Fairy Tale Madame Alexander Dolls at McDonalds

Pambelina mentioned that McDonalds has fairy tale themed Madame Alexander dolls in their Happy Meals right now.  I was unaware since I mostly only eat McDonald's while traveling.  (I love Apple Dippers when I am on the road, I admit, and wish they also had cherry tomatoes like they do in France.)

Anyway, that's the pic and I admit I rather want the Hansel and Gretel dolls.  Which I think have already come and gone so I am probably out of luck except for some crazy eBay pricing. 

The sets, if you couldn't figure them out, are Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Alice and the Mad Hatter (fairy tale? not really!) and the aforementioned Hansel and Gretel.  I have never been much of a doll person, but I do have an old Heidi doll by Madame Alexander given to me by my grandmother--the same one who nurtured my love of Beauty and the Beast--which she chose for me for obvious reasons. 

And, come to think of it, the Hansel and Gretel resemble my Heidi doll which is why they must appeal to me.  Besides, it's just rare to see Hansel and Gretel themed toys.

I believe these launched last week so there is probably still time to collect these if you want them.  Perhaps I will go get me some Apple Dippers tomorrow and try my luck with Hansel and Gretel.  I haven't hunted fast food toys since Burger King did Teletubbies over ten years ago and Po was a rare commodity... (Long, long story on that one...)
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De acordo com o Governo Federal o valor do salário mínimo em 2011 será de R$ 538,15, segundo cálculos feitos pelo governo para cada R$ 1 de aumento são gastos R$ 286 milhões, de acordo com o ministro do planejamento o novo valor irá repor o valor perdido pela inflação e ainda terá um acréscimo devido ao crescimento do PIB, "Mantivemos a regra de correção. Em 2009, o PIB registrou queda [de 0,2% segundo dados do IBGE]. Não teve crescimento. É uma regra coerente. Vai garantir o aumento constante do salário mínimo", disse o ministro, explicando que em 2012, por exemplo, o salário mínimo subirá mais, uma vez que o crescimento do PIB estimado para 2010 está em cerca de 7%, milhões de pessoas recebem seus salários, aposentadorias, seguro-desemprego e outros benefícios baseados nos valores do salário mínimo, por isso para aumenta-lo são feitas diversas reuniões e cálculos complexos, regra essa que não se aplica quando se envolve aumentos para os governantes, senadores, deputados, vereadores, prefeitos e governadores parecem não ligar muito para os números quando querem aumentar os seus rendimentos e quem acaba perdendo e muito é a população mais humilde que depende de condições mínimas para sobreviver.

Salário Mínimo 2010- R$ 510,00 | Salário Mínimo 2011- R$ 538,15
Aumento de 5,52% ou R$ 28,15 (Previsto)

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Pet Society Fairytale Items

I am completely ignorant of these things, but this is fairy tale related, so I thought I would share:

From Let Your Imagination Wander With Pet Society Fairytale Items:

It’s another Monday in the world of Pet Society, and that means that a new item theme has been unleashed in the game’s many stores. This week, we take a trip to the world of princes and monsters – it’s Fairytale Week!

The theme starts in the game’s Gardening Shop, where you’ll find all sorts of architectural details like arches and waterfalls, that would look perfect as part of a Princess’s castle, or just as nice decorations if you happen to have an outdoor garden, or classical theme celebrating an era gone by.

Next, in the game’s Mystery Shop, you can pick up a Fairy Tale Mystery Box, either by its lonesome for 6 Playfish Cash, or in groups of 5 or 13 boxes for 24 and 60 Playfish Cash, respectively. These boxes contain bundles of Fairytale clothing items, with five different options being available to receive at random.

I really don't have anything to add.  Except for if I played this game, I would want the Princess and the Pea bed.  I've always wanted a Princess and the Pea bed.  At least in theory.  I still remember the thrill of the idea of using stairs to get into bed, from bunk beds to short stools.  I first read of one tall enough to require a step in Anne of Windy Poplars and dreamed of one for years.  Now I am much more practical--I like sitting at the foot of my bed to put on my socks, but I can still enjoy the fantasy....
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A Scottish Snow White: Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree

So I decided to talk about another Snow White variant: Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree.  It, too, appears in my new book Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World.  You can read the tale in Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs at Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree. Or you can read a summary at Wikipedia.

Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World

This tale isn't as obvious a variant of Snow White, but most of the standard elements are there.  What's more unusual is that it is a Scottish tale, closely related to a very old French one.

