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Staff Picks for Valentine's Day x Tortoise General Store

Valentine's is a day to give something special to someone special.  Here are some of the special somethings our staff would love to receive and give in the name of love.

1. Maneki Neko Candy Jar ($136): Life is like a jar of candy.  Hirota Glass is one of Japan's oldest and most revered glass companies.  Their popularity rose in the 1920's when loosely wrapped candy came into vogue and Hirota introduced the 'candy jar' to Japanese families.  Fill this playful Hirota Glass Maneki Neko ("beckoning cat") candy jar with your love's favorite type of candy, cookie or sweets,  It'll beat any box of chocolates and will be a fun fixture in the kitchen all-year-round.

2. Red Rope Basket ($225 S - $325 L): Knotting to worry about.  Designed by Shigeki Fujishiro, the Knot Basket is made out of 100% polyester red rope, vibrant in its appearance and sturdy enough to stand upright on its own - despite being completely adhesive free and shaped by hand only by knots.  You can hang it on the wall, hold your favorite books, magazine or toys, or maybe even carry out of the house.  The red rope basket is a statement piece, and in this case, it's a statement of: I'm knotting without you.  The smaller size basket is available for purchase online!

3. Brass Coffee Bean Scoop ($70): Coffee is the antidote.  This beautiful golden coffee bean scoop is the perfect utensil to start your day.  Hand-made by Ruka Kikuchi in Okayama Japan, Ruka is the son of 2 jewelry designers, who inspired his metalworking today.  Today Ruka makes one of a kind brass utensils for the home, meant to patina with age and use - a wonderful metaphor for life!

4. Noki Moku Ring with Diamonds ($2156): Twinkle twinkle little ring.  This 24 kt gold and pure silver ring has a cascade of 11 diamonds that are perfectly placed to dot the ring's surface like the night's sky.  Such a celestial arrangement can make your love feel like they have the galaxy on their hand.  This ring is forged by hand as the LA-based Japanese designer is committed to never using wax molds or casts.  Each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind of course!

5. Hand-Etched Kimura Glasses ($164 - $182): Let's toast to us!  Mouth-blown in the heart of Tokyo, Kimura Glass makes lead free crystal glassware that feels like art.  Formerly a producer of incandescent light bulbs, Kimura transitioned their skill set as makers of ultra thin glass light bulbs to makers of ultra thin drinking glasses and history was made.  Their skilled craftspeople carefully hand-etch beautiful designs on some of their most delicate pieces without any help from stencils or mechanical devices, creating beautiful art that makes toasting with these a special occasion no matter the time of year.

6. Balloon Plant Sola Cube ($48): Here's to proving my love.  You never need to prove love with a gift, but this little cube comes pretty close.  Whenever you gaze upon a sola cube, a childlike wonder fills that moment.  You stare in disbelief over how the object inside is suspended so perfectly in its clear resin chamber, and then you marvel at the natural wonder it's captured in time. This resin cube contains seeds from the 'Balloon Plant' named after the plant's unopened flower buds that swell up like hot air balloons.  The seeds pods to this plant look like tiny hearts, which is why its botanical essence is: "Proof of Love".  Present this cube and tell your person it's proof for what they've known all along.  Available online here!

7. Bamboo Handle Mayu Teapot with Teacups ($70 teapot + $16 each cup)Love is made up of daily rituals.  And there may be no daily ritual more sacred to some than tea.  This teapot's pleasing round shape, soothing celadon glaze and organic handle is the right combination for any serious tea drinker.  Add 2 cups to it so that you can say, your company is the best gift I can give myself, and then enjoy a cup of tea together.

8. Copper Wire Leaf by Mitsuru Koga ($750): Falling for you.  Mitsuru Koga explores the ordinary things through an extra-ordinary eye.  Case in point, this copper wire leaf.  Made with great skills and mysterious methods, Koga has taken a normal electrical cord, carefully revealed the twisted copper wires inside, and re-woven them by hand into the shape of a delicate fallen leaf.  Koga's artwork makes you marvel at the natural world and human world with with his unique use of everyday materials that make you see, with almost startling immediacy, that art is almost everyone around you.


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