Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

& her barefoot heart

Weeks 13 and 14 of The 70273 Project

JeanneCalder21May16a

This happened: I became a grandmother
which means that I’ve been away from the studio
for over two weeks
which means that the updates are few.
Just like the blog posts have been
because I am forced to face up to the fact
once again
that I am not Wonder Woman.
But here’s what I’ve got:

WEEK 13 (MAY 9-15, 2016)
~ By week’s end, I’ve heard from people in 63 different countries.
~ No update on block count on account of I haven’t been there to receive them.
~ I tripped over devised a shortcut in the cataloguing system, which shaved 12-14 minutes off the processing time for each block. This is Big, y’all.

KittyMjQuilt1~ The First Quilt Top of The 70273 Project was handed off from Piecer, Kitty Sorgen to Quilter, MJ Kinman. – two extremely beautiful, talented, generous, kickass women got to meet in a face-to-face handoff. This is Big, too, y’all. Just think: 13 weeks after launching The 70273 Project, we have our first quilt!
~ And I came upon this quote, which seems quite appropriate to The 70273 Project: “Every work of art is conceived at a sacred time and is born in a favorable moment, often without the artist noticing, out of a profound need in his heart.” —Carl Gustav Carus (1789–1869)

 

WEEK 14 (MAY 16-22,2016)
~ News continues to spread: by week’s end I’ve heard from people in 66 different countries.
~ Spied this blog post penned by Lori East. Thank you, Lori – for the blocks, the post, and the fun!
~ While I waited on Calder Ray (my new grandson) to come out and play, I mailed out a new Provenance Form and SASE to everybody who needs one and got caught up with the cataloguing.
~ Kitty Sorgen taught a quilting workshop last weekend, and she took along pre-cut blocks, Provenance Forms, and red fabric to tell folks about The 70273 Project during their lunch break and offer them a chance to make with one hand while eating with the other. She never misses an opportunity to get the word out, that Kitty.
~ Faye Cook, our 70273 Project Ambassador in Australia, reports that she is sending information on The 70273 Project to embroidery guilds, quilting guilds, and some Australian craft magazines. She has a parcel full of blocks from a local quilting group, and she’s making up packages for some schools for people with special needs so they can join in.

LucyIlesHorner~ Lucy Iles Horner, a talented photographer, writer, and more, is busy stitching, spreading the word, and gathering blocks from all corners of the UK.
~ Having met her previous goal of 1,000 blocks by June 1 (We have 1170 as of May 8, 2016.), Kitty Sorgen, our Coxswain (and more), set a new goal: 2000 blocks in my hands by July 4, 2016. As Kitty says, Ready . . . Set . . . SEW!

On we grow and on we sew!

 

 

Not Once a Year

. . . but once a day,
I utter a big, fat, juicy Thank you
to the Sweet Spirit of Surprise

AdaAndHelen

for the woman who birthed me, Ada (left)
and the woman who continues to help raise me, Helen (right)

GMH3 copy

for my grandmother, Maude

KatieBelleWesleyBallard003 copy

for my grandmother, Katie Belle

EverLeilaAbramsGay001 copy 2

for my great grandmother, Ever Leila
(Isn’t that a fabulous name?)

MaryChambers2.jpg

the woman who raised my husband and raised him Right, Mary

AJAK111978

and for the people who made me a Mother.

I am luckier than I deserve.

Week 12 of The 70273 Project (May 2 to May 8, 2016)

Here are the highlights of the 12th week of The 70273 Project:

Because I was away the week before,
last week found me with a backlog of scanning.
Milestone blocks scanned this week include:

Block600LaurieDunn3.5x6.5

Block 600, a 3.5″ x 6.5″ beauty made by Laurie Dunn

Block700ChloeNycz9.5x12.5

Block 700, a 9.5″ x 12.5″ made by 5 year old Chloe Nycz
a student at Blanchard Valley School

Block800BrendaShimshick9.5x12.5

Block 800, a 9.5″ x 12.5″ beauty made by Brenda Shimshick

Block900JanetHartje3.5x6.5

Block 900, a 3.5″ x 6.5″ beauty made by Janet Hartje

Block1000GlendaWilliams3.5x6.5

Block 1000, a 3.5″ x 6.5″ beauty made by Glenda Williams

Block1073GlendaWilliams9.5X12.5

Because it occurs to me that maybe I ought to be
counting each 100th block ending with #73, here’s
Block 1073, a 9.5″ x 12.5″ beauty made by Glenda Williams.

