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Pillow talk

Just because you haven't sewn since home economics class doesn't mean you can't start now! One fun way to begin is to sign up for a one- or two-hour class from the newly created Design Series at FWS (Factory Warehouse Sales).

The first classes begin next week so you have to hurry and register if you're in the mood to make a pillow. Tracey Palisano from Sew Creative will lead three workshops. One of the Wednesday classes is filled, but there are two more.

Sign up for Sewing Class 1, and you will learn to sew a pillow with fabric-covered button. The time is 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday. The cost is $15 per person, plus supplies.
Sign up for Sewing Class 2, and you will learn to sew a pillow with embellishment. The time is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. The cost is $28, plus supplies.

Both take place at FWS's location at 1738 Elmwood Ave. Call 874-5740.

Write on!

PlaceTile 8Here is a product that might catch your eye if you love to entertain: PlaceTile Designs' erasable ceramic labels for placing guests at the dinner table or describing dishes being served. Simply write on them with a dry-erase marker and erase when the party's over. You can use them again and again.

PlacesTiles come in a variety of styles, including shell and leaf shapes (set of six, $36.95-$38.95).

The company also offers erasable ceramic bottle stoppers for labeling and corking wine, oil and vinegar as well as erasable CheeseTiles, MessageTiles, MenuTiles and more.

Check them out at

Get personal

Book_name3[1] If you're looking for a gift for a baby or young child, check out (I See Me! Inc.), which offers adorable personalized storybooks.

Visit the Web site for a virtual tour of the books, including "My Very Own Name," $29.95, in which animals bring letters one by one to create the child's first and last names.
Another option is a "You & Me" personalized book, in which grandparents or other relatives answer questions (their favorite toy and  food when they were kids; their hopes and dreams for the child) and supply photographs, and the company prints the book.

Coming Nov. 3, there also will be a Christmas book/gift set -- "A Christmas Bear for Me," with personalized note from Santa and plush Gund bear for $34.95.
 There are other personalized gifts and gift sets (book and T-shirt), too.

Getting greener

 X00057_9[1] is a place to go for a free, easy and educational survey that tells users where they stand on the green-living continuum, reports McClatchy Newspapers.
   Scores range from zero ("Ain't no green to be seen!") to 91-100 ("Well, rock on with your big, bad, green self!")
   Also found here: Living green tips with links that provide additional information.

Nail this trend

12749722H3081194[1] Time to get those fingernails in shape. The Los Angeles Times reports that "fingernails have replaced the statement necklace, earrings and 'it' bag as the accessory du jour."
"Whether it's a striped metallic or textural 'deconstructed' look, the trends in bold nail color and design take a cue directly from designer runways," notes fashion writer Melissa Magsaysay.

She interviewed Jan Arnold, co-founder of Creative Nail Design, a California company that worked on 103 runway shows during the fall collections.

One look created for the models at the Thakoon fashion show: a 1940s-inspired style where an ink black color is put on the moon of the nail against an opaque nude putty color.

Richly lacquered 1930s-style nails; earthy shades on almond-shaped nails (elongates the fingers) and jewel tones (nice for holiday) were other trends, as were marbleized effects.

   "Custom nails are a huge trend now, because customization lets people bring out their creativity and personality," Arnold told the Times.

Instant arrangement


   In my Design Notes column in today's Home & Style section, I share some ideas from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on giving new life to old vases.

One idea involved artfully arranging tissue paper in a cylindrical glass vase -- a look kids will surely enjoy.

We didn't publish the photograph -- but here it is.
And here are the directions: Purchase a package of multicolored tissue paper. Wad up a sheet of
tissue paper loosely, and place in the bottom of the vase. Repeat this step two more times.
Next, take a sheet of tissue paper and grab from the middle and place into the vase. Repeat
this step four to six more times.
This should only cost a couple bucks.