As I See It

Be My Valentine

Red Rose, Red Hearts, and Valentine cards all represent an invitation to… “Be My Valentine”.  It’s a holiday that gives us an opportunity to shower a little extra love on family and friends.  So, what is the history of this tradition?

Legend contends that in 269 A.D., Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than married ones.  It seems like the married men became “homesick” for their wives and were not giving their all to the cause. The emperor thus outlawed marriage. 

A priest, who was recognized by the Catholic Church as St. Valentine, defied the emperor by preforming secret marriages for young lovers. When St. Valentines actions were discovered, Claudius II ordered St. Valentine to be put to death.

While St. Valentine was in prison, it was said that some of the couples would visit him and hand him notes and flowers through the bars in appreciation for his sacrifice.  During his confinement, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. 

Before the day of his execution, February 14th, he handed her a letter which was signed, “From Your Valentine.”  In 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honor St. Valentine.  A tradition was born.

When I was a youngster, Valentines were given in secret.  When the door bell would ring, my sisters and I would run to the door to find the Valentines left on the door step… the giver of the cards was no where to be seen.  My mom would leave “Little Lu Lu Comic Books”…such a treat!   We would pretend not to notice her head darting in and out of the bushes, enjoying our excitement.

Today, the holiday has become a 14 billion dollar business… 8 million roses are purchased (red of course) …36 million heart shaped boxes of candy are given, and according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year.  By the way…approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women.

I think we should extend the spirit of Valentines Day to an everyday experience… a little more kindness, a few more hugs and kisses, more expressions of love.  The simple sentiment of,  “I Love You,” goes a long way in making my day… How about you?

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Be My Valentine

P.P.S   The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or more correctly, in-spite of yourself.  Victor Hugo

As I See It

Valentine Open House – You’re Invited

You’re invited to a Valentine open house.   My good friend, Debbie, is hosting a Valentine Blog Open House  with lots of Valentine decorating ideas, gifts and recipes.

I love going to Debbie’s blog…Besides being bright and classy… something wonderful is always going on. She is one of the most creative ladies you’ll ever get to know.

And if you have anything to share for the Valentine open house… she invites you to participate.

I’ve known Deb for a long time… and one of her strengths is her ability to spot fabulous finds at thrift stores and garage sales. I swear… she can pick up some old thing and turn it into a diamond.

You ought to see what she’d doing with vintage jewelry. She’s writing an e-book that will tell us about all the fun things you can do with old vintage jewelry. Hurry Deb.

So head on over to Cottage In The Country and participate in a fun Valentine Blog Open House…. You’re invited.

Till Later

Insightful Nana

P.S. I’ve just signed up for her free valentine goody bag. Go do the same… at Cottage In The Country.


Paper Crafts For Valentine Gifts

Valentine’s gifts can be clever and inexpensive and you make them yourself.  For me, it has to be a uncomplicated task or I lose interest real fast.  These easy valentine gift pockets are made from 12 x 12 scrapbook papers. The paper pockets hold candy or small gifts for your loved ones and they’re a breeze to make. This is a paper craft your older kids or grands can easily participate in.

1.  The craft supplies are:  12X12 scrapbook paper, gift tissue, scissors, paper punch (optional), scotch tape, paper clips, tacky glue, 1 1/2 yards of wire ribbon 1 1/2″ wide.  1/1/2 yards of narrow contrasting ribbon 1/2″ wide.

2.  Fold the paper corner to corner. Press the crease well.

3. Hold the paper in front of you with the folded side on top.

4. Fold the outside corners toward the center and over lap them. This will create two points that look like ears. This will begin to form a cone.

5. Roll the paper so the cone fits tight at the bottom. (So, you goodies won’t fall out.) Keep the seam
on the back of the cone so it won’t show from the front.

6. Secure the top with a paper clip in between the “ears” and on the side. Now you have formed your gift pocket.

7. Apply a bead of tacky glue under the back seam. You can apply a small bit of tape to hold the seam down, but make sure the tape doesn’t show from the front side of the pocket. Also, remove the paper clip from between the ears, and apply a bit of glue to secure that area. Reattach your paper clip.

8. For the ribbon holes in the back of the pocket, measure 1″ from the sides of the pocket and 1/2″ down, so the holes don’t show from the front edge. I applied two marks with a pencil to guide me. The space between the holes will be about 2 to 2 /2 inches apart. Use a paper punch to insert the holes if you’re using thin paper.

