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Preview: Puppet Pie

Puppet Pie

I make puppets. I perform with puppets. I'm an improviser. I'm a mom. I'm a wife. I own too many cats.

Updated: 2017-07-01T14:33:45.082-07:00


Puppet Pie has a brand new home!


So for the last few weeks I've been slowly putting together this new project of mine called "making a proper website".  Introducing,!


On it you will find.... (insert drum-roll here)

  • A shop!  Both one ON the website with checkout through PayPal, and a link to my Etsy shop, if that still fits your fancy. 
  • A place to inquire about custom made puppets! I have a form and everything. You can fill it out, and I can read it. I'm pretty proud of the slidebar graphics at the top, too.
  • A place to get crafty! There's a section to inquire about having me teach a workshop with a little workshop gallery, and there's even a crafty blog with a crafty crafty craft that you can do at home! I'll try to post at least one of these a month. They should all be puppet-related.
  • An About section to complete with a place to watch videos I've done & a photo gallery
  • And a swanky little contact form so you can email me directly with any funny jokes you'd like me to tell! 

So please go visit!  I'm planning to keep the whole site family friendly so you don't have to worry about your young ones peering over your shoulder. If you want to see the more adult-type puppets, you can still find them in my Etsy shop.  

Valentine Puppet Tutorial


My son also likes to impress his friends. He gets it from me. So every Valentine's Day, we try to come up with something creative & unique, instead of handing out the extremely run-of-the-mill valentines you find at the supermarket.After wandering around Michael's Valentine's Day section for 30 some-odd minutes,  we came up with the idea of making a clothespin puppet that, when it opened its mouth, you would see that it is eating a tiny, white heart.  Nothing says, "I love you," like cannibalism! And no valentine would be complete without a witty pun, so we came up with something about eating.  (Earlier I had made the mistake opening my mouth before I thought things through and said, "I'm hungry for your love." To which my Aspie said "YEAAAH!"  without realizing that maaaaybe that's not so appropriate for 9-year-olds to be saying to other 9-year-olds to anyone. I convinced him this pun is way better. It's not. But I convinced him it is, and that's what counts.)What? You want to make some, too!?  Well okay then!  It's a good thing I had my friend Jordan help me take pictures yesterday!  Otherwise we'd all be lost in a sea of not knowing what to do. Whew.For 30-40 clothespin puppets, you will need:2 sheets of stiff, red felt.  We chose the glittery kind. Because shiny.1 sheet of stiff white felt for the tiny heart inside. We chose glittery. Because double shiny.  30-40 Spring-type clothespinsA metric ton of non-adhesive googly eyes (pretty sure 60-80 of them equals one metric ton)White glueA pencilYour favorite pair of scissorsPinking shears (These is optional. I like it because they make the hearts toothy)Paper and a printer (or other writing utensil) for your special message.  Step 1Draw or trace your favorite heart shapes over, and over, and over again onto the back of your felt.The white hearts should be about the size of a dime, or smaller.  You can use the template below that should be about the right size. (Template was an afterthought. Test it out. Tell me if it works)Step 2Cut out the hearts in both red and white felt.Step 3Cut the big heart in half with pinking (zig-sag) shears.Step 4Lay the clothespin on its side, and put a small strip of glue on the top and bottom edges of one side.Step 5Place the top & bottom half of your big red heart on the side of the clothespin, being sure that the edges meet where the clothespin opens.  Open the clothespin up while the glue is still wet to be sure they meet in the middle and that you haven't accidentally glue your clothespin closed. That would be a catastrophe.Step 6Turn your puppet over, and glue the white heart to the lower jaw of the clothespin puppet. Step 7Slap down some glue & googly eyes any ole place you please. Step 8Om nom nom nom nomStep 9Print up your favorite punderful Valentine's Day message and place it in the puppet's mouth!Ta Da!  There you have it!  Have fun & have a happy Valentine's Day![...]

I got one!


Oh little blog.  Sometimes I wonder about you. I think about how you're doing. Wonder if you've made new friends. I don't call, or write for that matter, because I assume you're doing just fine.  But then I thought, what if you want to know what I've been up to? What if you, little blog, think that I haven't been doing anything for the past 10 months!?   I wouldn't want you to think me lazy, little blog.  I've been a little busy--in an extremely excellent way.

I was reading over my resolutions from last year and thought, "nope...didn't do that...nope--not that either...." And as I was going through my checklist of "wow, I make too many resolutions," I discovered one that I actually kept!  I've been making hand puppets. Hand puppets are pretty much all I'm making nowadays. Sometimes I squeeze a finger puppet in when my husband and I sit down to watch an episode of 30 Rock or Parks & Rec, but mostly it's been hand puppets.