Block1100GlendaWilliams9.5X12.5

And because my head kinda hurts to think in terms of anything
but hundreds, here’s Block #1100,
a 9.5″ x 12.5″ beauty made by
– wait for it –
Glenda Williams.
(She sent me a box filled with 160 blocks.
so of course she hit several milestones.
I’ll tell you more about her soon.)

Total blocks in hand as of this post:
Drum Roll, please:
1170

Give yourselves a big, fat standing ovation, y’all.
You’ve certainly earned it.

~~~~~~~

Chloe Grice continues to help me
make The 70273 Project more
internationally friendly.
This week, she translated the block sizes
into cm’s for me, and I’m busy
adding it everywhere block sizes are mentioned.
3.5″x 6.5″ = 9 cm x 16.5 cm
6.5″ x 9.5″ = 16.5 cm x 24.2 cm
9.5″ x 12.5″ = 24.2 cm x 31.8 cm
Thank you, Chloe!

~~~~~~~

Several weeks ago, I received a private message
from Beth Thrift, an artist I had the pleasure of meeting in the waiting room
at a local hospital as I sat with my friend, April Harrison.
Beth sent an email to a local magazine, The Laurel Asheville,
and Leah, one of the writers on staff, emailed me by email.
The article came out last week with the release of
the May issue. Note: it’s on page 111.
Thank you Beth, and thank you Leah.

~~~~~~~

I have been contacted by people in 63 different countries.

~~~~~~~


KittySorgenBoxArrived3May16
Last but not least,
a Major Happening of last week:
Let’s all give a rousing exclamation of glee to say Thank you to
the talented one called Kitty Sorgen who received
the bundles of blocks

