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The Right Kind of Fright

October 31, 1998

Are there howling gargoyles, ghouls and griffins in your yard? Not the fly-by-night trick-or-treaters who'll be stopping by tonight; we're talking permanent spirits.

At Gibson's in Fountain Valley, there is a frightful number of menacing-looking figures that are hungry to occupy space outdoors.

The home-and-garden accessory store stocks more than 100 working water fountains, many decorated with creatures. There are also griffin pedestals made of cast concrete ($103) and winged gargoyles ($125) made of cast resin. Smaller statues (12 to 18 inches tall) are $32.

"At first you go, 'Ugh, they're ugly,' " says manager Jody Walker, "but when you know that gargoyles were good spirits used to scare away the evil ones, they aren't as fierce looking.

"They're so ugly they're cute, like the ones with the top hats."

Gibson's is at 18285 Euclid St., Fountain Valley, (714) 641-6611.

Now Herend This

Do you love the gentler members of the animal kingdom but don't have the space to keep them in your home? Consider Herend's figurines.

The collection has more than 200 critters, including Fawn, a wobbly newborn (4 inches long and 4 inches high, $256); Running Rabbit (3 3/4 inches long and 2 inches high, $190); and Cuddly Rabbits (4 1/2 inches long and 3 inches high, $294). All are in the popular fishnet design, in rust, blue, green, raspberry, black, butterscotch or multicolored.

The hard-paste porcelain pieces are handcrafted in the village of Herend, Hungary.

The 172-year old company also makes platters, egg cups, napkin rings, tea services, trembler cups, cachepots and lamps in thousands of shapes and more than 5,000 patterns.

On Monday, Neiman Marcus in Fashion Island, Newport Beach, will host a Herend Budapest Fest. Hungarian artist Szilvia Balta will show the hand-painting techniques used to decorate the porcelain pieces.

Call (949) 759-1900.

Wake-Up Call

It's not merely a clock, it's a sleep machine. And it doesn't buzz at you, it eases you into consciousness with soothing natural sounds. With a push of a button, you can hear rolling waves, a sonorous foghorn, chirping crickets, rooster's crow, gentle rainfall or tropical birdcalls.

Dreamscape by Westclox ($40) can also be put to good use as you fall asleep.

The clock is even shaped like a seashell.

Call (800) 444-0972.

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