Archives for July 2020

Thoughts on 4th of July

I thought it would be a great opportunity to share my thoughts as we conclude this years’ celebrations of Independence Day in the United States. As a small child, I remember celebrating the day with pride and looked forward to all of the pretty fireworks. I remember standing for the pledge of allegiance each day at the beginning of our school day with one hand over my chest.

As an adult, the fourth of July and many other holidays like Columbus day have become more problematic for me to accept and celebrate with the same zeal as I did as a child, after learning more of the history behind these dates and individuals, and how incomplete or just downright misleading the history we learned in school was. With how the information is presented in the school curriculum, I am not surprised that most people celebrate without blinking an eye, as the grandeur for what is presented would certainly demand this acknowledgment, but as I stated earlier these stories are very one-sided.

It’s easy to go with the flow without critically looking at our country’s past and present for that matter. When one takes the time to really look at this country’s history, and how it was built on the backs of slaves and indigenous peoples. As well as, all of the cruel inhumane acts that have occurred under the banner of “freedom”, the injustices that continue with our current systemic racism, and all of the atrocities that have been committed under the same flag, it is quite challenging to celebrate with the same vigor, pride, and innocence that I once did.

It is like this country has amnesia when it comes to teaching and acknowledging all of its history in totality. We don’t get to pick and choose. We have to look at it all…

When the words “founding fathers” are mentioned to me, I cringe, knowing that some of these men that professed freedom and equality for “all” were themselves slave owners or direct profiteers from this enterprise. So they were not my founding fathers. People talk about the ideals this country was founded on with pride, without acknowledging this fundamental gap. When these “founding fathers” put forth their rhetoric using words like “humanity” and “mankind”, they were not considering people like me in that group.

“Under the terms of our country’s founding document, slaves were defined as three-fifths of a man, not a real, whole human being.” This doctrine allowed this country to treat black people as less than and as property. Which laid the foundation for all the systemic racism that exists today.

There is so much to unpack about this country’s history but as an African American, I won’t blindly celebrate on holidays that did not include my ancestors as equals. It is kind of foolish. But perhaps as Juneteenth is a more appropriate date to celebrate, I think July 5, 1852, should also be considered. It’s the day that Frederick Douglass gave a speech entitled, “What to the slave is 4th of July”.

Because I am a genealogy lover I have included a video from NPR of Frederick Douglass’ descendants reading his famous speech.

I also included another one performed by the Great James Earl Jones.

I share my thoughts and these videos to illustrate the complicated history of this country and as we continue to work through our racial inequalities and prejudices in this country, we should also be mindful of our annual celebrations (their history, their intent) and how they are perceived and received by fellow Americans such as myself.

What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday #578

on my desk…

Hello, my crafty friends! It’s Wednesday and I am am a bit late but you know what time it is. Time to snoop. For those of you that aren’t familiar with WOYWW (What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday), head on over to Julia’s Stamping Ground and you will find desks from all around the world where we get to snoop on other crafter’s desks.

On my desk today is my lovely new laptop case on the left. You can’t see how beautiful the colors are but trust me, they are even prettier in person. It comes with a felt sleeve but why would I want to hide that gorgeous cover? In the middle is one of the new coloring books I showed you last week. On the right is a new adhesive purchase. It is called Sticky Specks and it is suppose to be fantastic and reusable. One of my clever crafty girlfriend recommended it to me. Next to it is the package for children’s masks. We have been using disposable masks so my husband picked up these for my boys to add to the rotation. I kept the package to add to my scrapbook.

I cracked open the new color-by-number coloring book I showed you last week. I swatched my Prismacolor pencils to use inside. I think I will swatch my polychromos so that I can have options and see which one lays down best. It is even more relaxing having someone else decide the color palette.

Can you guess what is happening in this garden photo? Let’s just say I have really annoying squirrels in my yard that love to dig in my pots. I came up with the idea to give my seeds a chance by cutting up screen fabric and using a bungee cord to cover them. Once the seeds peeked out and almost touched the screen I removed it as you can see on the right. I am still not fully in the clear because they love to rummage around flowers so I am keeping my fingers crossed they will leave them alone.

For my weekly zoom craft day with friends I began by swatching this amazing Kuretake paint set that I have owned for (shhh) amount of years. Then I set to work painting some card bases since I knew they would need time to dry before I stamped on them.

I even used my paint palette to mix my colors. It’s so easy to clean.

While they dried I heat embossed some cute images from my new stamp set on black cardstock. Above is all the cards I made during the session. I was quite pleased with them when finished.

This is a close up at the watercolor cards. I am totally going to make more of these. An added bonus is that I think this stamp set makes lovely masculine cards. It’s always hard for me to create masculine cards. Especially since I love floral stamps. The texture is so great on the paper. The one on the far left I colored with Copic markers. That was fun too. So many options with these stamps.

I went bling crazy on this design. But I couldn’t resist because they matched so perfectly. I did create a few without for those who don’t want all the shiny goodness! It was such a productive session filled with a lot of laughter. We will not meet for two weeks because we have July 4th holiday weekend so I will be going solo until then.

June 30, 2001

Yesterday was our 19th wedding anniversary. I took pictures from our album to share. It was a wonderful time. I can’t believe it was that long ago that I got to marry the love of my life. Unfortunately we have a pandemic this year but I hope to really celebrate on our 20th anniversary.

When people tell me I have long hair now I laugh because it’s short compared to those days. Well enough reminiscing, it’s time for snooping!

I hope you all are well.



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