Monday, November 30, 2009

'Brick By Boring Brick' Video

Another offering for the Monday after holiday blues, the new music video of 'Brick by Boring Brick' by Paramore:

I've been saving this one, waiting for the video premiere after reading Paramore Reveal Secrets Of 'Brick By Boring Brick' Video and Paramore Take Us Behind The Scenes Of 'Brick By Boring Brick' Video a while back.

Well, the video premiered a week or so ago and so I'm sharing its fairy tale rich imagery.

Link to the lyrics on the Paramore site. You can read the lyrics and play one of my favorite games, "identify the fairy tale references." There's not a lot but enough to play the game for 60 seconds or so.

It's alternative rock, emo, pop punk and such so not for all tastes. I'm happy to give a plug for some other Nashvillians (or Franklin, TN) which is close enough to be the same thing for most of us.

'Once Upon a Stiletto' Fashion Show

Part of today's new: 'Once Upon a Stiletto': CU's Fashion Design Student Association puts a twist on fairy tales

Here are some excerpts from the article. Perhaps more imagery will be available after the show because I know many of us would be interested in seeing it!

University of Colorado student designers are spinning fables into fashion.

"We have eight designers who are inspired to take on a fairy tale, what it means to be a princess and translate it into their own collection," said junior Tyne Hall, the club's president.

There will be different takes on fairy tale princesses, "Rupunzel" and "Alice in Wonderland."

Hall said her segment embodies a "Cinderella-Aerosmith love child."

"I like working with conventional ideas and twisting them," Hall said. "The ideas that are popular with people, I like to take those and create a different interpretation."

Here is also a link to the event details with a map if you are interested in attending.

Scary Tales Card Game

Here is another fairy tale card game that came out this year from Playroom Entertainment. This one comes in sets of decks with two released so far: Scary Tales Deck 1 Little Red Riding Hood vs. Pinnochio and Scary Tales Deck 2 The Giant vs Snow White. You can play with one deck or increase the deck by adding the second one. I imagine if the game does well, we will see other decks, too, but so far the company website is under construction and far, far from helpful.

Here's the publisher's description:

The bards have sung of Scary Tales in the kingdom of old. The king has died, leaving no heirs, and all has fallen into shadow. The enchanted forest is feared. The castle is covered in dark clouds. Evil has crept into the lives of the townsfolk and the corruption has affected all. Only those with the utmost abilities in strength, wisdom, magic and luck will be able to collect enough relics from the stories of long ago to prove themselves worthy of being the new leader...Little Red is a scorned girl on a mission to prove that you may be able to fool her once, but you can't fool her twice! Pinocchio is a fibbing, scheming puppet that won't let you pull his strings. They both want to rule over the land, and they've got the drive to win. With the help of their companions, the Woodsman and the Cricket, each of them will be tough to beat.Add another deck and use any combination of characters to make a 2 - 4 player game: Scary Tales - The Giant vs. Snow White For 2 players (if playing with only one deck; each deck adds up to two players), ages 10 and up. Playing time: 20 minutes.

I found this review of the game at Our panel plays, grades the board games of 2009:

Scary Tales (Playroom, $15; 2 players; age 13+; 20 min.) This card game by inventor Reiner Knizia imagines fairy-tale characters as bad-ass cartoon warriors locked in a struggle for valuable relics. Your ability to steal your opponent's relics depends on dice rolls, supplemented by whatever special abilities you may have gathered, and the whole thing is pleasant but not very challenging; in particular, there's no defense and thus no real interaction between players. Combining card decks for a multi-player game is somewhat more rewarding - but then of course you have to buy it twice.

And note that Little Red Riding Hood gets a game again. She gets around.

Tis the Season for The Nutcracker

Every year I field several Nutcracker queries, not as many now that Wikipedia offers some reasonably accurate articles (see The Nutcracker and the Mouse King and The Nutcracker). However, most information focuses on the ballet.

