Miniature black masks such as these for sale in Discoveries were once used as passports by African travelers.
Edenside Gallery has been a fixture on Bardstown Road for 12 years. "We have an eclectic collection of fine arts, crafts, and home furnishings," said owner Nancy Peterson. "We're best known for our extensive art jewelry collection, and we also offer estate jewelry.
"This is a historic neighborhood," she continued. "We sell to many different age groups and income levels, so we have a variety of gifts and prices." Mosaic trays ($195) made by a local artist keep company with wooden bowls ($60). Nancy likes to find different objects, such as graphite in the shapes of feathers and seashells that also serve as writing implements ($38).
As Nancy was talking, I saw Susan quietly paying for a pair of silver earrings. I pretended not to notice.
Soon we were in Discoveries, a store filled with ethnically diverse goods. I was immediately drawn to the tambourine from Kenya ($28), made of bottle caps, wire, and wood.
Jenny Kremer, who is the store's manager, said that the business represents 150 different vendors. "The merchandise comes from places such as Mexico, Africa, central Asia, and India," she explains.
Discoveries also puts an emphasis on ethnographic artifacts and textiles. Owner Donna Stone showed us bowls made of used telephone wire ($38) and bracelets fashioned from old manual typewriter keys ($68).
Susan and I both lost our battle of the billfold with the lucky pigs--a palm-size pottery pig ($4.50). "It's a token of friendship," said Jenny, "and it's also supposed to bring good luck."
"Good luck not buying anything else," I said, laughing, as we went into Kizito Cookies. Elizabeth Kizito, Louisville's beloved cookie lady, greeted us with a smile that could melt granite. Her loyal customers choose from biscotti, brownies, 7 types of muffins, and 10 different cookies.
"My favorite is peanut butter," said Elizabeth. She also ships gift boxes, trays, and baskets. (Six cookies cost $4.50; one costs 85 cents.) Susan and I bought one of everything to enjoy later. The cookie called "Lucky in Kentucky" pretty much sized up how I felt on this chilly afternoon. Very broke, but lucky indeed.