Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Victorian Valentine Tutorials and Sample Give Away Sign Up.....

"Tell me how many beads there are
In a silver chain
Of evening rain,
Unraveled from the tumbling main,
And threading the eye of a yellow star:
So many times do I love again,"

~Thomas Lovell Beddoes~
"Perhaps no memento so perfectly captures the essence of an entire era as the valentine does for the Victorians. Here, hidden within undulating paper curves of these charmingly conceived, lovingly crafted tokens of affection ~ the more elaborate the better ~ lie fascinating clues to the gilded age in which the valentine was transformed from mere ephemera into art.

For behind the lavish decorations stood not just the secrets of Victorian hearts but of Victorian society as well. Valentines were among the few tokens that could freely be exchanged between men and women, and much was read between the lines, or in this instance, the hearts and flowers. Depending upon the elaborateness of the lace filigree, the number of cupids, or the cleverness of imported "trick" valentines (which opened to reveal moving parts), a hopeful young lady could measure the true emotional involvement of her suitors.

Gazing upon a Victorian valentine is to return for at least a moment to a more romantic era. To hold one today, as fragile as a dream, is to know as the nineteenth century poet Kathrine Lee Bates did, "Old love is gold love, old love, the best."

~Sarah Ban Breathnach * Victorian Family Celebrations~

I have long been fascinated by the elaborate paper art created during the Victorian era, valentine's being a favorite. In the spirit of the Victorian era I wanted to share with you some valentine crafts, two of which indeed do hail from that era. Two of the most popular writers of handicraft articles for girls in the Victorian era were the sisters Lina and Adelia Beard. Here are two of their suggestions for unusual, old-fashioned valentines, a Victorian Bird-Cage Valentine and The Mirror Valentine. I have added a few twists to update them a bit. (click on any of the photos to enlarge for better viewing)

Victorian Bird-Cage Valentine (This is Darling Daughter's favorite!)


Cardboard or Card Stock
Decorative Scissor ~ optional
Assorted Decorative Paper
Craft Glue
Snippet of Ribbon
Gel Pen
Small Piece Waxed Paper
Misc. Embellishments of your choice
Small Bird Graphic ~ The one below is to scale if you print it out business card size. I trimmed out the two blue birds for mine. Feel free to use this graphic in your art.


*Cut from cardboard or card stock a circular disk and around its edge write: "Lift the Loop and You Shall See That Which Makes Me Think of Thee", using a gel pen in the color of your choice. You can use a decorative edge scissor if desired.
*From a decorative paper of your choice, cut out a circular band smaller in circumference than the cardboard. Trim away the center to leave a hole in the middle of the paper. You should have two circles like this:
*Fold the paper ring in half, right sides of paper facing each other.

*Bring the folded ends together and again fold.

*Fold it once more.

*From this sketch on an "S" shape and cut out an "S" shaped figure, being careful not to cut the folded ends marked "A" and "B" in the sample below.

*Unfold the paper and you will have an ornamental band. This band should fit inside the writing.

*Next cut out a circle the same size as the circular disk in the step of the instructions above, using a coordinating decorative paper.

*Inserting scissor at the beginning, cut a spiral around and around and around in one unbroken strip until the center is reached. You can sketch your cutting lines on the back side of your paper if desired. You will have an odd little left over piece from where you cut into the circle, trim it away to make it even.
*In the center make a short slit and push the two ends of ribbon snippet through the slit, making sure the loop in on the right side of the decorative paper, glue ends in place.*Glue the bird image to the center of the disk with the handwriting around the edge.

NOTE: For the center of my Valentine, I cut a circle of sheet music slightly smaller than the decorative band and glued it to the center of my large circle.
I used the bird image provided above and cut out the two blue birds, gluing them to the center of the sheet music circle. Next I free form cut a couple of tiny brown paper branches and glued in place. I used a package of Jolee's Boutique paper flowers (made by EK Success) and free form cut some green paper leaves to further embellish the branches. I allowed it to completely dry before moving on to the next step.

