16 April 2012

Fairy Tales Do Come True

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ~ Albert Einstein

I am pleased to announce that my 'simple truths' line of components was selected by Vintaj to be their Art Bead partner of the month with the theme of Storybook.

A few months ago, Jess and Betsey at Vintaj invited me to participate. I just love the ladies at Vintaj! From the first moment that I set eyes on their components I knew that they were special. I don't know if Jess remembers this but years go when I first found Vintaj through the book Easy Beaded Jewelry, I recall sending them an email professing my undying love for their product and asking if they ever had a design team, or job opening, or unpaid long-distance internship that I wanted to apply. I recall that Jess is the one that replied to me (she likely doesn't remember this) and was very gracious about how they didn't have any positions but they appreciated my enthusiasm for their products. Basically a "don't-call-us-we'll-call-you" sort of email. But look! Here I am! They called on me!

Flash forward about five years and I have had the good fortune to meet Jess and the gang, to travel to Galena, IL to spend time with them and to take classes on all the techniques that can be done with their pieces. I have told Trish Italia, Jess' mom, that she is going to have to adopt me one of these days. Jess and I do actually look like we could be sisters.
(I spent all night working on this post and had a picture her from September but Blogger is messing with me and none of my pictures showed up here this morning - will post later to prove it!)

So when they contacted me I knew that this was an awesome opportunity I couldn't pass up. They told me they thought that what I did would be perfect for their theme of Storybook. They sent me a few pictures of tulip fields and a brightly colored tunic and a page from the Grimm fairy tale "The Goose Girl." Being the research geek that I am I immediately had to find the complete story, since that is one that I had never heard of. 

I used to teach English (Literature and Writing) to 7th graders and I always did a unit on storytelling. (Is this like coming full circle, or what?) I loved the part of the unit where we examined fairy tales from around the world (did you know that there are over 300 different versions of the Cinderella story from all cultures?)The Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Anderson and Charles Perrault are attributed with most of the fairy tales that we know today. They were all actually compilers of tales that had been around for a long time in oral traditions. And they were not the sanitized Disney-fied cartoon versions. They are violent and to the point to teach lessons or to warn the listener. They are filled with opposites: greed and charity, love and hate, right and wrong. I recall as a child immersing myself in these twisted old stories.

Fairy tales and I go way back. My most favorite fairy tale character was Cinderella and as a child I used to pretend that I was her toiling away on cleaning the bathtub in my bubble bath and I was beyond giddy when I got to take a picture with her on the Disney cruise in 2000. And now there is set to be released two versions of Snow White and I couldn't be more thrilled!

I found the original Grimm story at the library. To say that "The Goose Girl" was odd is an understatement.The picture they sent was of the dead horse's head mounted on a stone archway where the goose girl is talking to it. Okaaaayyyy.... Now I had to now more!
"She was born with her eyes closed and a word on her tongue, a word she could not taste. Her name was Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, and she spent the first years of her life listening to her aunt’s stories and learning the language of the birds, especially the swans. And when she was older, she watched as a colt was born, and she heard the first word on his tongue, his name, Falada."
~ from 'The Goose Girl' by Shannon Hale

I discovered that there was a retelling and enhanced version of this story with the same name by author Shannon Hale. I devoured the book she wrote because it totally fleshed out the tale for me and made the character come to life. For me it is important to know all I can about a subject so that I can effectively create for them. Since this subject was a fictional character, this novelization proved to be very beneficial (otherwise you might be stuck with a dead horse's head for a pendant ;-). Hale's interpretation explained why this princess was sent to a rival kingdom (to marry a prince she was promised to at birth to restore peace to the kingdoms), that she possessed some special powers (namely the ability to speak to animals like birds and horses as well as to flowers and the wind), that her servant was her betrayer (she threatened to kill her and took her place instead) and how she persevered and regained the throne, leading a people that she could truly call her own - and ultimately won over the prince's heart.

I highly recommend Shannon Hale's magical retelling of this tale. It is a young adult novel but don't let that fool you. I was smitten with a heroine who is smart and beautiful and who gains a sense of her self while making connections with the commoners along the way. In the end it is a happy ever after for a girl with a strong sense of her identity and a prince who loves her for who she is. Isn't that what we all want?

In thinking about the theme of storybook, fairy tales in general, and the goose girl in particular, there were certain themes and images that I wanted to bring out in my designs. Themes of love and hope and imagination. Images of royalty and romance. I wanted to evoke the magic, mystery and fantasy of fairy tales. I ended up creating nine new designs (and bringing one back that fit the theme!). You can read more about them by clicking on the link to take you to the Etsy listing.


[Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo - brought this one back because it fit the theme!]

All of these are now available in my shop as limited edition. I have some of each created, and will make more upon request for a limited time. 

On the Vintaj blog they will be kicking off the theme of Storybook today with the chance to win over 75 pieces including some of these pendants, one of their largest monthly prize draws ever. They will be posting an interview with me as well as a studio tour (do you think they want to see the beautiful way my studio is intended to be? or the sweat shop that it really is?). Best of all they will be showing off what they have made with these pieces to inspire you. I have already seen a few and I am delighted. I will be making some to share as well. Maybe they will consider giving me that internship one day after all ;-)

I am very honored to have been chosen for this opportunity.
Thank you, Vintaj, for helping me realize that fairy tales do come true!

To thank you for sticking with me on this long post, and to celebrate this honor, I am offering all of my blog readers FREE SHIPPING in my Etsy site through May 15th. Domestic, international are all welcome! Must use the code at checkout to get the discount.


Your turn...
What do you think of when you think of the theme "storybook"?
Do you have a favorite pendant from this series?
What is your favorite fairy tale?
What do you think... should I frantically clean up my studio and show you how lovely it can be, or would you rather see the chaos that I am usually working in? ;-)


Courtney Breul said...

I think these are my absolute favorites of yours! And you had me at the very beginning, could hardly read as I wanted to get to the comments section so I could scream



Erin S said...

Congrats, Erin! You are totally deserving, and I also believe that things have a way of coming around full circle. Everything is connected. Vintaj made the right choice--such fun components!

lunedreams said...

This is so awesome!!! You SO deserve it! These focal pieces you have been making are so unique and special, and they look fabulous with Vintaj. This sounds meant to be!! I hope it leads to more wonderful things that bring you closer to your dream...

Alice said...

Congratulations Erin! This is quite an honor, and one you deserve!

Like you, I first learned of Vintaj throught Easy Beaded Jewelry (still have the book) and was instantly smitten! Now with sterling on the rise, I work more with Vintaj and my customers love it!

Your Simple Truths charms are wonderful, and it's difficult to choose a favorite--though the Story Book beads and the Goose are so sweet!

I'd rather see chaos so I don't feel so bad about what my bead table looks like.... :)

Thanks for showing us that dreams really can come true!

Roberta Warshaw said...

Congratulations to you!!!!!!!! And I love the way they look in those fancy bezels! Oooooo la la!

Cameron said...

What a wonderful post....hopeful, happy, and full of the kind of magic that reminds us it is in the here and now, that it is created!

I'm thrilled to hear of your new endeavors and creative collaborations...your work is always droolworthy ;P

I think my favorite piece is the "unlock your story"...touches the part of me that has something to say, but is still shy...but of course, it is a hard choice!

Best wishes on more good fortune and many hugs ,too!

Jess Italia Lincoln said...

WooHoo!!! We're super excited about our partnership for the Vintaj "Storybook" theme as well, Erin your beads were the perfect fit! Thanks for creating such beautiful pieces based on this fun theme and all the research you did. And YES, I DO remember the email, I just can't believe it was that many years ago, WOW! It's awesome to have you in my life and mom has already secretly adopted you, ;)
Looking forward to sharing our inspiration with your pieces, and seeing submissions for our Design Challenge. I especially can't wait to see your studio - I say share it as it is, we all work in our own "creative mess", right?!

SueBeads said...

WOW, Erin, you really deserve this! you are so imaginative and your jewelry already always tells a story! I will have to check out The Goose Girl - sounds interesting! Congratulations!

Jennifer Cameron said...

Congrats! It's the perfect match and well deserved. I am now dying to read the story. I remember my brother in law giving my then 5 year old a book of Grimms fairy tales. She kept asking me to read them to her and I was beyond stunned at the content. I didn't WANT to read them out loud to my nightmare prone 5 year old. Lol! Again, congrats! I am thrilled for you ;-)

My Life Under the Bus said...

Many congratulations Erin!!! Such exciting news : )

cw whitedogjewelry said...

Congratulations Erin, what an honor and you very much deserve it. All are great pieces, ' very hard to choose a favorite.
Enjoy the ride!
'continued success to you!
Chris White

Mary Harding said...

Congratulations Erin!! Vintaj is so lucky to have you to partner with. Your ideas are super and your pieces are just wonderful.

