February 8, 2013

Scandinavian Hearts

The xmas card tree got a somewhat seasonal makeover. From what I can gather, these woven hearts are a traditional Scandinavian decoration used as Christmas ornaments. But they do make nice little Valentine's Day decor or gift bags the perfect size for a handful of candy. 

OK, Mum (and others), before you start wondering if I got hit on the head to suddenly embrace all things Hallmark-y and lovey-dovey, don't worry. My cynicism is safely in place. It's just that these little heart baskets are great fun to upcycle from waste paper or scrap fabric. And since they are a Scandinavian tradition, not intended as a Valentine's Day symbol, I can (almost) convince myself that making them is not capitulating to commercialized, schlocky, forced, sugar-coated "love." I say ALMOST, because I delivered this first batch to sell at Art Shop for V-Day. Yep. I'm a conflicted sell out.

I first saw the hearts at maya*made. I love Maya's upcycling projects. (Not to mention her photographs of the barn her mother converted into a house and studio! Drool.) She provides a tutorial here. For more in depth weaving instructions, it's a bit fiddly and confusing at first to insert the strips inside each other, visit Gingerbread Snowflakes. Also check out the template for weaving with felt or similarly thick material by Anjie at Pom Pom Emporium. If you make these, I bet you can't stop with just one. C'mon, try it. 

I made all of the pictured hearts from rectangles 7.5 inches long & 2.5 inches wide, with 4 strips (3 cuts); two cuts 5/8 inch in from each side and one cut centered at 1.25 inches. All the ones pictured above in the branches are paper. The flower/type one below is paper and the two red/cream hearts with striped hangers are fabric (old shirt and former lining from a destroyed clothes hamper).

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