Saturday, April 02, 2005

Baby Gifts

Nothing, I find, is more thoroughly enjoyable than shopping for a baby gift. Here are some ideas for baby gifts that I recently came across and thought worthy of mention:


Peter Rabbit Nursery set by Wedgwood- a three piece set consisting of plate, bowl, and mug in fine china ($42.95). Wallace Silversmiths sterling silver baby cups in the Grand Baroque ($69.95) and Plain ($49.95) patterns as well as a sterling silver dumbell rattle suitable for engraving ($59.95). Reed and Barton "Safari" flatware set, silverplated, featuring an alligator knife, a leopard spoon, and a giraffe fork ($39.95). Wallace Silversmiths has six different patterns available for infant feeding spoons ($29.95) and two piece baby sets of a spoon and fork ($59.95). Patterns: Towle Old Master, Reed and Barton Francis I, Lunt Eloquence, International Joan of Arc, Gorham Chantilly, and Grand Baroque.


Ross-Simons has a very nice collection of sterling silver baby cups, including: William Roberts Classic plain cup (4 ounce) $49.95, Reed and Barton double-handled pot-bellied cup (5 ounce) $69.95, Lunt Eloquence (5 ounce) $49.95, Reed and Barton Beaded (5 ounce) $69.95. English porcelain mug-dish-plate sets in pale blue or pale pink ($39.95). Sterling silver brush and comb sets: Boys- $39.95, Girls- $49.95. Spode classic Winnie the Pooh clock ($59.95), Pooh dish set (plate-bowl-mug) in pink or blue ($49.95) or a two piece set (plate and mug) for $34.95. Baby Zoo Musical Carousel ($49.95). Lunt Sterling Baptismal Shell ($99.95), Limoges First Tooth Boxes in blue or pink ($79.95 each). Royal Worcester "days of the week" china: plate ($29.95) and mug ($19.95). These last may be personalized with name and date of birth.

Cashs of Ireland

"Annie's Ribbons" Baby Blanket ($39.00) and pillow ($25.00). The blanket and pillow may be purchased together as a set for $55.00. Galway Crystal Christening Mug ($45.00). Irish Christening outfit: robe/bonnet/booties for $155.00 in a poly/cotton blend to fit babies of up to 26 pounds. Belleek Baby Cup and Cereal Bowl (bowl and spoon $39.00), (cup $45.00), (three piece set $75.00).


Aran stroller blanket (52 inches x 32 inches) in 100% pure new wool. Free booties included ($49.00). Waterford baby cup (3 1/2 inches high) $59.00. Royal Worcester three-piece "Days of the Week" breakfast set (mug-bowl-plate) display the children's rhyme that begins "Monday's child is fair of face......." ($49.00).

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Valentine's Day Gifts for Him

Valentine's Day, of course, is not only for the ladies; we cannot reasonably forget the gentleman in our life whilst he is showering us with sweets and flowers! Here, then, are a selection of items which might, just possibly, fit the bill. It is difficult to surpass a Brooks Brothers for classic style, quality, and selection. Some particular favorites of mine are the Woven Medallion Silk Ties (A182) in dark green, gold, rust, navy, or dark red, Pinpoint Cotton Dress Shirts with a forward point collar (761E), and their Italian Camel Hair Sport Coat (167M). If your fellow is an outdoorsy type, why not try L.L. Bean? How about a pair of their Scotch Plaid Flannel Pyjamas in Dress Campbell or Black Watch (KL11001)? They may not be very glamourous, but they will keep him toasty warm! Does he have the dreams of an aviator? Smithsonian's Leather Flight Jacket (2845) is adapted from a World War II A-2 jacket on display in the National Air and Space Museum. Is he perhaps a bibliophile? The Daedalus Book catalogue is well worth checking out for interesting volumes which are deeply discounted to boot, including "The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World" by A.J. Jacobs (49545). Is he, perchance, a lover of fine wines? Check out Pop's Wines at for a great selection of wines and spirits at deeply discounted prices. My personal favorite, the 2000 vintage Croft Porto (846920007) sounds simply delicious. To keep him "traditionally" warm, why not give him Creative Irish Gifts Aran Sweater in Merino Wool (CG028). The sizes go up to 2XL and (they say) it may be machine washed or dry-cleaned. Personally, I would prefer the latter, given my experiences with washing machines. For the organizationally challenged a thoughtful gift might be Red Envelope's Standing Valet (150127) on which he can hang a suit, tie, belt, and has a handy shelf for his wallet, telephone, and any other electronic accessories. If his wardrobe needs to be attended to in an, ahem, more basic fashion, you might scan the pages of the One Hanes Place catalogue. A three-pack of Hanes Classic briefs goes for just under eight dollars (988OL). Boxers are also available, of course, in a wide variety of colors and patterns. They also have great walking socks with a cushy reinforced heel (991E) in White, Navy, Khaki, and Black to fit shoe sizes 9-12. If you have a fisherman or hunter in your life, grab the Cabela's catalogue and settle down for a good long read. They have absolutely everything, from lures to catch fish to the waders to don before casting out your line, to the Lodge cast-iron skillets to use in cooking your catch of the day, as well as smokers and dehydrators and all sorts of neat stuff (even for those of us who do not hunt or fish!). Their "gifts" section offers a number of charming items with a rustic touch, including "Sportsmen's Signs" such as: "Business Hours Subject to Change During Hunting Season" (CF-61-9203), wildlife prints, elk and whitetail dinnerware collections, wall murals, and, surely a great conversation piece, reproduction-antler chandeliers. I didn't see the mounted Jackelopes in this particular catalogue, but they are also not to be missed. I wish all you ladies out there the best of luck in finding that perfect gift for your sweetheart!!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Valentine's Day Gifts for Her

