Thursday, February 4, 2010

Textures Gift Guide for Your Valentine

According to Wikipedia, Valentine's Day was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. February 14th has traditionally been a day when lovers express their feelings for each other.  And if you don't put at least a little thought into your gift choice for your beloved, you could be spending some time in the doghouse!

To avoid this potential problem, the artisans at Textures Craftworks have assembled these helpful shopping ideas that are sure to earn you a "gold star", and a blissful night ahead!

1.  Jewelry A traditional choice, but so much more thoughtful if you select something hand-crafted! 
Make sure you notice the kinds of jewelry the object of your affections wears day-to-day before making your choice.  Is it always silver?  Some people have a very strong preference for silver vs. gold.  Are ears pierced?  Do they wear bracelets regularly? These things can help you make the right selection from one of our many jewelry artisans, so spend a few days before going shopping to do your research! 

And if you really aren't prepared when you get here, we can still help you.  Just ask for a gift certificate, and then write a short note to your lover about giving them the gift of a "custom piece of jewelry, made to their very own specifications, by one of the jewelry artisans at Textures"!   Some samples by me, Sandra Rodwell:

2.  Flowers.  Also a perenial favourite.  You can't go wrong with it - and we don't sell fresh flowers. You can get those at La Jardinere, 246 Locke St. South  (Got my wedding flowers there, and they were fabulous!)

But, to up the "thoughtfulness factor" and prove that you put a little effort into this, stop by Textures first and pick up a great, handmade pottery vase.  Then walk two doors down to La Jardinere, and ask them to make a special arrangement for you using the lovely vase you just got at Textures!  Not only does your love receive beautiful flowers, but when the flowers are gone, your sweetie will remember you long after Valentine's Day when they get to use the lasting vase over and over!  Smart thinking...  we have plenty to choose from, including these by Tara Lynne Franco, and Lisa Skog.  *Note:  raku pottery is porous and not water-tight, so make sure to put another watertight container inside if you plan to use it for fresh flowers...

 p.s. We do have some really nice, handcrafted silk flowers by Sumi Nogami, who does traditional Japanese arts.

3.  Chocolates.  We also don't sell chocolate.  I am very sad about that.  You can get that just up the street at La Chocolaterie Forrat, 185 Locke St. South. (I recommend the dark chocolate chili truffles - mmmmmmm).

But again, before you go there, pop by Textures Craftworks to select a one-of-a-kind glass tray or bowl, or a piece of functional pottery on which to present your gift of fine chocolate!  These by Toni Major, and Peggy Dunmore:

4.  Stuffed animals.  Something we do have lots of!  Come and pick out one of Ruth Oldham's special knitted kitties, or maybe a Valentine "Honey Pot Bear" - each comes with a unique name, and is dressed in a cozy sweater and knitted pants and scarf.  Or if your valentine has a nostalgic bent, Textures has a wide selection of an old favourite - sock monkeys by Margo Griffith!  Cute stuff!                                                           

5.  The Gift of Warmth.  We have a varied selection of hand-knitted scarves, hats, slippers, socks and gloves, including the tube scarves by Diane Paquette and Ella May Russell that were recently featured in the Hamilton Spectator, as well as Diane Paquette's newest item- "Smitten Mittens" - a strange looking creation that allows lovers to hold hands while walking on a cold day, while sharing one mitten!  You must try it... 


 6.  Glass.  Present your amour with a celtic lovers knot, wrought in stained glass by Siobhan Lynch, and watch the sun shine on your relationship!  Or maybe a blown glass ball in an array of colours is more to your liking?  And finish things off with a collection of special handpainted glass magnets (by me) to prove your attraction is still strong...

7.  Cool Stuff for Guys.  Is it just me, or are guys tough to buy for?  No matter how difficult it is to pick out something for your man, chances are you can find something great for him at Textures!  I have found that men seem to naturally gravitate toward things such as wood, leather, stone and metal, and we have many items here made from those materials.

Try leather shearling hats and mitts by Lauch Harrison, or a hand-turned wood bowl or a computer brush by Malcolm Cumming.  Or maybe a leather bound journal by Sharon Beasley, or even a hand carved soapstone sculpture by John Tice might be the right thing?  We have it...  and if that doesn't work for your guy, you can select a manly mug by Toni Major (slip in a nice package of special coffee to finish off the gift!).


8.  Time.  Mark the days you spend together in a special way by giving a very special time piece- we have numerous watches and clocks to choose from, such as a chain maille watch by Rebecca Johnston, or maybe a beaded watch by Michele Mijatovic?  Or we also have spectacular raku pottery clocks by Lisa Skog, and whimsical "electronics" clocks by Sharon Beasley...

9.  Don't forget the kids!  Again, you can select one of Ruth Oldham's "Honey Pot Teddys" or one of her embroidered felt hearts with a surprise red candy sucker inside.  Or perhaps the little girl in your life would be delighted with a crocheted flower hair clip by Linda Somerville?  And for the boys, Linda has cute felt roll ups for carrying all their favourite Matchbox cars...

10.  Words of Love.  And by that, I mean a special art card from Textures!  We have many to choose from by different artisans.  Once you find the graphic that suits your partner, it's up to you to write a few words expressing how you feel.  Can't help you there - I don't know your sweetheart, and if I did, it might upset my sweetie!

What I can say is that most people think they can't write.  What you don't realize, though, is that if you write a few words from your heart, it should be the right thing.  If you still need help, find yourself some poetry for inspiration!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

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