A net gain in romanceWhat could be more romantic during a...

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July 12, 1998|By KAROL V. MENZIE

A net gain in romance

What could be more romantic during a hot, hazy summer than a bed coolly swathed in mosquito netting? IKEA has taken most of the hassle out of hanging such drapery, with a system that employs a bamboo hoop to hold the netting and a simple hook to hang it up. Add white bed linens, a potted palm and a tiny !B bamboo table, and you could be in Luxor, Tangiers or Pondicherry. The net and its hardware, called Bryne, costs $29.95 at IKEA, 8352 Honeygo Blvd. in White Marsh.

* Step into the past for an old-fashioned ice cream sundae social today from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Union Mills Homestead, 3311 Littlestown Pike, Westminster. There will be a clown, face-painting, games for children and music by the Little German Band. Admission to the grounds is free. Ice cream sundaes cost $3 for adults and $2 for children. A tour of the 11 rooms of the 1797 homestead and the grist mill is $5 for adults, $3 for children age 6 to 12, and free for children under 6. For more information, call 410-848-2288.

* Visit a display of Chinese and Japanese "viewing stones," or suiseki, at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington. The naturally formed stones bTC suggest such objects as animals and flowers. They can be seen from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Friday in the museum's special-exhibits wing. Entrances to the arboretum are off New York Avenue Northeast, or R Street Northeast, off Bladensburg Road. For more information, call 202-245-2726.

You're lying by the pool and you're thirsty, but what's keeping you from that homemade slushy drink, yogurt smoothie or margarita is the long walk to the kitchen. Not to worry: Black & Decker has introduced a new product that brings kitchen convenience to you at poolside, on the patio or on a picnic. It's the PartyMate drink maker, a cordless blender-type device that is lightweight, water-resistant and strong enough to crush ice. Suggested retail price is $60-$70. The device is available at department, specialty, mass-merchandise and discount stores.

Even if you couldn't stand practicing the piano growing up or never had the opportunity to try, you can still fill your home with live piano music - with the Baldwin ConcertMaster system. The system uses high-tech, computerized "piano roll" technology that allows an ordinary acoustic piano to produce live music from a variety of sources, such as floppy discs, CDs or an internal hard-drive library. If you do play, the system can record any performance for playback later. You can program an entire evening's worth of music, or listen to the piano while watching the pianist on a video screen. The system costs about $8,000 - not counting the piano - and is available at Baldwin/Chickering/Wurlitzer dealers. For sources or more information, call 800-876-2976.

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