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

Posts tagged ‘Crochet’

When Two Worlds Collide ( in crochet)

Sorry sorry sorry sorry! I haven’t blogged in such a while, I simply haven’t had the time. All my spare time has been tied up with hooking. I’m crochet crazy!

 

Anyone who has been following my blog /s can’t fail to notice that I’m not only a kids entertainer, but I’m an avid maker and my medium of making at the minute is crochet.

Since taking up the hook a mere year and a half ago, I’ve not stopped ! It started off with granny squares that looked like circles to begin with and has now ended up becoming  something quite special.

I’ve combined my love of sculpture/ crochet and puppetry and have been making a series of portrait dollies, mainly for very glamorous burlesque performers on a commission basis. It’s been quite a venture, the success of which is almost overwhelming me.

I’ve recently been featured in an alternative ezine , The Independent Voice ,the link here : http://www.theindependentvoice.org/2012/Edition_26/index.html#chinwags_anchor 

and am soon to be featured in a really fancy alternative glossy magazine called Et Alors! in a three page spread. All because of my dollies! Who’d have thunk it?

 

While making dollies for people, it struck me that it would be really fun to make one of myself in my work outfit, the very lovely colourful outfit that I wear as Diane from Diane’s Puppets .

So I did.

 

Here she is .

Kids entertainer Diane crochet dolly

Me holding my puppet Fifi the Fairy

I’m really proud of how I turned out! Even my glasses are the right colour ( I’ve got new ones recently) and my necklace is almost perfect to scale.

Such a joy to make me . 🙂

I tried to capture every last detail of my costume and my faithful funny fairy puppet , Fifi. Even down to her wobbly wand and sparkly purple eyes.

 

Me from behind. Careful not to burn your bottom!

I even managed to recreate my ‘story skirt’ that has lots of images of things on it, including a fire breathing dragon.

The whole outfit in it’s glory.

The only piece of poetic license is the shoes. I don’t own a pair of sparkly pink slippers. I wish I did. I usually wear a pair of faithful trainers that make it easy for me to walk from gig to gig. I rather be barefoot when working.

Having a chat with my puppet

 

This dolly is smaller than the ones I usually make. She stands around 12 inches high rather than the usual 14 inch dollies that I’ve made previously. She’s rather dinky, unlike myself, who is of a substantial nature. 🙂

 

If you’d like your own dolly made, head over to my online market stall called Devil and Angel on my Shoulder .  I make cute things and not so cute things, some for children and some strictly for grown-ups.  Hence the name.
Do pop over to my facebook pages CROCHET BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL

and CROCHET DARK AND DECADENT 

and DIANES PUPPETS and hit those ‘LIKE’ buttons if you’d like to keep up with all that’s going on in my world. It’s probably easier than waiting for the next blog post…

 

 

 

 

 

Double Dip Recession? Ya boo sucks!

So, yesterday all us folk in the UK were reliably informed that whoo hoo! we are back in recession . Yes folks, a whole year has gone by and zero growth. Whoop de do.

I sort of thought this was going to happen. But you know what they say about what happens when the going gets tough, don’t you?

The tough get going.

My very first Kidspartyheaven post was about the recession. Since then I’ve written loads more posts and I’m still partying despite the economy staying static.

Guess what? Life goes on, pennies are tight but we are a tough bunch and we soldier on.

You’ve got the right … to party!

So what have I done here at Diane’s Puppets to make sure that my clients can keep partying in these very challenging times?

Well first of all I haven’t put up my prices in over 10 years. Yes that’s right, my prices are the same as ten years ago.

I recognise that things are difficult for my clients and feel that we need to work together to help each other out. I need my clients so I can stay in business, they need me to provide them with an affordable service.

Secondly I’ve tried to offer my clients more choice. I’ve rethought my entertainment packages and come up with a selection of low cost packages that suit both my clients and myself. I now have mix and match packages that clients can tailor to their own needs and budgets. It’s a win/win situation, surely the best business scenario.

