Wednesday, June 9, 2010

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!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


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.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

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!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

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.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

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!

Monday, January 4, 2010

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 & your worst show have one thing in common. They're both in the past. And the beauty of improvisational theater (to me) is that it's very temporal. Part of making puppets (for me) is the quasi permanence. I'm making something to last, and I hope it does. I have so many regrets about that puppet...and most of it stems from taking all of that extra time fixing my silicone eye nightmare.

Puppeteers, take heed. Buy not the silicone eyes. As pretty as they may be, they're not your friend. Oh I'm sure I could get silicone epoxy and make my life complete again. But I'm a woman scorned. Scorned by deliciously beautiful eyes. (I still kinda want to bite them.)