Here's an excerpt from my article about Snow White that appeared in Faerie Magazine last fall and that appears again in my Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World:

Another interesting variant, Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree, comes from Scotland. In this tale, the mother seeks to kill her beautiful daughter. The father deceives his wife and sends his daughter to another king to be married. Despite these precautions, the mother murders her but her devoted husband refuses to bury her. Eventually he marries again and his second wife revives the first wife. She offers to leave but the king chooses to keep both wives who become friends. The second wife later kills the wicked mother during another murder attempt. Then the king and his two wives live happily ever after together. Since polygamy wasn’t common in Scottish history, scholars speculate that the tale traveled there from a country in which the practice was more accepted.

This Scottish tale bears a strong resemblance to The Lay of Eliduc by Marie de France first recorded in the late 12th century. The lay is a Christianized version of the story with Eliduc as the king. In this version he doesn’t keep both wives. His first wife enters a nunnery instead of living in a plural marriage. Eventually Eliduc and his beloved wife enter into holy orders, too. At first reading, the lay appears unrelated to the version of the tale that is so well-loved today, but its relationship to the less popular variants is obvious upon closer inspection.
An article discussing The Lay of Eliduc, Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree and Snow White by Alfred Nutt also appears in my book along with the full lay of Marie de France, of course.  (You can see the entire table of contents here.) It's an old article, but interesting.  I am fascinated with early folklore and fairy tale scholarship myself and admire Nutt, Jacobs, Lang and so many others who didn't have nearly as much work to build upon as we do today. 

Finally, Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree is one of my favorite Snow Whites. While variants of the tale are about women's jealousies, this version also includes a generous, resourceful woman who saves the day, too. It is also a little shocking with its touch of polygamy but that makes it feel even more ancient and from a different place. No, Scotland is not known for its polygamy tales, so that this one appears there makes one wonder about its full origins.

The first illustration is by Barbara Brown and came from Cambridge Print and Book Gallery. The other two are by John Batten for Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs.
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New Edition of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti

Goblin Market

Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti is a new release from Dover Books.  Of course, this is an old text, easily found on the internet to read, but the book does what Dover does best, offers reproductions of Arthur Rackham's illustrations for the story.

Book description from the publisher:

This lovely hardcover gift edition of Christina Rossetti's most famous poem will enchant readers of all ages. A captivating adventure into a land of fantasy for children and a sensual allegory of temptation, sacrifice, and salvation for adults, it features 4 color and 20 black-and-white images by Arthur Rackham as well as a reproduction of a rare Rackham watercolor.
So, if you love Rackham and Goblin Market, this is the book for you.  You can read more about Goblin Market itself on Wikipedia, of course, where links to the story are also available.
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Montages Replay Clay Aiken Performances

It's Just Dancin' - Montage by SueReu
View full screen at
Downloads available at
Clack Unlimited.

PBS Special, Tour Rewinds

Clay Aiken Music Fills the Air

Despite being between tours, Clay Aiken is singing -- and dancing -- everywhere. Take a stroll through the fan communities of Clay Cyberspace, and you'll see what I mean.

As Tried and True LIVE, the singer's PBS special, completes a coast to coast fall pledge cycle, ticket sales and travel/accommodation plans are well underway for the Feb-March 2011 Tried & True Tour.

Summer of The Cluben
Graphic by Fountaindawg

All the while, rewinds of the July-August Timeless Tour of Clay and Ruben Studdard are flourishing as fans share photos, videos, and Not.Just.Us stories from the summer series.

In the opening montage, "It's Just Dancin'," SueReu captures one of the Timeless Tour themes -- Ruben's tireless efforts to rectify Clay's so-called inability to dance.

Interspersed with the comical sketches are moments that really move on out, including the "Footloose" encore from the Hammond concert at the end.

Fans Share Not.Just.Us Stories

Below are three Not.Just.Us experiences, two from the Timeless Tour and one RE the Tried & True CD. If you have experienced a NJU encounter recently, please share it in the comments. We would love the read more!

The clickable Biloxi graphic by Fountaindawg features photos by Invisible926.

keepingfaith: A 50-ish couple walking out of the Biloxi concert beside me were effusive in their praise. The woman said,"Both those boys are so talented; they both have great voices."

In a thick Southern accent her husband added, "That's the best show I've ever seen. That's God-given talent. God-given. And that preacher skit was the funniest thing I ever saw in my life."

Another man, walking out behind me remarked in a thick accent, "I've paid to see comedians who didn't make me laugh that hard, and those boys can SING better'n anythang I ever heard."

