Sparkly Recycled Glass Heart Pins

Recycled Glass Heart PinFor the eco-warrior who still loves a dash of glitz, these heart pins made from recycled glass and pottery would make a great little gift.

Artist Nicole Whitney of Paloma Pottery collects broken glass and re-purposes it into a wonderful range of jewellery and household items. The glass almost has the look of a crystal geode with its multifaceted reflection of light.

Perfect as a stocking stuffer or  a lovely romantic gift, the heart pins come in various colours from amethyst to forest green and measure 1” by 1”. I love the extra green touch of a selection of packaging options, from zero waste, through biodegradable low-impact packaging, up to gift wrap.

Each recycled glass heart pin costs $14.50 directly from Paloma Pottery.

Carved Hearts from English Brown Oak

Carved wood hear in English brown oakThe simplicity of these heart shapes along with the gorgeous grain of the wood is what makes these hearts appeal to me.

They’d be perfect for a romantic gift to someone who loves all things natural… and sustainable of course.

This wood was harvested from an 700 year old oak tree that came down in a storm on an English country estate – the full story of the wood is on the original Etsy listing.

The heart comes with a quotation inscribed around the edge, but this can be substituted by your own message or an alternative quotation if you prefer.

Crafted by Tim Nicholls of Woodpunk Designs in England, the wooden heart costs £40 or approx $64 via Etsy.

Felt Heart Decorations from South Africa

Heartfelt- heart decorationsSimple, elegant, bright and cheerful these heart decorations are exactly what I’d make myself for a friend’s Christmas present. Hand-made by the ladies of the Heartfelt project, they are full of love, just as if you’d made them yourself  – giving the extra the joy of a hand-made gift.

To tell the truth, I’m a little nose out of joint here, as Heartfelt was the name I’d picked in the unlikely event that I actually got around to creating a business out of my own felt sewing projects. I never did and they have, so I wish them very well with their initiative and am glad that they have so many lovely products to be worthy of such a brilliant name!

Heartfelt are a community initiative in South Africa, creating employment in a poor rural area and bringing new skills to the community. They create all sorts of felt products besides these (think magnets, keyrings, toys and mobiles) so go and browse for inspiration if you are looking for a special and individual gift. The website has a proper shopping cart and converts prices into several international currencies, so makes online shopping very easy – a welcome change from so many small sites and a sign of an efficient business!

These felt heart decorations cost R29 (about $3.50)

Hand-Painted Metal Heart Decoration

painted metal heart from IndiaI love finding unusual hand-made heart decorations and this one is a definite for my collection: bright colours, delicate detail and a lovely design that looks almost like embroidery. It measures 10cm (approx 4inches) across and is available in assorted colours and designs .

The painted heart comes from India, supplied by Fairtrade organisation The Little Feet Company. They donate 30% of their profits to social projects and orphanages in Central Vietnam and have strong links with that country. They are a UK-based website but have very reasonable postage rates worldwide.

This painted metal heart costs £5.00 (approx $8) from The Little Feet Company.

Hand-painted Kenyan Soapstone Hearts

Orange soapstone heart from KenyaThese funky soapstone hearts comes in several cheerful colours and designs.Sizes range from 1″ for the minis to 4″ for the large paperweights.

They are carved and painted by Kenyan men and women in a Fairtrade project that creates employment for around 800 families in rural Kenya. Soapstone is an amazing renewable resource when properly managed. It is hand-dug from pits where it naturally occurs. The pits are refilled after excavation and then left for 5-10 years when the soapstone reforms itself. The land is owned by the local people who work the soapstone and manage the land so that it stays in good condition. Mini soapstone hearts

And from all that sustainable care come these beautiful hearts: great gifts for the eco-conscious romantic in your life.

These soapstone  hearts are sold through One World Projects and cost from $6 to$12 according to size.

Venetian Glass Heart Earrings

Venetian Glass Heart EarringsToo rich and gorgeous to resist – these Venetian glass heart earrings just have to go with soft velvets, rich brocades, silks and satins… or just with a little black dress in sophisticated style.

They are hand-made with Venetian glass heart beads that have gold foil at the core and colored glass patterns in the next layer, set off by red Swarovski crystals and gold wire – jewels fit for  a princess.

As each heart bead is hand-made no two are the same. Each bead measures 13mm / ½ inch across and the earrings are light and comfortable to wear.

Heart Earrings cost $ 19.50 from Helen’s Adornments on Etsy

Off The Wall Folk Art Heart Clock

Hand-made heart clockQuirky time-pieces seem to be looking out for me right now – this wacky folk art heart clock is so off the wall it has to be on the wall… if you’ll excuse the terrible pun.

The clock is hand carved from wood by the artist in Massachusetts and then has various pieces added on to make it more sculptural – metal circles and wings and wood arrow and a pewter clock face as well as a pewter plaque declaring that Time Flies.

It’s quite large at 25” tall and 16” wide and would made an attention grabbing piece in any off-beat decor. I quite fancy it for my kitchen- it would certainly bring a smile to my face amid the morning breakfast rush, counting down till it’s time to dash out the door on the school run.

‘Time Flies’ Folk Art Heart Wall Clock, Carved Wood & Pewter, 25″costs $119.99 from Amazon.

Mexican Tin Heart Ornament

Mexican tin heart ornamentGorgeous and gaudy, these hand-made and hand-painted tin heart ornaments and plaques are a great way to add colour to your home. I love the energy of the bright colours and the fact that each one is slightly different, as they are all hand made by artists in Oaxaca in Mexico.

There are a wide variety of wall plaques and smaller tin heart ornaments too, which would be great to decorate Christmas trees.  They are bought directly from the artists and imported by Phil Saviano  at his website Viva Oaxaco Folk Art, based in Boston.

The tin heart plaque pictured measures 7” tall and costs $5.79.

Hand Carved Wood Heart

carved wood heartThis is what I’ve been looking for for ages… a beautiful and simple hand-carved wooden heart. Slightly distressed and with a beautiful grain showing through and a lovely warm glow, I love the way the walnut has been used so sympathetically.

This wood heart is big – 12″ by 14″ approx and 2″ thick, but the back is flat so it can be hung on the wall.

Valentine’s may be over but this would make a wonderful gift at any time of year – for an anniversary, a wedding gift, a birthday or just because.

Carved wood heart costs $135 from Treewiz on etsy

Decorative Ceramic Art With Heart

Ceramic Art Heart PlateIn honour of Valentine’s Day, I’ve chosen something really beautiful, and unattainable for most of us – a gorgeous ceramic decorative plate by South African-based artist Ruan Hoffman. It’s a one-off piece exclusively available from the art gallery of Anthropologie and costing a mere $498 – but free for all of us to look at!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you…. and don’t forget that hearts and romance are for all year round…. not just this one day of the year. xxxx

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