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Rosanna | Manolo's Basement of the Bargains
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No One Ever Painted a Red Hat Like Vermeer

That happens to be true, you know. It also happens to be a quote used on a set of dishes by Rosanna. Her daughter, Francesca, was the one who said it, apparently, and used it on the set celebrating European Masters entitled Portrait of a Young Artist.

Rosanna Portrait of a Young Artist Set

The design features scenes of Paris and Rome, postcards, stamps, and museum ticket stubs to create a cheerful, if slightly wistful, tribute. The tribute, however, does have a hopeful aspect, too, since a portion of the proceeds from this set are being donated to arts programs in the Seattle Public Schools.

Of course, the whole set – or parts thereof – would make a great Mother’s Day, wedding, birthday, or Christmas gift that gives back to the community as well.

And then there’s the bit where you can save money at the same time. You see, the set is 50% off right now! Get the Tea for One single serving teapot and mug or the set of four dessert plates for $15.00 (regular price, $30.00) or the set of four mugs for just $20.00 (regular price $40.00). Whichever set you choose comes cleverly packed in a suitcase-shaped box for presentation.

Talk about your guilt-free dessert! Eating off of these plates would make me feel positively smug.

That, and it would make me want to take a European tour of museums.

Ooh La La in Black and White

Do you need to find a gift for a couple getting married, student moving away from home for the first time, or just about anyone you know who isn’t averse to a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa in the morning? Want to give something pretty and practical but inexpensive?

How about this:

Rosanna Parisian Wallpaper Mug Set Rosanna’s Parisian Wallpaper Mug set is the perfect thing to solve your gift-giving dilemma. Four elegant 10oz. stoneware coffee mugs come packed in an attractive matching hatbox. Just add a colorful ribbon and wait for the thank you note!

Oh, and did I mention the price? The regular retail price on this set is just $30.00, which is more than reasonable. I would certainly pay that to put a smile on the face of someone I care about. On the other hand, I could go to Amazon, get the same set for just $9.00, and put the same smile on even more faces.

You do the math. I’ve got mugs to buy.

Mondo Gorgeous, Mondo Great Price

Pretty? Check. Practical? Check. Great price? Check. Environmentally conscious? Check. Superfun? Check and double check.

What am I talking about? Why today’s bargain courtesy of Cooking.com, of course! Right now, Cooking.com is running a 25% off sale on selected Rosanna dishes and glassware. Readers of this space already know that Rosanna dinnerware is fun and stylish beyond expression, but they may or may not be aware that she does great glassware, too.

Rosanna Mondo Recycled Glass Pitcher This fabulous pitcher in the Mondo pattern is made of recycled glass, so it’s not only handsome and whimsical, but environmentally sound as well. It holds a generous two quarts and is mouth blown by Mexican artisans. Hand washing is recommended, and this is not for use in the microwave. But who puts something like this in the microwave?

Love the pitcher but don’t have glasses to go with it? Don’t worry. The matching glasses are on sale, too. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of Mondo glass collections also goes to Doctors Without Borders, so you can even add social responsibility to the list of great reasons to buy these gorgeous pieces.

Oh, and there was the small matter of the price, too, wasn’t there? Yes, these are on sale. The pitcher is now just $40.50 (regular price $54.00) and the glasses are marked down to just $72.00 for a set of six (regular price $96.00). But hurry! Quantities of some items are limited and the sale only lasts through July 17!

So, to sum up: buy fabulous glassware, support Doctors Without Borders, reduce your carbon footprint, preserve traditional craftsmanship, uphold the economies of two countries, and save money. After doing all that, you’ll definitely be able to sleep well at night.

Childs’ Play

I don’t usually do much for children here at the Basement. It’s not that I don’t think children deserve superfantastic things, but more a case of not going too far out of my way to find such goodies. After all, Teeny Manolo does an amazing job of finding great goodies for kids and moms. I usually feel my efforts in that regard would be somewhat superfluous.

But today I found something I just have to pass on because I know how much I would have adored it as a little girl and because it’s such an amazing deal.

Rosanna Children's Bake Set Rosanna’s 9-piece Let’s Play House children’s baking set nearly made me squeal with delight when I spotted it at Amazon.com.

The set includes an oven-safe pie plate and equally oven-safe cupcake pan, a mixing bowl, a cake stand, and four dessert plates in cheerful pastel colors all neatly housed in a dollhouse-shaped box. With a little help from mom, dad, the babysitter, or an older sibling, little bakers can produce their own delicious home-baked treats and serve them to friends and family with pride.

If there’s a small girl with an interest in baking in your life, this would make a fabulous gift for any reason you can imagine…and at the price Amazon.com is charging right now, you can afford to give it just because.

Usually priced at $90.00 (which is not at all bad considering what’s waiting in that box and how many hours of joy it will give), Amazon.com is currently selling it for a mere $27.00! That’s right, $27.00!

At that price, I want one for me.

After all, a girl is never too big to play tea party.