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I went to the German Festival for the first time in three years. I almost missed it until I saw an ad for it on Saturday (which was the first day of the festival). I decided to go on the second and final day on the spur of the moment after I went to church that morning.

The German Festival ran the same weekend as Artscape but I was lured to the former by the fact that it was held indoors in an air conditioned building. (There was a massive heatwave that had been blanketing the area for at least two weeks.) Besides I still have less-than-fond memories of my last attendance at Artscape when I met two people from my childhood in Glen Burnie whom I did not want a reunion with.

I drove to the light rail stop in North Linthicum then took the light rail all the way to the Maryland State Fairgrounds. It started to rain the minute I got off the light rail but I brought an umbrella with me so it was no big deal. (It was another reason why I’m glad I didn’t choose to go to Artscape this year.) There were practically no lines so it was no big deal getting inside. It was basically a nice event with many of the same vendors as my last attendance in 2014. I ate sauerbraten with noodles for lunch followed by a slice of black forest cake. Before I left I purchased two freshly baked cinnamon sticks to eat later. I also took a few pictures, which you can see below.

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

German Festival

Ramadan

A few months ago I went on the annual Women’s Retreat that was held at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Adelphi, Maryland. During that day-long retreat I learned that the church has an extensive yarn stash.

Here’s some background information. When I first joined that congregation years ago, there was an elderly woman named Ottille Van Allen who was in her 80’s at the time but she was incredibly active. I could write a whole series of separate blog posts about the stories she used to tell me and others in that congregation over the years from being born in Germany when Kaiser Wilhelm II ruled that nation with an iron fist to immigrating with her parents to the U.S. because her father was a socialist and the Kaiser took a dim view of people like him to how she was immediately placed in an English-only class at school because there was no such thing as ESOL at the time.

Ottille Van Allen was a very avid knitter and she would spend much of her time knitting hats and mittens. (She was a retired schoolteacher.) She would sell her hats and mittens at a table during the church’s annual auction in the fall. She would continue to sell her inventory after regular Sunday service until mid-December. Whatever inventory didn’t get sold was donated to homeless shelters and various groups that serviced the poor in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

As Ottille Van Allen’s age increased, she had a harder time keeping up with her knitting. By the time she reached her mid-to-late 90’s, she wasn’t able to handle it any more. (She would die at the age of 103 or 104.) Other church members were moved by her plight and they wanted to continue the tradition she started of selling hats and mittens so a Handcraft Circle sprung up where people would gather after Sunday service a few times a month with their latest knitting or crocheting projects as they made hats and mittens for sale. (I have to note that this Handcraft Circle came into being long before it became trendy for women to form Stitch ‘N Bitch knitting circles that meet in libraries, coffeehouses, and other public places.)

Over the years as people involved in the Handcraft Circle moved elsewhere or died, either they or their families would donate extra yarn to the church for the Handcraft Circle to use for the hats and mittens. When I was at the retreat I found out how much yarn the church has amassed over the years. I saw that there were at least 10 large bins full of yarn of various colors and thickness and I was told that there were more. The church had so many yarn skeins that it could easily open its own yarn store as a side venture if it wanted to do so.

Basically the church would like to get rid of the excess yarn. So I took several skeins home with me. I purchased a circular knitting loom at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts and started making hats. I found that using the loom is easier than the traditional needles because I don’t have to count rows and stitches nor do I have to worry about how many stitches should be knit and how many should be purl. The only thing I have to do is to periodically measure the length of what I knitted in the loom so the hat would’t be too big or too small.

Here are the photos of what I’ve knitted so far.

I attended this year’s Greenbelt Green Man Festival. On the first day (May 13) I arrived shortly before the festival closed down for the day mainly because I had spent the bulk of the day walking the Gateway Arts Open Studio Tour. I still managed to take a few photos.

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

The following day was more sunny and it was a warm pleasant day. Plus it was Mother’s Day on top of it. I spent the bulk of my day at the festival where I took these photos.

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Makerspace 125 had its giant box full of Legos for any child to play with.

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

While the outdoor festival was winding down, the festival moved indoors to the New Deal Cafe. The band Kiva closed the 2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival with their show.

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

I only purchased one thing for myself that weekend: a bar of honey rose-scented goat milk soap that was made by Natural Image Botanicals.

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

The reason why we all should referring Sally Hemmings as Thomas Jefferson’s “mistress.”

How a small craft shop can build a community.

Your kid’s favorite toy may be spying on you without your permission.

A provocative rant that says that people who are obsessed with getting top-notch camera gear tend to be relatively bad photographers.

Here’s Why Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is the most impressive animated movie of all time.

For those of you who use the open source alternative to Photoshop known as GIMP, here’s a tutorial on how to use Photoshop plugins in GIMP.

A look at slavery-era embroidery.

Are we knitting too many tiny sweaters for animals?

9 sex-positive embroidery patterns for people who want to go beyond the pussy hat

Crochet octopi comforts preemies in hospital NICU.

An interview with Derek Conrad Murray about a style of African American art that he defines as “post-black.”

