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The Not-Quite Romantic

Jan 23, 2012

by Cate Fitt handmade and vintage goods

Does anyone, except new lovers, actually enjoy Saint Valentine’s Day? Some years I should have celebrated Saint Jude, Patron Saint of Fools and Lost Causes, instead. I first fell in love when I was six with a playmate’s older brother. He had a massive comic book collection and sometimes picked me to be on his capture-the-flag team. My first heartbreak came in high school when I was dropped because my boyfriend thought I might distract him from getting into Harvard. Now, looking back at past loves, I see that many were lust disguised as love, some were like, some were fiction, and a rare few were true.

[Clockwise from top left: Man and woman trivet from Gilgool; Turned maple box  from Clavico; Original seaweed pressing from AlgaNet; Valentine heart die cuts from UniquesStashNStuff; Stitched moleskin notebook from Elizabethrosemond]

I once came home to paper hearts strewn about the house. We left them on the floor for years, only picking them up to sweep.


[Clockwise from top left: Button ceramic tile from Misterrob; Windy day painting from Kikiandpolly; Handmade St. Jude statue from Inthecompanyofsaints; Vintage loves me not hanky from BobetsyWe were so close print from Jensandwich]

Unrequited love has been a painful teacher. I had to learn the lesson of letting go.

[Nice to have around card from Littlethingsstudio; Pomegranate shortbread cookies from Butterblossoms; Valentine art block from Sushipot; Swallow temporary tattoo from Esterkneen; Quote magnet from Chicalookate]

My mother was my most faithful valentine. She found many ways to tell me how much she loved me.

[Clockwise from top left: Vintage bee condiment dish from ThevintageapartmentHoney bee block print from Littlebeanprints; Bee necklace from Designoptions; Bee’s knees print from Theblackapple;Bees in the valley mezzotint from Whitedeerhorn]

Did you know that Valentine is also the Patron Saint of Beekeepers?

These days my life is filled with love, not the romantic love I longed for when I was younger, but the deep and rich love for friends and family who know me well. With them there is no need to set a day aside to celebrate because each ordinary day is its own Valentine’s.

hand embroidered vintage hanky - he loves me not
hand embroidered vintage hanky - he loves me not
stitched moleskine notebook, red ampersand (lined pages)
stitched moleskine notebook, red ampersand (lined pages)
Original seaweed pressing 13301 Marine Botanical Pressing Pressed Algae  Art Original Collage
Original seaweed pressing 13301 Marine Botanical Pressing Pressed Algae Art Original Collage
Trim - Valentine ART BLOCK - Original Mixed Media Collage
Trim - Valentine ART BLOCK - Original Mixed Media Collage
turned maple box with red enamel on copper insert
turned maple box with red enamel on copper insert
$120.00 USD
Bees in the Island's Valley - Mezzotint
Bees in the Island's Valley - Mezzotint


  • BiloxiHousewife

    BiloxiHousewife said 7 years ago

    Lovely, didn't know about the Patron Saint of Beekeepers! Oh and the Pomegranate Shortbread cookies look yummy!

  • RivalryTime

    RivalryTime said 7 years ago

    Interesting spin on love :)

  • MootiDesigns

    MootiDesigns said 7 years ago

    Great post. Thanks for sharing!

  • TaraJacksonJewelry

    TaraJacksonJewelry said 7 years ago

    Very interesting.

  • WingedWorld

    WingedWorld said 7 years ago

    This reminds me to make a Valentine's Day card for my daughter. I love the little love notes she writes to me. I'm soaking it up until her teen years hit...

  • LorisJewelryBox

    LorisJewelryBox said 7 years ago

    Patron saint of bees?? Could that be why loved ones call each other "honey"?? :-)

  • MyEverAfter

    MyEverAfter said 7 years ago

    I've always loved Valentine's Day, even when I was single. I'm a hopeless romantic and so for me it's a day of fixing a tube of popcorn and an assortment of my favorite snacks (chocolate being at the top of that list of course!) and playing back to back a selection of my favorite romantic movies!

  • goingplaces2

    goingplaces2 said 7 years ago

    Well done, Cate. A beautiful tribute to LOVE.

  • elleestpetite

    elleestpetite said 7 years ago

    So true and well said. :D

  • AlpineGypsy

    AlpineGypsy said 7 years ago

    St. Valentine's Day is indeed a strange little 'holiday''s wonderfully romantic to attribute a full Day of Love & Appreciation for our mates, but I always seem to think that it should spring forth in a natural way rather than by prompting! Haha, oh well....I'll take it. Yes, when it all comes down to it, I cannot criticize a holiday about Love. ♥ Heidi ♥

  • vitamini

    vitamini said 7 years ago

    I never knew about the bee reference. Sweet.