So... I made a monkey. (He was originally for an art show in April about Monkeys, Typewriters, and Shakespeare.

And I made a couple of monsters that look a little like this:

And I made a giant lizard in a Zoot Suit (my talented friend, Brianna made the jacket) named Epstein (for a comic book store in Las Vegas)

And I made a sentient bowl of cereal.

And I have lots of other large-scale puppets I'm working on, too!  So maybe I haven't started exercising, and obviously I'm really bad at updating the blog on a regular basis, and I totally don't clean up after myself right away (was I seriously drunk when I wrote that?), and my time-management skills leave a 5-year-old looking on-task & powerful, and I haven't done any craft shows far away from my home, but... I did get one. I made hand puppets. Lots of them. I didn't even post photos of half of the ones I made--and that, little blog, makes me extremely happy.

Be Aware!


Today is World Autism Awareness Day, and I'm doing my job to make you, world, aware of Autism, and what it could look like. Because in my experience, some of you still don't know.I (very often) hear, "Oh, your son has Autism? But he's so social & talks so much!" I run to defend his diagnosis, "Well, but his social skills with his peers!" I blurt out. I'm usually able to stop myself there.I used to end up listing all of our daily challenges, because if I could prove his diagnosis, I could prove my competence as a parent! I'd point out the difficulty we had transitioning him to solid foods. ("oh, but my kids are picky eaters, too. You can't say he has Autism just because he's a picky eater...") His adult-like language ("oh, well he's an only child & is around so many grown ups!" ...he's been in pre-school since he was 3. Not all only-children speak like grown-ups.) The difficulty we've had with potty training ("Oh, well my sister's kid had problems potty training...boys are just more difficult. That's not necessarily Autism, though..".) The difficulty he has changing a routine. ("oh, my girls hate it when we skip a story at bedtime, too. Routines are good for everyone.") The hand-flapping, the echolalia (repetition of words), the monotone speech, the inability to cope with loss (even if that loss is "You already had your treat for the day" or "I'm sorry, we can't buy the $24,000 playhouse"). The anxiety, the inability to recognize sarcasm, the fact that he still doesn't know all of his classmates' names/faces (after being in the same school for 4 years). And yet, I think that because my son is rad in so many other ways, people assume his life is a breeze. There can't be anything wrong with him, look at all of his talents! His improvisational skills on the piano, for instance. His ability to memorize almost anything. His thoughtfulness. His mature sense of humor (even if he can't recognize or cope with sarcasm, he's an incredibly witty kid). His reasoning when looking at things objectively. His math skills are stellar, and when you're a grown-up around a 5-year-old who is trying to teach you how to play the piano? You'll become enchanted. As humans, we like small versions of bigger things (like kids who act like grown-ups). But because he's so rad in so many ways, people want to think that there's nothing "wrong" with him at all. In one sense, there isn't anything wrong with him. His brain functions differently. He has a different way of thinking, and in some ways it's way better than yours or mine, and in other ways his way of thinking is more challenging. In the same way, you have just as many things wrong with you.Do I get angry when people question it? I get defensive at first, but I realize that deep down they wish for him to be a neuro-typical 8-year-old (at least the ones that keep pushing the issue do), and they have hopes that this is something he'll out-grow. (It's not. He'll find ways to cope, but his brain will always have a certain way it works, and that's good!) And I realize that the people who don't push the issue probably just don't have an accurate picture in their heads of what Autism can look like. And I love the people who genuinely want to know what it looks like for us.So I challenge you, dear internet, to change your perception of Autism. To trust parents, teachers, therapists, and developmental pediatricians. To lend your emotional and physical support to frustrated & exhausted moms & dads. Honestly, it's enough on my plate to try to convince the child that he can overcome having to wear a new pair of shoes, try a different brand of canned corn, or take a bath... parents of kids with Autism (particularly High Functioning Autism) shouldn't have to prove to friends, strangers, and family that their kid is struggling. The next time you see a child flipping out in a store, or a child not staying in their seat at a restaurant, or a mom or dad not forcing their child to at least try everything on thei[...]

It's Pi Day!


Ok so even if I slack on most every other resolution, I know I at least need to post something on Pi Day.

After a round of fisticuffs with bronchitis (not to mention the near-constant disease our son has had since December), I'm back to updating my Etsy shop. I'm making a few projects for non-etsy clients, which have all been a lot of fun to work on.
The top two puppets have gone into the shop & the bottom 3 are for other projects. The Chicken & the Pig will go to my friends Lisa and Chris in Seattle & their children's band, The Bears Upstairs (who has chosen the same blogger background as I have, because we all like grass and making wishes).

