In this Issue

Events and announcements
Story Theme - Resolutions and Intentions
Story – The Four Brothers
Story Activity – Seasonal Needle Felted Picture

This Month:
1.   Therapeutic study retreat group on Vancouver Island
2.   Vancouver, B.C.  Rod Puppet workshop Jan. 16, 17 - click here for photos
3.   Writing children's stories for periodicals and magazines
4.   Intro to Puppetry for Early Childhood – for teachers
5.   Developing 'worker' puppets for Feb. workshop

Upcoming Events for 2010  for more event details click here

1.   Feb. 13, Sacramento, CA - The Wisdom of the 'Worker' Puppet
      How these archetypal characters support the development of the young child
      Click here for info and flyer
2.   March 27, Colorado ECE StoryArts Project - The Amazing Felted Story Egg
      creating story vessels from felted eggs, and telling their stories!
3.   May 29, Colorado ECE StoryArts Project - Regional Mini-Conference
       Introduction to Puppetry and Visual Storytelling in Early Childhood.
4.   June 21 - 25, Boulder, CO - Walkabout Tales
       Professional Development Week 
5.   June 28 - July 2, Boulder, CO - The Art of Solo Marionette Theater
      Professional Development Week
6.   July 5 - 9,  Boulder, CO - Therapeutic Womb to Three Years
      Professional Development Week with Nancy Blanning and Suzanne Down
7.   July 15 - 27, Santa Cruz, CA - Part 3 of the Certificate Training in Puppetry
      for continuing students only.
8.   July 29 - 31, Santa Cruz, CA - Language Development, Story, and Puppetry
      We will also create a Nursery Rhyme Rod Puppet
19. August 2 - 6, Sacramento, CA - The Art of Solo Marionette Theater
      Professional Development Week


1.  I am pleased to announce I now have a NEW and Improved Website,
     bringing all events, school info., my puppet BLOG,  good resources,
     photos, etc., newsletter sign up, all together for your easy use.   
2.  I now have a resource Juniper Tree Puppets Fan Page on Facebook
3.  In May, a series on writing and publishing children’s stories in Boulder, CO.

Story Theme: Resolution and Intention:

These beginning months of 2010 are very connected to resolutions and intentions.  We all strive to bring out our better qualities.  Many stories dwell on the virtues and the lack of them.  Mother Holle is a good example of the 'good' child who receives gifts of abundance, and the 'selfish' child who reaps what she sows. 

This Jan./Feb. newsletter story is about a golden girl, who though poor and hungry, is sunny in her disposition.  This trait, plus her helpful nature, draws the attention of the elemental world of the four seasons to her aid.  The story is greatly adapted for puppetry and young children, from a Greek legend.  May we all find our good intentions and positive outlook each day.

Story - The Four Brothers

It was early in the year, and still cold snowy winter.  A poor mother and her daughter
lived in a small cottage in a village near the great woods.  One morning, Mother
called to Elyena and said, 'dear daughter, go to our neighbors house and ask if they
have food to spare, for we now have nothing left to eat.'  Elyena put on her
warmest winter clothes and went to the neighbor's with her basket. 
Elyena knocked on the door.

Knock, knock, knock.

After a time the neighbor grandmother opened the door just a little crack to see who
was there.  Elyena began to sing to her.

'Good morning kind friend on this day so fair,
I'm asking if you have spare food to share.
It is so cold, and our food is no more,
Please if you can, bring some food to the door.'

Elyena held her basket out, but the grandmother said, 'no, no, we have too little to 
eat.  Sorry, we cannot fill your basket at all, at all.'   And she closed the door tight. 
Elyena went all through the village knocking on doors, and asking at each house,

'Good morning kind friend on this day so fair,
I'm asking if you have spare food to share.
It is so cold, and our food is no more,
Please if you can, bring some food to the door.'

But no one had food to spare.  No one at all, at all.

Elyena did not want to take an empty basket home to her good mother, so she went
into the woods to look for nuts and roots hidden under the snow.  On the way she
found a little mouse whose tail was caught under a stone.  Elyena gently freed him,
and the mouse said, ' thank you kind child, I have been trapped here for a long time. 
May good fortune find you'.  Then he scampered away through the snowy forest.