A story about a type of art derived from computer/smartphone screen-tap culture known as “Like Art.”

How glassblowing has gotten easier for amateurs to learn.

What is Embroline and will it change the embroidery industry?

A retired Unitarian Universalist minister has made knitting pink pussycat hats her personal crusade.

How to break free from your photography slump in five steps.

A photographer writes about why he loves doing wedding photography.

Mom dyes a doll’s face so it’ll look like her daughter with a facial birthmark.

Adobe Illustrator has recently celebrated its 30th birthday.

A list of Disney’s most subversive animated movies.

The dangers of remaking anime as a live action film.

Last Saturday I decided to go to Crafty Bastards again for the first time since 2014. This event was subtitled “Cabin Fever” because this event was held indoors (which makes a lot of sense when it comes to Washington, DC in February).

I took the Metro to the NoMa/Gallaudet University station then walked along New York Avenue. I assumed that the venue was within walking distance. Actually it turned out to be at least a half-an-hour’s walk from the Metro station. Along the way I took some photos, such as this structure which graces the overpass on New York Avenue.

Structure at Edge of New York Avenue, NE Overpass

Not too long ago it was considered foolhardy to walk alone anytime in the Northeastern section of DC, especially during the crack epidemic of the 1980’s and 1990’s. It seemed like there was at least one shooting a week in that area. I still remember when I was taking night classes in an ill-fated effort to study desktop publishing (I finished the certificate but I wasn’t able to find a job in the desktop publishing field) back in the 1990’s. One class I took included a field trip to this printing plant that was in Northeast at the time. The week before that trip we were instructed to go directly to that printing plant and, what’s more, she strongly urged us to drive there instead of taking public transportation because that area as so crime-ridden at the time. We parked in a gated parking lot. The printing plant has since closed and there seems to be a resurgence of Northeast as these pictures show.

Mural on the Side of a Storage Facility

Wall Mural

I happened to stumble upon a really neat vintage shop known as nomad yard collectiv. I didn’t stay too long in that store because of Crafty Bastards but it sells all kinds of really cool vintage stuff.

nomad yard collectiv

nomad yard collectiv

nomad yard collectiv

I did some more walking along New York Avenue as I took these pictures.

National Park Service Brentwood Facility

National Park Service Brentwood Facility

DC Animal Shelter

Ivy City Area

After walking for a half-an-hour from the Metro station I finally made it to the venue in the Ivy City section. Hecht Warehouse once served as the warehouse for the Hecht department store chain. All that changed when Macy’s purchased Hecht and all of the Hecht stores were either converted to a Macy’s store or they were shut down (especially if the stores were located in a mall where a Macy’s already existed). Hecht Warehouse had remained empty for nearly 10 years when a developer decided to try converting it into upscale loft apartments along with building a few retail stores.

Hecht Warehouse

Hecht Warehouse

Hecht Warehouse

Hecht Warehouse

Right across the street from Hecht Warehouse is a bunch of giant storage boxes with smaller signs announcing the coming of another development known as Hecht Town.

Across From Hecht Warehouse are Signs Announcing Hecht Town

I eventually found a sign leading to the entrance to Crafty Bastards.

Sign to the Crafty Bastards Entrance

Next to the Hecht Warehouse is a MOM (My Organic Market) and a sign announcing the arrival of a Petco that will come soon.

Retail in Ivy City

I eventually found the entrance to the Hecht Warehouse.

Hecht Warehouse Entrance

There were a couple of outdoor food trucks such as this one in the next photo.

Lemongrass Vietnamese Cuisine Food Truck

The inside of the Hecht Warehouse lobby was amazing to behold. The developer took a gritty warehouse and totally remodeled it so it would look pretty upscale complete with a fireplace in the lobby.

Hecht Warehouse

Hecht Warehouse

Hecht Warehouse

Hecht Warehouse

The lobby even had a bar, which is amazing considering that the Hecht Warehouse is supposed to be an apartment complex and not a hotel.

Hecht Warehouse

There are a few vestiges of its warehouse past but they have been totally integrated into the new design.

Hecht Warehouse

Hecht Warehouse

Hecht Warehouse

Hecht Warehouse

Hecht Warehouse

I eventually made it to the area where Crafty Bastards was held. Since I arrived after 3 p.m. I only paid $5 admission fee to get in. (The regular price was $10.) Like previous Crafty Bastards this one was also a feast for the eyes and it provided a major challenge to the wallet as well. Here are just a small sampling of what went on at the Crafty Bastards Cabin Fever event.

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

Crafty Bastards at the Hecht Warehouse

I felt really tired by the time I managed to see each vendor booth at least once. Rather than walk for another half an hour in order to get to the NoMa/Gallaudet University stop, I decided to take the Metrobus back. Except the but I got on insisted on going all the way to Fort Totten, which was a half an hour trip. At least I got to sit down that time instead of spending all those 30 minutes just walking.

While I purchased a few things at that event, I was still very careful with how I spent my money since it’s pretty tight these days. I forgot to bring one of my cloth shopping bags from home (which is a big deal since DC has those laws where you have to pay in order to get a paper or plastic bag from any store or vendor) so I purchased this reusable souvenir bag for only $2.

