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I follow Adorable Amigurumi on Instagram and I saw a notice about a free amigurumi pattern that was being offered through her Ravelry shop. So I downloaded it and I thought it sounded like a cool project for me to work on. In fact, I had toyed with the idea of doing a hands-on craft project at the upcoming Greenbelt Spring Maker Festival that would be relatively short and easy and I could complete it by the end of the festival.

Well things didn’t happen that way. I started my amigurumi project at the festival but I only got less than 10 percent done by the end of the day. That was because I got distracted by people who were visiting my table perusing the handcrafted items I had for sale. Plus I was checking out the other tables at that event while I was going to and from the bathroom.

The Greenbelt Makerspace has Fiber Fans night where people bring their latest knitting, sewing, or crocheting project and work on it while socializing. So I took my amigurumi bunny project and finished it there. Here’s the bunny rabbit that I photographed at the Greenbelt Makerspace after I finished it.

As for the yarn, I had some multicolored pastel yarn that I originally obtained from my church. (My church has an active Handcraft Circle that have been around for many years. As members moved away or even died, they or their family would donate their yarn stash to the church for the Handcraft Circle to use. One consequence is that my church currently have around 10 bins of donated yarn along with lots of knitting and crochet needles. My church could easily open a yarn shop if it wanted to since it has the necessary supplies. I ended taking a few skeins because my church would like to eventually get rid of the excess yarn.)

Here’s a closeup of the rabbit’s face. I found the google eyes from Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts. I embroidered a nose using embroidery floss that I also found at Jo-Ann’s.

The rabbit wears a ribbon that I managed to scrounge from the Greenbelt Makerspace’s ribbon supply.

The rabbit’s inner ears were created with pink rabbit fabric that I got from the Greenbelt Makerspace a year or two ago when it was trying to get rid of some excess fabric. I sewed the fabric to the rabbit using the same embroidery floss as the rabbit’s nose.

After I finished crocheting the rabbit at the Greenbelt Makerspace during Fiber Fans night, I walked a few feet over to the New Deal Cafe where I took a few shots of my new amigurumi rabbit checking out the live acts that performed that night while enjoying the candlelight and the general ambiance.

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Recently I went to Karaoke Night at The New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland when a line dance suddenly broke out. Here’s this short video I shot. Enjoy!

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Here’s a video that I shot at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland on March 15, 2018. It was Open Mic Night and a group of singers and musicians did a jam session to the song “Proud Mary.” The musical instruments included a couple of ukuleles and a flute.

Each week the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland have an Open Mic night where people of varying talents can take to the stage and show them off. This particular night I attended ended in a jam session between all of the musicians who took part in that Open Night as they played the song “Rock Me, Mama.” This video was filmed on March 8, 2018.

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I recently attended a new monthly event known as the Campfire Sessions that is held at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland. The idea is that local musicians play a 15-minute set then answer questions from the audience regarding their music.  This particular event was held on the last day in February, 2018.

The Bachelor from the Bachelor and the Bad Actress prepares his guitar for the upcoming show.

The evening began with a set from Christopher Bronholm and his percussion playing partner.

Here’s a video I shot of Christopher Bronholm and his partner performing the song “It Rains in Baltimore.”

You can learn more about Christopher Bronholm through another YouTube video that he appeared in (and was shot by someone else).

The next photo shows the second set the was performed by The Bachelor and The Bad Actress.

I shot this video of the duo performing “The Bicycle Song.” As part of this song The Bachelor and The Bad Actress handed out bicycle bells for the audience to ring at various parts during the song.

You can learn more about the music of The Bachelor and The Bad Actress through their Bandcamp page.

Last but not least Dar Stellabotta performed a set with her homemade guitar that she built using a cigar box.

After the show she had CDs on sale along with an extra cigar box guitar that she built. (I don’t know if anyone purchased that guitar or not. If I wasn’t so short on cash these days I would definitely seriously consider buying it. I managed to purchase one of her CDs for $10.)

Here’s a video I shot of Dar Stellabotta playing with her cigar box guitar.

You can learn more about Dar Stellabotta through her website.

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Not too long ago I went to a fundraiser that was held at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland for Ben Jealous, the former leader of the NAACP who is running for governor of Maryland. He had previously worked on Bernie Sanders’ campaign back in 2016 and he was inspired by Sanders to run his own gubernatorial campaign where he is accepting micro-donations from average people instead of big corporate donations. In some ways that event was reminiscent of a similar fundraiser for Heather Mizeur’s ill-fated gubernatorial campaign that was also held at the New Deal Cafe back in 2014. Hopefully Ben Jealous’ campaign may have a better result this time around.

