Whimsical is the word to describe the items at Alice's Wonderland, the new store at Prime Outlets at Perryville. Opened a little more than a month ago, the boutique features handcrafted collectibles, gifts, cards and home accessories.
You'll find everything from scented candles and ceramic bowls and teapots to gourmet packaged foods and Amish furniture, including hutches, stands and cabinets. Love baskets? You'll find a healthy selection, and you can even take professional basket-weaving lessons.
Unique mirrors and wall hangings, such as A Bunch of Good Wishes (above right, $14.99) by local artist Sandra Magsamen and Live Your Dreams (above left, $19.99) by Lyon Heart Design, adorn the store's interiors, as do an array of Fanciful Flights, those cutesy metal sculptures that portray people and ideas, such as Girlfriend, (left, $21.99, hanging from a checkerboard stand, $9.99).
Alice's Wonderland is at 68 Heather Lane, Suite 23, at Prime Outlets at Perryville, between the L.L. Bean and Nike stores. Call 410-642-9900 for more information.
Last word on home decorating
If you have a home decorating concern, Better Homes and Gardens New Decorating Book (Meredith Books, 2003, $34.95) has a solution. The comprehensive book features a list of decorating dos and don'ts, 12 house tours, eight before-and-after room makeovers, a decorating taste test, 18 pages of decorating projects with instructions and more.
With hundreds of decorating tips, ideas and suggestions throughout the book, we thought we'd offer the five best:
* Put up a mirror in your home's entryway. It'll enlarge the area and offer a last-minute primping spot before answering the door or departing.
* In small or midsize kitchens, create an instant island using a trim console table, roll-away cart or free-standing butcher block on legs.
* If you're going to place a fabric-covered chair by a fireplace or wood stove, be sure it's got a flame-resistant finish.
* To save space, put a desk or computer center into a wall with built-in shelving. Or build a window seat with bonus storage below.
* When seasons change, redecorate with slipcovers and new lampshades to change the feel of the room.
The book is available at area bookstores and at Amazon.com.
A splash of creativity
You won't want to leave your bathroom. OK, maybe you will after a bit. But when you discover the fun you can have changing faucet designs with Moen's Asceri Accents pieces, you may be in there awhile.
The Asceri Accents use Moen's innovative common valve system, which simply entails unscrewing the handles and spout to change designs. No need to go underneath the sink.
Looking more like decorative pieces of art than faucet fixtures, the Asceri Accents currently come in 10 designs, including Safari (animal print), Kimono (Japanese graphics) and Watercolor (think Monet's gardens), and they range in price from $70.95 to $100.20.
And coming this fall will be Indian Summer, a '60s-themed design with love beads (pictured) by Elaine Dominguez, who competed among more than 100 students affiliated with the American Society of Interior Designers to win the grand prize in Moen's "Accent on Design" contest.
View many of the entries at http: / / contests.moen.com / asceri. For more information on Asceri Accents, which are available online at www.moen.com, call 800-BUY-MOEN.
* Frank Cabot, founder of the Garden Conservancy, will discuss and sign copies of his new book The Greater Perfection: The Story of the Gardens at Les Quatre Vents at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club Ballroom, 30 Greenspring Valley Road, Owings Mills. $50; $40 Ladew Topiary Gardens members. Reservations required. Call 410-557-9570.
* Learn the basics of pruning through demonstration and instruction by Cylburn Arboretum Association president Jane Baldwin at 2 p.m. March 16 at Cylburn Mansion, 4915 Greenspring Ave. Free. Reservations required. Call 410-367-2217.
Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Lori Sears, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.