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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Storybook Lane


Dear readers,

Did you know that in the first written version of Goldilocks And The Three Bears, by the British author and poet Robert Southey, published in 1837, the central character was not a little girl but an unpleasant and malicious old women - a vixen of sorts?  The story at the time bore the title of The Three Bears.  It was in 1849 that Southey's intrusive old women became an intrusive girl, who bore various names referring to her fair hair.  The name Goldilocks was settled upon in the early Twentieth Century.  It would seem that children favoured a pretty, naughty girl to an ugly, old hag and I do believe that book illustrators enjoy portraying Goldilocks who fares well in most versions of this story in contrast with the original vagrant woman.
 
We have several Goldilocks in our home; I delight in opening Angélique's mind to the subtle differences in interpretation between each rendition of a fairy tale.  Let me be honest though; I have a soft spot for children's book illustrators and purchase such publications as much for my pleasure as for my children's.  The work of French artist, Charlotte Gastaut, always inspires me.  She works with contrasting colours and patterns and her attention to detail makes my heart sing.  Her Goldilocks is my absolute favourite.  There's a vintage style to her illustrations and, correct me if I am wrong, her choice of colours calls to mind traditional Russian children's tales.  Birds, butterflies and flowers pepper her pages and her characters always seem to have large, black eyes like mirrors to their innocent souls.

 I found myself drawn to this inquisitive child with her short, curly blond locks and was quite smitten with her red shoes!    One day, by chance, I found a fabric, named Storybook Lane, which shared many of the same colours and details as Gastaut's illustrations of the forest in which Goldilocks wanders and I knew I had to make my version of this little girl, a doll, of course.
 
High-spirited, a lover of flowers, and a little naughty too.  Please meet my Goldilocks who, though very different from Gastaut's, is clad in the same vibrant colours.  I had so much fun creating this small girl picking flowers in the forest, straying further and further away from her cosy home.  But she hasn't met the three bears yet.  I think I might have to make another doll wearing different clothes and colours inspired by the bears' cottage.
 
Her Mary Jane shoes are fashioned from pure wool felt in cherry red and clinched with heart buttons.  Her celadon-blue pinafore has a sprinkling of hand-embroidered daisies and simple flowers and her white lawn bloomers are trimmed with French pink lace.
 
Although I am very fond of her I have slipped her into my shop for a few days.  So, if you would like to give a home to a courageous, sweet girl who is happiest when skipping amongst the trees and filling her basket with wild flowers, you may find her here.
Of course I would love to know whether you have a favourite fairy tale or Illustrator?  I am very fond of The Snow Queen and The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
 
I wish you all a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for taking the time to read my words.  I truly appreciate it.
 
Stephanie x 


37 comments:

  1. Beautiful illustrations Stephanie, we're never too grown up for children's books!
    Your little Goldilocks is a very pretty girl, I remember as a child having a doll with long blonde hair who I named Goldilocks. :)
    Hope you are all keeping well,
    V x

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  2. Quelle jolie poupee! J'imagine que c'est une favorite avec les enfants? Les petites chaussures rouges etaient une touche parfaite!
    Merci d'avoir partager aussi le nom de Charlotte et les anecdotes concernant l'histoire originelle. J'ai immediatement chercher le site, quelle trouvaille!
    Un grand bonjour,

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  3. I love the vintage fairy tale. I love the idea of it beeping passed down from one generation to the next. Your doll creation is lovely. You always pay meticulous attention to details with fabric, color, and texture.

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  4. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Well done Stephanie.x

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  5. Beautiful, your Goldilocks has stepped right out of the story book.

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    1. Thank you Valerie! Aren't those illustations beautiful?

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  6. Your Goldilocks is truly exquisite! As you probably know, I loVe children's illustrators and I'm inspired by them much more than conventional artists. :) Edmund Dulac has always been my favourite since childhood. Jane ray and Helen Cooper are also favourites but I love far too many to name! I love the illustrators you feature here too, Gastaut's colours are gorgeous.
    Thankyou for my most lovely gifts from the giveaway, the book is so beautiful and will be treasured. I do hope Héloïse is feeling much better.
    Jess xx

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    1. Dear Jess, I am most grateful for these Illustrator recommendations. which I will take great pleasure in looking up.

      xxx

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  7. STEPHANIE!

