Art is Life is Art: 15 things to do with a paper heart {or how to manage your husband}

paper heart {what shall I do with you?}

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.

Pablo Picasso

While I’m getting better at storing and classifying the piles of ephemera that I collect “for art’s sake”, I still manage to annoy my husband at least once a week with my bits and pieces of paper, labels, tickets and packaging.  The latest “incident” was over a pink paper bag from an art gallery purchase.  {A hand-thrown dragonfly platter and a Southern cookbook – in case you’re wondering what was INside the bag.}  The paper bag in question was rescued from the trash bin on several occasions and eventually got used for beautiful paper hearts.  When the paper hearts ended up spending a couple of days on the kitchen counter, I again had to answer the question:

What are you going to do with those/this/it?

Usually, the answer is one of the following:

* Uh, I don’t know…YET.

* Something.

or his  favorite

* It/they haven’t told me… you know the art talks, right?

It’s really not that bad.  As a creative himself, R is extremely understanding and supportive of my “collections” and process.  Except that as a sound designer and super-stream-lined dude, he wishes our world was paperless.  {Which is tough when my main art form involves lots of paper.}  I thought I’d share the list that I started for him.  I said a couple of them out loud and then got so excited that I kept adding to the list.  The list currently contains 15 items – all from a quick brainstorm, but I suspect I’ll be expanding it {and creating matching images} will be ongoing.

15 things to do  with a paper heart

1.  Have a photoshoot.  {This was 1st on my list.  I went out with The Girl & the fabulous Katie Holley.}

The Girl & a paper heart bouquet

2.  Write a note on it and tuck it into someone’s pocket.

3.  Glue it in your journal.

4.  Leave it {at a bookstore, in a coffee shop, on a swing} for someone to find.

paper heart on a swing

5.  Write your Self an encouraging note.

6.  Fill it with doodles.

7.  Tear it in half and make a list of all the things that have broken your heart.

8.  Write a list of all the people and things you love around the edge of the heart. {You may need more than one paper heart.}

9.  Write down your three “safe people” in the very middle of the heart. {You probably only need one paper heart for this as the number should stay small.}

9.  Hang it in a window with a beautiful piece of ribbon.

10.  Add sticks and make a heart bouquet

paper hearts & swing

11.  Decorate it with lace and glitter.

12.  Frame it and hang it on the wall.

13.  Tape it to the outside of your next letter. {Even if it’s a bill.}

14.  Use it as a bookmark.

15.  Don’t be afraid; give your heart away.

paper heart for you

By | 2016-10-19T14:20:39+00:00 September 28th, 2010|Art is Life is Art, photography|13 Comments

About the Author:

I create containers for words and paint and I fill them. I craft safe, sacred spaces for people to wrestle, create, heal and shout from the mountain tops.
And I teach people to do all of these things for themselves.

  • The Husband

    I learned a few years ago that the simple act of clearing the counter could have disastrous marital consequences if I didn’t include my wife in the process!

    One of my fondest memories of Betsy is from our college years. I found her working one day in the Art building, covered with plaster or paint or some such, old clothes, hair slightly undone, totally engrossed in her creative endeavor. She didn’t notice me for several minutes. I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

    I have been the happy recipient of her scraps-turned-beautiful-notes on several occasions. Now I understand how exquisite trash can become in the right hands.

  • Karen T.

    I love this idea Betsy! And I love the beautiful Katie Holley photos! Thanks for the reminder that we can take scraps of paper and turn them into something very memorable. I needed that reminder today.

    • Karen – The Katie photos make me really happy. She really captured The Girl’s snappy eyes.

      p.s. Can’t wait to see what you create out of your scraps and bits.

  • Lots of sweet ideas – and your photos are just adorable!

    • iHanna – thanks! This whole post has turned super fun behind the scenes. There will be more paper hearts for sure!


  • What a lovely and romantic note from The Husband. That made me sigh!

    • Tamara – The Husband thinks that my quirkyness is endearing – go figure. Our home is full of music, photos, paint and The Brilliants shining all over the place. And space – lots of space to create and BE. I am without a doubt, blessed beyond measure.

  • Yolanda

    Betsy and Randy, I LOVE the way you put the perfect words to your thoughts and feelings! Thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine’s Day.

    • @Yolanda {mom} thank you so much for stopping in here in blog world. {You’ve always attended everything I’ve ever done. :)} And thank you for the Valentine’s package! <3

  • joshua


    I like the wash on the pics


    • @ Joshua – Isn’t The Girl cute in these photos?! You know how I feel about too much processing, but I love how this treatment worked with the photos. 🙂

  • I’m going to combine #s 8 & 9, think #13’s heart wrapped around a bill will bless somebody’s day & can’t “amen” #15 enough. Great ideas. Hope I act on at least one.

    • Larry – It blesses my socks off that you stop by and read. But it means the world that you might take any little idea from this space and bless someone else. It’s why I show up to the pages. Love you friend.