You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Goat Man’ tag.

The Saturday before Halloween was definitely jam-packed for me. In the afternoon I went to Annapolis to check out a few things. The night before I promised someone that I would film a portion of a performance at the New Deal Cafe that was happening a few hours after I returned from Annapolis. That performance was scheduled to begin until later in the evening. Earlier that evening there was the annual Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk through the woods. I decided that I could squeeze it in before the performance at the New Deal Cafe.

I’ve gone on that walk other years (in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016) but I have gotten very few decent photos from the walk itself. This year I purchased a used Canon digital camera from eBay that has special low light settings so I decided to use it on the pumpkin walk in an effort to take pictures in the dark woods. I have to say that I have gotten the best photos ever from that Canon camera. Here are the photos I managed to shoot successfully.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

The wooded path has fallen tree logs and exposed roots that can make this path a challenge to walk on at times, which is why I always carry a hiking stick and a flashlight with me when I go on that pumpkin walk.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

I encountered a ghoul on the walk holding one of the jack o’lanterns.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

You can’t get more self-referential than a headless horseman carved on the side of a pumpkin. (LOL!)

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Here’s a pumpkin for Minecraft fans.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Here’s a little bit of humor.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

The legendary Goat Man greeted walkers on the wooded path.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

The Halloween fairies greeted visitors as well.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

The next pumpkin references the upcoming Greenbelt municipal election, which was held soon after the Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 28, 2017

I have to say that this year was the best year I ever had picture-wise. Other years I would’ve been lucky to get at least 10 photos to turn out well but to have the vast majority turn out well really thrilled me. Having the right camera for the job makes all the difference in the world.

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Dancing Skeleton

Today is the day after Halloween and the first day of the two-day Mexican holiday known as El Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). In addition, Inktober officially ended right on Halloween yesterday. I succeeded in drawing and uploading 31 ink drawings in 31 days from October 1-31. I finished Inktober at the same time as I ended up getting sick with this stomach flu where I constantly felt nauseous and I alternated between going through dry heaves and diarrhea. The fact that it also happened on the same day as Halloween totally sucks. I barely managed to get myself together enough to give out treats to the trick or treaters. Instead of going to a Halloween night party at a friend’s house, I had to make an emergency run to Giant after the official trick or treat time ended just so I could pick up some medication and toilet paper.

Today I feel better in that the dry heaves and diarrhea has subsided and I feel mostly tired. I took a nap today and I’ll probably go to bed early tonight so I can rest some more.

As I go over the drawings I did during the month, I realized that I could easily put them into certain categories (with many of those drawings falling under more than one category).

Animals: Penguin, panda bear, black cat, dinosaur, swan, pig, two former ride cars from the now-defunct Enchanted Forest amusement park shaped like a duckling and a swan, Willie the Whale, goat, and Zombie Dog.

Based on Dolls I Currently Own: Volks Dollfie Dream, Batgirl and Wonder Woman (with Donald Trump and by themselves).

Building: Crooked House.

Clark’s Elioak Farm: Two former ride cars from the now-defunct Enchanted Forest shaped like a duckling and a swan, the Crooked House, Willie the Whale, goat.

Death Penalty: Guillotine.

Friday the 13th: Black cat.

Halloween/Day of the Dead: The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, Goat Man, Zombie Dog, Day of the Dead skeleton, Frankenstein, Jack O’Lantern.

Hollywood Scandal: Harvey Weinstein.

My Own 100% Original Character: Zombie Dog.

Native American (For Indigenous Peoples Day a.k.a. Columbus Day): Wolf kachina.

Real People: Donald Trump with Jesus Christ, Donald Trump again (with Wonder Woman and Batgirl), Donald Trump yet again, Donald Trump one more time, Tom Petty, burlesque performer Reverend Valentine, Harvey Weinstein, my father-in-law, my mother (which also includes Elvis Presley), Madonna Girl Dale.

Religious-Related Drawings: Jesus Christ (with Donald Trump), Unitarian Universalist flaming chalice, wolf kachina.