An older gentleman, sitting alone near the back of the floor, danced, clapped, and sang throughout the show. There were a lot of men in the audience, more than I've ever seen before at a Clay Aiken concert.

Graphic by AmazingCA

merrieeee: A month ago I gave a "Tried & True" CD to someone who kind of knew of Clay but didn't know what kind of music he sang or much about him. Today she came into the office and said how awesome the CD is.

She now has it on a regular shuffle and just loves it when one of the songs plays. She wanted to know what else Clay has done.

When I told her about the PBS special, she became very enthusiastic and said she would have to watch it!

deemer: Last night I was sitting next to a woman who said she didn't buy the T&T CD, but she had heard the snippets of "Suspicious Minds." She commented that Elvis sang the song so much better and she didn't like Clay's rendition.
After seeing the live performance, she nudged me and said, "I changed my mind!!!" Hearing the full version, she decided Clay's SM was just wonderful!

Those Magic Changes - Montage by Scarlett
View montage full screen at
Downloads are at Clack Unlimited.

Montage Features Broadway, Jukebox

"Those Magic Changes," new montage produced by Scarlett from her videos of Clay, is backed by the singer's vocals from his performance during the June 21 Bringing Broadway Home benefit concert for North Carolina Theatre.

Interspersed with the BBH performance is video footage from the 2005 Jukebox Tour.

The one-night-only benefit concert in Raleigh, NC, celebrated 27 seasons of Broadway at North Carolina Theatre with performances by Clay, Lauren Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Terrence Mann and Quiana Parler.

The BBH graphic by Fountaindawg features photos by Brightstar and toni7babe.

Have a wonderful week, Clay Nation!


Thank you for your blog comments and props for the contributing artists. To leave a remark, scroll to the bottom of the entry, click on the "Post a Comment" link, and write in the box provided. Many thnx for stopping by today! - Caro

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Volume 60- Fotos de Segunda do DCH

Volume 60- Fotos de Segunda

Todas as Segundas 10 Fotos e Imagens Curiosas, Engraçadas e Divertidas para Animar o Melhor dia da Semana!!

Windows Vista...

O Melhor Amigo....


Os Mil Reais....

Pagando os Pecados....

Ironia Divina.....

Olha o Leão....

Mulheres- 1

Mulheres 2

Qual o seu Nome??

Quer ver mais??

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Sleeping Beauties Week: The Unnatural Mother and the Girl With a Star on Her Forehead

Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World

While researching for Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World, I read about many, many variants of both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.  Snow White ended up being much more interesting than I anticipated, since I've made no secret of my previous lack of favoritism for the tale.  Editing this book changed my mind.  Snow White may not be my favorite fairy tale yet but I actually enjoy it now, unlike I did before this past year when I merely tolerated it and admittedly avoided it as much as possible.

One of the tales which swayed me is "The Unnatural Mother and the Girl With a Star on Her Forehead" from Mozambique.  This was perhaps the spunkiest of all the Snow Whites although there were some strong ones in the mix despite expectations.  In this one, the Snow White character faces her mother (not a stepmother in this one) at the celebratory banquet at the end of the tale.  She then describes her horrific experiences at the hands of her mother, who is even feeling somewhat ashamed. 

Here is an excerpt:

When they had finished eating, the young wife addressed them: “Silence!” said she. “I am going to tell you a story!” They all applauded. She added: “It is not a very long one. Listen, princes and subjects. When you give birth to a beautiful child, do you dare to kill it?”

The chiefs were astounded at such a question! “We never thought such a thing possible.”

“Well, I have known such a thing,” she said. “Look at my finger!” Then she began, and told them all the story; how her mother had killed her with the slippers, had put her eyes out and cut off the nipples of her breasts. The mother was there, in full view of everyone. Finally the young woman said to her husband: “I wish my mother to be killed today!”

The husband said: “No, leave her alone.”

“No,” said she, “she must be put to death.”

She had a small gun of her own, and with that she shot the mother right before them all. The people picked up the body, and went off to bury it. As for the young woman, she gave a piece of land to her father, who said to her: “You have done quite right; I did not know who you were.”

She gave him a certain sum of money with which to procure another wife, and he settled in her village.

That’s the end.
Usually the new husband metes out the punishment in the Snow White tales, but in this one he refuses and Snow White takes matters into her own hands.  Obviously the story isn't as old as other variants with the inclusion of the gun, but it is a fascinating variation of a tale, an uncommon variation at that. 

