Tag Archives: greenbelt

Vote Sister Bitchez!

Ok – so I voted.  I am doing this “Thankful November” thing on Facebook and today’s thankful note was that I have the right to vote and I did vote.  That is something to really be thankful for in a world where women’s voices can be undervalued.  I love all of you, my voting sisters.  And if you didn’t vote, I still love you, but want to encourage you to GET YOUR BUTT OUT THERE in the next election and do your thing!  It’s your hard won right!

The voting place wasn’t even crowded.

I do this thing every time I vote where I put the voting sticker on my face and take a selfie.  Well, I’ve been doing it since cellphone selfies have been a thing, anyway.  I can’t find one of them, but here are the ones I have so far.  I know you’re just DYING to see them!

2014

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2012

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2006

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Holy cow – that was before I started dying my hair – check out how white my hair is NOW compared to this 2006 image!

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Greenbelt Artists

I have started a Facebook Group for Greenbelt artists.

It’s meant to be a place for artists of all types to come and share links to their poetry, e-books, paintings, photos, classes and workshops, gigs and so forth.

It’s meant to be a support network, also, to assure that if perhaps you are in need of a painting or photographer or some summer reading you have the opportunity to be aware of and support other Greenbelt artists.

Please share your links to your projects and events and anything else that you feel is helpful.

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Talented Tuesday: Gina Mai Denn, Ceramic Artist

I bought a small piece of Gina Mai Denn’s work at a festival in Greenbelt last year.  I want to say it was maybe the Kale-a-rama Festival.  Yes, there is a Kale Festival!

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Gina Mai Denn ceramic “toothpick holder” is just the right size for my mini-Moo business cards.

I haven’t had a lot of room to buy or store things in my downsized life.  Sometimes, though, you just want something and I wanted something from her booth.  The item was small, so I could start my justification process there.  It was affordable – score two more points in the justification process!  The container,  which I think most people would use as a toothpick holder, was just the right size to hold a handful of my Mini-Moo brand business cards, so I made my final justification and bought it.

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Gina holding one of her wood fired pieces.

It turns out that Gina is the wife of my husband Will’s longtime friend John.  John has been the subject of two Talented Tuesday’s here on my bloggy.  Turns out he’s an awesome poet and I didn’t know it until the reading at Zu Coffee.  So, they are a dynamic duo of talent.  And that my friends is a perfect example of how Greenbelt works!

Gina has a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Ceramics from Alfred University.  She has been teaching pottery classes for 18 years.  Currently she teaches at the Greenbelt Community Center where she is an Artist in Residence.

I had the pleasure of peeking inside her studio where the magic happens.

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Her earthy color palette is extremely appealing to me. She gave credit to the center’s stock stores of glaze, but wherever the inspiration comes from for the color choices – the result is beautiful.  Aqua greens and nutmeg browns blend beautifully in an array of spicy earthiness that makes you want to cup one of the warm mugs in your hands.  Most of the pieces are sturdy and have a visual weight to them. But there are more delicate pieces also.

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She makes impressions on the clay with many different things. This piece has impressions from a variety of sources, including a rubber stamp.

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Many of the handbuilt pieces have impressions of various objects on them.  Everything from an old bit of a 1970s lampshade to commercially made stamps.

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Gina’s dog Katy!

I’m an artist who likes to dabble in multiple art forms.  I’ve done some clay work myself and actually quite enjoy it.  In looking around the studio I was reminded of how much dedication clay requires.  She can’t be your part time mistress, you have to give her your full attention.  I really admire a person who can focus on one passion this way.

You can find Gina’s work  next at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival, which is coming up in just a couple of weeks.

You can also find her shaving cream bowls at Mystic Water Soap, which will be at the Greenbelt Farmer’s Market this summer as well as a number of other locations.  Also, they travel around to other locations.  Check out their website.

Gina’s current classes are already filled up, but you can sign up for the next set of classes!  Don’t drag your feet though, her classes fill up fast!  Enrollment is open for Greenbelt residents, currently. Non-residents can fill out a registration form and it will be processed as soon as enrollment is open for non-residents.  CLICK HERE

Gina’s two classes for the summer are listed on page 8 and page 14 of the Recreation brochure pdf.  CLICK HERE

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Repair Cafe – Fix It Felix Jr. Would Love This!

