Category Archives: Valentine’s Day

Don’t Be Cruel Valentines

img_8621I only made a few Valentines this year. (I got behind in planning as usual.) I made a few Elvis Presley Valentines and a few MY Presley Valentines. For the Elvis ones, I started with my usual heart cards and stamped them with some hearts. Then I used my vintage DYMO label maker for the words “Don’t be cruel.” I added an Elvis sticker. (Ah, that gold lamé suit is fantastic, right?) On the back, I wrote “Be mine.” (Get it? Don’t be cruel, be mine?) Easy and kind of cheesy…perfect.img_8622
For my Presley-the-cat fan friends, I made cards using A2 cards and some pictures of Presley hanging out with Yeti holding our special Presley patch. I added “Presley loves you” with my DYMO on some and “P *heart* Y” with Thickers on others.img_8627img_8628img_8643They were fun to make and, even though some will be late, I suppose a little message of love is well received all month long, right?


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A Tiny Matchbox Valentine

matchbox valentine, vintage stamp, chocolateAt work we exchanged Valentines, grade school style with a handmade Valentine box and everything. I made a simplified version of my vintage stamp Valentine and I got a lot of great ones, too. One of my favorites was this tiny matchbox Valentine from Laura. It’s hard to see in the pictures, but it’s a plain matchbox covered with map paper–in my case, a map of Japan!matchbox valentine, vintage stamp, chocolateInside, there was a tiny piece of chocolate and a vintage stamp tied up with pink twine. matchbox valentine, vintage stamp, chocolateOnce I untied the twine, I saw that the stamp was actually two stamps sewn together to make a little card. There was a kind message inside.

I love that Laura used non-traditional Valentine colors and created something really special. I love working with such creative people!

P.S. Laura has a blog! And she wrote up a little tutorial about her Matchbox Valentines in case you want to make your own…for next year or another occasion! 🙂

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Hasegawa Happy Hour – Valentine Edition

Sweet Manhattans, Hasegawa Happy HourFor Valentine’s Day, Naoto went to Freddy’s and picked up a dozen meatballs and we stayed in and hosted a Hasegawa Happy Hour. I made “Sweetheart Manhattans” and we ate spaghetti and meatballs, salad, cookies, and gelato…it was quite a night.

I’m a big fan of Leopold Brothers Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur and I’m happy to have a bottle back in my arsenal again. So I made up a cocktail that is not as good as my favorite cocktail at Amelia’s, but comes pretty close. I named it the Sweetheart Manhattan, but it’s really not too sweet…it’s just filled with love.

Sweetheart Manhattans

2 oz rye whiskey

1/2 oz sweet vermouth

1/2 oz cherry liqueur

dash of orange bitters

Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into cocktail glasses and garnish with a Luxardo cherry. Enjoy with friends on Valentine’s Day, or any other day. vintage candle holders, valentine tulipsCocktails are better than flowers anyway…

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Happening Today: LWA Virtual Social

Letter Month, Presley sitting on ValentinesHappy Virtual Letter Social Day!! Although I won’t be able to participate in the video portion of the social (I hate it when work commitments get in the way of letter writing!) I will be finishing my Valentines and writing letters throughout the day (or as long as Presley stays off the table.)

Happy letter writing!

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Easy Printmaking For Kids (& Adults)

printmaking for kidsLast week, I quickly shared about my thrift store find, Tomie dePaola’s Things to Make and Do for Valentine’s Day. When I got to this printmaking craft, I was really excited because I’ve done something like this before. I think it’s a really fun project–for kids and adults–and a good introduction to block printing without investing in a ton of materials.

Here are the instructions starring Tomie’s cute kids and cuter cat:Tomie de Paola Things to Make and Do for Valentine's Day styrofoam print project 2, Tomie de Paola Things to Make and Do for Valentine's Daystyrofoam print project 3, Tomie de Paola Things to Make and Do for Valentine's DayA few notes:

  • I know styrofoam is a horrible thing for the environment and a few cities in the U.S. are banning the use of styrofoam take-out containers. Think of this as re-purposing something evil. I got my styrofoam trays with fish and vegetables at Mitsuwa.
  • I used a brayer because I already had one on hand from a printmaking class, but a rolling pin works just fine and may be even better for kids since it’s bigger and easier to handle.
  • The book suggests poster paints. I used Martha Stewart craft paint because I had some already. It worked fine, but it did dry quickly. So, I tried oil-based printmaking ink, which I also had. It worked perfectly but I would highly suggest you don’t use it if you are working with kids. It’s messy, permanent and dries so slowly.

printmaking for kidsI made my “block” by tracing the outline of the Japanese character for “friend”. I flipped it around and traced it onto my styrofoam with a sharp pencil. I went over the outline a couple of times to make a deep enough channel to get a clean outline. If I had pressed too lightly, the outline would not be as clear.printmaking for kidsMy prints are imperfect, but that’s okay. It takes some practice to get the right amount of ink on the styrofoam–I need some more practice! And, if this oil-based ink ever dries, I will cut them apart into little cards and send them out as Valentines.

If you try this project, I’d love to hear about it! Happy Valentine making!


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Things To Make & Do For Valentine’s Day

Tomie de Paola Things to Make and Do for Valentine's DayI spent a few days with my parents last week and of course we went thrift shopping. I was in the store less than two minutes when this sweet book by Tomie dePaola jumped into my hands. It may be the best ten cents I’ve ever spent!

Tomie dePaola wrote Strega Nona and Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, two of my favorite books from my days working with children. His illustrations are charming and his stories are sweet and timeless. Things to Make and Do for Valentine’s Day is a how-to book with crafts, jokes, tongue twisters, games and recipes to share for the holiday.

The book is designed for kids, but I think some of the projects are fun for adults, too. I’m going to try one out this weekend and I will report back next week. If it works out, I may use the idea for my Valentine envelopes this year.

Have you planned your Valentine’s Day cards yet? I have my prototype ready…now the real work begins.

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