Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Makerr... Monday: Tin Can Planter

Photo from Apartment Therapy
[Charles] So I'm a day behind on Maker Monday. The good news is I found a super cool repurposed planter on Apartment Therapy that fit the bill today. They took an oversized vegetable oil can from a restaurant and fit a little tree in it. They had to do a little metal work to get the top off and roll the edges down, but all in all it's a pretty quick little project. Seems like the perfect thing for a miniature lemon or olive tree... Here's the link for the how to

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Forecast: Heatwave Heatwave Heatwave

Photo from triumphant cover of the Austin Chronicle when Bright Light Social Hour cleaned up the awards last year
[Charles] If you have talked to me in the last few weeks, I've probably mentioned Heatwave. I go on and on about it but it hasn't disappointed me yet. 50 plus bands, outside and inside, tons of people that really love music, awesome food, and just the best hang out vibe around. I love this festival! They have so many great bands this year and I always miss many more than I can see. One way to catch more is to pay attention to the surrounding dates and some of the bands play other shows the day before or after...

Friday night you can hopefully catch me checking in on Jubal's Kin up at Ella's Folk Art Cafe in Seminole Heights. This is a really awesome family folk band from Florida. Tons of buzz around this crew at Heatwave and if you see them Friday night you can see somebody else at Heatwave yeah!

Saturday is the main event. Get there at 4:30 and you can stay until something like 2 am. There are so many bands - Carolina Chocolate Drops and Cracker are the headliners. I am even more excited for bands like The Bright Light Social Hour, Two Man Gentleman Band, Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade, The Only Sons, Alias Punch, Those Darlins, Hymn For Her, and well I could go on and on. Get to the website wmnf.org/heatwave - download a schedule, and get a freakin ticket. You won't be disappointed and if you don't like a band or it gets too crowded just walk five steps and the entire thing changes. They bring in so many different types of music it will blow your mind - folk, rock, americana, bluegrass, big band, latin, african, soul, blues, and even zydeco. I'll definitely see you there... Oh yeah and The Lambasters have just been added to the schedule!!! See our favorite front man Ernie Locke in his new rawkin band!

Sunday you can catch The Flat Earth Society from Belgium over at the Palladium. I've heard all sorts of cool things about this 15 piece improvisational jazz band. It might be worth checking them out at Heatwave and then maybe heading over to see them for the cooldown on Sunday.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Getting Ready for Heatwave : The Only Sons

Really digging this alt country band from Tennessee. Check em out this Saturday at Heatwave! Can you tell I'm excited?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Getting Ready for Heatwave

One band I'm excited about seeing at Tropical Heatwave this year is Bright Light Social Hour. Check em out if you get a chance. Get all the details at wmnf.org/heatwave

Monday, May 9, 2011

Maker Monday: DIY Antennas

Photo from Instructables
[Charles] So a couple of years ago when the economy really tanked and things got pretty financially tight at the house, we decided to cut all we could. Eventually that meant the cable. I know. The DVR. The movies. The constant flood of DIY shows and ideas. It all had to go. At $100 bucks a month or whatever, it just couldn't go on. So we got an antenna and luckily the digital channel conversion was underway so instantly we had some channels. The cheapie antennas we bought worked pretty well and got most of the channels because we apparently happen to live near a lot of channel towers.

However, eventually you will get to the point that the reception craps out in the middle of some critical point in a show that you are way too invested in because - if you don't watch much TV then apparently you get way more attached to the little bit you do watch (that's my theory anyway). So there you are watching the killer getting caught on Castle and it blips out right in the middle of the pithy comeback of our fantastic protagonist... ARRRGH!

Why am I telling you this? Because you too can cut the cable and join us and maybe you won't have to suffer like we have. I refuse to spring for a huge pole mounted antenna that can take down airplane traffic but I'd like a little better reception. Thank you internets! Doing a quick search for "DIY tv antenna" turned up all sorts of open source antenna plans and even a Make magazine video on how to do it. There was even an Instructable on how to add one to the Dish that you don't use anymore. Now if I can get this thing together and put in the attic without dying of heatstroke I might just get to see the end of Parenthood again without chucking my tv into the alley in a rage. It's not for the faint of heart folks but if you want to join us - it is awfully satisfying...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Forecast: Will's Popsickle Injustice

[Charles] Looking for ways to spend your weekend on something other than Wii and Law and Order? Maybe you should peruse the short list. This just might get you out of the house...

I typically don't send folks on a road trip to kick off the weekend but if you are in the vicinity of Orlando or don't really care about the price of gas and all that then here's a good one. Tonight at Will's Pub in Orlando you can catch the CD release party that you missed last weekend at NWB. Sleepy Vikings are playing with The Pauses and Fever and it should be an awesome show. I really am digging the new tracks from the Vikings and the Pauses have a fresh new release as well.

Tomorrow night there is a couple of shows- The Popsickle show at CZAR with Hank and Cupcakes is gonna be a doozy. I saw them a few months ago at NWB and they definitely should do well in a more club and dance type atmosphere. That being said - they even got the hipsters at NWB shaking it a little bit. I'll be interested to see how they do with a little larger sound system and people that are ready to party. They have some fantastic pop stylings with this fresh aggressive pop mixed with the stark drum kit of of an 80's band.

Also tomorrow night is a house punk show for local faves New Bruises, Devout, Injustice System, Ink and Sweat. I only know Injustice System and all signs indicate this is gonna be a hard edged fast paced punk show knowing those guys. Its a house concert at what's called the Hold Tight House in the SH Hood. I have almost no details and so that means it could go either way but, well sometimes that's just what you need.

