When twilight settles in and the bustle of the day begins to yield to the humming of nighttime cricket tunes and gentle insects buzzing about, watch carefully and you will see them.
Their bioluminescence will give them away. The glow of dim neon green is an indication that they are close by. Look and see....
Cicindela and Elytra.
Sometimes it is hard to tell if they are one or if they are two. Their patterns will tell them apart. One is Cicindela's and the other is Elytra's.
But, nothing is as it seems. Cicindela and Elytra are in fact two in the same.
Elytra is part of Cincindela and Cicindela is part of Elytra. Elytra is the firefly whose very existence relies solely on Cicindela, the fairy. Cicindela, is the fairy born to Elytra. Neither can exist without the other.
You see, a fairy is born unto the world with one purpose...to train, protect, guide and nurture nature. Cicindela was born unto the world to train and guide Elytra. Elytra cannot fly without Cincindela for Cincindela's membranous wings are part of Elytra's anatomy. A firefly has a unique wing structure such that the forewing is a hardened shell that folds and meets in a straight line down the back while in rest and spans horizontally outward while in flight. The hindwings are membranous and help in steering the firefly during flight while the forewings help keep balance during flight. So, without Cincindela's wings, Elytra cannot fly.
By night, Cincindela folds herself up inside Elytra to go to sleep and Elytra protects her and keeps her warm.
Sometimes by day, if you are lucky, you might see Cicindela and Elytra in a meadow somewhere...flying high, flying fast, Cicindela's hair a wild mess (as all fairy hair should be). With the wind against her face, Cicindela knows no life happier than the one she has as Elytra's fairy.
Other days, you may find them in a meadow, flying low, stopping here and there to enjoy the flowers and the smell of fresh wet grass left with dew after a rain.
From time to time, they'll stop in a quiet spot and just sit with one another to stare up at the beautiful heavens above and think, "Life is magical."
If you were patient enough to read through the blog I posted yesterday, called Firefly, you understand what a magical experience it is to be amongst fireflies. Or if you have been there yourself, then you are more so a witness to magical moments than anyone. And if you've been there and seen the fireflies, don't you wonder....maybe....just a tiny bit?....that there are fairies amongst us?
Cicindela is the fairy who lives inside the firefly. This beetle beauty was named from the latin word Cicindela, meaning firefly.
Cicindela is the first Le Petite Elfcup to come to life. She stands about 8 inches (20 cm) tall. She is made with all natural materials. Her doll skin is made with premium quality cotton interlock imported from Europe. She is firmly stuffed with bio-wool made in Oregon. Her seams are sewn twice for reinforcement. Her locks are made of a luxurious British suri alpaca, giving her a long soft mane. She has embroidered facial features. Her facial structure is sculpted giving her a sweet little face with defined characteristics. Her cheeks, nose and various body parts are blushed with red beeswax. She is a sitting doll with sewn joints that are made flexible for easy movement and changing of clothes. But, with some posing, she is also able to stand. She also has a belly button and a bum.
Cicindela comes wearing an earthly attire. Her cap is hand knit with an ultra-soft yarn blended of baby suri alpaca, merino wool and bamboo. Her dress is simple beauty, made of linen and cotton lace. The back fully opens with nickel-plated snaps. On her feet are fairy slippers hand knit with a 100% fine alpaca yarn.
Cicindela's wings....ah...these lovely wings. I have a weak spot for fine fibers and an even weaker spot for Habu fibers. Oh do I love Habu fibers. I have a small stash of Habu yarn that I save in a special container for just the right project. Cicindela presented herself and I knew I had to use some Habu.
Cicindela's wings are handknit with a silk-mohair Habu yarn and a Habu silk-stainless steel yarn held together and made with the loveliest earth colors. The idea that I wanted to achieve with the silk-stainless steel yarn was slight rigidity with a delicate feel...that's what Habu silk-stainless steel offers. The wings are whipstitched around a thick-gauge silver craft wire to hold it's form. The shape of the wings are knit to mimic the oblong shape of a firefly wing. Cicindela's fairy wings are decorated with an embroidery thread that glows in the dark. The wings have straps, made of a natural colored cotton ribbon to match her dress. The straps are strategically sewn in place on the wings so that when they are tied onto Cicindela they will either fold or expand for flight.
Elytra is the firefly herself. She was named after her very own anatomy...the hard-shelled forewing of a firefly.
Elytra is a beast of a beetle. She spans 21 inches (53 cm) long, 8 inches (20 cm) wide and 3.5 inches (9 cm) tall. A lot of thought and planning went into her construction in order to mimic the shape and colors of the real deal and to add function to her body.
Elytra's head is decorated with colors on a real firefly. The patterns are made of a wool blended felt and appliqued with satin stitches all around onto a 100% wool fabric. Her eyes are made of two enormous buttons. The bottom side of her head is made of a red linen fabric.
Elytra is Cicindela's vessel, her home and bed. Elytra is shaped with a slight oblong shape and made of a wool fabric, lined on the inside with linen and cotton lace. Elytra's wings were designed specifically so that they are able to rotate inward and lay parallel when not in flight and to rotate outward for flight. The rotating bits are attached with two dungaree buttons. The moveable wings are also intended as a way to close up and hide Cicindela inside while she sleeps at night in her bed made of linen and lace. The wings are made of a 100% wool fabric hand-appliqued stitch-for-stitch onto a mustard-colored linen.
Elytra's tail is made of a wool blended felt and decorated with two rows of satin stitches made from glow-in-the-dark thread.
Elytra is stuffed entirely from head to tail with 100% wool.
Cicindela and Elytra are recommended for ages 8+ due to the nature of their delicate design. If you are interested in giving this magical pair a home, they are now available in the Etsy shop.