Saturday, July 30, 2016

Christmas in July Shop Hop in 'the Heights'

I've mentioned many times that Duane lives in one of the most fun parts of town to shop.  There are a number of small businesses and restaurants in Seminole Heights (or 'the Heights' as it is starting to be called) which is an older neighborhood filled with charming bungalows and mid-century modern homes. 

For the past several years, the neighborhood shops have had a Christmas Shop Hop in late November as part of the Shop Small Business Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Last summer, several of the shop owners decided to start a 'Christmas in July' shop hop and Duane, Linda, and I went.  It was fun and both Duane and Linda won prizes from the drawings held at some of the stores.  This year, the summer hop started yesterday (Friday) and continues through tomorrow (Sunday).  We always like to go on the first day of the hop -- Friday -- so we went yesterday.

It's fun to see the various stores with Christmas decor out and Christmas music playing when it's in the 90s outside.  They also offer sweets and drinks for their customers -- always a pleasure to partake.  We started with Cleanse Apothecary where I found a Christmas present for one of my sisters and Duane purchased handmade soap.  Linda bought some Bliss foot cream.  Then we headed next door to the Urban Bungalow which you literally just cross a doorway from Cleanse Apothecary to enter.  Urban Bungalow is another fun place to shop.  I bought a clever little two sided measuring cup and Duane picked up a Seminole Heights dishtowel and also special ordered a pillow with her zip code on it.

After we left Urban Bungalow, we headed down the street to Frolic Exchange where it's always fun to see what the owner has added to her shop.  Besides vintage clothing, jewelry, and home decor, there's also a plant section where I've purchased two century plants which are still thriving in my backyard.  I was tempted by a really cute handmade pillow with white and green stripes stamped with black cactuses (cacti?) but I couldn't make up my mind.  Our next stop was D & D Antiques and more where it's always fun to talk to the owner, Debra.  All three us ended up making purchases at D & D.  I bought a pale pink glass dessert plate in a pattern I hadn't come across before.  Linda bought a framed original watercolor along with some vintage glass Christmas ornaments.  (Her two kitties broke several last Christmas so she has to replace when necessary.)  Duane made the largest purchase but I don't have a picture.  She bought a Queen Anne display case table that has a painted distressed white finish.  She plans to put it in her living room to replace a large heavy coffee table that she'd like to sell or give to a new home.

After leaving Debra's place, we headed to our buddy David's store, A Modern Line.  David's place was actually pretty bare.  He's been in the process of having a big sale to move in more items.  Poor Linda missed out on a piece of art that she had been eyeing for some time.  David had just sold it earlier in the week.  Oh, well, we all know it happens in shops where everything is one of a kind.  I was very tempted to purchase a small hand drawn picture of a mid-century modern house.  I'll need to think about it since I would want to re-frame it and it would probably go in my guest room.  If I lose out, then that's the chance I'll take!

After A Modern Line, we were starving -- despite starting our day at Starbucks and imbibing at the various shops -- so we headed to one of our favorite places to eat, The Front Porch.  This is such a great place to eat.  It's in a very old house that dates to 1898 and it has a fun ambiance and great food.

We made it a leisurely lunch and then finally headed home.  Our purchases are below.  The wrapped item is a Christmas gift for someone in my family so it's a secret in case my sister reads this post.

Our purchases for the day.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Tampa Indie Flea and Tintype Photography

The third Sunday of each month, the old Rialto Theatre in Tampa hosts the Indie Flea for all types of arts and crafts.  The artists have to go through a submission process and, even if accepted, there isn't enough room for everyone each month so sometimes people have to wait for the next month in order to be able to show their wares.

The Rialto was built in 1926 and was originally a movie theater.  It went through a number of changes over the years as different businesses used the building and was also simply closed down a couple of times.  Now, though, it has become a venue for events like the Indie Flea, weddings, parties, etc.

Yesterday was only the second time I've been to the Indie Flea.  Duane and I went to it last December (it was so packed you could barely move!) and Linda and I went yesterday.  Since it's so darned hot in Florida right now -- the 90s every day -- I only went because my nephew, Jeff Howlett, was visiting us and he was taking tintype photos at the Indie Flea.

