by Trudy A. Martinez
Initially, crafting arose out of necessity, not out of desire; now it is relief of boredom, and a hobby. Most of the time if there is a need to express a thought, I make a card; if there is need to give a gift, I make it.
Granny (my grandmother) versed me well in the art of creativity and sewing. In earlier years, I rarely spent time there at her house unless it was to learn or fulfill a need.
Now, it’s different; a great deal of time is spent creating, not because I have to, but because I want to. It is not usual for me to have various projects going at once.
One main project is making finger puppets. It all started because I saved bits and pieces of socks left over from making stuffed dolls for a great-grandchild.
The bits and pieces were set aside because I didn’t want to waste. I was thinking I may use them someday.
My daughter asks, “what are you going to do with these bits and pieces?’ I reply, “I don’t know. I haven’t figured that out yet.” She suggests, “Why not make some finger puppets.” I experiment with the concept until arriving at a solution and complete my first one
It wasn’t very appealing, but with each attempt, the method and puppets evolve.
Initially they are completely hand stitched, now it’s a combination of machine and hand. The designs and methods are my own, developed through trial and error over time.
Two puppets that won second place ribbons at the fair are on display in our home now.
Newer creations may be seen on display on hand molds in other places in the house.
Each puppet person I make is different; there are no two exactly the same.
They are intended for babies. But I have given them to adults. The puppets help interactions with a child, especially infants. They are a tool to help with the development and strengthening of the eye muscles and eye and hand coordination in infancy. They are also useful as a teething helper; the soft but firm construction allows the infant to bite down relieving their pain without adding to it.
They are completely washable and dry able; they come out looking new again. That is a plus since they spend a lot of time in the infant’s mouth when they are teething. They are toys, pacifying the infant.
A puppet is a perfect companion for a small child when traveling, in public, or at home. A child’s attachment to the puppets grows as they play and interact with them; sleep with them, teeth with them. They learn to love them.
It warms my heart to see them enjoy them.