While makeup and fragrances always make great gifts for a beauty lover, I’d like to make a few more suggestions that are beautiful IMHO but outside the beauty realm. In fact, one of them is the gift I already received for Valentine’s Day from Jeff this year!
Gifts from Museum Stores
When it comes to gifting, my favorites places to look for often unique gifts are the gift shops at art museums or actually any museum. A week ago, Jeff and I went to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA to pass the afternoon. We saw a wonderful exhibit on the moon. Yes, the moon at an art museum, not a science museum. But, the show was a mixture of art and science, and it was wonderful. We saw a short silent French sci-fi movie from 1918, I think, about men who made a rocket ship to go to the moon. It was the silliest thing, but I was mesmerized by it. It was amazing at how much their rocket ship looked like the capsules used by NASA in the 1960-70s!
While Jeff went to grab a cookie from the cafe, I sneaked into the PEM Shop where I picked out my own Valentine’s Day gift for Jeff to give to me: a handmade hat! I have about a million hats, but I love them all. This hat from the brand, Bon Bons by Tina, was handmade in Japan. It’s made from handcrafted felt in my favorite color combination that reminds me of colors worn by Jill St. John in the late 1960s: pink and orange. Luckily, the hat happened to be on sale for 50% off! I absolutely love it, and Jeff really liked it too! In fact, I was wearing it this afternoon, and two neighbors whom I ran into while they were walking their dogs ’round the ‘hood complimented me on it. Yay! What do you think?
Speaking of art museum gift shops, my next recommendation is the gift shop at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Just about all art museums (including the PEM and MFA) have online shops so you don’t have to go in person to pick up some great finds.
At the end of December, Jeff and I went to see the William Merritt Chase (19th century American painter) exhibit at the MFA. It was a large and fabulous show that took us almost two hours to visit. At the end of the exhibition rooms, there was a gift shop with items inspired by Chase’s works and the time period in which he lived. I picked up a couple of items that were so pretty and very affordable: a deep blue sparkly crystal tassel necklace and a blue cut glass jar. Each was under $15 but absolutely lovely.
Gifts from Etsy
Somehow or another, I discovered a shop on Etsy called Femme de Bloom that specializes in rings, pins and earrings handmade from enamel or plastic as well as vintage items. This is a great shop for when you’re looking for a cute inexpensive gift for a young girl, teen or a lover of cartoon characters, unicorns or whimsical themes. I think I found it because Femme de Bloom often has heart-shaped items. Just last week, the owner was running a Valentine’s promotion, 25% off plus a free pair of heart-shaped studs. Of course, I couldn’t resist. Again for less than $20 total including shipping, I picked up 3 adorable items:
- molded handmade floral bouquet studs
- cushioned red heart studs (free!)
- an enameled pin of Cinderella’s coach.
They arrived in about 3 days so it’s not too late! And while we’re talking about Etsy, don’t forget to check out Alkemia Perfume Oils on Etsy that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago for zillions of affordable, handmade perfume oils.
So if you’re still on the hunt for Galentine gifts or little tokens for friends and loved ones or just a treat for yourself, these are a few ideas for places to look! Do you still have any Valentine’s Day gifts to pick up?