My mom always sent all three of us kids Valentines, even after we were grown up and married and had long ago left home. Sometimes she slipped $5 in there, too, just for fun. It was just one of those sweet, loving things she did. She sent us little Easter baskets filled with goodies each year, too. Anyway, partly, no doubt, due to my mom, I have always had an especially warm spot in my heart for Valentine's Day. Not so much as a day to be all romantic with my hubby (although that's fun, too), but more as an opportunity to tell those I'm close to that I love them. So, I usually make some sort of little Valentine cards or notes each year, and then on the big day, I slip them in my kids' lunchboxes, leave them in sneaky places for co-worker friends (uh, female co-worker friends only, I don't need any rumours floating around the office that I've got an unrequited love for one of my male co-workers), and leave one where my hubby will be sure to see it in the morning.
So, I went down to my craft room a few nights ago and started digging out Valentine's stuff. I found a package of eight generic note cards with hearts on them (and red envelopes!) that I'd found at the Target dollar section, and I also pulled out a set of cheapie chipboard embellishments that I'd also found there. I grabbed my envelope of scraps in the pink and red color category, and I was ready to go. I just starting playing around with the the stuff and making some very simple, but cute, cards. Four of those are pictured above. Ok, I just noticed that on the card on the top left, the little line of chipboard hearts managed to detach itself during the scanning process. I'm too lazy to rescan, so please just picture that line of hearts right underneath the "so sweet" sentiment, where it's supposed to be, okay? The other four Valentines are below:
As you can see, in addition to scraps, I used some rub-ons from my large rub-on collection, along with a few mini-brads. The pen-stitching on some of the cards was done with my white Signo Uni-ball pen, the BEST white pen in the world. At the moment, the cards are blank inside, but I may stamp a simple sentiment in some of them before giving them away. Others, I'll leave blank so that I can add a newsy note to a friend inside.
As I finished up this little project (which took me maybe a couple of hours, start to finish), it hit me. I now had eight cute Valentines, at a total cost of ... 2 bucks! Well, 2 bucks plus odds and ends from my scrap drawer and a few rub-ons. How's that for cost efficiency?
Anyway, the point of this post isn't necessarily for you to copy my designs for Valentine cards, although you're certainly welcome to do that if you want to. The point is to keep your eye out for inexpensive, versatile card-making supplies when you find yourself at places like Target and Michael's. When I initially bought the chipboard set, I thought I might use the cupcakes on a birthday page or something like that, but I love how they really spruced up these Valentine designs. Both Target and Michael's almost always have sets of simple (notice I said simple, not necessarily plain) notecards in their dollar bins, and I encourage you to look at these gems in a new light. Think of them as bases that you can build your own cards on -- a great start on a set of themed notecards, with just the addition of a few embellishments or bits of paper and letters. When we see, in particular, printed notecards (like the heart ones I used for my Valentines), we tend to think of them as complete, finished products. And of course, they can be used that way. But adding a few handmade touches to commercially produced cards is a quick way to personalize them, spruce them up, and make them lots more special. And who doesn't love getting a handmade card in the mail?