Friday, February 08, 2002

The Insatiable Shopper

Put personal touch on Valentine's Day

By Joy Kraft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        There are roses and diamonds. And chocolates, of course.

        But if you really want to impress your honey, put a personal twist on your Valentine's Day gift this year.

        Hide that sapphire — carefully — into a box of Graeter's or Aglamesis sweets.

        Tuck a tiny teddy into a dozen blood-red roses.

        Get your lover's name — or marriage proposal — engraved on a bottle of bubbly at the Pewter Place Engravery in Kenwood Towne Centre or Schwartz Jewelers in Western Hills.

        Or take your toots to the top of your world — or Carew Tower anyway — and present him or her with a single rose.

        Bundle up and pack a winter picnic to enjoy in the park.

        Meet for a sunset toast at 6:14 p.m. at the top of something — a restaurant, a park hill, your apartment building.

        There's romance everywhere come Feb. 14. Here are 14 tips for different ways to say “Be mine.”

        1. Let your body do the talking with Body Talk Temporary Word Tattoos that provide more than 800 words and symbols. If that's not enough, there are individual letters so you can customize your message and press it in place with a wet cloth. Tattoos remove easily with alcohol or water. $15.85 at Friends of the Library gift shop, downtown, 369-6920.

        2. Hearts bloom on cotton drawstring loungers from the Gap and Old Navy, $12.50-$29.50. Both stores have several styles, plus silk boxers, sleep T's and underwear scattered with hearts. $5.50-$14.50 .

        3. Anne B. Simon, owner of the Wish in Clifton, has a stunning collection of art glass folded into elegant shapes that can be used as a vase, candleholder or centerpiece. Be sure to check out the wall lanterns she designed, the wall sconces by Jaimie Frechette and the enameled night lights. $26-$40. 3239 Jefferson Ave.. 961-1395.

        4. Jot down 50 things you love about your Valentine on each of the bright, red pages of this 3-by-4-inch black notebook with a heart punched out of the cover, $4.95. Tuck it in your special heartthrob's briefcase or purse. From the Friends of the Public Library gift shop, downtown. 369-6920.

        5. You always will be “on hand” for your Valentine when you slide your photo in the locket cover of the New Enforcer stainless steel watch from Storm, an English company known for its clever, quirky designs. $90 at the new Metronation, 824 Elm St., downtown; 564-0095.

        6. Original art doesn't have to be expensive. We found a small watercolor, Violets in Glass, for $70 by Nancy Nordloh Neville at Pleasant Perk coffeehouse, 6105 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge. This month the shop is displaying Stewart Hyde photographs from Cincinnati and around the world. Ms. Neville's works can be found at Framed Concepts Inc., 7831 Cooper Road, Montgomery, or her studio at Pendleton Art Center. 351-7202.

        7. A sterling silver coney-dog charm on a key chain, bracelet or necklace IDs your honey as a chili fan in case of a hunger emergency. The $55 charm comes with a $5 Skyline gift certificate at Litwin Jewelers, 725 Race St., downtown. They had it made just for their shop. 14k gold, $175. 621-1123.

        8. Colorful clocks made from original artwork prints by Paper, Scissor, Rock are so light they can be hung from a push pin. This friendship timepiece is by Northwest artist Pamela Corwin. $24.95 at the Friends of the Public Library gift shop, downtown. 369-6920.

        9. Michael Fisher of Heartwood Creations, Rockport, Ill., made his first Secret Box for a sweetheart and tucked a love note inside. You can do the same, hiding a gem, a key or an original love poem in one of his carved woodworks. Each hand-made box has a tiny heart on the back. Various sizes, $9 and up, at A Show of Hands, Kenwood Towne Centre. Look for heart-shaped puzzle boxes, too.

        10. The handmade Mapenzi soapstone love carving by the Kisii tribe in Kenya portrays the smooth, ever-flowing relationship between two lovers in an everlasting stone dance. $18 at Kilimanjaro, 310 Ludlow Ave., Clifton. 221-0700.

        11. We're still in love with the red, white and blue — here in a cotton canvas bag with denim and ribbon trim and rhinestone flag-heart from Charter Club at Lazarus. $27 and up, depending on size.

        12. Steal a snapshot from your honeymoon spot and secret it — or one of your wedding invitations — to a neighborhood framer for a gift guaranteed to melt a heart. Take along some ribbon, tickets, pressed flowers or mementos from a special event to be included in the design. This invitation is from Framed Concepts Inc., 7831 Cooper Road, Montgomery.

        13. Remind your reader of your special love story every time he or she opens a book with this big, red, clip-over-the-page heart from Bookmark. $2.95 at Joseph Beth Booksellers, Norwood, and Friends of the Public Library gift shop, downtown.

        14. The oldest love story gone awry — Adam and Eve — is captured on this metal switch plate fashioned by designer/craftswoman Leandra Drum of Akron. Her work, and that of her parents, Don and Lisa Drum, is available at A Show of Hands, which specializes in the works of Ohio artisans. $49. Kenwood Towne Centre.


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