As she wandered on, she noticed a tree whose branches were so weighed down
with snow, she thought they would break.  So she shook the tree until it could
stand up straight again.  'Oh my,' said the tree, 'that feels much better, thank
you dear child, may good fortune find you.'

Elyena went on through the forest, and saw a little robin shivering from the cold. 
She picked the robin up and wrapped her carefully in her warm woolen hat until
the robin stopped shivering.  'Thank you dear child,' sang the robin, 'I feel warm
enough to fly now.  May good fortune find you.' 
And the bird flapped her wings and flew away.

Elyena had now walked deep into the woods where she knew a hazelnut tree grew. 
'Perhaps I will find nuts here,' she thought to herself.  So she started to dig under
the snow finding nuts and filling her basket.  As she was digging here and there a
kind old man with a long white beard  appeared dressed all in white. 
He spoke to her with a voice as sweet as honey.

'I am the Grandfather of the Year.  My four sons and I have seen how thoughtful
you are. My children each have a question for you.'

One brother came all dressed in light green.  He smiled at Elyena and asked her,
'what is Spring like dear child?'

Elyena answered, 'oh Spring is fresh and new and full of crocuses and daffodils
and baby birds. I love Spring!'  The green brother smiled at Elyena and nodded. 
Then a second brother came all dressed in yellow, and asked, 
'what is Summer like dear child?'

'Oh,' said Elyena, 'Summer is a time to run and play in sunshine, plant a garden
of flowers, and chase butterflies and fireflies.  I love Summer!'  The yellow brother
smiled and nodded.  Then a third brother appeared dressed in orange and reds. 
He asked Elyena, 'what is Autumn like dear child?'

'Autumn,' said Elyena, 'is full of dancing leaves like flames, apples and pumpkins,
and it is harvest time.  I love Autumn!'  The orange and red brother smiled and
nodded.  Then the Grandfather of the Year's fourth son appeared all dressed in
pale blues.  'What is Winter like dear child,' he asked.

'Winter snow sparkles like the stars', replied Elyena.  'Our cheeks get rosy as
we make snowmen, and we light candles in the house, and read books. 
I love Winter!'  This blue brother also smiled and nodded.

Then the four brothers and the Grandfather of the Year who stood before her
all disappeared.  Elyena thought she had been dreaming, but when she looked
in her basket of old nuts, they had turned to diamonds, rubies, and gold!

When she returned home her mother rejoiced.  They were never poor and hungry again!.

The End

Story Activity –  Needle Felting Seasonal Pictures

I thought a simple needle felted picture for each season would be delightful to make
to go along with this story. Here is a winter mood picture to hang on the wall of a
child's room, or in a classroom.  You can add one each season until you have a
full year represented.

gather wool colors of the season.
You will need a good sized pillow foam work-base to lay out your flat picture.
1.  Make 2 layers of wool roving as a base color. 
2.  The first layer should have short (2"-3") pieces of open even wool. 
     Each one overlapping the others in one direction.
3.  For the second layer, do the same, laying the layers in the perpendicular
     direction to the first layer.
4.  Needle felt into the layers to bind the fibers together and to form a nice picture
     I like mine rounded at the top corners.
5.  Create a color picture on top of this base with short open fibers of wool,
     overlapping each other.
6.  Needle felt gently to hold the wool in place and bind the picture shapes
     to the base.
7.  Start with the background sky and ground.
8.  Then add the top layer of the details - tree, snowman, stars, bunny -
     it is easier to use small bits of wool and needle felt to shape them.
9.  This is so easy, now you have a sweet tapestry. 
     Ask your child what they like about winter!

PuppetAid: Inspiring puppetry from early childhood teachers

A teacher in South Africa is bringing puppet shows to AIDS orphanages,
and teaching the older children how to tell puppet tales and make
finger puppets of African animals. She is also training other teachers to work
with puppetry in their communities. 

'Around the World with Finger Puppet Animals
' is our bestselling resource book
and it has some great patterns for zebras, giraffe, lion, and more, along with
poem stories that have nice movement for the puppets. Click here for more information.

Blessings on these winter months.  The next issue will be early March.


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Juniper Tree Puppets
2002 South Fork Drive
Lafayette, Colorado 80026

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