Fellow Okie – Sarah Bowen

 

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Artists are fair and festival staples.  From paintings-to-wind chimes-to-blown glass sculptures, you can find almost anything at a local festival.  If you’re lucky, you might even find Sarah Bowen and her tiny creations.  Sarah is the artist and owner of Tiny Things by Bowen.  She is also a Fellow Okie!

What’s your name?

Sarah Bowen

What is the name of your company and is it based in Oklahoma?

Tiny Things by Bowen

What city in Oklahoma do you call home?

Tulsa!

What’s your favorite thing about Oklahoma?

I love the friendliness of strangers…I believe they call it Midwestern charm. I also love the number of people interested in supporting the arts, and the conversations I have about our local community and the positive changes taking place to support art and culture.

Compared to other places you’ve traveled, what stands out most about Oklahoma?

The laid back atmosphere! Not quite so far as New Orleans, as we still keep time, but it is a very comfortable and friendly place. I feel a great freedom to express my art and communicate my goals to the community without fear of a negative response. I feel people give themselves the time to enjoy art and culture, especially as it becomes more prominent in our area. And again of course, the friendliness of strangers! I want to live in a place where it’s not weird to say “Hey!” and smile at someone you don’t know, and often receiving the same in return.tiny things by bowenTell me a little bit about your company.

Tiny Things by Bowen started out as my summer job during my off time as a sign language interpreter for Tulsa Public Schools. For four years it was strictly me making and selling my own art made from polymer clay. However, about one year ago, I discovered my love of teaching and sharing the medium with everyone. So Tiny Things has evolved in a natural way that I am so grateful for. It is now my full time job, and I teach and sell art in a variety of places.

I now bring my art to others in community spaces such as libraries, restaurants, and bars; places where people already go, with a goal of bringing creativity to everyday locations and situations. I encourage everyone to find the artists in themselves…you’re not an artist you say? Here, have some clay, see what happens. Nearly 100% of the time people impress themselves and leave with something they can be proud of. I make, and encourage others to make, functional art like magnets and personal accessories so that their creations can serve a purpose and be seen.

I also offer private parties for adults, kids, and companies. Again with the idea of incorporating art into as many spaces as possible.

I still make and sell my own art at local and regional events such as the Blue Dome Arts Festival (my favorite), comic conventions, punk rock flea markets, and site-specific art fairs like Kendall Whittier’s Mercado, and OKC’s LIVE on the Plaza. I travel to Northwest Arkansas fairly regularly, and hope to attend some events in Kansas City and Texas in the future.

What are your goals for the company? 

My goals for Tiny Things include becoming a well known party service around town,  developing my own artistic style in making some larger pieces and exhibiting in local galleries, receiving art grants that would allow me to offer free community workshops in unserved areas, helping to develop diversity and unity within the local art community through Tiny Things’ involvement in 918Makers, and to bring art to as many people as possible.

How can others help you achieve your goals?

Are you a parent? Schedule a birthday party or bring your kiddos to my all-ages workshops!

Are you a teacher? Request Tiny Things through the Artists in the Schools program, I’ll come be a guest artist in your classroom!

Are you an artist? Come to my workshops, join 918Makers, share your resources!

Do you have a fridge? Find me at a local event and purchase some of my whimsical magnets!

Do you use social media? Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @tinythingsbybowen

Do you have friends? Tell them about Tiny Things by Bowen! Bring them to a craft night! Buy them a Tulsa-themed gift from my booth

Want to buy something now? Tiny Things are in the Soul City gift shop and the Made Indie Emporium downtown! I also list unique items on my website shop. Currently listed are cute little paw print magnets that help fund the spaying and neutering of area strays!

How can people contact you?

www.tinythingsbybowen.com
tinythingsbybowen@gmail.com
facebook & instagram @tinythingsbybowen; phone: 918-973-4089

I believe everyone has artistic ability in them. Maybe painting murals, photography, playing an instrument, or drawing aren’t for you. However, sculpting may be the thing that fits.  If you’re interested in Tiny Things by Bowen, reach out and schedule a class.  Or show your support by purchasing an item from her shop. Don’t forget to follow Sarah on social media!

