Tag Archives: Valentines

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.

Valentines with Ariel 2.14

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.

Xander Looking

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.

Light of My Life

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. ♥


Filed under Crafts

Home Fries, Haggis & Hearts

Fruit & Pastry @ WOW Cafe

I had such a great weekend!

On Saturday I met an old friend for breakfast, someone I’ve known since we were in grade school.  She was in the area for a memorial service and told me that her aunt, who died at 96 after a battle with lung cancer, told her that no one should cry for her, that she’d had a good, long life. What a positive and powerful message to hear from someone. That is quite a span of years.

My friend and I go back many years which is nice.  We reconnected easily.  We met at the Worth Our Weight (or WOW) Cafe in Santa Rosa.

Worth Our Weight Mission

This is from the website:

WOW apprentices are young people from 16-24 who have faced major challenges in their lives, including foster care, difficulties with the law, homelessness, and significant family disruption. We provide tuition-free culinary and food service  training.

The fruit and pastries in the first photo were presented to us as we were seated, a really nice touch and they were all delicious, including the little pot of grapefruit marmalade.

Lisa had Eggs Florentine with spinach and cheese that came with home fries and she got an English muffin on the side.  The muffin was without any butter, but she shrugged it off.

Eggs Florentine

I chose a vegetable bowl and poached egg with a side of chicken apple sausage.  They vegetable assorted was great, including sweet potato, white potato, chard, kale, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and bell pepper.  It was served with a spicy/sweet tomato chutney on the side that was a perfect accompaniment to the dish.

Poached Egg Veggie Bowl

The cafe ran for five years with a ‘no-prices, pay what is fair’ policy but they had to end that because some people short-changed them.  Although service wasn’t top notch, we both felt good about supporting the program and tipped the young servers well.  They were learning, after all.

The check comes with a little bag of fresh-baked cookies, also delicious.  It is worth a visit.

Check with Cookies WOW Cafe

Driving home I stopped at Michaels for some fun Valentine supplies. That afternoon I sang at the bedside of a choir client, a woman I have been singing for nearly every Saturday for about 4 years, with another choir member. Her smile was warm and she mouthed the lyrics along with us as we sang.  Who can say who benefits the most from this interaction?

Rem and I had haggis for dinner that night, a first for both of us.  He’d seen a link on Reddit for ordering haggis, and since Saturday was Burns Night, celebrating Scottish poet, Robert Burns, when haggis is traditionally served, he ordered one, more for curiosity, I’m sure, than to honor Burns!  I was glad to learn it is no longer made in a sheep’s stomach, or at least not for export, they use sausage casing now.  It was better than I expected and now I can say I’ve had it.

I don’t have a picture of the haggis, suffice to say haggis is not really very photogenic.

Sunday was a day of crafting Valentine’s and I had the pleasure of doing it with a group of women that I’d gone to grade school with. We’ve only seen each other sporadically over the years and had become Facebook friends.  I suggested crafting together and the response was enthusiastic.

Our somewhat tongue-in-cheek name for the event was “Craft & Flash” as we are women of a certain age and hot flashes are ever-present for some of us.


Four of us were up to our elbows in paper and ink, embossing powder and heart punches. We had lace doilies, glue sticks, little jewels, washi tape, baker’s twine, and lots of hearts. It was wonderful!

Valentine Crafting

The conversation and creativity flowed.  At the end of the afternoon, we had quite a gallery of beautiful, handmade Valentine’s.

Craft & Flash Valentine's

Craft & Flash Valentines

Victoria had picked up some treasures from Target $1 bins, like this cute owl that she featured on a card with some black lace patterned washi tape and a silver embossed greeting.

Owl Card

Clare worked steadily and managed to create 10 cards, including this one with red lace washi tape, a handful of hearts and a sweet little tag tied with baker’s twine.

Clare's Hearts

We had three sweet dogs keeping us company, including Shorty, Victoria’s rescue pup that she’s had since Christmas Eve.


What a cutie, right?

