There's an art to a sand castle


July 17, 2005|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,Sun Staff

This summer, hit the sandy beach, dig in and make that magnificent sand castle you've long been wanting to build. After all, the kids no longer are impressed by your modest, one-room sand-pail shack. And you've been dreaming of sculpting that colossal mansion in the sand for years -- with moats, towers, stairs and lots of windows. So now, with the help of the new Sandcastle in a Box kit (Running Press, $12.95) by professional sand sculptor Ted Siebert, you'll be building your dream castle and likely drawing a crowd, too.

The kit comes with a 64-page book that offers easy and humorous how-to instructions, illustrations, expert tips, sand-castle-making jargon, a history of sand sculpting and information on sand-castle-building competitions. The kit also includes a shovel, a mold for making sand cylinders, palette knife, cone for making tower tops, window template, brush for cleaning loose sand, carving straw, flag and tool bag.

Find the kit at area bookstores and at Or visit for information.

Making vacuuming a pleasure

Vacuuming was never supposed to be this easy. With two new state-of-the-art, multitasking, smart upright vacuums from Eureka, vacuuming has never been simpler. Both the new Eureka Optima and Eureka Altima -- yes, they sound like stylish cars -- were designed with unique and innovative features to aid users in vacuuming their entire home.

The Eureka Optima (right, $69.99) features a soft-grip, adjustable, ergo-nomic "O"-shaped handle, onboard tools, a 7-foot stretch hose, no-mess dust cap and motorized brush roll for carpets and bare floors. And it's lightweight, at just half the weight (but as much power) as a standard upright. It's available at Kmart, Costco and Sam's.

The Eureka Altima (right, $79-$99) features a self-cleaning duster (below), an edge cleaner with spinning brush, a horizontally and vertically cleaning stair brush, bagless dust cup, stretch hose and more. It's available at Lowe's, Kohl's and Wal-Mart.

For information, call 877-270-9289 or visit

A big, green thumbs-up

Every gardener knows just how rewarding gardening can be. More than just seeing the fruits, vegetables or flowers of their labors, it's about the joyous act of gardening and dirtying one's fingers. And more than that, it's about the delight it gives to others.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company appreciates this, and for the sixth year, is sponsoring its "Scotts Give Back to Grow Awards" contest, which rewards a total of $40,000 to winners in the categories of "Scotts Classroom Gardener of the Year" (for teachers who've incorporated gardening into their curriculums), "Scotts Urban Greenup Gardener of the Year" (for those who've cleaned up an inner-city neighborhood), "Scotts Community Beautification Gardener of the Year" (for those who've restored or improved the look of a main street, park or neighborhood) and "Scotts Good Neighbor Gardener of the Year" (for those who've donated their homegrown produce to food banks).

Anyone may nominate a worthy gardener, now through Dec. 2. Visit / gbtg or call 866-565-3554 for a nomination form.


Floral watercolors and pastels by Kay Sandler (pictured below) and mixed media works by Geraldine K. Czajkowski will be shown at the Galleries at Quiet Waters Park, 600 Quiet Waters Park Road, Annapolis, through July 31. Call 410-222-1777 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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