You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Pink Floyd’ tag.

Uber can’t be fixed—it’s time for regulators to shut it down.

A new book examines how the upper-middle class has enriched itself and harmed economic mobility.

The rise of the 21st century Victorians.

Brooklyn’s famous Green Lady explains her lifelong devotion to the color green.

The far-out sci-fi costume parties of the Bauhaus school in the 1920s.

It’s the end of the shopping mall as we know it.

How to deal with a 4Chan troll. There is some information that’s useful for anyone who’s dealing with any kind of online troll regardless of whether it involves politics or not.

Low-income workers who live in RVs are being chased out of Silicon Valley streets.

Feminist publication makes history by appointing black trans woman as editor-in-chief.

The sketchbook of drawings done in ballpoint pen by Nicolas V. Sanchez.

A look at the female pioneers of the Bauhaus art movement.

The fight for health care is really all about civil rights.

23 ways to treat yourself without buying or eating anything.

Glow-in-the-dark “toonie” coins celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

These bosses share the worst interviews they’ve ever seen and the results are stunning.

Browse a collection of over 83,500 vintage sewing patterns.

Bid on old computers, speakers, radios, and other junk from the bowels of RadioShack.

This transgender doll is making huge strides in teaching children about gender roles.

She took on Tesla for discrimination. Now others are speaking up.

A new kind of tech job emphasizes skills, not a college degree.

Women in tech speak frankly on the culture of harassment.

Over decades of poverty, Detroit’s have fostered a resilient informal economy based on trust.

GoFraudMe is a blog that exposes fake GoFundMe campaigns.

Rural America is the new “inner city.”

3 ways to be seen as a leader in your field.

Artist repaints mass-produced dolls to make them look realistic and the result is amazing.

Every Sega game ever made is coming to iOS and Android for free.

Edvard Munch’s famous Scream painting animated to Pink Floyd music.

Despite serving time in a Russian prison under Vladimir Putin, a member of the punk rock group Pussy Riot is still defiant.

This 106-year-old cooking show host is YouTube’s oldest creator.

Birthday Cake

Today is yet another birthday for me. For this special day I’m going to upload .jpegs of some special letters I wrote earlier this year that basically explains a few things about myself.

Here is some background. This past spring the Religious Exploration program (which is what my Unitarian Universalist congregation calls its Sunday school program) decided to do an intergenerational activity which is supposed to foster more community between the young children in the program and other adult members beside the children’s parents.

So the Mystery Buddy program was started. Basically one adult and one child would be paired up. Neither would know about who the buddy was other than each person was given a mailbox number where the two buddies would deliver letters. (The mailboxes were really manilla folders that were hung on a bulletin board and they each had a number.) Basically each Sunday in April the person would drop off a letter for his/her buddy while picking up the letter that the buddy left for him/her. At the end of the month a special reception would be held after both Sunday service and the Religious Education classes (which run concurrently) where both paris of mystery buddies would meet each other in person for the first time.

I decided to take part of it because I figured that it would be fun. I was paired with a pre-school boy who is a big fan of My Little Pony. Since the kid was so young, I had to be careful about writing letters mainly because I wasn’t sure what his reading level was (or if he had even learned to read yet). I decided to create picture collages instead. Well, anyway, we managed to put our letters in the slots and I finally met him in person. (The boy was a bit on the shy side and he ended up not speaking much while sticking closely with his mother. I ended up talking with his parents instead, which was okay.)

So, as a special birthday feature, I’m going to upload what I originally gave to my Mystery Buddy. Each week of the Mystery Buddy program had a different theme so we didn’t have to come up with a subject idea for our letters, which was a great idea. The first week focused on music. I downloaded some graphics off the Internet and I did this collage in Photoshop where I mixed in some of the musicians I actually like (such as Pink Floyd and The Beatles) with Octavia from My Little Pony (as a nod to my Mystery Buddy’s interest in that show), the virtual pop star Hatsune Miku (I figured that he might be into cartoon characters), and the Internet sensation Keyboard Cat (I figured that he would get a kick out of that one). For added measure I had Rainbow Dash near the rainbow-producing prism that graced Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon album.

week1-music

Week 2’s theme was favorite hobbies. I ended up doing a short one-page letter where I included a few samples of my drawings and photographs.

week2-hobbies

Week 3’s theme was happiest childhood memory. I was a bit stumped on this one until I decided to write about The Enchanted Forest. Even though, at two pages, it’s the longest of my letters, it’s basically a short and simplified version of my Saving The Enchanted Forest movie that I screened at last year’s Artomatic in Hyattsville.

week3-childhoodmemory1

week3-childhoodmemory2

The fourth and final week had favorite games as the theme. I decided to just list two board games (Monopoly and The Game of Life) and two video games (Pac-Man and Angry Birds).

week4-games

Okay so I didn’t write my entire autobiography in those letters but hopefully, through reading them, you have the chance to learn a little more about the person who writes this blog (me). 🙂

I had quite a day on September 25. A few hours after going to the Silver Spring Maker Faire I rested for a few hours and ate dinner. Then I headed over to the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland where I caught a live performance by a band from Belarus known as Stary Olsa. This band dresses in medieval folk dress and perform songs in the style of traditional Eastern European folk music. What’s really cool is that they perform songs by bands like The Beatles in this style and their classic rock covers are so interesting to listen to. Stary Olsa has gained such a following that they even have their own Wikipedia page.