I’ve noticed that Club125 in Roosevelt Center has been doing something really cool called “Repair Cafe.”  This is a description of what it is:

“The Cafè is a free community service offered by a volunteer staff to help people repair their damaged or broken goods. The classroom and workshop areas of Club125, located next to the Old Greenbelt Theatre, will be converted into five repair stations. Each station will focus on different types of objects: clothing and fabric items, computers, small appliances, jewelry, and furniture.

Some types of repair work will be made easy simply by having the right tools for the job such as a sewing machine for a ripped shirt sleeve, glue and clamps for a loose chair leg, or silver solder for a damaged earring. Other repair work may need an experienced professional, to rewire electrical connections or to diagnose a tough computer glitch. Some items may need matching materials or spare parts to complete the repair, which the owner may already have. Otherwise, owners will be assisted in ordering the needed parts from local businesses, and repairs can be made at a later date.

Of course, not everything can be repaired. For any such appliances and electronic devices, Club125 will accept the broken items for a week of “take it apart” activities. This is where kids and other curious people rip stuff apart to see what is inside, to examine what makes the device work. At the end of the week, staff will take the pile of e-rubbish to the Public Works facility on electronics recycling day.

Repair Cafè is made possible in part by Club125’s receipt of Greenbelt Consumer Co-op’s Jim Cassels Award and an eager supporting army of volunteers.”

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To read the whole thing on their website go here http://club125.com/blog/2014/01/14/what-is-repair-cafe/

You should also like their Facebook page to keep up with all the activities going on there.

What a wonderful way to help out the community!

He’s Poet and Ya Know It

On one of my old blogs I used to put song lyrics and quotes and poetry.  I also wrote poetry, but they were mostly very informal compositions.  My point being, that I like poetry.  So I was pretty happy last week when Will and I managed to make it out to Zu Coffee (which had FANTASTIC baked goods, BTW) where our friend and Greenbelt resident John Cooper was a featured poet for that evening’s readings.  Evidently a number of the New Deal Cafe poetry crowd was reading there as well.  I didn’t know any of the others, though one was a very funny guy.  I forget his name, but if I can figure it out I will try and point you to him in a future post.

John read a number of poems, I’m not sure how many but I’d guess it at about eight.  Of the ones I heard, three really stood out.  I found The Ring to be both a very good poem AND sexy, which is why I am sharing that one with you first.  With John’s permission, of course.

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Photo by Gina Mai Denn

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Real Work

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I met a woman last year who needed a dog sitter.  She lived down the street and the dog is special needs and I am home during the day.  So, I took care of her special, adorable, sweet dog and in the process the woman and I became friends.  I haven’t asked her permission to use her name, so I will maybe reveal that in another post, if it’s cool with her.

We got to talking about some our issues regarding meeting goals and getting sidetracked by too many ideas.  We also discussed things like time management and negative self talk and the need to be more proactive. Then she suggested something very proactive; a “Real Work” group.  We had the first meeting in the fall last year and recently we’ve managed a couple more.  We’ve decided to try and make it a weekly thing.

The idea behind the group is for folks like us, who need to set goals and find ways to measure the goals in terms of real work.  We are creative and we have ideas, but how many of these ideas are realized in the real world?  It addresses the problem of needing some process to be accountable to.  And so far it’s been great for me and I can say it has absolutely improved my productivity.

Today we met at the New Deal Cafe.  I had some tea and took notes.  I realized just how much I had accomplished since our meeting two weeks ago.  And it felt great to give ourselves praise for the things we’d done and re-focus on the things we might be losing a sight of.

One thing that has been an important theme, and I think many women can relate to this, is that we need to be sure that we are being nice to ourselves.  Be kind to yourself.  Don’t speak to yourself in an unkind way.  Recognize the good and wonderful things about yourself more than you focus on the things you feel you have failed at.  Don’t meditate on the negative.  Learn a lesson and move on.

We have a standing meeting day for these sessions now, which was another step forward.  At some point it might be fun to expand the group a bit.  I wonder if there is anybody out there who would enjoy a group like this?

Namaste!