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On the table

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Here is a closeup of one of the two table arrangements designer Michael Poczkalski, from "room" — a home store on Elmwood Avenue — put together for us for today's Home & Style story on Thanksgiving centerpieces.

I especially love the bleached white leaves — mixed in with the pumpkins, orange mums, branches, small red Mokara orchids and autumn leaves, all arranged in a long, stainless container.

This would look pretty on a table but also a buffet, fireplace mantel or coffee table.

Check out the story for other centerpiece ideas, including one the kids can get involved in.

Stop by and shop

  Craft shows are a great place to pick up holiday gifts, and it's never too early to start shopping. This weekend, you can attend Christmas in the Country at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, it's been named the No. 1 craft show in America by Sunshine Artist magazine.
 
   Among the offerings: Pottery, florals, holiday decorations, clothing and fashion accessories, jewelry, photography, metal and sculpture, glass, wood, ceramics and fine arts, along with specialty foods.
 
   Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today (Nov. 6); 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 at the door; children under 12 are free. Free parking. Visit www.xmasinthecountry.com

  Also this weekend: The Rochester Folk Art Guild's Holiday Festival of Crafts comes to the University at Buffalo's Center for Tomorrow, North Campus, Amherst. Wooden furniture, folk toys, natural fiber clothing and more. Hours are 4 to 8 p.m. today; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2. Visit www.rfag.org

And coming up fast: The Parkside Community Association is sponsoring an art and craft show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 96 Jewett Parkway. Featured will be jewelry, scarves, pottery, soaps, lotions, soy candles, photography and more - all from local artisans.

Admission is $2, which benefits the Parkside Summer Arts program.

For more information visit www.parksidebuffalo.org.

Do you have a favorite holiday craft show you love to attend each year? Please share the details here.


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 www.placetile.com


Get personal

Book_name3[1] If you're looking for a gift for a baby or young child, check out www.iseeme.com (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

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   www.GoGreenScore.org 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."
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"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

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   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.

 

Webisode watch

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Next time you have a craft attack while working at your computer, check out www.WhereCreativityHappens.com. 

The Web site features webisodes with Jo Pearson, the creative expert for Michaels arts and crafts. Recent topics have included a Halloween-themed etched glass vase, pumpkin birdcage and fall floral arrangement.


Here is a photo of her from the floral arrangement segment.


Fashion, Snuggie-style

12691902H5557221[1]     Ralph Lauren staged a runway show during New York Fashion Week. So did Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Nicole Miller and countless others.

  Including Snuggie! Yes, we're talking the blanket with sleeves. Take a look at one of the latest styles captured by the Associated Press.

  "The show on Tuesday was a gimmick, sure, but also a real effort to introduce new colors and styles that included animal prints, tie-dye, camouflage, a "luxury microplush" and —  in a possible stroke of marketing genius — college logos," reported AP writer Lisa Tolin.
 
  Also shown were Snuggies for children and dogs.

  Just in time for winter cocooning. Pass the popcorn.

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