Home Front


February 13, 2005|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,Sun Staff

Twice as nice

It's a tool with a split personality. Yes, it even changes with the weather, but don't call it flighty. The Power Shovel Plus was just made that way. The Toro Company's new 13-pound power shovel easily converts to a power broom. Use the shovel for snow accumulations of six inches or less.

Its 7.5-amp motor powers the shovel to throw snow up to 20 feet away. Maintenance-free, the shovel requires no gas or oil and simply plugs into any outlet. And at the turn of a wrench, the shovel converts to a power broom for clearing leaves, dirt and debris. The tool has a height-adjustable ergonomic handle, a separate assist handle for holding and an easy on / off switch that can be hit even while wearing gloves.

The Power Shovel Plus sells for $139 at Home Depot and various Toro dealers. Call 800-348-2424 or visit www.toro.com for a list of retailers.


Celebrities seem to have it all. The money. The extravagant lifestyle. The lush homes. And while we can't all have their lifestyle, we can have their furnishings. No, we're not talking grand larceny; we're talking about the new MTV Cribs home furnishings collection that's now available at JC Penney stores.

The Cribs collection includes four lines -- the Platinum, Gold, Titanium and Amber -- that feature bedding, draperies, pillows, lighting, chairs and rugs. From the hot pink Gold line, above (tiny gold medallions adorn each item), to the black and gray, hip-hop-styled Platinum line (above, right), the collection offers a lavish look at an affordable price.

You'll feel like an A-lister with the new Zebra-Print Rug ($79.99), Butterfly Chair (right, $69.99), Chandelier Table Lamp (above, $59.99) and Gold Sequined Accent Pillow (right, $24.99). Comforter sets range from $129.99 to $189.99, accessories range from $29.99 to $89.99.

To see the full collection, visit your JC Penney store or www.jcpenney.com / mtv or check the JC Penney catalog.

Quick and easy fix-ups

Big home-renovation projects are overwhelming. They're often time-consuming, costly and exhausting. And if you can't tackle the big jobs for a while (read: until your tax refund arrives), consider tackling some smaller home-spruce-up projects. Home improvement expert Lou Manfredini offers a few quick fix-up suggestions:

Instead of re-upholstering furniture, first try to repair tears, stains and spots yourself.

Install light dimmers, color-enhancing bulbs or decorative switch plates.

Use a wall-friendly cleaner to remove grease, food, light mildew and smoke stains.

Affix a new towel rack, faucet or toilet seat for a fresh, new look.


See a variety of quilts, from the traditional to the abstract, at the exhibit Quilted Memories: Multi-Generational Story Telling, through Friday at the Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster. Pictured is the "Vermont Mountain Quilt" by Judi Froehlinger-Schlichter. Call 410-848-7272 for hours.

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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