Saturday 12 May 2012

Release Your Inner Llama


Have you seen all the fabness people have been making with Laurie Wisbrun’s wonderful Llama Llove prints?

I bought a FQ of this fabric as soon as it was released … not just because it’s cute, although it is undeniably delightful. (even for a hardened cuteophobic like me) nuh huh ...

LLAMAS, apart from being daft looking softies, ARE SECRET AGENTS - each one carrying a little parcel of profanity ..

Pay attention, there will be a test ...

"肏你妈 (pronounced "cào nǐ mā") is a common curse … Sometime preceding early 2009 a Chinese netizen, who has since been lost to the sands of internet-time, discovered that an "alpaca" can be loosely described as a "grass mud horse." In translating those words to Chinese you get 草泥马, pronounced "cǎo ní mǎ." Very similar to "f**k your mother," except the intonation differs. The Grass-Mud-Horse is part of Baidu 10 Mythical Creatures and is one of the Chinese internet universe's most enduring memes." via

I learned this from my GCSE students last year when we were talking about the difference between text/teenspeak language and 'normal' spoken/written language.  One brave student came up to the board and drew a llama (or alpaca, if you want to be entirely literal) and the corresponding characters … When the characters were read aloud the other Chinese students in my class blushed and giggled, hands covering the shocked Os of their mouths.  OK to write.  Soooooo not OK to speak.

I love the dual layer of punnery that a character+sound based language like Chinese brings to the rocking linguistic party.

What I love even more is that throughout the year, whenever the little darlings have been excruciatingly slow/annoying/naughty I have just silently drawn a llama on the board and waited for them to come back to me. Genius! I loves me a secret code.

The cherry on the cake is that each one of them is perfectly identifiable with one of Llaurie’s Llamas!

They’ll be moving on to A Level or pre-university courses with us or to new schools, in September and I will miss them (they were my first GCSE group) so I wanted to make them something to say goodbye.

But remember, these guys are teens;  cute is either perfect or horrendously wrong, depending on the mood of the moment … So I just made them each a really simple tag to slip onto their suitcases to make the airport conveyor belt a little more fun … I also suggested they slip them in their pockets during the exams to bring luck and to summon my voice in their heads when they falter  …


Nothing fancy here … just a bit of backing from my cotton spotton dotton charm stash + batting + llama print sandwiched, zigzagged and pinked.  I had some lovely dot bias binding left, so I folded it in half and topstitched to make the tag loops …  This project was as much about speed as sentiment.  Exam Season is Madness I tell you!


I gave them out just before their first English paper this week.  There may have been misty eyes in amongst the laughter.

You can find Llama Llove in Laurie Wisbrun’s etsy store.  Use with caution! LOL!

Have a lovely weekend … I’m off to frolic in the crisp but most welcome sunshine … tra la la ...


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