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How classic cartoons created a culturally literate generation.

People are furious at these new shirts from Kylie and Kendall Jenner.

Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian are accused of stealing ideas from indie African American designers. 

See photographs of figures in Russian history rendered in colorized portraits, such as Tolstoy, Chekhov, and more.

This artist is brining out the beauty in stretch marks.

The rise in art protests: how the gallery became a new battleground.

What it means to be on the left.

Interactive Periodic Table of Elements shows how the elements actually get used in making everyday things.

Someone called this white girl’s Japanese tea party racist on social media but then this Japanese user stepped in.

Gorgeous color autochromes of American women from over 100 years ago.

Creative mom dresses up in amazing cosplay to represent older women characters.

Fender custom shop recycles Hollywood Bowl bench boards to make $12k guitars.

Rural America is stranded in the dial-up age.

Director Michel Gondry makes a charming film on his iPhone, proving that we could be making movies, not taking selfies.

This man spent 6 years crocheting a Super Mario Bros map blanket.

Neoliberalism has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals.

Transgender soldiers of the American Civil War.

The 11 most unintentionally hilarious religious paintings.

Meet the unconventional family who lives in a 1940s time warp.

$330,000 in financial aid bought this person a slot in the American meritocracy. He writes about the flaws in that system.

I shot a short video featuring the Chalice Dancers at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church right at the beginning of Sunday service. They did a Hawaiian dance to Hawaiian music.

Valentine's Day

During one of my recent periodic housecleaning periods I came across something I did as a child. It’s a card where I proclaimed my love for Jesus Christ. I wrote “Jesus I Love You” right on the front.

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The front of the card has two heart-shaped flaps in the middle that one can open to reveal a drawing of Jesus.

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Opening the card the normal way reveals paper lace with the drawing of Jesus directly in the middle.

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Here’s a close-up of the drawing. No, I did not do that one. It was a small printed card that had Jesus’ image on it. I have to admit that the drawing looked like it was a bit on the whimsical side with the cute baby-faced Jesus holding a very cute lamb.

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The card was basically a paper collage that was mostly made from construction paper. This was among the many artifacts from my childhood that I rescued from the house I grew up in when my mother decided to sell it. I’m amazed that it lasted this long because my mother had a tendency to periodically throw out my old art projects so they wouldn’t clutter the house. I have a feeling that she saved it out of deference to my devout Roman Catholic grandmother, who lived with us while I was growing up, because I know that my grandmother would’ve raised a stink had my mother thrown out anything with Jesus’ image on it.

I don’t have any memories of actually creating it. I have a feeling that it was probably one of the many arts and crafts projects I did during Sunday morning CCD class when I was being raised Catholic. Given the hearts and the message of my love for Jesus on the front, I have a feeling that I did this one either on Valentine’s Day itself or during the CCD class that was held on the Sunday before Valentine’s. I normally didn’t do religious themed arts and crafts at home so it’s logical that I probably did this at CCD. The teacher probably provided the materials and told us to make a love card for Jesus and I did this card as a result.

Even though I basically did what I was told when I made this card, I have no regrets making it. Yet I don’t have any kind of sentimental attachment to it either. It’s basically an artifact from my childhood that I forgot about for many years until I came across it again recently.

Last month I attended an all-ages pizza party in the glen of Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church after Sunday service was over. During that time I took this shot of the church steeple being surrounded by fall foliage.

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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.)

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

I shot a couple of videos of the PBUUC Chalice Dancers performing to spoken word pieces during Sunday service on October 2, 2016 at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Adelphi, Maryland. The first performance was done while the interim minister, Rev. Evan Keely did the reading.

The second performance happened at the end of the service. Rev. Evan Keely did a reading on courage while the dancers performed then it segued into the traditional closing hymn “Fuente de Amour/Spirit of Life,” which is sung first in Spanish then in English.

My latest trip to Baltimore came during a really crazy period. A few weeks I submitted this painting to a special art fundraiser that was being put on by the Escape Artists Gallery where the proceeds would go towards helping the victims of the recent Ellicott City flood.

