Taking the stress out of your child's annual celebrations!

Archive for January, 2012

Silent Sunday

Puppet booth show

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls....

Puppet tiger and puppet dragon in puppet show

And the magic tree kept singing.

Beautiful golden puppet tiger and red puppet dragon

Grrrr... Roar!

This is what I did today.

Yes, it was fun.

Celebrating the Silly: My 100th post.

Diane’s Puppets : Kidspartyheaven. This is my one hundredth blog post.

To commemorate such an auspicious occasion I thought I’d take time to be a little serious and introspective .

Times are tough right now, especially for parents. We are all struggling to make ends meet in this very challenging financial time and this can be very stressful for parents. No parent wants to pass their worries onto their children . We want childhood to be an idyllic time, full of fun and new experiences. We want our children to have a better childhood than ourselves and this can be very tough to achieve, particularly right now.

Girl watching punch and judy show

Creating memories of my own

In my day job as a Children’s  Party Entertainer and puppeteer, I see parents doing their utmost best to provide the best childhood experience they can for their offspring. I applaud my lovely clients for realising the importance of creating good memories and the celebration of milestones for their children. Without wanting to sound like an advert for credit cards or package holidays, this stuff is priceless. But obviously it comes at a price, this is why I try and tailor my party packages to allow people to budget for what they can afford. This is also why I unashamedly display my prices on my website. It is the first thing I would look for, as a consumer, if I was looking to throw a party for my own child.

It is stressful just to live right now, jobs are at risk, things are impermanent. I feel this in the pattern of bookings I’m getting: everyone is very last minute. This reflects the consumers anxiety about  how hard it is to forward plan with no ability to be able to trust in our financial future. I too share your concern. We are all in this together.

We are told that the way out of this awful state is to start being confident, to start spending and trusting again. Easier said than done right?

I believe it is important to start with our emotions, to lighten up , to try and start being less gloomy. Our children pick up on these emotions more than anything, they live in an emotional world, rather like dogs. ( I’m a fan of the Dog Whisperer, can’t you tell?) I’m on a one woman mission to

Respect the Silly

silly pirate facepainting

Ooo Aargh Matey!

It may sound silly. It probably is. But there is a serious side to all of this. If we continue to live in the very grown up world of doom and gloom and recession and financial ruin, well… I don’t really need to spell it out do I?

We all need to laugh. We all need to feel good and light. It makes us healthy.

On this note, I’ve been busy making stuff  to lighten up our lives in the medium of crochet.

crochet pincushion tooth fairy box

a toothfairy box/pincushion

 funky Crochet rainforest toddler frog hat

Toddler rainforest frog hat.

Cute bumblebee beanie hat

My darling granddaughter modelling a bumblebee beanie

Crochet flower fairy doll

Of course I make fairies!

In my very modern way, I learned to crochet via Youtube a year ago. I’ve now got my own Folksy shop and a website.

Logo for Crochet bright and beautiful

Click on fairy to go to my website

It’s my way of staying positive and trying to bring lightness and brightness back into our world. If you are with me, please spread the word!

If you’re a social networking person, add me on @CrochetBandB on Twitter or www.facebook.com/CrochetBrightandBeautiful  on Facebook.

Right, it’s time to go to work.

Hi ho, Hi ho, it’s off to work I go…* whistles*

A Birthday Party away from Home : Checklist

So you are having a birthday party at a venue. There was just not enough space at home or the thought of having a bunch of marauding kids and accompanying parents in your home was just too much to bear. Fair enough.

So you’ve booked a venue and have loaded up the car ready to drive off for your party.

 

STOP!

 

Before you put that key in the ignition and drive away make sure you have the following things:

 

  • Matches or lighter ( I can’t count how many times I’ve witnessed blind panic as parents realise they’ve nothing to light the birthday cake with. Not many people smoke these days, so do come prepared)
  • The venue’s caretaker’s contact number ( in case of problems accessing the venue)
  • Your door keys ( Easy to forget in the fuss to pack stuff for the party. It’s all good until you can’t get back in the house… )
  • A list of guests and contact phone numbers of the parents in case of emergencies
  • Your phone ( fully charged)
  • Batteries for any camera/phone/ camcorder
  • Entertainer‘s mobile phone number ( if using entertainment services)
  • Checkbook or cash to pay the entertainer ( if using entertainment services)
  • Tablewear ( plenty of cups /plates/ paper napkins/ tablecloths)
  • Decorations (banners/bunting/balloons) and sticky tape or blue tack
  • Party bags or going away gifts
  • Food and drink for the guests
  • Drink for the parents ( if you are serving wine, don’t forget the corkscrew!)
  • Music player
  • If organising your own games, sweets for prizes.
  • The Birthday Cake with candles
  • Black rubbish bags for clearing up
  • A small first aid kit just in case ( try packing some arnica cream for bumps, plasters, cotton wool and antiseptic, maybe some sting relief for outdoor parties)
  • A toilet roll ( just in case!)
  • Pass the parcel ( if you are playing it)

So, it’s all packed,  now off you go! Have fun like these children did !

