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EasterPassover

Last fall I was doing some tidying up around the house when I found this fused glass pendant featuring a bunny rabbit that I made years ago when I took a workshop that was offered through Profusions of Glass. (I may have even still been married when I made this pendant. LOL!) Well, anyway, I found it back in November shortly before Thanksgiving and I now have it in the place where I keep all of my other jewelry. I waited to write about it until today because the pink color scheme along with the rabbit just seems more like it’s appropriate for Easter Sunday than last November.

rabbitpendant-webversion

Santa Claus

 

 

 

 

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The past few days I’ve been writing about having a Tabletop Christmas and I’ve timed these writings so they would be uploaded during the traditional 12 days of Christmas. Today I’m going to write about handmade ornaments.

If you were to read enough back issues of this blog, you’d know that this blog’s main focus is on my arts, crafts, and photography. I’ve previously written about some of the ornaments I have that I made myself. Today I’m going to write about the ornaments I currently own that were handmade by other people.

Back in 2011 I purchased this hand-decorated ornament ball at a local arts and crafts show for my then-husband as a Christmas present. Even though, by that point, we had so many ornaments that we couldn’t put them all up because we didn’t have room on the tree, I purchased it anyway because my husband always told me that he loved Christmas balls and he had been miffed that we didn’t have too many ball-shaped ornaments. At the time I didn’t know that my husband had been secretly planning his exit from our marriage three days after Christmas (he didn’t even tell me that he was the least bit unhappy and he pretended that he “loved” me). So it turned out to be among the last Christmas presents I ever gave my husband. This ball survived the Christmas ornaments purge the following year because I really liked the delicate lace-like painted design on it.

photo1

The next ornament is a lace fan that has been permanently stiffened so it would always be a bit wavy. I had a co-worker at one of my old jobs who was a recent newlywed. Her mother-in-law and father-in-law had escaped their native Cuba while her mother-in-law was pregnant with her future husband. (My co-worker said that her husband would frequently quip that he was made in Cuba but born in the U.S.A.) Her mother-in-law was a very crafty person and she made a bunch of these Christmas ornaments. My co-worker brought a few into the office to sell on behalf of her mother-in-law and I purchased this fan. I love its pretty delicate appearance.

photo2

This folk art bird was among the many ornaments that my then-husband had brought with him when we were married. His late mother’s side of the family were Hungarian and this ornament definitely has Eastern European-style patterns on it. This was among the ornaments that he decided to leave behind. I kept the bird because I really like the folk art quality it has.

photo3

As I wrote earlier, I’ve made a few fused glass ornaments by taking workshops that my friend Tina Van Pelt teaches through her business Profusions of Glass. The ornament in the next photo is one that Tina made herself.

photo4

This next ornament is a handmade one that I’ve owned since childhood. It’s a diamond-shaped mirror with a gold cherub in the center surrounded by tiny gold trim. I remember purchasing it at an arts and crafts show but I don’t recall if the show was held at the Catholic church my family attended at the time or if it was held at the now-demolished Harundale Mall in Glen Burnie, Maryland. I remember once having two of these mirrored ornaments but I don’t remember if they were sold as a set or if I simply bought two of them. I remember they weren’t very expensive because I was able to buy them with my allowance money. I only have one of these mirrored ornaments because the other one broke years ago. I’m amazed that this ornament has lasted so many years.

photo5

The small beaded ornaments in the next two photographs were made by my sister-in-law. One is shaped like a Christmas tree while the other is shaped like a bell. Here’s some background. At the time we were married, my future ex-husband had only one living grandparent left. She was the widow of Michael Somogyi, whose diabetes research had earned him his own Wikipedia page. (No, I never met him. He had been long dead by the time I met my future ex.) She wasn’t able to make it to our wedding because she lived in St. Louis and her health had grown too frail to make the long travel to our wedding in Maryland. She died about a year-and-a-half after our wedding. Members of the Somogyi family decided to use her death as an occasion to hold a family reunion in St. Louis. My sister-in-law made these tiny beaded ornaments to give to all of the attendees. (I recall at least 50 people showed up, which meant that my sister-in-law was very busy for several months before the reunion.) My ex-husband left those behind and I’ve kept them because the beaded ornaments make a really cool glittery effect when the lights are on.

