Catalog of rosesHoliday shopping from a catalog is a...

ON THE HOME FRONT

October 25, 1992|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Staff Writer `

Catalog of roses

Holiday shopping from a catalog is a convenience, but don't you worry sometimes that it seems a little, well, impersonal? This gift, however, will have special meaning for anyone who cares about the plight of others.

It's the Small Miracle miniature rose from Jackson & Perkins. Every time someone orders one, the company will contribute $5 to the Better Homes Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps homeless families by making funds available through local communities. The foundation was established in 1988 by Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

The gift stands 18 inches tall, is planted in a 6-inch pot with a reusable basket, and has bright white blooms that measure about 2 inches across. It comes with a card explaining the meaning of your gift.

To order a Small Miracle rose, call (800) USA-ROSE. It costs $24.95 plus shipping, and will be available Nov. 1 through Jan. 15.

Most of us about to remodel a kitchen or bathroom are more concerned with finding a contractor than thinking about whether we'll be creating an award-winning space. But if you do want to enter your project in one of the dozens of national and local home remodeling contests, you'll need to begin before the first cabinet gets torn out.

Start by writing to the USG Corporation for a copy of "How to Enter Kitchen & Bath Remodeling Contests." The brochure is small -- no more, really, than a folded sheet -- but packed with tips from experts. The writers talked to judges, former contest winners, color consultants, national home magazine editors and professional photographers. They came up with a list of suggestions that range from presentation of the material to tips on taking the photos to actually finding the contests.

For your copy of the brochure, write to USG Corporation, Dept. 147-4, P.O. Box 806278, Chicago, Ill. 60680-4124. You don't even have to send a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Occasionally one piece in a store window will catch your eye so that as you walk by, you stop, turn around and go back for a second look. So it is with this whimsical ceramic platter at Tomlinson Craft Collection's new store in Towson Commons.

The eye-catching platter's fanciful white squiggles on a black background are set off by a brilliant aqua border. It sells for $60 and can be used as a small tray as well. If you love the design, but that's more than you want to spend, look for artist Robin Spear's unique tea set, butter dishes, cups and soap dishes using the same elements.

The new store carries handcrafted items by the same artists as the one in the Rotunda. But owner Ginny Tomlinson has introduced a new feature in the Towson store: Second Sundays, comparable to downtown's First Thursdays, where you meet a different craftsperson the second Sunday of each month. Call (410) 823-1297 for details and a list of scheduled artists. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Nationally it's been a trend for a while, the move away from smaller furniture. Tim Marks, owner of Ottoman Empire, has noticed it strikingly in his business. Two or three years ago his custom design company manufactured mostly small footstools and ottomans. "We haven't made little ottomans in over a year now," he says. He's finding that his customers, especially those with big houses, are demanding a whole new kind of furniture. The new "ottomans" can be as big as 50 or 60 inches long (traditional ottomans are around 18 by 24 inches). They can be used as a seat or a coffee table. The ottoman-inspired furniture fits in well with oversized sofas, and Ottoman Empire will sometimes upholster the existing sofa to match it.

Mr. Marks and his designers are looking to oversized furniture from the '30s and '40s for inspiration, updating it for a contemporary look. "We're thinking of calling it the Salon Series," Mr. Marks says. "It reminds me of Parisian salon furniture." The cost varies widely, but expect to pay $400-$500. For more information, call (410) 276-4782.

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