Valentine’s Day Craft: Be Mine Garland

I love garlands. They’re easy to make, great for any holiday or occassion and they usually look great when composed of the simplest materials. Out of all the Valentine’s crafting I did this weekend, this project was by far my favorite –

To make your own version, you’ll need the following items –

3 inch circle hole punch

red card stock

cream card stock

red-bordered labels (mine are Martha Stewart)

1 letterpress decal (mine is Paper Source, but you could also use a sticker, a diecut or a freehand drawing)

red twine (or ribbon)

clear tape

black sharpie marker

So assembly is super easy. Cut out four red and three cream circles with the hole punch.

Lay them out on your worksurface and carefully position the labels on the circles that will have the letters drawn on them.

For the spacer circle, affix your letterpress decal with tape.

Hand letter “be mine” on the labels by carefully writing one letter per label.

Flip your circles over, arranged backwards (start with the ‘b’ on the right, and so forth) being careful to keep the writing vertical, and lay your length of twine along the back, taping it to the back of each circle.

Flip it over. If any of your letters are skewed, reposition the tape on the back. Once you have it arranged to your liking, hang it somewhere prominent so everyone can admire your handiwork. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Instant Valentine’s Day Decor

I enjoy Valentine’s Day, and the other day I noticed my house was woefully undecorated. Good thing there’s still a week to go! Yesterday I did a bit of crafting to spruce things up.

Well, I can’t take credit for that one, though. It’s the one store-bought thing I’ve got up. I actually came across it Friday night on my way home from work at Walgreens of all places – only $3.00! So it came home with me. I love the glittered things.

This one took zero percent effort as well – it’s a foldout vintage reproduction card that I just set up on our hall table.

These two wall hangings literally took seconds to make. I had some more¬†reproduction embossed Valentine’s cards in my paper stash and just taped some red ribbon to the back. I’d like to get some red tinseled wire to outline them in for next year though – a little extra sparkle.

Yesterday I said I was going to do some conversation hearts plant stakes, but I forgot I had Martha Stewart vinyl Christmas die cuts that I got on sale after Christmas for $1.70 per package. It had four hearts (which I don’t really think of as Christmasy anyway) and I simply taped them to bamboo skewers.

And there’s the project that didn’t quit turn out. I looks painfully elementary, but I’m showing it to you anyway because I think it has potential. I cut three hearts from stiff cardboard and glittered them, then glued/taped the ribbon to the back. I hung it up and was immediately dissatisfied with it, but I couldn’t figure out what it was missing so I just left it up and forgot about it. This morning, just as I was waking up, the solution came to me. The hearts need a frilly border of some sort – I’m thinking white eyelet lace would be nice. And I should switch out the double folded ribbon on the back with a single length of ribbon. I probably won’t get around to the fabric store this week to buy any eyelet lace, but I bet I’ll get some in my fabric stash before next year, so I’ll just tuck those hearts away into a folder so they’re ready to go.

And I did one more project for Valentine’s Day, but I’m so pleased it turned out well I think it deserves a post of it’s own. ūüôā

Winter Hibernation

I have been woefully absent from blogland recently. We had an actual blizzard this past week in Chicago, which was an experience. Husband and I both made it home on Tuesday afternoon before the worst of it hit and hunkered down through Thursday morning. We were cozy¬†and warm indoors while the storm raged on outside. Wednesday afternoon the snow finally let up and the sun actually shone, so we took a walk out to the lake. There were drifts of snow five feet high in places, and the wind whipping along the shore was brutal. Here are some of the views from around the neighborhood –

I haven’t seen so much snow since I was a kid. It was actually kind of fun and nice, being so novel. And I don’t think the snow is going to melt for quite awhile, which is fine because most of the roads and sidewalks are clear. The city even had a ginormous front loader on our street until late last night, clearing snow into a semi trailer to be carted off somewhere. The whole experience was pretty surreal.