My parents tossed the figurative coin over who would escort me to see the ballet when I was old enough to beg and/or ask for it as part of my Christmas presents each year. The first tape of music I ever wore out personally was of Tchaikovsky's music. So, I am quite familiar with the ballet myself although I never knew much about the story behind it. So I was one of the ballet and Nutcracker obsessed as a child. My interest waned over the years as other things grew in personal importance, but I am still fascinated with the story and its history, since that is one of the things I do.

A few years ago, the prolific Jack Zipes offered a short book with new translations of the two original Nutcracker stories that inspired the ballet as well as an introductory essay. The first is The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E. T. A. Hoffman and the second is Alexandre Dumas's adaptation of Hoffman's story.

Nutcracker and Mouse King and The Tale of the Nutcracker edited by Jack Zipes

The original stories behind everyone’s favorite Christmas ballet.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that seeing The Nutcracker at Christmastime became an American tradition. But the story itself is much older and its original intent more complex. This eye-opening new volume presents two of the tale’s earliest versions, both in new translations: E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Nutcracker and Mouse King (1816), in which a young girl is whisked away to the Land of Toys to help her animated nutcracker defeat the Mouse King, and Alexandre Dumas’s 1845 adaptation, The Tale of the Nutcracker, based on Hoffmann’s popular work. Irresistible tales of magic, mystery, and childhood adventure, these timeless delights and fresh interpretations about the importance of imagination will captivate readers of all ages.

If you are also interested in the history of the ballet and the story of how it has become so popular, I also recommend the following:

Nutcracker Nation: How an Old World Ballet Became a Christmas Tradition in the New World by Jennifer Fisher

Here's a review from Publishers Weekly:

Dance scholar, critic and former snowflake Fisher presents a lively historical and cultural analysis of The Nutcracker. The beloved ballet bonbon has been performed by the world's most prestigious dance companies, shown on television, adopted and adapted across North America, leaving one dance critic to grumble that, every year, we are all "one more Nutcracker closer to death." Still, Fisher's thoughtful account puts the phenomenon in perspective. Created in 1892 to Tchaikovsky's lush score, The Nutcracker was introduced to North America in the early 20th century by Russian touring companies and legitimized in the 1950s by George Balanchine, who had danced Lev Ivanoff's original steps at St. Petersburg's Maryinsky Theater. Balanchine choreographed his own distinctly Americanized version, adding it to the New York City Ballet's annual holiday repertoire. Televised in the late 1950s, NYCB's Nutcracker was seen across the continent, and as baby boomers were sent off to ballet classes, The Nutcracker became the perfect vehicle to showcase their talents. With its secular holiday appeal, it also became a moneymaker for struggling regional dance companies, who lent their versions of the ballet a unique flavor-hulas in Hawaii, cowboys in Arizona, cross-dressing in Mark Morris's The Hard Nut. Fisher deconstructs many of these versions, analyzing how the ballet has become both an annual ritual and a rite of passage. The Nutcracker may be, as Fisher writes, "the ballet we love to hate," a "cliche‚ in a world that craves constant innovation," but she also explains why it has become a meaningful ritual that Americans have "taken to heart." 40 illus.

I plan to make this week a Nutcracker week, sharing more books and music connected to the story and ballet in addition to my regular posts. This tale has certainly become part of our folklore and traditions and deserves a little time.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Fairy Tale Oriented Activity Books

This was originally supposed to post on Friday, but many of the book image files were corrupted and have resulted in technical difficulties for me all weekend. A simple, easy entry turned into a nightmare, so here is what I've accomplished without much elaboration because I am ready to move on to something else. So here this is, better late than never:

I have given Dover Publications a lot of press this week since they offer so many fairy tale themed books. However, another favorite publisher is Usborne. They also offer many activity themed books great for kids and many use fairy tale tropes even if they aren't specifically themed to fairy tales. Here are some to explore:

Fairytale Things to Make And Do

50 Fairy Things to Make and Do

Fairy Things to Stitch and Sew

Enter the wonderful world of fairytales in this enchanting book. Follow the simple steps to created a cast of fairytale characters such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and even your very own Frog Prince. You can also discover how to make a magic fairy wand and a fairytale princess tiara.

