Wolverine Stew: Valentine

Cooling chocolate and a pile of

Roses right next to symmetrical puns

Thawing snowy sugar suffused with guava

Dry branches waving in winter winds

A book of cryptids and a mycelial song

I put close to the nerves on my heart

Hoping pale moon eyes and paper ravens

Can reciprocate the joy of

Being with you

Patchwork made of moon and stars

Resting in the theatre

Music blaring in the night sky

Two voices singing, laughing

Letters by Lydia: Valentine’s Day <3

Hey y’all! Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I thought it’d be fun to give some ideas for anyone looking to make valentines for their loved ones.  I know a lot of people don’t like Valentine’s day because it can be really tough when you’re single, but I’ve always loved it because I have so much fun making cute little valentine’s for all my friends!  It’s like a crafter’s dream holiday, getting to sit down with washi tape, fun paper, stickers, pens, and make cards for the people you love.

Anyway, here are some different styles for lettering I thought fit the Valentine’s aesthetic:

A fun ribbon font always looks good, and you can’t go wrong with doing conversation hearts! For the last one, I just thought it’d be cute to do something a little more structured but still fun and with lots of red and pink.  I’m always happy to do tutorials on different types of lettering like this too, if anyone is ever interested 🙂

As for general guidelines for making Valentine’s cards, I honestly feel like you can never overdo it.  I love to go all out with glitter, lace, bright colors, stickers, etc.  Even if you don’t want to go that route, basics like pastels, hearts, red and pink, and all that cute stuff never fails.  I also love doing puns (Love you a waffle lot, olive you, etc etc), cute little drawings, and inside jokes because that makes the cards more personal and heartfelt.  As for little drawings and extra things to add, you can always do candy, hearts, bows, flowers, roses, and literally anything you think the recipient would like 🙂 Here’s a few little doodles I came up with:

I hope this made you excited to make some cards for your loved ones if you’re so inclined! Either way, have a great week and enjoy your Valentine’s Day next week! <3

Paint Night, Date Night

About two weeks before Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend and I realized that it was already February. This, of course, meant that Valentine’s Day would be right around the corner. As many couples do, we planned on celebrating by going out for dinner. It didn’t take long for us to realize that many of the restaurants were already booked for Valentine’s Day weekend.

We could’ve just waited until the night of and tried our luck with walk-ins at a random restaurant. Instead, we—and by we, mostly I—decided to switch things up. Thinking that we could go to a restaurant or see a movie some other time, I turned to Google for new date night ideas. Now, as previously noted in other blog posts, I love any art-related events or activities. I’m not much of a painter, but when I stumbled upon the concept of painting as a date, I knew I had found a winner. 

After classes on Friday, there was no need to get dolled up for a fancy restaurant (though dressing up once in a while can be fun). Instead, we would soon be donning aprons. Like myself, my boyfriend is not incredibly well-rehearsed in terms of visual arts; however, we were both very excited for our session at Painting with a Twist. We had signed up for a “couples” event, which entailed creating a complementary set of paintings. By this, I mean the canvases could be put together to form one image. They could, however, also work individually, as there were individuals in the workshop that painted one half of the set as a stand-alone work of art. 

Once we arrived at the studio, we were escorted into a smaller room for the session. Our painting supplies and canvases were already set out for us, so all we had to do was put on the provided aprons and wait for the session to start. For the next two hours, we followed step-by-step instructions with leeway given to make the paintings our own. Painting something such as this was new for the both of us; luckily, no painting experience is needed for these types of workshops, so the paintings were not too difficult to do. We painted our halves individually but occasionally set them side by side to ensure that they lined up correctly. Though we worried about getting the background, colors, etc. to match up, we learned to appreciate the originality exhibited in each other’s work. With a fun, encouraging atmosphere, the paint date night was an exciting and relaxing way to put aside the stresses of college life, spend quality time with a loved one, and connect with one another (and our art).

After getting pictures taken, the couples trickled out the door until only my boyfriend and I were left. We looked up at all the paintings around the room, admiring the variety of sceneries and painted objects. As we were whisked back to our dorm via Uber, we shared smiles over the night and the paintings we created.

Overall, I had a wonderful time. The activity was more expensive than we would normally spend on a date, especially as college students; however, for a unique, fun activity to do every once in a while, it was worth it. Along with fond memories, I now have some awesome art, with both halves currently on display in my dorm room. In the future, we might try a DIY painting date night at home!

FYI: In Ann Arbor, places such as Painting With a Twist and Paint and Pour offer the type of art instruction sessions noted in this blog post.

Marge Makes Comics #25: PALENTINE’S DAY CARDS

Hey! This one’s a little short and simple, I wanted to try my hand at making some goofy lil’ platonic post-Valentine’s day cards. Platonic love is super important and for the single people out there (including me, hi hello), Valentine’s day can be a tough holiday to get through especially when the holiday’s emphasis is on celebrating romantic relationships. Anyway!!! I love my friends deerly. Tell a pal you care.