Have fun out there!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Maker Monday: Compost Bin with Style

Photo from Tiny Meat
[Charles} Saw this one last week on Re-Nest and knew it was gonna make the list. I have two - half -hearted composters for my leaves which are marginally ugly but also not totally functional. I built a three sided box for one that makes it easier to turn over the leaves but also they spill out and look pretty bad most of the time. The other one is a round piece of fencing that is chock full of leaves. It's prettier but also near impossible to turn the compost when it gets too full. So anyway, I like this idea. Way prettier and it should get a little more air circulating. The front boards are slats that can pulled out to access the compost. I wonder how to keep it from getting too dry? Maybe a solid bottom? Most of all, if I can make one like this, I should get a lot less weird looks from visitors about my strange composting attempts... Sounds like they got the plans for it here.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Forecast: Ziggy Sleepy Baamo

[Charles] Friday is for kicking the weekend off so if you don't know what to do then why don't you do what I would do if I got to do all that I want to do. Huh? Just keep reading... here's three for the masses.

Friday Night - Ziggy Marley is at the Green Iguana?! Really?! You read that right. Ziggy Friggy Marley is playing at the Green Iguana on Dale Mabry across from the Stadium. Not even Ybor Green Iguana? I don't know how this happened but you better get yourself down there before he figures out what has happened and heads to the Mons. Of course the tickets are $27.50 so I gotta think that the Iguana has never charged that much for a show ever. So get out there and shake it people. This should be memorable - one way or the other.

On Saturday night - How about the Sleepy Vikings cd release party for starters? Over at the Crowbar in Ybor there will be some serious rock out while they kick off their world tour or at least their long tour through most of the US. We've had the luxury of getting to hear them often here in Tampa but don't mess around and miss this because they might just blow up and the last thing you want to do is try and catch some "southern shoegaze" at the Forum downtown. Plus - the awesome Florida Night Heat is opening and they are a super cool funky trio that always guarantees a good time. I haven't seen the other opener Guiltmaker yet but I hear nice things as they say...

While you're down there in sweaty old Ybor, sometimes it helps to take a stroll to another venue to cool off and text your buddies or to tweet about how awesome Saturday night is to your followers. So anyhow, if you do manage to peel yourself away from the show at Crowbar then I would suggest heading to New World for the BAAMO showcase of local artists and the release of their new compilation CD. This one is called Tales of Highways and Low Roads and features such artists as Alexander and the Grapes, Rebekah Pulley, Will Quinlan, The Woeful Ones, and The Human Condition. All of those folks and more are on the cd and the show starts at 5:00. What better way to start a long Saturday night than in support of local music?

Also, don't miss out on the Seed Swap Anniversary Party at the Independent on Sunday from 4-6. Its a potluck kind of a thing so bring a snack and have a beer -

From the invite -
"Join us for our 2nd Birthday Party and 1st Annual Seed Swap! Bring your seeds to share and come listen to some great music and enjoy the fare of The Independent, along with bringing in your own dish to share! Show us what you can cook!
We will also be holding an awards ceremony to thank everyone who has been an integral part of the garden being such a great thing to be a part of."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Maker Monday: Concrete Storage

Photos from Core77
[Charles] I did a little project with concrete resurfacing material last week and enjoyed it so much I thought I'd look for something even cooler. I was fixing the slope on a sill in our shower so the water runs back into the shower and doesn't puddle - pretty sexy right?! Well anyway it was well overdue, but I just happened to have some left over concrete resurfacer to use. I like this stuff because it is super strong even in thin layers without reinforcement wire. So lo and behold, today I'm looking for something to talk about and here is this cool thing over on Core77. I've seen tons of usb drive ideas, wood, plastic, star wars characters, old teeth whatever, but this is concrete. Concrete is cold and substantial and oh so modsexy. So see what you think of these little drives. I especially like that they carved little semiconductor board looking patterns in them. Now if only I had done that instead of just putting my handprint... Wait though - how cool would it be to put your thumbprint in the concrete as it sets up! Oh yeah, concrete project here we come.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Forecast: Trashy Sun Earth

[Charles] Hey it's Earth Day! Snuck up on ya right?! No worries - here's your cribsheet for the weekend - plenty of green to go around.

Friday night you've got the Trashy Fashion show in Largo at the Largo Cultural Center. This is, I think, the third year in a row they've done this and it really looks like fun. Designers get challenged with making their clothes from at least 75% recycled and reused material. Maybe its a little kitschy but it also gets you thinking about what you could reuse for something else. Also, get there early because they invite great green vendors out to share with the community as well. They setup the vendors from 5-7 and the runway show starts at 7 pm.

After that, you'll be heading back over the bridge but it might be a little early to turn in. Hopefully if you stop by Ella's Folk Art Cafe you'll be able to catch most of the set from my favorite young local band The Sun Society! I don't think they've played Ella's yet but I mentioned them a while ago and finally they are here. They are a super talented group of young players and the two leads are sisters which make for some amazing harmonies. The music is modern indie pop sort along the lines of Regina Spektor and Feist but really good. Don't miss out on seeing them and pick up their album or just head over to Bandcamp and download it.

Saturday is the big Earth Day Tampa Bay event at USF. It is a co-sponsored event by the Office of Sustainability and the Sierra Club out at the Botanical Gardens on campus. For the last few years the Sierra Club event at Lowry Park has been a little of the same thing over so I'm really hoping by tying it with the university that can infuse it with some excitement. The event at USF was great and I think it makes a lot of sense to put them together. Also, the Botanical Gardens are easy so hopefully that will help push the attendance up. I checked out the vendor list and there are tons of new vendors I've never even heard of so I'm really excited to see what they get this year. It sounds like they are going to have bands out there too although I couldn't find the specific times and dates on their site. Check it out and see the beautiful Botanical Gardens and help support a new era for Greens in Tampa.

Have fun out there!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Maker Monday: Make A Difference for Earth Day

Photo from Trees for the Future on Flickr
[Charles] April 22nd is Earth Day - but I haven't heard much on the news this year? We're kind of growing numb to Earth Day as a society and it seems snarky negativism rules the airwaves. Why save the environment when the economy is in the toilet and all of the big companies just spew oil into the ocean, melt down their nukes, and turn Earth Day into a PR bonanza where they sell us some widget that is going to save the planet.