70273Quilt1KittySorgenMJKinman
then promptly (and very quickly) pieced
The First Quilt Top for The 70273 Project!
And that’s not all.
This week finds Kitty delivering the quilt top
and backing fabric to MJ Kinman
who will quilt it.
This quilt top is exactly what I envisioned
since that night in late January
when the idea came and whispered in my ear.
Can you imagine standing in the presence of 800+ of these quilts?
Thank you Kitty and MJ.
Thank you big.
I think this calls for cupcakes, y’all.
With sprinkles.

~~~~~~~

So keep making those blocks
and visiting the Facebook Page for updates
and posting in the Facebook Group to let us know what you’re doing
and reading the blog to seep up with all that’s happening
with The 70273 Project.

Week 11: April 24 – May 1, 2016

TheWeekThatWas

This is what last week looked like.
It’s everything we needed to take down the mountain
to tend to everything that needing tending.
There was real estate stuff, yard work,
business calls, family get-togethers,
eye exams, meetings, and much, much more.
Because we weren’t home to receive mail for The 70273 Project,
I have no new block count for you,
but don’t think that because this cat was away,
The 70273 Project sat languishing
and watching the mice play.
Several days were devoted to getting the word out,
and I pulled a couple of all-nighters
to get caught up with processing the blocks
I have in hand.
Plus – drum roll, please – I sent the first bundle
of blocks to the kind and talented one called Kitty Sorgen
who offered to piece our first quilt top.

GrandparentsShot

The day before we headed down the mountain,
The Engineer and I got our grandparents’ shot.
Got it right there in the middle of aisle 6
with the paper towels, dog food,
and bathroom cleaning supplies.
It was a week filled with hugging, patting, and lugging,
and I want y’all to know that my arm still hurts
over a week later,
and the knot is now kinda’ spreading across my arm.

JeanneMariAnn

Monday found me at my friend Mari Ann’s house,
sitting on her beautiful back porch

CleptoWomen

with a fantastic group of crazy creative women,

CliffordJeanneAdorationSociety

listening to a funny, personable Southern man
named Clifford Brooks III read his poems to us.
I haven’t showered since this hug.
And he promised to put an ad for The 70273 Project in his little magazine.

TigerGirlsCandid27Apr16

Wednesday found me lunching with
my Tiger Girls, the gals I
graduated from high school with.
(And I’ll have you know that not a one of them
was social promoted.)
Dianna (first one on the right)
is gonna’ host a block-making party in June.
You can bet your sweet patootey that not a one of these gals
will be set loose with a pair of scissors.

CircleGroup28Apr16a

On Thursday morning, I told the members of
Mother’s church circle group about The 70273 Project. They’re going to spend their last meeting of the year making blocks.
This is some of the gals, and we’re holding
In Our Own Language 1:1, the first
of Nancy’s drawings I ever stitched.
That’s my mother there on the far right, holding the book.
Just to her left is Carol, who’s 95 years young.
Yes, really.

Saturday found us up early to go get cat food for Mother’s boys
then heading over to the World War II Heritage Days
where we had a table set up for The 70273 Project.
We had a fantastic location, a fabulous day, and
made lots of new friends. Here are a few of them . . .

MarissaShenkle

This is Marissa Shenkle. She trains service dogs.

BarbaraBuckley

Barbara-Jean Buckley

EmmaStitt

Emma Banze made her block in honor of her Uncle Mark.

FormerSpecialEdTeacher1

L to R: Chase Hughes, Adalee Beasley, and Michelle Hughes
Michelle once taught special ed . . . until she was
required to teach a curriculum based on the
chronological age of her students instead of their abilities.

WomanNextDoor

Michelle Thaxton

KarissaMcCoy

Karissa McCoy

DanKlein

Meet Dan Klein. He was serving his country  in Europe in 1940.

Joanna

Joanna Griffin

RossGreene1

Ross Greene, who recently finished writing a book
called A Fortress and a Legacy.
Ross spent 6.5 years researching this book, crafted around
a bundle of letters his uncle wrote home in World War II.
I hope you get a chance to meet Ross and read his book.
He’s a man who isn’t afraid to dream big.
I like that.

RosieWoman

Brittany Rutledge

RedTieGuy

Steve Ulman

ThomasEastin

Thomas Eastin

KevinBarton

Kevin Barton

and

Zachary

Zachary Freeman,
a most delightful young man
who happened by the table on his own
and said, “Tell me about The 70273 Project.)
I tell y’all what: our future is in good hands
with Zach. Real good hands.

TheFreedomBelles

Saturday culminated in a dinner dance
where we were lucky enough to hear
The Freedom Belles perform.
Our daughter, Alison, formed The Freedom Belles
several years ago, and she says they have the best job in the world:
entertaining veterans.
Their motto? Let freedom sing.
going L to R that’s
Missy Gossett, Renee Cooper, and Alison Chambers.
If y’all need some entertainment for a special event,
hire them cause they’ll make you look good,
Real good.
I promise.

AndyAtWork

All in all it was a good week, a fine week, an exhilarating week
(though this introvert needed a little quiet time for a couple of days).
We met a lot of people and introduced them to The 70273 Project,
and I want y’all to know that not a single person we met
had ever heard of the T4 Program.

After the dinner dance, The Engineer and I
exited stage left, took my mother home,
loaded the truck, then drove on back up the mountain.