photo6

photo7

The last photograph shows a pair of miniature teacups. For many years there was a woman who made them and she had a booth at the annual Greenbelt Festival of Lights. These were made as a set. I purchased them five years ago (I remember buying them shortly before my husband left me)and I was glad I bought them when I had the chance because I didn’t see her booth at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights this year. I don’t know why she wasn’t there. These teacups look so dainty and delicate hanging from the tree.

photo8

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The opening ceremony for the Festival of Lights happened just a few days earlier, which led the way for the biggest event of this festival: The Festival of Lights Arts & Crafts Show. This is among the events I make an effort to attend each year because I always run into at least two or more friends and I usually find at least one present to give to someone. This year was no exception.

The arts and crafts show runs the entire weekend but I was only able to attend the second and final day. In some ways the second day is better because it ties in with the last Greenbelt Farmers Market of the year before it goes on the winter hiatus until May. I managed to take this picture of some really nicely decorated Christmas decorations that were painted gourds.

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

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

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

These watercolors were made by Mary Ann Lipovsky, whose workshops I’ve taken in the past when she held them at Makerspace 125. (She told me that there’s a chance that she may start up those workshops at Makerspace 125 again sometime next year.)

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

You can view more of her work here and here.

I also visited my good friend, Tina Van Pelt, who’s a fused glass artist. She surprised me with this gift of a fused glass piece that could be worn as either a pin or a pendant. (She gave it to me as a special “thank you” for helping her out with a few things.) She’s been making fused glass American flags interspersed with safety pins as part of the new trend of wearing safety pins that have taken root since Donald Trump’s election last month. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this special line will go to the ACLU.

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

You can view more of her work through her business, Profusions of Glass.

I purchased this soap as a Christmas present for my mother. (I’m comfortable with mentioning it here before Christmas because she’s not on the Internet at all.) It’s shaped like a popsicle complete with a wooden stick.

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

I think she’ll get a kick out of it. Unfortunately I didn’t get any business cards from the booth where I purchased this soap so I can’t provide any information about the person who made and sold this.

There were more booths at this year’s event but those were the only photos I took because I was more focused on shopping and socializing with friends.

One of my friends from my Unitarian Universalist congregation asked me to do a favor for her. Basically she wanted to sell her fused glass jewelry at the annual church auction but she was going to be out of town for the weekend but she still wanted someone to sell her jewelry on her behalf. (Especially since 50% of the proceeds would go to the church.) So I agreed to do it. I took a few photos of my set up at the church auction.

photo1

The next picture shows some of the fused glass jewelry that was on sale that evening. (The flaming chalice that’s in some of the jewelry in the next photo is a symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith.)

photo2

The last photo shows samples of my banana bread that I baked for this auction. (I put two loaves up for auction while I made a third loaf to give away as free samples.)

photo3

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

Once every summer there is usually a tye-dye day at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Adelphi, Maryland. It’s an all-ages event where children begin tye-dyeing while their parents and other adults are attending Sunday service. Once service ends and the post-service social time begins, the adults will join in the fray. While people are free to bring their own items from home to tye-dye, there are a limited number of white clothes available for people who forgot to bring anything. Tye-dye day is organized by Tina Van Pelt, who’s more well-known in the local arts and crafts scene for her fused glass jewelry that she sells through her Profusions of Glass studio.

For her tye-dyeing projects, Tina swears by dye that’s manufactured by the Dharma Trading Co.

photo1

As you can see in the next few photos, a good time was had by all.

photo2

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photo5Even though I got a notice via e-mail and Facebook about this event, I forgot to bring a shirt. (Ironically I have a few extra white t-shirts at home.) There were some white clothing available but the vast majority of them were in children’s sizes. Then I found a sports tank top t-shirt in an Adult Large size and I decided to try my own hand at tye-dyeing. I’ll admit that I haven’t done any tye-dyeing since I was a child so I had to literally think through my childhood memories in order to figure out how to do this project.

