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Welcome Mat: Home and garden events in Metro Detroit

Potters Market, Dec. 5-7, moves to Southfield Pavilion

The 39th Annual Potters Market kicks off Dec. 5 and it is in a new location this year — the 20,000-square-foot Southfield Pavilion at the Southfield Municipal Complex, 26000 Evergreen Road. Nearly 35,000 pieces of pottery from 145 potters will be on sale, including pots, vases, platters, tiles, sculptures and lamps. Previously the sale was held at the UF & CW Union Hall in Madison Heights. “We are extremely excited about the big move,” says Carol Fitzpatrick, Potters Market co-manager. “The new facility is bigger and gives us the opportunity to add even more potters to the roster and expand and improve the sales floor layout. The sale runs from 2-9 p.m. Dec. 5; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 6; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7. Admission and parking are free; no strollers are allowed. For information, call (248) 554-5570 or visit

Historic Boston-Edison Holiday Homes Tour marks 40th year

Talk about a hot ticket. Tickets for the 40th annual Historic Boston-Edison Holiday Homes Tour on Dec. 14th are already sold out, but they are still available for the VIP Preview Party gala starting at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13. Patrons will tour five historically significant homes in this beloved Detroit neighborhood. There will also be a complimentary shuttle, gourmet treats at the host party house, and live music. Tickets for the VIP Preview Gala are $75 and must be purchased in advance. For information, call (313) 883-4360 or email

VivaTerra’s sustainable gift wrap made from silk, recycled materials

I’m obsessed with wrapping paper — unusual or quirky patterns, styles and color. I’ll never forget when I found vintage “Land of Misfit Toys” paper from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” But I cringe every time I see the post-Christmas garage bag of crumpled up wrapping paper hauled to the curb. Now, eco-friendly retailer VivaTerra offers an alternative: sustainable gift wrap. VivaTerra offers seven kinds of artisan gift wrap, the bulk made of silk or recycled materials. Each piece is handmade in Bangladesh by eight different women’s group enterprises connected by a nonprofit. “They are hand-dyed using chemical free dyes and made of recycled and natural materials,” says Emily Qiu, a spokeswoman for VivaTerra. “The organization provides support to these small women-focused enterprises to promote income independence and skill generation.” Yes, it’s a little more expensive, but this artisan gift wrap, such as the Furoshiki Silk Wrap made from supple, easily tied Dupioni silk, is a gift in its own right. Go to and search for “artisan gift wrap” for more details.

Leon & Lulu hosts Artists Market

More than 30 artists selling one-of-a-kind fiber art, ceramics, clothing and jewelry will converge on Leon & Lulu Sunday and Monday for its Artists Market. Held four times a year, the event showcases local artists and their wares. “It’s a great time of year to show Michigan pride and to support local craftspeople,” says Mary Liz Curtin, co-owner of Leon & Lulu, in a press release. “We have a great blend of new artists and some longtime favorites at each show.” The market runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and 3 to 8 p.m. Monday. Guests also are invited to make a donation to the Judson Center, a nonprofit, human service agency that assists families and children in Southeast Michigan. Leon & Lulu is at 96 W. 14 Mile in Clawson.

The real story behind real Christmas trees

There are two types of people who celebrate Christmas: Those who must have a real tree every year and those who love their fake tree. If you’re a real tree person, you’re certainly not alone. According to the Michigan Christmas Tree Association, 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold every year. Here are some other interesting factoids:

■Michigan is one of the top producers of Christmas trees. Other top producers include Oregon, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.

■It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of typical height (6 - 7 feet) or as little as 4 years, but the average growing time is 7 years.

■The most common Christmas Tree species are: balsam fir, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, noble fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine and white pine.

■For every real Christmas tree harvested, 1 to 3 seedlings are planted the following spring.

‘Buy Michigan Now’ offers Michigan-based gift ideas

Determined to shop local this holiday season? There’s a guide to help: Buy Michigan Now is a campaign designed to promote and restore Michigan’s economy. Its 2014 Holiday Gift Guide is downloadable from the site, The guide features more than 150 unique gift ideas from companies all over Michigan, from Galien, along the Indiana border, to Ironwood, near Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. “One of the most significant ways people in Michigan can help restore the state’s economic stability is to pay attention to where our dollars are going,” says Lisa Diggs, campaign founder. “Each of us has more power to create positive change than we sometimes believe we do. Thinking about what we buy and where we shop presents one of the biggest opportunities to put ourselves and our neighbors back to work.”

Gingerbread celebration to raise funds for farmhouse restoration

They’re a holiday tradition: gingerbread houses. Now, these crumbly concoctions will take center stage Dec. 4-5 at the 2014 Family Night and Gingerbread Celebration at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. Both professional and amateur gingerbread houses will be on display and there will be a slew of other festivities. Proceeds will go toward the restoration of the Barton Farmhouse at Bowers Farm, one of the oldest structures in Oakland County. Tickets for the gingerbread celebration from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, are $60 for adults, $30 for kids. Tickets for the celebration from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 5 are $100 for patrons and $150 benefactors; tickets for Dec. 5 include a special breakfast. For reservations, call (248) 642-7806.