This magnetic paper doll set has the honor of being the least well known, I suspect, of the fairy tales I wanted to do, but it also happens to be my favorite fairytale, or at least one of my favorites.
East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a Norwegian tale which I like because the protagonist is not a princess and she largely saves her prince, rather than the other way around. I love the idea of the mythical castle that lies, “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” and when I was a child, I owned a lavishly illustrated edition. This posted ended up really long, so I put a break into it.
One day, a white bear who offers the poor farmer a huge dowry for his lovely daughter. The daughter is reluctant, but eventually agrees. The bear takes her off to a fancy castle where she lives with him. At night, he takes off his bear form in order to come to her bed as a man, but she never sees him.
After a while, she gets homesick and the bear says she can go home as long as she agrees that she won’t speak with her mother alone. Of course, there wouldn’t be much of a story if she didn’t speak with her mother alone. Her mother, worried the Bear is really a troll, gives her daughter a candle so she can see what he looks like at night.
The daughter lights the candle, finds out he’s a hot prince, but spills three drops of the melted tallow on him. Waking up, he tells her that he has been cursed and now must go marry a hideous troll who lives in a castle East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
In the morning, the castle has vanished and the daughter sets out to get her man back.
She runs into three old women who give her a golden apple, a golden carding comb and a golden spinning wheel and lead her to the East Wind. The East wind confesses that he’s never been that far, but his brother the West Wind might have. Of course, the West Wind hasn’t, but the South Wind might have. Eventually, the North Wind reports that once he blew a single leaf there. If she really wants to go, than he will take her.
Of course, she does, so he does.
Once she gets there, she trades her apple first then her carding comb to see the Prince, but each time he’s drugged and can’t be woken. On the third night, after she’s traded away her golden spinning wheel, the Prince is not drugged, because he was warned by some other prisoners, and he tells her his cunning plan.
He will announce that he won’t marry anyone who cannot wash the tallow drops from his shirt as trolls, like the one he’s supposed to marry, can’t do it. So instead, he will call her in and she will be able to do it. This plan works. The trolls are so peeved that they burst and the Prince and the daughter, now a Princess, leave the castle East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
The magnetic paper doll’s clothing was all inspired by Bunads which trace their roots back to the 19th century romantic obsession with “folk dress” and these days there is actually a National Bunad Council in Norway that judges the authenticity of bunads, despite their somewhat shady historical roots. Anyway, there are some great photos of Bunad’s around and I had fun adapting them. There are over 125 outfit combinations in this set, though it’s a little short on bottoms. I think I might do some sort of page or two of “generic” fairy tale attire that could be mixed and matched into the existing sets… I’ll have to give that some thought.
|Starling Doll PDF Download|| East of the Sun, West of the Moon
So far, I’ve done Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rose Red and Snow White and now, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, but this is the last Flock Fairy Tale set I’ve got fully drawn. I don’t really know what I’m going to do next for them. Ideas from the audience?