On the other hand, the tale is far from satisfying all the same since the mother was beginning to show remorse when she saw her daughter again--not that anything can excuse her previous horrible behavior.  Still, the death by gunshot would have been much more understandable in another tale, "The Magic Mirror" from Romania, in which the mother kills her daughter's newborn babe, a permanent death that is not magically reversed.  That was perhaps the most  depressing Snow White tale for although most of the tales describe terrible murder attempts, it is far from a happy ending since there is a real, permanent loss of an innocent baby to overshadow the end.

And that's just two of the 41 Snow White variants included in Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World.  You can read more about the book on its SurLaLune Press page.  Or see it on Amazon.com where it has been marked down to $27.75 from its $34.99 list price.
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American Folklore Society 2010 Annual Meeting

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the last day to preregister for the American Folklore Society's annual meeting to be held in Nashville on October 13-16.  You can register at the door after that date at a higher rate.

To read more about it, visit the Annual Meeting Information page.

And, once again, if anyone is interested in meeting for a meal or just to chat in between sessions, let me know.  I also have lots of recommendation for visiting Nashville.

I hope to see you there!

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Lotte Reiniger's Two Frog Princes

Today is I am sharing two Frog Prince films by Lotte Reiniger, done decades apart and one in color, the other not. Which do you prefer?

And a later one in color. Is it just me or are the black and whites somehow more magical? Although this one is quite excellent!

Again, we can get Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed in North America.

The Adventures of Prince Achmed

And the Lotte Reiniger - Fairy Tales [DVD] [1922] pictured at the top of the post is available in the UK as a region 2 DVD.
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Lotte Reiniger's Snow White and Rose Red

I  am posting the Lotte Reiniger fairy tales courtesty of YouTube this week.  Today is Snow White and Rose Red, such a nice, gentle tale for a Sunday. 

Again, we can get Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed in North America.

The Adventures of Prince Achmed

And the Lotte Reiniger - Fairy Tales [DVD] [1922] pictured at the top of the post is available in the UK as a region 2 DVD.
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Raiponce from Disney

The French version poster for Disney's upcoming Tangled/Rapunzel movie. 

It does look yet again like this will be a visually lush movie. 
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Clay Aiken Joins UNICEF Appeal for Pakistan Aid

In a public service announcement, singer-songwriter and UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken calls for more help for children affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan.

Clay Aiken Speaks for Children

UNICEF Issues Pakistan Appeal

UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken has joined the plea for aid for children affected by the catastrophic floods that began in Pakistan after heavy monsoon rains in late July, submerging thousands of villages and towns and killing over 1,500 people.

The United Nations immediately launched an appeal for $460 million to provide emergency relief to people affected by the deluge. That amount has not been met, and workers have been struggling to supply aid to the millions in relief camps and to reach the estimated 800,000 people still marooned in various locations.

UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken

Learn more about UNICEF's emergency relief efforts for children in Pakistan. View Clay's PSA full screen and click on the DONATE button at UNICEFUSA on YouTube. There are currently four pages of comments by UNICEF supporters.

Below, a CNN video of July 31 leaves no doubt about the overwhelming devastation during the first three days of the Pakistan flood:

View CNN video full screen at YouTube.

Portions of UNICEF scrambles to save malnourished children in Pakistan, 8/28 news story in The Hindu, are quoted below:

The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF immediately needs 80 million dollars to provide emergency food supplements to over 272,000 malnourished Pakistani children displaced by the devastating floods, a UN official said on Saturday.

The worst floods in the country’s living memory displaced over 17 million people, including 2.1 million children under five. At least 13 per cent of them are suffering from severe or moderate malnutrition, the UN said.

"We have at least 72,000 under-five children suffering from severe malnutrition and over 200,000 suffering from moderate malnutrition among the flood-affected people," Dr Shahid Mehboob of UNICEF told the German Press Agency dpa.

"We need an additional $80 million to launch a special nutrition programme. Otherwise, these children may die of malnutrition or other diseases caused by it."

The latest plea for Pakistan assistance has been advertised this weekend on several websites, among them UNICEF Field Notes, Just Jared, and the Clay Aiken News Network.

Young Musicians Share Compositions

Longtime readers of the Carolina blog generally hear about my students around Christmas and spring recital times. Today I would like to share some of the creativity that is blossoming within our ranks. Music is a language, and these students are not only learning to perform it but also to write it.

