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The Silver Lady

A holiday gift guide for procrastinators, Part 1

With just 6 shopping days left until Christmas, these holiday gift suggestions may make your life a little less stressful, especially for those prone to procrastination. Shopping local has many advantages. Walking from shop to shop is the most obvious, but as I put this 2018 list together I realized the added value of meeting and talking to the friendly shop owners in the CWE. They make the experience of finding gifts for everyone on your holiday list a whole lot merrier.

At St. Louis Art Supply, 4532 Olive St., co-proprietor Carson Monetti helped me gather suggestions for kids and adults, though several gifts would be appreciated by any age. Free gift wrapping is available.Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

The shop has a wonderful children’s section for the budding artist. From left: Faber-Castell 64-piece Young Artist’s Essentials comes in a handsome red wooden case, $50; 20 water-based pens by Stabilo, $19; Learn to Paint Set in a zippered plastic bag, $18, sits on Claytoon clay packs, $4 each; and far right, a bucket of 50 Faber-Castell Connector Pens which, when hooked together with enclosed connectors can double as a building set, $19.99. Lower right, assorted stickers, $3 each.Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Clockwise from top: 50 point 88 fineliner pens by Stabilo, $37.50; Kalita coffee decanter, $24.99; dripper, $17.99 (filters, $4.99 not shown); Ethiopia Coffee from Coma Coffee in The Grove, 12 oz. $17.50. (The shop stocks a hand-crank “ceramic-burr” coffee grinder too, $49.99.) A trio of assorted pencil sharpeners, $4.99 each; ever-popular, non-stick Washi Tape, $3.50; Midori polar bear stationery $6.50; 8 matching polar bear envelopes, $5.50.

Far left, an assortment of Ro-biki waxed-covered notebooks to slip inside a jacket pocket, $8. St. Louis Art Supply is the only shop in the U.S. that carries some of these hard-to-find Japanese products.

Check St. Louis Art Supply’s website for hours…. they will be open on Christmas Eve.

Brian Simpson, proprietor of east+west, 387 N. Euclid, was quick to pick out his favorite gifts ideas to share with you, see his selections below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

From left: 2018’s edition of hugely-popular Chup socks from Japan feature Fair Isle patterns, $36; a solid-cast brass key ring from a LA jewelry designer hooks onto jacket or belt loop, $99; two-tone leather card case/wallet from a Portland OR company, $40; a Nashville-based company makes 6 varieties of candles poured in whiskey glasses  in scents such as balsam fir, tobacco & musk, and oak & moss, $44. Top right: In case of an emergency, or for the camping enthusiast, a military grade 10-ounce flask that contains compass, flashlight, 2 shot glasses & a bottle opener, $74; straight out of Copenhagen’s Kinfolk magazine, an assortment of 12 beautiful cards, $22.

By the way, east+west carries Sump Coffee, 12 oz/$16, delivered fresh to the shop weekly.

For more information, head to east+west’s website.

At Provisions STL Ross and Debra Hunter are still flying high about St. Louis and the rousing reception they’ve gotten from the neighborhood. The shop stocks a wide variety of gift items, so the following is just a small sampling of what you will find there.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Top photo: Hook & Albert dopp kit, $115. Canada’s Rockwell Razor’s shaving supplies include Beard & Body Bar, $10; razor, $29, razor stand, $30; AfterShave Balm, $15; Shaving Soap, $15, and Shave Brush, also $15.

Bottom photo left: a selection of hand-blended OLO perfume oils from a self-taught Portland-based perfumer, $45. Right: a cozy hypoallergenic alpaca blanket from Equador, $165; doggie coats, $35 to $45, have been reordered twice since the shop opened 2 months ago.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Left: Provisions STL carries an assortment of wood & inlay board games including backgammon sets in small, $125, and large, $210; domino set, $68; “Shaken” Cocktail Kit, $70; and fleur de lis bottle openers, $12.  Right photo: “Stirred” Cocktail Kit, $70; Everyday flask, $24; Picnic knife, $35; lower left, Bike Snob, $16.95.

For more information visit Provisions STL website.

Left Bank Books 399 N. Euclid, has been publishing “best of” book selections almost daily on Instagram and Facebook, so you might check those sites out for staff suggestions. What’s shown below are gift ideas that caught my eye, augmented by advice from LLB staffer Lauren Wiser.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

From top left: Super Diva RBG Workout Calendar, $14.99; Bibliophile ceramic vase, $24.95, with quote from Louisa May Alcott brings literary charm to any room; acid green readers, $19.95; Ideal Bookshelf canvas shopping bag, $21.00; Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi Simple, $35; Clifford socks, size 0 to 12 & 12 to 24, 4 pr. $12. My First Books include Coco (Chanel) & Marie (Curie), $8.99;  Spike the Left Bank Book cat mug, $12.99.