The Rialto has a couple of different rooms.  One is the main area where the theatre had been.  See below:

Vendors in the main room.

Looking through the entrance to the whitewashed brick in the back.
Linda and I went early -- due to complaints about the crowding, you can do that now for a fee -- and I'm really glad we did.  George went later in the day to help Jeff (Jeff's assistant couldn't make it down for the trip from South Carolina) while he was busy taking pics and developing the plates.

Jeff -- all set up to do his thing!
Jeff took a tintype of me while I was there.  I don't know how he stood the heat!  The section of the Rialto where he was located was blisteringly hot.  They don't have air conditioning in that smaller section -- just a big industrial fan.  Yikes.  With the hot lights necessary to take the tintypes and the Florida heat -- it was brutal.  Most people didn't seem to mind it, though.

I really like the pic Jeff took of me.  I only wish I hadn't squinted so much.  Despite having brown eyes, they're very sensitive to light and it was difficult to keep them open very wide.  I've seen pics Jeff has taken with people who almost look 'buggy-eyed' and I have no idea how they can look into the lights like that.

My tintype.  I'll treasure it.

Linda and I also purchased a few small items from other vendors.  I bought a couple of porcupine needles (I think they're beautiful) along with a drop pendant made of howlite.  Linda purchased a pretty handmade trinket bowl and a set of pins with original art on them.  The pics I took for this post are from my new smart phone.  I definitely prefer using my Canon camera and think I'll go back to that for future posts.  Either that or I'll have to get better using the camera on my Samsung phone.

Our purchases.

Jeff headed back home to South Carolina -- he lives near the SC/NC border and works in Charlotte.  He's a very talented photographer and there aren't many people around who make tintypes.  His website is here:  Howlermano Photography.   I've mentioned him on posts here before.  He directed the music documentary A Band Called Death.  If you haven't seen it, it's a wonderful film.

We enjoyed having Jeff for a few days and hope to have him back soon or head up to Charlotte... 

Monday, July 11, 2016

"The Prettiest Girl on Stage is a Man" is now live on Audible!

My latest release on Audible is a very interesting look at the role reversals of vaudeville entertainers.  The Prettiest Girl on Stage is a Man: Race and Gender Benders in American Vaudeville by Kathleen B. Casey is a mixture of arts & entertainment, and history.

"In this lively and enlightening study, Kathleen B. Casey explores the ways in which the gender- and race-bending spectacles of vaudeville dramatized the economic, technological, social, and cultural upheaval that gripped the United States in the early 20th century. She focuses on four key performers. Eva Tanguay, known as "The I Don't Care Girl", was loved for her defiance of Victorian decorum, linking white womanliness to animalistic savagery at a time when racial and gender ideologies were undergoing significant reconstruction. In contrast, Julian Eltinge, the era's foremost female impersonator, used race to exaggerate notions of manliness and femininity in a way that reinforced traditional norms more than it undermined them. Lillyn Brown, a biracial woman who portrayed a cosmopolitan black male dandy while singing about an antebellum southern past, offered her audiences, black and white, starkly different visual and aural messages about race and gender. Finally, Sophie Tucker, who often performed in blackface during the early years of her long and heralded career, strategically played with prevailing ideologies by alternately portraying herself as white, Jewish, black, manly, and womanly, while managing, remarkably, to convince audiences that these identities could coexist within one body."

To listen to a sample or purchase, head to Audible here

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Winners of 'June is Audiobook Month' drawing!

Well, another June has passed and I held my drawing for my audiobook giveaway originally posted here.   As usual, I had my husband, George, select from the names on slips of paper from a bowl (very scientific).

OK, so this picture is actually from the first year I held a drawing.  Now George just pulls torn scraps of paper from a Tupperware bowl but this picture looks so much nicer.

Without further ado, this year's 10 winners are:  nrlymrtl, Todd Vogel, Leslie Fisher, Michael Flanagan, skinmaan, jmcgaugh, Megan, Pauline Wiles, Julie Valerie, and Sandie Docker.  Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who entered!

The winners have all been notified but if you see your name here and haven't received an email, please let me know.

Same time, next year!  Until then -- keep listening!