My Crafty Bastards Purchases

I purchased this framed print from fashion designer Jay McCarroll (also known as the winner of the first season of Project Runway). I now have this print hanging in my living room.

My Crafty Bastards Purchases

I got this bar of fairy cakes soap from Dirty Ass Soaps, which smells wonderful.

My Crafty Bastards Purchases

My Crafty Bastards Purchases

I purchased this autographed copy of a book called Goodbye, Penguins by Greg Stones (whom I briefly met at his booth). This book is short but it’s full of twisted humor coupled with delicate illustrations.

My Crafty Bastards Purchases

My Crafty Bastards Purchases

My Crafty Bastards Purchases

And, last but not least, I purchased this dark chocolate candy bar from Harper Macaw, which is a chocolate candy maker based in Washington, DC. What’s really cool is that every Saturday Harper Macaw offers a guided tour of its factory for only $10 a person and it includes chocolate tastings. How cool is that? By the way, I loved that one chocolate bar I purchased.

My Crafty Bastards Purchases

Dancing Skeleton

Yesterday I celebrated Halloween and it was mostly good. It fell on a Saturday this year and it was also the day when Daylight Savings Time formally ended so we had to set our clocks back one hour. Which means that everyone got an extra hour of sleep, which was perfect timing because people could attend Halloween parties on a Saturday night knowing that they can sleep one hour more than usual.

When I was growing up, Halloween decorations were limited mainly to window decals and paper decorations that one can post on the front door. It’s just so amazing to me the amount of stuff that one can buy nowadays in order to decorate. Right now I’m starting to think that Halloween will eventually rival Christmas for the most over-the-top decorations that one can purchase for the home. Here are some incredibly decorated Halloween homes that I saw.

The next few photos showed this house in Bethesda, Maryland that was really decorated with these really cool looking lawn decorations. I wasn’t able to get any night shots of this house but one can only imagine that it must look just as fabulous (if not more fabulous) as in the daytime when I took these photos.

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One night, shortly before Halloween, I was in the process of walking to a meeting at a local church in Greenbelt, Maryland when I came across this lit scene in someone’s yard that looks like there’s a graveyard.

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The headstones all contain amusing puns that reminded me of the ones at the Haunted Mansion ride in Walt Disney World.

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There was even a spotlight featuring Halloween images that were shown on a nearby building in the background.

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A few days later I revisited that house in the daytime and I found that there were even more details that were better viewed when the sun was up.

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There was another house in Greenbelt, Maryland that also had some interesting Halloween decorations on the front lawn.

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Then there was this house, also in Greenbelt, Maryland, that had a bunch of Halloween decorations on the front lawn.

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The next few photos show this home that belong to some friends of mine who throw a really awesome Halloween party every year and I make an effort to show up. They really go all out for the decorations, as you can see in the next few photos.

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I didn’t take too many interior shots inside their home mainly because I was busy drinking and socializing. My sole photo was one where I messed around with the Hatsune Miku app on my phone for the first time in many months. I took a photo of the virtual pop superstar in my friends’ living room at the party.

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As I left the party I noticed that one of my friends’ neighbors had these really cool looking carved pumpkins.

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Compared to other people, my home is relatively sparse in terms of Halloween decorations. I live alone these days so, for me, it doesn’t make sense to do a huge amount of decorating on my front lawn because it can get pretty expensive and some of them can also be big electricity suckers. I did some effects that were low-cost. For example I delayed cutting the dead bunch of black-eyed susans so I had the effect of dead weeds growing in my front yard on Halloween. I’ve seen decorations that resemble dead weeds on sale but I thought it was cheaper to just delay gardening for a while so I would have some real dead and dried plants.

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Last year I didn’t bother with carving jack o’lanterns because my oven broke and I didn’t have enough money to hire a repair person. On Black Friday of last year I purchased an Oster convection oven at Target for $40, which was a perfect stop-gap for me since I’m only cooking for myself these days. The sole snag is that the convection oven broke a week before Halloween. By that point I had purchased one pumpkin from Clark’s Elioak Farm and I really wanted some roasted pumpkin seeds this year. I ended up going to Best Buy where I purchased a Black and Decker convection oven for $75. (Note for self: Never purchase any major appliances with a super cheap sales price on Black Friday from a big box retailer ever again.)

In any case I managed to get my new oven put up and I even purchased a second pumpkin just in time for Halloween. Here are my two carved jack o’lanterns.

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Here is what they look like at night. In one of them I put in an electronic light that turns the pumpkins a variety of different colors, which creates a very cool effect.

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In the other pumpkin I put in a lit candle.

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Otherwise, there was very little difference between how I decorated my home this year and last year. Unlike last year I went back to my usual practice of waiting until the day before Halloween before I put the decorations outside. I still have memories of last year when I decided to put my decorations outside a few weeks before Halloween and someone stole this rubber bat that I’ve had for many years. (I’ll admit that it’s not like the bat was very valuable. It was something that I won at an office party when I was employed by one of my former jobs a number of years ago and I’ve used it as a Halloween decoration for years afterwards. It’s annoying that someone decided to steal it.)

