Celebrating the new yearIt's traditional to visit family...

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September 28, 1997|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN STAFF

Celebrating the new year

It's traditional to visit family and friends during Rosh Hashana, which starts next Wednesday, and to bring a small gift, like a pot for the honey that symbolizes a sweet new year. This imported honey pot, 5 inches tall, is made of full lead crystal with a crystal spoon; $25 at Creative Specialties (1802 Reisterstown Road, 410-484-3388).

The look of leather

Distressed leather is the latest of the many leather choices in upholstery right now. The chic new look complements highly distressed finishes on wood furniture, but there's a more practical reason for its popularity. Hides with natural scarring are less expensive.

"American hides," says Bruce Schronce of Leathercraft, "primarily come from free-range cattle, which inevitably encounter their share of barbed wire, insect bites and close encounters with the elements."

Two other leather looks are showing up everywhere:

* Colors continue to be bold. Until about 15 years ago, leather was tanned primarily for the automotive industry; the color choices for the small amount of furniture being covered were brown, black, gray and burgundy. But now that the seating market is so important, every conceivable color is available.

* Engraved leather is coming on strong. Hides, engraved under tremendous heat, sport every sort of pattern from paisleys to florals to damasks and basket-weaves.

Gardening from A-Z

Americans spent $25.9 billion on their lawns and gardens in 1994, the last time Gallup conducted a national gardening survey. So what's another $80? For that you can have the just-published definitive gardening reference, "The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants" (DK Publishing), edited by Christopher Brickell and Judith D. Zuk.

The encyclopedia's statistics are impressive: 1,092 pages, 6,000 photographs, more than 15,000 plant entries -- and a weight of 9 pounds, 13 ounces. Gardeners from beginner to expert will enjoy having this on hand. Plants are arranged by botanical name, and there's specific advice on everything from planting to pruning and pests.

A capital idea

This is the first year for the Washington Home Design and Furniture Store, which for three days in October will bring together high-end suppliers of home furnishings, decorative accessories, lighting, kitchen and bath equipment, renovation supplies and antiques. It runs from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4-5, at the Washington Convention Center (900 Ninth St, N.W.). Tickets are $8. Call 410-268-8890 for more information.

Pub Date: 9/28/97

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