Jan 31, 2012

Book Review :: Thumbelina

What do grown-ups do when they're sick, can't leave the bed and can't even speak? They read books.


When I started reading Thumbelina I honestly didn't remember how the story goes so the book was quite exciting. It was written by Hans Christian Andersen and published for the first time in 1835 in Denmark. It wasn't well received because the critics felt it lacked proper morals and was too informal and chatty and thus inappropriate for children's literature.

I did question Thumbelina's morals too at one point. At another point I thought she had too much morals.

[[[SPOILER ALERT]]] Basically, there's a lady who really wants a child but can't have one. She begs help from a good witch who then gives her seeds and the lady plants them. A pretty flower grows overnight with a miniature girl inside - Thumbelina. The mother loves Thumbelina and takes care of her, she makes a bed for her out of "highly polished walnut shell".
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One night a froggie jumps in through the window and steals sleeping Thumbie. She tries to hook Thumbelina up with her "dull-witted" toad son and make her live in a mud house for the rest of her life as Mrs Toad. Some compassionate fish help Thumbelina to escape. Then a bug grabs her and wants to marry her.


At the bug's party all his friends say that she looks weird, she's too skinny, she's ugly because she's different… And so the bug takes Thumbie and dumps her on a random daisy.


This was a good moral teaching in my opinion. Andersen made a point that it's silly to judge someone because they're different. So Thumbie makes a house in a mushroom. 


Winter comes and she finds shelter at Madam Fieldmouse's residence which is a house in an old tree stump. 


Madam Fieldmouse tries to marry Thumbie with an old mole who's pretty gross. Mr Mole hates sunshine, bird song, adventures, ocean - all the things Thumbelina loves.


Thumbelina saves a bird's life who fell into Mole's underground tunnels and the bird falls in love with her. I can see what the Danish critics were talking about 200 years ago -- there surely are elements of…the Housewives of the Daisyfield… with love triangles and fourangles and fiveangles...

The bird flies south for winter and asks Thumbie to go with him. SHE REFUSES! Because she feels obligated to keep her promise to her benefactor Fieldmouse to marry the mole. Uh oh! Some serious, annoying morals here.

Which end quickly. It's been months and the wedding approaches. Thumbie hears a familiar bird singing - it's her bird lover who comes to check if Thumbie's still going to marry the monster mole or leave with him to south for the winter. Thumbie apologizes to Fieldmouse who's totally understanding and appears to want to marry the mole herself now. And off Thumbelina flies on top of the bird.

She wakes up in a rose in an astounding field of flowers and a big castle. In the rose next to her is a miniature prince who wants to crown her his queen. His pick-up line is solid: "Are you the Rose Queen? You are so beautiful that I think you must be."


Thumbie thinks the prince is fairer than anyone she's ever seen. He has wings too. Lots of other miniature people are peeking at them from the nearby flowers. Thumbie becomes his queen, receives wings and everyone rejoices. Birds sing, and most sweetly the one who loved Thumbie. He's happy for her too. Just see the morals here.


"Finally she had found a home where she truly belonged." Ok. Well. Ok. I get that you're likely the happiest when surrounded by people who are 'your kind' or have similar mindsets than you. That could of course happen with individuals from other species, not just among miniatures. But whatever. Here's my Thumbelina moral upheaval: WHAT ABOUT THE MOTHER???!!

She wakes up one day and the daughter she so loved and cherished is gone forever. AND Thumbelina doesn't even think of her mother for once during her whole romance mess. And she's perfectly happy staying with her prince forever after in the pretty flower kingdom.

That's all I was thinking about when I finished reading Thumbelina yesterday on the bus. How about at the very least making the bird give her mom a little message she's ok? No.. Nada. I was flabbergasted. That's just not cool.

All in all, Thumbelina's a pretty good book. The pictures captured me completely. It's nice reading on your way to work. But I must say I have higher hopes for my next book: Good Fairies, Bad Fairies by Brian Froud.


You actually turn this book upside down and from the other side it starts with good fairies, and the other side is the cover of 'Bad Fairies'. Ooooh!!

