Happy Valentine's Day! It's the day to show someone and everyone that you love them. And I have one last pretty I made up just for this special day. It's the ubiquitous candy heart wreath. Everyone's made one of these by now, but they're so much fun and so appropriate for the day. If there's a candy we inevitably associate with Valentine's Day, it has to be the sweetheart conversation heart. These candies, originally made by Necco, were called "motto hearts'. From the Necco website: "Cut in various shapes, such as postcards, baseballs or horseshoes and embossed with curlicues, the original hearts had room for much longer sayings, enabling would-be lovers to send messages such as “Please send a lock of your hair by return mail,” or “How long shall I have to wait? Pray be considerate.” Can you imagine? What an interesting time the Victorian era was! Today's sayings are short and sweet.
I'm not 100% sure that my candies were from Necco. The words on mine are molded, rather than stamped, and the candies are actually closer to Sweetarts. Yes, I nibbled a few while I crafted - shocked, aren't you? Who eats their craft supplies? I do, apparently. And enjoyed it.
This project took three bags of candy. It's a large wreath - and heavy! I didn't do any special prep to my styrofoam wreath form - just tried to glue them on in neat rows. I will say that if you line up the candies on a flat surface in a row with all the words facing the same direction before you apply a row of glue to the stryrofoam, it is much easier to get them placed while the glue is still hot. And you'll be less likely to hot glue yourself -- my favorite trick. Once or twice I forgot to do that, and found myself trying to flip the candies over and straighten them out while my glue just cooled into the styrofoam. I just don't recommend that. Also, if you have pets, an unfinished wreath lying around is very tempting. Gotta play a little keepaway.
I have to tell you one other thing I did to celebrate Valentine's. This was last Saturday - and doggone it! - I didn't take my camera - bad blogger! But it was such fun, and I am extending the challenge to all of you. It's called the Great Ding Dong Ditch Challenge - begun, as far as I know, by Kindness Girl. Essentially, it's the old game of ringing the doorbell and running away. But it's better than that. You leave a 'bit of nice' behind - (No flaming bag of dog poo!). I gathered up a couple of my grandkids, Kieran and Kai, aged almost 11 and 8, respectively. We went to a lovely bakery, one of many famous in our region for really good farm to table bread, Great Harvest. One of the fabulous things about all of these bakeries is that, once you're in the door, they will slice of piece of fresh bread from their breadboard for you to nom, nom, nom, while you make your selection. I had a piece of white chocolate cherry bread (to die for) and the kids each had a piece of Extreme Cinnamon Swirl, which was enough to convince them that they picked the right one.
We bought two loaves. These were hand-shaped loaves, nicely wrapped up in plastic, unsliced. They also gave us two of their brown paper bags with logos on them. Especially nice, because the bags are very recognizable. We didn't want anyone to be unduly suspicious of possible bad stuff. We borrowed a couple of felt tip markers, and found a table. The kids each wrote: "You've been Ding, Dong, Ditched! Happy Valentine's Day!"
Then we went on a hunt, looking for houses that looked like someone was home. It was a lot of fun. The kids giggled and exclaimed about how their hearts were beating so fast! They each successfully made their Ding Dong Drops and there were a lot of smiles and high fives. We got caught by at least one recipient, who smiled and waved at Miss Kai! They had a really good time and made some really good memories that day.
So that's my challenge to you, for Valentine's Day. Certainly tell those you love how much you love them, but try to spread a little random love out in the world this week, as well. Pay it forward!