V alentine’s Day has always been a favorite of mine. Even when I was single, I thought it was the best. I know, I know – it has been commercialized, idealized, sugar-ized…but when you get down to the heart of it (haha, “heart of it” – I’m here all day, folks), it’s a day to be conscious about letting people know you love them. Holidays don’t get much better than that.

In fact, the only time when I could have done without Valentine’s Day was during my years of teaching first grade. If you were to judge the importance of holidays based solely off of school parties, than Valentine’s is definitely the biggest holiday. Of all time. Here’s a picture to prove it:

The amount of sugar that kids and parents brought into school to share for our Valentine’s Day parties blew every other party out of the water. The level of celebration was sweet…literally and figuratively…but all I could think during those days was GET ME OUT OF HERE.

I digress.

Here’s one thing I LOVE about this holiday, though: the fact that distributing physical, paper, signed with a kiss valentines is central to the day. Since so many of the people I love are far away, this calls for distribution via the United States Postal Service. We’ve been over this before, but USPS – I’m definitely your biggest fan!

I’ve been sending out large amounts of valentines for the last few years now. It’s a little intense sometimes since it falls so close to sending out Christmas cards, but it’s still worth it.

Those were the valentines I sent out last year.

This year, I decided that folk-art characters HAD to be the central focus. It was like I didn’t even have a choice, the pull was so strong. I started by chopping some postcard-sized paper on some beautiful Bristol paper (*that’s an affiliate link to a different brand but very similar paper).

Then I got to work drawing some folk-art.

After some time, I had a great stack.

Those cute little animals were just begging for some color, so I decided to get out some newly acquired watercolors. They are waiting patiently to be used for one of my 12 Months of Making endeavors, but I cheated and pulled them out early. I decided that nobody’s going to report me if I snuck into the watercolors a little bit early, even though I’m focusing on Project Life and photo albums for the month of February.

WHY have I never experimented with watercolors before?!?! I’m hooked. They instantly took these folk-art creatures from good to great. It was so satisfying to splash that color across the paper. If you’re yearning to feel like a legit artist, you should try this magical art supply.

Watercolor companies, if you’re looking for someone to be your spokeswoman, I’m available.

There are an absurd number of valentine puns that lent themselves perfectly to these creations. I actually googled “valentine’s day animal puns” and would you believe it? A blog post titled “101 Adorable Valentine Puns” was the first search result! I swear, bloggers have thought of everything!

I wrote the corresponding pun on the back of each Valentine.

I also wrote little love-y messages to everyone.

The backs of the valentines still looked like they needed something…more watercolor! Obvious solution staring me RIGHT IN THE FACE.

OK, are you ready for the final unveiling? Or are you ready to take a nap or a lunch break after reading through this monster post? Either way, you’re in luck…if you need to take a break – go do it! If you’re dying to see the finished product, hang tight because I’ll be doing a bonus Thursday post tomorrow to share them. Stay tuned, the watercolor valentines adventure continues!