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September 25, 2017 |

Archive for » September 25th, 2017«

Artisanal elegance for curated design in the kitchen

(BPT) – Original, handcrafted décor brings an artisanal elegance to today’s modern kitchen. Designers and homeowners alike are incorporating more one-of-a-kind pieces that bring an individualized artisanship to the heart of the home. These unique fittings and fixtures adapt to multiple style preferences, from modern and contemporary urban design to rustic elegance. When it comes to the kitchen space, handmade furniture and accessories coupled with exposed natural materials infuse a sense of artistry for unmatched style.

Authentic elegance

Handcrafted materials make for eye-catching pieces in the kitchen. An island created from reclaimed wood transforms a functional aspect of the room into a beautiful piece of art. Live-edge countertops invigorate the wood grain and serve as a centerpiece for entertaining. A hammered copper sink paired with rich gold accessories doubles as a stunning complement to earth tones. Extend wood elements throughout the entire space with exposed beams and open shelving for a unified look.

Refined fittings

Deemed the jewel of the kitchen, the faucet serves as a focal point that brings all elements of the space together. The Litze Kitchen Collection by Brizo is inspired by the revival of the arts and crafts movement to meld artisan style with clean and contemporary sensibility. Every design element – from the three distinct spout configurations to the unique handle options – makes this collection feel at home in both modern, minimal environments and urban, industrial spaces. The Brilliance Luxe Gold and split Matte Black/Brilliance Luxe Gold finishes effortlessly bring luxury and style, while knurling details add textured appeal to any artisanal kitchen design.

Curated accents

Hand-painted accessories serve as beautiful statements in the kitchen with each piece containing a story as unique as the individual who created it. Whether decorated with bold colors or a muted palette, hand-painted accessories create striking displays of authenticity and originality. Use these pieces to adorn open shelves or feature them as table centerpieces to further accentuate a curated artisanal design.

Custom hardware

Custom drawer pulls and handles make a powerful statement in kitchen design. While seemingly small, these pieces unite all elements in the room’s aesthetic. Handles wrapped in leather bring both textural and visual appeal, while hand-carved wooden pulls cater to rustic elements when paired with exposed brick or mineral gray countertops.

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How to enter table-setting flower show sponsored by Garden and Floral Arrangers Guild

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The Garden and Floral Arrangers Guild’s first table-setting show and festival, “Great Gatherings and Good Times,” is scheduled Sept. 30, and the public is welcome to participate, according to Joyce Dean, show coordinator.

The event will take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kendall Place, 120 E. Palm Ave., Redlands, on the campus of Plymouth Village retirement community.

For detailed entry requirements, see the flower show schedules available at Gerrards Market, 705 W. Cypress Ave., Redlands; the A.K. Smiley Public Library, 125 W. Vine St., Redlands; and at  www.CaliforniaGardenClubs.com/GardenFloralArrangersGuild. There is no entry fee.

The show will be judged by accredited National Garden Clubs Inc. judges, and there will be awards.

Admission to the show is $5 for adults. Children younger than 12 are admitted free with an adult.

“This new fall event, just in time for the holiday season, will have artful table setting designs as well as a one-of-a-kind table décor exhibition featuring Belleek, Franz, Limoges, Royal Doulton and Wedgwood dinnerware,” Dean said in a press release.

Demonstrations are planned throughout the day, beginning at 10: 45 a.m. These will include “Timeless Tablescapes” with Gloria Aminian and Monica Lewis from San Diego, “Exploring the Art of China Painting” by the Inland Porcelain Artists Association and “Discover Creative Napkin Folding” with Garden and Floral Arrangers Guild member Karen LeBlanc.

The show will also include artists and vendors, some with specialty plants, and a silent auction and opportunity drawings.

For information on the show or the Garden and Floral Arrangers Guild, call 909-453-7682, 909-794-6293 or 951-285-8775.