  • ButterBlossoms

    ButterBlossoms said 7 years ago

    Thank you so much Cate! ♥ We loved reminiscing with you and really enjoyed all of your fabulous finds!! ♥ ♥

  • coolranchstudio

    coolranchstudio said 7 years ago

    i loved this. :)

  • ButterBlossoms

    ButterBlossoms said 7 years ago

    Bee Mine :) Hehehe! ♥

  • glusk

    glusk said 7 years ago

    I didn't you know that Valentine is also the Patron Saint of Beekeepers. Maybe that is why love can sting so much sometimes.

  • fantasygarden

    fantasygarden said 7 years ago

    it's reminds me i realy need to make some present for special one

  • MarthyMay

    MarthyMay said 7 years ago

    Valentine's Day... When my brother in second grade came home from school, sobbing, without any valentines, my mom retraced his steps in the deep snow and found them all. True love. Thanks for the article.

  • HeatherLucille

    HeatherLucille said 7 years ago

    The idea of paper hearts strewn about is so charming! Sweet article - I am a sappy, ole romantic so I l-o-v-e all of your picks!

  • Talula

    Talula said 7 years ago

    Oh my! Love this article! Even I, talula bourdon (bourdon is french for bumblebee), did not know that Saint Valentine was the Patron Saint of beekeepers! So informative and special indeed! Thank you!

  • estheraguirre

    estheraguirre said 7 years ago

    Super nice pics!!! :D

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    VoleedeMoineaux said 7 years ago

    Oh yum! Im gonna go pig out now.

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 7 years ago

    Love.. I came here for the cookies..

  • volkerwandering

    volkerwandering said 7 years ago


  • Craftelina

    Craftelina said 7 years ago

    very well put. agree with all you said. and the photos are very beautiful. Thanks!

  • RossLab

    RossLab said 7 years ago

    Love it!

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop said 7 years ago

    I love that your mother was your most faithful Valentine. That is the sweetest thing I have heard in a long time.

  • djcjlw

    djcjlw said 7 years ago


  • ProfessorTiny

    ProfessorTiny said 7 years ago

    Delightful quirky finds, and a lovely post.

  • SaraChana

    SaraChana said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful, dear piece. Glad to be among those who say, I love you.

  • WindlessMeadow

    WindlessMeadow said 7 years ago

    I think you can experience deep, true, unconditional love and still enjoy some sappiness on Valentine's Day. My husband and I have been through some rough times together and love each other much more because of it ... and yet I'll still give him a homemade card and a sappy gift this year :-)

  • PaperAltar

    PaperAltar said 7 years ago

    Happy Valentines Day, Cate !

  • ovationstudio1

    ovationstudio1 said 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your heart felt story. Love your collection of goodies and new information about Valentine's and bees. By the way, the cookies look delicious and are making me hungry.

  • WildRoseHerbs

    WildRoseHerbs said 7 years ago

    Love this, so sweet!

  • fbstudiovt

    fbstudiovt said 7 years ago

    We should make February 13th a holiday for St. Jude! I know I whole-heartedly caucus with fools and lost causes personally :)

  • thevicagirl

    thevicagirl said 7 years ago

    Ah, Valentines Day, not sure what to say about it.

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas said 7 years ago

    cute read...

  • shabbydreams

    shabbydreams said 7 years ago

    I am with MyEverAfter all the way. Even though I'm single, I love celebrating Valentines Day. I love all things pink, romantic, and girly. For me, there's nothing like my favorite snacks and movies on February 14th. Looking back, my mom was my favorite valentine as well :)

  • katydidit416

    katydidit416 said 7 years ago

    Being someone's Valentine is a gift. Period.

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 7 years ago

    Great post!

  • genisepark

    genisepark said 7 years ago

    No wonder I love bees....great article.