When the dyeing was done, I was given a plastic zip-lock bag to keep the shirt in. Tina instructed me to keep it out in the sunshine for 24 hours. I left the shirt in my car because i don’t have a garage and I have to park it outside where it gets exposed to full sun.

The next day I consulted Dharma Trading Co.’s tutorial in order to see what to do next after I take the shirt out of the zip lock bag. I followed the instructions to the best of my abilities even though I had to use regular detergent for the post-dyeing wash because I didn’t have Synthrapol or Professional Textile Detergent on hand. Here is the result of my tye-dye effort.

The front of the shirt.

tshirtfront

 

The back of the shirt.

tshirtback

Here’s a selfie I took while I was modeling the t-shirt, a multicolored rainbow wig, and over-sized sunglasses.

selfieposingintshirtwigsunglasses

It’s a sports tank top so it’s a bit on the tight side. But it’s still very comfortable to wear.

Even though I said last year that I would never sell my crafts at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival ever again, I still participated in this year’s festival in a very different capacity. For the past few months I’ve been active in a new group called the Greenbelt Cooperative Incubator and the idea is to bring green-oriented worker cooperatives to Greenbelt that would be jobs that actually paid a living wage. I’ve been doing it because 1) I like the concept and 2) I’m hoping to eventually snag a paying job that would be more steady than selling my original arts and crafts. (Even if it falls through, I’ll at least have something to put on my resume that may impress others that I’m capable of doing more than data entry, which is what I’ve done in the past.)

So I volunteered to sit for nearly two hours at the Greenbelt Cooperative Incubator table on the first day of the festival from 9-11:30 a.m. Actually working that table was way less stressful than last year when I had to haul my own stuff and be on duty for seven hours on both days no matter what the weather was. Table, chairs, and a canopy were provided and much it was set up by the time I arrived around 9 a.m.

When I arrived at the Greenbelt Cooperative Incubator table around 9 a.m. on the first day of the festival, this is what it looked like.

Greenbelt Cooperative Incubator

Things were relatively quiet for the first 20 minutes until another person came by the table with banner making supplies that she purchased during a shopping run to Staples and asked me to quickly create a banner.

Greenbelt Cooperative Incubator

So I spent the bulk of my time at the table laying out and sticking letters to the banner. Fortunately there weren’t a lot of people that early in the morning so I was able to cover the flyers so I could lay the banner out. The resulting banner wasn’t bad considering that I created it very quickly.

Greenbelt Cooperative Incubator

That banner hung from the canopy for the rest of the weekend until the festival ended.

Greenbelt Cooperative Incubator

By the time I finished working on the banner and hung it up, my shift at the Greenbelt Cooperative Incubator table ended. My shift also ended just in time for the start of the festival’s opening ceremony which included invoking the Green Man’s spirit at a small altar and a group of people dancing around a young mother holding her baby.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival Opening Ceremony

Greenbelt Green Man Festival Opening Ceremony

Greenbelt Green Man Festival Opening Ceremony

Greenbelt Green Man Festival Opening Ceremony

Greenbelt Green Man Festival Opening Ceremony

Greenbelt Green Man Festival Opening Ceremony

Greenbelt Green Man Festival Opening Ceremony

There was a display featuring live farm animals that was put up by Edie’s Place, which describes itself as “an eco-therapeutic farm”. It was also promoting a Farmers’ Market in nearby Glenn Dale that’s going on every Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

On the first day of the festival there were chickens.

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

The chickens were replaced by some ducklings on the second day of the festival.

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Sharing the pen with the birds on both days of the festival were a pair of Nigerian dwarf goats.

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Farm Animals at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

 

You can tell that this year is the mid-term elections in many states throughout the United States, including Maryland. Heather Mizeur is running for Governor as an environmentalist and progressive Democrat. No matter what the election outcome will be, Heather Mizeur has already made history as the first openly lesbian to run for Maryland Governor.