More Craft & Flash Valentine's

Phoenicia made two banners, including a funny one for her daughter with old photos from a magazine.

Mystery Man

and more

She also made a delicious Thai curry chicken vegetable soup (maybe she’ll share the recipe).  We feasted on “Ham and Eggs” – stuffed eggs garnished with bacon, pigs-in-a-blanket, apple slices, grapes, cheese and bread.

My busy weekend was full of friends, laughter, reminiscing, good food, singing, crafting and love.  It was easy writing something for my Gratitude Jar.

Thank you for coming by.


Filed under Crafts

New Valentine’s Day Cards

A dozen hearts

I was busy at my craft desk this weekend making a bunch of Valentine’s. I really love making Valentine’s and, like last year, I’m not just doing one design over and over.

On Pinterest (of course), I saw some cute card that I wanted to CASE (Copy and Selectively Edit or Copy and Steal Everything or the PC variation Copy and Share Everything).

Before I started my first card, I punched a slew of 1.25 inch squares of paper and hearts with all three sizes of heart punches I have.  Most of the cards bases are 140 lb. cold press water color paper that I bought in a pad of 9 x 12 sheets.  So I cut a batch of cards at a time, trimming each sheet to 8.5 x 11 before cutting it in half and scoring it for finished cards that measure 4.25 x 5.5.

diagonal blocks

This card was inspired by this one.  My square punch is larger and I don’t have the beautiful “LOVE” stamp, but I’m happy with it.

Here is another variation on that idea.

Landscape Diagonal Squares

Here is a simple patchwork of squares.

Patchwork Valentine

This is another pretty card using squares and hearts.  I loved how the little scalloped squares look and treated myself to a scalloped square punch.

6 Scalloped Squares & Hearts

These bird cards were inspired by Button Bird Art from Button Bird Designs.

Purty Burdy

I’ve made multiples of each card.  Not enough that I’m tired of each design and with variations in the paper, embellishments and greetings, they’re all unique.  I especially like these birds, so I made a whole flock.

Flock of Paper Birdies

Turquoise Heart Bird

Sunshine Heart Bird

I have lots of beautiful paper.  This card shows off a piece of it.

Turned Back Corner

I think I’ll try a variation with a little heart under that turned-up corner.

Some cute stamps of vintage items are featured on these cards.

Typewriter Love

Typewriter Card


Full of Love

jar of hugs and kisses

Loads of Love

I also love these two bicycle cards but I don’t have a bicycle stamp.  Yet.

I’m really happy with the color scheme I’m using this year: red, black, white and turquoise.  I’m using silver ink and silver embossing powder with a heat gun for some of the greetings.  It’s a nice, finishing touch.

dotted ribbon scalloped squares

After creating the are for the front of the card, I always stamp and sign the back and stamp a greeting inside the card too.

Made with love

Side note: I made it through my dental appointment today and though I feel pretty tired and a bit tender, I’m not too sore.  I’ll enjoy my busy weekend with friends all the more now that is behind me!

Love & hugs

It is very satisfying seeing the finished cards all crowded together.

Lots o' Cards

I’m off to a great start for my Valentine Production of 2014!

Thank you for your visit.


Filed under Crafts

Valentine Recipe’s

Here are a few recipes from past posts that would be lovely for Valentine’s Day.

Icebox Cupcakes

Icebox Cupcakes: stack chocolate wafer cookies with whipped cream, garnish with raspberries and mint leaves, chill, serve.

Mocha Guinness Cupcakes

These are more involved, but the results are worth it.  Mocha Guinness Cupcakes combine a moist chocolate cupcake from batter that includes cocoa powder and Guinness, filled with semi-sweet chocolate ganache and topped with coffee buttercream.  Swoon.

Muffin Cup Quiche

Breakfast in bed is an idea and these Muffin Cup Quiche can be made ahead and reheated. They’re also nice for supper with a salad.

Buttermilk Heart Pancakes

This pretty Buttermilk Lace Pancake is just made for Valentine’s Day.  Delicious buttermilk batter is swirled into the pan from a squeeze bottle.

