with light and love

Puppet Swap Invitation

Tiptoes spread her wings and flew lightly into the air.  Turning towards the sun she raised her hands, and said:

Thank you, Sun,

O Being so bright,

For sending love

In rays as light

The Lost Lagoon by Reg Down


Tiptoes marionette puppet by Rhonda Wildman

The first time I saw a marionette puppet show produced at the Waldorf School of Atlanta, I was blown away.   The detail of the faces combined with the flowing silks captured me and brought the story to life in such a special way.    



Dawn Strider marionette puppets by Waldorf School of Atlanta kindergarten faculty 

 Little did I imagine that 7 years later I would be making puppets myself and even producing the school’s 2011 Puppet show – making the puppets and set. 

Child of Faerie Child of Earth marionette puppets by Rhonda Wildman

So when communicating last year about a bird swap, Margaret of We Bloom Here, let it slip that she had been a professional puppeteer, I knew I had found a like-minded partner.  I thought it would be so cool if we co-hosted a swap and I emailed her with the idea.  In our conversations, we realized that while we both loved puppets, we had our favorites.  Margaret is drawn to glove puppets while I find a home in making marionettes.  We decided that our swap would accommodate those folks who want to make either globe puppets or marionette puppets.  We are finally ready to launch our puppet swap. 


Tiptoes marionette puppet by Rhonda Wildman


The projects for this swap are more ambitious than is usual for most craft swaps that I have done before.  Please be sure to read to the end carefully.  The idea is that, at the end of this swap, each participant will have a pair of puppets, ready to go for storytelling and performance. 


Mother Earth and Root Children glove puppets by Margaret Bloom

 There will be two options for this swap — You may sign up to create marionettes (and you will be paired with a swap-mate who wishes to make marionettes) or you may sign up to create glove puppets (and will then be matched with a participant making glove-puppets.) To help you along with the process, Margaret and I will be posting tutorials for creating both marionette-style puppets and glove puppets.  We will also be creating blog posts with additional ideas for stories and puppet-plays you can present with your new set of puppets.   Watch for posts both here at Joy Grows and at We Bloom Here


Tiptoes giggles with Jeremy Mouse by Rhonda Wildman

The marionette theme will be Tiptoes Lightly  & Jeremy Mouse by Reg Down and the glove-puppet theme for this swap is The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers.

The swap will be structured as follows:

— Each participant will be matched with one person.

— Each participant will create 2 identical puppets — one to keep and one to send to their swap-mate.

— It will be up to the two swap-mates to decide which person will create two Tiptoes marionettes & which will create two Jeremy Mouse marionettes (and for the glove puppet swap, who will create two Root Children puppets and who will create two Mother Earth puppets.)  This will require good communication between each participant and her swap-mate.

— Because this is a Waldorf-inspired swap, we are asking that, when possible, participants use natural materials: wool, cotton and silk are preferred. Please try to avoid synthetic materials.  Note: Within the tutorial posts over the coming week, we will offer links to online resources where you may purchase supplies – just in case your stash requires bolstering!

— So that your puppets match as a set, we are suggesting that Tiptoes’ head be made about 6 cm tall (2 ½ in tall) and Jeremy Mouse’s head be made 5 cm tall and a 9 cm long (2 in tall and 4  in long).  For the glove puppet swap, please make the heads of the Root Child puppets are 5-6 cm tall (2 in – 2 ½  in tall) and that the heads for the Mother Earth puppets are 6-7.5 cm tall (2 1/2 in – 3 in tall.)

— Please feel free to interpret the characters of Tiptoes Lightly & Jeremy Mouse (and for glove puppets, Mother Earth and the Root Children) as you wish.  Search for inspiration in your heart (and in your fabric stash!) The photos within this invitation and the illustrations from the books Story of the Root Children  and  Tiptoes Lightly are there to spark your imagination; variations and creative interpretations are strongly encouraged!

Root Child glove puppet by Melissa Polk

Time Line:

— Sign-ups for the swap are open starting today, July 9th.

— Sign-ups will officially close on July 24th

— Information regarding swap-matches will be sent out July 25th

— Puppets should be ready to be posted to your swap-mate by August 10th (or as soon, thereafter, as possible.)

— You may want to gather your materials to create your puppets ahead of time so you can be prepared to start making your puppets, however, please wait until you are matched with your swap mate before you start creating.  As mentioned above, you will need to confer with your swap-mate to decide, between the two of you, who will create the Root Child puppets and who will create the Mother Earth puppets (or in the case of marionettes, who will create Tiptoes puppets and who will create Jeremy Mouse puppets.)

Tiptoes marionette puppet by Julie Hunter

To Sign Up — If you are interested in swapping marionettes  please email me at rhonda957 AT bellsouth DOT net or if you are interested in swapping glove-puppets please email Margaret at margaret AT flyingteapot DOT com.  In your email please include the following information: 

— Your name

— Your home mailing address

— Your email address

— A URL for your blog (if you have one)

— Confirmation of your preference to create marionettes or glove puppets

— A short blurb about yourself as an introduction. This blurb will be sent, along with your other information to your swap-mate.  You could share about what draws you to puppet making – marionette or glove.  Sharing a little bit about your experience with either the Tiptoes stories or The Story of the Root Children would be nice.  You also could say something about your family, where you live, your favorite crafts, or you can tell us something else entirely. We just want to get to know you a little bit!

Root Children glove puppets by Margaret Bloom

If you have any questions please feel free to email me or Margaret. We will be happy to answer your questions or provide clarification regarding the guidelines for this swap. 

We are both very excited about this and we hope you will feel inspired, too!

© rw 2012


Comments on: "Puppet Swap Invitation" (8)

  1. […] to seeing many interpretations of the Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse characters from participants in our puppet swap.  Signups are open till  July […]

  2. […] Remember, our puppet swap sign-ups end July 24th.  All the specifics on joining are waiting for you at this invitation.  […]

  3. […] Margaret and I were planning this puppet swap, I struggled over my story choice for the marionettes because I hated leaving out Pine Cone and […]

  4. […] There are only 5 days left to join the fun in our puppet swap!  […]

  5. […] With toggling posts between Joy Grows and We Bloom Here, we have posted lots of goodies over the past 2 weeks.  We hope you have enjoyed the tutorials, ideas and stories.  We look forward to continuing our puppet making conversation with you in our puppet swap.    […]

  6. […] up for our Puppet Swap is Tuesday, July 24th.  All the details and a timeline are listed at the Swap Invitation.   We hope you will join in the fun and look forward to seeing your interpretations of these […]

  7. […] on its way to a new home!  This sweet fairy will join Kelly’s family in PA as a part of the puppet swap we organized this summer.   Watch for some amazing Jeremy Mouse photos coming up […]

  8. […] Jeremy (and possibly a Jemima Mouse) puppets are a part of the Puppet Swap I co-hosted over the summer with Margaret at We Bloom […]

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