The first year my husband and I celebrated Valentine's Day, I made him an altered book. It was actually before he was my husband--back when we were dating, boyfriend/girlfriend....whatever you call it.
The book contained 26 layouts--one for each letter of the alphabet. I matched each letter with some sort of characteristic I loved about him, or I used the letter as a trigger to write about a memory we had shared.
He went on to use the page layouts in that altered book as inspiration for one of his watercolor shows.
Several Valentine's Days have passed, and for each of those years, I felt a bit of despair that I couldn't replicate that project or go to such great lengths. It just wasn't in me--not because I didn't feel the love. Indeed, every year I have felt more love and adoration. It's just that the project sort of set the bar high and created a creative block.
Fast forward to this year. We dated for one year before he proposed to me. It was another year until we got married. And now we have been married one year and four months.
Tobe lavished Valentine's Day celebration on me the moment I got home Thursday night. He presented me with flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries. Last night, he took me out to dinner at Wild Sage.
I decided to create a card that would hold gift cards for things my husband enjoys. The card idea quickly became a super-sized accordion-fold album with a carrying case.
My intent was to create a found poem that talked about the evolution of how we came to be--who we are as a couple so far.
I set a few ground rules for myself: no hearts, no typical valentine colors, and no store-bought items--only papers I'd painted or made via some technique.
Here's a shot of the first half of the story.
In a case of art imitating life (or vice versa), my love is still sleeping. But when he wakes, I'll present him with this gift.