Check out this interview to learn a little more about ESC artist Jorge de Rojas.
A very special thank you to Stephanie at Holiday Pizzazz for allowing us to share in this incredible conversation!
I have always loved Peter Pan, so I was elated when I first saw this new collection from Lori Mitchell!
The stories of Peter Pan are straight from the imagination of Scottish author and playwright J.M. Barrie (such a strange word, playwright...why is it "wright" and not "write? I will have to look into that, but I digress...).
The Character of Peter Pan first appeared in Barrie's novel "The Little White Bird," although this is not the Peter that most of us recognize today. This version of Peter was a young baby who flew out of his nursery, spending time with birds and fairies and apparently riding around on a goat!
The Peter Pan that we all know and love was actually inspired by a family of young boys, who Barrie met while walking his dog in Kensington Gardens, and to whom he eventually became guardian after both of their parents passed away (The movie "Finding Neverland" with Johnnie Depp is actually about this!).
Captain Hook was not part of the original story. According to Barrie's notes, he felt that the story did not actually need a villain, as Peter was capable of wreaking enough havoc on his own. However, Barrie realized that during the stage version of his story, he needed to fill time during a scene change and added in a pirate ship, which eventually lead to the introduction of Captain Hook.
Barrie produced numerous works containing the stories of Peter Pan, including both books and plays. In 1929, Barrie allocated the rights to Peter Pan to a Children's Hospital in Britain, and although the copyright on Peter Pan has expired, the hospital still receives royalties from certain productions in the United Kingdom.
I could go on and on, but I won't do that. Peter Pan is such a beloved children's story, but the story behind the story is fascinating in itself! Lori Mitchell has beautifully depicted some of Barrie's famous characters. Be sure to check them out, along with other favorite storybook characters, on the ESC website!
What is Christmas without The Nutcracker?
Each year at Christmas, ballet companies across the country (and around the world) stage performances of the Christmas classic. Based on ETA Hoffman's book The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, the ballet, composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, was first performed in Russia in December 1892.
The story is universally known, as is the cast of main characters: Clara, The Nutcracker, The Mouse King, Herr Drosselmeyer and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
When Lori Mitchell introduced her Nutcracker collection, she also included the character Fritz. Over the years, we have had countless customers question who this figurine is. So, who is Fritz and what is his role in The Nutcracker?
Well, the answer is very simple: Fritz is Clara's annoying little brother. Fritz appears at the beginning of the ballet, at the Christmas Eve party hosted at their parents' house. It is Fritz who, in a fit of jealousy, breaks Clara's beloved Nutcracker. It is Fritz's toy soldiers that come to life to fight the Mouse King's army of mice.
Although he does not appear as a main character in the ballet, what is The Nutcracker if Fritz doesn't break Clara's new toy, in true little-brother fashion?
If Fritz doesn't break Clara's nutcracker, Herr Drosselmeyer doesn't fix it with a handkerchief, pulled from thin air; Clara doesn't sneak down in the middle of the night to check on her beloved doll; the Mouse King doesn't emerge with his army, only to be defeated by the Nutcracker (with the help of Clara's shoe); and the Nutcracker doesn't transform into a handsome prince who whisks Clara away to the Beautiful Land of Sweets, and all it entails.
So, when it really comes down to it...is Fritz the most important character in The Nutcracker? Not sure that there are many out there who would argue that point, but you may want to add a couple of Fritz to your collection...just in case.
Now that the 4th of July is over, who's ready to start thinking about their Halloween displays??
In the town where I live, the 4th of July is a big deal. Like, a REALLY. BIG. DEAL.
Just in time for the introduction of the New for 2023 Lori Mitchell Valentine design Scoops of Love, June 20 is National Ice Cream Soda Day!
According to the website, The Nibble, "The ice cream soda was invented in Philadelphia in 1874 by Robert McCay Green, operator of a soda fountain at the Franklin Institute’s semicentennial celebration. He wanted to create something to attract customers away from another larger, fancier soda fountain down the street."
To create the perfect ice cream soda, you will need syrup (chocolate is my favorite!), milk, soda water, ice cream and (if you really want to be fancy with it) whipped cream and a cherry on top!!! Mix the syrup and milk in the bottom of a tall glass, add the soda, drop in the ice cream, top with whipped cream and enjoy! What could be simpler???
As the temperatures climb back into the 90s here in Ohio, I can't think of a better way to end the evening than by celebrating with a nice, tall, chocolate soda.