Thursday, February 14, 2013

To whom I gave my heart...

I bought a vintage frame at an antique store a few months back that needed some loving refurbishment.  I discarded the extremely faded picture then left it on my work table waiting for an idea to come to mind. 
Fast forward to today...I wanted to make something for Valentines day for my husband and remembered a quote by Abigail Adams I found early last summer and saved under the title "Valentines Day" (that was my first clue).  So, good vintage frame + great lovey dovey quote = perfect Valentines gift from the heart.

Here we go...let's start with the might need to read it a couple times to get what she is saying as it was written in a letter to her husband in 1782, but it is beautiful.

My Dearest Friend,
…should I draw you the picture of my Heart, it would be what I hope you still would Love; tho it contained nothing new; the early possession you obtained there; and the absolute power you have ever maintained over it; leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.  I look back to the early days of our acquaintance; and Friendship, as to the days of Love and Innocence; and with an indescribable pleasure I have seen near a score of years roll over our Heads, with an affection heightened and improved by time -- nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the Image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my Heart...

Abigail Adams to John Adams, her husband.  
Written December 23, 1782.  
John Adams became the second president of the United States.

Now how I used the quote...
I creating an oval shape on my computer and added the text to the center.  I had to edit the quote to fit the oval (and what I wanted to say) but I think that's okay as I made it just for me.
I printed the quote and mounted it on a piece of chipboard.  Once the glue was dry, I cut it out then used a black Sharpie marker to color the edge of the chipboard.  When the black Sharpie was completely dry I inked the edges with Distress Ink - Vintage Photo.

Next, I cut a piece of chip to fit the frame and covered it with fabric (just a little glue stick will hold it in place).
I wanted to make this really frilly since it is a quote from 1782 and I just thought it could stand up to a lot of flowers.  To make the flowers,  I cut three 2" strips of Ranger manila cardstock, then colored strip with Distress Stain in Tattered Rose, Victorian Velvet, Worn Lipstick, and Spun Sugar.

Each strip is a different group of colors.  Some I used two colors and others three to get the variegated look.  I started with the lightest color and just "painted" the color on with the dabber top, spritzed it with water and dried it with the Heat it tool.  Each color I added after the first was squeezed out onto my Craft Sheet and spritz with water then I laid the strip into the beads of color, layer by layer, drying in between.
Once dry, I ran each strip through the Vagabond machine using the Sizzix Decorative Strip, Tattered Flower Garland.
Now to put them all together...
NOTE: I sprayed all the flowers with Perfect Pearls Mist - Heirloom Gold and inked the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink before I moved on to the next step.
 I thought the flowers should have some dimension so I used the rounded end to my Sizzix Die Pick (with the cap on).  The tool has two ends, each with a different size rounded cap.  For the larger flowers I used the larger end and the smaller flowers I used the smaller end.

Turn the flower over on a flexible surface.  I used a piece of cork but you could use a mouse pad, maybe even a magazine to do this.  Rub the flower petal with the end of the Die Pick (or something else with a smooth rounded tip) until the paper starts to indent.  In other words, you are pushing on the paper with the tool to create intentions and make the paper "bend" like a petal.
 Flip the flower over and make a large circle with the tool to make the petals pop up.
 Leaves are the same...just make an indention where you want the leaf to bend.
Here are the finished flowers ready for the project.  I used my favorite Mini Fasteners to hold the flowers together.
 I added some Crinkle Ribbon dyed in Tattered Rose to the project.
 Then just started adding the flowers with foam squares.

Next I added the leaves just tucked right under the flowers, as well as two vintage silver leaves I bought from Tinsel Trading when they were at my local antique show last fall.

I could have stopped there but as you can see I ended up taking away the flower that was right under the bow and adding two small vintage blue flowers and bits of dyed cheescloth.
The layering is my favorite part...I had to stop myself.
Here it is complete.  Very Victorian feeling which goes with the ornate frame... and I can live with that.  Since it's going to hang in the bedroom I don't think he will mind either.  I think this would be a great project for Mothers day (with a different quote of course) so time to start looking for a great old frame to work with.
 For those of you who are thinking, my husband wouldn't go for some girly frame thing for Valentines day... rest assured it came with a gift certificate to Dick's Sporting goods.

cheers for a great day!
ps:  If you would like a PDF copy of the quote please email me at


  1. So very sweet. Love how you added dimension to the flowers and leaves.

  2. Lovely - in every way. What a great find the frame was. Happy Valentines Day!

  3. A lovely gift from the heart...he is SO sure to love it! :D TFS!

  4. Your project is gorgeous! But I do have a question. What app do you use to get text in a shape? Is it photoshop elements? Or can you do it in Word?

    1. Barbara, I just used a text box for the words. I make the text box as wide as the shape (in my case an oval), type the quote, then center in the box. After that I just move the text till it all fits in the shape. The text box remains a square but the type inside fits the oval. Does that make sense?

  5. Lovely and sweet and full of love! Just beautiful. Happy Love Day.

  6. That's so funny. I made my sweet husband an art piece and gave him a Dick's card as well. The sweet and the practical . Happy Day!

  7. Oh, I was feeling all mushy and gooey and romantic over this amazing frame and all the tender love you poured into it...and then I saw the Dick's card and laughed out loud. The frame is glorious!

  8. Absolutely gorgeous! You are so very creative! What a lovely idea. The flowers are work, but so worth the outcome. I am sure your dear hubby will love and appreciate your heartfelt gift!

  9. This is a fantastic project and I love the frame and all the love you put into it!!

  10. This is just beautiful, your husband is sure to cherish it.

  11. Just beautiful it would look perfectly at home in any 19th century drawing room!

  12. Looks like you know your guy!! Love the combination gift and the flowers are just gorgeous. Abagail was quite a woman, I always remember the quote to her husband, "Don't forget the ladies". Hope you had a lovely valentines day!

  13. Paula, I don't know how you do it. One project after another and all wonderful. What a beautiful quote. Hope you got something sweet for Valentine's Day too. (I am sure you did!)

  14. Wow! I'm blown away. I absolutely love it. You are so very talented. I'm always amazed at your "creations". Lovely Paula!

  15. Absolutely beautiful. I'm certain your hubby loved all the effort & care that went into making this lovely Valentine gift just for him. TFS & explaining how you did it.

  16. Love your project Paula ! Very romantic and elegant !

  17. So sweet and lovely, you made my day.