Make it personal


If our heart belongs to Tupper, let it show.

Whether we are planning a cozy couples getaway, or just want to gift our Valentine with something that tells them how special they are to us, we have different and delightful choices. If we want to make it personal, here's three great ways to show how much we care.

Whatever our heart desires

Spruce & Hemlock Country Store, owned and operated by Faith & Andrew McClelland, has an amazing range of personalized gifts. Faith was happy to tell me all about their unique Adirondack approach, but it's also bigger than that.

It's about fostering creativity.

"We send things all over the world," says Faith, whose store specializes in a very personal touch.

The creative part comes from what the customer might want to say, and what item they will choose to say it. "People love our wine glasses, and we can make them into gifts for weddings," Faith told me. "And if they like beer, we have beer glasses and bottle openers."

While I was there a gentleman came in to pick up a personalized birthday gift for his wife, with a humorous saying regarding her birthday being on a more obscure holiday. "It's a chance to be really personal." Indeed, most of their items on display were unique on some way, whether it was commemorating "Dave and Sandra, established in 2016," or a child's scrawl reproduced on a wooden plaque or coffee mug.

I love the sense of humor which appears all over the store. This might be just right for Valentine's Day!

One person had used wooden signs to reproduce a family recipe, in her own handwriting, meant to be special gifts. "Send us something handwritten, and we can put it on a number of things."

There's clothing, hats, and lots of funny signs for camp... or those who wish they were at camp. I loved the deep rich colors of the mugs and the softness of the hoodies. Everything was very appealing.

I also saw lovely things that felt personal to me; Adirondack nature tokens, like pine cones, trees, or an Adirondack chair. I can see sending these as gifts to those who don't live in the Adirondacks, but who still appreciate the unique qualities of our area.

Even the items which aren't personalized have a special feel about them, as in the earrings on the left. The etched glassware can be personalized or simply show some iconic Adirondack images.

Even the non-personalized items have something special to them. There's a whole display of jewelry from Earth Girl Designs, a company that is all about crafting items that are unique and natural.

Exquisite heartfelt jewelry

Rachel King, the creative force behind Earth Girl Designs, draws her inspiration from her birthplace in the Adirondacks. Now back home in Tupper Lake, she creates a steady stream of exquisite jewelry from Sterling Silver, 14k Gold fill metals, stunning natural gemstones, and Bohemian Czech glass.

Sometimes they are a simple as a polished piece of crystal or an embossed piece of metal.  Others have layers of complementary elements.

A love of nature is the inspiration for jewelry designs by Earth Girl.

I am very impressed. There's something like a force of nature in her designs.

King earned dual degrees at nearby SUNY Plattsburgh, an interlocking set of psychology and art education. She uses the psychology degree for marketing, citing a connection to the “collective consciousness.” She started early, at the age of six, bartering with parents and teachers with her own crayon-and-paper illustrations.

Earrings are a weakness of mine. Note to self: begin the hinting!

King says her earrings “aren’t funky, loud or look-at-me, but elegant, earthy and humble,” according to an interview in Adirondack Life Magazine. She likes to use turquoise, labradorite, moonstone, and Czech glass for the special shapes and colors, “like little Picassos or Monets.” I especially like her use of copper, a favorite which is hard to find. It is lead- and nickel-free, just right for sensitive skin.

She says her designs are for people who seek the beauty in nature. She likes going outside and letting the energy of the trees, flowers, sunshine, and wind inspire her to craft perfect reflections of the way nature makes us feel. The goal is "becoming one with nature."

I love her motto: “Made in the Adirondacks by an Adirondack Girl!"

Sounds good? Maybe it's time to bring out the Earth Girl in ourselves. Or... let others know.

Cure for cabin fever

I was tickled to discover Cabin Fever Floral & Gifts. This charming store is an illustration of why "Buy Local" is more than just another slogan.

Anne put together a Valentine's bouquet while I watched. Her store is all about "small batch crafts."

As an example of their innovations, this year Anne Hoag is introducing "Curbside Service" for Valentine's Day. Call ahead to order, pull up to the front of the store, and someone will bring it out. Now that's service.

"Yes," Anne told me while she was whipping up a lovely Valentine's bouquet. "You can get sad-looking flowers at the grocery store, or you can get something special from me."

"I know which one makes me feel more love," I said with a grin.

Anne is an example of how, if we want to send flowers to someone, we should call a florist local to the area we are sending it to. Then we can work with them for something that is fresh and creative. It will last longer for the recipient. We will look a lot better, too.

Not the usual roses: these old-fashioned types might be just the right choice. And the wildflowers on the right are classic additions.

I was very impressed with the special flowers available. I adore old-fashioned roses, and getting them in my Valentine's flowers would be wonderful. It can be equally important to put some added value into our gift. There's bound to be some item of interest to the object of our heart's attention.

There were funny mugs, beautiful photographs of the local scenery, decorative items, and colorful jewelry from Jilzarah.

These polymer clay beads make for colorful jewelry, and a one-of-a-kind gift.

I was fascinated by the little goat's milk soaps which came with their own "washcloth."

These soaps are made from goats milk, but also covered with handmade, felted alpaca fur for a hypoallergenic loofa effect. Now that will make someone feel special!

If we want to send a gift basket of Tupper Lake to that special someone, Anne can do that, too. She has all kinds of baskets, including Adirondack Pack Baskets, to fill with chocolates, truffles, jewelry, scarves, and all kinds of unique maple products, like the maple cotton candy.

These special items come from artisans from all over this part of New York, and have been hand-picked by Anne herself. She visibly enjoyed telling me about the people who make them.

Yum! These handmade truffles will speak volumes for us on Valentine's Day.

Indulge in the spirit of romantic love this Valentine's Day. If we haven't fussed enough yet... it's never too late to add more.

Curl up in some snug lodging. Take that special someone out to eat. Explore more items made in Tupper Lake.

This week in related I ♥ ADKs news:

Picture perfect

Storybook romance

Take the bait

Get close

Straight from the heart

Old-fashioned romance

Cool for couples