This band was incredible to listen to in person. I stuck around for a bit despite the fact that I learned that The Backstabbing Couple From Hell (a.k.a. my ex-husband and my onetime friend whom he screwed around with while I was recovering from hip surgery and he married despite her severe mental illness) were also at the show. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m currently broke, I definitely would’ve purchased one of their CD’s that they had for sale at the show.

Here are couple of photos from that show, one of which you can see the band in their medieval outfits and the traditional Belarusian instruments they played at the show.

photo1

photo2

I shot a few videos of the band doing those classic rock covers. They are amazing to listen to. Here is their cover of The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.”

They did a traditional Belarus tune that literally had people dancing in the audience.

Here is Stary Olsa’s amazing cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.”

Last, but not least, here is Stary Olsa doing a blistering cover of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”, which proves that folk musical instruments can kick ass just as much as electric guitars.

Previous in This Series

Part 1 (Artomatic 2007)

Last week I mentioned that I’ve been going through some old files on my computer hard drive and I found the original rough drafts of my old Artomatic blog posts from previous years. (There was a time when Artomatic gave everyone who participated their own blogging account. For Artomatic this year, I had to step up and volunteer to be a blogger before I received my own blogging account.) It’s pretty appropriate to share some of these posts here since Artomatic is going on until next month.

While I visited a few previous Artomatics, the first time I actually participated was in 2007. I enjoyed that experience so much that when Artomatic was announced again in 2008, I jumped at the chance to participate in it again.

2008 was a momentous year for me for reasons other than Artomatic. I was born with a dislocated left hip and, as some old baby photos have documented, I was placed in a body cast for several months. My left hip joints snapped into place, the cast was removed, and I learned how to walk like an average child soon afterwards. I sprained the same left hip in a roller skating accident when I was 12 but I managed to recuperate and I walked like a regular person again. All that changed by late 2007 when I began to walk with a limp. As time went on, I had a harder time walking and by the time of Artomatic 2008, I had to use a cane to get around.

Despite my hip problems, I wanted to participate in Artomatic and I did so. That year I decided to focus mostly on photography, with the exception of this Peep Floyd diorama that I originally did for The Washington Post‘s annual Peeps diorama contest but it failed to make even Honorable Mention. Here is the original online catalogue that I put up to promote my exhibition space.

Peep Floyd

Unicorn

Little Chapel in Day

Little Chapel at Night

Guitar Heroes

Honda Asimo Robot

Toyota Partner Robot

Tai-Shan

Pink Flamingoes

Naked Mole Rats

$900 Pez Dispensers

American Girl Dolls

White Bridge at Cypress Gardens

Find the Swimming Alligator

R2-D2 Mailbox

Shalom Y'all

Unicyclist

Ninth Life Store Sign

Ellowyne Wilde Doll in Front of U.S. Capitol

Legal Cubans

Sunset Over Assawoman Bay

Blythe Doll in Cherry Blossom Tree

Cosplay Contest, 2008 Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, DC

Volks Dollfie Dream and Testudo

Volks Dollfie Dream Doll in Cherry Blossom Tree

Volks Dollfie Dream Doll Peeking From Cherry Blossom Tree

Tiny Dolls in Forsythia Bushes

Cypress Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina, 2008

Cypress Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina, 2008

Cypress Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina, 2008

Where is the Alligator? Cypress Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina 2008

Soom Mini-Gem Uyoo in Cherry Blossom Tree

Worshipping the Goddess

Here are just a few selected posts I made in my Artomatic account’s blog that year as archived on my hard drive. (That blog has long since been deleted since Artomatic tends to totally revamp its website whenever a new Artomatic event is announced.)

I’m Participating in Artomatic 2008, March 27, 2008

I’ve finally finished with registration. This year I’m going to emphasize my photography more mainly because I’ve been more successful at that than doing strictly drawing and painting.

Now my next task is to sift through my vast trove of digital photos to pick out the right ones to display. I am quite a shutterbug. I’m glad for the invention of digital cameras because I still remember the pain of running out of film and I had to choose between shelling out more money for film (then have to shell out more money to get them processed) or quit my picture taking for the day. I have a monumental task ahead of me so I’m going to sign off now.

Latest Stuff About Me, April 18, 2008

Last Saturday I went to the Artomatic orientation where I picked out my site. I’ll be located on the 7th floor, NE Quadrant, Area C4. I know it sounds like gobbledygook now but I’m sure it’ll become more apparent once the show opens and the maps/brochures are printed. For the time being, I’ll just say that my wall space is located right next to the men’s restroom on the 7th floor.

