with light and love

Posts tagged ‘tiptoes’

our holiday season 2012

St. Nicholas left a little lavender doll and a clementine.


Santa’s helpers busy sewing ornaments.  I found a great santa pattern at revoluzzza


My angel in the grade 3 class play at the Waldorf School of Atlanta.

grade 3 class play

 The sun greeted us as we celebrated the winter Solstice. 

2012 winter solstice morning

We so appreciated all the hard work that went into making our nativity characters last year. 


A cold and windy day on Arabia Mountain.


 The wise men followed a star, we followed a line of cars to the ABG Holiday Lights. 

ivie fred and rhonda at abg lights jan 2 2013

And as soon as school started back, I finished my contribution to the Craft Hope Project 19. 

craft hope 19

I had initially thought of writing this post about all the things we missed having the flu/cough over the holidays, but after looking through these photos, I realize that we indeed had a full holiday season!  I’m grateful! 

©rw 2013

Marionette puppets in my mailbox

 I’m a little slow in posting, but I have had a busy mailbox recently.   I was fortunate to swap marionette puppets with 2 lovely puppet makers. 

I received the one on the left from Glori.  See her tutorial at  http://stracciepupazzi.blogspot.it/2012/08/jeremy-mouse-la-nascita.html?m=1 .  And the needle felted head one from Kelly in PA. 

These 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 Here

These 2 mice will join a Tiptoes marionette for my little puppet loving Tiptoes fan for a holiday gift.  Hmmm, with 3 puppets, maybe we should make one of those cool racks on pg 130 of Toymaking With Children for what I’m certain will be a growing collection. 

©rw 2012

Tiptoes Marionette going in the mail

A Tiptoes marionette puppet is 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 soon! 

© rw 2012

Last Day to Join Puppet Swap

The last day to sign 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 characters! 

© rw 2012

Kind Mousie marionette puppet play

The Kind Mousie

 There once was a cobbler

And he was so wee

That he lived in a hole

In a very big tree.

He had a kind neighbor,

And she was a mouse –

She did his wee washing

And tidied his house.


Each morning at seven

He heard a wee tap,

And in came the mouse

In her apron and cap.

She lighted his fire

And she fetched his wee broom,

And she swept and she polished

His little Tree-room.


To take any wages

She’d always refuse,

So the cobbler said “Thank you!”

And mended her shoes;

The owl didn’t eat her,

And even the cat

Said “I would never catch

A kind mousie like that!”

-By Natalie Joan

I first heard this story in Morning Garden, the parent/toddler program offered at our local Waldorf school.  My daughter was just one and we were new to Waldorf parenting.  I had always been a reader, but I struggled with the thought of making up stories for my daughter.  I was so grateful when I read somewhere that there was value in a memorized story as well.  THANK GOODNESS!   The poem stuck with me from our sessions of Morning Garden, but I was very pleased to see Kind Mousie included in A Journey Through Time in Verse and Rhyme.

With just a snip and a couple of stitches, your Jeremy Mouse marionette can easily become the main character in a Kind Mousie puppet play.   (Jeremy Mouse tutorial is at https://joygrows.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/tiptoes-and-jeremy-mouse-marionette-puppet-tutorials/)

I went with the quick and easy costume based on supplies I had handy.  Sometime last year, I bought a scrap bag of silk from Waldorf Supplies.  The scrap of white would do just fine for an apron and cap.   I was glad to have silk for the apron since the body was silk and it would help maintain the airy quality of the puppet. 

I originally thought I’d make some sort of dust cap with elastic, but then I decided a cap that tied on behind the ears would work fine too. 

I used a running stitch to attach a piece of ribbon to the silk and pulled it into a bit of a gather before knotting.  Then I folded my oval-ish piece of silk. 

I think the cleverest part of this get-up is looping the apron ribbon in the cap tie.  It keeps the apron from accidentally sliding down.

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.   

©rw 2012

Pine Cone and Pepper Pot puppet patterns

Deep in the forest on Farmer John’s farm live two gnomes.  They have red caps with a sparkle on top, mossy green jackets, mossy green pants, and red boots with turned-up toes.  They also have beards, of course.  One is called Pepper Pot because he likes pepper.  He loves pepper!  . . . The other gnome is called Pine Cone.  He got stuck inside a pine cone when he was young.  . . .  That’s how he got his name. 

Eggs for the Hunting by Reg Down

The Pine Cone/Pepper Pot color page is at  Gnome Coloring Page

When 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 Pepper Pot.  Well this post is my inclusion solution!  It also gives a way for kids to participate in making puppets for your plays at home.   Now your Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse marionettes can have their 2 gnome friends. 

The Gnome Coloring page could be printed on card stock for a simple stick puppet or for shadow puppet plays.  If you ( or your kids) are feeling a bit more ambitious, then you can make a paper puppet with a little more wiggle. 

Gnome Stick Puppet

supplies & tools:
Gnome Puppet Pattern
construction paper or cardstock
stick glue
chopsticks (thank you, Doc Chey’s!)
small brads (2 per puppet)
small hole punch (the hole needs to match the size of your brad anchors.  if you don’t have a small hole punch you can make do with a pin or exacto knife point – adult use only)
roving- just a small bit for the beards, or you can always use colored paper

These puppets can be made from construction paper.  If you choose this method, then use the Gnome Puppet Pattern as an actual pattern that you cut out and use to trace the pieces onto your various colors of construction paper.   

They can be made on cardstock and colored with crayons.  If you choose this method, then print and color the Gnome Puppet Pattern before you cut it out.  We glued the hat on the head, the neck to the jacket, the hands to the sleeves and the boots to the pants.  It is a bit easier if you glue the beard on the chin after you have attached the arms & legs with the brads.  We chose to use our stick glue so we could control the amount (it only takes a little).  You want to make sure you don’t get any glue in your “joints.” 

