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Monday, January 16, 2017

A Modern Take on a Victorian Valentine

Lately I’ve been immersing myself in learning about all things Victorian.

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Did you know that most of our Valentine traditions come from the Victorian Era?

Namely, the Valentine card itself.

People have exchanged handwritten love letters for centuries. But after the industrial revolution printing techniques became truly advanced in the area of cardmaking.

The stationary firm of Joseph Addenbourke of London is often cited as a main contributor in the transformation of penned love tokens to the commercially produced Valentine beginning in the 1830’s.

It was Addenbourke who found that a lacy look could be created by filing off the raised relief of embossed paper borders. This technique of creating lace paper, now known as doilies, became a huge fashion in the Victorian age.

Antique Valentines - Bunnies, Birds and Butterflies - The Graphics Fairy:

The golden era of Valentine’s occurred between the 1840’s and 60’s. The process of chromolithography (gorgeous decorative design) was developed.  It was faster and less expensive that its predecessors, woodcuts and metal engravings. A much larger consumer audience could afford to purchase Valentine cards and they were smartly marketed to go beyond the idea of cards reserved just for sweethearts and became tokens of friendship.

Antique Victorian 3D Pop-Up Valentines Day Card Diecut Ornate German Vintage:

From there elaborate honeycomb designs were added. It was often a secret element that was not revealed until the recipient opened the card revealing the surprise.

Clock Tower, Cupid ~ Large Antique Honeycomb Valentine:

All of the elements combined resulted in spectacular works of art.

Wow! Victorian valentine...:

While honeycomb tissue can still be readily purchased in all shapes, colors and sizes I was looking to create cards of a simpler style, such as this one.

Vintage Valentine Pop Up Card Germany Antique by willowpaige, $18.00:

Here are the tools you will need to create your own Victorian inspired pop up Valentines;

Cutting mat~you can find them in a variety of shapes and sizes HERE.

A good paper glue. I like Coccoina.

Paper scissors

A bone folder ~ to create sharp creases in paper.

An exacto knife for interior or delicate paper cuts.

To elevate paper on paper I use pop dots.

For quick paper application double~sided mounting squares work brilliantly.

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A paper cutter is also an amazing time saving tool.

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Then of course you will need scrapbook paper, die cuts and embellishments. You can purchase paper making kits or collect various elements in the scrapbooking section of most hobby stores. Some of the various elements shown here came from various Anna Griffin kits purchased over the years.

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A fantastic template for pop up cards, along with step by step instructions, can be seen at Extreme Papercrafting.

TIP: I printed the template onto the back side of the scrapbooking paper and then made my cuts with a straight edge and an exacto knife. You then can make folds with a sharp crease with a bone folder.

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Layer your background elements first. I applied the top strip of paper with glue. The bottom strip was applied to the left hand side pop out column with a double~sided mounting square.

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A second layer is then added at the top with a decorative flourish. To add a bit of definition and interest I used pop dots to lift the scroll.

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I chose to add the decorative front layer of my card to the back of the interior section of the card at this point using double~sided mounting squares. I made sure to carefully avoid the areas where the pop out columns were.

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Then comes adding all of the fun pretty bits. Some were joined together with pop dots.

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This was also applied to the left hand pop out column with a double~sided mounting square.

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Here is a bird’s eye view of the three pop out columns.

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Then a German scrap paper rose was added to the middle and right columns.

TIP: German foil Dresden paper trims also work beautifully to decorate cards.

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TIP: Make sure that all of the decorative elements you apply fit within the card when it is closed.

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Here is the finished card viewed from the right hand side.

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You can see why you do not want to attach the front of the card to the interior of the card in the areas where the pop outs are.

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This is what the card looks like straight on. It is a pretty surprise for the viewer.

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I created two cards of each design so you could see the front of the card and the interior at the same time.

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The cards were created in an assembly line fashion to make the process flow more quickly and smoothly.

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I hope you have enjoyed these Victorian inspired Valentines.

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Because it’s Monday, let’s also end with a photo blooper. This happened several times (it felt like a million) during the photo shoot. #goodtimes  #nopatiencefornonsense

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Will you be sending out cards this Valentine’s Day?


Linking to:

Monday Social, Inspire Me Monday, Merry Monday,Make It Pretty Monday ,The Scoop, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style,Share Your StyleCreative Ways, Vintage Charm Party, Thursday Favorite Things, The Inspiration Gallery, French Country Cottage, Imparting Grace,The Charm of Home, Foodie Friday, Link Party Palooza, The SITS Girls, Funky Junk Interiors, SIOMT, Sundays At Home

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Choosing To Be Less

A few years ago I began to see campaigns such as “Be More”, “Do More” and “Get More”.

It was all aimed at bettering oneself, your business, your life.

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I bought into it. Because, well… it sounded good.

Sure, there was good intent behind the messages. But in trying to do more and be more to get more I found myself burnt out.

