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Porcelain | Manolo's Basement of the Bargains
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Vibrant Versace or Chocolate Consolation

You can put flowers in any vase. They’ll look great, and they’ll smell good. But why put your flowers in any old vase when you can put them in this:

Versace La Mer Vase This is the La Mer vase by Versace. It’s porcelain painted with a fun mix of classic aquatic images, such as coral branches and golden shells. It stands 7″ high to hold a wide variety of blooms, or to simply be superfantastic in its empty state.

If you want it as much as I do, you’ll be delighted to know it’s on sale at Saks Fifth Ave. Regularly priced at $268.00, it’s currently selling for just $201.00. You can even get free shipping with the code SAKSSHIP9.

Of course, if the year has been financially unfortunate for you, you still may not be able to afford the lovely Versace vase. In that case, may I offer up this second delightful deal from Saks?

Chocolate Shoe and Purse After all, what woman doesn’t feel better with a stylish set of matching shoes and purse? And what woman wouldn’t feel even better if they’re made of chocolate? At that point, even if you don’t care about matching shoes and purses, it still appeals.

Regularly priced at $52.00, they’ve been marked down to just $32.00 for the season.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop you getting both, if you like.

Bowled Over

When it comes time to entertain, there’s something I keep discovering about myself: I can never have enough serving bowls. For some reason, I have a lot of platters but only a few good bowls to put out. That limits my ability to present salads and other side dishes as nicely or as efficiently as I’d like. It limits my choices in making up the menu, since one must always consider how a dish is to be served as well as how it is to be prepared. So I’m on a hunt for handsome, versatile, drool-worthy yet affordable serving bowls.

Imagine, then, my delighted surprise when I ran across this:

Bernardoud Harvest Berry Serving Bowl This delicious pattern is called Harvest Berry. The porcelain is decorated with images from botanical prints, and postmarks and script from antique letters by Parisian artist Marc Lacaze. It was designed and manufactured by Bernardoud, a family-run company which was established by Limoges in 1863. They’ve been producing porcelain poetry like this ever since.

The bowl holds 1 3/4 quarts of deliciousness and measures 10″ across. It’s microwavable and dishwasher safe, too, so it doesn’t require mollycoddling.

As for affordable, well, it does usually cost about $179.00, which I freely admit is not in everyone’s budget. Right now at Williams-Sonoma, though, it’s on sale for just $105.99. Amortized against the number of times you’ll use it over the next forty years…not to mention how it will be cherished by your heirs once you’re done with it, that’s one mighty affordable piece of pretty.

Santa at a Steal

If you or someone you love likes to put out holiday figurines at this time of year, I’ve got a great tip for you: head over to Fitz and Floyd
for their huge holiday sale right now!

Gregorian Collection Santa Claus Figurine This 20″ tall Santa is from the Gregorian collection. He’s painted in soft shades of green and ivory and carries a bundle of toys for all the good children. Best of all, his price has been slashed from $400.00 all the way down to a mere $119.95! That’s nearly 75% off the original cost!

And while you’re there, take a look at dozens of superfantastic deals on Christmas ornaments, vases, jeweled boxes, teapots and more.

What’s more, now through December 21st, you can get free shipping on any order of at least $75.00.

I’d say Santa is being good to all of us this year.

Phase of the Vase

I have a great fondness for vases as decoration. You can put flowers in them, or some other decorative item, but they can also be displayed on their own merit. My favorites are ones that allow the flowers to take center stage, but continue to be interesting and decorative when empty. In fact, here’s a perfect example of what I like best:

Rosenthal Black Phases Vase This handsome porcelain vase
by Dror Benshetrit of Studio Dror, NYC for Rosenthal is part of a series entitled ‘Vases of Phases’ representing change in life. What I love about it most, though, is the combination of simple elegance and distinctive detail that can take center stage or a back seat, depending on whether it’s displayed full or empty. The matte black finish will make colorful flowers pop dramatically in any room, but the piece can also stand the full attention of the viewer on its own.

The retail price of this gorgeous 11 3/4″ vase is $325.00, but I know where to get it for a much better price. Right now, Amazon has it in stock for the mere pittance of $78.00! $78.00! That’s a savings of nearly $250.00!

Good art is priceless, but it’s always better when you can get this good a deal on it.