Crafty Friday: Valentine Heart Tree Decor

It's never too early to decorate for Valentine's Day! Not only is this Valentine Heart Tree fun to make, but it's a perfect romantic or snow day project to work on at home. #ValentinesDay #crafty

Why? Because it’s cool. And because I’m in Florida right now and wanted to share while I’m away.

MAINLY, it’s because Valentine’s Day is totally my thing. I’d call it my favorite holiday, but since I don’t actually have a favorite holiday, I’ll say what I love about it. It’s my favorite holiday for decorations. It’s my favorite holiday for decor in general, and for colors, socks, leggings, shirts, and boxes of chocolate. I have so many stories about Valentine’s Day, but each one deserves its own post. They’re all coming, I promise. I’ll leave you with one Valentine’s Day story today.

I think you deserve that!

It's never too early to decorate for Valentine's Day! Not only is this Valentine Heart Tree fun to make, but it's a perfect romantic or snow day project to work on at home. #ValentinesDay #crafty

It was February 9th, 1989 (but who’s counting)? I was settling down for a nice night in front of the TV. Specifically it was TGIF – remember that amazing lineup of shows on ABC? Surely you do! Full House was my personal delight, and I could quote a mean Steve Urkel from my Family Matters love. My sister wanted to go out with friends but my mom said we all had to stay because they were having “close” friends over and these “close” friends had a new baby my parents wanted us to meet. What?? Well, ok. I didn’t question it. I got set up in my TV bliss. Then the guests arrived and came downstairs holding the whitest, fluffiest, cutest puppy I’d ever seen. I just figured, “Oh, ok. They brought their cute puppy AND their baby.”

My mom had tears in her eyes when they placed the puppy on the floor. “Do you know whose puppy this is?” “Yes. Theirs.”

“No, it’s ours.”

Ours.

That was the best valentine I ever did get, especially as a kid. Ours. My parents always told us we couldn’t get pets. Turns out we could. Also, the guests weren’t their close friends (breeders) and there was no baby either. I bet you knew that.

Now, onto Valentine’s Day! It’s NOT too early to decorate. Let it be a month long! Let it be a year long!

It's never too early to decorate for Valentine's Day! Not only is this Valentine Heart Tree fun to make, but it's a perfect romantic or snow day project to work on at home. #ValentinesDay #crafty

Valentine Heart Tree Decor:

Materials:

Dead branch with many small limbs
Cardboard
Scissors
Thick yarn
Clear jar of vase
Jewels, stones or sand for the bottom of your clear container
Gold spray paint

Instructions:

1 – Begin by spray painting your tree branch gold. Do this outside and leave it out to dry.
2 – While the branch is drying, cut out some heart shapes from cardboard. You want the heart shapes to be empty inside, as they will act as your forms for making your small yarn heart ornaments for the Valentine tree.
3 – Begin to wrap each of the cardboard heart shapes with thick yarn. You can use any yarn you have on hand, but thick yarn gives better coverage and helps you get the forms covered much faster.
4 – Once you finish wrapping each heart, tie off the end in the back.
5 – Loop a piece of yarn around the top of each yarn covered cardboard heart and tie it in a knot. This will serve as the hanger for your yarn heart ornament.
6 – Fill the bottom of a clear jar or vase with your choice of colored jewels, stones or even sand.
7 – Stick the spray painted branch into the jar and decorate it with your yarn heart ornaments.

It's never too early to decorate for Valentine's Day! Not only is this Valentine Heart Tree fun to make, but it's a perfect romantic or snow day project to work on at home. #ValentinesDay #crafty

It's never too early to decorate for Valentine's Day! Not only is this Valentine Heart Tree fun to make, but it's a perfect romantic or snow day project to work on at home. #ValentinesDay #crafty

It's never too early to decorate for Valentine's Day! Not only is this Valentine Heart Tree fun to make, but it's a perfect romantic or snow day project to work on at home. #ValentinesDay #crafty

Enjoy!

Heartstrings.

I’m going to start this out with a positive story. Well first a hey, Happy Valentine’s Day! I like the holiday. It takes many turns along the years. I loved it as a kid when my mom put out a huge cardboard box for us to “mail” our valentines to each other with. Then we’d wake up the next morning to open our valentines and get little presents and eat Lucky Charms. We never really ate Lucky Charms. Only on Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day (clover marshmallows!) and our birthdays, if that was the “junk” cereal we so chose. I loved Valentine’s Day as a teenager when we sent carnations to classmates through messengers. You got singled out in class on Valentine’s Day morning. I always received carnations from my sister and my gay guy friends. I also loved Valentine’s Day as a young adult because it was pretty great if I had a boyfriend, and it was also pretty great (maybe even greater) if I didn’t. I liked the mystery – wondering if something might happen for me.

I generally went through ages four through my twenties always with a crush on someone, or I was in a relationship, or both. (That sounds worse than it was)

I love Valentine’s Day as a wife because I have a Valentine. And I love it as a mother because it’s starting to get very fun for Scarlet as her understanding of holidays grows. It’s not always magical. Sometimes it downright can suck. Even today. I don’t care if it’s “cool” to love Valentine’s Day or hate it. I don’t care about the origins of the holiday or how it’s become all about Hallmark consumerism. So I’m just going to love it with the family and eat some heart-shaped cookies from a friend.

Oh, and Scarlet took one of the valentines her classmate made, licked it, wrote on it in pencil and declared it her own original valentine. She gave it to me and said, “I licked it.” Thanks?

Do you ever have “hanging by a thread” days? I know some people feel that way for weeks or months or years, or worse – for lifetimes. I generally don’t. It’s so temporary sometimes that it can turn in an instant. Yesterday I had a day like that. I felt at my wit’s end. Then I went to Target to get diapers and I got Scarlet another magic wand. She wanted me to open it for her right after we left the store. So I stood by a trashcan to open it, realizing I was blocking the path of a skateboarding boy who was watching us. He may have been ten or eleven. Tops. I apologized and got out of his way and he stopped me and said, “No. I just want you to know that your kids are..so awesome.”

Moments like that take me back from the wit’s end edge.

It changed my whole outlook. Des had had a bad night two nights ago and that always ruins my morale and gets me thinking insane thoughts about putting him alone in a soundproof room for the night, or sleeping in my car. I also start to think that even when he’s 30, he’ll still be in my house giggling and banging a rattle into a crib at some terrible hour. And after this nice exchange with the skateboarding boy, my mind cleared and I thought, “He might have a bad night again. So what? I’ll get up and nurse him even though I always say I won’t. I’ll hug him and love him and when he’s an adult, I’ll come into his room at 3:00 am and bang a drum.” Well at least you know I’m not totally rational. Halfway, maybe.

Maybe many of us are always hanging by one thread, and we just don’t know it. The brink before one missed paycheck, one car repair too many, another freakin’ snowstorm, a sleepless night or a spousal argument. A leaky roof. A bad tantrum. A year of missed paychecks. Half a year of bad tantrums. And then I wonder if that last thread were to be cut, from any of the aforementioned scenarios, would we fall to an untimely death on a hardwood floor? I’d like to believe that instead you band together with other loose or already cut threads and form new material.

Maybe you just fall into a soft, plush pile of friends, family, partners, neighbors, and skateboarding boys in front of Target threads. All together in this soft mess. Heartstrings.