Well! It’s been quite a long time since I last posted here. In case anyone is wondering, I did wrap things up sufficiently to complete my Division III thesis project and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in “public history and the applied history of clothing and needle arts” from Hampshire College. I graduated on May 21st, about four years behind the standard schedule but without many regrets about my slightly roundabout and backwards approach to higher education.
I didn’t accomplish as much as I would have liked to, with my Div III (in part because I started out with with genuinely enormous ideas), but I did a lot, and learned a lot, and my faculty committee all seemed to be fairly satisfied with my work. And also slightly mystified, since historical reproduction clothing isn’t exactly a specialty for any of them. My biggest regret is that I wasn’t able to take and post pictures, because I didn’t have a camera and ran out of time to make other arrangements. There just wasn’t enough time to do everything I wanted to do!
While working on my Div III, I was also applying to graduate schools, and I’ve now finished my first semester at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, where I’m pursuing a master’s degree in “history with a concentration in public history.” I love it here, and I’m extremely happy with the program. The logistics worked out astonishingly well – NMSU’s public history program actually includes a “Time Traveling” course every spring, which trains historians in first person living history techniques which invite museum visitors or students to play along with the historical interpreters. I’ve never heard of any other school in the country offering such a thing, and it’s fairly perfect for me. Plus they didn’t want me to take the GREs! All this, plus it being in New Mexico meant that my boyfriend – a devoted New Mexico native – and I were able to stay together after graduation. In July, we moved to a peculiar little house in Las Cruces, and on Christmas, he proposed. I think it makes a nice little happy ending for 2011!
Now that we’re settled in here, I’m hoping to start blogging regularly, and going back in to fill in the blanks for the Div III sewing projects. I have a camera now, so I can even start including pictures! I have a little sewing room here, which is finally entirely useable, and I expect to be able to get more sewing done in the future, which I’ll be sharing on this site. Some projects will be carefully researched historical garments (1830s, 1860s, and 1912 are in the works), some will be just-for-fun (like a superhero cape for my cousin’s three-year-old daughter), and some will be vintage-style clothes for everyday use (because I can live with being thought eccentric). I’ll also post about general research for historical and vintage clothes, textiles, and probably also hair and beauty. There may even be some knitting and sewn housewares projects.
I also have two other blogs now, to post about different things I’m working on. There’s The Dog and Chicken Kitchen, my fledgeling food blog, where I’ll document my love of real food (done gluten-free), and post recipes for from-scratch, not-too-crazily-elaborate, tasty food. And then there’s An Old-Fashioned Wedding at Home, which I’ve just started but am posting posting at regularly, to describe our unconventional but not exactly modern approach to getting hitched, with some philosophizing, some tips and tutorials, and all kinds of details on my wedding dress, which I designed and which I’ll be making myself. Fortunately, I have a year and a half to work on it!
I find it slightly absurd that I’m looking at actively working on three different blogs, but they’re all connected through this WordPress account, and the content is bound to be quite different for all three. So, three blogs it is, and we’ll see how that goes. I’d rather not try to crow everything into one place and swamp (hypothetical) readers of one subject with information on completely differently subjects. But I’ll probably do a fair bit of linking back and forth. I suspect that the patterning and construction of my 1950s style silk wedding dress will be rather relevant over here as well, so I may do a bit of cross-posting for the major updates. But ultimately, I want to be able to talk about other wedding things as well, and chit-chat about the fascinating world of the wedding blogosphere, so a lot of that content will need to be off in its own corner of the internet, because I want to keep this blog focused on sewing and other needle arts, whether historical, vintage, or just old-fashioned in approach.
So there, finally, is a little update to my abandoned blog! I’ll be going back in to the placeholder posts and trying to add more information, and pictures of projects or supplies where I can. If there’s anything you’re specifically interested in getting more information on, please feel free to email me – ava dot trimble at g mail dot com – and I’ll make a priority of it. Now, I should probably go sew something…