Interestingly enough, the obscene amount of snow didn’t make me go more stir-crazy – my cabin fever has actually abated a little bit. I’ve been pretty reclusive lately, curled up with books and a warm blanket on the couch. I haven’t really been motivated to do much of anything – no sewing (yeah, whoops), no crafting, no planting. I’m kind of in awe lately – my husband and I happily discovered a little while ago that we’re expecting our first baby! In general, I feel much more still than I thought I was capable of, so I’m going with that. Our sweet little babe is due to join us out here in the world in September and we’re very excited to welcome the newest generation of Apartment Farmer. Though we’re kind of kicking ourselves for not getting a two bedroom apartment when we moved last fall… no matter; we have enough space to make things work for the first year. So there will be lots to do to prepare for the beba’s arrival, and I’m sure I’ll be sharing a bit of that here with you all.

But I don’t intend to sit around all weekend just being pregnant. Wednesday during our snow day husband begged me to bake bread, so I did a couple of basic loaves which he’s consumed nearly single-handedly. He says I’ve figured out how to make good bread (at last!). I give a lot of credit to the River Cottage Bread Handbook as well as using bread flour instead of all-purpose. And the bread knife he got me for Christmas is seriously one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten – it just slices through the loaf like butter! Since he’s eaten the other two loaves, I’ve got to bake some more. And I’ve been thinking about focaccia too, so I might do up a pan of that, maybe with a little fresh rosemary and cracked olives.

Food in general is a bit of a tricky subject for me lately, what with the “morning” sickness (which actually means – whatever time of day, random sickness) and my growing list of food aversions, which currently includes eggs, chicken, tomato juice (after a brief, intense love affair with it), and bacon. Breakfasts have been tricky too. I had a few weeks where all I wanted was lady apples and apple juice. Then it was oatmeal, and shamefully – chocolate chip cookies (yeah, I know – not optimal nutritionally, but it was the only thing I could choke down for a few days there). Baked goods and pasta¬†as well as most beef dishes seem to be my friend. So for breakfast, I need to expand my repertoire – I’ve been thinking of looking up a recipe for chewy molasses breakfast cookies. And pumpkin sounds good to me again, so I might do up a batch of Super Pumpkin Pumpkin Bread as mini muffins this weekend too.

And then, there’s Valentine’s Day! I need to get in high gear crafting for that – the house is looking a bit bare in the holiday decor department. I only have a Valentine’s Day Snoopy window sticky in the living room and a red-glittered “love” wood block on the bar. I’ve got three fairly simple things I’d like to put together this weekend to spruce up the apartment – paper “conversation heart” plant stakes, a paper “Be Mine” garland, and a glittered heart wall hanging – I’m going to cut three hearts out of stiff cardboard in varying sizes (small, medium, large) and mount them vertically on a length of pretty ribbon. So stay tuned for photos and basic notes on how I’ll put those together. And then there are the all-important cards. For my nieces, I’m going to make the¬†I Love ‘Ewe’ Valentines¬†I saw on Craft Gossip¬†(one of my all-time favorite craft sites). They’re just too cute to pass up! I’m going to make mine on colored cardstock and maybe do stamped lettering. I also picked up a few mini Peanuts Valentine’s Sticker Tablets at Walgreens to send them – two for a dollar! The¬†girls like¬†“stickys” (as¬†they call them). And I still have to come up with an awesome design¬†for this year’s card to husband. We plan on a low-key Valentine’s Day at home this year. We’ll be making a romantic dinner together and staying in. ¬†

Oh, and I’ve got make up my seed starting chart this weekend, and hassle, I mean – remind – husband that he needs to get the glass inserts put into my awesome red windowsill greenhouse so it’s all ready to go. It’ll be time to get the seeds in some dirt before I know it – I also to need to make a list of new planters I’ll need to acquire or convince husband to build¬†so I actually have a place to put all my wonderful little seedlings.

So, happy weekend to me!