I know that store-bought Valentines are cheap and easy and kids don't really care, but I view Valentine's Day (at least while my kids are young and in smallish preschool classes) as another holiday to flex those creative muscles. And really, as a stay-at-home Mom, I need projects to keep me somewhat sane and thinking my kids are cute. So, I decided to do a little photo-valentine project this year. Last year, I embarked upon a pretty time-intensive valentine idea. This year I wanted something WAY easier. I found the idea for the train-heart on pinterest (of course) except that the original idea was to use matchbox cars. My kid loves trains so voila. Trains it was. This was an easy set-up. I laid this big red velour throw on the floor, arranged the trains and then made him pose and smile and promised him a treat if he stayed still and cooperated. The whole thing was quick, even when factoring in photo editing and adding text. I then discovered I had one heck of a deal through vistaprint.com. 100 free postcards. I just had to pay shipping. I didn't really need 100 valentines but I couldn't beat the price. I was thrilled when they arrived - so thrilled that I decided my younger cherub needed to send a few valentines as well. No awesome deals to be had, so his were printed through Costco and the 20 I ordered for him probably cost the same as the previous 100.
Taking his photo was a lot more complicated. I had to do a few different photo shoots and he was not very cooperative. I was trying to get one of him wearing just one of his daddy's ties and jeans, but he HATED the tie. Then I tried to get him to kiss a teddy bear. This turned into 2-yr-old mayhem. Playing the guitar maybe? No, because one can't possibly sit or stand still while strumming. The shot I used was purely serendipitous. I've decided most good child-photography is pure serendipity.
Here are the finished products: