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Party on a budget

You don't need deep pockets to entertain family and friends -- but you do need ideas. Just in time for the holidays comes "Party Central: A Month-by-Month Guide to Entertaining on the Cheap" (Perigee, $19.95), from the penny pinchers at Budget Living magazine.

The book features money-saving tips, recipes, theme ideas and more. Suggestions include inviting friends over for a casual get-together in November where PJs are the dress code and refreshments are served in mason jars (if you already have them, that is).

The book is the second in a series of books from Budget Living; the first is "Home Cheap Home."

Design tip

Here is a tabletop suggestion for Thanksgiving: Use brown linen place mats. One festive idea we came across is to pair them with cream-colored napkins and a single autumn leaf at each place setting. Come Valentine's Day, use them again -- only this time add a touch of romance by matching them up with red napkins (and a chocolate kiss, we might add).

Some local news

Bush Industries -- a case goods and ready-to-assemble furniture maker headquartered in Jamestown -- has received an award for its Tuxedo Entertainment Center. The piece, marketed under the Eric Morgan brand, has been recognized by the American Society of Furniture Designers for its design excellence.

Tuxedo was given the first-place designation in the home entertainment category during the 9th Annual Pinnacle Design Achievement Awards ceremony held in October at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, N.C.

Other news:

A kitchen designed by Jenifer Young, from Appliance Associates of Buffalo/Artisan Kitchens and Baths, 200 Amherst St., is featured on the cover of Signature Kitchens and Baths magazine, the winter issue. Inside, readers get a closer look at the West Falls kitchen, which includes a dual-level island, wine captain, beverage center and more.

Buffalo artist Alison Slein is among those featured in a new exhibit called "Home on the Edge: Domestic Bliss in Disarray" running Nov. 19 through Jan. 7, 2005, at the Spaces gallery in Cleveland (

And finally . . .

"Sparkling conversation is the best entertainment. That said, it always helps to have a wide assortment of music. If you don't have a treasury of tunes, borrow from friends that do. Or have each guest bring a favorite CD."
Thom Filicia, Pier 1's spokesman, on throwing a party