Heart Day


It's hard to believe but it is almost February! How did this happen?!

February brings thoughts of pinks, reds and purples, of flowers, cards and chocolates. Let your little people get involved with Valentine's Day or as we call it in our house, Heart Day. Over the next couple of weeks we will be sharing some activities that have been Heart Day inspired.

I am a strong advocate for using this day as one not simply for lovey dovey couples cooing at each other, buying each other expensive presents and sharing a dessert (who in their right mind shares a dessert or any food for that matter, anyway...). The only people I will share my food with, if I have to, and ONLY if they ask, are my children. Ladies and Gents, let me make this quite clear, that is ONLY because I actually grew them inside me. Daddy Patronus and fur-ball know better then to swipe or beg something off my plate and if their judgement happens to fall short, lets just say they quickly wished it hadn't. Anyway, I digress... 

Heart Day. 

Yes, it has become super commercialised, superficial, blah, blah, blah. We know. Everyone knows. Some people love it, some people accept it, ignore it, deal with it and there are some who really loathe it. I'm mostly ambivalent.

If I am brutally honest, I used to dread the day at school. My school was one that thought it would be a good idea to encourage people to buy carnations for people. You'd buy as many as you wanted, write a note and they would be delivered to those people. I think the money may have gone to charity which off course is a fab idea. And actually thinking about it, it must have been hell of an operation because there were hundreds of students. However, it became a day to get anxious about. How many would you get, would you get any, would they only be from friends, or might there be a mysterious one. It drove people to make pacts with friends, 'I'll send you one, if you send me one.' Then naturally after break when everyone had received them, the dreaded question. 'How many did you get?' UGH. I mean seriously. It is no wonder why people hate the day. You guys, it doesn't have to be like that! 

The History


Valentine's day actually originates from the Roman Empire. During the time of Emperor Claudius II there was a priest by the name of Valentine. Claudius believed that men were too attached to their wives and families to willingly join the Roman Army. So he banned marriage. Obviously. That's the logical course of action *eye roll*. 

Valentine disagreed with this and began to marry people in private. Predictably, he was discovered and thrown into prison and be put to death. The sentence was carried out on 14 February 270 AD. 


The Legend

Legend has it that while in prison he fell in love with his jailers daughter. Before his execution he left a letter to his love, signed, 'from your Valentine'. 

This legend is likely to have become mixed and blended with a pagan Roman festival, celebrated mid February called, 'Lupercalia'. It a welcoming of Springtime. Boys would pick a girls name out of a box and girls a boy and they would be partners for the rest of the festival. Some of them even married afterwards. 

What the point I am making here? It is that it is a celebration of LOVE. It has been marketed as a day for romantic love, but it doesn't need to be. It can be a celebration of love of a parent, sibling, friend, cousin, aunt, grandparent. Hell, it could be your dog, or your love for painting, walking in the hills, eating cake or drinking champagne. It doesn't matter what it is at the end of the day. It is just a day to take a moment and think about the people you love in your life and or, the things you love doing in your life. The weekly droll can be long and monotonous. We shed light on irritations, despair at our failings, shrink at comparisons and our plagued with what ifs. What if, for one day we just appreciate LOVE. In all it's forms. How could anyone loathe that? Surely, that sort day is one to really celebrate, especially with your little people on this earth.


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 

Martin Luther King


Hate has no place here. It's Heart Day. 



So, join us over the course of the next two weeks while we explore some Heart Day arts and crafts. Some are gift inspired, some will be edible, some to decorate your house and some just for fun.   

Use them, don't chuck them


Lets be honest with each other. Our kids can do A LOT of artwork. They produce artwork like mummy mice produce baby mice. They come back from nursery with arm full of artwork and if, like me, you do a lot of art at home, you have piles of the stuff at home. There is mummy guilt about needing to keep them and treasure them in an art portfolio to show them when they are older. My Dad used to even get them framed, to the extent that we have mounds of framed pieces collecting dust, abandoned in one of the corners of their loft. A bit like 'Sugarlump and the unicorn' by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. If you haven't read it, it's quite fun. And it rhymes so that is always a winner in the Patronus house.

Anyway, I confess there have been occasions when I have thrown nursery artwork straight into the bin. There were a few times I was given a piece of A4 with, one pen line drawn on it... I wish I was kidding. Equally, having said this, some pieces that Patronus A does, I do keep. Her first proper hand print artwork that she used to be obsessed with when she was 2. Everything was about painting her hands at that stage. Her first drawing of a person, a sun, a spider. Things like that. However, Patronus A loves to paint. She could paint, paint, paint all day long. So we have lots of piles of masterpieces. So while deciding what to do with them in one of my clear outs, this is when I decided to make use of them. 

I know snail mail, is not often used anymore, but there is nothing more warming then receiving a hand written letter through the door. Does that make me sound old?! Maybe, but it shows that the person sending it has spent just that little bit longer thinking about you.  Friends and relatives love getting post from the kids. It turns them all gooey like not much else does. Especially my own siblings, it's quite cute really. So, we began to use the artwork Patronus A did to make birthday cards, thank you cards, thinking of you cards, any cards really! 

Some of the activities shared on the blog are quite attractive and look good being displayed. After weeks and months though, you may want to replace them with new pieces and this is when I normally recreate them into cards. Below are just a few examples of this. 

The hearts here have been cut from our 'Conkerific Rolling' artwork with a heart paper cutter.

The hearts here have been cut from our 'Conkerific Rolling' artwork with a heart paper cutter.

We have a heart stamp paper cutter so the hearts above and below have been cut using that. Simple, but effective. 


Likewise below, we have used an piece of artwork that we used with the salad spinner in, 'Negative Space Splatter', to create another piece of poster artwork. 


Cards and artwork like these are more meaningful then shop bought cards. They last longer then cards which will be throw away in a few weeks and it is better for the environment. It's dressed up recycling. So, use them, don't chuck them!