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February 2006

Letter From The Editor

It's hard to believe that it is already February. We have been so busy this past month that it just flew right by us. The newest additions to our website are our Animal Figurine and Fantasy Art pages. We found a figurine source for many popular cat and dog varieties, as well as some of our wild animal favorites. The Fantasy Art page contains wonderful mermaid figurines, wizards, and beautiful winged warriors. You probably already know about our other fantasy art page that contains fairies and unicorns. We have so many fairies that we had to give them a page of their own, and in May we will be featuring an article about Fairy Lore that is sure to transport you into their magical realm.

Of course February is all about Valentine's Day and having the chance to get mushy with the ones we love without losing face. Whatever your hearts desire is fond of, you are sure to find it somewhere on our website because art is always the perfect gift. We have Limited Edition plates from a wide range of famous artists, museum reproductions from famous sculptures, figurines, jewelry boxes, trinket boxes, incense burners, mirrors, vases, jars, and even authentic reproductions of famous Egyptian thrones for the King or Queen of your heart. Whatever the subject of your favorite art, we probably either already have it or we will have it soon. Email us and let us know if we are not fulfilling all of your needs. Customer service is always our priority.

We just added an Art Deco and Art Nouveau page that includes Angels and Art Nouveau Fairies as well as jewelry boxes, trinket boxes & trays, mirrors, clocks, and so much more. These wonderful art pieces have floral, insect, angel and fairy motifs that are sure to delight any woman who receives them as a gift. The next page we will be adding will be a Native-American and African tribal art page with wonderful figurines and busts that honor the history and traditions of those indigenous people. Of course there will also be wolf figurines, birds, and horses. How could we possibly leave them out. Then finally we will be adding a Medieval Art page that will include Gargoyles and skulls, as well as exquisite medieval wine & champagne glasses.

Our February Artist of the Month is Bessie Pease Gutmann. During the Golden Age of Illustration she produced some of the most popular children's art of her time. We maintain two galleries that feature her work, our Bessie Gutmann collectible plate page and our Bessie Gutmann figurine page. Don't miss her Artist's Profile below.

Also, included in this month's newsletter are three articles that have to do with Valentine's Day. The first one is "The Origin of Valentine's Day Traditions" by Gary Ruplinger. The second one is "How To Keep Her In Love With You" by Susan Dunn, MA. Susan is a personal life and EQ Coach. Her advice can help anyone who has driven away the love of their life, by helping them understand why and by helping them not make the same mistakes again. The third article is actually a poem called "Someone To Love" by Trixie Torralba. We hope you enjoy reading them.

We are always looking for good articles that are relevant to Art, Collectibles, Holidays, and Gift Giving. If you would like to see your writing talent displayed here, please send us an Email and we would be happy to review your work for possible publication. In return for using your article, we will give you a link to your website within the body of your article. Our goal is to eventually evolve our newsletter into a valuable source of information for art and art collectibles. We also plan to open a bulletin board on our website in the near future, so that our visitors can ask questions about collectibles and send messages to one another. We are aware that information about collectibles is often hard to find and we are constantly working to find more ways to share information with our website visitors.

We hope Old Man Winter is being kind to you and yours. Don't forget to honor the Valentine's Day tradition by showing someone how much you love them, and then continue to remind them everyday.

Artist's Profile: Bessie Gutmann

Bessie Collins Pease Gutmann was born in 1876 in Philadelphia, PA and died in 1960. As an artist, her achievements were unparalleled by any other female of her time. Her favorite subjects were infants and children, but other subjects included adults and animals. She also did a series of Colonial Interior scenes. These prints have the Gutmann signature on the lower right, but the signatures sometimes appear to be different because it was not always Bessie who signed them.

Bessie attended the Philadelphia School of Design for Women from 1893 - 1894 and then the Art Students League from 1899 - 1901.

Early in her career she sketched portraits, advertisements, and illustrations for local newspapers. Then in 1903 she was hired as a commercial artist. Two of the children's books that she illustrated were "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson and "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll . Her art work appeared on postcards, calendars and art prints as well as in newspapers and on magazine covers.

In 1947 Bessie decided to stop producing art because of failing eyesight, but by then she already had over 600 art prints to her credit. After her death in 1960, three children's books were published which included images from her art prints. Her original prints are extremely collectible today and certain of her rarer works, in the best condition, can bring $500 - $13,000 or more at auction. The Gutmann Colonials are not as valuable, with most valued in the $50 - $100 range.

You can find more information about Bessie Pease Gutmann in the book "Bessie Pease Gutman - Over Fifty Years of Published Art" by Karen A Choppa, published by Schiffer.

The Origin of Valentine's Day Traditions
By: Gary Ruplinger

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. It comes every February 14th, and men all over the country stop and pick up the obligatory dozen roses, piece of jewelry, or box of chocolates. But did you ever wonder about some of the early traditions of Valentine’s Day? And no, Valentine’s Day was not created by the department stores to get men to spend more money on jewelry.

For example, in the middle ages, men and women would draw names to see who their valentines were. Then for the next week, they would wear these names on their sleeve. Now wearing your heart on your sleeve means that it’s easy for other people to know your feelings.

In Wales carved wooden love spoons were given as gifts on Valentine’s Day. The most popular decorations were hearts, keyholes, and keys. The decorations meant, “You unlock my heart.”

In some countries, a young woman would receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If the woman kept the gift, it meant she’d marry him.

It was believed that if a woman saw a robin flying on Valentine’s Day she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she’d marry a poor man and be very happy. And if she saw a goldfinch, she’d marry a millionaire.

