Sunday, December 7, 2008
Tanya Writes About Swedish Woven Hearts
Oh, I'm not a bit Swedish, but I've long loved these woven paper heart baskets. For being so simple, they are so simply festive during the holidays. I can just picture them adding Christmas cheer on the prairie in Cactus Rose's favorite time period--the 19th century. A homespun craft made from materials close at hand.
Years ago, I helped a seventh grade class make them while I was a substitute teacher, so I know it can be done LOL. And one of my favorite places to visit, a little Danish enclave about an hour north of us called Solvang, honors all aspects of Scandinavian culture, and the heart baskets appear frequently about town--especially at Christmastime.
In my first novel, The Outlaw's Woman, the outlaw (who of course is A Good Guy) snowbounds himself at gunpoint with a beautiful widow in her cozy Nebraska farmhouse. He wiles away the time until it's safe for him to escape and shows her how to weave them.
After he's long gone and she pines for him, she makes them to decorate her house when Christmas comes. I even made a few for a book signing.
They aren't all that hard to make...but it does take a little bit of practice. Called jhartkorgar, they'll be hung on the Christmas tree in Sweden and filled with candy or little gifts. Mini jhartkorgar can be strung together to make garlands for the tree.
Hilltown Families, a grassroots network for families living in Weston MA has kindly let me use their directions for this project. And Hilltown welcomes writers and artists to share their work...so check them out and see if your creativity is a fit!
(The directions uploaded a tad small, so click here as needed, or open the picture in a new window.)
Another fine site, Craft Ideas, has a template for making the sides of each heart.
And of course, you can construct them in pink and white for Valentine's Day.
Now, how about making a few woven hearts and hanging one on each of your neighbor's doorknobs on Christmas Eve filled with a tasty treat?