Where to start…? Its always difficult to explain to strangers why you haven’t done what you said you were hoping to do, without going into far too many personal details, but my lack of activity and writing on this site is due to far more than just life and its variable challenges and difficulties.
Ten years ago, this site started out as a place to share dress diaries. Back before there really were easy to use blogging platforms, you had to put up a whole website and usually hand-code the HTML too, just to share what you had made and how you made it. Then during grad school, the site became a place to combine necessary class assignments with something fun (research) and not just create a throwaway site for school, most of the research articles on here date from that time.
I became pregnant with my son in the last quarter of grad school. Once the baby was born, I no longer had the time I had during grad school, and I had also been burned by a few people taking the research here and using it without attribution. The website just didn’t seem to fit who I was anymore, and I didn’t have the time to create full articles anymore in hand-coded HTML, so it got put on the back burner while I blogged my research over on LJ.
Over time, I’ve tried to get my enthusiasm back for sharing my research through here and using it as a teaching tool, but its been hard. I’ve updated the site to a much easier to update technology, but I didn’t have a clear purpose, or time to really write here. In 2008 I became the Editor for Your Wardrobe Unlock’d and then we spun off Foundations Revealed in late 2009. Over the last four years, I’ve done a lot of writing for both sites, and have worked countless hours behind the scenes keeping things running smoothly.
I’ve learned through this that my heart really is in the 16th century, not the 19th (although I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the late 1890’s to early 1900’s fashions). But all this time stumbling around in the 19th century hasn’t been a waste, on the contrary, this crash course in Georgian/Regency/Victorian/Edwardian clothing and underwear certainly has given me fresh eyes to look at Early Modern clothing and see where some of the current re-enactor interpretations probably come from (two part dresses anyone? So Victorian!).
Through all of this, I never stopped researching, making and wearing 16th c. German clothes, I just didn’t have the time to write about it here, along with working on the magazines, being a full time mom and wife and having a life that includes necessary things like sleep and friends.
However, my son starts kindergarten in the Fall, and my responsibilities at the magazines have lessened slightly, so I now have space to not just work on my projects, but also time to write about them, beyond a “Hey, look at what I made!”, which is not what I wanted this site to be about.
I also finally have a concrete idea of how I want to move forward as an artist and a teacher, which really was the big hurdle, along with how to combine what I put on the site back pre-2006 with where I am now as a researcher. Some of the articles look so dated to me, and so wrong, that I’d like to just delete them and replace them with something else. Its going to be a process to move the site content to something that I can be proud of as a researcher, instead of a harried grad student just trying to get something up online to turn in for a grade.
I am looking forward to sharing things with you, and exploring this wonderful world with a set of fresh eyes.