 

 

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Fab Five

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Laughter

Laughter is so necessary for my soul.  I think if my spirit had a noise attached to it, it would be a laugh.  There are times when I am feeling low.  Sometimes those low moments are in the middle of being swamped with important tasks.  So what do I do to lift my spirits?  I either think of a funny moment from my past or think of a funny joke.  Have you laughed today?

dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate

I could state all the scientific and nutritional facts associated with consuming dark chocolate. However, dark chocolate’s worthy mention is because it is simply my most craved type of chocolate. As a child I was milk chocolate all the way.  Then my taste buds discovered white chocolate (Hello…Hershey’s Cookies & Cream candy bar).  As I grew older, small nibbles here-and-there resulted in me absolutely loving the marriage of bitterness and sweet that dark chocolate brought.  It’s almost my own version of black coffee, no sugar-no cream.  It’s an instant pick-me up.  O yea…and it’s healthy.

alabama shakes

Alabama Shakes

I can’t remember when I stumbled on blues rock band, the Alabama Shakes. It was some time around their debut album (Boys & Girls) I’m sure. The first time I heard Brittany’s strong, deep, soulful, and at times raspy voice surrounded by funky chords was on the song “You Aint Alone”.  I instantly wondered “who is that?”.  I had to hear more of them. I then heard “Give Me All Your Love” and instantly became a fan.

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Evolution

I love to see people making moves.  Whether it’s a friend returning to school to further their education. Or a co-worker deciding they want an entire career change and deciding to leave their current job to follow their dreams.  I love to see progression.  People are meant to evolve.  Setting goals, working for those goals, and then attaining them is completely awesome to see.  I want to see people not giving up.

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Dark Colors

Green is my favorite color.  When I’m not loving all things green I gravitate towards deep purple, dark blue, and black.  Those colors do not make a happy and bright color palette.  But those colors excite me. Like green makes me think of sunny spring days, deep purple (not the band) makes me think of beautiful flowers. Dark blue makes me think of the ocean, above and beneath the horizon. Black makes me think of power.  All three stir an emotion in me.

Stay in Your Lane

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photo: Colormyfoosteps

My husband, David, told me some time ago that he noticed I always seem to be pressing forward. I thought about it, and it’s true. I’m always planning, editing the plan, and then planning again. Every once and a blue moon I actually execute the plan. And ever so often that execution leaves me empty-handed when it comes to results. The big “goose-egg”. I can always say that “I tried” but damn it still hurts.

“I guess I’m just not good enough”.

I will admit I have a tendency to count my losses more than my wins. I know, I know, it’s not good to focus on the negative. But I have a routine. I succumb to self-loathing, have my pity party, and then I become frustrated and a little angry. I have to let those failures fuel me.

Then, the process begins again. I don’t know why, but I have to try again.  Back to the drawing board. The disappointment becomes a memory. The heartache becomes a scar. I brush myself off and tip-toe back into incoming traffic.

“How will you know if you never try”?

Some might say that you have to stay in your lane. That would make sense if you want to become a famous singer and have no natural musical ability. I think that if you do have the ability, the heart, and a sprinkle of talent to do something, then you should go for it. Think of all the inventions we have today. If it were not for those inspired minds we would not have the modern conveniences we have today. Think about how life would be different if those inventors had given up and not continued. We would still be illuminating our homes by candlelight and riding horse and buggy to work. Now by no means am I a life changing inventor. It would be cool if I was, but I’m not. However, I am someone with aspirations for my life and what I want to contribute to society.

This blog post, for example, has taken me months to write. Admitting failures can be daunting in itself. When my first book made no waves last year, I wanted to curl up into a ball, throw my blankets over my head, and not resurface. I was reluctant to talk to anyone about it, and that includes David. Attempts to continue writing began but always came to a sudden halt. A part of me just couldn’t muster up the nerve to start writing again. Not to mention any form of writers block would send me into a downward spiral. However, like I mentioned I had to go through my process (even though my pity party lasted way too long). I can’t quit. I’ve already come too far. Being creative is my lane.

Maybe you’re like me. Your loss column is clearly tipping the scale. There is a “WTF” moment that happens within all of us at some point. I encourage you to keep going. Learn from your mistakes, make a plan, and begin again. Even though I hate cliché statements I have to leave you with one.

“If at first you don’t succeed try again.”

-Keshia

 

Fellow Okie – Hillary Rankin

A love for food is the thing I have most in common with Hillary Rankin. Not only do we share a love for food, but we also share a love for curating our favorite things on a blog to share with everyone. Hillary is the brain, face, and architect behind 918plate.com, a blog showcasing her love for food.

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photo: 918plate.com

  • What’s your name?

Hillary Rankin

 

  • What is the name of your blog/website?

918 Plate, www.918plate.com

 

  • What city in Oklahoma do you call home?

Tulsa!

 

  • What’s your favorite thing about Oklahoma?

