One Four Challenge

Robyn Gosby’s One Four Challenge – and a short story

Memories of a button hook child

(a very old fashioned tale from days gone by)

sweet bonnie

The Accident

There was no telling how long sweet Bonny Tuliptoes  had resided on the mantel. She herself could not remember. Long ago she was joined by the infant, Bluebell Shadow who sucked her thumb, the tiny crybaby Cowslip Pout and Buttercup Bib who always had a look of quizzical surprise on his cherubic face. The little porcelain group had been carefully chosen and given a piece at a time to the little Mistress every Christmas. They were placed in the drawing room above the fireplace amid the candles and cedar boughs.

It was nerve wracking sometimes! They were only six inches tall with soft bodies and sparkling gauze fairy wings. Their cunning little arms and legs were the palest, most delicate porcelain and their sweet faces were framed by petaled bonnets. The other children of the house liked to come in and rearrange them and that’s how Cowslip Pout lost her foot. Cowslip was never happy and had a large tear drop that hung perpetually from her cheek.  She just plain didn’t like the whole arrangement in any form.

On this day, a careless hand knocked her over the edge. She fell a long way down and her tiny slippered foot hit the fire grate where it  shattered into hundreds of tiny fragments.  Cowslip shrieked in horror but it sounded like a cricket’s stridulation and was drowned out by the snap and hiss of the fire log. Certainly none of the big people had heard it. The rest of the fairy babes were very quiet and in shock. Bluebell continued to suck her thumb for comfort.

A parlour maid with a face like an annoyed pansy had plucked poor Cowslip up from the hearth. After examining her, she pronounced sentence and tossed her unceremoniously into the ash can. When the little Miss saw Cowslip all covered in soot she howled so loudly her brother came running and rescued the sprite from the cinder pit. He tried to make a new foot for her with paper mache, modeling clay, glue and a bit of paint. In spite of his effort it never did come out quite right. Instead of the clever rose slippered foot, a miniature pink cabbage adorned the broken limb. Though her companions refused to mention the appalling incident and pretended not to notice the defect, poor Cowslip looked more miserable than ever.  Bonny Tuliptoes on the other hand remained the bonniest of pixie bairns.

original doll
original

At the end of the challenge I hope to provide a glimpse of cowslip, buttercup and Bluebell also.

Chapter 2- A Birth

___________________________________________________________________

Background and Process

Last month was pretty tough for me personally. Thanks to all my patient and kind friends here on WP.  I had been asked when I am going to resume story telling by some so as it has been mostly rain and wind on the west coast I’ve ventured with my new macro lens indoors among some heirlooms and this is my humble offering for Robyn’s wonderful Challenge- with a story!  Thank you!

My Process:  I used a photographic plate filter, a bit of grunge and glow and a soft sepia tone

(connected to prev post  Memories of a Button Hook Child )

58 Comments Add yours

  1. Bojenn says:

    I find great pleasure visiting you at your site. Your stories are whimsical and you tell them in your magical way… I feel at home. ❤

    Like

    1. many thanks for such a lovely comment Jenn and I will try to catch up with all when I return!! Thank you for stopping by!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Peter Nena says:

    Cybele, how are you? I have missed your posts. We moved offices and I was in charge of the process. I finished this past Saturday and it’s by Wednesday that everyone was fully settled. So I’ll be free again.

    Nice story you’ve shared for this challenge. I like the names used and how you bring the characters to life. It’s great.

    Like

    1. Hello Peter, no worries!! Thank you for letting me know. I hope the change in office is a good one for you! This was a fun story and I can’t seem to get away from writing airy fairy children’s type stories. 🙂
      I hope I will read something from you soon!! And congrats again on the anthology publication!! Didn’t I say about your writing reminding me of South American authors -their mix of fantasy and reality! Your stories are wonderful! You might enjoy taking a look at those writers if you ever have time, Marquez and Allende. Wonderful to hear from you, I was hoping all was well! and thank you for your read and comment dear friend!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Somehow I missed your first week of this challenge. The original photo is so charming, and the poor thing all covered with soot really darkens the story…

    Like

    1. aww so glad you enjoyed!! Thanks Eliza!!

      Like

  4. suzjones says:

    I love how you’ve tied the story into the photo. Very lovely Cybele. 🙂

    Like

    1. thanks so much Suz!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. An unusual story Cybele – I’ll bet those dolls have many to tell 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks hugely for stopping by Andrea and chapter two is on the way for Week 2 of the One Four challenge! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very rich and wonderfully written story. It goes perfectly with the photo. Well done!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Lizzie for a lovely comment!!

      Like

  7. nikontim2012 says:

    Love the story, I remember the small porcelain figures of my mothers instantly . . . . thank you for the smiles.

    Like

    1. thanks so much Tim!! That means a lot!

      Like

  8. Robyn G says:

    …or is it Bonnie?

    Like

    1. lol Bonnie will be highlighted this time around but I may include later Cowslip and others!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Robyn G says:

        Bonnie is beautiful 😃
        My Aunt makes porcelain dolls… They are such treasures.

