Flock Fairy Tales: Oriole as Morgiana from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

morgiana-outfit-combinationsLike a lot of kids, I grew up surrounded by fairy tales. Long after I was “too old” for picture books, I would settle down in the fairy tale section of the children’s department of the library and devour version upon version of my favorite stories. I was fascinated by the variables of each story and how they would change and how they were illustrated.

Today, in what maybe the last of the Flock Fairy Tale series (or at least the last one I have planned), we have Morgiana from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. In case you’re wondering why this is the “last” of the fairy tale series, it is because I am out of Flock magnetic paper dolls. Starling, Wren, Phoebe, Oriole, Dove and Swan is the whole family. So, either some of them get more than one fairy tale or I need to drew some more friends to join them.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is an interesting tale for a lot of reasons. It doesn’t have any known origins in Middle Eastern sources and the earliest text version is French. The tale was added to the story collection One Thousand and One Nights by the French translator, Antoine Galland, who called his volumes Les Mille et Une Nuits. Gallad’s work was published in several volumes between 1704 and 1712. There has yet to be found a legitimate Arabic or other textual source before Gallad’s version. (Interesting fact: Gallad also added the famous story, ‘Aladdin’ and there are no known versions that predate his version either.)

Whatever debate might be had of the “authenticity” of the tale, the story is at least three hundred years old and certainly has a strong female character in the form of the slave girl Morgiana. Morgiana not only ends up stabbing the last of the thieves to death, but outwits most of them. I won’t summarize the whole thing here, I like these two versions of the tale, but there are plenty of others around.

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{Click Here for Download the PDF for Printing} {Click here for the Rest of the Flock Magnetic Paper Dolls}
I confess that I didn’t make a t-shirt for Oriole as Morgiana, not for any specific reason, just because I forgot. However, she does have a book (unlike Cinderella who I forgot to give a book). Her wardrobe is mostly based on belly-dancing clothes and has, of course, a little bit of a steampunk neo-victorian vibe.

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{Click Here for Download the PDF for Printing} {Click here for the Rest of the Flock Magnetic Paper Dolls}
So, it may not be obvious but all the fairy tale flock paper dolls are done with a base color scheme of about a dozen or so colors. The idea from the beginning has to been to have a fair but of mix and match options, though- as it has been pointed out to me by a few friends, some sets mix and match better than others.

I keep meaning to do a sort of “filler set” of just clothing pieces without any specific fairy tale in mind which would give more clothing options in more solid colors for the flock fairy tale magnetic paper dolls, but it keeps getting pushed onto the back burner. Perhaps if I write it down, it will force it a bit more towards the forefront.

If you’ve missed any of this series, they are Robin as Cinderella, Starling in East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Swan and Dove as Snow White and Rose Red, Wren as Little Red Riding Hood, and Phoebe as Rapunzel.

On that note, I am kinda sick, so I best go back to bed.

Fairytales Flock: Robin as Steampunk Cinderella

cindrella-outfit-optionsWow, it’s been a while since I posted one of these paper dolls, hasn’t it? My last set was East of the Sun, West of the Moon which I was quite proud of. I took a little break from the Flock dolls and now I’ve returned with a Cinderella set. To be honest, my return was partly inspired by Paper Doll School’s fairytale paper dolls and by the Toy Box Philosopher’s wonderful reviews of the Ever After High dolls that Mattel is making (though they include characters that are not fairytale characters… Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is NOT a fairytale…)

Anyway, for my Cinderella, I decided to stick to the Grimm version of the tale where Cinderella is a little more proactive. The Grimm version of the tale includes three balls, no pumpkin, lots of birds and eventually people cutting off parts of their feet (ewww). Actually, like a lot of Grimm tales it is a pretty… well… Grimm tale.

One of the challenges of all the fairytale Flock sets is trying to figure out which parts of the tale make logical symbols for the paper doll set. For Cinderella, I chose to use birds and clocks as my two thematic elements, since both play a major role in the tale of Cinderella.

 

Fairytale Flock: Robin as Cinderella
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Robin as Cinderella Doll PDF Download Cinderella’s Clothing PDF Download

 

East of the Sun, West of the Moon… Flock Fairy Tales Magnetic Paper Doll

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.

east-west-samplesThe story goes something like this:

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.
More Below!

Snow White and Rose Red: Steampunk Fairytales

Snow-White and Rose-Red (SchneeweiƟchen und Rosenrot) is a German fairy tale collected by the Brother’s Grimm. It’s not the same as Snow White (Schneewittchen), though a lot of comics and stories do connect the two, like Fables (which is wonderful, by the way, if you like comics).

