Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

Esther, of the wonderful blog Costume Diaries, has passed on to me the Versatile Blogger award.  See?

I gather from her links that this is a peer-given award. Each awardee chooses five (5) new awardees and announces them, along with telling seven (7) facts about themselves.  The new awardees then respond in kind.

Yes, this is more than a bit like a chain letter.  (And like chain letters, no one seems to know who originated the award.)  But unlike a chain letter, the Versatile Blogger Award extorts no inappropriate monetary payment, makes no threats, and imposes no burdens.  It is simply a means to draw attention to, and praise, good work and good writing, so I'm more than willing to play.

There are many fine blogs, costume-related and otherwise, on the Internet.  I follow a number of them, and several of the costume-related ones are listed in the sidebar of this blog. In order to select a reasonable number of awardees from even the small subset of excellent blogs that I know about, I will choose blogs that are not only good, but that are demonstrably versatile, either in subject matter or otherwise.

FACTS: It's hard to know what facts about myself to select, but here goes nothing.

1.    Like most of the costumers I know, my day job has nothing to do with my interest in historic costume.  I am a member of a medium-sized law firm in Philadelphia, where I concentrate my practice in insurance-related law.

2.    Also like most of the costumers I know, I have a cat.  Her name is Sugar.  She likes to participate in my efforts by lying on top of my fabrics (she prefers wools and synthetics with "crunchy" textures) and carefully shredding the edges of my paper patterns.  You can see a picture of her here.

3.    Unlike many of the costumers I know, I am not a reenactor.  I am not even a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, though I have friends in the SCA and have attended a few events.

4.    Because my law practice doesn't give me sufficient leisure to do historic reenactment in the manner I consider appropriate, I mostly wear my creations at science-fiction conventions.  I have worn costumes at science-fiction conventions for almost as long as I have been a costumer.

5.    As my blog profile says, I've been costuming since I was 15 years old.  I'm now 51, which means that I've been costuming for 36 years.  You'd think I'd be a champion seamstress based on that fact, but the raw truth is that I'm not that fond of sewing.  Learning about costume, testing costume theories, and admiring costumes in action is what I truly enjoy.

6.   I've had so much fun writing this blog, that I started another blog recently, Food Through Time.  As you might expect, it's about historic food.

7.   My husband and I study western European swordsmanship techniques at a school in southeastern Michigan; that is where I spent the vacation trip from which I have just returned.

AWARDEES:  Now for the fun part--choosing new awardees.  I wanted to select primarily costume-related blogs, but the most versatile blogs I know of are not costume-related, so these choices are a mixed but highly interesting bag.

1. Pearl's LJ blog, ...ars sine scientia nihil est... This is truly one of the most versatile blogs I know. Along with many thought-provoking essays on costume-related topics it includes wonderful links and discussions of items as different as medieval monastic sign languages, unusual musical instruments, and 6,000 year-old incised eggshells. And that's just some examples from the past few months!

2. Martin Rundkvist's blog, Aardvarchaeology. Aardvarchaeology (formerly known as Salto Sobrius) often discusses archaeology (including the archaeology of artifacts that bear upon costume), but goes off onto other interesting areas, including politics and travel.

3.   My husband's blog, Armed and Dangerous. Unlike the other blogs above, this one is text only; it consists of original essays on subjects as diverse as technology, politics, science, and cooking.

4.    My friend Molly's blog, Signal Boost. Molly lives a versatile life, and writes interesting and thought-provoking essays about it.

5.     Teffania's Garb.  Cleverly disguised as a blog about Teffania's 12th century costuming interests, it branches out into other areas of early medieval material culture, including jewelry, seals on important documents, and calligraphy.  My only regret is that she cannot update it more often. 

Thanks again, Esther, for honoring me.

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