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Dec 14,2007
I have a confession. I'm a cookie snob - but for good reason. Each holiday season, I take time off from work and retreat to my kitchen, where I produce logs and mounds and slabs of cookie dough in preparation for a mega baking session that will yield carefully packaged gifts for friends, family and co-workers.   HOLIDAY COOKING - Holiday cookies are a sweet treat that provides comfort and joy. CNS Photo. By the time I'm ... [full story]
1109 times read - No comment posted

Dec 14,2007
In holiday seasons past, this column has covered a wide variety of Christmas collectibles - vintage creches, Santa Claus and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, Christmas greeting cards and postcards, Christmas jewelry, Christmas tree lights, Dresden porcelain, glass, cotton, paper, wax and treetop ornaments. What's next? How about the tree itself? Obviously it's not very practical to start a collection of live Douglas firs - unless you have a sizable estate - but artificial trees have ... [full story]
1664 times read - No comment posted

Dec 14,2007
Q: This is a photo of an electric marshmallow toaster that was given to my mother in the early 1930s by a salesman when she worked in a wholesale grocery office in Portland, Ore. Marked on the toaster are the    MARSHMALLOW TOASTER - This electric marshmallow toaster was made around 1930 and would probably be worth from $25 to $50. CNS Photo.   SCHUMANN PORCELAIN FACTORY MARK - The Carl Schumann Porcelain Factory in Germany has made ... [full story]
1825 times read - No comment posted

Dec 14,2007
Q: We have had poinsettias for years and they have often lasted well into the new year; however, this year we got a lemon. It has small white insects flying around it when it is bumped. I moved it to a room all by itself as a quarantine. I don't want to throw it away, but I am afraid the flies will infest my other houseplants. A: Although poinsettias are easy to grow, they can ... [full story]
1697 times read - No comment posted

Dec 07,2007
There's a romantic notion of buying wine and carefully tucking it away in your cellar, patiently waiting to open it until it's perfectly ready to drink.   RAISING THE GLASS - Wine consultant Danae Rubenstein was part of a panel that assessed how new gadgets affect the flavor of wine. CNS Photo by Eduardo Contreras.    TASTE TESTS - Some new wine accessories include: 1. the Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator, $39.95; 2. the BevWizard Wine Smoother, $29.99; 3. ... [full story]
3030 times read - No comment posted

Dec 07,2007
Watering a fully decorated tree - especially when all the ornaments are special and fragile and there are wrapped presents underneath, not to mention live wires - can be a daunting and time-consuming task for anybody.   SANTAS SECRET BOOTS - Sneak these Santas Secret Boots close to the tree, among the gifts, and forget about daily watering during the holidays. CNS Photo courtesy of Santas Secret.     SANTAS SECRET GIFT - It may look like just another ... [full story]
2136 times read - No comment posted

Dec 07,2007
  Shower surrounds are quick and easy to install. Surrounds can be installed directly over ceramic tile. Surrounds are made from different materials – ABS or PVC plastic, fiberglass and cultured marble are just some of the options.  [full story]
1078 times read - No comment posted

Dec 07,2007
Q: We bought a builder house with a double-height living room. That was what attracted us to the house in the first place, but after living here eight months, my husband and I finally confessed to each other that we really don't like sitting in there.    It's like being in the "bottom of a well," as my husband says. Do you have any suggestions on how to make this big tall room feel cozier? A: ... [full story]
1502 times read - No comment posted

Dec 07,2007
Some people think the star of a New Year's Eve party is the countdown to midnight. But more intriguing than the three ... two ... one ... are the fancy hors d'oeuvres that grace the serving trays and buffet table.    A no-fail canape served at holiday get-togethers is skewered shrimp and jalapeno slices wrapped in bacon. "It's kind of hot and spicy. When you dip it in the sauce, it has an interesting blend of ... [full story]
2308 times read - No comment posted

Dec 07,2007
So you've taken out your best linen cloths for the holiday table and, not wanting to harm them with any hot platters, have produced a few trivets as well. The trivet - by definition a three-legged stand - an object we don't usually give much thought to, actually has a long history, from the hand-hammered examples used in colonial fireplaces through the more decorative foundry-made Victorian examples, and are being increasingly appreciated by collectors of ... [full story]
3049 times read - No comment posted

Dec 07,2007
Q: I collect egg cups and would like to learn more about the one seen in this photo. It stands 4 inches tall and is decorated with a floral, embossed pattern and has green laurel leaves borders at the top and the bottom. Inside both ends of the cup are green transfer print scenes of castles. "Made in England - Wedgwood - Patrician - U.S.A. Patent Applied For" are the words marked in the smaller ... [full story]
3542 times read - No comment posted

Dec 07,2007
I have wanted to build a greenhouse on the back of my garage for many years. I plan to have some of it about 3 feet below ground to help insulation; therefore, the roof to ceiling height can be taller without needing as much glass. In the back of my mind, I have figured out many of the details on how to do it, but I am worried that it was a little bit unconventional ... [full story]
2364 times read - No comment posted

Nov 30,2007
Q: I saw some terrific trompe l'oeil paintings in a designer showhouse last year and can't get out of my mind that I'd love something really exciting for my living room walls. I collect blue and white dishes and garniture. The artist said she could paint them really big. My husband usually lets me do what I want, but he's not thrilled with this latest idea and I'm getting cold feet. What do you think? ... [full story]
2278 times read - No comment posted

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