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 scanning 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 scan each block, then edit it, cropping it and throwing a little more light on it as needed.

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.



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 . . .