she’d made from old French newspaper that had several cards and envelopes, a piece of heavy watercolor paper and a postcard made of wood tucked inside to serve as the bases for our creations. She had several boxes of vintage-style images, mostly color copies of beautiful paper ephemera from her bountiful collection, and we could sift through to find just the right images, patterns and colors for each card we made.

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Anna showed us samples of her own work and talked about how she likes to work – letting each unique image speak to her, and working with a color palette based on the images she chooses.  We trimmed and tore the different pieces of paper and then starting moving the elements around like the pieces of a puzzle until we found a pleasing composition.  Anna walked around the table making suggestions and helping when someone was stuck.

She pointed out that a piece of darker paper along the bottom of the composition can be helpful to ground it, and it is nice to tuck a little surprise inside a card that coordinates with the design on the front. We also decorated envelopes, or in some cases, small paper bags, to make a matching set.

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During the last part of the workshop we were able to seal two of the collage designs (the thicker flat cards) with beeswax.  This was just lovely, though I wish we’d had more time to spend on it. First of all the scent of the warm wax is divine, and reminded me of a tiny chapel in Italy that had a huge arrangement of white lilies and was completely lit with beeswax candles . Brushed across the collage it added a dull sheen and faint golden color, saturating the paper and allowing some layers to show through others.

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In this card you can see the sheet music behind the other paper.  I wasn’t really able to capture the beauty of this technique in my pictures.

The downside is, you don’t always want a background paper to show through and by the time I learned that, I’d already created this card.  I wish I’d trimmed the wide striped paper so it wasn’t behind the puppy and kitten images.

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Anna had stitched this little sleeve using red thread and then cut a wide scalloped edge for the wooden postcard. After the class I was able to finish all the envelopes with paper brought home from the class and a few extra embellishments from my own stash. My style is busier and messier than Anna’s but I really appreciated and enjoyed the techniques she showed us in the workshop.

I don’t tend to use glue sticks but they are more forgiving then the tape rollers I favor.  Anna reminded me of a technique I’ve seen before but forget about: use a magazine you’re done with as your surface to glue on, keeping your work surface clean. As soon as a page is sticky, turn to a clean page. Once you’ve got your design pretty much set, maybe about 75% in place, she starts gluing the images down and uses a brayer to really stick things together.

My brayer has been sitting in a drawer, rarely used, but after the workshop, I got it out.  I also put an old magazine on my craft desk and started using these tools: a clean page for using when I put glue on a piece of paper, and the brayer to roll over the card and get it really fastened together.

After the workshop, I spent time on the little collage Valentine’s I was crafting. I’m sure I will use Anna’s style again on other cards, but these were the busy, multi-layered cards I’d been working on with bits taken from envelopes (the lining, stamps and postmarks), maps, old dictionary and textbooks, packaging, magazine pages, vellum, tissue paper, washi tape, vintage sheet music, calendars, newspapers, business cards, and other beautiful paper.

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Mini card fronts that I layered onto small place-cards and added embellishments and rubber stamped images.

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Little tags stamped on a paint chip.

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More tags stamped on vellum, an envelope liner, an old math textbook page and more.

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Little tags cut out, hole-punched and tied with pink string.

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Embellished cards.

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Two of the larger cards. It makes me happy to spend time crafting and I love when I put together a card and know exactly who it’s for.

I know Valentine’s day has passed but I just didn’t get it together to post these pictures sooner.  I wanted to share them with you and, as always, I appreciate you taking the time to stop and look at what I’ve put up.  Thank you.

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Art from the Heart 2015

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Rem and I exchanged handcrafted Valentine projects with each other.

Last year we did it a little differently and instead of each of us working on an item for the other, we created something together:

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I had an idea for a message for my project this year but hadn’t figured out a medium or design. Rem wanted to think about the whole thing and after doing a little research (at Michael’s) he agreed to another swap.  I am glad because I really love the items he’s made for me over the years and the little gallery of Art from the Heart we have on either side of our bed.

We worked on them independently and save the finished projects for Valentine’s Day. This might mean I hastily grab some paper to cover my project when Rem comes out of the bedroom or I might find glue out on the dresser after work.

My heart for him this year has a number on it.  I cut each tag out of aluminum flashing and used metal stamps to stamp the number on each tag.  I used ink to enhance the numbers.

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The rest I just wanted to look kind of mechanical and the antithesis of a lacy, flowery, sweet Valentine.

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It doesn’t actually turn or move (except the little tags with the numbers, which will swing on their pins if you tip the heart), but it looks kind of like it could do something.

I picked up different gears and wheels at Michael’s and also used a small roll with a gear on one end from a tape runner, covered in copper foil tape from the hardware store. A larger roll held ribbon before I covered it in aluminum foil tape. A few brads and buttons were from my craft supplies and I picked up a piece of aluminum flashing and a small brass knob at the hardware store.  That visit included a fun conversation with a salesman (I need to take the finished project back in to show him how it turned out).

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There is a small heart, which I punched from corrugated cardboard and covered with aluminum foil tape with wings that I also found at Micheal’s. A piece of foam core backed the aluminum flashing and I used gold embossing powder around the edge.

The number represents this:

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Rem told me he found two hearts, the larger one made of wood and the smaller one of foam.

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He wanted to cover them with something red.  He asked for help finding the red stones, which when he saw them, he said thought they were perfect. He got a bag with several shades of red, some translucent, some not.  I love the rich color.

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He looked for something smaller to put in the center to cover the smaller heart and found red beads.  He said he considered covering the base with aluminum foil before gluing on the glass stones, but decided he didn’t like how it looked.

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It is very sweet having someone craft something just for you and this shiny red-covered heart looks luscious, kind of like a cherry pie filling.

Thank you for you stopping by.

