Valentine Mandala

I’m living with the “less is more” theme for myself in 2017. Learning to live with fewer things and a calmer schedule.  So just about anything I’m making these days is with scraps from my stash and I’m buying very few and sometimes no extras when creating my art.  In my next three blog postings I’ll share with you short tutorials for the Sweetheart items I’m using in Valentine decorations and for gift giving this year – all costing no monies, or close to none.

For example – my mantel and table toppings change with the seasons.  I use some of the items over and over again, just spicing them up differently or placing them in different vignettes throughout my home. Currently my fireplace mantel features items pulled from my décor closet – dressed in red, white, and a touch of pink.  This go around – the total cost was five dollars.  So where did I spend my monies?  It was spent on the white roses, the LOVE sign and the potpourri inside the jar.  These were all purchased at my local Dollar Tree store.  The bunting and the Mandala are handmade goodies.

Valentine Fireplace Mantel

A String of Hearts

You may remember that a few weeks ago I shared with you the red hearts you see on this bunting.  The pattern came from The Crochet Tea Party website.  I did mine up using crochet string left over from a bunch of doillies I made last spring.  For the half-round pennants of the bunting I used a pattern from Erica at Five Little Monsters and modified it slightly to accommodate the hearts.  The white yarn was left over from a knitted sweater project. I don’t knit. My Motherinlaw does and she passed along to me her yarn leftovers.

This bunting was one of those TV watching projects.  He watched TV – I sat in the same room crocheting and sharing space + time with him.  Once in a while looking up at the TV. 😉  Made the whole thing in three sittings.

The only real changes I made to Ericas pattern, is that I added an extra row of stitching across the top of each half-round.  I added three chain stitches between each one to make my bunting long enough for the mantel.  And then I added an extra row of single crochet stitches across the entire piece after I strung them all together.  This was primarily because those extra stitches between the half-rounds made the bunting a little too flimsy.


I thought about stringing the pieces together with a heart between each white half-round.  But the red hearts just didn’t stand out enough against the dark wood.  I like how the red contrasts against the white with them stitched on top instead.  What do you think – did I make the right design decision on that?

A Valentine Mandala

Drawing mandalas is one of my things.  I do it all the time.  Last week I decided to pull out some of my rubber stamps and use them as the primary design for this art project.

I followed the basic steps outlined in my Circular Grid video tutorial shared back in December 2014. Except this time I used a new tool for more precise stamping – the MISTI that my husband gifted me for Christmas last year.  First I drew a seven inch circular grid on my paper in pencil.

Stamping Mandala on Grid

Stamping with Misti on Grid

Then I used my MISTI tool to stamp the images.  This worked perfect, because I could easily do repeat-stamping in areas with precision.  I just love the MISTI!  The below picture shows what it looked like after all the stamped images were added.  I used 6 different stamps and placed them in a mirror image style around the grid.

Stamped Mandala Grid

I added a few of my own pen doodle markings and then erased the grid lines. I used colored pencils in reds, pinks, and grays before putting this little beauty in a recycled frame.  No matting this time.

Framed Valentine Mandala

Questions About Home Decorating

For most of us, our homes are our sanctuary. Whether you’re retired or working from your house or coming back after a long day, many of us want our space to be a reflection of the family that lives within.  For me I want it to be beautiful, relaxing, organized and a clutter-free place to spend time.  Although I must admit, it’s not always that way.  Clutter-free is a challenge for me. LOL

Keeping our humble abode decorated in a way that feels like us—and making it a place I want to be in is important to me.  When my children were young I decorated for each holiday.  When they were school age and I worked outside the home, I stream lined down to decorating for just a few holidays and sometimes I put little or no effort into it.  I don’t say that in a self-shaming way.  That’s just how it was.  Those were busier days and my priorities were very different then.  But now I find I’m back into the seasonal things once more.  I guess because as a retiree most of my time is spent here in the house and in this newly purchased place, I feel my surroundings can make all the difference between a house (that still doesn’t feel quite like mine) and a home.  The personal touches here and there are helping me adjust and it’s growing on me.  But of course not everyone would agree with me on that.

I’d love to hear what your thinking is on this subject of holiday decorating.  So tell me – do you decorate your home seasonally?  Which holidays or seasons do you spice things up for?  Do you go all out, or just add a little thing here and there?  Or do you prefer to keep things pretty much the same most of the time?  Are the holiday decorations just another thing the retail markets have gotten out of hand with and we feed into them?  What do you think?

Next up in this series: A Jar full of lovin’ and sweetheart wreaths.

Have Happy Crafty Days This Week!

P.S.  Quite a few folks are interested in the salve that I mentioned over the weekend.  The one I use to cut down on migraines. I’m working on that and will post it to my blog right after this Valentine series is completed. So hang tight. It’s on it’s way.  Promise.

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