This is a very special project for me that I have for you today. On April 27th, 2011, a F-5 tornado tore through Tuscaloosa, AL where the University of Alabama is located. The tornado killed 50+ people, injured hundreds, and left thousands with absolutely nothing left. This touched me deeply because the University of Alabama was where I went to undergrad for 4 years. It shaped a lot of who I am and where I met my 3 lifelong friends. Going back, I was stricken by how so much had changed and how whole neighborhoods were gone.
View from where my sophomore year dorm use to be
Aerial view of the path of destruction of the tornado
Worse yet, hearing the personal stories from friends still at the University really touched a soft spot in me. As an athletic trainer, I worked hand in hand with the University of Alabama athletics. If you're from the South, you would know how all consuming sports, especially Football is to the state of Alabama. Sports Illustrated released an article, with the cover story being about the effect of the Tornado. Reading the article, it saddened me to hear about how one of my former football players girlfriend was killed in the tornado. They were taking cover in a closet and she was tragically ripped from his arms. Also hearing about how two of my former baseball players, who I had just seen less than a month before when we played them IN Tuscaloosa, had lost everything was just heartbreaking. If you have the time, please read this well-written article http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1186008/index.htm
Mainly I am so proud of how the athletics has stepped up to help in relief efforts. They have taken their time out to spend time passing out water and goods as well as helping with the cleanup. Former players who are now playing in the NFL have also donated thousands of dollars in food and water to help those who have literally be left with nothing. Thanks to Javier Arenas (aka Javy) and all those athletes who are helping to patch things up.
So now that my season is done and I have some extra time on my hands, I set out on making something to help represent the strenght, spirit, and pride of Tuscaloosa. Houndstooth has a very special meaning for the University of Alabama because it represents the hat that the legendary football coach, Bear Bryant famously wore at each game. Every Saturday in the fall, the campus is filled with fans decked out in red and houndstooth...from pretty co-eds to fat old drunken men. A houndstooth ribbon has become the symbol of support for the relief efforts down in Tuscaloosa.
I used the ribbon off the stand and salute cart, as well as the shadow to make the base and cut it out with the cricut. I then cuttlebugged the white ribbons with the houndstooth folder and while they were still in the folder, I brayered the ribbon with black ink, kind of like the reverse of this technique shown on youtube I then used Sure Cuts a Lot to cut out the Alabama A logo and glued it on.
I didn't think it was enough so I went ahead and used my gypsy to Weld the shadow of the ribbon and banner (also found on the Stand and Salute cartridge) together to make a base. I then added the words "T-town" which is our affectionate name for Tuscaloosa to the ribbon and cut out two versions (one solid, and one with the letters so it could show through). I'm not sure which one I like better, the white or red. Any suggestions? I wasn't sure if I wanted to make these into cards or just keep them as is and make them into a magnet or even something to hang in my car. But I may even sell them on etsy and have all proceeds go to a charity of relief for Tuscaloosa.
Anyway, I know this is a long post but this just meant so much to me, so thanks for all that actually read this. I'll leave you with pics that show the resilient spirit of the people of T-town. Roll Tide!