I LOVE VALENTINE'S DAY. I know it can be called the "Hallmark Holiday" but it means so much more to me than that. I am all for having a day that is all about LOVE. Love for your special someone. Love for your family. Love for your friends. Let's take time to celebrate LOVE.
I've always thought that the key to showing your love is not to spend money. It's to spend time. And what better way to spend time on others than by creating art! So just like every other holiday, I didn't hold back on keeping myself busy with new projects for the lovely occasion!
Typically I have fun with creating a theme for each event/holiday and this year's theme for Valentine's day: *Champagne Twilight.* Champagne Twilight was inspired by starry starry skies, however, imagine the night in a warm ivory glow with golden stars. Think neutral and champagne colors with touches of dusty pinks and golden hues. It is expressed through art nouveau style and vintage vibes. This is what I planned my projects around and I'm very excited to share with you my finished peices!
Hallmark is never on my errand list this time of year as I always hand make my Valentines for the special people in my life. Every year I try to outdo my last card design and this year I went one step further and handmade the paper for the cards. Not only did I save on costs, but I recycled and created sustainable paper! (I wonder if next year I'll actually make my own paints!)
The design was inspired by a song from a cartoon that I faintly remember watching in my childhood of a girl swinging on a star. The song lyrics go "Would you like to swing on a star...carry moonbeams home in a jar..." I fell in love with the direction it put me in as it fit perfectly with my theme, and after multiple sketches with a little art nouveau inspiration thrown in, I had a working design ready to produce!
Here are the final products that I sent to family and friends:
My family also has a tendency to send gifts to each other at Valentine's day so I created little Ursa Major constellation magnets for all of them. For some reason, I always envisioned the Great Bear constellation to be a polar bear. Odd? Probably. But I can never explain the way my mind works fully...I just let it do the talking and my hands do the creating:
On to my next project: Holidays are always a reason for dressing nice. (Hey, I'll take any excuse to dress up after being in my paint covered overalls all day!) However, it would be SO nice if I could just make it easy and run to the store to find a dress that fits the bill. I've come to find, that's just not how I work. Nope. Of course it's just another ordinary reason to completely sketch, design, and draft a whole new dress from scratch. Ironically, this is the project that I always find putting me back through college art hell-week where you forget all notion of time and day and just live in the studio working endlessly and striving desperately to make sure it's to your satisfaction by the deadline. And that is by no means thanks to procrastination! Just purely the ordeal of drafting and hand making a dress. Have I ever mentioned being an artist is both a blessing and a curse?
This year I wanted to work with illusion fabric as I have been watching way too many Reem Acra and Ziad Nakad runway shows on youtube during my lunch breaks. Was only two weeks enough time to educate myself and get a grasp on how to work with such styles? Nope. However, I never really back down from challenges once they get in my head.
I chose Champagne satin fabric for the main dress and a beaded sequin applique fabric for the detailing on the arms. It was quite the challenge that I expected! But I am proud to say I had it finished by 4am the day of our valentines day date and much to my husbands delight, he did not come home from his gig and find me passed out on the floor overcome with sleep. Success truly comes to those who work hard. And so does tons of sleep after the fact.
My husband is truly the sweetest as he always goes along with our theme and this year he did amazing. Those flowers in the beginning of the post? They were hand picked and put together with our theme in mind. I love that he even goes as far as to coordinate his attire as well. And if I do say so myself, he looked quite handsome in his navy suit jacket and pink pants with a matching tie. It worked real well with my neutral champagne dress.
To top it all off, that night he surprised me with a "Champagne Twilight" themed drink of champagne and chambord adorned with pomegranate seeds and blueberries. Truth be told: He is the artist in the kitchen; an area in which I humbly admit is my weakness and I happily step aside to bestow all artistic license to him. Have you seen that drink? Do you blame me?
So all in all it was another Valentine's day for the books! I encourage all of you to always try to find reasons to create. Next Valentine's day, instead of going to Hallmark, take time to hand make your valentines. Make accessories for your attire. Or, if you're like my husband, find that area that you thrive in artistically like culinary arts and use that as your medium. Let your talent and creativity speak for you. Just make it special, give it time, and be creative! Happy Valentine's Day!