About five or six years ago, I learned about valentines made in the late 1700s and early 1800s called puzzle purses. According to Frank Staff who wrote The Valentine and Its Origins, "So called 'puzzle purses' were skilfully made so that the recipient had always to spend some time trying to decipher the message or verses, and to get the design in the right folds and the right order."
After several attempts at making my own, I finally figured out the folds and now make them each year to sell on my website, Honeysuckle Lane.
I mix a homemade stain concoction in an ironstone bowl and brush it on the parchment paper. This staining process is one of the most important steps making the paper look old.
Once the paper has been dried and cut to size, I measure and fold and crease several times.
This antique tool is what I have always used for that step. I found it in a junk shop years ago but I have no idea what it was used for. Is it bone or ivory? No matter its original purpose, it works very well for me as a folding and creasing tool. I have panicked more than a few times when I have misplaced it. Thankfully, it always turns up again.
I have all my papers folded and will be adding the artwork to each puzzle purse tomorrow and tomorrow night. I'll be back Sunday with another post of the rest of the tools used in finishing the valentines.
I might even have photos of the *s*n*o*w* that we are getting as I type this. I just looked outside it's coming down pretty good!
Stay safe and warm this weekend ~
Take Care and God Bless,