I used a pattern for the bases of the two on the top. It's nice to use an easy pattern when making non-specific projects, just because it gets the puppet done quickly & I know what I'll get from it...and I can get it done quickly without much troubleshooting. I know a lot of other puppeteers on Etsy are using the same pattern, but hey, there's a reason. It's a good, solid pattern. I don't use it for the hands. At this point I'm rambling. Does anyone really care why I don't use their hand pattern...or even that I use a pattern?

So the 3 patterns on the bottom are mine. The pig is done in my typical hap-hazard way, but the Chicken and the Sheep are more elaborate. I'm taking more time with some of the bigger pieces, and I think it's paying off. The chicken and the sheep are both fully lined, which should help them last longer. That and their heads are constructed in a different way than I normally do. I'm also getting more & more into arm rods. While I've been a puppeteer for quite some time, for the last 10 years or so, the shows I've done usually have had me use 1 puppet on each hand, so instead I just sculpt the arms. (It also makes shipping them a lot easier if you don't have to account for giant stick). But rods are fun (sex truck!) & it's time I bite the bullet & use them in my live shows more.

I'm hoping to spend time making some more larger puppets. I've still got a lot of projects in my queue, but I think with the deadlines, it will allow for making some extra puppets for me/Etsy/Comicon. Should be fun!

Note to self: Next time I'm going to post about puppetry manipulation & workshops... Wheee!

Happy New Year!


From the time I re-opened the shop mid-August, up until now has been awesome! I'm so thankful for all of the support of all kinds I've received from everyone. Friends, strangers, and family have all been cheering me on, and that's so incredibly appreciated.

I've got a few New Year's Resolutions to go over, and this is probably one of the first years that I've been serious about them, which means it all may last a week and a half, and they may not go into effect until mid-June. I'll list them here (they don't all have to do with Puppet Pie).

1. Get a bit healthier. I slack. I totally slack. I don't exercise beyond...well, anything, and that should probably change. I bought some jeans that had a "tummy panel" in them. I decided maybe I should return them for the ones that lift my tuchus up a bit. Unfortunately they didn't have any left when I went to exchange them (good to know they're in high demand), so I figured I'd have to do it all the old fashioned way. That being said, I hope to ride my bike more (yay Phoenix weather!), and maybe do a sit-up or two (tummy panel be damned!). I should also probably cut back on the soda and Spam.

2. I want to try to clean up after myself right away. My son and I were cleaning his room & I discovered that one of his science project went awry-- in that it spilled all over his bookshelf--and from the looks of it, it happened a long time ago (whee!). I sat scrubbing chunks of yellow...something... off of the darn thing and thought "hey now, this boy could be doing something useful, too!" I set him up scrubbing some..."gook" off of his wall near his bed (gotta wipe it somewhere!). It's also been there awhile. So with various cleaning supplies in hand, we were off to scrub. It took us each probably about 45 minutes. I commented about how long it was taking and he replied, "There's a year-an-hour rule. If you leave something gooey up for a year, it will take you an hour to clean it." My 8-year-old has wisdom. In my work-space, I tend to just go-go-go with projects, and then clean up when I realize I have no work-space left, and it takes much longer to clean. Much like the Mayan calendar, I hope for this to end in 2012.

3. Time management. I think a little Ritalin-type substance could help out with this, but let's just say I don't currently have a prescription for Adderall... I think a full-on schedule is in order. Monday: Making
Tuesday: Making, packaging, post office
Wednesday: Photographing & listing
Thursday: listing and making, and maybe a little blog posting
Friday: Packaging & post office

4. More hand puppets. I miss making them. Specifically I want to make some excellent ones. I know I can do it, I just rarely dedicate the time necessary to pull it off. I'll do a few and see how they do in the Etsy shop. I need a few more wow pieces, that's fo' shizzle.

5. Long-distance Craftiness. I wish to do a craft show far away from my house. One that requires a road trip with a friend or two.

6. Write more here. Yes. That.

That's about all I can think of for now. We'll see how I'm doing in 5 days!

Om nom nom


I had the neat experience of setting up as a vendor at the first ever Maker Faire here in Phoenix. In 2008 I participated in the San Mateo Maker Faire & had a super fun time doing it. But as Phoenix usually goes, this was more intimate &...sweatier.

Lots of puppets found new homes, which means I'll be adding lots of new puppets to my shop soon! (I came home & made 36 more!) Before I went, I resolved to make a few puppets that were incredibly rad, (instead of focusing on "what can people afford to spend right now & I'll spend my time accordingly") & I think it was a good decision. I made a crocodile that I so totally want to keep. Then I made an owl & a fox, because I've succumbed to being trendy. Somehow or other it led down the path of "they're all predators...they need prey!" & thus the "Food Chain Friends" series was born.


