Saturday, August 22, 2015

OKC National Memorial at Night

A few weeks ago, Tyler and I visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial at night.  Since I've been an adult, I've been to the memorial in the day time, but have not visited after dark.  

For my readers who are unaware about the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, here is a little back story.  On April 19, 1995, two men planned a bombing using a truck and explosives parked near the building, and set it off in the morning by the Murrah federal building.  The explosion and collapsed building resulted in the loss of 168 lives, including 19 children who were in a daycare on the second floor.

The memorial is in the place of the former Murrah building.  It consists of two walls representing the moments before and after the explosion, and a reflecting pool between the walls that represents the moment the explosion happened.  Off to the side of the reflecting pool are 168 chairs representing each life lost.

The 19 children are represented by smaller chairs, and each chair's location is determined by which floor each person was in the building.

Although Tyler and I were only five years old when this occurred, it is something that all Oklahoma children our age can recall.  Not only can we remember the images of the building and rescue crews from the news, but for many subsequent years at school each student was asked to bring 168 pennies to help fund building the OKC National Memorial.  Each anniversary I remember bringing my 168 pennies to school and we would take a moment of silence to remember their lives prior to turning the pennies in to our teachers.  

When I was older, probably middle school or high school, I went with classmates to the museum inside the national memorial.  The museum has pieces of the original building, as well as video interviews with survivors, family members, and rescue crews.  One entire exhibit is dedicated to each child who lost their life, which is particularly moving.  Their families donated a few toys or belongings of each child - I remember it felt strange that I often had some of the same toys as these children.

I believe this was the first time I saw and understood what we now know as the Oklahoma Standard - when the community comes together in moments of crisis with great generosity.  I continued to see this throughout my life as Oklahoman's responded to various towns and neighborhoods destroyed by tornadoes, and Oklahoma's response to other catastrophic events in the state and nation.  

Do you recall any major events that shaped the culture you grew up in, or an event in your childhood that changed you?  

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

DIY Herringbone Linoleum Stamp + Making a Card

Back in high school art class, I once made a linoleum print, which was my first and only time to work on that type of project.  Although that project was quite time consuming and large, here I am seven years later taking it on once again, however this time much smaller and with a greater variety of uses.  I've used the herringbone print to create backgrounds for a couple different cards so far, and believe it will be even more useful with a larger variety of inkpad colors.

To do this project, you'll need a piece of linoleum that you can find your local arts and crafts store, as well as a linoleum cutter starter set.  I bought a 4" x 3" piece.

 Here you can see the different types of blades you'll get in the starter set.  Some are for cutting large pieces of linoleum away, others for detail work.

On the long edge, make marks every inch on both sides of the piece of linoleum.

 Use a straightedge to draw a straight line from one side to the other.

Along the short ends, make marks every centimeter, and do the same connecting each tic mark across to make straight lines.

Now you have an easy grid to help keep your herringbone diagonal lines going at the same angle.

Continue using a straightedge to draw diagonal lines.  I chose to not have every line meet up for a mismatched appearance.

This is the blade I chose to use to cut out the lines for the herringbone pattern.

Use a metal straight edge along the side of the blade to ensure you cut the line straight.

 Always make sure the cut is deep enough that it won't show up when stamped on paper.

 Just cut out every line you drew with the tool until you're done.

My final result.

Now you can test your creation out with ink.

 My linoleum pad is larger than the ink pad, so I just had to blot it all over until the ink appeared even.

Press the linoleum on paper and press down all around it.

The ink didn't transfer completely due to the textured paper, but I preferred it this way so that I could write on top of the pattern.

Later, I brought out the calligraphy pens to make a card for a wedding we had earlier this year.

Since the herringbone transfer was only about 50%, it allowed the 100% transfer of the calligraphy ink to stand out over the pattern.

Linoleum prints are a great way to create handmade crafts that you can continue to use over and over!  Just remember that whatever you do on the linoleum block will transfer backward!

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Recapping Life Since My Last Post

Happy Friday! 

I'm so glad it is the weekend!

I was thinking about it recently and realized that I didn't post one single post during the month of May, nor have I posted this month until now. I also have a few unfinished NOLA posts from our trip there back in March.  It seems that life got super busy mid-April and has stayed that way.  I'm hoping now that summer is here things will slow down a bit. 