  • CrochetByBrenda

    CrochetByBrenda said 7 years ago

    after around 20 years, my decidedly UNromantic and terribly practical significant other (i.e. a vacuum cleaner on my 21st bday stands out) decided to surprise me one Valentine's Day. On February 13th when I got ready for bed he asked me to please not wear socks to bed (it's a quirk, shut up). So the next morning when I blearily rose from the bed my bare feet stepped on what I THOUGHT was cat puke. I immediately began spewing forth profanities aimed directly toward the hapless and innocent feline only to discover that my sweetheart had strewn rose petals everywhere in a path... first to the bathroom (cuz Mama has to tinkle first thing in the morning, or else) then to the cat food closet, then to the coffee machine. Despite the fact that I ruined the moment (or maybe because of it lol) it's still my fondest memory of the day :)

  • yummiesmummy

    yummiesmummy said 7 years ago

    Awwww so lovely. I thought the comment about your mother was beautiful and sweet. We all should be so lucky to have such a mother.

  • vynsimplicity

    vynsimplicity said 7 years ago

    Be completely humble and gentle: be patient, bearing with one another in love. When I deserve your love the least is when I need your love the most May we find Valentines day every day <3

  • OhSoEnchanting

    OhSoEnchanting said 7 years ago

    (also wears socks to bed) What a great article! Thank you for sharing

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    OnlyOriginalsByAJ said 7 years ago

    What a heart felt article! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • auldlangsyne1

    auldlangsyne1 said 7 years ago

    So true about having to let go! My mother is wonderful...~KK~

  • muffintopdesigns

    muffintopdesigns said 7 years ago

    valentine's day is definitely my most favorite holiday ever. a day to celebrate love and only love? right up my alley! thank you for this beautiful post! xoxoxo

  • LittleBeanPrints

    LittleBeanPrints said 7 years ago

    I really loved reading this- so thoughtful and moving. I wish I could go back to the days of my mom being my valentine and paper hearts. I still buy the candy hearts with messages every year and think of her. And thank you - I'm honored to have my work included with this piece.

  • mimicox

    mimicox said 7 years ago

    lovely & well said- thank you cate.

  • TheVintageApartment

    TheVintageApartment said 7 years ago

    I love that Valentine is also the Patron Saint of Beekeepers! That is so delightful, as is this wonderful gathering you've composed. Thanks so much for including my vintage bee (he's happy to be here!). with joy, Caren

  • BirdEnergy

    BirdEnergy said 7 years ago

    Fun post love the bees.

  • LilSoulja

    LilSoulja said 7 years ago

    it's sooo close. I had no idea that Valentine is also the Patron Saint of Beekeepers. :)

  • rozstein

    rozstein said 7 years ago

    You are so awesome!

  • kiranofindaly

    kiranofindaly said 7 years ago

    Happy valentine's!

  • GracefullyGirly

    GracefullyGirly said 7 years ago

    I knew I loved bees! Funny connection. Truly love can/should be celebrated all the time; not just on one set-aside day of the year. Loved the paper hearts story!

  • Pepz

    Pepz said 7 years ago

    Happy Valentines

  • PattiTrostle

    PattiTrostle said 7 years ago

    Love this!

  • 2boysandagirlmama

    2boysandagirlmama said 7 years ago

    You are inspirational! Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts. Happy Valentine's Day and Every day!

  • LizardSkins

    LizardSkins said 7 years ago

    yes, we all need to remember love comes in many forms...and is everywhere. thanks for a lovely, thoughtful post!

  • designbyaimee

    designbyaimee said 7 years ago

    I really enjoyed this! Love can be very bittersweet, and I enjoyed reading your honest thoughts about your experiences Cate.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 7 years ago

    Love is fickle!

  • mirabellamorello

    mirabellamorello said 7 years ago

    I agree that everyday can be its own Valentine's Day, but it is still so nice to have a special hearts-and-flowers day!! I had the same experience about my mother being my most faithful valentine too. Until recently, she did not miss a year, starting when I was a very small child. Every year, no matter where I was (even one year when I was on vacation at the time!), I could expect to get a Valentine from her. A couple of years ago, I stopped getting them from her. She was no longer able to keep track of the days or simple everyday tasks. This year will be My Mommy's first Valentine's Day in Heaven and I have to assume she will be busy handing them out there. But I know she will be sending one to my heart and I will be sending one back.

  • littlethingsstudio

    littlethingsstudio said 7 years ago

    Thank you so much for including one of my valentine cards! Lovely curation as always, Cate! I hope you have a lovely valentine's day! -kate

  • zelaya

    zelaya said 7 years ago

    I have also grown to reside more and more in the support and love of friends and family, beautiful thing to remember as Valentine's day approaches!

