A different frame of reference

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November 01, 1998|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,SUN STAFF

When it comes to displaying treasured photos, think outside the frame. Kay Knabe, of Photos on Fabric, uses fabric and a heat-transfer process to turn a family photo, or even a kid's drawing, into a pillow or wall hanging. Each piece is custom-designed and meant to be used (they're washable and ironable). Knabe also does items for weddings or other celebrations, including napkins, hand towels, fans, clocks, mouse pads, T-shirts and potpourri bags. Prices range from $8 for the potpourri bags to $36 for pillow shams. Prices for wall hangings and pillows depend on materials and workmanship involved. You can reach Knabe at 410-869-9208, or check out her Web site at http://members.home.net/photos-on-fabric. She will also be displaying her wares at a craft fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 21 at Liberty High School in Eldersburg.

At home with the past

Have you ever wondered what country life was like for peasants in Flanders in the 16th century? Or how below-decks space was allocated on a New World whaler in the early 19th century? The answers are among the dozens of vignettes in the new book "House: Showing How People Have Lived Throughout History With Examples Drawn From the Lives of Legendary Men and Women," by Albert Lorenz, with Joy Schleh (Harry Abrams, 1998, $17.95). The book starts with the ancient Egyptians (the house of a sculptor) and ends with the joint U.S.-Russian space station; in between it visits Elizabethan England, the Amazon rain forest, Claude Monet's Giverny, and Harlem in the '20s, among other places. Illustrations are dense and charming and invite poring over by children and adults alike for their wealth of detail and information. Available at bookstores nationwide.

Dust, begone

It's the household task that's never really done: dusting - because the dust never goes away; it just gets shoved around. However, Guardsman Products has come up with a new kind of heat process that bakes dust-clinging properties into cotton flannel, allowing the cloth to grab dust and keep it from being redeposited on surfaces. The One-Wipe Ultimate Duster can be used on all surfaces; current users include Harvard University in its rare-books collection, Walt Disney in its film-editing department and NASA. The duster can be laundered and reused 20 to 25 times. Suggested retail price is between $2 and $3; the product is available at major retailers such as Kmart, Radio Shack, True Value and Ace hardware stores. Got an attic- or flea-market-furniture find you'd just love to know the value of? Visit "A Night of Discovery" with J. Michael Flanigan, a regular appraiser on public television's "Antiques Roadshow," from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at Roland Park Country School, 5204 Roland Ave.

Flanigan will give a talk on collecting antique furniture and appraise pieces brought in by members of the audience. Cost is $20. Those who register may send photos of two pieces (preferably furniture). Some pieces will be selected for presentation during the event (the school will help with transportation). To register or for more information, call 410-323-5500, Ext. 3045.

* The Brandywine River

Museum is featuring an exhibit of illustrations of Colonial American life and history by John Wolcott Adams (1874-1925) through Nov. 22. Adams' work is characterized by fine pen strokes that convey energy and action. The museum, open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, is located on U.S. Route 1 in Chadds Ford, Pa. For more information, call 610-388-2700. There's a map at the museum's Web site, www.brandywinemuseum.org.

* Fall foliage in miniature will be on display in a selection of deciduous bonsai at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum, in northeast Washington. Entrances are on New York Avenue and R Street, off Bladensburg Road. For more information, call 202-245-2726.

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