Sunday, 6 July 2014

J is for Jack-in-the-Box, Jack O'Lantern and other famous Jacks

J is for Jack-in-the-Box from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.

Here's what Becky said about this block at the time:

"Depending on the country, the story varies a bit in it's telling, but most involve a devil! In French the jack-in-the-box is called a "diable en boîte", which means "boxed devil".  One of the first jack-in-the-boxes was pictured holding a boot with a devil in it. Some believe that the name "Jack" was a reference to the devil, referred to as a jack - is this also where we get Jack-o-lantern?"

Here is the perfect little 3D Jack-in-the-Box by Susan Myers:

Now some people might think that looks a little tricky but I stitched Susan's Drac-in-the Box last year and thanks to some nice clear instructions it really wasn't too difficult.  Good preparation and lots of slip stitching is the key!  Here is Drac:

On to Jack O'Lanterns, most usually a pumpkin in modern times as they are the perfect size and shape for carving into heads or more imaginative shapes.  Vegetables have been carved out and used as lanterns for centuries, from the Maori (gourds) to the English (turnips, manglewurzels or beets).  The carved pumpkin was first used at Harvest Time in America but by 1866 had become associated specifically with Hallowe'en.

There are many stories about the origin of the name "Jack O' Lantern" with some believing Jack is the Devil and others saying he was a man who tricked the Devil.  This website tells the story of Stingy Jack and the Devil.

There are so many great Jack O'Lantern cross stitch designs to choose from, here are just a few:

There are Pumpkin Carving Festivals all over the world and Pumpkin Carving Competitions too.  I asked my older son to choose his favourite from one website and here it is:

Another J, for the Joker!

Other famous Jacks include Jack Skellington:

Jack Skellington is the main character in the Tim Burton Nightmare Before Christmas animation.  One of our favourite Hallowe'en films.  Jack visits Christmas-land and tries to explain to the inhabitants of Hallowe'en Town what it is all about.  Of course, they put a Spooky Spin on the festival and it all goes horribly wrong.

The other famous Jack is Jack Sparrow, not really very Hallowe'eny but he is a popular character for people to dress up as for the occasion so that's why he's here!!

There are lots of computer generated Jack Sparrow charts out there but this one appealed because it is based on original artwork by Brian Duey rather than a photo taken from the internet.

And finally, still on the subject of famous Js, here is Jason from the Friday 13th films:


Jacquie Morris said...

I just love what you do...
Another great and interesting entry :)

cucki said...

Beautiful spooky stitches x

Lili said...

I remember your work from last year!! Amazing to see it again ;)

Nice post!!

Marcy said...

Did not know that about the jack in a box. Great post! Thanks.

Stitching Noni said...

Another great post! I love the Jack o Lantern designs :o)