The Garden and Floral Arrangers Guild is a Redlands-based 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization that offers programs, floral arranging studies and demonstrations, gardening forums, school workshops, veterans’ projects and more.

The guild also sponsors, assists with and participates in community and regional National Garden Clubs flower shows including its fairy garden festivals and flower shows in Redlands; the Huntington International Orchid Shows and the American Clivia Society shows, both held in San Marino; and the Los Angeles  International Fern Society shows held at the Los Angeles Arboretum.

The Garden and Floral Arrangers Guild is a member of California Garden Clubs Inc. and National Garden Clubs Inc., Pacific Region.

Source: Garden and Floral Arrangers Guild

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Great indoors: 16 home accessories to make nesting more fun

It’s time to start looking inward. Pull in the patio furniture, spool up the Netflix and get ready to nest for the next few months.

To enhance your fall and winter indoor experience, add a few choice décor pieces to make things cozier, chicer and more personal. Here are some picks that reflect the top home-décor trends and will make you oh-so happy to be back indoors.

A hygge hug

The Scandinavian concept of hygge emphasizes cozy comfort and time with friends and family. Sounds like a perfect theme for fall and winter décor.

Start with throws you’ll be as happy to drape over your furniture as to cuddle up with. Local company Eighth Generation’s Wandering Clouds Throw Blanket ($72 at Eighth Generation, Pike Place Market, and eighthgeneration.com), in 100 percent cotton, has a gorgeous contemporary Acoma Pueblo design and trendy fringed edges.

Or opt for the sleek Seek Swoon Hope Throw ($165 at seekandswoon.com), out of Portland, with a hot geometric pattern on an eco-friendly recycled cotton and polyester blend.

Namaste Embroidery Tropical Plants Embroidery Kit, $26–$28

Namaste Embroidery Tropical Plants Embroidery Kit, $26–$28

Add soft lighting with LED tea lights, or real candles, such as the Fin Faceted Beeswax Pillars ($12.50–$23.50 at findesignshop.com). The local furniture company paired with Seattle’s Big Dipper Wax Works on the minimalist pieces.

And be sure you are comfy on the couch — in style, of course — with the locally made Three Bad Seeds Tahoma from Seattle Pillow ($125 at shop.threebadseeds.com), featuring Mount Rainier cast in heavy Pendleton wool.

DIY projects

Entertain yourself and add a handmade feel to your décor — via your own hands — with a DIY project.

Create a trendy floating garden with the Air Plant Design Studio Sea Scape DIY Air Plant Terrarium Kit ($25 at Wayward, downtown). It includes a glass sphere and hanging string, plus sand, moss, shells and two air plants that you can arrange to your liking.

Modern embroidery is a hip addition to a gallery wall or small space. Make your own piece with the Namaste Embroidery Tropical Plants Embroidery Kit ($26–$28 at etsy.com/shop/NamasteEmbroidery), designed by Renton resident Jessica Long. The lovely design is available in two sizes and can be finished in two ways — as an outline for beginners or filled in for old pros.

Want loads of DIY ideas to keep yourself occupied all winter long? Check out San Francisco’s Yellow Owl Workshop’s “Make it Yours” idea book ($22 at yellowowlworkshop.com), filled with templates and tips on printing, stenciling, dying and more, on everything from tote bags to window coverings.

Or pick up local boutique owner Moorea Seal’s “Make Yourself at Home” book ($25 at Moorea Seal, Belltown, and booksellers), which features Instagram-worthy decorating ideas, plus step-by-step instructions for making pieces such as a blanket ladder and jewelry holders.

Clockwise from top left: Schoolhouse Electric Factory Light No. 6, starting at $369; Seek  Swoon Hope Throw, $165; Fin Faceted Beeswax Pillars, $12.50–$23.50

Clockwise from top left: Schoolhouse Electric Factory Light No. 6, starting at $369; Seek Swoon Hope Throw, $165; Fin Faceted Beeswax Pillars, $12.50–$23.50

Artisan finds

Not up for DIY? There are scores of talented artisans in the Pacific Northwest ready to do the work for you.