Heather Mizeur Table at the 2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Heather Mizeur Table at the 2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Heather Mizeur Table at the 2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Heather Mizeur Table at the 2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

 

I caught up with a friend of mine, Tina Van Pelt, who was selling her handcrafted fused glass jewelry through her studio Profusions of Glass. Here is some of her work that she had on sale during the Greenbelt Green Man Festival.

Fused Glass on Sale at the 2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Fused Glass on Sale at the 2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Here is the rest of the photos that I shot at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival. There was a lot of music and a lot of dancing. There were plenty of vendors selling food and handcrafted goodies of all kinds. There were children’s activities. There were educational tables. The first day was rainy and there weren’t a lot of people there. The second day was sunny and warm (which was perfect weather since the second day of the festival also fell on Mother’s Day). You can guess which photos I took on which days by looking at the sky and the pavement.

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2014 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

After I got out of church today I decided to check out the annual ArtsFest that was held today in Riverdale Park, Maryland.

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

When I first arrived to the area, I was greeted by a display of classic vintage cars and one classic Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

There was also this unique one-of-a-kind art car that looked really cool. The owner/artist is known as Clarke Bedford and he has more visually interesting stuff at his website.

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

At one point one of the owners of one of those classic cars would periodically get in his car, start the engine, then rev up the motor for at least five minutes. He did this at twice while I was at ArtsFest and it’s possible he may have done it more times before I arrived. What was really bad was that it was so obvious that his car didn’t have a muffler installed because it was so noisy that it drowned out the music and people’s conversations in general. I don’t know why he was doing it other than to say “LOOK AT ME! I’M AN ATTENTION-WHORING ASSHOLE IN A VINTAGE CAR WITH A LOUD MOTOR BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A MUFFLER BECAUSE I THINK THEY ARE FOR EFFEMINATE SISSIES!” I heard several people complain about this guy’s antics. All I can say is that I’m glad he doesn’t live in my neighborhood.

I basically went there to see if a friend of mine was there and, sure enough, she was. Here are a couple of photos of some of her fused glass jewelry and plates. Her name is Tina Van Pelt and she has her own fused glass studio known as Profusions of Glass.

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

ArtsFest, Riverdale Park, Maryland, May 4, 2014

One strange highlight of ArtsFest came when I was visiting other tables and came across one table that sold porcelain dolls in their original boxes. Some were marked as Madame Alexander dolls. Each doll was on sale for $20. The woman behind the table claimed that her mother, who recently died, was a doll collector and the items on that table were from her personal collection. The woman also claimed that she did an eBay search where, according to her, these same dolls that she was selling in real life for $20 each were selling on eBay for as much as $150. She was trying to get me to buy one of her dolls for $20 while convincing me that I could sell that same doll later on eBay for $150.

I ended up not buying anything from her table because 1) I’m not into porcelain dolls, 2) I’m trying to watch my money these days, 3) I’m trying to avoid cluttering the house with more stuff, and 4) I call “bullshit” on her claim that I can resell those dolls on eBay for a lot more money than the $20 I would’ve spent. After all, if those dolls were really worth $150 each on eBay, why wasn’t she selling them online herself so she could pocket the $150 profit on each doll instead of selling those dolls on that table at ArtsFest for $20 each?

Come to think of it, I wonder if those dolls in the Madame Alexander boxes were really from the doll company or if they were just some clever bootlegs? I didn’t take any pictures of that table, which I now regret because I could’ve done my own online research to see how much of a bullshitter that woman really was. Oh well.

Christmas-Ornament,-December-16,-2013

Last Friday (December 13) I was invited to a fused glass ornament making workshop that was led by Tina Van Pelt in her Profusions of Glass studio and I made this gingerbread man. The results turned out really well. One could feel hungry looking at it (even though it’s not edible).

It didn’t take me long making this ornament but I stayed a while because some of my other friends were also there so I spent some time socializing. It was a fun, creative, and relaxing evening.