 

Happy children at a birthday party

Diane's Puppets meets Waybaloo

A Special Puppet Show for a Special Birthday Party

The Pearl Dragon and the little Bird who wanted to fly

 

Dragon puppet for birthday parties

Diane's beautiful and fierce Pearl Dragon

 

Following on from Monday’s post about the Chinese New Year and all things ‘ Dragony’ I thought I’d show you more of the cast of my most enchanting puppet show that I perform at kids birthday parties across London.

The story, written by my very lovely friend and one time side-kick ( pre recession!) Lena Augustinson,

Children's entertainer Diane with Aunty Lena and Fifi the fairy

Here is Aunty Lena and her wonderful hat and myself with Fifi the fairy.

 

tells a timeless story of the impatience of youth.  A small bird is in an outdoor cage hanging from a tree ( a magic singing tree as it happens) somewhere in China. He is owned by Little Girl who tells him that he cannot come out of the cage until his wings grow bigger. Little girl puppet Bird puppet for birthday party puppet shows

Little bird isn’t satisfied with having to wait, so one day he takes an opportunity to escape the cage when Little Girl leaves the cage door open after feeding time.

 

He takes advice from the magic Singing Tree who tells  him to find a magic pearl somewhere on the moon and give it to the Ferocious Pearl Dragon to gain his wish to have big wings. But how was bird to get all the way to the moon?

With the help from the young audiences who instinctively understand and relate to this story, Little Bird manages to find himself on the Golden Moon where his adventure really begins.

Monkey puppet and bird puppet for birthday party puppet shows in London

Little Bird meets the trickster Monkey

Beautiful tiger puppet, golden tiger, tiger puppet for birthday party puppet shows

Beware of the Golden Moon tiger Grrrrrrrrr

As all good stories go, this one ends with a happy ever after and a magical transformation.

 

Want Diane to come to your child’s birthday party? Inquire here or call her on 02078209466 for availability.

The Year of the Dragon

It’s my year, the year of the Dragon!

My Chinese dragon puppet, the beautiful Pearl Dragon.

 

Happy Chinese New Year! I researched how to say this in Chinese and realised it wasn’t as straightforward as the one response. So for accuracies sake , here are the variations in the different Chinese languages;

Xin Nian Kuai Le, 新年快乐
Standard Mandarin (the most widely used Chinese)

Gong Hei Fard Choy, 恭喜发财
Cantonese (Mainly Hong Kong and Macau)

Xing Ni Ju Yi, 新年如意
Teochew/ Hokkien (Mainly in South East Asia and Taiwan)

The safest bet is “Xin Nian Kuai Le”. Even Tibetan understands this.

 

I am very fond of dragons. They’re beautiful, fierce and magical creatures. They’re also a little showy, the natural performers of the mythological world. I’m very proud to be born in the year of the Dragon : 1964. My eldest daughter, also fortuitously was also born in the year of the Dragon 1988. We’re both fairly similar creatures, initially shy in crowds but will dress up ostentatiously and fearlessly and once dressed in our magnificence, we exude confidence and breathe fire.At least that’s how I see it! Who else would have the guts to wear the clothes I wear to work out in public  if not a Dragon?

Birthday party entertainer/face painter and puppeteer Diane of Diane's Puppets

 

I’ve been painting lots of dragons on people’s arms recently as part of what I do as a face and arm painter as part of my kids entertainment services. It’s almost as if I knew my year was coming up ( I didn’t!)

Fire breathing dragon coming to life

I’ve recently remade my skirt for work and the first applique I sewed on was that of a fire breathing dragon.

My fire breathing dragon adorning my skirt.

One of my original puppet shows for children’s parties centres around  a bird’s quest to grow his wings quickly so he can escape his cage. The story takes him all the way to the golden moon where he has to find a pearl to give to the wonderful and awesome Pearl Dragon. I really enjoyed making this fabulous puppet, with her red satin chinese fabric body  and her papier mache horns and wings. She breathes fire like all self-respecting dragons and is strong and fierce but essentially kind and helpful. ( All characteristics that I value in any strong woman!) This visually stunning show also features a golden moon tiger  and a magic singing tree, the sort of story that fires up imaginations like the breath of the dragon herself.

To see further pictures of my show click here.

 

So I wish you all a very Happy New Year , especially to all my fellow dragons out there. Let’s go and breathe our magnificent fire of creativity and make the world a more vibrant and exciting place!

 

 

A Birthday Party to Remember

Having fun with Dee Li, Diane and her Puppets.

