Thursday, 30 June 2011

Conference Calls.

During the last week, a few conference calls tumbled into my inbox... so you are getting the digest now.

Today's the last day of the reduced-fee (early bird) registration period for the 8th biennial North American Textile Conservation Conference in Oaxaca, Mexico. Regular Registration (US$325.) will be open from July 1 – Oct 7, 2011. 
Please visit the conference website  for more information on conference papers/posters, accommodations, pre- and post-conference workshops and tours. 

On August 6, there will be a tour opportunity called "Fashion at the Getty", with a guided tour through the two fashion exhibitions Paris Life & Luxury and Fashion in the Middle Ages. The registration is possible until July 25, but places are limited and probably gone soon. You can learn more and register via Heather A. Vaughan's blog.

More in my region (well, comparatively speaking) is the 7. Archäologenkongress which will take place in Bremen October 3-7, 2011. The programme (lots of interesting sounding papers and a very nice accompanying programme with excursions), info and registration info can be found on the (German language) homepage, There's also an early bird fee on this one, with the one-week conference ticket (including a public transport pass) for 60 instead of 80 Euros.

Even more conference invitations tomorrow!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Back home.

I have returned from an amazing and wonderful week in Spain, and I'm still a bit Spain-lagged. That's like jetlag, only different - Spain is technically a different time zone from Germany (about one hour earlier than here), plus we are on that daylight saving time stuff - so it feels as if it's hours earlier than the clock shows. Then the Spanish have the habit of doin a Siesta during the hotest time of the day (very smart) and then, instead, stay up very late. It was not unusual to see small children, wide awake, playing outside at 11 pm.

We spent the week doing lots of touristy things, and I took lots and lots of photos - quite a few of them like these:

(If anybody knows what those flowers are called, I'd be happy to know!)

So now I have to re-adapt to German timetables (and from the time this blog post is published, you can see that I was not doing brillantly today). At least we're not freezing here, it's about as warm as in Spain here...

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Hah. Summer blog pause.

Summertime is the time to get away (at least now and then), and I'm no exception - I will be non-blogging for a few days; I will be back with regularly scheduled posts on Wednesday the 29th.

I hope you have a splendid time until then!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Leeds is creeping up.

It's amazing how time flies - the conference in Leeds which seemed so far in the future is now more like right around the corner. I'm not giving a paper, but I still have to prepare for this - packing (and figuring out what to pack before that), getting my conference gear together, choosing sessins that I want to attend, finding out what the exchange course is, all that stuff.

There are some things that I really like to bring to a conference:
  • working pens - that's a given, isn't it?
  • my conference book - so much neater than using a writing pad, and with the book, all my notes from conferences are in one place
  • something to read for relaxing in the evening
  • a usb stick
  • a camera
  • my computer - because there's heaps of stuff in there, and I might just want to show something to somebody
  • business cards (and maybe promo brochures)
I used to bring a laser pointer, too, since it can come in handy to have your own, but mine has somehow gone AWOL a good while ago.

Do you have a never-without-this-list for conferences?

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

How not to underestimate workload.

There's this half-joking rule for IT guys and programmers that goes:

If you have a job to do and need to find out how long it will take, do the following.
Estimate the length of time you will need to do the job. Now take that number and increase it to the next number of magnitude - minutes into hours, hours into days, days into weeks and so on.
Now you add three. That's how long it will take.

Maybe I should start to use this rule as a hard-and-steady rule for my work stuff - like getting the webpage overhauled (well, yes, that did go on hiatus for quite a while), the online shop running (I didn't realise how much Holy Saint Bureaucracius would need to be revered) or the Spinning Experiment all wrapped up.

Ah, the Spinning Experiment. Yes, the results have been found and the paper is in the processing; but I have one thing left to do with the data, and that is cleaning it up a little, translating some of the extra info into English and then packing it up nicely for everyone to download from the Forum webpage. And for that, I need to sort through the yarn cop photos.

I took at least three photos from each sample, and I will just upload one, the best one regarding light and contrast. So I need to pick out those that should be uploaded, resize them a bit and then pack them into a .zip file. And that's still left to do. Sometimes I'm really, really amazed at how much time that Experiment gobbled up... though I'd do it again, it has been totally worth it.

And sometime soon, you will get a note on this blog that the data is up...

Monday, 20 June 2011

Textile Forum 2011 cancelled.

On Sunday evening, Sabine and I have made the final decision on whether there will be a Textile Forum this year... or not.

