willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs

Valentine’s Day and the Written Word

The origins of Valentine’s Day stem back to Ancient Rome and Saint Valentine although it’s romantic love association first began in the 14th century with Geoffrey Chaucer.

It is celebrated in many countries but however you celebrate it is truly a personal matter. I am long since past the days of handing out valentine cards in class and assisting my children in writing and handing out their own, but the holiday still has a place in our home. Who does not love the flowers associated with the day, the candy and chocolate or small tokens presented to our children, our parents, our spouses and friends?  

Being that I love the written word, the cards are my favorite part…

Okay… the sweets are a close second… and the flowers not far behind… but being that I am a card LOVER, at this time of year, I love to create my own or find vintage inspired ones to reflect the age of this long celebrated tradition.

For inspiration this year in embellishing and creating cards, I looked to this vintage hand written ledger and old books with yellowed pages.

Gathering up old books, images that reflected the feel of the old books, and trim and ribbon that fell into the story was pretty enough to stand all alone in their own photo.

I always like to start with a simple plain color base and layer on. For this card idea, I wrote a simple message on the front of purchased note cards found in the Dollar Section at Target. I am penning my own personal note on the back of the card and decorating just the envelopes.

To decorate the envelop, I cut apart book pages and layered them with a piece of a doily and some of the ribbon trim. All was adhered to the paper with a basic glue stick.

You could present this card with a small bag of candies or sweet hearts to complete the sentiment.


There are simpler options to make your own cards than using the book pages and if you do not have old books that you want to tear apart… for this is always a dilemma (I have a pile of old ones that are too far gone to read). The following three options all use the same pink card from Target as your base. Making these yourself, with your own children or a group of friends is always a satisfying and fun way to prepare for Valentine’s Day. 

In this first card, I used rubber stamps and one color ink. You can use various colors or use the one color ink and then embellish your message on the back with colored pens or markers.

In this version, I used rubber foam letters in the shapes of X’s and O’s and adhered them to the front of the card again with a glue stick. You can pick these foam letters up at many craft stores.

Ummm… why do we always put a sweet or two in our photo shoots? Anyone have a guess?

This option is one that I have seen for a few years but have not done until this year. You know all those left over candy canes that have not been eaten from your tree or kitchen counter? We can still pluck them from our tree for it is still up but that is subject matter for another blog post. You can invert them so they face each other and form the shape of a heart and glue them to the front of a card. This time, I recommend you use a hot glue gun if you really want them to stick. Package this card up with a few red colored M & M’s and some peppermint white chocolate candies and yum… what a sweet gift!

Getting back to that question of,  “why is there always a sweet treat in many of our styling photos? “

Well…it makes the photos look so much better with the color, texture and dimension that they add…  and we do love sweets… or appetizers… or entrees… or any type of food for that matter!

From our hearts to yours… we hope that your Valentine’s Day is celebrated with your friends, your family, your classmates, your girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife… people who make a difference in your life. Reach out to those who might not be feeling the love on this day and give them some of yours… it is free!


 Happy! Happy! 

   ~ Meg and Maggie

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