For the last 14 years, All Year Round has been our calendar and we are now on our third copy. My first copy, bought from Peapods Natural Toy Store in Saint Paul, Minnesota, when my husband was in graduate school and I was staying at home with our little one, had to be sold for grocery money (or as Tasha Tudor frequently said, "to keep the wolf away from the door"). My second copy, bought at Great River School when our son was in Grade 1, served us well for six years until last year when the binding split from so much use and it fell apart. Every year by Christmas, it gets a bit neglected in the piles of holiday books but in February, when it is retrieved for Valentine's Day, my heart always skips a little beat when I open those first pages. In All Year Round, spring begins not when the snow melts or daffodils bloom, but in still cold February, with the lengthening and brightening of days and the beginning of the agricultural year and lambing. It is always a reminder to me if we haven't yet begun to plan our garden and order seeds that now is the time to do so.
We have made the bird valentines from All Year Round every year, but this year I decided to do it a bit differently. Matte paper looks lovely on the other paper crafts in this book, but it has never suited this craft. So this year, I decided to use pale pink watercoloured paper. It turned out so much better than using matte paper and I am glad I took the extra effort with the paint. I hope all of your paper valentines are coming along well!