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Holiday Season

NEWS
November 21, 2013 | By Maria Speidel
Erin Dollar walked into the printmaking studio at UC Santa Cruz in 2006 and discovered, she said, “My jam. Once I found it, it is all I wanted to do. " Dollar, 27, has turned that jam into dough with Cotton & Flax, her line of silk-screened housewares. She sells her bold, graphic designs through Cottonandflax.com , at local craft fairs and in 13 boutiques, mostly in California. She also has some far-flung fans. “For whatever reason, people in New Zealand have gone crazy with this stuff,” she said, adding that the Kiwis have found her online.
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BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
The Black Friday shopping rush may be slightly less of a nail-biter for retailers after government data showed better-than-expected sales in October. Retail sales jumped 0.4% last month, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday, handily exceeding the 0.1% month-over-month increase anticipated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. And the September performance, which caused deep concern when initially reported as a 0.1% decline, was revised up to reflect no change. In total, October sales reached $428.1 billion, a 3.9% boost from October 2012.
NEWS
November 19, 2013 | By Craig Nakano
When we first wrote about the transformation of York Boulevard in Highland Park almost two years ago, one of the finds was affordable pottery by L.A. artist Lily King sold by the interior design studio and shop Matters of Space. This holiday season, the ceramist and the store have collaborated on a new collection of macramé plant hangers, our latest pick in our Handmade Holidays gift guide. The muted hues of King's ceramics play nicely with the cotton and silk knotted hangers, which are reminiscent of the jewelry that Matters of Space has sold on Fab and through Nordstrom.
NEWS
November 18, 2013 | By Noelle Carter
Have you submitted your recipe yet? You only have until Tuesday midnight to enter our fourth annual Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off. Think you've got the best holiday cookies ever? We have more than 200 entries so far! If you're curious about the competition, check out Abuelita's Chocolate Sugar Cookies from Jon-Michael Hice of Northridge. He writes: "Celebrating Christmas and the various traditions vary from family to family. Growing up in a Latino family, it was tradition to attend midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, then return home to open Christmas presents and enjoy the festivities.
NEWS
November 13, 2013 | By Susan Denley
Tis the season for shopping venues to deck their halls. Many are having celebrations to mark the beginning of the holidays. Among the events coming up in the next few days: --Mickey Mouse and friends from Disneyland are expected at Fashion Island's two tree lighting ceremonies at 6 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday. The events will take place in the Neiman Marcus/Bloomingdale's courtyard at the mall at 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. After Saturday, the tree will be lighted every day at 5 p.m. --The Christmas tree lighting at the Grove is an entertainment spectacular.
BUSINESS
November 12, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest days of the years at malls and other shopping centers around the country, as the prospect of bargain bin televisions and dirt cheap clothing draws hordes of deal-hunters to shake off their turkey-fed stupor. But those throngs might be missing out on a much calmer and equally effective shopping strategy: hitting stores during the week. A new report from analytics firm ShopperTrak pegs Wednesday, Dec. 4, as the best day to shop with the least amount of store traffic during this year's holiday season.
BUSINESS
November 4, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Kmart is going on a holiday all-nighter, opening for bargain hunters at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and keeping the lights on for 41 straight hours. Sister company Sears also is gearing up for an overnight shopping marathon, welcoming patrons at 8 p.m. on Turkey Day and running special deals until 1 p.m. the next day. The effort will be the longest test of endurance in both retailers' history. The day after Thanksgiving has long been considered the kickoff to holiday shopping.
BUSINESS
November 4, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Sears Holdings Corp. is joining the stampede of retailers opening doors to bargain hunters on Thanksgiving instead of waiting for Black Friday. The company said Monday that its namesake brand will welcome patrons at 8 p.m. on Turkey Day and keep the lights on through 10 p.m. the following evening. Sister company Kmart will host a 41-hour shopping marathon, kicking off its doorbuster deals at 6 a.m. on Nov. 28 and wrapping them up at 11 p.m. on Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving has long been considered the traditional kick-off to holiday shopping mayhem.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2013
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 6 A Case of You A young writer smitten with the barista at his local coffee shop scours her Facebook profile for intel and tries to transform himself into her dream guy. With Justin Long and Evan Rachel Wood. Written by Long. Directed by Kat Coiro. IFC Films The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers A documentary tracing six decades of Israel's history, from its founding into the early 21st century. Directed by Richard Trank. Moriah Films FRIDAY, NOV. 8 The Armstrong Lie This documentary follows cyclist Lance Armstrong's return from retirement in 2005 in an attempt to win an eighth Tour de France, and the eventual scandal that resulted from his admitting to the use of performance-enhancing drugs after a federal criminal investigation.
BUSINESS
October 31, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Researchers at Morgan Stanley have a pretty simple forecast for the coming holiday season: Expect coal. A new report from the financial services firm anticipates the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year to be the slowest and most promotion-heavy since 2008, which was the first holiday season affected by the recession. Same-store sales at retailers, including specialty and department stores, will rise 1.7%, according to the report. Strip out struggling J.C. Penney, which is expected to start offering deep discounts early in the season, and projected sales growth for the fourth quarter slips to 1.6%.
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