It was just as well that I went because, lately, my therapist has been urging me to get out of the house more and socialize with my friends so I can further put the whole ugly separation and divorce further behind me.

Seven months ago I devoted a blog post full of miscellaneous photos I downloaded from my smartphone in order to clear out the disk space. Recently I did a similar purge of more photos from my smartphone.

Back in late March one of the stores I visited sold a line of Disney-inspired makeup complete with totally cute versions of Mickey Mouse and his friends.

Disney Make-Up

This next photo reminded me of a running joke I used to have with my husband. A few years ago we learned through a friend of an existence of a line of alcoholic beverage called Arrogant Bastard Ale. My husband used to present himself as a total smartass to me and to many of our friends and I used to joke that with his smartass attitude, I should buy him a bottle of Arrogant Bastard Ale as a gift. However, I checked in many liquor stores and none of the ones in my area carried that brand. Fast forward a few years and my husband ended up divorcing me. I happened to walk in a store on my own earlier this year and I finally found a bottle of Arrogant Bastard Ale on sale. It figures that I can now find Arrogant Bastard Ale after my divorce from my husband became final. <Sigh!>

Arrogant Bastard Ale

Many of the grocery stores in my area have a bakery that includes fresh baked goods. Of all the supermarkets, I have to say that Giant is the one that has the best looking cookies. I tried some of these cookies and, while they are tasty, there are other less-decorated cookies whose taste I prefer. But these cookies do look pretty and cute.

Decorated Cookies
Decorated Cookies

The front window of one of the local clothing stores in my area dressed up one of its mannequins in the most butt-ugly patriotic outfit I’ve ever seen.

Patriotic Outfit

The Food Network used to run this reality show called The Ace of Cakes which was one of the few reality shows I watched on a regular basis. The show profiled a Baltimore-based bakery called Charm City Cakes, which specializes in making unique one-of-a-kind cakes that are truly works of art. I was really sad when the show was cancelled. A few months ago I was shopping at Safeway when I saw that the owner of Charm City Cakes, Duff Goldman, has come out with a line of Chef Duff boxed cakes where anyone can attempt to make a cool looking cake in the comfort of his/her own kitchen.

Chef Duff's Cake Mixes

One day I decided to go to downtown Washington, DC so I parked my car in a Metro station parking lot near this Hello Kitty car.

Hello Kitty Car

The local nursery, Behnke’s, has this really cool looking landscaping project on its grounds that’s designed to show off one of the creative things you can do with purchasing tall grasses from them.

Cool Landscape
Cool Landscape
Cool Landscape

Earlier this spring I saw this really pretty butterfly on one of the concrete steps outside of my home.

Butterfly

Around the same time as I took that butterly photo, I was working on starting a garden when I decided to go to one of the local nurseries, Homestead Gardens. This particular nursery is located in Davidsonville, which is full of family-owned farms. Homestead Gardens had some chicks on sale for anyone interested in raising chickens.

Chicks at Homestead Gardens
Chicks at Homestead Gardens
Chicks at Homestead Gardens
Chicks at Homestead Gardens
Chicks at Homestead Gardens
Chicks at Homestead Gardens

A few months ago a new non-profit STEM technology center called Club 125 opened in my area. The unofficial mascot is Sam, who definitely feels at home there.

Sam the Dog
Sam the Dog
Sam the Dog

Somtimes another dog named Geisha visits at Club 125 and it results in Sam and Geisha playing with each other.

Two Playing Dogs

Occasionally the dogs go too far in their playing so they have to be sent to a time-out area that’s blocked off with a child gate.

Sam and Geisha

Eventually the dogs are allowed to leave the time-out area and they settle down together looking like they are going to be calm and laid-back friends.

Sam and Geisha

Then, again, maybe not.

Sam and Geisha
Sam and Geisha
Sam and Geisha

But there’s more to Club 125 than just dogs and science geek-oriented activities. I happened to drop by one Sunday afternoon while a Japanese language class was in progress.