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Over the Christmas holiday I let it all go.

Less Facebook

Less Instagram

No blogging


So last week working to have less resulted in me posting three times instead of four and….the world didn’t end… and I didn’t feel bad. It actually felt….great!

This week, I didn’t post everyday on Instragram. I was too busy with LESS. It was great!

In being honest with myself I know you probably didn’t notice or care and that is FABULOUS!!!

Changing one key word to do less resulted in MORE.

By doing less and having less I have found that MORE goodness has come into my life this past week.

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Why is that?

Because when I am less, this allows room for God to be more.

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Less truly is more,


“He must become greater; I must become less." ~ John 3:30

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Flooring For Storybook Cottage

Hello dear friends!

It is time for new flooring at Storybook Cottage. I am estimating that this will be an approximately 6 week process from start to finish and thought you might enjoy coming along on the journey.

For this first installment of the mini-series “Flooring Fridays” the “WHYS” of new flooring will be discussed.


Particularly in the kitchen area the flooring in Storybook Cottage needs to be replaced simply because it is extremely unsafe.

There are approximately eight areas within the kitchen where the tile, laid by the previous owners, is not level.

I have had several near misses in which I’ve been carrying a pot of a boiling hot concoction and my foot hit a tile just right and it resulted in a heart stopping dance in which I stumbled and made a mad effort to save myself from receiving a 3rd degree burn.

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There are also areas in which the grout has simply worn away. One particular area is quite bad and my mother in law, who walks with a cane, has almost fallen twice when her cane landed in a groove. So this blemish also falls under the “UNSAFE” category.

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There are also a few spots where the grout has cracked severely or is simply missing.

This past week I was walking around in bare feet and somehow tripped in this area which resulted in 1/2 of one of my toenails being torn off. #notfun

So, we can now deem this flaw “UNSAFE” as well, as I would rather not repeat that extremely painful experience.

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There are three connecting areas that will also have the flooring replaced.

The kitchen connects to the family room on the left hand side. It features carpeting that is very well worn and came with a few grease spots. After moving in I tried in vain, and failed, several times to remove the stains which are still stubbornly in place.

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We are also the owners of two old fur boys. Franz, the black doxie, has recently been diagnosed with Cushings disease. Because of his ailment he has had several accidents in the family room carpeted area and, despite our best cleansing efforts, it just smells bad.

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The attached 1/2 bath and the pantry, to the right of the kitchen, both feature tile of a different color and grout. One is a darker beige and another a sort of mid terra cotta.

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So if you are counting, in the span of just 500 feet, there are 4 different types of flooring. If you also include the hardwood flooring of the formal dining area and living room that also leads off of the kitchen it brings the total flooring choices to 5 different selections of flooring within the span of a small space.

The end result is that the rooms do not flow smoothly. To many flooring selections within an area disrupts the eye and the room(s) appear to be rather chopped up. To have just one type of flooring would really open up the space and also make the rooms, which are on the small side, appear larger.

Next Friday I will share the latest kitchen flooring trends.

Interior decor trends 2017, hexagony tiles floor, terracotta tiles, dining room tiles, kitchen tiles, terracotta tiles mixed with wood:

What type of flooring do you love in a kitchen or open floor plan?


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Magically Delicious Happy Hot Cocoa

Like most of the country it has been very cold here.

To stay warm the family and I have been enjoying hot cocoa almost every day.

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We have tried all sorts of concoctions and this recipe reminds us of a favorite leprechaun loving cereal.

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It’s so easy to make. You just need:

White chocolate cocoa mix


Pastel marshmallows (I used Kraft fun puff brand)

Pastel sprinkles

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I am old school in that I like to gently warm my milk on the stove. Milk can scald or bubble over quite quickly in a microwave.

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Using a copper pan the milk can be drinking temperature in about three minutes. You can also use a stainless steel pot as well. (I just like copper as it conducts heat quickly and evenly.)

Once the milk is warm just add in the cocoa and mix well.

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Pour the cocoa into a really cute cup or mug because all cocoa simply tastes better in a cute mug.  :)

This mug was a Christmas gift to me from the Fashionista. With the interior red polka dots and  a darling dachshund on both sides it truly is my new favorite. She found it at Anthro.

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Once your cocoa mixture is in the mug top it liberally with marshmallows and sprinkles.

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I hope you enjoy our new family favorite.

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I’d love to hear about your favorite winter beverage. 


Linking to:

 Monday Social, Inspire Me Monday, Merry Monday,Make It Pretty Monday ,The Scoop, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style,Share Your StyleCreative Ways, Vintage Charm Party, Thursday Favorite Things, The Inspiration Gallery, French Country Cottage, Imparting Grace, The Charm of Home, Foodie Friday, Link Party Palooza, The SITS Girls, Funky Junk Interiors, SIOMT, Sundays At Home