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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.
The past few days I’ve been writing about having a Tabletop Christmas and I’ve timed these writings so they would be uploaded during the traditional 12 days of Christmas. Today I’m going to write about handmade ornaments.
If you were to read enough back issues of this blog, you’d know that this blog’s main focus is on my arts, crafts, and photography. I’ve previously written about some of the ornaments I have that I made myself. Today I’m going to write about the ornaments I currently own that were handmade by other people.
Back in 2011 I purchased this hand-decorated ornament ball at a local arts and crafts show for my then-husband as a Christmas present. Even though, by that point, we had so many ornaments that we couldn’t put them all up because we didn’t have room on the tree, I purchased it anyway because my husband always told me that he loved Christmas balls and he had been miffed that we didn’t have too many ball-shaped ornaments. At the time I didn’t know that my husband had been secretly planning his exit from our marriage three days after Christmas (he didn’t even tell me that he was the least bit unhappy and he pretended that he “loved” me). So it turned out to be among the last Christmas presents I ever gave my husband. This ball survived the Christmas ornaments purge the following year because I really liked the delicate lace-like painted design on it.
The next ornament is a lace fan that has been permanently stiffened so it would always be a bit wavy. I had a co-worker at one of my old jobs who was a recent newlywed. Her mother-in-law and father-in-law had escaped their native Cuba while her mother-in-law was pregnant with her future husband. (My co-worker said that her husband would frequently quip that he was made in Cuba but born in the U.S.A.) Her mother-in-law was a very crafty person and she made a bunch of these Christmas ornaments. My co-worker brought a few into the office to sell on behalf of her mother-in-law and I purchased this fan. I love its pretty delicate appearance.
This folk art bird was among the many ornaments that my then-husband had brought with him when we were married. His late mother’s side of the family were Hungarian and this ornament definitely has Eastern European-style patterns on it. This was among the ornaments that he decided to leave behind. I kept the bird because I really like the folk art quality it has.
As I wrote earlier, I’ve made a few fused glass ornaments by taking workshops that my friend Tina Van Pelt teaches through her business Profusions of Glass. The ornament in the next photo is one that Tina made herself.
This next ornament is a handmade one that I’ve owned since childhood. It’s a diamond-shaped mirror with a gold cherub in the center surrounded by tiny gold trim. I remember purchasing it at an arts and crafts show but I don’t recall if the show was held at the Catholic church my family attended at the time or if it was held at the now-demolished Harundale Mall in Glen Burnie, Maryland. I remember once having two of these mirrored ornaments but I don’t remember if they were sold as a set or if I simply bought two of them. I remember they weren’t very expensive because I was able to buy them with my allowance money. I only have one of these mirrored ornaments because the other one broke years ago. I’m amazed that this ornament has lasted so many years.
The small beaded ornaments in the next two photographs were made by my sister-in-law. One is shaped like a Christmas tree while the other is shaped like a bell. Here’s some background. At the time we were married, my future ex-husband had only one living grandparent left. She was the widow of Michael Somogyi, whose diabetes research had earned him his own Wikipedia page. (No, I never met him. He had been long dead by the time I met my future ex.) She wasn’t able to make it to our wedding because she lived in St. Louis and her health had grown too frail to make the long travel to our wedding in Maryland. She died about a year-and-a-half after our wedding. Members of the Somogyi family decided to use her death as an occasion to hold a family reunion in St. Louis. My sister-in-law made these tiny beaded ornaments to give to all of the attendees. (I recall at least 50 people showed up, which meant that my sister-in-law was very busy for several months before the reunion.) My ex-husband left those behind and I’ve kept them because the beaded ornaments make a really cool glittery effect when the lights are on.
The last photograph shows a pair of miniature teacups. For many years there was a woman who made them and she had a booth at the annual Greenbelt Festival of Lights. These were made as a set. I purchased them five years ago (I remember buying them shortly before my husband left me)and I was glad I bought them when I had the chance because I didn’t see her booth at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights this year. I don’t know why she wasn’t there. These teacups look so dainty and delicate hanging from the tree.
The opening ceremony for the Festival of Lights happened just a few days earlier, which led the way for the biggest event of this festival: The Festival of Lights Arts & Crafts Show. This is among the events I make an effort to attend each year because I always run into at least two or more friends and I usually find at least one present to give to someone. This year was no exception.
The arts and crafts show runs the entire weekend but I was only able to attend the second and final day. In some ways the second day is better because it ties in with the last Greenbelt Farmers Market of the year before it goes on the winter hiatus until May. I managed to take this picture of some really nicely decorated Christmas decorations that were painted gourds.
I saw these nice instruments that were handmade from wood. They were made and sold by Roussell Family Arts.
