Hey, it’s been a tough year for stuffed animals too. Just ask the Le Mutts! Here’s hoping for better things in the coming year. And spread light wherever you can. That’s what keeps us going.
The Marionette Museum in Lisbon wasn’t mentioned in any of the guide books or web sites consulted before the trip. But my friend Rachel, who had recently returned from Portugal, raved about it. That and I have a penchant for traveling with Le Mutt who is the creation of puppeteer Francesca Hoerlein. How could I resist?
The Lisbon Marionette Museum houses more than marionettes. Its collection contains hand puppets, shadow puppets, masks, props and, of course marionettes from all over the world.
Puppets have been around for thousands of years. There was a puppet theater in Greece in the 5th Century BCE. And puppets might even be older than that.
We all remember puppet shows from our childhood. But puppets are more than dolls used to entertain children. Puppets tell stories, sometimes subversive stories, that live actors would not be allowed to perform.
And puppets are are made from every material imaginable. The Museum houses creations made of cloth, wood, class, metal and clay. I am sure there are 3D printed puppets out there.
Be sure to visit the Marionette Museum if you are in Lisbon. It’s not a big museum-you can see the entire collection in a couple of hours-and you will be glad you did. Here are some more pictures.
Fiona Abel-Smith also has an incredible video where she demonstrates how to construct a 6-sided polymer box and how to cover it with a geometric cane pattern that she explains in great detail. She has a number of other fascinating looking videos that are on my must watch list.
On another note, I recently came back from a trip to Spain and Portugal and my head is swimming with all the beautiful tiles I saw in both countries. I’ll post more on that later.
You never know when a stuffed animal will make you a new friend. Our traveling companion Le Mutt broke the ice when my husband and I dove into a Nepalese Restaurant near our Lisbon hotel seeking respite from the many fish and potato meals we had in Portugal (where the people are lovely but the food not so much. This is a contentious subject.) If you are ever in Lisbon, drop by Himchuli
This is not the first time Le Mutt has made friends in a foreign land.
MC Fuzzy Fuzz is a sock puppet I made for my Step Grandson (AKA DJ Spud) so his parents would have another way to interact with him and make him laugh. I started out with a wool sock and added felt, pom poms and googly eyes (not baby safe.) Then I got some childrens gloves at a dollar store, cut off the fingers and stuffed them with batting, and sewed them on his head for hair. I had the top of the sock left over and made a hat. Then I got pom poms and took the puppet to visit my mother. She picked out the pom poms and I sewed them on. “You get to name him,” I told her. “Fuzzy,” she replied.
I came home and my husband said, “No, he’s MC Fuzzy Fuzz.” (My husband, who is a 62 year old Jewish man with a Ph.D. is heavily into Hip Hop. ” It took me a year to understand Biggie Smalls,” he tells me, “but now I get it and I think he’s a genius.”) The hair became dreadlocks and the hat became a Rasta hat. Then my husband said Fuzzy should be a rapper, so I sewed on the arms and gave him some bling. Then we decided he should be a dawg, and I sewed on ears. (Thank you Le Mutt for modeling.) I also gave him a lower fang (his grill).
Like some stars in the sock puppet hip hop industry, MC Fuzzy Fuzz has a back story. He did not grow up in the dog pound. He went to the best obedience schools and his father held a high post in the national branch of the ASPCSP (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sock Puppets). MC Fuzzy (whose real name is S. (for Sock) Pupwell Baskin dropped out of obedience school to try his luck in the music biz, much to his father’s dismay. But he hit it big. To read an except from one of his songs, press here. And remember to kiss a sock puppet today!
You can read my newest project article on how to make these cool drop earrings in the November/December issue of Step By Step Beads. You probably know that SBS Beads will cease publication with the January/February 2010 issue, The good news from the Interweave site is that it is being merged into Beadwork Magazine, and that Step By Step Wire is still going strong. I had a clasp making article published there earlier this year.