I found myself in a craft swap on Craftster with a gal who wanted a very specific style of gift for her brother in law who loved all things Norse and was very much into the Society of Creative Anachronism aka SCA. Given that I was once very active in the SCA and I knew what she was looking for, I decided to embark on a bit of research and stitching to make this gift. She wanted something that would depict Norse mythology AND be true to form i.e. not some washed over bit of history that has been "Hollywoodized" to make it more acceptable to today's would-be historian. (...so T, how do you really feel about how medieval history has been mistreated by the unwashed masses? Don't hold back! *insert eye roll here!* If you are actually interested in this reply, see below.)
Here's my creation! It's two ply cotton thread worked on pure linen. I was afraid to use a larger amount of thread fearing that I would lose detail. All told, I think this is about 6-7 hours of stitching, meaning a good 2 movies worth. ;)
Vendel Helm (7th century AD) which was unearthed in Uppland which is in the eastern coast of modern day Sweden. The two birds are Odin's ravens, Huginn which is Old Norse for "thought", and Muninn meaning "mind" who would fly the World and bring back information to Odin himself.
And now for the explanation mentioned above...
This will sound like a bunch of silliness to some of you but I am what I am, take it or leave it. :)
I call myself an amateur anthropologist meaning I really get into studying different cultures. I am also a lover of World History, from the beginning of civilization in the Indus Valley through to the Renaissance. (After the invention/introduction of gun powder in the 1700's, I start to lose interest quickly.) While I was active in the SCA, I was recognized as being quite knowledgeable in the field of textile arts meaning embroidery, weaving and lace making. I have an extensive library of research that I've done over the years. Unfortunately, most everything that I made was gifted to someone so I have no remnants of my past needle work to share. (This was before the invention of the digital camera!...yeah, I know, we were still writing on the cave walls with sticks...) As a result, I am a bit of a haradin when it comes to the liberties that some take with history, especially with regards to things such as Ren Faires and most "in period" movies. I can shred them if I'm in the mood or I can relax allowing myself to enjoy the attempt, albeit a very poor one. My problem with those poor portrayals is that many take them as being "true" when they aren't. I've long been of a believer in "If you are going to do something, then do it right!". You never who or what is watching.
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