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Skulls and hearts meet the embroidered arts in Ed Hardy cross-stitch book

November 29, 2010 |  1:53 pm

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If you're like me, you may have thought that the Ed Hardy licensing empire had already conquered every conceivable category of merchandise (what with the air fresheners, energy drinks, etc.).

Imagine my surprise when my esteemed editor dropped the above book on my desk late last week like she was disposing of a dead possum carcass. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you -- that really is a book full of cross-stitch patterns based on the tattoo designs of Don Ed Hardy.

What I find most intriguing about "Love Kills Slowly Cross-Stitch: 30 Cross-Stitch Patterns from Ed Hardy" (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010), which hits retail on Tuesday (with a suggested retail price of $14.99), isn't that the tattoo artist's crown-wearing tigers, heart-piercing daggers and banner-bearing skulls have moved into the quaint world of the embroidered arts.

No, what I'm really curious about is the target demographic for such an item, which the book itself seems to allude to from the very first (and wholly unnecessary) sentence: "This ain't your grandma's cross-stitch book."

Though technically, I suppose, this could be your grandma's cross-stitch book -- if she's the sort that harbors a burning desire to craft a throw pillow depicting a heart-eating skull and cross bones flanked by a banner that proclaims: "Love Dies Hard," or you think Gran might relish toiling through her twilight years embroidering a baby's bib with a snarling panther in a spotted newsboy cap.

If so, this could be a gift that could end up benefiting you. Because the book includes patterns for an entire Ed Hardy alphabet, grandmother can easily stitch the words "world's greatest grandchild" along with a pitchfork-wielding devil design on the tea towel she gives you next holiday season.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: "Love Kills Slowly Cross-Stitch: 30 Cross-Stitch Patterns from Ed Hardy," hits stores on Nov. 30. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times

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