Valentines crafting

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We had a lovely Valentine’s evening yesterday. As my daughters are on a half term break from school, we spent a quiet day at home just the three of us; baking, making and decorating and the girls also had plenty of time to practise their Valentine’s play 🙂 .

I must admit when I was younger, I pretty much dismissed Valentine’s Day as a commercial exercise; where guilt ridden consumers were persuaded to part with their hard earned cash to purchase overpriced flowers and gifts for their loved ones and to sit dutifully in restaurants next to all the other “Valentine’s couples”, paying highly inflated prices for their food. I was far from romantic in that sense and rather cynical about the motivations behind this so called “Festival of Love”.

But since having children and attending the Parent and Child group at our local Steiner (Waldorf) school, I began to catch onto the real meaning behind the festival; a festival of love, not just in the romantic sense, but including family and friends and even a kind gesture to a stranger. It is an opportunity to send a card or text message to someone who you appreciate and to spread love wherever you go. It has become a touching festival and the children particularly look forward to it every year. At home, instead of  buying presents, we make presents as a token of our love and appreciation for each other.

The Early Years Department in our school celebrates the Festival with a marvellous Valentine’s market; with live music and plenty of homemade goodness. The Kindergarten children serve behind the counter and customers pay for their wares in shells (they receive these in exchange for a nominal donation at the door). There are heart-shaped candles, garlands, bath bombs, biscuits and jewellery, all made in the Kindergartens. Many of the decorations in our home at Valentines were purchased at this market over the years.  It is so atmospheric, if rather busy. Unfortunately I don’t have any photographs to share as my daughters are no longer in the Early Years  and I can no longer attend the festival. It is the end of an era and the girls missed their treats this year!

We did make a few heart shaped treats at home though, including our much loved and easy recipes for gingerbread biscuits (mentioned here) and carob sweets (mentioned here).

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They don’t look so tasty in these photographs, but they were! I don’t have much luck taking photos in the semi-darkness with my camera (which it is a lot of the time in the UK at this time of year!) 

We enjoyed reading our one and only Valentine’s book:

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It is a sweet story of Little Grey Rabbit and her friends receiving Valentines messages on leaves with drawings or poems. Very lovely and full of old fashioned goodness.

We decorated the house and Nature Tables a little for Valentines. It is always so lovely to have red hearts everywhere after a long period of colder whites and blues.We keep the hearts up for a while as it is our wedding anniversary in early March and Mother’s Day is often around this time too. Here are a few glimpses of our decorations:

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My daughters spent a little time put the finishing touches to their presents and cards and by the evening they were desperate for Daddy to come home to share Valentines with them!  We had a simple meal and opened our presents.

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As you can see the girls laid the table – note the position of the knife and fork! 🙂

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Daddy brought some lovely spring flowers home for his girls which were well received :-). We each made a present for one other, except for me and my husband. Our wedding anniversary is coming up, so we shall save ourselves for that! 😉

Here are the beautiful gifts we received/gave:

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The large felt rainbow chain was made by my eldest daughter for Daddy. It is now on our bedroom door.

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She made me the cross stitch sign “Create” for our ‘studio-to-be’ (garage conversion). I shall frame it and iron out the creases. It is so beautiful and the colour choices are perfect.

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My youngest daughter made the red and pink heart garland for Daddy. It is now hanging from our cupboard to pretty things up.

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And she made the tiny felt rainbow chain for me to hang in my car. It makes me smile!

The girls also made sweet presents for each other. My youngest made her sister a dress for her soft toy, “Lamby” and a cuddly cushion.

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and my eldest made her sister a Winnie the Pooh finger puppet, which she loves!

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Here is is being modelled by a friend who was over to play today.

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Daddy made his girls some large wooden hearts to hang in their rooms using some oak he already had. He put lavender essential oil on them as a special touch.

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I made my family these cards:

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This was my first attempt at paper cutting. The craft knife was blunt, so I had to cut it with nail scissors so it wasn’t as neat as I would have hoped. I improvised the pattern as I tend to craft ‘by the seat of my pants’;  making things up as I go along. I do follow patterns for knitting and dressmaking, but otherwise I prefer to just have a go. My youngest was so sweet and amazed when she opened her card ” Mummy that’s so creative!” I had to smile 🙂

I also made them these needle felted “Valentine girls”. I had planned to make a Valentine’s day Hat each for my daughters, but I didn’t have the right size knitting needles and they took ages to arrive, so I had to have a rethink and needle felt these girls instead. My daughters were really pleased with them and they will still be receiving the hats eventually as I finally have the needles and yarn now – my own Valentine’s present to myself – getting back to knitting. It’s been far too long!

We were treated to a Valentine’s play featuring their favourites Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. I wasn’t allowed to take any photos so I was fully present but here are some of the preparations

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It was very sweet and my daughters are already planning what they will be doing for their Easter play! I love that they enjoy performing for us. A lot of thought goes into it and we felt very proud of their efforts. I also loved putting on shows for my family as a child; it bring back fond memories.

I hope you have been spreading the love too. Happy Valentines!  

Sharing at Frontier Dreams KCCO.

6 thoughts on “Valentines crafting

  1. Those two prams look so sweet in your last photo. As always, I love all your photos and creations. Your girls do such a good job. The Winnie the Pooh puppet looks just like him! Paper cutting is hard work, isn’t it? I have done some, but it always takes a long time and my hands get inordinately tired. 😀 Great job!

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    • Ah thanks Brandy for all your encouraging words. Yes! I found paper cutting quite taxing after a while. I guess there must be a quicker technique, otherwise who would want to do paper cutting as a job?! It is so effective though, so always worth it in the end. Yes the face is great on Winnie the Pooh – I was very impressed that she could acheive that with a needle and thread. We love those prams – one we found in a charity shop at a very cheap price when my eldest was around five and the other I had to buy at “vintage prices” when for my youngest daughters sixth birthday after she outgrew her little wicker pram. They have their china dolls in them – another charity shop bargain – china dolls are so unwanted by children these days, it makes us sad, so my daughters had to rescue a couple each and they are certainly well loved here 🙂

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      • I was thinking of china dolls just the other day! I suppose they are more curiosities for grown-ups now, if anything. Have you read the book Children at Play? It has a lovely section on dolls and what they mean to children.

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      • Funny you were thinking of china dolls! No I haven’t read it. Do they say anything about china dolls? I wonder what they say about all the ugly dolls out there today? The Bratz and such like. A young friend came over to play yesterday with a barbie shaped doll that looked like something out of Hallowe’en. It really freaked my youngest daughter out. My girls mainly play with their teddies and soft toys and the toys I have made them and they treat their china dolls with the love and gentleness that they need. I guess they know what it is to feel a bit fragile, being sensitive children. Maybe children are getting quite de-sensitised these days but I can’t imagine getting much joy from playing from these scary plastic dolls. Let’s keep it beautiful I say as the children find themselves in their dolls.

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    • Ah thanks Laura! It’s funny how I have gone from someone so dismissive of Valentines to so full on celebratory! My old friends would be incredulous! Thanks for stopping by and for your supportive comments 🙂 Glad you like it. Let’s spread the love!

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