No one doubts that custom-designed cabinet work is superior to store-bought shelves. But where do you find a craftsman to do it?Jack Lange has the tools, the eye, and the love of craft to turn walls into libraries and corners into proper nooks. His creations include cabinet work, formica counters, and various carpentry repairs (including constructing fan blades for old ceiling fans). The cost of Jack Lange’s handiwork is often less than that of ready-made substitutes, but the work is made to order and that makes all the difference. Jack Lange, custom carpenter, 321-2257.
The Padder of Little Feet
Short of seeking a cobbler, Cinderella Shoes is the answer for women with really tiny feet: sizes 1 1/2 to 5 1/2. The owner of the shop is Johnny Ashton, and he serves Dallas, all of Texas, and most of the Midwest with small shoes for every occasion – disco, sports, or the office. Once Ashton’s got your size, you can order by mail and you need never go barefoot again Cinderella Shoes, 6319 Gaston Ave. 821-4440.
Seams Pretty Easy
We may have inherited our grandmothers’ economic problems without their knack of making do. (Remember Scarlett O’Hara whipping up a dress from “Miss Ellen’s portieres”?) Yet there is hope for even the most amateurish seamstress who has access to the basic machine straight and hem stitches: Sallie Strange, an English professor in real life, has packaged a series of simple dress patterns, none of which has more than four seams. Each pattern includes applique templates for creating a colorful array of flowers or birds on the dress. The pattern is so quick to stitch that a few evenings’ work will give you an original long gown of fine Italian cotton for $30. Appliqua-tions at Off the Bolt, 6731 Snider Plasa. 361-6273. Mon-Sat 9:30-5:30, Thur 9:30-7.
Amateur wine connoiseurs unite. A wine appreciation course beginning September 17 at UT Dallas will explain for you everything about wine: reading labels; buying, storing, and serving; even grape varieties and major grape areas. Each meeting includes a tasting and rating of up to five wines. The fee is $65. Monday nights from 7 to 9:30. For more information, call 690-2204.
Wok, Don’t Run
According to the proprietress of the Friendly Oriental Grocery, most occasional cooks of Chinese food want six things: soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and Chinese dry mushrooms. But for the gourmet or Chinese household, many more delights line the shelves of this tiny grocery: two kinds of straw mushrooms, hoisin sauce, hot bean paste and bean curd, egg roll wrappers, 25-pound sacks of “sticky” rice, and hundreds of illustrated tins filled with delectables that most first-time wok cooks never believed existed. Friendly Oriental Grocery, 115 Custer Rd (off Arapaho, west of Central Exp). 235-2990. Thur-Sat 10-6, Sun 2-6, closed Mon.
What do you do with a bathroom full of scummy tile and porcelain and really nasty grout? Wilton G. Weaver and his Nationwide Porcelain Refinishing Company offer the redecorating or renovating homeowner some alternatives to yanking out the claw-footed tub and using it for a water trough. First, if your old tub looks like it did come out of a pasture, the Weavers will sandblast it, reglaze it, and replate the feet for less than the price of a new one. Then, if you’re tired of dusty rose tiles, let these folks reglaze them in the color of your choice, leaving all the patterns (and none of the mildew). All work is guaranteed for a year, and the Weaver family promises to leave no mess behind. Nationwide Porcelain Refinishing Co. 298-8244.
When you think your parties need a facelift, or when a special occasion needs a special treatment, call Carol McDermid. She’ll make elaborate cut-out invitations or, if you need a fuller treatment, will carry out any party theme as far as your imagination and cash will stretch. Need tablecloths to match the invitation, or perhaps an effigy of the honoree? Carol’s specialty is making your party special. 363-2332.
Cheaper by The Docent
The Dallas Museum of Natural History seeks volunteers to present special programs and guided tours for coming exhibits. This year, as a special exhibit, the museum will be presenting the “Touch Cart,” a portable collection of mounted specimens. Volunteers should have a keen interest in people, an appreciation for natural history, and three hours a week to work. Special benefits include field trips across the state, inclusion on the museum mailing list, access to the library and other facilities, and being titled a “docent.” If you’re interested, call Karen Turner any weekday at 421-2169.
"Heartbreak Hotel" captures a very different bar at the Stoneleigh Hotel and a very different Dallas in 1977.
By Matt Goodman
Restaurants & Bars
And don’t sleep on the “Wine-Dow,” a patio window through which you can order a glass to sip on al fresco.