Ena and Tib, the two little children who live in the woods in their little wooden house, have been updated for our puppet plays this summer, made up as proper table top puppets with weighted bases so they do not fall over (as much)!
Here are some photos of how I put them together if you fancy making characters for your own productions:
The bodies were filled at the base with dried lentils and topped up with natural wool stuffing. The head is a ball of wool stuffing with stretch fabric held tightly together with a rubber band then sewn into place. The hair and eyes and mouth were stitched in wool.
Making up stories becomes so much easier when you make your own characters, choosing colours, shapes of hat, decorations, clothes, all lead you further into the possibilities of the doll you are shaping – every scrap, every toy left lying around the house can lead to a new idea forming…
The newly stable Ena and Tib will be appearing at the lovely Grow Mayow Community Garden Project in two new stories I have been thinking of for some time! We will make props together for the puppet show, which you can then carry on playing with at home! Hope to see you there!
“Birds can fly into your stories, bringing a sense of upliftment and airy freedom… Invite the benevolence of birds into your story world.” Nancy Mellon
In the lovely Grow Mayow Community Garden we made birds to hang near our story circle.
The birds watched over us as I began a story with a wooden girl, some chocolate coins and a paperweight bird…
… and they inspired a fabulous tale of a girl finding golden coins in the forest and a bird that helps her when she is transformed into a little dog.
The story grew and grew with the big clever children and the tiny ones joining together with incredible suggestions, me following, linking scenes, all of us gently probing forward into our unfolding adventure. This is the point in all of our Story Hug workshops where I see the children most completely engaged – adults too, so present in the moment of making our story. And while the writer in me searches for the plot and a convincing ending, I know now to hold back and trust that a story made with the free, unbounded minds of children can fly – anywhere! The story will always reach further, higher than it ever would have.
Such is the joy of spontaneous storytelling – and its challenge – riding the unexpected and binding the sparks, the shining offerings of ideas into a satisfying whole.
“…story-makers leave the familiar ground of the known, the security of established tales and premeditated plots. They put all their trust in the new, the unknown and unexpected.… practise on children – they are your best audience. They know that a fresh tale comes straight from the heart. They relish the moments of imaginal bonding, the meeting of what is most creative in us.”