Seattle artist Jill Rosenast’s Young Porcelain vessels ($45–$130 at Niche Outside, Capitol Hill) are stunning, delicate pieces that, at first glance, look like shells and marine life, but are actually formed from porcelain with touches of color and gold accents.

Made by hand in Portland, The Granite’s Epoca Vases ($64–$160 at Join Shop, South Lake Union, and workshop-thegranite.com) can serve as a vase, carafe or stand-alone objet d’art.

Trendy open shelving calls for statement dishware. The Pursuits of Happiness Bump Mug ($54 at Prism, Ballard), made in small batches in Portland, adds both style and texture to a kitchen.

Plants are more popular than ever. Make displaying them easy by dropping a simple plastic container into a hip Appetite Bucket ($16–$36 at appetiteshop.com), made of fabric screen-printed by hand in Portland and finished with leather handles.

Industrial chic

For style that’s streamlined, cool and timeless, borrow ideas from Seattle’s industrial past.

Get the concrete look with (a lot) less weight with the new Fatboy Concrete Seat ($87 at allmodern.com; available this fall), which is made of polyethylene and can be used indoors or out, as a seat, stand or side table.

Add dramatic lighting with the Schoolhouse Electric Factory Light No. 6 (starting at $369 at schoolhouse.com), inspired by 1930s factory lighting, but updated with a very modern LED module estimated to last 50,000 hours. Hand-assembled in Portland, the lights are made from powder-coated, hand-spun steel with an optional cage.

For a smaller accent, check out the locally made SML AXO Concrete Coasters Set ($40 for four at designbysml.com), which fit together to form a trivet and have felt backing to protect your furniture.

Finally, mix the softness of plant life with industrial edginess for a very on-trend look with Eric Trine’s Double Octahedron Pedestal ($95 at westelm.com), made from powder-coated steel in black or white.

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Key shopping: Where to find stuff in Spokane – The Spokesman

Go ahead. Have a spree.

From malls anchored with national department stores to locally owned boutiques filled with new and gently used or vintage furniture, clothing, accessories, books and other gifts – both kitschy and refined – Spokane offers plenty of options for shoppers.

Here’s a look at some of the shopping highlights in Spokane.

Gifts and Things

Exposed brick and a mural with a shortened quote from “To Kill a Mockingbird” greet customers at Atticus Coffee and Gifts, an eclectic and comfy downtown shop that’s hip without being hipster, cool without being too cool for school. Here, find Vintage Spokane Prints by local artist Chris Bovey and apparel from the local designer The Great PNW, which specializes in T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats celebrating this region. Look, also, for scented candles and soaps, loose-leaf tea, books, Spokane-themed mugs, kitchen items, ornaments as well as gift cards and whimsical wrapping paper.

Neighboring Boo Radley’s specializes in quirky gifts and trinkets – from silly socks, magnets and mugs to flasks, dish towels, puzzles, games, books, T-shirts and dashboard ornaments.

Auntie’s Bookstore, founded in 1978 and located in the Liberty Building on West Main Avenue in downtown Spokane, is the area’s largest independent book seller. It carries new and used volumes as well as T-shirts and other gifts. Shop its sister store, Uncle’s, for games, puzzles and more.

Kizuri, also on West Main Avenue in downtown, specializes in fair-trade and earth-friendly gifts as well as locally made items. Look for soap, baskets, jewelry, clothing, furniture, art and musical instruments.

At The Kitchen Engine, in the old Flour Mill on the north bank of the Spokane River across from downtown’s Riverfront Park, customers can find cookware, cutlery, baking accessories and all kinds of kitchen tools. The store’s anniversary sale in mid-September is a popular event, especially among its loyal customer base. Here, you can also take cooking classes and get your knives sharpened.

Also downtown, historic Steam Plant Square offers several boutiques, including Paper Nerd, a stationery and gift store; White Lavender, which specializes in home decor, gifts and apparel, and carries products from Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market; and French Toast, which carries children’s clothing, toys, book and gifts.

