This is my photo-washing station. Luckily since I have LOTS of photos to wash and dry, I have great scenery for my work — one of Russ’s aluminum and plexiglass paintings that hangs in our group room as a partition to hide to all the snacks in the kitchen behind.

Every day I do another batch and lay them out on tables to dry. Last week, someone on the QA list suggested I look up how to save wet photos on the internet (thanks very much!) and I found this website. At the time, I was laying on the sofa, but this site reinforced the urgency of the situation, so I jumped back to work. I wish I had read these ideas earlier, but everything still seems to be working although it’s been over a week. As suggested I did freeze one box of lower-priority photos because there’s just so darn many of them, and my back is killing me!

There are too many to take to a photo shop, especially because all the shops here have been without power for a week and are behind on their other jobs. I also read another site that says that now preservatives have been washed off the photos, so they will probably fade more quickly. We have been planning to scan them when dry. Since all of these projects happened in the ancient pre-digital-camera days, it would be nice to have them on computer. But there’s too many, so I’m definitely using my editing trash can.

This photo was taken before the green machines arrived. Now that they’re here, the photos are drying faster but it’s also a lot messier. There are cords and tubes on the floor everywhere, a lot more dust in the air, and the green machines keep blowing circuits. Yesterday the DSL was down most of the day. I was feeling a bit lonely with no email again, but it was nice to get home and read so many of your nice posts. It really cheered me up — thanks!


  • Pam…OMG what a TON of WORK (and noise and wind and dust…). Thank heavens though for the green machines, which will help save a lot more than otherwise. And prevent mildew induced illnesses etc!

  • Man Pam, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I’ve just had my roof dripping from an ice dam for 2 1/2 weeks, but no damage to anything. Makes me feel guilty for being upset about it!

    Is there anything we can do for you? Send candels? Food? Fabric? Anything?

  • We enjoyed lunch with you and Joyce. Seeing the undamaged quilt exhibit was fantastic. We were amazed by the beautiful colors and intricate quilting. There was so much to see in each quilt. I, Aunt Pat, asked Andy if he would bring me down again to see it before the thirty-first. He didn’t answer. My favorite was the Towers of Babble. You are so talented!!!
    MOM and Aunt Pat.

  • Pam your organization and energy astound me! I’m so very sorry for all you’re going through and all the damage to your gorgeous studio. You worked soooo very hard on your recent exhibition and now you’re having to work even harder on all this! yikes! try and think back on the yoga day…ohmmmm.
    hang in there.

  • I have been reading about your misadventures over the last few weeks and am so sorry for you and all that you have to go through to restore normalcy back into your life. This is one of those life moments when you sit down and think to yourself “I so did not need this in my life”. But as the poets so succinctly say “shit happens” and my own addendum: sometimes shit happens to you, and it also happens to nice people. I had something similar happen to me except it was in my house and I was pregnant and had a 15 month old toddler running around, and we had purchased said house 3 months prior. We moved to L.A. from Dallas 4 months prior to what I affectionately called “The Flood of 2002”. But to make this story even longer… the same thing happened a year later in the same spot in the same house during what was considered the worst rains in 100 years in L.A. I felt like if I had to listen to those green machines and the de-humidifier anymore I was going to vomit. Oh yeah I had a 7 month old and a 2.5 year old by that time. Not pregnant though  There is more… but I will spare you the rest of it.

    I did a bunch of research recently on scanning old photos into digital form for preservation. I came across many favorable reviews of this web site (company name is Digital Pickle) and I have called and spoken to them as part of my research. I can’t personally vouch for them, but from the reviews and my own conversation they seem honest, prices are reasonable and they seem nice. Give it a peek and see if they might be able to help you with your digital preservation. Good luck!

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