The other antiques rowThe Baltimore area has another...

ON THE HOME FRONT

November 28, 1993|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Staff Writer

The other antiques row

The Baltimore area has another antiques row, one you don't hear as much about as the shops on Howard Street. There are more than 20 antiques, gift and consignment stores in the block of York Road between Shawan and Warren roads in old Cockeysville. They aren't as chichi as the downtown stores; but if you're willing to do some browsing, you can find serious bargains. Look for collectibles, artwork, furniture, memorabilia, china, stained glass, Oriental rugs -- there's even a store that sells jukeboxes.

Next Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. the stores on Antique Row North are having an open house with refreshments, drawings for gifts, impromptu seminars on antiques and collectibles, and a Santa for the kids. Take your gift list -- the shops are an appealing and slower-paced alternative to the malls before Christmas.

Parking is available behind the stores and on York Road.

Randal Levenson's three children used to watch 40 or 50 hours of television a week. He's put them on an "allowance" of four hours a week each without fighting with them over it -- and they aren't unhappy. To do it, he had to invent TV Allowance, a device that controls the amount of time kids spend in front of the TV.

"It doesn't have to be presented as their worst nightmare," says Mr. Levenson. Parents and children sit down and decide together the amount of viewing time allowed each week. The parent uses a master code to program TV Allowance. Each child, up to four, gets a four-digit code used to turn on the TV. When the "account" is used up, the TV shuts off. The device automatically gives the child next week's allowance at midnight Sunday.

The box has a save function that lets kids accumulate hours from week to week. (They can be turned in for an agreed-upon reward.) A button lets the child check the amount of time left in the account. Certain time periods can be blocked out -- prime homework hours or unsuitable late-night programming.

At $99 plus shipping, TV Allowance doesn't come cheap. But depending on how big a problem television-watching is in your house, it could be a wise investment. For more information, call (800) 231-4410.

Right now you're probably just beginning to think about buying plants for the holidays. If you usually get rid of your poinsettias along with your Christmas tree when the season is over, you might be interested to know that with care the same poinsettia can produce flowers for many years to come.

Poinsettias should have at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight daily. (Direct sunlight may fade color.) The room temperature shouldn't exceed 70 degrees.

When the soil surface feels dry, water thoroughly. Don't let poinsettias stand in water, which could rot the roots.

An all-purpose household plant fertilizer can promote new growth after the holidays. Plants should be cut back in early spring, then they can go outdoors once night time temperatures are 55 degrees or above.

Plants will naturally come into full bloom during November or December.

By the way, according to the Poinsettias Growers Association, studies have shown that poinsettias are perfectly safe, non-toxic plants -- contrary to their bad reputation.

Once Hallmark starts manufacturing cards for it, you know a holiday has come into its own. This year for the first time the greeting card giant has teamed up with Harlem Textile Works to create cards for Kwanzaa, a cultural holiday celebrated by African-Americans from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

The 12 designs feature art from students and designers at Harlem Textile Works, an art school for inner-city young people. Their textile designs, rich in African-American heritage and style, are combined with illustrations by Hallmark artists.

The cards offer more than bright, vibrant designs; each has a message that expresses the principles and symbols of Kwanzaa.

The new line of cards is available at local card shops.

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