These watercolors were made by Mary Ann Lipovsky, whose workshops I’ve taken in the past when she held them at Makerspace 125. (She told me that there’s a chance that she may start up those workshops at Makerspace 125 again sometime next year.)
I also visited my good friend, Tina Van Pelt, who’s a fused glass artist. She surprised me with this gift of a fused glass piece that could be worn as either a pin or a pendant. (She gave it to me as a special “thank you” for helping her out with a few things.) She’s been making fused glass American flags interspersed with safety pins as part of the new trend of wearing safety pins that have taken root since Donald Trump’s election last month. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this special line will go to the ACLU.
You can view more of her work through her business, Profusions of Glass.
I purchased this soap as a Christmas present for my mother. (I’m comfortable with mentioning it here before Christmas because she’s not on the Internet at all.) It’s shaped like a popsicle complete with a wooden stick.
I think she’ll get a kick out of it. Unfortunately I didn’t get any business cards from the booth where I purchased this soap so I can’t provide any information about the person who made and sold this.
There were more booths at this year’s event but those were the only photos I took because I was more focused on shopping and socializing with friends.
One of my friends from my Unitarian Universalist congregation asked me to do a favor for her. Basically she wanted to sell her fused glass jewelry at the annual church auction but she was going to be out of town for the weekend but she still wanted someone to sell her jewelry on her behalf. (Especially since 50% of the proceeds would go to the church.) So I agreed to do it. I took a few photos of my set up at the church auction.
The next picture shows some of the fused glass jewelry that was on sale that evening. (The flaming chalice that’s in some of the jewelry in the next photo is a symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith.)
The last photo shows samples of my banana bread that I baked for this auction. (I put two loaves up for auction while I made a third loaf to give away as free samples.)
If you like the fused glass in these pictures, check out my friend’s business, Profusions of Glass.
I spent part of the Mother’s Day weekend at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival. Earlier this month I made an allusion to showing off a new product that I modeled on behalf of a new startup. Basically the startup’s first product is a jumpsuit that’s been pretreated with Sawyer Permethrin so one can go hiking, camping, gardening, and other types of outdoor activities without worrying about being bitten by ticks and mosquitos (both of which carry nasty diseases like Lyme and Zika). I posted a selfie while wearing one of those suits. I was also given packaged suits to carry around with me to sell as I walked around the festival ground.
I didn’t sell any suits. Most of the people I spoke with said that they weren’t into camping or money was tight. But the suit I was wearing did get people to open up to me about Lyme disease because they mentioned that they have a friend or relative who’s struggling with this devastating illness. I even had a longtime friend admit to me that she currently has Lyme disease. I knew that she had health issues, which have affected her mobility, but they never got specific as to the cause until she saw me wear that jumpsuit with a sign affixed to the back saying “Ask Me About Permethrin-Treated Disposable Jumpsuit.”
I wore the suit on the first day of the festival while I walked around taking pictures.
Like I wrote earlier I didn’t make any sales on those permethrin-treated jumpsuits. What was worse was that I saw The Backstabbing Couple From Hell (a.k.a. my ex-husband and his mentally ill second wife who used to be a friend of mine until I found out she wasn’t such a good friend). I left the festival about an hour before closing time because I grew tired of seeing them walking around acting all happy. (I have no idea if they are really happy or not and I don’t care.)
The following day I was scheduled to be a substitute teacher for the English language classes my church offers to recent immigrants on Sunday afternoons. I ended up skipping Sunday morning service so I could check out some of Greenbelt Green Man Festival. I didn’t wear the jumpsuit on the second day because I was only there about an hour and a half at the most and I went straight to church for the English classes. I took a few photos of the second day of the festival.
I bought just two items at this weekend’s Greenbelt Green Man Festival. One was a pendant made from recycled dominos that features an image of Edgar Allan Poe.
The other was a t-shirt featuring an image of Jesus riding on the back of a dinosaur.
Anyway that’s it for this year’s Greenbelt Green Man Festival.
UPDATE (June 25, 2016): You can read about why I’m no longer involved with that startup for whom I was selling those jumpsuits at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival right here.
One warm Saturday fall day I took part in two back-to-back events that were held about three miles apart. In the morning I helped other people with writing pro-Bernie Sanders messages in chalk on the pavement outside the Greenbelt Metro. The timing was excellent because it was also the same day as the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March on the Mall so there were out of towners who were converging on the Greenbelt station in order to go downtown. Here’s a shot of the participants waiting in line at the Greenbelt Metro to purchase a farecard.
Here are the chalk messages that were written on the pavement.
The event was originally scheduled to run from 10 a.m.-noon but we had to quit our activity an hour early because the Metro police told us to stop. The next photo shows one of the officers talking to a couple of the volunteers about this.
After the event abruptly ended, I drove a fellow volunteer who needed someone to drive her to her home then came back to my own home. I ate a quick lunch then headed out to the Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival. I had volunteered to work at a table on behalf of the Greenbelt Theater (which has recently re-opened under new management as a co-operatively owned non-profit theater). I managed to take a few photos of the event.
Here’s a photo of the table for the Greenbelt Theater, which included a chocolate jack o’lantern that was being given away in a raffle to be held on October 30. (Tickets were sold for $1 each.)
Here are some scenes from the festival, the bulk of which I shot either during breaks from staffing the Greenbelt Theater table or after my shift was over.
I also shot this video of the various live acts who performed that day.
I only made one purchase at that festival. I bought a pair of hand-carved wooden pens shaped like a dolphin and a lion. I really liked them. What’s more, the ink in the pens can be replaced, which is great for when I run out of ink.
As the Sagittarius Dolly blog inches closer to its fifth anniversary on January 6, 2015, I thought I’d provide a look back at some of my creations that I’ve previously featured in this blog.
Originally profiled on December 16, 2013.
Today is not only Christmas but it’s also falls on a Throwback Thursday this year. I know I haven’t done a Throwback Thursday in a few weeks mainly because I was focused on selling things online and preparing for the holiday season in general. So, as a special treat, here is an entry focused on my own decorations that I previously highlighted in this blog.
Ever since my husband left me for that mentally ill friend of ours, I’ve done some massive downsizing of Christmas decorations. I gave away 3/4 of them to the American Rescue Workers. I even purchased a small tabletop artificial tree with lights already installed on them. I took this photo back in 2012 but this year’s setup is pretty similar.
Next up is this Hippie Merman ornament that I previously wrote about on December 21, 2010. I made a short video consisting mainly of slideshows with some music I composed by combining a bunch of loops together in GarageBand. I still have this ornament and he is currently gracing my small tabletop Christmas tree as of this writing.
Here’s a cottage-shaped decoration that also functions as an incense burner. It’s made in the U.S. by a company called Ginger Cottages.
I also currently have two very small nativity scenes underneath my small Christmas tree. One just features Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus.
The other was made in Peru and it features an entire nativity scene (featuring a sheep and llama) inside of a cow-shaped structure.
I previously wrote about all three on December 17, 2012.
I have two hedgehog ornaments that I originally purchased when I still owned Spike the Hedgehog and I wrote about them on December 13, 2012. Spike has been dead for over a year but I still have these two ornaments hanging in my tree.
Topping my Christmas tree is this doll-like angel that I originally wrote about on December 11, 2012.
Here are a few more ornaments that I purchased last year and I wrote about on December 24, 2013.
Here is a robot nutcracker that I purchased last year because it looked unusual and funky. I wrote about this one on December 23, 2013.
Here’s a fused glass gingerbread man ornament that I created in a workshop that was given by a friend of mine last year. I wrote about this one on December 18, 2013 and he’s hanging in my Christmas tree this year.
I have my Mickey’s Clock Shop, which I purchased years ago. It was considered to be a state-of-the-art animatronic decoration at the time (although there have been more technologically advanced Christmas decorations released since then that makes this one seem quaint by comparison). I have it up this year and it still works. Here is a video I shot for a post that I wrote on January 6, 2014.
Here’s a reindeer that I customized from a Rose Art Color Blank by doing mainly Zentagles that I first wrote about on December 14, 2011.
Here’s a steampunk snowman that I customized from a Rose Art Color Blank and I first wrote about on December 22, 2012.
Here’s a lace moose ornament that I purchased earlier this month and wrote about on December 19, 2014.
Here’s an owl ornament that’s made from a tiny gourd that I also purchased earlier this month. I wrote about this one on December 10, 2014.
Well, anyway, that’s pretty much it for past photos and videos of my Christmas decorations. The one big advantage with downsizing is that all of my Christmas decorations fit neatly into one box. There are separate boxes for the Christmas tree and Mickey’s Clock Shop but that’s no big deal compared to the old days when I used to have three boxes filled with just Christmas ornaments along with two smaller boxes for Christmas plushes and Beanie Babies. I’ve gotten rid of all of the Christmas plushes/Beanie Babies and two of the Christmas ornament boxes after my husband left. Thanks to my downsizing, I can have everything up and decorated in two or three hours and I can take them down really fast in about an hour or so. I’m really happy about that. I have people in my local area who really go overboard with the Christmas decorating (especially on their front property) so if I really want to see a lot of Christmas glitz, all I have to do is get in my car and make a few short trips.
Originally profiled on December 31, 2011.