P.S. I Lo…

Image via speechfoyosoul.com

A love letter is one of the best pieces of paper you’ll ever hold in your hand. It’s more personal than a clothing accessory, more enduring than an edible sweet or a five-second Snapchat, more secret than a wink and a cheery clink. These written declarations of affection have been touching hearts since Ancient Egypt. But times indeed have changed – keyboards have replaced quills, and ‘thee’ got thrown out for ‘u’. The love letter now teeters on the cliff of extinction. If I could, I would make a campaign badge: SAVE THE LOVE LETTER! Help protect this rare species this Valentine’s Day by penning one of your very own to anyone you want to share your words with: whether it’s your best friend, your grandma, your SO, or your neighbor. A letter says that you’ve taken the time to think and write thoughtfully and reflectively on your love for this being that you share the planet and your life with. And who doesn’t love getting mail??

Not sure where to start? Here are some tips to write the most heartfelt and genuine letter without being too cheesy, cliché, or Hallmark-y.

  1. Think ink. A real paper letter gives the recipient the sheer pleasure of opening up an envelope. It allows you to be a little cheeky and hide it where they least expect it. Your one-of-a-kind handwriting technique flavors the text in a way that no one else could accomplish. Plus, why risk the chance of an overzealous spellcheck  and spam filters? You want to be sure that the exact letter you write is seen by the person you love.
  2. Address to Impress. “Dear” is so overrated. This isn’t an email to your professor (at least I hope not!!). Make your greeting unique and get your reader smiling from the get-go. “Dearest Duck,” said Lady to Lord Byron. “My dear little lunatic,” wrote the actress Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo. When in doubt, get a little wacky, get a little retro, get a little silly.
  3. Flavor it with details. Make sure to flag all the quirky things you like about your reader. Let them know you didn’t copy the default template for “How-To Write a Love Letter.” Think both physically (“the lines on your face that crinkle when you smile”) and mentally (“how you’ve literally memorized the whole Tim the Enchanter scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail”). Let glimpses into your own daily life color your paper: “As I sit here writing to you in the Diag, people must be wondering why I’m smiling so much.” Recollect the first time you met, your favorite shared experience together, ponder about the next thing you want to do together to knock something off your bucket lists.
  4. Avoid clichés. That’s right. If you’re being paid to write cards for Hallmark, then by all means, bring on the cheesiness. But, for real? None of this “two souls entwined” crap. Gush too much and the game is over. Find the perfect balance between authentic feeling and hearts-for-eyes emoji.
  5. Intertextualize. Perhaps you have really tiny handwriting and you’re worried that you don’t have enough to say to appropriately fill the entire paper (at least two-thirds down the page is adequate). Think of your reader’s favorite movie, song, book, or play. There isn’t one out there that doesn’t include some romantic love. It will show that you really have paid attention to what they love. And gives your brain a moment’s rest, but still packs all the same punch. Alternatively, you can…
  6. Include a poem. But not a “how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Everyone knows that. Instead try something a little more obscure to add to the uniqueness. Try Frank O’Hara’s ‘Animals’ or Pablo Neruda’s ‘I Do Not Love You‘ or Simon Armitage’s “You’re Beautiful.”

7. PG-13, please! Remember these letters are a kind of artifact. When you pass, you never know who will find them. And you don’t want to win a posthumous Bad Sex (Writing) Award, do you? So let’s keep it clean please, and let E.L. James do all the dirty work.

8. Sincerely… “Believe in me” (Juliette to Victor again) is heartstopping. Henry VIII’s “No more for fear of annoying you” to Anne Boleyn is awkwardly endearing. Dump the dreary “Yours truly” for something a little more creative.

9. Handle with Care. Send love letters only to those you can trust with them. Remember, these words are fragments of your soul. Mark the envelope as “FRAGILAY.” Likewise, treat any letters you’re so lucky to receive with kindness. Keep these paper relics – from past flings and present flames – for yourself and your mental scrapbook. Now that’s so much more than …

Image via people.com

P.S.  Interested in reading famous people’s love letters? Check out: http://thoughtcatalog.com/rachel-hodin/2014/01/the-16-most-beautifully-touching-love-letters-from-famous-writers-and-artists/.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Love Doctor

In light of Valentine’s Day approaching, (cue groans..groans that are all coming from me…) I would like to share one of my beloved poems that I wrote during my Sophomore year of college in a poetry class. It’s called The Love Doctor.

The Love Doctor

Let me tell you what I think.

I think this thing they call love,

it’s bullshit.

We women do all this work to get a man’s attention —

hair soft as cotton candy

nails clean with girlish pinks and reds always prim

body right, curves that round the world —

Oh, and don’t forget a personality, we must have a little of that.

Which one should you be today?

The loving girlfriend that gives him massages,

hot meals, alone time for him to be a man?

So he can watch the same shot

being made by the same person on TV,

or so he can criticize that girl’s physique

like it really is that thought provoking.

Or should you be the girlfriend that’s —

oh wait

he doesn’t want you to be anyone else.

That’s all there is to it with love.

I’m telling you, when a man finds out that you

have needs, complaints, wants, dreams, feelings, tears—

They deny ever knowing you,

like a grain of dreary dust they stepped on,

walking away from a deserted beach

holding another woman’s hand.

My advice honey,

the next time you hear someone say the word love,

tell ’em to come see me.