Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hot Buys

I may not have shared my love of Fontaine, a home furnishings and accessories store, on this blog before. Owner Barry Avery’s eye for smart design and well-edited selection of looks ranging from organic to Hollywood luxe can tempt any shopper.
Avery is carrying a new product line, Lollia, which consists of bubble bath, hand crème, soaps and candles. I’ve seen Lollia products at other stores (not locally) and have admired their beautiful packaging and heavenly scents. Avery’s carrying the “Inspire” scent (also called 1000 Flowers) in shea butter hand cream and bathing salts and the “Wish” scent (Sugared Pastille) in hand cream, fragrance spritz and bubble bath. He’s also carrying the Poppy Nectar candle.
Featured in national mags like Bazaar, InStyle Weddings and Shape, now Madison can indulge in these yummy scents, too. Prices range from $6.95–$59.95.

Fontaine, 811 E. Johnson St. 310-8002.

Looking for a cute baby gift or a holiday gift for a special tyke? Check out the Joobles collection from Fair Indigo. Made of organic cotton and eco-friendly dyes, these one-hundred percent adorable stuffed toys, hats and mittens, and cotton cardigans are sure to be a hit. I love the vibrant colors. And you can’t beat the construction practices behind them; according to Fair Indigo’s website, “The Joobles are made fairly in Lima, Peru, at a family-run facility where dad grows the cotton and mom runs the sewing operation.” Sounds like a family affair! (Top: Jiffy the giraffe hat and mittens, $39; bottom, Icy the penguin, $29).

Fair Indigo, 570 N. Midvale Blvd. 661-7662.

Our Food and Wine Show is this weekend, but you can continue to celebrate and savor cheeses and other exotic foodstuffs long after we close up shop. Fromagination, the Square’s yummy cheese shop, is hosting events throughout November and December to help customers select cheeses for holiday parties and items for gifts.
November 13, 4–7 p.m.: Let the cheesemongers at Fromagination help you create the perfect cheese plate for Thanksgiving.
December 4, 11, 4–8 p.m.: Get a head start on holiday shopping at the Gift Fair. The shop will have tables set up so customers can walk around and talk and taste while they shop.

Fromagination, 12 S. Carroll St. 255-2430.

Who is the most famous “T” you can think of? Personally, I’d say Mr. T (“I pity the fool!”) or Ice-T. There are others, though, like Ford’s Model T, or maybe a T-bone steak. But I digress. Macha Teahouse has a wall of Famous T’s because…they’re a teahouse! They want customers to guess who their new “Famous T’s” are on the wall (and yes, Mr. T is already up there). Customers will be entered to win a teapot and one pound of their favorite tea.
Customers are also encouraged to tell Macha in one hundred words or less what the teahouse means to them. All customers will be given something for entering and the top three entries will be featured on their website—not to mention awarded prizes!
Both contests are to celebrate the teahouse’s one-year anniversary.

Macha Teahouse, 1934 Monroe St. 442-0500.

Holiday gift ideas are already landing in my inbox, folks. We in magazine land can quickly get tired of the holidays since we cover them in October and November, and then experience them yet again in December…ha! Not to sound like Scrooge, because shopping for others is fun.
Two places to look for art-inspired gifts: MMoCA’s Museum Store and With gifts in a variety of price ranges, you can get something for anybody, whether she’s a fashionista (jewelry and handbags), a kid (kids’ books and art) or foodie (artful kitchen accessories).
Both retailers have kept price consciousness in mind and are offering gifts for less; Artful Home’s “100 under $100” keeps your wallet in mind and MMoCA’s large variety of inexpensive gifts under $25 can satisfy most anyone on your list.
Artful Home has even gone one step further and categorized gifts into easy sections like: “Customer Favorites and Ornaments” (plus the 100 under $100 section); a “Shop by Personality” section; and “More Ways to Shop,” including by Price, Recipient, Occasion and “In Time for 12/25”—a selection of artist-made items that can ship in time to arrive by December 25.

Terry Boehner, the Museum Store’s marketing assistant provided me this list of gifts under $25 that include:
Cute animal-shaped banks, $18.
Wood bud vases, $13.50. “Really popular,” says Boehner.
Buddha Boards, $11.50. (“A Zen art concept: image appears when you paint water on the board, it disappears when water evaporates,” says Boehner.”)
Don Drumm pewter leaves, $17.
Wind-up salt shaker, $20.50.
Singerman & Post earrings, $22. (Designs of colorful Mylar film transferred to light metal.)
Kids’ books, $6–$8.

MMoCA Museum Store, 227 State St. 257-3222.

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