This guy is my Valentine:
Even though we’d do cartwheels for each other (for reals, see below), we aren’t really fans of Valentine’s Day. Too much of what goes on for that holiday feels phony and contrived. We prefer to generally mock and/or ignore the pressure to make grand romantic gestures on February 14th. Nonetheless, I always make him a valentine card each year.
This year, I’m feeling inspired by an article in the February issue of Better Homes & Gardens. In it, Natalie Chanin shared handmade cards with hand-stitching on them.
This sent me on a search for tutorials and inspiration online.The tutorial I like best is this one from Leigh Ann at Freckled Nest:
Although many of the images above show hand-stitching on fabric, Leigh Ann’s tutorial addresses hand-stitching on paper, too.
Some years I’ve incorporated poetry, and I think I’d like to do that this year, too. One of my favorite sources for Valentine poems is Ted Kooser’s Valentines.
I love the story of this book almost as much as I love the poems. In 1986, Kooser (former US poet laureate) wrote the first poem in the book and sent it to 50 women friends. That began a tradition that continued for 21 years, and the list of recipients eventually grew to 2,500. (Full story on NPR here.)
If I get really ambitious, I might try writing my own poem. Or, I might write a collage poem–one in which I pull lines and phrases from other writer’s poems and combine them into my own. A good source for poems about love is the Academy of American Poets site, where you can browse poems by occasion. You can see quite a selection of poems on love here.
I’m looking forward to learning a new technique, exploring some poetry, and messing around with paper and fabric and embroidery floss. Hopefully I’ll have a project to share soon.