The Glass Age

Do trilobites go with dinner? As long as the Paleozoic arthropods stay in the plate and not on it. Sculptor Cristina Salusti works fossil shapes into ceramic and granite plates. Her latest collection captures the patterns in glass. Available at Feast in Pasadena.

A Warming Trend

The purists among us believe that microwave ovens have limited uses. They're great for heating water and popcorn, for instance. Recently, we came up with another use for the short list: heating our new microwaveable hot plate. We gave up on Sterno-flamed dishes years ago--the smell!--and had been making do with trivets until we discovered that there is a better way to keep our buffet dishes warm. This hotplate from Heatwave has a core that heats in about three minutes in the microwave--but the outside stays cool enough to touch. Available at Koontz Hardware in West Hollywood and Utensils on Larchmont Boulevard in Los Angeles.

On Your Totes

We feel guilty every time we confront our bulging drawer of scrunched-up plastic shopping bags--even if we do find them handy for recycling old newspapers. A mess of folded paper bags isn't much better, either. The best answer of all to "Paper or plastic?" is "Nothing, thanks. I've brought my own." Flat-folding totes, colored straw bags and teacup-shaped coin purses by Pik-Me-Up available at Lulu's, Manhattan Beach, and Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills.

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