Chef and Sue by Ann Edwards

Ann Edwards is a British artist from Blackpool, now living in Oxfordshire, whose creations have appeared on tea towels, aprons and other kitchen linens by Ulster Weavers which you might have seen on the Heart to Home website, including the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer design.

Her Chef and Sue cartoons are updated regularly on Facebook so go along and “like” the page if you like these recent examples.

“Something to brighten a dull day”

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Ablutophobia – the fear of housework

Ablutophobia by Ann EdwardsHappy Families

Happy Families by Ann Edwards

Ergophobia – the Fear of Work

Ergophobia by Ann Edwards

50 British Textile Designers’ Websites for Inspiration

claireabaker.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

claireabaker.co.uk

charlottegrierson.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

charlottegrierson.com

caitlinhinshelwood.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

caitlinhinshelwood.co.uk

bottega-yu.net - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

bottega-yu.net

aotextiles.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

aotextiles.com

annajoe.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

annajoe.co.uk

angielewin.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

angielewin.co.uk

andreawilliamson.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

andreawilliamson.co.uk

alisonyuletextiles.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

alisonyuletextiles.co.uk

alicestevenson.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

alicestevenson.com

adamgoodchild.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

adamgoodchild.co.uk

zoehowarth.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

zoehowarth.com

wfleckner.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

wfleckner.com

susiewatsondesigns.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

susiewatsondesigns.co.uk

studioisabel.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

studioisabel.co.uk

stuartmorris.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

stuartmorris.co.uk

sophieallport.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

sophieallport.com

snowdenflood.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

snowdenflood.com

SharonKearley.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

SharonKearley.com

rachelchilddesigns.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

rachelchilddesigns.co.uk

pippacunningham.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

pippacunningham.co.uk

parriswakefieldadditions.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

parriswakefieldadditions.com

nigel-atkinson.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

nigel-atkinson.co.uk

NasonWeb.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

NasonWeb.co.uk

mcconnelldesign.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

mcconnelldesign.co.uk

marramstudio.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

marramstudio.com

letoariadne.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

letoariadne.com

laurenmoriarty.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

laurenmoriarty.co.uk

klaush.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

klaush.com

Kirsten.Glasbrook.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

Kirsten.Glasbrook.com

karenfreedman.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

karenfreedman.co.uk

jodyroberts.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

jodyroberts.co.uk

jennyarnott.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

jennyarnott.co.uk

jenniferbates.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

jenniferbates.co.uk

hikarunoguchi.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

hikarunoguchi.com

HeidiLichterman.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

HeidiLichterman.co.uk

HandWovenRugs.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

HandWovenRugs.co.uk

FleurDesign.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

FleurDesign.co.uk

erinflett.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

erinflett.com

enlacer.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

enlacer.co.uk

emilybond.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

emilybond.co.uk

emillustrates.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

emillustrates.com

elladoran.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

elladoran.co.uk

elizabethashdown.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

elizabethashdown.co.uk

donnawilson.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

donnawilson.com

donnawilson.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

donnawilson.com

dimarsart.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

dimarsart.co.uk

designbyeb.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

designbyeb.com

dashandmiller.com - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

dashandmiller.com

craigfellows.co.uk - 50 British Textiles Designers' websites for Inspiration

craigfellows.co.uk

Why is the heart a symbol of love?

Why is the heart a symbol of love?

It occurred to me this week that I have no idea why the heart is a symbol of love. Without thinking why, I have always recognised the heart as an iconic representation of the nature of love – the two things are inextricably linked in my mind, as of course they are for most people in this country.

But this thought throws up several questions:

Why do we consider the heart as the source of love and other strong emotions?

Is this association universal, or is it just a connection that originates in the Western world?

When did people start to link the heart to the emotions?

When did we start to use the phrase “love heart” and the physiologically inaccurate “heart shape” that isn’t really the shape of a heart at all?

I’ve no idea of the answer to these questions but fortunately the internet provides a good few answers – although they’re not always in agreement.

When?

Wikipedia is obviously a good starting point.

Roman de la poire heart metaphor.jpgApparently there’s a symbol of a human heart as a metaphor for love in a mid-13th Century illuminated manuscript. So that gives us an idea of the answer to the question “When did the heart become a symbol of love?” but it certainly doesn’t tell us why. And nor is it by any means what we’d recognise as a “heart shape”. Indeed, the Wikipedia entry describes this particular heart as resembling “a pine-cone held upside-down, the point facing downward”.

The symbol itself apparently dates back far further than any written or even spoken language. According to The Heart in History, an article published by PBS (the US home of public radio and television), a symbol clearly recognisable as a heart was used by Cro-Magnon hunters in Europe, but of course we have no way of knowing “what meaning it held for them”.

Why?

