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Do you believe in magic?A new product...


Do you believe in magic?

A new product with a lot of promise is Magic Sliders, thin discs that you place under objects that ordinarily are hard to move, like large pieces of furniture, to make them glide easily over any surface. Or so the product literature says, suggesting using them to move a refrigerator with one hand, slide a bookcase full of books away from an electrical outlet, or relocate a floor safe.

The devices, introduced in Europe five years ago, are made of "space age non-stick materials," and are said to work on any surface, from hardwood floors to carpet to tile, without scratching. They come in four sizes; the two smallest can be used to move objects up to 1,600 pounds and the two larger can move objects up to 3,200 pounds.

Magic Sliders come in sets of four and are available from Main Street Marketing of White Plains, N.Y. They cost $4.49 for the mini size (20 millimeters in diameter); $5.99 for the mid size (25 millimeters); $10.99 for full size (50 millimeters); and $13.99 for the giant size (60 millimeters). To order, call toll-free: (800) 626-3200.

While some of us are still coaxing along the vegetables in our backyard gardens, the "real" farmers will be selling their harvest at the Owings Mills New Town Farmers Market, opening Tuesday at the Owings Mills New Town Sports Center on Middle Mill Drive.

Experts from local nurseries will offer gardening tips and free samples of annuals as part of the grand opening celebration.

Tuesday, Terry Shearer of Frank's Nursery and next Tuesday, June 30, Craig Piette of Nature's Way Landscaping, will offer their best tips for gardening.

Here's a tip from Ms. Shearer: The key to a successful window box is good drainage. Use stones at the bottom of the box to allow the water to drain away and prevent root rot.

The market, in its second year, will run through Oct. 27 and offers everything from fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables to herbs, pastas, spices, cheeses, smoked meats, fresh flowers and potted plants.


Jill L. Kubatko You may know it's the details that separate a terrific-looking room from one that's simply pleasant, but actually executing those decorator details -- the table-top tableau, the artfully arranged hanging, the collectibles displayed to perfection -- may be another matter.

To the rescue comes Charlotte Moss, whose new book, "A Passion for Detail," explains how to use decorative objects in rooms to express your personality. "The best rooms possess three essential elements," Ms. Moss says: "comfort, passion and humor. A room should speak to you, it should say a little bit about who you are."

Among her recommendations are these:

*Take a fresh look at the objects you already have. "Often you can change the entire look of a room simply by relocating the objects in it."

*Don't buy something simply because it's in style; stick to what's really you.

*Use "found" objects for charm, such as a seashell by the sink to hold jewelry.

The book, published by Doubleday, costs $40 and is available at bookstores. Or you can call Ms. Moss' New York store, Charlotte Moss & Co., at (212) 772-3320.

K.V.M. A cow jumped in the pool, and what do I do to clean it? Two feisty young boys took a dip in the pool while wearing their muddy clothes, and how do they get the water back to pristine blue before Mom and Dad return?

Olin Pool Care Hotline is available for pool owners to ask these questions and more. By dialing (800) 222-2348, help could be on its way. The hot line is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

One of the most frequent questions is, "Why does my pool have a strong chlorine odor? Am I adding too much?" The pool experts from Olin Corp. say increase the amount of chlorine. The odor occurs when nitrogen-containing contaminants, such as perspiration, suntan oil or hair spray, react chemically with chlorine. More chlorine destroys these contaminants.

J.L.K. Carmen Miranda jiggled under a fruit-filled hat. Hopalong Cassidy galloped after bad guys. Dumbo the elephant danced in cartoons.

The innocence and cheeriness of such 1930s, '40s and '50s images often showed up at home, on tablecloths, drapes and other textiles.

Once-scorned, those old-fashioned fabrics are back in fashion favor. Not as the badge of conformity they once were, but as visual iconoclasm, mock nostalgia and kitsch, said Gideon Bosker, one of the authors of "Fabulous Fabrics of the '50s" (Chronicle, 1992).

Mid-century fabrics have been spotted in fashion arbiters such as Elle, Vogue, HG and Metropolitan Homes magazines; in the homes of Madonna, Anjelica Huston, Bette Midler and Woody Allen; and as set designs in "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," "The Accidental Tourist" and "The Mambo Kings."

"With patterns inspired by Tinker Toys, roadside souvenirs, tropical gardens and intergalactic space, these textiles evoke the quietude of an America buoyed by postwar optimism, the marital bliss of Ozzie and Harriet and sleek-finned automobiles," Mr. Bosker wrote in his introduction.

On the Home Front welcomes interesting tidbits of home and garden news -- new products, events related to the home or garden, trends, local people who have ideas to share on design and decorating, mail-order finds, furniture styles, and items used to make life easier on the home front. Please send press releases to: Home Front, Jill L. Kubatko, The Sunday Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or call (410) 332-6150.

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