Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hearts and flowers...

Now that we are halfway through January, I think it's safe for me to indulge myself in a little Valentine's day decorating.

Valentine's Day is sort of like Halloween for me...I love the colors, the chocolate, and the opportunity to festoon the house with decorations {I've found that I'm a much more accomplished festooner than cleaner, and fyi—the more you drape the light fixtures and deck the halls, the less noticeable the dust}.  I've never been in to the whole lovey-dovey, perfect date, big gift,  prove how much you love me thing...I see Valentine's Day more as an invitation to send a little love out to friends and family, usually by way of a posy or two, a card, or some little something freshly baked or made.  So with that in mind, and because I always seem to need a little pick-me-up this time of year {feeling itchy after the lull in all of that holiday crafting}, I have started planning and collecting the materials for some little love tokens.  Hopefully all of my planning will be fruitful...I have been known to be overly ambitious in this regard before...you know collecting materials and planning but never finishing...but I have faith this time...I can do it...more on this later. :)

In fact, the lad and I have already gotten started.  He helped me whip up these festive and oh-so-easy hearts and flowers garlands...see...

Okay, we didn't keep them outside, but they did look pretty there...if only they were waterproof.

First we collected the materials...we used vellum {any paper would work well, as long as it isn't too thick}, paper punches {you could use scissors instead}, sewing machine, thread...

See those punches?...I put the package in the pic for you so you could find them if you're interested...I was skeptical about buying these—I hate buying things that don't get used and just end up taking up space—so while I shopped the punchers took a ride in my cart and I did a mental checklist of the potential uses (it was surprisingly long).  Obviously, I decided to give them a go, and so far I love them.  I really like that you can see where you are cutting with these—no more shapes with chunks missing.  I also love that they are easy for little hands and that we don't have to dance up and down, pressing with all my might to get them to cut...very nice...

Once the shapes were cut, it was on to the sewing machine...

*Place the edge of your first shape under the presser foot and sew through it, grab it with the left hand as it emerges at the back of machine and gently pull it and keep the machine stitching away {through nothing—I know it feels weird, but keep going—the bobbin and needle threads will form a chained thread between the shapes—this is particularly pretty if you use two colors of thread}.  Once the chained thread is the length desired, feed the next shape under the presser foot, and repeat from the beginning {*} until your garland is as long as you like it.  Here are some close-ups of the chained thread connecting the shapes...


Note... As you pull your shapes through the back of the machine take care to stack them neatly, otherwise they will become hopelessly tangled.

Now it's time to festoon, drape and deck the halls with your newly minted heart garland...

Silly, I know, but they make me happy, and I kind of love them.  Plus, I think they look pretty with our  snowflakes

Wishing you a day full of hearts and flowers...

ps~Thanks for all of the mom love out there and the warm wishes for our visit.  It was wonderful and I miss her already, but am so grateful for the days we spent together.  Here is a pic taken right before she left...

...sorry, I couldn't resist...love my little shoe shiner.


  1. Looks lovely! A question...do you keep the machine stitching in between shapes? You mention a "chain" so I am just trying to visualize how that happens. I'd like to try it!

  2. oh, Alison, I love the garland (and those snowflakes)! They make me giddy! :) I used sparkly origami with a circle cutter once; in that case, I put the shapes back-to-back so they would be sparkly on both sides when spinning around!

    the picture of your shoe-polisher and your mother is so adorable! <3

  3. Oh, good question, thanks for asking!...yes you keep the machine stitching away between shapes. I've added some close-ups so that you can see what it looks like after it's done.

    And Annri, sparkly origami—brilliant!...I love it!...I will have to give it whirl—I'm always up for a little bling, especially this time of year. Thanks!

  4. So cute and happy! This time of year can be too gloomy! Love your instructions too, very nice! :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. You always amaze me!! I'm so glad I have you to copy!! Glad you had so much time with your Mom. Hopefully you'll see each other soon. I got your book and love it!! Both kids have put in orders already!!

  6. Thanks for clearing that up for me :)