Re: How the zebra got its stripes Posted by Miryana on Apr 16, 2007
Thank you, John,
that is a great compliment. They are so easy to make, betcha you can make one yourself.
PS I can post the pattern for this - somehow, smaller in size or something.
Re: How the zebra got its stripes Posted by Shawn on Apr 16, 2007
Miryana, they are absolutely wonderful!  They really have so much character for being such a simple base design.  I am so glad you took pictures and shared this project with everyone.  I would love to hear the process you went through to come up with the head pattern.
Re: How the zebra got its stripes Posted by Miryana on Apr 16, 2007
Oooo, the process - so organized and well thought ahead of time - NOT!

The head pattern took most of the time I had, mainly as I was dwindling and hesitating facing something I haven't done before and not knowing what exactly to do. So I cut out a piece of foam and played with it, bending it and nipping it and trying to figure out what will it do if… I think I had total of 3 variations until I got the one I had. First I made a head without the neck, and then realized I can put them together, so to create one piece. There was gluing and cutting and swearing and mumbling and after a while it came out right.

Now the "cheeks" are a bit of a stroke of luck. In the original zebra, they go over the bottom jaw, holding it in place, but when I was making a giraffe, I forgot about it and glued it to the bottom part of the same pattern, and it turned out awesome, giving giraffe that characteristic look, So, I figured, lion should have those cheecks even bigger, and so should cheetah. For the lion, I inserted a simple piece of foam for the bottom jaw (non functional), and for the cheetah I didn't even bother. Most of may puppets do not have openable mouth, and I find that is never an issue with the audience if you give them meaningful head movements, and other visual elements.

The fun part was that up to the last moment I had no idea will it work, and you can just imagine how happy I was when everything worked out well. Somewhere early in the process, while I was gluing bodies, I thought to myself that with so little time left I should just go and buy them (local zoo's gift shop has amazing plush animals), but pride prevailed.

It's a real pleasure after a project is done to be able to share the results with your peer. I am ever so thankful to Puppets and Stuff for existing, and to all the great, supportive people who continue to bring their input on regular bases. Sharing with your family and friends is OK, but your "colleagues" are a totally different category.
Re: How the zebra got its stripes Posted by Ron G. on Apr 16, 2007
Ohhh, Miryana.... I'm in love! Your new animal puppets are amazing and beautiful.

Posted by
Finally, I found the store that had few, mostly African drums (my boyfriend, who’s a drummer, seized the CD and now listens to it an night to lull himself into sleep; drums! Go figure!), which was kind of neat, very different. I used different drum sounds to represent the appearance of different animals: giraffe with the slow steady beat, cheetah with some rattles that indicated sneaking in the grass, and lion had majestic and very pompous drums.


Posted by
I was very pleased with them, and am thinking of making an elephant and a crocodile, while I am at it, although they do not have any roles in the story. They could just walk through the stage  as extras.

Puppets as extras... I guess that it's logical - but reading it cracked me up.

Posted by
The show had lots of jokes and was really entertaining for adults too (the snake, who snitched on zebra to the lion, introduced himself to his majesty as "your humble serpent").


I don't want to sound too corny, but I'm really proud of you Miryana. You put so much effort into your shows - researching the myths and legends, finding the best music, and building the puppets and sets. On top of that, your shows always have a wonderful, unique look to them. You don't just copy the popular designs and styles.

Outstanding job!

Ron G.
Re: How the zebra got its stripes Posted by Miryana on Apr 16, 2007
  Oh, I'm blushing!

But it just feels so good to hear it anyway.   

Thanks, Ron, now I just need to take my bed out of my bedroom so I have some room in the house for all these puppets. That's OK, I'll sleep in the bathtub, I barely have time for showering anyway.
Re: How the zebra got its stripes Posted by Sonny on Apr 16, 2007
Posted by: Miryana on Apr 16, 2007
  I barely have time for showering anyway.

Flock your works for me. 

Re: How the zebra got its stripes Posted by Ron G. on Apr 16, 2007
I always had you pegged as an armpit flocker, Sonny.

If I flocked myself from head to toe I could become a living puppet...

Just watch where you stick your hand!


Ron G.
Re: How the zebra got its stripes Posted by Miryana on Apr 16, 2007
Hey, guys, what's "flocking"?
Re: How the zebra got its stripes Posted by StiqPuppet Productions on Apr 16, 2007
Don't get me started on the flocking word.

Flocking is a method that uses a device that attracts these little bits of flock (guess you could describe them as little pieces of velvet).  Of course you apply a glue to the surface where you want the flock to go and they stand up on end with the device causing a static electric force to attract them and make them stand up on their ends.  You can cover the foam with them and they give a slight fuzzy look to the puppets head and hands or where ever you want it.  The flock comes in many colours.

I hope this all makes sense......if not I am sure someone can help with describing it better or correct me where I am wrong.

Re: How the zebra got its stripes Posted by Ron G. on Apr 16, 2007
Posted by: Miryana on Apr 16, 2007
Hey, guys, what's "flocking"?

We'll tell you when you're a little older... 

OK, seriously... when something is flocked it has short fibers glued on its surface, which makes it kind of soft and fuzzy - kind of like a cross between the feeling of fleece and velvet, (to me, at least). The inside of wooden jewelry boxes are often flocked. It makes them feel like they are lined with some kind of cloth, but it's actually zillions of individual fibers glued to the surface. Sometimes plastic toys are flocked, to give them a nicer finish.

Some puppets are flocked when it would be too hard to cover them with fleece or other fabric. From what I understand, the Henson studios flocked Miss Piggy and the Pigs in Space characters for that reason. The tiny fibers and glue for flocking aren't too expensive, but the special electric applicators to put down a smooth, evenly flocked surface can be pretty expensive.

Sometimes Christmas trees which are covered with artificial snow are said to be flocked too, but instead of cloth fibers they are covered with a kind of foam spray that sticks to the branches and dries there, looking like a layer of snow...


Ron G.

I see that Daryl beat me to it, but I'll post my description anyway...

No More Post