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Gifts time

What I blew my paycheck on this week

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Watermark Gifts

Watermark Gifts is the be-all end-all of gift shops. Your mother-in-law is coming to visit? Grab her a lovely frame for grandkids pictures. Your best friend just got a promotion? Score him a slick new day planner. Have a friend that’s an art hound? Buy art cards by local artist Richard Duval.

Watermark also offers amazing gift-wrapping products from delicate designer wrapping sheets, silken ribbon and bows to flashy gift bags with brilliant colored paper tissue and humorous gift tags.

The downtown Tacoma gift shop demands a full browse, so plan accordingly and set aside at least 30 minutes to wander the different areas with their specialized focus. One area is devoted to lotions, room sprays, incense and all things that will help induce relaxation. Another is full of shelves displaying martini and wine glasses with hand-painted figures and patterns on them.

Turn your head 45 degrees and discover racks of black and white cards with statements and sentiments on them — some profound, some silly. Keep turning and walking through the store for a full array of products from Anne Taintor — Vintage Revisited will inspire smiles. Taintor takes perfectly respectable images of women and men from the 1950s and adds quirky, smart-alec quotes and sayings to them like Post-It notes baring a 1950s businesswoman’s face with the words “Why yes, I am overqualified” ($4), which make perfect stocking stuffers.

Magnets, pens, buttons, and an amazingly beautiful selection of 2008 calendars sit right near the cashier making for easy impulse buying.

It needs to be said that Watermark Gifts also has some of the very nicest people working there. Friendly conversation and an easy, no-pressure buying experience is to be had.

[Watermark Gifts, 1115 A St., Tacoma, 253.383.2041]

Calla Lily Designs

Calla Lily Designs opened in Tacoma’s Stadium District the third week of September.

Besides stocking lovely knickknacks, vases, ceramics and baubles of all sizes, Calla Lily offers home décor consultation and design services.

These ladies really know their stuff and take the time to sit with clients, do full consultations and gauge exactly what is desired. Then they get to work making you and your home look good. In addition to small room accessories, Calla Lily sells larger furniture pieces — bookcases, room screens, armoires, chests, head and footboards and ornamental shelving units.

The shop has a long counter with bar stools for décor planning sessions or taking a moment to enjoy a cup of tea while trying to decide between cream-colored candles or sandalwood oak candles.

[Calla Lily Designs, 7 Tacoma Ave. N., Tacoma, 253.627.5520]

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