Thursday, February 3, 2011

bookish valentines

When you were little, did you decorate shoeboxes and paper bags for Valentine's Day? I fondly remember how much fun it was to make them with construction paper and glue and to watch the pile of thin white envelopes and little candies accumulate.

That was the idea behind the Sweets to the Sweet: a box of bookish valentines swap that I hosted. I thought it'd be fun to decorate and fill a box with cards signed by children's book characters, so everyone was asked to pick cards and write short messages that might've been chosen by characters they liked.

I wrapped and glued a cracker box in pretty red and white wrapping paper and then put on a few graphics so it looked sort of candy box-ish. I then printed out vintage cards or images that I found online, and embellished some of them with bits of glitter and ribbon.

I found a penny valentine with a worm on it that was perfect for Ramona Quimby to send to Henry Huggins, since of course she proposed to him with a worm wrapped around her finger; I printed out a Nancy Drew silhouette and pasted it to a doily for a card from Ned; and more penny valentines from Joe Willard to Betsy Ray, from Sheila Tubman to Peter Hatcher, and from Jules to Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family. The only two that weren't real "cards" were the one from Harriet the Spy to Sport and the card to Emily Byrd Starr from Teddy Kent, because he would of course send her something he'd painted himself. I always loved that Teddy had "the trick of putting [Emily] into every portrait that he painted," so I took the liberty of attributing A Meadow Flower to him. (Apologies, Mr. John White Alexander!)

I also used a few cards I scanned and printed from the box of 100-year-old valentines my mother-in-law sent me, including ones from Gilbert Blythe to Anne Shirley, from Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth Bennet, and from Peter Pan to Wendy Darling. It actually made me really sad to re-read the end of Peter Pan again; it'd been years since I read it, so it brought tears to my eyes when Wendy tells him she doesn't remember how to fly. Such a bittersweet ending.

Anyway...I put everything in the box with some candy, and I hope my partner will enjoy opening it. I'm looking forward to getting some bookish valentines of my own to read, too!

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