Sara Schneidman was picture editor for Time-Life Books and a "closet artist" who produced watercolors in her spare time. Then she married a bookstore owner who persuaded her that her brightly colored designs were perfect for greeting cards. The first cards were sold in 1990.
Her move into stationery gave her art wide exposure, with many customers buying the cards to frame them. Now Schneidman has made another move, with her designs manufactured as rugs so bold and eye-catching that some owners design rooms around them.
The rugs are made in India of hand-tufted 100-percent New Zealand wool. Prices are approximately $30 per square foot for standard sizes, with an additional charge of 10 percent per square foot for custom variations.
Schneidman's rugs are available locally at The Store Ltd. in the Village of Cross Keys, which has carried her stationery for several years. For more information, call The Store Ltd. at 410-323-2350, or visit online at www.saraschneidman.com.
Hospital delivery rooms might be facing a busy few weeks this summer, nine months after those anxious days that followed Sept. 11. A couple of new nursery-oriented books are eager to help new parents.
Spirit of the Nursery, by Jane Alexander (Watson-Guptill Publications, 2002, $12.95) takes the inspirational approach, noting that planning and decorating a nursery is a "profound psychological statement" for parents, a chance to allow "all your hopes and dreams and wishes for your child to suffuse this special place."
First, though, you'll have to learn some principles of feng shui, the Chinese art of placement, and consider some rather esoteric approaches, at least esoteric for Westerners, such as a clapping-the-bad-spirits-out cleansing ceremony before any decoration begins.
Some expectant parents might prefer to get straight to the point. Baby's Room: Ideas and Projects for Nurseries by Jessica Strand (Chronicle Books, 2002, $22.95) is a practical guide to creating a safe, functional and stylish nursery by an author who has recent experience as a new mother.
Need a changing table? All you really need is a sturdy piece of furniture with a flat surface at a comfortable height, no sharp corners and room underneath to store diapers and other supplies.
Strand shows how a 1950s bureau or even a butcher block cart can be easily adapted and pressed into useful service.
Books are available at area booksellers and at online bookstores.
Keeping bugs at bay
Give them half a chance and mosquitoes will ruin everything from campouts and picnics to dinners on the deck.
Sure, you can slather on insect repellent or try to stay close to the citronella candle. But there's an easier and safer way to keep bugs at bay.
The ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent and ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent Lantern use a patented butane technology to create a 15-by-15-foot "cell of protection" that the company claims will ward off 98 percent of mosquitoes. The devices use an EPA-approved butane cartridge which heats a repellent mat. With no odor and a simple on-off switch, they are unintrusive and easy to operate.
The repellent and repellent lantern are available from Ames, Kmart, Eckerd, CVS / pharmacy, True Value, Frank's Nursery & Crafts and other retailers. The suggested price is $19.95 for the repellent device and $24.95 for the new lantern version. For more information, visit www.mosquitorepellent.com.
"The Past Decade or So" at Baltimore Clayworks will feature functional and sculptural ceramic works of 45 graduates of Rochester Institute of Technology's School for American Crafts. The exhibit, which runs through July 27, opens Saturday with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. RIT instructor Rick Hirsch also will lead a weekend-long, hands-on workshop, "Raku Revisited," from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 15 and 16. For more information, call 410-578-1919, ext. 10.
Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Liz Atwood, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.