Presents of Mind

Great gifts for holiday giving



Photo #1 (books & pen/ Scriptura)

Excellent vintage -- Perfect gifts for your favorite oenophile (or anyone planning a trip to Italy) include The Italian Wine Guide, published by the Touring Club of Italy, $24.95; a red Italian leather wine journal specially made for Scriptura, with an embossed fleur de lis on the cover and inside spaces for wine labels, tasting date, how to serve, the wine's attributes and more, $78; top it all off with a Mont Blanc fountain pen with a retractable nib, a flip-top cartridge-insertion system and a beautiful ruby on the clip, $375; all from Scriptura (5423 Magazine St., 897-1555; 328 Chartres St., 299-1234; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 219-1113).

Photo #2 (post card of sunglasses to be scanned/ St. Charles Vision)

Easy on the eyes -- A great gift of comfort and fashion all in one is a pair of great looking sunglasses that are polarized-plus to protect eyes in even the most intense sunlight in frame styles that enhance personal visibility by Maui Jim, starting at $150, from St. Charles Vision (3200 Severn Ave., Metairie, 887-2020; 138 Carondelet St., 522-0826; 624 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-8064).

Photo #3 (scan futon from catalog/ Habitat Futons)

Sitting Pretty -- Large, foldable trays on the sides help this futon do double-duty as a seating area and end table, plus it provides an alternative to sleeper sofas. If you buy a futon and frame, you get your choice of cover (from a large variety in stock) for free. Futons start at $228; this version is $598; from Habitat Futons & Furnishings (3812 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-2688; 322 Dalwill Drive, Mandeville, 985-674-4014).

Photo #4 (need photo of schooner from ad -- Michael Dawson/ Sea Willow)

Scenic cruise -- Treat a loved one (or several) to a two-hour excursion in Lake Pontchartrain aboard an 80-foot topsail schooner with deckhands in authentic dress and as much "Pirate Punch" as you can drink. The schooner sails from The Dock restaurants in New Orleans and Slidell and offers daytime, sunset or moonlit trips. Prices are $30 per person, group rates for parties of 10 or more and private parties are available. Call Seawillow Sailing at 286-5706 or (985) 710-3405.

Photo #5 (chocker and two wrist bands/ Mon Coeur)

Lovely adornments -- Add some snaz to her wrists and neckline with handmade jewelry by local designer Janet Bruno-Small, including (left) a satin and organdy ribbon choker edged and criss-crossed with Japanese seed beads and embellished with pearls and Swarovski crystals, $310; a peach cuff made from antique velvet ribbon with a vintage buckle on it and seed beading, $135; and a French-cuff style wrist adornment made with deerskin, a Czechoslovakian glass belt buckle and vintage crystal-studded button, $210, by designer Janet Bruno-Small, from Mon Coeur (1537 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-2043).

Photo #6 (bumble bee brooch/ Hans Luetkemeier)

Abuzz with excitement -- You'll never suffer the sting of disappointment with this honey of a gift: a Victorian antique brooch with a movable bee made with 5 carats in diamonds as well as a ruby and emerald, $4,995, from Hans Luetkemeier (3246 Severn Ave., Metairie, 454-1170).

Photo #7 (green purse, necklace, scarf/ Julie Neill)

Fresh greens -- Green will become her favorite color once she unwraps these little goodies: a chartreuse satin handbag with beaded fringe around the top by Inge Christopher, $79; a coordinating necklace made with a double strand of small bugle beads and a silver circle medallion, $90; matching earrings, $36; and a hand-knitted slim scarf in gold and green with orange and aqua fabric bows by local artist Leigh Fenner, $55; all from Julie Neill Designs (3908 Magazine St., 899-4201).

Photo #8 (shirt with face on it/ bottle cover/ Clothes Minded)

Face it! -- An Asian-style design with a woman's face makes this long-sleeve open-top keyhole pullover by Noun both graphic and delightful, $87; and dress up her favorite bottled drink with a crystal-studded zebra-print coolie with a boa on the top and bottom by CoolZ Inc, $15; both from Clothes Minded (soon to change its name to Febe, 115 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-9798).

Photo #9 (crate of wine & stuff/ Acquistapace's)

Toasting the season -- Custom design a gift box, basket or crate yourself or decide how much you want to spend and let Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket staff take care of the details for you. There are decorative gold gift boxes that hold from one to four bottles of wine of your choosing (single-bottle box, $1.50; two-bottle box, $2.50; three-bottle gift box, $3.50, four-bottle gift box, $4.50) . Baskets and crates come in various sizes and can include anything from wine only to caviar, special crackers, sweets and more; all from Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket (125 E. 21st St., Covington, 985-893-0593).

Photo #10 (gold gloves, purse, belt/ Prima Donna's)

Bring home the gold -- Sure to get you a place in the winner's circle is a gift of gold accessories, including a shimmering gold handbag with a long chain shoulder strap, $129.99; a gold leather belt with a gold metal buckle and chain tassel, $49.99; and matching gloves with long faux fur around the cuffs, $99; all by Escada, all from Prima Donna's Closet (1218 St. Charles Ave., 525-3327; 4409 Chastant St., Metairie, 885-3327; Plus-sizes shop: 1206 St. Charles Ave., 522-3327).

Photo #11 (pink & black shoe handbags/ Ms. Spratt's)

If the shoe fits -- Adorable and utilitarian both are handbags for shoe lovers, such as a large pink bag with black stripes, asymmetrical shoulder straps and a sassy pink slipper on the front, $125; or a smaller black shoulder bag with a trio of black-and-pink slippers on the front as well as an elasticized shoe in the back for a cell phone, $134; all by Michael Simon. To keep things interesting and nice smelling in the closet, pick up a fuchsia bustier sachet with black straps, ruffles and garters by Sassy Scents, $38; all from Ms. Spratt's (4537 Magazine St., 891-0063).

Photo #12 (makeup/ Tracy Ewell)

Body art -- Women and girls love to emphasize their assets with makeup, and here are some cool, easy and fun ways to do it: starlight clear water eye shadows in a variety of colors with groovy cone-shaped tops by Sue Devitt, $17.50 each; the "Sassy Kit" of three lip polishes in red and pink by Lorac, $35; a "French tickler" purple feather powder brush by Tarte, $29; and small makeup bags in a range of colors, here in lime and pink, by Joy & Jake, $10 each; all from Tracy Ewell Cosmetics and Skin Care (5500 Magazine St., 269-8490).

Photo #13 (dishes with circles on them/ La Belle Nouvelle)

Dish it out -- 1930s antique tableware set and serving pieces in the art-deco style is in mint condition and comes with dinner plates, cups and saucers for six as well as a coffee pot, pitcher, and sugar bowl, $850; from La Belle Nouvelle Orleans (2112 Magazine St., 581-3733).


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