Two happy stick puppet gnomes ready for adventure! 

Stick puppets made by Ivie Wildman (8yo)

Add chop stick so the puppet is held from above or below.  I was thinking about marionettes when making the puppet with construction paper, so I attached mine to be held from above.  My daughter wanted to hold hers from below and so she taped the chop stick to the back of the head with the handle coming down. 

You can reference the Gnome Coloring Page when you are positioning the arms, hands, legs and boots on the stick puppets. 

The use of the Pine Cone and Pepper Pot images is done with the permission and blessing of Reg Down, the author of the Tiptoes books and more!    (Sir Gillygad is wonderful and waits in my closet for the 9th birthday) 

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

©rw 2012

Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse marionette puppet tutorials

Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse marionette puppets by Rhonda Wildman 

Tiptoes marionette – Gathering Supplies:

  •  Wool stuffing – I get mine from West Earl Woolen Mill in Ephrata, Pennsylvania (fair prices and they ship quickly)
  • 1” tubular gauze – I get mine from A Child’s Dream  .
  • 17” x 17” silk handkerchief – I got mine from Dharma Trading  .
  • 100% cotton knit for skin – I used a thrifted t-shirt
  • Yarn for hair – I used some amazing merino dyed in chamomile by  Mama Jude .
  • Tulle or whatever strikes your creative fancy to make wings
  • 2 small dew-drops or stones
  • Embroidery floss
  • Strong thread for doll making and marionette strings
  • Kool Aid- I followed the instructions to get Sky Blue at this tutorial   .

Gathering Tools:

  • Needles – sewing and doll making
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Beeswax crayon & a piece of paper towel to rosy the cheeks

 Make a “Waldorf doll” style head that is 2 ½ inches tall from neckline to top of head.   See The Children’s Year, Toymaking with Children or Kinder Dolls for good instructions.  Also this Living Crafts blog post has some great photos.  For my marionette puppets, I do leave a bit longer of a neck hanging down.  I like having the extra weight below the neck string for balance.    

Cut a small X in the center of your sky blue silk handkerchief.  I have seen instructions that say to cut a circle, but I like the small X better.  I think you waste less of your material.   With a running stitch, make a circle around the X.  The circle needs to be large enough for your doll neck to fit through.   Leave the tails loose till you are sure your head is situated properly. 

From underneath the puppet, you will be able to pull down and straighten the corners of fabric made from cutting the X.   When the corners are pulled down and the silk is oriented correctly with the head, then you can pull the running stitch tight and tie in knots. 

Flip the silk over to see your puppet’s face. 

I was lucky to find these oval shaped dew drops in my daughter’s dew drop basket.  Any small dew drop or even a pea pebble would work to add a little bit of weight to the hands. 

Wrap the dew drop in a little bit of wool, cover with a scrap of your skin fabric and tie. 

Bring the side corners of the silk to the middle and connect them together and to the body with one stitch.  Place your newly made hands in line with the neck/where the silk will fold in half. 

It is possible to stitch around the hands through only the under layer of the silk (be sure to go through the wrist skin fabric too).  This will allow you to attach the hands without any stitches showing. 

Now you can rosy her cheeks and add the hair.  I used a 2 wig approach to her hair.   One gets folded in half at the seam and the other stays open and the seam becomes the middle part in her hair. 

The folded wig goes on first and is set back on her head.  Stitch down on the fold of the yarn.  Then place the open piece on top of the head and stitch down on what would be the part down the middle . 

I like this method because even using this light hair yarn, my eye and mouth ends are completely covered.   She has plenty of hair to frame her face as well as enough to cover the stitches used to attach her wings. 

The wings are made from a few layers of light pink tulle.  I whip stitched around the edge with a light yellow. 

I like a simple stringing for the marionette.  I use one string for both hands and then another for the head.  I go through the head horizontally above the ears. 

Jeremy Mouse marionette puppet tutorial

Gathering Supplies:

  • Wool stuffing – I get mine from West Earl Woolen Mill in Ephrata, Pennsylvania (fair prices and they ship quickly)
  • 1” tubular gauze – I get mine from  A Child’s Dream.
  • 17” x 17” silk handkerchief – I got mine from Dharma Trading .
  • 100% cotton knit for skin – I used a thrifted t-shirt
  • Small piece of brown felt for ears
  • 2 small dew-drops or stones
  • Embroidery floss
  • Strong thread for doll making and marionette strings
  • Kool Aid- I followed the instructions to get Dark Brown at this tutorial.  

Gathering Tools:

  • Needles – sewing and doll making
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors

Using the 1” tubular gauze, I made a mouse-shaped head.  It is about 4” long.  I made the skin to cover from a thrifted t-shirt and sewed up the end in the same way I do the top of a doll head.  I added ears with a small piece of wool felt and eyes, nose and whiskers with embroidery floss. 

Because I am silk-hem challenged, I didn’t even want to cut the handkerchief at all.   I rolled the tiny dew drop in a bit of wool and tied with strong thread to make the hands.  If you don’t have any small dewdrops, then you can use small pea-pebbles.  A little weight in the hands helps in working the hand strings. 

This stitch will be covered, so use whatever scrap of thread you have handy. 

The stitch will connect both side corners of the silk and will go through the center of the silk. 

Fold over and you have a headless Jeremy Mouse.

Sew around the neck.  Making a mouse seemed to call for an oval. 

I use one string for the hands to make presentation a little easier.  For Jeremy Mouse’s head string, running from ear to nose looked better and gave me more options for posing. 

Now it is time for pancakes!

I look forward to seeing many interpretations of the Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse characters from participants in our puppet swap.  Signups are open till  July 24th. 

©rw 2012