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Enchanting Embellishments

A holiday gift guide for procrastinators Part II

Not surprisingly, Todd Lannom and Ginny Stewart, co-owners of Centro, 4727 McPherson Ave., have taken the minimalist approach to making gift shopping easy. There are simply three plywood tables at the front of the shop filled with beautifully designed, unusual gifts. Two tables hold items made in America, the third, selections from Italy.

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Almost everything on the American table, above, was designed by artisans located in Brooklyn. Front: AreaWear by Bower designs clever geometric trivets that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The larger herringbone shapes, front, are $35 each. The smaller tiles far left (made of wood) and right, can be mixed and matched and used as individual coasters too, $18.

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Top left: American designer David Weeks’ beechwood gorilla, $100, and bear, $90, have movable parts. The Balancing Block dog at the top of the photo is a Snake Block®, a classic toy composed of 24 wooden triangles with an elastic band throughout, $48.  Top right: Balancing Blocks wooden shapes from Fort Standard are also $48.

Bottom photos: The latest in art lamps: “Filo” from Foscarini with glass ornaments comes in 8 different color palates, $550. Right: Decorative American-made outlets with 3 different cord lengths are handsome enough to leave in full view. Some have USB ports as well, $59 to $179.

Check Centro’s website for more information.

Don’t pout if you still need holiday cards, gift bags, or gift wrap. You’ll find them at Cassie’s, 316 N. Euclid.

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From top: Boxes of Papyrus holiday cards are $14.95 to $24.95, Right: a large selection of holiday gift wrapping paper ranges from $8.95 to $9.95: Bottom: Gift bags are $4.50 and up. Cassies also has a perfume bar where you can create your own scents, see bottles above.

Head to Cassie’s website for hours and more information.

The Candle Fusion Studio, 4742 McPherson Ave., below,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Top left: At The Candle Fusion you can purchase ready-made holiday candles in scents such as Cozy Fireside, $22, Holiday Ale, Balsam Fir, Cranberry, Gingerbread, and Candy Cane, $18 each. Top right: Or you can blend your own scents to create your own candle.

Bottom: You can choose from a variety of glass jars and scented oils to create the perfect gift.

The shop does a brisk business hosting candle-making parties. For more information, visit The Candle Fusion website.

At Enchanting Embellishments, 4732 McPherson Ave.

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Left: A show-stopping faux-fur vest from Furious Fur in shades of beige to brown is $129.95; colorfully patterned socks from Sock Smith for men & women range from $9.95 to $19.95.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

At Enchanting Embellishments, you’ll find zany Betsy Johnson Holiday Purses, $89.95.

Visit the website for more information.

At Shelton Davis, 4724 McPherson Ave.,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

you’ll find a selection of English tea caddies as old as King George I or George II, spanning the 18th to 19th century, $800 to $1200. Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Clockwise from top: Antique Venetian Glass bedside water carafe with glass lid, $145; a pair of French Art Deco jeweled perfume bottles, $375; English cut glass round perfume bottle with sterling silver top, $150; cut crystal perfume bottles with sterling silver tops, $275.

Visit Shelton Davis website for more information.

World Chess Hall of Fame carries a wide variety of gift items, and this Saturday everything is 20% off:

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Left: Jaunty bow ties by Cyberoptix, $50. Right: Chess sets include top left: a 14″ folding magnetic set with travel pouch $119, WCHOF member price: $95.20, top right, 7 1/2″ square magnetic chess set, $59, member price, $47.20, and front, 10 x 5″ magnetic chess set, $79, member price $63.20.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Left: Ball point pens disguised as quill pens with stand, $12. Right: There is a large selection of children’s toys at WCHOF including top left: Ogobolli Rattles, $11 each; 6-piece Pound & Tap Bench for age 12 months, $33; and a magnetic puzzle for age 24 months, $28.

Check out World Chess Hall of Fame’s website for more information.

At Mike’s Bikes, 324 N. Euclid,

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Top: Striders for ages 2 to 5 years are $120, and bottom photo: Pop some batteries into Kazam “blinkies,” $100, and the trail will blaze as they push ahead.

Visit Mikes Bikes website for more information.

Wolfgang’s Pet Stop, 330 N. Euclid,

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An assortment of freshly-baked holiday-themed dog cookies will be a welcomed treat for your four-legged friend this Christmas. Mix & match organic peanut butter, honey, and oatmeal, or choose one with liver, 4 for $5.

Wolfgang’s is also offering a small group (4-5 dogs) 1-hour dog training class on Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. starting January 19, $150 (five sessions). For more information click here.

Don’t miss the last of this year’s Window Walk festivities taking place this Saturday, December 22.

Shop local and have a wonderful Holiday everyone!

What’s inside? Holiday Shopping Guide Part III

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Enchanting Embellishments: Windows designed by the shop’s Michael Shreves.

Wow, there’s a lot to choose from at Enchanting Embellishments. So, after a couple of spins around the shop, I narrowed the choices to just a few for you to consider, including a couple that would be fun presents to gift yourself.

From top left:  An eye-catching Joseph Ribkoff ruffled-sleeved party dress in tomato, $244, and, a sparkly black & rhinestone dress, $324.95, perfect for your New Year’s Eve soirée. Left,  Conrad’s zippered wool vests, $179.95, and right, a knit hat & scarf set for men in ready-to-go gift box, $24.99.

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Accessories include from left, a black, grey & white fur scarf, $36.95, cozy cable knit fringed neck warmer in black & champagne, $24.95, and top right, Charlie Page’s mouton scarf, $24.99. Fyi, for the cold weather ahead, Enchanting Embellishments carries fleece-lined black leggings (bottom right), $21.95.