Keep your eye out for them, & let me know if you think 2-puppet sets would be appealing. Downside: they're elaborate puppets, so they cost a little bit more than the average one. A set could be pricey. Upside: They'll be together! Forever!...unless the person who buys them gives one away.

Also, there's a poll on the facebook fanpage if you want respond to it. It's just one question. Let me just say the business side of running a business is totally all businessy & stuff.

101 and counting!


So in less than 30 days, I've added 97 new puppets to my etsy shop, and have made 24 more for local shops. I'm working on a project for a local theater company (pictured above) & I made myself a new banner and profile picture on Etsy. I'm going to go ahead & give myself a little pat on the back. *Jazz Hands!*

Together Again


I'm pleased to announce that not only did I win the Handmade Olympics (& have meant to post that all year long), but also, after 3 (maybe 4) years, I'm back to building puppets full-time!

So somewhere between March and now, I fell into making inchworm rod puppets. Thankfully they're soft and adorable. You can't get hurt on adorable. Well, you can, but those are less serious muscle-injuries.


So hopefully I'll remember to post more here, now that I don't have a pesky day job weighing me down.

You can find them in my Etsy shop, and if you're in Phoenix, starting next week you can find them at local boutique MADE art boutique, on the southwest corner of Roosevelt and 5th Street in an oasis of cultural loveliness. And after you've visited MADE, go next door to Jobot & order a crepe. For serious, they're amazing.

I'm really excited to be onto this next chapter of Puppet Pie. I have shipping tubes! TUBES! do you know how fun it is to get a tube in the mail? I know that x70. If only they had arrived in a giant tube.

Upcoming Puppetry events:
Puppet Slam in Phoenix on September 2nd & 3rd (call 602 262 2050 for tickets)
Pirate Party at the Great AZ Puppet Theater at 2pm on Sept. 11th (Guild meeting to follow)
MAYBE the Sunnyslope artwalk on Saturday, October 8th from 5-9pm
Maker Faire Phoenix October 15th! I'll either be presenting or vending. We'll see!

Plug any of those things into your google machine & you'll get all kinds of details. It'll be fun!


Happy Pi Day, 2011!


Hey guys!

Happy Pi Day! I almost missed it (whew).

I apologize for not posting about the fate of the handmade olympics. I was actually super-duper sick during the whole thing. I had about 5 days of being well & then I was (am) super-duper sick again. (My immune system is on vacation). Anyway, I'm starting to climb the health hill again, and I'll be back to my old "not sick 70% of the year" self in no time.

Serious thanks to everyone who has been patient with me.

Alright then, go out & have some pie to celebrate the few hours of Pi Day we have left!

A race to the finish!


It's been a race that's captured the heart's of the world (if by the world you mean me), and now there are only a few hours left to vote! It only takes about 30 seconds (honestly) & it's oh so easy! I'm only a few votes behind 1st place right now & I have a real honest-to-goodness chance at winning! (Which would be totally awesome because I really want to be an olympic gold medalist!)

Thanks to everyone (friends, family, fans) for putting up with my constant bombardment of "vote for me vote for me" on the facebook & the twitter (and the in-person, too). You guys are awesome to tweet, retweet, repost, share & everything. I love feeling so supported!

Alright then, get out & vote for my Dragon Finger Puppet! Remember you can vote from your mobile device, too!

Shooting for Gold!



So a few crafty people I know were holding/sponsoring something called The Handmade Olympics. It's over on the swanky blogger bloggity blog blog, rikarakstudio and the prizes look snappy!

I didn't enter something myself because I didn't know what to enter, so I just decided to watch on the sidelines. But lo' and behold, I get a message saying that one of my puppets has been, not only nominated, but also chosen to be one of the final 7 to be voted on! Voted on by YOU dear reader. Voted on by you.

So here's my dearest and humblestest requestestest: Please vote for Digby the Honknose Clownbat finger puppet! His picture is at the all-the-way-bottom and you'll find the voting box just underneath him (he's listed last). I'm shooting for Gold, but I'll be happy with whatever prize I actually win (even if that means it's just lots and lots of votes)!

Thanks guys!

