Written in stone Here's a down-to-earth way to...

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January 02, 2000|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Sun Staff

Written in stone

Here's a down-to-earth way to immortalize a simple sentiment, from "Peace" to "Hug a tree today" to "Shut up and listen:" An engraved rock from C/R Custom Engraving of Baltimore.

C/R specializes in custom engraving in stone or glass. From pocket-size, desktop and garden stones, to plaques and paperweights, C/R uses graphic design and sand carving to create memorials of all kinds. Small stones with simple sayings are $10-$12, desktop stones are $18-$25 and garden stones are $45-$65. (All prices are based on size and complexity of the message. For $85, you can have your coat of arms engraved on stone.) C/R Custom Engraving also does logos and signs in stone or glass.

It takes about two weeks to complete an order. For information, call 410-426-0387

A clean, robotic sweep

Move over Miele, Dyson is entering the U.S. market for vacuum cleaners. German Miele makes the sleek cleaners beloved of ultra-chic U.S. hausfraus (or their maids), but England's Dyson ups the ante with its DC06 robotic vacuum, billed as "the most intelligent domestic appliance ever made."

The device looks like one of those boxy creatures that skittered around the hallways of the Death Star in "Star Wars," except it moves in a neat spiral around the room all by itself. It avoids obstacles, using three on-board computers and 50 sensory devices. It is capable of making 16 decisions per second (making it way smarter than the rest of us). Dyson says it won't fall down stairs and pauses if a child or pet gets too near. It signals its feelings with a "mood light" that's blue if it's happy, green if it's negotiating an obstacle, and red if it feels in danger (maybe when that pit bull won't back down).

It doesn't need programming, and it doesn't use bags (there's a plastic canister instead). It will, however, set you back $3,500. To purchase, or for more information, visit the Dyson Web site at www.dyson.com. (It is expected to be available at some retail locations later this year.) -- K. M.

Class glass

At the end of the 19th century, bathrooms were touted as health-ful and hygienic. Today the watchwords are Sybaritic and sensational. Away with utilitarian tile, pedestrian porcelain, puerile plastic; slate, marble and glass are here. Surely some of the more beautiful entries into the latter category are the glass sinks of Alchemy Glass & Light, of Los Angeles (below).

The styles range from simple frosted glass to platinum- and gold-embedded glass to glass pressed with fossil and leaf designs. Alchemy also makes pedestals, vanity bases and counter tops, and everything suits a multitude of styles. The sinks, by themselves, cost $1,500 to $1,900.

Look for Alchemy products at bath showrooms, or visit the Web site at www.alchemy-glass.com, or call 310-836-8631. -- K. M.

EVENTS:

*The 45th annual Washington Antiques show opens Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. N.W. (off Connecticut Avenue), in Washington. The theme of the show is "Behind Closed Doors: Victorian Secrets," and there will be a series of lectures and talks, most on Victoriana. Proceeds benefit the Thrift Shop Charities. Show hours are 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12, $15 with catalog. For information before the show, call 202-965-0640. For information during the show, call 202-756-5291.

*The art of arranging flowers, Japanese ikebana style, is the subject of a talk and demonstration from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday at Smith & Hawken, 1300 Smith Ave. in Mount Washington. Guest speaker will be April Amis Adams, a master of the Ohara school in Japan, There's no fee, but reservations are required. For information, stop by the store or call 410-433-0119.

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