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Patriotic illumination

Show your true colors _ for Flag Day, the Fourth of July, any time you want to wave a flag. Woodcrafters and tinsmiths used traditional methods and tools to make this Old Glory table lamp. It's $275 from Kemp & George, (800) 456-0788; item number 540025. Behind it is an American flag crib quilt made of cotton calico and broadcloth with natural dyes. Tuck in a baby or hang it on the wall. It's $69.95 from Plough & Hearth, (800) 627-1712; item number 60283. Reach both companies at 301 Madison Road, P.O. Box 511, Orange, VA 22960.

Santa's coming to Pasco

It will be Christmas in July next month at the Pasco Parade of Homes, scheduled for July 10 through 25. Each model home will be decorated with a Christmas theme, complete with a Christmas tree and toys underneath. Children will be able to register for a toy giveaway, to be held July 24 ("Christmas Eve"), with toys to be picked up July 25 ("Christmas Day"). Models in west and central Pasco will be open during the parade, sponsored by the Pasco Builders Association, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Do-it-yourself cleanup

Make your own cleaning solution for fast cleanups. Mix one part ammonia with three parts water in a pump spray bottle. Label the bottle. A quick squirt will keep kitchen counter tops and appliances clean.

Double winners

Got a practical tip to help people live in harmony with nature? The Water Foundation, a national clearinghouse of environmental information, is seeking earth-friendly household tips. Weekly certificates and monthly prizes will be awarded, and on Earth Day 1994, three grand prizes will be awarded: $15,000 cash from True Value hardware, which is hosting the contest; an alternate-fuels Chevrolet pickup truck; and a SunWise home solar power system. The Help Our Planet (HOP) Tip contest seeks tips in the areas of home improvement, lawn and garden, energy conservation, creative recycling, waste reduction, water conservation, wetland preservation, automotive and wildlife improvement. Contest forms are available at participating True Value stores or from the Water Foundation, P.O. Box H20, Clearwater, MN 55320.

Furniture fixer-uppers

Learn about furniture refinishing, upholstery and repair from a couple of unconventional guys on Furniture on the Mend, a program on the Learning Channel. Ed Feldman and Joe L'Erario guide viewers through repairs you can do on your own _ stripping, coloring, eliminating pet odors, tightening loose upholstery buttons, making your own stains, smoothing out dents. The half-hour show is currently on Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 1:30 a.m., and Saturdays at noon, 4:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Starting June 29, it will switch to Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and midnight and Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.

Colors will grow on you

Soon on the market: sheets, towels, rugs and blankets made from a blend of natural-color cotton and long-fiber white cotton. Sally Fox, 36, of Wasco, Calif., began experimenting a decade ago with wild species that naturally grow in colors such as brown and red. Because their fibers are too short to be handled by spinning machines, they were never cultivated commercially. Fox started hybridizing the wild plants with long-fiber white cotton. Fieldcrest Cannon's line is called "New World Cotton"; the color, which resembles oatmeal, is called Coyote Brown. The line includes duvet covers with buttons made of tagua nuts, which grow in the Brazilian rain forest.

Compiled by JUDY STARK,

from staff and wire reports

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