My Exhibit for This Year, May 8, 2008

I know that some of you who are familiar with my exhibit at last year’s Artomatic will be wondering if I’m doing anything different. Well, the answer is yes. I’m going to describe the difference between this year’s exhibit and last year’s.

Last year I had a variety of different media ranging from digital photographs to drawings to paintings. I even had a couple of dolls I customized myself that were on display in small glass cases that were mounted on the wall.

This year I’m focusing exclusively on digital photographs. That’s mainly because I wanted artwork that was more transportable than my larger art pieces. All of my photographs are either 8″ x 10″ or 5″ x 7″. Keeping the photos at those two sizes made frame shopping really easy for me since those two are standard sizes. On top of that, I’ve had people tell me that my biggest strength is in photography so I decided to highlight that some more.

The biggest challenge I had was whittling down the hundreds of digital photographs that I have on my hard disk to just 32 photos. (Sixteen of them are 8″ x 10″ while the rest are 5″ x 7″.) Then I had the additional challenge of printing since, as experienced digital photographers and computer graphics artists know, what is seen on the computer screen doesn’t mean that the print version will turn out the same. But I managed to get everything done in time for the opening tomorrow night.

I’m also pricing my photos at $10 for the 8″ x 10″ and $6 for the 5″ x 7″. I know my pricing methods may become controversial but there’s a method to my madness. If you’ve been reading a newspaper or watching any of the cable news channel, you’ll know that this country is in an economic crisis due to rising gas costs, higher food prices, and the subprime mortgage crisis. I really don’t think that people are in the mood to shell out $100 or higher for a piece of art no matter how much they love it because of the economy.

I also had an epiphany around the end of last year’s Artomatic. I got someone who wanted to buy one of my drawings but she wanted to know how much it would cost if I would remove it from the frame. Since I didn’t have any other serious buyers of my artwork last year, I told her that I would take $25 off my drawing. So I sold it to her and took home an empty frame.

This year I scoured the local big box retailers looking for the lowest frame prices. A.C. Moore had the best prices with many frames being sold for $3 and $4 and with some going for as low as $2. What’s more, the frames still looked pretty decent despite the low prices. Then I went to Staples where I bought a pack of satin-finish photographic paper for $35. I calculated each sheet as costing around sixty cents per sheet, which isn’t bad.

I even have a catchy ad phrase that I put on a sign in my area: “Affordable Artwork for Uncertain Economic Times”.

What’s more, since I have my photos on a hard drive, I can easily print multiple copies so if one person buys one of my photos and someone else wants that same photo, I can print and frame another copy and sell it to that other person.

I will have a small table next to my photos where I will have a guestbook for you to sign and a digital frame that will rotate digital photos of some of my other works of art like my drawings, paintings, sculptures, and crafts. I purchased this digital frame at Target and I love it because I can display more of my art than the space that’s alloted to me.

I will also have a diorama displayed on that table called Peep Floyd. I originally created this diorama for The Washington Post’s second annual Peeps contest but it didn’t make the final cut among the judges. I was disappointed but my husband was even more heartbroken than I was. (He felt that I was robbed.) So I decided to give my little diorama a second chance by displaying it with my artwork. I’m even putting it up for sale for only $5 (which is about how much money I spent making it in the first place). What’s even amusing is that there will be a display of the winning Peeps dioramas on the 10th floor while my display will be on the 7th floor. So if people decided to start on the first floor and work their way up, chances are that they will see my own diorama first before they see the winners on the 10th floor. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Last year I printed three photo zines that I sold on the honor system where people can put money in a box if they wanted one or more of my zines. I did it mainly as a promotional item, even if it was a pain to print multiple copies for the duration of Artomatic. (The fact that I was using a 10-year-old Epson color printer didn’t help matters much.) I thought that I would get some sort of opportunities from the zines after Artomatic in the long run so I toughed out the time spent printing, collating, and stapling the zines. I also gritted my teeth as I spent lots of money on printer ink since those zines did use up tons of ink. Even though the zines sold pretty well (some people did leave money in the box), nothing ever came of those zines after Artomatic ended. No one contacted me saying, “Hey I liked your zines and photos and I want to do some work with you.”

Basically it really wasn’t worth the time or money spent making and distributing the zines so I’m not going to do any more this year. I know that some of you will be disappointed but that’s the way things go.

The biggest change from last year to this year is myself. Yes, I am a year older but my health has gone down a bit. I have an old injury in my left hip that was repaired a long time ago but I’ve now developed osteoarthritis in it. Last year I was able to walk normally most of the time (although I did limp if I overextended myself by doing too much walking or other physical work). This year I’m walking with a limp and I use a walking stick whenever I have to walk around outside for any great distances. I’ve consulted an orthopedic specialist and he’s recommending that I undergo a hip replacement, especially since my left leg is now a little bit shorter than my right leg, thanks to the osteoarthritis.

But, before I undergo the surgery, I have to lose weight and do exercises to strengthen my hip. As a result, I’m still able to participate in Artomatic since I won’t be able to undergo the surgery until July at the earliest.

