New locale, same great stuff
Jones Walker outgrew its space on McKinney Avenue earlier this year, moving to new, bigger digs on Knox-Henderson, but all the funkiness and high-quality items made the move just fine. Among the many cool gift ideas are some things for the household that already has everything, like hand-carved vases from mango wood in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Jones Walker 3010 N. Henderson St. Vases.
469-916-5500. (Also at 5813 Preston Road, Suite 552.
Stratos Greek Taverna, the gay-friendly restaurant along Northwest Highway with a sense of humor, has the perfect stocking stuffer for foodies and you don’t even eat it. Stratos’ custom boxer shorts offer the intriguing message “Greek Style” across the bum and a reminder on the front that “You Love It, Baby!” Indeed. As it turns out, baklava isn’t the only sweet thing you’ll find on the menu!
Stratos 2907 W. Northwest Highway. Briefs, $9.
Most people put their fish in water, but what about putting water in your fish? There must be someone on your list who relishes camp irony. Truth be told, the handcrafted Blenko glass vases from Aneita Fern are gorgeous enough that you don’t need to fill them with water and flowers to appreciate their beauty. These translucent tabletop art glass pieces could hold anything from marbles to nothing and still get compliments. You might even put a gold fish in one just to be really clever! Available in a variety of styles and colors.
Aneita Fern 5213 Alpha Road. Vases, $116-$220. 972-392-9277. Aneitafern.com.
Hit the slopes in comfort
Ski season is just around the corner (or already here if you know where to go), and for the serious skier nothing is better under the Christmas tree than something that gives him or her a reason to book a trip and buy a lift ticket. Ski Frisco offers several great items and you don’t even need to know the recipient’s shoe size to get them. The boot toaster from Seirus fits easily in wet boots and heats them so that feet are cozy for the next trip. If your skier needs something more versatile, the Seirus Quickdry heats both boots and gloves to remove perspiration and get you back on the slopes quickly.
Ski Frisco Sports 6875 Main St., Frisco. Toaster, $24.99; dryer, $49.99. 972-743-4728.
A Sacred act of giving
Over the course of his many travels, Dallas-based artist Bob Munro has always had a camera around his neck. And whether in Jerusalem, New Orleans, Italy or Hawaii, his eye has never failed to see beauty, whether in everyday objects or holy relics and the creative process has often given him pause. Now Munro shares his fine art photography through his company, Sacred Pause. His pictures, grouped by themes such as “From the Holy Land,” “Angels of the World” and “The Great Southwest,” convey a connection to other people, places and things that say more than words ever could from the spiritual to the kitschy. All of his work is available in greeting cards, matted prints, tabletop frames and larger wall hangings for the art collector in your life.
Sacred Pause 6010 McCommas Blvd. Cards, $5; matted prints start at $6; tabletop frames from $20; hanging pieces from $45. 214-828-4009. SacredPause.com
Turn up the heat this holiday. Zippo, a name synonymous with butane lighters for 75 years, introduces a new pocket torch for the smoker in your life who’s always scrounging for a light but loves to be stylish. The new Zippo BLU has all the familiar qualities of the classic rugged durability, flint-wheel ignition and a lifetime guarantee but the flame has been improved, and the design of the new Mesmerized is sure to catch someone’s eye at the clubs. Or you can stick with a classic Zippo Choice model for those who hate change.
Novelty Mart 2000 N. Hall St. $22.95-$64.95. 214-826-7278.
Whoever said “if you want the best seat in the house, take the dog’s” must have been thinking of these luxury products from North Texas-based Foxy Paws. You can lavish on your pets things you might never get for yourself, like a “genuine” Furcedes convertible or a Sniffany-blue box with white ribbon albeit both in bed form. These luxurious sleeping arrangements provide a degree of class than your little princess might not appreciate on the same level as you and your friends, but will be sure to offer great comfort and brighten up the doggy bedroom.
Foxy Paws the Dallas Galleria and Shops at Willow Bend. Furcedes bed, $249.99; Sniffany bed, $149.99. Foxypaws.com.
Accessories as art and fashion
If “Steel Magnolias” taught us anything, it’s that what separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize. And Armhole has taken the accessory to an art form by carrying fashion that is artistic. Designer wallets from DB Clay take their inspiration from photos, paintings and nature for totally individual looks. Distressed leather belts from Leather Island come in a wide selection of prints and themes, from Asian imagery to abstract patterns. And with buckles that are interchangeable, you can swap out looks and expand your wardrobe in a snap.
