Wednesday, August 24, 2011

L is for Diabolical!

Okay - so it isn't...  But it should be!  When we started running our Dark Alphabet, we hoped people might enjoy the little pieces.  We could hardly hope that people really would stitch them!  We design gift items, but stitching design is a special skill - one we admire very much, and Julie was eager to try.  So, we began to offer our homage to Lisa Roswell, and hoped that one or two of the designs might please some.  

Much to our amazement, Jo has taken very much to heart the idea of stitching the entire series.  Unfortunately, even Julie wasn't keeping up to Jo in the stitching department, and feeling all alone, Jo's mind began to darken.  Before long, she had hatched a very diabolical plot, and began looking for someone with whom to make a pact! We thought it a great idea, and have thrown in with her!  

Stitch along with Jo and Julie on the Dark Alphabet - we're about to do L, so there's lots of time!  Write to Julie and let her know you intend to do this.  Send photos of your letters as you finish them - we'll post them in the Art of Friendship gallery.  If you finish the last letter before Jo (and you have to be quick to do this!), she is offering a prize of a $10 coupon (to which we will add a little, too) to spend any way you like at our online store.  If you finish before Julie (a MUCH easier task), Julie will give you a prize (she's still thinking what it might be).  All you have to do is "sign up" by emailing Julie and send a picture of each letter as you go.  Who knows - the winner might be you!  So come on in - stitch along with Jo and Julie and see if you don't have some dark fun!

On another note, we want to thank everyone for your interest in our new products!  

We sold out of boxes in record time!  To be fair, we started with fewer boxes than usual.  We found those little beauties after the manufacturer had stopped making them, and we scoured the internet to find all we could.  We liked them so much, we made them our Sailor's Ditty Boxes even though we knew we couldn't make as many as we'd like - but we never thought we'd sell out in less than a day!  Thank you!  We are already planning the next box, and it will be something we can make a "normal" amount of.  All our boxes are limited editions, though, so do check back to see how we are doing from time to time.  We'd hate for you to miss your chance!

We've been extra busy the last little while - one of our new interests is the Jane Austen Society of North America, which we joined, along with our local chapter.  We love Jane Austen's books, of course, but are also enchanted with the fashion of that era, so of course, any opportunity to dress up and go for tea!  

We recently attended the 20th Anniversary Dinner of the Puget Sound chapter of JASNA.  Such fun, and what friendly, charming people. They posted some pictures on their site, as well.  There's always something fun to do, it seems!

L is for Lightning Bird and Long-Armed Cross

He looks like such a nice bird. I even told Julie it looks cute, not scary at all!  But in history this bird whacks a punch in folklore.  A mythological creature in South Africa the Lightning Bird is the size of a human, black and white in coloring and it summons thunder and lightning with  it's wings and talons.  It is associated with witchcraft and has quite an appetite for blood.  Sometimes it takes on the image of a young man to seduce women. 

Another name for this bird is the hamerkop.  This bird is known to decorate its nest with anything from handkerchiefs to bicycle tires!  Quite a sight to see. 

In the Zulu culture someone who spends much time in front of a mirror is called thekwane, their name for the hamerkop, because they are like the bird that is found to spend hours beside the water's edge looking at their reflection.  

There are many stories of the evil that strikes if you harm this bird... such as your hair falling out or you dying as a result or just evil befalling you. So even though it looks kind of cute, don't let it fool you!

The long-armed cross stitch is used for the ground the bird stands on in the chart - just a little bit for you to practice.  There are many, many variations on cross-stitch, and this is one of my favorites.  
This example is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

It lends a braided look to a design and is easy and fast to do.  Also sometimes called the Long-legged Cross, Portuguese and Plaited Slav stitch, it's a versatile border or filling stitch, perfect when texture and solid coverage are required.  

Instructions for completing this stitch abound on the internet.

Have fun with your lightning bird!  As always, click on the picture of the chart, or on "Freebies" in the side bar to download the chart.

1 comment:

  1. I've not heard of this bird before, your blog is so educational! The Kelpie is looking great I have to say, a very enjoyable stitch.


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