Puppets Are for Grown Ups


I've been doing puppet shows for grown-ups (otherwise known as Puppet Slams) since 2002. Yes, yes, the phrase, "grown-ups" has a slightly juvenile sound to it (likely because if you're saying "grown-ups" you either hang out with small children a lot, or you are one), but let's face it...if I said "Puppets Are for Adults," your minds would race down the gutter farther than a cartoon fedora in a Disney short.That doesn't mean Puppet Slams have all of the wholesome goodness that a Disney short would (holy lemon balls, no!), but usually you'll find artists with enough sense that you won't see 45 minutes of puppet porn. Usually. Honestly I don't know what you will see, but I know at our Slams here in Phoenix, you'll laugh, you'll guffaw, & you'll chuckle. Maybe less guffawing than laughing or chuckling... but your personal boundaries for what you feel is appropriate may be pushed. In a good way. You may take offense at some things. Some things may offend you with intention. Should you go? Yes. Are you sad that you don't live in Phoenix (other than for the magnificent winter weather)? You don't have to be! is a super snappy website that delivers all kinds of fantastical news about Puppet Slams held all over the darn place! It's so exciting that I felt that it deserved two sentences in a row with exclamation marks. Do you see how awesome it is?? (Now TWO question marks? All caps?? What has this post turned into? A giant vat of amazing!? Why I do believe you're right!) ....... Run by IBEX Puppetry, the Puppet Slam Network is like the cartoon network, only more awesome, not on cable tv, and it will make your Chia pet's hair grow better than that time you gave it a mixture of beer & tabasco sauce. (Sometimes I wonder why people let me have a computer.) (...or the power of parenthesis.)If there's one thing you should learn from the internet, it's that there are so many fantastical subcultures in the world. You should partake in them. All of them. Or just this one. Either way.Ok so maybe you're not on the snappy email list that tells you when and where things are taking place. It's okay. I'll hook you up. Because I'm nice like that! Just click on this link & you'll be transported there like a kitten in a carrier on the way to the vet...except it will be a whole lot faster, and you won't be trapped, or crying, scared, or sliding around on a towel while your owner sings you lullabies hoping it will calm you down even though it won't. Stupid owner. And why you continue to sleep in the carrier when you get home completely baffles everyone. You hate it when it's in the car! Silly you.Hey, do you want avoid relying on me whenever possible? Good choice! You can sign up to receive those snappy emails yourself! Way to be proactive, reader! I think you'll be happy you took that step.Soooo, yeah. You should go to a Puppet Slam near you. You should sign up for the Puppet Slam Network's email list (brought to you by IBEX Puppetry) and then you should apologize to your kitten..... or something like that.[...]

3 Days Left!


So there are 3 days left to vote for a winner in the photo contest! Vote in the poll in the upper right. Amanda's is the Blue Monster who has throughly turned his back on her (not indicative of their entire relationship, I'm sure). Naomi's is the giant shadow puppet cookie about to eat the tiny finger puppet cookie (an amazing replica I might add). Jamie's is the bar scene, showing once & for all that my puppets like to get their drink on. (Please note that no bar fights have been started. They're quite the civilized drunks.) Wheee!

Photo Contest Contestants! (Finally!)


So life kinda got in the way of Puppet Pie & the photo contest (Read that: Burglary (incl. all of our laptops & cameras), a few diagnosis for our son, school IEP stuff, goose bite infection (...yeah), heater/AC replacement, and a hole in our ceiling.) But I'm looking forward to seeing who the winner is & diving into Puppet Pie face first with a fork in my fist & no napkin to clean the mess (I live dangerously like that). So yeah, thanks for your patience, guys!So anyway, there were 3 entries to the photo contest...which I think should be annual... I mean, that will give you guys a whole lot of time to come up with new, fun, and exciting ways to play with & photograph your puppets, right? RIGHT! Alright, so let's get started.Entry #1 is Amanda's."This guy keeps me company all the time... this is a picture of him snubbing me, but he's normally pretty friendly... I don't know what was up the day I took this..."Entry #2 is from Naomi"I loved the idea of one of my puppets attacking one of Stacey's. What better way than with a giant shadow puppet nomming on the finger puppet!"Entry #3 is from Jamie"Puppet Western Bar: Back in the old West after a long day on the trail puppets were able to put their felt up at a local boarding house where they could find a room, warm meal, plentiful libations and engaging company. Just don’t pull on the bartenders’ udders."So there ya have it. Which one is your favorite? Go vote off to the right. Voting will close February 2nd at midnight blogger-time. The winner & their prize will be announced hopefully sometime when I get around to it in February. (2010 taught me to not promise any real kind of dates) Wheee![...]

Puppet Photo Contest-ish!


So I got it in me to have a puppet photo contest.... so if you own one of my puppets, and a camera, or a friend with a camera, take photos of your Puppet Pie puppet & submit them to the fan page (the link is off to the right, there). If you don't own one of my puppets, then you should buy one.