It was a hard one - we did re-calculate twice, we thought hard about it some more (that was a topic already discussed time and again during the last month), and it did make us very sad, but we finally decided to cancel Textile Forum 2011. There were too few registrations in spite of all the plugging we did - here, on Facebook, on Huscarl, via the Forum newsletter, and in spite of all the promotion that friends, colleagues, former and current participants did (and our heartfelt thanks for that!). We are fine with a small event, but too small a group means that the Forum idea will not work properly. And while day visitors or short-term participants are a very welcome addition to the participant group, the core group has to be large enough to carry the event on their own.

We are deeply sorry to miss out a Textile Forum, but we are certain that it is better to have a one-year hiatus than to see through a Forum that will not measure up to the participants' expectations (or to ours). It was a hard step for us to take, and I feel almost as if a pet had died - the Forum is a thing very dear to me, and having no Forum this year does make me very sad.

"Es hat nicht sollen sein" (it was not meant to be) is the German phrase that perfectly fits this year's Forum planning, which was quite generously garnished with larger and smaller troubles, now culminating in the cancellation. We are, however, working on the Forum 2012 already - we will not be stopped by one single squib load. We'll be keeping you up to date about developments once we have settled things with our prospective venue.

And we do hope to see you then and there!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Easy. Yeah. Of course.

As zm14you may have noticed (due to the obvious lack of a blog post declaring my victory over the online shop setup and testing), the webshop is not running yet. Of course.

Have you ever stumbled across those ads promising you to set up your own online store in just a few minutes, free! or for such a low price! It only takes a minute! Go do it now! - have you? Well, let me tell you... it's not that easy, and it will definitely take more than a minute.

If you want to do it properly... much more than a minute.

Thursday, 16 June 2011


It's really nice and summery here - the strawberries are ripening, peonies and the rose are in bloom as well as a gazillion of other plants, and the tomatoes are doing their best to get nice and plump.

Apart from that, of course there's a lot of plants that grow where they are not really supposed to grow, so a part of yesterday evening was spent in the garden, doing necessary work. Among this was cutting back all the dog rose shoots and stems that were threatening to suffocate the "real" rose - which means that of a huge bush of greenery with thorns, three meager stems are left. But at least one of the stems is blooming, and it's now much easier to eliminate unwanted plants from below the rose.

And while I'm talking about garden stuff... here is my latest gardening insight: Neither tomatoes nor strawberries will turn red faster if you tell them dirty jokes. Which is a pity, really...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Conference Stuff.

First of all, our apologies to everybody who tried to register for the Textile Forum since the 8th of June - we had a server malfunction that I only discovered yesterday evening. If you have sent or tried to send a registration after the 8th,  please send me an e-mail to katrin(at), and we will take it from there. To make up for the server problem, we have extended te deadline to the 19th (that's Sunday this week). We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience.

And now some plugging of a conference with a much better webpage - there's a small group in the Czech Republic who are doing a historic-clothes-centered conference on the  19th
November 2011 in Hradec Králové. The programme is mostly in Czech, with two papers announced in English, and the main aim of the group (mostly not scientists from the textile field) is knowledge exchange. (Now doesn't that sound familiar?) I'd love to go, but unfortunately my Czech language skills will barely get me a cup of tea and dumplings after saying "Good day", so I'm afraid I will have to pass.

For those of you interested in joining the seminar, their webpage sports a registration form. And for those of you not interested, but with a minute or two to spare - go there anyway and have a look at the website. You don't need to be able to understand a single word of Czech - just click through the six menu points and enjoy the most beautifully made conference website that I have ever seen.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Today's the last day!

Today is the last day of the registration period for the Textile Forum in Asparn an der Zaya - if you are planning to attend, please register!

We need the registrations to plan ahead for the Forum, and we still do not have enough participants. We would deeply regret not to have a Textile Forum this year, but at the moment, it does not look good.

Please visit our website and have a look if you are interested in working historical textile crafts. We do welcome both professionals and non-professionals, and the last two Forums have been a total blast and a wonderful experience for all participants. We've been offered a Sprang workshop, a dyeing demonstration or workshop, and it is the perfect opportunity to spend a few days working intensively with plant fibres - doesn't that sound tempting?

Friday, 10 June 2011

It's a German thing.

Well,ZM13 not only German - the Austrians have it as well, but it's not that common in most other countries. Even though it's so nice...

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Really weird sheep video.

I stumbled across this yesterday, and it's so weird that I just have to share it with you.

Here you go: A WTF lamb.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Call for Papers - Costume Colloquium III: Past Dress – Future Fashion

The Costume Colloquium III will take place in Florence, November 8-11, 2012.

The organizers and Advisory Committee of Costume Colloquium III: Past Dress – Future Fashion are currently seeking papers on unpublished research, new creations and/or practical experience, relating to the Topics of Interest below.  We welcome proposals from: scholars, educators and museum specialists, students, makers and marketers of wearable art, conservators, re-enactors and other clothing enthusiasts worldwide in order to create a symposium that is inclusive in an international, inter-cultural and interdisciplinary nature.

