So like most people lately, I've been thinking about Valentine's Day. Although I haven't been able to spend much time with my loved one I have been thinking of him. It's not that he lives in another country or city but rather that we have two young children. All those of you who have kids know what I'm talking about. The two minute conversations we've been having are just not enough and we've made a date for Valentine's. It's an international holiday! We have permission to spend time together. Let's hope we can find the time and space again before next Valentine's.
Thinking back to our pre-child days, I remember how we used to make each other birthday dinners (always something we've never made before) and go out to a different fine dining restaurant for our anniversary. Now we're thinking of take-out. No more time for the three hour dinner. Sigh.
On our third anniversary we decided to go to Bishop's on 4th Ave (www.bishopsonline.com) and although now I can't remember exactly what I had, I do remember it being one of the best meals I've ever eaten. If someone else was willing to foot the bill, I would be there in a second. I took a look at the menu online and now John Bishop has a large portion of his ingredients grown for him at Hazelmere Farms. Local and organic are his passion and who could say no to "Beef Tenderloin with turnip souffle and butternut squash puree with red wine jus" followed by "Pink Lady fritter with salted butter caramel and buttermilk ice cream."? Yum!
Oh well, not this year. Perhaps I can satisfy my cravings with a little bit of the sweet stuff. I think Thomas Haas (www.ThomasHaas.com) chocolates would be at the top of my list of decadent gifts to give. Probably one of the top pastry chefs on the west coast if not one of the most well know.
As I am partial and interested in anything requiring large amounts of sugar, I have found myself browsing Etsy for some tasty looking treats. I have seen some fantastic things there. As shipping is a requirement for the products being sold, it is mostly cookies and candies being advertised. I found one seller, Sugar Cookie Couture that has some wonderful Valentine cookies listed.They've stolen my heart. www.sugarcookiecouture.etsy.com
While on Etsy I also found another seller who stole my heart with her fantastic necklaces. Anabella Designs (www.AnabellaDesigns.etsy.com) makes these really cool sterling silver pendants right here in Vancouver. While I can't ask my sweetie for one right now, I will be putting one on my birthday wish list.
After looking at so many great valentine gift ideas online, I too wanted to create something for the holiday. While I'm still hashing out some ideas I found it pretty tricky to make an image that wasn't cliche or sickly sweet or plain boring. I found one printmaker that has done a wonderfully subtle Valentine's image that I just love. Justin Miller at Bound Staff Press (www.boundstaffpress.etsy.com) created this linocut image and he's definitely a printmaker I plan on following.