Anyway, I shot this footage of the band Kiva performing with a belly dancer.

Unfortunately I had less battery power in my camera than I thought so I basically used it up shooting Kiva. When Ben Jealous took to the stage at one point, I made these shots using the Photo Booth software on my MacBook.

I’ll end this post with a group photo that was taken by someone else and was later posted on Facebook. Ben Jealous is standing third from the left. I’m the woman who’s wearing the blue Eeyore sweatshirt in that photo.

I shot some footage of Honey Boat, which was once a band but, for now, it has been reduced to just Andy Weaver on guitar and vocals. This performance took place at an event known as the Campfire Sessions (where local musicians perform a short set then answer questions from the audience about their music) that was held at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland on January 31, 2018. Andy has a really pretty voice and her guitar playing is excellent as well.

Santa Claus

December 21, 2017 was the Winter Solstice, which means that it was the longest night of the year. The New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland was having an Open Mic night and, well, since it was the Winter Solstice I decided to actually go on stage and try being a performer. A few months ago I purchased this ocarina from Baltimore Comic-Con.

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 23, 2017

Since that time I’ve been teaching myself using some sheet music I downloaded from various web sites so I decided to try performing it in public for the hell of it. Most of my friends were there that night and they were polite in cheering me on as I performed songs like “Bingo” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” on stage. I hung around after my short set checking out the other performers, doing some socializing with my friends, and editing some photos for future blog posts and social media.

I ended up staying until closing time. I originally intended to just go straight home until I stepped outside and I saw a group of people sitting around a folding table that had been set up with lit candles while they were drumming. I asked them what was going on and it turned out that some people who are into pagan or nature spirituality had decided to set up an impromptu ritual late at night in honor of the Winter Solstice. They decided to wait until late at night because a few of the participants were working at the New Deal Cafe. Sure enough the New Deal Cafe employees and volunteers who wanted to take part in the ritual soon arrived after they did the last bit of cleaning up the place for the next day.

Basically the ritual consisted of some people chanting, some people drumming, and one man playing a didgeridoo. I ended up hanging around despite the very frigid weather that night. I was mesmerized by the lovely candles that were set up. I took a few pictures that night.

The ritual had pretty much ended by midnight due to the cold.

Santa Claus Baby New Year

One Saturday in early December a snowstorm hit my area. The snow lasted the entire day and into the night, it was ultimately somewhere between 1-2 inches, and it basically laid in the grass but not on the sidewalks and streets. The temperatures were below freezing the entire day. The weather wasn’t very conductive to doing much of anything outdoors. I decided to take a short drive to Roosevelt Center so I could check out what the Festival of Lights display looked like in the snow.

I’ve taken photos of the Greenbelt Festival of Lights before. The first time was in January, 2016 just before the festival officially ended. The second time I shot the opening ceremony in December, 2016. I skipped this year’s opening ceremony because I decided to attend the Holiday Warm-Up Party that was scheduled at my church the same evening. I decided to take pictures of what it all looked like in the middle of the snowstorm. Here is what I shot in the afternoon.

I briefly stopped by the Greenbelt Makerspace, which was deserted because most people opted to stay in their own homes instead of venturing out. That makerspace had its own decorations for Christmas and Hanukkah up.

I didn’t stay in the makerspace too long due to a lack of people plus I was in the mood for some hot chocolate at the New Deal Cafe. As I walked across the way I saw this squirrel who seemed to ignore the snowstorm all around it because it was more focus on satisfying its hunger.

I basically spent my time at the New Deal Cafe sipping hot chocolate, talking with the few people who were there (there were more people than at the Greenbelt Makerspace but it was still less crowded than usual on a Saturday afternoon), and doing some web surfing until sunset. The snowstorm was still going strong when I took these night photos of the Festival of Lights.

I began to feel some icy patches forming underneath my feet so I decided to return home. The snowstorm didn’t stop until around 9 p.m.

Early last month it was an unusually warm November day so I sat on a park bench outside the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland. One nice touch that the cafe has is that there is a dog dish filled with water that’s available for any dog to drink from. Except other animals besides dogs have also taken advantage of the cafe’s generous offer, such as this sparrow in the next two photos.

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