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