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Cooking

Valentines Inspired By…

hugs & kisses

The other day I followed a link on a friend’s Facebook page and found A Bit East-Coast, a blog by Keisha Campbell.  She had posted about having the flu and starting to make valentines.  As I’m still struggling with a bad cold and starting to make my valentines, I felt a kinship.

Actually, it was the cards that got me first.  Her photography is lovely and I was really inspired by her color scheme (grey, pink, & red with gold & silver accents) and love her designs.  I immediately started looking through my paper for grey and pink but decided I didn’t want to use red so found some turquoise and a little brown, with pink and grey as my primary colors.  I LOVE how these colors look together and like how the grey keeps the pink from looking too sweet.

Pretty Paper

I also pulled out my embossing powder because the sentiments embossed in gold looked so stunning on Keisha’s cards.  Instead of my usual card stock I found a pad of Strathmore heavy weight water color paper tucked beside my desk and collected some other embellishments and tools.  I cut the cards from the water color paper and I’m really pleased with how the heavy, textured, white paper works as a base for many of these cards.

Valentine Supplies

So: first inspiration: Keisha Campbell of A Bit East-Coast.

Grey, pink & aqua

I thought of Pinterest and decided to look through things I’d pinned.  I don’t often make the jump from pinning to actually making the things I’ve pinned.  But I loved how the first card turned out and liked getting away from my usual methods, so off to Pinterest I went.

This cute card by Kristina Werner (her blog is K Werner Design Blog) inspired this valentine.  I didn’t have the computer at my crafting desk so when I looked back at the picture I see how she raised the top layer with the heart cut-out, so I’ll try that when I make another one of these cards.


On my first go-round I punched my heart through both the top layer and the card front and then realized I only needed to have the heart punched out of the top layer!  Doh.  Oh, well.  I made it work.

This beautiful scalloped card on Pinterest linked me to Flickr and cheironbrandon’s Photostream.  The card uses lots of different paper and a circle punch with all the little circles layered like shingles or fish scales.  She has lots of other great cards pictured on her Flickr site.  I put on the bottom row and trimmed around the edge of the circles but decided on the next card I’ll try putting the circles down off the bottom edge – seems easier than trimming around them.

Scalloped Love

Another idea from my pins on Pinterest is this dry embossed little heart.  I followed the link and read the great tutorial by Arrounna at Bookhou at Home.
I followed her excellent directions but punched the heart with a small punch rather than cutting it with a craft knife.  I recycled a piece of a cereal box, punched out the heart than used my bone folder to dry emboss the heart onto the card. Check out her tutorial, her site and her shop.

Collage Tag with Embossed Heart

I love how all the white space with the one little heart balances the busy collage tag.  I wrote about the tags here.

Here is my little template for making the dry embossed heart.

Little Heart Template

Hold the template and your card up to a lamp or window to get the heart aligned where you want it.

Let the Light Shine

Here is the resulting heart close up.

Raised Heart

Further inspiration was right at home.  Rem and I have a folding screen that I use to display cards we’ve received (or given each other).  It had been collecting cards (and quite a thick layer of dust) for some time. Dusting it and winnowing down the collection, I saw one of my favorite valentines came from my friend and fellow crafter, Jean.  The screen looks much better now, and we have room for new cards.

Folding Screen w/Cards

Here is the card I made (on the left) inspired by Jean’s valentine.  I love all the details her original has: the tiny circle tag with silver border hanging on the thread, the little red safety pin and the scrap of paper it’s pinned to.  I used a few staples, some washi tape, and added Dianne Dots as an embellishment.  I didn’t have the large heart stamp, so I copied the swooping design freehand.  I’m delighted with the results.

Copycat Card

One last inspiration for this post, but this didn’t result in a card.  Instead it was a little tip that I love and have been using since.  I recently crafted with my sister Kathleen and her friend Michelle.  Michelle creates beautiful Art Journals (more on that in a future post) and she showed me something that seems to obvious and you all probably are doing it and I’m the last to know.  She uses an open magazine to work on.  As soon as her work surface gets wet or sticky with paint or glue, she simply turns to a fresh page!