People Who Celebrated a Birthday During Inktober: My mother.

People Who Died During Inktober: Tom Petty and my father-in-law.

Politics: Donald Trump with Jesus Christ, Donald Trump again (with Wonder Woman and Batgirl), Donald Trump yet again, Donald Trump one more time.

Relatives: My father-in-law and mother.

Superheroes: Batgirl and Wonder Woman together with Donald Trump and by themselves.

Supernatural Book/Movie Characters: The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz and Frankenstein.

Virtual Models from Figurosity.com: Woman running with a gun, woman dressed in psychedelic tye-dye outfit holding a gun.

The biggest challenge for me is that working on a new drawing a day then uploading it online to this blog and various social media sites took a portion of my time that I could’ve spent doing other things (such as doing house cleaning, putting up Halloween decorations, sending out a few more resumes). That was the main reason why I had quit a previous effort to do one new drawing per day starting on January 1, 2016 (which was a New Year’s resolution). I think the reason why I was more successful at Inktober than my previous daily drawing effort last year was because I knew it was only for 31 days that I had to worry about doing a new drawing each day. After that I could draw as much or as little as I wanted.

Even though there was an official Inktober prompt list of one word for each different day, I was more interested in doing my own thing since this is the first year I participated in this. (Inktober has been going on since 2009.) I only used the official prompt list if I was stumped for inspiration. Now that I got my desire to draw whatever I wanted for Inktober out of my system, I’m thinking that if I was to do this again next year, I would discipline myself by sticking strictly with the prompt list. It would be a way to challenge myself, especially since I’m sure that there will be a word or two that will have me totally stumped at first.

The biggest benefit I got from Inktober is that I was able to learn which social media sites gave me the best exposure in terms of publicizing myself and my work. I uploaded my drawings to the current popular social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) as well as other social media sites I haven’t posted anything in a while. These sites used to be relatively popular until they were overshadowed by Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. I decided to upload to them because I wanted to see if I should still bother with them. I found that the absolute worst were Flickr and Google+ because I only got one “Like” on both platforms and that was it. Tumblr was hit or miss in that I got maybe one or two Notes (which is Tumblr’s version of “Like”) for some of my drawings but there were others that got zero Notes. (The one drawing that got the most attention was the one I did of Tom Petty and that one only got four Notes.) Minds, the open source alternative social media site, was just as hit or miss as Tumblr in that I got maybe one or two “Likes” on some drawings but others were totally ignored.

By far the best response I got was on this blog and Instagram. In fact I got new followers on both platforms because of Inktober. Twitter came in at a close second in that I also got new followers as well as retweets. Facebook was surprisingly more of a mixed-bag. While I got a better response than Flickr, Google+, Tumblr, and Minds combined, the response rate was lower than this blog, Instagram, and Twitter.

The one major social media site that I didn’t use was LinkedIn because that one is more of a professional social media site and some of my drawings were either too political (such as the ones featuring Donald Trump) or the subject matter was one where I just didn’t feel comfortable in posting there (such as the one about the Harvey Weinstein action figure). I’ve seen people get chewed out on LinkedIn for posting anything that was even remotely controversial (especially one that’s political) and I’d rather avoid it since it’s common knowledge that would-be employers tend to look you up on LinkedIn to see if you’re someone they would even want to hire. I don’t want to lose out on any potential opportunity because of some post I made there.

It was time consuming to upload the same drawing on so many different social media sites per day but at least I gained knowledge on which ones are worth investing my time in promoting myself in the future so it was worth it in the end.

I also learned that there is certain value in practicing drawing only for yourself because you’ll never know when one of those drawings you’ve done have struck inspiration to do a regular art project based on what you’ve drawn. I’m thinking about doing a watercolor version of that swan I drew during Inktober because I really liked the results.

Another positive result of Inktober is that I discovered Figurosity.com and that site was valuable in providing virtual models for me to practice my drawing with. I plan to use that site for my drawing more often.

