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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In honor of this festive day, I present to you the best rendition ever of the classic song “O Danny Boy” to ever grace the world.

Yesterday marked the 80th anniversary of the death of H.P. Lovecraft, one of the grand masters of horror fiction.

We’re big fans of his work here at Storied Threads and have several items inspired by his tales of cosmic horror, so in honor of the anniversary of his passing, here are a few of our very favorites. You might say we’re mad for them.

Cthulhu Tablet 1We have a variety of bags with a Lovecraft theme, including the “Cthulhu Waits Dreaming” bags, which are available in messenger ($36), tablet ($51), and laptop sizes ($56). The tablet and laptop sizes are padded to protect your electronics against Shoggoths, Byakhees, and other things that go bump in the night.

 

 

YellowSign1While the character the King in Yellow and his sigil, the Yellow Sign, are widely associated with Lovecraft, those concepts were actually created by Robert Chambers, a “weird fiction” writer who influenced Lovecraft, and over time Chambers’ creation was absorbed into the so-called Lovecraft Mythos. One of our more popular items is this Yellow Sign embroidered bookmark ($8) bearing the slogan, “The play’s the thing.” Yes, the quote is from Shakespeare, but it was too good of an eerie joke to pass up.

 

This re-animator Geek Merit Badge ($8) was inspired directly more by the film Reanimator starring cult fave Jeffrey Combs than by the Lovecraft story Hebert West: Reanimator in that the syringe’s mysterious contents glow in the dark, but either way, this patch is Lovecraftian at heart.

 

 

MiskatonicU2A recurring location in the Lovecraft stories was the fiction college Miskatonic University, which was said to be modeled after Brown University in Lovecraft’s home city of Providence, Rhode Island. If you’re a self-styled alumnus of this revered yet troubled institution of higher learning, grab one of our Miskatonic U neckties ($17) to impress your friends at your next class reunion.

You can find these and other Lovecraft-inspired creations under the Literature section of our web store.

NewsletterNow that we’ve retired from doing conventions and faires, Storied Threads’ monthly newsletter is the most reliable way to learn about new designs and keep up with us throughout 2017.

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Once upon a time, I was involved with a theater company called Pastimes, which put on these awesome renaissance faire-type shows in the North Shore area (that’s north of Boston, for non-Massachusetts residents). I started out as a supporting cast member and later because a regular performer and the cast costumer.

The first show I ever did with Pastimes was the King Arthur Festival at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, and it grew to be one of my favorite as a costumer because it was the first show that I got to design an entire look for. I did research on the characters and how they looked according to legend, combined that with some research into historical heraldry, and exercised some creative license with the occasional character created specifically for our interpretation of the legend. Every costume told a story about the character, and to this day I consider my KAF costuming work my proudest achievement as a theatrical costumer.

kaf-panorama

You can get a good idea of what the end product looked like in this photo above, a cool widescreen shot of the core cast for our final KAF production, which told the story of the Fall of Camelot. What’s missing are the shields we made to match the various knights’ colors and devices.

Even though the show is gone, I’m fortunate that I still count many of the talented people I worked with on that faire as my friends.

coffee-soapToday I’m giving a quick shout-out to a fellow Etsy vendor, Wix Wax Candles. As the name suggest, this merchant sells homemade candles and candle-making supplies, but we’re mostly big fans of the natural soaps, such as this one pictured at right made with coffee grounds, which scent the soap nicely and act as an exfoliant. We also love their vanilla bean and sea salt caramel soaps, because who doesn’t enjoy smelling like a cookie?

It’s been a while, but we have a new addition to our Geek Merit Badge line, inspired by a suggestion from a customer.

Our new design is the Demon Hunter Geek Merit Badge, featuring a malevolent-looking goat head based loosely on legends that portray devils and demons as having goat-like features. The patch is $7 on our web store.

We also offer this design on a sticker through our Redbubble shop.

…but it’s aliens.

ufologistFirst up in our collection of out-of-this-world patches is a couple of Geek Merit Badges, starting with the UFOlogist ($8), for that aspiring flying saucer-seeker. This patch features a glow-in-the-dark tractor beam for a special extra(terrestrial) touch.

 

 

 

xenolinguisticsOnce you’ve been abducted, you’ll want to communicate with your new alien friends, at least well enough to ask them not to experiment on you. For that handy skill we have the Xenolinguistics Geek Merit Badge ($8). Fun fact: the alien language is actually the word “hello” spelled out in Microsoft Word wingdings!

WarOfWorlds

 

Sadly, alien visitors are not always friendly. Sometimes they just want to burn our civilization to the ground and terraform the planet — such as the invading Martians did in H.G. Wells’ classic War of the Worlds. Our War of the Worlds-inspired bookmark ($10) depicts a Martian tripod turning its deadly heat ray on London.

XFilesOf course, you might not believe in little green men, so for you skeptics we have one of our all-time best-selling items, the X-Files-inspired “I Want to Believe” patch ($8). We also make this design available on small messenger bags ($38) and tablet bags ($53). Want it on a laptop-size bag? Contact us and ask us about it!