Nov 24,2006 00:00
If you've jumped on the label-making bandwagon to keep your files, shelves and storage containers in order, you know labels are indispensable, but they always seem to run out just when you're in the middle of an organizing frenzy.
Unfortunately, when trying out various fonts, sizes and effects such as bold, italic and foreign-language accent marks, it often takes trial and error before you get a label exactly right. Waste a few too many and you're back to sloppy handwriting using markers on paper scraps. How 1990s!
It's a high-end feature that doesn't normally come with such an affordable price tag: LetraTag retails for $20 and LetraTag Plus, which includes two label cassettes and a magnetic holder that can attach to the refrigerator, is $30.
In fact, despite its basic-model price, the latest LetraTag offers a number of features often seen on more expensive products. For example, its nine-label memory makes it easy to print out your most frequently used labels - such as your children's names - without retyping. It also has a date function, which you can use to mark perishable items before storing in the fridge or freezer.
The compact LetraTag doesn't use ink, but uses direct thermal technology to print, so it accepts tape cassettes instead of bulky label cartridges that can cost twice as much or more. Tape refills are available in a rainbow of colors in paper, plastic, iron-on, metallic and new magnetic versions.
Despite all LetraTag's advanced features, the company says it was designed to be easy and intuitive to use. Its keyboard is set up alphabetically so even non-typists can peck characters easily.
"We want people to be able to pick it up and use it before reading the instructions," said Michael Kaplan, global marketing director of Dymo's consumer business division.
LetraTag and LetraTag Plus are sold in the office supply section of large retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target, and in the labeling section of office supply stores.
For more information visit www.dymo.com.
PERK UP IN PINK
Whether you need an energy boost before a hectic day or want to enjoy the rich flavor of espresso after a hearty meal, you can have a delicious demitasse ready in just minutes, right in your kitchen, without the need for a bulky, expensive machine.
Made in Italy, the distinctive eight-sided cast aluminum pots diffuse heat perfectly, according to the manufacturer. The Dama Pink espresso maker sports easy-grip silicone handles.
The Dama Pink and other Bialetti products - including a limited-edition pink cappuccino maker and an eight-piece pink cookware set - are available through Sur La Table stores and catalogs, or online at www.bialettishop.com and www.laprimashops.com. For more information visit www.bialetti.com.
INS AND OUTS OF OUTDOOR LIGHTS
If out on the lawn there arose such a clatter each time you've tried to get up on a ladder, you should heed these tips for stringing Christmas lights and other outdoor decorations, courtesy of the Home Depot.
- Work with a partner or two, especially when you're using that ladder. A second person can steady your ladder and hand items up to you safely.
- Only use electrical equipment such as lights and extension cords that are rated for outside use. Such items will bear red Underwriters Laboratories marks; items rated for indoor use only bear green UL marks.
- Never string more than three strands of lights together on one outlet.
- Use a ground fault circuit interrupter on each circuit. Should wires become frayed or damaged, GFCI circuits shut off automatically.
- Wrap electrical tape around light plugs wherever they meet to keep ice and water from getting in.
- Use a timer to turn lights on at dusk and off at bedtime.
- Consider illuminating wreaths, trees and other yard decor with a floodlight.
© Copley News Service