Armhole 3000 Blackburn St., Suite 120. Wallets, $48-$60; belts, $60-$85. 214-824-9544.
Holly, ivy and little pink mistletoe
After 20 years at the helm of the Turtle Creek Chorale, Dr. Timothy Seelig led the gay men’s chorus in countless concerts and helped the group become one of the most widely-recorded gay choirs in history. It naturally follows that in that time, the Chorale amassed quite a collection of CDs many loaded with Christmas carols and other seasonal delights. From the spiritual (“The Holy and the Holly”) to the campy (“Twisted Turtle Tinsel”) to everything in between, you can choose the music that’s just right for someone in your life who loves the Turtles and the holidays equally.
“Comfort & Joy,” “Roamin’ Holiday,” “Simply Christmas,” “The Holy and the Holly,” “Twisted Turtle Tinsel” all available at Turtlecreek.org. $10-$14.
Pridewear of all kinds, from clothing to home, says all it needs to for that special person in your life, and North Texas-based online retailer Rainbowgiftshop.net offers a terrific assortment of thoughtful gift ideas. Vases (from the colorfully striped to the modern duo-tone) run the gamut from proud-and-loud to subtly elegant. All orders are processed the next business day for speedy delivery.
Rainbowgiftshop.net online sales only. Striped vase, $59.95; duo-tone vase, $149.95.
Back to the future
How is it possible that items from the 1950s and even 1970s are now considered antiques? Well, when you have a distinctive style and time passes, the once-commonplace can become something desirable and rare and often kitschy. Who wouldn’t enjoy a classic cocktail set with pitcher, stirrer and eight glasses that calls to mind the days of the Rat Pack, or a “doughnut” phone that would look right at home on Jan Brady’s dresser? Some things just get better with age.
Lula B’s Antiques 2004 Greenville Ave. Phone, $20; cocktails set, $75. 214-824-2185.
Stop your wine-ing
True wine connoisseurs know that the second you open a bottle, the wine begins to change and eventually go bad. But with wine stoppers from Indigo 1745, not only can you help a friend extend the life of a good bottle but help his or her bar look dazzling at the same time. Made from exotic woods and accented with a variety of unique designs including the Great Seal of Texas, Swarovski crystals, state quarters and more. Telling someone to put a cork in it has never been so glamorous.
Indigo 1745 370 W. Seventh St. Wine bottle stoppers, $35 each. 214-948-1745.
I’ll have your head on a stick!
Any hall tree, foyer table or library shelf can be brightened up with a piece of tabletop art, and what’s more beautiful than the human face? But what version for that special someone in your life: Abstract features on art glass? A traditional Buddha on a glass base? A classical Greek bust sculpture on plaster? One of these mounted heads available from Bova, Nuvo and Dulce respectively will enliven any home.
Bova Furniture 4490 Alpha Road. Art glass faces, $79 each. 972-716-9600. Bova-furniture.com.
Dulce 2914 Oak Lawn Ave. Greek sculpture, $45. 214-219-5656.
Nuvo 3900 Cedar Springs Road. Stone Buddha on glass, $200. 214-522-6886.
On the cutting edge
The dreaded kitchen gift it always seems so domestic and uncreative. But not for the cook who appreciates convenience, style and performance. The Messermeister magnetic block from North Texas-based GermanDeli.com holds a selection of knives not in slots (which can dull edges and slow retrieval and return) but through hidden magnets. And because any knife fits anywhere, the chef not the block designer gets to decide what goes where. Although it does not come with knives, the outlet store sell a wide selection of fine cutlery as well.
GermanDeli.com outlet store 2890 Market Loop, Southlake. Magnetic knife block, $119.99; knives, $4.49-$159.99. Germandeli.com.
A little fairy dust
Remember the mania over “personal” dolls like Cabbage Patch Kids, Furbys and BeanieBabies? Where were the gay gifts in all those toys and why have children been the only ones to get in all the fun? That’s where fairies come in. Adults will enjoy these limited edition collectibles from designer Mark Roberts, all individually numbered and registered, making each unique. Available in a variety of styles, designs and personalities, they’re perfect for the kid in everyone.
Needless Necessities 2926 N. Henderson Ave. Fairies, $32-$110. 214-824-0700. Needlessnecessities.com.