Jan 25, 2012

We're All Kept Alive by Magic

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Bill: I have no heart-beat. I have no need to breathe. There are no electrical impulses in my body. What animates you no longer animates me.

Sookie: What does animate you then? Blood? How do you digest it if nothing works?

Bill: Magic?

Sookie: Oh, come on Bill! I may look naive but I'm not, and you - you need to remember that.

Bill: You think that it's not magic that keeps you alive? Just 'cause you understand the mechanics of how something works, doesn't make it any less of a miracle... which is just another word for magic. We're all kept alive by magic, Sookie. My magic's just a little different from yours, that's all.

(This True Blood conversation is my favorite tv/movie moment ever...)


Buffy Sainte-Marie found this passage in Leonard Cohen's novel "Beautiful Losers." She sang it to him once and later recorded it - "God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot". Lately I've been inspired yes, by this song, by my current reading, by drawing fairy mandalas, by anxiety, by music, by Mexican folkart, by love. I'll talk more about folkart later. Now, need to go hooping <3 LOL that's my Facebook profile pic at the moment:

Jan 17, 2012

Birthstone Poem

The onyx ring I wear all the time that my mom made many years ago <3
I was writing a post at work yesterday and came across this poem that was first published in 1870. It's originally from the Gregorian calendar. There are many other calendars for birthstones too, such as mystical which draws from Tibetan sources, ayurvedic and stones by signs of zodiac. Sooo what's your birthstone? :) Mine appears to be onyx, peridot, diamond and sapphire. I actually wear onyx or sapphire almost every day, now that I think of it!

By her who in this month (January) is born
No gem save garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship, and fidelity.

The February-born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they an amethyst will wear.

Who in this world of ours their eyes
In March first open shall be wise,
In days of peril firm and brave,
And wear a bloodstone to their grave.

She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone,
Emblem of innocence, is known.

Who first beholds the light of day
In spring's sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife.

Who comes with summer to this earth,
And owes to June her hour of birth,
With ring of agate on her hand
Can health, wealth, and long life command.



The glowing ruby shall adorn,
Those who in July are born;
Then they'll be exempt and free
From love's doubts and anxiety.

Wear a sardonyx or for thee,
No conjugal felicity;
The August-born without this stone,
`Tis said, must live unloved and lone.

A maiden born when September leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze,
sapphire on her brow should bind
`Twill cure diseases of the mind.

October's child is born for woe,
And life's vicissitudes must know,
But lay an opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those woes to rest.

Who first comes to this world below
In drear November's fog and snow,
Should prize the topaz's amber hue,
Emblem of friends and lovers true.

If cold December gave you birth,
The month of snow and ice and mirth,
Place on your hand a turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate'er you do.

PS. You might notice this post is full of links to Wikipedia. It's because 1) Wikipedia is really useful and 2) the English Wikipedia will blackout on January 18th for 24 hours to protest the SOPA and PIPA which I think is AWESOME. If you don't know what those are, start here.

Jan 10, 2012

KREATIIIING! ✩

So I've been doing lots of art stuff! Makes me happpy. Well at first I was stressed out. That's how I thought of starting to draw again - to let it all out in this form. But after just two creepy pieces my worries drifted away. Here's the first one I made:


And this is the second one, a fairy suicide note:



My creation station:


Here are the rest:

It's Time to Blossom - with a pretty earring I found on the ground :)

Seastars

Capish?

Krishna

Rainbow

Fairy Castle

Blue Fairy Mandala - I just finished this. I'm posting all my art things on Facebook, friend me if you want to see them or give some of them a home <3

This is what I'm working on now - putting Jagannatha face in the middle of the reddish one :D Ok, back to "work"! <3

Jan 3, 2012

Omwoods Fairy Monarchy Treasure Factory :: my new store

Yes. I've wanted to do this as long as I live. Have a store and sell pretty things. What's available so far is all my postcards, hair falls and some jewelry I made recently. I'll put up clothes soon. And more jewelry. And who knows what. Without further ado, dear friend, meet Omwoods Fairy Monarchy Treasure Factory:



(clickety click on the pickety pic!)