For me, I am completely frustrated with the current political state of our country and state and find it so hard to get excited about making a difference. I guess though, if I just lay down and stop fighting then they really do win.

So, instead of encouraging people to compost, or recycle, or to turn up your thermostat because I believe that most of us already are doing a lot, I want to encourage us to take a little bit of money and spin it into something positive. I'm advocating for what I believe is a very worthy environmental organization - one of the biggest groups involved in Earth Day - The Earth Day Network. They are doing really great work and I want people to get behind their call for A Billion Acts of Green, but especially their initiative called The Canopy Project.

Trees are really what got me into environmentalism as a kid. I remember seeing clearcut forests in my East Texas countryside and watching the trees get bulldozed and burned to make room for gas wells and sprawling pasture land. This project is planting trees in places that really can benefit from them and working with local groups to get it done. Places like Haiti, Brazil, and Mexico are all going to have plantings that will be tailored to the needs of the local communities. The group in Haiti is called Trees for the Future and they are planting beneficial trees on an island that has seen much of its good soil eroded through poor management of land and trees for generations. Take a few minutes to check them out or just get in there and drop $10 in their tank. These folks are making a difference and can use the support of all us that can't leave our under water mortgages and crappy commutes to join the fight in person.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Forecast: Sixteen Record Sons

[Charles] What to do, what to do?! It's Friday folks so maybe you'll peruse our short list of suggestions and maybe, just maybe, you'll have some fun this weekend...

Tonight marks the Sweet 16 show at New World Brewery and unlike the show that finally destroyed MTV, this one probably won't have a multi-million dollar budget or a hot pink dyed pool. However, what it will have is a really great collection of bands that tend to put on awesome shows on the patio and that is worth a heck of a lot more than a whole bunch of confetti and whiny teenagers to me. Head out to see Sunbears!, The Semis, Alexander and the Grapes, and Gentlemen Please. I've seen The Semis but have yet to catch any of the others and everything I hear about them is good. Sunbears! got some press for being on Yo Gabba Gabba but don't let that scare you away. Getting out and celebrating the coming of age for a friend like NWB is pretty sweet no matter what.

Saturday brings back around Record Store Day and it sounds like all of our local stores are gearing up for some pretty terrific shindigs. It's still a little bittersweet for those of us that are still stinging from the loss of Vinyl Fever last year. That being said, I'm happy to report that Mojo Records and Books up by USF is taking up the baton quite nicely for those of us in my area. They announced that they are expanding and adding a cafe in the store which has got to be a smart decision as far as I can tell. I love the combo of books and music and why not make it better for hanging out and spending some more coin while you're there. They are planning to have bands play all day and it sounds like they are in the middle of the move so you can see sort of how the expansion will play out. Record Store Day last year at Vinyl Fever had a line around the block to pick up the special releases and hopefully this year will bring even more attention to the stores we love and don't want to lose. Catch sets by King of Spain, Sons of Hippies, and lots of more awesome local bands. They are even having a vegan bake sale and Kahwa coffee for the folks waiting in line so seriously, get over there early. Doors open at 9 AM. Check out limited editions by Of Montreal, The Decemberists, Regina Spektor, Matt and Kim, Gorillas, even Foo Fighters - heck everybody is in on the action - here's the full list!

Saturday night there will be another event at the West Tampa Arts Center that sounds like a great time for a fantastic cause - Save Our Sons Benefit Concert. The group One City Ministries, which we've written about before is launching a new mission in Uganda and raising money. This is really a different approach because this actually involves taking at risk teens in Tampa who are in a cycle of drugs and alcohol and committing them to working in Uganda with people that truly have life and death choices before them every day. Applying their energies to helping people instead of the spiral of self-destruction should be life-changing for all involved. Our friends have teamed up with some great musicians and the awesome DJ Fuego to put on a concert and they will set up the Fair Trade wares from AfricaTraid to sell and raise money as well. Catch some cool local musicians like Cuba Luna, Matt Hires, and Nathalia Estrada and drop $10 to get this new project off the ground! Doors at 7.

Have a great time out there!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Maker Monday: Scrap Wood Honeycomb Shelves

Photos from Arrow & Apple Blog
[Charles] Check out these cool honeycomb shelves out of scrap wood from Arrow & Apple. Saw this over on a post from AT. I like that you can use small pieces of wood for this kind of shelf. They didn't use a backer and they just screwed each one to the wall with brackets so I'm a little concerned about how much weight they'll handle. I guess the point really isn't to load these up and well, I 'm always overbuilding things because you never know when someone is going to try doing chinups on your stuff right? I really like this though because you can use all those small pieces of wood which are a problem for every wood shop. Any small wood projects are life savers and you hate building yet another tiny box to store more tiny pieces of wood... Great job folks. Head over to their link on the top to see the rest of the photos!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Forecast: Paint Lambaster Gumbo

Photo of Trombone Shorty in Creative Loafing
[Charles] Friday Forecast is your cheatsheet to the weekend's to do list. In need of a diversion? You found the shortlist...

First up on Saturday morning, get prepared to pop up early and do some painting. Wait... that sounds like work right? Ok, well I guess you could also garden if you prefer but here's the deal. We need volunteers for Paint Your Heart Out Tampa to help with the Seminole Heights Community Garden project. Our buddies at SHCG are not only doing the paint a whole house in a day thing, but they are also gonna plant a garden for the well-deserving homeowner. The house is at 1008 E. Crenshaw and breakfast, lunch, and t-shirt are provided. Get all the details on that link above. Don't worry you'll be done by 2 or so and you can get on out there and still rock the weekend while feeling like you've helped the world a heck of a lot more than any legislator has this week.

