Old Fashioned Valentines

Valentine’s Day has an interesting history for our family.  It is the weekend that my husband and I started dating 13 years ago, when he first called me his “girlfriend”, so for a while, we celebrated it as an anniversary.  Now that we’ve attained 10 years of marriage, however, my husband feels that our wedding anniversary has long displaced any dating memories:)  He prefers to show his love more spontaneously with thoughtful gestures sprinkled into the year as I least expect it, rather than kowtow to Hallmark tradition. Thus, Valentine’s day could very easily fall by the wayside in our house.  But our little girl came into our lives in February of 2009 when I discovered I was pregnant!  So now, I have a new little love to share and celebrate. Growing up in a house where every holiday was celebrated with decorations, projects, and theme related movies, I like to bring some of that tradition into my daughter’s life as well.

I’m not a high maintenance wife/mother that requires a fancy dining experience, jewelry, lingerie, chocolates, or store bought cards for what is essentially a saint’s day in the Catholic religion.  But I always appreciate whenever someone makes a card, shares writing from the heart, or comes up with a creative, personalized way to show a little love.  I like the romanticism of old-fashioned simple gestures like homemade cards.  So this year, I’m sharing two Valentine’s card ideas that V and I crafted together as our Valentine’s holiday projects.

Old Fashioned Valentine Hearts:

Materials:  Construction paper, craft scissors, stamps, black ink pad, tissue paper, Elmer’s Glue.

V's Valentine Version

Mama’s Valentine

For our first Valentine project, featured above, I cut out hearts from colored construction paper using craft scissors.  V and I used black ink pads (get the washable kind with kids or you will have a permanent mess; I learned this though experience!) and stamps to decorate.  Then we added buttons from our button tin and tissue paper which we bunched to make tissue paper flowers.  Add a signature, and you have an old fashioned Valentine to give to a special someone!

Potato Stamp Heart Cards:

Materials:  Idaho potato, paring knife, paint brush, tempura paints, construction paper.

Using the paring knife, an adult cuts the potato in half, then cuts a heart shape into the potato by scoring a heart into the flat surface, then cutting off the pieces surrounding the heart.  Using the paintbrush, paint the surface of the heart with paint and stamp onto construction paper to create whatever desired effect you choose.  We tried dipping the potato stamp directly in the paint, but ended up with blob shaped hearts initially.  My heart shapes were a little irregular, but it’s not the shape of the heart, rather the love it holds that counts, right?  Just a tip:  do all your stamping at once; leaving the potato heart exposed for too long causes it to shrivel and wither!

V's stamping efforts!

A Home Printed Valentine Card

Finish these cards off with a personal message and pop them in the mail to the grandparents!

This year,with V being obsessed with Star Wars, I also hunted for the traditional boxed card Valentines for V to sign and send; I finally found some after hunting through 5 stores in the past month!  Some other Valentine’s activities that we shared in our house:  putting up sticky window heart decorations (V likes them by the window where she eats breakfast); watching Valentine movies (Winnie the Pooh, WordWorld, and Charlie Brown); decorating her felt board with heart shapes; and marking our monthly calendar with heart stickers.  We also read some wonderful books on love; you can discover the titles we enjoyed under last week’s Books on Love post!

However you celebrate or don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, we hope you have a lovely weekend/week with the people  you love in your life.  Happy Valentine’s Day with love from our family!

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