At the Davenport Home Store, inside the Historic Davenport Hotel, find the establishment’s signature peanut brittle, made in-house and pulled on a marble slab in the basement pastry shop. Shoppers can also purchase the famed Davenport mattress as well as high-end home accessories from linens to gifts.

The White Elephant, founded in 1946 and easily recognized by its red and white paint, is a Spokane institution. Find toys as well as boating, camping, fishing and hunting supplies at both locations. The white elephant decoration in front of the North Division Street store used to be one of the rides at the old Natatorium Park. And the white elephant on top of the East Sprague Avenue store used to be motorized. (At one time, it even trumpeted.)

The General Store, also founded in 1946 and located on North Division Street, is a one-stop shop for toys, household items, outdoor gear, gardening equipment, hardware and automotive supplies.

And, on North Monroe Street, find the largest of the two REI stores in Eastern Washington, chock full of outdoor gear and clothing.

Opened in 1989, the record shop 4,000 Holes on North Monroe Street specializes in used vinyl, CDs and more. Groove Merchants in the Garland District also specializes in used vinyl as does Resurrection Records on West Northwest Boulevard and Recorded Memories, established in 1987 and located on North Hamilton Street.

Vintage and Consignment

Clothing and accessories at Fringe and Fray in downtown Spokane embrace a whimsical, boho-chic feel. The boutique specializes in vintage dresses as well as gently used designer jeans and boots. Look, also, for more modern, often patterned, sometimes floral dresses, skirts and tops as well as a limited selection of menswear, especially plaid shirts. Merchandise changes frequently and is often highlighted on the shop’s Instagram account or seasonal, special event sales parties. The shop also features locally made Coy jewelry, known for its clean lines, as well as the charm of Sarita Star Designs’ leather feather and fringe earrings.

Items at nearby Echo are carefully selected and displayed – and are generally in impeccable condition. Some – such as a St. John jacket and an animal print Ann Taylor sheath dress on a recent visit – still include their original price tags. In fact, it’s difficult to tell the clothing and accessories at this downtown Spokane boutique are here on consignment because the collection is so well curated.

In the South Perry neighborhood, Veda Lux specializes in vintage and funky fashion, particularly handmade, eclectic jewelry – from necklaces and asymmetrical earrings to decorative bobby pins. Each piece, according to owner Summer Hightower on the shop’s website, is “a window into my romantic world of badassery.” Her teeny-tiny shop, known as The Dollhouse, is jam-packed with dresses, outerwear and one-of-a-kind finds.

Tossed and Found on North Monroe Street offers a treasure trove of antiques and eclectic vintage pieces. Look for home furnishings from tables and chairs to cabinets to dressers as well as some clothing and other curios. Also on North Monroe Street, find 1889 Salvage Co., which specializes in reclaimed retro goods – from furniture to silverware.

Boutiques

Jigsaw, a high-end boutique on West Main Avenue, specializes in contemporary statement pieces. It’s difficult to miss this stylish shop, located on a busy downtown corner with oversized windows stocked with well-dressed mannequins. Wardrobe consultations are available to help keep clients looking their best.

There’s a lot of sparkle at Finders Keepers, which specializes in formal wear – for weddings, quinceaneras, proms, homecomings, the Cobra Polo Classic, Epicurean Delight, Furr Ball or any other fancy occasion. Don’t be fooled by the size of the front room; this West Main Avenue shop is long and deep, and its several rooms are jam-packed full of frills and sequins and bling. There’s jewelry and accessories along with dresses. And, perhaps better yet, Finders Keepers tracks who’s attending which event in what dress.

Lolo, on West Second Avenue in downtown, is a highly Instagrammable store, with women’s apparel, shoes and accessories as well as home decor – from scented candles and ceramics to other housewares, gifts and kitchen utensils. Items and displays are carefully selected and well curated. Local artists consign work here, too.

