The edit: indie and handmade valentine gifts made with love in the UK
I always feel slightly ambivalent about Valentine’s Day. Part of me is all for lavishing some attention and TLC on those we love. And I do appreciate a meaningful gift or some pretty flowers. But… I must admit that the ubiquitous over-priced bunches of uniform red roses leave me utterly cold. As do gifts that are just ordinary mass-produced things packaged up in sickly heart-laden boxes. Engaging with Valentine’s Day in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re just blindly obeying corporate commercial marketing plans can be challenging.
I think the answer lies in allowing enough time to order – or drop hints about – something special. Something handmade, independently produced and thoughtful.
We have some wonderful makers and independent producers in our directory, so I’ve picked out a few of my own personal favourites to give you some ideas. My advice: don’t procrastinate. I know petrol station flowers can be a godsend at times, but how much nicer is it to give – and receive – something that has been made, and chosen, with thought and love? Hope you like my selection!
INDIE AND HANDMADE VALENTINE GIFTS – THE EDIT
Hogarth Curve signed print by Deborah Bowness (above)
Deborah Bowness -an artist, designer and maker creates a stunning collection of wallpapers and prints from her studio in St Leonards-On-Sea. Her non repeat wallpapers are unique and innovative and examples of her work are held in print collections at major museums including the V&A in London, Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum New York.
I just love this floral print by Deborah that she has made using an open screen technique. Each print is unique and signed. I really like the idea of pasting this directly to the wall as Deborah suggests (once I’m absolutely sure where I want it!).
Roses glass beaker candle Essence + Alchemy
This Roses Candle is hand poured in a British made hand-blown glass with a wood wick, which will crackle and give out a warm and golden glow when lit. The fragrance is just perfect for Valentine’s Day and beyond. A heady and floral bouquet of rose essential oils, it’s a romantic scent perfect for creating a sensual atmosphere.
Seasonal Valentine’s Bouquet, Pod & Pip
I love the concept of Pod & Pip, founded by Sarah Williamson-Jones in rural Wiltshire. Sarah offers creative flower workshops as well as a Friday Flowers online shop. By ‘Friday Flowers’ I mean that you can buy a seasonal bouquet each week that will be sent out on a specific Friday.
I really like the simple, natural way Sarah creates her flower arrangements and how beautifully wrapped they are inside her black and white branded boxes. Sarah’s Valentine’s Day bouquet includes beautiful blush pink roses. It will arrive on the day itself and includes a hand-written message.
Handmade ceramic bottle by Linda Bloomfield
I have adored Linda Bloomfield’s handmade ceramics for years. I love their tactile satin matt glazes, their simple, organic shapes and the delicate colour palette.
This palest of pale pink handmade ceramic bottles would make the perfect Valentine’s gift in my book. Even better with a simple sprig of pretty blossom or single beautiful flower added.
Rose Organic lip balm from These Two Hands
Hand crafted in Herefordshire using organic sweet almond oil, creamy cocoa butter and fragrant with rose geranium oil, this balm will make your lips very kissable! The rosy tint comes from Australian reef clay which is high in iron and essential minerals.
Silver earrings, £65 from Ellie Lane
Because you just cannot go wrong with classic simple, silver hoops. These are perfect and hand made in the UK by Alexandra Parkinson for Ellie Lane. They are available in high shine or satin matt finish. I’ve had a pair of silver hoops by Wright & Teague since the late 80s that I love like old friends. I can only find one of them right now, so I’m trying to accept that I may have to move on. A pair of these would help…
Rose Face Mist, The Future Kept
This beautifully fragrant Rose Face Mist is made from organic rose flower water and is formulated to soothe, cool and hydrate tired skin. It’s 100% natural, 96% organic and is ethically made in London by Skin & Tonic.
Why I love it: because as well as spritzing this onto your face to hydrate your skin and set your make-up, it’s also wonderful for spraying around yourself to create a feeling of calm. The heady fragrance of roses is so beautiful and will make you feel pampered. And because it’s so fragrant with roses (incidentally grown and distilled high in the French Alps), this feels like a nod to Valentine’s tradition.
Pink alpaca socks from Lewes Map store
I dropped heavy hints for a pair of these soft pink bed socks for Christmas. I say hints, but what I actually did was email the link to my lovely husband with a message saying ‘I’d really like a pair of these if you’re looking for stocking filler ideas….’ He was. And I love them so, so much. They feel heavenly on your feet and the colour is so pretty. Perfect for cosying up with a bottle of champagne and a romantic film.
The Space Between Us prints, The Maker Place
I always like to browse the new arrivals curated by Philippa at lovely online shop The Maker Place. I love these The Space Between Us linocut prints by Olga Krasanova (a print maker working from her studio in Scotland). They are printed on hand-made Nepalese paper which gives them such a beautiful texture. I’d either hang the pair side by side in simple frames, or maybe one on each side of the bed above the bedside table. Just beautiful.
The Rolling Home Journal, Issue 4 from The Future Kept
The Rolling Home Journal is a beautifully put together quarterly print publication that is partly a celebration of free and wild living, but also a bit of a love story.
Created by Lauren Smith and her boyfriend Calum Creasey, following 80,000 miles of adventure together, it’s the perfect read for anyone (or any couple) that dreams of adventuring on the open road. This fourth volume of the journal includes features intriguingly titled: Miscellaneous adventures, Bound for Nowhere, Boreal Folk and more. I love to share new dreams, new inspiration. Even if one of us is picturing a pale blue split screen vintage campervan and the other a monster Winnebago… It’s still good to dream isn’t it?
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