Hellbent for leather
Sure, there are plenty of people on your list who will coo at a colorful sweater or sigh when you hand them a framed picture of their pet cat and titter with glee that you remembered they like Lladro figurines. Then there are the ones who like it a little nasty heck, they may be the same people! Leather Masters in Deep Ellum is a great way to explore a little kink with that person in your life. Imagine their surprise and delight on Christmas morning to see a sewn leather latigo harness or one decorated with chains what follows will be his gift to you!
Leather Masters 3000 Main St. Harnesses, $46.95-$174.95. 972-528-3865. LeatherMasters.com.
We all know someone who could use a little therapy but aromatherapy would probably be enough for most of us. The olfactory sense is the strongest and most evocative of the human senses, so the gift of great smells will really get you noticed. Xela Aromasticks from Beauty Bureau bottle great, powerful holiday odors like Christmas Tree, Spice and Candy Cane, and reed diffusers slowly allow them to waft through the air, making every room inviting and cozy. Available in three sizes (from 4 oz. to 16 oz.) in 16 fabulous fragrances.
Sample House 4252 Oak Lawn Ave. $30-$65. 214-599-0335.
The color of art
The ideal gift for the person who has everything is actually easy: A one-of-a-kind piece of artwork by a local artist. Dallas’ art community is thriving, with colorful paintings always a terrific idea for any home. The Soda Gallery’s “Caffeinated” exhibit includes artist Jonathon Kimbrell’s two-foot-square “Bill Murray–I Could Kiss You” which has the pop culture comic-book sensibility of Rauschenberg. Over at Uptown Vision, Mitch Morken’s “Humanities” series also incorporates words for provocative imagery.
Soda Gallery 408 N. Bishop Ave. “Bill Murray–I Could Kiss You,” $400. 214-946-7632.
Uptown Vision 2504 Cedar Springs Road. “Humanities” series, $200-$450. 214-953-3937.
The game is on!
We’ve all met people who like to play games but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! We’re not talking about mind games, but board games, card games any fun ways to pass the time. Replace that old black-and-red cardboard and extruded plastic chess set with something that makes a statement: A teak and rosewood set hand carved in Nepal that folds up into its own carrying case for easy storage; carried at From the Ends of the Earth. Or turn the game board into a decorating accessory with a leather-wrapped tic-tac-toe box or a set of varied games that look stunning sitting on any coffee table. Available from Natuzzi.
From the Ends of the Earth 839 West Davis St. Chess set, $78. 214-942-1030.
Natuzzi Furniture 11700 Preston Road. Leather game box, $449; tic-tac-toe box, $267. 214-363-7070. Natuzzi.com/dallas.
Who says “a dog’s life” is a bad thing? You might find yourself envious of Fido with the Fatboy doggy Lounge from upscale furnishings retailer Cantoni. This superior quality dog bed features a removable nylon-coated cover that is machine washable for easy care and filled with tiny cylindrical expanded polystyrene for the best in comfort. And if your pet is as fashion-conscious as you, you can choose from seven colors standbys like brown, sand, red and black, but also faboo orange, lime and hot pink.
Cantoni 4800 Alpha Road. Dog bed, $139. 972-934-9191.
A glass act
If you’re looking for sophisticated stemware to fill out the bar of your favorite cocktail lover, a hardware store might not be your first stop. But Elliott’s is no ordinary hardware store. The Maple Avenue institution stocks products from Reidel, the world famous manufacturer of high-quality wine and martini glasses. This season, stemless is in for the round-bottomed wine goblets, but the martini holder takes a traditional shape but adds a hollow ribbed stem which only leaves more room for gin!
Elliott’s Hardware 4901 Maple Ave. Wine and martini glasses, from $19.95. 214-634-9900.
Want to wow the technology nerd in your life with something that speaks to them even though you don’t have a clue about the differences in RAM, ROM and DSL? The online retailer Motherboard Gifts & More offers original, completely functional products from clocks to cuff links, photo albums to business card cases all made from reclaimed circuit boards originally designed for computers and other electronics. Each one is virtually one-of-a-kind since the colors and patterns of the circuit boards vary, and are created from material never marred by circuitry soldering. And because they’re recycled, you’ll be doing your part to save the planet, too.
Motherboardgifts.com. Business card cases, $24.99. 888-842-6788.
