I almost made it to the house without eating one single chocolate. Almost.
But there was the stoplight, the one that lasted two seconds too long and the open bag looming on the passenger seat and the wide mouth opening with Valentine chocolate pouring out.
He sat upstairs and colored in his book while I cut the remaining paper and set the Valentines on each of the tables. I could hear his little feet, like soft paws, jump from the couch and the squeak of the wood under his heels. There was the telltale pull of the stool from the counter and I could almost hear his arm reach into the bag.
There was the wrinkle of plastic. And the mighty rain against window spill of individually wrapped chocolates onto the floor.
Small feet running back to the chair, silent thud of chair feet on wood, and the thick pile of aluminum wrappers under one green velvet pillow.
The tables were set, the red of the tulip opening just as the morning light crept over the counter. He held each Valentine in his hand and shook his head in seven year old boy disgust. Too much kissing on Valentine's day.
"Where's the chocolate?"
The boys are getting older. And Valentine's Day isn't a top priority for them. But it is for this mama of three boys, an opportunity to lay it on thick, all of the girliness I can muster in a house full of men.
And sometimes they surprise me. With their sweet words and open and shut Valentine cards made just for me. And the chocolate rimmed lip kisses and the flowers behind their backs. (Even if I am the one who bought them.)
Because it doesn't take a lot of effort to make this one mama heart happy. A couple pieces of chocolate and a few soft snuggles in front of the fire. Three little men and one tall Mr. And an afternoon with small hands making beautiful art.
Shadowbox Valentine Cards
1 sheet heavyweight paper (I used a large piece of watercolor paper)
1 strip of red ribbon (appx. 36")
Watercolor paints (we used gouache because I had a lot leftover in the studio and because it is so fun to say.)
Three small pieces of watercolor paper
1-3" x 5"
Glue Stick or hot glue
To begin, cut your large piece of watercolor paper into a piece that is
10" x 22". Once the paper is cut, create folds every 7 inches. (a fold at 7", 14", and 21") You can use your ruler to apply pressure to the watercolor paper, as it can sometimes be a bit thick.
Cut a heart opening on the last box connected to the 1" fold. This will be the front of the box card. (Keep in mind this is only a three sided box.)
Once the heart is cut, pick up your paper and connect the ends. Punch a hole on the top and bottom for the ribbon. Be sure you are punching the hole through two layers. (the front and the back of the card.) This will hold the card together at the end.
Once you have your holes punched, lay the sheet out flat and trace your heart opening. Now create an outline that is approximately 1/4" wider than the opening. This heart will be the frame of your heart opening that will get glued to your card later.
Once you have the outline cut, go ahead and get your small pieces of paper cut too. You should have some watercolor paper left over from your big piece.
And now for the fun part. Begin with the interior of your box card. You will be painting just the two interior squares (not the square with the heart cut out). Create your background. Just the background. The students were making gardens so they made a grass and sky background, while some decided to make a seascape and did a sky and some water. Be creative.
While the backgrounds dried, we made out interior components from the three pieces of cut paper. The short piece (2" x 4") will be set in the farthest part of the background, so the children made this a dark green grass. The long piece of paper (2" x 6") is the grass closest to the front so they used a lighter green for this grass. But, it is completely up to the artist. The children making the sea scenes, made varying colored waves which was beautiful too!
The last piece of cut paper (3" x 5") will be for the flowers (or a boat or even a shark! for the seascape scenes.) The children cut our flowers to be attached with glue to the front grass.
Once the pieces are dry, you can glue flowers to the grass. You can use a glue stick or a hot glue gun for a more permanent hold.
While these pieces are drying, go back to the big piece of paper and turn the landscape over. Paint the outside of the box card a desired color. We chose red, but pink would be lovely too.
One side note: Make sure your work area is dry when you flip your paper over or you will get paint on your landscape.
And don't forget to paint your heart frame for the front! (Choose a contrasting color so it stands out.)
We also used oil pastels on the dry paint to add detail. So sweet:)
This is where I got pretty busy with assembling. Thank goodness for extra hands. (Thank you Mrs. Lowe!) So, not too many pictures. Once everything is dry, connect the punched holes and string a ribbon through the holes to secure the box. Fold 1" tabs on the grass pieces, and from the bottom, slide the grass/flowers inside the assembled box. Be sure to add your hot glue or glue stick to the tabs before sliding them inside.
Make appropriate adjustments to height and depth.
Shadowbox Valentine Cards!
It makes a heart bloom:) Happy Valentine's day!