fourteen days of love

Be You



Day Fourteen: Be You. No matter how you celebrate this day, be yourself. Because you are Be-You-tiful!


Happy Valentine’s Day! Well, we did it! Fourteen days of romance, ideas, and inspiration. I can’t wait to do it again… next year!

This morning my son handed me his handmade Valentine: full of his heart. And it reminded me, once again, that the most important thing we can do for those we love, is to bring our best selves. If we’re not, we’re missing out!

As you can imagine, I have a lot to say about that topic. But this morning I found out that we have surprise visitors coming tomorrow: so in the midst of our Valentine plans today,  I need to clean up all the mess fun I’ve had in the past 14 days. Our house looks like a cherub exploded. *wink*  So, I’m going to go focus on those things: family first.

But I want to let you all know: you really are amazing. I hope you have a lovely and romantic Valentine’s Day!


Chalk Pen Love Letters

chalkpen1Day Three: Love Letters on the Bathroom Mirror (or any  mirror!)


This Christmas, I wrote all over our mirrors in the house. Little notes of the season, ushering in the light of the world. And IZ, being the romantic that he is, said at one point, “It’s like little love notes for me!”

So, of course, I promptly went upstairs and created a real love note for him. Our initials in a simple heart adorn a vintage mirror in our bathroom: and I smile every time I see it.

Ok, so the location is not so romantic, but let’s face it: the bathroom is a room we visit… a lot… in the course of a day. Unlike, say, the gym! And who wouldn’t want to be greeted with a little love note when they look into the mirror? The chalk pens hold up to the steam well and erase in a jiffy if you make a mistake or want to change out the message before your relatives come and visit. Ahem. 




Chalk Ink pens are a great way to express your love this Valentine’s Day! And you don’t have to be an artist to do it. Just express your feelings or write out a favorite poem. What? Not into poetry? Bet you have a favorite song with a lyric that would get the point across.  Or, you could amp up the sex appeal and profess your (not so good) intentions! 





See, you don’t even have to have good penmanship! Just get creative. Don’t know where to start? Check out my pinterest board Creating Everyday Romance for some inspiration! Don’t get overwhelmed by the artistic nature of some of those pins. Most of them were created on a computer. But if you break down parts of each one, and sample a few of the ideas, you’ll still be  able to create a lovely little design that says, “I love you.” Remember, hand made is wonderful no matter what!



Bonus: no lipstick was harmed in the expression of your true love on the bathroom mirror! 


Chalk pens can be found online or at your local craft store. I love using the wider chisel tip pens. So, what are you waiting for? Go express your love. 




Love Letters


Day Two: Love Letters

Years ago (26 to be exact!), IZ  began writing me these lovely, lovely letters. We weren’t dating yet, but far away from each other at college. And every week, I would find a letter in my box written on the softest rose colored paper. They smelled faintly of his cologne, his tiny script so familiar.  The distance between us bridged by words on a page. 

I was so lonely at college. Lonely for home, lonely for the familiar, lonely for him. His words made it easier to be apart, easier to stand the distance between us. 

Eventually, his letters would be full of his heart for me.  I returned his feelings in kind. We romanced and courted (such an old fashioned word!) on paper first.  Our letters filled with our hopes and dreams and our growing love for each other. And if you wonder how a long distance relationship can work: well, I would tell you letter writing doesn’t hurt! 

It became our tradition: to write love letters to each other whenever we were at a distance.  When he traveled for business, or I would leave to visit family: there was always a packet of letters waiting.  We mailed things in advance or tucked notes into suitcases. Little love notes shoved into hands at the airport, or hidden in coat pockets to be found later. 

I don’t think we’ve ever broken the tradition. I cannot recall a time apart from him that I didn’t also have a stack of love letters to keep me company. Typically with directions written on the envelope, “Open when you miss me.” “Open on Wednesday.” 

We travel less and less on our own these days: our life has let us spend what little time we do on the road, together. So, in the past few years the volume of actual letters has dwindled. But I remember all those love notes fondly. I read them from time to time: remember who we were when they were written. And I know he keeps all of my letters as well. 

Someday, our grandchildren will read our letters to each other (well, most of them!) and know that their grandparents loved each other enough to put pen to paper.  It’s a lovely thing to hear “I love you.” And perhaps, even more lovely, to read it. On rose colored paper — in the cramped hand of the one you adore. 




Valentine Bunting Round-up

Welcome to Fourteen Days of Love’s Bunting Round-up. I hope you’ll find lots of idea to inspire you to create (and share) your love! 

