New for 2015 – Casafina keeps the new designs coming!

casafina2015Who else is in a purging mood? Out with the old, in with the new, we say! After the Christmas trees, holiday dinnerware, and decorations have been taken down, recycled, or packed up for next year, the need to refine and redesign for the new year takes hold. I personally like to move certain things around the house to open up new spaces and experience my interior in a new way. I consider it just as necessary as establishing and implementing a New Year’s resolution.

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Best Christmas Cookies – Cookies for Santa Plates

Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars
Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

Out of all the things I love about the holidays it is by far the making of Christmas cookies that gets me in the mood the most for Christmas. I love making cookies to give as gifts mostly.  Of course, I keep a stash on hand for friends  and family that may drop by during the week before Christmas. I have always done this, trying to balance the activity to not get totally over whelmed and start thinking of the process with disdain or as another stressful thing to try and get done during the busy holiday season. Here are a few of my suggestions and tips for making an impressive assortment of cookies that everyone will love and appreciate receiving.
A few questions one should ask is, are you making them as gifts,  are you making them to have a treat on hand,  or are you setting them out for Santa on Christmas Eve? When I am making the cookies as gifts, I like to make it special by coming up with an assortment of cookies. Generally, I like to have one layer-type cookie, something that can be made in a 9″ x 13″ pan, a colorful cookie, and a simple cookie, that helps create contrast between them all.
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Spode Woodland & Our Two Cents on Your Festive Fall Tablescape

GiftCollector shares tips on How to Create a Festive Fall Table
Creating a Fall tablescape can be easy and fun!

A “tablescape” is defined as – “An artistic arrangement of articles on a table”. Creating your own affords SO much room for personal expression as well presenting you with an opportunity to mingle into your decor some of those seldom-used family heirlooms.

It has been said we “eat with our eyes first”, so this year, challenge yourself to create a delectable atmosphere.

As a host/hostess, creating your tablescape deserves real care and attention to detail. It conveys how important the event is to you, as well as expressing your appreciation for your guests’ presence. That being said, this undertaking doesn’t have to require a second mortgage. Frugal can be fabulous. Consider it a chance to flex and expand your creative limits!

GiftCollector’s favorite choice for a traditional Fall/Thanksgiving table is the Spode Woodland pattern. It’s undeniably a classic.

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Top China Patterns – GiftCollector staff waxes poetic about china

Portmeirion Botanic Garden Poppy Salad Plate
Portmeirion Botanic Garden Poppy Salad Plate
$27

This week our staff at GiftCollector shares what their go to pick is for china in their home and why.

JeanMerchandiser/Email marketing manager at GiftCollector for 9 years

“My favorite china is Portmeirion’s Botanic Garden, which I have at home. I love flowers and gardening, so this pattern is the perfect choice for me. Sometimes it seems like a shame to put them away in the cupboards since the flowers are so pretty! I never thought that I would be someone who hung decorative plates on the wall, but it is tempting. Perhaps if I expand my place settings with the new Sunflower or Poppy motifs I’ll give it a try! I also love the weight of each piece. It feels substantial and not like it could break at any moment. They are the high quality I’ve come to expect from Portmeirion. I’ve had the set for years but have not chipped a single piece.” Continue reading “Top China Patterns – GiftCollector staff waxes poetic about china”

Casafina Corsica

Summertime, easy living & Casafina Vacation-ware

Portuguese Seascape
Portuguese Seascape

Summertime for me holds the promise of sun, open windows, fresh air. Gathering & entertaining, squeezing in a little relaxation and maybe (if I am lucky) a well-deserved vacation, preferably seaside. Vacation means many things to many people…

To me, it equals ease.

Taking a short break from day-to-day demands. Whether it’s a break from your job, cleaning the house, endless errands, or taxiing your children to their various lessons/practices/school functions, etc.…it’s a chance to (albeit temporarily) live a slightly less structured life.

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Types of Butterflies – Lenox Butterfly Meadow Dinnerware

lenox-butterfly-meadow-platesEven people who dislike bugs can warm up to butterflies. Sometimes called “flying flowers”, butterflies come in all colors of the rainbow. Butterflies are one of the most treasured insects in the world. We love to decorate our homes, classrooms, work spaces, and even our own bodies with butterflies. This is why we at GiftCollector, would like to share some interesting facts about these beloved creatures.

On Lenox’s Butterfly Meadow dinnerware they feature 5 different butterflies and a dragon fly. We will focus on the 5 butterflies they feature on their dinner and accent plates. Continue reading “Types of Butterflies – Lenox Butterfly Meadow Dinnerware”

Lenox Butterfly Meadow On Sale – #1 US Casual China Pattern

For many years Lenox Butterfly Meadow dinnerware has been the #1 casual dinnerware pattern in the US. At GiftCollector, we have many of the Butterfly Meadow items on sale at 40% off the MSRP. Butterfly Meadow has so many options for making your table setting completely unique.There are six different designs which feature a specific butterfly or insect: Blue Butterfly, Monarch, Dragonfly, Orange Sulpher, Fritillary, Tiger Swallow. Continue reading “Lenox Butterfly Meadow On Sale – #1 US Casual China Pattern”

Do you love Villeroy and Boch dinnerware?

