Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's Day, done right

The big Two-Fourteen is around the corner - maybe you love it, maybe you hate it, maybe you are indifferent to it. I fall into the third category. Aside from gagging a little every time I catch a snippet of a Kay's, Jared, or Zales commercial on TV, I don't really mind it. It's just not a holiday I normally pay much attention to - probably because I am too busy thinking of ideas for all of the early February birthdays of friends and family (Feb. 1, 4, 5, 6, three on the 10th, and the big one - Evan's - on the 12th). 

But over the past couple of weeks I have seen many posts on my favorite blogs featuring  Valentine's Day themed craft projects and thoughtful ideas that have sucked me in, swept me off my feet, and left me vowing to get into the spirit next year. 

Take, for instance, these incredibly easy but sweet and thoughtful handmade valentine tea bags, featured on design*sponge:


And then there is Amy Merrick's Begonia Rex and Flowers: A Love Story, also at design*sponge, that makes me want to spend the weekend shopping for flowers and putting together small arrangements  to give to all my friends.  

All that gorgeousness tucked inside of a little salt shaker? I would swoon over this tiny bundle of beauty in a way that a dozen long stemmed roses could never do.

And speaking of roses. Could this arrangement be any more romantic? This would be such a beautiful gift - not only for Valentine's Day, but for any one of my several amethyst birthday friends this month.

Please check out the full post, and Amy's other posts on design*sponge to get the full effect of this woman's eye for beauty and style, especially when it comes to flowers. For me, they always trigger badly needed endorphins in this brutally cold and dreary February. Her blog is also wonderful.

The antique Valentines Day card in Amy's post is a good reminder that with a little hunting, or advanced planning, there is absolutely no reason to waste your money and time, in a rush, looking for the one tolerable card in a sea of generic and overly cheesy greeting cards at the drugstore, or even Target (though I will admit their selection is quite cute) when there's an endless supply of antique/vintage cards and postcards out there in antique and junk shops, or online.

Take these, for instance, from Etsy:

Sort of  progressive for such an old card, dont you think?

Antique cards and postcards just instantly seem more romantic and timeless to me - like maybe they would make their way into the recipient's box of "special" keepsake cards rather than going into the recycling bin after a sufficient amount of deference has been paid (one week? Two? Perhaps I shouldn't confess to such things publicly?).

I also love that some vintage cards can be quite quirky and odd (give me quirky over sappy any day):

Back when we threw our "Happy 100th Birthday, House!" party in December, I got really into finding cards, postcards and photographs from 1910 to use as decorations. There are a ton of interesting old photos out there, far more charming, and for far less money than a card at the drugstore, which would do the trick for conveying your thoughts on Valentine's Day.


I absolutely love this one. Talk about an action shot.

And this one! What a find for Valentine's Day, with old vintage scrapbook corners still in place (if not entirely in tact).

And if you were up for a splurge, how excited would you be to receive this from your main squeeze, friend, or relative?!

All of this is not to say that we can't be friends if you prefer modern cards - whether clever, witty or just plain beautiful - for Valentine's Day. Here in Buffalo you can find excellent card selections at Talking Leaves Books, Everything Elmwood, and a number of other boutique shops.

Not to mention the 624 options you get when searching for handmade letterpress Valentine's Day cards on Etsy.

A few of my favorites:

If you're in the mood for something other than red.

 A little morbid maybe, but I couldn't resist. I love that the little steam bubbles form a heart.

I love that this one is called "A love aquatic."

Some of the letterpress cards may be a bit more expensive than the Hallmark or American Greetings cards you'll find at Walgreens, but they are handmade, beautifully done, and even frame-worthy.

While at this point it's probably too late to order anything in time for Valentine's Day 2011, they've inspired me to get on the ball for 2012.

Oh, and one more easy, sweet gift idea before I go - this one brought to you courtesy of Martha Stewart:

Here's to receiving or creating something special this 2-14. (Or maybe 2-14-2012).



  1. Oh god, that kissing photo is so good :)

  2. Yes, give me quirky over sappy any day! If it weren't for the many cheeky/artsy Valentine's blog posts, I wouldn't appreciate this holiday for the first time.

    Be it with friends or lovers, enjoy yours!

  3. I'm liking this post for so many reasons!

    1) Kay / Jared / hahahaha.
    2) I have sooo many friends with birthdays in February...definitely my poorest month!
    3) Love your quirky card picks! And the letterpress ones are gorgeous, my favorite is the Secret Admirer one. :)

  4. Yay - comments! Thank you all so much! As someone new to blogging, they make my day! Glad you all enjoyed the post.