Once again, I got to travel to Atlanta, GA to attend the AmericasMart to buy for the 2018 Christmas season. I also took time to look for new and unusual items you will love for your home and garden. Like fairy garden accessories. For the past few years they have been a big hit and this year I found some really great new fairy garden items. The little fairies will arrive inFebruary, just in time for you to plan your garden around them. Or, if you’re more into planning your vegetable garden, I found the coolest pickle and pepper barrels. I am also bringing back the famous Solmate Socks and some new American made toys from Channel Craft. One of my new finds is beautiful hand made gift cards that you can attach to a plant with your own message. They are made in Vietnam and feature quilled paper decoration. Simple yet beautiful.
I always have a wonderful time when I go to Atlanta, but there are certain trends you see everywhere. For example,the Pantone color of the year, Ultra Violet. Then there was what I started calling “That darn red truck.” Everywhere I went, there was this old red truck with a tree in the back. Seriously! It was printed on the ribbon, the bags, the ornaments, the lighted vases! Snowmen held them, Santa sat in them. There were salt and pepper shakers with it on them. I could not escape. It was the feature of the 2018 show. And why was I calling it “THAT DARN TRUCK?” Because 4 years ago, I bought 12 ornaments that featured, you guessed it, a red truck with a tree in the back. I finally sold the last one last season and go to the show and there they were. Sometimes the show is like that. Someone mentions to you how much they love hedgehogs and before you know it you have bought 20 different ones.
Besides that darn red truck, I learned last year that a good friend of mine liked items with the Kraken, an octopus type creature. So what did I see every time I turned around? You guessed it, the Kraken! And did I buy some? Yup! I am picturing a Kraken tree next Christmas just for her!
by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President