Valentine’s Cards

We had a lovely Valentine’s Day. We’ve always made it a family day. We’ve tried once or twice going out for dinner, but the restaurants are so crowded it took a long time and wasn’t enjoyable. A few years ago for Valentine’s Day I used the recipe for Li’l Cheddar Meat Loaves but shaped the loaves into hearts, and that has become a tradition. (Note on the recipe: I use oatmeal instead of bread crumbs, only about 1 1/2 Tbs of brown sugar instead of 1/4 cup, and I omit the mustard because it gave it more of a BBQ flavor).

It’s also become a tradition to make heart-shaped cupcakes…

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..and peanut butter cookies with Hershey’s heart candies on top.

img_0083I received flowers and candy from my dear husband and cards from him and Timothy.

img_0084Jason and Mittu and Timothy also gave us these cute magnets from Photo Barn.

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I’ve also been making my own cards the last few years, and I know some of you like to do the same, so I thought I’d show them to you. I collect card ideas on Pinterest – I have one board for cards and one for Valentine’s Day. So when I have occasion to make a card, I’ll scroll through those for ideas plus the Cricut Design Studio. My generous husband gave me a Cricut Explore a few years ago, which can be hooked up to my laptop. They have “make it and take it” designs, which will allow you to cut the needed elements piece by piece and tell you how to layer them (the computer sends the design straight to the Cricut). Or, if you have an idea of your own, you can search for particular things, like “mug,” and it will show you several designs to choose from and then you can cut them out with the Cricut. So I peruse a lot of these ideas beforehand and see which one seems to “fit” the ones I am making a card for. I seldom copy a design exactly. Some times, like last Christmas, I don’t use the Cricut at all; this time I used it for every card. Of course, many things, like a mug, can be cut out without a machine like this. I can wing it with some things, but not so much with others. πŸ™‚

So here’s what I came up with for this year:

For my husband:

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For my oldest son, who lives out of state:

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I had planned to put something like “Sending love your way…” on the front, maybe on one of the clouds. But I thought this looked balanced as is, so I put that on the inside.

For Jason, a coffee aficionado:

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For Mittu (it’s nice to be able to do one girly one. πŸ™‚ ):

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I was particularly excited about this one for Timothy. He likes anything on wheels right now, and I had seen one design with a dump truck with hearts in it that I was planning on using. But when I saw the design for an excavator, I had to use it. He’s very much into excavators right now (and it is so cute to hear him say it) thanks to this guy, and can even name all the parts.

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I was thankful to find stick-on letters (for sale half price!) for that one and the next one at Hobby Lobby.

This was Jesse’s. From the time he was very little, he’s always had a bright, happy spirit, so this seemed perfect for him.

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And this was for Jim’s mom. My machine had some trouble with the small cuttings – I think maybe I need a new blade, but I didn’t have time to run out for one. There were four hearts layered for this one.

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I enjoy making these as my gifts to my family.

All in all we had a great day. πŸ™‚

Family Christmas Cards

I hope you had a special Christmas. We had a nice day with all the family here. Someone, I think my son or daughter-in-law, had the idea of putting our photos in stickers on the Christmas gifts so Timothy could help pass them out to the right person that way. He was very patient as we got breakfast and read the Nativity story, then passed out a few gifts to others, then said, “Baby presents?” like, “Hey, shouldn’t I be getting one of these?” πŸ™‚

The last few years I have been making cards for my immediate family, so I thought I’d show you the cards I made for Christmas. As I scouted Pinterest for ideas, I noted that several I had pinned had snowmen, so I decided to go with a snowman theme.

For this one for my husband, I looked up “snowman template” and cut out this little couple, colored them with colored pencils, then decorated around them. The background paper has phrases from “The Twelve Days of Christmas” on it.

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This was for my oldest son. I used the Cuttlebug to emboss the snowflakes on the background. I love the perspective of this one (I can’t take credit for it – I saw it on Pinterest. πŸ™‚ )

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This was for Jason. I love the cheeriness of this one.

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This was for Mittu. I was delighted to find wintry paper that had purple in it.

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This cute one was for Timothy.

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This was Jesse’s. I think I got something a little askew with the hat…

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This was for Jim’s mom. I had seen the idea for “JOY” with a wreath in place of the O, and changed it for a snowman’s face.