I also looked at other people’s Inktober drawings on social media and I was amazed by the amount of creativity I saw there. There were a few people who did some really ambitious things for Inktober. I saw some people do two or more drawings per day, which I personally admired since I found it a challenge to do even one new drawing in a small sketchbook every single day. I saw one guy who was working on a graphic novel and he decided to use Inktober to draw and ink one new page per day. There was another person who decided to use Inktober do a large complex drawing where the person inked just one section of that drawing each day with the goal being that the large complex drawing would be completed on October 31.

The biggest challenge with Inktober is to maintain my enthusiasm for continuing with drawing one new drawing per day then uploading it online. The first few days I was very eager and enthusiastic. But then I came down with this nasty cold but I continued to work through that cold even though my body wanted to get more sleep so it can knock off those cold germs. After I got rid of that cold I began to gradually view the daily Inktober sketches more and more as some time-consuming daily chore instead of something that I was excited and enthusiastic about. Even though I tried to keep the designs relatively simple and I used a small sketchpad, I still found myself burning out towards the end. This was especially true when I wanted to put up Halloween decorations or go to some Halloween-related local event only to remind myself that I needed to make time for my daily Inktober drawings.

By the last week I went to Clark’s Elioak Farm because I wanted to draw enough pencil sketches so I could just ink over them on the allotted day for the next few days. Then I spent one additional evening filling up my sketchbook with enough Halloween-themed pencil sketches to last me until the very end of the month.

But then I began to just burn out on even doing the ink over the pencil outlines, especially during that last weekend before Halloween. I started to partially-ink over more than one pencil sketch a day or two before the allotted date while leaving each one intentionally unfinished until the allotted date, when I would finish it so I could technically say that I did work on one new drawing per day each day during Inktober. One evening, about two nights before the end of Inktober, I used my free time to do the bulk of the inking on my scheduled drawings of the last two days while leaving just a small area of each drawing unfinished so I could spend less than 15 minutes completing each drawing on the allotted day.

I did it this way because I grew tired of spending anywhere from a half-an-hour to a full hour working on each new drawing then spending additional time photographing my drawing then uploading it on my various social media accounts. You may think that I was cheating but I don’t care. If I hadn’t done something like this, I would’ve grown so tired of spending a chunk of time on my Inktober sketch that I would’ve quit just days before October 31.

Right now I’m typing this in the early days of NaNoWriMo, which is something similar to Inktober where you spend every day in November writing your novel. I’ve read about people who are doing NaNoWriMo but I’m definitely not taking part in this. Spending time each day doing Inktober was enough for me without having to go from doing daily Inktober drawings in October to writing daily NaNoWriMo prose in November.

Now that Inktober is over, I’m going to take some time off from drawing on a daily basis because I have other things in my life that I need to focus on (such as the upcoming winter holidays in December). Ultimately I’m going to try doing a new drawing in my sketchbook at least once a month. I would do this by just working on that drawing in blocks of 15 minutes on a given day (and that would be only if I had extra time available for me to do such a drawing). I would keep on working on the same drawing, 15 minutes at a time and one day at a time, until I’m finished. Basically I want to practice my drawing but on a more leisurely schedule where I can balance that with other activities that require my attention at the same time.

Of course only time will tell whether I actually achieve this. (LOL!) But I’m willing to at least give it a try.

Here are a few things I would advise a person who’s thinking about doing either Inktober next year or simply wants to devote a different month to doing one drawing per day (such as December or March or June):

1. Don’t obsess too much about drawing supplies. I know the official Inktober site has a list of recommended supplies but some of these supplies (such as Micron pens) can be pretty expensive to those on a tight budget. If you can’t afford the recommended Inktober supplies, don’t fret. Just go with cheaper supplies instead. I did my Inktober drawings using a cheap pack of multicolored Paper Mate InkJoy pens that I purchased at Target for only $10. And I wasn’t the only one who didn’t use the best supplies either. I saw quite a few Inktober drawings that were done only with the cheap disposable blue ink Bic ballpoint pens and I found them to be just as interesting and well-done as the ones that were used with the more expensive pens. As for drawing paper, I would recommend shopping around because sometimes you can find the best bargains. Here’s one example: I’ve seen 9” x 12” (23 cm x 30 cm) sketchbook drawing pads on sale at my local Five Below store for only $5.

