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Gifts From the (Throbbing) Heart

February 3, 2022

By Nancy McKeon

ST. VALENTINE’S Day is a bit more than a week away, time enough to find something not quite so last-minute for once.

LEFT: Zebras don’t necessarily bring St. Valentine to mind, but Scalamandre’s iconic zebras (and arrows) bring super-chic style to the powder room (package of 15 paper guest towels, $7.95) or the living room (package of 20 cocktail napkins, $5.50, or luncheon napkins, $6.95). At Caspari Online.

RIGHT: What says “unconditional love” better than a parade of pups? (Okay, there’s a kitty or two in there as well, which is fine as long as they behave themselves.) The paper house Caspari has this “Valentine Parade” design by Japanese illustrator Masaki Ryo produced in Germany using food-safe ink and non-toxic, water-soluble dyes. Packages of 20 paper luncheon napkins are $6.95; a box of 40 cocktail napkins is $13, a package of 20, $5.50. All at Caspari Online.

A picture of you, or the two of you, won’t seem so pedestrian if it comes in one of these sumptuous 24-karat-goldplated, leather-backed frames from L’Objet.
LEFT: The tailored Concorde frame is $395 or $650, depending on photo size (4×6 or 8×10), available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
RIGHT: Handcrafted Gold Garland is $325 or $385 (4×6 or 5×7), from Neiman Marcus.
From Etsy, the Huggy Candle by CaiCai Handmade. Available in light mocha (shown) and ivory (undyed). Unscented it’s $21.50, scented (a choice of three scents), $23. At Etsy.
Let’s show the manatee some love! We know this sweet-tempered aquatic mammal is threatened, mostly by us. A symbolic Manatee Adoption for $60 through the World Wildlife Fund can help. The 16-inch-long plush creature, also called a sea cow, comes with a photo of the adopted species, information and a nice gift bag. Go to wwf.org.
Beauty columnist Valerie Monroe also knows a bit about sweets. She likes orange rind dipped in chocolate. (Her beau likes his apricots dipped.) If you’re still pretty much home-bound, you could actually make the orange-peel treats yourself—it’s not so hard. We found a recipe at Downshiftology.com.

LEFT: Made for John Derian by Astier de Villatte, the tasse for him is handglazed terracotta made in Paris. It’s 5 inches in diameter overall and 2 inches tall, $140.

RIGHT: John Derian’s découpage pieces take a while to have made, but a Naive King or Naive Queen of hearts may be worth the wait. Each tray is 3½ x 5 inches, made of collaged paper under the hand-blown glass. The images are French, circa 1900. The little trays are $65 each.

iStock photo.

I would never suggest getting anyone a dog as a gift. But I’ll suggest sitting down  together with your Valentine in front of the PetFinder website and deciding if you and yours need a new best friend. Tons of small rescue operations list their adoptable animals on the site, and you can search by city, breed, age, good with kids/cats—whatever you need. (Don’t be surprised, though, to find yourself being cross-examined to see if you’ll be a good pet parent: These rescue groups are serious about making the best matches for “forever homes,” a somewhat sappy term but accurate when it works. In the past 10 years it has worked for me . . . twice (don’t be nervous: I adopt senior dogs).

Whatever you get by way of a Valentine’s gift, heart tissue paper will make the sentiment clear. Wrapaholic offers 24 sheets of wrapping tissue for $9.99, through Amazon.

One thought on “Gifts From the (Throbbing) Heart

  1. Nancy G says:

    Out of the ordinary gifts! I especially like the Manatee adoption idea. Thanks!

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