Let’s get Lost
One man’s loss is another’s treasure which Lost on Industrial Boulevard well knows. This store known for its selection of antique knickknacks and objets d’art is a paradise for anyone who loves items as delightful as a Sadler racer teapot. Perfect for the collector who never can get enough antique glamour in his or her life.
Lost 1201 N. Industrial Blvd. Racer teapot, $55.
Need a little Christmas?
For those difficult-to-shop for Christmas junkies on your list, nothing resonates more than a gift that calls to mind the spirit of the season year after year. Seasonal home d?cor from Needless Necessities is an ideal way to brighten Dec. 25 and the month leading up to it. Whether one of three designer Santas from Fitz & Floyd or an 18-inch tall angel at home on either a table or a treetop, your name will certainly remain in your recipient’s mind for years to come.
Needless Necessities 2926 N. Henderson Ave. Angels, $65-$100; Santas, $169. 214-824-0700. Needlessnecessities.com.
Restoration, Oak Cliff style
Joe Ramirez makes his living buying and selling furniture and art at his two Oak Cliff thrift shops, but his real passion is as an artist, especially creating specialty furniture pieces. He began about eight years ago by redesigning old wooden headboards into colorful settees, then branched out into the restoration and creative painting of old chests, tables, chairs and other pieces of wooden furniture. The end products of his labor are unique, colorful pieces that feature as many as 11 colors each. Each piece is a collage of colors and designs which has attracted a large gay following to his shops and another that sells his work, Ay Karamba. His work skirts the line between furniture and art, and would look great with almost any d?cor.
1127 S. Beckley Ave. and 607 E. Jefferson Blvd. 214-497-0000. (Also available at Mis Colores, 239 W. Seventh St. and Ay Karamba, 502 N. Madison Ave.)
Watch what happens
Time is money and we mean soooo money! At least when you pick up a snazzy timepiece from Fossil. The Skeleton watch in stainless steel boasts an exposed mechanism and sharp cobalt blue hands across a silver-and-white background. Looking for something more personally tailored? The build-your-own watch counter at Union Jack offers a selection of faces and bands to allow you to come up with the perfect combination for that person on your list who’s always running late.
Fossil stores at NorthPark Center and Dallas Galleria. Skeleton watch, $195.
Union Jack 3920 Cedar Springs Road. Watch faces, $45-$55; leather bands, $20. 214-528-9600.
For that Evil Bitch in your life
With so many wines out there, it’s hard to remember which one is right for that oenophile on your list. But who would ever forget Evil and Bitch, two Australian reds with personalities that match their names. Evil holds all the fruity depth associated with a cabernet sauvignon from South Eastern Australia: Ruby color with hints of berry and a dusty dry finish. Bitch, on the other hand, packs the elegant wallop of a Barossa Grenache dense with pepper, cinnamon and oak on the mouth. Perfect for someone with a sense of humor and a good palate.
Goody Goody 3316 Oak Lawn Ave. (and other locations). Wine, $9.99. 214-252-0801.
Look what we Found
Where there’s Lost, there’s got to be Found. This bastion of one-of-a kind tchotchkes is packed full of rare, unique and eye-catching items. Consider the pair of large swans in a cool, opalescent pink hue with foil labels gorgeous, elegant and surprisingly subtle (and from acclaimed glassmaker Murano, no less). Eureka!
Found 1225 N. Industrial Blvd.
Swans, $600. 214-741-5533.
For the inveterate tchotchke collector, nothing rings truer than a charming figurine in a campy theme. Deaton’s Hair Salon & Gift Shop features a slew of items in clever designs. Choose from a selection of “Peanuts” characters or even declare yourself a “friend of Dorothy” with colorful scenes from “The Wizard of Oz.”
Deaton’s Hair Salon & Gift Shop 9008 Garland Road. Figurines, $21.99-29.99. 214-327-7732.
What a pearl!
For that special woman or even more special female impersonator nothing is as likely to elicit an excited reaction that a gift of pearls. Urban Asia, the new importer of Asian furniture, statuary and the like, also carries a line of authentic pearl jewelry for all occasions. From a set of earrings to necklace strands available in three colors (traditional white, stunning black or omigod pink), you’ll be the hero of Christmas morning when the box with pearls inside pops open.
Urban Asia 1901 N. Henderson Ave. Pearl earrings, $18; necklaces, $28-$68. 214-828-1751.
