Time Flies

Goodbye Terrible Winters, Hello Perpetual Rain

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last update. A lot has changed in half of a year. Not the least of which was moving across the continent and from Canada back to the US. All the upheaval means that I am still putting finishing touches on my master’s thesis, and I had to withdraw from presenting at a conference. I’ve also not done much in the way of needlework or historical costume. Sigh…

But I’m almost done with my degree, the fires of re-entry to the US are almost put out, all the boxes have been emptied, and there are lots of local opportunities here in Seattle. The potential for a materially productive year ahead is good!

Busy Conference Season

Well that month flew by! In October I attended no less than three conferences! The first was the annual meeting of the New York Association of European Historians held in Albany. It was great to reconnect with friends and engage in conversations about the state of the field of history in NY academia, as well as people’s interesting presentations. Bonus to that weekend was the gorgeous drive through the Adirondack Mountains while the leaves were turning color!

Then I was off to the embroidery conference at Winterthur Museum, which was amazing! More friendly people with a shared interest and a schedule packed with wonderful speakers. My days also included workshops – a tour of their rare book collection (which of course led to talking about pattern books!), a visit to the conservation lab to hear about how they assess and prepare embroidered textiles for display, and two days with Tricia of Thistle Threads getting personalized instruction on the needlelace portion of a sampler kit some of us bought. Doesn’t look like the kit is on her website, but if you aren’t familiar with the hard-to-come-by historical threads and supplies that she makes available, check it out.

Last weekend was the biennial symposium of the Textile Society of America in Savannah, Georgia. Four intense days of talks, gallery tours, walks about town, and a market dedicated to textile arts and education. Amongst the almost 400 attendees from around the world, there were curators from major museums, professors, artists, students, authors, activists… such a knowledgable, talented, giving, and diverse group. I made new friends! My panel was Saturday morning at the super early hour of 8am. Even so, it was well attended (there was a five-track schedule), people were generous with their feedback, and I feel good about it!

The other thing that made October so busy was writing fellowship applications and a research proposal for an early application to a PhD program that I am super hopeful about. I’m catching my breath for a few days and then NaNoWriMo will be starting! A group of us are committing to writing our theses for the event. Yikes! Lots of writing ahead! Clear the decks! 😀

 

Nice Reviews!

Oh look! An age hasn’t passed since my last update! 😀 I just received the latest issue of the Costume Society Newsletter for Autumn 2016, and the two students who attended as Bursary winners wrote summaries of their experiences of the Manchester conference. They both included nice reviews of my talk!

The advice I had received … was to be open to every single talk; that titles in my programme could not be used to judge the lecture that would follow. This was much needed advice, as previously I had not seen the interest in Early Modern Needlework Pattern Books: Designs for Democracy, or in The Rise of the Fashionable Mass Produced Blouse: 1914-1918, design manufacture and consumption. Yet both of these held my fascination till the end. I saw their impact on the world around them and the people’s lives in which they were entwined. The speakers of both these lectures must be thanked and congratulated, as they were incredibly engaging and informative.

Thanks, Lily Batsford! I’m glad my genuine passion for my topic comes through when I share with others.

Ellie Birch wrote at length about how I confirmed aspects of her own dissertation on gender inequality in Early Modern Britain. She starts by saying that I gave “a fascinating talk on the topic of Early Modern Needlework Pattern Books: Designs for Democracy...” Thanks, Ellie! I wish we’d been able to talk more about our shared interest.

Best wishes to both of them in their studies, and I hope to see them next year!

Summer Update

A brief run-down of amazing events: I finished my first year of grad-school, the Versailles Ball was magical, I did research at the national library in Paris, I presented a successful conference paper in England for the Costume Society, I buzzed around the UK with my daughter seeing new sights and doing research, I received conference travel grants from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women as well as my university, and there are exciting opportunities developing for my PhD! I’m feeling very relieved, hopeful, thankful, inspired, and TIRED.

Versailles 2016 dressed for a court ball

Versailles 2016 dressed for a court ball

Me with French & American friends

Me with French & American friends

ALL THE LIBRARIES

ALL THE LIBRARIES

I love talking about the pattern books!

I love talking about the pattern books! (photo by Shaun Cole)

Idyllic Suffolk County, England

Idyllic Suffolk County, England

 

Manchester, UK

Manchester, UK

Conferences in 2016

More amazing news today! I have been invited to speak at the annual conference of the UK Costume Society! I am so honored and excited! While we were living in Paris, I was lucky enough to attend two of their conferences. I met the most wonderful people and learned so much that really, it was there that the seed was planted to go back to school. It’s exciting to already have an opportunity to share back with the community that gave me so much encouragement. See you in Manchester!

Costume Society 2016

2016 Already?!

Finished my first semester of my master’s program, had a short whirlwind break, and now I’m back in class for my second term. Time is flying by! The course-work is very challenging, but I’m really enjoying it. It’s also time to plan my next research trip to London, a new dress for dancing the night away in the Hall of Mirrors at the Chateau Versailles costume ball, prepare to present about needlework pattern books at the Textile Society of America‘s biennial symposium in Savannah, Georgia, and plan to finish my master’s thesis by the end of the year! Those are just the current major highlights. It’s going to be a big year!

Textile Society of America 2016

Chateau Versailles 2016

2015 Babel Conference

The Babel Conference Off the Books was amazing! The presentations that attended were thought-provoking and inspiring, and I really appreciated when the panel had planned a lot of time for discussion. My paper was on 16th-17th century needlework pattern books and how they were often destroyed in the process of using them. I got lots of supportive comments and heard that I even helped another scholar solve a mystery about the 16th c. editions of Chaucer books she was studying! It was a wonderful group of people in general, and I also enjoyed Toronto. Yay for new friends!

LisaBabel2015

This picture was taken by someone who tweeted about my talk! photo cred @KristinNoone