The Shabby Sheep

Remember when grandma used to sit around and knit a wool cap or pair of slippers? Remember how you swore to yourself that you would never wear that cap or slippers but felt guilty about not wanting them so you put them on just to please her? Fast-forward 35 years. Remember when you learned that your wife was taking up a new hobby—knitting—and she schlepped you to the Shabby Sheep in the old State/Thomas area and you fell in love with all the rich colors and the fabulous textures? Remember how you decided to take a class with your wife—a Summer of Socks, they called it—and now you can knit your own socks as well as wool caps and wool slippers for your own guilt-ridden children? And the circle of life continues. In an argyle pattern.

Bath House Cultural Center

Do your Christmas shopping on the banks of White Rock Lake at this annual market of paintings, sculpture, photography, pottery, ceramics, jewelry, candles, fresh soaps, handmade cards and other creations. This is real art, not the bluebonnet paintings and hot-glue collages of other holiday bazaars. Best part: The Art Mart benefits the Bath House Cultural Center's year-round art and theater programs. Our best finds at last year's Art Mart: gorgeous hand-built pottery urns with soft turquoise glaze for $60 and delicately scented, hand-poured candles that lasted longer than pricey boutique brands. Homemade brownies and live music make browsing time even nicer. And try to catch the preview reception the night before the Art Mart opens. That's when you can snag a first look at the wares and make bids at the silent auction that benefits the Bath House. The annual Winter Art Mart is free and open to the public.

Dallas Farmers Market

Konrad and Elizabeth Bouffard produce true raw wildflower honey and bottle it in real glass to preserve the flavor. Never heated or filtered during processing, Round Rock Honey is said to help seasonal allergies, with varieties labeled to show which area of Texas the hives were in. Sold in a booth at the Dallas Farmers Market, this honey is fragrant and sweet, perfect for drizzling, cooking or adding to coffee or tea. All natural, it's also full of the pollens, trace minerals and complex sugars that often are compromised in commercially mass-produced honeys. Suh-weet.

Make Shop & Studio

Make features work from independent artists who do their work in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Items include paintings, bracelets, belts, clothing, martini glasses, hats and handmade soap. After spending two years in Uptown, Make has been in Oak Cliff for more than a year, teaching classes to aspiring independent artists. Perhaps the shop's most noteworthy class is Project Make, which is set up similar to Project Runway. For a mere 575 bucks, you can learn sewing and design without the humiliation of getting kicked off national television, and there's even a photo shoot and runway show at the end to determine the big winner. For those without the time or budget for Project Make, the shop also offers a wide variety of other classes, including embroidery, basic sewing, belt making, chair reupholstery, glass etching and several classes designed for kids and teens.

Best Judge When Your Cheap Divorce Gets Expensive

Judge Dennise Garcia

Some divorces just ain't gonna be settled easily. The husband is controlling, the wife too angry. One spouse wants out, and the other spouse says, "Not so fast." For these folks there is only one option—a full court press with all the high-priced legal fees and court costs that go with it. Ouch! Some of that big ticket-lick can be mitigated if the parties are fortunate enough to appear before Family Court Judge Dennise Garcia of the 303rd District Court. Judge Garcia has a gift for controlling confrontational lawyers, warring parties and emotional witnesses without being abusive or condescending. Although she was one of the first Democrats to break the Republican stranglehold on the courthouse, she is anything but partisan from the bench. She understands the economics of divorce cases, while sorting through the emotional merde that often envelopes many family law situations. There are seven Dallas County Family Court judges, some better than others, and cases get assigned on a random basis. So if you get crosswise with your soon-to-be ex, keep your fingers crossed for landing before Judge Garcia.

So you think it's crazy to hire a guide to show you how to go old-fashioned jug fishing for catfish? Who are you kidding? Take it from us—you need a scout for this sort of outing. The first time anyway. These guys do guided jug fishing—an old-timey method of setting out lots of hooks—on lakes all over the area. They even make their own juglines and stink bait. Forget about reaching them by telephone, however. Drop in and visit or click on jugfishing.net. They'll hook you up.

If your parenting sensibilities don't skew toward the avoidance of the hurried-child syndrome, and you are more concerned with imbuing your child with the fashion sense it takes to make it through high school, then you will have no problems shopping at Kid Biz, where the fashion-forward clothes make the kid. This family-owned and -operated kid clothing store has trendy threads, accessories and gift ideas for parents who want their kids to dress like them. And the owners offer the same personal service and customer care that they have since the store's genesis in 1989. Kid Biz actually caters to the Nickelodeon crowd, boys and girls from infants through prepubescence. Adjoining Kid Biz is the co-owned The Biz, which offers the same fashion sensibility to an older crowd of hipsters—from tweeners to teens. No matter your parenting skills, clothes are a necessity, and these are some of the finest necessities around for kids of all ages.

Courthouse folklore has it that when legendary Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade was asked whom he would hire if he ever got in trouble, Wade would say without hesitating, "Why, that'd be George Milner." Well, George is still trying cases, but it's his son George Milner III who has become something of a legend defending DWI cases. Young George is always prepared, knows the law cold and has a solid feel for the way a judge is going to rule (comes with being a courthouse fixture). Plus he is a lawyer's lawyer who is willing to volunteer his time on the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association strike force to help any lawyer in the state who gets crosswise with an aggressive prosecutor. Yep, he's the best. Case closed.

There comes a time when your lawyer, to whom you have paid a hefty retainer, stops returning your calls. Or forgets to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations has run out. Or seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time on that "big, big case" in Las Vegas. You may need to seek representation against your legal representative. Consult with Randy Johnston of Johnston Tobey, fearless when it comes to suing unethical members of his own profession. If Johnston passes on taking your case, you can bet it's not worth filing. This guitar-strumming, motorcycling litigator, whose straight hair was once so long he agreed to cut it off to raise money for legal services to the poor, is smart, hard-working and known to tilt at legal windmills. He also sues accountants, stockbrokers and others who run afoul of their ethics. He also quotes Woody Guthrie on his Web site: "As through this world I ramble, I see lots of funny men. Some will rob you with a six-gun. And some with a fountain pen."

Creations by fashion designer and stylist Lindsay Weatherread include custom-made pieces, from evening gowns and sportswear to theater costumes and wedding dresses. She's done wardrobe design for music videos, commercials and local and national film projects, bringing the same freeform artistry to her retail collection, which can be ordered online or purchased at LFT, the Lifestyle Fashion Terminal in Victory Park. Weatherread's textured garments are made with organic materials and eco-friendly dyes. Nice way to stay conscious of the environment and in touch with the elements of style.

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