Mitzi Perdue -- graduate of Harvard and George Washington universities, author, syndicated columnist, artist and wife of chicken magnate Frank Perdue -- has never lacked occupations. But some years ago, when an auto accident left her housebound and partly immobile, she took up the hobby of decorating eggs. She found it deeply absorbing and proved to be a natural artist. In the spirit of Peter Faberge, egg decorator to the czars, Perdue's eggs are fantasies of jewels, gilt and imagination. You can see for yourself in her new book, "The I Want to EggScape Book" (Ceres, $24.95), an oversize gallery of her creations, from a gowned and feathered Victorian lady in a filigree carved egg to an "EggQuarium" with fish and a tiny pirate's chest.
Perdue is donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of the book to the American Diabetic Foundation in honor of her father, who died of complications of the disease. For a copy, send a check for $27.14 (including shipping and handling) to Mitzi C. Perdue, P.O. Box 1537, Salisbury, Md. 21802-1537. Or you can buy online at www.eggscape.com. (Perdue will autograph copies.) The book is also available through the American Diabetic Foundation; call local offices for availability.
Catching the magic in Harry ornaments
If your kids (and you) have taken fictional boy wizard Harry Potter to heart, here's a way to get a bit of his world into yours: Holiday ornaments that celebrate Potter, who attends a school for the magical arts and must battle evil forces to save the school, the world and himself from destruction. The collection, from Kurt S. Adler Inc. of New York, will include depictions of Harry and other characters from the books, plus stockings, tabletop decorations, light sets and covers, at prices of $5 and up.
The three tin ornaments pictured, Bertie Botts Beans, Nimbus 2000 and Flying Keys, are $9 each. Harry Potter ornaments and decorations will be available at gift, specialty and department stores for the holiday season. You can also check out www.kurtadler.com.
A royal finish
If you've always dreamed of living in a castle, you can now have at least some of the decorative elements of a palazzo however humble your abode. USG Corp. has just introduced a line of specialty decorative finishes that mimic pigmented plaster (fresco), stone or marble. You needn't hire a team of artisans from Assisi; the finishes can be applied by a drywall finisher, plasterer, painter or mason.
Because the material contains the pigment, colors can be deep and rich or soft and subtle, the finish can be rough or mirror-smooth, and there's a look to suit every decor, from Renaissance to rustic. The finishes are applied over ordinary drywall, and cost $2 to $3 a square foot. For a free brochure, call 800-USG-4YOU.
Wooden tableware, glassware, leather goods, painted silk, whimsical dolls and toys are just some of the handmade items you'll find at the Crafters Gallery's Designer Craft Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Annapolis Armory, 18 Willow St., Annapolis. Admission is $5. For more information, call 410-268-0688.
Live near Trappe or need an excuse to visit the Eastern Shore? Table linens, decorative pillows, jams, jellies, preserves and baked goods are part of the array at the St. Paul's Church Annual Holiday Bazaar and Luncheon from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, on Main Street, Trappe. The lunch features country ham and homemade corn chowder. For more information, call 410-476-5330.
Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Karol V. Menzie, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.