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Dust in the flowers


Dear Heloise: I have artificial flowers that have gotten a bit dusty over time, and I want to clean them rather than replace them. They were expensive, and the colors perfectly match my home, so how do I clean them? -- Meg H., Gastonia, N.C.

Meg, pour 2 cups of regular table salt into a clear plastic bag. Take the flowers, one at a time, and place the flower head in the bag of salt and shake it vigorously. This will remove the dust. Repeat this process for each flower. The leaves can be wiped down with a damp cloth.

-- Heloise

Send a great hint to:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

Garden magic

Dear Heloise: Years ago, my grandmother would go out into the garden with a pin after we'd gone to bed, and on a small watermelon or squash or young cucumber, she would scratch our names. As the vegetable grew, our names became more visible. She told us the garden elves had selected that particular vegetable just for us, so naturally we ate it! Great way to get kids to eat their veggies! -- Agnes D., Ontario, Canada

Agnes, you're right! That is a clever way to get kids to eat their veggies!

-- Heloise

Friday fun facts

Dear Readers:

• The fork originally had only two tines and was referred to as a "split spoon."

• A shoemaker often is referred to as a cobbler, but actually a cobbler is a shoe repairman. An actual shoemaker is a cordwainer.

• How many emails are sent daily? About 160 million, of which 97 percent are believed to be spam.

-- Heloise

Window privacy

Dear Heloise: I love our new home except for one thing: We have a separate shower and tub. The bathtub sits next to a huge plate-glass window that lets in a lot of light, which I like, but doesn't offer any privacy! I don't want drapes or shutters on the window, so what can I do to keep the light but obscure the view into my home? -- Patsy D., Yuma, Ariz.

Patsy, yes, there are products online you might want to take a look at. Just type in "window film coverings," and you'll find a whole range of manufacturers and various film styles to give you the privacy you want and yet let in the light.

-- Heloise

Reusing a wine rack

Dear Heloise: My brother-in-law made us a wedding gift of a wine rack that he crafted himself, and while it's lovely, it's really too big to use in our kitchen or dining room. I finally put it in the den, but instead of using it for wine storage, I roll up magazines and place them in the round holes where the bottles would normally have gone.

Now my husband is thinking of taking it to work with him to store blueprints. -- Judy L., Casper, Wyo.

Patsy, what a great idea! I love to see people think up clever ways to use everyday objects or repurpose something and give it new life. Readers, do you have new uses for different items, or clever ideas for things that might otherwise wind up in a landfill?

-- Heloise