Classic stationery, with added touch

Looking for that perfect baby gift? Something unusual for an anniversary? A personalized birthday present? You'll want to check out Simply Noted, a new paper store in Belvedere Square, which just opened its doors.

You'll find personalized stationary, custom invitations and announcements, an array of greeting cards, note cards, journals, picture frames, photo albums and other nifty gifts and products from vendors such as Stars & Eggplant, Fish & Webster, You Send Me, Odd Balls and Luscious Verde Cards.


The store, described as a "classic, chic paperie" by owner Melissa Taylor, offers traditional products as well as "offbeat creative options" such as three-fold wedding invitations with ribbons and adornments.

Simply Noted, located in Belvedere Square at 544 E. Belvedere Ave., is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Call 410-464-1166 for more information.


Cards to play poker with dogs and fishes

Just in time for the dog days of summer, Umbra has created new canine-themed Bow Wow playing cards as well as fish-themed Splish Splash playing cards. Perfect for the beach, camp or car travel, the cutesy cards come in translucent plastic cases.

Bow Wow cards are bone-shaped and feature images of different pups on each card. Cases are available in white, pink, blue and lime. Splish Splash cards show colorful varieties of fish and come in white, green or blue cases.

The cards retail for $4.99 per set and are available on the Web at

A big splash of inspiration

The new book House Beautiful Pools (Hearst Books, 2003, $24.95) by Christine Pittel makes quite a splash. Overflowing with lush photos of indoor and outdoor residential pools, reflecting ponds, whirlpools, spas, dramatic waterfalls and man-made lakes and lagoons, the book offers plenty of inspiration. Pools of every shape and size and in various settings - from the garden to the beach - are showcased. The creations are by notable international architects, landscapers and designers, including William Turnbull Jr., Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Jacques Wirtz and Steven Ehrlich.

The book includes an index directory of designers' and architects' names and phone numbers. House Beautiful Pools is available at area bookstores and at



Traditional arts classes are offered now through the fall at the Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster. There'll be a class in seat-weaving Sept. 24 and Oct. 1 (a two-session class), 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Students should bring a chair that's ready to be woven. Cost is $45. There'll also be a class in wool-dyeing Sept. 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Students will learn about dyeing and over-dyeing wool fabric and should bring a wood fabric item from home. Cost is $25. Registration required for both classes. Classes are filling up quickly. Call 410-848-7775 or 410-876-2667 to register or for information on other classes.