Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer 2014-- Felting projects

Needlefelted thistle coaster set  (sold)

Made with hand-processed wool roving from DeNozzo, one of our twin Shetland wethers.

Hand-dyed roving was needle felted onto black wool felt (woven wool felt), a black wool backing added and finished with a penny rug-style blanket stitch. Each one is a little different, since they are done freehand.
Come visit us at the Wakefield Marketplace in Wakefield NH on Saturdays from 9-3 this summer.

More felted pieces:
Felted sheep scene mounted on black wool  (sold)

Needlefelted iris on wet felted background

Saturday, June 21, 2014

New papercut art Summer 2014

"Little Bear"  papercut   Summer 2014

Summer 2014--here are some new papercut art pieces.

Come visit my booth at the Wakefield Marketplace in NH on Saturdays all summer long. The marketplace offers a variety of handmade items from local crafters and fresh vegetables from local farms.
I have several original paper cuts, notecards, penny rugs, felted items and wool roving from our Shetland sheep.

"coneflowers" papercut
"the shearer" papercut Spring 2014


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Shadow Puppet Tutorial #4: Bible story puppets Isaac and Rebekah

This week I'm posting the puppets for Jacob's parents, Isaac and Rebekah. Obviously you can use these puppets to portray other Bible characters if you wish.

These 2 puppets are pretty simple to cut out. My original Isaac did not have a moving arm (see template below). The photo above shows a more recent version where I gave him a moving arm to make him more expressive.You can see the brad fastener on his shoulder.

For the puppet show script, and information to make more puppets, please visit my previous 2 posts.

template for Isaac puppet
The printable template for the Isaac puppet can be found here.

The printable template for the Rebekah puppet can be found here.  

Happy cutting!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Shadow Puppet Tutorial #3: Jacob & Esau Bible story puppets

simple Jacob puppet, non-moving arm

This tutorial will show you how to make an expressive moving-arm shadow puppet and provides free templates for making the Bible characters Jacob and Esau.

The story of Jacob from the book of Genesis in the Bible is one of the first puppet shows I created. We have performed this show a couple of times with elementary school aged children in Grades 4-8 operating all the puppets.

I edited the Genesis Bible story into a puppet script. The script can be found here.

The first puppet to make is Jacob, I suggest you make 2 Jacobs, one facing to the right and the other facing to the left.  You can see in the script which way he needs to face for each scene. You can access the printable template here.

Simple puppet:  If you want to make a simple puppet with no moving parts, cut out the puppet body on the solid lines, including his hand and wrist all as one piece. You won't need to cut out the other 2 arm pieces.

Moving-arm puppet: If you want to make a moving-arm puppet, you will need 2 small brads(preferably black) from a scrapbooking/art supply store. Cut out the puppet body with no wrists or hands (follow the dotted line), and cut out the 2 extra arm pieces separately. Put the 2 arm pieces together at the elbow joint. See dotted lines on template.
Elbow joint: Pierce through the upper and lower arm pieces and attach the brad. Don't pierce the body with this brad!!! Make sure the elbow bends freely.
Shoulder joint: Pierce the upper arm and body pieces with the brad; attach the upper arm to the body as shown.
The smooth heads of both brads should slide on the theatre screen (facing the audience).

Either way, your finished puppet will have just 1 hand. I don't recommend trying to give him 2 hands, it  makes the puppet too complicated.

Jacob template with optional moving arm

Here is the next template, with Esau, the pot of stew, and a deer for Esau to hunt.  You can use your creativity to put a hunting bow in Esau's fist if you want.  The printable template is here.
The pot of stew will need to be laminated on both sides to keep it together, or you can simply connect the burning logs to the other sticks (see photo).
You can also give Esau a moving arm if you wish; (use the same Jacob template arm); I did not.

Esau, deer, pot of stew

the pot of stew, cut as one piece

The final puppet for this week's post is the simple tent. You just tape it onto the theatre screen as scenery.  The printable template is here.

After you are finished cutting the puppets, check the script to see which way they are to face. Laminate or put a piece of shipping tape on the puppeteer side to protect the cardstock from repeated taping and untaping. (I don't permanently attach the straws; I tape them on just for the show and then remove them again when I put the puppets away.) After protecting the card stock, tape on the straws for your show.  See my Puppet Theatre Tutorial for pictures of this.

The next post will have Isaac and Rebekah so you can prepare the next scene. I hope you have fun with this! Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Shadow Puppet Tutorial #2: How to make Shadow Puppets from cardstock

One of my Bible character shadow puppets
Here's a tutorial on how to transfer the design and cut your own shadow puppets from black card stock. I have been making shadow puppet shows since 2006. These puppets will fit my table top theatre, the link to the Shadow Puppet Theatre tutorial is here.

What you will need:

-Black card stock or poster board ( I'm using Recollections 65 lb black card stock from Michael's)
-White transfer paper (carbon paper)
-Sharp scissors
-Xacto knife
-cutting mat 'self healing'
-template or drawing

cardstock-- this package is 25 sheets of just black. I also use lightweight poster board for very large puppets.

 Transfer paper: (white carbon paper) you can't beat this stuff. I bought this little packet for under $2 about 10 years ago and hundreds of puppets later, I'm still using the original sheets. It also comes in black for your other projects.
Notice this paper has 2 sides, the whiter side is where the carbon is.

For the cutting: Oops!! I forgot to put my sharp scissors in this picture! I will show them to you later. For shadow puppets, I do most of the long cuts with scissors, and switch to the Xacto knife as needed.

People needing magnifying glasses: you know who you are.  I'm right there with you.

Okay, here we go!

1. Lay a piece of transfer paper over your black card stock. Make sure the whiter side is DOWN, touching the card stock.  Lay your template on top of the transfer paper. Make sure the entire image fits onto the transfer paper and card stock.

Making sure the puppet's feet will fit on there!

2. Trace over all the template lines with the pencil.

3. The image will be a white line on the black card stock.

4. Time to cut! Start with scissors. Take your time with the hands; they are so important. If you are doing moving-arm puppets, the emotions and actions are shown with puppet hands, so get them right. I usually cut the hands into 'mittens' first. Then go in and trim the fingers with either scissors or blade. You will feel like you are giving a puppet manicure!
first cut of a moving-arm puppet's forearm
cut into a 'mitten', ready to cut out the fingers