Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Chapter Two: A Sleeping Princess

After a journey of almost two days, Addi and Sig reached the village of Bois de Bruyére, just as the sun was beginning to set over low, rolling hills. The cottage to which Addi's cousin had directed them, was within sight of the large village itself, just beyond a bordering river filled with rushing, white-capped waves over a rocky bed. Unlike many of the straggling row of cottages further on, the house they approached showed no signs of having a busy farmyard, but there was a large, stone-walled garden behind, and a smaller garden adjoining the side facing the river.


A young woman named Félicie, lone occupant of the cottage, greeted her guests warmly, providing them with a water jug and basin for a quick wash after their journey. She then sat down with them for a simple but filling supper, including some very refreshing cider, which Félicie informed them was brewed by a woman right in that village.

Félicie had a open, honest face and warm eyes, and the cozy surroundings and calm atmosphere were relaxing after the rushed journey. Addi, however, was also hungry for information. For the past three days, her brain had run over and over the little information she had, and she was desperate to get her mind out of its tired groove, with fresh knowledge to mull over. So after a few bites of the meal and a compliment on the cider, Addi turned frankly to their hostess.

"I know a simple version of the what happened here, since it's part of Märchen lore. But I want to hear it from your point of view, as someone living here. I want to hear the history, not just a simple fairy tale. And I need to know why we were called here, and what we might be looking for tomorrow."

Félicie smiled. Addi was very different from the few members she knew of Addi's nearby related pack, but
Félicie had already been wondering how she could ferret out what these two strangers knew without insulting their guidance or tutelage. So lightly waving away a gentle protest from Sig to let their hostess eat, Félicie settled down to an explanation.

"I suppose you've been told that this village lies in the kingdom of Corseul-Lignon. But hundreds of years ago, the kingdom of Corseul stood alone, and just south of this village, at the crest of the hill, stood the château of the reigning king and queen. When this story starts, there was much concern on the part of then King Hugh and his wife Queen Adelaide, for they were childless. They feared for their kingdom if they died without a direct heir, for Queen Adelaide had a brother, Duke Robert of Mauvais, who Queen Adelaide feared would try to usurp the throne over King Hugh's cousin Ranulf, who ruled the neighboring country of Lignon and had a better right to a throne of his own flesh and blood. There was much rejoicing among King, Queen and subjects then when at last Queen Adelaide gave birth to a baby girl. Due to the kingdom's Salic law, the princess, whom they named Constance, could not inherit the throne herself, but she was instead almost immediately betrothed to her second cousin Raymond, oldest son of King Ranulf, in hopes that they would rule together over newly combined kingdoms.

"The proud parents planned an enormous banquet in honor of the princess' christening, and there were indeed twelve good fairies invited." Félicie paused. "You don't have many fairies left in your part of the world, do you?"

"Not good ones," said Sig dryly.
"You probably know," Félicie moved on, "that fairies have the gift of bestowing both blessings and curses onto mortals. Their magic is always strongest, however, the younger the recepient is, which is partly why fairies were so favored as godmothers

"When the big day arrived, so did the twelve good fairies. But an evil fairy intruded, and cursed the innocent princess to death on her sixteenth birthday. Stories have been told about gold plates and whatnot, but it's more likely that the evil fairy was in the pay of Duke Robert, who was seeing his plans of stealing his brother-in-law's throne dashed.

"The last fairy did manage to save Princess Constance's life, but her parents were still heartbroken when the princess fell into the magical slumber on her sixteenth birthday due to an enchanted spindle. The King and Queen almost immediately abondoned their château, after being reassured by that last fairy that she would take measures to protect their precious daughter until her curse could be ended. Almost overnight, an almost inpenetrably thick forest of large trees and thorny vines grew up around the abandoned home. The King passed his kingdom to his cousin, the evil Duke Robert dying before he could try to carry out his plans. Ranulf died shortly after the kingdoms were united, and Raymond became king. In due time, Raymond's son become king, and had his own son, Theodoric.

"Meanwhile, twelve of the thirteen fairies had fled the region, after the people of the realm decided angrily that the blessings of good magic were not an acceptable bargain for the curses of evil that attacked the good. The twelfth good fairy stayed on for many decades, after disguising herself, to enable the breaking of the sleeping spell she had been forced to give. She used magic to secretly enter Prince Theodoric's nursery, and gave him the gift of being the one to break the sleeping curse. She then later obtained a post as Theodoric's nursery governess, secretly telling him often of the story of the sleeping princess, and that someday, a prince would receive a sword on his eighteenth birthday that would enable him to break the magic barriers around her chamber, and awaken the princess with a kiss."
"I think I can guess what happened next," Addi broke in. "The fairy made sure Theodoric got the sword on his birthday, and he found the castle and managed to awaken Princess Constance."