Glue on Page

Like this…

Inky, Messy Page

I’m constantly sticking part of my project upside down into some adhesive and this way I just turn the page and I have a clean surface to work on.  A friend passes the New Yorker on to me and I like how the slim magazine lies open (of course I read them first).  Inspirational!

I have more Pinterest ideas to try, like this and this and this too, and a month to go before Valentine’s Day is here.


I hope you have found this inspiring.  Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Crafts

13 Valentine Craft Ideas

LoVe Stamps

For 2013, here are 13 valentine card and craft ideas from past posts. I also have new projects in the works, so stay tuned.

Fluttering Hearts Valentine Card. Double layered hearts adds dimension to this valentine.

Fluttering Hearts

Heart Strings. I love how these move in the slightest breeze. I used vintage sheet music to make them.

Heart Strings

Crayon Hearts  – chunky and colorful, these hearts are a great way to use up old, broken crayons.

Crayon Hearts

Alphabet Valentine

I Heart U

Decoupage Map Heart in Art From The Heart II post.

You Mean the World to Me

Punched Heart Garland with Vintage Paper. One of my first Pinterest-inspired projects.

Punched Heart Garland

Doodle Heart Background – add a poem or quote of your choice, a sentimental message or simply “Be Mine”.  This is an easy project.

Doodle Heart Background

My very first valentine post, this Paper Strip Heart Valentine is still a favorite.

Paper Strip Heart Valentine

Itty Bitty Banners – these are a great embellishment for a card and would be adorable as a little pennant for a cupcake.

LIttle Banners

Warm, fuzzy Felted Heart Garland.

Felted Heart Garland

Masterboard Valentine’s Tags – this is a method for making multiple tags (or card fronts) in a short time.

Masterboard Valentine Tags

Itty Bitty Valentine’s – little cards with the same double-heart design as the Fluttering Hearts Valentine’s.

Itty Bitty Valentine's

Crayon Wax Paper Hearts – just like you made when you were a kid.  If you haven’t made these before, you should give them a try now.

Crayon Wax Paper Hearts

Happy Crafting!  Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Crafts

Day 24: Buttermilk Lace Pancakes

This post has a recipe for delicious buttermilk pancakes from Noreen at Picture the Recipe.  You can make these in the traditional round pancake shape or follow the technique also shown on Picture the Recipe (and plenty of other sites) and make them into lace pancakes.  The technique would work with other pancake batter (including Bisquick) but this recipe makes such good pancakes, I recommend using it.

I made these in our new pan from Ikea but it would be easier making them on a griddle.  The edge of the pan made flipping them a little bit tricky.

Once you make up the pancake batter…

Pour it into a squeeze bottle.

Spoon the batter into a glass measuring cup and then pour it into the bottle.  It is thick batter so I ended up with some on the outside of the bottle but it was easy to scrape back into the bowl.  I cut off a little bit of the tip of my squeeze bottle so the hole would be larger for the batter to come out.  Other sites suggest putting the batter into a large Ziploc bag and, after squeezing out excess air and zipping the bag closed, snipping a small hole from one corner.  I haven’t done that and imagine it would be a little more difficult to control than a squeeze bottle, but I think it would work.

Set the temperature for your burner or griddle on medium-high heat.

Update: I read on Not Martha, on her great post about making Flower Pancakes, to turn the heat down a notch to allow time to draw the batter into a fancy shape.  Great tip!

Once your pan is hot, spray it with nonstick spray and squeeze your design out onto the pan or griddle.  Do the outline first and any dots or frills around the edge, than add loops, flowers, squiggles, lines or zigzags to fill in the rest of the space, making sure you have all the parts of a particular pancake connected with lines of batter for structural integrity.

Carefully flip your lace pancake and brown the other side. Serve with fresh fruit, syrup, powdered sugar or whatever toppings you like.