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 7 years ago


  • IceCreamCandy

    IceCreamCandy said 7 years ago

    the 1st photo is so sweet and makes me smile:)

  • rn101

    rn101 said 7 years ago

    As a socially awkward, chubby-when-no-one-else-was kid, poor and sometimes homeless kid, Valentines day was a day of misery for me. My truest valentine was my 3rd grade teacher who put a big, beautiful valentine, "from a secret pal" in my otherwise empty shoebox. Valentines day isn't necessarily about sex; it's about love.

  • envydesignsjewelry

    envydesignsjewelry said 7 years ago

    Great spin on love. I love the bees as well, so cool to learn something new, thanks!

  • fulltiltboo

    fulltiltboo said 7 years ago

    Has always confounded me when single others who have a healthy family dynamic and/or nourishing friendship proclaim that they are "looking for love". I know they mean some concept of romantic fellowship but I always think - though rarely(if ever) say: Look all around you; you are luckier in love than many lovers who need one singular, conventional bond to qualify their worthiness. Love is love is love with no true relationship inferior or superior to the depth of love we might be brave enough to experience. If we are having and giving such love freely, we are rich indeed. Romantic love is a treasure but should not trump key connections that sustain and inspire us. Perhaps the most valuable Valentine is one that tells the recipient they matter. Thank you so for this thoughtful post - makes one of my most private thoughts public.

  • Clavico

    Clavico said 7 years ago

    Wow, very nice Cate

  • peshka

    peshka said 7 years ago

    Love it ! great article!

  • dahlilafound

    dahlilafound said 7 years ago

    That was lovely. Thank you for sharing & reminding us of the important loves in our lives. :-)

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField said 7 years ago

    Nice article. And I didn't know about the bees either :0)

  • PolClary

    PolClary said 7 years ago

    Lovely article. We don't really celebrate Valentine's day in Holland much (though the shops are stocking more heart-y items and gifts and such in an effort to get people to buy). I like the idea of celebrating the beekeeper thing. Hurray, it's Valentine's Day, let's put honey in our tea. ;)

  • cottonbirddesigns

    cottonbirddesigns said 7 years ago

    Great article!

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    mattyhandmadecrafts said 7 years ago


  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 7 years ago

    I agree with PolClary, Valentines is such a funny holiday I used to dread it as a kid thats for sure.

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 7 years ago

    I love what you wrote. Your words were right on point.

  • Tessarj

    Tessarj said 7 years ago

    My Mom has always been my most faithful valentine too. Thanks for reminding me to let her know this Valentine`s Day!

  • Shoequeen1961

    Shoequeen1961 said 7 years ago

    Oh Cate... You are truly a wonder! I love what you say about your Mom-- My Mom has always been my most faithful valentine as well. But my Dad [God rest his soul] taught me what to look for in a true valentine. The cookies... The information about the Patron Saint of Bumble Bees [I just love Bumble Bees!!!] You are a vessel of information. And yes! Love comes in many forms-- Godspeed in all of your endeavors!

  • Enlincia

    Enlincia said 7 years ago

    I've always loved Valentine's Day... even when it brought horrible disappointment because nothing can quite match a hopeless romantic's dreams. We're still struggling through school and put an ex-nay on any gifts for any occasion to each other. Instead we treat ourselves to a date that *gasp* actually cost us some money. The creativity to keep it all cheap but exciting is one of the challenges that keeps our love alive.

  • HibouCards

    HibouCards said 7 years ago

    well said!

  • ZenBrush

    ZenBrush said 7 years ago

    Thanks for presenting the shadow side of valentines day.

  • perebags

    perebags said 7 years ago

    Patron Saint of Beekeepers! Never knew that. Great Finds!

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 7 years ago

    wonderful article. love the turns, moving definitions and realizations. i never knew st. valentine watched out for beekeepers, too.

  • TouchTheMoon

    TouchTheMoon said 7 years ago

    Ehm... I thought that St Valentine's is about sexual love, so I was a bit surprised to see mothers mentioned. Unless we also give gifts to bf on father's day now etc. ;)

  • ruchla

    ruchla said 7 years ago

    love it!!!

  • edguardodeevinchsski

    edguardodeevinchsski said 7 years ago

    This is so sweet!

  • abigailfulbrook

    abigailfulbrook said 7 years ago

    Very honest and inspiring blog, thank you!

  • thevelvetheart

    thevelvetheart said 7 years ago

    I didn't know St Valentine was the patron saint of beekeepers! I love Valentine's Day, but not just to celebrate romantic love. To celebrate all the loves in our lives!

