How did this happen? Suddenly it's Dec. 20, and you're still working on your holiday gift list. At this point, you don't just need gifts, you need inspiration! Our suggestion: Get off the beaten track. Here are some last-minute gifts from some lesser-known shops, where you just might find the perfect present for that hard-to-buy-for person.
Comforts of home
Old-fashioned, handmade comforts of home abound at the Woman's Industrial Exchange shop, 333 N. Charles St. A double-bed quilt in bright primary colors and pastels in the traditional log-cabin pattern is $400. There are also baby quilts ($150-$200) and quilts in other sizes (most run between $325 and $350), plus knitted afghans, dolls and doll clothes and stuffed animals. For more information, call 410-685-4388.
Liven up your home or office computer area with a mouse pad featuring Mexican folk art. Images include a self-portrait of Frida Kahlo (center), the Virgin of Guadalupe (left) and Guardian Angel (right). Each pad is $14 at Something Else, 1611 Sulgrave Ave. in Mount Washington Village. The shop also features eclectic clothing and jewelry, and items from Mexico, Indonesia and India. For more information, call 410-542-0444.
Sometimes the very best holiday gift is something you make. A whole book full of projects for Kwanzaa includes centerpieces and wreaths, place mats and package wrapping, picture frames and tissue-box covers, jewelry and T-shirts. There are also explanations of the Kwanzaa observations and Kwanzaa recipes. The book is "Kwanzaa Crafts: Gifts & Decorations for a Meaningful & Festive Celebration," by Marcia Odle McNair (Sterling/Chapelle, 1998, $27.95). Available at booksellers.
The Art Gallery Ltd., at 5801 Falls Road, is a visual feast with antiques, jewelry, painted furniture, toys, country clothing, statues, paintings and drawings. Among shop specialties is painted glassware, including mugs with seasonal and holiday motifs ($7.95), bedside carafes in floral designs ($18.95), and wineglasses, pitchers, vases and other objects in a wide variety of designs ($3.95 to $34.95). For more information, call 410-435-6539.
Bugs are big this year, with two hit movies, so who wouldn't appreciate a votive-candle-holding bumblebee for the garden? The wrought-iron and glass figure with telescoping pole is 9 inches tall and costs $66 at In Watermelon Sugar, a new shop in Hampden. It specializes in charming oddities of glass and tin, along with architectural artifacts, art and painted furniture. The shop is at 3555 Chestnut Ave. For more information, call 410-662-9090.
Pub Date: 12/20/98