Enchanting Embellishments, 4732 McPherson Ave., (314) 361-5300, Tues. – Thurs. 10 to 5, Fri. & Sat. 10 to 7, Sun. 9 to 5.

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AG (Adriano Goldschmied)

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At AG, a “Reese Moto” lambskin jacket, made in Italy, $998, is paired with a classic Henson black tee, $78, and slim “ex-boyfriend” 19-years quilted & mended jeans, $255.

Now that’s a real mouthful to describe a pair of jeans, so ever curious about a company’s choice of adjectives, I asked for an explanation.

When AG describes jeans by a number of years it means that the fabric, while new, has the same weight and feel as jeans that had been worn for, in this case, 19 years. The 18-year carpenter jeans, below—which may look quite familiar to carpenters or artists—are actually brand new. A video on a monitor in the shop shows how the jeans fabrics are made.

Also, the “mended” sections on the ex-boyfriend jeans remind me of Japanese boro stitching, an ancient mending technique that is enjoying a renaissance right now. Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Enchanting Embellishments Central West End Bonobos AG

Iced silver Farrah (Fawcett) skinny ankle jeans, $245, are paired with a great-looking French terry Pearl Ruffled Sweatshirt in dark indigo, $178.

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For men, deep mahogany Dylan pants in selvage denim (see white stitching on cuff), $198, are shown with a 7-years tempered lined Dart jacket, $295, over a classic Bryce crewneck tee in heather grey, $68.

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Jamison Field jacket in “climbing ivy camo,” $298.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Enchanting Embellishments Central West End Bonobos AG

From left, Tellis 18-year carpenter jeans, $265, and a 100% cotton Trevor crew in a color called “sun-baked moon glade,” $168.

AG, 36 Maryland Plaza, (314) 361-6161, Mon. – Sat. 10 to 7, Sun. 12 to 6.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Enchanting Embellishments Central West End Bonobos AG

Bonobos: Windows designed by Design St Louis & Interiors by Bethlyn.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Enchanting Embellishments Central West End Bonobos AG   When I visited the recently-opened Bonobos for the 1st time, I asked Manager Brittany Jones how the store, which has locations all over the U. S., got its name. She explained that the CEO named it after the Bonobo, an endangered ape species that lives in the Congo. From further research, I learned that the Bonobo is a close genetic relative to humans, and is best known for being peaceful—and promiscuous too.

Since Bonobos’ business is to offer custom-made clothing (at reasonable prices), there is usually nothing you can purchase and walk out of the store with. For the holidays, however, Bonobos has added cold weather accessories you can take with you—and they’re on sale too.

On the form above, a wool 3-button sweater, also available in grey, navy or blue, $108, is shown with a wool cashmere waffle knit scarf in heather or navy, $128. Right, cashmere full-zip sweater in grey or bright navy is $228.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Enchanting Embellishments Central West End Bonobos AG

Lower left: Cashmere crew neck sweater in grey or navy, $148, wool cashmere gloves in black or grey, $68, and wool cashmere hats in maroon, grey, navy or black, $55.

Bonobos, 52 Maryland Plaza, (314) 365-2366, Mon.- Sat. 11 to 7, Sun. 12 to 6.  To set up an appointment for custom-made clothing, which it what Bonobos is known for, click here.

Up next: A gift wrapping service in the CWE.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Mary Ann’s Tearoom

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You’ll wonder if you’re the one who’s tripped and fallen down the rabbit hole when you enter Mary Ann’s Tearoom on any Tuesday afternoon this summer, for at 3 p.m. sharp the gorgeous light-filled tearoom inside Enchanting Embellishments is transformed into a fantastical Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

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Thirty guests wearing an assortment of their “maddest” hats and, in a few cases, Alice-in-Wonderland makeup, were already seated when I stopped in to photograph the tea party on a recent Tuesday afternoon. There is a prize for the most imaginative hat—so between the over-the-top table setting, which takes 2 hours to assemble, and the attire of the guests, it was hard to distinguish one from the other.

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No one was more enthusiastic than Enchanting Embellishment’s staffer Michael Shreves, above and below, who plays the Mad Hatter, a role he clearly relishes. He entertained the guests with Alice-in-Wonderland games and trivia throughout the afternoon.

Since the Tuesday Tea with the Mad Hatter events began in June, they have become so popular that it’s necessary to make reservations at least two weeks in advance.  Enchanting Embellishments’ manager Ken Fowler said that the teas, which were scheduled for summer only, may continue into the fall.

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Photo left: The young guest shown above, accompanied by her Cheshire Cat, looks as if she plucked her chapeau right off the table.

Photo right: The type of tea served on Tuesdays is known as a “cream tea,” which is described as a sweet tea. Service includes an assortment of teas and homemade scones, macarons, and other pastries, $19.95. There is a 3-tiered pastry tray laden with sweets.

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Guests are also invited to decorate cupcakes, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children Services  Mary Ann's Tea Room MadHatter Tea Party Enchanting Embellishments Central West End   I knew I was late the afternoon I visited. The Mad Hatter tipped his hat to confirm it.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children Services  Mary Ann's Tea Room MadHatter Tea Party Enchanting Embellishments Central West End

Don’t you be late for Tea Party Tuesday at Mary Ann’s Tearoom at Enchanting Embellishments, 4732 McPherson Avenue, (314) 361-5300. More information can be found on the flyer above.