Japanese Language Class

One summer morning I saw three ducks relaxing in the grass.

Ducks
Ducks

I was on a Metro train a few months ago when I saw this ad for a new establishment that was in the process of opening in Bethesda called Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. As you can guess from the name, this place specializes in chocolate.

Washington DC Metro Subway Ad

Here’s an ad I saw on the side of a shopping mall directory for the website ThatsNotCool.com.

Shopping Mall Directory Ad

The Annapolis comic book shop Third Eye Comics decided to put up this giant tent in the back parking lot in conjunction with the huge San Diego Comic Con that was taking place across the country that same weekend. The Third Eye Comics tent had a clearance sale on older comic books and action figures.

Third Eye Comics, Annapolis, Maryland
Third Eye Comics, Annapolis, Maryland

One day in a parking lot I found this really amusing bumper sticker.

Bumper Sticker

Did you know that, in addition to chocolate candy, Hershey’s also makes cereal? I didn’t either until one day when I made this trip to the local Safeway.

Hershey's Cookies & Cream Cereal

I saw this birthday tribute to Jack Daniels on display at Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro.

Birthday Tribute to Jack Daniels

Here is the beginning of a sunset featuring a blue sky, the moon, and a bunch of clouds with just a tiny hint of pink in them.

The Beginning of a Sunset

I saw this live turkey on display at the Greenbelt Farmers Market in Greenbelt, Maryland last month.

Turkey

I visited one of those Spirit of Halloween stores that usually sets up temporary space in an empty store space in many local malls and shopping centers throughout the United States. The one I visited is currently located at the Free State Mall in Bowie, Maryland but, since tomorrow is Halloween, this store will pack up and leave soon. In addition to selling costumes, masks, and makeup, The Spirit of Halloween also sells these state of the art animatronics that were really awesome to see in person but I didn’t buy one because 1) I’m currently living on a tight budget and 2) those animatronics are a bit too much for a divorced woman living in a small townhouse with no children.

Spirit of Halloween
Halloween Decoration
Halloween Decoration
Halloween Decoration

Here’s a nice sunset shot that I took in Crofton, Maryland before I headed over to my weekly support group meeting for people who are separated or divorced.

Sunset

One day I found this spider weaving its web outside my home.

Spider
Spider
Spider

I found this faded poster of actor George Takei (best known as Sulu on the original 1960’s Star Trek series) hanging in the window of the local Social Security office.

George Takei Poster

The next few photos are of the fused glass arts and crafts of Tina Van Pelt of Profusions of Glass. She had me take a few reference photos of her booth at the Fall Harvest Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland for reference since I was going to sell some of her items at the Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest (which was to be held a couple of weeks later) since she was going to be out of town that same weekend. The glass items really photographed well with the smartphone camera.

Fused Glass
Fused Glass
Fused Glass
Fused Glass
Fused Glass
Fused Glass
Fused Glass

Did you know that this month is “Ministry Appreciation Month”? I didn’t either until I saw these cards in the Hallmark aisle at a local CVS.

Hallmark Card Display

Here’s an ad I saw recently in a Metro station in downtown Washington, DC.

DC Metro Ad

The next few photos are the ones I took the day I went to the weekly Riverdale Park Farmers Market. I walked around the downtown area of Riverdale Park, Maryland and I even took a photo of the band that performed during the Farmers Market.

Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, Maryland

The next couple of photos are ones that I took during a recent visit to All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, DC.

All Souls Unitarian Church
All Souls Unitarian Church

One day, when I was returning from an appointment with my therapist, I happened to see a herd of deer grazing along the side of the road in the late afternoon sun.

Deer
Deer
Deer
Deer

I found some interesting art decorating a tattoo parlor in Annapolis.

