4 and 40 Blackbirds + My Process

Many thanks to Kim at Question Air for featuring me in her recent blog post 4 and 40 Blackbirds. I am so excited that I have inspired another person doing something creative for Lent. Leah also has a creative Lent project, so I need to check in with her soon since she does not have a blog to follow. (I don’t think.)

I plan to feature some of Kim’s poems as they begin to appear. Plus she had the spectacular idea of making a tent out of her birth plan. I think that I will print out the actual story of her birth on the opposite side and see what comes of it. As with my first project, I never really know what will come of them until the final bit of glue is dried.

I took this weekend as a chance to try to catch up. Yesterday, I made four structures while Henry took Lucy over to Rocky’s. Then last night when I returned home, I folded five more magazine pages. I wanted to have enough folded to make it through until Saturday. We are taking the train to New York on Saturday and I HOPE to fold at least another week’s supply on our way.

This is my process…

Select an interesting page to fold. I typically use recycled magazines. I have also made a lot of tents out church bulletins in the past for people leaving our church. They area already tri-folded, which makes it that much easier. For this project, I went ahead and selected at least twenty or thirty pages that were predominantly double-sided photos. I am carrying them with me in a folder everywhere I go. Well, not everywhere.

Fold the pages into the accordion fold. This is a fold that I learned at Penland, originally designed by Hedi Kyle. I use it for almost everything and in the past Henry has even told me that I should probably retire it or learn something new. At least I came away from the experience with a solid technical skill under my belt. Maybe I will retire it after this series.

Create the u-shape fold. This requires a bit of patience, but I found it didn’t take me as long as I thought while folding last night. Granted the accordion fold takes me way longer than I thought. In general, each tent takes about a half hour to fold.

Unfold and glue it into a little tent. Now that I have completed four, I can say that I have played around with some variations on this. I will share Nos. 2, 3, & 4 in the morning.

Create the content. This is where the magic happens. I realized that when I am trying to make three in one afternoon, there isn’t a lot of opportunity for coincidence as in the first piece. So I am trying to do what I can to get ahead of the game and live with the piece at least for 24 hours. I am not sure if that is possible. But I am going to try. The third grader in me, who was quite the queen of procrastination, would never be able to fathom that I would take something like this on.

Stay tuned… I hope to post pictures tomorrow, leaving me with enough time to create No. 5!

Thanks again, Kim! Plus I love this description of me….

Commitment to art + lovely southern accent = someone I immediately like a whole lot

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