Princess Things to Make and Do

Sparkly Things to Make and Do

Mermaid Things To Make And Do

Wizard Things to Make And Do

Wizard, Pirate And Princess Things to Make And Do

Knights and Castles Things to Make and Do
Charge into a world of fighting knights and towering castles in this exciting activity book. Follow the simple steps to make a model castle with a wind-drawbridge jousting knights a fire-breathing dragon picture and lots more. There are over 250 shiny silver sticker for you to decorate the things youve made. 6 years and up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

How To Draw Fairy Tales

My husband is the resident artist. I can barely render a simply doodled daisy or similar images. So this post is for him because he adored books like these as a kid and still has fun thumbing through them in bookstores. And on Thanksgiving, I'm thankful he learned to draw so well since his skills help keep me housed and fed as well as provide me with a fascinating man with whom to share my life.

How to Draw Princesses and Other Fairy Tale Pictures by Barbara Soloff Levy: In just three or four steps, fairy tale fans can learn to illustrate a bevy of beautiful princesses as well as other related characters and details, such as princes, kings, queens, a Fairy Godmother, a royal coach, horses, jewelry, a dragon, a unicorn, tiaras, a hand mirror, and more. Includes helpful blank practice pages.

How to Draw Storybook Characters by Barbara Soloff Levy: Easy-to-follow directions show how to combine circles, ovals, squares, and other shapes to create such fairy tale favorites as Cinderella, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, Pinocchio, the Little Mermaid, and 23 other familiar figures.

And surprise, surprise, not all of these come from Dover Publications. Here are some from Usborne...

How to Draw Fairies and Mermaids: This innovative guide is packed with easy ideas for drawing fairies and mermaids. Simple, step-by-step instructions show how to create fantastical fairylands and undersea worlds.

How to Draw Princesses and Ballerinas: I haven't seen this one so I'm not sure if any are specifically fairy tale characters, but I'm sure they adapt quite easily to an artist's imagination.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bad to the Pigs

Since today in the United States, most of us are thinking about feasting tomorrow, perhaps traveling today or sometime this weekend, I thought I'd share a short fun take on Three Little Pigs, something that requires no heavy lifting by your brain and only a minute of your time.

Warning: The pigs do not fare well in this one...

So here's 'Bad to the Pigs' by mwileczka:

The three little pigs, with a twist... This was done as a 3D animation class project in 2002. We had to use Lego people to tell a fairy tale. Although this time, the B.B. Wolf gets his revenge.

Fairy Tale Paper Dolls

More activity books, this time specifically paper dolls, some are full size, some mini, some paper only and some sticker paper dolls. I understand the stickers to be reusable.

Cinderella Paper Dolls and 17th Century Costumes by Brenda Sneathen Mattox: Expert vintage fashion illustrator, Brenda Sneathen Mattox, brings her favorite storybook to life! She has given this Cinderella paper doll book a lovely classic look with late 17th century clothes for Cinderella and her Prince Charming. There are ten lavish costumes for Cinderella and the Prince as well as a Fairy godmother doll to cut out. Brenda also includes the story of Cinderella's transformation from soot-covered servant to the belle of the ball.

Cinderella, the Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tale Paper Dolls: Paper doll fans of all ages can dress two adorable youngsters, Drew and Ida, as their favorite fairy tale characters. For Drew, there are several "princely" outfits as well as costumes for the Pied Piper, Aladdin, Sinbad, Ali Baba, and others; while Ida can be dressed as Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, and other heroines. Hats and crowns add finishing touches to a collection that includes 50 costumes and a brief synopsis of each fairy tale represented.