We came close to being seriously injured or killed
by some crazy driver who careened back and forth
across multiple lanes of traffic on I-85 in Atlanta.
It happened in maybe 3 seconds (though while it was happening,
time slowed down to a crawl),
and for the next hour or so, two thoughts and a question
kept running through my head:
Thank you to The Engineer for skills maneuvering us
so that the crazy driver missed us by the 3″ necessary
to keep us out of harm’s way
and
Thank you to whichever angel was riding shotgun that night
and
If I’d’ve died, who would take over The 70273 Project
and see it through?

AndyTheBeekeeper

We landed back atop the mountain around 2 a.m.,
slept till 5:30, then got up and headed over to Hendersonville
to fetch our new bees.
We hope they’ll be happy here.

And that, y’all, is how we spent week 11 of The 70273 Project.

Differences and Commonalities

EnvelopesWeek10

Thank you.
I’m sorry.

Two things I say a lot these days.

“Thank you for being a part of The 70273 Project.”
“Thank you for sending the beautiful blocks.”
“Thank you for your kind, gracious words.”

I firmly believe – nay, I Know in my Bones – that the more you say Thank you, the more you have to say Thank you for.

“I’m sorry this note is so long in coming.”
“I’m sorry for my tardy reply.”
“I’m sorry I am running behind.”

More and more I fear the same is true for apologies: the more I say “I’m sorry”, the more I have to say I’m sorry for.

To those of you participating in The 70273 Project, please do not mistake my tardiness for a lack of appreciation or caring. This is not how I fantasized it would be. I am Super Woman. I got this.

Yeah, right.

Living with The Engineer, a Mother who lives in another state, a grand baby on the way in yet another state, Nancy who lives in still a different state (This may or may not be a metaphor.), a daughter and friends who live far away — continuing to stitch Nancy’s drawings — stitching quilts for family members — researching and writing books — developing 3 Hymns of Cloth series — developing a writing cloth workshop (I’m so excited – you should ask me about it sometime!) — giving presentations for The 70273 Project and performing/creating one-woman storytelling performances? No problem. Super Woman is at her most dazzling when juggling.

Hundreds of blocks coming in every week that need to be processed at 30 minutes/block? No problem. Super Woman eats systems for breakfast.

Social media, blog posts, emails, magazine articles, tv productions? No problem. Super Woman does communications in her sleep.

Wait. Sleep?

Super Woman used to regularly pull off all-nighters, getting her work done – creative and otherwise – while others slept. It was the only way, really, and it worked, leaving no consequences visible to the naked eye. But Super Woman walks a lot more these days or is getting a little age on her or something. Whatever the reason, her head demands to lay itself down on a pillow at night, and that has shaved off an entire day’s worth of productivity.

So to those of you who’ve made blocks for The 70273 Project; have offered to piece tops and quilt quilts; and to those of you who will, at some point in time, become part of The 70273 Project in one way or another ::: Thank you . . . and I’m sorry.

How ‘bout this . . .

Dear The 70273 Project Makers, Piecers, Quilters, Contributors,

  1. Thank you for bearing with me as I get the wrinkles ironed out of my systems.
  2. Thank you for being patient as I try to stay out from behind the 8-ball and occasionally fall and skin my knees and palms.
  3. Thank you for thunking me upside the head every now ’n then to tell me that this is not a project that lends itself to being caught up.
  4. Thank you for reminding me that The 70273 Project is not about being perfect in any way, shape, or form.
  5. Thank you for encouraging me to remember that Super Woman would not be here had she lived in Germany in 1940 because while she fantasizes about things being different, the reality is that not a single day of her life has she been perfect or behaved perfectly.
  6. Thank you for being a part of The 70273 Project, for sharing your stories, for spreading the word, for getting the bigger picture and deeper meaning of this project.
  7. And last but certainly not least, thank y’all for not once crossing your arms, tapping your toes, looking over your glasses,  and harrumphing out of the room in a huff.  Yes, that’s right. Not a single one of you – and remember, I’ve heard from people in 60 countries now – has huffed and puffed and threatened to blow my house down. Not. A. Single. One. To a person, y’all have been gracious, supportive, patient, appreciative, encouraging, and enthusiastically involved. So why am I writing this post? Because I thought you’d like to eavesdrop on a Committee of Jeanne conversation.

Love,
Super Woman
(who tells you this while trying to untwist her cape from around her neck so she can untangle those darn knots)

Week 10 in Review

the 70273 project badge

Week 10 comes to a close. Can you believe it? Here’s what marks this week:

EnvelopeStampsMargaretBlank1

EnvelopeStickerMargaretBlank2

~ It was unusually fun opening the mail this week, as I  received an  envelope decorated with fun stickers and great stamps (I’ve been a stamp collector since 1st grade) that made smile. Thank you Margaret Blank.

EnvelopeDecoratedSusanFetchellEleanorMacmillanAnon2

EnvelopeDecoratedSusanFetchellEleanorMacmillanAnon1

