Kentucky’s Tornado Aftermath – How You Can Help

Last week was truly chaotic between Ava’s early arrival and the tornadoes that tore their way through our region.

I still cannot believe this amount of destruction happened so close to our home.

All the following photos were taken from those shared by friends on Facebook. I do not take credit for these photos and will only post credit to these private Facebook users at their request.
Can you imagine your home being demolished in seconds? So. So. Sad.
Continuing the search for victims and survivors using canine officers.
Notice the red car has been completely flattened.
The remains of a local eatery known as "Freezer Fresh" - I've probably ate here 150 times!
This was once the town's H&R Block office.
This is an overturned police car that had responded to the first touchdown.

Another car flipped on it's side.
Even the town cemetery suffered damages.
A destroyed church at the main intersection in town.
The aftermath of a trailer park in the heart of town.
Destroyed homes right off the town's main drag.

Damaged apartments.
And the town's small hospital was also the scene of damage.
But West Liberty was not the only town hit by the twister- many small, rural communities were also devastated by the storms.
And numerous cell phone service towers were flattened.

And finally…

The best image of them all: trucks full of clean, bottled water and other supplies to benefit the amazing workers and the families in need.

I had to ride out the storm at my part time job in Sandy Hook. I was calm the entire time- but it wasn’t until the next day that I realized just how lucky I had been. The map below shows just a few locations where tornado and wind damage occurred – you can sort of map the path of the twister that touched down in West Liberty which passed only a few miles from my location in Sandy Hook. A co-worker and I were both experiencing extreme sinus pressure – which I hear often happens when the barometric pressure drops when a tornado develops.

So scary to think about how close I came to being in the path of destruction.

So, we ended up losing mobile phone reception, Internet connectivity and long-distance calling (some people in the region where totally without phone and electric – even those who managed to survive the destruction) for only a day or two. I am amazed at how quickly both the cell towers and Internet was restored – I was sure it would be weeks before any of those were restored (I should mention that our Internet Service Provider’s main office was located at ground zero on Main Street in West Liberty). It really speaks volumes for how hard all the amazing rescue teams, utility workers, emergency services, the National Guard and countless volunteers have done to restore communications so that families in the region can get word to their families across the nation and the globe.

So many families have lost their homes and vehicles. And even the places that they worked have been virtually wiped off the map. Though some may be able to pick up the pieces, others will never be able to rebuild and many may be displaced to new locations. In the meantime, they can use all the help they can get. You can call 800-RED-CROSS for details on how you can help out.

However, you can also donate clothing and food at many locations throughout the region – if you’re a local. I haven’t got much to give except some clothes that no longer fit. I’m spending my Monday washing the clothes and plan to drop them off before work on Tuesday.

If you would like to donate clothing or food- or anything else- please email us at hipearthdesigns@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to direct you to your nearest donation center. My Uncle is also a member of the West Liberty/Morgan County Emergency Response Team so I’ll post additional updates here or on the Facebook page to let you know how you can help.

Welcoming a New Addition to Our Family

Last night at 8:02pm our family welcomed an adorable new addition – Miss Ava Grace.

new addition to the family
Born February 29, 2012

Ava wasn’t due until April 5th, but she decided she wanted to be a Leap Day baby.

She weighs 4 lbs 5 ounces and measures 18-inches long. She will be spending a few days in NICU, but aside from being small she’s doing just fine. Breathing well and her heart rate is perfect. Mommy and Daddy are all smiles!

I’m heart-broken over the no-Aunts-in-the-nursery-rule, but I understand and I’m going to love every minute of watching her grow up.

Also- she has my dimple chin!

We’re all so proud and happy that – despite coming so early – Ava and her mommy are doing so well.

This Week At Hip Earth Designs

Remember that last weekend before semester started or the new school year began?  Or that last weekend before you started your first or latest job?

That weekend that sort of felt like your last free one for a while?

That was this weekend for me.

It was quiet a busy weekend for my last full weekend “off”- we had family in from Ohio and we played host at my little sister’s baby shower.

I even spent a few hours Saturday night making a special candle-holder to giveaway at the shower Sunday afternoon.

baby shower giveaway
Glass candleholder covered with a one-of-a-kind polymer clay filigree design. Hip Earth Designs 2012.

Plus, I had to finish up the nursery letters I made for my future niece.

nusery wall art diy
There will be a tutorial for this one on the blog later this week. Hopefully, i can nab a new shot of these when they are in the nursery!

There wasn’t as much time to relax as I would have liked…

Because today, I start my new part time job. I’m a little nervous. But mostly excited. I’ve spent a long time working from home (approximately 3 years to be exact), so I’m more than anxious to get out and see real people again (aside from those I see on my usual quick trips to Hobby Lobby and the grocery store, that is).

It’s going to be a tough adjustment. I’ve put so many hours into marketing our shop and products over the last month – sleepless nights, and nearly every waking hour has been spent marketing, reading, researching, and – of course – creating.

It hurts to know that I won’t have as much time to devote to my new love- our business. It feels a little like how I imagine a new mother feels when she’s got to return from maternity leave and cannot spend as much time cultivating and watching her little one grow.

But, you never know – this new job could be just what I’ve been needing to motivate me to work a little faster and get more done in my marketing time. And maybe the time spent away from the business, out observing the world, will give me better insight into what direction to take our marketing efforts next. And also a little extra cash for some upcoming marketing tactics I have in store (like flyers and the ebook I started writing last week).

So even though things may be slow at Hip Earth for a while- it’s really a win-win situation.

But don’t worry, you may not even notice any changes. I’ll still be updating the blog nearly every day and I even have a couple of free craft tutorials planned for you later this week.

A fun and simple way to upcycle an old wine bottle.

wine bottle crafts
I made this for my mom's birthday last week- I'll tell you how to make your own later this week.

As well as a tutorial on those nursery letters above.

So stay tuned and be sure to share those tutorials with your friends or give them a try and send us some pictures!

What’s going on in your life or shop this week?