Desire

On the day I submitted that painting I also took a few photos of the area near the Escape Artists Gallery, which I posted here.

Soon after I submitted that painting I made an appointment for an interview for a potential job, which would be located in Jessup yet the interviews themselves took place in my old hometown of Glen Burnie. The night before that job interview I got word that my mother became very ill and she ended up in a hospital that was also located in Glen Burnie. I went through with the job interview the following morning while I took a change of clothes. After the job interview I went to Crabtowne USA where I ate lunch and changed clothes in the women’s restroom then headed to the hospital. For four days before the start of the Labor Day holiday weekend I would commute from the DC area to Glen Burnie to visit with my mother. Between those visits I would photograph some old haunts that I used to go to when I was growing up.

My mother managed to recover from her latest bout with sepsis and she was released from the hospital on the Friday, the same day that signaled the start of the Labor Day holiday weekend. A couple of days earlier I had received an invitation to go to the closing party for that art exhibit in Baltimore that would take place Friday night. Since my mom was in the process of getting out of the hospital, I decided to just bypass Glen Burnie and go straight into Baltimore.

It was the fifth day in a row that I commuted from the DC area to the Baltimore area but this trip was relatively relaxing compared to the previous four days. I arrived in Baltimore a few hours before the start of the party because I wanted to walk around the area some more.

I took the light rail into the city. At the light rail stop that’s closest to the Escape Artists Gallery there is this interesting looking statue that seems to depict soldiers from the American Revolution.

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This abandoned building has some nice art deco features and it probably was a really nice building a long time ago. Even though it looks deserted it still manages to maintain its art deco architecture.

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The main reason why I wanted to arrive in Baltimore early is because I found out that the Walters Art Museum is located just a couple of blocks from the Escape Artists Gallery. I had only been in that museum one other time and that was when I was a teenager. I remember my mother took me to that museum (which was then-named The Walters Art Gallery) because she kept on saying that she wanted to take me to that museum as well as some of the other nice places in Baltimore. I think she finally got around to taking me there when she realized that I was growing up and she wanted to take me there before I reached adulthood. The only things I remember from my one and only prior trip are the collection of Fabergé eggs and this mummy that was still in its sarcophagus.

So I was all excited that I would finally make my second visit to this same museum in my life, especially since it offers free admission. What made this visit even better is that, after enduring several weeks of high heat and high humidity, that awful heatwave went away. (What happened is that Hurricane Hermine was coming up the East Coast. It never went inland but it was powerful enough for the beach resorts to ban swimming and it blew away that high heat and high humidity. The weather was totally wonderful.

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I spent around two hours in that museum but, to be honest, if I had to do it again, I would spend the entire day in that museum because there is literally so much to see. I only managed to see two of the floors and part of a third floor. I took some pictures of the art that I liked, which show just a portion of what The Walters Art Museum has on display. (Some of the photos include nudity so they are definitely NSFW.)

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The Walters Art Museum also offers this really great view of the nearby Washington Monument.

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I stayed in that museum until it was closing time. As I walked outside I began to really enjoy the sunny yet very pleasant weather. I sat down on a chair that was located near the Washington Monument as I enjoyed the excellent weather and rested from walking around The Walters Art Museum for two hours. After a while I got up again and took some more photos around the area, including the Washington Monument and the Peabody Institute.

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At one point I thought about eating dinner at this locally owned pizza place instead of the Subway that’s located under the Escape Artists Gallery. While I could afford to eat at Subway, the pizza place was slightly more expensive so I decided to hit the ATM machine that was located inside that pizza place. But then I got one of those “Access Denied” messages on the receipt, even though I had just deposited the latest alimony check from my ex-husband. I briefly walked a block north to see if there were any other ATMs in the area but I didn’t find one and I was too tired to try walking a block south so I ended up eating dinner at Subway instead.