    You had me locked into a cozy spot here, for I adore children's books and we have an extensive collection of vintage English as well as French tales that I love for not only the classic stories, but for the various styles of illustrations. Many of our books are from England or France and those are kept in a special bookcase!

    The inspiration of this great artist who you share has really given you a great opportunity to take these bold colors of midsummer to create your own dear Goldilocks, and she is perfect. Those stunning red shoes are a MUST-HAVE for any girl going on an adventure my friend. She is going to be scooped up from your shop that she won't have time to invade the bears' cottage!!!!

    My favorite storybook character of all time since childhood to now? Cinderella. Even as a child, I was in love with this story and would constantly draw my version of Cinderella and write my own version. I wish I had the countless copies of my own Cinderella that I created out of brown grocery bag paper. What I was fascinated with as a child and even now, was the idea that Cinderella could be transformed into a beautiful princess. I so enjoyed drawing her in her rags, then changing her into someone else...I guess that was what I wanted for myself back then!

    So good to see you, always! I hope your summer is pleasant, as is ours! We are having more rain than usual, but I've never seen our flowers look so large and colorful!

    Many hugs dear and wonderful Stephanie! Anita

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  8. i'm so glad the three bears ended up with Golidlocks!! (I can't imagine the story with an old hag....so not the same innocence)...your Goldy is beautiful and looks as if she's ready to set out on her adventure. (For some forgotten reason, in high school I memorized Les Trois Ours --en francaise !)

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  9. love the books and wish I would have kept all of my childhood ones which by now would be collectibles.. Love the doll and her golden hair!

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  10. Stephanie, your very own contribution to the Goldilocks tradition is a beguiling little girl. Perhaps she might be a little naughty, but she is also a charmer, from her lovely braids to those cherry red slippers.

    I don't know that I have a particular favorite fairy tale, as I love so many of these stories. It's intriguing to learn how many of them had evolving story lines over the years. Most of my childhood favorites did seem to feature characters' involvement with nature in one way or another. That does speak to a long ago time before children were so involved with various electronic screens.

    Thank you for introducing me to the illustrations of Charlotte Gasteau. Yes, her work is fantastic...lots of beauty, wit and fantasy meshing so well.

    Best wishes, xo

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  11. I didn't know that about goldilocks! Your Goldilocks is very pretty and looks lovely!! xx

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  12. She is beautiful! I particularly love the wee slippers.
    I loved (and still like to read to my grandchildren) all the stories from H.C. Andersen. The Steadfast Tin Soldier and The Little Mermaid are two favourites.

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  13. Your Goldilocks is charming Stephanie. I have always loved children's book illustrations too. These are particularly beautiful.

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  14. Wow ..... those illustrations are just stunning, the colours are amazing!
    Your little Goldilocks is such a sweetie and I love love love her red shoes too and those sweet little cheeks .....
    I hope you beautiful Héloïse is now well on the mend x
    love Jooles x x x

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  15. She is adorable, so perfect and captures all the charm of those beautiful illustrations. I love Little Red Riding Hood, I believe I have always wanted her cape, and I think she is very brave.
    Hugs to you my talented friend,
    Meredith.

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  16. She is absolutely lovely Stephanie. You always manage to capture a bubble of pure happiness which radiates through each doll you make and reflected by the uplifting choice of colour hues. Have you read and of Joyce Lankester Brisley's Milly Molly Mandy books. I read two or three stories EVERY night before I go to sleep and her illustrations depict a perfect 1920s childhood. Nina k. Brisley her Sister is another favourite as is Helen Grant from the 1920 s.

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  17. I was loving this post just enjoying with you the beautiful book, then comes this wonderful surprise at the end and it gets better. she is as always astoundingly full of character and charm...wondeful....
    bestest to you and yours today
    daisy j x

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  18. lovely story goldilocks with her 3 bears love the new doll she looks very pretty and happy
    my favorite fairytales are sleeping beauty and beauty and the beast and an irish fairytale the childeren of lir its about childeren thats turning in to 4 swans with very beautiful voices very sad story but so wondeful and pretty

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  19. Your Goldilocks doll is so precious. So charming with her braided hair and sweet smile! I love the outfit you gave her. Very cute in every way!