I have a few DIY posts in the works, I just simply have not had time to write up the blog post and upload photos.  So this post is simply a little recap of the past couple months or so, and a shout out that we're still alive!

In April the Canadian Geese had some adorable little goslings!

Their fuzzy tails are simply too adorable.

My good friend left our area for the summer for an internship!

I went to a craft show in Jones, OK called the Vintage Chicken Farm Barn Sale with my mom, grandmother, and my mom's friend. 

I found this interesting item to help organize and display some of our rocks and knick knacks.  I've been on the hunt for a galvanized type decorative thing, and when I saw this I waited 15 minutes for the vendor to come back from getting food to ask her the price.  She only asked $12, which for a craft sale I though was quite cheap.  I'm thinking about perhaps finding a wooden "S" (for Smith) to layer with other objects in the larger compartment at the bottom.

I haven't finalized what I'll put in it, because I don't think our quartz pieces show up as well as I'd like.  I also would eventually like to hang this on the wall, but it is quite heavy so I've considered waiting while we live in an apartment so we won't have to repair a huge hole from the anchors we'll need to use.

Tyler isn't used to the "rustic/vintage" style, so when I brought it home he really wasn't too sure about it.  I don't think he's entirely warmed up to it, but it is displaying his puzzles and rocks so he should.  ;)

A Love Coffee Darling drawer jewelry organizer commissioned by a friend.
My mom and I are hoping to be vendors at the Chicken Farm Barn Sale this year, if we get accepted.  We'll see, if so I'll be busy busy this summer making decorations to sell!  If you'd like to keep tabs on things I sell, just follow Love Coffee Darling on Facebook and search #lovecoffeedarling on Instagram!

Tyler while we sold scout cards as the fundraising event for new supplies.

Tyler has also been very busy this month and last month with boy scouts.  He is currently the scoutmaster for a new troop in OKC that is targeting an inner-city area.  We currently have six boys, two of which went with Tyler and the assistant scoutmaster to summer camp this month.  Tyler is also an Eagle Scout, and is loving his new role guiding a new generation of scouts.

On May 18th, we had our second wedding anniversary.  

We celebrated at a local Brazilian restaurant called Cafe do Brasil, which was very tasty!

 This time of year is also typical for severe storms, and there happened to be a storm that was predicted to be highly unstable the evening we made reservations, but luckily we enjoyed our meal, made it home before the rain, and nothing bad came of it.

 Speaking of storms, they gave me the chance to play with my camera and try to get some interesting weather shots.  I still have a lot to learn, but I thought some of them were worth sharing.

The sky turned orange at sunset during the middle of a severe storm. 
Lightning from my parent's back yard.

Wheat fields in rural Oklahoma and thunderstorms.

We visited my parents on Mother's Day weekend, and took a family photo!

The same weekend, we were in Norman once again to meet some other friends leaving for an internship, and took a stroll on our old campus.

He was talking to his mommy for Mother's Day!

Ladybug, ladybug.

Sunset from the stadium parking garage.

This little cat likes to watch the birds at our neighbor's feeder.  I threatened Tyler that I would feed it so it would hang out on our porch.  I later found out she already has an owner anyway, but I'm sure she wouldn't mind some extra attention???

I've also been attempting to declutter lately.  Tyler and I are both notorious sentimental collectors, so keeping our home decluttered is a challenge.  I've attempted to keep clutter off the entertainment system (which happens to be the first surface inside the door).  I put some boxwood greenery under the television in lieu of the doily, which I think looks less old lady and more clean and fresh, and chose specific sentimental items to display.  You might remember the vase on the left from our honeymoon. 

Most of the first goslings are rowdy and gawky looking "teens" now, but one set of geese had another young group.  

These little guys are just adorable sleeping under their mom in the shade.

 I found a new place to take some sky photos at the top of a nearby parking garage.  I've gone there a couple times this month to take some pictures in the morning and evenings.

OKC Downtown at sunrise from my new spot.

The stairwell of the parking garage looks kind of cool.
So outside of work, this has been our lives lately.  What's new with you?

P.S. Some of you bloggers have probably not had comments from me in quite a while.  I'm having issues with Google Chrome that has signed me out of the blogger comment box, and when I attempt to sign in it is not working, so anytime I have commented in the past 6 months has been only if I have switched browsers specifically to comment!  (I have no idea what is going on!)  I read your posts more often than I've commented lately, my apologies if you haven't felt the love!
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