Customers of Lori Schifter, proprietor of The Silver Lady are already aware that the shop carries a wide-range of fabulous jewelry. For those who are unfamiliar with The Silver Lady, which has been located at 4736 McPherson for 10 years, Lori handpicked several items to feature here including a dramatic Squash Blossom necklace, third from left, $775. Other gift suggestions offered are, from left, lovely pearl earrings, $148, and matching pearl necklace, $360. Filigree earrings, third from left, are $88, and a simple cubic zirconia necklace is $68. Striking rings are available in lemon quartz, $495, blue topaz, $525, or peridot, $490. Far right, a "Lucy Knot" necklace on green multi-cord leather chain is $565. Lori's dry wit is offered free.
The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson, Holiday Hours: Mon. to Fri. 12-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 11-4, (314) 367-7587.
Before describing gift suggestions from Left Bank Books, shown in the photographs above and below, here is an important public service announcement: Left Bank Books offers free gift wrapping and same day delivery for in-stock items, $5, within the city limits (top that Amazon! And no drones either!). Orders must be in by 2 p.m. for same day delivery. LBB offers personal shopping too!
Fantabulous manager Wintaye (Wintai) Gebru (just spend 5 minutes with her & you'll know what I mean) pulled together the following: From top left above, Plenty More, $35, by Yotam Ottolinghi (author of cult favoriteJerusalem); All the Light We Cannot See, $27, by Anthony Doerr; and local author Carol Shepley's St. Louis, An Illustrated Timeline, $36. Wintaye added, "We're wild about anythingSt. Louis around here!"
Second row from left -for children- Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, by Mac Barnette, $16.99; John Lahr's Tennessee Williams, $39.95, chosen because Williams lived in the CWE (immortalized by the bust outside Grigon on what is known as Writer's Corner), and Lahr's book won the William Flannery O'Connor prize; The Short and Tragic life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs, $27, amazing, though tragic story; and Japanese author Haruki Marakam's The Strange Library 107, $18, described by Wintaye as "complicated, dreamlike, written by a master-magician," suitable for teens on up.
It was news to me that Left Bank Books started its own publishing house, "Mixed Messages Press," and chose A Wedding Song for Poorer People by Alfred DePew, $16.95. for its first publication. And finally, lower left above, a great family game for all ages, The Storymatic Rememory,A Lifetime of Memories in One Little Box, $23.95. It's suggested as wonderful for writers too, as the game helps stimulate the imagination...just ask several of the writers on LBB's staff! They love it!
In the children's section from left, Ryan Nusbrekol's The St. Louis Night Before Christmas, $12; 50th Anniversary edition of The Giving Tree, $16.99; Once Upon an Alphabet, $26.99, by Oliver Jeffries, described as "complex and beautiful stories created for each letter"; Pete the Christmas Cat, $16; Shh! We Have a Plan, $15.99, by Chris Haughton, a funny read-aloud book for toddlers on up. Front, My First Book of Girl Power, $9.99, a visually striking book for girls (and boys) ages 1 to adult (big girls love this book, and why not?).
At top above, Animalium, a gorgeous first encyclopedia for children written by Jenny Broom and illustrated by Katie Scott, $35.
One of many fabulous illustrations found in Animalium, above.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid, Holiday Hours: 10 to 10 every day, 10 to 6 December 24, closed December 25, (314) 367-6731.
Poke around the eclectic Shelton Davis Antiques at 4724 McPherson for a while and you're bound to find many unusual gifts, including a rams-horn candle holder, $295, above.
Or you might spot this lovely gold English cup and saucer, $100.
In the shop's lower level there is a large collection of vintage ornaments priced from $2 to $5. Proprietors Jon Davis and Dan Shelton collect ornaments year 'round and put them out during the holiday season. The holiday stag pillow, above, is $35.
Indie Mats' proprietors and CWEnders Emma Hand and Brooke Williams have set up shop in The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson. They've put together kits to chronicle Baby's First Year in photographs, see above. The kits, packed with twelve frameless mats and imaginative labels, etc. normally sell for $77, but are available to readers of this blog for $60. Mention the blog when you stop by.