We had them for Sunday Lunch but they would be wonderful for a romantic Valentine’s Day breakfast or a pretty Mother’s Day treat.

Buttermilk Lace Pancakes

Adapted from Picture the Recipe

Combine dry ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

5 Tbsp. sugar

In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients:

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

5 Tbsp. melted butter

Pour the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and combine but don’t over mix.  There should be some lumps in the batter.   Cook on griddle over medium high heat.  Spray griddle with nonstick spray before pouring batter.  A 1/4 cup measuring cup is a good scoop if you are cooking traditional, round pancakes.  Cook until top has bubbled and bubbles have popped, flip the cakes and cook the other side until golden brown.  Serve and enjoy.

Fresh fruit from the Farmer’s Market made a delicious topping, dusted with powdered sugar.

I had a break for project #24 last year: Gnome made some cute file folders out of old calendar pages.

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under 30DOC, Cooking, Crafts

Ideas for Valentine’s Projects: Revisiting Previous Posts

I know some of you have been reading my blog from the earliest posts (and I am so pleased and tickled that you do).  But other readers have only started reading more recently, so may have missed these older posts with great projects for Valentine’s Day.  Click on the highlighted links to go to the specific posts.  Even if you saw them when I first posted them, they’re worth another visit.

The Alphabet Valentine  isn’t too sugary or flowery. You will need a set of alphabet rubber stamps.

The Doodle Heart Background would make a wonderful Valentine.  Write a sweet love note for your Valentine and surround it with doodled hearts.

Chocolate is always a winner and a  Brownie In A Mug  (or two) would be a nice Valentine treat to share.

The Paper-Strip-Heart Valentine is beautiful and much easier than it looks.

You could make a beautiful card using the Vegetable Printed Paper technique.

A small Embossed Tin would be a lovely way to present a small gift or a love note.  Or both.

If you want a more elaborate Valentine, the Tri-Shutter-Card is it. You can embellish this design as much as you want.

Honey-Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce is a decadent and delicious combination and a sweet treat for your honey on Valentine’s Day.

If you want to make a bunch of Valentine’s, the Masterboard Valentine Tag is a good way to go.

To finish up how about another chocolate recipe?  Chocolate is dear to my heart and these Mocha Guinness Cupcakes are a wonderful balance of rich, earthy chocolate/beer cake, filled with luscious semi-sweet chocolate ganache and topped with mocha buttercream. Delicious!

I am creating more Valentine’s projects for this year: stay tuned!

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under Cooking, Crafts

Share the love

A little post about love and chocolate. I love hearts and as you may have guessed I especially love Valentines.  Today I spent the afternoon with my sister Kathleen and her little sister Ariel making Valentine Tags.  They’ve been matched for about three years through Big Brothers Big Sisters and hang out together most Sundays.  This is our third year making Valentine’s together.  Ariel is Kathleen’s second “Little”.  Her first is a wonderful woman with three young kids and a great husband.  I think Kathleen’s influence on her life had something to do with how well her first match has turned out.

So – back to our Valentine crafting.  We had a LOT of supplies so it was a good thing we had a big table.

We could have been watching the Super Bowl but we’re not fans. Maybe we should have been outside enjoying the balmy day but we had the windows open to enjoy the sunshine and breezes.   And if we’d been out we may have missed it when a friend and neighbor, Deborah, stopped by with chocolate lollipops for us!

Chocolate Valentine Lolllipops

Deborah was inspired by the Barefoot Contessa and her recipe for White Chocolate Lollipops with dried cherries and cashews.  Instead of the white chocolate Deb used microwavable candy melts in dark cocoa  from Michaels and a combination of conversation hearts and cinnamon hearts. Yum!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romance, Hallmark cards and overpriced roses.  It can be about crafting with your sister. It can be a card for your teacher or the members of your swim team or choir.  It can be about chocolate lollipops for your neighbor.  You’ve still got time to make a batch of one or both.  Share the love.

Puppy Love - (Ariel's dog, Allie)

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Filed under Cooking, Crafts, Life