After that you could head to Dunedin for the Highland Games or even over get over to the Tampa Bay Blues Fest to catch James Hunter, but here's another option. How about heading over the bridge to catch The Lambasters at Dave's Aqua Lounge with J Roddy Walston and Casey Lee from Fake Problems. This will be a real Florida kind of night. I'd suggest stopping over at the Crab Shack for some real blue crabs or smoked mullet to keep it real FL style with some cold bucket beers to wash it down. That's right over the Gandy on your left with some real cool picnic tables outside to just get your mind off the week with good friends. Leave the Crab Shack and head a little further toward St. Pete and Dave's will be up on the left. This is a Florida music establishment so be prepared for a good time.

If you don't overdo it on Saturday night then maybe Sunday morning you'll make it to the free yoga class at the Sunday Morning Market at Hillsborough High. It starts at 9 and is run by local Jai Dee Studio so it should be a great way to start the day. If not, roll out late and get some awesome coffee and feed your munchies with some of the great food vendors at the market. If you haven't tried the vegetarian gumbo there, you are really missing out on something amazing.
After that your follow up is gonna be Ella's for The Cadillac Bombers or head over the bridge to the Blues Fest for the final day with Trombone Shorty.

Have some fun out there!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Maker Monday: Cinder Block Wall Planters

Photo from Annette Gutierrez
[Charles] Here we go folks. I may have finally figured out how to pretty up the end of our ugly driveway... I've been thinking about this for a while but I haven't seen anybody ready (crazy enough) to try it until now... Take a bunch of cinder blocks which are cheaper than most pots and stack em and plant them to make a living planter wall. Super cheap. This one used landscape super adhesive which is really strong stuff - we used it on our $5 block seats a few years ago. They also used wire cloth and rocks to keep the soil from leaving in a hurry. We've recently started up a nice batch of succulents and I agree that would be the way to go on something like this... Thanks Treehugger!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Forecast: Dos Living Animals

[Charles] So here you find yourself on Friday, what to do? what to do? Here's the short version...

Friday Night - I would think heading to Ella's to check out Signals from Satellites and Los Dos Pistoles should be a great way to kick the weekend off. I'm not sure about you but I could definitely use an extremely large glass of gatorade and Ella's pours the best in the hood! Check out some local talent and soak up the flava!

Saturday - Good day to check out the Living Green Expo in St. Pete and its triumphant return to the St. Pete Coliseum which personally is a much cooler sort of a place to have the event and is a perfect stopoff point to St. Pete for the Saturday Morning Market. I've been pretty quiet on the green front lately while we mend up from closing the store but our personal commitment to the green movement and sustainability is still as strong as ever. I'm excited to hear about new developments and projects in the community and there should be lots of cool info seminars and giveaways as well. Check it all out here!

On Sunday since you went all the way to St. Pete the day before, why not check out a local growing festival in the hood?! The Talking Animals Festival will be at the Lowry Park Band Shell and in its second year it sounds like it is growing by leaps and bounds. Definitely WMNF is helping usher in tons of awesome local bands like my favorite The Sun Society, Bird St. Players, and Sons of Hippies and there will be lots of vendors there and apparently even a bounce house?! Sounds like a good time even though my four legged friend isn't too socially apt, maybe we'll check out the festival for her.

Have fun out there!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Maker Monday: Transformer Tables

[Charles] I know it's a few days late but to be fair this project is a few years late. I spend a lot of time thinking about transformer furniture. Specifically, I think and sketch and conceive a lot on a transformer dining table. The slideshow from Treehugger here has a good cross section of what is out there and it also features the one that they all get measured against... The Capstan or Fletcher which is pictured above. My friend Nicole has been asking for her own version of a transformer table for years. I must have 5 different unrealized versions on my hard drive that were either too hard to make, too complicated to convert, or just too plain ugly. For people that like to solve problems though this is a fun one. Check out the slideshow and well if you have a good way to go from say a 36" round to a 72" round with less than 25 grand on the price tag - let me know. There's nothing cooler than being able to take your intimate little breakfast table up to Thanksgiving dinner size in ten seconds flat. You'll have to watch the video for that though...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Forecast: Pause Overload Ecolution

[Charles] So you can't go the Avett Bros because it's sold out and you're broke anyway well then here you go. You want to have fun in the bay and don't know where to start. Start here. Friday forecast is my little guide to three things every weekend in Tampa.

Tonight is the sold out show at Ruth Eckerd with the aforementioned Avetts. That's okay though, cause you saw them at the Cuban Club anyway before they were completely huge! So head over instead to catch Modern Skirts with The Pauses and Poetry N Lotion at New World Brewery. The Pauses and their sweet indie rock are returning from blowin it up at SXSW and Modern Skirts are another cool indie Athens rock group that has been to town before and is rumored to be really great. I'm digging the mix so head over and have some fun with all your buddies while the weather is still awesome for an outdoor show.

Saturday night is the annual Sensory Overload show and this year it's heading over to the new Children's Museum downtown. It's a big mix of art, music, and performance. There are bands like Infinite Groove Orchestra, the results from CL's Show Us Your Neighborhood contest, and always lots of craziness going on. It should be interesting to see it transition from a clubby setting like Ybor to a museum. It could be growing up or maybe growing apart - we'll have to check it out and see.

Also on Saturday is the Cigar City Criterium and Ecolution downtown. The criterium was interesting last year but as a vendor at Ecolution it seemed like it was lost on most Tampa folks why they should come to this thing at all. It's pretty cool to see the bike race and just get out and enjoy the vendors and music downtown. The folks at the Urban Charette work hard to put on a good event in a pretty harsh environment for sustainability and green mindedness. Cigar City stepped up to sponsor the Criterium so if bikes don't excite you, maybe awesome beers will get you going. I hope people continue to support it and in a time where bike accidents are at an all time high in Florida it is really important to get out and show how important bikers are to us.

