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CULTURE
Handmade Valentines
See how five of our favorite creatives celebrate the sappiest holiday of the year
by Karen Day
on 09 February 2011

While some bitterly cast off the romantic holiday as nothing more than an excuse to consume, Valentine's Day is a great way to remind people how special they are. We tapped some of our favorite creatives to see how they make the holiday unique.

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Artist Dodi Wexler has been making and sending valentines since she was 19-years-old, starting with 10 and now crafting more than 200 each year. Wexler explains "I started making the Valentines because I always was so saddened that I never had a secret admirer or anyone amazing asking me to be their valentine on Valentine's Day. As I made them, I got so wrapped up in the production and sending them to people, that I forgot about being sad. The giving made me really happy, especially because I know how much of a bummer Valentine's Day can be."

She also sees the creative merit in her venture, saying "They are a great way to discover new materials and try out new techniques in a doodle without the pressure of a meaningful piece lurking over my shoulder."

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Jesse Levison spends much of her time silkscreen printing cards for Gold Teeth Brooklyn, a line she runs with her friend Emily Joiner. When we asked what she had up her sleeve this holiday, Levison replied with the "damn crafty" gift she received from her boyfriend Alex, a welder at furniture design studio Uhuru. The sculpture consists of a metal box, which houses a fold-up metal heart etched with a personal message.

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Capturing the spirit of the holiday in ink, Vanessa Prager eschewed her eerie tendencies in favor of a more romantic theme, one that channels her playful and thoughtful personality. The classic card (the image above right is the inside message) serves as both a personal greeting and a keepsake for years to come.

Graphic designer Matt Van Ekeren teamed up with Italian illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli to create a charming animation for Valentine's Day. "Let Love Grow" is a simple way to show that special someone you care.

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A psychologist and artist "who sometimes suffers insomnia," Ilana Simons began crafting clay creatures to keep her company at night. For Valentine's Day she put her late-night hobby to use, filling an empty chocolate box with little characters for her boyfriend to help him with "fighting a chocolate addiction."

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