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VALENTINES

When I was in elementary school, students brought small store-bought valentines to school and distributed to our classmates and teachers during our annual classroom Valentines Day parties. But of course this stopped after sixth grade. When I was in college, however, I started making and sending my own valentines. I don't remember exactly why--in retrospect, I think I saw valentines as being both whimsical and sort of retro cool.

My first efforts have since vanished in the mists of time, but at some point early on I began saving one each year for my own collection. This gallery includes valentines from 1976 to the present. Each one is a collage of paper, stamps, stickers, historical photos, book illustrations, and quotes from various writers' works; I now make approximately 120 each year. Most--but not all--of the artists and writers are women.

1976 - Flowers Valentine 1977 - Ex Libris Valentine 1978 - Blue Birds Valentine 1979 - JW Smith Valentine
1980 - Katie Big Snow Valentine 1981 - Little House Valentine 1982 - Secret Garden Valentine 1983 - Jo March Valentine
1984 - Harriet the Spy Valentine 1985 - Eudora Welty Valentine 1986 - Eleanor Cameron Valentine 1987 - City in Winter Valentine
1988 - Enright Valentine 1989 - Virginia Woolf Valentine 1990 - Brenda Dervin Valentine 1991 - Randy Melendy Valentine
1992 - ALA Reading Guide Valentine 1993 - The Passion for Research Valentine 1996 - Good Books Good Friends Valentine 1997 - Love and Rockets Valentine
1998 - Small Birds Valentine 1999 - Wanda Gag Valentine 2000 - Sexton Valentine 2001 - Rockwell Kent Valentine
2002 - Hull House Valentine 2003 - Marian Martha Valentine 2004 - BlueWillow Valentine 2005 - Poppy Seed Cakes Valentine
2006 - 2 New Prague Girls Valentine 2007 - Molly Ivins and Georgina Valentine 2008 - A Way of Seeing Valentine 2009 - From the East and the West