1991 to 2009
I need to start back-blogging some of my older craft photos. As a kid my family and I used give each other homemade Valentine cards every year. We put them in our family mailbox, which had a slot for each person in the family. I saved every valentine. I have a whole collection of beautiful handmade cards from my grandma, and I cherish them as a special reminder of her talents and generosity. In fact, I could say the same about the cards from my mom, aunt, brother, and all my hundreds of sisters (actually I only have four). I don't have most of the valentines I made as a kid because I gave them away. I wish I did have them! One year I watercolored then laminated one for each family member. Another year my younger sister Sadie and I combined forces to make pressed flower cards that we trimmed with lace. (If anybody reading this still has any of those--or any that I've made--could you please take a picture or scan it for me?). Another year my family was on vacation during Valentine's Day, and hadn't had time to make some before we left. So I took the little scalloped edge paper coasters from the hotel and drew pictures on them with colored pencils.
These days I still carry on the tradition. Every year I hang my valentine collection up along the ceiling for the month of February. I've never sent out Christmas cards, but Valentine's Day just wouldn't be Valentine's Day without sending pretty love notes to my family and a few close friends.
1991 or '92
This first specimen is the earliest valentine I have that I've made. I made it for my older sister Bridey (who plays the piano) when I was ten or eleven. I must have just learned how to make snowflakes, then modified the idea to apply it to the next best holiday. The piano, pink hearts, and text are glued onto the heart-snowflake. Let's move on.
These I made when I was 16. I mass-produced them and gave them out as a service project. Pretty, aren't they? They resemble some of my Grandma's, but only in a very primitive way. I hand-punched every little whole and edge you see and embossed them all. I used my mom's scrapbooking supplies, paper, and ribbons. Then she drove me all around the other side of the tracks to help me deliver them all. Now who did the service here?
Only a few people got valentines from me in 2005. I had a 3-month old baby. This one was for my husband using a pencil and a ruler, then watercolors.
Now we're getting someplace. This year I incorporated my one-year-old son into the cards by tracing his hand. Also, for one of the first times ever I veered away from traditional valentine colors (for the most part) and used all different bright colors. I love them spread out like this so I can see them all.
Here's the one I made for my son that same year. I liked this photo, even though it was blurry, so I incorporated it.
For my son. I laminated the pencil drawing (gotta love the laminator!) and glued it onto this textured, coated scrapbook paper. I liked the kissing picture from the year year before so much that I had to use it again.
Same year, for my husband.
I was proud of these! I stitched them with felt and embroidery floss. I also made some with the colors reversed, but I guess I didn't get a picture.
Passing on the tradition! I had my three-year-old glue store-purchased cards to hearts, then encouraged him to decorate the backs and write each person's initial.
Here's the 2008 valentine for my husband. I was playing around with a beautiful digital scrapbooking kit found here. Hmmm, I guess I made this mostly for myself. It's not his style at all! The picture was from our engagement photos (taken several years earlier).
Now this was fun. I Photoshopped our heads together and glued them onto the inked edges of this adorable retro scrapbook paper from JoAnn's. Other versions of this year's model turned out better, but I sent out all the good ones before I remembered to take a picture. Does someone want to send me a picture of theirs?
I'm obviously a very sentimental about my valentine cards. I hate to see traditions die, and I love seeing new traditions born. So I encourage you all to tune into your crafty side and spread the love next February 14!