My husband Bob says Valentines Day should be every day... and he is right, hearts and love never really go out of season. I must admit, I do have an affection for hearts, not just on February 14, and, of course, that goes for chocolate too, FOR SURE... Anyway, my computer was down the end of last week and so couldn't finish up what I had hoped to share in regard to heartfelt projects. I am beginning to wish I could just push the calendar back a week. I seem to be playing catch up ever since Thanksgiving. I want to celebrate these holidays, but I just can't seem to catch up to them in time. I seem to be be celebrating in another time zone that is a few days different than real time. But... better then, than not at all. You know how different cultures have different calendars? I think I am on the Dotty calendar... :)
Anyway, I WAS able to make these wax paper and crayon chips hanging hearts shown above as inspired by Martha Stewart Crafts, and hang them from a dormant branch and put them in the window behind my husbands chair in the dining room. I hope he will enjoy them as a little token of my affection. They are just made by ironing two sheets of wax paper with bits of crayon gratings, using a flattened brown paper bag on either side to protect iron and board. I precut some hearts made the old fashioned fold and cut way and then used those to trace onto the wax paper and cut the hearts, then punched holes, and put a thread hanger for each heart that I attached to the branch. I would have loved to have done this with my children. I thought of them as I made this as it is just the kind of thing we used to do when they were home. I did it with them in my thoughts and heart, and felt as though they were right there with me and part of my project.
I had spoken before about how the littlest things can make someone's day special. I received a packet from a friend of our family who knows I love hand made things. He had cut these from the eraser like blocks (as well as some regular linoleum blocks) that we have from Speedball and printed them on a type of handmade paper. I just love the whole set of them. Simple designs that make you smile. We carry the blocks and the ink in the shop, and I know our son Matthew has enjoyed cutting these and making his own cards when he was younger. You can place on them whatever design you want, and they cut fairly easily. They really make great handcrafted cards and prints, which may be easily duplicated as you just reink and print however many you want. I am inspired by this set of prints by our artist friend, Michael Sweem, and hope to try making something similar in a spring theme. As you can see, the designs don't have to be elaborate or exact to be effective, and you can even trace with carbon paper a design directly onto the block from a photograph or previous drawing by photocopying it and then tracing the image right on to the block before cutting. It was such a nice gesture to be given this set of prints. I adore them. They are each about 5 x 7 inches. They were such a nice surprise to receive in the mail, and definitely brought a smile to my face. I think I was supposed to have them to give away for Valentines Day, but I haven't been able to part with them yet. I just will enjoy them a little while longer before I give them away. I like ALL of them. :) SIMPLE yet SWEET...
And so...in light of the simple AND sweet things, I did something I have been wanting to do for a few years. I can't believe it has taken me this long to just stop and do this, as I have had this idea for awhile to use our scrapbook papers and embellishments to decorate our Lake Champlain Fine Signature chocolate bars.
I first started by taking off the Lake Champlain wrapper and slipping a little secret message on a piece of paper under the gold foil. This was done with a rub-on on a piece of handmade rice paper cut to size. and then placed on a sheet of clean white cardstock.
I then cut down a piece of scrapbook paper and wrapped it around the bar, and used roller type adhesive to seal.
On the front I placed embellishments and of course some adhesive jewels. I have seen something similar to this to buy, but I, of course, wanted to make my own with my own little treasures, stickers, and embellishments.
This would also make a great birthday or Mother's Day gift. I was thinking it would be fun to do them as a Saturday workshop at the store sometime, just for a fun get together, so we will keep you posted when we would do this. You could decorate more elaborately, but even just this was enough to make an ordinary chocolate bar extra special. I like the gold foil and the thickness of these Lake Champlain Signature Bars. They work perfectly. The one pictured above went to my husband. I placed it in a cello bag for a nice finishing touch. Now I just have to let HIM eat the chocolate inside. He hasn't even started eating it yet. Are you kidding me? If it was mine, I am afraid that bar would be LONG GONE....
I will surely continue my heart projects throughout the year as hearts continue to be a motif I am fond of. I even recently started a Pinterest board of my heart finds. http://pinterest.com/thenetloft/hearts/
Ah yes, my continuing Pinterest addiction...I may need professional help soon.
Last but not least, my heart love has brought me to share with you this sneak peak at some hand made totes with leather handles, wool and metallic embroidery, and some even enhanced by just a touch of sequins. How can a heart lover (and bag lover) resist...isn't it funny that one can NEVER have enough totes and bags... they each have their own purpose and pursenality, and there are just TOO many cute bags and totes to have just one. We will have these in the shop possibly by Mother's Day and they will come in multiple colors and designs. They are each one of a kind and have a drawstring closure. I thought they would be perfect for knitting projects or for just "stuff". You cannot see the metallic thread very well in the photo, but it has just the right amount of glitz with the gold to perfectly accent the wool embroidery. We will let you know when they arrive. There will be a limited number and each a unique handmade creation of color and texture. Love those hearts, especially the sequined ones.
So, my friends, happy hearts to you... In the midst of all of life's struggles and pains and ups and downs, a little heartfelt love and those extra little touches of handmade thoughtfulness and remembrances always go a long, long way.
The best to you as February zooms by.
Net Loft Dotty