I know Snow White and Rose Red is not the most well known story, but basically it’s your standard girls meet bear, girls meet evil dwarf, girls cut off evil dwarf’s beard, bear kills dwarf, bear becomes prince sort of affair.

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The moral of the story probably has something to do with being nice to bears and/or dwarfs, but that all seems rather unimportant.

I decided to draw a new Flock doll to go along with Dove for this story, so everyone can meet Swan. Swan, here with blond hair in ringlet curls, is the latest member of the Flock family and the second Asian doll (or at least my attempt at it). I was going to do a fairytale from the Asian continent, but I don’t know much about Asian fairy tales (and even sticking and entire continent’s culture into one block is totally painful to me, but I digress).

Before someone suggests Mulan, I should say that Mulan is not, technically, a fairy tale, but rather it is a legend. Fairy tales, generally, are defined by folklorists as containing magic, mystical creatures and generally not being perceived by the tellers as being true. In other words, no one ever through Rose-Red and Snow-White actually happened.

Legends, generally, at some point in their history, were perceived to be true. King Arthur and the Holy Grail is a legend.

Anyway, enjoy Snow White and Rose Red. I certainly had fun drawing them.

 

Fairytale Flock: Dove & Swan as Rose Red & Snow White Set PDF Downloads
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Swan as Snow White PDF Download Dove as Rose Red PDF Download Snow White & Rose Red Clothing PDF Download

 

Little Wren Riding Hood…

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So, I was asked where the name Flock came from. Basically, I wanted a name that would allow for each of the paper dolls to have a unique name, but wouldn’t force me into a specific culture or letter of the alphabet. The idea was that since so many girl’s names were based on birds like Robin or Raven or Oriel, than it wasn’t a far reach to suggest names like Dove or Swan. In many ways, the names of the Flock are intended to be place holders, so that someone could name the dolls anything they wanted and they give me a way of talking about them and keeping tack of them in my head.

Today, Wren is being Little Red Riding Hood (and I am not apologizing for the pun) and she’s pretty cute. The color palette is not the same as Rapunzel, but it’s the same family of colors, so the two dolls can share some pieces of clothing I think that’s important, since the fun of paper dolls is dressing them up. There are two other Fairy Tale sets in the works, one for Rose Red and Snow White and the other for East of the Sun, West of the Moon. I don’t know which one will be done first. I’d like to also do Morgiana from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, but I haven’t even got it drawn yet, so I recommend people don’t hold their breaths on that one.

Despite my small set of examples, there are actually 136 outfit combinations here, I just didn’t have time to play as much as I wanted. Sometimes life is like that… Oh well… Enjoy Little Wren Riding Hood.

 

Fairytale Flock: Wren as Little Red Riding Hood Set PDF Downloads
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Wren Doll PDF Download Little Red Riding Hood
Clothing PDF Download

 

Rapunzel… The First of the Flock Fairytale Magnetic Series

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Today I am totally pleased to present the first of the Flock Fairytale series which is Rapunzel. Rapunzel is one of those fairy tales that sorta freaks me out.

Somehow Disney turned it into a rather cute movie, but I just can’t get over the gruesomeness of original story what with the people getting blinded and all. Plus Rapunzel means like “salad greens” or something in German (according to a German friend in Grad School) and isn’t that a little weird? Naming your child after salad greens is, I suppose, a small oddity, after you’ve locked them in a tower for 18 years.

In the Grimm version, Rapunzel is a blond, but I don’t see why blonds should get all the fun. (Plus, I don’t really have a blond Flock doll…), so Phoebe gets to rock the Rapunzel look.

As I mentioned, this fairytale is weird, so I wasn’t going to do a Rapunzel, but when I was researching steampunk/neo-victorian (can someone explain the difference between those two things to me someday? I feel like neo-victorian is just steampunk without the gears and goggles…) fairy tales for inspiration I came across this drawing and I knew I had to do a Rapunzel.

Oddly, she’s the first one I’ve finished though I drew Red Ridinghood before her. I’ll get Red Ridinghood done in a few more weeks, I think.

By the way, there are 102 outfit combinations possible from this Flock set which is pretty wacky… though that high number relies on the large number of pairs of shoes (six) accompanying the nine main outfit pieces.

People supported my last foray into wacky ideas with my Noir Punk set, so I hope people like this one too.

Fairytale Flock: Phoebe as Rapunzel Set PDF Downloads
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Phoebe Doll PDF Download Rapunzel Clothing PDF Download