I’ll leave the decorations up until Tuesday since today and tomorrow is the Day of the Dead holiday in Mexico and, like Halloween, this holiday deals with skeletons, ghosts, and the afterlife.

A temporary Halloween store had opened in the nearest mall in my area. There were a variety of costumes available for sale including sexualized female versions of Spider-Man, Captain America, the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, the Care Bears, and even Alice in Wonderland. There were also all kinds of Halloween decorations that one could buy.

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I ended up purchasing this hat that resembled Grumpy Cat for only $10.

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I also went to Behnke’s Nurseries, which had a bunch of pumpkins, gourds, and other types of Halloween decorations on sale. It was the same store where I purchased my second pumpkin to join the other one I purchased from Clark’s Elioak Farm just a few weeks earlier.

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Talk about mixing the holidays up! The foreground had Halloween decorations while, if one looked in the background to the left of the Halloween display, you’ll see a Christmas angel that has just been erected on one of the store’s doors.

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This year I decided to go as Grumpy Cat as I wore my new Grumpy Cat hat. As for the rest of the costume, I paired it with this My Little Pony Rainbow Dash hoodie that I purchased a few years ago. I was inspired to do this after seeing my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds being flooded with images of Grumpy Cat being dressed in a variety of different costumes such as ship captain, jester, pirate, and two Star Wars characters—Yoda and Princess Leia. I printed up three signs based on slogans I’ve seen on various Grumpy Cat memes. I wore this outfit to a Halloween dance that was held in my church on October 30 and the Halloween party that my two friends threw on Halloween the following night. I had a lot of positive responses to this although there were a few less-Internet savvy friends who didn’t understand the joke.

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Other years I’ve seen Halloween Peeps shaped like ghosts, jack o’lanterns, and black cats. This year I saw something that I hadn’t seen before—Peeps shaped like cemetery headstones

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Since I had planned on attending two parties on two consecutive nights, I decided to bake some cookies using my recently purchased convection oven. I purchased the sugar cookies from Aldi (it was the store’s version of the Pillsbury cookies where you horizontally slice a long vertical piece of dough and you get special cookies with pictures on them). I purchased enough to make two batches, one for each party. The cookies were well received in both places. Here is what the cookies looked like.

photo74This year I gave out special mini packages of Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels which had a colorful cute monster design on the front package. The only downside that only a total of 10 trick or treaters showed up at my doorstep this year. I was glad that I only purchased one package of the special pretzels so I don’t have to deal with too many leftovers. I’m also glad that I didn’t buy candy because I would’ve had to deal with getting rid of it without eating so much of it.

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I received so few trick or treaters that I decided to quit giving out treats early and walk over to my friends’ home for the Halloween party. I really enjoyed myself even as I drank hard root beer for the first time in my life. (I never knew that there was such a thing as alcoholic root beer.) I then drank hard cider. At one point my head was feeling woozy so I walked past this couple and I started to wonder if they were that Backstabbing Couple From Hell (a.k.a. my ex-husband and the so-called “friend” he left me for and subsequently married soon after the divorce was final). I wasn’t 100% sure because everything was dark and there were a lot of people there. I decided to ignore my paranoia and stick around. I was glad I did because I was busy socializing with people.

At one point I was feeling tired and woozy from the alcohol so I decided to go to the bathroom then walk back home. (I was so glad that I decided not to drive this year.) I ran into a guy who recognized me from the support group meetings for people who were separated or divorced. (He’s also friends with the people who threw that party.) We met while I was leaving the bathroom and he was waiting in line to use the bathroom. He told me “I can imagine you feeling awkward with your ex-husband there.” I turned around and I found that there was my ex in the next room and I realized that I wasn’t in some kind of an alcohol-fused hallucination. Those people were actually there. On that note I decided to walk home.

The next day I overslept and missed church. I was feeling a bit hungover so I just went to a nearby coffeehouse and worked on this post. So that’s it for Halloween 2015.

Last year I participated in the annual Greenbelt Labor Day Parade for the first time and I still remembered that it was a very hot and humid day. I did it on behalf of the Greenbelt Cooperative Initiative, which is trying to start a few worker-owned cooperatives. (At the time I was tasked with potentially starting a thrift store. When I had problems with finding affordable space, the group suggested that I try running a flea market instead. I not only found difficulty with finding an open space that people can easily access by car or bike or walking, but I would’ve had to deal with two layers of bureaucracy–mainly filling out tons of paperwork on both the local and county levels. I was working on my own to begin with and starting a weekly flea market was way too daunting a task to do alone. Plus I’m dealing with other issues in my life so I decided to resign.)

So this year I didn’t have any parade-related responsibilities. There were a few groups who invited me to march with them but I ended up declining because the memories of the high heat and high humidity were still too fresh in my mind. So this year I brought a folding chair to the parade route and set it up in a shaded area. It wasn’t too bad in the shade at first but, by the end of the parade, the heat had shot up (it ultimately climbed to the high 80’s) so I was very happy that I didn’t participate this year.