In the ever-growing Kendall Yards development on the north bank of the Spokane River across from downtown, Boutique Bleu offers California-casual weekend wear – from mini and maxi dresses to floral tops and artsy T-shirts.

Malls

The Spokane area includes three main shopping malls populated with well-known national stores.

River Park Square in downtown Spokane is anchored by the high-end retailer Nordstrom and features one of the Inland Northwest’s largest selections of shops. Tenants range from the home decor store Pottery Barn and kitchen outfitter Williams-Sonoma to Banana Republic clothier for men and women, The Gap and Gap Kids, beauty shop Sephora, women’s clothiers White House Black Market and J. Jill, the home decor shop To Market, hipster chain store Urban Outfitters and Bath and Body Works, among others. Across the street from Nordstrom, find Anthropologie, which specializes in boho-chic women’s wear as well as home accessories, and the boutique Kloth, which offers women’s wear and jewelry as well as home decor and gifts. Tucked just inside the front door is the small coffee bar Kup, which features select pastries as well as a few tables and chairs – giving tired feet a break from shopping. Nearby but not in the mall, find a Carhartt store for durable workwear.

On the North Side, NorthTown Mall – anchored by Macy’s, Marshalls, JCPenney, Kohl’s and Sears – features clothing stores, including American Eagle Outfitters and Express, as well as Victoria’s Secret lingerie shop, Claire’s and Fuego for accessories and gifts, Barnes and Noble Booksellers, the plus-size shop Torrid, music-inspired fashion at Hot Topic, The Body Shop, Bath and Body Works, and more. Across the street in the NorthTown Square complex, look for the shoe retailer DSW, women’s clothing store Lane Bryant and beauty shop Ulta, among other offerings.

East of Spokane, Spokane Valley Mall is also anchored by Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney. The complex features Nordstrom Rack, where shoppers can find discounted items from the department store, as well as TJ Maxx, with discounted home decor, clothing and miscellaneous household items. Look, also, for Bath and Body Works, American Eagle Outfitters, Aeropostale, Hollister, HM, Forever 21, Hot Topic and more.

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7 places in Metro Detroit to find the good, cheap stuff

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Where to look for good shopping deals.
Wochit

We’d already discussed many things at my friend’s dinner party when the conversation got really lively; someone brought up Aldi, the discount grocery store that seems to be popping up in neighborhoods all over the place.

It turned out everyone at the table shops there, except for me, and they love it.

They say the groceries at the chain of small grocery stores — which is based in Germany and is on an expansion jag here — are good quality. And inexpensive. And they don’t mind having to insert a quarter into the shopping cart handle in order to unlock it and use it. I told them I’d give it a try. I did. And I bought a great bucket for under $3.

But more important, the dinner party discussion made me think about the places I go to find good, cheap stuff. And because sharing is caring — I think that was a message from one of those After School Specials — here they are … 

1. Michaels for coloring books: Not for craft supplies, there’s nothing I can do with those. Instead, Michaels is the place to go for coloring books for kids. There’s always a good selection — I’ve gotten Sponge Bob, Shopkins, Dora the Explorer, and Paw Patrol coloring books and some others I’ve forgotten — for $1 apiece.  Great for party favors. Great for grown-ups who find those coloring books for adults to be too complicated and, therefore, stressful. These aren’t available online. But if you want to find a store: michaels.com.

2. Macy’s Last Act for Martha Stewart: Macy’s has always had clearance merchandise — you know, sheets, dishes, kitchen utensils, clothing, shoes and accessories that don’t sell. But now, instead of keeping all that stuff on a variety of sometimes difficult to find racks and shelves throughout its stores, Macy’s has moved the clearance stuff to a few well marked Last Act areas..

Discounts are between 60-80% off regular retail. Price tags on the items indicate whether they’re a “deal” and are likely to get another markdown or whether they’ve reached their “final” price. Shoppers are not allowed to use coupons on Last Act merchandise, which is a bummer because we used to be able to use coupons on clearance items and it was fun to watch the prices come down even further. 