Thirdly I’ve added another string to my bow. I have started up another little business to keep me occupied during quiet entertainment times ( school holidays) when the majority of my clients are away. I’ve turned a personal passion , a new hobby into a business and I’ve called it Crochet Bright and Beautiful.

It’s all rather brand new, but very exciting as I’m building a loyal client base and getting my face and cute crochet out there in the world. I’ve now got three market stalls under my belt and a nearly new sale.

I’m starting to sell on the Internet via my Folksy shop and Facebook page  and am constantly making new things to add to my stock. I’m working on a range of scarves at the minute featuring very current/on trend Granny Squares in bright colours edged with black. I’m hoping to eventually sell at Spitalfields market.

There’s no rest for the wicked, or for those who want to keep their heads above the water during this double dip recession. So I’m outa here . It’s time to crack on with crochet.

Then on the weekend it’s party on dude.

So despite this horrid economic situation I’m quietly happy and happily busy.

Let’s bring out the final cliche, yes, every cloud has a silver lining. This recession has brought out the business woman in me, albeit a very quirky one.

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*

Fairy Pretty

I love fairies.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a fairy.

As a child, my favourite book was an oversized picture book ( probably about as big as the 4-year-old me) all about fairies. I would sit for hours on end, pouring over this magical book , dreaming of being a fairy.

I was never dainty. Despite this, I still had ambitions of growing up to become a fairy.

It never really came to pass. Well not exactly…

I now become a fairy through the magic of puppetry. When I take Fifi the Fairy out of her bag, she borrows my spirit and in the words of the lovely Spice Girls “Two become One”.

I did also, in a moment of post divorce/thirty somethingth madness, acquire a dodgy fairy tattoo. Children seem to love it though, but I always tell them it was a bad idea. Even though it is a fairy.

I have also crocheted two fairies. One of them I have named Fifi. I do hope the original Fifi the Fairy doesn’t mind. The other one is an amigurumi fairy, cute and dumpy ( a little like my fairy self). They’re both on sale on my new Folksy site .

Dumpy cute amigurumi fairy and her toadstool.

Isn't she pretty?

Fifi the crochet fairy in her box

Wings and curls detail

Anyone that knows me, knows I have visits from a real life fairy every day.

She is the cutest one of all.

 

 

 

Summer break

It’s the summer holidays now ( not that you could tell from this good old British weather we’re having) but the time has come when clients go on holiday and partying stops for 6 weeks.

So many people presume that children’s entertainers work the most in the Summer and are surprised that I say that that is when business is quietest.

So for a few weeks rather than writing here, I’m concentrating on my crafting.

Diane the London Children’s party entertainer and puppeteer is having a break and knuckling down to her crochet.

See you over on my craft blog!

Diane gets Crafty

Going crochet crazy! Come and see the cuteness.

Cheap piece of tat or something special? The prize debate.

Crochet cuteness handmade by Diane

Parties often aren’t complete without games and games are often not complete without prizes. The question is , what do we give for prizes?

Personally as a mum, I’m not too keen on sweets, although they are a good cheap option. Many children aren’t allowed sweets for various reasons. So what do you do then? There is the option of going to the party supply shop and buying a host of cheap plastic toys. Now what happens when those toys get home? If your home is anything like mine, there are baskets and boxes full of bits and bobs, mostly comprising of bits of plastic and cheap tat. Are these toys really good value for money? I’m not so sure as they are often destined for the rubbish bin after about half an hour of play.

At a Diane’s Puppets party, I like to make my birthday client feel special. I’m a crafty sort of lady, trained in Fine Art in my youth and the sort of person with constantly busy hands. I like to put my finger -fidgets to good use and have recently taken up crochet.  I love it! How wonderful to create lots of little pretty things. Now I’m able to master the ‘yarn over pull through two’ I’m churning out a myriad of cuteness which I turn into badges or fridgies or hairclips. The birthday boy or girl receives a hand made card with a crocheted applique attached. Boys can look forward to being the proud owner of a cute car or monkey or space rocket.

delicious crochet!

In these hard bitten economic times, I feel the personal touch is what it is about. Less plastic tat, more handcrafted cuteness say I?

Do you agree?

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