*Slide the "S" end of the spiral under the edge of the decorative band, placing the spiral where it will lay flat and even inside the decorative band and cover the center of the Valentine You will need to twist this under the band in almost a full circle to make the center fit and lie flat.
Dot glue decorative band to outside ring of spiral circle. You will only need enough glue to hold it in place. Allow to dry. Trim away any excess spiral showing under the outside edge of the band if desired.*Slide a small piece of waxed paper between the spiral center and the outside decorative edge. On back of decorative band, spread clear drying craft glue, gently remove waxed paper, turn over and center over large disk inside the writing. Gently press into place, wiping away any excess glue. Place a clean piece of waxed paper between the two and allow to dry to prevent any sticking. Remove waxed paper after dry. It should look like this:And when you lift the loop on the "cage", it should look like this:
NOTE: I glued on a small cluster of flowers to the tab of my valentine. I also added a crepe paper ruffle, some crochet lace, and backed the piece with another piece of cardboard covered in decorative paper. I also used a gold metallic pen to outline some as well as added some champagne and ice blue crystals and mica glitter for a little sparkle.
Use these instructions as jumping off point to making your own unique bird-cage Valentines, feeling free to embellish in your own unique style!

The Mirror Valentine

*Stiff Cardboard, Poster Board, or Card Stock in Colors of your choice
*Decorative Paper if desired
*Silver Mirror Card Stock
NOTE: I purchased this at Hobby Lobby in the fine art supply department. It comes in a large sheet about 1/2 of a poster board in size for $3.36 per sheet. You can also order 8 1/2 x 11 or 12 x 12 pieces here or here. You can substitute Plexiglas acrylic mirror if desired OR use real mirror. I do not recommend the last choice if you are giving this to a child!
*Bamboo Skewer or 12" small wooden dowel
*Craft Glue
*Ribbons to wrap skewer or dowel
*Misc. embellishments of your choice ~ lace, buttons, stickers, glitter, etc.
*Gel Pen
*Foam Core
*Rubber Cement
*Victorian Images ~ A great Victorian Scrap source can be found here. They have Old-time die cuts, Scraps, and Chromos from England and Germany.


*Take two pieces of stiff cardboard, poster board, or card stock and cut two matching hearts according to the size of your mirror.
*In the center of the second heart, trim away a heart shaped opening as large as possible, yet leaving it small enough to cover well the edges of the mirror and the dowel handle, and enough space for writing.*Cover one side of each of the heart shapes with decorative paper by gluing in place and trimming away excess. This step is optional, you may wish to use solid card board for yours.*On one side of the top of the valentine write, "Look Into This Mirror Clear," and on the other side write, "And My True Love Will Appear"
NOTE: I skipped this step and created a small tag to hang from my mirror handle with the message printed on the tag.

*Glue open frame in place over the mirror. Outline the mirror edge with trim, glitter, or any embellishment you desire and allow to dry. I used buttons!
*Cut a matching heart shape from foam core. Using rubber cement, glue to the back side of the mirror, weight down with a book, and allow to dry. Repeat previous step gluing the back of the mirror, decorative paper side out.

*Insert a bamboo skewer or 12" dowel into the tip of the foam core, add a dot of glue to secure.

*Hot glue trim around the edges of the mirror frame to cover the raw edges.

*Using a dot of glue to hold ribbon onto skewer or dowel, wind around mirror handle and secure in place with glue, trimming away the excess. You can add ribbon streamers to the top of the handle for a magic mirror wand if you wish, tying tiny heart shaped beads to some of the ends.

*Embellish the mirror frame front and back as desired!

For the front of my mirror I used a piece of reproduction Victorian Scrap featuring Cupid riding a dove. I glued the piece to the top front of my mirror. I outlined bits of the wings and tail with iridescent glitter. I added a few free form cut velvet leaves and a velvet flower.

For my mirror back I used a printed paper heart. I gathered wired edged ribbon and glued it to the under edge of the heart and then glued the whole piece to the mirror back. I used a bit of iridescent glitter around the edge of the heart. I glued on three pale pink feathers to the back of the scrap piece to cover it somewhat. To the top of the mirror I added three more small pieces of Victorian Scrap, two doves and a small heart. I also highlighted these with bits of iridescent glitter.To finish off my handle I made a small tag with the message written on it and tied it to the handle using a bit of ribbon and lace. I used a vintage inspired pipe stem to wrap my handle to give it a gilded look. I capped off the handle end by gluing on a gold bead and a tiny jewel to cover the bead hole. I also wanted to direct you over to Vintage Image Craft where I found some really great ideas as well.

The first idea is a Kissing Dangle, click on highlighted link to find detialed instructions.
The old legend says, "If you kiss under a dangle, your hearts will entangle!" OK, so the artist made that up but is pretty cute and so are these darling dangles. These are super easy and super cute too!