My favorite thing about Oklahoma is the people. My family is from the OKC area, and my grandmas are both there. The people I’ve met since living here as an adult have been lovely and hospitable. Tulsa is also packed with local and startup restaurants and food businesses, which I absolutely love.

 

  • Compared to other places you’ve traveled, what stands out most about Oklahoma?

Here in Oklahoma, the cities aren’t too big, but still have everything you need. There isn’t the hustle and bustle of being a bigger urban hub like a Dallas or Chicago, and I am still able to build relationships and connect with people to give it more of a tight-knit-community feel.

 

  • Tell me a little bit about your blog/website.

I started 918 Plate in the summer of 2015. It focuses on recipes made with local Oklahoma ingredients, spotlighting Oklahoma businesses or farms, as well as what you can grow in your own garden in Tulsa. I post once a week, on Tulsa Time Thursday.

 

  • Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts and/or updates to your website?

I love to use family recipes, because they always come with a story. But primarily, I try to use the inspiration of seasonal offerings to plan what I will be cooking!

 

  • How can people contact you?

www.918plate.com

You can find me @918Plate on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/918Plate

I am glad that I had the opportunity to feature Hillary as a Fellow Okie. Please check out her blog and find her on social media!

MY WINTER FAVES 2017

Hey everyone!

I’m trying my best to hold back and not do it…You know what I’m talking about, right? You know! Fine…

winter is coming

Well, now that we got that out of the way…here are a few things that I am enjoying this winter season.

Hair:

NOW Solutions Grapeseed oil

grapeseed

Face:

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation (Shade: cappuccino)

fit me

Clothes:

Fruit of the Loom flannel pants

flannel

Home:

Ceramic mugs from Ross Dress for Less

coffee

disclaimer: I couldn’t find the ones I own. Sorry.

Entertainment:

Miguel – War and Leisure

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Here’s the video! Subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already!

Black Travel Bloggers You Should Know

COLORMYFOOTSTEPS.COM

We out here y’all!

Black travel aficionado’s are all over. Thanks to social media platforms, like Instagram, it’s more common to see people of color from the USA hanging out and exploring foreign lands. I have to admit I smile from ear-to-ear when I see people who look like me boarding a flight to a different country or embracing different cultures where they don’t see a familiar face.

I decided to share some of the black travel buffs that I have come across through social media over the years.

Brian – Beyond BMore

 

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photo: beyondbmore.com

I stumbled upon Brian via a YouTuber I follow, TheChicNatural, a few years ago. If you can’t tell by the name, Brian is from Baltimore, MD. Years ago, Brian made the decision to explore beyond the dicey streets and neighborhoods he knew and see what the other streets, cities, and countries across the globe had to offer. Brian has traveled to 31 countries (feel free to say “Whoa”) and doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.

Ashlee – Will Drink For Travel

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photo: willdrinkfortravel.com

The social media handle alone should make you smile Will Drink For Travel. Sign me up! I found Ashlee sometime ago, via Instagram, and was instantly intrigued. Ashlee provides her own perspective on travelling with one of the main focuses being tasty and flavorful food and of course drinks. Her website includes drink recipes, most inspired by different regions across the globe. Whether solo or in groups, she always seems to end up in the best places.

Tracey – Brooklyn Travel Addict

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photo: brooklyntraveladdict.com

Tracey may look familiar. I’ve featured her in a blog post before. If that’s not where you recall her face, then you may know her as one of the creative minds behind Curlfest. The annual event to celebrate curly hair. Tracey inspires me so much and I can’t help but to live vicariously through her social media posts, at least until I can do my own travelling. She always offers the best insight on places and events. From Cuba, India, and South Africa…she’s been there and done that.

Kellee – Kellee Set Go!

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photo: kelleesetgo.com

I’ve been fan-girling over Kellee for quite sometime. She’s a pilot, deep-sea diver, and all around adrenaline junkie, and I love it. Did I mention she’s also the host of the Travel Channel show Mysterious Islands? She’s been to at least 35 countries. Yep, 35! To see a black woman accomplishing so much and not slowing down for a minute is exciting. If she doesn’t compel you to try new things, than I don’t know who will.

This list only scrapes the surface of black travel influencers out there. If you’re looking for inspiration or tips don’t hesitate to look these people up. There is so much more world out there than what we see with our own eyes everyday.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Skip a Few Beats

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Coffee mug from Ida Red Boutique on Brookside.

Hey y’all!

I can’t help but quote music producer Timbaland when I say

“It’s been a long time…I shouldn’t have left with…without a dope beat to step to…”

I haven’t graced this beautiful blog with words handpicked from my brain in quite awhile. Don’t worry, no life-altering event has happened to me. However, changes needed to be made.

