Shopping: Color me ecstatic

News-DemocratJune 14, 2013 

When you live in a 95-year-old house, there is always work to be done. And it always take longer when you're color-indecisive.

That would be me.

Trying to pick a color for the walls of a bathroom is ridiculously time-consuming. I lean toward shades of green. Then yellow. Followed by blue. And, finally, back to just the right tint of green. Finally. During this process, the walls have been a patchwork of about 20 colors as I slapped on paint from pint-size custom sample jars you can now buy at most hardware stores.

Well, I'll never have to paint a wall before its time again. Not after taking home SureSwatch, The Color Decider. Basically, it's a special piece of clear 9-by-12 film with a paper back. On the clear side you paint two coats of your sample color. Remove the paper on the other side and the adhesive back allows it to adhere to the wall or other surface. You can easily move the swatch around and will even stick to somewhat rough walls.

Some people might think that paying 98 cents at Home Depot stores for this piece of film is a bit much, while others, like me, will embrace it. Especially after having to prime the walls white one more time to cover all my indecisions. Ask for SureSwatch at the paint counter.

Basketcase in Belleville will celebrate Summer Solstice with two days of special events and sales, starting Friday (2-8 p.m.) and continuing June 22 (10 am. to 4 p.m.). You'll find finger food, refreshments, music, a psychic reader ($1 minute), giveaways and, of course. all kinds of beautiful clothes, Vera Bradley merchandise, 25 percent and 50 percent off select Brighton handbags and more.

Last chance to buy Father's Day gifts: Hobby Lobby in Fairview Heights has "vintage" scaled-down metal signs that advertise motor oil, automobiles, gas stations and more. I particularly liked the Sinclair dinosaur sign and the Texaco Fire Chief one. These would be great for a bare spot on the wall of Dad's workshop or garage. Right now they are half off the regular prices of $12.99 to $19.99.

Forget spending big bucks on excellent sunscreen. Just go to Target. Consumer Reports gave a big thumbs-up to the store brand up & up Continuous Mist Spray Sunscreen SPF 50. The 6-ounce container is $7.99. If you find that brand of sunscreen labeled Sport Spray, it is the same formula.

For women going through hot flashes and night sweats, or for anyone who has a hard time staying cool while sleeping, you might want to consider the Chillow. It's a special flat pillow that once activated, has a gel inside that keeps it cool all night long. You can slip it inside your pillow or put it on top. You'll find it at Bed, Bath & Beyond in Fairview Heights.

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