Most recently, the Last Act in the home department has been full of Martha Stewart home products. (I found cotton percale sheets for $26.99 a set and a pair of herb scissors — which I am convinced I will use some day — for $6-ish.) Last Act merchandise is also available at macys.com. To find it, just type Last Act into the website’s search field.) One thing to know: Last Act is clearance merchandise from Macy’s full-line stores. Macy’s new Backstage  stores — which are located within some of Macy’s stores — is a discounter/outlet store similar to TJ Maxx; it does not contain merchandise from Macy’s stores. 

3. Dollar Tree for wine glasses: The Holly Grail of dollar stores! Dollar Tree is different from most so-called dollar stores because everything it sells is really $1. Go here for gift bags, wine glasses, glass vases, sponges for washing dishes, some seasonal decor items. I don’t buy anything scented here (cheap scents tend to smell cheap), anything that would go directly on my skin or anything medicinal. To find a store: dollartree.com.

Also on Freep.com:

4. Trader Joe’s for gifts: Most people know to go here for wine (a friend bought a bottle of wine at another store and found the same bottle for $2 cheaper at TJ’s) and cheese (best prices anywhere), but Trader Joe’s is a fabulous place to go for gifts. Potted orchids are an especially great deal, topping out at $17.99 for one in a 6-inch pot — a fraction of what one would cost from a florist. Lotions and potions, too — right now, look for the Pumpkin Body Butter for $4.99. The excellent Lavender Hand Body Lotion is also  $4.99.  I swear by the greeting cards, which are  .99-cents every single day. To find a store: traderjoes.com.

5. Nordstrom Rack for furniture.  Everyone comes here for good deals on good shoes, but there’s something else you should be looking for here: good deals on home furnishings (small tables, chairs, lamps), kitchen items and festive holiday decor. The brick and mortar stores  Nordstrom Rack stores in Troy, Novi, Auburn Hills and Ann Arbor have some of this stuff, but for a much better selection of fabulousness, go to nordstromrack.com.

6. HomeGoods for toys: You’ll find all kinds of housewares, lamps, rugs and bedding here, of course. But this is also a great place to look for good toys that have been heavily discounted. The selection of brands like Melissa Doug is usually decent, considering the store doesn’t specialize in toys. The selection of board books is usually decent, too. Did I mention they’re heavily discounted? To find a store: homegoods.com.

7. Block’s Stand and Greenhouse for pumpkins. Big, plump jack-o-lantern pumpkins for carving are $2.99 each or 2 for $5, which is the best price I’ve seen anywhere. And the potted mums — 3 for $12.99. Yes, Block’s is a big of a haul for many of us, considering it’s located in Romulus. But the prices!!!  29160 Eureka Rd., Romulus. Info: 734-941-9388 or blocksstandandgreenhouse.com.

Contact Georgea Kovanis: gkovanis@freepress.com or 313-222-6842. Follow her on Twitter @georgeakovanis.

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7 places in Metro Detroit to find the good, cheap stuff

x

Embed

x

Share

CLOSE

Where to look for good shopping deals.
Wochit

We’d already discussed many things at my friend’s dinner party when the conversation got really lively; someone brought up Aldi, the discount grocery store that seems to be popping up in neighborhoods all over the place.

It turned out everyone at the table shops there, except for me, and they love it.

They say the groceries at the chain of small grocery stores — which is based in Germany and is on an expansion jag here — are good quality. And inexpensive. And they don’t mind having to insert a quarter into the shopping cart handle in order to unlock it and use it. I told them I’d give it a try. I did. And I bought a great bucket for under $3.

