Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Art Of Puppets.

First of all, I just want to thank everyone who faithfully reads my blog posts: my family, friends, and followers!! In today's post, I want to do something a bit different. If you have clicked on the "About Me" tab, you are probably aware that I have a fascination with puppets, so I'd really love to tell you about Czech Marionettes.

To get things started, I've got a little history lesson for you all. ;) Puppetry is an ancient art and goes back thousands of years. Aristotle (384-322 BC) is noted as having used the term puppet. The Greek word puppet, though there are many different kinds of puppets today, translates to "drawn by strings" or "string pulling", suggesting that marionettes were the earliest forms of puppets. The origin of the word marionette comes from the French word marionnette meaning "Little Mary" because it is said that the first figure to be made into a marionette was the Virgin Mary. If you've been kind enough to read through this paragraph, you rock, e-hug!! :D

Marionette performances came long before actors, which I find pretty cool. Many people traveled all over Europe and performed with puppets on the streets. Slowly, they became more popular. I think most people today, upon hearing the word marionette or puppet, think of Pinocchio. After all, that's how my love for puppets began, when I watched Walt Disney's Pinocchio; I was 12 years old at the time. Sadly, puppets are not often used today. However, there are puppeteers in Czech Republic who keep ancient traditions of puppetry alive.

The Czech Marionette company has been around for years, since early 1990; they even have a store in Prague. There are several great artists who create the most spectacular and unique puppets by hand. Their job is to create beauty and "bring joy and fun into every household on this beautiful planet" as quoted on their website. :D Czech Marionettes offers so many great puppets for professional use, play, or decoration. I can't express enough how much I love these marionettes!!!

What the puppets are made of varies from ceramic like these mice from the Animal Circus... resin like the puppets from the Charlie Chaplin collection  featuring movable eyes...

...and unique plaster compound like Young Sparky with fabric clothes, or the widely popular Old Couple Fanny and Joe marionettes.

They even have wooden marionettes like this Little Sam and Sue with cloth clothes,...

but my all time favorites are the large hand carved wooden marionettes, not with cloth clothing, but only carved and painted clothes, like Vampire Barnabas, Don Quichotte, and Sancho Panza.

Czech Marionettes is "for people charmed with magic of marionettes and marionette playing" (All about Czech Marionettes).
I mean, even if you're not really in to puppets, pleeeeeaase don't tell me you can't appreciate the art. Am I right?? Seriously though,  If I owned every puppet I liked from this company, my wallet would be empty and I wouldn't be able to find a wall large enough to hang the marionettes from. They have so many puppets to choose from, each one beautifully and uniquely made, filled with special intricate detail. They even leave you the option to request a custom marionette, so you could have one of yourself made if you wanted because that's not creepy at all.

I wish I could be a part of the Hand Carving Workshop this summer in Prague, Czech Republic where people can learn to carve their very own wooden marionette. The workshop is under the leadership of Martin Ružička - an extremely experienced and talented wood carver. Maybe some of you guys could go and then write me a very detailed novel about it or something. :) Anywho, I encourage you all to check out and see for yourself these wonderful works of art, because a "...marionette should be in every home on this planet" (Marionettes for sale). A marionette isn't just a statue. It's a magical form of art where life is given to the puppet; they're just waiting to tell their stories. ;)

P.S. So, just in case any of you are thinking that Czech Marionettes asked me to write this post about them, you would in fact be wrong. I actually asked them. They said yes and were more than willing to answer any questions I had. I'm just so passionate about these puppets and I really wanted to share that with you guys. Thanks so much for reading!

Friday, February 19, 2016


"...I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?" ~ John Lennon

You know, I couldn't agree more with John Lennon, it's so true. The mind is the most powerful thing; so many things come to life only in the mind. As Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it." Don't limit yourself. The imagination is endless. 

Sometimes I think that I have a bit of a strange imagination. I love fairies obviously and fantasy, but because of this love/obsession, I think about strange things. I associate the Middle Ages with the fairies. I associate moss, frost, and wooded areas with fairies. My favorite color is green because I see it as nature's blanket. I picture the Irish countryside and plants; grass and flowers and trees. I love vines because I think of fairies when I see them - I find them enchanting in a weird way - the vines, not the fairies. Though the fairies are enchanting too...

