August 1, 2014 at 1:00 am

Welcome Mat: The latest and greatest for your home

Seltzer Goods sells clever bags. (Seltzer Goods)

Seltzer Goods’ zip pouches are fun, practical

Seltzer Goods' zip pouches are fun, practical

Looking for the perfect pouch for your pencils, coupons or other clutter? As you start your back-to-school shopping (or finish it), Seltzer Goods’ Zip Pouches are super fun and practical for school supplies. They’re American made of cotton canvas. They have fun, whimsical sayings such as “My Stache” or “Happy”; they’re $12.95 each. They’re available at

Materials Unlimited in Ypsilanti celebrates 40 years in business

Materials Unlimited in Ypsilanti celebrates 40 years in business

The way Reynold Lowe describes it, a quirk of fate helped him find his career. Lowe, an artist, and his wife own an Italianate-style house in Ann Arbor. In the early 1970s, Lowe met a demolition contractor hired to tear down another well-known Italianate style building in the area. “I told him I wanted to get some materials” before it was demolished, Lowe says. He did and later, he and the demolition contractor organized a salvage sale. From there, a business was born: Materials Unlimited. Now located at 2 W. Michigan Avenue, it offers everything from antique lighting and stained glass to doors and hardware. From 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Lowe and his team will celebrate 40 years in business with refreshments, antiques, entertainment and giveaways. Customers also are encouraged to dress in their favorite ’70s gear. Ten $40 gift certificates will be raffled off throughout the day, along with one $400 gift certificate at the end of the day. Select items also will be 40 percent off. Call (734) 483-6980 or visit

More than 100 artists at Rochester Hills art show this weekend

More than 100 artists at Rochester Hills art show this weekend

Alec LaCasse of Oakland County was 13 when his mother gave him a woodcarving kit. The first time he sat down to carve, the busy teenager didn’t get up for three hours. “Time just completely melted,” says LaCasse, now 19. Today, LaCasse carves life-like wood portraits, all with a hammer and chisel, using mostly found, unmilled cottonwood. “It’s a really interesting wood,” says LaCasse, who does mostly commission pieces. “Its grain structure is very different from most wood — it runs parallel and it doesn’t chip. It really holds fine detail.” LaCasse, of tiny Leonard, is one of more than 100 artists who will be at this weekend’s Fine Art at the Village of Rochester Hills art show. The 11th annual show, at the northeast corner of Walton and Adams, will features artists working in all mediums: ceramics, glass, painting, drawing, multimedia, sculpture, photography, fiber art, wood, jewelry and more. The festival runs 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Call (248) 689-8734 or visit .

Designer Ann Gish to visit Scott Shuptrine in Royal Oak

Designer Ann Gish to visit Scott Shuptrine in Royal Oak

Ann Gish, the internationally known designer who crafts luxurious contemporary silk bedding, will visit Scott Shuptrine Interiors in Royal Oak for a special trunk show from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday.

She’ll showcase bedding, kids bedding, table linens and more. She’ll also sign copies of her book, “Ann Gish.” Gish, best known for her exquisite detailing and construction, will have items from the book at the show. Guests will receive a free copy of the book, save 25 percent on all Ann Gish items and receive a beautiful Ann Gish jewelry box free with purchase. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP at

‘Our Lush Flowing Stream’ is this week’s winner

'Our Lush Flowing Stream' is this week's winner

The long, hard winter wasn’t kind to Barbara and Art Wiggins’ garden and pond. The Bloomfield Hills couple lost 12 koi fish, plants and bushes. But when the ground finally thawed, they got to work, trimming, digging and rebuilding. They added new bushes from the Oakland County Farmers Market, perennials, annuals and 19 clumping bamboo from the Michigan Bamboo Co. “We found that between our trimming, planting and the rain, everything became even more lush than we expected,” Barbara says. Barbara’s photo, “Our Lush Flowing Stream,” is this week’s winner of the Homestyle garden photo contest. She’ll win a home or garden book; she also will be a finalist for the grand prize at the end of the summer, a $100 English Gardens gift card. To enter your garden photo, go to Or mail them to Homestyle Garden Photo Contest, 615 W. Lafayette, Detroit MI 48226.

Alec LaCasse, 19, uses cottonwood for his art. (Alec LaCasse)
Ann Gish is the internationally known designer who crafts luxurious ... (Ann Gish)
Materials Unlimited is celebrating 40 years. (Daniel Mears / The Detroit News)
Barbara Wiggins' winning garden photo (Barbara Wiggins)