About The Artist

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Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Hello! I am a fine arts painter, with a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My primary painting medium is oil and alkyd, and mostly I work in a representational style. My greatest challenge as a painter is to capture the effect of light; and my greatest joy as a painter is to accomplish that. Many thanks to those readers who have been following this blog since Day 1 (May 19, 2008). To those who are visiting for the first time today...Welcome, and thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

To All My Sweethearts...


When I was a schoolgirl, Valentine's Day was special, usually involving a little party at the end of the school day, when all the students exchanged heart-shaped cards and the room mothers supplied cookies and Kool-Aid for the entire class. But what was really special was getting a "conversation heart" from a shy secret admirer (or giving one to that special "crush of the day").

I don't know if children still celebrate Valentine's Day in school, but I do know that those little conversation hearts are still around. Amazingly, the candymaker, NECCO, produces over 8 billion of these little confections each year to meet the demand for this American novelty.

Even more amazing is that these little message hearts have been around a very long time--since 1902. (Actually, the ones I bought to scan for today's image tasted like they were made in 1902!)

According to the company's website*, the basic recipe has always been the same--sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, gums, coloring and flavoring. After the dough is rolled out, imprinted with sayings, and stamped out in the familiar heart shape, it goes through a 45-minute drying cycle to reach its proper consistency. Some things that have changed are the messages, like "Email me" and "Fax Me", to reflect modern times.

To meet the demand for its SweetHearts, NECCO produces them from late February through mid-January of the following year. The entire production sells out in just six weeks!

Although I was thrilled to get a "conversation heart" as a youngster, I guess my tastes have changed as I've matured. So, I offer a little Valentine's Day advice: If your sweetheart is over 8 years old, get a box of chocolates.

Happy Valentine's Day to all. See you Monday.
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*Information Source: www.necco.com/OurBrands/Default.asp?BrandID=8

1 comment:

Flying Colors said...

What a great post! Happy Valentines Day to you!

You are so thorough and beautifully written.
Enjoy coming here... I love my "Blue Gate" ...
Need some framing advice :-)