Ten Years of Valentine's Day

No other magazine on the planet does holidays like Martha Stewart Living. None but Martha's go to the same lengths to achieve the best in crafts and cooking on special occasions. I decided to have a look back at the last ten years of the February issues of Martha Stewart Living to peruse the Valentine's Day Good Things, heart-shaped treats and paper crafts and choose some of my favourites to display here. I've indicated which issue each craft project or recipe can be found in, but I'm sure many of them can also be located at marthastewart.com.
Ten year's worth of Valentine's Day inspiration.Festive Fasteners: Feburary, 2006. Tug at your valentine's heartstrings with an embellished envelope. Cut out the hearts from coloured card stock using a specialty hole punch. Poke two holes into each heart with a needle, then sew the hearts onto dual-capacity envelopes using the needle and silk beading cord. Secure the stitches with a double knot on the backside of the flaps. After inserting the Valentine, close the envelope by winding a 5-inch length of cord in a figure-eight motion around the hearts.
Paper quill Valentine: February, 2002. Classic Valentine messages never go out of style. You can shape individual strips of paper, curling the ends as you would a ribbon, to form letters that resemble calligraphy. Use carefully placed dabs of craft glue to hold each letter in place on a card. The three-dimensional effect creates lovely depth, texture and shadow to the card.
Poetic containers: February, 2002. Transform simple cardboard boxes into beautiful containers for Valentine's Day gifts. These boxes can be purchased at craft stores. Cover them with red paper, or paint them red, and then attach clusters of folded paper roses (also available at craft stores) with craft glue.
Hidden Messages: February, 2009. As early as the 1790s, sweethearts exchanged "puzzle purses." A poem runs along the edges, starting outside the folded square. The text, embellished with designs, is revealed as the card is opened. For the how-to go to marthastewart.com/valentines-day.
Marbleized cards and gift wrap: February, 2005. The dreamy curves of marbleizing lend themselves to a number of decorative paper crafts. Marbleized paper makes excellent gift wrap and cards. Here, a heart cut-out accommodates a Valentine wish. A gift tag, fitted with a grommet and twine, adorns a package wrapped in paper with a swirl pattern. The how-to can be found on page 104 of this issue. Doily craft: February, 2004. Doilies supply a bouquet of paper posies to decorate Valentine's Day cards. Cut out a mixture of blossoms - Queen Anne's lace, daisies, camellias - and glue them to the front of a folded piece of card stock paper in an alternate colour. Snip, arrange and glue green strips of paper to create the stems and leaves and affix the paper blossoms at their peaks. The flowers can also be painted various shades using a gouache or acryllic paint.
Copy Craft: February, 2006. To create your own artful wrapping paper, just push a button - the secret to these nature-themed designs is a standard black-and-white photocopier. Start by placing a flower, thin slice of fruit, or another shapely, light-coloured object (darker tones don't reproduce well) between sheets of clear acetate. Center the sandwiched object on the copier glass, cover with white paper and copy onto white or coloured paper, enlarging or reducing the image as desired. Wrap gifts with the paper and finish them with a sheer satin ribbon.
Bonbon-filled heart baskets: February, 2002. Surprise a loved-one by hanging a heart-shaped basket filled with candy on his doorknob or near his desk. The how-to instructions for this craft can be found on page 64 of this issue.Surprising stamps: February, 2006. Leafy vegetables make great-tasting salads - and sumptuous floral-shaped stamps, too! Here, the end of a head of Treviso radicchio yields a roselike print when used as a stamp. Cut off the stem end of the radicchio with a sharp knife and stand stem on a paper towel, cut side down, for about 10 minutes to drain it of moisture. Press the cut side into a large stamp pad in shades of red and pink and then stamp it onto cards, stationery and more, blotting on paper towel between stamps. You can vary the stamp shapes with other leafy greens like Romaine lettuce or even brussels sprouts cut in half.

Cutouts with Charm: February, 2007. Feeling softhearted this Valentine's Day? Reach for some marshmallows and transform them into confections of affection. Start by lightly greasing a heart-shaped petit-four cutter or aspic cutter with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Cut several marshmallows in half horizontally and then press the cutter into the center of each one. Float the marshmallows and heart-shaped cutouts on homemade hot chocolate. (The recipe can be found on page 62 of this issue.)
A message in chocolate: February, 2003. Sweeten your Valentine's Day morning by topping a cup of coffee with love. Spoon a bit of foamed cream on top, and use a squeeze bottle to draw a heart shape with room-temperature chocolate sauce - store-bought or homemade - just before serving. Make sure the foam is dense and that the syrup is thin. Serve immediately; the image will only last as long as the foam does. This trick works with cappuccino and latte or hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.
Sweet Pancakes: February, 2000. Although cooking breakfast for your love should be a treat in itself, you can make your feelings even more clear by creating heart-shaped pancakes. They require nothing more than your favourite batter and a pastry bag with a small round tip. To form a heart, trace the outline of the shape into the hot pan then quickly fill the center without breaking the line.
Message Sent: February, 2009. These sugar cookies, covered in royal icing, bear messages in text-message lingo. Use an interchangable letter stamp and a paper towel soaked in one area with food colouring as the 'ink pad.' Slip the sweets into glassine bags and sew along the tops to seal them.
Heart-shaped cookies: February, 2000. Give standard sugar cookies some flare by sandwiching them with jam or topping them with sprinkles or coloured sanding sugar. The recipes for these can be found in the recipe section of this issue.


A heart full of carnations: February, 2001. Kevin Sharkey created this beautiful floral centerpiece, which was featured on the cover of this issue, by using heart-shaped floral foam, dampened by submerging it in water for about an hour. Use a variety of carnations in a similar tone and cut the stems about one inch down from the flower. This form used 60 flowers. Start in the middle and work your way out, placing the flowers into the form, maintaining the curves of the heart and keeping the colours balanced. Sit it on a tray if using it as a centerpiece or hang it on a door once the form has been dried. Every four days, place it in a sink and gently water it from above and let it drain. It could last for up to two weeks.
Sweet-heart arrangements: February, 2004. Flowers and candy are the touchtones of courtship and romance. Combine the two in this cachepot arrangement of tulips and candy hearts. The candies, proclaiming such virtues as "Class Act"and "Be True," surround an arrangement of equally lovely tulips. Place a small vase inside another that's taller and at least one inch wider. If the rims don't align, add candy to the outer vase to eliminate the height difference. Fill the gap between the two vases with candy: heart candies here, or cinnamon hearts for a red bouquet. Fill the smaller, inner vase with water and arrange the flowers within it.


Claudine said...

Great ideas, I agree nobody does the holidays like Martha. I still do the candy vase every year for Valentines and Easter and just did it this last weekend. It's a good thing :)


Thanks, Claudine. I find Martha's holiday projects always range in degree of difficulty, which is so nice. You can make heart-shaped pancakes in a jiffy, or you can spend a few hours on a puzzle purse. Fab!!

Capcom said...

Tx for the lovely walk down Martha Memory Lane. :-)

Anonymous said...

great thanks! I have been looking for that candy heart vase how to since yesterday when i saw one in a magazine. :)