Hearts and Minds

Thoughtful Valentine's Day gifts that will win them over


Eggsactly Right -- The perfect place to hide a surprise engagement ring or any other little jewel is in an authentic hand-painted quail egg that has a magnetic closure, a satin-lined interior and gold, crystals and rose embellishments and hangs on an gold twisted-metal oval stand by Kingspoint Designs, $22.50; from Ad Lib Gifts (3252 Severn Ave., Lakeside Vieux Carre Shopping Center, Metairie, 835-8755).  


Sweet Hearts -- What is Valentine's Day without hearts? You don't have to find out with a range of gifts in this most important shape: rose-scented soap leaves shaped like roses, $12; heart-shaped red and white ceramic plates with "kisses" and "hugs" written on them, $26 for set of two; Sweetnotes playing cards that mimic conversation heart candies, $8; and small, red glass hearts, $3 each; all from All the Best (3215 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 835-1499).


Kiss Her Feet -- Let your love make her walk on air with socks decorated with lips around the ankle ready to bestow a kiss and red toes and heels by Glamour Girl, $12; available at Priorities (8128 Hampson St., 861-8780); Foot Solutions (3213 17th St., 17th Place Center, Metairie, 833-3555) or


Dotting the Eyes
-- Put some ooh-la-la into Valentine's Day and cover all the important bases with a sheer pink nightie with black dots by Underglam, $65; and a five-piece mini tower of truffles, fudge and brownies, $16; both from Ladybug & Chocolate (6107 Magazine St., 899-8120;


Local Treasures -- Originally designed by local jewelry artist Molly McNamara for Mayor Ray Nagin to give as Christmas gifts, these lovely sterling silver fleur de lis cufflinks, $88; and earrings, $58; are now available to the public, exclusively at Molly McNamara Designs (2128 Magazine St., 566-1100).


Personality Traits -- Carry the weight of your world in style with handbags that say something about your special interests, such as the handmade "Fury" bag by Revamp Productions made of metallic-flecked vinyl that bears the logo of the retro automobile, $360 (send in the enclosed registration card and you could win special prizes and free merchandise); or choose a handmade fabric handbag with a bamboo handle and a design inspired by tattoos by Mata Hari, $110; both from Tart's Parlour (8229 Oak St., 314-8344).


Sweet Somethings On Her Ear -- Say just the right thing with antique-inspired heart-shaped earrings made by layering silver over copper, with Swarovski crystal embellishments and pearl dangles by Catherine Popesco for La Vie Parisienne, $50. Add a matching stand that holds a half-dozen pairs of earrings, $75; both from The Garden Gate (2036 Magazine St., 522-6599; 2918 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-6699).


Heaven Scent -- Long known for jewelry creations that take their cue from Mother Earth, local artist Mignon Faget now has called on nature's gifts of white magnolia, sandalwood, mimosa and gardenia to provide captivating scents for her romantic Exotica fragrance and body products: hand and body cream, $25 for 4.2 oz.; bath gel, $20 for 8 oz.; and eau de parfum, $30 for 2 oz.; from Mignon Faget Ltd. (3801 Magazine St., 891-2005; 197 Westbank Expwy., Oakwood Shopping Center, Gretna, 368-3071; 710 Dublin St., 865-7361; 333 Canal St., The Shops at Canal Place, 524-2973; 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Lakeside Shopping Center, Metairie, 835-2244).


Flower of the South -- Make any table bloom with sculpted silver magnolia napkin rings with leaves and butterflies on a stem by Arthur Court, $29 for set of four; and matching salt and pepper shakers with a square, clear-glass jar and silver magnolia tops, $26 a set; both from Juliet Custom Furnishings (2001 Magazine St., 525-9481).


In a Romantic Light -- Cast a glow of love on your favorite girl with a lovely beige ceramic lamp from the 1930s-'40s topped with a custom shade designer Margaret Richmond crafted from silk with pearl beaded fringe, $90, from Decor Splendide Antiques & Interiors (2130 Magazine St., 525-5525).



Queen of Hearts -- Show her she rules your romantic kingdom with precious metals in loving shapes by jewelry artist Pat Flynn. An 18-karat yellow gold and sterling silver heart with a large Mabe pearl in the middle is framed in a delicate square, $1,240; or dress her in a more contemporary version with an 18-karat gold and sterling silver black-and-silver-heart with two gold dots, $350; both from Katy Beh Contemporary Jewelry (3701 Magazine St., 896-9600;


Perfect Timing -- Strong, exciting and functional all in one is a handmade steel clock by Bywater artist Denice Bizot, $150, from Molly McNamara Designs (2128 Magazine St., 566-1100).


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