Sunday, August 19, 2012

Smiley Face Puppet

Have you ever been told 'turn that frown upside down'? For some reason I always think of a smiley face when I hear that expression. This next puppet is my version of a smiley face puppet!

My lovable friend, Dana, is just beginning a new stage in her education career as a school counselor! I know that she is thrilled to begin her new position and I am confident that she will be wonderful. I've had the pleasure of working with Dana for the past few years and her passion for student learning just radiates off of her! I was not surprised when she told me she needed a "Smiley Face" puppet because Dana herself is always smiling! It's a perfect fit!

At Dana's elementary school, the faculty, staff and students participate in different activities to promote kindness. They wear smiley face t-shirts on Monday to promote kindness throughout the week and the school even has a "Wall of Kindness" where students are recognized for their kind actions. So, I can totally understand why Dana needs this puppet!

Let me tell you a little bit about my inspiration for the design:
When I sat down to draft a plan for this puppet, I started to think about all of my favorite "smiley" icons. The one that stuck in my head was my boyfriend Henry's 1971 vintage smiley face heart character piggy bank. I knew that the puppet wasn't going to be exactly like this, but my favorite part of the piggy bank is the pink heart that sort of puffs out from the chest.
Next, the school t-shirts have a smiley face similar to this picture so of course bright yellow fabric was a must! The trickiest part about my puppet design was making this 2-dimensional picture come to life as 3-dimensional puppet.

Lastly, I wanted to check out the history of this well known happy face! It's earliest appearance was in the late 40s/early 50s. In this picture, the smiley was used in a film called 'Lili' in 1953. I particularly like the *You'll love* heart.  I won't go on and on about it, but click here if you want to read the Wikipedia article. I'm always fascinated with the history of these types of things because smiley faces are everywhere but they had to start somewhere! : ) <------Smiley face! See, they are everywhere!

And without further ado, I present to you....
Kindness Kathy! 

I believe this is the name Dana has picked out! Love it! She doesn't know this, but Kindness Kathy already made a new flower friend. I can't seem to separate them so she is going home with Kathy. Positive energy attracts positive things!

Here is a close up of her heart. See how it puffs out! *LOVE*!
And just one final and appropriate thought to remember....

I hope you like her Dana! I'm sure you two (well, three) will have great year at your new school! : )