Visit Left Bank Books website for hours and information.

AG Jeans, 36 Maryland Plaza, has great-looking gift ideas, and the staff is immensely helpful with their suggestions on what to wear out on the town.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Since I visited last Thursday, the shop has started its semi-annual 30% off sale, so what’s listed here are pre-sale prices. A viscose slip dress in “duck canvas” (the color),”$228, is paired with a black lyocell & spandex turtleneck, $98. The slipdress is also available in navy and burgundy. Right: black razor back knit top, $74; “the Jodi crop” in super stretch sateen, $188, and right, “Farrah skinny ankle pant,” $188.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

For men: Left, black “Kane Shearling Coat,” $1348; “The Sin’s Crew” in true black, $168; “Tallis” pant in multi-plaid Merlot, $198. Right: “Jaren Hoodie” in deep lolden, $268, and “Everett Pant” in cognac, $178.

Refer to  AG Jeans website for hours and more information about current sale.

Not only will you find a great selection of jewelry at The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson Ave., you’ll also get a healthy dose of humor from proprietor Lori Shifter who’s been in the jewelry business for over 30 years.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Above, a long dramatic silver necklace, $472, with matching earrings, $82.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Top left: A stunning Meterioite necklace, $312, and matching bracelet, $300. (Meterioite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the earth’s surface.) Top right: Show-stopping Stichtite, Prehnite & Peridot necklace, $1269, with matching bracelet, $259.

Bottom photograph: This charming bracelet contains real miniature flowers, $60; matching drop earrings, $28.

Visit The Silver Lady website for hours and more information.

Next up: Part II of this year’s Holiday shopping guide.

It’s what’s inside that counts/Holiday Shopping Guide Part I

My plan was to get my annual holiday gift guide published a couple of weeks before Christmas. What happened to December? Instead, here is Part I of last minute suggestions for everyone on your gift list.

Shopping local has become the mantra of all seasons, even more so for this, the merriest of all. So, please heed the call and support our neighborhood retailers. Ours is a symbiotic relationship. we need them while they need us—even more.

This year I’m combining photos of holiday shop windows spruced up for the annual Window Walk, along with some gifts you’ll find inside. And I hope you will ignore the glare from the shop windows below, for no matter what time of day I snap them, it’s always there.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

The Vino Gallery:  Windows designed by Enchanting Embellishments’ Michael Shreves.

When I stopped in The Vino Gallery this week, I was met with shipping boxes galore stacked near the entry awaiting the arrival of FedEx.  While continuing to check off his fulfillment list for online wine sales (the gift business has mushroomed this year), proprietor Alex Head pulled some celebratory suggestions from the shelves.

From left: Central Coast (CA) Fableist Pinot Noir, described as having a nice, rich fruit-forward flavor, $23. Moët & Chandon Champagne, $45, comes with a zippered insulated jacket to prolong the chill. Include a holiday wine stopper, $10, to prolong the gratitude.

The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson Ave, (314) 932-5665. Mon. 4 to 6-ish, Tues.-Thurs. 1 to 9, Fri.-Sat. 1 to 10, Closed Sun.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

The Candle Fusion Studio: Windows designed by Yours by Design.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

At The Candle Fusion Studio, which just celebrated its 1st anniversary, you’ll find a “relax and unwind” gift basket that includes 8-ounce bottles of lavender cinnamon goats milk & honey body lotion and liquid hand soap, a jar of natural brown sugar scrub, lilac & lavender spa salts, and a 4-pack of soy-wax candles in olive blossom, bergamot, verbena & clothesline (yep!), $70. Each candle burns for 15 hours.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

Top photo: Holiday Cheer candles packed in 8-ounce mason jars are scented in a seasonal blend of cranberry, balsam, fir and brown sugar, $16.

Bottom photo: Candle Fusion just introduced 8-ounce bottles of goats milk & honey hand soap, and lavender cinnamon or mango mint lotion, as shown in gift basket above. Can be purchased separately, $15.

The Candle Fusion Studio, 4742 McPherson Ave., Tues.-Thurs. 11 to 7, Fri. & Sat. 11 to 8, Closed Xmas Eve.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

Centro Modern Furnishings

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

From top left: Field Design’s Outline Half-Round Drawing Tool, $50, Fort Standard Standing Bowl, $84, Field Design’s Magnifier, $140, Fort Standard’s Crest Bottle Opener, $48, Fort Standard’s Fire Kit, $98. Areaware Table Tiles Coaster Set, $18, and EXTO+2 Power Cord by Conway Electric to replace the unsightly power strip, $55.

