Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Art and A Story: Be My Valentine

For this Valentine's Day, I made my sweet husband a card. I had a stash of old 1950's Valentines like we used to exchange in school and since that's the era we were children, I wanted to make my Valentine for him look like something I would have given to a special boy in my classroom.

It's simple, but hey, if you're a kid, simple is great! I covered the cardstock with red foil, added a lace doily (you can't see the glitter I put on the doily) and then added the vintage Valentine's Day card and went around the edges with a Silver Leaf Pen. I wrote a poem and put it inside but I'm not going to share that with you - it's personal you know! And yes, he loved it!

44th in the Tuesday Story Series

Valentine's Day beginnings are shrouded in a semi-romantic fog. According to historical sources, there were several early Christian martyrs named Valentine, with two of them being the most well known. One was Valentine of Rome, who was a priest martyred about AD 269; his flower bedecked skull is in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.  The other well know martyr is Valentine of Terni; he was martyred during the reign of Emporer Aurelian. Neither one, nor any of the others, were connected to romance. It wasn't until the 14th century when Chaucer wrote the Parlement of Foules, when there was the first written line about St. Valentine's day and romance:

"For this was on Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate."

From there, medieval authors have tucked into their writing occasional references to St. Valentines day such as this quote in 1601 from Hamlet by Ophelia in act IV, scene 5:

"To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine."

Then by 1784, an English nursery rhyme book was published and included the following, 

The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou'd be you.

In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man's Valentine Writer, containing pages of sentimental verses for the young man who could not compose his own. Paper Valentine's became popular in England and began its headlong rush into today's greeting card frenzy. In the 1980's, the diamond industry began to promote the holiday as a choice occasion for giving gifts. And the oft told story of a St. Valentine healing the jailer's blind daughter before he was martyred has no basis in history. Sorry!

So, here were are, having fun on Valentine's Day, even though we aren't really quite sure of how it all got to this point. Some may say greed, some may say sentiment. Commerce certainly looks forward to this date in February, as do many of the romantics at heart. My husband proposed to me on Valentine's Day 1981, and I have enjoyed my share of beautiful flowers, candy, and cards over the years. But as I get older, it isn't as important a date as say, our wedding anniversary, and since I became ill with the ME/CFS, going out to a fancy restaurant doesn't happen. Cards exchanged with hand written, heart felt words are what makes us the happiest and I am very thankful for the wonderful poem my husband wrote this year, about how he sees me and my art. I'm going to frame it!

So, whatever the reason we all celebrate St. Valentine's Day, I hope you had a happy one!! 

Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

1 comment:

  1. I like the way you dig up so much info. I've had a good valentine's week with the pjs and getting the laptop hooked up and Tony being nice to come sit while we waited on the computer dude so I could sleep. I love your card you made! Love you!


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