Indie Mats' decorative frames are available individually too, $9 to $15. Packages of photo-ready Gift Tags and Ornaments are $18 (for readers of this blog $11, in store only). The sets include 5 "coins" and 6 "window tags," which make 3 front-and-back or 6 single-sided tags.
Indie Mats, 4701 McPherson, Mon. to Sat. from approximately 9 to 3.
CWEnder Wade Crowder has popped up again running The Sample Sale, also inside The Vino Gallery. The pop-up, which occupies half of the shop space (Indie Mats is in here too) is stocked with great felt hats, $10, and many, many scarves, $15 to 20. Gloves and mittens were in short supply when I was there recently, but Wade was expecting a new shipment tout de suite!
The Sample Sale at The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson, Tues. to Thurs. Noon to 8 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun. Noon to 6 p.m.
Gift books at Centro Modern Furnishings are displayed alongside the designer's furniture, including Castiglioni's Mezzadro stool designed in 1957, $990.00. The seat is available in aluminum, orange, red, yellow, white and black. The book published by Phaidon, $59.95, is a complete catalog spanning architecture and product design & includes well-known designs for Zanotta, Artemide and Alessi. Other books on display are The Contemporary Garden, $29.95, and The Design Book, $19.95, filled with examples of objects that have shaped our society.
Shiro Kuramata's Storage Tower, designed in 1970, is $3825. The photo shows Kuramata's book with Essays and Writings by Phaidon, $150.
Centro carries designer Tom Dixon products including a set of 5 hand-formed bowls made of single sheets of copper, $195, which makes them amazingly light. The handsome bowls are food-safe.
Dixon's oversized statement-worthy salt and pepper mills, above, are $75 and $85. The turned white marble mortar with brass unlacquered pestle, $239, makes mine look like its poor cousin. What a gift!
To shed light on a subject anywhere, Centro carries LED FLOS "OK" lamps that attach to the ceiling and then plug into an outlet The lamps are also dimmable, $695.
Be sure to vote for your favorite holiday windows while you are out shopping! It only takes a minute to fill out the ballot. I'll be posting photographs of the windows over the next couple of days. And more gift suggestions next!
While there's still plenty of time to peruse the neighborhood shops for the perfect gift for everyone on your list, here is a quick look at some of the things I found that might help spark some ideas.
Julie Wedele, the Pastry Chef for Scape and Crepes has hit the sweet spot with "housemade" toffee, caramel corn, and biscotti in Crepes mugs, $6 each. Turtle bark, front, is $3.50, Crepes Strawberry Jam, right, is $6.
When you stop by be sure to study Julie's adorable handmade gingerbread houses in the shop window. When I asked if she would make them for anyone else, she replied, "No way, these took two weeks!"
Photo courtesy of Crepes
With 72 hours advance notice Julie will create a Yule Log Crepe Cake, shown above, for your holiday gathering. The cake serves 12 to 15, $56. Crepes' crowd-favorite cinnamon rolls are $18. See complete list and view ordering information here.
Crepes, 52 Maryland Plaza, Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., (314) 367-2800.
You'll find many holiday party selections at Libby's, 4742 McPherson Avenue, including a soft beige sleeveless dress with gold sequins, $81, and a black long-sleeve dress with jeweled neckline that dips to a deep-v, $78.
I've read kimonos are hot this year. A lovely rayon kimono with silk-fringe by Ares.A is one-of-a-kind, size S/M, $185.
The handbags at Libby's always knock me out since they look more expensive than they really are. The black and red purse with zipper pockets is $42; the red-and-beige tote is $77.
Libby's, 4742 McPherson, (314) 454-3003.
Stacey Plank, proprietor of The Eye Bar, suggested that the OYO Eyeglass Box, above, would be a perfect gift for someone who seems to have everything. The handsome storage box holds 10 pair of eyeglasses and comes in white, above, Tiffany Blue (in stock) and black. It can be ordered in several wood finishes too, $250. The OYO Box can be monogrammed in about a day's time.
