Monday, January 26, 2009

Etsy Feature: Hearts

I'm really getting excited for Valentine's Day this year. I usually don't make too big a deal out of it, getting Pat a little something (usually alcohol and candy) and making a nice dinner. This year though, I'm really anticipating it. Maybe it's because I won a one night's stay at a fancy hotel in town, which we've redeemed for V-day. Once plans are made, it's easy to get excited over a holiday.

Of course, Etsy is a place of endless inspiration (and procrastination) and I've been browsing Valentine's Day things for the past week. Today I'm going to show you some of my favourites.

First up is this sleek necklace by locallibrary. I love the contrast of oxidized silver or black gunmetal against bright silver. This necklace is so sweet and simple, it's completely wearable. In fact, I'd be hard-pressed to find something I didn't want to wear this with!

Here's another absolutely stunning necklace. In fact, this is a heart-shaped locket, made by mompotter. I love lockets - their mystery is always so charming and I like being able to keep a little secret something close to my heart. That pink burst of beads is perfect against the dark silver metal and the flowery etching just make it all that much more special.

While we're looking at necklace, I may as well show you this pendant. You guessed it - it's another heart. This one is made by ccvalenzo. It's a gorgeous frosty colour, and made with dichroic glass. I love the look of dichroic fused glass! It gives such a lovely shimmer and shine to the glass, and gleams with various colours in different lighting. This heart in particular shows how it adds dimension and light to virtually colourless glass.

Here's another look at glass with this funky lampwork heart pendant by lorilochner. I'm always so in awe of glass-workers. It's something I've never tried, but would love to. Or at least I'd like to see the process of lampwork, and see the beads take shape. In particular, I love the unique shape of this heart, especially the tilt of the very tip of the tail end. I also really like this swirl of colours, and think the copper ring looks perfect with it. Very psychedelic, but in a good way!

First off, Geninne has been a favourite of mine for a long time. I have her bird print #21. And if anyone knows me, they'll know that it won't be long before I cave to the temptation to buy this beautiful Bunny Kisses print. I love bunnies! At one point, we even had a little white bunny, Jasper, along with Rosemary (who's coat is black), making this piece even more significant to me!

Mixed media prints always capture my attention because there is usually much detail and layering to the piece, letting you look at it again and again without getting bored. I especially love Geninne use of vintage postcards and ads, and the drawing she often adds to them enhance their charm.

Speaking of cute little birds, have you seen these little dishes around Etsy yet? Maybe you've seen some similar heart designs by PrinceDesignUK, who has a few white plates printed with a multitude of little red hearts, as well as these adorable little birds. There's nothing like a repeated pattern to instill a little harmony, and why not little red hearts? In fact, the heart plates would look quite stunning mixed in with some plain white flatware for Valentine's dinner.

Of course, the fact that these ones are shaped like little birds only makes them sweeter!

Now I've already purchased the Valentine's Day card I want to give to Pat (this one made by my friend Angie), but that doesn't stop me from looking at all the other gorgeous cards on Etsy. I might just get one for my mom...

I love cards with peep-holes. They make you anticipate opening them, wondering what the inside will reveal. This "Be Mine" one by paperdragonfly is especially charming!

The best cards are hard to find. They're not wordy or ornate. They feature a simple design that captures your attention and gets your message across. As I've mentioned above, I especially love a repeated pattern that communicate a sense of balance and motion. This card has a simple repeated phrase to communicate your wish - and to highlight a hidden message: "Valentine".

Here's another fine example of a great card from papertigerdesigns. Again, a simple reccuring design, this time in X's and O's. The bright contrast between the red and white makes this card particularly eye-catching.

A heart filled with hugs and kisses. Now isn't that a wonderful message to convey to your loved one?

This card is letterpress. Again, this is another artform that I absolutely love yet have never tried. There's just such a clean, crisp look to letterpress that can't be beat.

Well, that's it for now. I'm sure in a week or two I'll have accumulated enough favourites to make another Valentine's Day themed feature. Please be sure to check out the amazing artists behind these finds, and let me know which one's your favourite!

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