As children many of us have played with finger and hand puppets in the home and at school. We made up stories and dialogue and had fun for an indoor activity. Punch and Judy hand puppets were very popular.
In the advanced grades we were exposed to stick puppets, ventriloquists and marionettes by watching a production in school, at the library, or during an exhibition at a museum or a children's theater.
I remember attending a television studio which housed the Howdy Doody program featuring the marionette puppet, Howdy Doody. On Saturdays many children watched Kukla, Fran and Ollie featuring their many funny antics.
Television introduced ventriloquist dolls most often operated by comedian style entertainers. In America one of the greatest was Edgar Bergen with his dummies Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. Another famous ventriloquist is Jeff Dunham with Achmed. Another famous and popular show then and now are Jim Henson's The Muppet Show which caters to adults, however; children enjoy the characters. The Muppets' cast has been featured in movies.
We are surrounded by puppets in many entertainment medias. Being a puppeteer has many employment opportunities. If you enjoy entertaining, you may wish to consider this arts and crafts opportunity as a career.
The two main requirements are a passion for puppets and story telling.
Types of Puppets
Full Body Puppet
Finger and Hand Puppet are used by both children and adults in story telling.
Rod Puppet and Shadow Puppet
A rod puppet is controlled with a rod made of wood or metal which is placed in the center of the body. There are attachments to the rod which connect to the arms. The operator is below stage level and moves the puppet with the rod from side to side or up and down. The operator moves the arms with strings connected to the arm controls.
Shadow puppets are constructed flat. Rods and strings are used to operate the characters. The actors are placed between a screen and a bright light which creates shadows on a screen.
The ventriloquist operates his doll with one hand causing the head or the mouth to move about naturally with words uttered by the ventriloquist. The object of this play acting is to direct attention to the doll, not the human being. The ventriloquist does his best to speak without moving his lips. The performer practices for many years speaking without moving their lips. One challenge is to speak while drinking a glass of water.
The operator for marionettes is known as a marionettist. He or she operates these figures by moving strings on a control unit. The strings may be made of strong threads or wire. The object is to move these figurines mimicking life's movements.
Full Body Puppet
There is a difference between dressing up as a character or dressing as a full body puppet. A character acts his character traits. A full body puppet is costumed as a character which is actively participating in a written story. In other words, there is an actor in a puppet costume and he or she has a role or a part in the story being told.
Would you like to become a Puppeteer?
Income is based on agreements or contracts. The highest paid puppeteers are in television and the movie industry.
Do you need ideas for dressing dolls? Christmas is a time of gift giving and many little girls enjoy dressing their dolls. It is a wonderful surprise to open a gift of doll clothing. The little girl will run to her closet and take out her dolls to try their new fashion selection.
If you are like me, I have many remnants of cloth which are too small for regular clothing, but just right for making doll clothing. It may take a few weeks or months to complete a wardrobe. Start sewing or gluing today.
Doll clothing may be assembled with machine, hand sewing, or gluing. You may also knit or crochet these garments.
Knit a sweater and make a pair of pants. You may consider making your daughter a sweater as well.
Make a jacket and skirt or a pair of pants. An ensemble like this may be stitched, knitted, or crocheted.
Design your own patterns or check online for free patterns. Whenever I research online, I find many different free patterns offered by various companies. Or if you wish there are patterns to be purchased.
Make a rag doll. These are very easy to assemble.
In this photo someone made an everyday dress for this rag doll. Little girls like dressing as their dolls. This is a good example of how an everyday dress is made from fabric scraps. If by chance these are scraps from a dress that was made for your little girl, she will appreciate her doll having one as well.
A wedding gown or a beautiful party dress is very exciting. Are there several dolls? Sew, crochet, or knit for other dolls to wear as bridesmaids or flower girls.
Party dresses are not only fun to make but they do offer a sparkling new addition to a doll's wardrobe.
Is there a new addition to the family?
Make the new baby doll some baby clothing. Or if you prefer visit garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores and purchase baby clothing that will fit the doll.
Babies can be quite messy; add accessories of bibs, diaper changes, and light blankets.
These five types of ideas will help to jump start your creativity and imagination. Review the types of dolls and supplies available to make a determination where to start. Don't be surprised by the fun you will have making these clothing.
Read more about making doll clothing.
These three ladies are modeling simple and sexy costumes that can be made or assembled in a small amount of time.
The secret to a quick and easy costume is to look into your closet and all storage areas where you keep your clothing. Select a few items and review them with renewed interest. This thinking will spark creativity and imagination. Gather your arts and crafts supplies and utilize skills to assemble, stitch, or glue a new costume.
The three black costumes are created wearing an attractive bra with peek-a-boo short vest. Leotard leggings and a pair of short shorts to match the vest. . Accessories include a necklace around the neck and hip chains draped over the hip. Wear a pair of 3" high heeled boots. Apply facial makeup or a mask. Create a sexy hairdo or wear a wig.