I get so emotional about characters like 10 and Rose from Doctor Who, for Tristan and Ivy in the book Kissed By An Angel by Elizabeth Chandler. I even cried in Tim Burton's Frankenweenie and The Mark Of Athena by Rick Riordan. I don't care if they're just fictional characters. Don't ever say they're "JUST fictional characters." When I read a book or see a really good movie, it's real to me. It feels so real. And thats' the beauty of a great story teller I believe - to make the audience feel something. 

The fairies, the myths, the dragons, the Doctor, and any other fictional character - they're all real and don't tell me otherwise. Whether you're a writer or one who enjoys to read, I think you can relate. These characters and these worlds may seem dreamlike or even nightmarish, but that's the place where you're most vulnerable. It can be a beautiful thing to be transported to another world and to feel something. "Not all those who wander are lost," said J.R.R. Tolkien. I really think that's a huge part of reading. We're not "lost", we're just wandering, exploring new worlds, and having an adventure of our own.

When I'm writing my story, and I'm talking about the stars in the sky and the full moon, the cool breeze against my skin and wondering what it's like to fly, it's an infinite feeling. I feel so caught up in the story and then I suddenly look around and realize I'm still sitting at my desk in front of my window, looking out at a wooden fence and a dull gray sky.

Lately I had been having a little trouble writing my story though. Wondering how to write certain things, wondering if I should write certain things, and then writing a lot of assignments for school that I wasn't really focused on my book. But I know someone who helps me keep on track with my goals. And I told her that I would commit to writing AT LEAST a chapter a week. I've been pretty good about that now. It feels really good to write because it takes me to another world in another place. 

I have so many people to be thankful for who have been a huge help in writing this book. I can't wait for the day that everyone gets to read it, because sometimes, we all need to go on an adventure. Books are just paper and ink, but they can be filled with magic if you allow them to be. After all, who's to say that the stories and the dreams aren't as real as the here and now? ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentine's Day.

Hey everyone!! It's certainly been a roller coaster for me lately. With my English classes and all of my writing assignments, it feels like I haven't had much free time. And now Valentine's Day is almost upon us. If you're one of those people who actually does something on this day, then kudos to you!

I know some of you know that I have a dachshund. On her papers, it'll say her name is Marcie, but I hardly ever use that name, except when I scold her. I call her Weenie, but Marcie is just easier to say in a serious tone XD. The only reason Valentine's Day means anything to me is that Weenie's birthday is February 14th.

A few weeks ago I was upstairs helping with dinner, and I heard Weenie running up the stairs. I suddenly heard her yelp/scream in pain and she ran back down the stairs. I turned the burner off and ran after her to see what was wrong. I found her in my bedroom. She just sat there and looked at me. I got on my knees and examined her. I rubbed her body in various places. She seemed fine, she didn't appear to be in pain. Then later that night I noticed she was limping on her back leg. A few days later she couldn't walk at all, both of her legs and her entire back end seemed to be lame. She would try to walk and she'd start out wobbly before she just couldn't move at all.

Needless to say, it took an extremely emotional toll on me. She had a spinal disk injury. Most dachshunds still couldn't walk properly even after surgery. All I could do for Weenie was keep her down on "crate rest" for 6-8 weeks. I got her a rear harness that supported her while she, uh, deposited her waste. I was praying so hard every day and every night that God would heal her. My dad, who is a pastor, even anointed her with oil one night and the whole family prayed for her.

I honestly wasn't sure if she was going to live to her next birthday. The poor dear couldn't support her own weight. I had to carry her to her food, support her while she ate, carry her outside and support her while she did her business, carry her back to her bed and support her while she tried to lay down. She couldn't walk, she couldn't play. It was breaking my heart.

Now, almost 3 weeks after the accident, she's wanting to play, she can walk on her own for short distances, even though she's slightly wobbly. I'm still trying to keep her from doing too much, she has at least 3 more weeks of recovery to go. She's not allowed up or down any steps, and she's still having to wear her harness when she goes outside. But she's doing exceedingly better. In less than a single day, she'll get to turn 8 years old. :D I'm so happy, praise God!!