Wednesday, February 13, 2008
as a romantic holiday, i don't get very wrapped up in valentine's day. however, i am starting to see the appeal when it comes to kids. eva's really excited to exchange valentines with her friends at a little party we're having for them. we've been working on these two projects for a couple weeks (amazing! i started with time to spare!), and she seems to think it's the best thing since christmas.
for the photo collage, she helped me make the letters. (glue sticks and coloring? perfect kid craft!) we used cardboard from a shipping box, covered the cut-out letters with packing paper from said box, and decorated away. despite the inherent glue & markers appeal, she actually wasn't into it at first, but then i caught her in a better mood another day. it pays to be patient; something i so rarely remember.
then she agreed to pose for all those photos, which was key (a collage of scowls doesn't say "love" in quite the same way, does it?). we stumbled upon the perfect setting, a nice monochrome winter outdoor sort of thing, which i think adds to the effect. also, dogs and bikes kept passing by, so she was suitably entertained. then i just smashed it all together in the gimp (like photoshop but open source and free).
we also made these hearts to mail or pass out to our family and friends, inspired by the very cute "colorful heart bough" (item #3) in kid craft weekly's valentine's day issue. rather than tape smaller hearts to a bough (which doesn't fit in an envelope the same way, so didn't suit our long-distance needs), we made larger hearts and added a bit of yarn with which to hang them. like the "love" letters above, the hearts were made almost entirely from packaging detritus -- we used the brown mailing paper that had wrapped a box mailed to me, made a heart stencil from leftover cardboard, and decorated all with tissue paper that had wrapped my recent birthday presents (it pays to have a february birthday, i guess. my gifts -- including a bouquet of flowers -- came in red, purple, pinks, and white. how convenient! i didn't even have time to put it away and pull it all back out again.)
eva glued ripped up tissue paper to the brown mailing paper, then i traced and cut out hearts. (again, she wasn't that into it at first -- but ripping paper and using glue are your favorite things! i don't get what the issue could be. that is, until my mom so astutely pointed out: "she's two." oh yeah, that's what it is! i forget that sometimes...) i taped scrap yarn to the back, then covered the backs with one heart-shaped piece of tissue paper -- those were easy to cut out once i figured out to fold the paper to the right size in big stacks, place the stencil on top, and cut through a dozen or so at a time with the rotary cutter. (we made about 30 hearts total.)
despite her occasional reticence, eva's really proud of her valentines and can't wait to share them. i do enjoy mailing out valentines (under the pretense of their being from eva, even when she was a baby and we made footprint cards by repeatedly painting her little foot). i think that it makes more sense for me to do this than holiday cards in december. i'm too busy then, and plus the odds of your card ending up in a huge pile of similar cards is lower at valentine's day than in december. and who doesn't like a surprise valentine? (note how i make the slacker method sound so well planned out?)
so, happy valentine's day, everyone, in whatever way you view it (as a holiday it's a bit loaded, isn't it?) and, if you're against it in every way, happy early fifteenth of february, then. :)