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Vern visits Orlando

Need some post-hurricane R&R? Celebrity interior designer Vern Yip will appear at the Orlando Home Show, which runs Friday through Sept. 26 at the Orange County Convention Center. Yip will appear at 4 and 7 p.m. Friday and at 2:30 and 6 p.m. Sept. 25. The show, with more than 600 exhibits, will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Sept. 25 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 26. Tickets: $8 adults, $5 ages 6 to 12, younger than 6 free. On Friday, senior tickets are $5. Bring a new or gently used children's book to the ticket window and get $2 off; books will go to the Orlando Sentinel's literacy program. Information, directions to the convention center on International Drive, discounts: toll-free 1-800-645-7798; www.orlandohomeshow.com.

Harvest of fall crafts

More post-Ivan R&R: The 17th annual Autumn Gathering is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 25 and 26 at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. More than 100 artists and crafters will show and sell their work: glass, candles, baskets, dolls and bears, wreaths and swags, pillows and linens. Tickets, good for both days, are $3 for adults, $1 for ages 12 and younger.

New bag, less fuss

Ever struggle to jam a pizza box into a plastic trash bag, only to have the corners pierce the bag and create a mess? New from Glad: ForceFlex trash bags, deeply embossed with a textured diamond pattern. The manufacturer says the texture allows the bags to stretch around boxes, coat hangers and other sharp, awkward or hard-to-handle objects. Take some along for picnics or on the boat, or use them for toting stuff or storage. They're $3.99 for 20 13-gallon kitchen drawstring bags or 14 30-gallon large drawstring bags.

Clearing the decks

Well-organized thoughts from The One Minute Organizer Plain and Simple, by Donna Smallin (Storey Publishing, $9.95): "A heavy layer of dust on an item is a telltale sign that it's something you don't use. Give it a new home." And: "If you are saving something because you might need it someday, ask yourself, "Could I get another one pretty easily and inexpensively if I needed it someday?' If the answer is yes, let it go."

_ Compiled by Homes editor JUDY STARK

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