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In case you missed it, the 130th Annual California Gift Show, held in Los Angeles in January, was a veritable gallery of trends. From antiques to windsocks, more than 2,000 exhibitors from across the country showed off the latest gifts and decorative accessories. Here are the highlights:
Seeds, seeds everywhere. But they're not for farming-earth-toned seeds have replaced multicolored beads as the new exterior, covering everything from purses and pillows to vases.
Feng Shui followers aren't the only ones benefiting from the sounds of cascading water. Fountains are still the rage-and choices range from wall fountains for the office and mini-fountains for your desk to elaborate designs for living rooms. Lauded for their relaxing qualities, indoor fountains fit nicely into today's au naturel trend.
Targeting the cubicle-dwelling, apartment-living, yardless youth of today, Los Angeles' CityYard has sprouted an affordable take on the urban gardening trend. With such items as Canned Land (a self-contained grass-growing kit), astroturf bulletin boards and push pins made of silk flowers, nonrural abodes can now grow their own quick and easy symbolic gardens.
Consumers are hip to cell phones and modems; could fiber-optic Christmas trees be next? From Los Angeles-based Home Brite Corp., these festive firs come in a bounty of sizes, with fiber-optic technology lighting their branches (say goodbye to tangled twinkle lights). Fiber-optic wreaths for the door and fiberoptic angels complete the ensemble.
Sarut NYC/CityLimit Inc. has released a dazzling collection of novelty gifts from abroad, including gel candles with trinkets inside, a vast rainbow palette of contemporary Buddha and Ganesha, lightbulbs posing as vases and cushions acting as trays. The coolest item: Philips' "Set Your Life To Music," a collection of classical "lifetracks" on CD perfectly arranged to accompany you from morning 'til night-Mozart for the morning commute, Baroque for beauty sleep.
It's In The Bag
1930s vintage has been hot for a while-look for vintage luggage this season. Don't be surprised if hatboxes and wicker suitcases reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie start sprucing up homes and offices. Stylish and functional, the pieces serve well as storage or historic eye candy. And if trying to sell genuine vintage at such steep prices makes you cringe, look for replicas that are anything but expensive.
Stork Of Genuis
Faith Knight, the artisan behind Marabou 2000 in Los Angeles,
displayed her faux fur and marabou-
feather-laden accessories. Telephones, alarm clocks, CD holders, photo albums, make-up brushes, light switches, lamps, mirrors, hangers, pens, trashcans-you name it, she's got it (covered in stork feathers and faux leopard, cheetah and zebra prints, that is). "[Marabou feathers] haven't died," explains Knight. "Even the normal person loves to have something crazy in their house." She'll also be putting her personal twist on those new touch lights (by adding colored light bulbs and faux fur trim) and plans to add a line of faux fur pompoms.
Home Brite Corp., (888) 280-0280, 16710 Johnson Dr., City of Industry, CA 91745
Faith Knight, (213) 488-1569, 127 E. 9th St., #201, Los Angeles, CA 90015
ProsperityRising.com, (714) 437-8278, www.prosperityrising.com.