There are tons of other things going on this weekend including especially the GIFF and Ybor Festival of the Moving Image for those movie buffs out there so get out and have some fun!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Maker Monday: Electric Umbrella

Photos from Instructables user sockmaster

[Charles] It took me quite a few articles and digs to end up on an Electric Umbrella, but well here it is. I wasn't looking for it and that made it much more intriguing of course. I actually was just wondering how to make an LED light bulb. I dug into Google and Make magazine and Instructables and read quite a bit about LED reading lamps and flashlight circuits. It sounds pretty simple really - you get some LEDs and resistors and a DC power source and wire it up. Of course there are some simple calculations about getting the resistors right and well you have to keep in mind that LEDs are electrically directional. It doesn't sound too bad though. I still didn't find a lightbulb exactly but this umbrella is pretty cool and it might be just the thing for long walks home in a neighborhood that isn't too pedestrian friendly...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Forecast: Kesstronic Movement Dap

Photo from Tampa Museum of Art
[Charles] Friday Forecast is my survey of three awesome things to do each weekend in Tampa Bay. I try to find things I could stumble home from in my hood of Seminole Heights but sometimes I'll travel the bridges for the good stuff. If it's music, art, or a good time - I'm in. Check it out.

Friday night: Izzy and the Kesstronics are making another visit to Ella's Folk Art Cafe Friday night. This band runs the fine line between roots rock, rockabilly, and even a little large band type music. They have been known to burn the place down and should probably encourage some real live dancing in front of the stage at Ella's. I'd love to catch these guys mixing it up - they bring a sax and a trombone into their swinging groove so definitely be ready to shake it.

Before you head out to Ella's you should probably head down to the Tampa Museum of Art to check out the Art After Dark Party dedicated to the latest show opening - Degas - Form, Movement, and the Antique. The Degas exhibit is really great and is one of the biggest and most expensive shows at the new TMA. They brought the what I call "Tiny Dancer" sculpture down from The National Gallery in DC and quite a few of Degas's bronzes that are rough and unashamedly large figured. They take the abstract and rough sculptures but somehow capture the angles and balance of a dancer's movements in unexpected ways. I really enjoyed it and there are a few paintings that are truly fantastic as well with one of my favorites called Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts - a fuzzy abstraction with just enough detail to force you to carefully study it and really try to sort out what is going on while the colors are so much brighter than most of the drab world that we see in his pencil sketches. Also since you're there - check out the Herb Snitzer jazz photography exhibit which is every bit as fascinating as I wanted it to be.

Saturday night: Excuse me for a second while I mourn the fact that I'm going to miss this show. This is one of those shows that is pretty impossible to miss and I'm completely disgusted with myself for not making it. Sometimes the schedule just doesn't work out for you. So, anyway, if you have any way of making it to the Ritz on Saturday - do not miss Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. I have only been as close to them as Austin City Limits on PBS will allow me to but that was plenty close to see that this is one of the hardest working and smokingest shows that I will ever get a chance to see. They are getting pretty well known now but The Ritz is still small enough and open enough that you should be able to weasel your way to the stage if you wanna get in the middle of the sweaty mess. Sharon Jones takes everything that was soft and sexy about the 60's soul women like the Supremes and then grinds it through a Foxy Brown vibe that makes you wonder why the heck they ever stopped making music like this. More than a throw back, Sharon Jones picks up where the greats like Aretha left off and takes this soul into the future. Check out her updated version of This Land is Your Land or the floor-burner 100 Days and try and figure out when they were made...

Have fun out there!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Maker Monday: A Tiny House Blog

Photos from Evan and Gabby's Tiny House Blog
[Charles] We've been a little fascinated by tiny houses, by which I mean, one room one bath sort of things that you can only fit the essentials in for a while. There are these things though Tiny Houses that are being built by a company that will also send out plans to you if you want to build your own. These houses are built on a trailer and are beautiful tiny cottage things with lots of wood and simple living in mind. Today I'm showing some bits from a blog where a couple shows how they are doing it themselves. This week they are sealing the deck which we just did last week on our house.

We uncovered some beautiful antique pine boards that have been hiding under our linoleum for years with us completely unaware. Maybe some day we'll ditch the 1100 sqft mansion that we inhabit for something this tiny - definitely would force us as Thoreau would say to "live deliberately".

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Forecast: Gun Chiseler Refinery

Poster from Brokenmold
[Charles] Friday Forecast is a running feature here on TSM about what to do and where to go in Tampa for the weekend. I pick three things I would like to do if I could break away from my busy Saturday schedule. Check it out and let me know what you think.

There are tons of pre SXSW shows this weekend as bands continue to contend with higher gas prices and tapped out fans. I've seen a number of groups heading to Kickstarter to try and drum up some gas money so definitely see if one of your favorites is out there and drop them some coin if you can. One of the many shows is Have Gun Will Travel tonight over at the Local 662 in St. Petersburg. These guys are getting a lot of buzz and let's send them to SXSW with enough cash to do it right and hopefully get noticed.

Tomorrow is the Chiseler's Flea Market at the University of Tampa in downtown. I've never been to this but I drove by once and it was huge. Long lines and lots of people descend on UT for what is apparently a really great bunch of stuff that gets donated during the year as a fundraiser. It only happens once a year and a lot of vintage hunters in the area swear by this one. Maybe this year I'll finally see what all the hubbub is about...

Sunday marks the official celebration of The Refinery's one year in Seminole Heights! They are having drink specials and get this... a free buffet! Oh yeah! Greg and Michelle have done a fantastic job of promoting their place and getting really great and challenging food onto skeptical Tampa plates. The result has been an overwhelming success that even garnered them a James Beard Best New Restaurant nomination. They are having live music and the deck should be hopping. Have fun and as they say "Eat. Drink. Confabulate."

