When I was around 10 or 11 my parents and I lived in Hopatcong, New Jersey for a few years. The first house we lived in was a little cabin-esque house on the lake. It was probably some one's summer house and it had a fireplace (complete with bats) and when you walked down the back steps off the deck there was a bit of terraced yard and the lake. In a lot of ways it was really idyllic, or that's my memory of it. Anyway, the only drawback for an only child (this was before my sister and brother were born) was that, since it was out in the middle of nowhere, there weren't many other kids around to play with. If I wanted to see my school friends my mom or dad had to drive me somewhere, so it was a little lonely. So I turned into a craftaholic, yes I have been this way since at least 10 years old. And I made myself a whole village of critters out of felt, glue, cotton balls, and yarn. I don't remember where I got the idea for these or even how I came up with the shape, I do remember sitting with a needle and thread and scissors and very carefully cutting these guys and their various parts out and I remember having very specific ideas about which animals I needed. I loved these puppets. Seriously. Loved them.
Now I have over the years thought about them, probably even talked about them, but mostly in that fond childhood memory sort of way. But last summer, when we were visiting my parents in Pennsylvania (where we lived after at least 2 other moves from the lake) for some reason the subject of these puppets came up while talking with my mom and sister and my mom went right over to a closet, pulled out an old cookie tin and there they were. I was speechless.
I have to mention here that all of us have made fun of our mom for saving everything, and I do mean everything. But when she pulled these out of the closet let me tell you, I cheerfully ate my words! I was so grateful that she thought to keep them. Moms are so amazing that way.
And here they are, my dear old friends. Some a bit worse for the wear, maybe, but I have them again. And sometime in the not too distant future, I will be building them a new home. But today I wanted to show the 30 year old (does that make them antique? vintage?) inspiration for Elliot's puppets.
And these are the finger puppets I made for Elliot, at his request. He is in a major Star Wars phase at the moment, which is odd only in that he's never seen the movies, but his dad is still that way, so perhaps it's genetic. These are also made out of felt, glue, thread and the odd sequin for the sparkly parts. And yes Yoda was made after the other 3 and my scale got a bit wacky, but still a cool looking puppet. And yes, there will be more puppets in our future, after all Lilah needs some too! These would be an excellent craft for kids as well. You could make them out of any material, an excellent use for that scrap fabric and all those other leftovers from other crafts, maybe a puppet theatre out of cardboard and scrapbook paper, a ship for them to fly around in....really, the possibilities are endless.
And I am absolutely positive that I will have these hidden away somewhere for many years after Elliot has forgotten them. Because now I'm the mom, and I'm amazing that way.