A little bit of before, a little less of after…

Ok so as you know I’ve been here, doing an internship in paper conservation. At least that is what I have told you… But you have no actual proof I’ve been doing that. Aside from my word, which is pretty strong, but I figure I can give you a little bit more than that.

I don’t actually know the name of the piece. I’ve been calling this one “Carl Bloch- Ships”

This is the before, there is some staining in the right corner of the sky (in the plate mark) and some staining in the upper left hand corner.
This is the before, there is some staining in the right corner of the sky (in the plate mark) and some staining in the upper left hand corner.
This is the back of the Carl Bloch ships.
This is the back of the Carl Bloch ships.

Ok, so this is the before. It really isn’t in the best of shape right now, it is very acidic and doesn’t look as magnificent as it really should.
So that is where I come in… and well, here it is!

This is what it looks like now...
This is what it looks like now…

Notice, I did not use a filter. The nasty tape edges are gone, and there is no staining in the areas I pointed out before.

Ok, onto a different problem child. Saint Jerome.

This piece was a nightmare, it blistered the moment I placed it into a 3% Peroxide solution, but the results were so good I had to keep going. I will have some intermediary pictures eventually. Maybe when I get to place where the internet isn’t so dang expensive.

Anyways, here is the before.

There is foxing over the majority of the page. Doesn't look so pretty yet...
There is foxing over the majority of the page. Doesn’t look so pretty yet…
Here is the backside... Notice the skinning on the left hand side, in the middle. and right by the sticker.
Here is the backside… Notice the skinning on the left hand side, in the middle. and right by the sticker.

Ok cool. Another nasty piece of art (not the art itself, the paper… When I get to Goya I’ll call that one nasty. Meaning all of it.) but I can do better than this. This is not even pretty yet.

So here is a prettier version.

No more foxing, all the blisters are down. Here is a piece of art...
No more foxing, all the blisters are down. Here is a piece of art…
Sorry for the portrait layout. Here is the backside for Saint Jerome. You can still softly see the skinning in the bottom middle. But I added a paper paste to it. It will dry very close to the color and give it strength!
Sorry for the portrait layout. Here is the backside for Saint Jerome. You can still softly see the skinning in the bottom middle. But I added a paper paste to it. It will dry very close to the color and give it strength!

So yeah here you go. Some before and after. These were the first two pieces of the 9 I have… More to follow someday.

I appreciate you reading and commenting and stuff. I hope each of you have a wonderful day!


Pictures from my walk today (Joubertina)

Two paths diverged…
There is beauty all around.
Nothing fancy here, this bird sounds awful and doesn’t stop honking.
Going and leaving home through this would guarantee that your day is good.
Basically a weed.
$10 worth of food? Why yes, I do accept
Can you tell it is Africa yet?
If you look at the hill closely. Very closely. You will see it doesn’t just have a J for Joubertina…

Well, this was my adventure today. I couldn’t find a sweater to ward off the cold. Or any of my usual souvenirs (being without a bracelet in a country makes me uncomfortable now) but it is what it is. I did see a full market street, I wanted to take a picture but I thought it’d be a little rude when I was the only white person on the street…

Anyways, things get better every day. Just have to find the right outlook.


All sorts of roles

As a paper conservator I will get to do different things such as:

Rub eraser shavings on paper
Mend torn paper with supplies
Wash paper
Dry paper
Stick paper into an alkaline treatment to deacidify paper
Stick paper back into water
Stick paper into acid that I make less acidic by adding ammonia to it
Put the paper in more water
Put the paper into another alkaline treatment
Take all of that and put it into a sizing liquid (real quick like)


RMWDSSSPPTD is the daily life of a conservator. Yes the glorious RMWDSSSPPTD it really is the highlight of the day.

Disregard the research into the object you are required to do. The hours and hours of (actually fun) tedious research.

Disregard the fact that not a single one of your friends will know what you do, but inevitably ask you to fix their broken scriptures or hymn books (seriously people… go buy a new set, mark those up. Love them, cherish them, then get a new set and start again!).

You live for the RMWDSSSPPTD…

In other words, today I:

Rubbed eraser shavings on paper (it’s all done now)
Washed paper (the paper REALLY REALLY liked the peroxide treatment)
Stuck paper into acid that I made less acidic by adding ammonia to it
Put the paper in more water

So basically I’m there folks, I’m so close I can almost taste it!

I have pictures and such. Mostly of the work I’ve been doing… I haven’t been doing much of anything else, I’ll probably walk to Joubertina on Saturday though.

Bless bless,

Weekends are rough, but then I get to work again!

Ok, everyone loves the weekend. I’m no exception I promise, but currently they are hard on me as I am trying to figure out what I can do here, what I can’t, and eventually I will meet some folks and have some fun.

Not saying reading at home alone after sitting in silence for 8 hours while I softly rub eraser shavings in a circle on top of some art isn’t fun (Kohleen, if you read this, I really REALLY don’t like dry cleaning on the physical art surface. The verso, sure. the negative space, absolutely. The art itself? Not so sure about that one), because it is!

It’d just be nice to figure out stuff. Ya know?

So what fills my passion now? Repairing paper! Tomorrow I get to do my first aqueous treatment (washing, then deacidification, then bleaching, then sizing? Maybe)! I’m excited because this means actual instruction! And water!

I was told today that I am a teaching type. I really do enjoy helping others learn what I have learned… Anyone know of any jobs that do that?

Kidding, mostly, but not fully… I love paper conservation, and I love book repair, and I love travel and tourism, and I really really really love Ultimate Frisbee. Teaching is starting to make that list, I just don’t really know how to break into that kind of thing.

Anyways I hope you all have a great day! It is still a relatively new one so make the most of it! (Even if it is a Monday)

Patrick (a book binder abroad)

Picture post!