Note: a bikini swimsuit can be substituted for bra and short shorts.
Garment Altering Ideas
Are you too shy or self-conscience to wear any of the above ideas? Try being an angel.
Many of us participate in celebrating Halloween. It may be our first time or a yearly fun date of social activities.
Whether it is the first or the twentieth time preparing for this celebration, the question raised is ”what am I going to wear?”
Costumes can be rented, purchased, or created by our imagination and talented hands.
The next most important decision concerns props and accessories. These items add or make the character.
For instance, a knight needs his armor, helmet, shield, and sword to complete his ensemble. A bow and arrows or a feathered headdress are needed for an Indian or an Indian chief, a silver sequined glove is the trademark for Michael Jackson, Indiana Jones is equipped with a fedora and a bullwhip, and Wonder woman is known for her tiara, wrist cuffs, and belt. If any of these characters lack their accessories or props; the costume incomplete.
Body Accessories List:
Character Props List:
Head - Helmet, hats, caps, animal headpieces
Hair - Hairstyle or bald cap – wigs of famous characters
Eyes - Goggles, unusual eye ware
Noses – large, pointed, bulbous, round, none
Mouth - large lips, scarred mouth, assorted teeth sizes, mouth guards, musical, sports, light-ups, gold/silver and multi-colored
Neck – scarves, ties, chokers (bloody, boa, stitches), neck collars, bow and neckties
Chest – hair, ribs cage, naked chest, armor, skeleton, bleeding
Stomach – pregnant, open wound, exposed anatomy
Legs – net stockings, striped socks, severed, anatomical, amputated, scarred and bloody, witches
Feet – boots, shoes, sandals, monster, animal, bleeding, amputated, clownish
Popeye – pipe and sailor hat
Witches – pointed hat and broom
Cowboys – guns
Indians – bow and arrows
Knights – Armor and swords
Superheroes – capes
Angels – wings
Pirates – eye patches, and horizontally striped shirts
Thor – hammer
SciFi warriors – lasers
Spiderman – his unique body costume and spider webs
Masks or Makeup:
Masks, costumes, and props can become very uncomfortable when worn for hours. Weather conditions also affect costume choices, wearing a mask, or wearing facial makeup.
It is worth every effort to select a comfortable costume to enjoy many hours of fun. The message of Halloween is to scare away evil. Have fun and enjoy the party or parade.
Need more information about Halloween costumes? Read more...
Tattooing has been around for thousands of years and will continue into the future. It is a form of body art shared by many peoples from various cultures around the world.
Today you are giving serious thought to getting a tattoo. Before you get a tattoo here are 11 tips before you begin the process or reminders for repeaters.
There are many styles of tattoos. Here is one of many which may help you to make a decision.
Styles of Tattoos list gathered from “Different Tattoo Styles” You Tube, I am Kristianna. She has illustrations of the different styles.
This list is a starting point. Your selection is going to last a life time. It is worth the effort and research to make the best decision to avoid regret and the expenses of removal. It has been my experience to be careful of symbols and foreign lettering. Acquire knowledge of these two areas to also avoid dreadful mistakes.
Summary: Research, talk to people with tattoos asking for their opinions and experiences. Who would they recommend. Check for legal licensing and cleanliness and hygiene of their business locations. Interview, ask questions, share your ideas and thoughts, and trust your tattoo artist.
These puzzles are amazing and fun to assemble. If you enjoy a challenging assembly, then this hobby may be for you. There are instructions or drawings to help you put the interlocking pieces together. Warning, read the outside of the box to be sure that the instructions will be in your language. You don't want to get home and discover the directions are written in a foreign language.
It will take time and patience by yourself or with a team to complete the model or structure you chose. There are a wide variety of choices which include animals, structures, people, robots, vehicles, movie characters, and other objects which will satisfy your interests.
Word, jigsaw, 3d, and mechanical puzzles exercise your brain by stimulating your thinking processes and in return an exercised brain will improve memory. The memory and experiences will help with problem solving. All ages will appreciate this benefit.
It is educational because of knowledge gained depending on what structure is being built. Reading and comprehension improves because of the willingness to learn about your interest.
Eye and hand coordination is critical for preparing to do complex tasks. Most of us know the importance of the baseball batter hitting the ball correctly. This achievement calls for visual, disciplined concentration and focusing, and arm and fingers to follow through which is provided by the brain's network of information. It's the same for assembling models and 3d puzzles.
Focusing on other fun projects relieves an individual from everyday stresses. Doing something enjoyable is a vacation from tension, worry, deadlines, frustrations and other irritating or anxiety producing situations.
People like to receive rewards for work well done as quickly as possible. After assembling many assorted cut pieces into its whole is the reward or blue ribbon that we puzzle solvers enjoy. It's a compliment to our achievement. Other rewards are gained through the education we learned while assembling the puzzle.
There is social engagement with team work. Your team may be composed of family members and friends, online acquaintances, local, state, and national puzzle clubs and organizations.
