personalize your dinner plates
Artist Jessica Rust has long offered unique, personalized ceramics (our current favorites: the Bird on a Wire collection and the Construction cake plate for children).
Now your dinnerware can wear a tat.
The Tattoo Collection of plates, mugs, dessert plates, platters and more can be personalized with wording just like skin art. The dishes' two designs were created by Minneapolis tattoo artist Mike Tofano.
The tableware can be ordered at rustdesigns.com.
Available initially are sets of four mugs for $72, four dessert plates for $98 or four of each for $160.
Think those peonies in your neighbor's yard are the perfect color for your bedroom walls?
There's an app for that.
At least two, in fact.
Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams have both introduced free iPhone applications that let you shoot a photo and then match a color in the picture to a paint hue. Both also suggest coordinating colors and can even guide you to the nearest retailer.
Benjamin Moore's app, Ben Color Capture, can be downloaded at apple.com/iphone/appstore. Sherwin-Williams' ColorSnap can be downloaded at sherwin-williams.com/colorsnap.
Home health checkup
The government is urging parents and home builders to make their homes more healthy. "Our homes ought to be a place where we can raise our children without fear of making them sick," said Ron Sims, deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Among the actions recommended by HUD and the surgeon general:
• Check gas appliances, fireplaces, chimneys and furnaces yearly and change furnace and air-conditioning filters regularly.
• Install radon and carbon monoxide detectors.
• Test houses occupied by children less than 6 years old for lead.
From albums to iPod
Here's an easy way to transfer your favorite tunes from album to iPod: the Crosley Memory Master CD Recorder. All you do is put on your LP or pop in a cassette, load a blank CD and hit record. Easy enough. The retro turntable has a hinged top and a huge dial on the front, but it also is USB-enabled with a software suite so you can edit audio content. The recorder retails for $499.95. Crosley makes a full line of retro radios, jukeboxes, telephones and accessories and is online at crosleyradio.com. (We also love the Record Carrier Case, $59.95.)
Versatile baking soda
How grand cleaning would be if we only needed one product. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda comes close. Sprinkled or scrubbed on as a paste (three parts baking soda to one part water), it helps rid grills of grime and freshens outdoor patio and pool furniture. Add half a cup to the rinse cycle for fresher beach towels and use a quarter-cup solution in one quart of warm water to remove mildew and odors from plastic and vinyl pool tools. Use a sponge or wire brush if needed.
Compiled from Times wires