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You cannot beat this

Mar 8th, 2010 | 07:46 pm

Julie Andrews on Martha Stewart

They make a fairyland terrarium.

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Find your fairy godmother!

Nov 23rd, 2008 | 09:49 pm
location: dining table
music: thumps from apt. downstairs

A Cadillac of a spell kit to find and call your very own fairy godmother! From Etsy shop, White Magick (whitemagic). Price: $64


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Must Love Black

Oct 27th, 2008 | 08:10 pm
location: at table
mood: sicksick

It should be noted that when you find a book in the teen section imprinted with such words as "Get your goth on," or the like, your alternative subculture has probably expired.

Such words appear on the cover of Must Love Black by Kelly McClymer. Nonetheless — despite the mourning this necessitates and the Death in Venice (or more appropriately, the Hot Topic) chagrin it must needs inspire in the properly formed — Must Love Black is a good read. It is about teen Philippa who answers an advertisement for a "Nanny for 10-yr-old twins. Maine coast. Own room & generous salary. MUST LOVE BLACK." Philippa works classic nanny magic restoring the twins' father to them from a spell of chilly remoteness.



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Fairy Godmother Video Game

Jul 19th, 2008 | 11:40 pm
mood: busybusy
music: Babylon 5 DVD

Play the Fairy Godmother Tycoon game on your PC! From the makers, Myth People:

Build your potion empire on your way to making a fortune! Buy supplies and upgrades to create and sell magic potions in many different enchanted lands. Use your earnings to try different marketing techniques, like junk mail, brainwashing and the ever-popular endless infomercial, to help increase sales. Defeat your competitors through superior store management and overall customer satisfaction! It's supply and demand, fairytale style, with Fairy Godmother Tycoon!

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Jun 25th, 2008 | 11:53 pm

mary poppins art by belgian artist, caroline d.

note: son blog est en français.

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Sternness as virtue

Jun 14th, 2008 | 10:18 pm
mood: hopefulhopeful

Sternness is one of the hallmark characteristics of the governess. Often regarded as a crippling thing to suffer in one's caretakers, it is a great virtue in the mythical Governess. One of vignettes from the Mary Poppins books is 'BALLOONS AND BALLOONS.' It is one of the most significant in terms of describing the role and importance of sternness in the figure of The Governess.

'BALLOONS AND BALLOONS' is about the Balloon Woman in the park. The children go out this day with Mary Poppins to do the shopping. If there is money left over from the sum Mrs. Banks gives to Mary Poppins, it may be spent. After many shops, the children are disappointed and peevish, angry that there will be no treat. For surely there can be no money left. With no hint of hope, Mary Poppins sniffily leads them home — through the park to get balloons from the Balloon Woman first. Pick right, and when the balloon is blown up, your name is on it. The children are successful (as is Mary Poppins, whose balloon is the largest of all the Balloon Woman's customers).

This is the virtue of sternness, then, and its ideal role in the hands of the governess. The governess makes rules and is very firm, but in such a way that serves less to impose upon others (and thus demoralise them) than it does to make her their anchor and beacon. Her sternness makes her a point by which her charges can navigate to find their direction and their footing.

In other words, it allows them to find the sense of self that they pick out, and this is the penultimate service The Governess performs.

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The Sugarplum Fairies

Jun 5th, 2008 | 11:10 pm
mood: happyhappy
music: sugarplum fairies

Cool jazzy folk indie pop from Viennese duo, The Sugarplum Fairies. Listen online.

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Miss Pettigrew

May 30th, 2008 | 07:24 pm
mood: contentcontent

Went to the cinema today and saw Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Miss Pettigrew most certainly deserves to be on the list of magical governesses and fairy godmothers.

The movie is based on the 1938 book by Winifred Watson and is about Miss Pettigrew, a governess whom life has left behind. She somehow finds herself, for a day, with a charge who is not a child but a glamorous young woman starting out in life and about to make a mess of it. With her prim old-fashioned sensibilities, Miss Pettigrew sees to it that Miss Delysia Lafosse is set down on the right path.

But what is sweet — and touching — about the story is that Miss Delysia takes a turn as fairy godmother for Miss Pettigrew. It is rare to have a story about the fairy godmother, and this one is Miss Pettigrew's as well as Miss Delysia's. It is Miss Pettigrew that gets the ball gown, and she is let out of her "below stairs" cell of forlorn loneliness. Thus Miss Delysia's name also goes down on the list of fairy godmothers.

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Fairy godmother podcast

May 27th, 2008 | 09:33 pm

From the world of personal coaching and guru-ing, marketed under "fairy godmothering," free podcasts: The Fairy Godmother's Guide to Happiness

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Parrot head umbrella

May 23rd, 2008 | 10:44 pm

Essential Mary Poppins accessories: The Parrot Head Umbrella. Best price at playbillstore.com

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The godmother tree: the elderberry

May 23rd, 2008 | 12:31 am
mood: pleasedpleased

The elderberry, as Frau Holle's tree, is the godmother tree.

