Author Archives: Michaela de Bruce

Oh boy- my Anne of Cleves paper just got weird

Well. I knew I needed to tackle my folder of secondary images for Anne of Cleves at some stage. When I share the file names I created for them? You get an idea of how this is crushing my will to read. Me? Tired of reading?!

So we have “no.jpg” “reallyno.jpg” “lolno.jpg” for line art of Anne in costume books. It’s important as the bigger picture is revealed and it tied to my first paper: The Public Gaze. This refers to our tendency to be lead by what people say we should see. Recently the Louvre shared incredibly high resolution images of their portrait that has finally been cleaned.

You’ve think they unearthed new information by the way people are reacting to it.

For me she’s exactly who I have been looking at for 20 years, her smile was always there, her eyes looking directly at us, her cheekbones. What I appreciate now is the very specific pigments revealed. The blue background and the red dress are not a surprise, the specific tones are appreciated.

Comments Off on Oh boy- my Anne of Cleves paper just got weird

Filed under Uncategorized

worse to worst

It turns out my harddrive is indeed failing, it’s down to 56% health according to HDS. I’m incredibly lucky that I have so many back ups. Platter drives, solid state, internal, external, the cloud. But I’m just unable to progress my research until I have a stable boot drive and that means I can’t make any mistakes in the meantime. It used to be very easy. Format a drive and boot from the mobo.

I can’t afford the time, health, and money this is taking to fix.

I really can’t.

Comments Off on worse to worst

Filed under Uncategorized

oh things got worse

Turns out I managed to buy one of the now know bad hardrives (c2021 through 2023) from a brand that used to be really reliable. If I’m very lucky it’s not physical bad sectors (well there will be some) but logical caused by the firmware it was shipped with, and which has been updated since, which means I could potentially erase, reformat and reinstall.

Having backed up folder by folder over three days I found around 50 genuinely affected files and they all seem to be photos in my 2014-2018 folders. And they seem to be good on my earlier backup drives.

That timeframe though means I might have lost photos of Boo and of Carlo and of Fluffy.

That I seem to have safe back ups on three internal and three external drives means I’m in a much better position. But I will need to buy a new (smaller) boot drive so that I can just experiment with the flawed drive.

But this is eating to my grieving time, and my research time. Sorry that choices in how photos are transferred, modified, and saved changed was your choice OS but now have to move thousands of images into a more reliable year> month folder hierarchy. It’s also not my fault you can’t preserve daylight savings and indeed UTC settings so that I’m never sure if the newer or older date is accurate.

It turns out my OS and SSDs are not meant for researchers. I’m apparently acting far more like a data centre than home user. My pc build though was for gaming so I’ve been really protected for a long time though. Such a good build. The motherboard hates one brand though which is why I switched in the first place.

Comments Off on oh things got worse

Filed under Uncategorized

I’ve been using my pc all wrong

Apparently despite the ability to use 1-2T harddrives you can’t actually fill them or windows breaks due to having too many files (the cache and databases are limited. So this basically means you can’t do research that involves careful curation.

I’m literally triggering RA activity as there is no “safe” angle for my shoulders, elbows, and wrists and this has taken away from my ability to do anything. The inflammation is different to the state of my achilles but the two mean all four limbs are dangerous to use. Luckily k-tape seems to help my wrists a little. At least makes them feel more comfortable. Unlike splints they don’t need taking off each time I wash my hands.

So to the good k-tape, and let my PC back up to my new harddrive. Oh look still crashing.

Comments Off on I’ve been using my pc all wrong

Filed under Uncategorized


A week ago today we had to say goodbye to our little spotty buddy. It’s been a tough week in so many ways including it not feeling real. We got to spend so much time with him though, and he knew he was loved and protected every moment.

Comments Off on Farewell

Filed under Uncategorized

Surprise- not a surprise

I suspect it’s probably obvious from how little I’m writing or doing that I am really struggling. I’m not recovering like I am used to and it’s severely impacting my ability to do anything. I’m sorting my research, but not much more. Writing is not happening. A little hand sewing on average once a week.

There are some bright spots though.

I’ve finally got a leather needle to respond to sharpening and it’s making it possible to actually work on my pearled hat! It’s been really tough to be limited to one applique a week because the difficulty passing a needle through the material puts more pressure on my hands.

So sorry aphorisms, you absolutely can blame your tools. There is a reason there is an incremental cost associated with better quality tools.

And further to being able to blame tools, I’m finally able to consolidate files over two external hard drives. The smaller of the two needed a new case because it had failed- loose connections and the little circuit board had failed. Transferring is going well as I type meaning the new case and cable are working well, nothing loose. It means I’ll be able to divide the drives by use.

I have two more externals that used to be internals complete with OS but I’ll work with them once I remind myself of how to sort the partition but keep the files.

