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Home and Garden

Internet makes purchasing international goods easy

Collectors in the 1950s usually wanted furniture and accessories in earlier styles, or perhaps a piece that represented the family’s background, such as a German stein or English china. But today collectors can see and buy items from all over the world on the Internet, and auctions have become more international.

Solve the fabric softener syndrome with ammonia

Dear Heloise: I saw the article in the San Antonio Express-News about not using fabric softeners when washing bath towels. I have been using fabric softener for some time, and I have noticed the problem and wondered why (Heloise: Jim is referring to towels not being absorbent when too much liquid softener is used, or when dryer sheets are used every time). Would future washings without the softeners bring back the towels’ original absorbency, or is there a specific step that must be taken to do so? Or is it too late? — Jim S. in Texas

Shake tomato plants to release pollen

We hit a spell of cool weather the past few days. Whenever you get this kind of weather during a hot spell, go out and lightly shake your tomato, pepper and eggplants for about 10 seconds each. Tomatoes in particular have trouble setting fruit when temperatures are above 95 F.

Make bedrooms look, feel bigger by using neutrals

All of the bedrooms in your home can look and feel larger and airier, without the enormous task of knocking down walls or undertaking a huge construction job. It just takes a few easy and often inexpensive interior design tricks to make it seem like you have higher ceilings and lots of extra space.

Better options are available to replace incandescent light bulb

As of Jan. 1 of this year, the 60-watt incandescent light bulb — that classic of the genre; the Edisonian ideal; the signifier that illuminates in your mind’s eye when you’re asked to picture “a light bulb” — was banned forever. Perhaps you prepped by hoarding a box of bulbs in the back of your closet. Or perhaps this news took you by surprise, and you now live in fear of the moment the beloved incandescent in your bedside lamp flickers out.

Modern tubs are longer, cleaner and freestanding

Bathrooms have become the new stars of home design. No longer just a place to shower, apply makeup and shave, the bathroom is the new oasis of the home, a place to relax and unwind. That is why spending on bathroom remodels is now almost on par with spending on kitchen remodels.

Platform rockers are not hot sellers

Rookwood pottery probably is the most famous of the art potteries made in the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries. It was started by Maria Longworth Nichols of Cincinnati in 1880, the first of many art potteries founded by women.