From left, fun Eye-Bobs "cheaters" are available in several color combinations, $75, a Cote & Ciel + Mykita neoprene glass case with attached lens cloth is $35. Popular "La Loup" eyeglass chains are available in a "Love" style, $130, and tortoise version, $100. The "salt milla" polarized sunglasses are non-prescription, $460, though they can be ordered as prescription glasses as well.
The Eye Bar, 401 N. Euclid, Tues. 11 to 6, Weds. to Sat. 11 to 7. An eye doctor is available Tues., Weds. & Sat., (314) 367-1848.
The Vino Gallery is offering a special price of $150 for 12 bottles of wine including tax. You can mix and match the selection to include reds, whites, rose, and sparkling wines. Individual bottles from this selection, grouped on display tables in the shop, are available for $13.99.
Choices include "The Velvet Devil" Merlot, a crowd-pleasing rose, Chateau La Coste (which is described as a perfect accompaniment to holiday meals), or Toso, a Champagne-style sparkler. Ask Alex or Matt at The Vino Gallery to choose their favorites for you, wrap the whole kit and kaboodle up and have it delivered to your apartment or condo...or to a friend. Delivery is $8 in the city, $13 to county locations. How's that for convenience!
The Vino Gallery, Mon. to Thurs. 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 to 10 p.m., (314) 932-5665.
Christiane Danna of Christiane's Handcrafted Jewelry has created an absolutely stunning gold-and-silver "sand dollar" necklace, $179, and matching earrings, $39.
Click on the video above to hear the wonderful sounds of the Ambassadors of Harmony as they entertained the crowd at the tree lighting ceremony on Maryland Plaza last Saturday.
Alderman Lyda Krewson drew a round of applause when she mentioned that the CWE was named one of the 10 Top Neighborhoods in the U.S. by the American Planning Association.
KSDK's Anne Allred, emcee for the festivities, announced that 3-year-old "Claudia" would light the Christmas Tree. Claudia underwent heart surgery at Children's Hospital two days prior to the event.
Ballerinas from Dance Experience Studio warmed up in the staging area before performing Tchakovsky's Nutcracker - Waltz of the Snowflakes, see video below. The performance was a beautiful finale to a fantastic day in the CWE.
While you're shopping in the neighborhood and voting for your favorite Holiday Window there'll be more street entertainment to enjoy over the next two weekends. I'll be posting the schedule on my "Coming Soon" column, right.
Thanks so much to Frances Thompson and the Maryland Plaza Organization for orchestrating the fabulous Holiday on the Plaza event. And kudos to Kate Haher, Executive Director of the Community Improvement District for coordinating the activities celebrating the kickoff of the annual Window Walk Contest.
And finally, thanks to those loyal patrons who stay or party at the Chase-Park Plaza, buy groceries at Straub's, tires at Reliance Automotive, dine out, have a beer, purchase a dress, a book, snazzy specs, a chair, candy, cupcakes, jewelry, perfume, yoga gear, and/or jeans in the CWE North. The 1% tax that's added to the bill stays in the neighborhood and funds the many activities of the CWE North Community Improvement District, including daily street and sidewalk cleaning, landscaping, holiday decorations, and activities such as the Window Walk, the Local Social events held monthly throught the summer, the legendary Halloween festivities, etc. It does indeed take a village...and what goes around, as they say, comes around...so SHOP LOCAL this and every season of the year!
There were many members of the Central West End Association volunteering at Saturday's events including Board Member Anna Cardot, above right. Inside the Holiday Tent CWE-based fashion designer Amy Johnson, above right, made sure the Rudolph headbands were just right.
There was something for everyone Saturday as the Holiday Season was officially launched in the CWE with a day of festivities at the 10th Annual Holiday on the Plaza and 5th Annual Window Walk. The activities, coordinated by the Community Improvement District and the Maryland Plaza organization, provided just the lift needed to get into the holiday spirit. Several people commented that Saturday's events were the best ever! From 1 to 5 p.m. the variety included an opportunity to visit with Santa, above,
and to say hello to Mrs. Claus who seemed unfazed by the locomotive chugging around the tabletop.
