Love is...

OK, you're gonna think I'm a real party pooper here, but I have to be honest with you, we don't   do Valentines Day in our house. Don't get me wrong,  I have nothing against telling your loved ones how special they are to you. I think every day is good for telling someone how precious they are and how much they mean to you.  Life on this earth is short, we shouldn't waste time waiting for that one day a year to tell them! I nearly lost my husband last year to a heart attack, I was so glad that just a few short hours before I had told him I loved him. We should treasure every moment with our loved ones. Every second is a gift.

I was researching the origins of Valentines Day. There seem to be various explanations  - some of them a little dubious sounding, but apparently it wasn't until about 1382 in Chaucer's poem Parlement of Foules that Valentines day became associated with romantic love. That's a pretty old tradition!  If you want to learn more about Valentines Day, you can check it out on Wikepedia

OK, despite not partaking in Valentines Day, I do have a sweet little craft for you that you can use as a valentines gift, or you could just enjoy as a quirky little decorative item in your home.

Hearts and Flowers part 2. (For part 1. See this post

You will need a flower punch and a heart punch. I'm using my Tonic Studio's punches again.  
Some florists wire, I don't know what gauge I was using, some was thin for adding the leaves and the other for the stems was thicker. Sorry I am not more helpful there! 
And you will need some small buttons or jewels for the centre of the flowers. 

I used some vintage encyclopedia pages that contained just text, and my assistant (age 4) used watercolour paint to make a couple of green pages and a few brown tinged pages.
I then used the green paper to punch out some flowers and a few hearts for leaves, and the brown paper for the hearts. You'll need 2 flowers and 12 hearts per flower, and 2 hearts per leaf.

I stuck a heart onto each of the flower petals. I then layered two completed flowers together and hot glued them onto the thicker wire. To make this easier, using needlenose pliers, I formed a flat spiral at the top of the wire so that the glue had something to stick to. To finish the flowers I stuck on some lovely little mother of pearl buttons. You can then curl and adjust the petals on the flowers to give them a more realistic look - realistic? ...out of old printed paper? ...well, you know what I mean!

For the leaves I  used two green hearts and one piece of thinner wire folded in half and twisted together for just over the length of the heart. I sandwiched the wire between the two hearts and glued with PVA glue. I used the remaining length of the wire to wind around the stem of the flower. You can add as few or many leaves as you like. 

Now arrange your flowers in a little vase - or even better, in a vintage bottle. You could add a little sentiment tag if they are for a gift. I  punched a heart out of my tag, but you could always add a sweet message.
My bottle was from some Indian Tonic Water. I liked the simple shape.  

To vary this idea, you could change the paper you use. Try using some pretty scrapbooking paper, or vintage maps. For more bling some glittery jewels in the centre would be lovely. If you have a small plant pot, you could fill it with oasis, cover the top with moss and arrange the flowers in a little pot. If you make a looser wire spiral with the thicker wire and add it to the arrangement it could serve as a pretty note holder. I wonder if this will inspire you to come up with your own version?

So… I hope you have a wonderful Valentines day, and that yours is filled with love!

Doda x

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