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Archive for July, 2016

The ridiculous thing about New England is the utter unpredictabiltiy of our weather. Fall and spring are especially in flux, and you never know if they’ll really exist at all, or if summer will give fall a pass, and go straight into winter.

These two pictures were both taken at the Robin Hood Springtime festival, albeit in different years. In the first (photo by Eric Tetreult), it was so cold and windy that we had to bundle up in as many layers as we could to stay warm. And in the second (photo by Lauren Dubois), it was so hot that my Loki cosplay wound up being minimal, without even a wig to finish it lest I end up with heat exaustion.

Here’s to looking forward to the Connecticut Renaissance Faire this fall, and hopes for moderate weather!

 

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Shylock

Shylock (Jonathan Pryce) and Jessica (Phoebe Pryce). Photo from the Lincoln Center website.

This past weekend, Shakespeare’s Globe presented their production of The Merchant of Venice at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center in New York, and I had the very great privelege of being able to see it. It’s a play with which I was only vaguely familiar — the only thing I really knew was that the villain was a terrible and greedy man named Shylock.

The play is frequently referred to as a problem play, in that it’s difficult to categorize. It tends to fall in with the Comedies, thanks to the light love story full of games and cross-dressing, but that’s a difficulty fit considering the very serious and dark story surrounding Shylock and Antonio.

This particular production, in which director Jonathan Munby played up the racist atmostphere of Shylock’s Venice, also created for me a lot of ambiguity when it comes to labels such as “villain” or “hero”.  It becomes clear that Shylock has lived his life being abused for no reason other than his Jewish religion, and that Antonio in particular has been a bully and a tormentor.  Certainly Shylock takes his revenge a bit far in his fervent demands for a pound of Antonio’s flesh, but the audience is left feeling some sympathy for him, as it is clear that he was driven to this point by the actions of others against him. And the repurcussions he suffers in the end are extreme, and the audience is reminded of this by the amazingly emotional coda created by Munby where we witness Shylock’s forced baptism and conversion to Christianity as pennance for his actions against Antonio.

This is a play that, while difficult to watch, feels especially relevenat at this time in the political climate we live in. It is a problem play — but I am very glad to have had the opportunity to see the Globe’s production, and it has made me curious to see other versions, and the interpretations of other directors.

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DonQuixote1Set against a vivid yellow sky, Don Quixote charges a windmill, lance leveled and at the ready to defeat his imagined foe.

The great thing about our embroidered bookmarks — besides just being awesome bookmarks — is that are still fully functional as sew-on patches, too! Use it to hold your place in your favorite novel, or sew it on a bag or jacket to show your literary loves to the world.

DonQuixoteRBThis design is also available in our Redbubble shop as a sticker in multiple sizes. Use it to adorn your notebook, laptop, clipboard, or any other flat surface you can imagine.

Click here to buy the bookmark!

Click here to buy the sticker at Redbubble!

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HagridsBikeI try to post fun things on Fridays — flashback pictures, something that made me laugh, posting about a hobby that has nothing to do with sewing or embroidery. That kind of thing. Some weeks, it’s easy to think of a subject to write about, and other weeks I really struggle. This week fell in the latter category, until yesterday, when my sister Tori posted a Throwback Thursday picture of us at the Harry Potter Studio Tour outside London a couple of years ago. I loved seeing that picture out of the blue so much, I decided that this week’s post would simply be a series of pictures from that vacation. I hope you like them!

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One of our longest running signature lines here at Storied Threads is our Geek Merit Badges. We began this line back in 2011, and have been steadily adding to it over the last five years, until today it contains 42 different designs! 42 seeming like a significant number, I decided to focus todays Theme Thursday post on some of my favorites.

Evil GeniusThe Evil Genius patch features a great piece of art drawn by my husband, Mike.  I had a complex vision in mind when I thought of this, and spent hours drawing this crazy big-headed guy with his breain all exposed and a lopsided grin, but Mike wasn’t a fan. So I asked him what he would draw – and five minutes later, he had this sketch to me rendered mostly in silhouette. It’s much simpler, and yet conveys so much more Evil Genius-ness than mine ever did!

DragonRiderThe Dragon Rider is another of my favorites. It was my first attempt at drawing any kind of animal for our embroidery, and I am pleased with the dragon’s ability to look both appropriately fierce and happy to be spending quality time with his rider. My success with this dragon eventually led me towards our small kawaii line, and even to drawing a full dragon and playing with digital coloring. That last wasn’t any kind of artistic masterpiece, but it was still fun to do!

SuperheroAllI’m proud of our Superhero patch, not only because of the great artwork – again drawn by Mike – but also because of our attempt to introduce diversity. Our superheroes are available as both men and women, and as both Caucasians and people of color.  They’ve gotten a great reception at conventions from people who are both surprised and delighted to find superheroes being portrayed in a variety of ways.

UFOlogistRBAll of our geek merit badges are also available in our Redbubble shop as stickers.  You can purchase them as small as 3″ in diameter, or as large as a whopping 14″ in diameter, and several sizes in between. So if you’re not into stitching onto a jacket or bag, but you are into personalizing your notebooks, laptop, or bedroom walls, we’ve got you covered. In a select few cases, such as theMagician or Steampunk designs, you can even get just the artwork without the text.

CryptozoologistRBAnd a very few of our Geek Merit Badges – specifically the Cryptozoologist and Bibliophile – have even been reworked as non-circular variations that can be purchased on t-shirts, phone cases, and more products from Redbubble.

This is just a small sampling of the Geek Merit Badges we currently offer. Be sure to keep an eye on it as time goes on – we’re not done yet!

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PickmanLaptop1Are you afraid of the dark? Of subterranean spaces? Screams of terror and demonic figures? No? Then the Pickman School of Art is the perfect place for you to hone your craft! Inspired by HP Lovecraft’s short horror story “Pickman’s Model”, this bag is made of a sturdy cotton canvas with black strapping.

Our laptop bags have an interior measurement of 16.5″ wide by 11.5″ tall and 3.5″ deep. They feature a wide elastic band against the back wall, to hold your laptop or other electronics securely in place while leaving room for other items in front.

This laptop bag is available in our Etsy shop and on our website.

Click here to buy one!

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