Monday, March 7, 2011

Maker Monday: Pallet Wood Desk from Funky Junk Interiors

Photos from Funky Junk Interiors
[Charles] When I first saw the photos of this post on Apartment Therapy I wondered where the heck these folks got their pallets to get wood that pretty? Well as I read up, the top boards are actually cedar plank castoffs from their neighbor.

The framework is all from pallets so I'll let this slide but trust me if you're gonna use pallet wood for a desk top, you should probably have access to a planer. That being said, this thing is pretty - maybe a little bit too country for me but it would be a different story if the rest of the room was more industrial or modern. Imagine this desk in your high-rise window overlooking downtown - ahhh that's more like it...

And here I thought I was the only person who does their design sketches on the back of an envelope?! I love this photo cause that's exactly how it goes at my place!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Forecast: Grace! Gasp! Mice!

[Charles] Friday Forecast is my little blog series about happenings in Tampa Bay for the art, music, and get out and do something crowd. I pick three things that will make your life better - I promise!
Friday night you could have your face rocked off by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at the State Theatre. Grace Potter actually showed up on my 2010 Summer Mix with her rockin anthem "Paris". I admit the song got a little tired after hearing it on lots of tv themes and getting overexposed but it's still pretty bada$$ if I do say so myself. Opening is Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights who I missed at last years Heatwave where they got plenty of rave reviews.

Saturday will bring the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts into downtown's Curtis Hixon Park. It is a little more family and Florida friendly than most of the fringe arts fests I prefer but it also has some really amazing stuff tucked in with the oversized flowers and manatees. Last year I saw some fantastic photography and sculpture that was worth the trouble of paying to park downtown and huffing it over to the then newly minted park. Also, the playground down there is pretty awesome and the weather should be great tomorrow. Check it out and represent Tampa!

Saturday night you can head down to Ybor and split your time between a couple of shows. Of course I'll recommend my local faves The Sun Society who are playing at Crowbar with Creepers, Young Egypt, and Seri Fana. If you're down there and one of those isn't doing it for you then just head on over to check out Country Mice at New World Brewery with Davy and the Gods and recently swapped in Aloha Model ( a solo project from Auto?Automatic??). I have it on good authority that this should be a pretty awesome show.

Have fun out there!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Maker Monday: CFL with Style - The Plumen

Photos from Plumen website
[Charles] As I read discouraging politically charged posts about how phasing out incandescent bulbs is an assault on freedom, I am well... discouraged. I think of how people reacted to the idea of their whale oil being pulled off the hardware store shelves or how life might be if we just burned all of our trash to light our homes. Progress is inevitable and instead of just whining about it, some designers are actually working to make it part of a more beautiful world.

I'll admit that I've marveled at the fine details of an antique filament on bulbs I've found and replaced. They are beautiful in their insect-wing sort of detailing and I'll certainly wonder at movies that used them when they no longer exist on our store shelves. The thing is, they've got these things called CFL bulbs which are much more efficient and are probably the simplest thing in the world to do besides perhaps actually turning lights off to save energy indoors. Samuel Wilkinson a UK designer decided to take the long tubes of CFL lights and instead of spinning them tight so they can be hidden in a fixture - he's uncoiled them in a ballet dance of curving shapes. The bulb takes its name Plumen from the showy plume of a bird's feathers. These, to me, are the new romantic bulb and they look great in a room with no shade just throwing the maximum light. Let me know what you think of them. They managed to win a Brit Insurance Design Award for 2011 so I can't be the only person that finds them intriguing...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Friday Forecast: Greenland Dude Fest

[Charles] Friday Forecast is a weekly series that I write to give a few ideas on how to spend the weekend. I lean heavily toward music and arts but you just never know what you'll find. This week I'm getting a jump on it today because I've got a schedule conflict tomorrow which basically means I'll have to hammer it out during today's lunch break and not tomorrow's.

The other reason I'm writing it on Thursday is because one of my suggested events is tonight. Don't miss Greenland is Melting with Tim Barry tonight at The Orpheum! I can't go so you suckas best get out there and represent TPA aight?! Greenland is Melting is a fantastic little bluegrassy sort of band from Gainesville with a nice mix of good musicianship and sarcastic lyrics (at times). After that - which would be plenty to justify heading out on a school night - stick around for the amazing Tim Barry. I'll give you a recommendation from Autopsy IV on Ninebullets.net who says "Every time I see him live, I walk away with my belief that a man with good songs and pure intentions can still do something in the music world."

How do you follow that up? How about a whole weekend of Lebowski Fest?! The Dude Abides! in Tampa as a matter of fact! We somehow have managed to attract the fine folks that bring Lebowski get togethers to bowling alleys and parties all over this great land to celebrate all things El Duderino. That's right there will be bowling, white russians, women in viking helmets, angry vets, guys in jumpsuits and hairnets, and maybe even a rug that really ties the room together. I don't know how to explain the draw of the Dude - either you get it or you don't but its definitely gone beyond a movie to be an entire philosophy of dudeness. Friday night is the movie party with newly formed band The Lambasters with none other than local hero Ernie Locke in full effect. Saturday night is the bowling party at University Lanes with the actual inspiration for the Coens' Dude - Jeff Dowd in attendance. Apparently the guy is really fun to hang and bowl with. Sounds like a fantastic time. Don't worry, if you don't make it through the weekend, I'll make sure your ashes end up in a coffee can.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Maker Monday: DIY Plywood Coffee Table from MAKE

Photos reposted from MAKE
[Charles] I'm a fan of MAKE magazine for sure. Definitely this and Readymade are the go-to mags for me as a maker for ideas and cool projects. Through a bunch of random links, I ended up on this project today that is very similar to one of my concepts. I've always liked the idea of slanting the legs of a table with slots and allowing the weight of the top to hold it together. I like this one and with a little tweaking to lock in the top with another slot you could get rid of hardware all together. I love gypsy furniture that can just lay in the back of the car when you're ready to move. Let me know what you think...
Here's how they cut the slots - definitely good work for a router if you've got one...