~ I also received a heavily decorated envelope – and look! a dahlia – won’t be too long till I’m posting The Daily Dahlia for the third year! – from Susan Getchell, Eleanor Macmillan, and Anonymous 6.

EnvelopeGoodiesChloeGrice

~ In the envelope with her yummy blocks, Chloe Grice stuck a handmade envelope, a handwritten letter, and a sea glass heart.

EnvelopeGoodiesSusanJimison

~ Author extraordinaire Susan Clotfelter Jimison stuck a book and handwritten note in with her beautiful blocks.

~ My wonderful attorney crafted a shiny, new Provenance Form that should help us sail through with any book publisher or venue without interruption. Thank you, Chris Arena.

~ I continue to hone and streamline my systems. This week I decided to scan blocks instead of going through the rigamarole of using my phone to take pictures of each block; bought a basting gun that allows me to attach the number in one fell swoop instead of having to stitch the numbers onto each block; and just last night I decided to print the numbers onto a sheet of yardstick paper instead of handwriting each number on a scrap of fabric.

~ Even though we don’t have the first of what will likely be 800+ quilts made, I can’t help myself: I’m already laying down plans for The 70273 Project Bon Voyage Gathering. We are going to have so much fun!

~ I’ve heard from people in 60 countries.

~ And last but not least, drum roll, please: as of tonight, 892 blocks have arrived in 50 envelopes/boxes.

Thank y’all for all you do to move The 70273 Project along. On we Grow!

Take Your Readers to Work, Part 4: Cataloguing, Etc.

Cataloguing

Now that the blocks have been received, checkedphotographed, and numbered,  it’s time to:

6. Catalogue.

After auditioning several different programs and apps, I opted to use a program called Records (because I can use drag-and-drop to design the form, plus there’s a one-time charge for the software instead of a monthly fee to use another program I liked – a fee that we all know will increase over time, and I’ll have to pay up or else) to create a record for each quilt block, entering the following information for every block:

Block #
Envelope #
Maker’s Name
Maker’s Email Address
Maker’s Mailing Address
Maker’s Phone Number
Maker’s Social Media Links
Quilt # the Block Appears In
Date the Block was Received
Date the Block was Profiled in Social Media
Date the Thank You note was sent
Size of Block
Date Email Confirmation of Receipt was Sent
Does the Maker wish to remain anonymous?
Is the block made In Honor Of or In Memory Of anyone in particular
and if so, whom?
Then I attach a photo of the block and a scanned copy of The Provenance Form accompanying the block then enter any notes about the block and its Maker gleaned from emails, facebook, instagram, or other social media outlets.

An aside: I have similar databases for Prospective Piecers and Prospective Quilters where I note who has raised their hand to piece a quilt top and/or quilt a quilt and how to get in touch with them. And there’s a  databases for Piecers and one for Quilters – those who actually do the work. The Piecers database contains things like contact info, social media links for giving them some love, block numbers sent, along with dates sent and received, and any photos the Piecers send along the way. The Quilters database contains similar things: contact info for the Quilter, the finished quilt number, social media links so I can point others in their direction, what block numbers are contained in the quilt, who pieced the quilt, date the quilt top was sent and the date the quilt was received, and photos of the finished quilt.

This seems a fine time to say if you’re interested and willing to become a Piecer and/or Quilter, please let me know cause it won’t be long till I’m shooing bundles of blocks out the door.

Step 7: Tag.

Once everything is in the computer, I attach the numbers to each block using my shiny new basting gun.

Step 8: Backup.

Because I am – say it with me: paranoid safety conscious, I built in some redundancy by saving copies of everything – photos, scans, databases – in multiple places. Four places, to be exact.

Step 9: Send.

Once everything is documented and catalogued to my paranoid safety conscious satisfaction, I bundle up a batch of blocks and send to the Piecers, people who have offered to piece the quilt tops together. The idea is that each Piecer will send the top directly on to the Quilter, the person who’s offered to add the batting, backing, and binding (or facing), and do the quilting.

I’m just about ready to send the first bundle of blocks to the gracious and talented woman who will piece our first quilt top – drum roll, please – Kitty SorgenKitty has been vital to the success of The 70273 Project from the get-go, helping me figure things out, soothing my furrowed brow when I get anxious and tired, telling others about the project, and hogtying visitors to her machine providing materials and time for friends and family to use her sewing machine to make blocks when they come to visit. And who will do the quilting for the first quilt? None other than our very own MJ Kinman who is, as I’ve told you, our resident energizer bunny. When the idea first came to call, I immediately messaged MJ because no idea is too big for her, and she’s the kind of girl who will say “Okay, you’ve really gone too far this time” or something to that effect if she thinks it’s true. I’ll tell you more about MJ in an upcoming blog post. In the meantime, trot over to Facebook and find photos of her diamond quilts. They are nothing short of mesmerizing.

