YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Inside & Out | DISCOVERIES

Picnic Pizazz


With summer fast approaching, dining alfresco is on nearly everyone's mind. Whether you're planning to have a cookout, a garden party or a picnic, paper plates and cups aren't your only option.

Mervyn's California is offering flower-shaped acrylic plates and glasses that are not only colorful but also are a safe outdoor alternative to breakable glass or stoneware.

The plates (about $6 to $8 each) come in pink, blue, yellow, green and a gingham design. The glasses (about $2 each) come in pink, blue, yellow and green, have a flower-shaped base.

All are dishwasher and microwave safe.

Mervyn's California is in Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Cypress, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and Tustin.

Twist and Sprout

Give your plants and flowers a new turn with the Flower Twister, a swivel mount potholder.

The holder twirls 360 degrees to give plants and flowers light on all sides of the pot, so you no longer have lopsided blooms.

The pot (under $25), which easily detaches from the mount, is made of nylon plastics and has inhibitors to keep its color from fading. Its "fingers" expand to hold a 14-inch pot and can support 200 pounds.

"The holder makes it easy to bring your plants and flowers into the home at night," says David Bicknell of Dana Point, who designed the Floral Twister.

"Since the flowers and plants grow evenly in the pot, it is not tilted, and the water doesn't run off and instead reaches the roots, promoting growth."

Bicknell, who moved to Dana Point from England eight years ago, started working on his designs after his wife, Joyce, said she wanted hanging plants for their deck.

Using conventional hanging pots, David Bicknell became frustrated because the plants were leaning from one-sided growth, and they would die because the water was running off and not soaking the roots.

Once he had a working design and created a mold, he worked with Bruce Browne of Advance Plastics in National City, and the twister was off and spinning.

To order, call toll-free (888) 698-9478 or send $24.95 to Advance Plastics, 33451 Sea Bright Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629.

Power Sanding

A smooth finish is only a whirl away when using the 5-inch Palm-Grip Random Orbit Sander.

The sander (available in July for about $50), provides a smooth finish in less time than conventional machines and cleans up grit as it goes. It can even sand across wood grain without leaving scratches and swirl marks.

The sander, by Black & Decker, has a 2-amp motor that generates 12,000 orbits per minute and a patented pad-brake system that prevents gouging. It comes with one sheet of medium grit sandpaper that attaches to the Velcro base of the pad.

Call (800) 544-6986.

Los Angeles Times Articles