1. Use a puppet that I made in some kind of funderful photo
2. You can submit up to 3 photos
3. Upload them to the facebook group (again, off to the right)
4. By submitting a photo, you're allowing me to pilfer & use your photos for the blog post. If you'd like to submit photos & not participate in the contest, just let me know beforehand & I won't use your photos.
5. You need to submit them by Tuesday, June 29th. I'll post a blog post on the 30th with all of the entries & you can vote on them here, on this blog.
6. Voting will take place for 1 week & will close on WednesdayJuly 7th at 11:59pm.
7. Winner will be announced on July 9th. YAY!
8. Voting is going to be via a poll on the blog. (Highly official)
9. Voting will go for a percentage of the win (totally undetermined...basically I'll allow the general public to influence my decision... Please me; please the world.)
10. Winner agrees to take a photo of themselves with their prize (which is undetermined, but already fantastic) and upload it to the facebook group (So I can steal it & put it here).
10. a) YAY!
10. b) On your mark, get set, GO!



Mere minutes ago, I got home from the Phoenix Comicon. And while the organization of the event was something no large organization should ever allow to happen ( was *bad*), the actual event itself was splendid! I sold lots of puppets & in general hung out with some really rad people.

So where have I been for the last 2 months? Well, I've mostly been working on making puppets for comicon, but I've also had the good pleasure of going back to Toronto to work with Unraku on a project. I really love working with film/video. It's not something I'd ever really envisioned myself actually doing 4-5 years ago, but boy howdy it's fun! Not only is it fun, the people involved with Unraku are simply funderful. They're kind, generous, funny, caring, creative, talented & generally awesome. And they also know of good places to eat. mmm eating. I like eating. I like eating in Toronto with Unraku. Yes.

So right before I got to go to Toronto to eat with Unraku, I came down with pneumonia (and bronchitis & an ear infection). It wasn't too serious. No hospitalization or anything, just a good old-fashioned chest x-ray and a breathing treatment that made me feel like my chest was going to explode. Honestly it's the worst I'd felt since I had my son. But a trip to the Urgent Care is always better than a trip to the ER, so we opted for that.

Jump to 3 weeks later (which means 4 weeks of disease) & I'm still feeling cruddy after a round of antibiotics & inhalers & cough syrups & whatnots. I go back to my Dr. & she decides to run a few tests & put me on a giant antibiotic & some steroids (which were a-ok since I had to get so many puppets made for comicon). She calls me on Tuesday night to let me know that my pneumonia, et. al. was caused by pertussis. That's right, I had whooping cough. WHOOP! WHOOP! So did I heed advice and rest? NO! I couldn't! I had committed to comicon well more than a year ago & I would have been just so sad to miss out.

So here I am, just having gotten home from the Phoenix Convention Center & I still feel fairly rotten. I had an amazing time, but I think I'm going to take it easy for the rest of today & all of tomorrow. Wheezing lungs make for sad lungs. Other than the painful chest & a few other small symptoms, I'm feeling okay. If I feel like this next week, I'll go back for something stronger.

Also, Canada, I totally gave you whooping cough and I am sorry.

The View!


Let's see if this works, shall we?

I have NO idea what happened to their hair, but I did make them over a period of time from November of 2008-February of 2009, so probably a year's worth of storage & maybe an over-excited comb got all jiggy together.

This is what they looked like before I sent them out. Snappy, eh?

I'm super excited & honored to have had my puppets GIVEN to these women, let alone used on the show! I hope they use them again and again!!

Happy Pi Day!


Here at Puppet Pie (i.e. my house) we celebrate Pi Day with the essentials. Circles. Circles in the form of wheels, jar-lids, cupcakes, Samoa Girl Scout cookies, Ritz crackers, buttons, eyeballs, felt sticky-dots to go under the furniture so they don't scratch the new floors, spools of thread, and of course, chicken pot pie.

So happy Pi Day to you and your family. May a love of math known only to people who aren't me, find you on this splendid day.

Copyrights, Fan-Art, and You


Ok, so I might be opening a giant can of worms (read that: passionate discussion) but I thought I'd take a chance on it just being an interesting topic.

As most of us know, if we make a variation of something that someone else has made, then it's considered a derivative work (or fan-art). It therefore wouldn't violate US Copyright laws.

I was recently pointed to a blog on which I was featured (by the author). She said how much she liked my finger puppets & one in particular. She then said, that because she liked it so much, she felt she must own it and therefore put it on her to-do list to make it for herself.

