Make Your Own Valentine’s Box

Or, hearts and crafts on the Eastside

Valentine’s Day before puberty: Generally it’s bunches of stale, hard candy hearts whose messages will be decoded using forensic-like techniques (the UR CUTE stamped on the Sweetheart found somewhere in the box from Cody Johnson might as well mean you’re going out, right? There’s a good chance that giving a Valentine that reads “I choo-choo-choose you” with a picture of a train on it to Ralph Wiggum will leave him with the idea that you’re meant to be together forever). But before all that, before all of the envelopes slipped through the slot have combined to indicate just how well-liked you are, there’s the untainted, tear-free promise and hope of what’s to come. There’s the acidic, musty smell of construction paper, the dull-edged scissors, the old shoebox brought from home that awaits the transformation into a pink and red frilly monstrosity of a love receptacle. And while most of us don’t have a quirky holiday-themed-earring-wearing teacher leading the charge anymore, Bellevue Arts Museum is hosting a Make Your Own Valentine’s Box event as a part of its Drop-In Art series, affording the chance to take it back to the carefree time before the overpriced roses, heightened expectations, and tennis bracelets that eventually came to dominate the ridiculous adult realm of the Hallmark holiday. Sadly, Valentines are not included. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, 425-519-0770. Ages 4 and up. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. AJA PECKNOLD

Thu., Feb. 14, 3:30 p.m., 2008

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