Crocheted Valentines

Crocheted Valentines

I am hosting a Valentine’s exchange with my craft group tomorrow.
All mediums are fair game.

Initially, I intended to give out lavender heart sachets.
I sewed a dozen+ little hearts.
Stuffed them full of lavender.
Hand stitched them all closed…
Then decided they were not the right thing for our craft exchange.
I passed the sachets out to another group of friends.
And started afresh for the Valentine’s exchange.

I decided to crochet stuffed hearts instead.
I followed this pattern I came across on Pinterest.
The pattern is straight forward, so I won’t add to the instructions.
Since I wanted the fabric of my hearts to feel stiff,
I used a 4 mm crochet hook with a double strand of wool yarn.
(I.e., relatively small hook with relatively thick yarn)

My yarn was a gift from a friend.
It’s a gorgeous multi-shaded pink and red pure new wool made by Wool Pak Yarns NZ.
It was only after I finished all the hearts that I learned this yarn is no longer available for sale.

The crocheted hearts are lovely enough to stand alone.
But I wanted to add a little extra “bling.”
This ended up being an “arrow” shot through each heart.

Each arrow is made from an orphan metal knitting needle, three wood beads, a strip of leather tied to the needle to keep the beads from sliding, and a washi tape arrowhead.

I’m ready to play Valentine’s craft exchange.
I hope my friends enjoy these hearts.
…And I can’t wait to see what lands in my Valentine’s box tomorrow!!
Happy Valentine’s.

Heart Art

Heart Art

Sometimes I’m just in the mood for hearts.

(Collage on 8×8 inch board)


(Oils on 5×5 inch claybord)

(Mixed Media on 8×8 inch board)

(Mixed Media on 9×9 inch stretched canvas)

(Mixed Media on 9×9 inch stretched canvas)


Valentine’s for E

Valentine’s for E

When my littler boy was six years old,
We suffered a small Valentine’s tragedy.
Shortly before the holiday,
Our then school announced that Valentine’s day would no longer be celebrated at school.
Parents received an email urging us “not to buy into the hype” of cards and candy.
The children were informed that they would observe a “Respect for All Day” instead.
 I really really wanted to comment that everyday should be a “respect for all day.”
But I kept my mouth shut. 
I had such fond memories of giving and receiving Valentine’s notes and cards as a kid.
I was sad to see another holiday banned from school.
My littler guy reluctantly put away the handmade crafts he’d prepared for his classmates.
I attempted to cheer him up by promising a special celebration at home.
Valentine’s Day arrived.
Or, “Respect for All Day” if you want to be PC about it.
My six year old came home weeping as if his heart had broken.
Not all the teachers had obeyed the memo.
He had witnessed kindergarten teachers clandestinely stuffing little decorated brown paper bags with colorful Valentine’s treats their students had prepared for each other.
For months he cried over that memory.
Think I’m still a little scarred from all of that.
What mom doesn’t hurt when her kid is hurting?
Fast forward to today.
He’s ten.
In a new town and a new school.
A school where the children pass out Valentine’s to each other 
And are allowed to bring decorated bags to collect their own cards and treats.
He wrinkled his nose and said he didn’t care.
But damned if I was going to let him miss out on this childhood rite.
Even if I had to make the bag and cards myself…
 He didn’t want to decorate a bag.
“I’ll just use a paper bag,” he said.
I countered with the offer to sew one for him.
I’d make it with my favorite grey felt.
But plain.
It’d be heavy enough to stay standing like a basket on his desk.
But would have handles and could double as a bag when he was ready to come home.
Would he agree to just one red felt heart pinned to the bag?
(Dimensions and details for bag outlined in above picture).
Plain grey felt and one red heart felt a little too plain.
I took a risk and added Valentine’s colored strapping for handles.
Made a short version of the basket/bag.
And a tall one.
He claimed the shorter bag.
Now we just need to assemble the treats and cheesy message he’ll be handing out in class.
(Thank goodness for Pinterest & idea sharing!)
Maybe he’s just a good kid and has been humoring me.
Maybe I’m still trying to make it up to that six year old who was so devastated when his school banned Valentine’s Day.
Or maybe,
He really still loves the idea of Valentine’s.
And he just needs to say his mom insisted…
Whichever the reason.
I’m just glad he gets to experience this bit of fun.
Happy Valentine’s to my E.
Valentine Bookmarks

Valentine Bookmarks

 Valentine Bookmarks by Val and Ethan
Ethan and I made Valentine bookmarks yesterday.  We had a great time crafting these and are really happy with our results.
If you’d like to know how we made our bookmarks, please read on!
The supplies to make the bookmarks are:
  • Card stock
  • Ribbon (we used elastic “ribbon” I bought from the after Christmas clearance bins at Target)
  • Pony beads
  • Glitter
  • Crayons
  • Glue
  • Gel pen
  • Hole punch 
  • Scissors
  • Paper cutter / trimmer (optional)
  • Corner rounding punch

 Steps to creating each bookmark are:

  1. Cut card stock to a rectangle 2 inches by 6 inches.  I used a paper cutter/trimmer to do this
  2. Use a corner rounding punch to round the edges
  3. Punch a hole to thread the ribbon through
  4. Thread a 12 inch ribbon through the punched hole.  I folded the ribbon in half, pushed the loop through the hole and then pulled the ends of the ribbon through the loop
  5. Thread 3 pony beads onto the ribbons.  Use a slip knot to secure the beads on the ribbon
  6. Use crayons to color a square at the bottom of the bookmark.  We decided to use one color shade darker than the card stock
  7. Use glue to “color” a heart in the middle of the crayoned square.  Sprinkle glitter uniformly over the glue.  Let the glitter sit for a minute, then tap off the excess
  8. Use the gel pen to create a border about the crayoned square.  I wrote standard “Happy Valentine” messages

And our Valentine bookmark is ready to go!

Ethan and I worked on the bookmarks before and after school yesterday.  He was in charge of punching the corners, coloring in the squares and sorting out the beads.  We planned for him to give these out to his class.  We powered through 36 bookmarks before I thought to check with his teacher – will their class be celebrating Valentines?  Are we allowed to hand these out?

What do you think the answer to that is?

Turns out, E’s class is not celebrating Valentines … they’re going to celebrate the 100th day of school instead.  Each child is supposed to bring in 100 creative somethings.  E suggested we keep making bookmarks until we hit 100.  Simon offered to take our crafts to his class since they will be exchanging Valentines.  Si grinned like the Cheshire cat the whole time because this meant he would neither need to buy or make his own Valentines.

E and I rolled our eyes at each other.  We gifted our freshly crafted bookmarks to Simon.  Then we put our heads together to begin planning what kind of something we’d like to make 100 of.