Monday, February 8, 2010

What Do Cobwebs, Birdcages, and Beehives Have in Common?

They are all names of a particular love token of the 1800s. Often called cobweb, birdcage, or beehive valentines, these delicate tokens of love were popular during the early to mid 19th century. Most featured a watercolor or lithographed image on the front, then opened to another work of art (or a poem) on the inside. This work of art was cut in intricate detail and had a string attached to the center. When the string was carefully lifted, the artwork magically spiraled open to reveal a third image underneath.

(Above photo sources unknown. These were in my antique valentines folder, many of which were sent to me from people who knew I was interested in researching them.)

When I first started making them a few years ago, I learned by looking at antiques in reference books and by trial and error. Today when I was searching for photos of antiques online, I ran across several tutorials. Hmmm, those sure would have come in handy back then!

The cobweb valentines that I make are influenced by the antiques, but have my own style and color preferences.

I listed several on my website, Honeysuckle Lane, tonight as well as a few more puzzle purse valentines.

And again, I am inspired by the antiques, but try to add my own style to them.

I also made one more framed love token which sold first thing (thank you P :) !).

I had been saving this Victorian red velvet frame for some time, just waiting for an idea of how to incorporate it with the things I make.

I thought the heart in hand would look pretty in the oval shape.

And I really liked the worn areas on the frame ~ perfectly aged and worn!

I added a touch of aqua to the piece, used coordinating ribbon and it was complete! I wish I could find more old velvet frames like this one, but so far I have not found any.

 This finishes my Valentines updates this year... in a way. I will be making more love token paperweights to list in my Simple Joys Paperie etsy shop, as love is never out of season.

In between working on orders, I will be designing some new things for spring, which isn't that far away, you know! :)

Thanks so much for hanging around and reading all my ramblings.
I'll be back in just a few more days.

Take Care & God Bless,


  1. that is just really so cool! I would have never seen or heard of such a thing before this wonderful world of bloggerland :)

  2. Oh I like the heart in hand in the red velvet frame...I have a thing for hands...

  3. Lana, these are just beautiful! You have such talent! Your photography is always so wonderful too! Have a great day, Kim

  4. Beautiful post Lana, great information on the spirial technique,your photos are perfect!

  5. Hi Lana,
    They are all FANTASTIC!!!! I just love the red velvet frame!!!

  6. These are all so pretty. I have been researching old Valentines too, and almost every time I do, your lovely things are among the first that the search engine finds. I think those of us who love the thought of the past, and old things often walk down the same path when it comes to such things. I often think about collecting handmade paper Valentines to frame. I can't afford the antique ones, but so many folks make such lovely ones that look old, now. I've been making woven hearts in hands to give as gifts this Valentine's Day, and last year, I received a lovely puzzle purse. My hearts are much more simple than yours. I really like the idea of these cobwebs, especially when used as a beehive. Your work is so wonderful Lana.

  7. OMG I love them all. I especially love the red velvet pillow with the hand and frame.,, Red is my signature color. If I could I would probably paint my house red but folks might get the wrong idea. Can I put my stamp of "I Want It" now before you send it to market? You can email me.