  • Family: Caprifoliaceae (greek caprifolia = "goat leaves") (honeysuckle family)
  • Genus: Sambucus
  • Used: In cooking (jams, wines, teas, syrups, pastries); for medicinal purposes; for cloth dying; to make pan flutes, whistles, and toy pop-guns
  • Medicinal applications: Antioxidant, immune system support, soothe sunburn, cold remedy, headache remedy, promote labor
  • Cautions: Wood, leaves and roots are toxic. Only berries, bark and flowers are used for cooking and medicinal purposes. Berries should be allowed to ripen fully and not be eaten raw.
  • Lore: Home of Frau Holle. Once thought to be the tree Judas hung himself from. Choice wood for magickal wands and besoms. Berries and twigs carried or hung for protection from evil. Used to undo hexes. Blessings given by scattering berries to the four winds. Sleeping or sitting under an elderberry / in an elderberry grove will allow you to see the woodland spirits and the procession of the fairy king.
  • Symbolic correspondences:
  • Season ~ Winter
  • Symbol of ~ Justice
  • Powers ~ Protection, transformation, clairvoyance
  • Animals ~ Rooks, crows, black horses, badgers
  • Planet ~ Venus
  • Sacred to ~ Bran, Calleach, Hel, Holda, Holle, Pryderi, The White Goddess, Venus (Aphrodite)

See elderberries.com for more.

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Godmother archetypes

May 22nd, 2008 | 01:30 am
mood: happyhappy

Archetypal categories under which the godmother has been listed:
  • Mentor
  • Wise Woman
  • Angel
  • Mother

From the Wikipedia entry on archetype (selected for its tidiness):
An archetype (pronounced: /ˈarkətaɪp/) is a generic, idealized model of a person, object, or concept from which similar instances are derived, copied, patterned, or emulated. In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or behavior.

In the analysis of personality, the term archetype is often broadly used to refer to

  1. a stereotype—personality type observed multiple times, especially an oversimplification of such a type; or
  2. an epitome—personality type exemplified, especially the "greatest" such example.
  3. a literary term to express details.

However, in a strict linguistic sense, an archetype is merely a defining example of a personality type. The accepted use of archetype is to refer to a generic version of a personality. In this sense "mother figure" can be considered an archetype and instances can be found in various female characters with distinct (non-generic) personalities.

Another neatly-put summary on archetypes: earthsoulscience.com - Archetypes & Angels, Devas & Devils

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Para Poppins t-shirt

May 20th, 2008 | 06:03 pm
mood: groggywoozy
music: shrieks of children

"Para Poppins" t-shirt for hipsters by Stanislas Giroux from threadless.com:

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May 19th, 2008 | 05:04 pm
mood: lethargiclethargic

It's a curious route from Jack-in-the-Green to the Greenman, one which doubles back on itself. Jack-in-the-Green is a May Day parade figure, a man dressed like a bush, and is identified with the Greenman. It is said Jack evolved as guilds competed to create more-and-more elaborate May Day garlands. So we go from god to festival to festival decoration to god.

Somewhere along this way, for unknown reason, Jack-in-the-Green became associated with chimney sweeps. Which brings us to Mary Poppins' Bert in the Disney movie. Bert isn't costumed in shrubbery, but he is a chimney sweep and unmistakably puckish, both in his clownishness and his service as a guardian of the domestic sphere.

There is no reason to think much of what are merely features that dot the popular imagination. Still, the "Jolly Holiday" scene of Mary Poppins reads entirely like a May Day celebration. There are the carousel hobby horses. There is Mary dressed like a maypole in her red and white, whom Bert dances around. And there is Mary's transformation from the black widow's weeds of the governess to Bert's sweetheart. All together, Bert is Lord of the May to Mary's Lady of the May. He's the Jack-in-the-Green.

As it turns out, Pamela Travers was, indeed, a woman well-versed in mythology. She had a distinct interest in the subject and helped found the journal, Parabola, which is dedicated to myth and tradition (one of my personal favourites). Valerie Lawson, Travers's biographer, notes that Travers viewed Mary as embodying the triple goddess — i.e., maiden, mother and crone — and that "gradually she came to resemble, or to represent more and more even to represent [sic] Mary, Mary Magdalene." (See Rachel Kohn's Radio National interview with Valerie Lawson and Oakland Tribune article, Historical figures come to life in new releases, by Katheen Geib).

Travers did not agree with what Walt Disney did with Mary Poppins (see New Yorker article, Becoming Mary Poppins, by Kathleen Geib). She disliked his idealisation of the nuclear family. On the other hand, she did not protest so very loudly. Perhaps that is partly because, in some things, they were of like mind.

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On the wind

May 19th, 2008 | 02:09 am

Mary Poppins comes in on the wind and stays until the wind changes direction.

Joanne Harris's Vianne Rocher, in her 1999 novel Chocolat, is a witchy woman who travels with the wind not unlike Mary Poppins. Vianne, like Mary, also brings chaos and liberation. However, where Mary Poppins is the picture of self-collection, Vianne is as chaotic as the magic she works.

A second story featuring Vianne and her daughter, Anouk, was published this April in the U.S. under the title The Girl with No Shadow. Its original title is The Lollipop Shoes.

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