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!