Fairy Tale Weddings Paper Dolls: The most beloved fairy tales are those in which a wedding takes place . . . and the couple lives happily ever after. This enchanting paper doll collection features brides and grooms from favorite stories, dressed in exquisite apparel — Cinderella, Thumbelina, Rapunzel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, and others. Includes 21 dolls and 31 costumes.

Cinderella Sticker Paper Doll: Share the fantasy by dressing one charming, golden-haired doll in 6 different outfits, including patched but colorful skirts and blouses, an exquisite ballgown and an elegant white wedding dress. 27 stickers.

Storybook Princess Sticker Paper Doll: Dress Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Princess Aurora in captivating costumes out of the past. 1 doll, 23 costume stickers.

Glitter Cinderella Sticker Paper Doll: Will Cinderella wear the velvety hoop skirt adorned with bows to the ball, or perhaps the long tulle dress finished with shining jewels? Why not try both! Little girls can dress Cinderella again and again with 14 reusable costume stickers, each enhanced by a wash of glitter for a special touch of added magic.

Mermaid Sticker Paper Doll: Dress little sea nymph in four flowing gowns, a fur-trimmed cape, attractive headpieces and accessories. 28 stickers.

Fairy Tale Princess Sticker Paper Doll: Dress this little visitor from the land of make-believe in full-length skirts, sparkling tops, jewelry, tiaras, a fur-trimmed capelet and more.

Finally, this set does not come from Dover but has been specifically designed to accompany the fairy tale novels by Regina Doman.

Fairy Tale Novel Paper Dolls from the Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman: Created especially for fans of Regina Doman's Fairy Tale Novels, these paper dolls of the four heroes, Rose, Blanche, Bear and Fish have all the memorable outfits worn in The Shadow of the Bear, including Blanche's thrift store jumper and Rose's peacock-patterned skirt, Bear's tuxedo -- and more!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CafePress One Day Free Shipping

CafePress is offering free shipping today only when you buy two or more ornaments on their site, including the SurLaLune Fairy Tale ornaments.

Here's a link to the SurLaLune Fairy Tale Ornaments. Not all of the fairy tale ornaments are in this section, so check out the illustrators pages, too.

I've already given away several of these in the giveaway and will post pics of my tree with my own collection once I have put up this year's tree. Just a few more weeks for the giveaway, too. See left sidebar for link to the giveaway information.


Offer details from CafePress:

Today only! Free shipping on ornaments*

* Free Economy or Standard shipping with the purchase of two or more ornaments. Delivery address must be within the United States and cannot be a PO Box. All orders will be Economy shipping unless the order is not eligible for Economy shipping (e.g., order exceeds Economy weight restrictions). Coupon code must be entered at check out. Promotion starts on November 24, 2009 at 12:00 a.m. (PST) and ends on November 24, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. (PST). Cannot be combined with any other CafePress coupons or promotions and this offer may change, be modified or cancelled at anytime without notice.

PS: You can't find the SurLaLune ornaments through the CafePress main page anymore, so you must link directly to the SurLaLune store to view them. CafePress changed its pricing policies earlier this year so I removed myself from their marketplace although I still maintain the SurLaLune shop, a service I pay for but which also lets me sell the items for a minimal markup on my part and a fairer price for you.

More Fairy Tale Origami

This is a follow-up post to the Fairy Tale Origami from this past Saturday.

I vaguely remembered some other fairy tale origami books from a few years ago and after some quick research, I found them again. They are out of print, but still available used and perhaps through your favorite library. The books are available individually or in a gift pack of all four with origami paper. I admit I ordered a gift pack for myself before they disappeared forever. I had wanted these and then forgot about them and am thrilled I was able to find a set. So perhaps I will have an origami themed week in the future after I've had fun folding.