Having osteoarthritis is a bit of a bummer. I get more physically tired than before, partially because of having to take prescription version of ibuprofen (which has drowsiness as a side effect) and partially because it’s just more physically taxing to limp around. My current condition was a major factor in my decision to focus on smaller photographs than my larger canvases since the photos are easier to cart around than a big canvas. Since I decided to eliminate the zines, I will find Artomatic less taxing than last year.

I will be at the opening tomorrow night with my husband. This weekend I will be working as a vendor at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland. I will have a packed schedule.

I’m Doing Pretty Well at Artomatic This Year, May 26, 2008

So far I had someone who wanted six copies of my “Shalom Y’all” photo because she wanted to give them away to her Jewish friends. I also have one other person who may be potentially interested in purchasing something from me but I haven’t heard back from him.

So far I took part in a drawing workshop on Opening Night and I’ve also worked one shift so far. (It happened to be on the same night as the “Meet the Artists Night” so I couldn’t be at my area, with the exception of a brief break that I took around 8 p.m.) Right now I’m typing this entry from a hotel room in Charleston, South Carolina but I intend to participate in more Artomatic events once I return.

I happened to be in Charleston at the same time as their annual Piccolo Spoleto Festival—an art-filled festival that includes special exhibitions at area art galleries, special theatre shows, special musical concerts, and a crafts fair. I intend to check out the crafts fair at least. I also intend to visit the City Market, which is filled with stalls of people hawking food items and various types of crafts. It’s also where a local African-American group of people known as the Gullahs sell their speciality craft–making baskets, vases, flowers, and other items out of sweetgrass.

Well, anyway, see ya later!

My Artomatic Videos, June 2, 2008

This year I’ve been doing more at Artomatic than just showing my artwork and attending a few events. I’ve also been taking photographs and shooting video. I haven’t decided what I’ll do with the photos yet but I’ve already edited and uploaded three short video clips on my YouTube account.

All three videos are of the firedancing troupe known as Flights of Fire. I shot this during the second hour of their show on May 16. (I missed the first hour because I was finishing up the last hour of my own volunteer shift during that time.) I was pretty exhausted after working my five-hour volunteer shift so I basically went outside, sat down, and unwind a bit by watching the group perform the rest of their show. I happened to have my videocamera with me so I filmed them as they did their various fire tricks to some lively dance music.

This first clip is a general highlights reel as I focused on the troupe’s most spectacular firedancing tricks:

The second clip is a very sexy and erotic routine that is performed in its entirety:

The third clip is the grand finale that is also performed in its entirety. Imagine a bunch of people dancing and swinging flaming torches at the same time and you’ll get something like this:

Two More Artomatic Videos For You to View, June 5, 2008

I shot two more videos at Artomatic that I’ve uploaded to my YouTube account. The first one is the Peeps artist reception that was held on May 31, 2008.

The second one is the first-ever Artomatic 500 cardboard car race, which is just as hilarious as it sounds.

Enjoy!

A Posting From Artomatic, June 13, 2008

I’ve just finished the third required volunteer shift over an hour ago and I’m waiting for this workshop on “Urban R & D: Developing a Community Research and Design Lab” to begin in a few minutes. Actually volunteering wasn’t too bad despite my totally arthritic hip (which has given me a bad limp in recent months and has definitely put a crimp on my mobility) because I was given desk jobs. (I worked the front desk on the first floor the first two times and I worked the fourth floor this final time today.)

Last night I attended the Artists’ Social. I met someone whom I had volunteered with on a previous shift and I also met up with other people whom I had met at other Artomatic events. What was cool was that I sold two of my photographs to someone who loved by two robot photos (one of the Toyota Partner Robot and the other of the Honda Asimo—both taken at a Japanese cultural festival at the Kennedy Center a few months ago).

I’m looking forward to attending Artomatic tomorrow night–they are having the first-ever Art in Fashion show, which is supposed to have fire as the theme. From the way this event is being hyped, it sounds like Project Runway on steroids.

Well, anyway, I gotta wrap this entry up and head off to tonight’s workshop.

More Artomatic Videos, June 21, 2008

I shot and posted a few more videos at Artomatic before it ended last Sunday but I’ve only gotten around to blogging about it now.

First is a video of my own exhibit, which was displayed on the 7th floor next to the men’s bathroom.

Next is a video of a couple of interactive exhibits that were done by other artists.

I previously videotaped the Peeps artist reception where I spoke with prolific Peeps diorama artist Carl Cordell. At the time he was working on a fourth diorama, “The Day The Earth Stood Peeped”, that wasn’t ready in time for the reception. I kept on going to the Peeps area for the next few weeks but the diorama didn’t make its appearance until last Saturday, the day before the last day of Artomatic. I made a short video highlighting that diorama.

I did a three-part video about the Art in Fashion show, which was the closing event of Artomatic. (It was held the night before Artomatic’s final day.) It highlighted fashions created by fashion designers in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area. I had fun attending this because I’m such a fan of Project Runway and I had never seen a fashion show in person before.