In May, Joseph Held, now an eighth grade piano student at Wesleyan Christian Academy, performed "Le Pienture de Die" (God's Painting) on our spring recital. During June, Joseph spent the day with his musical brother-in-law, who helped him add a modern slant to his composition, the result being "Le Pienture de Die Remix."

Among this student's earlier compositions are "Coming Storm" and "Song of the Sea." To listen to Joseph's compositions, click on the player's start arrow, third button down.

Video Games Inspire Themes

Caleb Hernandez, seventh grade pianist at Penn-Griffin and a prolific composer, often finds inspiration for a musical theme or rhythm pattern in video games. Among his compositions are "Media Nox Marmor" (Midnight Sea), "The Jazz Dragon," "Arabian Nights," and "Vanderdecken's Curse."

Unfortunately, I don't have recordings of Caleb's music; but we are working on that. I can guarantee that he has kept his teacher challenged most of the summer helping him notate the rhythms he creates.

Jessicca Hayes, sixth grade student at Triad Baptist Christian Academy, also adds composition to her piano studies. She is currently completing a piece entitled "Clocks."

I am often the beneficiary of her creativity, which extends to art and poetry, as well. Below is "Even," a poem she wrote this summer.


Even when you're angry,
Even when you're mad
Even when you might lose everything you have.
Even in the darkness,
Even in the light,
Even in those times you feel you want to cry,
God still has a reason for every little thing.
It may be hard
It may be rough
It may bring joy
It may be tough.
But even still God loves you so.
So even in the times you feel you want to cry,
Jump up, praise God.
He loves to see your eyes!

Where Did 50 Years Go?

About a week ago, organizers for my high school class reunion located me and called. Having lived in Texas and Tennessee, I apparently have been in the "lost" column for quite a while. It was fun to hear the latest on many of my former classmates.

After recovering from the initial shock that next year the New Hanover High School Class of '61 will celebrate a 50th reunion, I was actually able to speak intelligently with a friend whom I remember from journalism class. Phyllis asked if she had caught me at a good time, and I assured her we were fine; my fall teaching schedule would begin the following Monday.

"YOU'RE STILL WORKING?!?!?!" was her immediate, unedited response. I laughed out loud and replied that I enjoy working with young students and the fees help pay the bills. I had a great-aunt who taught piano until she was 96, so maybe it's in the genes.

When I relayed the start of this conversation to my younger sister, who has also hit retirement age, we got tickled all over again. She and I both still play gigs and teach three days a week.

Click to enlarge 'The Painted Garden' design by Erin Houghton.

Reconnecting with Old Friends

An interesting by-product of "being found" is that I am now receiving updates on 1961 graduates, the latest being Erin "Neblett" Houghton, well-known California artist and a nine-year survivor of breast cancer.

At Erin's website, The Painted Garden, there are many interesting aspects of her whimsical impressionist style on display in links to her gallery, studio, the press she has received as an artist, and her blog, subtitled "Finding Inspiration Here, There, and Everywhere." Now, my students can relate to that!

Even though the numbers 1961 and 2011 actually do compute, it is still hard to believe almost 50 years have passed since high school graduation. Already reporting for the Wilmington Morning Star, I actually donned tassels and gown at the newspaper office.

Since then, I have raised a daughter, taught a lot of music students, played a lot of music, and written for newspapers in three states. An extraordinary week that has come full circle!

Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!


Thank you for your blog comments and props for the contributing artists. To leave a remark, scroll to the bottom of that section, click on the "Post a Comment" link, and write in the box provided. Many thnx for stopping by today! - Caro

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Lotte Reiniger's The Three Wishes

More posting of the Lotte Reiniger fairy tales courtesty of YouTube this week.  Today is The Three Wishes, a lesser known tale so this one is even more special.

Again, we can get Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed in North America.

The Adventures of Prince Achmed

And the Lotte Reiniger - Fairy Tales [DVD] [1922] pictured at the top of the post is available in the UK as a region 2 DVD.
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Show LUAN SANTANA em SP (Villa Country) | Fotos e Vídeos | 26/08/2010

O Cantor e fenômeno pop sertanejo Luan Santana se apresentou no Villa Country em São Paulo ontem (26/08) e levou a multidão ao delírio ao cantar sucessos como "Meteoro da Paixão", "Sinais" e "Você não Sabe o que é Amor", se você não teve a oportunidade de estar presente no show de ontem não se preocupe, disponibilizamos o vídeo com a apresentação do cantor na íntegra:

Assista Abaixo o vídeo do Show na Íntegra:

Fotos do Show de Luan Santana no Villa Country:

Leia também:

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