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.

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.

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

Delicate Jade Swirl Blown Glass Heart

Blown Glass Heart in Jade MosaicI usually go for bright, rich colors, but there’s something about this blown glass heart ornament that captivates with its delicate swirl of ethereal shades. Elegant and mysterious with a mermaid quality.

It is hand-made in Seattle, Washington, by local artisans and as an extra point of interest all the Glass Eye Studio ornaments contain ash from the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens.

For Valentines Day they are offering a free blue velvet box with every heart ornament. Hand Blown glass heart ornament costs $24.99 from Glass Eye Studios through Made in Washington.

Personalised Wooden Heart Tokens

personalised wood heartWhat could be simpler and more meaningful than a red wooden heart carved with your loved one’s name and a kiss? Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other time of year, they could also be used as Christmas ornaments – get one for each of you, and one each for the kids too.

These are individually carved and painted to order. There is a huge range of options including larger wooden message hearts, which can have a romantic message of 6-8 words painted on. There is also a pretty range that would make fantastic wedding favours. They all come from UK site Country Hearts.

The red wooden heart pictured measures 3 ½ inches or 8cm high and costs GBP 6.50, about $10. It’s worth noting that delivery charges outside the UK aren’t cheap, so you’d have to order several items for it to be worthwhile.

Mouth Blown Glass Christmas Heart Ornament

hand blown glass heart ornamentChristmas ornaments aren’t the first thing you’d think of to give on Valentine’s Day, but this gorgeous paisley hand-crafted heart ornament is a collector’s piece and for someone who really loves real, old-fashioned, glass ornaments it would be a perfect choice.

It’s hand-made and decorated by Reed & Barton’s skilled artisans renowned for their beautiful quality and attention to detail. It measures 5.8 inches across and comes in a sturdy and elegant gift box to keep it safe in between holiday seasons.

This isn’t something for a family full of young kids or with pets that love playing with Christmas trees, but would be treasured by those loving old world style and beauty. Even better, by buying out of season you get a much better price, making it affordable when it might  usually be out of reach.

Reed & Barton Red Paisley Heart Blown Glass, Christmas Ornamentcurrently costs $39.55 down from $69, from Reed and Barton through Amazon.

Wooden Message Hearts For Valentine’s Day

Wooden Message HeartsHere’s an idea to really make your Valentine’s message unique – have it custom engraved on these little wooden heart ornaments. The hearts come with a set of fairly traditional Valentine messages on them, but you can opt to have your own set of words or phrases custom-engraved.

Get thinking creatively and come up with something unique to you both. Then you could send the hearts one by one through the post, so that she is bombarded by love; or decorate a little potted tree with the heart messages; tie them into a bouquet; string them on a ribbon; or just have the box delivered as it is!

The wooden hearts are laser cut, made from sustainably harvested Wisconsin woods and sealed with a non-toxic oil. A great eco-romantic gift that will last for ever.

The box with the 15 standard messages costs $24.95. It will cost a further $14.85 to have all the messages custom engraved to your requirements. From Timber Green Woods on Etsy.

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