The parade consisted of different types of participants. There’s, Solange Hess, who was named as this year’s Greenbelt’s Outstanding Citizen.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade.

There are the police, firefighters, and military units (including ROTC). Some of them march carrying flags, some march playing musical instruments (like bagpipes), and some ride in the latest vehicles.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Then there were the beauty pageant winners. Not only were there people from the Miss Greenbelt pageant but there were also others from another pageant that took place in nearby College Park.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade. Then there are the various local businesses and community groups, such as the Greenbelt Elementary School PTA.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Greenbelt chapter of the Toastmasters.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015 At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Greenbelt Animal Control.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015 Local Girl Scouts troop.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Local Cub Scouts troop.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015 Greenbelt Boys and Girls Club.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

The Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

The Greenbelt Interfaith Leaders Association.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

The Mishkan Torah congregation.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Radio Communications.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade.

The New Deal Cafe, which is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015 At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015 At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015 At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

The Greenbelt Theater and the Greenbelt Museum marched together. At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

The Greenbelt Food Bank.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

The Greenbelt Arts Center

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Wells Ice Rink, located in nearby College Park.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Members of the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN) and the Chesapeake Education, Arts, and Research Society (CHEARS) dressed up as butterflies and bees in order to raise awareness on the importance of pollinators. Other participants held signs announcing the various programs that GCAN and CHEARS run on a regular basis, such as the Greenbelt Time Bank, the Reel and Meal movie series, and various recycling programs.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There were even a fleet of electric cars in the parade, who were there to demonstrate green transportation. At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There was a robot demonstration by members of the Eleanor Roosevelt High School Robotics Club.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Makerspace 125 had a float shaped like a steam engine in order to show its commitment to the STEAM movement.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

St. George’s Episcopal Church of Glenn Dale, Maryland marched in the parade.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There was an anti-abortion group.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

The local anti-poverty activist group RESULTS participated.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

The Communication Workers of America made a statement about its ongoing negotiations with Verizon.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

The National Park Service participated.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Even the local Sunoco gas station participated.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

The local realtors, Town Center Realty & Associates, Inc.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Then there were the various performers who were intent on putting on a good show all along the parade route.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015 At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Since next year is an election year, the candidates running for public office were out in full force. There was Donna Edwards, who is running for Senator.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Senate candidate Donna Edwards shakes hands at the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade.

There was Chris Van Hollen, who is also running for Senator.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There was Paul Pinsky’s re-election campaign as Maryland State Senator.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There’s Brian Frosh, who’s running for Maryland State Attorney General.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There’s U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer, who’s running for re-election.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There’s Congressman Hoyer’s rival, Kristin Beck, who hopes to unseat him in the Democratic Primaries next year.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There’s Maryland House Delegate Anne Healey, who’s running for re-election.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There’s Maryland House Delegate Alonzo T. Washington, who’s also running for re-election.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There’s Sydney J. Harrison, who’s running for re-election to the Prince George’s County’s Clerk of the Circuit Court. At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There’s Angela Alsobrooks, who’s running for re-election as State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

There’s Todd M. Turner, who’s running for re-election to the Prince George’s County Council.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

This trio of cars signified the end of the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 7, 2015

Once the parade ended at noon, the last day of the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival started. I hung around the festival grounds after the parade ended because I needed to pick up my watercolor that I submitted to the Art Show but I had to wait until that show formally ended at 4 p.m. So I basically ate lunch, did some web surfing with the laptop that I brought with me, and uploaded a bunch of photos on my various social media account. A craft show was held on that final day so I browsed that as well while I took these photos.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

Craft Show at the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

Craft Show at the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

Craft Show at the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 7, 2015

I decided to go to BronyCon again this year because it’s such a kick seeing grown men dressed as their favorite pony from the TV show My Little Pony. Not even the Baltimore Uprising a few months ago in the wake of Freddy Gray’s death could stop this convention that’s full of positive vibes. The cheerfulness began when I was close to the entrance of the Baltimore Convention Center, where I saw these sidewalk signs.

#BronyCon 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.

#BronyCon 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.

#BronyCon 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.

For years I’ve been down on people doing upskirt photos or doing bizarre creepy closeups of strangers. I did that thing I’ve always disdained by doing a closeup shot of a stranger’s ass while I was close to the convention center but I had an excuse. This guy had a large Fat Albert patch on his back jeans pocket. Seriously!  Hey, hey, hey! It's Fat Albert at BronyCon in Baltimore.

I grew up watching Fat Albert cartoons on TV each Saturday morning. I remember they were mostly morality plays featuring Fat Albert and his circle of friends in an inner city neighborhood and Bill Cosby used to do the live action intro to each episode. It’s too bad that Bill Cosby had to give in to his worst impulses when he drug women’s drinks then did all kinds of sexual abuse to them. That is the main reason why I haven’t been looking for old Fat Albert cartoons in an effort to relive my childhood.