After the fashion show ended, there was a big party that included all kinds of activities. I videotaped some of it but I was running out of battery power by that point so I didn’t film as much as I wanted to. But it should give you an idea of what it was like. (Some parts of this video are definitely NSFW because it includes scenes of body painting on partially or fully nude bodies.)

Well, anyway, that’s it for the Artomatic videos.

Visiting the Artomatic Site for the Last Time, June 21, 2008

I had successfully sold yet another photo to someone and he and I agreed to meet at the Artomatic site today. After the transaction was made and he took his newly-purchased photo with him, I took down my exhibit. I felt wistful as I did it but, as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

Goodbye For Now, June 23, 2008

Now that Artomatic is over and I’ve picked up my artwork from the site, it’s time for me to say goodbye to this blog until the next time I decide to participate in an Artomatic.

Three months after I wrote that last farewell Artomatic post, I underwent a hip replacement followed by physical therapy that lasted until well into 2009. In early 2011 I suffered two falls within a week that knocked my hip replacement out of alignment so I had to undergo hip revision surgery followed by more physical therapy. Right now my hip is doing fine. <knock wood!>

Next in This Series

Part 3 (Artomatic 2009)
Part 4 (Artomatic 2012)

Free Tutorials

How to easily clean a hot glue gun. That one is important for those of us crafters who frequently use that tool because that is one item that can easily gunk up with old dried glue.

29 Geek DIY’s To Make Right Now includes an abacus bracelet, a Doctor Who Tardis phone charging station, and RPG dice earrings.

What is Spec Work? is a video that describes the term and shows why designers should never waste their time with spec work.

16 Creative Ways To Give Sneakers A Makeover is a great tutorial for those who are in the mood to buy a new pair but currently own a good pair of sneakers and don’t really have the money to buy a new pair or two for fashion reasons.

Browse other free tutorials previously mentioned in this blog (along with pictures) right here.

Miscellaneous Links

Here are seven reasons why the contemporary art world is an insufferable scam—corrupted by the super-rich.

David Irvine is an artist who specializes in collecting old, discarded paintings from thrift shops and adding pop culture characters like Darth Vader and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. The results are interesting to say the least.

Here’s a clip from a 1950’s TV show that features an appearance by Samuel Seymour, who was the last surviving witness to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. He mentioned how, as a five-year-old boy in Ford’s Theater, he saw John Wilkes Booth jump from a balcony to the stage where Booth broke his leg and he was initially concerned about Booth until he saw President Lincoln slumped in his seat. This TV appearance happened just in time because Seymour would die just a few months after appearing on that show. Seymour’s brush with history has since earned him his own Wikipedia page.

When I made my first trip to London back in 2007, I managed to make a brief visit to the world-famous Abbey Road Studios (where a lot of classic albums were made, including The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon) and I even walked in the same crosswalk where The Beatles were once photographed. While I saw the famous graffiti-filled walls on the perimeter of the property, inside of the building was off-limits to the general public. Google now has a virtual tour inside the Abbey Road Studios that is totally awesome and gives a fascinating glimpse of Abbey Road’s rich recording history that goes as far back as the early 20th century. There are also a few fun hands-on features as well, such as trying your hand at mixing music with the J37, a machine that was used to mix such albums as The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I only went to one high school reunion in my life—the five-year reunion. It was held in the historic Belvedere Hotel, which has since been converted to luxury condominiums. At the time I was a new college graduate and a newlywed. I even convinced my husband to come along with me even though he never attended my high school (he grew up on Long Island while I grew up in Maryland) because I wanted to show him off as a “Ha! Ha! In your face!” message to those assholes who made my high school years miserable. We decided to rent a room at the hotel that night so we could hop on a elevator going to and from the lower level ballroom where the reunion was held without worrying about driving home that night. That backfired because my husband was bored, no one cared about the fact that I married a NASA employee who was a graduate from Oberlin College, and the majority of the few friends I made in high school didn’t go. The majority of those who attended that reunion were the popular kids (mainly the jocks and cheerleaders) who looked down on me as a retarded alien freak during those high school years and they didn’t give a damn about how I married well while they all gave off this “You’re still inferior and too insignificant for me” vibe when I unsuccessfully attempted some small talk during that reunion night. I socialized with the two or three friends who were there only to discover that I hadn’t seen them since Graduation Day and I didn’t have much in common with them anymore. The only good thing was the night we spent in that hotel room, which I recall was a very fancy room with nice bedsheets and soft towels. I haven’t gone to any other high school reunions since. I came across this post called Why I Will Never Go to My High School Reunion and it does a great job articulating on why high school reunions are overrated.

Here’s a blast from the past. This is something I worked on about 5, 6, 7, or even 8 years ago (I don’t remember the exact date).

colormejoe

Here’s some background. A friend of mine named Joe decided to do this community art project that would hang on the walls of the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland. He took some photos of himself, did some image manipulation to outline the images in the photographs with thick black lines and removed all color. This resulted in something that looked like it was a page torn from a coloring book. Thus a new project, called “Color Me Joe”, was born.

