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

Posts tagged ‘Making puppets’

In a Videojug Puppet Making Frenzy

After having been approached by Videojug,Image the video production company to make a series of how to puppet making videos for Youtube, how could I say no? Anyone who knows me a little or indeed reads this or my Diane gets Crafty blog knows I’m an avid maker. Plus the opportunity to have 20 short professional videos made for me that I could use was just too tempting.

London Kids entertainer and puppet show provider Diane

Me, an expert? Who'd have thunk it?

So I signed up to make a series of 20 short 3minute videos on the most Googled puppet making searches and become Videojug’s expert puppet maker. Gosh. I like that title. I set a date for filming the 20 videos ,worked out my list of makes and got all excited.

Then, like so many other people in the UK I went down with the flu.

Cue lots of days not being able to get out of bed , loss of voice , coughing, spluttering and generally not feeling very well.

Add to this scenario normal work commitments : children’s parties that were booked well in advance. I had to fulfill those despite a barely audible voice and not feeling very well at all. In fact I was faced with one of my busiest periods of booking for a long time. Yey for success, boo for illness and bad timing.

This was my nightmare scenario: having so many opportunities and struggling to live up to them. But I soldiered on. Somehow.

Then I woke up one morning to find my top lip covered in fever blisters where my skin had cracked from the flu and I was facing being filmed just a week later.

I rescheduled and pushed back the filming a week. It’s now due in just a few days time and I’m on my last few puppets. I can’t make most of them completely as it is for demonstration purposes, so I’m in a situation of having to make multiple stages of each puppet so I can do a Blue Peter style ‘here’s one I made earlier’ moment. There are so many restrictions when trying to fit everything into a 3 minute video.

Punch and Judy puppets made by Diane's Puppets

Here's some I made earlier , 20 years ago in fact.

So I’m almost there.

Did I mention getting some terrible 24 hour gastric bug as well ? Oh I forgot that one. My lip is now healed. I’ve stopped being ill and I’ve almost got my voice back, and I’ve four parties to complete before finishing the final 6 makes.

Time is ticking , so what am I doing writing blog posts?

Here is a quick preview of some of my makes:Cat hand puppet made by Diane's Puppets

Dog sock puppet made by Diane's Puppets

Silly sock dog puppet

Mr Punch paper puppet

Mr Punch paper puppet in progress

Judy paper puppet made by Diane's puppets

Judy all finished

Felt finger puppets pig cow

Felt farm fingers

Ballerina finger puppet

Paper ballerina finger puppet

Mouse paper finger puppet

Cute mouse finger puppet

making papier mache puppet heads

The stages in making papier mache puppet heads

Well those are just a taster. Many of the puppets have to be made on camera. So, if you’re looking for a place to find out how to make simple puppets for and with your children or just for you ( puppets are for everyone!) then do come back and see my videos on Videojug.

Coming soon, just for you.

Which Witch is Which?

Halloween is fast approaching.

Here in the UK, Halloween isn’t really the big thing that it seems to be in the States, but it’s popularity is ever increasing.

It is very sweet to see groups of little children dressed up in spooky costumes knocking on doors and crying Trick or Treat! Well it is lovely in the nice areas where the people knocking on doors are young and innocent. In some of the inner city areas it isn’t as pleasant. But I won’t lower the tone of the post.

I like witches.When I grow up and I’m too old to be a children’s entertainer,  I might become a witch. It seems like a fun thing to do when your hair goes grey and wrinkles start spreading. It sure beats botox and hair dye. I’d rather use the power of wisdom and age and celebrate the changes rather than spend the rest of my years trying to hold them back.

Sings: ” Holding back the ears…”

In fact, I have my own handbook on witchcraft called The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries which to me is all about being a strong woman.

I’ve made a few witch puppets in my time.

One is a small pocket puppet, useful for quick storytelling. She’s only a few inches tall, not terribly terrifying, but lovely colours, with her green hair and blue face.

Green pocket witch

Then there’s Witchy Poo Poo, she’s a character from one of my original puppet shows .  Fifi the fairy creates her by hastily making a magic spell and getting the words wrong. Instead of wishing for a birthday wish for her mummy, she wishes for a Birthday Witch. ( see what I did there? ) So Witchy Poo Poo is a birthday witch, complete with fiery red hair, wart on the nose and a cloak covered in birthday candles. Look carefully, she doesn’t have any eyes, that makes her even spookier in my eyes. She sure can raise a giggle and a scream from my young clients. Older children really buy into her scariness, even though she is more silly than scary.

I'm a witchy, I'm a witchy poo!

Birthday witchy, come to bother you!

Then I have a very scary witch indeed. She isn’t your typical witch with a pointy hat and black cloak. She is the even more terrifying sort, she is the old lady in disguise. I made this one for my puppet show of Snow White. Here she is the evil queen disguised as a old pedlar woman selling combs. She has really big meaty forearms and one beady eye and a big jutting toothless lower jaw. I know I’d be wary of this lady if I came across here. Wouldn’t you?

Combs my lovely?

Buy my wares, pretty?

Come here my lovely...

Yes, she is a little scary. But don’t we all like a nice safe scare sometimes?

Finally, I’d like to introduce you to a puppet of mine who really has never been used. She is a marionette witch, and because I’m not really a great manipulator of marionettes, ( I prefer fast moving hand puppets) she has languished in a suitcase for years, gathering dust. Not that she minds, mind you. She rather likes dust. She uses it in her magic spells along with spider webs and slug slime.

She has rather fetching red pantaloons underneath her black dress, don’t you think?  She’s wearing  a fine black cloak around her neck. Her broomstick has gone astray, I think it’s flown away or maybe her familiar ( her black cat) has taken it somewhere and hidden it.

I'm casting spells

I'm melting Aargh!

My favourite witch of all time has to be the Wicked Witch of the West from the glorious MGM film, The Wizard of Oz. Can’t you tell?

So which witch do you prefer and why?

I’d love to know.

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