My grandfather carried a handkerchief, and I think it’s a special, sweet, old-fashioned, and useful little thing- harkening back to an age of simple and elegant manliness. You can give it to a crying woman on a bench somewhere, entertain a small child, mop your brow, smooth the neck of a guitar, pick up a handgun at a crime scene like it’s 1939, wrap up a sweet treat to go, put it up your sleeve or suit pocket, perform sleight of hand, or (obviously) blow your nose. This Valentine’s Day, I gave Sweetheart a parcel of plain white cotton handkerchiefs that I clumsily embroidered- three with hearts and three each with funny squashed A’s on them (his initial), because I think he’s all of these things- sweet, old fashioned, simple, and manly. This little project was easy and fun- I knocked out the embroidery drinking beer and watching Downton Abbey (reveling in both my emancipation and my needlepoint). If you’re a crewel mistress, you could make these pretty fancy, but you really only need a simple running stitch to keep it manly. Get 100% cotton hankies, wash them and iron them first, double the thread, and just freehand the hearts. And, hey, it’s not 1800, if they turn out a little crookedy, that’s ok.
Maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s the time of mind, but- for whatever reason- it feels like this Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be one of extravagant luxuries. Now, Valentine’s Day is a freighted holiday to begin with ( it’s a hallmark holiday/it’s arbitrary/shouldn’t every day be Valentine’s day, bla bla bla), but I’ll just go ahead and put it out there: I like Valentine’s Day. I’m a romantic at heart, and I’ll take any excuse for small gestures: I like getting fresh flowers delivered, I like surprises, I like love notes, I like champagne. But this year, I’m feeling like I’m in a place where I’m putting more and more value on small, simple pleasures and focusing on things done rather than things bought…I’m pining after objects of use AND beauty. Like the scissors above. Or a sharp little knife. Or a reciprocating saw (just kidding. sort of.). Here are my favorite little objects of love, for any Valentine:#8 Opinel Knife, with Arrow Design, from Spartan (or without, from Gravel and Gold)Mixtape dispenser, from ModCloth.
Flashman Hudson Bay Axe, from Best Made.Map Tacks, or really, anything, from KioskANY design Custom Stamp from the amazing Casey Rubber Stamps in the East Village.Compass Necklace, from Redtruckdesigns.A picnic blanket to recreate this (image from here)
And that’s just off the top of my head. Happy Valentine’s Day, loves.
Since I can’t figure out how to buy this from the apparently amazing Anna Louise Mould, I’m thinking if I can replicate this amazing banjo-head painting for my Sweetheart in time for Valentine’s day. Since he’s the sweetest kind of karmically-transplanted-mountain-man-reborn-in-the-body-of-a-native-New-Yorker, this would be just his kind of “Pimp my Ride”. Swoon.
props to the stunning Woodsmaiden, for capturing my heart as always.