Here are the individual titles:

Fairy Tale Origami #1-Goldilocks (Heian's Fairy Tale Series) by Ken Kuroi

Fairy Tale Origami #2-Hansel And Gretel (Heian's Fairy Tale Series) by Mitsuo Shinozaki

Fairy Tale Origami #3-Little Red Riding Hood (Heian's Fairy Tale Series) by Kuniro Fukazawa

Fairy Tale Origami #4-Snow White (Heian's Fairy Tale Series) by Hiroaki Ikeda

Origami Fairy Tales Gift Pack

Heian's origami fairy tale series is now in a beautifully designed gift pack, including four books and 60 sheets of colorful, non-toxic origami paper. Each book tells a story and demonstrates how to create six origami figures from the featured fairy tale: * Goldilocks & the Three Bears * Hansel & Gretel * Little Red Riding Hood * Snow White. This is a classic book collection and origami craft kit all in one, for hours of creative storytime play, and making reading fun even for the youngest readers.

Is anyone else surprised that Cinderella was neglected in this series? I know tales with animals are easier, but we did get Snow White and Hansel and Gretel. A pumpkin carriage would be quite a challenge though.

Fairy Tale Activity Books

Okay, so I found many more fairy tale themed mini-books during my searches and wanted to share these too since they don't usually appear in the common searches. All are by Dover and make great stocking stuffers or just envelope stuffers being cheaper than most greeting cards, especially with Amazon's buy three, get fourth free offers available for most of them. I like to have them on hand as gifts to the children in my life. Some of these appear in Cracker Barrels and bookstores across the country, but many of the fairy tale themed ones are harder to find.

Storybook Mazes: 23 stories and mazes on two-page spreads: Includes fairy tales such as Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Little Tom Thumb as well as other classic literature like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, Treasure Island, Robin Hood, etc. This one is not a mini-book, but full sized and better suited to older kids.

Fairy Tale Search-a-Word: Simple puzzles ask young players to find hidden words from "Rumpelstiltskin," "Sleeping Beauty," "The Three Little Pigs," and 23 other popular fairy tales. Solutions included.

Fairy Tales Activity Book: Mazes, crosswords, and other fun-filled activities feature such fairy tale favorites as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Three Little Pigs. 48 puzzles.

Invisible Fairy Tales Magic Picture Book: Elves, wolves, and other creatures magically appear when you rub each "invisible" picture with a pencil tip. 16 puzzles.

Glitter Fairy Tale Stickers: Sparkling images of a knight in shining armor, lovely ladies, a friendly dragon, a wizard in a pointy hat, and more add storybook appeal to lunch boxes, notebooks, and other flat surfaces. 12 full-color illustrations.

Twelve Fairy Tale Bookmarks: Characters from Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, 8 more.

Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales Bookmarks: Charming scenes from 12 classics including The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, and The Red Shoes.

Grégoire Alexandre

In my searches for images of fairy tale inspired origami, I found these images by Grégoire Alexandre, a well-established photographer whose commercial work you've probably seen and didn't realize it. I'm sharing the green unicorn above and the cave below which--if I stretch my imagination--is Gerda in the Snow Queen. Aren't they fun?

Yes, these are on the slant for fairy tale info, but I just had to share them anyway since they fit in with one of my recent themes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Erstwhile Comics

I recently learned about Erstwhile, an independently published comic book series. The writers and artists are Gina Biggs, Louisa Roy and Elle Skinner, all members of Strawberry Comics. Biggs is best known for her Red String series of graphic novels which also uses some myth and fairy tale elements. Erstwhile is a side project all three create out of love for the old fairy tales.

Here's a quote from the website:

Fairy tales have captured our hearts for generations, appealing to our taste for adventure, horror, and romance. Erstwhile brings you the often overlooked gems in the collections of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm; tales that despite their quality are often ignored or unknown.

The latest issue of Erstwhile retells All Fur (a Donkeyskin variant). I've included the cover image above and one page below.

Apparently these women share my taste in the lesser known tales because they have also previously published Maid Maleen, a tale I have annotated on SurLaLune, and The Farmer's Clever Daughter, one of my top choices to annotate if I ever add another tale to SurLaLune. (Or I would add a collection of clever women tales and variants. Love those...)

