I don’t know about you, but to me Valentine’s Day is not just about making my wife feel really special, I want my kids to feel special too. So this year, I scoured Pinterest, and Google for ideas, and I’d like to share with you what I did in the hope that it might inspire. And before I go any further, my wife did encourage me to post this!
I think it helps, before we go any further, to understand the origins of Valentine’s Day. The story originates in the 3rd century after Christ, when the Roman emperor of the day persecuted Christians very heavily, and was outlawing the marriage of Christians. Valentine (also called Valentines) stepped in. He conducted numerous ‘underground’ marriages so that Christians could honour God with their relationships. Eventually he was caught, and sentenced to death.
In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter. He inspired today’s romantic missives by signing it, “from your Valentine.”
One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind. He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result.
So, the tradition we now celebrate has a very honourable beginning. It allowed man and woman to be righteously joined together, and then for families to be raised. Thank God for Valentine! So to me this is not just about blessing my wife, it is also about blessing my family of nieces and nephews, two of which live with us indefinitely.
So, here’s what I created:
The paper I used was carefully removed from an old, rather worn out, Thai/English parallel Bible. The pages couldn’t be printed directly because the printer couldn’t pull them through, so I taped the top edge of the pages to a plain sheet of A4 paper so that the printer could pull the paper through (sorry, didn’t take any photos while I was making these gifts). I gave the two boys sailing boats. I had to insert a bent white paper clip to hold that main mast up, the others are fine on their own, so long as they are folded appropriately. The roses are made using a single piece of paper cut in a spiral pattern including the shape of the petals, and then just rolled and opened slightly to form the roses. I printed them in different sizes to get different effects.
The birds are not origami, they are made from several pieces cut out of one sheet of paper using a printed template and then glued together. The stands for the two bouquets are two small notebooks. I laid them upside down, with the back cover open, and drove a nail through the middle of the books, and then glued the back cover over the nail, then I glued the rose stems down to the book and sealed the book shut. The nail is necessary for holding them firmly upright. For the sailing boats I bought two longer notebooks and ran glue around the edges of the pages and glued the covers shut. The boats are simply glued down to the books.
The large card for my wife was made using a Lever-Arch style file folder, with the lever rings removed, and covered with a nice recycled paper. I then made a dozen paper roses, a bird, and two butterflies to decorate it. I made the rose stalks by rolling white paper and then cover it with green textured material, of the kind that is usually used for wrapped bouquets by a florist. The inside of the card has two large sheets of music, but printed with about 70% transparency to make them soft in the background, and I printed selected text onto paper and photocopied onto an old fashioned clear overhead transparency sheet, which I then cut out and glued to the music sheets after colouring in behind.
For most of the work I used UHU General Purpose glue. For gluing the overhead transparencies to the book I used ordinary wet clear glue sticks. For covering the folder with the recycled paper I used dry white glue sticks. That’s about it. If you check out the links below you will see the tutorials for making the roses and the birds, as well as all the templates and other inspirational ideas that I used.