For my next trick…

I am in a new season of my life. Summer 2017, I relocated to the West Coast and back to my hometown in the United States. Spring 2018, my master’s degree in History was completed. In that season, I found myself unexpectedly flying solo, so I had to push writing history to the back-burner and seek a career that will support me. Summer 2019, I am a licensed real estate broker! I love doing the research on properties, and learning the history in each neighborhood and town. I know a lot about Seattle, but I was away a long time and I am enjoying getting reacquainted.

I plan to start posting a little about real estate on my new website And hopefully I will be able to do more writing here too. Onward!

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!

Update to Links

I deleted my account and removed the link from my website. They recently moved to a paid model that charges a lot of money, offers no student discount, and removed access to some of the analytical information we previously could see. It really bothered me, but I decided having a platform to share my work made it ok. Well, after seeing some blog posts from other academics I decided to delete my account. Not only are people like me providing their content for free and driving visitors to their site, but now they want to charge us for the privilege? I understand that running the website takes money, but they could make the site free for (or even pay!) content providers and charge readers. Video games make billions of dollars from micro-charges, so there is already a model they could apply other than the old-fashioned subscription model. But for now, I don’t want to participate in a model that takes advantage of my work. I’ll think of another way to share with those who are interested.

Words words words

Day 27 of #NaNoWriMo and #AcWriMo (National Novel Writing Month and Academic Writing Month). I love data and graphs, so I’m writing my master’s thesis as a fake novel on the NaNoWriMo website so I can watch my word-counts go up and earn badges. AcWriMo isn’t nearly as well developed or fun. I’ve been 99% focused on writing this thing this month, and I’m on-track to have the first draft done in three more days. And I. Can’t. Wait.

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!

Fast into Fall

I don’t have formal classes for my master’s program this session, because I am starting to work full-time on my thesis. I also have one more talk to prep for the Textile Society of America’s conference. Life is feeling hectic and harried. Time to simplify and down-shift. My return to academia has taken on a life of its own, and if I want to continue to grow the momentum while living a life that feels spacious and abundant, something’s gotta give. I’m downsizing my stash of sewing supplies, my library of books, my costume wardrobe, and my bric-a-brac. My Etsy shop was started when I was living in France and frequenting the flea markets, and I don’t have the time I used to for product development, photography, and marketing. Knowing I should be doing those things is becoming a bummer. So I’m also thinking about having a sale and clearing out as much inventory as possible before putting it on hiatus. Like the autumn leaves that will soon fall from the trees, my life is starting to pare down to essentials to conserve energy for the winter and the mental challenges ahead.


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



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

Graduate Awards

I received my second small award from Concordia University! The recognition and monetary assistance are both very much appreciated! The Keith Lowther Award is granted to one graduate student each semester based on community service and academic excellence. I’m currently volunteering as the Graduate History Student Association Treasurer at Concordia, and I helped plan this year’s history conference.

Last semester I received the Inge Thurm Bursary for Women’s or Gender History. My thesis work on early modern women’s needlework and their use of pattern books qualified me, in addition to my academic record. I used the award money toward my travel expenses for the conference in Manchester, England this summer.

I have updated my Resume page to reflect all of the awards and honors that I have received.

See you in the Hall of Mirrors?

Plans finally firmed up and I am excited to be going to the costumed ball at Chateau Versailles in France! I’m hoping to make a new gown in between writing papers, but I have my blue francaise as a fall-back. A riding habit is currently in the works for a pique-nique à la campagne too. 😀

Versailles Events