Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Victorian Hair Art {yes, that’s right} : Part 1

I discovered something last summer.  My first thought was “eeeew, that’s gross”. 

That’s still kinda what I’m thinkin’. 

While visiting Ottumwa Iowa where my parents-in-law met, their friend took my husband and me to their History Museum.  Everything was as you’d expect, history of farming, occupations, the role of women, the development of the town, the train depot and fire department evolutions, a telephone operators switchboard which was cool to see among other things.

And then I saw this (click to view larger images):


Looks like art to me, possibly hand made…but what is the medium? 

Oh wait… here are the details.


I will never be the same. 

I’m a crafty person and have an appreciation for art, but this… this is too much. 

I stood there staring at this nature inspired flower thingy – made from hair.  Not horse hair or artificial hair.

  Real human hair!  It kinda grossed me out and intrigued me at the same time, in a Ripley’s-Believe-it-or-Not sort of way. 

The guys had moved on in the museum, but I was fixated on this peculiar thing.  It must have been so very time consuming. And the amount of hair! 

Mine was long enough for something like this until Thanksgiving 2008 when I donated it to Locks of Love.  It was REALLY long.


Or so I thought it was.  Until I saw hers.


My hair was down to my waist and took about 3-4 years to grow it that long.  My guess is Mrs. Buncutter NEVER cut her hair. 

This was traditional.  Women tied their hair up in a bun, as was the style, never wearing it down in public.  I’m surprised when I see photos like this with hair cascading down.  Undoubtedly, these photos are all about the hair when you see them.  Until the early 20th century, one would never venture outside without a cap or hat.  And washing hair was done once a week – even my grandmother didn’t wash hers everyday like I do.  I digress.

My curiosity grew and I wondered… a lot.  Why did they do this?  How did they do it?  What is a hair receiver and what does one look like? 

Stay tuned for answers and more pictures in Part 2.
©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 25, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

I've received this award for One Lovely Blog from Mary over at Me and My Ancestors.  This award was originally created by Sara at Works of Art by Sara.

It's such a good feeling to receive an award when sometimes I'm just wondering if people even read my blog or are interested in what I post!  Thank you Mary!  I think everyone also likes recognition for something they put their heart into, so in keeping with passing this on, I'd love to recognize some of the blogs I enjoy and recently started to follow.  Please take a peak at these blogs if you're not familiar with them already.

Valerie at Begin with Craft
Scrappy Gen at The Scrappy Genealogist
Kathleen at The Misadventures of a Genealogist
Tonia at Tonia's Roots
Nolichucky Roots
Michelle at The Turning of Generations
and last but not least,
Brandt at Brandt's Rants

I will be posting comments on these blogs to inform them of their award!

Sara says:

"Here are the rules that MUST be followed:

1. Add the logo to your blog.
2. Link to the person from whom you received this award
3. Nominate 7 or more blogs
4. Leave a message on their blog, letting them know they are "One Lovely Blog"! "

©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Organizing with “Dear Myrtle”: February

Continuing to play catch-up with Dear Myrtle’s Organizing Checklists, I am now working through February’s.  Also, an update for January, today I bought 6 more binders and 10 more sets of tab dividers because I got a $10 coupon bringing my total investment for supplies to $250.46.  Creating those binders will be added to the list of things to do.
Here’s the breakdown for February:
  1. Decide on a genealogy management program: I already use Legacy Family Tree Software.
  2. Volunteer at I’m registered to volunteer for this, but my genealogy volunteer efforts at present are towards my local society.
  3. Check that surnames in binders A-F are in the database:  Well, I had to modify this one a bit.  I printed the family group sheets for the binders I’ve already made from my database, so I know they are all in there.  Plus, I can’t work alphabetically as I said before, because not all the binders are made yet.
  4. Make sure individuals mentioned in papers are cited in database: This is precisely what I’ll be working on for February’s list!
  5. Sort photos: Already done.
  6. Rename digital photos: A work in progress.
  7. Subscribe to blogs in Google Reader: I should unsubscribe to some because I can never keep my list empty – always trying to play catch-up with this!  I love my reader!
  8. Join a genealogy-related mailing list: I have joined a couple and never have time to read the emails which frustrates me.  I try to eliminate and self-created must-do’s so I don’t punish myself by feeling badly that I can’t get it done.
  9. Scanfest:  I use this time to scan.  I am volunteering currently to digitize our societies quarterlies so we can add them to the member’s only section of our website.
These are the four containers in my office of sorted photos I started in my Archiving Project.  They have been then and the process has been halted.  Long story short.  I order my archival supplies from Light Impressions Direct.  I placed an order for more photo sleeves in October 2010. When I didn’t get them just before Christmas I called and they said they were back-ordered.  I’ve called many times where there was no answer, a chronic busy signal and today’s call left me on hold for 6 minutes with no answer.  I am so bummed!  Grrrr!  I may have to switch to another supplier, but I already have supplies from them from my first order and I really want it all to match!  You know?