Here's the base - supported just by locking into the slots that were straight in the legs and angled in the cross support. Pretty simple right?

Check out the entire how to on Make if you want...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Forecast: Fair Baker Cupcakes

Dueling Ferris Wheels from the awesome Elawgrrl's photos of the Florida State Fair this year.
[Charles] Friday Forecast is a fun little recurring blog post that I write every Friday at lunchtime to help plan three awesome things for the weekend. My recommendations often lean heavily on my neighborhood of Seminole Heights with music, art, and getting out the main thing. Thanks for checking it out.

Tonight at New World Brewery there will be a band that I've heard some pretty solid recommendations for and I'm excited to see how they sound in Tampa's favorite small rock venue. Hank and Cupcakes are a duo from NYC that remind me a little of an indie rocker version of Matt and Kim. They have really great beats but in this case the female drummer is doing the singing duties as well. Replace Matt's frenetic keyboard with a guitar and this band still manages to skirt the edge of dance and rock. Definitely this is one of the do-not-miss shows at New World this year. Plenty of hype around this group will keep them from playing a venue this small next time around.
Forecast: 75% chance multiple people might actually dance at New World tonight...

Saturday is probably the perfect day to check out the Florida State Fair. The weather should be awesome for trying such new fried food ventures as Maple Bacon cupcakes and what I'm really excited about - Red Velvet Funnel Cake! Right?! Gotta try this! The other thing I like about the fair is some of the more old-fashioned exhibitions you can check out. Apparently in Cracker Country on Saturday a guy is going to teach how to make a banjo out of a gourd. Also they have horse riding demonstrations and plenty of ag-related animals to visit. One year I saw an entire room of flower breeding competitions. Its an interesting part of Florida that you can see at the State Fair and I always try to catch it. Also, one of my work buddies is in a Southern Rock band called Boss Hawg and I promised I'd try to see them play the beer dome from 1-4. Turn it up guys...
Forecast: 90% chance you will see someone carrying a ridiculously over-sized stuffed animal from winning on the midway.

Looks like you might as well accept Sundays in the hood as a tradition at Ella's and get on over there. Sunday you'll hear local artist Kaleigh Baker who has a solid bluesy sound and storytelling style that is hard not to like. This should be exactly the perfect soundtrack for sipping beer under the trees and hanging with friends. The opening band is Shak Nasti who are described as a funky fun big band with influences of jazz, afro beat, pop, and funk that should definitely get the party going. They are well known to Florida audiences as they have played tons of shows and festivals in the area.
Forecast: 75% chance you'll completely lose track of time at this one and will have to call and have somebody pick you up...

Have fun out there!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Maker Monday: Wax Floors vs. Poly

Photos from Christopherson Wood Floors

[Charles] This morning's post on Apartment Therapy got me thinking about our wood floors at home. A few years ago when we first bought our home, we were in love with the wood under the floors. We first uncovered our beautiful antique wood floors that were hiding under years of carpet, glue down tile, and lots of black nasty glue and found amazing heart pine wood.

Almost every book and Home Depot guy out there explains how to sand and polyurethane your floors. The thing is, I really don't like that nasty stuff and wrapping my floors in shrink wrap that scratches and stinks up the house with VOCs just didn't seem like the way to go. Amazingly enough, one guy that did recommend oil and waxed floors as an alternative was Ty Pennington from Extreme Makeover Home Edition (back then he was the carpenter on one of TLC's makeover shows). Anyway, I did some more digging and decided oil and wax was for us. If you want to do it, first off you have to sand your floors just like every other floor job.

The good news is that if you treat them right, you'll never have to use that sander again. We opted for Tung Oil although I've heard of plenty of alternatives with some truly eco-friendly options out there for more cash... You basically have to wipe down the whole floor with mineral spirits to get rid of any left over dust then you pour the oil on a soft cloth and wipe it on the wood. You need good coverage but you don't want it to build up to any real thickness. After a couple of coats of oil, you can wax the floor with floor wax and steel wool. Polish the wax and you'll have a completely different look to your floors. An oil and wax finish looks more matte and more antique to me. The other nice thing is that it can be scratched, but a little sanding or often just a little re-application of oil and wax can cover it right up. With polyurethane, when it gets scratched, it is hard to cover the damage without taking the whole finish off and starting over.

Now I read about how to clean up the wax finish from Apartment Therapy today and they were showing how to fix and clean up scratches and ground in dirt on cork floors. I didn't even know you could use the same stuff for cork, but why not? It's gorgeous and I'm still in love with our oil and wax floor after all these years...

Cork floor cleanup Photo from Apartment Therapy

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Forecast: Satellites Seance Sunday

Actual photo of the sun from Nasa this week - apparently all those photos before were fakes...
[Charles] Friday Forecast is a little ditty about Tampa and weekends. I'll riff on three great things to do that I would do if I could fit them all in. If you don't know where to go this weekend and happen to like music, art, and exploring the city - you've come to the right place.

Friday night kicks off with some live music at Ella's Folk Art Cafe from Signals From Satellites. It looks like the shows at Ella's have gone from hit or miss when they opened to do-not-miss as they get into their second year. I love Ernie and Mel and think they have fantastic musical taste so it's nice to see bands getting over there and spreading the love around for the neighborhood. This Tampa band Signals From Satellites is a rockin trio with indie rock roots. They say they take influences like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. and mash them with more modern bands like Explosions in the Sky. Definitely head over and check them out tonight with opener Brahm Bones
Forecast: 80% chance of cool weather on the patio with smokin guitar inside - grab a Cigar City brew if they've got one on tap tonight.