Topics of Interest:

I.  The remaking or recreating dress from the past: yesterday and today
II.  Patterns from the past and the fashions of today: which aspects of a certain historic past?
III. The past relived through dress:
    - in institutional collections (public and private)
    - in a social context (pageantry, parades and historical
    - in didactic experiences (fashion and design course and schools)
IV. The vintage phenomenon and recycling of styles
V.  Conservation, restoration and the presentation of collections: new tendencies and innovative methods
VI.  Fashion documents and archives
VII. Dress collecting: goals and accessibility
VIII. Information regarding costumes and dress accessories

It does sound like an interesting conference - and I'm definitely thinking about sending in a paper proposal. If you are interested as well, you can find more information about the conference (including the rest of the CfP and submission guidelines) on the conference webpage.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Plying techniques.

A while ago, in Freienfels, I was presented with a bit of modern, dyed wool in a top, in different hues from brownish with a tinge of orange to deep raspberry-red.

I spun it on the hand-spindle, and then I used the opportunity to try a new plying technique, somehow related to plying from both ends of a yarn cake. I'm going to give the technique another try during the next days, and I'm planning a proper report then. Until that time, though - here's a picture of the red yarn in plying progress.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Nose, meet Grindstone. Grindstone, meet Nose.

I'm back from a wonderful long weekend spent upholding a nice tradition - once a year, I meet up with a small group of likeminded folks to do some bookbinding. This year, for a change, I had no huge list of things that I really needed (or wanted) to get done during the weekend - and since I was quite tired, I did not have such an output as in some of the previous years... but nice chats with people I only see once a year, and I made a few boxes and a protector for knitting pattern sheets that I take with me - and a new "conference book".

Back in 2008, I decided that it would be really nice to have notes from conferences in one book instead of on this and that notepad or this and that single sheet of paper. So in May 2008, I made myself a bright green book, a bit larger than DinA4 (that was a happy accident - I wanted A4 and did not really measure after cutting the bound block) and slim enough to easily lug it to conferences. I have since taken it to every one I went to except one, where I left it at home, and it's filled up almost completely now (I blame the last NESAT, where I took copious notes). I suspect it will still last for Leeds, but after that, I really need a new one.

So I made one - with the same measurements, a tad thicker, and with bright colours. It's the yellow-cloth-and-seventies-wallpaper bound book that you see in the front of the picture - and behind it is a box to hold my wool combs.

And now it's back to normal work - like trying to get the webshop to run, and finishing the spinning I have to do.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Long Weekend.

This Thursday was a holiday here in Germany, and thus we have a long weekend - so you get no proper blog post today. Instead, I hope you find this just as amusing as I did...

Regular blogging (where I'll try harder to write about things interesting to you) will resume on Monday.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Troubles with Textile Forum.

After the success of the first two years of the European Textile Forum, we did not suspect troubles with participant registration in our third year - but unfortunately, we do have them.

Registration for the Forum on 12th to 18th September 2011 has been very, very slow. In fact, it has been so slow that we have extended the registration period until June 14th - in hopes that some more people will register.

The Textile Forum these last two years has been a rather small event, and while we are content to stay a small thing also during the near-ish future, being small has a downside: It can easily become too small. And this is exactly what is threatening to happen this year. We do need a minimum number of people - to have enough persons in our group so that we can get a good rate on our catering, but also to have enough persons during the Forum itself for the idea of it to work. After all, it's intended for exchange of knowledge and for networking, which will only be possible when enough persons are there.

We do not know why this year is running so slow - is it the topic? Did we not advertise it enough? Is the date, one week later than the last two years, the reason? Or is it just bad luck?

Whatever the reasons, I would be very sorry to see this year's Forum canceled for lack of participants. So if you were planning to register and just didn't get around to doing it in time, please do so. Or if you know somebody who might be interested, please pass on this information - while we will keep hoping until June 14th, and then see whether there will be a Forum this year - or not.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

New things!

It has taken ages and the development of a severely bad conscience on my side, but it's finally done and (almost) finished: The new webpages of are up and running.

Ah. Finally.

Of course there were a few glitches, and the very last pages are not yet online, but the bulk of the work is done, including burying my arms up to the elbows in the innards of .css-files (something I have never wanted to do), brushing up my html-skills to get things to behave properly, and learning how to install webshop software on a server.

Well, the very last thing is still a work in progress, so it will take a while longer before you will be able to browse a shining new online market stall, and I'm sorry for the further delay - but those things are never as easily done as said. Meanwhile, why don't you hop over to the shining new website (now also available in English) and tell me how you like it?