And have you ever wondered where the tradition of giving Valentine’s Day cards began? The first valentine was sent by the Duke of Orleans after being captured in 1415. He sent it to his wife. Commercially, valentines were first produced by Esther Howland in the 1840s. She sold $5,000 in cards during her first year, an incredible amount of money at the time. Today over a billion valentines are sent each year to teachers, children, wives, and sweethearts, and are mostly purchased by women.

Giving flowers on Valentine’s Day can be traced back to the 1700s in Sweden when Charles II brought the Persian poetical art called “The Language of Flowers” to Europe. Throughout the 18th century, floral lexicons were published, allowing an entire conversation to take place with a bouquet of flowers.

About the Author: Gary Ruplinger is a featured writer for BestValentine' To learn more about Valentine's Day and Valentine's Day Traditions, visit the site.

How to Keep Her in Love with You
By: Susan Dunn

It’s the saddest thing to listen to a man who has lost his heart’s darling. The hardest part is when they don’t know why, and I hear this more often than you would imagine.

The plaintive, “But I loved her,” is followed by, “I have no idea why she left.”

It’s bad enough to lose your love, without being stupefied on top of it all. Generally there are two explanations for this, both of which you can work on.

The first is denial, like the gentleman who told me he’d lost his wife and didn’t know why, but when pressed said it “might” have been because he had an affair but “it shouldn’t have mattered” because “she knew it didn’t mean anything.” The answer to this one is to quit fooling yourself. No one can pull the wool over your eyes except you. Rationalizing something you do that you know has about as much chance of hitting a home run as swinging at bad pitches and then blaming the other person because you struck out, is the victim stance. Get out of it and get responsible for what you do.

The second is from general cluelessness. If you often can’t figure out what’s going on around you, you may be in this category and it, too, has a remedy.

Staying in either place will insure you’ll love again and lose her again. Or worse, because you’re confused, you’ll be afraid to love again and will choose women who are inappropriate and unavailable and then complain that it never works out. You’ll stay safe, which is nice, but you’ll be miserable, which isn’t nice.

If you’d like to minimize that possibility, here are some tips.


EQ is emotional fluency. It’s the opposite of cluelessness. It begins with being aware of your own feelings, and extends to include understanding the feelings of others – the world of feelings.

The worse this possibility sounds to you, the more you probably need it.

Many men start thinking about what’s in their heart because making it a mental thing feels better, but the end result is that you’ll end up confused. Women don’t like to be with a man who’s confused about them. They want it straight and true.

In order to relate to the woman you love, and to keep the relationship alive, you have to know about this “confusion.” If not, it will die, and you can claim you don’t know why, but is that what you want? Learn to know why.


The second solution is to date her.

“I did,” you’re saying, confused.

I mean date her continually. Continue to date her.

Most men are so good at dating, it must be innate. The trouble is, it’s aimed toward the initial conquest, or getting her in bed, and then they think it can be abandoned.

“Whew, glad that’s over,” you think. “Now I can get back to the ball game.”

Wrong! I think there’s an explanation that you’re a super-dater when the hormones are raging. If you interpret this as “feelings,” and they die down over time, which they always do, you may not “feel” like dating her any more, though you now live with her, or are married to her. The key is to not quit doing it.

Now let’s define dating. What is it you do so well when you’re dating? You pay attention to her. You call, you email, you send cards and flowers. You hang on her every word. You look deep into her eyes. You express your emotions verbally (“I love you.” “You’re beautiful.”). You hang around, in fact you can’t be away from her. You remember what she tells you, and you remember her birthday. You’re trustworthy and you’re there for her, listening endlessly and effortlessly as she talks about her emotions, her day, her dreams and plans, or your relationship. In fact it doesn’t matter what she talks about, you listen and you listen as if you care, because you do. It's a means to an end that you want, so you’re highly motivated.

If it worked so well, why don’t you continue doing it?


If you want to not just get her, but keep her, you have to generate this sort of behavior, not constantly but enough. It means acting and showing your love, not just thinking about it, or worse, assuming it’s no longer necessary.

Don't be one of those guys who say, "Of course I love you. I married you didn't I?" unless you want to hear one sad day, "Of course I don't love you any more. That's why I'm leaving."

How do you do this when you don’t feel like it? The same way you do your job. It matters to you in the long-run, so you do it well even on a day when you don’t feel like it. It’s “taking care of business,” and you know how to do that.

So apply this same logic to keeping the woman you love and generate the behavior you know will win you what you want.

As someone said, “You don’t love a woman because she is beautiful, she is beautiful because you love her.” The relationship between the two of you needs your care and attention too. You can make it beautiful and lasting as well. It’s never too late to start learning how to do that.

Good luck!

©Susan Dunn, MA, Personal Life & EQ Coach, . Offering coaching, Internet courses and ebooks for your personal and professional development. I train and certify EQ coaches. Email me for information on this fast, affordable, comprehensive, no-residency program.


Someone To Love
By: Trixie Torralba

I want someone to love
And love me back
With no pretentions
And stay on track

I want someone to hold
And never let go
Who'll be there to catch me
When I fall

I don't care if he's broke
As long as he'll treat me right
I won't care at all
Even if he'll make love to me all night

I don't want him to see me cry
Cause he'll wipe away the tears
And try to comfort me
When I tell him about my fears

I don't want to be loved only in the dark
Cause I know he won't stay
Please be with me
Stay all through the day

I don't want to share his heart
I want it all just for me
Let me be the only one
To make him happy

I don't need another heartache
I've cried just enough
I'm not trying to be mean
Or sound so tough

I wish he'll find his way to me
Before the water runs dry
Please be there when I wake up
And never say goodbye


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