Being a teacher, I am off today for Martin Luther King day. It is cold and snowy outside and the ideas are brewing in my mind. This was also a weekend of culinary creativity; I took the time to slow roast a turkey, basking in what Latinos call sofrito. Specially herbed roasted potatoes and tender greens accompanied a tender, melt-in-your mouth bird and dessert was a simple cluster of luscious, green grapes and a chocolate peanut butter pastry. Knowing that we didn't have to rise early, we enjoyed playing our guitar and harp, watched movies, and took time to slowly ponder our next projects. A couple of months ago on Fete et Fleur, Nancy displayed a beautiful photo of an antique French puppet theatre. I fell in love with it not only for its exquisite vintage character, but for what it stood for. Being a former dancer and theatre major and now a French teacher in a French immersion school, I am well acquainted with the fine craftmanship and love that the French put into their work. Love for childhood memories, art and literacy are predominant in French life. Le monde des enfants or better yet, the world of children, is a magical place that I have never left nor do I want to part. Theatre plays a star role in my instruction of reading and writing, and any thespian artifact, especially made with care and beauty, attracts my eye. I have never seen such a puppet theatre here in the states or during my travels to France, but this hasn't stopped me from dreaming. The following photos display some trinkets and embellishments that I think would go well to construct my own French puppet theatre. What do you think?
I found an inexpensive shadow box that I thought I would paint white. The vintage tin trim is from a very talented friend that has the best taste and ability to decorate that I have ever seen. The small portrait of a French aristocrat would serve as a center piece at the top of the theatre. However, I think that this shadow box may be too small. This might be a shared project with my husband! About a year ago, we purchased a wide-screen digital flat T.V. My husband who is as decor-minded as myself, did not want to just hang this modern piece of technology in the midst of what we consider old-world. The creative juices started to flow. At first, we thought we could hang a tapestry over the beast and just draw it back when we wanted to view it. Tapestries are too heavy, so we chucked that bright idea! Then, we both came up with the same thought after having looked in magazines. The wooden valances that sometimes are used to grace drapes and curtains would serve as an encasement for the T.V. Not being able to find one to fit our demands, my husband made one himself and I painted it. We attached a soft curtain to it and here it is:
After he constructed it, friends came by and asked us why we had a puppet theatre in our living room! We gleefully drew the curtains to show them what it really was for. They were impressed. So, maybe my crafty husband can show me how to nail a couple of pieces of wood together and I can do the rest! My strength is embellishing what someone else has already made, so my little project will have to be put on hold since this time of year is quite busy for teachers. But thinking about the possibilities and hunting for scraps of potential details is part of the fun. An artist is never finished!