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Craft Yarn Council Certification- Pass or Fail

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I passed! I passed! I had my exit call with my master teacher. It was a great phone conversation. Right off the bat, she was really nice. As the time drew nearer for our scheduled talk, I got more and more nervous. Was my portfolio any good? Did I make any mistakes that would cause me to fail? Were my lesson plans too long or not clear? Was she going to ask me something I didn’t know how to answer? This call could be disastrous! Yep, I was getting pretty wound up there.

But none of that happened. She put me at ease right away and was very conversational and friendly. She told me my portfolio was beautiful and very impressive but that I must know that already. I did not! It was very organized, that I knew. I did the best I could with the swatches but you never know what someone else might think but I knew I could present my work in the best light possible. So it was nice that she noticed. Continue reading

Crochet Doll for the Giveaway

I’ll be joining my fellow bloggers in being a sponsor at the Giveaway over at kellysdiy. Sounds really fun and I can’t wait until the giveaway gets started on July 17th. Head on over there and check it out. You might even want to participate. 🙂

I didn’t know about her blog until I started seeing it pop up in blogs I follow and saw that others were joining in. I checked out her blog to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t necessarily going participate but I ended up really liking her blog. She is super creative and has some fantastic ideas. I have to come up with a lot of projects for the kids at work and many of her projects are kid friendly. They will come in very handy when I go back to work for the new school year.

Here is my contribution.

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Crochet Mermaid Puppet

Deviation from the plan

I went ahead and kept working on the mermaid puppet when I should have been finishing up my lessons from my certification course. I was rewarded with an ugly puppet. She was turning out so hideous! I didn’t like her. I made a few faux pas along the way that translated into a not so pretty crochet mermaid puppet. I set sail on the wrong course and kept going down the wrong channel.

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Why you keep calling me ugly?!

What had happened was…

Let me start by saying my intentions were good. I had good ideas. It was the Continue reading

Freebie Friday – Crochet Puppets

I assume not everyone has a need for a crochet puppet, but since I was entrenched in puppets, I thought I’d share how I make them. I plan on making a video for a puppet or puppets soon, so if this post looks too wordy (I know it does to me), you can just wait for that. It will eventually happen, but if you want to get started right away, read on!

The Process

The body

I start with a tube that fits around a hand. Sometimes it comes out a little tighter and sometimes a little looser than I like, but it doesn’t really matter as long as it goes over your hand.

The tube can be made up of any color and any kind of yarn. This will be the shirt (or top part of a dress) and can be made out of any stitch or color combination. I’ve only made three puppets so far and they were made for my students so I kept the tube portion simple. I’m all about simple. I used single crochet in the round for two of them. For the third one (red and black puppet), I made a rectangle of single crochet rows and then sewed up the side to make a tube. You could even make two squares and sew up on two sides. I haven’t tried this yet.

Jeffy body

I’m just a tube (in the round).

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Nothing but a tube.

Continue reading

Red and Black Crochet Puppet

I handed over my finished puppet to her new 5th grade owner after a day of celebrating our 5th graders. I said a few words about how much I will miss them, because I will. Two of them have been with me since kindergarten. That’s six years with the same students. It’s always bitter sweet to see them go, knowing most of them will disappear without a trace as they move on to middle school. Sometimes, they come back to visit or I run in to them when I’m out and about, but for the most part, on the last day, they’re just gone. I give them a big hug on their way out the door and wish them well.

So I said a few words, said my farewells, handed them their crocheted graduation caps and we partied with cake, pizza and a movie.

Blue graduation caps

I finished the puppet and handed her over to my student before she went off to summer glory.

crochet girl hand puppet

She didn’t turn out exactly as I pictured her but she’s alright.

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She’s kind of sassy!