The idea was that each person would take one of these pages and color or decorate it in any way he/she wanted. Then the resulting pictures would hang on the walls of the New Deal Cafe. Color Me Joe ran for at least a month and new colored pages were added to the walls until the end of the show. The above graphic was my contribution.

As someone who used to play the guitar on a regular basis (and still has a guitar at home while I keep on telling myself to pick it up again and stop procrastinating), I was drawn to the page of Joe holding a guitar while wearing only shorts. I took the page home and colored it in with colored pencil. Since Joe was pictured as a shirtless guitarist, I decided to add a poster of a shirtless rock star guitarist to the wall. (For the record, the shirtless guitarist in the poster is David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. I took a screenshot of a scene from the movie Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii then reduced it in size in order to fit the picture. Then I printed it out, cutted it out, and glued it on the art.)

I finished it by going to a local arts and crafts store, where I bought a small pack of glitter music notes stickers that I found in one of the scrapbooking aisles, then I stuck the stickers all over the page.

When I handed the results to Joe to hang it on the walls of the New Deal Cafe, he totally burst out laughing. He really loved it. My piece was hung alongside other people’s contributions.

The Color Me Joe show ended and I moved on to other things. A few months ago I ran into Joe at the gym and he said that he changed his Facebook Profile Picture to my contribution to the Color Me Joe show. I was pretty flattered that he used something I did a few years ago.

He later changed his Facebook Profile Picture but today I found that he used my piece on his Facebook page to publicize his band’s upcoming gig at The Argonaut in Washington, DC tomorrow night. (He plays with a group called The Bachelor and The Bad Actress, which also have their music posted on bandcamp.com.) That graphic got a lot of responses from his friends and I even had one of them contact me through Facebook Message and we had a nice talk on Facebook Chat.

It’s kind of cool that something I did years ago can still resonate with people. 🙂

The next day I packed both my lunch and dinner along with some sodas and a freezer cold pack in my thermal Wegman’s bag, grabbed my planned submissions to the Art Show, got in my car, and drove to the North Linthicum light rail station in order to wait for the train to take me into Baltimore. (This method is far cheaper than going into Baltimore and using a parking garage. The round-trip light rail fare costs only $3.20 per day versus the parking garage’s fee of $20 per day.) I wasn’t the only Otakon convention goer waiting at that station. I saw a group of cosplayers also waiting.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

While I was on the train I spoke with a fellow Otakon-goer who was sitting next to me. She said that she was staying at the Baltimore Hilton Hotel with eight other people and I noticed that she was carrying a pillow and sleeping bag among her gear. I’m not surprised that she’s doing this. This particular Hilton charges a hefty fee for its rooms but it’s also conveniently located within walking distance of the Baltimore Conventon Center, Camden Yards, and Harborplace plus it’s right next to a light rail stop and a bus stop on one of the lines of Charm City Circulator.

I arrived about noon and I saw such a huge crowd waiting outside the Baltimore Convention Center.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

I decided to go into the Baltimore Hilton and cross the sky bridge linking the hotel with the Baltimore Convention Center in order to get into Otakon. As I was going inside, I passed one of the eating places located at the Hilton with a long lunch line that went out the doors. I was very glad that I opted to carry my own lunch from home instead.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

While I was in the Hilton on my way to the sky bridge, I came across something special. Since 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of Otakon, someone had organized an Otamuseum where vintage items from previous Otakons (such as programs, t-shirts, and badges) on display in glass cases.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

As I was crossing the skybridge, I got a glimpse of the long line of people who were still trying to get their Otakon badges and they weren’t able to make it to the preregistration badge pickup the day before.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

Once I made it inside the Baltimore Convention Center, I decided to head directly to the Art Show to drop off my submissions. It took me a while to find the Art Show because this year’s show was so massive. I finally learned that the Art Show was sharing a giant room with the Artists Alley. I only stopped briedly to take a photo of Eric Maruscak of Pepper Ink starting another real-time art project just like he did at last year’s Otakon.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

I submitted my works to the art show then I walked around. It was very crowded yet it was lively and there were many people cosplaying as characters like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Harley Quinn

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

I spent the bulk of the first day of Otakon in the Dealers Room. The first thing I saw was that writer Peter S. Beagle was back at Otakon. Last year I purchased a deluxe graphic novel adaptation of his most famous book The Last Unicorn and I had him autograph it for me. There were other books by him that were on sale in addition to The Last Unicorn that I would’ve loved to have browsed through and see if I wanted to buy anything else and have him sign it. Unfortunately his booth was even more crowded than last year so I was unable to even get a close look at all the books he had available. The photo below is the closest I ever got to Peter S. Beagle at this year’s Otakon.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

