Handmade with care
Here's a way to work up some holiday cheer: Paint your own ornaments. At Amazing Glaze pottery, 1340 Smith Ave. in Mount Washington, there are 150 shapes, 36 paint colors, stencils, brushes, sponges and everything else you need to create a one-of-a-kind gift or holiday memory.
Besides the traditional ball shapes, there are more than a dozen flat shapes, such as an apple, Santa Claus, star, snowman, reindeer and candy cane. There are also dreidel shapes for Hanukkah. The ornaments cost from $3 to $7, and a $6 studio fee covers all equipment, plus glazing and firing by the Amazing Glaze staff. You can also decorate platters, or pots for plants. Holiday hours (through Dec. 23) are noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Sunday. For more information, call 410-532-3144.
* The staff at Metzler's Garden Center & Christmas Shop will demonstrate how to make a spectacular tabletop tree from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. this coming Saturday and Sunday at the new Eldersburg location, 935 W. Liberty Road. There is no charge except for supplies. For more information, call 410-549-5200.
* A display of gilded evergreens decorates the lobby of the U.S. National Arboretum's administration building in northeast Washington through Friday. Seed pods, cones and evergreen branches are among the materials used; stop by for some ideas on decorating with materials from your back yard. For more information, call 202-245-2726.
* You can be entertained by live Celtic harp music, and enjoy refreshments and hot wassail while shopping for gifts for the wine lover on your holiday list at Boordy Vineyards' Celtic Christmas weekends from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today and next Saturday and Sunday. Certificates for wine-tasting parties, gift-wrapped wines and wine wearables such as caps, T-shirts and pullovers are among holiday items available. You can also enjoy cellar tours and sample Boordy wines. The vineyard is at 12820 Long Green Pike in Hydes. For details, call 410-592-5015.
Holiday shopping tips
Sending holiday packages to distant friends or relatives? Here are some packing tips from UPS, which estimates it will ship more than 295 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas:
* Find a good, sturdy box that is large enough to fit the package and leave room for packing material. The box must be strong enough to protect the contents and to survive being stacked with other boxes.
* Make sure the box has no tears, punctures or creases, and that the flaps are intact. Remove any old labels.
* Surround each item in the box with some form of cushioning material: bubble wrap, foam pellets or corrugated dividers. Don't used wadded newspaper, except for very light items.
* Seal the box securely with heavy-duty, pressure-sensitive plastic or nylon-reinforced tape. Don't use masking tape or cellophane tape. Don't wrap the cartons in paper and never tie them with string.
* Be sure the mailing label is complete: It must have name, address and ZIP code. If there's an apartment number, floor number or business name, include that as well. Place a duplicate mailing label inside the box, in case something happens to the exterior label.
* Ship your packages as early as possible.
Sometimes it's a struggle finding unique gifts that will mean a lot to the recipient. This one takes a little planning (start now for next year), but it's a winner: a portrait of someone's home, stitched up as a "Quiltrait" - a bed quilt or quilted wall hanging. Each piece incorporates moments and memories that belong to the house. It may be kids playing in a swing, beloved pets or signature flowers and flags on poles.
Quiltraits come from the Quilt Finder, a California company that specializes in custom-designed quilts. Each Quiltrait is hand-crafted, and prices range from $500 to $1,500 for wall hangings to several thousand dollars for a full-sized quilt. It takes three to six months to complete an order. To order, send a likeness of the home (photo, sketch, architectural rendering; don't send anything that is irreplaceable), plus desired size, color and border embellishments. Include any details or suggestions that might help a quilt artist create a personal design. Include a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope. By return mail, the Quilt Finder will offer price quotes and several design options. The address is Quiltraits, c/o the Quilt Finder, P.O. Box 3717, South Pasadena, Calif. 91031. For information, call 800-642-3312.
Pub Date: 12/13/98