Ok, I’ll admit it – I am a romantic. Not your stereotypical “roses and sonnets” romantic, but an optimistic, lover-of-love just the same. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting flowers as much as the next girl, but it tends to be the off-beat that makes my heart skip-a-beat. One of the most romantic gifts that I ever received wasn’t a piece of sparkly jewelry or a candlelit dinner in a fancy restaurant, but a group of googly-eyed rocks placed around my garden by a certain handsome fella. Given the fact that my idea of a romantic hero is less Romeo Montague and more Lloyd Dobbler, it should come as no surprise that he (and the rocks) won my heart. I suppose that little story serves to explain why I adore all of this week’s handmade finds so much.
“I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen” – Say Anything
Created without a pattern and made from a combination of upcycled and new materials, Love Bunny (above) from Design Lab 443, is quirky-cool (and adorably eco-friendly!) Tracy, a busy mom and talented graphic designer, creates fresh and original items like these out of a love for making “something out of nothing”. Be sure to check out her blog for a sneak-peek of what’s she’s currently working on, as well as a glimpse of all the things she holds dear.
“That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.” And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.” – The Princess Bride
At first glance, this pillow (above) reads “As you wish”, but anyone who is familiar with the timeless love story of Buttercup and Westley will know that what it really says is “I love you”. With a pocket in the back to hold a token of your affection or perhaps a love note, this upcycled heart has been lovingly fashioned from a wool suit coat and can even be scented with your choice of essential oil. Kendra of By Hand at Home can even create a custom heart for your sweetheart; just contact her through her shop for details.
“It doesn’t matter if the guy is perfect or the girl is perfect, as long as they are perfect for each other.”- Good Will Hunting
One thing that I love about handmade items is that no two are ever exactly alike. To me, the beauty lies in the differences that exist between one item to the next. These little works of art, like the one above, by Recycled Art Company embrace that concept to the fullest. Handmade with reclaimed wood and salvaged license plates, each one is perfectly, or rather, imperfectly unique. Not surprisingly, the story behind Recycled Art Company is a love story in itself. Working their way through grad school with two young children in tow, the creative “tree-huggers” behind the art are celebrating 12 years of marriage and partnership. The passion and enthusiasm that they share is truly evident in the fun, whimsical pieces that they create.
“Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.“ – Wizard of Oz
According to that logic, I suppose this pillow by Raging Wool is as practical as can be. Made from hundreds of strips of pure cashmere, recycled from thrifted sweaters and inserted by hand into a base of 100% wool (also upcycled), it is as soft and touchable as it is lovely to look at. The clever person responsible for the creation of this one-of-a-kind piece is Peg, a mother of three and self-described “fiber junkie”. A quick browse around her shop is all you need to see the care and patience that goes into each item. And, just like all of this week’s featured shops – you can feel the love. <3