As usual I used their idea as a jumping off point and made a few minor changes. Instead of using string, I used wire and beaded my wire adding a little tulle bow and buttons to the top. I also brushed the edges of the outside of the hearts with gel medium and then sprinkled with a chunky old-fashioned looking glitter. I had so much fun making this sample I want to make five more to hang from my light fixture in the dining nook! These are not only cute gifts but would make great tree decor for Christmas by switching the images to Christmas ones. Old Christmas card fronts would be perfect!
The second idea is a traditional Danish woven heart basket, click on the highlighted link to find detail instructions as well as basket pattern. I remember making these in school when I was young. It was fun to revisit this craft. I used a thick red and off white handmade paper for a more traditional look. Thin paper will tear easily and I suggest if you use a decorative paper to spray glue it to a light weight card stock before cutting out the pattern. You can also use fabric if it is stiff, if not, spray glue to light weight card stock also.

I embellished my heart with a vintage crochet lace handle, a lacy hem tape, a small round crochet piece, a vintage image trimmed with a decal edged scissor, tiny wax leaves and old buttons, as well as a little key to my heart. I am going to make a few of these to hang on the backs of my kitchen chairs and fill them with treats for the family.
Lastly I have two more ideas to share that are previous tutorials here on my blog. I had a couple of samples left over from the tutorials and decided to revise them a little to make them into Valentine treats. Even though these are in the pastel color family, imagine them in red and white for a traditional touch!

I call this my Mussed Up Tussie, a twist on the Tussie Mussie of Victorian times.
You may remember seeing this cone as corsage used at a baby shower, tutorial link. I mussed it up by tearing off the button on the bottom of the cone and the pin back as well as plucking out the pearls. I covered the cone in a snippet of vintage lace and reglued the button on. I repaired the beads that got cut away when I removed the pin back and the added some shimmery silk and beaded flower stems. A gauze ribbon hanger was added. For a finishing touch I placed a heart pick bearing the image of two adorable cupids at the back of the Mussed Up Tussie. I also added two picks of young lovers frolicking in the handmade crepe paper carnations. It looks as if the cupids did indeed cast their spell!

Lastly, I had a nut cup sample from the same baby shower sitting around and decided to add a little sweet touch to it, tutorial link. I added a bit of an image I trimmed out to the handle. I glued a round silver clip ring to the handle and slipped in a tiny velum embellished envelope. Not only can you fill the basket with sweet treats, you can slip a tiny love note inside the envelope! As I said before, imagine these in traditional red and white!

Here are the images I used in all the above crafts. These are from some old post cards I have. Feel free to use them in your art.

Whew! Now that all that instructing is out of the way let's have some fun! I am offering the six handmade items above as Valentine Give Away prizes! All you have to do to be eligible to win is to leave a comment on this post. You do not have to have a blog to enter but if you don't have a blog leave me an email address for contact purposes should you win. If you have a blog I would love it if you would mention the give away and leave a link back to this post. There are no shipping restrictions. Comments will be open through Friday, Feb. 13, 2009 until 10:00 PM and the six winners will be drawn and announced on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009!

Miss Sandy


Anonymous said...

Your imagination never ceases to amaze me. It makes me feel good just to view these lovely creations. Thanks for all the time it takes to post the tutorials for these beauties.

LiLi M. said...

Hello Miss Sandy. Thank you for your lovely tutorials! You have made my day (ehem night). I'm having a tulip vase which I was intending to fill with hearts on a stick, but I was still thinking of a good way to attach the sticks to the hearts and...voilà...the solution is right here, thank you so much! And on top of that you are having a give away. Well I have been lucky here already!

Thanks again and have a nice day!

Lady Farmer said...

Oh how lovely! I will try at least one of these.( Like your Daughter ~ I really like the bird cage one!)
I will post this to my blog if I can figure out how. *grin* Now, off to create! (Thanks for the tutorials.)

Joanne Kennedy said...

OMG! By far you win the BEST Valentine's Day tutorials! These are great! Each one is so pretty and different then anything I've seen! You are the QUEEN for sure!!! Thanks so much.

I'll list your giveaway on my blog for you....even though I want to be the one that entered so I will win. LOL


Dragonlady said...

Wonderful valentines, great tutorials too..Thank you...
I really like that heart mirror, I hope to find time to try that one for sure..

Anonymous said...

These are all so delicate and pretty! I feel honored to be able to enter your giveaway. Happy Valentines Day to you!

Sand Flat Farm said...

