Author Archives: m d b

Out the other side

The (ex tropical) cyclone Gabrielle has finally moved off shore, it followed the very strange path predicted. There are still people dealing with the weather, and across the motu (country) the aftermath. The ground is still wet, trees are still shedding branches.

My little area of the world, my tiny suburb, has had some trees ripped out of the ground, leaving sheared of bases of trees well over 2m in diameter. The trees themselves being maybe 20m tall.

Our garage survived, but we’ve lost trees and we really need the ground to dry up to be able to be safe outside. The fear of losing so much of my work was real, it still might happen if the third flooding event in a month leaves trees weakened.

But it has spurred me to be a bit harder on myself to get rid of paper files when I have the digital version and can use my flip book.

I have fabric I can pass on. And having now freed up my embroidery frame I may finally work on my Mon Mothma robes. It’ll be relaxing and progress is quite fast and I don’t need as much of the yarn as I thought I’d need.

But I absolutely need to finish my Historic gowns as well.

To do all this I need to reduce stress and tackle my ever worsening fatigue.

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held together with caffeine and more caffeine

Still safe from the flooding, many are not, the long term damage to our roads can’t be underestimated. So much erosion is where the water can get under rigid surfaces, and pool, and flow.

Meanwhile I’m just not concentrating at all. But have also been dealing with some awful pain, from lower back to knee. It felt like neural involvement so I attributed it to fibro for a while. But it followed major nerves rather than feeling like referred so then I did some stretches for Piriformis pain. Oh ouch.


My usual supine spinal twist didn’t go as far as usual, which should have been my main clue as to what was actually going on. So 500mg of Naproxen later and I’m back to being able to stretch. The pain is gone, my back makes the little popping and cracking sounds I’ve become familiar with.

It’s similar to how inflammation affects my jaws and hips. It actually pushes soft tissue out of alignment. For my hip there is a deep U shaped muscle that gets impinged, my lower jaw juts out, and I guess now my lower spine is playing the same game.

I need to renew my scripts so I’ll just ask for all the NSAIDs again as they really do all work differently.

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state of emergency

My city is flooded. I’m so, so very, lucky to be on a small plateau so water runs through and off our property but it’s scary because we are on clay- our pipes might now be as okay as appears. We are also on restricted water supply.

I think we’ll be okay through the worst, I’m most concerned about backflow of wastewater as our toilet has fountained a few times.

I had a quick look around our neighbourhood and families are sheltering in our little corner from other parts of the city.

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I think I did it

I think I managed to fix my site and tidied my abstract for the call for papers by The Association of Dress Historians. It’s a bit hard to condense why my paper is novel and why when the single largest source for North Rhine Dress has been created by me. But now I am able to take a break for the day and work on my heavily pearled hat all this work is about, and work on the jewels including my Sweet Boo as the central element. He looks a lot like a very round version of this heraldic cat/lioness?

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quick test,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11

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It turns out I have already written a decent draft of my paper. I got a bit carried away which is why I got myself in a mess when I was writing it. I tried to answer outside the question I initially ask. But it’s also very nice to have the follow up ready for any Q&A I might be asked *if* the paper is accepted at all.

But it’s also summer and so my days are actually pretty tough as my best therapy for pain and fatigue is heat. This is different though, it’s stifling.

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I think 60G is pared back enough

Why yes, editing down information is difficult. But I’m pretty happy with what I have and can sync across devices and the cloud. After writing on my flip book in hospital I’ve got some serious disconnects with copies of copies. It was particularly hard separating the tapestries folders. But when you have such high quality images of really incredibly preserved tapestries? It’s fine to limit them for a paper.

I plan on making a time line of images for these anyway, so I haven’t got rid of them, just moved them for that future project. I love these though. So much. The examples I’m using still need to be organised by date. And some have been separated, many copies are around too.

I wish the cartoons of these sets were still around. The figure to the left appears several times sometimes reversed, and different details. The cartoons I mean are the life sized ones that were used during the weaving process.

My Anne of Cleves research keeps coming back to weird coincidences, well not if you already know the history of the time and place. About 1/4 of my family lived in Gelderland and there was a lot of influence between the duchies and one of the nifty smaller cartoons we have of the Nassau set comes back to that.

Mencia de Mendoza is here is full Spanish splendor. While her attendants are not. They wear local dress.

Mencía de Mendoza married Henry III, Count of Nassau (1483-1538), stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Gelderland…

Under Mencía’s leadership, the Breda court developed into a center of science. She maintained contacts with prominent scholars and a large number of scientific and literary publications were produced in her court circle.

I love that she was so supportive of arts and sciences. And that I really learned about her from her image here in a detour back to Spanish styles for me.

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I’ve finally managed to connect appropriate accounts as I’m working on getting all my research actually published. This is from my talk at the Vision Symposium, and I’m having to edit down my over long extended paper because as I was editing I found some very cool new stuff.

These two quotes really neatly capture exactly why I’m so fascinated with our perception of Anne. While we think of the transactional nature of these marriages we tend to forget that marriage brings overt and covert changes. The overt being introduction of new ideas and fashions, the covert is the ability to travel ostensibly to merely have a catch up while actually being able to discuss great matters without record of them.

Letters could be intercepted, the ability to meet in person was much safer.

But I do love the shock of Marillac at the total lack of shame Anne expressed. It is an attitude that I think has shaped perception to this day.

I’ve also finally managed to get quality copies of references I really need and oh boy. Yes. I remember why they were so difficult to start with.

So connection is a very apt title for this post. I’m using the connections of the courtiers around Anne for one.

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Anne of Cleves

It’s the anniversaries of the celebrations of the marriage of Anne of Cleves so I thought I’d share an update.

Each time I follow another seam of evidence I come back to the same answer. Each time I try to break that answer, I find several authors who can back it up even more vividly with records.

I’m bothered by the misinformation about Anne existing in the first place, I suspect I know why it exists, but also by why we seem to keep repeating it as if the misinformation is real. Over the far more interesting pieces we have.

This even affects the artwork. The St John’s portrait is not original. It’s just not. There is confusion in every element of clothing that the workshop of a North Rhine artist just would not misunderstand.

These four images help explain. The left is a portrait of Elisabeth Bellinghausen. The luminosity and depth of facial features are distinctive. Next is the Bernal/Rosenbach portrait of Anne. The similarity of care in shadows around and under her chin follows the same care.

Next is the St John’s copy. While there is an attempt to copy her features it’s in a very different style.

To the right is a portrait said to be of Anne Boleyn with her features a bit cold, and pulled back. The St John’s portrait is more related to this than anything from the Bruyn workshop. She looks like she belongs on a playing card because of the flatness of the painting. The attempt to create dimension results in very hard lines around the eyes especially.

I suspect the Bernal/Rosenbach portrait was copied locally (the wood came from the Black Forest so I need to look into the trade in art supplies) and the artist tried to extrapolate what was going on under her <<benet/bonit.>> I suspect I might know why they didn’t just copy it, but that’s for a much more in depth chapter.

I also need to share the provenances of different portraits and that gets super weird. And results in some interesting takes in costume history books due to the incorrect attributions.

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I was an a fast push for my second infusion today, which is shorter so not as much time to work on research, but I was writing up some notes, and realised I’ve absolutely got myself on the right track it’s kind of amazing. But it shouldn’t be!

But when you try to break your theory and find it just is better substantiated it’s then possible to trust yourself to keep going.

So that was nice 🙂

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