For This Valentine’s Day…

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Whether it be batting one’s eyes to a handsome lord at the masquerade ball, writing a letter by candle light to send your sweetheart by express post or sharing a milkshake at the local malt shop, romantic love has been celebrated long before the existence of the commercial holiday we know today as Valentine’s Day. And yet, despite this day being one of the most profitable days for retailers out there, there is still something very special about this time of year.

My fondest memories of Valentine’s Day were not when I was sent flowers or taken out to a fancy dinner, but rather the anticipation of the day.  As a kid, I remember spending hours making Valentine’s Day cards for my friends at school. On the day of, my school bag would be filled with the cards I had made along with a bag of cinnamon hearts so that I could share the candy with everyone while handing out my crafted cards. In high school, you could buy Hershey kisses for your friends and maybe even your boyfriend or girlfriend. Along with sending a kiss, you could write personalized notes to the recipient. While at that time, I was still filled with excitement about sending kisses to my friends, the excitement also came with a little nervousness. I began to wonder if the person I ‘liked’ would send me something and, could I  too muster up the courage to tell them how I felt?

Then, there was adulthood, where my girlfriends and I would celebrate the day as a day of friendship. Who needed a significant other, right? Valentine’s Day became a day to celebrate my independence; a night out with the gals with of course, some red wine.  In spite of our swearing off romance on what we thought was a ridiculous day, perhaps, in the back of all our minds we did wonder if our ideal man would appear that very night? Maybe it would be a funny ‘how we met’ story?

Cards, chocolate and dining aside, I think when it comes down to it, this day is special for me because of the emotional memories I associate to it. Throughout my lifetime, this day has ranged from a day in which I was filled with confidence to tell my friends I cared about them, to a day that I truly detested, to a day that I now, don’t really take that seriously. But, that’s not to say that I don’t continue the tradition of sending cards, Hershey chocolates or I love you’s to my loved ones. Because at the end of the day, Valentine’s Day is about telling a special someone you care about them – with all the anticipation, courage, stress and hope that goes along with it.

DIY RETRO VALENTINE

Will you be sending someone a Valentine this year?

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Supplies: White or Pink Card Stock, 1 Gold Sharpie, 1 Pencil Sharpener, 1 Box of Crayola Crayons, Wax Paper, Iron, Heat-Proof Protective Table Cover, Heart Shaped Punch, Scissors, White Glue and small Glue Brush

Instructions:

-Plug in your iron so that it can pre-heat and cover your work area with a protective heat-proof cover.

-Tear off a long piece of wax paper approximately 28 inches in length and fold the wax paper in half, making an identifiable crease at the fold. Open the folded wax paper and place over protective covering on your work table.

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-Select which crayons you would like to use for your design. You will need about 4 crayons for the piece of wax paper.

-Remove the paper wrapping from each crayon and using a pencil sharpener; sharpen away each crayon over the unfolded wax paper so that the crayon shavings fall onto the wax paper. Repeat for all four crayons.

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-Once you have all of the crayon shavings, evenly distribute over the surface area of the wax paper. Fold the top layer of the wax paper to cover the crayon shavings.

-Carefully iron the wax paper and crayon design. The wax on the paper and the crayons will melt so be careful when applying the iron. The iron should be evenly applied across the entire sheet of wax paper. Once complete, unplug iron and let cool. Set aside wax paper to let cool.

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-As the wax paper cools off, take the card stock and heart shaped punch to create your card design. I used post-card sized cards and folded them in half so that the heart could only be visible once the card was opened.

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-Once the wax paper has cooled, trace circles on the wax paper using a cup or circle shaped object. Make sure that the circle will be able to cover the heart punches on your card stock.

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-Once all circles have been traced, cut out the circles using regular scissors.

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-Using a glue brush and white glue, glue the circles to the back of each punched heart shape. Once glued, set aside to dry overnight.

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-Once cards have dried, hold the cards up to the light and you will see that the wax paper creates a stained glass effect.

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-Using the Gold Sharpie, write your personalized Valentine’s Day message.

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