Well, anyway, I ran into a couple of like-minded cosplayers right outside the doors of the convention center.

BronyCon, Baltimore, August 7, 2015

The previous two years I was able to get in an out of the Registration line in about 15 minutes. This year it was much more crowded and it took me over an hour before I was able to get to the front of the line.

BronyCon, Baltimore, August 7, 2015

People in lines started tossing balloons to each other. It was cute at first but, as I got closer to the head of the line and I had to encounter balloons in my directions, the novelty wore off for me.

BronyCon, Baltimore, August 7, 2015I basically tried to make the time I spent in line more enjoyable by taking photos of the various cosplayers in line, beginning with this guy who brought a very tall Rainbow Dash-themed missile. (I regret not taking a photo with the panoramic setting instead of the two pictures I did take in order to get the whole thing. )

BronyCon, Baltimore, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, Baltimore, August 7, 2015

I saw a plushie pony peeping from a backpack. BronyCon, Baltimore, August 7, 2015

Here’s Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen.

BronyCon, Baltimore, August 7, 2015

One of the organizers (wearing a purple hat) was instructing people which register to stand in front of, depending on whether they had pre-registered or not and whether they were paying with cash or credit card.

BronyCon, Baltimore, August 7, 2015

After standing in line for an hour, I finally made it to the front of the line.

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

Here’s the front and back cover of the BronyCon program book.

BronyCon 2015 Here’s my pass. I only purchased a one-day pass because of tight finances.

BronyCon, August 7, 2015 One innovation that was introduced at this year’s BronyCon was these special communication cards that con attendees can put on their passes to indicate how socialble they were willing to be with others at any given time. This was done in an attempt to reduce complaints of harassment among con-goers. I think it’s a great idea myself because everyone could avoid awkward situations (as long as everyone cooperated with this). BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

Another innovative idea was to have specially designated Gender-Neutral Bathrooms, which is great for transgender people or people who are questioning their own birth gender. Having tried one of them for the first time, I have to say that it wasn’t bad. After all, it’s not really that much different from having gender-neutral bathrooms at home. There were still separate men’s and women’s bathrooms for those who were uncomfortable with this.

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

There was a non-stop rave featuring lots of dancing to electronic music that went on both day and night in one of the areas of the Baltimore Convention Center. BronyCon, August 7, 2015

The next photo shows just two of the many DJ’s who kept the music going for people who just wanted to get down and dance the day and/or night away.

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

I shot a short video that shows just a small portion of that dance party, featuring all kinds of awesome dance moves.

The one thing about going to BronyCon is the vast array of cosplayers with their handmade creations. The creativity behind these costumes is just astounding to me.

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

There was a vast array of My Little Pony merchandise available in the Marketplace area with prices ranging from $3 (for very small cheap toys) all the way to hundreds of dollars.

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015
BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015  BronyCon, August 7, 2015 BronyCon, August 7, 2015 BronyCon, August 7, 2015

 

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

 

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

 

BronyCon, August 7, 2015BronyCon, August 7 2015 The most memorable item that was on sale at BronyCon was this unique handmade My Little Pony-themed diorama that was on sale for $1,600. It was an amazing work of art to behold. BronyCon, August 7, 2015

 

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

 

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

 

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

 

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

 

BronyCon, August 7, 2015

There were a few people who have become quasi-celebrities in the Brony world because they work on My Little Pony and some of them were at BronyCon signing autographs. Among them was My Little Pony artist Andy Price.

Andy Price at BronyCon 2015 I made a brief stop inside the video arcade. There were not only people playing various video games on a variety of different consoles and platforms but there were also various My Little Pony items displayed and I even saw some people playing My Little Pony-themed card games. I liked the Video Arcade sign, which is a really cool mash-up of My Little Pony and Tron. BronyCon, August 7, 2015There were a whole array of video games but I didn’t get a chance to try any of them because that room was so crowded. I ended up just watching other people play instead.BronyCon, August 7, 2015BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015BronyCon, August 7, 2015