2. Use a small sketchbook that’s no bigger than 9” x 12” (23 cm x 30 cm). Not only will you fill up the page faster than with a larger sketchbook but a smaller sketchbook is more portable. I did my Inktober drawings using a 4” x 6” (10 cm x 15 cm) sketchbook. When I decided to travel to Clark’s Elioak Farm to do some more Inktober drawings, all I had to do was to put my sketchbook (along with my pens and pencils) in my purse and I was good to go. Heck, I saw some Inktober sketches online that were drawn on Post-It Notes.

3. If you can, try setting aside a certain time each day to work on your Inktober sketch. It could be when you wake up the first thing in the morning or after dinner or whenever. If you can’t commit to the same time every day, then just take advantage of whatever free time suddenly materializes to do your drawings. I’ve seen people admit that they did their Inktober sketches while riding public transportation on the way to or from their day jobs. I’ve even seen people admit that they did their drawings on the sly while being forced to sit in on a boring lecture at school or they took advantage of some downtime at work. Just do whatever works for you.

4. The one thing about Inktober I learned is that you can do some advance drawings in pencil as long as you wait until the designated day to do the final inking. In fact, I learned that this year’s official Inktober prompt list was put online two weeks before the month began so one could have the luxury to decide what he/she wanted to draw on the designated day and even do a rough sketch in pencil. I took advantage of this policy towards the end of the month when I began to burn out on doing a new drawing every day and I was in danger of quitting before the month was over. What I did was to go to Clark’s Elioak Farm, where I finished one new drawing in ink but I did other unfinished drawings in pencil that I could finish in ink over the next few days. By the time I finished that series, it was close to Halloween so I spent one evening just doing a pencil drawing of Madonna Girl Dale (who usually wears a costume in public all year round) followed by pencil drawings of traditional Halloween and Day of the Dead figures until the 31st drawing of the month. So I spent the last week of Inktober just coloring in one previously made pencil drawing in ink per day until I reached the last drawing on Halloween.

5. If you hit a rough patch where you really can’t focus on doing any complicated detailed drawings or you don’t have a lot of time to do anything too complex, just do a simple drawing that you can easily finish in 30 minutes or less. I experienced this challenge earlier this month when I came down with this horrible cold that literally left me feeling very weak and tired all the time. For those days I decided to do simple drawings of a penguin and a panda bear because those animals were relatively easy for me to draw quickly before I felt tired enough to take another nap. As an added bonus, those two drawings were basically black and white drawings so I didn’t have to do much thinking while I drew them. I also didn’t bother with drawing backgrounds because that would’ve been more time-consuming and I didn’t feel wide awake enough to draw something that would’ve been more complex.

6. Don’t be a perfectionist about your drawing. The whole purpose of Inktober is to practice your drawing, not focusing on being the next Rembrandt or Keith Haring. The idea is to do a quick drawing that can be done in a small part of your day.

7. Don’t be afraid of posting your drawings online, even if you personally feel less than enthusiastic about your latest drawing. I found that people tended to be really nice towards those who posted their Inktober drawings and many of them gave positive feedback. I personally didn’t encounter any cyberbullying in the month that I posted my Inktober drawings online. Just post your drawing online even if you personally don’t like it because there will be people who will like it better than you do.

Well, that’s it for Inktober 2017. I’ll end this post with a couple of embedded things in case you’ve missed some or all of the Inktober drawings I’ve been uploading over the past month. One is a YouTube video that includes some catchy background music.

If you prefer to view the pictures at your own pace without background music, you can view my Flickr album instead.

