Monday, March 27, 2023

My First Hurricane Journal Spread

 Hi there. Hope everyone is well and safe this Monday afternoon.
My thoughts and prayers to everyone in the path of bad weather.
There's lots of bad weather just here in the USA, I can't keep up.

So, with all the tornadoes, rain, flooding and snow, the art journal spread I finished late last week seems almost wickedly appropriate. This is in my 2009-2012 journal I'm trying to finish. One thing I wanted to journal for 2011 was the 50th Anniversary of Hurricane Carla, which was my first storm to experience. I was 5 years old. 

I took this one process shot to show that I began with a black-gesso' d spread. Here I've begun to paint some blue acrylic over it. Then, I got so into creating that I forgot to take more photos, but after the blue dried, I added a layer of silver matt acrylic to create some gray rain bands. 

Then I layered on some white acrylic, dabbing with my brush to try to recreate the spiral rain bands. Above is a photo of Hurricane Ike, which I used as a model for painting my spread background.

And here's what I ended up with. I could have gone back in with more gray to define the bands further, but I am still tiring easily and wanted to move on, so this was good enough for me. 

I found images on the internet and printed them out on some tan parchment paper. With those, a scrap of blue card, a blank manila tag, number stickers and some very old 7Gypsies journaling cards, I created 2 clusters at top left and bottom right. This is the top left cluster in detail.

This also gave me a chance to showcase my cute Kindergarten pic on one of the 7Gypsies tags. This photo was taken the Friday before the storm hit. (There was no public school kindergarten yet. I attended my church's private kindergarten which began that year on September 4. The storm hit us the night of Sept. 11. Oh wow, my first 9-11 as well.) 

Here the bottom right's cluster in detail. I made a pocket out of the blue card scrap to hold my journaling of mine and Honey's memories. He lived about 10 miles away from me in a house on blocks and during the storm a tornado picked up their house and plunked it down about 15 feet away! He literally knows how Dorothy Gail from the Wizard of Oz felt. His family was sooooo lucky to survive and with only scratches and bruises. They rebuilt a 4-bedroom brick home on a concrete foundation afterwards and my sweet mother-in-law still lives there. My memories of Carla pale in comparison. I stayed up almost all night looking through my window at the slanted rain, the trees whipping around and hearing the constant frictional onslaught of the howling wind, dozing off every so often but not for long. It was almost mesmerizing and I was really too young to be too frightened. 

One thing I find fascinating about back then was something I read about years later. Our local Houston CBS-affiliate TV station KHOU had a new young reporter I had watched all summer during lunchtime on Al Bell's News At Noon show. I liked him because he was handsome and always had an interesting story to report, even though I probably didn't understand much. My Mom liked him, so I did too. His name was Dan Rather. During Carla, he went down to the Galveston Weather Bureau to report from there on location, which had never been done before. (The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore's daredevil on scene adventures were done by Dan first during this storm.) Dan even wanted to be tied to a tree to report outside in the 175-mile winds, but the cameraman talked him out of it by pointing out all the water moccasins that would slither over him crawling up that tree to higher ground. But I digress.

 The story I want to pass on to you is that when Dan Rather arrived at the brand new state of the art Galveston Weather Bureau while Carla was still churning out in the Gulf, Dan could see on their new radar technology how massive the storm was and wanted to show that on air to urge everyone to evacuate immediately, but the Weather Bureau was hesitant to let him do that. How would radar help anyone but us, they countered. So Dan came up with the idea of a clear plastic overlay of the Texas coastline to be put over the radar so people could see it was coming for them. The Weather Bureau guys relented, realizing this would perfectly illustrate the impending catastrophe. And it worked! That one act caused the largest weather-related evacuation in history and only 46 people lost their lives, instead of thousands. AND TO THIS DAY, THAT IS HOW HURRICANES ARE SHOWN TO PEOPLE!! It's just done digitally now. How crazy amazing is that? The image above is what Dan and the Weather Bureau guys came up with (I added the red smiley face to show where I was. You can clearly see the eyewall offshore just southeast of Port O'Connor.) 

And one last look. 
Another spread done and that makes me happy!
I thank you very much for the visit and I hope you have a great start to your week!



Valerie-Jael said...

Hi Aimesllee, this was a fascinating read, and love the journal you made. It was great that the weather reporter expediated the evacuation. Thanks for linking to my anything goes challenge at AJJ. Hugs, Valerie
Love your sweet photo, too!

Dena J said...

Wow! A fantastic page and journal memory. A huge event like that does make an impression. And Dan Rather as well! Well, your art journal most certainly fits my rain theme in a special way. Many thanks for sharing your page and story with us at Allsorts.

Elkes Lebensglück said...

