I’m a puppet artist. They are a life long passion of mine and an adulthood profession. I’ve been making these fun friends since I was three. I remember taking scraps from my mother’s sewing room garbage. I would stitch together marionette birds with a needle I’d found and short pieces of thread. Bits of yarn would be tied to them before I dangled them from sticks. My greatest creation before I was 9 years old was a dinosaur. I never got to finish him because he vanished when we moved two states away. After that my puppets got bigger and better. By the time I was 14 I had an order for a 6 foot dragon who probably still lives in Canada. He was a gorgeous green fellow with a full mouth of long, white teeth.
One way or another I have been a storyteller since I was little. Puppets are one of the oldest styles of storytelling. I wanted to work for Jim Henson’s Creature Shop so I could make movies like The Dark Crystal. If I’d known about Wetta and The Lord of The Rings films when I got out of college I might have hopped a plane for New Zealand without even thinking!
It got harder to make puppets and be involved in theatre after my children were born. I eventually found a way to make simple puppets that I can sell at events. Also the coloring puppets I make are good for children to color themselves with crayons or markers. I do dream of making my big, fancy puppets again some day. In the meantime I write plays, puppet shows and novels. The novels are a challenge. Despite how long they are to write and perfect, I love the work. Most weeks I only get a few hours to write as I run kids around. The rest of the time my mind is roiling with ideas, dialogue, action; all the things I need to write fast in the moments I get… and puppet to go with them! More recently the same thing is happening with ideas and plans for puppet films.
The puppets I make tend to be complete characters with voices and lives that jump back into them when a human helps them. What a union, the puppet and the puppet master! A living moment of creativity! Someday I want to have a puppet theatre where humans and puppets perform together like Jim Henson’s The Frog Prince or Labyrinth for stage.
Ah, the great someday. In the meantime I get to enjoy watching my kids perform such characters as SteamPink, Ambrose (who was only a head for awhile), Seal and Zephyra The Vermillion Assassin.
Putting out three posts a week has been difficult. With sick family, parent/teacher conferences, cars needing repairs and life in general, days go by and I realize there hasn’t been a post. I am trying to figure out a way to deal with this.
Our local Steampunk convention was this last week. For years my husband and I have wanted to go, and next year is the year! That is if the convention happens which is up in the air. I was imagining dressing my kids in Steampunk clothing. My one year old Fairy Changeling would be adorable in anything Steampunk! Most of my children are no longer little. Teenagers would need fancier clothes like adults. There are so many things I could do though. Some of my kids could be mechanical beings. Others could carry around some of my puppets. SteamPink loves to go to social events. I make mini-goggles for my puppets. Maybe I could make some baby safe ones for people who bring their infants along to their steampunk adventures. That would be fun.
SteamPink the hand puppet
I have a fondness for the late 1800’s clothing. The silhouette is so graceful. I even made a Victorian era ballgown for my college graduation (one kid wore a graduation gown that year. That made him unique for a Cornish graduation! The joys of private art colleges.) After five babies, I have modified it for my less svelte figure. I threw a bit of mechanical into it and my own twist on Steampunk faerie wings and it has been my steampunk costume for a few years. I think I need to work on some new ones for future years.
The goggles have been the hardest part of my Steampunk accessories. I am very picky about what goes on my head. I spent years rejecting perfectly good goggles until the day I found the Valkyrie goggles. Part of my blogging problems has involved the failing of my faithful camera. It shouldn’t surprise me since it is older than two of my children. By the end of the month that problem will be solved with a glorious smart phone with a camera stronger than the one I have now. I will get a picture of my lovely Valkyrie goggles and post it around Thanksgiving.
So keep an eye out over the holidays and send me your favorite stories and photos. I plan to share my cool creations, our family adventures and thoughts about what ever occurs to me. I love your comments so please respond when ever you want.
I would like you to meet my friend Mowquin of the Fae.
He lives in the lush swamps of the Other Realm. Throughout the ages he taught young fae about magic and encouraged respect of all life; fae or human. Soft spoken, yet strong, Mowquin towers over most beings at about 7 feet tall. You are unlikely to notice him despite his size because of his command of the fae arts, but he often doesn’t leave his home because of his inability to blend into the human realm like so many other fae. It is possible he wore a broad rimmed hat while crossing the Puget Sound on a ferry last year. Many people looked twice, but thought they might be in the presence of a basketball star trying to go incognito.
Very few humans know about Mowquin, but it’s my wish that someday he gets his moment in the spotlight.