Loved to Death is definitely in my top five favorites for Etsy shops. I grew up on a small farm in a heavily forested area in the country and my first job title when I turned 17 was "Companion Animal Specialist" at a local pet shop. I cared for the "cute" animals, as well as the less commonly considered cute ones such as mice, rats, birds, reptiles, and creepy crawlers. Needless to say, between the forest/farm life and petshop life, I developed an affinity for all little forest and field creatures.
Loved To Death seeks to celebrate the life of these beloved creatures by memorializing parts of them in their Victorian inspired jewelry and artwork; they use only professionally preserved animal parts that would otherwise be thrown away. A gold gilded parakeet skull here, a Swarovski crystal bearing mouse paw there, new life for teeth and bones and paws everywhere!
While these creations may bring to mind words like "morbid" or "gothic," I think they also conjure up words like "mysterious," "avante garde," "intriguing," and "alluring." I love the stark contrast of the beautiful Victorian filigree and the death. Combined, they seem more alive than ever. One of these days, when I can afford it, I am going to buy that mouse paw locket and wear it with pretty dresses and pride. :)
PS This post dedicated to the memory of my little pet pals Joon (above) and August (below) who died within a couple weeks of eachother around the time I was 19. Even little rats suffer broken hearts!