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! 😀

 

Grad school

Now that all my applications for grad school are completed, I am turning back to updating my website. I’d like to be happy with it soon so that once school starts I can just blog about my research and latest needlework projects. The learning curve is steep! But I think I’m almost there. Thank you for being patient with my work-in-progress and for finding me on Pinterest and Etsy. <3

July Awesomeness

The month of July zipped right by. I was traveling for half of it, and keeping up with the World Wide Web is always more of a challenge on the road.

My trip to London was amazing. The week I spent at The School of Historical Dress was so special and I learned sooo much. You folks in the London area are so extremely lucky!! Working with Luca and Claire was incredibly inspiring, and learning from Jenny and the school’s collection just blew my mind. To commemorate, I finally got Seventeenth Century Women’s Dress Patterns 1. I will go back some day, for sure.

The research I did at the British Library and the Victoria and Albert Museum also rocked my world. Who’d have ever thought that I would hold in my bare hands a 16th century book filled with hand-waterpainted embroidery designs?? It has become clear to me from this trip that the artifacts are as important to me as the information they contain. I was emotionally moved by the experience of handling them, and found myself treating them with reverence. An important insight as I pursue grad school options.

And I also enjoyed a wonderful Georgian picnic at Chiswick House in London! I met friends new and old, many whom I’m sure I will see again. I wore my blue silk taffeta francais gown that I’ve been working on retrimming.

Chiswick1

When I got home I just had to shake things up (a reflection of my internal experience on my trip?), with the result being a dramatically reorganized studio, so I’ll be back to my needlework tomorrow! I feel like I now have the confidence to take on a few of the projects that I’ve had in mind, but been reluctant to start.

Tally-ho!