Just a few Valentine's Gift ideas that have caught my eye at local boutiques:
Twin Cities designer Lisa Nelson brings her handmade stamped charm jewelry to The Bee Cottage on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Choose from ready made designs created specially for this event, or place a custom order to be shipped for Valentine's Day. 441 Second St., Excelsior, 612-787-2233
The Hanky Heart: A heart shaped box filled with three pair of the essential Hanky Panky lace panties. $50, at Stella, 308 Chestnut St. E., Stillwater, 651-439-7935
If you do make it to Stillwater, be sure to stop by Mara Mi's flagship store+studio+cafe. This locally-based stationery company has some of the freshest card designs--plus the notepads, totes and red velvet cupcakes to complete the thought. 201 Main St. S., Stillwater, 651-689-1730
Ruby and silver necklace: Gemstone jewelry doesn't have to break the bank. Max's has a nice selection of pieces for $150 or less, like this one from Adel Chefridi. Shops at Excelsior & Grand, 3826 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-922-8364
Of course, Max's is also known for its gourmet chocolates that taste as good as they look. I'm partial to the salted caramels (available in a heart-shaped box). Max's owner Ellen Hertz has fallen for this hearts and arrows box from Recchiti Chocolates ($25). Try them both--and others--this Saturday Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I'll be there, too, for a live broadcast of Shop Girls on myTalk107.1.
For gifts high on creativity and sentimentality, step out of the card aisle at the big box store, and try some place unique like The Guild, a collective of stylists, designers and dealers. Sandy Stewart, one of the original founders of the Guild, is a vintage jewelry collector. From vintage silver to Victorian frames, her unique pieces make romantic gifts. And that's just for starters. 4414 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-378-1815