The view on my walk.

The view from the house my mother should buy… I really actually like the house a lot.

The house, hidden by more view of what is by the house…

And the only picture of food I’ll take for you guys! Unless I make it myself.

I am starting to wish I invested in a better camera, so my phone will have to suffice. It just doesn’t capture the landscape well enough.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday is that one day…

I am in the middle of nowhere. Seriously. Search for the Belfry Kitchen, go to street view. From there, turn it around and look for the cottage on the right, It’s white. That’s mine. Now zoooooooooooooooooom out. Turns our I’m 2 hours away from Port Elizabeth, and Knysna.

Needless to say I won’t be able to go to church easily.

So, that’s a thing. Hmmm, today I went on a walk. Found a house my mom should buy, because it is for sale and I liked the view. Tossed a disc around and helped someone learn how to throw all the throws I could. I also finished a book, and had a 4 course lunch.

Whew, not too shabby a day.

But you people like pictures, so here’s on of some peppermint crunch chocolate I ate.


And tomorrow I’ll get up the pictures of the view from my walk, and the house my mother should buy.




Hmm, it is warm outside, it’s my weekend. So let’s curl up inside and read.

Or in other words, exactly what I did today.

So long story short. My stomach hurts/I don’t know anyone.

And when last night you were told from people you can’t quite catch the sarcasm in that someone has been stabbed and your house occasionally gets broken into but Twee Riviere (pronounced Twee Ri-fear) is safe is REALLY REALLY comforting…


I did manage to find an ATM (took out one big sum of Rand and hopefully that will last me a while) and took a selfie so you know it is still me taking the pictures and I am alive.

So without further adieu here is a picture of me, a scene of the country side. Enjoy!

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First time seeing the mountains, warm, and nasty water

Hey Everybody,

Today I finally got to start doing some conservation work. I am hoping to see if I can get them to release me from the internship early… Mostly because it is who I am, and secondly I can go back towards civilization!

Haha, kidding, I just will work hard enough that I can get all my pieces done before i need to leave.

IT WAS WARM TODAY! Like the sun and everything! It is so nice to finally feel warm again. Though tomorrow will be interesting…

It is officially my weekend, and the place I normally eat is closed so I went to the market and spent nearly $10 on groceries. hopefully that will feed me for the day, and some of tomorrow… Honestly I don’t really have many options for food, so I can just bite the budget bullet right? Ugh

Right, you need to see something of where I am, so…

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But this, this is nasty, and it smells weird, and I bathe in it. So there is that.


Anyways I came upon a revelation today, every single person is made to travel! No matter what each personality type has a strength and a weakness. It’s all about knowing where to go so that your weaknesses can be hidden by the people around you!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Friday!


Trials and Growth

No pictures today, sorry… It was raining all day today and I’m honestly not feeling too well. The cold plus the lack of warm clothing is starting to equal a loss of energy and spirits.

It is supposed to get warmer and stuff but for now I’m  just going to sleep a lot…

Cool things to note!

  1. I am drinking rain water. Like from the sky, untouched.
  2. I am making progress in the paper conservation. Honestly I think that they are having issues keeping up with me!
  3. I didn’t scream or panic as that giant spider came out of the hole in the side of the tub, and had enough presence of mind to figure out where it came from so that i didn’t spend the rest of the day worrying about the magically disappearing spider! (I still of yet to see it since, so yeah.)
  4. I am trying to spend less time/money on the food, currently spending about $7 a day on 3 meals, and would really like to get that down to $5.
  5. The South African Rand is gaining strength so good for them! (Bad for me…)
  6. I did see the sun today! Didn’t warm up much but it was there!
  7. I am in Africa, I mean, if i don’t note that someone (me) might forget!

I’m trying to stay upbeat and positive, but it is hard when you feel trapped by circumstances. I will try to continue to make people smile even though all i want right now is to curl up into a ball and sleep until it is actually warm outside.

I truly hope each and every one of you have a fantastic day, and that you succeed in what ever you do!

Bless, bless

P.S. and then they brought me a steak. Today was a good day.

In which I show you Henry’s house.

Monday, October 12 2015

I got picked up from the airport in P.E. by Henry Newman. He is the nicest man ever and didn’t even charge me for breakfast or dinner!

His house is amazing and I truly loved my stay with him. I should mention that he used his own proof of residence to help me get a sim card…
Either way I had an amazing dinner with him and his swiss friend. It was such a nice experience that I would definitely go stay with him again.
Also… His house.

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Just stunning.

So I am now in the little village of Twee Riviere. I haven’t taken any pictures yet but I did start my internship today and I think it is safe to say information overload!

We spent 4 hours on the ethics of conservation and a guideline to keep us safe and stuff. Honestly we could have spent 5 minutes on it but I’m not sure what else we would have done.

Apparently I read fast and, while she was on the phone with someone read through the 4 pages I needed to 4 times, and then 15 extra pages (to break up the monotony, you know how it is).

I honestly love the location, it is stunning and the food is fresh and good! Although I’m sure it is going to add up sometime and make me have to ask my brother for more money… (David, if you are reading this I am not broke! yet…) I’m hoping I can start cooking on my own but I will send a walk through of my house soon. I’m in it alone, there are 3 rooms, a kitchen, a scary food storage area, ants, spiders, a nope area (in my closet, great right?) and a bathroom. I spend most of my time in my room because there is a bed and it is freezing outside! It should not be this cold yet.

Unique experience of the day! I took a bath!

Fooled you!

Wait… No, the water was brown. I took a bath in brown water. It smelled ok so whatever.

Anyways I hope you all are well, and are doing all the things I wish I could be doing there. Like traveling to Africa! (But you can’t stay with me, they told me no to that today… Guess I’ll have my mansion to myself)