Have you seen them? Down every drug store aisle and big box shopping arcade, pink and red and lace-y paper frills are lurking. The greeting card section in my neighborhood stationery store has turned into a riot of heart-shaped cut outs and glitter. Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you…just a bit much, if one is still recuperating from the paper-y pleasures of Christmas.
February 14th is looming, and last Thursday night, I had no choice but to jump into the deep end of the pool! The Bold Italic was launching issue #2 of their delightful new magazine (Red Letter Day is a featured artist in the article “Let’s Get Physical” — all about being an analog-type of artist here in SF); together with the Noise Pop music festival, they decided to throw a party – and invited Red Letter Day to be part of it!
People like making valentines, right?
Yes, yes they do. See below:
Party-goers were encouraged to sit down at the table and fill out a postcard to their sweeties. Rubber stamps, colored pencils, and a selection of art supplies were on hand for folks to get their message across…
Once folks were finished with creating, I handed over two postage stamps (had to use a “make up” three cent stamp, in addition to the regular postcard stamps…) so everyone could stamp their own cards. A mock mailbox awaited, ready to receive freshly completed postcards!
To share the love a bit more, I gave away copies of my newly minted (printed?) zine called “Won’t You Be Mine?” Making handmade valentines, the romance of love letters, a smattering of fun illustrations and you’ve got an idea of what this baby’s all about.
“The last time I made a valentine like this was in grade school…” – a common refrain heard throughout the night, as people excitedly sat down at the table to put something together. Nearly everyone spent time looking up an address of some sort on their cellphone; it was unanimously decided that no one remembered anyone’s mailing address anymore.
I’ll confess: before the party started, I had a moment of doubt. “What if nobody’s into the idea of making valentines? What if there’s just a bunch of jaded party people standing around looking at my funny little table, thinking that February 14th is stupid?” But none of those things happened. San Francisco showed me that it actually loves the love, at least at this time of year. And you know what? It’s one of the things I love about SF.
So with that being said, I’ll leave you with two things.
A) Here are instructions to an amazing Victorian Puzzle Purse. Book artist Alice Simpson has used this type of folded structure for many of her artist book projects, and demonstrated how to create this gem in the magazine Bound and Lettered (vol 4, #3). My hint for you: work with a square of paper that can easily be divided into thirds (i.e. 6×6 inches, or 9×9). Useful for hiding a tiny Valentine’s Day treat or writing a note to your secret crush!
B) Interested in a copy of “Will You Be Mine?” – if the answer is yes, follow these steps: –comment below with your name. The first 14 folks to do so will receive zines. (Correspondence Co-op members: you’re already in the loop!)
–email me with your “real mail” address. I can be found at email@example.com
–send me a valentine and I bet you’ll get some bonus points! 😉
(edit: 3:36pm –> we’ve hit 14 folks already! The following people should email me (if you haven’t already) with your contact info:
Donovan/Kimberly/Melony B./Marilyn/Emilie Staubbs/Jane Cullen/Melissa Craftgasm/Laurie F/Miss Rose/Martin/Olivia/Yasmine/Megan/Bean
See, that was easy! Now it’s up to you to get to work: red construction paper, a glue stick, and as many heart shaped rubber stamps as you can find. Remember: the most important thing about making a valentine is the sentiment; there are millions of ways to let somebody know how you feel, but I hear that “I love you” is always in style…
Off to find a box of conversation hearts to mail…