Valentine Day

Even Cupid Pulls a Sickie Now and Then

Valentine Day – like it or loathe it – is almost here once again. While I have been busy not doing housework, I have been busy thinking of things to make for Valentine Day.

Valentine Day

Warning – Mushy Day is Coming !

I know what you are thinking, she could easily do that with a vacuum cleaner in her hand but you’d be wrong.

The noise of the vacuum stops me thinking. It destroys my creativity. Well at least that is what I told my husband. He’s happy enough, he knows I will go dust- chasing when we can’t see the floor any more. Anyway, who said it was my job?

Valentine Day – What is It?

So, Valentine Day – what actually is it apart from being  a day when I wait in for the postman. I like to yell at him as he goes past my house and say things like, ‘Hey you – what have you done with all my cards, again, you thief!’

I looked at good old Wikipedia to get info about Valentine Day because believe it or not, despite the tons and tons of cards I have had in my lifetime (four), I don’t really have a clue what it’s about. Anyway, Wikipedia says it’s a feast.There is some sort of persecution situation involved as well. One story says St. Valentine of Rome was put in prison for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. He also ministered to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. That must have been a big no-no because it led to his execution. Are you like me in that you are  having a little bit of trouble seeing where the romance comes in?

Ok, well there was some, believe it or not. While this dreadful ‘criminal’ was in prison waiting to be executed for actually marrying people, he healed the jailer’s daughter. Sorry, doesn’t say what she had but anyway, she was cured. And when poor old St. Valentine of Rome was about to executed, so the story goes, he sent her a letter signed ‘Your Valentine’. Ahhh. Sweet.

Valentine Day

Watch out – Cupid’s About

Somehow, St Valentine Day became some sort of official feast for the churches. Various denominations celebrate it on various days – not just on February 14th. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates St. Valentine’s Day in July – twice for some reason according to Wikipedia. And in Brazil, it is June 12th.

 

However, it did not become a romantic lovey-dovey  thing until the 18th century when Geoffrey Chaucer’s circle had a lot of ‘courtly love’ going on (so that’s what they called it). And then of course there was Hallmark  and Interflora, not to mention Thornton’s Chocolates who saw the sense in ‘making a day of it’. Here is the link if you want a sensible explanation wiki Valentine info . I like the bit under ‘Observances’ where it says, ‘sending greeting cards’ like it’s the law or something.

So this week, as the vacuum cleaner sat in the corner glaring at me, I was sitting at my desk thinking up some projects for inexpensive alternatives to Valentine Day cards.

Valentine Day Surprises without Spending Loads of Money

I made this out of scrap food packets:
Valentine Day

Make Someone Happy!

I have to warn you, once the person has lifted the tag and thought ‘wow – I wonder who is that from’, it isn’t really that useful. However, if you use the right sort of card, i.e. very shiny and metallic, it does spin some nice reflections around the room  when you hang it up. It is rigid and feels like it’s made of very light wood. I had fun making it, not least because someone rang in the middle of it and my hand got stuck to the phone. I love PVA glue.

I also made this Valentine Day gift wrap from plain brown paper:

Valentine Day

Surprise Your Valentine With Homemade Gift Wrap

Brown paper is one of my favourite craft materials. The more you screw it up, the better it gets. You can’t say that about many things in life.

Then I made this cute little Valentine Day key-ring. Can’t wait to see if my husband actually uses it. I’m going to tell him I made it especially for his locker key at work – I’m sure the others guys will love it. No of course they wont tease him. Heavens, they aren’t children.

Valentine Day

Of COURSE he’ll love it!

And lastly, I made a Valentine Day card from craft stuff I had lying around:

Valentine Day Card

Who Get’s This?

As my husband is getting the key-chain and I don’t want to spoil him too much, I may just sign this from George Clooney and stick through some random person’s door.

If you want to have a go at any of these projects, they are all listed on Guide Central – see below links:

The Gift Wrap – Guide Central

The Valentine Day card – Guide Central

The Guess Who ‘wooden’ tag – Guide Central and instructables

The key-ring – Guide Central

And if you want to see the 1inch circle designs I have in my Etsy shop (electronic downloads) click here Etsy.

Come back soon – I have a great project for the Chinese New Year on February 19th – if  I can get it done in time.

 

 

Paper jewelry can be made from practically any paper, especially scrap.

To prove this, I set out to make two bracelets from paper that would normally get thrown away.

The paper jewellery you see here was not designed in the way I create many of my other pieces.

paper jewelry
paper jewelry

Instead of spending time to find special materials for my paper jewelry like I usually do, I simply used what I had to hand to see what I could make.

The orange and green bracelet was created from a very small and flimsy paper bag. It came from a card shop where I bought a birthday card for a friend. As I left the shop with the card in the paper bag you see below, I wondered if I could create a birthday present from the bag.

I'm not mean - I just felt like setting myself the challenge of making some pretty paper jewelry from the most basic paper materials.

So I came home, printed off a template and away I went with my project. The darker bracelet was created by using the left-over template strips.

That is what I love about the printed templates - they are a fantastic time-saving tool. However, once they have been chopped up with whatever you are cutting, the resulting strips become a brilliant, cheap craft resource.

(Click here for another post about an inexpensive paper source.)

paper jewelry

 

paper jewlery

When I first got into creating paper jewelry many, many years ago now, I made my paper strips the hard way.

I used to mark out the strips and draw lines for every single bracelet or new set of beads. That was tedious! However, I soon discovered that using ready-made templates made life easier. Click here to find a very reasonable priced template to get you started.

For the bracelet I created from the paper bag, I used a one inch tapered template. First I carefully opened the bag out...

...then I lightly stuck the printed template to the plain side using Stick It re-positionable glue tape - (see right).

Next, I used a metal ruler and craft knife to cut along the template lines.

With careful cutting along the template lines, you soon have neatly cut paper bead strips.

Much easier than drawing lines each time!

 

paper jewelry
Paper jewelry

And I ended up with these - the building blocks of paper jewellery...

...a set of strips from the paper bag and a set of strips from the template.

Once my strips were all cut, I used the technique outlined here on instructables.com  to create my paper bag beads...

 

...then, I used a technique (that I will outline in another blog post eventually) to decorate and color the 'scrap' strips from the template and then, I created these beads.

The paper I print my templates on is just ordinary A4 copy paper. They are made very strong with the coats of glazing I give the beads and, they are splash proof.

 

Paper Jewelry from Very Inexpensive Resources!

And here are the results of the challenge I set myself to make a wearable and pretty birthday present from the bag my friend's birthday card came in.

And I made not one but TWO bracelets because I used the template strips too.

Remember, all it took was just one small paper bag, one sheet of plain A4 copy paper, some 1mm black elastic and a few gold beads, charms and split rings from my craft cupboard.

paper jewelry

The result was some paper jewellery that was perfectly worthy of accompanying the birthday card that came in the paper bag.

Who needs expensive craft papers to make pretty paper jewelry!