Inktober 2017

I decided to draw the legendary Goat Man for today’s Inktober drawing.

The Goat Man is a local legend in my area whose popularity tends to rise this time of the year. He has his own Wikipedia page and there’s a Washingtonian magazine article about this creature’s enduring popularity among the locals. I’ve previously done a Goat Man art piece (link is NSFW) and I have a DIY Goat Man cloth doll that was once on sale in my Spoonflower shop but it looks like someone has totally removed all of my designs and I don’t know why. I’ve just checked my Spoonflower shop because I was looking for a link to my Goat Man DIY doll that I could link to here and I found that everything from my shop has been removed without even notifying me. (Ironically I received an email from Spoonflower a few weeks ago informing me that someone had purchased one of my other fabric designs, Skunks Among the Flowers.) It looks like I’m going to have to speak with Spoonflower about this, which sucks.

Getting back to Inktober, I was just in the mood to draw something that’s relatively easy for me draw while also being appropriate for Halloween.

I now have four more days and four more drawings to complete and upload until Inktober month is over.

Intervention Con Day 1

Even though Intervention Con was held in a hotel I decided to commute back and forth from my home because it was cheaper. That was how I was able to spend Saturday morning attending a meeting of a new Job Club for people who are either unemployed, underemployed, or just aren’t working their dream jobs because they have to pay bills that I had a hand in forming. I’m not going to write more about this here because it’s one of those topics that really warrants a separate post.

After that meeting ended I returned home to eat lunch and pack dinner and drinks for this evening then I headed to the Hilton Hotel in Rockville. I arrived at the Twinbrook Metro station, which has free parking on the weekend (I only had to worry about paying parking fees that first night) then walk one block to the hotel.

On the first day of Intervention Con the weather was warm outside (it went up into the low 80’s) but some of the hotel conference rooms were a bit chilly because they had the air conditioning way up high. I solved that problem by wearing my Rainbow Dash hoodie. It also has the additional benefit of helping with blending in with the cosplayers who were there at that convention. Here’s a rare selfie below.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

It was a pretty funky outfit since I wore a long-sleeved hoodie with a pair of summer shorts. (LOL!) I didn’t arrive at the convention until around 3 p.m. The first workshop I went to was called “Button down for WHAT?!”, which was devoted to making buttons. It was hosted by Stephanie Byrd of the local button making firm Red Fish Rue Fish. Each participant could make one button for free.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

The needed supplies to make a button were already provided so all one needed is his/her imagination.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

I decided to do the legendary Goat Man as a baby, which I previously wrote about here. I did this initial pencil drawing.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Then I colored it and provided the lettering using colored pencils.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Once I was done I took it to this button making machine where it was made into a button.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

After I finished making my button I immediately headed over to this workshop on “Thriving Artists” that was given by Rob Balder. I learned a few helpful hints (like how you’re more likely to have a successful Patreon page if you have a popular YouTube channel and how self-education is very important and there are a lot of free college level courses online that one can take without having to go thousands of dollars into debt). That workshop also had this excellent quote from the late tennis star Arthur Ashe that goes:

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

After going to two workshops in a row, I decided to just take it easy. I ate the dinner I brought with me in the hotel lobby at this table that had plugs and USB ports available for charging various electronic devices. I charged my smartphone while I ate my dinner. Afterwards I walked around the convention. I headed into the video room for a few minutes. I played a couple of video games myself (mainly the classic arcade games that were loaded on to this X-Box) but I mostly took photos and looked at other people playing games.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

I spent the majority of my free time in the Artists Alley.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

There were tables in the Artists Alley where the celebrities were there at various times to sign autographed photos and pose for photographs. I took all my photos of these celebrities from afar because I was too cash-strapped to pay for the privilege of meeting with my favorite celebrities. The prices of the signed photos ranged anywhere (depending on how popular this celebrity is) from $5-$55. If one also wanted to pose for a photograph with his/her favorite celebrity, those fees not only cost extra but they ranged from $20-$55. I managed to take this faraway photo of an autograph/photo session featuring Gigi Edgley of Farscape and Alex Kingston of Doctor Who.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

