Making your own, with help



Here's a deal: While you're sipping coffee or tea in a local coffee house, you can learn how to paint a ceramic piece, such as a coffee mug, an incense burner, a latte bowl or one of a variety of other objects.

That's the idea of Color Me Mine, which provides instruction, creative ideas and materials for a few fun and family-oriented hours of activity. And there's the added bonus of making a personalized gift item or designing a decorative object for your home or office. Not to mention reducing stress while you create. Color Me Mine, which has 47 franchises o nationwide, is open to individuals, families, community groups and schools.

Color Me Mine will open a studio Sept. 10 in the Can Company, 2400 Boston St., Suite 126. Meanwhile, it's offering events at other local spots, including one from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 16 at Ze Mean Bean cafe, 1739 Fleet St. in Fells Point. There's a fee of $13, which includes one ceramic piece, materials, firing, glazing, instruction and an endless cup of tea or coffee. Even after the local studio opens, Color Me Mine will hold events off-site for birthdays, showers (where you might make the bride a set of coffee mugs) or other celebrations. For more information, call 410-766-3228. Or check the Web site at

Ending wallpaper anxiety

If you love the polished, elegant look that wallpaper gives a room, but are intimidated by the idea of installing paper, "The Well-Dressed Home," by Malcolm Cooper and Kendall Christie, is for you. The book, from the Imperial Home Decor Group, includes everything you need to know, from planning tips and design basics, to calculating quantities (even those tricky staircases), to mixing and matching patterns, to how to apply wallpaper and borders. It's lavishly illustrated and has scores of tips on avoiding problems. The book, published by Sunworthy, is available at selected paint and wallpaper stores (such as Sherwin-Williams), and in some home- improvement centers. The suggested retail cost is $12.95. -- K. M.


* Paintings, wearable art, watercolor place mats, painted glassware and jewelry are just some of the items in the "Everything From Fine Art to Folk Art & Everything In-Between" exhibit at the Art Gallery Ltd., 5801 Falls Road in Mount Washington. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 410-433-0300.

* Got rocks in your yard? You actually may have an example worthy of suiseki, the ancient Japanese art of appreciating natural rock formations. So-called "viewing stones" are being featured this month at the U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. N.E. in Washington. Hours for the exhibit, in the Special Exhibits Wing, are 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. For more information, call 202-245-2726. --K.M.

Harmonious cords

Why hasn't anyone thought of this idea before? Imagine having extension cords in bright, pastel or funky colors to match your decor, contrast with it, or make your own personal design statement. Jelly Cords, introduced by SnS International of Tarzana, Calif., come in 14 colors, including canary, powder pink, fuchsia, grape and amethyst. The cords come in 7-foot, 11-foot and 15-foot lengths. Suggested retail prices range from $1.99 to $2.99. The company also offers matching outlet adapters and surge protectors, from $1.49 to $6.99. The products are available at bed and bath and specialty chains, such as Linens 'N Things and Bed Bath & Beyond. For more information, call SnS at 800-856-5905. -- K. M.

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

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