November 2008

Blue Parrot Gifts

Author: Ann DeMart | Photographer: photography by anne

The other day, I found myself surrounded by glimmering birds, sparkling dolphins, burnished turtles and glinting palmettos. There were baubles, bangles and beads everywhere. A flock of fairies swam through the air above me. (Or is that a flight of fairies?) No matter. Shimmering marsh grass and frosted shells were at my fingertips. Where was this tempting display, in a wild dream or exotic journey?

Well, there’s no mystery to this magical tour. It was a guided visit to Blue Parrot Gifts at Shelter Cove Mall, a wonderful shop filled with everything from paintings and sculpture to jewelry and fine craftwork. Linda Hyslop and her husband, Steve, have owned Blue Parrot fox six years, since they moved to Hilton Head Island from Atlanta, bringing their business with them. “We love making people happy, helping them find gifts for themselves and others,” she said. It shows. Frankly, if you can’t find a gift for someone here, you should probably consider it a personal problem.

As Hyslop introduced me to a fantastic array of items, I saw gems and gifts that could fill nearly any holiday shopping list in one swoop. There was so much to admire and desire. “We focus on fine American crafts,” she said as we wound through the aisles. Depictions of Lowcountry water birds and marshes were spectacular. Copper fly-through bird feeders were perched above a display of appealing watercolors by local artist, Brantley Martel. The Wee Forest Folk, truly teeny animal figures (mostly mice) gathered sociably. Metal dragonflies and tree frogs fashioned from Elliot Metalworks were neighbors to glass prints from Hardenbrook Studios. Sarah Sanders’ Goat Island Treasure Boxes topped with trees or animals are enchanting with or without contents. The artist, who will be signing her work at Blue Parrot on November 14th, started building her boxes to benefit the Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue. After viewing this fabulous menagerie, I returned to gaze again at Mary Lou Cost’s exquisitely colored ink paintings of birds and other wildlife.

Blue Parrot features Swarovsky crystals, figures and jewelry. Speaking of jewelry, the shop offers a complete line of Pandora jewelry and charms. For collectors and fans, selecting the stunning silver, gold and Murano glass beads that are used to create unique bracelets and necklaces can become an obsession. For gift-givers, they’re a godsend. In a nearby case, the bronze jewelry by Michael Michaud was lovely and delicate; and pieces by John Medeiros and other artisans competed for attention.

In another section of the store, lithe curves of art glass by Eickholt, from Columbus, Ohio, share a shelf with beautifully hued pieces from Held Glass Studios in Vancouver. An intoxicating aroma drew me to the Lamp Berger of Paris display; the special fragrance dispensers have been popular in France for 100 years. Across the room, sleek, sophisticated crystal perfume bottles called out the names of several of my friends; painted leather items by Anuschka whispered some others. Wolfard oil lamps, elegant, minimal towers created from a single piece of blown glass, would be perfect gifts for weddings, anniversaries or any special occasion.

Looking for a guy thing? Handsome weathervanes designed for indoors or out, are topped with everything from traditional animals to the logo for Ohio State University. Or take a look at Bolton Smith’s vivid posters of Savannah, Charleston, Beaufort and Daufuskie Island. When you see the bright colors and dynamic vibe of Smith’s work, you’ll find it hard to believe that the artist returned to his native state of Kansas after living in Lowcountry Oz.

Blue Parrot’s most spectacular item is arguably the Porter Music Box. Housed in a glowing inlaid wood box, a perforated copper disc—beautiful in its own right—creates the enchanting tones. Less extravagant fans of the sound can purchase CDs.

If you’re in the market for something a little more practical, there’s a wide variety of OKA b shoes. They’re comfy, pretty and affordable enough to purchase in multiples, as are the wild, colorful “cheater” glasses and bifocal sunglasses.

Oh yes…that flurry of fairies I mentioned? The whimsical figures with beguiling faces and costumes floating overhead were designed by local artist, Linda Hawley, who also creates sweet Santas. A fresh supply will be on hand in December, when Hawley will be onsite signing her work. And of course, this is a fine time of year to exercise the time-honored gift-giving tradition of “one for so-and-so; one for me,” even if you only give in to the bountiful variety of Christmas ornaments.

Blue Parrot Gifts is located in the center section of the Mall at Shelter Cove and is open seven days a week until 9 p.m. For more information, call (843) 785-9877 or (800) 252-6653, or visit

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