There was a live Internet radio broadcast at Intervention Con.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016 Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

A person dressed as Boba Fett stalked the lobby of the Hilton Hotel.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

I attended “The Social Media: BEST and WORST” panel with Mary Ratliff, M. Sieiro Garcia, and Steven Archer. They discussed some of the excesses of some people on social media and they provided advice on how to protect your personal identity online. (The best advice they gave was to sign up for a free Google Voice number that would be tied in to your personal phone but you wouldn’t have to give out your private number. Instead you could publicly give out your Google Voice number and if you start getting harassing messages you can ditch that particular Google Voice number.)

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

I went to one more panel on “The Comical Side of Elections Season” where Joe Wos shared his memories of working with Pat Paulsen during the times he ran for President as a satiric act. He also mentioned other hilarious campaigns, such as Howard the Duck (which I actually reviewed this past summer).

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

He has a version of this presentation that you can listen online right here. I highly recommended it because it is really interesting.

I grew tired after that last panel so I decided to head home. On my way out the door I took one last photo of this cosplayer.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con Day 3

I’ve just returned from the weekend-long Intervention convention that was held in Rockville, Maryland. It was an amazing experience that I’ll write about in future posts. Right now I want to share this button I designed while I took this panel that was held yesterday called “Button Down for WHAT!?!” that was put on by this custom button making firm known as Red Fish Rue Fish.

babygoatman-smallversion

I was stumped on what to design on my button so I decided to take my previous arts and crafts I did based on the legendary Goat Man and made him into a baby chibi form. It’s appropriate that I did another Goat Man-themed piece because next month there will be more hype about this creature at various local Halloween events in my area.

This weekend there were two festivals that took place simultaneously in Greenbelt, Maryland. Fortunately both events were held close together so I was able to take part in both.

I love the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival, which usually takes place on the weekend before Halloween. Friday night is this carving party where the general public is invited to pick up a free pumpkin to carve. Once the person finished the pumpkin carving, it is taken to the front of this stage where it is lit with a candle while a local band performs. So here is what the Carving Party was like.

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015
Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Party, October 23, 2015

This year a Johnny Cash tribute band named Cold Hard Cash performed. I shot a video but something went wrong. When I downloaded the footage to my MacBook and I viewed it, I saw that there was no audio. I play the first few minutes of another video that I already had on my MacBook and found that the sound still played so I knew that the audio problem wasn’t with my MacBook. I shot a short selfie video while I was saying a few random sentences on my Droid Ultra smartphone to test the audio and I found that the audio didn’t record at all. At first I began to fret because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to shoot videos with my smartphone if the audio didn’t record. So I tried shutting off my phone then turning it back on again. I shot another short selfie while saying a few sentences and I found that it recorded the audio that time. My smartphone had never done anything like that before so I hope that it was just a one-time glitch and not signal the beginning of the end of my smartphone’s lifespan. (Personally I’m less than thrilled with the idea of planned obsolescence but that’s a topic for another blog post.)

As a result I don’t have any usable video footage of Cold Hard Cash performing at the festival this year so I’m going to provide video footage of a previous performance by the same band that I shot a few years ago. It’ll give you an idea how much the lead singer sounds like Johnny Cash even though he bears very little physical resemblance to the late Man in Black.

Saturday was the first day of the Utopia Film Festival and the second day of the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival. I usually attend at least one film during the Utopia Film Festival most years if I find something that’s potentially of interest. (There was one year, back in 2012, when I actually sprang for the $25 all-access pass because I was interested in at least six movies and I ended up seeing nine. I haven’t done it since because, with each film having an admission fee of $5, I usually need to find at least five movies that I want to see before I would spring for that all-access pass.) I ultimately ended up going to only two of the movies at that festival.

