According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary an anachronism is “a person or a thing that is chronologically out of place; especially: one from a former age that is incongruous in the present.” In other words, an anachronism is something out of its proper time. Whether I’m spinning yarn, dancing, tending my garden, or making sauerkraut, I’ve always loved the feeling of taking simple elements and crafting them into something more complex and beautiful. I tend to look to the past, typically the very distant past, to learn how our forbearers did things and then use modern techniques and technologies to improve the process. I have a true love of both mythology, the outdoors, and fiber arts and endeavor to meld the them into a unified whole.

Walking across the Adolphe Bridge into Luxembourg City.
Walking across the Adolphe Bridge into Luxembourg City.

I grew up on a small cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta. After high school I joined the Air Force and spent a decade in Europe visiting museums and castles. While abroad I became a Medieval re-enactor and learned to sew, weave, spin, and make dyes using plants. I took advantage of my Veterans benefits and I graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Master of Arts in Medieval History.

Raqs Akia performing at Shimmy Fest 2010. I'm in the middle.
Raqs Akia performing at Shimmy Fest 2010. I’m in the middle.

For my master’s thesis I researched and wrote a 3,000 year fashion history of Eurasia that ended with the beginning of the First Crusade in 1095 CE, following silk technology and techniques as they traveled both west and east.

After grad school I went back to work for the government during the day and taught Roman and Medieval History at night. In between the two, I started taking belly dance lessons and eventually became part of the Middle Eastern Dance Troupe, Raqs Akia. Belly dancing not only gave me a new creative outlet, but it also gave me the freedom to explore fabrics and sewing techniques that were more modern.

The last few years I’ve begun upcycling clothing (taking old clothing and textiles and making them into something new and better), felting, gardening, and making a variety of fermented foods. These hobbies, as well as the ones written about before, are truly things out of their time. I am constantly looking to the past to see my future and so far it has been an interesting journey. In this way, I am an anachronism. 

Upcycled Sweater Coat with Needle Felted Designs, front
Upcycled Sweater Coat with Needle Felted Designs, front
Upcycled Sweater Coat, back
Upcycled Sweater Coat, back