Valentine’s Day brings a variety of good things to mind: flowers (my favorite color of rose is pink, in case anyone needs to know), gifts (jewelry, hint hint) and of course candy (hopefully lots of it will be chocolate). While I love to receive Valentine wishes of all kinds, I also love to give Valentines.
I can still see myself as a little girl, sitting at the kitchen table with my art supplies getting ready to make Valentines for my family and friends. Actually, I had to make Valentines for my enemies as well, since the teacher provided us with a class list and mandated that we would all make a Valentine for each and every person on it. I gathered my construction paper — red, pink, and white, a bit scratchy and rough. I begged my mom for some of the lacy white doilies from the kitchen. Honestly, I have no memory of seeing those doilies any other time of year; I am not sure what “real-life” function they served in the kitchen. I collected my tools. At first I was restricted to “little kid scissors” with safely-rounded ends, but eventually I graduated to the big heavy scissors with the black handle and the long sharp blade. My adhesives (now there’s a word which did not appear in my vocabulary back then) varied over the years. I remember using Elmer’s Glue: squishy plastic bottle, cow logo (why??), blue and orange letters, thin white dribbly glue which got smeared all over places where it was not actually a design feature. I remember white paste in its little pot with the stubby paint brush attached to the lid. It smelled weird. I even remember something called “mucilage”, which came in a shapely amber-colored translucent plastic bottle with a slanted red plastic applicator top. Just now I had to pull up the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, and I learned that mucilage is a jellylike substance produced by seaweeds and plants that can be mixed with water to form an adhesive. When did mucilage give way to “tape runners”? Hmmm. So interesting how times change.
Once I gathered all of my arts-and-crafts supplies, I got down to the serious business of cutting out paper hearts, made symmetrical by folding the paper in half and cutting one-half of a heart along the folded edge. Then I layered hearts and doilies and construction paper shapes with wild abandon and stuck them all together with whatever sticky stuff was available. With my handy-dandy well-worn crayons, I inscribed an appropriate message. Being more interested in cutting and pasting than in thinking up pithy sayings, my cards usually read “Happy Valentines Day”. (I bothered not a bit over whether or not there should be an apostrophe involved.)
Sometimes (well, often) I got so engrossed in the creative process that I ended up with just a few finished Valentines, not nearly enough for my entire class. So then I would have to use the little paper Valentines from the store – small, flat, sometimes perforated, with tacky pictures and silly sayings. They were an affront to my design ethic, but life is hard that way sometimes. Once the big day arrived, all of the kids in my class would line up and proceed along the rows of desks, dropping a Valentine into each person’s carefully decorated “Valentine Mailbox” (aka shoebox with more construction paper and doilies applied). Then the “room mothers” would magically appear with cupcakes and little paper cups of Koolaide.
When I eventually had a family of my own, I went through the same Valentine’s Day program with them as well. But I am sure that I had way more fun making construction paper Valentines than they did. But they humored me. Well, sort of. Times really changed, though, when computer software became available that let me make cards digitally. No problem now having enough cards to go around! But I have to say that my kids were not thrilled with the idea of taking my printed-at-home cards instead of the Buzz Lightyear or Barbie or Superman versions from the drugstore. Oh well. Life is hard that way sometimes.
Nowadays I use my Artisan software to design Valentines. It’s a great way to experiment with new digital content and new techniques. And I can print as many or as few as I want, at home or at the Panstoria print shop. Below you’ll find some of my latest results. These all were created quickly using a little bit of content and a few easy techniques, usually after dinner when I should have been paying bills instead. (Keep in mind that I am not the Pixie most famous for her card-making, so cards like these are well within the reach of any Artisan user.)
But even though I am addicted to digital design, I have not lost my fondness for working with my hands and making creations using my (vast) collection of scrapbooking tools, papers, pens, and embellishments. Fortunately, the two ways of designing can be melded together, opening up a whole new world of possibilities. Pixie Kim is a master of this way of designing – it is always a thrill to receive a card that she has made. You can see creations by Kim and the other Pixies on our Pinterest boards. There is a board for cards in general, a board for hybrid projects, and a board for projects made using the Cricut machine.
I hope this inspires you to make a few cards of your own – maybe a Valentine card, or a card for an upcoming birthday, or a Just-Because card. Even if you already have your Valentines for this year taken care of, remember that no one has ever complained about receiving TWO Valentines from the same person. So go for it.
Happy Valentine’s Day,
Digital Content Used:
Designs by Laura Burger: Flurries of Fun
Faytette Designs: Happy in Love, Hey Girlfriend
JumpStart Designs: Holiday Hearts & Hugs, Chocolate Dreams, Polar Bear Lane, Cozy Quiet Moments, Denim Days of Autumn
LJS Digital Designs: Steel Magnolias
Peppermint Creative: Hot Mama
Seatrout Scraps: Get Organized