Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
(Mystery project solved!)
My childhood was not full of traditions. It just wasn't how we were raised.
But one of the few family traditions we did have was watching the annual TV airing of The Sound of Music.* My parents, sisters and I loved/love that movie. I think even my brother likes it more than he cares to admit.
Like many fans, my absolute favorite scene and song in the movie was/is "The Lonely Goatherd". Who can resist singing along? What child didn't dream of being one of the von Trapp family children, maneuvering the marionettes with Maria, singing and yodeling away? Those amazing puppets! That fantastic set! Brilliant!
Not surprisingly, my girls love the movie, the soundtrack, and "The Lonely Goatherd", too. They go nuts when the song comes on, interlocking elbows and swinging each other around. They sing and yodel words that oftentimes mimic the actual lyrics.
I thought what better present for my girls than a few marionettes of their own so that they can re-enact that scene over and over again here at home?
Obviously, there is no way I could ever come close to recreating the masterpieces created by Bil Baird. Not in this lifetime. So, I went with very simple and used some cloth, wool and bits of string and came up with these two little ones.
I aimed for "resemble" rather than replicate. Much easier that way. My "little girl in a pale pink coat" also looks less curvy, more young...modest :)
I am so excited about this project because this is JUST THE BEGINNING. Think of all the things the girls and I can make! A collapsible stage made out of a tri-fold display board (cover it with paper or paint? fabric or felt? adorn it with trims?)! Background scenery drawn by the girls using pastels and butcher paper! Playsilks for the curtains! More puppets! A few more marionettes! My brain is on overdrive!
I have a different cloth doll body in mind for making the "Mama" (a more floppy version so that one can control her head). Perhaps we'll make the "Men on a road with a load to tote" hand puppets out of wool felt. Maybe my husband can stand in for the "Men drinking beer with the foam afloat".
And I've been having fun playing with these little marionettes in the meantime, making them dance around the floor (I had to make sure they work!), testing out which control would work best for the girls (they are temporarily stringed up right now as my husband and I fine-tune/sand the real controls). I've been joined by my youngest who has been also testing out an inexpensive goat marionette I bought for Christmas so there are three marionettes to start with (no fighting! everyone gets one!). My older two daughters have no idea about this project.
Still, even the goat is a placeholder, until I/we can make the goat marionettes, too. Knowing my girls, they'll want to start with the baby goat...who wouldn't.
I am so excited about this project. Seriously excited. I think it will be something to pull out on a rainy day, something we can revisit year after year. I know the girls will have fun. I just know it.
(Her eyes don't glow and aren't as bright as these pictures depict.They are a deep turquoise/blue...not bright/blinding aqua :(. One of my New Year's resolutions will be to improve my photography skills! I wish you could see her in person.)
*For several years, my parents conned us kids into believing that the movie ended when the children went to bed (after singing "So Long, Farewell"). I was stunned...absolutely stunned when I discovered that the movie kept going for long after that scene.