After a Fashion

Stephen gets on all fours for the holidays. You heard it here first.

DoggieWorks.com founders Katy Gaffney and Stacy Paulson with Molly (center), a rescued greyhound that inspired the collection
DoggieWorks.com founders Katy Gaffney and Stacy Paulson with Molly (center), a rescued greyhound that inspired the collection

DOGGIE STYLE Lounging in the lounge at the Four Seasons recently, I viewed a large collection of fine jewelry for canines from DoggieWorks.com. For the best-dressed pooch in town, partners Stacy Paulson, an interior decorator who also owns the stylish Home Works store in Tarrytown (www.abouthomeworks.com), and Katy Gaffney, entrepreneur and chair of the gala for the Texas Film Hall of Fame, have produced unusual and delightful dog collars of glass beads, crystals, and pearls. Featuring Ready to Wear and Couture divisions, there are also Sportswear, After Five, and Holiday collections available internationally (and also sold on the upscale Web site www.bellapooch.com) as well as locally at Fetch on Bee Caves Road and Groovy Dog Bakery on Balcones Drive. Katy and Stacy are under consideration for an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

SHOP TALK Creatures Boutique has opened its new 1206 S. Congress location and closed their North Loop location store. The original South First location will remain open at this time. Drop by for great gifts for everyone on your list (and check out their fabulous shoes, too!)... Toy Joy (2900 Guadalupe, 320-0090) is gift heaven. An Austin institution since 1987, they cater to every price range with merchandise that ranges from ridiculous to sublime. Manager Claudette Murphree shared some of her favorites: the delightful Pig Catapult where you load up small plastic pigs into a device and shoot at a target ($4.95); Sunshine Buddies, happy-face creatures with solar batteries that create perpetual movement of the head ($9.95); Bow-Lingual, a transmitter for your dog that analyzes its bark, translates it into words, describes the dogs mood, and can distinguish between breeds ($120); and the ever-popular bead bracelets you design yourself, spelling out words and names, with a variety of charms to add ($5-25). With free gift wrapping, Toy Joy is open 9am-midnight every day until Christmas Eve, when they will close at 7pm... Five Oceans has opened right off the SoCo strip (on Academy, behind Doc's Motorworks). The brainchild of Amy Estes, the shop will feature swimwear, resort wear, and accessories, and will also be the home of hairstylist Stacey Smith and Salon 303... Get your fabulous retro pinup calendar from Cheapo Discs and photographer George Brainard. Featuring luscious lovelies in vintage clothes and vintage poses, the calendar is charming and sexy month after month.

A WELL-HUNG FOSSIL ... and no, we don't mean Milton Berle. Researchers in England say that they have identified the oldest unequivocally male fossil, a 425 million-year-old sea creature/stud appropriately named Colymbosathon ecplecticos, which is Greek for "amazing swimmer with large penis." Being such a great swimmer and so, ahem, divinely proportioned and from such a long time ago, I thought surely they must have dug up the remains of Johnny Weismueller instead ... but no, it was some other prehistoric bivalve.

DREAMS ON THE NET The most beautiful Web site I've ever seen is for artist Andrea Burden at www.andreaburden.net. Not only is the site itself a wonder to behold as if set in a medieval grotto with trickling waterfalls, glistening pools, and a giggling child gliding by on the back of a peacock, but as a setting for Ms. Burden's work, it is magnificent. In creating a backdrop for her oil paintings with their dreamy, erotic, and romantic feel, she and BravoDesign (www.bravodesign.net) have made pure magic. Also showcasing Burden's handcrafted bottles and boxes, as well as digital photography with living subjects that mirror her paintings, it is a site to behold.

COUNSELORS ARE STANDING BY Have you noticed lately that we seem to need professional advice for everything in our lives? I'm all for relying on a profession for guidance, but these days, if a kid breaks a crayon at school, there are counselors standing by to help the class through it. If someone gets fired from a job, there are counselors standing by to help the remaining employees cope. Whatever. The best place to have counselors standing by would be at the mall during Christmas, to help shoppers make good gift-giving choices. Wet Seal may be your favorite store, but do you really want to buy your mother that beaded-bra top like you saw Shakira wearing? This would be the point at which the mall counselors would step in, escort you to the food court, and sit you down over a Mountain Dew and curly fries to urge you to consider a gift certificate at Dillard's instead.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Four Seasons, Doggieworks.com, Stacy Paulson, Home Works, www.abouthomeworks.com, Katy Gaffney, www.bellapooch.com, Fetch, Groovy Dog Bakery, Creatures Boutique, Toy Joy, Pig Catapult, Sunshine Buddies, Bow-lingual, Five Oceans, Amy Estes, Salon 303, Cheapo Discs, George Brainard, Milton Berle

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