Friday, February 9, 2018

Love is in the Air

Valentine's Day brings out the little kid in me, with memories of small, inexpensive valentines exchanged between elementary classmates, eating teeny heart-shaped candy stamped with romantic words, and making elaborate heart shaped valentines trimmed with paper lace for my parents.

Seeing the new rag paper hearts on Gwen Lafluer's website brought out my inner artsy-crafty kid. They were in several shades of pink, and pretty all by themselves, but I knew I wanted to embellish them. After all, Valentines are meant to be over-the-top and schmaltzy, aren't they?

Lots of new supplies recently arrived. I used the new stencil, pink hearts and scrap cherubs
and flowers for this year's valentines.
I got to work mixing up shades of pink, and sponged various stencils onto the paper hearts. I found that some of the designs that I didn't expect to work, such as the deco series, looked wonderful on the paper hearts. I started out carefully, but as I got into the creative groove, I began mixing and matching stencils and colors and working on several hearts at the same time. And I got a little sloppy, but I covered any blobs and misprints with other stencils. I also knew that I would be adding cherubs, lace and words and some of the mistakes wouldn't show.
White acrylic was sponged through the Ornamental Petals Mask stencil onto a pink heart.
A Deco Border looked surprisingly good on the hearts, and covered up some blobs of paint that
leaked out when I printed the Ornamental Petals.

On a mauve heart, a pink Decorative Folk Flower looked just right.
The Ornamental Petals Screen looked good with shades of pink on a mauve heart.
The Ornamental Petals Screen was carefully lined up with the point of the heart before printing.
The Deco Border has a 1960s look when used with pink paint on a peach heart.
Here the Decorative Medallion stencil was applied in light pink on a mauve heart.
This valentine has a peach paper base, with the Deco Border and Decorative Medallion stencils. The white blobby misprint didn't matter once the center hearts and wings were added.
The stenciled paper hearts could have been left un-embellished, but what's a Valentine
without words, or cherubs or flowers or lace?
When I finished, they looked good. However, my inner child cried, "More, more, more!" So, the next step was adding some scrap cherubs and flowers. And some lace. And yarn. And decorative brads. And little hearts.

So I pulled out my boxes and bins and rifled through my stash of ribbon, trim, brads, buttons and lace looking for things that said "valentine." I "auditioned" different arrangements to find the right harmony of color and design.
My work table...creative chaos!
"Auditioning" various elements to see which to place where.
One thing I particularly wanted to use was some handspun yarn created by Artist Tribe member Lynda Shoup. I found a valentine in just the right shade of pink to harmonize with her yarn, and decided to stitch it along the edge.

The beautiful, hand-spun pink yarn matched the paint nicely.
An awl was used to punch holes, then the yarn was carefully threaded through.
After the yarn had been threaded through, I added white Nuvo Drops between each stitch.
I had carefully trimmed the excess paper away from my scrap cherub and floral bouquets. I also decided it was the perfect time to use some pink and white covered brads that I had been hoarding for about 10 years.
Fabric covered brads were placed along the edges of one valentine. The placement was planned on the back of the valentine, and an awl was used to poke the holes.
I had a rusted folk-art heart that went on one valentine, but I traced around it and cut several paper hearts from scraps of pink painted cardstock.
An elongated metal folk-art heart was the template for some pink paper hearts.
They still needed words, so I stamped "be mine" and "love" on some pink paper. I also used pink Nuvo Drops for dimensional interest and hand-wrote the word "love" on one piece with the pink Nuvo Drop dispenser tip. On another, I used a small floral punch to create peach daisies, and used pink mini brads as the center, then decorated the edges of a pinkish heart. They circled around the rusted heart, to which I added some whimsical mini wings.
This valentine had a border made of punched paper flowers with a mini brad center.
Here are the final I just need to decide who to send them to!

In February, many of the Gwen Lafluer Artist Tribe are showcasing creations that honor Chinese New Year. You can check out their work here, and also save 15% on any of the items in the Exotic Orient section of the website with the coupon below.


SandeeNC said...

I love them all and they do bring back memories of making them as a child only yours are a lot better than the ones I remember making! lol

Lynda Shoup said...

Linda, these valentines are precious! I am amazed at how you paired materials. I would not have thought to use the stencils in that way and yet they are perfect! I'm kind of itching to make some myself now. They are all so beautiful. I am also so delighted to see you use the yarn in this way. They all came out so beautifully.

Gwen Lafleur said...

These are so fabulous Linda... I loved seeing how they all came together! They're gorgeous!

Kate Yetter said...

These are so pretty and romantic. I love the nostalgic images and all the texture from those stencils. Great Tutorial.

Jackie PN said...

Finally making my rounds this morning and when I got here, well i just fell into that inner child with you!
Oh Linda! How much fun did you have making these beautiful valentine"s?? They are gorgeous really! I love that each was auditioned for the perfect elements, enough to make it glitz,but not too much to make it gawdy!
Beautifully done and now I found another "must have" stencil of Gwen's!
huge hugs,Jackie xx