Melting Heart

3 02 2012


Valentine Matching Clip Job

2 02 2012

Inspired by a photograph found via pinterest, I decided to make a valentine themed job for Eleanor’s preschool classroom. When I showed it to Eleanor she loved the idea. Well, except for the sharing part. Apparently there was a bit of a concern about a specific little boy ruining it with his “germs”.

I promised to laminate it and told her if she liked it, I could make a 2nd set for home and she graciously gave her consent. Seeing as she couldn’t keep her hands off it last night when it wasn’t even done yet, I have a feeling I’ll be making that 2nd set.

I backed 14 pretty papers with pink card stock, laminated and cut out hearts.

I was having difficulty with glue and the clothespins as I was trying to use the left over laminated scraps. However, not a single type of glue in my household would hold those puppies together. I finally took a step back and simplified. Using a little more fresh unlaminated paper and good old modge podge I got the job done.

The arrow points are still laminated as I feared a gaggle of preschoolers would otherwise do them in. Plus both clips and hearts are backed in solid pink.

Eleanor was rather upset that she couldn’t bring it to school this morning, but now it’s ready and waiting for her.


24 02 2011

We mostly just give handmade valentine cards within the family, but this year I went a little further. I really like the fact that we keep it simple, creating cards with just what we have on hand. Still, I had the urge to do a little more this year, but I tried hard not to go overboard.

For Seth – An etched seashell. Making the valentine shells reminded me of a project in Laurie Carlson’s More Than Moccasins. You paint an image on a shell with clear nail polish, then place in a bowl of vinegar for a day. I think it would be nice to reverse the surface that is etched and paint all of the shell except the heart. A note of warning should you be tempted to try this project, not all shells are created equal. White or lightly colored shells do not work because it’s difficult to see the difference between the etched surface and the protected one. Additionally, thinner shells may disintegrate completely. This happened to me twice which is why I ended up with a different gift for Eleanor. I simply didn’t have another 24 hours to risk on another shell.

For Eleanor – A felt heart necklace inspired by new house project’s necklace I spyed on The Crafty Crow. I had been cutting out and collecting small red hearts from scraps left by the bean bag project. I was thinking if it came together Eleanor could wear it to school on the big day. Well, I didn’t finish it until about 1/2 hour before the end of her school day but it did solve the problem that I didn’t have a 2nd etched shell to give out.

For me, from Kristin – isn’t she awesome?! I simply love this little pin and was really touched when she gave it to me.

This concludes the crafty valentines day summary. I promise to keep hearts on the down low for the next 11 months.

Valentine Beanbags!

14 02 2011

Raise your hand if you know I tend to go overboard at Valentine’s Day.

Ah, I see more than half of you with your hands up. As you may have guessed, this year was certainly no exception. We’ll see how much time I can find this week to show you all of our projects.

First up, I made a pile of bean bags out of left over felt from Seth’s halloween costume, an old grey t-shirt and a large bag of rice. I had everything on hand except the rice, which I found on sale – bonus! I would have preferred to have found some old sweaters to felt down or some lovely new wool felt to use, but time and money were not on my side so I made do.

Eleanor helped fill them with the rice. She and her brother also helped sweep up the rice after one rather large spill that happened when my back was turned. I just kept repeating in my head – practical life lesson, it’s ok, breath, practical life lesson….

In this pile, you can see one with the tag hand sewn on. It was the only one that had a tag by the time the sun was going down yesterday.  I purposefully sewed the hearts a little wonky twice around, but I’ll admit by the time I was on my 22nd one they were REALLY wonky.  I somehow doubt the 3 to 5 year olds will care though.

I suggested to Eleanor that she might want to write an E on the back of each card, but she would have none of it. She wanted to trace her full name on each and every card. The crazy part is she did it! Half last night and the rest this morning. We were a little late for school, but I wasn’t going to stop that concentration and persistence.  Even last year Seth didn’t make it through signing all his valentine’s and his name is so much shorter than hers. It was very unexpected. She even added a little sticker to each one.

I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Find someone to hug and slowly enjoy a good chocolate treat.

Valentine Garland

11 02 2011

Although I really wanted to make Jackie’s Valentine Bunting, I just didn’t have the type of string in my stash that I was envisioning in my head. When that happens, I’m just never satisfied with any other options.

Since I still wanted a garland to hang up and the kids were asking for a valentine’s day craft project I went a different route.

Turning toilet paper tube rolls into hearts is certainly not new, but it did fit my demands of the day. In fact, it turned out better than expected. The kids got to paint pink hearts, Eleanor got to do a bit of lacing with sparkly yarn and not a single person that has walked into my house could tell that we used toilet paper tubes until I told them.

Love these action shots of Eleanor concentrating so hard on her lacing. I think the close up makes it look like the needle was magically sewing by itself but it was jut a fluke that I caught it mid-air after she dropped the needle.

And while we were waiting for the paint to dry we made super yummy banana chocolate chip muffins. Seth thoroughly enjoyed mashing the bananas. We only made a half batch though and they were gone FAST. I plan on making another full batch for Monday morning.

Family Valentines

18 02 2010

This last Saturday, the day before Valentines Day, the entire family took a class at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Originally, it was going to be just Seth and I, but then it evolved into a family event. I’m really happy it did, because we had a blast.

The instructor, Ellen Ferrari, was great at getting AND keeping the kids interest. Considering the age span of children from 2 to 5 or 6, this is quite a feat.  What’s more impressive is how she knew exactly how to explain the techniques so that everyone from Eleanor to Seth to Steve to little ol’ me could understand. She provided plenty of materials and even allowed us to take home what we didn’t use. This was especially nice as the adults, of course, didn’t get as much time to work on their own cards.

The playing card valentine at the top was made by Seth. He really enjoyed the uniqueness of each type of valentine and all of the different materials. This pocket valentine is by Eleanor. She learned how to use a bone folder! Silly me, I had never even thought to show her a bone folder even though I always know where mine is. She spent much of her time in the class coloring and glueing. This little master piece, however, was completed at home the next day. The folding had been done in class but it still needed embellishing. So while Seth and his father worked on breakfast, Eleanor and I hid in my bedroom finishing up our valentines. We spread all the materials we had brought home over the bed and just went to town. The best part was when the light bulb went off over Eleanor’s head and she figured out the scissors. After that I couldn’t stop her from cutting little bits of paper to glue in place.

To think, these are just a few of the valentines we made. There was a total of 4 per person worked on. And even though it was a class aimed at preschoolers I learned something too – how to make pop out hearts!

Seth’s Valentines

17 02 2010

As I mentioned, Seth’s valentines did NOT go as smoothly as Eleanor’s. The issue was not with the valentines themselves. They were inspired by Jean at The Artful Parent and turned out fabulously. The challenge had more to do with the fact that Seth wanted to do everything himself. He wanted to write the words and lace the ribbons. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had cut out the hearts in one night at the very beginning, he would have wanted to do all the cutting too! And I wanted to let him. Needless to say, making 20 of the same valentine in less than a week, only during the few hours after work is a bit of a challenge for a 5 year old who has only been writing letters for about a month. There were tears. A lot of them. He made comments about how they weren’t perfect and he knows “mistakes are bad”. My heart went out to him and I tried to boost his confidence and calm his nerves but it was stressful.

In the end he finished half of them and I finished the other half. As far as I can tell he was still proud of his accomplishment and happy with the results. Note to self – start at least 2 weeks before Valentines Day next year!