Monday, February 6, 2012

A Valentine For Our Grandsons

Valentine's Day is approaching - it's only 8 days away.  Have you started making plans yet?  Buying cards or gifts for your special someones?   We have no princesses.  But, we do have 5 princes and another due in the next week.   I wanted to make a Valentine that would pay homage to all of them.  I started with a piece of burlap and not one idea and this is where I ended up.  The wall hanging is 30 x 25 finished.  There is an initial for each one of the boys.  I have been delayed showing the finished piece until our daughter and son in love decided on a name for the our newest grandson.  His initial is proudly displayed now and I can show the final piece.  We have H, Z,  R, G, A and now a beautiful V added to the mix.  I won't tell you his name until he gets here, but it's a great one.  All the boys have really great names that just happen to fit their personas.  Funny how that works.

When I say I started with a piece of burlap, I am not kidding.   I wanted to make a wall hanging that goes over a cabinet inside our front door.  I have hung wreaths and other wall hangings there, but I wanted something for Valentine's Day.  So, I took a piece of tissue paper and drew a big heart, pinned it to the burlap and cut it out.  I mean, what else says Valentine's Day but a heart?
Now what?  I folded another piece of tissue paper in half, drew hearts of different sizes and cut them out.
Hmmmmm, now what?  I placed these hearts on the burlap and cut out several in different sizes.  Still didn't know where I was going with this, but I decided I wanted to put the French phrase je t'aime in the middle of the heart.  Je t'aime (zh tem) translates "I love you."  So, I printed out the phrase in a font and size I liked and cut it out to make a stencil.  I placed it in the middle of the burlap heart and stenciled it on in red.
Okay, that's done, but what next?  I decided to pin smaller hearts around the edge of the big heart and stitch them on using random embroidery stitches in different colors.  I used red, pink and purple.
Now, the hearts needed embellishing.  I printed out a cupid and made a stencil out of it for the big heart on the upper right.  I sewed that pink heart button I already had to another heart.  I used my wooden stamp set to put the word hugs and xoxo on two other hearts.  I also drew a pair of lips and cut them out and stenciled them in red on another heart.  Okay, it's starting to take shape.  I wanted our grandson's initials on the hearts because they are our very special Valentines.  I made some little felt flowers and stitched them on the smaller hearts, then added each of their initials by using my wooden stamp set.  I still had the heart with the pink heart button open and I finished by adding one more initial.  V.

As you know, burlap is a very open weave fabric and I knew I had to attach this heart to something to keep it from raveling apart.  I had some red felt from Christmas, so I laid the burlap on the red felt and cut a heart about 2 inches bigger than the burlap and stitched the burlap heart to the felt using more embroidery stitches.
Now, to hang it.  I cut two square pieces of felt about 4 x 4 inches and made big loops by bringing the raw edges together, stitching them to the curved top of the heart.  I took a dowel rod and covered it with red satin ribbon and slipped it through the loops.  I tied a piece of the red satin ribbon to each end of the covered dowel rod (about 2 inches in on each end) and glued the ribbon in place so it would not slip.  This would be the "hanger."  I made some little streamers and a bow in the middle of the hanging ribbon and placed in on a nail over the cabinet.  Done.  Whew.  That was quite a process of indecision, starting from nothing and ending with something.

All family members in town came over for the Superbowl last night and we shared lots of food and fun (including red velvet cookies, caramels and rice krispie treats that grandma made).  Each of the boys picked out their initial on the hanging and Grandma told them they were her special Valentines.  Sometimes creating happens on a wing and a prayer.  I don't always have a definite plan, but I really liked where this one ended up.  Now, we are just counting down the days until the new grandson gets here.  Doctor said this morning it could be anytime.  I am SOOOOO excited.  Another special Valentine to keep in my heart.  Life is good.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.  Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.  ~Alex Haley

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