A page in The Guardian newspaper’s Notes and Queries section poses a few suggestions as to why the heart is linked to emotion and therefore a symbol of love.  Allan from Wimbledon says that in the 2nd Century BC, Egyptian physicians studied the paths of the nerves in the human body and found that “the vast majority seemed to lead to the solar plexus in the chest. This gave rise to the theory that the heart was the seat of emotion and reason”.
Cyrenecoin.jpg
Sounds like a “common sense” answer, but elsewhere, an article by Keelin McDonell at slate.com proposes an alternative. An image resembling a heart can be seen on coins issued in the ancient Greek settlement Cyrene (in present-day Libya). But the symbol is not a representation of a human heart – it’s a seed pod from a now-extinct plant called silphium, a medicinal herb so valuable in its day that it was harvested to extinction. The rather grim truth is that siliphium was used as a birth control measure by inducing a miscarriage. “The theory goes,” says McDonell, “that the heart shape first became associated with sex, and eventually, with love.” So if that theory is correct, it means a “heart shape” isn’t a heart at all – it’s a seed pod.

Where?

So, is the heart symbol universally associated with love and emotion? Almost, according to cardiologist Professor Dr. Armin Dietz, who has written a book on the Cultural History of the Human Heart.

His website calls the heart “probably the most popular non-geometric symbol” in the world “besides the cross”. According to his studies, “the red card-game heart as symbol of spiritual and physical love” spread from Europe across the world thanks in large part to “the Sacred-Heart cult as a religious sign which the Jesuits spread across the world”.

“Interestingly,” he goes on, “in Buddhism the playing-card heart also developed – independently of the Western metamorphosis – from the fig tree (the bodhi tree) into the symbol not of love, but of enlightenment. It was under such a tree that the ascetic Gautama found liberating enlightenment through years of meditation and became the Buddha.”

But while much of China’s cultural foundation comes from Buddhism, there could be a link between love and hearts in Chinese tradition.

“Guess what?” asks to the charmingly ebullient copywriter for the website goodcharacters.com, “When you pay close attention to the Chinese character, or hanzi, for Love you will notice a heart right in the middle of it! Amazing, isn’t it?”

Of course, it’s the nature of symbols that people will see them wherever they look, as you’ll find if you visit the website thingswithfaces.com:

http://www.thingswithfaces.com/

It’s human nature to interpret the world in terms of stories and feelings and particular sights inspire drama and a sense of wonder and others, like this aerial view of a residential street in San Mateo County, California, just, well, warm your heart:

Bing Maps Bird’s Eye view: Heart-shaped neighborhood in San Bruno California


Who We Are…

If you are looking for a gift for a loved one or just something special for your own kitchen or dining room that’s a joy to own, we’d be most grateful of you’d visit our website or “like” us on Facebook.

Why is the heart a symbol of love?

Heart to Home Prize Giveaway in Association with Cakeyboi

Heart to Home prize giveaway in association with Cakeyboi

Heart to Home prize giveaway in association with Cakeyboi

We’re very pleased to be hooking up with talented triple-threat baker, blogger and cartoonist Cakeyboi to offer his readers and fans an opportunity to win an adorable Sophie Allport Chickens cup and saucer set with four matching cotton napkins.

Together this prize is worth £28 and all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning it is to leave a comment on Cakeyboi’s raffle prize giveaway page.

But that’s not all you’ll find there. We’ve also offered Cakeyboi’s readers a special, limited-time Heart to Home discount code. And we wouldn’t want you to miss out on that. So get along to Cakeyboi.com and find out how much you can save.

Good luck in the prize draw!

Happy New Year from Heart to Home

Happy new year!

2012 has been quite a year for our little business. Thank you for all your support. Here’s to 2013. <3

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Heart to Home shop Wetherby
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Do keep in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook.

Heart to Home brings you lovely things for the kitchen and dining room. Our website is here.

Finding our own sense of style

country kitchen collection

How would you define your sense of style? Heart to Home has been in the business of supplying lovely furnishings for nearly two years now and, in that time, we think we’ve found a definite style of our own. We now head off to trade shows and fairs with a clear vision of the types of stock we want to source for our shop and our lovely customers. But it wasn’t always so easy!

When we first started out, the two of us would stock a bit of this, a bit of that. We had our specialist areas, of course (we’ve always been known for table linens, aprons, napkins and tea cosies!) but we never felt completely settled on a style. Put it this way: we couldn’t have described the Heart to Home style in one sentence, had you asked us to.

Now, two years on, it’s a different story. We know what works, and what doesn’t. We are confident in our ability to source and stock the items our customers will love, and we’re proven right when items fly off the shelves as fast as we get them in. It’s a lovely feeling!

It’s also a lovely feeling to open the door of the shop and turn on the lights and see a really cohesive, “put-together” collection of items for sale. There’s not one corner of the shop (or page on the website) which we look at and think “hm, but does it really fit?” Everything we stock is most definitely Heart to Home, and our customers know what they’ll find when they visit our shop or our website. We bring you beautiful, traditional, stylish items with a country-living feel and it’s interesting (and gratifying) to see shop visitors gravitate towards our most popular items time and time again.

collectable cups mugs fine china

It’s lovely to note that the things we like are the things you like, too! It makes it such a pleasure to help you find that perfect gift, or that lovely item for your own home. Voyages, Sophie Allport, Susie Watson… they are all wonderfully designed, beautifully made items and we’re glad you appreciate the quality as much as we do.

So, how about you? How did you develop your sense of style, and how do you shop for items and dress your home so your decor is perfectly “you”?

Do head over to the website and keep in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news.

Heart to Home brings you lovely things for the kitchen and dining room. Our website is here.