My student seemed happy with her and I  know the puppet is going to a good home. This particular 5th grader has become a great crocheter and wants to take crochet with her to her new after-school program next year. Some of our 5th graders from our school continue on in our program at our sister school. I had started crochet there years ago when I worked the summer program. Many of the students loved it but it died out quickly with no one left to run it. This 5th grader certainly has the chops to get something up and running over there. She has leadership qualities that I know she’ll put to good use to teach the students there how to crochet.

When we go back in the fall, I’m going to hook her up with the supplies she needs to get started. Hopefully that means I’ll still see her sometimes and she won’t disappear without a trace. 🙂

Last Crochet Puppet For Students

I’ve been trying to finish the girl crochet puppet for my clever 5th grader. I only have until tomorrow to finish it so I’m cutting it close! Most of it is done, but I still have to do the face and hair.

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I can’t see anything!

I’m taking it back to work today where I will finish if off with the student’s input.

The head came out a little smaller than I would like but hopefully she’ll look better once she has a face and hair. My student wanted her to have a tongue so I made sure the inside of the mouth had some pink. I’m getting better at making the inside of the mouth. This third attempt is my favorite.

 

Surviving Disappointment -Crochet Puppet

My second crochet puppet was a fail, and twice a success. It was a fail because my 2nd grader was disappointed with it. It was a success because the other kids loved it and wanted it. It was a success again because I changed it so the 2nd grader liked after all.

So I gave my 2nd grader the puppet. I finished it as much as I was going to finish it. I didn’t give him legs, even though my student wanted him to have legs. I have to admit that with the attitude he was displaying towards my efforts, I wasn’t as inspired to comply with his requests (demands). I did add arms, ears and a nose and I thought he came out pretty cute.

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What’s wrong with my eyes?

When I handed him over, the look of disappointment was palpable. And now I was disappointed. So this was a fail. But it was also a success because there were about 10 other kids circling him like sharks hoping they could have it. They smelled the scent of his disappointment and moved in to snatch the puppet up.

Some were begging me to let them have it since he didn’t like it and some were appealing directly to him to give it to them. I saw right away that he just might give it away (no way buddy) so I put a stop to that real quick. I told them all that it would go in the Ultimate Prize Box if he didn’t end up keeping it (either by his choice or mine).

I asked my 2nd grader if he wanted to trade him for something else since it didn’t seem like he liked the puppet. He actually thought about it! Oh, help me survive the fickleness of kids! I told him that he probably should trade it since he obviously didn’t like it. He hesitatingly said  he would keep it, although I think this had more to do with him not wanting anyone else to have it. He walked away but he kept griping about how the puppet didn’t have eyeballs! He was obsessed with eyeballs!

I finally had enough and was about to make an executive decision and take back the puppet, but instead, I asked him if the eyes were the only reason he didn’t like the puppet. He said yes, so I had him hand the puppet over and I sent the kids out to recess. When they came back, the puppet had new eyes.

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Now he has eyeballs!

My 2nd grader had a big smile on his face and he happily scampered off. Now, at least, I had a better feeling that the puppet was going to be liked. Maybe love would come later. 🙂 Still, I think my 2nd grader’s mom was more grateful for the puppet than my student. She loved it.

Any art is an extension of ourselves and it can be hard to put ourselves out there. And when our work is rejected (even by a 2nd grader), it can be tough not to take the rejection personally.

My hubby is an artist. He makes a living from his art. He tells me he doesn’t take it personally when a client asks for changes or just doesn’t like something.  He just makes the changes until the client is happy.

So that’s what I did. I  made the change and the client (student) was happy.

And knowing that the other students loved the puppet as it was saved my ego. One of the reasons I get nervous when someone asks me to make them something is because I know that meeting an expectation can be hard. They have something in their mind that they want and it might not be the same as what I produce. I’d rather just make things and if it’s liked, that’s great, if it’s not, that’s no biggie.

But I don’t let that stop me with the kids. Most of the time, they’re extremely happy and appreciative of what I make for them. I’m grateful for that.