Custom Challenge Coin Display Gift

Juan Orozco
Juan Orozco

Last week Ciriana told me that her Sergeant was going to give Ciriana a "good-bye" luncheon.   Although Ciri's official last day isn't until May, her last day in the clinic is nigh.   Her Sergeant asked me to send her pictures of Ciriana in a bite suit from a re-enlistment ceremony in Germany.   The photo was mounted onto a plaque that Ciriana received during the luncheon - it is pretty awesome looking.

When her Sergeant told me what she was going to do with the pictures, I didn't think about getting Ciriana anything just from me, except maybe some flowers.   That is,   until Sunday afternoon.   Remember that episode of Scrubs with the "epiphany toilet?"   Well, I get epiphany's in the bathroom too, only mine are in the shower.   So, there I am lathering, rinsing, and repeating, when it hits me.   Ciriana wanted a coin display for her challenge coins.   All of the ones I've seen are either ugly or just blah.   So... "Why not design and make one myself," I thought as I scrubbed my nether regions.

My creativity is weird.   It comes in waves... BIG spread out waves.   Once I get an idea, my creativity goes into overdrive.   I could do it this way, or I could do it that way... oh! It would be so cool... etc. etc.   It wasn't until Monday that I finally had a pretty good sketch of what I was going to do.

Everything about the display means something.   Ciriana and I have an equal amount of good and bad experiences with the Army, which is why I decided to make it two different colors.   Like all things in life, you have to take in the good along with the bad - that's just life, right?   The coins placed over these two colors are part of the "military life" and bring the two colors together as a whole.   I don't think the cat and the dog need explaining. 🙂

The whole process took about three days - with work being done during nap time and a little after dark as well.   The fun thing about this project was learning how to work with wood.   I started watching wood working podcasts with the hope that I would take up woodworking as a hobby.   Without some of the podcasts and blogs, like The Wood Whisperer, I would not have even known where to start.   I was able to walk into the garage and things just started coming together.   I figured out how to use the tools like the chisels, the Dremel, and more.

While I was getting Izzy ready, I looked at the display sitting on the counter and thought, "Holy crap.   I made that!"   It is a wonderful feeling to create something all on your own, especially for a notorious computer nerd like myself.

I'm inspired to work more with wood and create more crazy stuff.   For now, this wave of inspiration and creativity has passed, and I did say these waves are far apart, so who knows when my next project will be. 😉

Don't forget to check out the Flickr set for the entire collection of photos I took while making the display.