Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bearly a Puppet

I have been so busy and filled with procrastination on something that should be fun that this is months and months behind my family's puppets. Also, I'd like to acknowledge right now that it has nothing to do with leaves or green or anything close to my theme. It does, however, relate ever so vaguely to being a librarian, so perhaps I'll be forgiven anyway.

I'd been planning on finishing some really amazingly cool wooden spoon puppets for this challenge, but clearly there is something about the final steps of those puppets that's just holding me up. I finally decided to make a puppet with some of the first supplies a child ever uses for puppets: brown paper bag and crayons.

Originally I wanted to make a frog, but when I cut what later became ears, I realized they were far too small and too spread apart to actually qualify as bulbous eyes. I'd already had my heart set on that crazy hair, so I just went along with that impulse and cut it out. I realized that even though the popping out bits are a bit too small for eyes, they'd work for ears for a few types of mammals. Long story short, they ended up being bear ears.

I really wanted to use green all over this guy, even after deciding he was a bear, but I resisted the urge to make a fantasy bear and went with something typical. In Idaho, we have many kinds of bears, but mostly grizzly bears and black bears. Black bears are much more common, but grizzly bears are found in the lower parts of the Rocky Mountains.

I've never seen a bear in the wild. Washington State University, just 8 miles from where I live, have bears though. And they're grizzly bears. As far as I remember, black bears are actually somewhat less dangerous, but I've visited the WSU bears a couple times. Tell me there's not something just super adorable about this face:

So I decided to make my bear a grizzly. Yes, he's cartoony, but as a children's librarian, I think that's okay. How many times as a child did I have some kind of bear-themed lesson either at the library or school? I honestly don't remember. So I thought if I made a bear puppet, I may be able to use him in the future.

Honestly, it was a simple puppet. The most creative part (aside from playing with half the brown crayons in my box of 120 crayons) was cutting part of the back of the bag to create parts that stuck up (ears and hair).

I know I'm late and this isn't the most creative puppet ever. I wish I could impress everyone by being the last person to do a puppet but the puppet would be super amazingly cool, but alas, that's not the case. As compensation, let me be librarian-like and link you to the coolest puppets I've ever seen. They're FolkManis puppets. Yes, they're very spendy, especially for poor public libraries. I've gotten to mess around with a few of them and they're gorgeous and fun. They often have moving parts separate from a mouth or arms. Maybe one day I'll own one. I suppose I'd have to decide on which to buy though.

Can we pretend my puppet is leafy because bears live outside and grizzly bears live in the high mountains which are wooded and therefore have leaves or needles of some variety? It's a leap, but hopefully you'll all forgive me and go along with me anyway.

If you still don't forgive me, let me distract you with a bear hunt.

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