A doll from the Blessings collection may not have the immediate cachet of, say, a Madame Alexander; but these authentically dressed nuns are a hot collectible -- in spite of their $180 price tag.
The company's No. 1 seller nationwide is a doll dressed in the habit of the Order of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, local to Baltimore. (There are dolls representing other Baltimore orders as well.) All dolls can be ordered with white or black skin and brown or blue eyes.
Blessings dolls can be found at Favorite Things in Hereford, (410) 343-0040; Paper Doll in Ellicott City, (410) 461-2500; and A Little Something Ltd. in Harborplace, (410) 332-0711. (That last store is planning to close in January.)
If your pets hate being boarded at the vets as much as mine do, you'll be glad to know about Katcandu and Dogs Too, a new, in-home pet-sitting service. Pat Mayes and her daughter Cathy Vass have plenty of experience -- they have 11 dogs and cats of their own. They are bonded and insured, have veterinarian backup and will even water your plants on the side. Katcandu is also the name of their pet gift shop in Fells Point at 1720 Thames St. Call (410) 342-0053 for boarding rates and other information.
It's a bit of a trek to Potomac Mills outside of Washington, D.C., but if you're in the market for fine china or crystal, it might be worth the drive. The new Home Style, Factory Store in Virginia's Potomac Mills Mall offers Tipperary Crystal, Rosenthal and Sasaki merchandise at 20 percent to 70 percent off retail prices. There's everything from vases and candelabras to complete place settings, collector cups and table linens. Call (410) 490-8560 for more information and directions.
Don't take those outdoor Christmas lights down too soon this year. The 1997 Old Farmers Almanac, now in bookstores, recommends repelling deer by putting blinking lights on trees or bushes that they like to nibble on. That's the least startling of its "Uncommon Answers to Common Gardening Questions." You could also:
Keep woodchucks out of the garden by leaving sticks of Juicy Fruit gum out for them. (Unwrap them first.) They -- the woodchucks -- won't come back.
Rid your plants of spider mites by spraying them with cold water from the refrigerator. Mist once or twice a day until mites disappear.
rTC Use mushy bananas -- or the peels only -- as an excellent fertilizer for roses.
Something to think about as you sit by the fire and wait for spring.
Home Front welcomes interesting tidbits of home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or fax to (410) 783-2519.
Pub Date: 12/22/96