Thursday, February 11, 2010

Won't you be my Valentine

Blame Kecia and the snow, lots of snow and some ice thrown in for good measure. A few weeks back, Kecia from one of my yahoo trade groups announced she wanted Valentines. Send her one and she would send one back.

Add in one snow day off from work and out come 8 Valentines to trade with the various folks out there that still believe in and send me snail mail.

For this romance inspired holiday, what better place to start than with a bodice ripper. Every now and again, my favorite thrift/trash store puts their books on sale. Four dollars gets you all the books you can fit into a plastic grocery bag. Paperback romance novels nicely tuck into any empty spots between bigger books.

The most appealing covers can simply be torn off the book and used to make a postcard with or without further alteration. Some of the mystery novels are good postcard fodder too.

For this construction, I used the pages of the romance novel, first giving them a light coat of gesso tinted with a small amount of red pigment.

Next, I drew linked hearts with a red colored pencil and cut them out.

Then I added dots with a red sharpie marker.

This photo shows the background paper I used. It was created using two colors of spray paint and stencils. My first coat was lime green sprayed over a broiler pan with round symmetrical holes and the second coat was red paint over lace. Once dry, the paper was cut to postcard size.

Hearts were attached to the paper by sewing them on the trusty Sears Kenmore that has been mine since I was 19. That sewing machine has seen more odd projects than most.

Lastly names were placed with one letter inside each heart using metallic lime green paint and further embellished using a ultra fine point sharpie. I also added the hand lettered phrase Be My Valentine to each card, but mailed them before remembering to take that picture.

Goes to show there are rewards for sending me snail mail.



  1. Dang! I totally forgot it was that time of year! I feel so lame.

  2. Your cards are cool and it looks like you had a lot of fun making them.

  3. Hi Carina,
    Do you find gesso useful? I've been considering getting some but I was wondering if it is really necessary. I understand it would be useful in some instances but wouldn't white acrylic or black acrylic work just as well in many others? I've been trying to find out whether it is worth while for me to purchase and I've seen nothing so far to convince me it would be.

    I too found the Mica book class and my first experience at the folk school to be extremely inspiring, welcoming, and invigorating. I'll be going back soon.


  4. Laura
    It all depends on what you want to use the gesso for. Gesso is used to prepare canvas and other surfaces for painting. It has some tooth to it that acrylic paint won't. It may also give you somewhat more opaque coverage. To maintain some level of transparency in my hearts I blended gesso and matte medium. For many applications ordinary paint will serve you quite well.