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  20. Goldilocks ! Now yours will be my favourite version of her. Isn't she sweet? As usual with your creations, her outfit is a treasure of lovely details (ah! the pockets! the cherry shoes! the lace).
    We also have several versions of the book, though not this one ... yet!

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    1. Dear Amélie,

      It is ALWAYS with joy that I read your words on my blog. Thank Heavens summer is here with a more free time to visit YOUR beautiful place here online.

      Stephanie

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  21. Your Goldilocks is very sweet, Stephanie, and I enjoyed being introduced to another illustrator's work of the story of Goldilocks. [I was not aware of the fascinating history of the story!] The illustrations I cherish of the story are found in this version http://www.amazon.com/The-Three-Bears-F-Rojankovsky/dp/0307021408 xx

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  22. Awwww, she's just beautiful! I love her pretty hair too -- just perfect. Goldilocks has always been one of my very favorites -- along with Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. And I think some of the world's best artists are the ones who illustrate children's books.

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  23. Goldilocks was my nickname when I was at school because of my hair!
    I like these pictures. And what a great book.
    The doll is absolutely gorgeous.
    Miss, xx

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  24. What a lovely book Stephanie, Gastaut's images are an absolute joy and I like the fact that she has short wavy hair. Your own Goldilocks is a beauty. Have a lovely week.
    Jane x

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  25. She is lovely - and looks much too sweet to commit the brash deeds attributed to her namesake. I love the red dress fabric.

    Favourite fairy tale - that is a difficult one. I always rather liked The Tinderbox. :)

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  26. OMIGOLLY! That book is just insanely beautiful! And so is your dolly! Oh my goodness, we are separated soul sisters, with our great love of fairy tales. My favs are The Snow Queen and East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

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  27. Dearest Stephanie, your Goldilocks is completely enchanting! She looks too sweet to have ever caused trouble for three unsuspecting bears, but it is always those innocent ones you have to watch out for, isn't it? The book you've shared is equally enthralling, the illustrations are so vibrant, the pages seem to buzz with energy! Thank you for sharing it...my favourite story was actually a collection contained in a tome entitled "Stories and Poems for the Very Young" which included all the classic favourites, Andersen, Mother Goose, sweet stories and poems, but also some darker takes which perfectly offset the princess stories, so very intriguing for a young voracious reader that I was...I can still recite "Jabberwocky" word for word because of that magical book! (And it sits happily on my daughter's shelf now!) Best to you, Chrissie x

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  28. Aren't Gastaut's illustrations wonderful and super for inspiration, as your beautiful Goldilocks shows. I love your attention to the smallest details Stephanie, it's one of the things that makes your creations so very special. I think my favourite fairy tale would be Little Red Riding Hood but in truth I love all of them and have all of the books that I read to Amy when she was little safely stashed in my closet - like you I love the illustrations and although she doesn't glance at them anymore I cannot bear to give them away.

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  29. Beautiful illustrations Stephanie....as a child I would spend hours looking through my books...always being inspired to paint and draw (I would be completely oblivious to the hours passing by!) and those books are still special to me...(The Snow Queen is a favourite of mine too!)
    Your little Goldilocks is beautiful...I love the detail which always make your creations so special...it must be difficult to part with her x
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
    Susan x

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  30. Dear heart! Are you still participating in the link party that has started today? I take it then that this fabulous post is part of it? Let me know! Anita

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  31. Such a thought provoking post. You have opened my mind to the possibility of different publications/interpretations of the same story. Its true, Goldilocks is a favourite of mine but my all time favourite story is Cinderella. Aren't we all waiting to be rescued by a handsome prince?? Luckily for me, mine came along and I lived happily ever after...x

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  32. What a fabulous post, and I throughly enjoyed reading it you have usch a wonderful way with words. Fabulous illustrations and well what can I say about your work that has not been said before :) utterly adorable. I will have to have a think on my favourite story. x

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  33. I am with you on the delights of children's book illustration, the sheer variety being not the least of its pleasure. And what a sweet girl your Goldilocks is.

    With my break from knitsofacto I fear I missed Héloise's wonderful news ... many, many congratulations to her.

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  34. This book looks precious! And what about this doll, lovely! I love Mitsy liberty!

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