Welcome Mat: Cottage, lakefront show returns Thursday

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Grayling Ceramics is all about growlers

Every Christmas, my extended family battles it out during a group gift exchange. Each relative is given a number. My cousin calls numbers one by one and each person draws a gift from a table. The next person has the choice of stealing an earlier gift that was opened or drawing a new one. So what was the hottest gift to “steal” this year? Growlers. Growlers, usually large ceramic containers for beer, are all the rage these days, especially for beer enthusiasts who love to brew their own suds. Grayling Ceramics is a Kalamazoo-based ceramics company that is hand crafts growlers. They come in a range of sizes: 64-ounce growlers, 32-ounce howlers (or half growlers) and 16-once beer steins. Ceramicist and sculptor Shay Church, who co-owns the business with his wife, Maura, said there are so many amazing craft breweries in Michigan. “We want to provide customers with thoughtful vessels to put their favorite beer or coffee in,” he says. The couple started selling their growlers at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market “and noticed right away that people responded to having handmade steins, cups and growlers on their shelves. I think everyone is sick of being overloaded with plastic disposable junk.” To learn more about Grayling Ceramics, go to graylingceramics.com/.

Grayling Ceramics handcrafts growlers.

Pure Detroit

introduces a plate

after its own heart

If you’ve never thought of Detroit’s streets as picturesque, think again. Pure Detroit this week introduced City Plate Detroit, a fun, colorful plate that features a map of the city. Made by Not Neutral, the $50 porcelain plate is one of a series of city plates. Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Portland, Oregon, also are featured. This plate isn’t just cool. It also makes a statement about one of Detroit’s big problems: abandoned or vacant lots. A second green color highlights the remarkable number of abandoned, fallow lots throughout the city. “While raising awareness of its high vacancy past, this plate looks to illustrate the potential of Detroit’s transformed landscape,” says Not Neutral on its website. To order a Detroit plate from Pure Detroit, go to shop.puredetroit.com and search “Detroit Plate.”

Not Neutral’s Detroit plate.

Learn more about propagating dahlias

Dahlias, with their beautiful spiky flowers, can bring delight to any garden. To learn more about growing your own dahlias, the Southeastern Michigan Dahlia Society will host “Growing Dahlias from Seeds” from 3-5 p.m Saturday at the Bloomfield Township Library, 1099 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Hills. Seeds also will be distributed. The dahlia society meets monthly to discuss various topics related to dahlias. The next meeting is on March 18. To learn more about the society, go semds.org.

Learn about dahlias with the Southeast Michigan Dahlia Society.

Local historical society hosts appraisal day

Attention, Oakland County area antique lovers. The Rochester-Avon Historical Society will host its 24th annual Antique Appraisal Day from noon to 4 p.m. March 5 at the Rochester Community House, 816 Ludlow. Twelve appraisers will be there to evaluate antique art, toys, pottery, coins, music instruments and more. Attendees are asked to bring their items, or photos of larger items. Admission is free but appraisals are $5 per item. There is a limit of five items per person and payments are cash only. Proceeds from the appraisal event benefit the Rochester-Avon Historical Society. For more information, visit rochesteravonhistoricalsociety.org or call (248) 375-0084.

The Rochester-Avon Historical Society will holds its annual appraisal day in early March.

Cottage and Lakefront Living Show begins Thursday

Who doesn’t love playing in the sand, especially in late February? A huge sandbox, dubbed “The Beach,” will be part of next week’s 10th annual Cottage & Lakefront Living Show at the Suburban Collection Showplace, which runs through Feb. 26. Aside from a massive sandbox, where kids and adults can build sandcastles, there will be more than 175 exhibitors dedicated to nearly every aspect of lakefront living, from landscaping ideas to patios, decks and wood cabins. As part of the show, the Cottage Fine Art Show will present Michigan artists selling photography, metal art, furniture, jewelry, pottery, cottage decor and paintings for sale. Pictured is a table repainted by Beautifunktional of Northville, which will be selling a line of chalk paints. Admission to the Cottage & Lakefront Living Show is $10; $4 for children 6-14 and children 5 get in free. For information, go to NoviCottageShow.com or call (800) 328-6550.

Northville-based Beautifunktional will offer a line of chalk-based paint at next week’s Cottage & Lakefront Living Show.