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Gifts for the Home 

 

Clean and Beautiful -- More like works of art than bars of soap are handmade oatmeal soaps covered in textured paper and decorated with intricate silk-flower and seed topiaries in a variety of sea fragrances by Chelsea House, $18 to $19.20 per bar, from Royal Crescent Interiors (4118 Magazine St., 891-5600).


Spice It Up
-- Whimsical chartreuse and blue balls are unique salt and pepper shakers that are artful and functional at the same time. Fill the shakers from an unplugged hole in the bottom and the spices stay in place until you "shake" them free, by Berry Ware, $31 a set, from Judy at the Rink (2727 Prytania St., The Rink, 891-7018).




Botanical Wonders
-- Delicately handcrafted perfume bottles are blown glass with floral stoppers, $145 for orchid, $204 for pink violet, by artist Margaret Neher; exclusively available at Hove Parfumeur Ltd. (824 Royal St., 525-7827).



Artistic Display
-- Always a great gift for promoting the artistic tendencies within someone you love or displaying the efforts of someone else is a French-style easel with a metal-lined paint and supply drawer, wooden palette and adjustable legs by Jullian, $99.95 (usually retails for $290). It also folds up into a compact-sized box with a handle for easy carrying. From Forstall Art (766 Harrison Ave., 482-5118; 6215 S. Miro St., 866-4278).
Timely Design -- An antique onyx and granite clock is designed in the Art Deco style and comes with two matching pedestals that can hold candles, potpourri or other displays, $1,495 for the set, from Clock & Watch Shop (824 Gravier St., 525-3961).


Bowled Over
-- Artisans in Bali show their artistic stripes with wooden serving dishes painted to resemble animal skins with geometric designs at the top: candlesticks, $14.99 each; zebra-stripe coasters and holder, $14.99; large tiger-stripe bowl, $36.99; oblong zebra-stripe bowl, $21.99; all from Hopkins Blvd. Imports (8300 Earhart Blvd., 864-0277).
Leaving the Dull Behind -- A hand-finished cheeseboard has Zamia pewter sculpted-leaf handles and is signed by local jewelry artist Mignon Faget, $120. The cheese knife, $50, and pate knife, $45, have matching pewter handles and stainless-steel blades, and match the curled-leaf napkin rings, $42 for a set of two. Finish the setting with a cedrus-scented "Yew" candle, $27.50; all from the new home collections of Mignon Faget Ltd. (3801 Magazine St., 891-2005; 197 Westbank Expwy., Oakwood Shopping Center, Gretna, 368-3071; 710 Dublin St., 865-7361; 333 Canal St., The Shops at Canal Place, 524-2973; 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Lakeside Shopping Center, Metairie, 835-2244).

Feathery and Soft -- Red velvet with a textured swirl pattern is elegant against a black feather border in a large decorative pillow, $138; or go for contrasts with a black broadcloth pillow with striped bead trim, $110; both from Fabrixx (755 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-1118; 51 Park Place Drive, Covington, 985-809-1110).



Looks As Good As It Tastes
-- Shiny silver stainless-steel chafing dish has a square shape, gold-tone legs and handles and is equipped with a convenient built-in rack to hold the lid, $103.50, from Loubat Equipment Co. Inc. (4141 Bienville Ave., 482-2554).
 



Rest and Relaxation
--A hip fabric of sea foam, cinnamon and brown circles covers a round ottoman, $149, that can be used as a footrest or covered with a cylinder tray, $75, to make it a bar table (ottoman also comes in a cube and other fabrics, starting at $115, and the tray comes in mahogany, black or silver finishes), from Cameron Jones for Your Home (2127 Magazine St., 524-3119).
   




Precious Metals
-- Beautiful glass vases are decorated with metallics: a platinum-colored vase has silver squares on it, $90; a taupe vase has a horizontal silver stripe, $100; and a white cylinder vase has a silver stripe at the top, $100; all from Judy at the Rink (2727 Prytania St., The Rink, 891-7018).

Now You're Cooking
-- The Junior League of Greater Covington's first stab at a cookbook appears to be a winner, highlighting regional cuisine with 280 recipes from locals as well as chefs from such restaurants as Emeril's and Commander's Palace. There also are history highlights as well as a bounty of cooking tips and even inspirational reflections by thinkers such as George Bernard Shaw and Thomas Jefferson, $24.95. Proceeds benefit Junior League community programs. To order call the Junior League of Greater Covington at (985) 898-3989 or (877) 898-3989 or log onto www.jlgc.net.


Drinking in Louisiana
-- Handmade martini glasses have long stems decorated with colorful blown-glass depictions of local life, such as an alligator, seagull and fish (other designs available), $22.50 a stem, from Orient Expressed (3905 Magazine St., 899-3060).
 





Hop into Style
--A cobalt blue, 15-inch-tall ceramic rabbit statue is covered with tiny white flowers and vines, $55, from Prince & Pauper (2801 Magazine St., 899-2378; 4100 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 455-0808).
Local Lessons -- A Louisiana-themed throw pillow is hand-embroidered with cities, the Mississippi River and depictions of local loves, such as an alligator, beignets, Huey Long and more by Catstudio, $138; add to that New Orleans Then and Now by Lester Sullivan, a book that illustrates changes in the city by showing a turn-of-the-century photo of a building or place on a left-hand page, followed by its present-day counterpart on the right-hand page, $18; both from Gentry (Uptown Square, 200 Broadway St., 866-8608).
Leaves of Gold -- Handcrafted glass slabs in olive, eggplant and russet have skeletal leaves that show through the plates from the back by Annieglass, $55 for 5-inch square; $88 for 8-inch square; $98 for 10-inch square and $141 for 15 1/2- by 8-inch rectangle; all from Adler's (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 523-5292; 722 Canal St., 523-5292; Oakwood Shopping Center, 197 Westbank Expwy., Gretna, 523-5292).
Photo courtesy Image Source
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