~~~~~~~

Well, y’all, this concludes our tour of What Happens Behind the Scenes at The 70273 Project Heartquarters. We know you had other options, so we appreciate you flying with us. If you would please take a minute to remove any trash from the seat pocket in front of you, we’d really appreciate it cause that allows us to continue scanning, stitching, cataloguing, etc. And if you would please slide the seat belt adjustor/clicker mechanism to the very end of its belt, the person taking the seat after you will love you forever for making them feel fit and skinny when they have to reduce the size of the belt so drastically.

Take Your Readers to Work, part 3: Numbering & Scanning

Cataloguing7Numbering4

We’ve received and opened the envelopes containing blocks for The 70273 Project, and we’ve photographed the blocks, so you might think it’s time to bundle up a batch of blocks and send to the Piecer who’s going to create the quilt top . . . but we’re not quite to that point yet. I still have a few miles to go before I ship, like:

Step 4: Numbering.

 

Cataloguing4Numbering3

BlocksNumberedBlocks made by Michelle Banton

This is where that old familiar expect-the-worst mindset finally becomes more helpful than embarrassing. . . I write numbers on strips of fabric, making a mark to indicate the bottom of the number because when working with numbers up to 70273, all kinds of rather disastrous things could happen. Numbers like 666 could read 999 when turned upside down and 119 could become 611. You get the picture.

UPDATE: On 4/24/2016, a light bulb went off, and now I print numbers on a sheet of yardstick paper and cut them with scissors.

Once the block is photographed scanned (see below), I snip the lowest number off the strip and pin it to a spot on one of the red X’s. Later (after cataloguing – stay tuned, that’s tomorrow) I’ll go back and stitch the numbers down – lightbulb moment – Yesterday The Engineer said, “Wouldn’t it be nice if you had one of those things they use in stores to attach the price tag to clothes?” and you know what: THEY DO! I ordered myself a basting gun that will be here at the end of the week, and I’m thinking it will take much less time than stitching down each number on each block. (And I ordered the shortest tags so the numbers will remain out of the way of Piecers and Quilters.)

