Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Treasures

I stopped in at my friend Kim's shop, Urbino, on NW 23rd because it always has the most wonderful, Christmas-y feeling this time of year. Not like the tchotchke nightmare shops with Santas swigging beer, or giant plum puddings that blink and play "Silent Night." I mean a real holiday treasure box filled with soft, glowing colors and wonderful gifts you can imagine giving people you care about. Like these wonderful candles with gorgeous incised botanical carvings that, when the inside candle is burned down, leaves the outside intact so you can insert another candle!

And they always have amazing Italian pottery made especially for Urbino by the world-famous potters of Deruta. The small bowls are great for serving olives or for filling with a small amount of olive oil for dipping. One of these bowls and a bottle of estate olive oil would be the perfect gift for the foodie on your list.

I was particularly knocked out by their newest addition, some artisan-made wool scarves in sumptuous colors and the smoothest, softest textures. Heirloom quality, these aren't for everyone on your list, but for that special person it would be a truly fabulous gift.

Details: Urbino, 638 NW 23rd Ave.; Phone 503-220-0053.

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