Shiny Things by Orin Drake | Shiny Things Gallery | Dragons | Plush | Mage's Familiar

The truth of the mage's familiar (at least in Rideum) is a little different than what standard tales will tell. It's not a "real animal", and it's not some entity disguised; but a mage's familiar is certainly a companion that they keep with them when they are to take a long journey away from home. It is their connection, their reminder, and indeed many times in the past it has served as the power to bring them back home. When a mage is either selected to, or elects to, use their gifts for some benefit of family or kingdom, then their family (and not merely by bloodline relations; magic cares not for blood, but for heart) gathers together to construct a familiar. No matter what skills they may have individually, from youngest to eldest, they contribute a part of building the familiar so that every stitch, every bit of paint, every bead so very carefully placed will be bound together with one will: to return the mage safely home. Some familiars have been stuffed with patches of clothing from every family member, while others have been decorated with beads from necklaces passed down many generations. Still others are simply constructed of socks and sawdust. (Magic cares not for material wealth, either; the value of will cannot be counted in coins.)

Between you and me, I'm fairly certain this little familiar will get the journey of a lifetime--and safely see their mage home.

So I sketched out a little pattern. Inked it, cut it out. Had some of this almost micro-suede fabric (it's not technically micro-suede, but it feels almost exactly like it; so soft) and decided to oh so carefully transfer the pattern lines and do a test with just a plain, simple, traditional plush. I should have known better. I was all the way through cutting out the pattern when inklings of this story, this creature's origin, started coming to mind. I had already sewn the back and belly when everything was becoming more clear and then... well, it should be more rustic, right? Out the window go the old plans, stomping straight into the front door come the new ones, and... here. I've been wanting to try that old-style "rustic" doll articulation, anyway. And I wanted to play with the idea of little stiffened/reinforced fabric "scales" here and there. So I can't really complain. Just sit back in awe and wonder what happened as usual.

This lovely critter cannot and was not intended to stand on its own, but drapes over one's hand or lap very easily. I mean, this is really soft fabric. And really smooth beads. And is seriously just a nice tactile experience. Entirely hand-sewn, no machine, because I continue to be insane and questionably intelligent. Wings are "unfilled" and "un-wired", but do swivel. Hips, shoulders, knees and elbows are all articulated. I'd intended for the head to turn too, but... the mock-up just did not look right. I like this better, anyway.

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