5. Step 5: Scan.

I scan the Provenance Form, which doesn’t need any more explanation . . . except to say that I had yet another lightbulb moment a couple of days ago, and I’ve shaved about 5-7 minutes off photographing because I now scan blocks, too! No more photographing with the phone, editing, airdropping, etc. Now it’s scan and zap, image in the proper folder on the computer and titled, to boot. I love when my brain works.

~~~~~~~

Just one more day on the Behind the Scenes Tour. See y’all tomorrow.

Weeks 8 and 9 in Review

the 70273 project badge

Exciting things happened during Week 8 of The 70273 Project:

~ Alana Sheeren’s podcast aired. Give a listen here.

~ I was interviewed for a magazine article. Details when it comes out

~ Blog readers can now translate into 91+ different languages

Block200MichelleBanton copy

~  Block  #200 made by Michelle Banton was catalogued.

Block273MJKinman3.5x6.5 copy

~ Block #273 made by MJ Kinman was catalogued.

Block300LeeDurbin6.5x9.5 copy

~ Block #300 by Lee Durbin was catalogued.

Block400DennieleBohannon3.5x6.5 copy

~ Block #400 made by Denniele Bohannon was catalogued.

~ The 70273 Project was featured in a blog post penned by Margaret Blank

Week #9 has been pretty exciting, too:

~ Meredith Shadwill asked me to contribute a writing prompt for the writing group she facilitates called Cultivate. My prompt is titled “Commemorate” (surprised?), and it goes live May 6. If you are interested in receiving Meredith’s prompts, head this way. Meredith also facilitated my guest appearance in the #StoryDam twitter chat.

~ I have 639 blocks in hand.

Block500MargaretWilliams3.5x6.5

~ Block #500 made by Margaret Williams was catalogued.

Block600LaurieDunn3.5x6.5

~ Block #600 made by Laurie Dunn was catalogued.

~ I’ve been contacted by people in 58 countries.

Kitty Sorgen has become our coxswain, breaking our big goal of 70,273 blocks into breadcrumbs, giving us goals that step us on up to 70,273, and she encourages us all the way. Kitty has now said we need to collect 1000 blocks by June 1. (I think we can beat that.)

And on we grow, y’all.

Take Your Readers to Work Day, part 2: Photograph

Cataloguing5Photographing

Getting, opening, and smoking over the mail goes pretty fast. Then things slow down a bit as we move to . . .

Step 3: Photograph.
When I first began receiving envelopes, I worked on my cutting/project table to open the envelopes, then crossed to the desk to get to the computer to log them in, but even though this is a little ole’ bitty spot of studio, that still ate up minutes which add up. So Plan B was to create a photography cart that I can roll right up alongside my desk, substituting a quarter turn in my chair for the steps across the floor. UPDATE: Insert a thunk up side the head as I realize I can streamline this process by scanning each block instead of photographing it. So I’ve transformed that photography cart into a scanning cart.

Note: That red table? it’s my Writing Nest, and it once belonged to a library then to my paternal grandmother. I have photos (at least in my mind) of eating at this table while Granddaddy fed Grandmother after a stroke rendered her hands completely useless. Sweet, right?

Another note: The green chair? It belonged to my paternal granddaddy who was the town’s banker. I’m finishing up research to write a book about the fateful weekend in May, 1933 when 5 bandits came knocking at Granddaddy’s door, wanting to rob the bank. Even back then the vault door was on a time lock, so they did what made sense to the Bonnie & Clyde wannabes at the time: they held Granddaddy, Grandmother, my Great-Grandmother, my Daddy (who was 5 years old), my Uncle Gene (who’d just been born. I’m named after him, charged with  keeping his memory alive because he was killed before I was born.) (It’s not a burden but an honor.), and Miss Josie, the midwife (who’d just help deliver Uncle Gene) hostage overnight. This green leather chair is the very one Granddaddy sat in at the bank till the day he died, making loans to folks who forgot to bring their checkbook when they came to town to get groceries (without making them sign anything, mind you because trust ruled back then), initialing 50-cent deposits of adorable granddaughters, and other stuff like ordering money that was delivered through the U. S. Postal Service (and explains why the bandits didn’t get as much loot as they’d hoped for).

Back to our current story,  already in progress . . .

Block312NancyBurch6.5x9.5 copy

The top of the photography cart is covered with a white placemat Delta Airlines once used for first class passengers.  I purchased it at a thrift shop for a quarter, just knowing I’d find a use for it, and I did. I also bought several of the thin blankets Delta offered to first class passengers, paying a quarter a piece for them and using them as batting in some quilts. Again, back to the story . . . I snap a photo of each block using my phone, then edit it in my phone, cropping it and throwing a little more light on it because even though I use my shiny new Ott light with daylight bulb, I’m shooting at an odd angle which sometimes creates a shadow effect. (But I have a Plan C, thanks to a video Rosemary Claus-Gray posted on facebook last week that may just take care of the lighting. More as that part of the story unfolds.)

Once the editing is done, I make the aforementioned quarter turn in my chair and use the magic of Airdrop to shoo the photo into the downloads folder on my computer. When Airdrop doesn’t work, I have to email the photo to myself, open the email, download the photo, then . . . Using the downloads folder as a holding tank, I label each photo thusly: “Block312NancyBurch6.5×9.5.jpg” (which is the block above). I do this for each block, one at a time, so I don’t get anything mixed up. It’s not that any two blocks look alike, it’s that there are a lot of moving parts to this, and I don’t want to lose or mix up anything.

CataloguingCat3

CataloguingCat2

Sometimes my four-legged Studio Assistant is a big help offers comments and suggestions.

But wait –  we’re not done yet. More tomorrow, so check back or subscribe so you don’t miss a bit of this riveting tale I’m weaving . . .

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