Centro Modern Furnishings, 4727 McPherson Ave., (314) 454-0111.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

East + WestNicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

Top photo: Carhartt’s “Work in Progress” line of brushed cotton shirts, $108.

Bottom photo: from left, Designed by LA-based husband & wife team, Rogue Territory’s specialty denim jacket is $325. A waxed canvas Field Jacket is $330, and Lineal’s Supply Jacket is $365.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

CWE-based Sarah Doriani’s holiday cards, $5 each.

East+West, 387 N. Euclid, Mon. to Sat. 11 to 7, Sun. 12 to 5, Open Xmas Eve: 10 t0 4.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

The Silver Lady:  Window designed by Retail Design Group St. Louis Chapter.Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

From left, dramatic silver earrings, $129, stunning satin cuff, $338, and satin “x” ring, $160.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

From top left: Artisan Somers’ sculptural jewelry includes Mobier teardrops, $300, Sarah bracelet, $685, and a Merilee necklace, $425.

The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson Ave., (314) 367-7587, Weds. – Fri. 12 to 6, Sat. 11 to 6, Sun. 11 to 4.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

di OlivasNicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

di Olivas, an oil and vinegar emporium located at 115B N. Euclid across from Whole Foods, stocks plenty of gift ideas for food lovers, i.e., almost everyone.

While on one of his frequent trips to Tuscany, proprietor Robert Palleja discovered artist Peter Nika’s hand-made wooden cutting boards and fish-shaped pasta measuring tool (1 to 4 servings), $19.99 each. Top, Cascina Marchesa Pesto Alla Genovese, $8.99, Boat Street French Plum Pickles (I taste-tested these and they’re a winner). Serve with brie, chicken sandwiches, paté, etc., $9.99. Morelli organic red chilli pasta, $7.99.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

The proprietor sings the praises of his recent import, Cortono Olio Nuovo, with its fresh cut grass taste and peppery finish, 200 ml $19.95 to $47.95 for 750 ml bottle.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

And for an extravagant gift, di Olivas carries Reserva Tartufo truffle balsamic, $75.

di Olivas, 115B N. Euclid, Mon.- Thurs. 11 to 8, Fri. & Sat. 11 to 9, Sun. 11 to 6.

Part II to follow.

Watch need a battery? Knives need sharpening?

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Silver Lady The Hill Skif International Lori Shifter Bertarelli Cutlery

As many times as I’ve stopped in or walked by The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson Avenue, it wasn’t until I needed a new watch battery that I remembered seeing a small sign in the window advertising replacement service.

Not only is the service fast, you’re sure to be entertained while you wait by Shifter’s dry-witted conversation on a variety of topics.  Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Silver Lady The Hill Skif International Lori Shifter Bertarelli Cutlery

Battery prices are listed above, and The Silver Lady offers repair services on silver, gold & costume jewelry too.

The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson, (314) 367-7587, Weds. – Fri. 12 to 6 p.m., Sat. 10 to 6, Sun. 11 to 4.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Silver Lady The Hill Skif International Lori Shifter Bertarelli Cutlery   I’ll be the first to admit that I’m rather provincial when it comes to going about my daily routine, and rarely find reason to leave the neighborhood. The rare exception occurs when I simply cannot find what I need in the CWE. Knife sharpening is an example.

We’ve been patronizing Bertarelli Cutlery on The Hill, above, for years. They offer same-day sharpening service on knives, food processor blades, stick blenders, scissors, and more. The company has been located at 1927 Marconi for 14 of the 50 years it’s been in business.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Silver Lady The Hill Skif International Lori Shifter Bertarelli Cutlery

One morning recently I dropped off 2 knives and 4 scissors (one was a pinking shears), and picked them up early that afternoon. The cost for 6 items was a reasonable $30.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Silver Lady The Hill Skif International Lori Shifter Bertarelli Cutlery

Bertarelli also has a great selection of restaurant equipment and kitchen gadgets for the home cook in the front of the shop, above.

If you decide to wait while your blades are being sharpened, there are lots of interesting places to explore on The Hill.  My suggestions include Shaw Coffee, DiGregorio for homemade frozen ravioli, Viviano for Italian groceries, and Missouri Baking Co. for pastries. For unusual sweaters and offbeat fashion, visit Skif International, 5008 Marconi (just south of Bertarelli and across the street from DiGregorio). Alive Magazine reporter Sarah Stallman’s article describes in photographs what you’ll find inside the Skif warehouse. It’s a real treat.

Bertarelli Cutlery, 1927 Marconi, (314) 664-4005, Mon. – Fri. 7:30 to 4:30, Sat. 9 t0 5.