Gift Guide No. 1

-- gifts over $50, published Dec. 4, 2002

Gift Guide No. 2 -- winter fashions, published Dec. 11, 2002

contents Stocking Stuffers
Books and Music
Graphic Novels
Home Furnishings
No Sweat Shopping

Sometimes all you need is a little fashion fairy dust to turn that Santa suit from ho-ho-hum to hubba-hubba. Ditch last year's black belt and red nose for these dazzling wardrobe supplements--a furry scarf and a sexy Stepford apron. Put a dab of sugar cookie dough behind each ear and your elves will be fighting to ride sleigh shotgun.

Ball Shawl
Opera divas, emperor swans and champion garglers don't trust their necks to any muffler ordinaire--they need a rabbit-fur scarf ($35, Galore Dept. Store, 827 NW 23rd Ave., 279-8946). Fluffy nuggets of rabbit fur are fashioned into spheres and dyed baby blue or camel, then knotted together to form a long, netlike scarf. Soft and delicate, this snug swaddler will keep the pipes warm without scratching delicate skin. But yes, that does mean you're going to have to hear that Carmen aria wafting from the shower again.

Sealed with a Kiss
Immortalized by Pat Benatar (as in "put another notch in my..."), a horizontal lipstick case ($48, Coach, Pioneer Place, 700 SW 5th Ave., 294-0772) not only discreetly houses a lady's tube of Silver City Pink, it contains an oblong mirror. Made from Coach's glove-tanned leather and available in a range of colors, it's the perfect size for touching up one's war paint in a crowded bar (not to mention checking out the stunning stranger in the next booth). No man-eater is fully equipped without one--and your bedpost can't take many more notches.

Off Your Chest
For many women, the words "jewelry box" conjure a gilt-and-quilted horror (bestowed by Grandma on an eighth birthday) with a ballerina on the lid dancing to a maniacal off-key version of "It's a Small World." For jewelry storage, stop relying on a Ziploc bag that mingles fragile necklaces, orphaned earrings and junk jewels in a piratic tangle. Zigzag wooden jewelry chests ($36 and up, Souri's Gifts, 748 NW 11th Ave., 224-5401), with their alternating drawers and quaintly carved feet, practically stand on their own as furniture--not to mention banish bad birthday memories.

Apron (Heart) Strings
Once an ironclad icon of domesticity (with all its unsavory hausfrau overtones), vintage-inspired aprons ($24-$35, Girly Girl Clothing, 806-6147, are back, and they're fresher than a bedsheet snapping on an April clothesline. Local seamstress Teresa Coates makes the aprons from vintage patterns and offers an array of styles depending on your needs (do you throw the occasional cocktail confab or a weekly spaghetti feed?) Many of the aprons have charming appliqués--apples, snowmen, a line of dancing flowers. Choose from half (waist-down) or full-metal-jacket styles.

Squint Glint
We can settle that old "do men make passes at girls who wear glasses? conundrum with trendy aspheric lens reading glasses ($15, Coco & Toulouse Go Shopping, 7080 SE 16th Ave., 236-5999). In addition to several fetching frame tints (hot pink, cerulean blue), choose wacky prints like leopard, cow and zebra. Faster than you can say Moby Dick, you go from nearsighted Nellie to a very sexy Marian the librarian. Add a tight tweedy skirt and busty sweater set, and the smart-slut look is complete. Just don't forget to turn that book right side up.

Rings True
Why settle for wordy sentiments when precious metals speak volumes? Simple and direct as good punctuation, Madeleine Yates enamel and silver jewelry ($49 and up, Relish, 1112 NW Johnson St., 227-3779) adds exclamation points to your ensemble. Upbeat daubs of enamel cut right from the fruit bowl--a plummy pink, honeydew green, satsuma orange--are set in perfectly formed silver settings for earrings, pendants and triple rings that add as much finish and mystique as perfectly placed ellipses.


Patagonia Silk-Weight Boxers
Keep your partner warm and sexy in these lightweight yet cozy boxers. They're made of Capilene and have a lifetime guarantee.

$28, U.S. Outdoor Store, 219 SW Broadway, 223-5937.

Rest Your Eyes Eye Pillow
Perfect for traveling, meditation or combating the stress of visiting family. Available in various scents and patterns.

$16, Greg's, 3707 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-1257.

Baby Alpaca Knit Gloves
Keep those digits warm with handmade llama-wool gloves that convert from fingerless gloves to mittens with a button flap.

$35, Onda Studio and Gallery, 2215 NE Alberta St., 493-1909.