Sale, sale, sale! We are yet again offering many patterns of Villeroy and Boch right now for 50% off regular MSRP. If you need to replace or add to any of your patterns now is the best time to get it!

Villeroy and Boch dinnerware is tough! It is made of vitrified porcelain. What is that, you say? Well, with skipping lots of technical mumbo jumbo, vitrified porcelain is fired at a very high temperature.  It withstands chipping and breaking more than any other material that is used for dinnerware.  So it is good that they make such classic designs that will stay classy and desirable for a long time. Continue reading “Do you love Villeroy and Boch dinnerware?”

Spring Cleaning. Don’t forget the bath!

It’s Sunday and I could finally get some spring cleaning done today.  This time of year I love to have the doors and windows open to get some fresh air, but unfortunately that also means I am inviting a wave of pollen to enter my house.  I’m lucky so far that I don’t have spring allergies so the outdoor air was still refreshing, but the pollen dust is now very noticeable inside.  So after some heavy-duty dusting and vacuuming, I left my cleaning pet peeve to the very end, the bath.  Of course after a day of cleaning I myself want to get clean, but how disappointing is that to have the other rooms in the house cleaned and then step into a messy bathroom.  I actually have my very own bathroom that I don’t need to share with my husband so at least whatever mess there is, is my mess.  For me, my bathroom was another room to decorate so I went all out with picking the right colored bath rugs, matching towel sets, shower curtain, and many bath accessories.  When it’s time to clean sometimes I dread that I have so much bathroom décor, but in the end I get a great sense of satisfaction when everything is spotless and shiny clean.

If you are looking for a great way to add some color and a feel of luxury to your bath, GiftCollector offers the Casafina Bath Collections.  The Casafina 17thCentury Stoneware Bath Collection comes in several colors, including blue, teal, green, and multi-pink. Some of the matching bath accessories to choose from are the classic boutique tissue box holder (5.5”x 5.75”), tumblers, soap dishes, and wastebaskets. Additional ornate design bath collections by Casafina include, Casafina Blue Lattice , French Twist, and Spring Flowers.  For the less ornate designs, there are the Casafina Costa Nova Bath Collection in simple, yet bold stripes, and the handcrafted Casafina Capiz Bath, which is made of pearlescent capiz shells in either solid Pearl or Champagne color.

A Wine Trail at Home

It looks like we are going to have another weekend with fantastic weather here in Central Virginia.  One great activity to do here is to go on a wine trail.  Last weekend while strolling our downtown area, we stumbled across the Monticello Wine Trail Festival, which is a once a year event when over 20 wineries at one location offer wine tastings, together with music and food vendors.  I had no idea this event was happening that day, but it was one of those moments when I thought, “we should go on a wine trail more often”, something we normally only do if we have guests from out of town.  Plus, it seems like there are new wineries added every year so it keeps it a fresh activity.  What exactly is a wine trail?  The Monticello Wine Trail pays homage to Thomas Jefferson’s winemaking pursuits in Virginia and provides suggestions for a day of visiting wineries, but each of the five wine trails focuses on a particular region of Central Virginia winemaking.  They usually group together about 5-10 wineries all in close proximity to each other.  It is a great way to enjoy a guaranteed scenic drive and plan for an outdoor picnic on the beautiful winery grounds.

Lenox Tuscany Classics Burgundy Glasses
Lenox Tuscany Classics Burgundy Glasses

If you can’t make it to a winery where you live then there is always still enjoying a glass (or two) of wine closer to home.  GiftCollector has many wine stemware choices, including from Noritake, Villeroy & Boch, Lenox, and Dartington.  Currently, we are offering up to 40% off the regular price on the very popular Tuscany Classics Collection from Lenox.  Offer ends April 26!!! Taking its inspiration from the Tuscan vineyards, Tuscany Classics captures the sensual pleasures of Italy.  There are great sets of 6 glasses for classic red or white wines.  Also, the Tuscany Classics Collection has stemware and decanters for every type of wine, including champagne, Beaujolais, and Chardonnay.  Also, the stemless tumblers are a very nice alternative to traditional stemware.  If you are planning a tasting party, Lenox Tuscany Classics also has all the entertaining accessories one would need to round out your wine tasting experience.  The Lenox Tuscany Cheese and Cracker Board design combines a rustic crafted wood inset with sleek, modern metal sides. The Stainless Tray and Crystal Bowl set would be perfect for serving tapas or small bites to pair with wine.

Lenox Tuscany Classics Serving Set
Lenox Tuscany Classics Serving Set