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Organizing photos as easy as saying cheese

If you're like most of us, your photo collection is growing exponentially. Between old photos, new photos and digital photos, your storage space runneth over. How to best preserve, organize and show your precious photos? Lifescape Solutions has a suggestion: Picasa, an easy-to-use computer program that helps users arrange, retrieve, display and share digital pictures.

For preservation, users are encouraged to scan old photos or to convert them to CDs. Once they're on your computer along with your digital images, Picasa automatically finds all images, organizes them into chronological events and presents them as thumbnails in albums. Users can easily export or import pictures to or from e-mail and CDs; add MP3 music; edit pictures by changing contrast, removing red-eye, rotating and cropping; and order prints by mail.

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Picasa, compatible with Windows 98, ME, 2000 and XP, is available for a free 15-day-trial download or can be purchased for $29.99 at www.picasa.net.

Paint deodorant

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Oh, that smell. That nasty fresh-paint smell. We endure it and anxiously wait for it to subside. But endure it no longer. Scentco has created Paint Pourri, an air freshener for paint. A 1-ounce package ($3-$5) is simply added to a gallon of paint -- latex, latex-enamel or oil-based -- then you're free to paint. There is no effect on paint quality, color or applicability. And the fragrance lasts for 6 to 12 months for small areas and for 4 to 6 months for larger areas.

Paint Pourri -- available in Tropical Winds, Simply Citrus, Ocean Breeze, Soft Vanilla, Wildflower, Airy Fresh, Lavender Breeze and Simply Clean scents -- is sold at Wal-Mart stores in Hagerstown, Elkton, Aberdeen, Frederick and at many independent paint dealers. Visit www.scentco.net or call 877-723-6826 for all locations.

Best craft stores listed

Niche magazine has named its picks for the 2003 Top 100 Retailers of American Craft, and, delightfully enough, seven Maryland retailers were on the list. Niche magazine polled more than 26,000 crafters on how respectfully they were treated and how well the stores promoted American crafts and mentored emerging artists. More than 670 retail stores, museum shops and galleries were nominated. Here are the seven Maryland retailers:

* Annapolis Pottery, 40 State Circle, Annapolis

* ArtCraft Collection, 8600 Foundry St., Savage

* As Kindred Spirits, 1206 Treasure Oak Court, Rockville

* Easy Street, 8 Francis St., Annapolis

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* Mind's Eye Craft Collection, 201 South Talbot St., St. Michaels

* The Waygoose, 111 N. Washington St., Rockville

* ZYZYX!, 10301-A Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda

For a complete list of the 100 retailers, visit www.american craft.com on the Web.

Event

* Tour the gardens of rhododendrons and azaleas as well as the shade gardens of hostas and ferns, and see photographs by the Silver Spring Camera Club now through Aug. 31 at McCrillis Gardens and Gallery, 6910 Greentree Road, Bethesda. Garden is open 10 a.m.-sunset daily; gallery is open noon-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. Free admission.

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Call 301-962-1400 or 301-365-1657.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Lori Sears, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.


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