New Year

Firstly, happy new year! I’ve been busy with work and family etc for the last couple of weeks, but should be getting back into things more now. Sadly, the year hasn’t got off to a good start with a death in the family and having a few days of illness, but I’m looking forward to 2011! There are two major goals for this year – one is to get a PhD studentship, two is to start my own small business – a lingerie fashion label (quality, ethical of course). If I have started one by the end of the year I’ll be super happy. I hope to continue my research into sustainability and work towards making a real difference to the world in some way. I think one of my key achievements for last year was boosting my confidence when it comes to public speaking, and that’s something I want to build on this year too. I will start each day saying ‘Today I will be the best I can be!’

Also, I want to share these pictures with you. I’m still cataloging needle work tools at the museum, and I came across these this week. The pictures don’t really do them justice, but they are delightful needle work boxes, one full of ivory bits and pieces, the other mother of pearl. They are from the 18th and 19th Century. This would have been a prize possession for the lady of the house and its lovely that they have survived as two sets.

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Museum Needlework

I have been doing voluntary work at my local museum, helping move the needlework and textiles collections to a new location. I love it, it doesn’t bother me that I’m giving up my time for free because I’m learning so much. They mainly have local church textiles, school uniforms, smocks and bonnets and accessories. They also have samplers like the one above, the pieces that young girls would work on at school to show different stitches.

It’s amazing seeing the time and care that has gone into making these objects by hand. Things are so different now – we can pop into a shop and buy a new garment so cheaply and because its so cheap and easy to acquire we get rid of it just as easily. I sometimes think I’m in the wrong time! Back when textiles were made with love and treasured, that has to be better?? I know the ‘slow textile’ movement is around, I went to a conference about it last year, but it needs to be more mainstream.

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