Crafts: a fresh take on pinatas

This photo provided by CONFETTISYSTEM shows quartz cantaloupe pinata. CONFETTISYSTEM transforms simple materials such as tissue paper, cardboard, and silk into interactive objects that are filled with handcut confetti. Modern pinatas can be sleek and geometrical for grown-up gatherings, adding pizazz to holidays. (AP Photo/CONFETTISYSTEM)

As summer eases into the school year — and into a new season of birthdays, class parties and holiday gatherings — now’s a good time to make a few eye-catching pinatas.

A late summer Southern classic: tomato pie

This June 9, 2014 photo shows Dijon tomato and sweet onion pie in Concord, N.H. The Tomato Pie is a classic Southern dish made in summer when the tomato plants are heavy with ripe fruit. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Tomato Pie is a classic Southern dish made in late summer when the tomato plants are heavy with ripe fruit, but everyone has had their fill of tomato sandwiches and salads.

Tricks for summer spinach

This undated photo shows red-rooted pigweed, in New Paltz, New York. Weeded out of this tomato bed, it can now be eaten as a "summer spinach." (AP Photo, Lee Reich)

Popeye ain’t the only bloke who’s gotta have spinach. Some gardeners also crave it, freshly picked.

Kindness to wildlife can pay off in the garden

In this August 18, 2013 photo, this blacktail doe and fawn are steered away from these backyard gardens by some appealing-to-the-eye fencing in Langley, Wash. Many people are wildlife watchers and enjoy having them around but any species can become a nuisance in the garden. A variety of benign control and prevention techniques are available including repellants, frightening techniques and distracting them with other plants. (AP Photo/Dean Fosdick)

Competition and conflict have existed between people and animals since the first gardeners began sowing seeds on the ground. The critters just as quickly carried them away.

For gamers, waiting can be the hardest part

Jae C. Hong / Associated Press file People stand next to a monster character from the video game “Evolve” on June 10 as they watch gamers play the video game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, in Los Angeles. At the recent GameStop Expo, attendees could take titles like “Evolve,” “Dying Light” and “Battlefield Hardline” out for a spin on the show floor of the Anaheim Convention Center. However, that’s likely the last time they’ll be able to test drive those particular games this year.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — When it comes to video games, are they better late than never?

Ask a Designer: Tween bedroom’s a balancing act

In this undated photo provided by Burnham Design, designer Betsy Burnham recommends having a sheet of glass cut to fit the top of a childs desk, as she did for the bedroom pictured here, in order to protect the furniture from wear and tear in Hancock Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Burnham Design, Sarah Dorio)

Decorating a baby’s room is all about what mom and dad want. But decorating a bedroom for a “tween-age” child is more complicated.

Spotting a pet in a hot car creates tough choices

This undated photo of a poster provided by LA County District Attorneys Office shows a poster reminding pet owners that its against the law to leave their animals in their vehicles during the dog days of summer. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of pets die each year when left in a closed car on a hot day. (AP Photo/LA County District Attorneys Office)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Imagine walking to your car after running errands and spotting a dog, panting and helpless, shut inside a hot car.

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