Finally was time for the party at the Escape Artists Gallery to begin (and it was located directly over the Subway where I ate my dinner). I arrived after the party was scheduled to begin only to discover that I was the first person who arrived. So I ended up talking with one of the people who ran the gallery where I learned that it had sold only half of the art currently in the show and the bulk of the sales happened on opening night. Since then the gallery had sold only one or two additional art pieces but, as a fundraiser, it was a bust. I also learned that my own art piece was among the unsold art pieces.

I walked around the gallery where I not only saw my own painting hanging (which you can see in the photo below) but I also saw the other works of art that were currently on display.

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This next photo shows that the party consisted of just seven people (including myself). I talked with the other party people for a bit but it was pretty much a bust. I decided to leave that party a half-an-hour before it was scheduled to end. I said my good-byes to the person I spoke with when I first arrived and she suggested that I take my painting with me since the show was going to close in two days. I took up her offer because I was really dreading making yet another trip from the DC area to the Baltimore area for a sixth day out of the last seven days.

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As I was walking back to the light rail station with my painting, I took a couple of gorgeous sunset photos.

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I even got a chance to see how gorgeous the Washington Monument looks at night when it’s all lit up like in the next photo.

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When I arrived at the light rail station I saw that the Revolutionary War soldiers statues that I first saw when I arrived were bathed in a warm yellow light.

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Ramadan

This weekend was action-packed for me. On Saturday, Mary 14, I went to the Gateway District Arts Open Studio Tour then I went to the Greek Festival in Lanham, Maryland where I purchased some Greek food as carryout. (I ate one of the meals when I returned home while storing the rest in the freezer to eat at later dates.)

On Sunday, May 15, I went to the Loudon Lyme 5K/10K/1K Fun Run in Ashburn, Virginia on behalf of a new startup trying to sell jumpsuits that had been treated with Sawyer Permethrin. After the event I stopped off at Tyson’s Corner Mall because it was located halfway between Ashburn and my home and I hadn’t been there since last year. On the way home I decided to make a return trip to the Greek Festival so I could purchase more Greek food as carryout where I consumed one meal but froze the rest for later.

The only major downside came on day 2 of the Greek Festival. It was a very windy that day and the wind was so bad that I drove relatively slow going to and from both the Loudon Lyme event and Tyson’s Corner Mall. It was when I came close to the Greek Festival that I had trouble. I decided to park a few blocks away in the former Kmart parking lot. As I was turning into that parking lot, a wind gust pushed my car into a curb, thus resulting in a flat tire. After I got the Greek food to take home, I managed to drive the few miles back to my home on that flat. (I had temporarily let my AAA membership expire because of tight finances and I couldn’t afford a tow truck.) The next day, with a little help from a few kind neighbors who live across the street from me, we managed to replace that flat with a temporary spare tire. I had to deal with driving as little as possible for a couple of weeks because I was waiting for money to come in so I could afford to get my tire fixed along with a much-needed oil change. But I digress.

I took a few pictures of the Greek Festival, including a self-guided tour of St. Theodore Greek Orthodox Church (where the festival was held). I have to say that the church itself is quite lovely with the traditional Eastern Orthodox religious art.

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016
Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

Greek Festival, Lanham, Maryland, May 14-15, 2016

So much for my original New Year’s resolution of doing one new sketch in my small sketchbook each day. (LOL!) In my defense, I have to say that there are times when I find doing these sketches to be time consuming, especially if I had done other creative projects that day (such as working on a new art project or updating this blog). But I really need to be more disciplined about working more on that sketchbook, especially since I had done only three new sketches for the entire month of May.

The first sketch was inspired by my recent attendance at the annual Greenbelt Green Man Festival, which was held on Mother’s Day weekend. I drew this Green Man.

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After I did that drawing I slacked off on doing any more drawings until it was just a couple of days before the end of May and I realized that I had only done one drawing that entire month. In an effort to come up with more than one drawing for the entire month I played around with Rory’s Story Cubes for the other two drawings. Here is what I came up with on May 29.

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And here is what I did on May 31, the last day of the month.

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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.

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