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Design notes

Pot luck

Here is one creative way to display your potted spring bulbs, straight from the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center:

Turn boots into planters (colorful rain boots are especially whimsical.) Simply slip plastic pots of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths right in.

For long-term use, poke holes in the boot bottoms for water drainage. For short-term use, merely tip the boots occasionally to drain off any excess water.

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Laundry tip

When you are washing sheer curtains, here is one method to keep them crisp: Wash the curtains by following the instructions on the care label exactly, then dissolve 1 cup of Epsom salts in a sink full of cool water, reports Knight Ridder Newspapers, citing household goddess Heloise as its source.

Add the freshly washed curtains, making sure all the fabric is wetted by the solution. Gently lift the curtains out and hang them to dry. (You can also try adding the Epsom salts to the final rinse water.)

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Spring ahead

An idea for gardeners: While perusing the new mail-order catalogs for plants and seeds, consider taking the catalogs to a local garden center or nursery to show what you're interested in, recommends the Detroit Free Press.

The staff may be able to obtain the plants for you, as well as discuss their appropriateness for your site.

Now also is a great time to do an inventory of your garden tools and take them to be sharpened, if need be.

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On the calendar

Coming next week: The Western New York Home & Garden Expo at the Agri-Center on the Hamburg Fairgrounds; Erie Promotions & Expos is the new producer of the show.

There will be hundreds of ideas on home building, remodeling, decks, windows and doors, landscaping and more -- plus appearances by TLC "While Your Were Out" star Andrew Dan-Jumbo at 1 and 6 p.m. Feb. 11.

Admission is $6 at the door. Hours are 4 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday; 2 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 10; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 11, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 12. You can visit the Web site at www.wnyhomeandgarden.com for a discount coupon and more information.

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And finally . . .

"Ergonomics is just a big word for comfort."

Architect Calvin Tsao, in House & Garden magazine

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