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Book offers basics for variety of crafts

Want to try your hand at a new creative pursuit?

“Craft: Techniques & Projects” can get you started.

The book is a comprehensive guide to a variety of craft techniques, written by top crafters in their fields. The authors teach the basics of each craft through words and photos, and then offer a project to let you practice the techniques.

The crafts in the book are appropriate for beginners as well as seasoned crafters, and they don’t require a lot of specialized equipment. Included are textile crafts, paper crafts, jewelry, ceramics, glass, candles, soap and eco crafts.

“Craft: Techniques & Projects” is published by DK Publishing and is priced at $40 in hardcover.

Aqueduck makes sink easier for kids to use

Aqueduck Products make it easier for children to use the bathroom sink without help from Mom or Dad.

The company makes a faucet extender that funnels water forward in the sink so little hands can reach the water. Its handle extender attaches to a handle of a double-handle faucet to enable kids to turn it. For safety reasons the handle extender is recommended for use only on the cold-water side.

The faucet extender comes in five colors and sells for $12.99 at peachyco.com. The handle extender is expected to be available this month for $19.99. Shipping is extra.

Book suggests alternatives to problem plants

Garden designer and consultant Andrew Keys believes a lot of garden problems can be prevented just by choosing the right plants.

That’s the premise of his new book, “Why Grow That When You Can Grow This?”

Keys points out that many notoriously difficult plants have easy-care alternatives that resemble them closely. His book points out those problem plants and suggests what he calls “extraordinary alternatives.”

The book offers 255 alternatives for trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, grasses and ground covers.

“Why Grow That When You Can Grow This?” is published by Timber Press and is priced at $24.95 in softcover.

Plates help with portion control

The design on Slim & Sage plates is more than just decorative. It’s also meant to help users eat healthfully.

The design subtly divides each plate into quarters to make it easier for the diner to eat the proportions of food recommended by many experts — one-quarter of the plate devoted to lean protein, one-quarter to whole grains and one-half to vegetables. The 9-inch plates are also smaller than most dinner plates to help keep portions in control.

The porcelain plates come in two colors and two variations on the design. They’re microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

A set of four plates costs $99 at slimandsage.com. Shipping is extra.

By wire sources