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

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

Tiptoes story eggs

I have been inspired on this venture by 2 greats :  Hallie and Karen.   Thanks ladies! 

You know we love the Tiptoes stories!   We have read the stories at home and even managed to get our teacher hooked on these fabulous tales.   Thanks to some quick crafting, she is able to tell the stories with the help of  puppets.   Ivie’s basket on Sunday morning will have 3 new Tiptoes books – Eggs for the Hunting, Magic Knot & Big Stamp.   She will be thrilled!  Isn’t this book cover beautiful?

Story eggs have been on my to-do list since I saw Karen‘s beautiful ones for Tiptoes.  Then after being the lucky recipient of one of Hallie‘s eggs in a swap, I was determined to try my hand with my wood burner.  Well it does work on my hand!  I found that out on the first try – ouch!  

Well after much trepidation, I think these turned out ok for a first try.  They will join the Tiptoes books in Ivie’s basket. 

I burned the bunny (from Eggs for the Hunting) first.  I was so nervous about ruining one of my wooden eggs that I used one from last year’s wet felting that had spent some quality time in Lindsey’s purse, which is apparently where she keeps grape juice.  I love how it turned out & just wish you could see the cute tail! 

Next is Tiptoes with flowers with the sun above.

and then of course, I had to do her acorn house. 

Reg Down’s newest book  (just released today) will definitely be on our bookshelf soon.  I look forward to making a story egg of Sir Gillygad!

© rw 2012