Like previous Otakons, The Dealers Room was very big and it featured all kinds of stuff that one can buy including Pullip dolls, cute plush llamas, model robot kits, manga books, anime DVDs, and all kind of t-shirts imagineable. Japanese fashion designer h. Naoko was back with his Hangry & Angry line of clothes but, unlike last year, there was no h. Naoko fashion show scheduled. The strangest new item I saw on sale at many tables this year was a product called Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears, which are cat ears you wear on your head and it’s supposed to detect your brainwaves and move around based on whatever brainwaves your head is generating at the moment. For My Little Pony fans who missed last weekend’s BronyCon at the Baltimore Convention Center, there were plenty of pony swag on sale in The Dealers Room.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

I originally had every intention of visiting both the Dealers Room and Artists Alley on the first day but the Dealers Room was so huge by itself that, by the time I managed to visit all the booths at least once, my feet felt like they were ready to drop off and it was close to dinner time. So I decided to go on one of the upper levels, find a seat in the hallway, and eat the dinner I had brought with me.

Emerging from the lower level was an adventure itself. The exit doors of the Dealers Room was only in one area. The escalator was working so I took that up to a floor that was just underneath the main front entrace of the Baltimore Convention Center. Like the lower level, there were escalators and steps. What was weird was that while all the escalators in other parts of the building were working and available for everyone, the escalators located in the front of the Baltimore Convention Center was reserved only for people with disabilities who registered as such at the booth that was located on the upper level of the front entrace that we all had to manually walk upstairs in order to get that special designation. (Yes, it was as strange as it sounds here.) My feet came close to giving out and I barely managed to walk to the top of the steps.

It didn’t help that there was this huge thunderstorm that happened in the middle of the day. (My joints tend to be more creaky on rainy days.) But I managed to make it to the main lobby of the Baltimore Convention Center, where I saw plenty of cosplayers like the ones in the photos below.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

Finding a place to sit was a challenge at times because many people had occupied the seats that were located in the hallways and terraces. The best place to find a place where I could sit and eat the food I brought with me from home: The Otacafe. There were plenty of seats there.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

The catch was that I had to put up with a karaoke contest that took place while I was eating dinner but it was worth it in order to take a load off of my feet.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

After dinner I happened to pass this room where photographs were being taken of various costumed Otakon attendees for the Otakon Cosplay Archive. Normally I would walk past that room since I wasn’t wearing a costume. But the sign mentioned that people had the chance to have 3D scans of themselves. I knew this meant that Otakon had gotten ahold of at least one 3D printer and I wanted to check it out.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

For cosplayers interested in the traditional 2D photo, there were regular professional photo equipment that were set up.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

In another room that was off to the side, a company called ShapeShot was responsible for the 3D photoshoots.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

For $250 a cosplayer can get a full body scan (including the costume) that will result in a 6-inch figure. More cash-strapped con attendees can opt for having just a head scan for only $5. That head scan can be later used on a bunch of items ranging from coffee mugs to pencil toppers.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

One could even opt to have his/her scanned head on top of a Lego Minifig.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

After viewing all the equipment that goes into making a digital 3D scan of a living human being for 3D printers, I have to say that anyone considering going into a similar line of work would not only require a lot of money (including buying several top-of-the-line hi-res DSLR cameras) but one would need a large room in order to set up the entire system.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

This cosplayer opted for the full body scan, including her costume.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

I had originally planned on attending only one panel today, called "The Worst Anime of All Time", which was presented by the Anime News Network. It sounded like it was going to be a compendium of anime so bad that it’s really funny. I knew from attending previous Otakons that if you wanted to be assured of having a seat, you had to get in a line at least a half-an-hour before it begins. I arrived a half=an-hour only to encounter Walt Disney World-style lines, as you can see in the photo below.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

Unfortunately the line going to the room was so long that all the seats were filled by the time I got towards the front of the line.

Instead I walked around the hallways of Otakon some more. I found the Otachan room where people of all ages can engage in Asian-themed crafts. If I hadn’t started to feeling tired at the time I took the next two photographs, I might have tried a craft or two myself.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

By the late afternoon-early evening my feet continued to feel like they were about to give out so I decided to call it a day and leave Otakon. The front entrance of the Baltimore Convention Center was still filled with people trying to register and pick up badges so I took a similar route to the Convention Center light rail stop. I took the sky bridge from the convention center to the Baltimore Hilton then exited out of the Hilton over to the light rail stop. While I was on my way out I took a few more photos of various cosplayers.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

As I was leaving I noticed the line of people waiting to register and/or pick up their badges in the late afternoon summer sun. That line was just as long as it was this morning.

Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013
Otakon 2013, Day 1, August 9, 2013

I arrived home feeling totally tired, stiff, and sore all over my body. So far it was only the first day of Otakon and I was already feeling like I’ve been there all three days. That didn’t sound good considering the fact that Otakon was going to last two more days.

This past Saturday was my birthday and it would be my first one since my husband abruptly walked out on me with no warning on December 28, 2011. My husband has largely avoided talking to me since then and I received no acknowledgement from him about my birthday this year, which is a stark contrast to my birthday last year (when my husband gave me both a new iPod Touch and a new iPad and he took me to this wonderful French restaurant for dinner). So I decided to spend this past weekend just going out in an effort to enjoy my birthday and forget about my husband.

