Spirograph Watercolor Journal Page

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I wanted to try something different in my journal so I looked around my studio and found the Spirograph set. I hadn’t used it in years. I bought this for my kids when they were little and luckily it was passed back to me when they grew up.

I started this page with a watercolor wash for the background and set it aside. While that was drying, I searched my paper stash and found coordinating sheets to create a couple of Spirograph designs. I cut them out and glued them onto the page. Next I drew in doodles, wrote a few inspiring words and of course added stickles for a little bling. Last I added a little detailing with shading and highlights and that was it.

You can make some really interesting art and cards using a simple Spirograph set. Just let your imagination run wild and have fun!

Have a fantastic week!

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Thoughtful Thursday – Give Mom a Gift that Touches her Heart 💖

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Mother’s Day is fast approaching, this Sunday, May 9th. So why not give mom a gift that touches the heart. I have many fond memories of Mother’s Day celebrations but when my son baked me a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, all vegan from scratch with a beautiful design in colored sprinkles, that really touched my heart 💖 He put so much love into that cake for me I’ll cherish that memory forever. Not to mention, the cake was so delicious we polished it off in only 2 days!!

Another touching memory was when my daughter spent a very rainy Mother’s Day with me watching our favorite movies with popcorn and candy. We had lunch in between and even played a few board games which is something I’ve loved doing since I was a kid. We had such fun together as we laughed all day. She created a wonderful loving memory that I will hold in my heart till the end of time 💖

So what are you going to do for you mom on Mother’s Day that will touch her heart? Here’s a few ideas to get you inspired:

  • Cook her favorite meal and serve it on a lavishly decorated table.
  • Bake her favorite sweet treat and serve it up bistro style.
  • Take her on a picnic and spend a quiet afternoon talking.
  • Take an art class with her, whether online or in person and create something together.
  • Make a scrapbook filled with all of your favorite memories and photos of her.
  • Make her a handmade card or mini book with special photos or memorabilia.
  • If you’re computer savvy, create a video slide show of your favorites times spent together.
  • Make her a spa basket with handmade treatments (plenty of recipes can be found online).

Get creative, put a little extra thought into it and give her a gift from your heart 💖

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“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.” ~Mitch Albom

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Esther A Howland “The Mother of Valentine”

Follow Up to the History of Valentine’s Day

Last week I wrote a post about the history of Valentine’s Day and learned we had a “Mother of Valentine, “Esther A Howland. I found her very interesting considering she was born in a time before women basically had rights and as a result the odds were not in her favor. Despite that, Esther persevered and moved forward with her vision. Below are some of the highlights of Esther’s lifetime accomplishments below:

  • 1828 Esther was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her parents were Southworth Allen Howland and Esther Howland.
  • Her Father, owned the largest stationary and bookbindery business in Worcester, Massachusetts.
  • Esther attended college at Mount Holyoke Academy the same time as Emily Dickinson did.
  • 1847 Esther graduated college at the age of 19 and received a Valentine card from one of her father’s friends which was decorated with lace and cut out flowers. During this time, Valentine Day Cards were imported from Europe into the States.
  • Esther loved the card and thought she could do better. She talked to her father and he bought her supplies to make her own cards. She created a dozen designs.
  • Esther gave the samples to her brother for his next sales trip for their father’s business. She hoped for $200 in sales which would be worth around $6,380 today. But to her surprise he returned with over $5,000, worth $159,501 today.
  • Esther knew she couldn’t handle these orders by herself so she employed friends, primarily women who were said to have been paid liberally and had pleasant working conditions. She used a guest bedroom on the 3rd floor of her home for her new business. She set up an assembly line to create the cards and inspected each one.
  • 1850 The Worcester Spy published the first advertisement for Esther’s Valentine Cards and she became officially known as a businesswomen.
  • 1870 Esther incorporated her business, New England Valentine Company (N.E.V.Co).
  • In red ink, Esther began stamping the letter “H” and price on the back of her cards. She also included in red ink, the letters for her company “N.E.V.Co.”
  • Esther’s business grossed $100,000 annually the equivalent of $3,190,024 today.
  • Esther expanded her business and made cards for Birthdays, Christmas and New Years. She also created May Baskets and Booklets.
  • 1866 Esther suffered a knee injury and became bound to a wheelchair.
  • 1874 Esther moved her Valentine factory from her home to Harrington Corner.
  • Esther passed away in 1904 at the age of 76. Although she was considered “The Mother of Valentine” she never married.
Esther Howland’s Home
Assembly Line
Esther Howland Valentine Cards

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“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” ~ Estee Lauder

Sources:

https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2

https://www.amazingwomeninhistory.com/esther-howland-american-valentine

https://newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/esther-howland-worcester-valentine-queen/

https://www.legacyclub.boston/esther-howland

https://bonnercountydailybee.com/news/2021/feb/10/esthers-gift-and-legacy-love/

Thoughtful Thursday

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History of Valentine’s Day

Did you ever wonder how it all got started? I mean, who came up with this idea to celebrate love on February 14th? The roots of St Valentine’s Day go back to 270 AD. I’m sure you don’t want a major history lesson so here are a few of the highlights:

  • Geoffrey Chaucer, an English Poet was the first person to record St Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules”
  • The oldest recorded Valentine was written in 1415, by Charles, Duke of Orleans. After the battle of Agincourt he was held prisoner in The Tower of London and wrote a Valentine to his wife which is now a part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.
  • Cupid is depicted on many Valentine Day greetings as a cute, chubby little cherub. However, his roots actually go back to the Greek God of Love, Eros.
  • In the mid 1800’s, friends and lovers would exchange small tokens of affection or a hand written note. By the 1900’s, printing technology improved and printed cards replaced the handmade versions from the 1800’s
  • In the 1840’s, Esther A Howland who became known as “The Mother of Valentine” began selling the first mass produced Valentines in the United States. Her creations were beautifully made with lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as scrap. Esther’s brother took a dozen card samples to their father’s store where she hoped to get $200 in sales. But her brother returned with over $5,000 in sales!!!
  • Today approximately 145 Million Valentine Day cards are sent each year making it the 2nd largest holiday to Christmas.

Below is a photo of Esther A Howland and a few of her Valentine Cards

“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” ~Judy Garland

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💖 Happy Valentine’s Day! 💖

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Sources:

https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2

https://bonnercountydailybee.com/news/2021/feb/10/esthers-gift-and-legacy-love/