Thank you for this exciting real story from your life, it's terrible with this weather and how much you always have to strive for!
A fabulous, great diary page. Your photo is sweet.
Hug Elke

Rainey's Craft Room said...

A fabulous double page spread for your journal. Thank you for joining us at the Allsorts Challenge.

My name is Erika. said...

This is a fascinating post Aimeslee. Who knew this about Dan Rather? Not me. And you were definitely a cutie. What a great photo. The story of your husband's home is just amazing. They were very lucky. And I love how your MIL is stilling living in the rebuilt home. Your page came out great, and I like how you painted the hurricane.The dirty side pocket is a great idea, and those look like original newspaper clipping I think. Thanks so much for sharing this with us at AJJ for Valerie's challenge. It's a great idea and works with anything goes. Hope your week is starting off well. hugs-Erika

Carol said...

Here in the UK we have been reading about the Tornado in Mississippi and looking at the terrible films. The loss of life and the dreadful damage is appalling and I know it is easy to say this from 4000 + miles away - but we do ache for you.

Aimeslee - I love your storyboard. It all looks so dramatic and beautifully done. Well done Dan Rather.
Carol xx
CD Sunday Plus DT

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What an impressive story you have given us with your first hurricane adventure. Nice that Dan Rather got a bit of credit for saving so many lives, too. I love that background and the details you added in opposing corners of your journal. And it was nice to read about your own recollection of that date. Thank you for sharing this powerful spread with us at Art Journal Journey using Valerie's theme.

Gillena Cox said...

A lovely journaling page. Happy you are safe.


Donna Ellis said...

Thanks for sharing your creative process, a little bit of history, and your thoughts, Aimes. Wishing you strength and stamina in coming days. Hugs, de

Donna Walls said...

Wow, incredible read today Ames and a fantastic Art Journal idea. You certainly were and still are a cutie pie! Thanks for sharing your project with us at the Paper Funday Challenge and we look forward to seeing more from you soon.
Donna xx
Beautiful Blossoms Challenge
Inspiration Station Challenge

Bonnie Lynn said...

Wow!!! Aimeslee, seriously my jaw dropped with your story. I can't describe how I feel after reading it. I'm so glad the weather bureau finally decided to put the overlay on screen so the evacuation could begin. Your husband is so lucky to be alive. I'll say it again: give me California's earthquakes anytime. At least I know what to do and expect. I really love how you created your hurricane on your journal page and the bits of memorabilia you've added too.

Faith A at Daffodil Cards said...

A fascinating and in some ways horrific story Aimes. We were just thinking how awful, our golf ball size rain drops were. They lasted 10 minutes and now just rain. Nuffin compared to you and your experiences. How clever of Dan Rather to think how to convey the horror spread of the hurricane. Something simple, saving so many lives and similar used today? WOW!
What a piece of history you have there, and your painting of a hurricane, and your journal is awesome too.
Faith x

Mervi said...

Fabulous page!
Thank you for sharing at Allsorts;-))m

Michele said...

i love that you are making this journal history of your life with hurricanes! its fabulous and fascinating! beautifully done. and your photo is so adorable! xo

marlies said...

Leuk wat je gemaakt hebt! Super dat je meedoet bij Mixed Media Lovers!
Marlies, DT

Jocelyn said...

That was really interesting Aimeslee and a great journal page. Thank you for sharing with us.
Jocelyn x
CD Sunday Plus DT

Pamela said...

I think you captured the swirl of a hurricane just right. I loved reading the history and your memories of the storm.
CD Sunday Plus DT.

ahlers5 said...

Wow, the Dan Rather story was so interesting. I can't imagine someone wanting to be tied to a tree. The storm could rip that tree right out of the ground and toss it. What an amazing journal page and cute little kiddo, too.

Judy McKay said...

Beautiful art journal page. Very interesting subject. Thank you for joining us at a Place to Start this month. Judy DT

Creaine said...

So glad you’ve joined our challenge at Mixed Media Lovers! I just love what you’ve made. Hope to see you again next time.
Blogowner: Ine

Ellibelle said...

What a story about your first Hurricane experience, you must have been so scared! Glad your Honey and his family were safe during it too even though they lost so much!
Great work with the page spread and getting all the info to add to it! So nice to see you linked up at my Crafty Wednesday challenge this month! It was also a perfect creation for last week's Allsorts' "rain" theme, thanks for sharing there too!
Oh, and what an adorable Kindergarten photo!

Margarets designer cards said...

Your history journal page is fascinating, it must have brought back memories and your description of the events, we are so far away its hard to imagine a hurricane, as we dont normally experience them,
Thank you for sharing this with us
CD Sunday plus DT

Sandra Wright. said...

Ah Aimeslee, just look how cute you were, such a delightful photo and story.
Thank you so much for playing along with us at Tag Tuesday.
Hope you are keeping well. xx