BronyCon, August 7, 2015BronyCon, August 7, 2015BronyCon, August 7, 2015BronyCon, August 7, 2015 Here’s the rundown of the swag that I got from BronyCon. One of the vendor tables were trying to entice me by giving me a tiny button for free. But if I wanted more buttons, I would’ve had to pay. I wasn’t really that interested in obtaining any more buttons but the guy was insistent that I choose one button for free so I picked one that was based on Spike, Twilight Sparkle’s baby dragon companion. The vendor then turned his head towards another potential customer and I walked away from that booth pretty quick. I have to admit that the button is nice looking. The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015One of the vendor tables was for the Brony Thank You Fund, a non-profit 501c(3) group that was raising money at BronyCon to benefit groups that are active in fighting cancer. If you make a small donation of at least $1, you received this tiny pin. The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015 For a minimum $12 donation, you got both a pin and a 2016 calendar. I sprang for both because I figured that the calendar will definitely come in handy in five months. The new calendar is movie-themed so there’s all kinds of mashups between My Little Pony and various films like The Shining and Cinderella. Here are a few excerpts from that calendar. The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015If you like that calendar and missed BronyCon (or went to BronyCon but missed getting the calendar), you can order it online right here.I purchased a few things and I managed to use my Brony Thank You Fund button to get discounts on all of them. Despite the discounts, I was still very restrained in my shopping (due to both financial issues and my desire not to clutter the house filled with all kinds of stuff). I picked up a paperback book that has re-printed some issues of the My Little Pony comic book series. The Swag I Got at BronyCon 2015 I have a confession to make. I’ve been reading the My Little Pony comic books ever since I won the first issue of the series in a contest that took place during a session of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School that was held in Washington, DC way back in 2013. (Link is NSFW.) Yep, Dr. Sketchy’s hooked me in. (LOL!) Each month I would go to a comic book store and buy the latest My Little Pony issue. But then I started to hit some financial turbulence for a bit and I stopped buying the comic books for several months. When I felt just financially solvent enough to start buying back issues, I saw that the comic book stores either didn’t have back issues or they had them but they were missing one or two issues (which screws up the continuity of a storyline). But then I found that the publisher has been reprinting back issues in paperback form so anyone who missed out on them can buy them altogether so one can get the entire story in one purchase instead of waiting for a new single comic book issue to come out. So I was mostly caught up until I found the last paperback book I needed at BronyCon. I’m now caught up in reading the comic book (I think). I found this really cute vinyl figurine based on a minor character in the My Little Pony series named DJ Pon-3. That pony is totally cute. The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015

 

The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015

The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015

 

The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015

The Swag I Got From BronyCon 2015 Well, anyway, that’s it for BronyCon. Unlike last year, I ended up not going to any of the workshops or panels because I didn’t find any that interested me very much. I basically hung around the Marketplace and Video Arcade. I still had a good time even if the Registration line was way longer than previous years.

Last year I took part in the first ever Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire and it was pretty interesting even if the temperature reached no higher than 50 degrees and it was windy.

This year was a total change. The temperature reached into the high 70’s and there was very little wind. It was perfect weather to be selling outdoors—not too hot and not too cold.

I ditched the hands-on Zentangle demonstration from last year mainly because I feared another cold and windy day like last year (when a total of four people actually tried the hands-on Zentangle activity). It was just as well because I had more table space to display my wares.

The week leading up to the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire was stressful because not only did I have to prepare for that event but I also had to get my taxes done and my church congregation, which takes part in an interfaith effort called Warm Nights where different houses of worship take turns hosting the homeless in the sanctuary for a week, was hosting the homeless that same week and I helped out a little bit with that. But it was all good in the end because the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire was the most successful show I’ve participated in years. I sold over half of the comic book coasters and three-quarters of the leftover un-cut comic books. I actually made some money for a change. 🙂

In addition, I also took a couple of the fabric test swatches of my own design (which I had to order from Spoonflower.com for $5 then proof it before I could even offer my fabric designs for sale in my Spoonflower shop) and mounted them on small canvases then showed them off. I also displayed my stuffed Goat Man plushie along with flyers showing where one can order the DIY fabric online. I got some good notices for my fabric designs as well.

I also took a bunch of pictures, as you can see below. Here is what my vendor space looked like early in the morning.

My Booth

My Booth

My Booth

My Booth

My Booth

My Booth

Here’s the view from my booth.

My Booth

My booth was assigned next to another booth that was demonstrating how to make your own flashlights. A few hours into the festival, the organizers decided to erect this giant canopy over our two areas while making room for a third table that accommodated a woman who was selling her handcrafted jewelry.

My Booth Under the Canopy

My Booth Under the Canopy

My vending area was between two other booths. One was a table that showed how one can make a flashlight from scratch.

Make Your Own Flashlights

Making Flashlights

Make Your Own Flashlights

The vendor on the other side of my booth sold her handcrafted jewelry.

Jewelry For Sale

Jewelry For Sale

The event was put on by the STEM technology center Makerspace 125, which had a variety of indoor hands-on activities for people of all ages.

Makerspace 125

Makerspace 125

Makerspace 125

Makerspace 125

Makerspace 125

Makerspace 125

Makerspace 125

Makerspace 125

Makerspace 125

Makerspace 125

Makerspace 125

Catylator Makerspace, a new makerspace that’s currently in the process of opening in Silver Spring, Maryland, also took part in this event. They had a booth which featured something called a Marshmallow Challenge. The object was to create a building using marshmallow and uncooked pasta. The resulting structures were pretty interesting looking.

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Catylator Makerspace at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Naturally there were robots at this event.

Robots

Robots

Robots

I even shot a short video of those robots from the above photographs.

The KT421 booth had an interesting array of 3D printed items.

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Among the 3D items was this chess set which substituted actual World War II tanks for chess pieces.

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

If you turn over each chess piece you’d see an indented picture of the traditional chess piece that each tank is supposed to represent on the chessboard.

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

KT421 Booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

HacDC had a booth as well.