But more important, the dinner party discussion made me think about the places I go to find good, cheap stuff. And because sharing is caring — I think that was a message from one of those After School Specials — here they are … 

1. Michaels for coloring books: Not for craft supplies, there’s nothing I can do with those. Instead, Michaels is the place to go for coloring books for kids. There’s always a good selection — I’ve gotten Sponge Bob, Shopkins, Dora the Explorer, and Paw Patrol coloring books and some others I’ve forgotten — for $1 apiece.  Great for party favors. Great for grown-ups who find those coloring books for adults to be too complicated and, therefore, stressful. These aren’t available online. But if you want to find a store: michaels.com.

2. Macy’s Last Act for Martha Stewart: Macy’s has always had clearance merchandise — you know, sheets, dishes, kitchen utensils, clothing, shoes and accessories that don’t sell. But now, instead of keeping all that stuff on a variety of sometimes difficult to find racks and shelves throughout its stores, Macy’s has moved the clearance stuff to a few well marked Last Act areas..

Discounts are between 60-80% off regular retail. Price tags on the items indicate whether they’re a “deal” and are likely to get another markdown or whether they’ve reached their “final” price. Shoppers are not allowed to use coupons on Last Act merchandise, which is a bummer because we used to be able to use coupons on clearance items and it was fun to watch the prices come down even further. 

Most recently, the Last Act in the home department has been full of Martha Stewart home products. (I found cotton percale sheets for $26.99 a set and a pair of herb scissors — which I am convinced I will use some day — for $6-ish.) Last Act merchandise is also available at macys.com. To find it, just type Last Act into the website’s search field.) One thing to know: Last Act is clearance merchandise from Macy’s full-line stores. Macy’s new Backstage  stores — which are located within some of Macy’s stores — is a discounter/outlet store similar to TJ Maxx; it does not contain merchandise from Macy’s stores. 

3. Dollar Tree for wine glasses: The Holly Grail of dollar stores! Dollar Tree is different from most so-called dollar stores because everything it sells is really $1. Go here for gift bags, wine glasses, glass vases, sponges for washing dishes, some seasonal decor items. I don’t buy anything scented here (cheap scents tend to smell cheap), anything that would go directly on my skin or anything medicinal. To find a store: dollartree.com.

Also on Freep.com:

4. Trader Joe’s for gifts: Most people know to go here for wine (a friend bought a bottle of wine at another store and found the same bottle for $2 cheaper at TJ’s) and cheese (best prices anywhere), but Trader Joe’s is a fabulous place to go for gifts. Potted orchids are an especially great deal, topping out at $17.99 for one in a 6-inch pot — a fraction of what one would cost from a florist. Lotions and potions, too — right now, look for the Pumpkin Body Butter for $4.99. The excellent Lavender Hand Body Lotion is also  $4.99.  I swear by the greeting cards, which are  .99-cents every single day. To find a store: traderjoes.com.

5. Nordstrom Rack for furniture.  Everyone comes here for good deals on good shoes, but there’s something else you should be looking for here: good deals on home furnishings (small tables, chairs, lamps), kitchen items and festive holiday decor. The brick and mortar stores  Nordstrom Rack stores in Troy, Novi, Auburn Hills and Ann Arbor have some of this stuff, but for a much better selection of fabulousness, go to nordstromrack.com.

6. HomeGoods for toys: You’ll find all kinds of housewares, lamps, rugs and bedding here, of course. But this is also a great place to look for good toys that have been heavily discounted. The selection of brands like Melissa Doug is usually decent, considering the store doesn’t specialize in toys. The selection of board books is usually decent, too. Did I mention they’re heavily discounted? To find a store: homegoods.com.

7. Block’s Stand and Greenhouse for pumpkins. Big, plump jack-o-lantern pumpkins for carving are $2.99 each or 2 for $5, which is the best price I’ve seen anywhere. And the potted mums — 3 for $12.99. Yes, Block’s is a big of a haul for many of us, considering it’s located in Romulus. But the prices!!!  29160 Eureka Rd., Romulus. Info: 734-941-9388 or blocksstandandgreenhouse.com.

Contact Georgea Kovanis: gkovanis@freepress.com or 313-222-6842. Follow her on Twitter @georgeakovanis.

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