Late Friday afternoon I decided to visit the Christmas shop at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville, Maryland. This is the nursery that’s located closest to my home. Compared to Homestead Gardens and Valley View Farms, the Behnke’s Christmas shop is small but there were still some interesting decorations like the moose in the photo below.

Behnke's Nurseries, December 14, 2012

The next two photos are of pointsettias in unusual colors and covered in glitter. No, they are not natural. The colors and glitter were painted on the leaves. I’m not sure how I feel about these plants. On the one hand, they are definitely unnatural. On the other hand, they do look pretty.

Behnke's Nurseries, December 14, 2012
Behnke's Nurseries, December 14, 2012

Behnke’s had a bunch of miniature plants on sale in a variety of decorative pots. One could choose plants like tiny pointsettias and miniature orchids. I thought they were cute.

Behnke's Nurseries, December 14, 2012

I purchased one thing at Behnke’s. I previouly saw this during my visit to Valley View Farms but I didn’t buy it on that trip because I was about to purchase two hedgehog ornaments and a small nativity and I didn’t think I had enough money to purchase anything else. It’s a smoker shaped like a gingerbread house that comes with a supply of gingerbread-scented incense. I thought it was cute. I was also attracted to the fact that, for once, it’s not imported from China. This cottage is one of a series of cottages made by a U.S. based company called Ginger Cottages. (The link has lots of eye candy.) What was even sweeter was that the smoker originally had a $29.95 price tag but I got it on sale for $21.

Behnke's Nurseries, December 14, 2012
Behnke's Nurseries, December 14, 2012

The next day was my birthday and I decided to make a brief appearance at the Riverdale Holiday Market because two of my friends were selling their crafts at that festival. (I had the opportunity to sell my stuff there this year but I didn’t because this market is usually held outdoors in December, a time of the year when the weather in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area can be pretty iffy at best and I just didn’t want to sign up only to have it be extremely cold or snowing on that day.) The weather also happened to be nice and sunny with temperatures in the low 60’s so I decided to go there. As I walked over to the market, I saw this University of Maryland Physics Department van that had an illustration that made me think of the cover of an early 1970’s Pink Floyd album.

Riverdale Holiday Market, December 15, 2012

I visited my friends’ booths and I managed to purchase a couple of things. One was a Thank You card that was made by Archelaus, whose cards features the kind of designs that one doesn’t usually find on a Hallmark card. The other was this really cute and small nativity scene that was made in Peru. It’s really unique and the photos below show why I was enchanted with this.

Nativity made in Peru
Nativity made in Peru
Nativity made in Peru

It provides a nice companion piece to this other nativity scene made from wood in China I purchased recently at Valley View Farms.

My new nativity scene I purchased from Valley View Farms

Both nativity scenes are now displayed on the coffee table under my four-foot tall tree in the living room.

Passover

Lark Crafts has just put up a new blog post highlighting Peeps-themed crafts and my Peep Floyd diorama is among the featured items. Check it out right here.

Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd
Peep Floyd

Peep Floyd
Diorama
21" x 8.5" (53 cm x 22 cm)
Materials Used: Cardboard shoebox, marshmallow Peeps (yes, it’s the famous candy that gets released in North America every Easter season), hard candy Peeps, acrylic paint, computer graphics, scrapbooking stickers, cardstock paper, and cotton balls.

I originally created it in 2008 for a Peeps diorama contest that was sponsored by The Washington Post.

I got my diorama idea after remembering seeing Pink Floyd perform in concert in 1994 or 1995 (I forgot exactly when but it was the last time they did a world tour) at the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, DC. I used pink Peeps bunnies to portray the band. I was able to create musical instruments after purchasing stickers from the scrapbooking aisle at a local Michaels Arts & Crafts store then sticking them on the back of card stock. (For the keyboard, I had to use several layers of card stock so it would stand up straight.)

The biggest challenge I had was trying to re-create such a high-tech show into something as low-tech as a diorama. I used cotton balls to simulate dry ice that floated around on the stage floor. I re-created the stage effects using a combination of scanned graphics, Photoshop effects, and acrylic paint.

The real challenge was the fact that this band used inflatable pigs in their shows and Peeps didn’t make pig-shaped marshmallow figures. So I substituted a chick instead. I was fortunate when, for the first time ever, Peeps released a hard candy version (which came in a plastic Easter egg) that resembled tiny bunnies and chicks. I used the tiny chicks as spotlights.

Working with marshmallow as an artistic medium was also a challenge since marshmallow is so soft that it changes shape easily. I frequently had white bald spots when I separated the bunnies from each other (since they generally came attached to each other to form a single line). I used pink acrylic paint to cover the bald spots but it’s quite noticeable (especially if you look at the closeups.)

The diorama didn’t win (or even make honorable mention) but it was on diplay in my exhibit area during the month-long 2008 Artomatic event from May 9-June 15, 2008. I also made a YouTube video about it.

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