Now instantly I thought,'s mine! I made it! You can buy it, but I made it! You can't make it! It's mine! (you can see that my instant thoughts are much like that of an advanced 2-year-old)

I encouraged her to make her own designs (or buy the kits Craft: sells). She meant no malice whatsoever, and seems to be a very nice person. There's no sense in meanly saying, "yeah but dude, copyright." to very nice people. Of course I'd prefer for her to buy the puppet flat out, but I don't know her situation, so I can't expect or push for that. And really, it boils down to the fact that I am very thankful that people like my work, especially enough to write about it...

Well, now that I'm far, far away from the situation (a week is far, far away, right?), I'm left to think about fan-art. There is nothing to keep her from making this puppet for herself. No one would really know if she did. But legally, if she wanted to, she could make all of my puppets with mustaches, as long as she doesn't distribute or profit from them in any way.

I guess I'd just never before thought about fan art based on my own work. I know I'm not the first to experience this, and I certainly won't be the last, so I'm curious to hear about others' opinions on the matter.

Alright then: Opinion away!

Silicone Eyes: A lengthy tale of woe


So, the local doll shop where I get my glass eyes has gone under. I've got mixed emotions about it since the guy who ran the place was a major jerk face poop head bucket of a mean wad...and yet, when I needed puppet eyes I could go and say, "ok this one works, & this one doesn't." I've had to find a new supplier. Online. Now, unfortunately I'd never really paid much attention to the actual size of the eyes I'd been buying. There was no need. I simply brought in a puppet's head & held the eyes up & said "ok this one works, & this one doesn't." I found a supplier & took a chance on the size. They're local, too, which is a plus--except that they still needed to ship things to me. Now, I really only use the glass eyes in swanky puppets, so when I saw silicone eyes on this website & saw just how swanky the price-tag was, I thought I'd give it a try. I mean, they must cost that much for a reason, right? I got them & fell in love. They looked & felt so realistic. (yes, I've handled real eyes....) (OK that's a lie, I've never handled real eyes) (OK that's a lie, too. When I was in the 5th grade my class dissected cow eyes. Being the animal rights activist that I was as a 10-year-old (read that as "totally grossed out"), I refrained. However since my dad worked near the butcher, I was required to bring the brown paper sack full of enough cow eyes to entertain a group of curiously twisted 5th graders to my class. On my bicycle. In the rain. So in some sort of truth, I've handled lots of eyes. Except that it wasn't in the rain. I added that part for creative storytelling.) I had a project that I felt would be perfect for the eye-swank. And they were. Not too bulgy, not too flat. and I could cut them down where I needed to. So awesome I just wanted to bite them. I found the perfect eyeball. I made the eyelids to fit around them perfectly & glued them in with E6000. Then began working on an elaborate tattoo. I stayed up all night to meet this before-Christmas deadline. My husband woke up to find me busy at work from the night before. Eager to show him my progress, I held up the puppet. He raved about what I had done. "When are you going to glue in the eyes?" said he. "I did already." said I. "Uhh..." said he. "Uhhhhh....WHAT? NO! NO NO NO NO NO!" said I. The glue didn't stick. One eye looked up at me from the floor. I ran to my hot glue gun with only hours to get this bad Larry to the post office. Hot glue did nothing. Silicone doesn't stick! That's its deal. What was I even thinking? My fried eggs always slide perfectly out of my frying pan, why would I think that E6000, the glue known to the state of California to cause cancer, could hold the eyes to the fabric sockets? Why? Because the glue friggin' causes cancer, that's why! Desperate, I went to my unventilated workspace to dig out my contact cement. Not only did I have just a few hours, we also had family coming over for breakfast & I was working on 0 sleep two days before Christmas. I grabbed a nearby chopstick & started slopping the yellow goo on. Stupid stinky, yellow goo. I had neither time nor common sense to go cautiously. I let the socket & silicone eye get tacky & shoved them in. Keeping in mind that the lids are usually put on after, I couldn't get the eyes focused. The puppet that I had worked so hard on was quite possibly my most impressive & worst puppet all at the same time. I really hope the silicone doesn't discolor over time. In improv we say that your best show[...]

bacon stank


I just feel absent from the blog-writing & if you don't follow me on twitter for some reason or another (i.e. don't care what I'm eating for lunch, if I'm late for work, or what my cats are doing), then you might be wondering where I've gone....or you're not wondering & you're only ever really reading this because we're related or you feel obligated as a friend. Anyway, I've been down with the swanky little swine flu. I'm feeling better (knock on wood) but can't seem to find my energy just yet. Napping seems necessary 95% of my day. Which, for this time of year doesn't bode well for custom orders. So yeah, if you're expecting me to make something for you before Christmas, let's all just keep our finger's crossed!

So in the meantime I've been up to my eyeballs in making puppets. Maybe not literally, but I did find a good eyeball supplier who is local, so that made me happy. It's during this time of year that I get to remind myself to take it one small puppet at a time...or arm...or mouth plate.