I went to a Saturday afternoon showing of a film block that consisted of one documentary and two short films. The first film was a short called Red Thunder and it was a hilarious combination of teenage angst and superheroes. The second movie was a documentary called Glow and it was supposed to be a portrait of three different professional performers who wear wigs and makeup before they go out on stage and entertain people. I thought that one was a bit slow-moving and I began to get bored at all those close up shots of people applying several layers of makeup. It only lasted 20 minutes but it felt twice as long to me.

The third movie was the main feature called Broken Hearts & Butterflies about a filmmaker who reunited with her older foster sister who had lived with her family when she was very young. The film delves into the foster sister’s dysfunctional childhood before her mother abruptly decided that she was tired of motherhood and asked her 13-year-old daughter to leave (and her father wouldn’t take her in either) so she went to live with the foster family. The film also showed what happened when, five years after she moved in with them, her foster parents decided to divorce and the foster sister found herself on her own once again. Actually it’s a far more positive film than I expected as the foster sister managed to begin a successful career as a photographer and she’s a functioning member of society. I found myself liking the film. There was a brief Q & A session with the filmmaker and her mother that was pretty interesting as well. It was too bad that the foster sister wasn’t present since she was the focal point of the movie but I guess she had scheduling conflicts.

That evening was the second day and final of the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival when there was a pumpkin walk through a wooded area consisting of lit jack o’lanterns that were carved at that Carving Party the night before. I took my flashlight and my hiking stick along on that walk. I also brought my smartphone with me where I took these photos of just a few of the lit pumpkins that were on that walk.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

A woodland fairy greeted walkers on the wooded trail.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015
Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015
Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015
Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015The legendary Goat Man made an appearance.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

A mysterious beaver-like creature also appeared.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015
Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015
Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015
Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Walk, October 24, 2015

It was a pretty lovely walk. The only downside was that it started to rain when I was about three-quarters of the way through with the walk. Luckily I was wearing my hooded windbreaker so I was able to just put my hood up when I felt the first few raindrops. At least it didn’t rain too hard and the rain was a shower that lasted a few minutes so that shower had passed by the time I got to the end of that walk.

The next day I woke up very stiff because of both the walk from the night before and the rain that took place overnight and into the following morning. My body tends to get very stiff in the mornings when it rains. I can handle long walks and I sometimes wake up slightly stiffer if I take a longer walk than usual. But the combination of the two really did a number on my body. I took a hot shower to alleviate it but I was still feeling too stiff go to church that morning so I missed out on that second annual Trunk or Treat event that was going on that morning. (I saw the photos that people posted on Facebook.)

That day was the second and final day of the Utopia Film Festival. I saw one other movie block. This one began with a six-minute short called XBoundary, which was about how a mining boom in British Columbia and Alaska had devastated both the salmon fishing industry and the people whose livelihoods depended on having healthy salmon swimming around.

The main feature was The Z-Nail Gang, which was this New Zealand comedy-drama based on a true story about how the residents of one small New Zealand coastal town managed to stop a large corporation from mining there back in the 1980’s. I’ll admit that it took me a while to get used to the New Zealand accents but I found the movie to be pretty funny at times, especially its depiction of the CEO of that large corporation who was from Texas and he even wore a cowboy hat throughout the whole film. If you ever get a chance to see The Z-Nail Gang, I recommend that you do so.

So that was how I spent my weekend before Halloween. 🙂

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

First, the bad news: my Goat Man plushie failed to make Spoonflower’s top ten in the Mythical Creatures Plushie contest. (This is despite my effort to let people know about this contest on social media.) I managed to get a few people to click the heart-shaped favorite button so that’s nice.

Now, the good news: I worked on the prototype for the Goat Man using the fabric that I received from Spoonflower.com. I finished the prototype and I made a few minor revisions. (Mainly making the handle on his axe a bit thicker in order to make it easier for people to glue or quickly sew the fabric edges before gluing the axe on a sturdy backing like card stock or bristol board. While I was able to sew the edges of the axe okay, it made the axe handle a bit on the skinny side and I thought that sewing an axe handle that thin might be intimidating to beginner sewers.)

