LIes, damned lies and statistics

It’s an often quoted line, sure. Statistics don’t always tell the truth. But in this case I’m more than a little curious. And yes, I am aware that me posting again so soon is a statistical improbability, thus already proving my argument. But that’s beside the point.

The point is that as a blogger, I use the many WordPress tools available to me to kill time when I’m at my desk theoretically working on other things. Namely, what I’m paid to do. This doesn’t always serve to keep me occupied, so my mind wanders off on tangents. Like how it is that I can have a post with several likes, that I put up earlier today, and yet the stats page tells me that I’ve only had one viewer in the past 24 hours. Clearly, there have been more people out there checking this out, but they’re not showing up. Where does the trick come in?

I know. I’m supposed to blog for the sheer love of it. And based on the fact that an old blog of mine ran for 6 years with only 2 readers that I know about – one of whom was a pretty good friend but became the reason that I discontinued the blog after so long, thanks to their constant email begging for an update on the blog rather than information in real time during our increasingly rare catch-ups – I think it’s safe to say that I really do just write because the inclination – or inspiration – strikes. I would have kept plugging away quite happily if not for my own stubborn unwillingness to provide her with insight into my life. I don’t require validation to write – it’s as necessary to me as reading, sleeping, breathing. That said, it’s nice to know if you’re hitting the mark with something, if there are others who are regular visitors, or if you’re just talking to the walls. If nothing else, it gives me a means to gauge how much of me to disclose. So why is there a gap between the feedback I receive, and the stats page? Where is the black hole?

Is there anybody out there who knows this? Or anybody out there at all? Because right now there’s an insomniac camped by their keyboard waiting for an answer…

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A Shameless Plug

Yep. This post is completely a shameless plug of another persons’s blog. But it’s an extremely well written and very entertaining blog, so i figure it’s alright. Plus, I haven’t reviewed another blog for a little while now, so I was due to venture forth into the blogosphere. The fact that doing so earns me an entry in a competition to win stuff – free shoes!!! who could say no? – is entirely beside the point.

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The Duchess herself, in full regalia

For those who aren’t aware, American Duchess is home to many things relating to historical sewing, re-enacting, and general interest. The lovely Lauren has created some truly spectacular outfits and blogged about them, to share her knowledge with the world. In an even greater triumph, she has also created a line of shoes to match historical periods. Her 1920s shoes are enough to make me squee, and I’m just waiting to see what she comes up with when she hits the 30s and 40s. Her contribution to accurate historical outfits hasn’t ended with footwear, though. She is also responsible for designing several prints on Spoonflower (a website worthy of a post all its own). With all that, it’s amazing that she has time to blog at all, but she does, regularly updating on her current projects, inspirations, and outfits. It’s an entertaining read and well worth a look if your sewing bent leans to the historical.

Plus, she gives stuff away. What’s not to love?

Idle moments

As the mercury soars towards 40 degrees today in an unseasonable show of summery baking, and the bells of redundancy toll for many workers across Melbourne, I figure it’s time to post a distraction. What is this distraction? A little while back I promised reviews of other people’s sewing-related blogs. And promptly failed to delivery after the first installment. Well, I feel the need to add to my catalogue. So here, for your viewing/reading pleasure, I present: The American Duchess.

The author is an amazing historical costumier, and references many periods that I adore. I’m a particular fan of her American Revolutionary War outfits, although she does a great line in Titanic-re-enactment wear as well. She provides regular updates on what she’s up to, how she’s doing it, and where she wears it. But I think the best part is that, if something doesn’t work, she posts about that too.

 

 Actually, that’s not really the best bit. The best bit that she also has a shop. I am yet to purchase anything, but I have added things to many shopping baskets before common sense overrode my wish to purchase (the process goes something like this: Look at items in online shop, thinking “oooh, pretty! I want it.” Click “Add to cart”. Repeat for several items. Click “Checkout Now”. Balk at total of shopping basket, even before shipping is included. Anxiously figure out which items are non-essential – or less pretty – and hover mouse pointer over “confirm” button, or equivalent. Then realise that I’m about to spend my food budget for the month on things that I can’t wear everyday. Swear, and close browser window quickly.) She sells my catnip – shoes. Period styled. I’m dying to get my hands on a few, but as my opportunities for wearing them are limited, I’ve had to hold off. For now. She also has a gorgeous selection of fabrics available on Spoonflower, for those who want authentic designs for their Robe a la Francaise, their attempts at being Lizzie Bennet, or their more toned down Marie Antoinette fancies.

In short, I love reading this blog. And when I get around to some proper period sewing, I’ll certainly be looking at the how-to section of this blog. Now, I’m back to camping in front of the office air conditioner, trying not to melt, and waiting – hoping – for a phone call that tells me I have to start sewing full time because my day job no longer exists. Uh, yeah. Back to doing actual work…

The Dreamstress

One of the reasons that I started this blog – besides and insatiable urge to write stuff that has seen me start at least 2 other blogs, one of which lasted for about 6 years before I tired of it – is the inspiration of other bloggers. One of my main sewing muses is The Dreamstress. Her blog has the added bonus of being entertaining and educational. I can pretend that I’m learning stuff when I check in for my daily fix. It’s quite often information that I will never find any earthly use for – my favourite kind of learning – but there are some tid bits that I have picked up from her that I have put to good use in my own sewing.

The Dreamstress is also responsible for my discovery that it is possible to make a career other than costume designing out of an interest in historical clothing. Until that point, I never knew. If only I’d had this information years ago, things might have turned out very differently. As it is, I’ve been investigating my options study-wise to get into this field, but I’ve been disappointed to find that there doesn’t seem to be anything appropriate available for study in Australia, unless I want to go to Canberra and be an undergrad again. Call me nuts, but 4 undergrad degrees are more than enough for this little black duck. If anyone knows where I could find some sort of study, please, point me in that direction. In the mean time, I’ll keep making lists of books on Amazon, to be purchased when I have spare cash, for my own research purposes. And day-dreaming about studying at NYU, Georgia, Glasgow and, most exciting, the V&A in London (even though it’s not technically on the history of dress).

This isn’t just a random ode to a fellow blogger, though. She’s running a competition at the moment which requires a link back, as well as a comment on her blog. So here is my way of responding – because I love reading her blog, and I think it’s fair enough that she should get some kudos for all her efforts. With that in mind, I’ll occassionally blog about other bloggers – spread the love, as it were. You’ll hear about the American Duchess, various mantua makers, and someone who once discussed a dress a day – or near enough. If I love it, I’ll share it. Enjoy.