Funk and function in wood and stained glassThe mounted...

ON THE HOME FRONT

August 01, 1993|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Staff Writer

Funk and function in wood and stained glass

The mounted fish on the wall has a man's head coming out of its mouth, and out of his mouth a fish is emerging. It's typical of the off-beat and colorful decorative pieces created by local artist Joseph Kielian.

Mr. Kielian, who works in wood and stained glass, also makefurniture that's both functional and just as funky as his decorative art. After he builds the benches, tables and chairs, he carves the wood and finishes the pieces with latex paints and polyurethane. And when he paints, he paints everywhere: There are even designs under the seats of his chairs.

His stained glass pieces are equally imaginative, often presented with a touch of humor. Can you picture a stained glass window titled "Gossip"?

Mr. Kielian's work will be on display at Shaker Americana on OlCourt Road later this month. Call (410) 633-4580 for more information.

Put it in the you-didn't-know-it-existed-it-but- now-you-want-one category: a mattress with adjustable firmness. And if you and your significant other don't agree on whether a mattress should be hard or soft, Select Comfort Air Sleep Systems have dual controls. They look like traditional innerspring mattresses, but there's an air chamber system inside -- the same technology that gave us air-inflated athletic shoes and air bags in automobiles. Prices range roughly from $500 for a twin mattress to $1,200 for a deluxe king.

A Select Comfort store featuring specialty bedding has just opened in Towson Town Center on the third level. It's one of several new home-oriented shops coming to the mall late this summer.

Look for the opening of Alex & Ivy on Level 2 this month. A division of the popular Bombay Company, it will carry affordable French country designs.

California Closets, specializing in items to keep your closets in order, should open on Level 1 in September. Those of us with pets have been waiting for this one: a way to get rid of fleas without using a pesticide. But is the Over Nite Flea Trap really the answer?

The concept is simple. Fleas, drawn to a photo-cell-triggered bulb, are trapped on a sticky glue board that can be easily replaced. It's safe for pets and kids; if they come into contact with the board, vegetable oil will remove the glue.

The Flea Trap is safe, bugs are definitely attracted to the light and they do stick to the glue. But after using it for a couple of weeks, I noticed two drawbacks. First, if your room is at all dim, the nightlight bulb stays on all the time. Second, it attracts any bugs in your house -- and they stay glued to the paper. My kid was horrified to find a trapped lightning bug.

The Over Nite Flea Trap is available at Hechinger or by callinEnforcer Products Inc. at (800) 241-5656. It sells for $8.99, and the glue board lasts for roughly two months. In this heat, if you're like most weekend gardeners, you're ready to practice a little benign neglect. And except for watering -- and picking a few ripe tomatoes -- you can get away with it. But if you have any extra energy, here are some things you can be doing around the yard.

According to Erik Neumann, director of education for the U.S. National Arboretum, pruning isn't necessarily a cold-weather chore. Evergreen hedges should be pruned at least once during the summer; formally shaped ones, two or three times. Mr. Neumann also recommends pruning what he calls "bleeders," trees like maples, birches, elms and beeches (so called because their sap flows in the summer).

Daffodil bulbs should be dug up, thinned and spaced out. Water them, of course, when you replant so the soil settles around them.

This is a good time to plant short-season gladiolas for summer color.

Plan to fertilize your lawn and shade trees in September with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. You'll get better root development if you fertilize in the fall as well as the spring.

And keep watering. Think in terms of one long soaking once a week rather than watering every day lightly. You don't want roots to develop near the surface.

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