Tattoo Parlor
Tattoo Parlor
Tattoo Parlor

Now that I’ve cleared space on my smartphone by deleting photos, I’m going to end this entry with my first attempt at a selfie photo. I took it last Friday in the women’s bathroom at a dance that was put on by my support group for people who are separated or divorced. Since tomorrow is Halloween and I am disguised as a My Little Pony character named Rainbow Dash, I’m going to post it here. I’m wearing a Rainbow Dash hoodie (complete with ears, a multicolored mane, and even wings on the back) that I purchased at Amazon.com, a Rainbow Dash mask that I purchased and downloaded from the Etsy shop Hungry Panda Supplies, and a skull cameo necklace that I purchased at a craft show from Lithia’s Creations.

Rainbow Dash
Rainbow Dash

This opportunity to sell at another festival literally fell into my lap, which I wrote about in this blog entry. Basically a friend of mine, Tina Van Pelt, wanted to sell her fused glass items under the Profusions of Glass name but she had planned to be out of town that weekend so she and I hashed out an agreement where I would sell her things along with mine. In exchange she would pay the $20 vendor fee and I would get a 20% cut of whatever I sold of her things.

Despite that agreement, I came very close to cancelling participation in the first-ever Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest. For the past few days it had been raining non-stop (this latest storm started the same day that I went to downtown Washington, DC to take part in the latest Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at Chief Ike’s Mambo Lounge) and at times it was really pouring heavily. My Accuweather App on my smartphone predicted that it would be more of the same weather on the day of the festival.

But then something happened on the morning of the festival. Even though it was still cloudy and the ground was wet, it stopped raining. I still waited with trepidation because I thought that it would be a short-lived thing. As it got closer to festival time, I found that the rain was holding off so I decided to participate after all.

After experimenting with using a beach umbrella for the last couple of shows, I decided to go for it and use the whole canopy that my husband and I used to put up together. I thought that the canopy would provide better protection from the rain than that beach umbrella. The downside is that, despite my efforts, it’s hard for one person to put up a canopy by herself. Fortunately, I had some people volunteer to help me with putting it up and I succeeded. Here is what my setup looked like.

Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013

A view of my tiny art canvases and my fairy dolls made from thrift shop Barbie dolls.

Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013

Another view of the fairy dolls alongside the animal bubbles (which I sold for $1 each or free with each purchase) and some of the fused glass earrings.

Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013

Some more of Tina Van Pelt’s fused glass jewelry and a couple of my polymer clay paperweights.

Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013

This item was my biggest seller. It was a bumper sticker I was inspired to create after the Federal Government Shutdown of 2013. I sold it for $1 each and there was a great reaction to it. There were a couple of people whom I had to explain who the man in the picture was (Senator Ted Cruz, the Tea Party Republican from Texas who, prior to the shutdown, gave this epic 21-hour speech on why Obamacare needs to be defunded and he was among the elected officials who cheered on the government shutdown).

Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013

My vending area was close to the stage so I was able to see the entertainment. The Mistress of Ceremonies was Honey LaBronx, the self-described Vegan Drag Queen who has a vegan cooking show on the Internet.

Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013
Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013

Throughout the day there were a couple of speeches urging the public to go vegan but there was plenty of entertainment as well, such as this guy who wore a black t-shirt that said "Vegan Strong" on the back and he busted some incredible breakdancing moves.

Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013
Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013
Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013

There was a hula hoop contest where the last hula hooper standing won a prize. (I forgot exactly what the prize was but I think it might’ve been a gift card or something like that.)

Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013

The entertainment lasted throughout the day as there were all kinds of bands and dancers.

Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013
Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest, October 12, 2013

In the end I only sold two of the fused glass earrings for $20 each. I did slightly better with selling one tiny canvas, one paperweight, and a bunch of anti-Ted Cruz bumperstickers. It’s not bad considering that it was in the middle of the Federal Government shutdown and there were a lot of cash-strapped furloughed federal employees and laid-off federal contractors who took advantage of the festival’s free admission. But I’m glad I decided to sell at that festival. The rain held out until 4 p.m., when there was a brief 15-minute shower. But then the rain stopped and it remained stopped through the 6 p.m. closing time. The rain still held out as I got some people to help me with taking down the canopy and I hauled the stuff to my car. About a half-an-hour after I returned home, it started to rain pretty hard. I was so lucky that day. 🙂

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