Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing! 
Send a Little Love

True confession.
 I haven’t quite finished putting away my Christmas decorations. Frankly, while snow is still piled high on the picnic table, and the days are short, a little Christmas glitter feels cozy, so I give myself a reprieve.


However, time (and Hallmark) wait for no woman, and Valentines Day looms. 

Now I am not one to hang a heart-shaped wreath on my front door.

Still, red hearts symbolize love, spring flowers feel hopeful, and I’m a sucker for those messages on candy hearts, so I send Valentines to my family, a tangible, fun way to say, “My heart beats 4 U.”

Since we are all time-challenged, making and sending Valentines has to move pretty quickly from thought to action. On your mark, get set, go; here is my plan for this year.

First, I’ll rummage through my designated arts and crafts cupboard. Another confession. Yes, I do have one of those, and it is always ready, stocked with construction paper, pens, scissors, photo trimmer, tape, paper cutter, rubber stamps and ink pads, and a box filled with ribbons and paper doilies from previous, probably unfinished, Valentine’s projects.

If you don’t have a free cupboard, a huge plastic bin will hold everything, and you will be ready for any last minute burst of creativity.

The fun part
I’ll just have at it, cutting out hearts, gluing ribbons and doilies, adding stickers or cutouts from my children’s leftover class Valentines. Don’t you just love those “Knock-knock” jokes? I keep extra envelopes in my cupboard, all ready for a homemade Valentine and few candy hearts.

I’ll use a rubber stamp on the outside to finish it off my very homemade Valentine with a big red kiss.

No art materials?
Paper Source in Evanston or Highland Park has a fabulous array of papers, ribbons, stamps, pens, and supplies you didn’t know you needed!

Need help?
If you are not sure how to accomplish your idea, one of the experts at Paper Source will take your vision and walk you through possible solutions. The Paper Source workshops are a great way to learn something new and creative. Each store’s workshop schedule can be found online.

No time for homemade?
Paper Source also has great Valentines kits and unique gifts for all ages. I found my best Valentine’s Day treat this year in the Evanston store; candy hearts with the messages in Spanish. Te amo!

Treat yourself; you deserve it
While you are on Central Street in Evanston, stop in Perennials for another terrific selection of ribbons, cards, and whimsical holiday gifts.

Need a sweet fix?
For heart-shaped cookies and cakes, both Tags Bakery and Foodstuffs are nearby www.tagscakes.com and www.foodstuffs.com.

Now that I’m in my Valentine research and discovery mode, I could go on and on, with chocolate hearts, red lingerie, books of poetry, and gift certificates for a little TLC, but if I do, my Valentines will be as late as my Christmas cards! Why bother? Because it’s fun, and because giving love in any form is a good thing; it will make your heart sing.

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