‘Tis the season of hearts, chocolate, Cupid and his arrow, and Hallmark cards. As with many other holidays, my true love is/will still be out to sea on a gigantic air craft carrier while I am sitting at home TRYING very hard not to eat the candy our kids bring back from school. Have I mentioned before that my children do not eat candy? Yes, I know, surely there was a chromosome that was switched or left behind or broken in half or something when they were conceived. Whatever happened, our children do NOT have a sweet tooth. I finally just got rid of last year’s Halloween candy.
Anyways…Since Dad is out to sea, we have to prepare early to send him a care package in hopes that it will get there on time. The average arrival time during his deployment was 10 days. Then there was the package that took 5 months to get there. Sometimes it only takes a few days. Whatever the case, it is always better to be safe than sorry!
We kept this care package simple. I made some of his favorite homemade trail mix with a Valentine spin – basically a million different types of nuts, dried cranberries, and the Valentine m&m’s to give it a nice red and pink tone! I threw in a bag of Gobstopper Heartbreakers and also opened the bags of several mixed candy packages – Butterfingers, Hershey Kisses, BabyRuths, Nestle’s, Peanut Butter Cups, etc – to toss in loosely with everything else. Really, my husband won’t eat many of those items, but everyone in the offices shares their care packages with everyone else. A lot of people don’t ever get things sent to them at all, which I think is a terrible shame. I would send every person on that ship a care package for each holiday if I could.
For the actual Valentine part I made him a nice simple little card using small paper hearts to make a flower in the middle on the front of the card (forgot to take a picture before packing it up). The kids made their own special valentines though! A reminder: Dad is out on a aircraft carrier, an all metal aircraft carrier. I don’t know if anything on that ship is not made out of metal. This, of course, makes it very easy to send him things that are magnetic. Homemade magnetic picture Valentines to be exact!
Now, I don’t have a fancy dancy paper/vinyl/magnetic cutting machine like so many of you do, and I probably never will. So we had to do this the old fashioned way!
For the materials I used a 40% off coupon at my favorite craft store to buy a roll of magnet that has one peel off adhesive side (regularly $9.99 for I think a foot by two feet of magnet and make sure you don’t buy the kind that has one paper side), and at home I already had craft paper, stickers, and an x-acto knife.
First, take the magnet out of the packaging and lay it out flat weighted down by books for a day so it won’t curl up while you are working with it. To begin the project, I cut out two 6 x 6 inch pieces from the magnet and saved the rest for later. I then cut the same size out of my background paper (shown in the picture in a blue pattern).
I removed the adhesive from one of the pieces of magnet and, being careful to keep it smooth, stuck the blue paper onto the magnet. Using a symmetric heart I had cut earlier to use as a pattern, I placed the heart on top of the paper covered magnet and traced the outline with the x-acto knife. Now I had my magnetic heart base.
Since these were Valentine cards from the kids, I wanted them to decorate them as they pleased. Little K and D used stickers to decorate the border of their hearts, leaving the middles clear for a picture. After they were done, I used 3D mounting squares to place their pictures in the middle of their hearts.
So there we have a fantastic, inexpensive, little Valentine’s Day care package for Dad so he knows how much we love him and are thinking of him! Hopefully he will receive it in time and love his homemade magnets that he can stick anywhere on the ship!