"Red & Pink Hearts" for ARTchix Studio swap!

Just in the nick of time (these are due to be postmarked by Monday the 10th of November!) ~ I have finished and packaged up my "Red and Pink Hearts" valentines for a swap hosted by Helga Strauss, the very creative owner of ARTchix Studio. Helga has recently started writing a very cool and inspiring blog that I love to visit: My ARTistic Life.

The swaps hosted by ARTchix Studio are a lot of fun, very well organized and you get to receive items from all over the world with such a large number of participants. Plus, Helga sends amazing treats and ARTchix Studio goodies with each swap! An added bonus is that she uses the art pieces she receives for the swap to create wonderful collage sheets -participants must sign a release form when sending in their swaps. How cool is that?! Your art could be published on an ARTchix Studio sheet! You can read about upcoming ARTchix swaps on the Classes & Activities page of their website.

I created my valentines for the most part when I was in Florida the last week of October, visiting my parents. I had brought a small art kit with me and specifically put in some squares of red paper about 4" high, as the swap call suggested. I also added the required products - At least one piece of ARTchix Red or Pink German scrap for each piece. I brought along red mesh and pink flowers along with a number of chixies PINK faux postage pieces (created from an earlier swap). I also brought an 'I love ARTchix Studio' sticker originally created by yahoo group moderator Cindy McMath and I added a few other collage images I like from ARTchix as well.

I free-hand drew my first heart on the red paper square, cut it out, and then used that heart as a stencil for my other hearts. I borrowed some of my dad's carpenter's wood glue since I was traveling lightly and did not bring any glue with me on the plane (it worked fine!). I chose bits of scrapbook-type background paper I had in my art kit and played with the placement of the collage images and faux-post stickers.

Lastly, I added the red mesh and/or pink flower German scrap and in some cases, lace trim. I used my watercolor crayons to add color and lines to the edge of the hearts. Since I forgot my watercolor brush, I simply dipped my finger in a bowl of water and worked it along the line of the watercolor crayon -- born out of the the necessity and ingenuity of traveling & wanting to create!

The six hearts I made for the swap are shown above. Then, because my parents are going through a tough time with more to come (my father starts chemotherapy for his liver cancer this week) I decided to make a few extra valentines . . . one for my husband Steven, whom I was missing while I was in Florida (he stayed home this time), one for my mom, and one for my dad. They are shown below.

The valentine for my dad is the one on the top, and says "Thinking of You". I left it on his computer desk. The one on the bottom left is my mom's; it says "I Love You" and I left in on her bureau. They found them later . . . The one on the bottom right was for Steven, and said "Thinking of you". I carried it home with me, and forgot to give it to him at the airport. Later, while he was at work, I slipped it inside a book he was reading, next to our bed. Later, I asked him if he had found the valentine, and he said, "what? No!". We went and looked for it and . . . it was gone! Mind you, we have 2 very curious and playful cats and at least one dog who likes to eat paper!!!! We think they collaborated. Steven never held it in his hands - only saw the photo I took in Florida that I am showing you now!