2011 Mar 18_0998

So, still playing catch-up…on to March! or march onward… or something like that.
Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Monday, March 21, 2011

Organizing with “Dear Myrtle”: January

I know it’s March, but I’ve just started in March, therefore I’m still in “January”! {Rolling eyes Rolling Eyes }!
I told you how I’m switching back to binders here.  I've decided it’s a good time to make this change for myself and had heard about Dear Myrtle’s Organizing Checklists at about the same time, so why not play along?  It’s not too late and you can certainly start now if you want to follow along.  Just go to the link and begin!
Here’s how I’m doing so far for January":
  • Back-up genealogy data:   I already have a Dropbox account, but I noticed this would not work for me.  I use Legacy Family Tree software and pointing my genealogy database file to Dropbox in the past caused “Error 91”.  I contacted technical support and got this reply:
“There isn't a bug in Legacy. The problem is that everytime you add or edit information in Legacy you click Save, Dropbox instantly wants to upload your file because it has detected a change. The work-around is don't use Dropbox as your regular Data folder. Only add your family file to Dropbox after you are done working in it and have closed Legacy.”
This resolved the problem for me and I’ve been doing it this way ever since. Especially because I share files between my desktop where I do data entry and my netbook.  In addition, I only have 2GB of space on Dropbox and my photos and documents folders combined are already too big.  This will not be a long-term solution unless I pay for more space, which I won’t do.  I'm looking into a free work-around solution to using Dropbox and will keep you informed.
  • Clear off computer desk: This is an ongoing challenge for me the way my office is set-up, but I am finding solutions for the way I work.  Consider this a work in progress.  Btw, I did take before pictures all around my office.  I had already begun a photo archiving project, so the part about sorting photos is handled.
  • Check office supplies: Oh my, my, my!  This one was a surprise because I had to buy new binders and extra-wide tab dividers a little at a time.  I already had boxes of sheet protectors and a label-maker.  I also splurged on a ream of lavender colored paper, cream colored paper for the Family Group Sheets and  sticky-tabs .  Total spent was $181.94 not including tax. 
  • Set up the computer desk the way you really want it:  It’s already set up the way I want it.
  • Golden Clipboard”: Isn’t necessary, I just impatiently yell for nicely call my husband to come rescue me!
  • Make Surname binders: I’ve made some, and will purchase more as we progress through the next phases of entering data from the binders.  Mine won’t be alphabetically entered, as I’ve created the binders for the names with the most information first.
  • Create family group sheets for DIRECT LINE, COLLATERAL LINES, place all important docs in sheet protectors, file NOT PROVEN docs:  All done for the binders I’ve made.
  • Prepare Scanner: Already had that set up.
  • Attend Scanfest: I attended this once in the past and could not chat and focus on page numbers I was scanning in chronological order.  I enjoyed the chat, but had to decide to do one or the other and not both to be most productive at scanning.
That has me caught up…to February!
Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Friday, March 18, 2011

Started Re-Organizing…

Being a part of my society’s Beginner’s Course 2011, I sat through many classes which were inspiring to me.  One was the Organizing class.  Though I have “a place” for all of my genealogy, it doesn’t seem to be “working” for me.  The system is wrong.  I can’t make the best use of what I have.  I can retrieve what I want when I want it which is a key element for ME, but I can’t get the big picture by easily looking at one surname at the same time.  I started as a binder-girl as I mentioned here, then because binders wouldn’t fit in my two walls of built-in bookshelves (scaled for BOOKS) in my office, I switched to hanging file folders like this:


This followed an index for the contents of the folders I kept on my computer and printed for the first folder you see in the bottom right corner of the photo: the Index File, incase my computer was not running.
So, I’m switching back to binders after I emptied my office closet, including the rod for hanging clothes (this was a bedroom).  I put in an el cheapo bookshelf and sized it just for binders. 

This was before the transformation:
2011 Feb 10_0988

The new bookcase in  - oh yes I forgot to mention, I had this brainy idea when I was home alone and being stubborn and impatient I hauled it up the stairs from the basement by myself!

2011 Feb 10_0993

And here it is today with  several binders already made:

I,m very proud of my new surname binders which I'll talk about in detail in another post!

I have many more binders to make, but this is where I am right now.  It’s been a lot of work! 

Until next time,
©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2011!

I'm proud to be Irish - and I know this for a fact thanks to genealogy!

©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.