Home Front


April 06, 2003|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,Sun Staff

A vac on your back

Forget that you'll look like George Jetson. There could be worse things. Just keep thinking how the new VX2000 Backpack Vac will ease your vacuuming chores. The press release describes the vacuum as lightweight and explains how the 8-pound vacuum is worn like a school backpack or baby carrier and distributes the weight of the vacuum "comfortably on the hips via a padded waist belt" (if 8 pounds can qualify as comfortable).

The Backpack Vac's manufacturer, ProTeam Inc., maintains that the vacuum will clean vinyl, carpeting, tiles and hardwood floors faster and easier than cumbersome rolling vacuums. And with its long, lightweight wand, reaching corners and above-floor areas is far simpler.

The Backpack Vac retails from $399 to $499, and is available at independent vacuum dealers and specialty furniture appliance retailers.

For more information, call 800-541-1456.

Dog delights

If there's a pooch in your life you love to spoil, check out the latest products from Happy Dog Toys. The new "Tennis Buddys" ($4.99-$9.99, above), jingly plush toys with tennis-ball midsections, come in an array of animal designs and range in size from a 2-inch-diameter tennis ball to a 4-inch size. "The Critter" ($4.99-$7.99) is a plush toy, bouncy ball and squeaker combination that's supposed to resemble the tail of a squirrel, skunk or fox.

And despite the company's name, Happy Dog Toys does not discriminate. You'll find lots of new cat toys as well as new aquarium products. Fluffy may get more than a little happy when you bring home "Bubble Kitty" ($8.99), a trigger-operated catnip-infused bubble-making machine. New for the aquarium is an entire line of "SpongeBob SquarePants" items, including aqua figures of the show's characters ($5.99 each, below), as well as the aqua ornament "Pineapple House" ($10.99), which allows fish to swim through its window and door.

Purchase Happy Dog Toys at PETsMART, Petco and online at www.dogtoys.com. For more information, call 877-HAPPYDOG.

Timely Timepieces

This is definitely not your grandfather's grandfather clock -- nor your grandmother's wall clock. These are sleek, fashionable and functional new styles of floor clocks, tabletop clocks and wall clocks from Howard Miller.

More than just a timepiece, each clock was designed to be used as a decorative piece in the home. Among the column floor clocks is the Coliseum ($1,590, above right), standing 81 1/2 inches high, 20 inches wide and 17 1/4 inches in diameter, and featuring Greek and Roman architectural references. It plays Westminster or "Ave Maria" chimes.

A contemporary wall clock, the Bergen ($99.95, right), measuring 35 inches in height, 12 inches in width and 3 inches in depth, combines a cherry merlot finish with brushed nickel accents on pendulum and bezel. The hourglass design gets an update with the tabletop clock Time and Temperature ($89.95, above). At 7 1/2 inches high, 4 3/4 inches wide and in diameter, this silver-finished clock with shatterproof acrylic glass has a round, silver engraving plate for personalizing.

For more information or to find retail stores that carry Howard Miller clocks, refer to www.howardmiller.com or call 800-873-0506.


* The 23rd annual Daffodil Show will be presented by District II of the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday at Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater. Watch the judging of individual horticultural specimens and see exhibit and design competitions. $5 admission. Call 410-647-8971 or 410-222-1919.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Lori Sears, 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.

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