Before you head to Ella's, I'd recommend checking out the show at Tempus Projects called Seance for No One. It's got new work by Joe Griffith and Kym O'Donnell who have been around for years working on their own and through the art group Experimental Skeleton. I have no idea what to expect which is sort of the draw with shows at Tempus. Tracy, the curator, is happy to bring in fascinating and interesting art of all types. I love that we have a gallery that will push the envelope here in our very neighborhood and I'm happy to walk down there and take a chance on something amazing.
Forecast: 90% chance you'll discover something strange and beautiful at Tempus tonight.

Get all your projects done on Saturday because Sunday is the next installment of the Sunday Morning Market in Seminole Heights at Hillsborough High School. The weather should be awesome - cool and no chance of rain which is just what we need after all these dreary days of late. I know with all the snowstorms around the rest of the country we don't seem to be able to complain, but as my buddies at work remind me "They make up for my crappy pay in Florida with sunshine and I intend to take my share." Get out and enjoy it folks - as a bonus in the Forecast - after you finish up at the market and enjoy a nice bike ride in the hood - head over to catch D'Visitors at Ella's. This world music / reggae local group is by all accounts really fantastic.
Forecast: 70% chance of amazing bike conditions at the market this weekend.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Maker Monday: A Modern Line @ New Shop Kaleidoscope for the Home

Photos from A Modern Line

[Charles] It's hard to ignore the draw of beautiful mid-century chairs like those in the photo. We love mixing things like this into our modern and industrial style, but sometimes you find a piece of furniture that you just want restored exactly to its original glory...

Our neighborhood is getting a fantastic new addition this week with the design store Kaleidoscope for the Home. It's a joint venture of Sherry King from Sherry's Yesterdaze, designer Karen Brown, and Sherry's husband David Call. I wanted to feature them in Maker Monday because as you'll see from the photos they have some beautifully restored Heywood Wakefield pieces mixed in to their staging. One type of maker that often gets overlooked is the restorer. This shop a mix of creative talents from the area and one of those is David Call who owns A Modern Line . His business specializes as a refinishing and rescue service for Modern Line Heywood Wakefield furniture from the 40's to 60's.

Looking at the blog for A Modern Line, I can see that he also handles other brands of furniture from the period, but he really shines with some of the most amazing restorations of H/W I've seen. Most of you know we are not restorers and have our way with furniture that often makes our antiquing friends crazy, but I can appreciate the delicate and painstaking work that goes into beautiful restoration.

Also, if you're going to restore something - make it something truly worth the work like these pieces. I've attached a few photos, but be sure to check out the new shop if you are in the area. This Thursday they are having an opening from 6-9 pm at 6415 N. Florida Ave and it will definitely be a great day for the neighborhood to see another design business move in and draw traffic from all those "other" parts of town. Good luck David, Sherry, and Karen and keep up the great work!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Forecast: Infinite Marley Modernism

Photo from St. Pete Times
[Charles] This is a regular feature I write every Friday where I pick three things I'd like to do in the area and talk a little about them and hopefully pass along enough info to encourage readers to check one or all of them out. It can be overwhelming to find things to do in a pinch so I try to just stick to three...

Tonight at Ella's Folk Art Cafe there is a band that I don't know much about. The Infinite Groove Orchestra is what this spacey funk groove jazz group call themselves and it definitely sounds interesting. I read their interview with CL and they seem a bit more cerebral and studious than say bands like Phish which I just can't really get into. I bought a cd of the String Cheese Incident once and I liked it for a while but now I can't seem to stand putting it back on. I would say you've gotta be in the right frame of mind for this type of stuff and well that's not always me. That being said, a lot of folks think these guys are great and I listened to the one track I could find and it was cool. I'm not sure about three hours of it, but I'm willing to give it a shot anyway.
Forecast: 80% chance of man-made clouds at this one.

Also Friday night, the Tampa Museum of Art has found a law firm sponsor to pay the admission for folks to get in and is calling it Art "On the House". Since I am happy to take a law firm's money (as opposed to giving them some) and get some art in the process, this seems like a win-win. Hopefully I won't have to sit through a condo style hard press where they try to explain to me why I need a lawyer on retainer to protect me against car wrecks or slip and fall injuries. I'm thinking I'd like to just check out the new exhibit on Modernism in America. I love going to an art museum without the pressure of a ticket price. It is amazing to me that so many people never get exposed to this great art because of the cost of shows. I know it costs less than a movie and trust me I think it's worth it - I just think it gives a lot of people an excuse to do something else instead of switching their brains on and soaking up some creativity. Anyway, just check it out, here's the link to an article in the Times about the modernism show. Also, the show coincides with another cool show about jazz photography from Herb Snitzer in the sixties with some great shots of legends like John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
Forecast: 50% chance of having entire rooms to yourself at the museum to really soak it up.

Saturday night at New World Brewery is the "Bob & Tosh Fest" celebrating what I think would be the 66th birthday of Bob Marley. This should be much more than just another Marley smokeout - these bands are working to show tribute to both Marley and his collaborator Peter Tosh from the Wailers. There will be local bands Tribal Style, Badda Skat, D'Visitors, Ras Kana, and DJ Blenda playing and giving tribute to these reggae greats. The weather and chilled vibe of New World on the patio under the trees should definitely make this a great event.
Forecast: 75% chance of catching some fresh takes on classic tunes from some of the freshest bands in town.

Have fun out there!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Maker Monday: Salvage Loft Tour

Photos from Sarah Rainwater on Apartment Therapy
[Charles] I was working on some plumbing this weekend and this piping just cracks me up. I ran into this post on Apartment Therapy today. I love rough and rusty salvage in the home, but these folks really did it right. I love everything about the place. They have old sinks and tables re-purposed but also they have lots of little funny artistic touches. I absolutely love the figure eight knot that they soldered in their copper pipes and the old steam gauges are fantastic.

Thanks for the inspiration, I hope you open to home tours because if I'm in Providence, I'm dropping by for tea on that cool antique stove...