Just the right gift for leftiesAll three presidential...

ON THE HOME FRONT

December 20, 1992|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Staff Writer

Just the right gift for lefties

All three presidential candidates were left-handed this last election. Einstein was left-handed. Barbara Dennenberg can name an endless number of influential people, all of whom would have benefited from a nice left-handed corkscrew or a T-shirt that reads "Left-Handers Do It Right."

Ms. Dennenberg isn't left-handed herself, but she's married to a leftie, and two of her three children are left-handed. She understands how, say, a left-handed oven mitt can make life a little easier. Until about three years ago, she had a store in Harborplace called the Left Hand, which sold necessity items and fun gifts. She closed when the rent got too high; now she's reopened for the holidays at a cart in Towson Town Center.

In the Harbor location, Ms. Dennenberg found that souvenirs -- things like T-shirts and pencils that could be thrown in a suitcase -- were the big sellers. Her customers in Towson want the useful LTC items: the left-handed spiral notebooks, scissors, portfolios.

The Left Hand is located near the mall's C2 West entrance between Eddie Bauer's and Brookstone. It isn't easy to capture in words exactly what Littlefield's is. A garden store? A gift shop with a garden theme? Not quite. Cross Keys' newest shop has both wonderfully frivolous gifts and very practical garden tools. Owner Sarah Klinefielter says she tries to "buy things that will make people happy." The stock changes seasonally; right now Littlefield's looks more like a gift shop, with Christmas decorations, ceramics, note papers and pretty little knickknacks, but in the spring there'll be fresh herbs, hydrangeas and more gardening items.

Ms. Klinefielter was co-owner of the Garden Room in Roland Park. When her partner got out of the business, she decided to move and change the name. "It's less limiting," she says. "People used to think we were just a garden shop. Now I'm hoping to sell fine handpainted furniture, lamps -- branch out a little."

Littlefield's is located on the main square in the Village of Cross Keys. Holiday hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The telephone number is (410) 435-3132.

The Maryland Historical Society's shop and bookstore is less well known than some museum shops in Baltimore, but it's there that you'll find this week's Gift of the Week. Museums are a great place to Christmas shop when you're tired of mall crowds. You can find unusual gifts and support a cultural institution -- all in relative peace and quiet.

This decorative metal umbrella holder can also be used as a wastebasket. Painted black, the 18-inch-tall bin has a sepia print of an 1850 Sachse lithograph laminated to it. The print shows the Washington Monument, with a bird's-eye view of the surrounding buildings and the harbor in the background. The umbrella holder, which sells for $30, would be a handsome addition to a hall or entranceway.

While you're at the museum shop, check out the wide selection (( of antiques and reproductions, memorabilia and books.

The Maryland Historical Society is located at 201 W. Madison St. The museum shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you can afford your own swimming pool, I guess you can afford the book for inspiration.

Kelly Klein's Pools (Knopf) -- a fabulous collection of photographs, beautifully designed -- does cost $100; there's no getting around it. But then you're buying the ultimate history and ultimate celebration of pools, captured by many of the great photographers of this century and the end of last.

It's a tossup whether this is a coffee-table book of superb designs or superb photographs. Here are pools to die for, architecturally striking pools, romantic pools, pools in the most brilliant colors imaginable and pools in stark black and white -- but also photographs like one of John Kennedy (taken in 1953) lounging pool-side with friends, the pool itself not in the picture.

The text by Kelly Klein, wife of fashion designer Calvin Klein, and the notes by Esther Williams don't quite live up to the photographs. But then, these pools don't really need any commentary.

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