~illustration by Edmund Dulac~
As a child, I was entranced by this fairy tale, the notion that a true princess would be so sensitive as to detect a tiny pea placed beneath twenty mattresses and twenty down quilts. I once placed a pea beneath my own pillow to test the theory, and the restless night that ensued confirmed my long-held suspicion that I, too, was of royal descent, and had somehow wandered away from the palace to find myself living in the wilderness with wolves. These things happen.
At any rate, I visited Soulemama's blog the other day, and to my delight saw her interpretation of the story as a play-acting ensemble for her daughter. Brilliant. And when I showed it to Caroline, she wanted it. All of it. My initial plan was to sew a few mattresses together and cut out a paper doll. But Caroline saw that Adelaide had a special bag for the occasion. And she wanted that bag.
So I tried not to panic. Tried to ignore those voices in my head telling me I can't sew. I sat down and thought about that bag, tried to become one with it, until finally it revealed itself unto me. And I just want to make a comment about the step shown above: when sewing a bag with lining (if you have the audacity to do so), place the outer bag inside out inside the lining, which must be right side out. Pin the strap between the two fabrics. Sew around the top perimeter, turn the entire thing inside out, and fall off your chair in disbelief: behold, the bag! It's aliiive!
I am not including this description to gloat, by the way, but merely to prevent my brain from exploding the next time I attempt another bag and reach this impasse. Trust me, I've never had to think so hard in my life.
Let's just take one more look at that bag, shall we?
Caroline has been delighted with the results. She decided upon a pea from her collection of beads and added a queen to the cast (painted by Sophie), though she has not yet requested a prince. He doesn't seem to be necessary in the version she is currently playing.
She does, however, want a ladder like the one Adelaide's brothers made for her. It's pretty much at the top of my list of things to do (she keeps asking), and I'm sure she will think of new things to add as she goes. This is definitely a game-in-progress, which is one of my favorite ways to play.
Would you like to make one of these little fairy tale ensembles? Because you are welcome to use some Tollipop paper dolls for this very purpose...I think Edwin and Celeste would make a smashing couple. Dear me, but he looks like the type who might let his mother have the final say!
p.s. if the images are gigantic when you open this link, you can right click and save it to your desktop...then it should print out properly on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper.