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Santa Claus Baby New Year

The day after I observed yet another birthday I decided to check out the Riverdale Park Festival of Lights and Holiday Market. I ran into a few friends of mine and just basically hung out. Here are my photos from that event.

Near the Christmas tree stand was this toy train layout, which had a toy train that was going around and around.

The two young boys in the next photo were constantly following the toy train. As it rode around and around in a circle, the boys walked around and around in a circle as well.

The bulk of the event was held inside of a building. There were all kinds of arts and crafts available for sale ranging from paintings to freshly baked cupcakes to dolls to handmade soap to fused glass jewelry. There was live entertainment as well.

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I walked around the streets of Annapolis taking a bunch of photos not too long ago.

Annapolis really does Christmas really well with its mix of traditional decorations (such as garlands of pine needles) with modern lights.

The highlight was when I went to the Holiday Art Shop, which is a pop-up shop that is sponsored by the Annapolis Arts Alliance.

I came across some fused glass jewelry that I thought looked like something that a friend of mine does in her fused glass work. It turns out to be my friend’s fused glass work. (By the way, you should check out her stuff at her Profusions of Glass Facebook page.)

I purchased a couple of bars of soap from Soap-A-Saurus. One is for me and the other will be a Christmas present for my mother. Both bars are Frankenscence Myrrh scented, which is pretty appropriate for Christmas.

There were Christmas decorations everywhere on the streets of Annapolis.

The next photo shows the historic St. Anne Episcopal Church.

St. Anne is starting to cater to the increasingly Latino population in the state of Maryland. The sign in the next photo translates as “Daily Vespers Prayer. In Spanish. Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.”

The rest of the photos show a mix of historical markers and festive Christmas decorations everywhere in the historic district of Annapolis.

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

EasterPassover

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.

rabbitpendant-webversion

Santa Claus

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

photo2

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.

photo3

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.

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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.

photo5

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.

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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.

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Santa Claus

 

 

 

 

Ever since I did some serious downsizing in the wake of my husband’s sudden walkout on me five years ago, I’ve been making do with limiting most of my Christmas decorations to a coffee table in my living room. I basically celebrate something I call a Tabletop Christmas. Here’s a picture of my setup that I took in 2012 but it’s still the same this year so I have no problem with reposting it.

Christmas tree in 2012

I’ve written previous blog posts about some of my decorations that I’ve put up, which you can read about at these links below:

Angel Christmas Tree Topper

Christmas angel treetopper

Hippie Merman Ornament

Ginger Cottages Incense Burner

Behnke's Nurseries, December 14, 2012

A Small One-Piece Peruvian Nativity Set

Nativity made in Peru

A Small One-Piece Wooden Nativity Set

My new nativity scene I purchased from Valley View Farms

Two Hedgehog Ornaments That I Originally Purchased When I Owned Spike, My Late Pet Hedgehog

My new hedgehog ornaments I purchased from Valley View Farms

Befana the Witch Glass Ornament

photo18

Ornament Resembling a Stuffed Teddy Bear in a Traditional German Outfit

photo19

A Snowman Bell

photo20

A Robot Nutcracker

photo5

A Fused Glass Gingerbread Man That I Made in a Workshop

Christmas-Ornament,-December-16,-2013

A Fused Glass Tree-Shaped Ornament That I Made in a Workshop

Fused Glass Christmas Ornament

A Vintage Elf That I’ve Owned Long Before the Elf on the Shelf Became This Annual Big Marketing Juggernaut

IMG_20131228_103201787-small

Animatronic Mickey’s Clock Shop

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Tangled Reindeer Which I Customized Myself

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Tangled Reindeer

Steampunk Snowman Which I Customized Myself

Steampunk Snowman

Macy’s Christmas Ornament Featuring a Mickey Mouse Balloon and the World Trade Center

2000 Macy's Christmas Ornament

Lace Moose Ornament

photo11

Owl Made From a Tiny Gourd

Owl Gourd Christmas Ornament

A Delftware Style Ornament

photo94

There’s only one other place where I also make a token observation to Christmas besides my living room coffee table. I have a wooden Santa Mickey Mouse puppet that hangs outside throughout the holiday season. That’s my only outdoor decoration I have and it’s one that I previously wrote about back in 2014.

photo1

And now, for the first time in this blog, here’s a selfie of me wearing a Santa Mickey hat and a red Christmas sweater posting next to my Santa Mickey puppet.

photo1

For added measure, here’s another selfie.

photo2

This morning I went to church (Christmas fell on a Sunday this year) then I went to a local Chinese restaurant where I ate lunch at its usual special-priced weekend buffet. Here is what I got in my fortune cookie: A message that said “You will pass a difficult test that will make you happier.”

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Hmmmm. I’ll see about that. It would be cool if that fortune came true because I can use some happy times right about now.

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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.

Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Show, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 4, 2016

I saw these nice instruments that were handmade from wood. They were made and sold by Roussell Family Arts.

Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Show, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 4, 2016

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.)

Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Show, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 4, 2016

You can view more of her work here and here.

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.

Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Show, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 4, 2016

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.

Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Show, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 4, 2016

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.

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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.)

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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.)

photo3

If you like the fused glass in these pictures, check out my friend’s business, Profusions of Glass.

American Flag

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.

Festival Ad Poster

 

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

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.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man 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.

What I Bought at This Year's Greenbelt Green Man Festival

What I Bought at This Year's Greenbelt Green Man Festival

The other was a t-shirt featuring an image of Jesus riding on the back of a dinosaur.

What I Bought at This Year's Greenbelt Green Man Festival

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.

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

Here are the chalk messages that were written on the pavement.

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

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.

Bernie Sanders Chalk Writing Event

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.)

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, October 10, 2015

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, October 10, 2015

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.

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, October 10, 2015

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, October 10, 2015

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, October 10, 2015

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, October 10, 2015

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, October 10, 2015

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, October 10, 2015

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, October 10, 2015

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.

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, October 10, 2015

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