The gift of love
There are probably plenty of people to shop for to whom you can give almost anything but maybe only one person for whom the gift of a ring feels right. There’s no better Christmas gift for the right man or woman in your life than a proposal whether you’re having a ceremony or not. Fusion is a new line of interlocking commitment rings specifically designed for the gay and lesbian community to express the union of spirits. Available in white gold or white and yellow gold (with and without diamonds) in men’s and women’s sizes.
Robbins Bros. 14080 Dallas Parkway. Rings starting at $595.
There’s almost no one who doesn’t need a bottle opener although no matter how many we get, it seems they always get misplaced, probably because they are so nondescript you can look right at one and not notice. That won’t happen with the Diabolix bottle opener from Cantoni. This fiendishly smart opener is for that little devil in your life. In fiery red with a pinch of horns on the end, it’s just the kind of stocking stuffer you’d expect from Satan Claus er, Santa Claus.
Cantoni 4800 Alpha Road. Bottle opener, $12.50. 972-934-9191.
A cross to bear?
A holiday gift can be both beautiful and spiritual. The Crooked Cross at the Cathedral of Hope bookstore is carved from native mesquite wood with multi-stone inlay, handcrafted in Ingram, Texas. Durango Trading Company also offers a selection of crosses from inexpensive ones made of metal and ceramic to elaborate pieces bejeweled in stone and art glass.
Durango Trading Company 5757 Coit Road, Suite 420. Metal and ceramic crosses, $12-$26; glass crosses, $122-$138. 972-716-9898. Durangotrading.com.
Sources bookstore at the Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. $62. 800-501-4673.
Up, up and away
Every year, ornament designer Christopher Radko comes up with elaborate, colorful glass Christmas tree d?cor of all times. This year, he honors Metroplex-based American Airlines with two designs. Since AA merited a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the sixth year in a row, you can show your pride and support with a limited edition DC3 airport or the corporate logo from the 1940s.
American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum 4601 Texas Highway 360, Fort Worth. Logo, $36; plane, $44. CRSmithmuseum.org/giftshop.
Ribbit ribbit good
If you’ve lived in the Uptown area for more than a year and haven’t been inside Froggie’s yet, you’ve missed an essential Dallas experience. A kind of old-fashioned dime store with a hip, campy attitude, Froggie’s is a prime purveyor of comic kitsch. From the Control-A-Man remote control (instructions: point, click, hope for the best) to Dame Edna glasses to a cross-dressing Bender from “Futurama” (of course, the Gender Bender) to the silliest hat this side of the Great Gazoo, there’s something to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Froggie’s 3211 Knox St. Control-A-Man, $7.50; Dame Edna glasses, $9.95; Christmas tree hat, $17.95; Gender Bender, $25.95. 214-522-5867.
For the nature lover
Trying to decide on the perfect gift for an art lover who also enjoys the natural elements? Look no further than this striking sculpture, available exclusively at BoConcept. The textured piece of carved maple stands 18 inches tall, perched intriguingly at an angle atop a thin black dowel, letting the feel and warm colors of the piece speak for itself. Ideal for someone trying to decorate a new office or living room, it would fit in with virtually any d?cor.
BoConcept 5301 Alpha Road, suite 110. Sculpture, $100.
The ottoman empire
The great thing about retro chic is, there’s always something from the past that gets favorably reevaluated. Dulce calls these 19-inch ottomans “stools,” but whatever you call ’em, you can’t escape their Austin Powers-like audacity. Upholstered in a lush geometric print colored in indigo, blue, pink and shades in between, these cushioned cubes make a statement for the person on your list who likes to be a bold in his or her home d?cor. Sold as a pair.
Dulce 2914 Oak Lawn Ave. Ottomans (pair), $250. 214-219-5656.
The gift of theater
What’s better than giving something to someone else and yourself at the same time? After all, if you give someone two tickets to a play, isn’t that a hint they should invite you to come along? In addition to its Out@DTC program, the Dallas Theater Center is offering a special package: Two tickets to two shows for just $100. You can choose from among “Ella” (about recording legend Ella Fitzgerald) in January, the comic “The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead” in March and “The Misanthrope” in April. Your recipient can choose the shows but make sure he or she knows when you’re available, too.
Dallas Theater Center 3636 Kalita Humphreys Theater. Two-show, four-ticket package for $100. Dallastheatercenter.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 7, 2007