9. If your paper is heavy or double sided paper, you’ll need to insert the point of your scissors to make the holes. Make the holes about 1/4″ in diameter. The holes might be jagged, but your ribbon will cover them up.

10. Layer the narrow ribbon on top of the wide ribbon.

11. Take one end of the ribbons, insert them into one of the holes from the back side of the pocket. Take the other end of the ribbons, and insert them into the other hole from the back side of the pocket. On the front side of the pocket, hold all ends of the ribbon together and pull forward. The ribbon should come out even.

12. The back side of the pocket should look like the photo. If you happen to pull the ribbon to the backside, the pocket will not be stable when you put in your gifts.

13. The first tie of your bow should be about 4 to 6 inches above the pocket.

14. Tie the bow. You might have to fuss with the bow a bit to make sure the ribbon is turned correctly. Crinkle the wire ribbon a bit… and trim all the tails with the scissors.

15. Insert 1/2 sheet of gift tissue.

16. Fill your pocket with fun gifts such as perfume, jewelry, a small photo frame and candy.

17. Don’t forget to add your Love Note to your pocket. These Love Notes are free… here at insightful Nana. There are 18 designs to choose from. The Love Notes you don’t use in your pockets can be tucked here and there around the house, for your loved ones to find.

You can make small Valentine pockets for party favors or a small gift. Cut your 12×12 paper into fourths. Follow the same instructions. Use 1 yard of ribbon, 1/2″ wide or 3/4″ wide. Fill the small pocket with candy, or a cute pair of earrings.

Wouldn’t you love to come home and find one of these darling pockets filled with fun Valentine gifts and goodies hanging on your door? Hang one on a coat hook at the back door…or remove a wall photo and hang one on the nail. Use your imagination.

Use lots of colorful paper and tissue… and whether you fill them with small Valentine gifts or candy, I can guarantee the receiver of one of these cute pockets will be thrilled. Don’t forget to add your Valentine Love Note to your gift.

Have fun crafting these simple Valentine gift pockets and sharing them with your friends and loved ones.

Till Later

Insightful Nana

P.S. Valentine Advice: You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover’s arms can only come later when you’re sure they won’t laugh if you trip- Jonathan Carroll

P.P.S  See me in action making these paper crafts on the video below.


Free Printable Love Notes For Your Valentine

These free printable Love Notes for your Valentine is my Valentine gift to you. Thank you for being a part of the Insightful Nana community.

Remember the Christmas tradition of the 12 days of Christmas. You know…where you secretly take a gift to a loved one or friend for 12 days in a row. Why not do the 14 days of Valentine and tuck these love notes into the gifts you give your sweetie, loved one or kids.

If you don’t want to give the gifts… just place the cards around here and there for 14 days. This would be a fun way you could express your love and tender feelings toward your husband or sweetheart leading up to Valentine’s day.

There are 18 individual mini Love Notes to choose from. All you have to do is cute them out because tender sayings are already printed on the cards. I printed mine on Matte Photo Paper.

I bet you can think of a 100 ways to use them… but here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

1. Tuck one under his pillow… or under the covers where his feet will land.

2. Place one on the steering wheel of his car… or on the rear view mirror.

3. Hide one in his sock drawer… or better still, in his shoe.

4. Slip one into his coat pocket… or in his pant pocket where he keeps his wallet.

5. Put one in his desk drawer at work… or on on his work phone.

6. How about under the toilet lid… (blushing)

7. If he is reading a book… replace the bookmark with a card.

For kids… place them in their pack packs, CD covers, lunch bags, in their school desks.

Here are the Love Note designs. Of course that big KG won’t be on your copies.

Print off extra copies of these cards and use them through out the year.  Every one needs to know they are loved and cared about during the year… as well as at Valentine’s Day.


Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  I would love to be a fly on the wall when your loved one discovers a love note.  Aren’t surprises fun!

P.P.S.   Get your Valentine Love notes now.

All you have to do is enter your information below so I can zip these printable to you immediately.  Once you’ve entered your information… you’ll never have to do it again because I’ll automatically send your fun printables, recipes, goodies, and helpful information directly to your in box.  You can always opt-out…but you won’t want to do that because… great things are coming your way.