Thank you Lilian for the Commons Deed
Some of the patterns published here are from public domain sources and are revitalized/digitized by myself !!! I have NO control of other entities selling them who probably obtained them from the same sources. If you have questions regarding such, please address them to the commercial entities, not me ... Thank you!
I had designed this about three years ago upon a request by a stitcher. He wanted a lacy blackwork cross. It was the period when I had started with my online shop. First I completely forgot about it, then was not able to locate the file for it. It is just recently that I found the file and decided to share it with you all. Hope you enjoy it!
135 x 123 Stitches
Stories Worked In Stone
The Zeugma Mosaics
Two thousand years after sinking into oblivion, a few years ago the ancient city of Zeugma was suddenly jolted awake. Founded on the fertile banks of the Euphrates River, which gave life to so many pre-historic civilizations, it flourished under the Commagene Kingdom and grew to enormous size with the coming of the Roman Empire. Following the damage inflicted on it by the invading Sasanian state, it soon drifted into a deep slumber. Until, that is, excavations got under way some two millennia later. Once one of the world’s largest cities, Zeugma, albeit smaller now, is alive and well once again, this time under the roof of the Gaziantep Museum—the world’s largest mosaic museum, which surpasses even the Bardo of Tunus and the Antakya Museums in the ancient city of Antioch. And each of the mosaics, which are worked in colorful stones like fine embroidery, has a story to tell. In one you find yourself in the middle of the Trojan War, in another in thrall to the "Gypsy Girl"s piercing eyes.
From Poseidon to Aphrodite
Zeugma, which was founded in the 3rd-4th century B.C. by Seleucus Nicator I, one of Alexander the Great’s commanding generals, is situated at one of the easiest fording places on the Euphrates. Hence its name, ‘Zeugma’, which means ‘bridgehead’ or ‘crossing place’. Thanks to its strategic situation on an east-west axis, it quickly grew and developed, becoming one of the four major cities of the Commagene Kingdom founded in the 1st century B.C. in the post-Hellenistic period. When the region came under Roman hegemony, one of the empire’s thirty legions was stationed here, the 4th Scythian. Its presence fuelled trade, trade in turn brought wealth, and when that wealth attracted artists, Zeugma became a metropolis of 70 thousand people. On the banks of the Euphrates merchants built villas with a perfect view of the sunset. And in the courtyards of those villas they added refreshing, mosaic-paved pools. With their mosaics depicting Poseidon, Oceanus, Tethys and the river gods, these villas on the banks of the Euphrates transformed Zeugma into a virtual fine arts museum. Swelling shortly to twice the size of London and three times that of Pompeii, the city rivalled the Athens of its day. It is some of these mosaics, which date back to that period and are exhibited today at the Gaziantep Museum, that draw attention for their scenes depicting tales from mythology. Mosaics portraying, for example, the rise of Venus-Aphrodite from a sea shell, or the family of Achilles trying to deter the great hero from going off to war where he will slay the Trojan prince Hector, or Bacche, dancing in honor of Dionysus’ return from India with Nike, the god of victory, to name just a few. Meanwhile a mosaic depicting the comedy, ‘Women at Breakfast’, by the ancient dramatist Menander, against a stage-set background, bears the signature of the well-known artist Zosimus. But the most interesting mosaic at Zeugma is, without doubt, that of a Maenad, in other words, a wild dancing girl at a Dionysian festival. To visitors she is ‘the Gypsy Girl’, whose smoldering eyes, like those of the Mona Lisa, seem to follow you from whichever angle you look at her.
There are many properties that make the Zeugma mosaics unmatched in the world. If the quality of carpets is judged by the number of knots per square centimeter and the vividness of the colored threads that are used, then a similar criterion distinguishes mosaics. The smaller the ‘tesserae’ or tiny stones that are used, the more beautiful the mosaic. The masters of Zeugma, for example, used 400 teserrae to reflect emotion in a human face. Similarly, while four or five different colors might be used in other mosaics, in the Zeugma mosaics this number rises to 12 or 13. And the artists’ use of various shades of color added further depth to the images. Yet another feature that renders the Zeugma mosaics unique is perspective, which was employed in these masterpieces at least a thousand years before its discovery by the painters of the Italian Renaissance. It is also noteworthy that, like modern painters, most mosaic artists signed their works. An 850 square-meter portion of the 1500 square meters of mosaics unearthed in the excavations has been restored today. Some 550 square meters of these are on exhibit in the museum, where 120 square meters of a 150-square-meter mural are also on view for history buffs.