Great tutorials Miss Sandy. I love your valentines - especially the mirror and the mussed up tussie. Thanks for sharing with us!

TinyBear said...

Oh - I love them all. What a great tutorial and a beautiful giveaway.
Happy Valentines Day.

Peggy. said...

Great job. I used to teach a Victorian valentine class and it was so much fun.

Lori said...

Miss Sandy, your valentines are SO creative and lovely!!! i truly could not choose a favorite if you asked me to...thanks for sharing the process so that we can try to make some of these pretties too!!!

Vee said...

This is my second reading as I was interrupted last night...thankfully, I arrived at the final paragraph today! Oh, Miss Sandy, you've outdone yourself. I know that one of these ideas is going to become a Valentine for my grandmother who adores Valentines Day and special ones. Last year, I went so crazy with it that I was beginning to fret about this year. But you've saved the day...thanks so much!

Cindy Is Crafty said...

Wow, Miss Sandy! The bird cage Valentine is sooooo cute!

Susie said...

Sandy every time I look at your creations I am amazed. These valentines are just adorable. How long have you been crafting?

kathy said...

SAndy - you never fial to delight our senses - These are so so gorgeous -- OH I wan to make each one -- YOu really should write a book my dear -- TOO TOO We would all order one !!!you know on those make it yourself sites --
p.s what a delight it would be to win one of these - kathy - ga

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I have made the Danish baskets before but would love to try the Victorian Birdcage. It is my favorite. You do such wonderful tutorials my friend.

Tealady said...

Thank you for these Victorian Valentine tutorials. You make them look easy, even for a beginner. But the finished products are fabulous.

Blessings, Lana

Scott said...

Thanks for visiting www.vintageimagecraft.com and coming away with some inspiration! Your personal Kissing Dangles are lovely. We may have concocted the Kissing Dangle legend, but it is probably true anyway. We enjoyed visiting your blog!

dianesanchez said...

I just discovered your blog today and I have to say I love everything you do. I want to thank you for being so giving and sharing all your beautiful projects. Thank you!!!!


Lorrie said...

What beautiful Valentines. I have to agree with your daughter - the birdcage one is my favourite, too.


Vicki Page said...

Miss Sandy, These valentine's are beautiful! Your tutorials are great but I don't think I'm that crafty. I don't think there is anything you can't do. Vicki Page the pages at charter dot net

Denise said...

Oh, they are LOVELY and you are SO clever and creative! Thank you for the wonderful tutorials, too!

bluemuf said...

Oh Miss Sandy, what fantastic tutorials. I want to make them all. Thank you so much for sharing these with us.

Hugs karen

Elizabeth G. said...

Hi, Miss Sandy! I haven't been blog hopping for awhile because I was extremely sick. Boy, have I missed out. I just spent some time perusing through some of your back posts. I can't believe how artistic you are. Wow. You are inspiring me to get up earlier tomorrow to get my housework done so I can have more time to be creative.


~Becca~Bluebird Rose said...

Hello Miss Sandy, it appears as though I found this post just in the nick of time!
Your creations are lovely; thank you for sharing!

Fete et Fleur said...

I am seriously sitting here with my mouth hanging open. I am in complete awe, Sandy!! These are just gorgeous.

Big Hugs!

KathyB. said...

I say again, you need to publish a book with these in it. Just beautiful, and don't you think it is a little ironic that we are enjoying an art form made to reveal feelings in written words and paper art by viewing it on a computer !?! But how thankful I am to see your beautiful and creative art online !

Coleen said...

Oh wow!! your directions are awesome!!! I will be back for more visits for sure!!

kana said...

Thanks for all of the beautiful Valentine inspiration and instructions. You are very creative and very generous!

she dreams big! said...

Your talent and creativity are amazing! The birdcage valentine is tomorrow's project. Please enter me in your drawing.

The Feathered Nest said...

OMyGoodness Sandy!!! What a WONDERFUL giveaway and I almost missed it sweet friend!! Such beautiful art from you ~ and the instructions included too! Your post above is just wonderful Sandy, such sweet memories are made from times like these ~ wishing you a wonderful weekend, xxoo, Dawn

Stars Fault said...

Hi Sandy ~ Thank you for stopping by Star's Fault today, as it was wonderful to click your link and visit your lovely blog. I really, really lke the very inventive bird cage card and will put your tutorial to good use this weekend ~

Kindest Regards, Eileen @ Star's Fault

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