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Everyone knows feeling loved lifts you up. Not everyone feels that way on Valentines Day, but I’ve always had a place in my heart for all the cheerful red and white (Isn’t this Le Creuset Heart Casserole sweet?), lacey, over the top Valentines and the general sentimentality of the day. It doesn’t hurt that lots of chocolate is involved, either.

The old fashioned homemade Valentines greetings especially intrigued me. Once upon a time people, particularly young men and women labored over creating special cards for one another. When I was a child I tried to recreate some of those with heart shaped paper lace doilies and flower cutout stickers, etc. They didn’t compare with the calligraphy and hand painting of some of the Victorian types, but I loved the result.

Here’s a sweet story from Chicken Soup Stories.

Tasha Tudor has some of the most endearing pictures, and her book embodies the type of Valentines described here. It is an enjoyment to spend a little time looking at the efforts of loves expression.

A Tasha Tudor book, -All For Love.

Usually people think of Victorian times as the beginning of Valentine greetings, but some sources report it as far back as Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife in 1415. It was in the Victorian times that the greetings became commercialized in cottage industries- groups of women making them in an assembly line type of manufacture- although they were put together by hand. These are the types I usually think of- with bits of lace, gold foil and pasted pictures.