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This is the third year that a maker event took place in Greenbelt, Maryland. (It used to be known as the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire until this year, when the organizers decided against renewing the license with Make magazine, which holds the rights to the name “Maker Faire”. One of the reasons I heard is that the organizers of this event has always insisted on it being a non-commercial, non-profit community event which is the opposite of most Maker Faire events, which tend to have all kinds of corporate sponsorships.) After sitting out last year, I decided to return as a participating vendor with my own table.
Makerspace 125 is the main spearheader of this event. This is what it looked like on that day all decked out in balloons and hoops wrapped with yarn.
Someone draped the nearby Mother and Child statue with long strings of beads.
Here is my vending area at this year’s event.
A few days earlier I created a video slideshow of my sketchbook drawings I made over the years (I only admitted the ones that depicted partial or full nudity because this festival is an all-ages family-friendly event). I made a little brochure explaining about myself. I also offered free Oreo cookies.
This section shows the comic book coasters I made by cutting up the comic book collection that my ex-husband left behind. (I attempted to sell them but comic books are worth squat these days, especially if they were published after 1985.) I first debuted them at the 2015 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire and I still had a few left mainly because I haven’t worked as many art shows and craft fairs in recent years as before the economic meltdown of 2008.
Last, but not least, here is my Barbie doll section.
The one in the front is the Barbie that I customized into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (which I also documented in my four-part DIY video series).
The three other dolls in the back are ones I originally found in thrift stores and I converted them into fairy dolls.
Since this event took place the day before Easter Sunday, there were plenty of eggs on display this year.
Here are my photos of the rest of the festival. The day started off cloudy and cool but then the sun came out and it got progressively hotter until I took off my hooded sweatshirt and just walked around in a t-shirt instead. The cream in the middle of the Oreo cookies I was giving away started to ooze from the middle of each cookie. (I ultimately had to put the entire pack in the refrigerator when I returned home.)
Even though the weather was ideal, the event drew a smaller crowd this year than in previous years. I have a feeling that the fact that this event was scheduled on the day before Easter had something to do with it. I only made a total of $25 in sales throughout the entire six-hour event. I was sort of disappointed because I really wanted to get rid of some excess crafts that have been stored in my home for the past few years while earning extra money. Oh well. At least I got to see a lot of my friends at this event so that’s something.
I also shot a short video of some parts of the festival, which you can view below.
The week prior to Easter Sunday was an event held at Makerspace 125 known as Member Week. The STEM center was opened to the general public in an effort to get more members to join the makerspace, which had recently converted into a member-owned cooperative. While I was there a couple of nights that week, I only took pictures on Thursday, April 13, 2017, when there was a demonstration of the various electronics that the makerspace hopes to run workshops on in the future, including open source devices like Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
The decoration of the outside of Makerspace 125 was well underway that night but it was still a work in progress when I took these pictures.
Here is the electronics demonstration itself.
Member Week at Makerspace 125 ended with the 2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival, which was held on the day before Easter Sunday.
I was in Laurel because I was attending a morning workshop on the gig economy and how one can tap into and even thrive financially. It was a very well-attended workshop and I got a lot out of it. After the workshop ended at noon I decided to just stay in Laurel and make a full day of it. It was a sunny and warm spring day and I just wanted to decompress from that workshop. So I went to the nearby Giant where I purchased a sandwich, diet soda, and a few other lunch items, and drove to Riverfront Park. I ate my lunch outside on a park bench as I savored the natural beauty that was all around me. I also took a few photos while I was there.
The next shot was of the bathroom in Riverfront Park. While I thought the wall mural was intriguing, I was a little bit too grossed out by the toilet to actually use it.
I walked around the historic Main Street district, where I took a few more photos.
The front windows of Rainbow Florist was decorated for the upcoming Easter holiday.
Here’s the bull statue that’s located outside the entrance to the Laurel Meat Market.
One of the storefronts has a mural depicting the history of Laurel.
I really like the look of the building that houses the Laurel Post Office.
Here’s a sign announcing a new business that will soon open on Main Street.
I love this vintage ornate mailbox.
A family of sparrows have built a nest in a ledge overlooking The Crystal Fox store. I haven’t seen any baby birds in that nest but I’m sure they will come soon.
The next two photos show The Crystal Fox store windows.
Outback Leather specializes in selling horse saddles and other horse-related items (which makes sense since the Laurel Racetrack is located just a mile or two away).
I took one last picture before I left for home.
Last month I wrote a post after I learned that The Washington Post was no longer running its annual Peeps diorama contest. The editor of the alternative weekly Washington City Paper hinted on Twitter that her paper may pick up the mantle while providing an email address for inquiries. From there it snowballed into a new Peeps diorama contest. Today is Easter Sunday so The Washington City Paper announced the winners of its first Peeps diorama contest on its website. I have to admit that everyone involved did very well on such a short notice.
