You Gotta Have Heart!


     Page Hodel is a DJ living in San Francisco. She fell madly, wildly in love with her neighbor Madalene Rodriguez in 2005, and every Monday morning, Madalene would wake up to find a Page-made heart on her front porch. The hearts were constructed out of whatever objects caught Page’s fancy: flowers or twigs or corks or stones or tiny toys. 

     Sadly, Madalene was diagnosed with a virulent, fast-moving cancer, and about one year after the two women met, she died. But Page has continued to make these hearts every Monday for her forever sweetheart, sharing them with the world through photographs. So far, she has made over 400 of these hearts, using as her materials anything from human beings to the innards of a de-constructed piano. I’ve been privileged to be on her email list for years, and find one of these magnificent hearts in my inbox every Monday morning. But anyone can enjoy these amazing creations on Page’s website. See them all displayed, and if you wish, sign up to receive these weekly treasures in your e-mail inbox. I also heartily recommend Page’s book, as well as her licensed notecards and posters. The image above, showing shirts fashioned into a giant heart, is from a poster. 


    For Valentine’s Day, I urge you to look at Page’s hearts, and be inspired to make your own. That’s what I decided to do this year, make hearts out of any objects or substances, whether found in nature or man-made, that crossed my path or tickled my imagination. I’ve been shaping these all week, and thinking about a particular person I love with each one. I’ll be sending them out in e-mails with sentimental or romantic notes on Friday. Make some hearts, and share them with those you love.










 Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!!!!!

And don’t forget, there are hundreds of great traditions and celebrations in my book, The Book of New Family Traditions. 


A Fun, Simple Project for Valentine’s Day


I’ve been making “heart books” for my son since he was a little guy, and I’ve come up with an easy and very adaptable design that I want to share.


The first book was called “10 Things I Love About Max,” and in successive years, they were titled “10 More Things I Love About Max.” Each of the 10-heart-shaped pages told about some aspect of my son’s personality or passions that I cherish, and these were decorated with stickers, characters cut out of old magazines and calendars, and in a pinch, my own drawings. 

Each morning, Max would wake on Valentine’s Day, and find one of these books hanging from the doorknob on his bedroom door. 


I always save up old calendars and magazines and catalogs that include images that lend themselves to this sort of personal collage project. The covers of the Heart Books are cut from thin cardboard from an old box, like a cereal box, or from the posterboard we always seem to have lying around for school projects.

A simple hole punch makes 2 holes, which are threaded with ribbon to make the handle. Just tying multiple knots at the ends of the ribbon, where it comes out the back of the book, secures the handle in place. 

I urge you to make Heart Books for your kids and your sweetie!

And here’s the thing: these also work great for birthdays, where the number of pages is equal to the birthday number. I swear, I once made a 75-page Heart Book for a dear friend. 

Plus– these work great for Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.