My keepsake hearts: how it all began

The other day I was trying to remember how my keepsake heart idea came to fruition and it all started with our purchase of a bandsaw in 2009, which pretty much changed our woodworking lives.  John was preparing to begin his instrument making future.  It has opened so many doors for us and the very first item made from it was this heart from John to me.  It inspired me with the idea that I could make keepsake hearts.  John wanted me to do the inlays for his instruments, so my idea to learn inlay was to inlay mother-of-pearl designs into the hearts.  What better than a heart in a heart, twice the love.

 bass guitar made by John, inlayed by me

bass guitar made by John, inlayed by me

 My first heart design:  purpleheart wood heart with golden mother-of-pearl heart inlay (approx. 3").

My first heart design:  purpleheart wood heart with golden mother-of-pearl heart inlay (approx. 3").

WE LOVE WOOD!!!

Now that we had the bandsaw, we could buy blocks of exotic hardwoods and resaw to slices that I could cut hearts out with my scroll saw.  I wanted to highlight the beautiful, intricate exotic woods.  Right now I don't put any stain or paint on them, the wood designs are just intensified with a poly finish.  One year I sent my Christmas cards with a curly maple heart, brightly splotched with multi colors as a kind-of tie-dye, but other than that do not paint/stain them.

 2016 new hearts, unfinished tiger caspi, ready for sanding and inlay (approx. 1.5").

2016 new hearts, unfinished tiger caspi, ready for sanding and inlay (approx. 1.5").

 Throughout the past few years, I have added to my signature heart design with various holiday themes: Christmas tree inlays, shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day and my idea from last year of mosaic inlays. 

 purpleheart wood heart with golden mother-of-pearl (dyed green) shamrock inlay

purpleheart wood heart with golden mother-of-pearl (dyed green) shamrock inlay

I recently added special orders for hearts with initials in rememberance of a loved one.

 bandsaw with first sawing

bandsaw with first sawing

 various hardwoods in block and resawn by bandsaw and sitting on a table saw

various hardwoods in block and resawn by bandsaw and sitting on a table saw

 Hard to see with the glare, but I am cutting inlay with my handsaw.

Hard to see with the glare, but I am cutting inlay with my handsaw.

 purpleheart wood heart with abalone mosaic tree inlay

purpleheart wood heart with abalone mosaic tree inlay

 purpleheart wood heart with tree mosaic inlay of golden mother-of-pearl

purpleheart wood heart with tree mosaic inlay of golden mother-of-pearl

I would like to encourage you to bring things in to you to really look and feel them.  Sometimes smaller will enable you to feel and handle and closely look at things.  A small, smooth, cool heart with inlay being touched with your fingers can comfort.  Or try just a small, full bouquet of flowers, sitting close to you, on your desk and you can see with detail the intricate beauty of them.  Or perhaps a small, soft, plush bag with special trinkets inside to delight.  Small is all.