SPACKLING PRODUCT DOUBLES AS PRIMER
3M Patch Plus Primer eliminates the need to prime spackled areas before painting.
The spackling paste contains tiny particles that create a primer-like film on the surface, unlike other spackling products that can cause a change in paint sheen. The product dries fast and won't shrink or crack, but it's as strong as heavyweight spackling, the company says.
It comes in a square package that accommodates a 3-inch-wide putty knife.
3M Patch Plus Primer has a suggested retail price of $5.99 and is available at home improvement centers and paint and hardware stores.
HANGING DRAPERIES FROM A CURTAIN ROD
Q: My daughter is married to a military man and has been recently assigned to South America. She would like to reuse her pleated draw drapes in her new home, which has curtain rods instead of traverse rods. Is that possible, or does she have to buy new curtains?
A: Draperies can be hung from standard curtain rods using drapery rings that have eyelets attached. Just hook the drapery pins through the eyelets at the bottom of the rings.
Ann Ewart, owner of Western Reserve Decorator Fabrics in Tallmadge, Ohio, said the pins can be adjusted on the draperies to make them shorter or longer, so they'll fit the new windows.
One caution: Ewart said draperies can be heavy, so make sure the rod is sturdy enough and the drapery hardware is attached to the wall properly so it can hold the weight.
CRAFT BOOK GIVES SOCK CREATURES A BIZARRE TWIST
Stupid Sock Creatures are what result when imagination runs wild.
Crazy, no-holds-barred wild.
Artist John Murphy started making little stuffed monsters called Stupid Creatures back in 2003 as an outlet for his off-the-wall ingenuity and a way to pay his bills. He eventually wrote a how-to book on making lovably hideous creatures from socks, and now he's back with a follow-up, "Return of the Stupid Sock Creatures: Evolutions, Mutations, and Other Creations."
This time he enlisted guest designers ranging in age from adolescents to adults, who share their instructions for making wacky beasts that span all manner of bug-eyed, snaggle-toothed, abominably endearing weirdness. Murphy's entertaining text makes the little stuffed beings all the more appealing.
He covers the basics of creature-making in a non-intimidating style, so budding sock artists will be equipped to take on the projects in the book or branch out with their own brand of eccentricity.
"Return of the Stupid Sock Creatures" is published by Lark Crafts and sells for $17.95 in softcover.
Have a question about home maintenance, decorating or gardening? Akron Beacon Journal home writer Mary Beth Breckenridge will find answers for the queries that are chosen to appear in the paper. To submit a question, call her at 330-996-3756, or send email to email@example.com. Be sure to include your full name, your town and your phone number or email address.
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