In my previous blog, I mentioned a number of nursery rhymes and music collections that are the favorites in our household. Amongst some of my favorites to sing to my children at night or whenever they need comfort and soothing is Edward Lear's, The Owl and the Pussycat. Although The Owl and the Pussycat is a nursery rhyme/poem, I first discovered it through music by Susie Tallman. This very popular poem was sung beautifully by Tallman in her album, Classic Nursery Rhymes. And it is to this tune that I sing to my children The Owl and the Pussycat.
When I sing this song, I am taken away to a place of beauty, on a boat, floating peacefully at sea under a moonlit night with the echo of the lovely guitar and the lapping of the waves against the hull of a boat. It is not so different from one of the most beautiful and magical moments that I had with my husband when we travelled to Vietnam many years ago. During part of our trip, we spent three days and two nights on a sampan floating amongst the amazing labyrinth of limestone mountains jutting out of the sea in Halong Bay, north Vietnam. I will never forget how peaceful, simply magical, and amazing it all was. Truly, I am humbled and struck with awe time and again by the breathtaking grandeur of our planet.
There are things like music, like smells or light, which are so provocative of moods or places or people, and which being shapeless, are timeless. If only there was a way we can capture these things and lock it up in a bottle so that when we forget we can always open up the bottle and let it remind us of how alive we are. In the same, I wish there was a way to capture the sense of peace and happiness I had being with my husband on that sampan in Halong Bay many years ago and of the moments when the world around me is still and I have only my babies in my arm to rock and sway to sleep. But, sadly, these things that are shapeless and timeless are also elusive and they slip very quickly from our lives. So, in an attempt to bring tangibility to what is not, I created The Owl and the Pussycat. And in the hope that touching and feeling the love and the life that exists in the boat, I can in some small way send into the world a bit of the peace and happiness that I experienced with my husband and that I experience now when singing my children to sleep to the sound of the song The Owl and the Pussycat.
You can listen to an abbreviated sample of The Owl and the Pussycat as sung by Suzie Tallman, here. Just click the play button at the lower left hand corner and a 30 second sample of the song is played.
The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat.
They took some honey and plenty of money wrapped up in a five-pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above and sang to a small guitar, “O lovely Kitty, O Kitty my love, what a beautiful Kitty you are, you are, you are, what a beautiful Kitty you are.”
Kitty said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl, how charmingly sweet you sing. Oh let us be married too long we have tarried, but what shall we do for a ring?” They sailed away for a year and a day to the land where the palm tree grows, and there in a wood, a piggywick stood, with a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, his nose, with a ring at the end of his nose.
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.” So they took it away and were married next day by the turkey who lives on the hill. They dined on mince and slices of quince, which they ate with a runcible spoon. And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon, they danced by the light of the moon.
The Owl and the Pussycat set comes with the following:
The Owl is an 8" (20 cm) doll, made with natural materials and he is a one-of-a-kind cutie. His facial skin is made with premium quality swiss cotton interlock and his body/bodysuit is composed of clean, repurposed 100% cashmere (makes him super soft). He is softly stuffed with bio-wool. His owl bodysuit is permanently sewn on, but his hat is remove-able to reveal a sweet head full of brown hair. His hair is made of mohair yarn. His owl hat has buttons for the eyes and a piece of printed fabric for the nose. He has an embroidered and simple, expressionless face. His cheeks and nose are blushed with red beeswax. His wings and owl feet are lined on one side with a beautiful but neutral colored printed fabric.
The Kitty is an 8" (20 cm) doll, made with natural materials and she is a one-of-a-kind sweetheart. Her facial skin is made with premium quality swiss cotton interlock and her body/bodysuit is composed of clean, repurposed 100% cashmere, making her ultra soft to hold and cuddle. She is softly stuffed with bio-wool. Her kitty bodysuit is permanently sewn on, but her hat is remove-able to reveal a head full of red hair. Her hair is made of mohair yarn. Her kitty hat has buttons for the eyes, a nose that is embroidered and whiskers made of embroidery floss. She has an embroidered and simple, expressionless face. Her cheeks and nose are blushed with red beeswax. Her kitty hands and feet are lined on one side with a beautiful light, striped, pink-colored printed fabric.
I had a lot of fun entertaining numerous ideas for the boat. But, there is after all only 24 hours in a day, so I chose the one idea that I thought was the cutest...the pea pod. In the lyrics, The Owl and the Pussycat travel in a "pea-green" boat. So, this gave me the idea to add a dash of imagination by making the boat a pea pod. How fun is that? The boat measures 30" (76 cm) long from the top of the stem to the end of the boat. It is 16" (40 cm) long at the bottom/base. And it is 6" (15 cm) tall from the bottom/base of the boat to the top edge of the boat. The boat is hand knit by me using a 100% organic cotton yarn by Blue Sky Alpacas. The pea pod pattern design is by Angie Hartley of 4aSong. Angie's pattern is intended for use as a newborn photography prop. However, I've turned it into my purpose of use as a boat for the Owl and the Pussycat and it turned out to be perfect for this purpose. The boat includes amazing details of a pea pod's stem, leaf and tendril. I've converted the ball of pea into an anchor for the boat by attaching a long i-cord to the pea. The stem, leaf, tendril, and pea ball/boat anchor are made from a 100% superwash merino wool by Cascade Yarns. The pea is softly stuffed with bio-wool. It measures 3" (7 cm) in diameter.
The guitar is made of 100% cotton fabric. The front fabric has a sweet vintage print of The Owl and the Pussycat and the back side of the guitar has a green wood grain printed fabric. This tiny guitar is softly stuffed with bio-wool. It measures 5.5" (14 cm) long.
The Honey Jar
The honey jar is needle felted using 100% wool roving. It is capped with a vintage cream colored doily and tied with a strand of hemp cord. It stands 3" (7 cm) tall.
The Owl and the Pussycat set can be used for a number of purposes interchangeably. It's intended purpose is for play or for a nursery room decor piece. The pea pod boat can also be used as a newborn photography prop when the dolls, guitar, honey jar and pea anchor are removed.
The Owl and the Pussycat set is recommended for ages 4+ due to the delicate nature of the design and the small parts on them.
The Owl and the Pussycat have found a beautiful home to go to. Thank you.