Romantic Mr. Darcy Cat art

Mr. Darcy Romances Lizzy with a Rose

Valentine’s Day is an excuse to wear red clothes that don’t flatter your complexion, indulge in chocolate candy and $40 bouquets of dying flowers, and decorate your hearth and home with construction-paper hearts symbolizing the everlasting Love you have for your spouse and family… although paper by nature is not everlasting, so perhaps we should signify our love for each other by building pyramids with limestone blocks. 

I don’t buy “themed” merchandise usually. My mother gave me Rudolph the Reindeer pajamas one Christmas, and I wear them throughout the year… because they’re comfortable and I can’t stand the idea of a decent pair of unworn PJs taking up valuable space in my lingerie drawer. (Though I’d have more room if I gave away all the unworn jewelry hiding underneath the PJs)
I’m perhaps the world’s biggest advocate of buying a generic red shirt that can earn its place in my closet. Seasonally appropriate in December, February, and July, it works equally well any time of year. 

Unfortunately, retailers are especially notorious for grabbing anything red or heart-related off the back shelves to display prominently in the aisles, and slapping huge Valentine’s Day signage all over it. Okay, I think we’re smart enough to know that red toasters and coat-hangers aren’t traditional gifts… although some hopelessly romantic soul could put a creative spin on just about any lame attempt to commercialize:
“I want to spent the rest of my life with you, waking up each morning to the aroma of your strawberry Pop-Tarts, and hanging my coat and hat in our shared closet each night.” 

And here’s a red toothbrush, because it’s sexy to watch you brush your teeth each morning…
What about this bottle of Heart-Health vitamin supplements? Because I want to share forever with you! 

My friend Lily, a.k.a TwoStrayCats on Etsy, and I were discussing her adorable stuffed gnomes the other night. If you haven’t visited her shop yet, you should take a peek at her pillows. Here is one of my favorites, featuring a silhouette of Emily Bronte:

Emily Bronte pillow cover

Emily Bronte pillow cover by TwoStrayCats

Lily gave me a link to another seller’s shop to check out their stuffed dolls, but alas, I was immediately distracted by the shop’s first listing… for a Valentine’s Day burp cloth. Because milk should be vomited onto a fashionable holiday rag.
Somehow, I can’t see myself digging for the special red floral felt at 3:00am, when Jake wakes hungrily, just to put me in the spirit of love. I’ll probably grab an old shirt from the laundry pile, a washcloth from the bathroom shelf, or just take my chances that he might spit-up on Rudolph. 

Apparently three pages worth of Etsians believe we need a special cloth for the occasion… and it made me curious to see what other necessary items I’m lacking. So I did a “Valentine’s Day” search on Etsy, and with over 2,200 page results (in the handmade category alone), there were quite a few surprises. 

The Puff-Ball dress… which can be paired with “a leather jacket, cardigan, or keep it simple with black tights.” …(I want more pictures, please! Can we see it on a real model?)

Dress created from felted pom-pom balls

Puff-Ball Dress by somedaynewyorker

This purple cowl… that reminded me of a crocheted alien centipede. OMG! It just devoured that poor woman’s head!

purple crocheted cowl by innovationdesign

crocheted purple cowl by innovationdesign

A Cell Phone Bag, photographed on the couch. Because couches and wine breed romance!

cell-phone bag by annjauquetdesigns

cell-phone bag by annjauquetdesigns

I’m so excited! Thanks to folks eager to capitalize on my apparel impaired-ness, I’ve found the perfect sexy outfit for a night out on the town! Check off: Puff dress, cowl, and bag… now I just need the right shoes to complete The Look. 

Excellent! These will coordinate beautifully!

pompom shoes by KirstyMcKenzie on Etsy

Pompom Pollini Heels by KirstyMcKenzie on Etsy

I also came across some inspiring gift ideas… this OOAK flower vase is quite a bargain at $5, reduced from $7!

decoupage vase from Karmascrafts

decoupaged vase from Karmascrafts

And this guy… is selling something “torched” for Valentine’s… can you guess which hand it’s in?

torched ring by LFJewelryDesigns

"Torched" by LFJewelryDesigns

Now these would make awesome tongue-in-cheek VD party announcements – that’s VD for Valentine’s Day, y’all – with a tag included that reads: “You’ve been invited… to Bite my A$$.”

G-string sugar cookies by Baked

G-string sugar cookies by Baked

And my personal favorite is this heart-chomping dinosaur card, because great minds think alike:

Dinosaur valentine by ObeseCatFactory

Dinosaur valentine by ObeseCatFactory

After your chocolates have been consumed, and the dead flowers and crumpled hearts have been tossed in the garbage, you might find yourself sitting at your desk with an empty feeling. I encourage you to browse the vast bowels of Etsy… uncover the oddities therein… thousands of handcrafted treasures to make next years’ Valentine’s – The Day to Remember

(psst, if you dress yourself Etsy-style, I wanna see pictures!)