After our awesome trip to Denver, CO in March I was faced with a question. How am I prioritizing my life?

Just like most women I wear many hats. First, I am a wife. I also work a full-time job, 5 days a week (not mentioning overtime). I also have these cool hobbies (this blog, and YouTube videos), I am trying to finish writing my 2nd book (while still promoting my 1st). I contribute articles to a natural hair blog. I am a daughter and a sister. And of course I have to tack on going to the gym 2 to 3 times a week and squeezing in spending time with family and friends and well…at some point something has to give.

I realized the hard way that I cannot do it all and expect that effort to be 100 percent. No one can. Something will suffer. Your mental health, your physical health, your relationships, and/or your career, can easily begin to become harder and harder to manage.

So taking note of the draining path I was on I decided to take a break from certain things. The world isn’t going to crumble if I don’t get a blog post up, or a YouTube video uploaded. However, missing time with loved ones or giving a lackluster performance at work is not acceptable.

It comes down to balance. There’s a time and place for everything. Finding the time to do certain things and learning what to reschedule or even what to scrap.

I am definitely not walking away from the blog  (my baby). But there will be times when I’ll have to take a brief hiatus. Thank you all for understanding.

You’re awesome!

May Photo Wrap-Up 2017

Hey y’all hey!

I can’t believe it, but it’s the end of May! To be honest, I had a somewhat uneventful month. But none the less I took a few pictures here and there and put up a few videos!

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=wPvbL9zxWac

One of the most important things I did in May was celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom! We had a great time hanging out in downtown Tulsa at the Guthrie Green. We also had good food and great conversations.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

If you have been to downtown Tulsa lately than you must have noticed the addition of artwork on the walls of several buildings. I personally love the colorful additions to downtown. The artwork really brings a new energy to downtown Tulsa.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

My sweet tooth has been in overdrive lately. Although it’s still chocolate I decided to try a gluten free option. This one was actually pretty tasty.

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=POXtMKiTJsU

David and I stopped by the Bixby Barbecue Festival. We enjoyed great food (we really stuffed ourselves). If you are in the area, I suggest stopping by next year to see the festival and eat some great barbecue. The event is very family friendly.

I hope you had a great month of May. I look forward to awesome adventures in the month of June.

April Photo Wrap-Up 2017

Hey everyone!

The time has arrived once again for the monthly Photo Wrap-Up. So here’s a peek at what went on with me throughout the month of April!

Before I get carried away with this post I should mention my Spring Favorites video. Just in case you missed it!

Now on to the rest of April!

David and I visited the most iconic waterfall in Northeast Oklahoma, Natural Falls. The area was very beautiful and worth a trip if you’re in the area.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

As you know, David and I are definitely foodies. We strayed away from our typical breakfast spot, Village Inn, and decided to eat at IHOP (Internal House of Pancakes). Let’s just say a buy one meal get one free coupon may have seductively influenced that decision.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

I am doing much better handling my stress levels at work. March was a hard month for me. However, I am pushing through. Like the saying goes, once you’ve hit the bottom the only place to go is UP!

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

We enjoyed a wonderful Easter weekend. It was a little rainy, but that is typical for Oklahoma weather around this time. I can’t complain. I also began my manual car lessons. I never thought that I would be learning how to drive a stick shift in my 30’s.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

I got a much needed hair trim. Sometimes it’s the little things that really add up and make a difference. I am really enjoying my hair now. This natural hair journey is not always easy. There are times I get so frustrated but there are times that are completely great! You have to take the bad with the good. Enjoy the good times while you can.

Thank you guys for reading! You are awesome! YES YOU!

You can find Colormyfootsteps on Facebook and Instragram!

March Photo Wrap-Up 2017

Hey y’all

Well better late than never! Here is a my Photo Wrap-Up for March! Enjoy!

 

David and I had several date nights throughout March. It’s all about quality and not quantity.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

Of course I have to show you what I have been nimbling on this month. Naturbox is a wonderful company if you are wanting to find new and tasty snacks.

David and I also made our first trip to Denver, CO.! We had a great time exploring the beautiful and friendly city.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

It’s hard to have a post and not include at least one picture of the sunrise! If you haven’t taken a look at the sunrise lately than I encourage you to do so soon!

Since spring is now officially here, check out my Spring Faves video for the products I am enjoying!

Thanks for stopping by the blog! Have a wonderful April. You know what they say “April showers bring May flowers”.