Friday, February 6, 2004

The Insatiable Shopper

Scouting the marketplace with Joy Kraft

Put a cork in it: If a drugstore card just doesn't cut it for your cupid, assign the task of capturing your simmering passion to Timeless Message In a Bottle. At Web site, you can order the bottle style and size (81/2-13 inches) of your choice and either pen your own love letter or choose from one of theirs. The tome will be printed on "aged" parchment, hand-rolled and tied and popped in the bottle for delivery. $26.95-$69.95.

Etch A Heart: Ohio Art, makers of the beloved Etch A Sketch, has a heart-shaped version on the shelves for shaking up a little romance. If you're handy with the dials, draw a Valentine's Day picture or verse before wrapping. Great for kids, too (recommended for ages 4 and up). About $5 at Kroger, toy stores, mass merchants.

Magical messages: Illustrator Gretchen Gilbert has a way with watercolors and whimsical drawings of the sun and stars, hearts and slender figures frolicking across a line of greeting cards. Goodnight Dragon Greeting Cards, run by Gilbert; her sister, Sally Giannella of Hyde Park; and their husbands, are so special you'll want to save them as keepsakes. Sold at Belle Maison stores, ($3.95) and online.

Play matchmaker
Group aims to cut college textbook costs
The Insatiable Shopper

Valentine calendar filled for singles

Good day care eases worry

Successful marriages take work

Carmen sees a stripper; Nick handles a forklift

Vandross will have to miss Grammys

TV Best Bets
On the fridge
Get to it!