26 May 2012

the owl and the pussycat

ginger urchin travelling blythe
Do you know of the Travelling Blythe project?

Brainchild of Sandra, aka Minkidynamite, this year-long project first began in 2009 with the 'simple' idea of sending two special Blythe dolls created by Vainilladolly (Luka) and Sammydoe (Perrin) on a journey across four continents to travel and explore the globe, visiting some 50 dolly friends along the way. The inaugural journey concluded with an exciting live raffle of the travellers to decide their final destinations and new homes. You can read more about Luka and Perrin's fun and adventures here.

Last year you may recall I was commissioned to create an outfit for Amelia, the special custom doll created by G*Baby for last year's round. Well it pleases me no end to say that I am lucky enough to actually be playing hostess to one of this year's traveller-adventurers!

kaleidoscope kustoms travelling blythe
{ Aurora the purple traveller, by Kaleidoscope Kustoms }

Customised for the project by Sarah of Kaleidoscope Kustoms, in the next few days I shall be taking my part in hosting Aurora, and giving her a peek at my tiny corner of Canada. In addition to showing her some of the local sights, I shall be gifting her this special wool felt garment and companion I have made to take along on her journey. Hosts are permitted to include small tokens for their traveller to collect along the way and I thought long and hard about what my contribution to Aurora's luggage would be, for how could I not include a little piece of Ginger*Urchin?

Already with at least one gorgeous handmade dress in her luggage and many more I am sure on their way to her, I wanted to make her something a little more unusual and that was in keeping with her owl 'theme' as illustrated on those amazing hand-painted eyelids of hers. Then when Sarah shared more of Aurora's story about how she enjoyed travelling through the forests at night, slowly the idea of an owl cloak for her to wear on those silent nightly walks came into being. The last element of this gift came about in a sudden flash of inspiration when another photo of her sparked my recollection of Edward Lear's rhyme, 'The Owl and the Pussycat'. With that, the concept of the be-feathered owl cloak and companion puss-cat came into being.

ginger urchin travelling blythe
For the cloak I wanted to evoke the notion of a shamanic shape-shifter whose cloak of feathers transforms her from human to bird and considered a couple of options before settling on the idea of using all wool felt for both cloak and feathers. The basic cloak shape was hand-sewn from a Japanese pattern I have, while the feathers were all cut and stitched individually by hand - all 103 of them! It closes simply at the neck with a hook and eye.

The companion felt cat is of my own creation, and went through a couple of incarnations in the design stage before settling on this one. His final colouration was decided with the recollection of a certain episode of The Magic Roundabout when Dougal encounters a strange blue cat. Aurora's new friend has acquired a few feathers of his own and there is definitely something mischievous about his character, but nothing too wicked I am certain *wink!* I am sure he will be a true and perfect companion for her in the months to come.

ginger urchin travelling blythe
With all the work and time and planning I have poured into these over the past weeks, I am more that a little excited to see these being enjoyed by Aurora herself as she continues her journey around the globe, and will be eagerly stalking watching the official Flickr group for the latest news and updates of her onward journey!
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