Fairy tales, a popular sub-genre of folklore, have been passed down through the generations for hundreds of years. These dark and eerie stories are classic examples of good versus evil. The protagonist is often a beacon of goodness, though just as often the main character is as flawed as any average person, making mistakes and learning from them in the end. Over the years, the macabre nature of many fairy tales have been scrubbed away by countless revisions. Many of today’s readers would not recognize the stories that were told and performed by families before the Brothers Grimm published their famous collection.
Anne Anderson's Little One Eye, Little Two Eyes, Little Three Eyes, 1935
Originally uploaded by Gatochy
When Disney released The Little Mermaid in 1989, I was incredibly disappointed with the happy ending. Although many fairy tales do end with the main characters finding good fortune, the villain usually meets a grisly end, and sometimes the hero or heroine does as well. This is the case with the orignal Little Mermaid, although the moral is just as clear as any “happily ever after”. It was then that I started to become more interested in obscure fairy tales, the ones that have not been much altered by modern values or censorship.
During a trip to Holland in the late 80’s, I received a wonderful collection of classic fairy tales. Some of them I recognized, like Snow White - although I was surprised to discover that the witch visited the dwarf’s cottage not once but three times with poisoned trinkets for the little princess. In addition to the few stories that I knew, there were many more that I had never heard before.
One of my favorite tales is called “One-Eye, Two-Eyes and Three-Eyes“. It is very similar to the Cinderella story, except that the heroine is shunned because she is the only member of her family who is not deformed. Terrorized by the cruel jealousy of her two sisters, Two-Eyes goes hungry until she is visited by a kind spirit. When the sisters discover that Two-Eyes has been receiving food from an enchanted goat, they kill her pet and force her to starve once again. When Two-Eyes buries the little goat in the garden, a magical tree grows with silver leaves and golden fruit that only she can touch. The wonderful treasure attracts the attention of a handsome prince, who rescues the poor girl and takes her to be his bride. In the end, Two-Eyes takes in her downtrodden sisters and cares for them with kindness.
For the Etsy BeadWeavers March challenge, Fairy Tales, I decided to recreate the magical tree that grew from Two-Eyes’ special goat. I started with some beautiful silver lined amber seed beads, which have a really great golden hue to them. I also selected some silver lined crystal seed beads, and brown and green 8/0 beads for accent.
When I was considering fairy tales to use for this challenge, I had almost decided on Jack and the Beanstalk. I had sketched out a spiral peyote bangle with coiling vines and leaf fringe. Although I liked the overall design, I wanted to highlight a lesser known tale from my favorite anthology. So, I decided to keep the technique, and change the colors to imitate the little goat tree from One-Eye, Two-Eyes and Three Eyes.
The base of the bangle is a peyote stitch rope with two rows of 8/0 seed beads adding texture like an ancient and enchanted tree. I added a fringe of silver leaves around the outside, which flow in a continuous circle, enhancing the spiral effect.
Voting for the Fairy Tale challenge opens on March 9th. Visit the Etsy BeadWeavers team blog before March 15th to see all of the gorgeous entries and vote for your favorite. You can also see entries by searching for EBWC on Etsy.com.
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