Cyndi J said...

Congratulations! What a perfect fit and lovely story. The pendants are so imaginative and will complement the Vintaj pieces beautifully.

Kim Stevens said...

Oh happy day, la la la la la....wow Erin, how fabulously terrific! You are just so talented my friend, love these, all of them! I really don't know if I could pick a favorite. I think you should leave the room the way it is, authentically used! ; ) It's just real life, and we can all relate to that.

I just finished an enameled heart necklace in which I used all vintage chain and jump rings. It just went into the student art show today. I may post a pic of it next Monday for quotography and the them just happens to be "hobby", lol!

Miss Erin, you rock! Congrats

Kylie Parry Studios said...

These are amazing!! Whimsical with a hint of darkness (and your photos capture this perfectly!)- just like fairy tales. The storybook beads are my favorite. Congrats on being the Vintaj art bead partner!

Roxanne Mendoza said...

Hi, new reader here! I just love this theme and your work is a perfect fit for vintaj...Congrats!

GulloftheSea said...

Well, dear Erin, you already know how much I love every single one of these, but I'll say it again... I love them! :) I actually am familiar with the tale of the Goose Girl, I read it as a child and reread (with a few edits) it to my girls a few months ago. I think I need to try out the novel version!

I am another who has always been captivated by fairy tales in all their forms. Disney, Grimm, interpretations done by my favorite fantasy authors. (Have you read Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede? I love that one)

Anyway, I love love love what you have created. These may be my favorite pendants of all time. You are amazing! Oh! And my favorite fairy tale... Beauty and the Beast. I love them all, but that is my favorite I think.

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Congrats Erin!!!! I am so happy for you!
I love all your pieces but I do love the Storybook Story Beads and the Write Your Own Happy Ending "Simple Truth" charms!
I don't have a favorite fairy tale though I am hooked on the new show Once Upon a Time. I love how they create the stories and the costumes are fantastic!
Love chaos - so leave the studio as is, unless the house fairies all of sudden appear :)

Shirley said...

Now you know I've added going to the library to my list of things to do today, right? I'm such a book hog, and I don't remember this story either. I really love how the designs inside the pendants match the Vintaj designs. My absolute favorites are the story beads, and the 'write your own happy ending. so very thrilled for you!!

Susan Marling said...

Congratulations! You are very deserving of this. Cinderella would be my favorite.

Lori Anderson said...

Congratulations! I just love how your pendants have evolved!

JeannieK said...

Vintaj is very lucky to have you. High Five Erin.

mairedodd said...

congratulations, erin - what a great deal of work for such an exciting reason! these are really wonderful... well done -

Marlene Brady said...

Congratulations on Polymer Clay Daily and Vintaj! Beautiful work! -Marlene

JenHoney said...

Why, Erin, whyyyyy have you come out with such pretties while I've got myself on restriction from buying new supplies? I hope some of those "Imagine" pendants are still around next month when I open up my wallet again. That's definitely my favorite. Although, the "love is" ones are really pretty with their fancy schmancy bezels. They're all gorgeous.

My favorite fairytale has always been Sleeping Beauty. That story really got the lock on the most epic kiss :) I swear that's still the main reason I watch anything- for those highly-anticipated kiss scenes. Lol. I'm such a girl.

Gerry said...

.....dreams do come true!!!
So very excited for you. Your work and efforts are so deserving of this. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Erin Siegel said...

Congratulations, Erin!!! Your designs are unique works of art and they are amazing! I tell you, you have come soooo far with your art beads in such a short period of time! It's really quite incredible and very impressive. I'm always floored by your creative power. Once you decide to do something, you do it so well, it can't be done any better!

Sharon said...

your beads are amazing, so rich and colorful. Congratulations on your new artistic journey.

Rebecca said...

Beautiful Erin. You have risen to the challenge as always, and truly outdone yourself - I think this is the most beautiful selection of beads I have seen from you yet - stunning colours and ideas! And those story beads are something else.

Becky said...

Lovely! Simply lovely!


Cindy Cima said...

A bit congrats to you Erin!

Storybook = fairytales to me

I love all of these pendants but have to say "Imagine" is my fave!

My favorite was Cinderella as well This may also have something to do with the fact that my name is Cindy and my two olders sisters could be pretty mean when I was little :)

Leave your studio in chaos - I love to see what others "true" studios look like. Also, I will feel better about my own chaotic studio.


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