Be Mine

Remember when you were in grade school and had to bring in Valentines for all of your classmates (imagine if that was now a rule at work)?  When I was little we always made homemade Valentines, usually with watercolors.  Which is what inspired me to pull out the craft paper and paints this year to send love notes to some dear friends, favorite people, and anyone else who might be needing a little Valentines day lift.  It'd been a long time since I'd used water colors, so I had lots of questions for the (very patient) sales associate at Blick.  She said that if I wanted to use a range of colors in the same tone I'd be better off buying the higher quality water color tubes rather than a pallete of colors that I mostly didn't need.  All you do is squeeze out a little color and add a few drops of water.  You can buy a plastic tray for just a couple of dollars to mix your paints, but I found a ceramic plate was very easy - both to use and to clean.  Like most shopping trips, I went in looking for two shades of red and came home with six.  I couldn't help it!  It was like picking out lipstick colors!

Here's how to make these Valentines Day cards, which are pretty and personalized:

1. Cut a heart stencil out of an extra piece of cardboard and trace it onto craft paper.

2.  Start painting!  Set out all of your colors in advance as you see on the plate.  If you are going for a gradient look with a single color, paint the heart first with water, and then add color.  If you are going for a gradient with two colors, paint the light color first and then add the darker color(s) as desired.  You can add just water in the places where the colors touch to get a better bleed between the colors.


3.  After all the hearts are painted and they've had time to dry, cut them out.  Using a glue stick, glue them to crane response cards.  Add a cute phrase like "Be mine" on the front with a Deco Color paint pen (ask an associate at Blick to help you, they are in the back).  And, voila!  A Valentine like the good old days!