Valentines: Scissors, Glue, a Bottle Cap or Two

Remember punching out valentine cards that came 8-10 to a page and addressing them to send to your classmates? Back then the do-it-yourself craze hadn’t caught on in the Valentine’s Day department. A least, not at Rheems Elementary School. Though we may have made a special card for Mom in art class, shiny, mass-produced cards were de rigueur for others.

Now websites galore displays steps, even videos, for creating your signature card. Author and Visual artist Kathryn McCullough suggests: “If spending a small fortune on store-bought greeting cards doesn’t appeal to you and you have an old phone book, scissors, and glue, maybe a bottle cap or two (and a bit of imagination), you can create a Valentine that expresses love for both your partner and the planet.” She promises that if you can cut and paste, you can create a card from scratch that looks like this:


My husband Cliff, like Kathryn, is a visual artist and sometimes comes up with hand-made cards, none of which requires a button or a glue gun.

Cliffs Valentine Card_1976_inside_final_5x4_300

I, on the other hand, buy my valentines in a store. Once though I got up the nerve to make my own card, raiding my sewing closet and cutting up old cards, fashioning lace and felt paper into my version of a DIY Valentine. Here is the result, a little worse for the wear:

1982_0200_Valentine Lace Card_from Marian

Kids create spontaneously and usually don’t want to bother with bottle caps, lace or fancy paper. Crayons, construction paper and doily hearts will do too.

Jenna's Valentine
Jenna’s Valentine
Patrick's card
Patrick’s card

Did you ever create a valentine from trash? When was the last time you made (or received) a home-made valentine?

Share your story: A Memorable Valentine’s Day


Coming next: A Box of Choc’lates!


Moments of Extreme Emotion Series: Curio Cabinet Explosion

It was twilight.

And twilight was turning to dusk as Cliff and I sat down to eat supper.

He said, “Let’s light a candle.”

She said, “Well, that’s a good idea. It’ll look pretty.”


One of us said, “Let’s put the candle into the curio cabinet. The mirrors behind will amplify the light.”

“Okay,” said the other. And so we admire the ambient light illuminating the cups and curios.

“It would look even prettier if we closed the glass door. More shimmer and glisten.”

Just so you know: We have surrounded a lighted candle with irreplaceable china (Dumb)! The deceptively romantic light disguises the fact that the candle flame is heating the upper glass shelf (Dumber than Dumb)! We leave the dining room momentarily to clear the table.

BOOM, BANG, POW—The glass shelf shatters, and shards of glass cascade into the once placid display of nineteen antique cups, some from Grandma Longenecker, some from Mother, and some from the travels of itinerant artist Cliff.


I scream with the first boom. Then I scream louder as I survey the damage. Cups with dismembered handles.. Saucers in slices. Family heirlooms gone with a poof!

Blog_Curio Cabinet disaster_7x10_300

Just because a scene looks artistic doesn’t mean it‘s not dangerous.

Just because a candle is seated in a pretty place doesn’t  mean the laws of combustion won’t operate.

What remains:

Doll bell from Mother Mug from Buckingham Palace
Doll bell from Mother & Mug from Buckingham Palace
Japanese teacup from Grandma Annie Metzler
Japanese teacup from Grandma Annie Metzler

And a few more cups and saucers, not pictured.

Have you experienced the loss of family heirlooms? Other losses? What remains of value?

Your comments make me happy, and I will always respond.

Do read My Gutsy Story on author Sonia Marsh’s website:

Voting for My Gutsy December 2013 Story begins Jan. 2 and ends Jan. 15, 2014.