Christmas Present and Scrooge were in attendance.
As were many neighborhood children sporting Rudolph antlers and noses they made in the Holiday Tent located behind 'Scape.
There were carriage rides along Euclid ...
and a Sugar Plum Fairy.
A Nutcracker on stilts, above.
Ice sculptures were carved on the sidewalk near PI and Llwelyn's Pub, and later placed at the Euclid & McPherson corners and at the entrance to the Holiday Tent on Maryland Plaza,below.
People seemed fascinated by the S'Mores Bars at Mike's Bikes and Gringo.
The last shot shows ballerinas from Dance Experience Studio heading from Bissinger's to the staging area to prepare for their performance on Maryland Plaza. More photos to follow.
An entertaining and informative post from The Owlman of Forest Park, Mark Glenshaw:
Friday, December 4, 2014 I am making the call. The youngest owlet has left Charles and Sarah's territory. It finally happened. It has been a long time coming for this owlet to finally disperse. The owlet is incredibly late in dispersing. To put it in context, the 2013 owlets and the 2014 owlets hatched at the same time, early to mid-February. The youngest owlet of the 2013 clutch was last seen on September 17, 2013. I last saw the youngest owlet of the 2014 on Thanksgiving, November 27, 2014. Here he is on that night, perched in one of The Crossroads Conifers, a spot he had used a few times that week. (Be sure to double click on the photos to see a bigger version).
A beautiful owlet that looks a great deal like Sarah from the neck down and like Charles from the neck up so much so that sometimes IDing them all was challenging at times.
I have never seen an owlet disperse so late as this one did. The owlet's continued presence impacted Charles and Sarah's behavior immensely. The most notable impact was how it changed where Charles and Sarah perched. Their perch and roost sites vary seasonally. As we got into late summer, I was not finding Charles and Sarah in there usual spots in The Wooded Area. This continued into the fall. Only in the last several weeks have the parents perched consistently in their regular fall spots. For most of the late summer and the fall Charles and Sarah perched nearby in The Hilly Wooded Area in the vicinity of the 2010 Nest Tree.
At my recent talk on the owls' mating, nesting and owlets at the Mid-County branch of the St. Louis County there was a whiteboard in the room and with my complete lack of all but the crudest drawing ability, I drew a diagram of these changes in the owls' perching/roosting sites. Despite my worst efforts, the diagram helped make this impact palpable and not just to the owls. I have recreated this below with a few extra labels and such.
Prior to this period, I had only seen Charles and Sarah use this area for daytime perching when she nested there in 2010. Not only that but we had a few periods when Charles and Sarah could not be found for a day or two. These disappearing acts occurred before this but not as frequently.
This owlet begged throughout its whole time with the parents. I often found the owlet first vocally and then visually. Charles and Sarah stopped feeding it probably in August but still it stayed and begged. On numerous occasions it interrupted their duetting. I saw them chase the owlet twice. The first time was unmistakable: the owlet flew off with Charles and further back, Sarah, in pursuit. The second time was intensity made flesh and feather. Charles and Sarah all but assaulted the owlet as they did their best to drive it to disperse. While it seems a tough thing to do, owlets must disperse to maintain healthy populations of owl prey and deep, rich owl gene pools. Even with this chasing, the owlet remained.
Not only that but I would have hints that the owlet had left only to find him once more. I would not see him for one night and begin my countdown only to see him the next day. I had two separate four night periods when I did not see him and I thought that he might be gone but each time I found him again.
1. The owlet was developmentally lacking and that this not bode well both in the short and the long term.
2. The owlet's continued presence might impact Charles and Sarah so much that they may not mate and/or nest.
These concerns continue but thankfully the second concern is diminishing. Charles and Sarah's duets have increased in intensity and I think they could mate any day now. I have also seen them check out a few potential nest spots including the 2011/13/14 Nest Hollow. Here they are in mid-duet last night. Such a treat to see this. (Charles on the right, Sarah on the left)
With any luck the owlet will survive and thrive and my next post will be about Charles and Sarah mating. Thank you for reading!
And thank you to Mark Glenshaw for letting me repost this.