I uploaded the revision online and it’s now on sale in my shop.

I plan on having a post dedicated to assembling the Goat Man (complete with detailed work in progress photos) in this blog soon. In the meantime, the general instructions on how to sew the Goat Man is printed directly on the fabric.

You can view a photo of my completed prototype here. I know it’s not a great photograph but it gives you an idea on the results. I plan on taking better pictures outside once the snow melts. (Would you believe that it snowed more yesterday? And the cold temperatures returned with a vengeance after one mild weather day last Sunday—which I documented here.)

Come and get your Goat Man here.

Today is the last day to vote for my Goat Man Stuffed Doll in Spoonflower.com’s Mythical Creature Plushie Pattern Design Contest so if you haven’t already done so, go on over there and vote. No purchase is necessary to take part in the voting process. Here is what my design looks like.

1-SpoonflowerFatQuarter

Thank you in advance for your vote. 😉

I’ve been so preoccupied with other things (like the ongoing cold weather where the sub-zero temperature that happened last night is breaking all kinds of records plus there’s more snow in the forecast starting tomorrow) that I haven’t even mentioned my latest project, which is now in a contest.

Here is some background. A few months ago I basically dissed Inkscape, the open source vector graphics software alternative to Adobe, because it wouldn’t run under Mac OS X Mavericks at the time. I tried the Linux version and I found that it had potential but I wrote that it wouldn’t be adopted by too many Mac users running Mavericks because of the software not running.

Well I upgraded to OS X Yosemite and I found that my CS 4 version of Adobe Illustrator is starting to act erratic (yet other Adobe apps in Creative Suite 4, such as Photoshop, work quite fine). I really didn’t want to start paying a monthly fee to that Adobe Creative Cloud so I can get a working version of Illustrator and I was too lazy to boot up the Linux laptop that a friend of mine gave me so I can use Inkscape. So I decided to give Inkscape for Mac another try. I found that there was a newer version of both Inkscape and X11 (the latter of which is needed in order to run Inkscape on the Mac) so I downloaded and installed them both. And wouldn’t you know it, Inkscape now runs perfectly under Mac OS X Yosemite.

So I now take back what I wrote last fall about how Inkscape won’t be adopted by too many Mac users because of how the previous version ran under Mavericks. Apparently someone had fixed the problem with Inkscape and it now runs fine under OS X Yosemite. So go ahead and download Inkscape for free right here.

Getting back to the main part of my story, I saw a notice on Spoonflower.com that there is an upcoming contest where the theme is designing a plushie version of a mythical creature that is large enough to fit on a Fat Quarter. For the past year or so I’ve been playing around with making new products to sell at future craft shows based on the legendary Goat Man so I began to toy around with making a plushie based on some Goat Man drawings I did in my sketchbook. I scanned them in, imported them into Inkscape, then made a vector graphic version. Once I was done I exported it out as a bitmap graphic, imported it into Photoshop so I could make a few minor edits, then exported it out as a .jpeg and uploaded it on to Spoonflower’s site. Here is what it looks like.

1-SpoonflowerFatQuarter

I ordered a Fat Quilt of the Goat Man and it finally arrived yesterday. It looks really good. I’m happy with the results.

2-PrintedFabricAfterMailArrival

My next step is to begin putting it together. If it works out, then I will put this plushie on sale in my Spoonflower shop. (I will let you know if and when this happens.)

Spoonflower’s Mythical Creature Plushie contest has just started today and voting will continue until Wednesday, February 25, 2015. You’re only allowed one vote per contest and Spoonflower will remove any duplicate votes. So vote for the Goat Man right here. According to the Asian Zodiac, this year, which began yesterday, is known as the Year of the Goat (also known as the Year of the Sheep and the Year of the Ram). What’s more appropriate for the Year of the Goat than to vote for the Goat Man right here.

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