Times may change, but most young children still love to raid Mom and Dad’s closet and play dress-up. Here’s an alternative: pint-sized vintage clothes that will be just as much fun for the kids but will leave your wardrobe intact. More importantly, these clothes provide the children with a valuable piece of the past that they can then pass on to their little ones. The boy’s Little Lord Fauntleroy suit shown here, $125, is made of 100 percent linen; the girl’s dress, $195, is cotton batiste with an Irish lace insertion and val lace. Both are turn-of-the-century American pieces from Gabler & Kramer’s Lilacs and Lace collection (which includes both children’s and adults’ collectibles). Also available at Gabler & Kramer are antique sterling-silver hand mirrors and brush sets, many of which were found in England by the store’s owners, Mary Ella Gabler and Joan Kramer. Gabler & Kramer also has vintage hand-embroidered linens and natural-fiber (cotton, silk, linen) non-vintage items. Gabler & Kramer. 5550 Preston. Mon-Sat 10-5:30. 522-3492.


John and Jane Hudgins have been making Christmas stockings for fun for seven years. This year, they decided it was time to turn their festive hobby into a business. And that’s no meager undertaking -each stocking, which is completely handmade-takes approximately 30 to 40 hours to complete. The stockings are all double hand-stitched, hand-beaded and hand-sequined (more than 1,000 sequins and beads, and about 100 yards of thread are used on each one). The customer specifies either a boy- or girl-design, then John and Jane work out the patterns (which are based on stockings that have been in Jane’s family for 30 years); and no two stockings are exactly alike. The custom-designed stockings are being offered at four stores: Momma Please, Monday’s Child, Kidsworld and Selected Handiworks. Prices start at $125; the stockings, which are approximately 2 feet long, come in a felt-lined wooden box (which John also builds) and are guaranteed against workmanship defects for 10 years; they can be home-delivered to anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. John and Jane Hudgins, The Universal Stocking Works. 381-1848.


Trammell Crow isn’t the only person hoping to bring a little Hollywood to Dallas. Now, in addition to Crow’s Las Colinas movie studio, we have Dallas’ first sound-equipped rehearsal facilities: Palace Rehearsal Studios. The idea isn’t really a new one; its creator, Kenny Dale Johnson, decided to build the studio two years ago, when he was playing the drums in a band in California. He and Ted Liggett, a friend he grew up with in the Texas Panhandle and who now manages funk band Buster Brown, began work on securing the facility, which has taken this long to complete. The studio is equipped with five rooms that range in size from 300 to 580 square feet. Two rooms also have a sound stage, and rental equipment is available. Prices range from $ 10-$ 15 an hour, depending on the room. Palace Rehearsal Studios, 2612 Electronic Lane, #407. 358-0243.


The business card has become a sort of executive security blanket: Whenever we need a quick, foolproof way of establishing our credentials, we grab for the card and pass it along. And that’s logical enough; many business acquaintances are so brief that our faces may soon be forgotten, but the business card remains. You’ll make a strong impression with this bold business card holder, designed by J.T. Inman. It’s $8, and is available at Arresta, 3900 Cedar Springs. Mon-Sat 10-10, Sun noon-6. 528-3380.


When florists first introduced phone-order flower arrangements, a lot of busy people breathed a sigh of relief. Ordering by phone can be a real lifesaver when you know what you want but don’t have a lot of time to shop. Now, Sharon Shep-perd, creator of By The Basket, has taken the concept a step further with phone-order gift baskets. At By The Basket, you simply pick one of about a dozen themes, and the corresponding gift basket will be delivered to the desired recipient (or it can be picked up by appointment). A few of the theme options available are the kitchen basket ($36) and the men’s designer fragrance basket ($40), pictured here. The kitchen basket includes a wooden pot drainer, spaghetti fork, push-pull and other spoons, a wooden cutting board, a cookbook, spices and linens. The men’s fragrance basket includes several Halston fragrances (other scents are available), fingertip towels and soap balls. Other theme choices: a Tex-Mex basket, mail basket, chocoholic basket, baby basket and newcomer’s basket -to name but a few. All baskets are wrapped with clear cellophane and are tied with an appropriate ribbon. By The Basket. 369-6338.


Wrapping Christmas presents can be almost as much fun as receiving them, if you use a bit of imagination. The Container Store, 6067 Forest Lane and Mocking-bird at Central, has green tin half-gallon pails with white Christmas-tree silhouettes all over them, as well as grocery sacks with various holiday motifs in assorted sizes, and small multicolored card-board cartons. Arresta, 3900 Cedar Springs, has nostalgic Christmas-scene square boxes in various sizes. Inner Space in the Quadrangle has vibrant colored (red, green, silver, yellow, blue, etc.) small gift bags and fold-up boxes. Petlymark in North-Park has dozens of different sized and shaped tins from matchbox size to round, cake-pan size and basket-shaped with handles; all come in numerous patterns and Christmas scenes. And try M.E. Moses in Snider Plaza for an incredible selection of ribbon and paper.


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