It's that time of year again! Time to ponder what might be the perfect gift for your sweetheart! Luckily, our mailbox (newly enlarged, such an improvement) has yielded a bumper crop of new Spring catalogues these past few weeks. It's hard to go wrong with jewellery -- Cash's has a gold heart locket (726402) decorated with a pearl and crystals on an 18 inch chain. I couldn't help but smile when I saw the "Sweetheart Valentine Bear" (AV137385) on the cover of Gump's Spring 2005 catalogue--very cuddlesome on those cold February nights. In the mood for a cooking project? Williams-Sonoma has a molten chocolate cake batter (10-6517072) that promises a delectable treat (sweets for the sweet!). If you can't keep your sweetheart warm yourself, try one of Ben Silver's cashmere cardigans (LSLC, black; light blue; peony; and pink) from Scotland. I have to admit these look even more delectable than the chocolate cake (plus, they are non-caloric!). If a romantic, relaxed look is more your style, take a peek at the Pyramid Collection's two piece linen ensemble in "thistle" (P9-480X) comprised of a kurta-style top with bell sleeves and very attractive openwork above the cuffs and a straight-ish skirt with an elasticized waistband (it's nice to see, too, that they go up to size 14-16). Jewellery again. You know what they say about diamonds? Well, I don't know that I agree, exactly, but Ross-Simons sparkling white gold and diamond heart did catch my eye. Ross-Simons has a number of items with a heart motif.....bracelets, pendants, keychains, frames, even cufflinks....all in a wide variety of styles (puffy hearts, flat hearts, curvy get the picture) and price points to fit every pocketbook. The Vermont Country Store may seem like an unlikely place to look for a Valentine's day gift, however, the VCS offers much more than Bag Balm and sensible brassieres (though these certainly have their place and time)! You might just find that special cologne or perfume for your sweetheart, as the VCS has a nice selection of harder-to-find fragrances: Evening in Paris (39712) Eau de Parfum and Cologne (43363), Blue Grass Parfum (29765), and, one of my personal favorites from years ago, Tweed Parfum Spray (37586). Your sweetheart can mark the minutes until she sees you again with Shannon's gold and silver plated Claddagh heart watch. The time will fly by! They say that pearls symbolize tears, but I don't think anyone would cry at receiving Red Envelope's pearl pendant necklace on an intricate silver chain (156202). A "sweet" though non caloric gift is J. H. Breakell's Candy Heart Pendant (PD024). You have a choice of sayings, including Maybe, Say Yes, I'm Yours, or Forever. Also worth mentioning is their line of "pierced heart" designs, which, to me, resemble metal lace, including a pin, pendant, bracelet, and earrings, all in sterling silver, which, as well as attractive, are very affordably priced. Their "lovebirds" pin too, is a lovely design.

However, sometimes the best gifts are those that cannot be wrapped, for example, sleeping in late while your sweetheart makes breakfast for the kids! That's the tops--and you won't even need wrapping paper or a ribbon!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

First Entry

I hope, in this blog, to provide information on the different goods available both in traditional printed catalogues and on online catalogues, and to note both my favorite catalogues as well as items available from the same.