        Like

      2. thank you Robyn!! Not sure what I will end up doing with the processing though. It might be a bit limited!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Robyn G says:

        I bet you’ll surprise yourself 😃

        Like

      4. Robyn G says:

        Of course 😃😃

        Like

  9. Robyn G says:

    Welcome back Cybele – we missed you!!
    As always, wonderful story telling and I love the imagery to go with.
    Looking forward to hearing more about the others and to seeing more of Cowslip?? Beautiful vintage. Hugs to you xx

    Like

    1. thanks hugely Robyn!! So much fun and the processing just brings on the stories for some reason!! 🙂 Glad you like them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Robyn G says:

        Inspiration. How wonderful!! 😃😃

        Like

      2. Inspiration is exciting. It’s a bit hit and miss at times.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. lensaddiction says:

    Cybele, lovely evocative processing of the doll, tho I find it a bit disturbing as it looks a little too lifelike!

    Sorry to hear you have had a rough time of it recently, there is too much of that going around.

    Like

    1. thank you Stacey!! and yes, as to dear little Bonnie -She does look a bit life like I agree!!

      Like

  11. katieprior says:

    The story and image go together beautifully, I love the vintage look you gave it. Will we get a bit more story with each edit?

    Like

    1. Hmm thanks so much Katie, maybe not as much but hopefully a little bit!! I will try!! I don’t know where I’m going with the processing yet either!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. afairymind says:

    Great picture and a wonderful story too! I love the aged look you’ve given the photo – it fits with the story perfectly. I can’t wait to see what else you do with it over the rest of the month. 🙂

    Like

    1. thank you so much fairy!!! it means a lot that one of like mind appreciates it!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. scotia2014 says:

    A delightful story, full of whimsy and the photos really capture the bygone era.

    Like

    1. thank you so much Susan!!!

      Like

  14. suej says:

    A touching story, and I love the vintage effect you have given the photograph…most intrigued as to where you will go next !

    Like

    1. so glad you like it Sue!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. suej says:

        It’s great!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. poppytump says:

    A delightful post Cybele ! Love that dear little face of Bonny Tuliptoes … looking forward to other glimpses of the fairy babes 🙂

    Like

  16. svtakeiteasy says:

    Oh Cybele, a beautiful processing of a
    doll of old times made even more touching by a story loaded with meaning. My mum still has her porcelain doll from when she was a little girl. I sincerely hope this new year brings you more joy than sadness. Chris

    Like

    1. thank you so much Chris!!

      Like

  17. I love the vintage look you gave the original photo. And your story is wonderful. It pulled me right in and made me feel so bad for little Cowslip Pout! 🙂

    Like

    1. Aww thanks Linda. Don’t worry about them- they all had a nice tea at Christmas even though Cowslip is still a cry baby.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. DG MARYOGA says:

    Lovely post with a nice vintage feeling dear Cybele !
    Great choice for the challenge and a very true and moving story mingled with references to your personal hard moments …
    You gave voice and life to your elegant Bisque dolls ; loved both photos !
    Looking forward to seeeing cowslip, buttercup and bluebell 🙂

    Like

    1. thank you so much Doda!! I love vintage and all small things!! Yes, you will see them all!!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh my, what a story. So happy you are back in the saddle. 😉 Your post-processing goes so well with the story, the “old photo” look is lovely.

    Like

    1. thanks so much for commenting Snow!! Glad you enjoyed!

      Like

  20. Loved the story and the doll. I have a small collection of dolls, but none this old.
    I also have a small collection of tea cups and saucers. I have stopped collecting both b/c I’ve arrived at a time in my life when I don’t want more “stuff”. 🙂
    I love the processing of both images, and I look forward to seeing more of your collections.

    I’ll be working with my macro lens a lot this year too. I can’t wait to see what images you make with yours.

    Sometimes things are easier to bare when you know friends care. May time and love bring you peace. xx

    Like

    1. Thank you Deborah for such compassion and for your appreciation of the post! Yes, I try not to collect more too. My place is not big enough!!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Carrie says:

    Oh Cybele, your stories touch me. Thrown in the middle of the anguish of not having control of when you are hurt or “moved” from your place. Then being saved from the ashes by those closest to you, what a journey little Cowslip Pout went on, losing so much, not being heard and then discarded. 😦
    I know you will treat her with care, asking what she wants and needs most in this moment and she, in turn, will bring you some peace. Looking forward to this sweet photographs transformation.

    Like

    1. I’m so pleased you get much from the stories!! Always a touch of sadness as is with life too. The little wounded one has a special place still under the candle.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. The story is very well done, my friend! I hope that the tough times you mention you are going through get better soon xx

    Like

    1. Thanks so much Christy. The comment means a lot to me coming from you and thanks for the good wishes!!

      Like

  23. A sweet story, Cybele. I can’t help feeling sorry for poor Cowslip Pout. 😦

    Like

    1. me too! Thanks So much for commenting!!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Joanne says:

    Great image. Loved the story too! The toning and the background treatment are applied very well, really makes the image warm and goes well with the story. Nice work.

    Like

    1. thanks so much Joanne!!!

      Like

Leave a Reply to afairymind Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.