If you are anything like me it satisfies your creativity and imagination.
Crossword, dimensional, and mechanical are all popular recreational, educational, and therapeutic activities for both mental and physical wellness. There are no age limits, no gender restrictions, and no special skills required. Utilize your thinking and patience for hours of fun as an individual or with a group of people who share the same interest.
The Business Plan
Regardless of whether you are new to this business or are currently an active business owner, a working business plan is essential. This plan will have layouts for lesson plans, performances, retail, community activities, strategies, advertising and marketing, and new thoughts and ideas for producing income weekly, monthly, yearly, and 5-year goals.
Lesson plans – Styles of dances to be taught with their class schedules. Lessons to be taught by studio owner and other instructors.
Performances – Profit and non-profit by soloists and troupes. Performances by self, school troupes, and subcontractors.
Retail – Merchandising within the studio and retailing at outside events.
Community activities – dance demonstrations and speaking engagements at women’s clubs, schools, and other locations.
Strategies – Established and experimental ideas for advertising, marketing, and selling.
Advertising and marketing – using traditional methods and experimenting with new or fresh ideas to generate more students and income.
Creativity and imagination – for having thoughts or ideas which have never been done and making them workable for the dance studio.
The business plan is your visual partner and listener which records your written words. It is a living guide under your control. But, It is flexible and subject to change.
Primary Income Makers
Retailing costumes, accessories, jewelry, hair and feet ornaments. CDs and DVDs, dance props, and specific percussion instruments are essential for students as performers.
Performing is a part of the dance experience. Provide classes for those students who wish to perform. Ready troupes for performing in both profit and non-profit opportunities.
As a studio owner there is much that can be done by self. However; as your business grows there will be a need for hiring others or using subcontractors.
Show promotions offer added revenue. Present workshops or seminars in your community. Workshops are normally one day and seminars occur over a weekend.
As the student volume increases so will the the products and services.
Click for more detailed information.
Quilting is Similar to Assembling a Picture Puzzle
Quilting is very much like working on a picture puzzle. Each square, triangle, circle, or strip is sewn together using a pattern guide which repeats itself until the project is completed. Hand quilting, machine quilting, or a combination of both may be used.
This hobby can become addictive. Men, women, and children enjoy working on a variety of sewing projects. Individuals may work alone or with others. Quilting clubs are very popular for the social environment and building a circle of friends. There are thousands of clubs throughout America.
If you are new to quilting start with a small project. This will help to identify your style of sewing (hand or machine).
Where to start.
If quilting is new to you I would recommend starting with making a traditional quilt. Traditional quilting is sewing pieces of fabric squares into a bed cover. In early America this style of quilting was the practical application of fabrics utilized for blankets. As you gain confidence and wish to try other challenges consider the next three types of quilting.
The second type is Applique Quilting. This is the application of decorative pieces which are not square, rectangular, or strips. Flowers and simple figurines of people and animals are very popular.
The third challenge is Modern Quilting. This style is the newest trend of using graphic designs and negative space.
A fun challenge is Crazy Quilting. Use traditional squares which may be decorated with any type of notions. Beads, artificial flowers, buttons, sequins. Or assemble pieces of assorted fabrics without logical thought using assorted fabrics in no particular order or design.
Quilting Project Ideas:
Creativity and Imagination
The art and craft of quilting offers a variety of creativity and imaginative sewing projects which may be utilized for many different purposes. It is safe to say that quilting is a hobby of infinity.
My First Paper Mache Project - Fruit and Bowl
My first project was making fruit and a bowl to hold the finished fruit as a centerpiece for the dining room table. The second project engaged the making of puppet heads. And the third project was creating props for a theater performance.
The first project introduced props of balloons and an old bowl wrapped in plastic. The second project called for making mush out of the paper strips. The props for theater use called for more advanced techniques and imagination.
Balloons are handy and easy to do as you cover the balloon to meet the requirements of the project. After completion just pop the balloon which releases the item.
Fruits can be covered with the paper mache. The fruits are left to rot after which a slit is made in the paper mache to remove fruit. Cover the balloon halfway to mark the edges of the bowl. After it dries, pop the balloon and trim away the rough unwanted edges of the bowl.
Stabilize the bowl with a flat circular sheet of cardboard cut to fit the bottom of the bowl. Attach the cardboard piece to the bottom of the bowl and add paper mache strips until both the platform and the bowl are fastened together. After the paper mache has dried thoroughly finish the product with acrylic paints. For added security spray with a fix-it agent or varnish.
Paper mache recipe
Mix wood glue and water. Apply strips to the foundation. After a thorough drying finish with exterior paint and protective coating against water and humidity.
Puppet heads are not made with the strips, but rather with wet papers beaten up to form a pulp. The head sizes will vary depending on the type of puppet. The puppet may be a finger, hand, or marionette type.
Paper mache can be used for making many theater props a well as objects for every day use or home decor.