Welcome Mat: New book offers table decorating ideas for entertaining

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News
Artist Ronald Trudell makes Michigan-themed bottle openers. His openers will be featured at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center's Holiday Shop.

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center's Holiday Shop to open

If handcrafted, one-of-a-kind housewares or art tops your gift list this year, then the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center’s annual Holiday Shop is your kind of place. The Holiday Shop, which opens to the public Dec. 5, will feature the work of more than 100 artists from all over the country. There will be housewares, ceramics, sculptures, Judaica and much more. Pictured are bottle openers by artist Ronald Trudell. For an early peek at the Holiday Shop, the BBAC’s annual Shop & Champagne on Dec. 4 will include a gourmet strolling supper, wine, champagne and spirits, as well as a 10% discount on Holiday Shop purchases. Tickets are $85 in advance and $100 at the door; proceeds go to the BBAC’s ArtAccess and education programs. The Holiday Shop, meanwhile, runs through Dec. 20. It's open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12-4 p.m. on Sunday. The BBAC is at 1516 S. Cranbrook in Birmingham. For more information, go to BBArtCenter.org.

Bre Doucette's new book, "The Gift of Gathering," is filled with tablescape ideas.

'Gift of Gathering' book offers tablescape ideas for entertaining

Blogger Bre Doucette believes gathering with friends is about more than simply sharing a meal together. It's about fellowship and creating a sense of community. Now, Doucette -- whose blog is roomsforentblog.com -- has a new book out that's all about gathering and creating a beautiful tablescape for all kinds of occasions. Her book, "The Gift of Gathering" (Harvest House Publishers, $27), offers tablescape ideas for the entire year and divided by season. Woven throughout the year -- which has a farmhouse style -- are recipes. "So many gifts -- to give and to receive -- come to light when you open your home and heart and welcome people to your table," writes Doucette in her introduction. 

The Vintage Wick, which has locations in Ferndale and now at the Detroit Downtown Markets, creates candles out of vintage glassware.

When old glassware becomes candles

Ferndale’s The Vintage Wick combines beautiful vintage glassware with vegan hand-poured wax to create candles that are old but new and definitely unique. The company, based at the Rust Belt Market, offers more than 35 regular and seasonal scents. Now it’s one of 18 new vendors that have set up shop this season as part of the Detroit Downtown Markets at Cadillac Square. “I’m really excited to be here in Cadillac Square for the Holidays,” said owner Teresa Ciavattone, who finds her glassware at estate sales and other places and also offers candle wax refills. “It’s a great opportunity to get my business name out there and hopefully plant roots here in Detroit.” The Vintage Wick's candles range in price from $16 to $100, depending on the value of the vessel, said Ciavattone. The Downtown Detroit markets, which will run through Jan. 1, are open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. For more on The Vintage Wick, go to thevintagewick.com.

A Star Wars-themed tree brings the force to a previous Festival of Trees in Dearborn.

Festival of Trees returns Sunday, runs through Dec. 1

When it comes to uniquely decorated Christmas trees, nothing beats the the Festival of Trees at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. The 35th annual festival, a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, opens Sunday to the public and runs through Dec. 1, featuring dozens of trees decorated in a range of themes by volunteers. The festival has raised millions of dollars for research. A preview party is planned for Saturday. Tickets starting Sunday are $5 for adults and $3 for children; kids two and under get in free. For information, go to fot.org.

Behr has named Back to Nature, a light green hue, its 2020 Color of the Year.

Behr names light green hue 2020 Color of the Year

Paint retailer Behr has named Back to Nature, a light mossy green hue, its Color of the Year for 2020, calling it a color that imports a "fresh sense of vitality." Behr said the color creates a sense of nature indoors, a color that "helps purify and promote a balanced space." "As we look ahead to a new decade, Back To Nature encourages us to re-engage with the natural world, which we know can have a real, positive impact on our well-being," says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr. “Everyone has a different way of engaging with nature. Whether you’re biking on a forest path, canoeing on a lake or walking on the beach, green is prevalent in nearly every outdoor landscape—it is easily nature’s favorite color.” Back to Nature is part of a 2020 Color Trends palette that Behr announced earlier this year.