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Home front

Published May 5, 2007


Homeowners' handbook

In JoAnne Liebeler's Do It Herself: Everything You Need to Know to Fix, Maintain and Improve Your Home (Sunset, $24.95), the TV home-improvement personality takes a wide approach, starting with the anatomy of a house. Then she moves on to safety, tool selection and general repairs and tips on everything from unclogging a toilet to grouting to hanging heavy objects on walls. The book is loaded with practical advice for anyone new to home ownership.

Focus on fixing up

Friday through May 13, head to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg for the Tampa Bay Home Improvement Show. Hundreds of fix-up, freshen-up, honey-do vendors will be there: roofs, paint, countertops, windows, heating, cooling, outdoor living, lots more. Tickets are $3; children 16 and younger, free. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 12 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 13. Details:

Colors made for TV

Orange you smart to switch from plain old white pingpong balls to the bright orange that are used in international competition? You also can trade in your green table for a regulation blue one. (Why the color change? They show up better on ESPN telecasts of tournaments.) The balls are $19 a dozen, the tournament-specification table $949 from New York First ( Watch for a surge in pingpong popularity as we approach the Olympics in China next year.

Corral your cords

Get all those cords off the counter while you recharge cell phones, Blackberries, etc., with a Charger Station from the Improvements catalog. Choose from an undercabinet charger, above; a desktop valet charger; or a mail station with charger. They start at $55. For information and more views, visit and type "charger" in the search box, or call toll-free 1-800-642-2112.

Show house finale

The final designer show house of the spring season, sponsored by the Florida Orchestra Guild/Tampa, runs Monday through May 28 at 1822 Bella Casa Court, Tampa. The house is a new home by Hannah Bartoletta Homes, done in a Tuscan theme. Tickets: $20 at the door. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Information:

Compiled by Homes and Garden editor Judy Stark

[Last modified May 4, 2007, 12:13:22]

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