One fringe benefit of the City Paper reviving that contest is that my 2013 rant on A Warning for Those Who Intend to Enter This Year’s Peeps Diorama Contest has once again risen to the top five most-read posts in my blog. It’s too soon to tell whether The Washington City Paper will run this contest again next year although I have a hunch that it’s highly likely that there will be one in 2018. Even though a different publication is now running the Peeps diorama contest, it still wouldn’t hurt to read my original rant because some points I raised in it still applies to that contest.
In any case, here are the winners of The Washington City Paper‘s Peeps Diorama Contest. If you want to view the winners in person, you can travel to the Peeps store located at National Harbor (which had been running a separate unrelated Peeps diorama contest as a tie-in with its #ThisIsHowYouHarbor social media campaign but also decided to team up with The Washington City Paper as a partner for the resurrected Peeps diorama contest).
Since today is Easter, I’d thought I’d share these pictures of Peeps that were available in a variety of different flavors this year.
As a child I received at least one or two small packs of Peeps in my Easter basket each year. At that time Peeps only came out in the spring to coincide with Easter. They were available only in one flavor (the original marshmallow flavor) and one color (yellow). The only choices available were bunnies and chicks. Once Easter season passed, the Peeps would go away from the store shelves and I wouldn’t see them again until the following spring.
In recent years Peeps has expanded to other holidays (Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas), come out in other colors (like blue, orange, and green), come out in other shapes (such as snowmen for Christmas and jack o’lanterns for Halloween).
Peeps have even come out in different flavors besides original marshmallow. This year I purchased a few of these different flavored packs. I’ll admit that I liked some better than others. (I found the lemon lime Peeps to be way too sweet for my tastes.) Here are the photos of the Peeps flavors that I tried this year.
The sour lemon lime Peeps. Despite the “sour” description, I found that these Peeps tasted way sweeter than the usual Peeps.
The triple chocolate Peeps took chocolate Peeps, filled them with chocolate filling, then dipped their bottoms in even more chocolate.
The bottoms of the vanilla Peeps were dipped in crème flavored fudge. These chicks were flecked with multi-colored sprinkles.
The vanilla caramel brownie ones had vanilla Peeps that were filled with a caramel filling then their bottoms were dipped in milk chocolate.
The chocolate mousse Peeps had bottoms that were dipped in milk chocolate.
Last fall I was doing some tidying up around the house when I found this fused glass pendant featuring a bunny rabbit that I made years ago when I took a workshop that was offered through Profusions of Glass. (I may have even still been married when I made this pendant. LOL!) Well, anyway, I found it back in November shortly before Thanksgiving and I now have it in the place where I keep all of my other jewelry. I waited to write about it until today because the pink color scheme along with the rabbit just seems more like it’s appropriate for Easter Sunday than last November.
Philadelphia museum showing glass bongs as high art. The museum’s directors say that this exhibit is less about potheads and more about allowing an underground community of artists to showcase their work without fear of being stigmatized or prosecuted.
After enduring the massive Blizzard of 2016 last year, I was relieved that the area where I live was mostly spared from snow this winter, with one exception. An unusually late snowstorm was coming to our area and the weather forecasters were predicting that it would dump at least six inches and maybe higher. Since there was a 50% chance that I may be snowed in for at least a day and maybe even two days, I decided to go somewhere just so I can get out of the house for a few hours before the snow arrived.
I decided to go to the Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda because I hadn’t been there in years. I basically walked around the mall just a few hours before the snow fell. Apparently a lot of people got the same idea because I found the mall to have plenty of people, which was unusual for a weekday afternoon. I took a few photos during my time there.
I stopped by Lolli & Pops and checked out the candy. I was amused by the line of Japanese imported Hello Kitty candy.
There were special chocolate Pokémon Easter eggs on sale.
Lolli & Pops had a line of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey cakes and candy.
There were three flavors of champaign-flavored gummi bears on sale. I purchased the sparkling light gummy bears and I found them to be quite tasty. I wanted to try the other two flavors but I didn’t have enough money on me.
Lolli & Pops have a variety of loose candy on sale and one could buy special jars and tins to put them in. In addition, one can bring back those same jars and tins for refills.
I also briefly checked out Build-A-Bear Workshop. Those bunnies in the windows indicated that Easter was coming soon despite the snow forecast that day.
There were actually teddy bears based on Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of its originally 1990’s animated Beauty & the Beast.
I loved the floral pattern on this teddy bear.
As I was heading out of the mall I took a photo of this tea and spice place known as Rumi. That’s because my Unitarian Universalist congregation has read poems from the Sufi mystic and one hymn our congregation frequently sings “Come, Come Wherever You Are” is based on one of Rumi’s poems. It’s kind of weird seeing his name being used as a tea and spice shop.
As for the snowstorm it dropped around four inches, which was enough to cancel schools and have many people stay home from work for one day. So I was stranded for only one day before I managed to dig my car out the day after the snowstorm went away. It was super-cold for the next few days as temperatures dipped into the low 20’s. Luckily that freezing weather was short-lived that it left our area. Right now spring is here, which means that the weather is getting increasingly warm each day.