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It's in the bag

Harold Pfifer's request for large rubber bands to keep trash bags from slipping into the wastebasket generated many responses. The bands are available at office supply stores such as Staples or Office Depot, and at Wal-Mart, readers Bella DeBold of Wesley Chapel and Joan Walters of Spring Hill tell us. Dorothy Pribyl of Hudson suggests cutting strips from an old inner tube.

But Kay Calandri of Clearwater, Agnes O. Silbermann of Spring Hill and Irma Hulle of New Port Richey, and other readers, suggest that you go to a fabric store and buy wide elastic _ say, half-inch _ then cut it to fit and knot or sew the ends. Mrs. Dale Leone of New Port Richey and Claire Lazio of Holiday offer this thrifty suggestion: Cut a leg off an old pair of panty hose and use that to hold the bag in place. (Mrs. Leone cuts the legs into circles and loops them together.) Peg Woodman of New Port Richey suggests a bungee cord.

Charlie Irizarry of Pinellas Park advises tying a knot on the plastic garbage bag so that it fits snugly around the wastebasket ("No charge for this," Charlie quips). And F. Robert Fritz, a St. Petersburg designer-consultant, sent us a drawing of the idea for which he has a patent pending: a piece of string slightly smaller than the circumference of your trash can with an S-hook tied on one end and a wire spring on the other.

We have received an unbelievable number of responses to the offers of wood veneer and quilting materials. Rest assured, readers, that your letters have been forwarded to the donors.

Geri Haas, you were seeking a book called I Can't, Said the Ant. Pat Borden of Clearwater tells us her 8-year-old daughter ordered the book through her school. The author is Polly Cameron; the publisher is Scholastic Inc., 730 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10003.

Eileen Fehrenbacher, you'll be blue no longer about the absence of bluing in your life. Publix stores carry Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing and LaFrance powdered bluing, and the manufacturer's address for the Mrs. Stewart's brand is Luther Ford & Co., Box 201405, Bloomington, MN 55420, reader Marilyn Gilbert tells us.

Ever-helpful reader Simone Rageot of St. Petersburg tells Ginny Waterman that the pattern for those Swirl dresses is Simplicity 2082. Jean Van Volkenburg of St. Petersburg recalls seeing the dresses in a discount store in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Dave J. Thompson of Pinellas Park (we think), please let us hear from you again. You offered just the items three readers are seeking, but you didn't include a phone number or address, so we have no way to put you in touch with each other.

Some of this and that

Gloria Fairclough of Hudson is making wind socks out of plastic canvas. The directions call for weatherproof ribbon, which she's unable to find. Any ideas?

Kitty and Raymond Vaden are trying to find a used 24-inch, three-speed tricycle for their grandson, who has cerebral palsy.

Who can help a North Suncoast reader locate a large-size dress (say, size 26 or 28) like those worn by singer Kate Smith (we seem to recall Kate always wore square-necked black dresses), and a round bellman's cap like the one worn by Johnny the Bellman in the "Philip Morris" commercials?

Dorothy Pribyl of Hudson needs an instruction manual for a Realistic 8-track stereo record system, Clarinette 85, model 1301195A.

Marge O'Brien of Clearwater wants to learn how to make cut and pierced lampshades. She saw someone on TV a few months ago demonstrating this art but couldn't grab a pencil in time to jot down the phone number when it appeared on the screen.

Here's a tale of woe: Kay Knapik of New Port Richey is beset by rogue Muscovy ducks. They tear up her plants and dirty the sidewalks. How can she make the ducks go away, or at least behave? "Anybody have an idea outside of wringing their necks?" she asks.

Where can Glenna McCue of Pinellas Park find freezer storage bags for her Dazey Seal-a-Meal II? And Bill Caputo of Spring Hill wonders where to find the old-time song sheets with just the words, no music, that were printed biweekly or monthly in the '40s, '50s and '60s and were sold at newsstands.

Send questions, answers and tips to Reader Exchange, Home&Garden, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731. Please include name, address and a daytime telephone number.

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