Let’s get started with a Pinterest Round-up on Valentine Bunting. If you’re not hanging out on Pinterest, you probably have lots of free time. Ha! It’s a wee bit addictive, no? Sometimes, I go looking for something and get completely lost–following one pin after another. So, I thought a round-up of bunting ideas might be a good idea. Here are a few of my favorites from Pinterest. (Links will take you to the original creator. If you want to follow my pinterest board for all things on creating everyday romance, you’ll find it here.)

This gorgeous photo and bunting by Tonya Joy Photography. I love how she used a touch of sparkle with the burlap. 




Hand cut paper letters and vintage valentines on sting. So simple and easy! And completely adorable. From the ever creative Ashley Meaders. 




Don’t have time to make bunting? Anthropologie to the rescue! This sweet banner has tinsel in it. Um. Swoon.


Add some personal charm. Via Paynter Arts 



I love this! Via Captain Crafty: and there is a free printable! All you need is a printer, paper, and pens. 




Paper Doilies and Baker’s Twine. (hint: you can get fabulous paper doilies at the dollar store!) Created by Lolly Jane

Be Mine Valentine Bunting

Be Mine Valentine Bunting

 Day One: Be mine? Valentine Bunting for the bay window. Also know as the photography corner. 

Welcome to Fourteen Days of Love! I hope you’ll join me as I explore ways to show love to my family and friends this Valentine’s Season. This seemed like the perfect year to journal my projects: since Valentine’s day is 2/14/2014. That’s magic, no?  


I thought I’d start out this series with getting some decorating done! Somehow, I actually undecorated our house from Christmas before the first of February. That’s a bit rare for me. I was marveling about this modern day miracle just yesterday over coffee with IZ. 

“No you didn’t.”

“Yes, I did. I got it all put away, with a little help from you.”

I thought you had too, and then I noticed your niche. What’s that about?” (pointing behind him)

“That is my ‘Christmas in your heart all year long’ display. What’s your point?”

“I think you just forgot.”

Busted. (Ask me in March if Christmas is still in my heart!)

Ok, so I have a bit more cleaning up to do. But in the meantime, I’ve made bunting. BUNTING! Folks, you should be shouting that word. 


I love bunting. I always have. I made my first banner for this window in December of 2006, long before the bunting craze hit. A friend of mine had made a Happy Birthday banner for her husband that I adored and I had intended to make one for Geo’s birthday. Of course, I lost track of time, so up went a “Peace” sign instead.  And there it stayed!  When it was time to undecorate for the holidays, I just couldn’t take the Peace bunting down. Fortunately, IZ agreed: since I hadn’t gone too seasonal with my fabric choices and well, he’s a light touch on these things.  

I’ve been meaning, ever since, to make more. If I had to-do lists printed up, “make bunting” would permanently be written at the bottom.  Then the bunting craze took off and I get a bit oppositional about trends. Typically, I’m either way ahead of the curve or so far behind, that when I finally decide to jump on board, it’s so. over. 

But, I don’t think the bunting craze is going anywhere, because BUNTING. And who doesn’t like a cheery sign in the window? So, here we are. 



I’m not including a tutorial on this.  Partly because I made it in the middle of the night when the light is horrible for photos, but mostly because the internet is already chock full of great tutorials on making bunting. 

However, I do have few tips that I think are helpful. 

♥ The base fabric is made from drop cloth. Yep! Cheap canvas. And if you pink the edges, it will hold up forever. (see Peace bunting in my window for seven years.) You can buy canvas drop cloths in the painting department of your local hardware store. Be careful. If you buy a larger piece, chances are it will be seamed together to make the dimensions. But it’s by far the best buy for canvas if you’re crafting.  (and um, I’ve covered couches with the stuff too!)

♥ When picking a font go for a bold one with as few curves as possible. Because you’ll be cutting that curve out twice. Once for your template, and once on the fabric.  You can print out templates on paper, cut it out, and the make sure you invert the letter when you trace it to the back of your fabric. 😀 


♥ Most craft stores sell heat and bond adhesive in rolls. You can certainly sew your letters on if you like, but even if you do, using the adhesive first will secure them in place and keep everything still as you sew. 

♥ I didn’t really measure on this. I mostly eyeballed it — because ultimately, I wasn’t trying to make something look store-bought, but homemade. I love the look of hand fashioned anything: but especially at Valentine’s Day. There’s just something so charming about “I made this myself”, no matter how it turns out. So, don’t fret the size or the shape. Just create something you’ll love. 

Ok! Your turn. I hope you’ll go make a fabulous bunting to profess your love. (every time IZ walks by this and I’m in the room he says to me, “Yes, I will.” See, romance right there!) Drop me an email or a link in the comments; I’d love to see what you create! 

♥Need some more ideas on creating your own bunting? Check in later this afternoon: I’ll be posting a Pinterest round-up of all my favorite bunting ideas and tutorials!