and a variety of socks.
And of course, Lydia the shark
Well on the 28th March the day had arrived. I'd planned the route, packed the car, and set of early so I would be calm when I got there. I'd even remembered to bring my iPod and player for practicing a song (or, as it turned out, five!) This was it. The test. East Riding Play Conference. Eeeeek.
The workshops were in marquees, the weather was foul, windy and very cold, and I had an absolute whale of a time! There were a few nervous faces to start with. But once I'd introduced the puppets, with a few tips about materials, and then let the delegates loose on the stash of craft items, it was amazing how quickly everyone got involved making a puppet and developing its character.
Friday saw a few owls, a mouse, a great comic elephant, a flouncy lady with pink feather boa hair, and a worm with huge sunglasses and a complete back story! There were loads more people on Saturday in each workshop and we ended up with a whole pride of paper bag lions, monsters, and some brilliant sock dogs. I was so impressed when one little boy attached some cord to his dog sock and used it as a lead. By the end there were about four wandering around the conference!
At the end of each day there was a show and tell where delegates went to the front and showed off what they had been doing. There is a distinct reluctance among people to draw attention to themselves, especially if they feel a bit silly, and I had three sessions at the start middle and end! How did I break the shy barrier? Simple, I'd taken our puppet stage so everyone was hidden, it was just the puppets who would be showing off. It worked. In fact it worked so well that I had to ask other people to hold the stage to stop it falling over with the weight of the puppets dancing!
Would I do it again? You bet I would. Many of the delegates were really happy with the paper bag idea for their work and I gave out the pattern for Lydia to anyone who wanted it. I really hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did and took something back to their jobs.
So for any of you out there who get asked to do something which may be a bit out of your comfort zone I would say: "Go for it! You might surprise yourself".
I'm going to link up with Handmade Monday http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/handmade-monday-162.html hope to see you there.