You haven't bought your sweetie's Valentine's Day gift yet, you say?
I am shocked. SHOCKED. But, as always, here to help anyway.
And because you don't have much time left to shop, I've confined my suggestions primarily to two relatively small stores: The Museum Shop at the Arkansas Arts Center (9th and Commerce) and Wicks and Wax in North Little Rock's Park Hill neighborhood (3515 JFK Blvd.).
Handcrafted jewelry stars at the Museum Shop, including a heart-shaped necklace I might actually consider wearing made of copper, black, red and brown wire all twisted up together. There are earrings and bracelets and necklaces galore, in a wide range of styles and prices, so even if you're on a just-lost-my-job budget you'll probably find something you can afford.
If you're feeling a bit more flush, I also liked an art glass hand mirror ($60) and a collection of art glass pens ($24 each), which would be a good choice if you're shopping for a guy. (The shop also has a few pairs of cuff links and some other men's accessories.)
If you're planning to give flowers too, check out the four-pack Vases to Go sets from Indigo Studios ($36) made from glass bottles that have been recycled and painted with colorful, fun designs.
And if you're really, really on a budget, or maybe shopping for a younger Valentine, pick up a small, shiny red or pink piggy bank ($6).
If your sweetie's tastes run a little more toward the traditional, Wicks and Wax is a good place to look. The store carries a number of collectible lines, including Lampberger, and a nice selection of home decor and accessories plus a ton of candles, as the store's name suggests.
For their ability to do double holiday duty, I like the small collection of glass heart Christmas ornaments (under $10). Display them in a bowl for Valentine's, as the store has done, then bring them back out when you put your tree up in December.
The store also has all you'd need to put together the whole romantic-evening package, minus the wine: Any kind of candle you can imagine, scented or not; a wooden “Chat Noir” painted wine bottle box ($30); sets of Kristalglass German wine goblets ($58 for four); Crabtree and Evelyn Jojoba massage and bath oil ($18), and half a dozen or so flavors of homemade fudge ($11 per pound). Can't go wrong with that line-up.
A couple of other possibilities:
At Barnes and Noble, a coffee mug decorated with quotes from Shakespeare about love. A little cheesy, sure, but even on a coffee mug, the man could put a sentence together.
If chocolates are your gift of choice, skip the Russell Stover sampler. Instead, head to River City Gift Company (2715 Kavanaugh Blvd.) or Cocoa Belle in the River Market and put together a box of locally made treats. They taste better, trust me.
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