THE BIG SLICE

When you store the shaggy faux bearskin in the closet this month for a well-deserved summer vacation, why not put this watermelon rug in its place? It is cotton, 37 inches by 18 1/2 inches, and very pleasant to walk on in bare feet. The splashy red semicircle looks nice on the kitchen floor or on the porch or in front of the fireplace. It's one piece of watermelon you can enjoy without worrying about what to do with the seeds.

Watermelon rug. $32 (Virginia tax is $1.28) plus $4.95 for packing and handling. Faith Mountain Country Fare, Box 199, Sperryville, Va. 22740. 703/987-8824; outside Virginia, 800/822-7238. THE BIG BUBBLE Entertain a whole back yard of neighborhood children and play kid again yourself with The Bubble Thing, a giant bubble-making invention by New York architect David Stein. It takes some tricky maneuvering of the clear tube with its green fringe, but regular dishwashing detergent and water are all you need to add. With patience and practice, Stein says, you'll discover how to make interesting shapes: twins, triplets, clusters, chains and giants. So first, load your camera.

The Bubble Thing. $10. A Happy Thought Inc., 4836 MacArthur Blvd. NW. 337-8300. PARTY PLANNING

On the Fourth of July, Lady Liberty will be celebrating her 100th birthday. Start toasting to her health now with these elegant lead crystal flutes by Sasaki. The famous statue itself is the stem of these frosted glasses, which are ready and waiting for some cold champagne.

Champagne glass. $25 each. Bloomingdale's, White Flint and Tysons Corner. DAY BY DAY

Who says January is the only time to pick a new calendar. Not the Washington Calligraphers Guild. That group says May -- or any month, for that matter -- is a fine time to use the hand-lettered quotations made for every day -- or any year. Words to live by such as "No job is too small to botch," "You gotta learn to leave the table when love's no longer being served," and "Once you're over the hill, you pick up speed" are just three of the 365 sayings handsomely penned and printed in a flip-chart-style perpetual calendar.

Calligraphers calendar. $13.50 (including postage and handling). The Washington Calligraphers Guild, c/o Judith Hoyle, 15212 Redgate Dr., Silver Spring, Md. 20904. 384-3388.