They've also published a collection of Short Tales, pictured below. The comic includes three tales: The Bird, the Mouse, and the Sausage; The Old Man and his Grandson; and The Little Shroud.

The Erstwhile website also offers images of a few other tales, not published, but available for our public consumption: A Tale with a Riddle, The Wolf & the Man, and Choosing a Bride.

You can see more page images of all the comics on the website, too.

I've not seen these in person and I'm not affiliated with them. Just call me a fan sharing the news. The comics are available through their website at this time. I have to say these things for the FCC regs and will soon be adding a disclaimer on the page somewhere.

Fairy Tale Coloring Books

And today I offer coloring and activity books with fairy tale themes.

Rackham Fairy Tale Stained Glass Coloring Book: This one is my favorite since I adore the stained glass coloring books from Dover--see the Tiffany and Wizards and Dragons ones--along with several members of my family. My mom loves the art ones and gets them to color with her grandchildren. I like using markers and seeing the jewel-tone effects the translucent paper creates. Then add in the illustrations by Rackham and I'm really happy with these.

Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales Stained Glass Coloring Book: More stained glass! Sixteen ready-to-color scenes from tales by one of the world's great storytellers depict characters from "The Little Mermaid," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Princess on the Pea," "The Nightingale," "The Snow Queen," "The Ugly Duckling," and 10 other classics.

Rackham's Fairy Tale Coloring Book: Coloring pages adapted from Arthur Rackham's drawings for several Grimm fairy tales including Hansel and Gretel, King Thrushbear, Doctor Know-All, and others.

Fairy Tale Hidden Picture Coloring Book: This one is a coloring book with the short versions of the tales included for reading as well as hidden elements in the pictures to find. Lots of stuff to do with this one!

Color Your Own Great Fairy Tale Illustrations: Lovely drawings of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, the Little Mermaid, Puss in Boots, Rapunzel, the Three Pigs, and other beloved characters will delight colorists of all ages. Includes 30 reproductions of works by Edmund Dulac, Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielsen, Warwick Gobel, Heath Robinson, Charles Folkard, and others.

Favorite Fairy Tales Coloring Book: Thirty fun-to-color illustrations take youngsters to the make-believe world of Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, Thumbelina, Beauty and the Beast, the Golden Goose, Pinocchio, the Ugly Duckling, and other beloved characters — all portrayed in familiar surroundings.

Sleeping Beauty Coloring Book: Thirty ready-to-color drawings invite children to color memorable scenes from the beloved fairy tale about a princess who falls into a 100-year sleep and wakes to the kiss of a handsome prince. Charming drawings are accompanied by the complete text set in large, easy-to-read type, ready to charm new generations of readers and coloring book fans. 30 black-and-white line illustrations.

The Little Mermaid Coloring Book: Beloved classic about the little mermaid who falls in love with a prince, presented complete and unabridged, along with 31 large, ready-to-color illustrations. Engaging drawings depict magical underworld of Sea King and his six lovely mermaid daughters, the splendid turreted palace of the young prince, the evil sea witch and her dark domain, and much more.

Snow White Coloring Book: Beloved tale retold in 19 finely detailed drawings depicting the jealous Queen before her magic mirror, the Seven Dwarfs sung little cottage, the Queen, in disguise, offering Snow White a poisoned apple, the handsome prince who brings the young maiden back to life, and more. Includes full text, set in large, easy-to-read type. (This one appears to be out of print, alas.)

Listen and Color: Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales Book and CD: Eight tales by one of the world's greatest storytellers come to life in this entertaining book and CD set. Listen to lively, narrated versions of "The Little Mermaid," "The Ugly Duckling," and "The Princess on the Pea," while coloring 40 scenes from these and 5 other tales. The 60-minute CD features 3 stories.

Here are three more stained glass coloring books--these are miniature ones though, half the page size of the ones shown above. Great for traveling away from home or stuffing stockings if you do that type of thing.

This last one may be out of print, but I had to share it anyway.