A LOT OF COUNTRY: Ilse Butler has little good to say about the sameness of chrome and glass-decorated condos. She's peddling country items at the shop owned by her and her husband, Henry. Mrs. B's Arts & Crafts has cozy furnishings, like benches with storage space for $250, a pie safe for $308, bookcases at $97.50 and quilt racks from $39 to $59. Butler said most of the furniture is made by local crafters so the prices are reasonable, like a blanket chest for $110 and a wide selection of wood shelves (to store all the country collectibles), ranging from $18 for a two-foot shelf to $49 for one that's 9 feet long.
Mrs. B's Arts & Crafts, 5207 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park, 544-6098. Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
LIGHT THE WAY: Bay Pines Furniture has a store full of table lamps on sale for $49.99, like one with a dolphin-decorated base. The floor version of that lamp is $99.99. Co-owner Paul Davis said he special orders many things. However, he now has plenty of special items, like a tall, hand-painted spice cabinet for $199.99, regularly $399.99, or a sleeper sofa for $349.99, reduced from $899.99. He has some Carolina furniture on hand as well, like a five-drawer chest for $188.95, regularly $399.95.
Bay Pines Furniture, 9897 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island, 360-4841. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
READ AND SAVE: Bayboro Books, which is adjacent to the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus, is having a cleaning sale through Aug. 10. This means new books will continually be put on sale as the shelf-clearing effort evolves. Right now, there's a $10 classics table where the Oxford Edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice can be found. Most sale books are half-price, like Colin Powell's My American Journal for $13 and collected poetry from Seamus Heaney for $7.50. Children's books are also priced to go, like Gulliver's Adventures in Lilliput by Jonathan Swift for $8 and Goldilocks and the Three Bears for $6.
Bayboro Books, 121 Seventh Ave. S., St. Petersburg, 821-5477. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
COSTS UNDER CONSTRUCTION: While the Isla Del Sol golf course gets new greens and the place is mound after mound of sand piles, the Golf Pro Shop is getting rid of merchandise. Take 40 percent off all red tag stuff, which means it was already in the clearance stage, pro Fred Curtis Jr. said. This includes a maroon turtleneck at $26, minus 40 percent off, golf slacks for $19.95 and ladies' shorts at $32. Curtis said when the golf course reopens in mid-September, all new stock will be available at the Pro Shop. He is also selling $15.98 U.S. Open T-shirts and caps.
Golf Pro Shop, Isla Del Sol Yacht & Country Club, 6025 Sun Blvd., St. Petersburg, 864-2417. Open 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
LOVE THIS SALE: Isla Del Sol's Tennis Shop is also having a clearance sale. Jackie Keller is clearing racks for new merchandise. Take 40 to 50 percent off items like men's tailored white tennis shorts at $25 (regularly $50) and women's tennis skirts at $28 (regularly $56). Keller has also marked down $22 Isla Del Sol T-shirts (soft and longish style) at 20 percent off.
Tennis Shop, Isla Del Sol Yacht & Country Club, 6000 Sun Blvd., St. Petersburg, 864-2379. Hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday.
HOME AND CLOSET DEALS: The best way to recap what Gloria Jeannotte and her husband, Paul, carry in their store, All Things Considered, is to read their business card: "An eclectic gathering of gifts, silk flowers, home accents and island clothes." Most of this hodgepodge is now on sale, like KLG clothes of a synthetic fabric that travels well. A $78 slinky black dress and a $96 two-piece outfit have both been marked down 25 percent. All finer stationery is 20 percent off, like one box for $18. Plus, children's hand-painted dresses are reduced from $36 to $28.
All Things Considered, Isla Del Sol Shopper's Village, 5901 Sun Blvd., St. Petersburg, 867-7199. Open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Times correspondent Janis Froelich traverses the city looking for sales, bargains and the very best deals for the shopper. Please send suggestions to Best Buys and Bargains, c/o Neighborhood Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731