Félicie blinked. "Well, yes, that is the ending to our fairy story. Of course, there was a bit of an uproar, to say the least, when Prince Theodoric showed up with a princess no one had heard of except perhaps in an old woman's tale. Theodoric was adament, however, and poor Constance found stability in her frightening new world in him, for he did have a family resemblance to her previously betrothed, Raymond. So they got their way, after much argument and after a few proofs were produced: a few things Constance brought with her from her former home, and a few things found in her parents' last abode. Theodoric and Constance did live very happily together as King and Queen, and after a change in the laws, their too-many-greats-to-count-granddaughter rules Corseul-Lignon today."
"But what could possibly be left that someone would want to poke around ruins from centuries ago looking for!" exclaimed a perplexed Addi. "Once the spindle produced its curse, its magic would be gone, wouldn't it?" Addi looked at Félicie for affirmation. "Prince Theodoric *must* have taken that sword back with him. And even if someone was insane enough to dream of finding some sort of clues now, that Constance's story wasn't real, would her subjects want to overthrow a current queen whose ancestors have been established on the throne for many generations behind her?"

"There's too much to guess," said Sig quietly. "Maybe somebody thinks there's a spindle there that still has magic, or that the sword is still there." Then he laughed. "Or maybe somebody is looking for those mythical golden plates you talked about, Félicie." He turned to Addi, who he could tell was oddly troubled by a sensed undercurrent of danger, with nothing visible on the surface. "If our mystery visitor left any kind of a presence or trail behind, you can find it better than anyone. And we can track anything together. Get a good night's sleep, Schwesterlein. Tomorrow we hunt."




Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

Today is the day that the United States honors those military members who lost their lives in service to our country. I decided to put a small post up featuring Molly McIntyre. This one is the mini American Girl version. Molly's year was 1944, and her father was overseas serving as a doctor. Although Molly's dad does make it back home, I'm sure Molly and her father would be glad to honor those that didn't.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

J-Doll Wigs, Outfit and Shoes

I let myself get way too far behind in blogging, and then when I finally went to put up a new post on Thursday, I discovered that our home internet was down. Time to get back into the blogging groove!

Back in October of 2013, I purchased my first J-Doll, Unter den Linden, whom I named Lindsay. She's a beautiful doll, but her long, blond haired wig was rather dry. Now that there aren't as many dolls out there that I want to buy, I have been spending more money on clothes and accessories. I saw a couple of relatively inexpensive wigs in J-Doll size and decided to take the plunge to replace Lindsay's original wig. I bought two, one a short cut with auburn hair, and one of long dark-blond hair with bangs. Which one do you like better on Lindsay?





I also purchased a knit tank top and tiered skirt from the same Etsy seller from whom I bought the wigs, a place called LazyDaisyWorkshop. I asked Lindsay to model this for me as well. I think the outfit goes nicely with her new long-haired wig.


Lastly, I've been buying a lot of Re-Ment lately! I decided to take a gamble and buy a set from the Little Twin Stars bedroom series and see if the shoes fit my J-Dolls. And they do! They take a little bit of easing on, but that just means they stay on well. Also, keep in mind that Little Twin Stars had a pink and blue theme, pink for the girl star and blue for the boy star. Therefore, each original set had one shoe in pink and one shoe in blue. Once I determined that the shoes from this set fit, I bought another set so I would have two shoes in each color.


If you want to think about getting these for your J-Doll or Pullip, the dolls modeling these shoes have the type four body. I also tried a shoe on my J-Doll with the type three body, and it did fit her as well.
Lastly, a full length picture of two of my J-Dolls wearing the shoes. The brunette with the braids is wearing a Shibajuku Girls dress that I reviewed here. If you remember from my review, the interfacing of this dress kept rolling up so that it showed at the top of the neckline. I've since tacked that down by hand underneath the collar, and it has also made the collar lay flat. The blond on the left is wearing a dress from Robert Tonner's Only Hearts club line, and it is extremely versatile, as it will also fit Mattel's Stacie, and Hannah at Never Grow Up has put this dress on an Ever After High doll as well.
I'm finding that I really enjoy picking up all these new things for my dolls!