For Valentine’s last year, Joe put up a handmade banner in our living room using baker’s twine and pre-printed pennants (I don’t have a photo, but I can tell you it was set in Futura). Of course I was completely wooed and impressed and had to run back into our bedroom to write three more eloquent poems to make up for my lackluster card.

But I think banners are remarkably successful at catching our eyes and emotional attention. “Make an Encouraging Banner” is one of my favorite assignment’s of Miranda July’s wonderful Learning to Love You More project. You can go to the site and click through the dozens of reports from people that completed the assignment. Here are two of my favorites.

Natalie Jost kindly explains for the rest of us how to crochet your own banner on her blog. Below is her example. Wouldn’t it be nice to make one that always came out of storage for people’s birthdays?

Three years ago I sent a dozen pre-addressed and stamped envelopes to You Are Beautiful with my friends’ addresses on the envelope, so they each unexpectedly got three You Are Beautiful stickers in the mail out of nowhere. (you can still do this, and it’s very karma-exciting to know that your friends are anonymously receiving encouragement.) I think their shipshape silver-and-black sticker is perfect for making the phrase seem matter-of-fact and completely legit.

Finally, speaking of locks, it possibly does not get more publicly romantic than the padlocks left by lovers around the world who want to make a public fixture of their current affection? The New York Times has published a couple articles about one of the popular locations in Rome, but the lovers’ locks can be found across europe and asia. The photo below is from Hungary. I think we need more of these in over in the US, if only to balance out how frequently we have to hear the annual depressing divorce statistics.

this photo was taken by Jarod Carruthers, who then loaded it to flickr to share with us.