HacDC at the 2015 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

HacDC at the 2015 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

HacDC at the 2015 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

HacDC at the 2015 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

HacDC at the 2015 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

HacDC at the 2015 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

A Youth Tent was run by the James McHenry Elementary School 4-H STEAM Team where children were encouraged to engage in a variety of hands-on activities.

Youth Tent at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Youth Tent at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Youth Tent at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Youth Tent at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Youth Tent at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Youth Tent at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Youth Tent at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Not everything shown at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire dealt with technology or arts and crafts. Lu’s Labs, a Labrador Retriever rescue group, showed a couple of the dogs that are currently in their care.

Lu's Labs at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Lu's Labs at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Lu's Labs at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Lu's Labs at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Lu's Labs at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

Lu's Labs at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire

There was live entertainment throughout the day, such as the Eleanor Roosevelt High School Dixieland Combo, which performed New Orleans jazz standards.

Live Performance at the Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

There was also a performance by Salih Mahammed, who did this routine using wire sculptures.

Live Performance at the Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

Live Performance at the Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

His routine was the only performance I captured (very briefly) on video because I was on a rare break away from my vendor booth. It was really cool to see in person.

There was a large table filled with LEGO bricks where children could build something.

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

Chef Karim of the New Deal Cafe showed off his skill at making Lebanese-style bread.

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

All in all it was a day full of a variety of exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages.

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

2015 Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire

It’s been two years since I last attended the annual Sakura Matsuri street festival that’s held in downtown Washington, DC as part of the larger National Cherry Blossom Festival. I thought about going down early in the morning so I could check out the Cherry Blossom Parade that precedes the Sakura Matsuri by starting at 10 a.m. But I was too lazy to get my act together so I could arrive that early so I basically ate breakfast and lunch at home then headed out to the Sakura Matsuri in the afternoon. (I was glad I ate my meals at home because nearly all of the food vendors had very long lines.)

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

I even dug out this Japanese imported Stitch hat that I purchased at one of the Otakon anime conventions that were held in Baltimore. I know it was before my marriage broke up because I bought it with my then-husband in mind because he was such a huge fan of the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch and Stitch was his favorite Disney character. I also remember when I modeled the hat for him and he was thrilled with it. That hat had been sitting in a drawer since my husband left but I decided that I could continue to use it because I think it’s a cute hat. Besides, it enabled me to blend in a little bit with the other people who were cosplaying. I even had several people at the festival notice my hat and telling me that they loved it. When I arrived in downtown DC, the one of the first things I did was to take a rare selfie of me wearing that hat.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Like most other years, the festival was very crowded. I still enjoyed myself as I looked around at the sights and sounds of the festival. I even took a few silly pictures while I was there. I recently started to follow the official Sonic the Hedgehog accounts on Facebook and Instagram and it was through social media I learned that there is something called Travel Tuesday where people can submit photos of a Sonic doll or stuffed animal either at an event or some famous landmark (like the Eiffel Tower). I decided to pack my articulated Sonic vinyl doll so I could take his photo for Travel Tuesday. Here are the photos that I submitted but, as of this writing, none of them have been selected for Travel Tuesday.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

I also played around a little bit with the Hatsune Miku photo app on my smartphone. I thought it was appropriate since that character originated in Japan. (Although now that I look at the pictures, I realized that I should’ve varied the girl’s pose just a little bit since she had the same facial expression and pose. Oh well.)

Hatsune Miku at the Sakura Matsuri

Hatsune Miku at the Sakura Matsuri

Hatsune Miku at the Sakura Matsuri

I basically walked around shooting pictures of cosplayers and the various items I saw on sale. I noticed a lot of ram and sheep plushies on sale this year, which makes sense since 2015 is the year that’s known alternatively as the Year of the Sheep, the Year of the Ram, or the Year of the Goat.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

I only purchased one thing at this year’s festival.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Yes, it’s chocolate gelato made by Dolci Gelati and it was very delicious!

While I heard musicians perform on the various stages throughout the festival, I only managed to capture one of the acts with my smartphone because it was one of the few times that I was even able to get close to a stage because everything was so crowded. As for the act that I captured, according to the program book, she is a pop singer from Kyoto named Jonetsu Mariko. I thought I recognized the name for some reason and the program book said that she was making a return appearance to the Sakura Matsuri. After I got home, I searched through this blog and I found out that I previously saw her at the 2010 Sakura Matsuri and I had also videotaped her that time. (She appeared under the name Jonetsu Marie and Shabondama High School.) In any case I took a still photo of her.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

I even shot a short video of her performing on stage.

That video was the only one I shot at this year’s Sakura Matsuri.

I also saw that NASCAR driver Akinori Ogata was there with his race car, just like the last time I attended the Sakura Matsuri two years ago. Once again he appeared with Eneos, which makes motor oil. Eneos also had a bean bag toss game called “Cornhole.”

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Getting on the Metro so I could go home was a bit of a hassle. The last photo shows the long line that I had to stand in just so I could enter the Federal Triangle Metro Station. I’m only lucky that I had the foresight to put enough money on my Metro SmartTrip card for a round trip so I wouldn’t have to stand in another line at the farecard machines.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

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