I (Cathy) love special occasions. Just give me a theme and I suddenly have an opportunity to be creative. Lately, my outlet is a three dimensional mode of expression- cupcakes! I can experiment with my designs using colour, texture, size, shape, and taste. For my Valentine’s cupcakes, aside from the cake and icing choices, there were a multitude of affordances (decorative toppings) to choose from. For this dozen, I decided on a range of tastes and textures: cinnamon heart candies, red and white jube jubes, tiny snowflake hearts, red sugar sprinkles, silver balls and message hearts. Remember those tart tasting message hearts? They say things like “hug me”, “I love you”, “kiss me”, and now there is one that says “text me”- so new literacies! This is truly a multimodal sensory experience for me (the designer) and everyone that gets one (the receiver of my communication). I see this as a perfect example of my Western culture influences channeling through me to create a social semiotic representation of my caring. But I won’t tell that to my husband. All he will see a pretty cupcake that is “Mmmmm, delicious!” And that’s fine too. I am not sure if this is what Gunther Kress had in mind when he created the Centre for Multimodal Research, but it works for me. Happy Valentine’s Day all!