Posts Tagged ‘valentines’

I can never overlook an opportunity to send mail and Valentine’s day is such a wonderful one.  I usually design a quick card with the boys’ picture on it and send it out to family and friends.  This year the idea of a field guide was snowballing in my brain and gathered enough momentum to manifest itself into a very special Valentine’s Day greeting.

Our Field Guide to Loveable Things.

It’s kind of a cross between an Audubon field guide to insects that Eli has kicking around and a little nightly ritual we have called “happy things”.  Eli likes his head to be filled with happy things right before he drifts off into slumber.  So we talk about things.  We often talk about things that have delighted us in the past.  The time that we visited the goat farm and about 50 baby goats came running up to us all maaaaaing enthusiastically.  Or the June night in Maine when a firefly crawled across Eli’s finger.  The rattly, comforting sound of a purring kitty.  The sweet goodness of a summer ice cream cone at the farm.  Steaming hot chocolate after sledding.  The satisfaction of a good skipping stone.  Happy things.  People and animals and moments that are easy to love.

And so I arrived at a very condensed version of a long list of lovably happy things. These particular loves are a little snapshot of the things that have been delighting us in our mid-winter days.  Each item got a “Latin name”  (Chocolate = Nomore leftus, Maple syrup = Sapophytum delicium,… you get the idea) and a pseudo-scientific little description of its habitat, feeding habits, etc.  It’s silly and sweet (Soren = Soso cutus) and a fun way to celebrate our very, loveable life.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Wishing you all so many loveable things.

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I always get really excited to make valentines for Eli to exchange at school.  These sweet little valentines first got their start when Eli was in preschool.  My octopus and fishy valentines have been around the block now and this year, with Eli in second grade and all, it was time for some fresh new faces.  Thus the Rock Star valentines were born.   Owl, Rain or Shine and Dinosaur valentines quickly followed and have kept my little shop busy for the last few weeks.

The honest truth of it is that my son doesn’t care a whole lot about what his valentines look like.  He even reminded me that his classroom valentine exchange is optional.  Maybe optional if your mom is not a card designer.  There’s no way my boy is going to school without some handmade valentines in his backpack!  I only have so many years to enjoy this….  That said, Eli was more than satisfied with the whole rock star design.  Electric guitars, amplifiers, not too much red or pink.  You know, it’s cool.  And that’s good enough for this mama.

Exchanging valentines is fun, but I suspect that the goodies that come along with commercial valentines these days are the main event. Last year when I looked through Eli’s paper bag stuffed full of little cards, do you know that the majority of them had something attached to them?  Pencils, lollipops and (I’ll try to suppress my gasps of horror) these packets full of sugar.   It’s hard for a handmade valentine to top a packet full of artificially colored sugar, no?  Still, I think it’s entirely possible that some young eyes might find a colorful valentine card sprinkled with little hearts inside a translucent envelope a refreshing change.  Even sans sugar.

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A lot of little valentines have tumbled through this studio of mine the past few weeks.  It’s always a joy for me to make cards and maybe it’s even a bit of an extra thrill to make tiny ones and package them up all sweet.  A lot of paper hearts were punched.  This pretty paper confetti was designed to sprinkle throughout each small glassine envelope that houses a valentine.  It makes me giddy to think of all the little ones out there exchanging fishy and octopus valentines today with little paper hearts sprinkling all around.  Aside from shop orders, family valentines were also made and mailed.  I really cherish any opportunity to send mail.  It’s a bonus if I get to put my babe’s photos on it too.

And I can’t think about mail without thinking about my little penpal.  Every letter starts off with a pet name.  Our pet names for each other have run the gamut in our 14 years of weekly (more or less…) letters.  I really like whiskerlicious.  Muffin-top is good too.  Over the years we’ve come up with some delightfully silly equations to arrive at suitable pet names.  Becca’s equation is to take a household object and add something soft:  bucket + fluff = bucket fluff.  The equation that I often use is:  something sweet +  a body part.   This results in the wonderfully ridiculous cupcake-head and honey-bum.  My favorite is pie face.  Use your discretion, of course.  Not everyone thinks it is darling to be called candy-butt, though Becca, I suspect, would quite like it.  And obviously, despite it’s being a household object, never use the word toilet with anything.

Valentine’s Day is such a perfect opportunity to exercise a pet name equation, but really any day will do.  If you’re so inspired today, pick up a pen and write a little note to a special spoon-pillow or sugar-foot.  It will make you feel good, it will make a friend feel good, and it’s easy as pie.  Or pie face.

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