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Cobalt & Magenta Valentine’s

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Who knows when inspiration will strike, but recently it was a vase of flowers that inspired the color choices for my Valentine’s this year.

I picked out a brilliant bunch of magenta anemones at the Farmer’s Market and put them into a cobalt blue glass vase.

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I’m afraid my skill with a camera is not up to the challenge of capturing this combination and making it look as rich and wonderful as what I’m seeing.   Even as the flowers started to fade, they deepened to a darker shade that was lovely.  I bought the same kind and color of flowers two weeks in a row.

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Anyway, I started going through my paper and did a little shopping so I could put these two colors together.

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I added brown paper tags and hearts, vintage buttons and some sweet little heart embellishments.  Not shown are some off-white and cream-colored sheet music, textbook pages and other vintage ephemera from my stash that I used.

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Although these cards are more focused on paper, I still use rubber stamping and I pulled out my Valentine stamps.

I knew I couldn’t really capture the color of the cobalt blue glass, but I added richness to the card designs with sparkly blue glitter tape and shiny gold paper and ink.

My friend Carson recently showed a technique for a “Braided Paper” background on her wonderful Pine & Plum blog, and I used that for a batch of Valentine’s.

Cut strips of paper in equal widths.

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Put adhesive on a piece of paper (this will be covered by the paper strips – I used thinner copy paper rather than card stock).  I like the Tombow Mono Adhesive tape roller.

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Lay the first two strips to create a V on the paper.  The ends of the strips can go off the edge and when they’re all glued down, just turn the paper over and trim off the extra.

Cover the paper.  I did a long strip and cut it to size for several small cards.

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Once all the base paper is covered and you trim the strips, you’ll have a beautiful piece of paper that looks similar to a braid.

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Here are finished cards using this technique.

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These small cards will go into little glassine envelopes I found at Paper Source and I’ll be sharing them with friends at work and in my choir.  Heart stickers and washi tape decorate the outside.

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I am making more cards, some this same small size (I used place cards) and some more standard size  and all will be using similar collage designs and the same colors and embellishments.

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Thank you for your visit.

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Valentine Craft-O-Rama

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Yes, folks, 2015 Valentine Production was in full swing today and we had all the makings of an excellent crafty day. Craft supplies were abundant and the table was spilling over with paper, paper punches, rubber stamps, ink, adhesive, embellishments, scissors, embossing powder, ribbon and washi tape.

It was the first time for me to craft with Maria and her daughters Margaret and Elizabeth.

Here is Margaret, already an expert with the bone folder, scoring hearts to fold and staple for a Fluttering Hearts Valentine.  We also made Paper-Strip-Heart Valentines.

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When she wasn’t using the heat tool to emboss greetings, Elizabeth was using the microwave for a Brownie-in-a-Mug for each of us.

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As far as I’m concerned, chocolate is one of the important supplies for a great day of crafting.

A scoop of local Three Twins vanilla ice cream was the perfect topping for the brownies.

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Maria, who had already baked a batch of cookies and had pot roast in the slow cooker by the time I arrived at 10 am, worked to keep the paper and other supplies from completing taking over the table, put out a platter of sandwich makings and created a fabulous Valentine garland from recycled materials, craft paper, bakers twine and double-sided tape, but I’m afraid yours truly didn’t get any good pictures of it.  All that and she also made some Valentine’s.

Garland supplies included packaging from a box of cereal, a box of tissues, some old calendar pages, and a few other items.

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The lighting was challenging – it was much cuter and more colorful than it looks in this photo.

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Some of the finished creations.

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We decorated envelopes too.

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We even had the assistance (or at least the company) of Flora the kitty.  Pip Squeak the Guinea Pig seemed neutral about the whole operation.  Kitty #2, Fauna, made a very brief appearance. She wasn’t interested in any level of participation.

The Roomba cleaned up the floor after we were done.  A good time was had by all (except maybe Fauna).

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Thanks for checking out my blog today!

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Valentine’s Day Wrap-Up

Vintage Valenine Tag

Valentine’s Day 2014 has come and gone but I’m still feelin’ the love.

As you may recall, I participated in a Handmade Valentine Card swap from my friend Carson’s blog, Pine & Plum. Here are cards I received from the swap, plus a few other sweet missives I was lucky enough to get.  The cute vintage style tag at the top of the post was used for a note with one of the swap cards.  It was fun doing the swap and seeing all the creative cards.

2014 Swap Cards

My friend Shook gave me a beautiful pair of Valentine collages that she made:

Shook's Collages

I made her a green Valentine (look here for the post with the picture from her green Valentine last year) because she loves green.

Green Valentine

Rem and I exchanged cards.  He did paper strip hearts on the one he made for me (and he didn’t even look at my blog post with the instructions!)

Our Cards

Last weekend I brought a bunch of crafting supplies over to my sister Kathleen’s house so her little sister Ariel could work on a batch of Valentine’s.  We’ve been doing this for quite a few years now and I’m always glad when she still wants to do it.

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Someone else wanted to see what we were doing. Kathleen’s cat, Xander, was cranky because it was raining out and he wanted to go outside but didn’t like getting wet.

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He decided he wanted up to be up on the table where we were crafting.

Xander  on the table

I didn’t find time to write posts for some of the projects I made, so I have to be content that I have more to share with you when Valentine’s Day rolls around again.

Rem and I usually exchange a project that we create and over the years we have accumulated quite a little gallery of Art from the Heart items.  This year I suggested we work on one together.  I’d seen something I wanted to try (yes, on Pinterest, of course) and so we did it together.

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It was fun working on this together (you can find the DIY here on Design Sponge) and we’re both happy with the result.

Art Projects Gallery

Here it is on the wall with some of the other projects from over the years.

Thank you for the visit. ♥

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