Oops! I put this post together a couple weeks ago, right after Valentine’s Day, but somehow never posted it.
As part of my new year organizing efforts last month Dorothy and I made a stash of birthday cards to have ready as we need them this year. My efforts were a little more conservative in their color combinations; hers are photographed here. We got out craft punches, decorative scissors, glue sticks, plain card stock and a pack of decorative scrapbook paper and then had a good time. I printed out a couple colored pages full of assorted well-wishes and we combined those with our own handwritten messages. Usually our local homeschool community holds a Valentine party where the children exchange cards like they would in school. This year the event didn’t come together, but we held our own little Valentine “party” for the alphabet. Worth has been very keen on practicing his letters lately, so I’ve been trying to encourage his interest with a few little games like this one. First the kids made an envelope for each letter, then we “seated” them by snaking the envelopes (in alpha order) across the room. Then I gave them a mixed up set of cards I’d printed off, which were really picture/letter cards, 2 or 3 per letter, and let them deliver the cards to the correct letters. To make it more of a game I told them I secretly loved one letter best, and they had to figure out which one I’d given the most Valentine’s cards to. Worth delivered with enthusiasm, accidentally practicing his letters as he went, and Dorothy had a nice exercise in alphabetical order. They discovered that my most beloved letter was “M” for “mom.” Heh.
Dorothy and I made lacy heart t-shirts for ourselves to wear today. I’m pretty sure I read this idea in Family Fun magazine, but when I went to their website to search all it would show me was an ovulation calculator (let me talk about the Top Ten things I am not interested in right now…an ovulation calculator is waaaay up there!) link over and over and a bunch of stuff I was not interested in. Were they always owned by horrid Parents magazine? Maybe that is the problem. But now I’m rambling and showing no love…on Valentine’s Day even.
Since I can’t find a link to the article I got this idea from, I’ll just explain. We took paper heart-shaped doilies and adhered them to our shirts with low-tac adhesive. We dabbed fabric paint in the doily cut-out areas, let them dry, then peeled off the doilies themselves, revealing the pretty designs. Dorothy had trouble picturing what we were doing, which is why she began dabbing paint all around her heart on the first one, but then she caught onto the vision. We’re doing to enjoy wearing these today.
Did you know I’m Cupid’s mother? If any of my readers need some help with the love this February 14 you just let me know and I’ll let my son get in some target practice. (Wink.) A friend gifted me some cast-off fabric last year, including some very sturdy red cotton with black designs and hearts all over it. I decided to use it to make Dorothy a dress for Valentine’s Day. I used Simplicity 5704, a new pattern for me, and it turned out great. Her usual size fit her perfectly and the sturdiness of the fabric gives good fullness to the skirt and the sleeves. If I make this pattern for her again I might lengthen it a bit, as she likes longer skirts and this one hits just below the knee, but that’s the only change I’d make. It’s a good pattern and made a sweet dress that I suspect will get worn all summer.
I’ve also been dressing my home up a bit for Valentine’s Day. I used scraps from past February projects and some pink and white shirting from my stash to make cute place mats and a short table runner. Each mat is different. I sewed pockets to the front of each one for the flatware because I thought Dorothy (who sets the table) would think that was cute. I found the melamine conversation heart plates unexpectedly at Kroger for just $.99 each. The woman at the checkout who rang them up got so excited about them she decided to go purchase a set for herself when her shift ended! They are pretty cute, and were available with six different phrases. Now we’ll enjoy ten more days of very pink and loving dinners!
We’ve been busy around here. Too busy to blog. But I’m so eager to share my progress! Here’s another before.
And after. It’s not done, but we’ve come a long way. The wallpaper has been stripped (thank you Nana!), the walls primed and painted, and a really painful amount of joint compound was applied by my bare fingers to a crack that ran all the way around the dining room between the crown molding and the ceiling. Ouch. But I’m loving the colors and the way things are coming together. I need one more vintage Louisville postcard for the frame to the right of the pass-through (Churchill Downs, I think–I found one online), and I want to make a family calendar for the other side. We ripped off the old, ugly rubber baseboard in the kitchen but have not yet purchased new, wooden baseboard. Pictures still need to be hung in the dining room and some of the trim is not yet painted. But wow! I’m feeling so pleased with how “mine” the house is starting to look. I’m also vowing to take a break from major painting for a few weeks, though. We need a break to focus on other things and avoid total house rehab burnout.
We did squeeze in some Valentine-making time. I let Dorothy use the hot glue gun for a while, then changed my mind after she was such a wimp about touching some glue before it set up. Maybe it was a bad call to let her use it in the first place, but I really do think she’s a wimp. 🙂 Either way, we glued faux flower petals, scraps of lace, and hearts we punched out of pretty paper onto purchased blank cards. Kind of like halfway homemade. Dorothy enjoyed making them, which was good since we needed enough for her whole class. I also had adorable coupons printed from Pear Tree Greetings and I thought they turned out very sweet (the photo is on one side, the coupon is on the other). I think the print quality is better for the money than from some photo sharing sites I’ve tried. I sent the coupons to our family and they’ve been well received.
We’ve also been busy getting more colds and ear infections–argh! It seems like the kids and I have been endlessly sick this winter. I’m blaming too much upheaval in our home and not enough downtime, but maybe it’s just that both my kids cannot keep their hands off germy objects or out of their mouths.