First in the World with 100 Thousand Bulls
But the pleasures of life enjoyed by the residents of Zeugma around their mosaic-studded pools came to an end in the 3rd century A.D. As Rome’s power waned, the city was first attacked by the Sasanian King Shapour I and later destroyed completely by a powerful earthquake. The seat of a bishopric in the Byzantine period, it fell into the deep sleep we mentioned earlier when the last bishopric came to an end in 1048. In 1999 excavations commenced to save Zeugma, known today as the village of Belkýs in Nizip townshisp of Gaziantep province. For this still somnolent ancient city was about to be inundated by the flood waters of the Birecik Dam. Time was short. As the dam rose, Gaziantep Museum Director Dr. Rýfat Ergeç and archaeologist Mehmet Önal worked day and night summer and winter in a race against time. A French team headed by Catherine A. Reynal joined in the excavations. In the fall of 2000, it was announced that the riverside villas identified as ‘Strip A’ were to be inundated. The excavations were therefore accelerated and a portion of these structures was saved. Scholarly studies in the region are continuing apace. But the wealth of the Gaziantep Museum, where the works rescued in the excavations are on exhibit today, is not limited only to mosaics and murals. Following an intervention by Deputy Museum Director Fatma Bulgan, a 1.55-meter tall bronze statue of Mars is also being exhibited under special lighting and protected by laser security. Important findings that illustrate the economy and modes of communication of the period form another aspect of the museum displays. The ‘bulls’, for example, seals imprinted in clay for enclosing documents prior to dispatching them to their destination, constitute one of the museum’s greatest treasures. With the discovery of close to a hundred thousand of these seals in the excavations, Zeugma now claims first place in the world, surpassing the islands of Crete and Delos which held the previous world record with 21 thousand such bulls.
The upshot is that Zeugma, despite war, destruction and the passage of time, preserves her place as a mystery of the first order even today ... (SkyLife - October 2005)
Click the Gypsy Girl for some wonderful pictures by Dick Osseman
A Bookmark for Mom
* by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone.
From the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said that what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.
For, that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars, the house, the cash,
what matters is how we live and love.
And how we spend our dash!
In Memory of Martine (November 29, 1959 - April 28, 2008), whom I never met but was very much shaken with her decease!
* To read the rest of the poem : Click HERE
An eggsceptional pattern :)
Stitched by Quin Stagman of Odds & Ins Online :) Thank you for sharing this lovely work with us Quin!
Stitched by Joan Erskine with DMC colour variations 4030 and Joan picked two colours from that for some of the stitching and the back stitch. Thank you Joan for sharing this lovely work!
Stitched by Linda C.S. Bartsch with one strand Anchor 1315 over one on 28 count ivory Lugano! Isn't it gorgeous! Such a bliss to see it vitalize! Thank you, thank you, thank you dear Linda :)
Stitched by Cameo :) She used DMC variations 4050
Below is stitched by Catherine ... I strongly recommend you visit her blog ( click & clic ) to see her wonderful display, her stitching and definitely the colour she chose for the project :) And have a look what she did with the Valentine freebie :) What a beautiful bag :)
Stitched by Catherine Adrian from France :) Merci chere Catherine! Tres tres jolie, j'adore les couleurs!
Pincushion above right is stitched by Susana Llerena! Muchas gracias Susi, muy bien :)
Below are stitched by Anita ... Thank you Anita :) You've done a great job and the presentation is awesome! Click on any picture for Anita's blog to see her beautiful projects.
I have done my best to collect the e-mails as carefully as possible. This is the most recent freebie. Kindly let me know if you have not received the chart ... Thank you!
Ladies, gentlemen ... I arranged the colours so that it gives the variation floss effect. The chart is monochrome. However, you won't be able to click and get it anymore :) I had to set this new system due to heavy traffic to my page which significantly slows it down for potential buyers. I know, because I received comments. Can you imagine this humble page of mine had over 21,000 visitors last month? I am sure most of it is the frequent enthusiasts periodically checking to see if newbies are here :) The new game will set you free from constantly checking the page, thus availing the page to run smoother with easier access ... If you like the beauty above, kindly e-mail me and I shall collect your data and within a short period of time, shall be providing you with the chart :) This will also continue with every new freebie that I may post here, meaning you will comfortably receive them as soon as they are launched ... I am sure you will understand the reasoning ... Thank you so much for all the devotion!
A bit of colour to our monochromous lives
Above stitched by Angie from Argentina :)
Moire in shades of blue! PERFECT choice :)
Stitched by Linda Convay in Arizona with Black Iris on 25 ct evenweave that she dyed herself. Thank you Linda, very neat :)
I had a few requests to re-post the six patterns below, here in my page. Some will remember that they were posted at Cyberstitchers. Those who are not familiar with the link and for more freebies released in the past, please visit My Blog and Cyberstitchers. The freebies at Cyberstitchers are PCStitch format and for those who do not have the program, I can convert and send the jpg graphs. Please contact me