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Then I stayed with the same theme for our anniversary card with a different template:

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I used punches for some of the circles and squares and buttons and eyes, stickers in some places and markers in others.

Overall it was fun to do while listening to the Instrumental Christmas station on Pandora. Most of it was done after the toe injury and thankfully after I had almost everything else done but the cleaning, which my husband graciously did. I think they all liked them.

I’m working on some end of the year blog posts of books read this year, my favorites of them, and a wrap-up post for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge. I’m afraid they will overlap a bit. πŸ™‚ And usually around this time I look back over some of my favorite posts of the year. So, as time allows, that’s what will be up the rest of this week.

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Valentine’s Cards

I have an embarrassingly large supply of materialsΒ  to make cards. Most have been picked up on sales or with coupons. I have used some over the years to make personal cards or for projects for our ladies’ group and missionaries, but I have quite a lot on hand still. Often by the time I think of making a card for an event. I don’t have enough time. But this year I determined it make Valentine’s Day cards for the family, and I thought I’d show them to you. I perused my Cards and Papercrafts and Valentine’s Ideas Pinterest boards for inspiration and used a few there as springboards but came up with a few others on my own.

This was Jim’s:

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The key is a little 3-d sticker and the only thing I bought especially for these cards: everything else I had on hand. He’s enjoyed joking that keys to my heart can be bought at Hobby Lobby. πŸ™‚

This was Jeremy’s:

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The inside said “…To wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.” I think the brown hearts look like chocolate, and they’re a great way to get hearts on a man’s card so it’s more masculine looking than the pink ones I gravitate to. πŸ™‚ I usually make heart-shaped chocolate cupcakes decorated with sprinkles or icing for Valentine’s Day, and I thought these were reminiscent of those or of chocolate candies. Most of the hearts of various sizes on the cards were made with punches.

This was Jason’s:

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The inside says “That’s our love for you,” meaning it’s so great it can’t be measured. I just realized last night or some time this morning that I didn’t have a heart on his. Sorry about that, Jason! Here’s one for you: β™₯ πŸ™‚

This was Mittu’s:

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The inside says “On Valentine’s Day and every day!” The little envelope was made with help from a template I found by searching online for “small envelope templates.” I have a neat punch that rounds off corners and used that for the words here. By the way, the words were all printed out on the computer with the Bradley Hand ITC font except for the letters for “LOVE” here, and those were from a page of punch-out letters. My own handwriting, I’m sorry to say, would not make for a pretty card. The words on the other cards I cut out with a scissors with a torn-paper-looking edge. That one is a little more forgiving than, say, a scalloped edge. I have a hard time cutting in a straight line, so this particular scissors helps. I have a mini paper cutter for longer straight lines.

This was Timothy’s:

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The inside says, “To our favorite snuggle buddy.” It was inspired by this pin, but when I tried to click through to the site to see if the card maker had instructions or a pattern, I couldn’t find the original site, nor could I find it by searching Google using the terms I thought I had originally found it with. So I had to wing it (pun intended. πŸ™‚ ). Then I realized this card was going to be from both my husband and I, so I needed more than just one adult with the baby bird.

This one was Jesse’s:

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I think the inside just said “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

With the last two, I was running out of both time and ideas, so they are somewhat similar. This was Great-Grandma’s (or Mom, to my husband and me):

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Sorry about the shadow on this one. The inside says, “Your example has taught us how to love….May we show you as much love as you have shown us.”

This was for Jesse’s girlfriend, Meaghan:

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All of the borders were from packages of stick-on strips – very handy! And Hobby Lobby has them on sale 1/2 price pretty frequently in the scrapbooking section.

And on the back of each card was this stamp with either Mom, Grandma, or Barbara written in accordingly:

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They were a lot of fun to make, though they did take quite a bit of time. Actually once I decided what to do for each one and chose the decorative papers, it didn’t take long to put them together: the decision-making was the hardest part.

I’m hoping this will jump-start me into making more cards rather than buying them this year. It will probably depend on how much time I have before each occasion and whether I remember to start on then in time. But I think they add a nice touch.

Occasionally I’ve thought about starting an Etsy shop to sell things like this. But I’d also like to do more writing and various other things, so I am not sure of which way the Lord would have me use my time yet. So for now I’ll just do them as I have time for the family and think about the possibility of expanding on them later.