While the first 2 years of the valentines had the aspects of a promotional piece, with my name and contact info printed on them, the 2007 hand-drawn valentines set a precedent for being entirely personal. For my 2008 valentines I wanted to continue that aspect of the personal, without the labour intensity of drawing 150 hearts.
So I created an alphabet of hearts and printed them with some additional hearts and XOs, and had them cut into 2-inch squares. Then I made the names of each person, with an additional heart or XO, and my initial on one of them, and put them in translucent envelopes.
Although the hearts went into the envelope in order, I expected most people to just dump them out. I was counting on people’s ability to pick their own names out of random and somewhat distorted letterforms. There are two styles of X, which caused some confusion with the occasional XOX. And I sent 4 names in one envelope to my brother and his family, which I gather caused an extended puzzle-solving at the table.
For the press sheet, instead of laying out the letters as ABCD, I decided to make some interesting words with them. These were printed on CT “Blush”, a gloriously pretty pink translucent, then cut into squares by my favourite printer, Lee Edwards at Printing Ink, here in Vancouver. He is alas, now retired, which is a great loss as he was so patient with me and my fussy printing projects.