The 2021 Valentine’s Tree

Happy stupid love day, ya’ll!

While we’ve endured pandemic birthdays and quarantine Christmas, this socially distanced Valentine’s is hitting me kind of hard. Not because I’m especially big on this Hallmark holiday, although I do love romance, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s because we’re approaching the anniversary of quarantine life. And last year’s incredible post-Valentine’s dinner at Waterboy was the last time we ate comfortably in a restaurant. I remember leisurely courses, banter with the staff, closing down the restaurant as we bought our server another round. Just bizarre how different things are this year.

And in light of our ongoing quarantine fun times, I’ve committed to creating holiday trees until the pandemic is over!

Yes, some of you who remember the holiday trees of 2013 might go “You always leave your tree up all year,” but actually, no. Just that ONE TIME. I swear! And mostly because of the madness of grad school. This year though, I need more joy, dammit. So, stay tuned for holiday trees themed for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo (by special request from a friend/former student), National Donut Day/Shawna’s favorite things, National Aviation Day, etc. etc.

But first, behold: My glorious Valentine’s Tree. (Or as a friend on twitter called theirs, a Valenpine. ha!)

Valentine's themed Christmas tree.
Valentine’s Tree! When I took down my Christmas decor, I left up all of the red/purple/silver/heart shaped ornaments. Turns out, there was a lot. I went to Michael’s to find heart shaped felt to make garlands and ornaments.
Heart garland with hand stitched heart pillows
And I learned a crafty thing! After watching a YouTube video 800 times, I learned how to do a blanket stitch and make heart pillows.
Heart garland
Don’t for one second think I made a single pillow without having to tear out stitches. There was a LOT of swearing around here.
Heart pillows
I strung most of the heart pillows on yarn as a garland.
Heart decorations
Hot tip: To stitch felt pillows, use embroidery floss with upholstery needles. And check out JoAnn’s for fabric remnants.
Heart ravioli ornament
I messed up a lot and accidentally created heart raviolis, which I find utterly charming actually!
Beaded heart
Never underestimate the joy of hot gluing things. I cut beads from some Christmas floral filler and hot glued them into heart shapes. I have no confidence they’ll survive when stored in the attic, but we’ll see.
Woman with Valentine's tree
I missed the “Woman with tree” craze during Christmas, so here’s a belated, Valentine’s edition.
Valentine's tree in office with dogs
My classroom. With houndlets, of course.
Heart raviolis with dog.
Hearts made with love and canine supervision.
Coffee cup and Valentine's tree
I don’t love working from home full time, but coffee and class prep with my Valentine’s tree is a perk.
Dog with heart ornament
*Someone* enjoys thieving crafts, so all hearts must be accounted for when Clyde is around.
Dog with heart pillow
It turns out, Walter finds sewing to be an act of aggression, on account of him wanting to sit on my lap or as close to me as possible. He doesn’t mind hearts though.
Heart raviolis! 
It’s amazing how many buttons I found just laying around the house.

Valentine's tree with paper hearts
My original Valentine’s tree from 2013.

xoxo,
shawna

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