  • brainfart

    brainfart said 7 years ago

    Thank you ! Happy Valentine' s Day ! Lovely blog my mom was my Special Valentine too. Remember making home made valentine cards ? Such sweet memories!! Her smile , her home made fudge she would make ! But she is gone now . And I have sweet memories with my children and grandchildren and of course with Bear my valentine for 34 years. Hey everyone at Etsy HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

  • PoisonApplePotions

    PoisonApplePotions said 7 years ago

    Clicked for the cookies and stayed for the bees, love it!

  • PinesVintageClothing

    PinesVintageClothing said 7 years ago

    Beekeepers..who new?! Great read

  • PinesVintageClothing

    PinesVintageClothing said 7 years ago

    who Knew (I meant)...hahaha oops

  • MishaGirl

    MishaGirl said 7 years ago

    Lovely finds and fabulously written. Ah, Valentine's Day....everyone interprets it so differently- gotta LOVE that! Happy Valentine's all!

  • TamRasha

    TamRasha said 7 years ago

    I need MORE LOVE in my I AM NOT looking forward to "V" Day...but happy for all those that are...I am nOt gonna I am NOT gonna

  • bobetsy

    bobetsy said 7 years ago

    cate! thanks so much for having my hanky here! i'm afraid i "celebrated" the holiday so often in black, that even though i'm thoroughly in love now - the unrequited, melancholy valentine's day is the one i know best. :)

  • TamRasha

    TamRasha said 7 years ago

    Ok Im sorry...Im not really so unloved:) Lovely piece by the way and the COOKIES...what a GREAT idea:)

  • TamRasha

    TamRasha said 7 years ago

    AND I LOVED the

  • NDMStudios

    NDMStudios said 7 years ago

    Those cookies look delicious!

  • nicoahsmeem

    nicoahsmeem said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the touching story. I loved it.

  • somsstudiosupplies

    somsstudiosupplies said 7 years ago

    I am here for the cookies!! Yum!

  • greendesertart

    greendesertart said 7 years ago

    What a fantastic tribute to Valentine's Day! Thanks for new lessons...

  • metalicious

    metalicious said 7 years ago

    Wonderfully curated article! I love the part about your mom, how sweet!

  • apresti

    apresti said 7 years ago

    A fresh perspective on a great holiday!

  • ionesAttic

    ionesAttic said 7 years ago

    lovely sentiments...there is an untapped abundance of love and energy all around us...tap in!

  • jmdyoung

    jmdyoung said 7 years ago

    Thank you for this lovely post. Valentine's Day has always been a favorite holiday of mine and I think that is the case because of my mother. It is a day you can bring a smile to someone's face because you've thought of them - it doesn't need to be romance, it can be an elderly neighbor or the school bus driver. I lost my mom in October and this will be my first Valentine's Day without her. I love this line and will repeat it to myself as this Feb 14th approaches, "My mother was my most faithful valentine. She found many ways to tell me how much she loved me." Thank you!

  • VeloNoir

    VeloNoir said 7 years ago

    Thank you for this perspective on Valentine's Day and for reminding many of us that it is not only for lovers but singletons too. Instead of feeling too single this Valentine's Day, I'm going to put a smile on someone's face. Love is not just for one day.

  • NicoleNicoletta2

    NicoleNicoletta2 said 7 years ago

    such a nice article!

  • studio2355

    studio2355 said 7 years ago

    Good read thanks. I don't need a day on the calendar either but I will take it.101 made me cry, things do get better. I think I will treat myself and those who are special to me starting now.

  • SomethinPretty

    SomethinPretty said 7 years ago

    beautiful article :)

  • FatCatDesignStudio

    FatCatDesignStudio said 7 years ago

    I love the bee stuff--my name means "bee" in Hebrew!

  • thesoapqueen

    thesoapqueen said 7 years ago

    Wow the things you learn just surfing around! I must give my bees more LOVE on Valentines, nice article!

  • xZOUix

    xZOUix said 7 years ago

    Valentine's..... -e-v-e-r-y seller loves this day...... :)

  • LiseVintageLighting

    LiseVintageLighting said 7 years ago

    Bee-utifully, delightful choices! Love the carved St. Jude statue!

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 7 years ago


  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry said 7 years ago

    Great Post!!! Did not know about the Bees!!!

  • NaturalandVintage

    NaturalandVintage said 7 years ago

    love it! my mom still sends me valentine's day cards in the mail

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