Comments Off on Surprise- not a surprise

Filed under Uncategorized

Anne of Cleves catch up

I recently bought a little of the Margaret Cloth of Gold from Sartor thinking I could make some larger sleeves to swap out my adorable half length Bishop sleeves of my Maria of Cleves gown. The repeat has been shrunk which is bad new for my Maria of Cleves alteration plans but fantastic for my Anne of Cleves gown by Bruyn! It’s the scale I need for the very narrow panes of her sleeves.

And there is enough no matter how I work out how to do the sleeves. I’m still so very pulled by what I know is how they would genuinely have been done. But also I know that multiple artists captured the same sleeve type the same way. If I’m right about how they looked in reality, then each artist had to have been in some form of contact to agree on what they should look like.

We have a huge amount of evidence to support consented copying and unconsented copying of each other’s work. We also know artists travelled. So I can’t say it’s a coincidence for the same depiction of the sleeve. The good news is that all of this work is helping to simplify my own pattern book.

It’s also really exciting because it’s not just my book that gets simpler, it gets simpler to explain how to use the manuals, and when to reject them.

But this is taking time. So I plan to get my patterns of my own garments into my pages. I’m still so behind, trying to repair what the hackers destroyed in 2016 has been so hamstrung by WordPress updates. Now that it looks like Blocks have stabilised it’s probably easier.

There is another issue which is the size of files means I have to edit decades of photos.

But I need to as my work has been pinned into the tens of thousands but from a hosted site not mine. Oh it’s easy to find me from there, it’s just that people don’t.

Comments Off on Anne of Cleves catch up

Filed under Uncategorized

Research break

My book on the last art form I desperately needed arrived yesterday and as per usual I have a much richer curation because of my focus. But I also am itching to actually work on my Anne of Cleves gown. I mean all of my research is to put her frocks in context so it’s really obvious that would happen.

I’m still feeling pulled between the extremely tidied art and the evidence in extant garments and the manuals.

The manuals and the extant items match so very well though so I have to work from there. The artwork though match across different artists and countries. So I also have to take that on.

I might have to let everything that is percolating in my brain from the month long dedicated efforts to organise my written evidence. That too matches incredibly well across countries.

My next step is to figure out how the heck to sync my files across my devices and storage. And then eventually to allow me to batch edit/add to my websites. I know what I need to do because I’ve done it before. I’m just so tired doing all the “back office” stuff to create content. There are so many options now that didn’t exist for the first mumble-ty years of self hosting. I can’t port my older work over though due to the code just being so incompatible.

Comments Off on Research break

Filed under Uncategorized

So exciting

I managed to fix the OCR issues of my scanning program and just managed to brute transcribe and translate the most important pages and yes! Some new and really exciting information but also support for what I have found in terms of gaps and assumptions.

It’s so important when you are working in a niche field to be able to include the work of scholars who came before you because it gives weight to your interpretations and means those scholars are credited.

In this case the book is out of print and only available in a few libraries and of course is in German. So it makes it even more important to be able to link to this work, as the author used the same older sources as me, and a few more and cautions the interpretations of some of them. And some of the questions I had were directly linked to those interpretations. They also tended to gloss over the role of women.

So now I have a bit of confirmation as to a couple of reasons I’m just not finding the work I need.

By coincidence someone shared an extant item and an interpretation of it and while it’s too early for direct evidence, it’s also evidence of a craft that I can find visual evidence of. Oh, and I just realised I might also have spotted some evidence of the kind of decoration used. Okay I need to write this down in my notebook to make sure I don’t forget.

Comments Off on So exciting

Filed under Uncategorized


So much progress in short bursts, fly by post as I’d like to get one of my pearled appliques stitched down as it’s incredibly difficult getting a needle through the layers. But yes that is still progress.

I just made my way through the book and wow. I need to create a table but I think there is easily 1000 women named. Which is extraordinary. I needed to erase the pencil marks of the previous owner, who probably was the first owner, and now I’m wondering what they were working on and if I might be able to find their work by searching for the sentences they must have quoted from.

I still need to get through my timeline of images, I really disagree with some of the dates given but I might also need to organise by decade as I think some of that is down to some dates being specific to a year, some as before a date some as after a date but when you organise files alphabetically that pushes say 1500s after 1509.

There is so much to do. I wish I could just keep my timeline as it is but I’m trying to include all the important information too, and that means probably having to create a CVS file to be able to mass import the probably 200 posts I need to write up to include each figure.

So time to make a pot of tea, and also rest. I’ve only been up 3 hours but I had a shower which in this heat dings all the fun dysautonomia symptoms that have creeped up on me the last few years.

Fun fact I didn’t know Rheumatoid Arthritis can be a cause, but now that I know I feel a bit better. Well, it’s not great, but at least I can point to that seeing as there is a tendency to think if you have fibro you bring these things on yourself. Nope.

Just reading about this now and I really need to talk to my GP because if you add in all the ways the nervous system (CNS and ANS) is altered by RA it really is the simplest answer to supposedly complicated symptoms. I even tested an AI chatbot with my complex symptoms and it failed. It shouldn’t have because even in 1999 these alterations were known.

Comments Off on Progress

Filed under Uncategorized