(image) Val the Tissue Box

Reminding myself of my first intentions


So I guess I have to remember that a lot of what I'm doing is being an artist & sharing my art.
Yeah, it's tiny & I've seen one or two of them in my nephew's mouth, but it's still a little bit of a sculpture that only I can spit out of my fingers & brain (really, who else would come up with meatloaf piranha?).

If I sell it, that's great. If I merely make people smile from seeing tiny art, that's good too. Ultimately puppets make people happy, and happiness is really pretty kick-butt-amazing.

So the question comes (image) in with "do I lower prices so people can own my art?" Not right now. When my prices were lower, my production had to be higher to meet demand. That compromised my workmanship as well as my creativity in the creation process. (one can't just spit out UniCorns when one is making mass-produced red fish with really creepy orange eyes, now can they?)

It'd be nice for people to want to own tiny pieces of art, but now isn't the time. I guess I'd rather people spend money on things they real bedazzled tampons, rather than their finger puppet counterpart. Or food...they could buy food.

I wonder what attitude I should have going into this pirate festival this Friday, though. Do I allow it to inspire some awesom(image) e pirate themed puppets? Or do I crank out lots of easy-to-make, lower quality finger puppets that I can offer at a lower price to cover the pricey-for-me booth fee? It's a tough.

For comicon, I allow everything I encounter from now until then to inspire kick-patuchus puppets, done over such a vast period of time that I'll have enough inventory. Thankfully comicon kids appreciate tiny expensive things made with my girl-hands.

Brown Bunny of DOOOOOOM!



I really like the phrase "....of dooom" I think it tells a lot about someone/something, and yet allows that someone/something to keep a certain mystery about them. mmm doom bunnies.

still figuring it out...


Alright, just because I've got my plot of land & need to watch my fruit ripen (hmm...) doesn't necessarily mean I have my act together enough to have places to put the fruit (uh..yeah), or even to let others know that I've got a sweet little farm goin on (I think my analogy has fallen apart)...So I did the Sunnyslope Artwalk last night. The good news is that I got sweet new packaging for my finger puppets the day before, which just finished off what they'd been lacking in person for so long. Alright, then! Sunnyslope art-walkers, be prepared to fall in love with some delicious puppet pie! Booyah! In your face artwalk-y people! Yeah!Ok maybe a little less than that...I had a few people tell me how awesome they were & how I should try to sell to children's boutiques in Scottsdale & I had others tell me that they recognized me from the Puppet Slams. I sold 2 finger puppets to some really rad teenagers who came back 3 times before they got money from their parents (Thanks, stranger Mom & Dad!).So that's good, right? I made my money back from the booth fee plus three dollars! $3 is good for 8 hours, right?I mean, it would be good if the people to the right & left of me hadn't been selling things every 5-10 minutes....I felt very over-looked. And I wasn't the whole night, I did get people coming by & telling me that my stuff was great, but anytime I had a lull, it was a long one & nobody else was lulling.They sell so much better online, and I'm not sure why. Are people buying them because they like what I write? Do they just look horrible in-person? Are people afraid to pay $12-$18 on something 2" tall in person whereas they're okay with it online? Why did I forget to buy eyes while I was at Michael's the other day? Drat......And what about Naomi?So I was sitting back and observing a lot. My friend Erin makes the most amazing Sock Zombies in the world. She just won a Best of Phoenix Award for them. We were in the same issue of the Phoenix NewTimes, I was in as an artist, she was in as a winner of "Best Zombie Related Art", & I'm all manners of proud..Anwyay, she was on one side, and some tweens were on the other side with bottlecaps-turned-magnets that they were selling for charity. I kept hearing "Whoopies" "Sock Zombies" all night...Was anyone saying "Puppet Pie"? Well of course order to see those words anywhere, they'd have to walk over, pick up a plastic box & look at the bottom (of which the lids keep popping off) before they could even find the words "puppet pie". And even then, when they flipped things over the first things out of their mouths were "No choking allowed" and then they'd say the name of the puppet. Just walking by, from far away they could see some things in containers & a pig hand puppet inside of an unfinished wood dollhouse (I keep saying I need to put electricity in before I put wallpaper I'm stalling)--but nowhere could they see the fantastical words "Puppet Pie" to intrigue them to see what was in the actual booth. (On a side note, I dont think I'll use the dollhouse again until I finish it. because really...)It's the same reason that nobody bought the painted dirt clods that Zachary & I sold from the playhouse in my parents' backyard when we were 7. Nobody knew we were there! Had they known, we'd have run out of the painted dirt clods, for sure--and probably have had the local paper com[...]