Who I Am and Why I’m Here

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This is my Markland heraldry, for which my blog is named: argent, a pair of scissors and in chief a mullet of five points gules.

This is my Markland heraldry, for which my blog is named: argent, a pair of scissors and in chief a mullet of five points gules.

I’m sitting on an Amtrak train from Williamsburg, VA back to New York City, and I’m looking forward to eight hours with nothing but my thoughts (and five back-episodes of TNT’s new show The Librarians, which I have been very much looking forward to watching!) which is a perfect time to focus on my fledgling blog.

First: my name is Mem.  You probably see my name in several places right on the front page on my blog.  This is not by accident.  Like many creative-types (and probably most humans), I have a bad tendency to compare myself to others who have have a much more established presence in my field than I do which sends me into a spiral of what’s-the-points and why-do-I-bothers.  As a way to combat this, I’m putting my name on things – a little self-branding, one could call it.  One of the goals of keeping this blog is to carve out a little corner of the internet that’s mine.

Second: I am currently a grad student at NYU.  I’m getting a dual masters in costume studies and library science.  I’m also the wardrobe supervisor for the Tisch Grad Acting program, and a Domestic Sites interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg (I worked there for a year and a half before starting grad school, and now I work there between semesters).  My undergrad degree is in costume design.  I love to learn new crafts and make things in my hands.

Third: this post is a daily task for Blogging 101, and in the task they gave us a list of questions to keep in mind.  Well, as you might be able to tell, I love lists.  So I am going to answer them in as a list.

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
    • As a costumer it’s always a good idea to keep documentation of what you work on.  But I’d also like to share my work and research with the larger historical costuming community, many of whom have blogs.  It seems like a good way to get some feedback and get my name out there.  And my family says they want a way to show off the stuff that I do, so.
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
    •  Costume history is going to be my main topic.  My main time periods are Elizabethan (late 16th-early 17th century) and mid-Victorian (1860s-1880s), but I also dabble in 18th century and Regency (early 19th century), and I do enjoy wearing 1950s clothes in normal life so a bit of that, too.  I’m going to share my progress on sewing projects that I’m working on – this will include mainly historical garments and accessories, but some modern ones, too, as well as experiments in other crafts like lacemaking and bookbinding.  I love cosplay and steampunk so those will (hopefully) come up as I make new costumes, too!  I’m also hoping to share research, and I’m going to challenge myself to share sketches.  I need to draw more.
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
    • As I mentioned before, I would love to connect with the larger historical costuming community.  Blogs seem to be the main medium for sharing projects and research, and many of the costumers I greatly admire have fantastic blogs (though I am starting to notice they’re mostly on blogspot!  Oops.  Wordpress blogs look nicer anyway).  I’d also love to connect with crafters, artisans, artists, cosplayers, Steampunk people, general geeks, and anyone with similar interests.  I’m in a few costuming/crafting Facebook groups and I lurk a lot but I need to be more active.  And I always love making new friends!
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?
    • I’m hoping to keep a portfolio of sorts, and documentation of the work I’m doing.  I’m just starting my costuming career, and before I can really build up any quantity, I think it’s a good idea to have a record of quality.

So!  There you have it!  Here I am.  (And I have seven more hours on the train!  And The Librarians!)

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8 thoughts on “Who I Am and Why I’m Here

  1. Hallo Mem, ich bin auch dabei zu lernen, leider fand ich mich nicht zurecht bisher. Gerade habe ich endeckt wo ich drücken muss um etwas zu erfahren und habe mir deinen Blog angesehen. Nun weiß ich wie die Tagesaufgabe sein sollte. Schön hast du das geschrieben und mir somit geholfen

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  2. Hi Mem,
    I am one of your blogging friends-day one. Having just read about your desire to wear clothes from the 1950’s, I thought I’d share something. I was hoping to blog about it down the road. I am sharing my mother’s clothing from the 1940’s-1960’s. The clothes have been carefully taken care of all these years, but alas, it is time to share them with the world. If you are interested in looking at them (for inspiration), let me know and I will tell you when I am officially opening my Etsy Shop entitled, Vintage Loretto. Loretto is my mom. She was an incredible seamstress!
    I look forward to your blogs and looking at your portfolio.-Jeanne

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    • That sounds fantastic! Thank you so much for being willing to share – I would absolutely love to know when you open your Etsy store. Family-made and worn pieces are always very interesting and unique and I would love to see them. Yay friendship!

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  3. Good luck! I am looking forward to reading and promise not to stalk you ; )
    There might also be a community of chatters on Twitter – have you ever looked into it? It’s not JUST for math teachers. I love the blog name, by the way, as well.

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  4. martinltpm

    Hi, looking forward to your essays, I am a patternmaker (apparel). While most garments I`ve worked on are present day I do have 3 clients who make WWII uniforms (fits the pre-1945, though still not like your lines). Somewhere I even some ancient Harper’s Bazaar mags. It is a pleasure running across your blog!

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    • That’s brilliant! Uniforms are really fun (and old magazines too!). Patternmaking is a really interesting topic, and it changes a lot through history. I look forward to your feedback 🙂

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