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Design Notes

Artful touches

"Springtime in the Country," a show of fine art and crafts, opens today in the Agri-Center at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. The show runs 4 to 9 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Artisans from across North America will debut their newest collections of handmade creations, including lawn decor, pottery, stained glass, fine art, jewelry, clothing and more. The show has expanded its fine art section for unusual and different home decor.

Admission is $6 at the door. Kids under 12 are free.

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Show House time

Decorators' Show House 2007 -- the Silverthorne Mansion at 877 Delaware Ave. -- runs April 28 through May 20. Tickets are $12 in advance; $15 at the door, and $25 for Monday reserve-time tickets. They are available online (www.jlbuffalo.org); by mail using the form published in The Buffalo News; at Junior League Headquarters, 45 Elmwood Ave., and at Wegmans.

The show house is a major community fundraiser co-sponsored by the Junior League of Buffalo and The Buffalo News.

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Reducing allergens

For the comfort and well-being of the allergy sufferers at your house, you probably know that mattresses, rugs and pillowcases can harbor allergens. But some other gathering places for allergens are often overlooked, according to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America.

Here are some trouble spots, as reported by McClatchy Newspapers:

Walls. They're among the biggest collectors of allergens. Dust walls weekly, and pay particular attention to the furniture and carpets near them.

Door jambs and window sills. Constant airflow means dirt and dust often collect here. Dust them often.

Plush toys. Dust mites are common in these toys. Wash them frequently in 130-degree water. You can also place stuffed toys into a zippered plastic bag, freeze them for 24 hours and then rinse them in cold water to remove allergens.

Closets and drawers. Allergens from pollen can often be carried on your clothing -- and cling to other items when you put them away. Wash clothing more frequently in spring, and keep dresser drawers and closet shelves and doors clean.

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And finally . . .

"I don't design as much as fantasize. I think about what's needed, and somehow it materializes."

Isaac Mizrahi, in House & Garden, on his new fabric collection

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