One big cuddle for Dee LiSay Cheese!

Diane's facepainting at a Diane's Puppets birthday party

Diane's Puppets meets Waybaloo

Happy children at a Diane's Puppets birthday party

Dee Li and the happy throng

I thought I’d share  a few pictures of a birthday party to remember. Way back in 2011, just before the rush of Christmas I entertained at a very lovely and lucky girl’s party. Her mummy had won a Waybaloo party in a school raffle but she still wanted a puppet show, hence she called me. I was privileged to meet Dee Li , the pink character from top CBeebies program Waybaloo and so did all the lucky party-goers. After I had painted the children’s faces and arms as rainbow butterflies, vampires , monsters and flower fairies, we had to be very careful that the hugs didn’t print the paint on to Dee Li’s pink fluffiness. Just look at those adorable faces. Don’t you just love the shy vampire on the far left?

It was a joy to be assisted by big sister and her best friend. I painted them both as sunsets. They were very thrilled with the result.

Sunset facepainting at a Diane's Puppets birthday party

Big sister and her best friend

A great time was had by all, even Dee Li, who managed to leave without any extra colours on her pink fluffy self.

For fabulous face painting and fantastic puppets and a great time  at your child’s party, get in touch with me, Diane at Diane’s Puppets

A Case Of Mistaken Identity…Or Was It?

It’s been a busy few days.

In my job as a children’s party entertainer, puppeteer and face painter, I do get to meet lots of lovely children. Today was no exception.

I spent the morning in  sunny Kensingtonat a lovely party for Eva. She is a delightful little girl with very lovely, caring parents. We spent a good forty five minutes giggling with my puppets, in fact one young boy was laughing so hard he could hardly get his breath. Twinkle the Baby Monkey

Twinkle, my very cheeky baby monkey. A dear friend.

charmed the children with his refusal to say hello and his banana trumpet,  Bobby Bunny

Bobby Bunny puppet for birthday parties

Diane's favourite puppet bunny, Bobby.

played Sleeping Bunnies with 20 or so chuckling children and naughty bunny that he is, snored when he was supposed to be sleeping and kept shouting out Tuna fish! (You have to be there to understand). Trust me, if your sense of humour is like mine, it’s all hilarious.  Fifi the naughty baby fairypuppet

Fairy puppet Fifi from Diane's Puppets

Look at her pretty hair!

got all the words wrong to Twinkle Twinkle and Baa Baa Black Sheep but managed to give lovely twinkle toes wishes to sweet 3 year old Eva and sing Happy Birthday in her own inimitable style. Hilarity was all topped off with a good old jumping on the bed session with Jaffa the Monkey.

During the lunch session, I was on duty face painting. I painted numerous butterflies with twinkly noses , flower fairies, a lion, a tiger , a bunny and a few kittens. Face painting little children is so rewarding. It’s all about that moment when you show them their completed painted faces in the mirror. That magical moment when their faces light up and the smile crinkles across their cheeks, it’s just the best feeling . The last child I painted today was a sweet, shy girl who didn’t put herself forward for face painting immediately. In fact, I wasn’t sure she wanted her face painted, but I was ready to pack up and needed to make sure that she didn’t want to have a go first before I made my way to the next party. After all, no one likes to disappoint children. So I smiled at her and gestured towards my chair, asking her gently if she would like her face painted. She was a little reticent but after  a little cajoling she had her face painted as a very delicate flower fairy.

It was time for the big reveal. I picked up the mirror and held it in front of her face.

There it was, that wonderful smile that made the eyes twinkle.

She ran off to her mummy, clearly very delighted with the result and maybe just a little bit proud of her courage.

” Mummy,Rosie painted my face!” she kept exclaiming, over and over again.

“But that lady’s name is Diane”, said mummy.

“No mummy, Rosie did it” insisted my little flower fairy.

I decided Rosie was a lovely name and accepted it with grace.

At the next party in the afternoon, also in Kensington , after painting rainbow butterflies, spiderman and a host of flower fairies, princesses and notably for the very first time of my 18 years of face painting, a volcano(!) another child referred to me as Rosie to her mummy. I mentioned to this mummy that that was the second time today and did she know why ?

Rosie is on CBeebies. She is a ragdoll character who wears ribbons in her hair.

AAAAAh! So that’s it!

Spot the difference.

This is Rosie

This is me.

 London Kids entertainer and puppet show provider Diane

Rainbow on my head

I know,  I know. Totally indistinguishable.

I love my job. The life of a children’s party entertainer is just full of surprises!

If you’d like “Rosie” ( aka Diane aka me ) to come to your child’s party, just pop over to my website www.dianes-puppets.co.uk to find out more about my party entertainment service.

Diane’s Puppets: Children’s puppet parties to remember with fantastic facepainting and giggles galore.

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