Archives for the month of: July, 2013


I am very surprised. I thought the Dedes would be very chirpy and keen to tell me what happened at the gallery. We all know travelling broadens your horizons and there is always so much to talk about when travellers return home. But no, they are quiet. They seem pretty exhausted and maybe sad they lost one of their mates. The one that left us for good is Freeloader, the cute little Dormouse. I don’t have many pictures of her. She was one of the puppets I made especially for the exhibition and to sell. I did not want to listen to her story because I was worried I would get too attached to her.

During the exhibition I had a competition going where people could tell me which puppet they liked the most.  The most votes any one puppet got was four, and there were only a few puppets who didn’t get any votes. The favorites were The Magician and Foxy Lady. I find it very interesting that not one Dede stood head and shoulders above the rest. I, of course, think some of them are more beautiful than others, so the voting proved to me once again that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I have so many stories to tell about the exhibition, but most of them need to be told verbally. They need the animation given by the story-teller. But I will recount one tomorrow.

quiet copy

We had to leave the house for the weekend as the floors were being sanded and coated. So we went and visited family up north on the farm. A place without cell phone reception and internet – Bliss! Ah, Bliss is a puppet I don’t have yet… As soon as I get my studio space I will start on that one :)

Being away from the Dedes pushed me off cloud nine and I have found my grounding again. I see there are a few avenues opening. I’ve been invited to exhibit some of the Dedes in a gallery that is dedicated to recycled art on Waiheke, an island just off Auckland. I love Waiheke, but haven’t been there for ages, so this is a very good excuse to visit again. They are interested in running a workshop as well and asked if I could do it during the next holidays. While I could have done it, I decided to postpone it for a little, as I have booked myself into a puppeteering workshop with renown puppeteer Gary Friedman in Melbourne. I am sure I will learn heaps and might be able to apply a few things to what I am doing here. The workshop is from 19th to 21st July. As this is not too far off, I’ll try not to make any major decisions until I am back in Auckland. I know my head will be brimming with new ideas. A good deal of them will be impractical but who cares.

good buy

Yesterday the puppets had to say Good Bye to the gallery. It was a very emotional farewell. The staff at the gallery had well and truly fallen in love with the little critters, who brought a smile to visitor’s faces. I have to say, for me personally, the show was a success. I am totally overwhelmed by the great response I’ve got from everyone. The staff at the gallery were wonderful. I have nothing but praise for everyone.

From a selling point of view though, it wasn’t particularly successful. But then, I wasn’t so keen on letting them go in the first place. The Dedes were sitting on the fence as well and weren’t sure if they really should step away from their friends. In true Dede fashion there was a bit of a kerfuffle before everything was sorted. Actually, I am still not sure how many puppets I have sold.

It was obviously very difficult for people to choose which puppet to take. I had a little competition going where people could tell me which puppet they liked most. A lot of people said they couldn’t make up their minds, they loved them all. This of course is not very conducive to selling, is it? Someone was going to buy two puppets for his grandchildren. The first puppet he chose was Punch too, but when he came back he changed his mind.

Thankfully Punch too has a lot of me in him. He is a smiley one and looks a tad naive, but he  certainly doesn’t let the grass grow under his feet. He told me quietly that he had come to terms about having to leave the Dede home and was ready for new experiences. He’d rather like to live on a comfortable shelf overlooking a living room and get lovely clothes. Maybe something with a victorian lace collar or so.

I thought to myself: “dream on, not this time buddy!” But do you know what happened then? The genial Mrs A+ fell in love with him and took him home. I will have to tell you about the wonderful Mrs A+ in another post. Yes, she had a hard time making up her mind as she loves all the Dedes, but in the end Punch too‘s smile won her over.

I can tell you Punch too is over the moon. He got all he wanted, except for the lace collared robe, but who knows, there is always Christmas. And he promised the other Dedes to stay in touch. Isn’t that a happy ending?


Tomorrow we will take down the exhibition. I had hoped our treehouse would be finished by then so the puppets could move into their new studio space. But no, we are still not there… Today the plasterers sanded down the walls and hopefully the floor will be sanded in the next couple of days as well. The picture above shows the view from our first floor addition. Unfortunately a balustrade, that is still to come, will block much of the view of the beautiful trees. I absolutely love the treehouse and I think living for 5 months on a building site will be worth it in the end. Never mind that we won’t be able to go on holiday for a long time to come.

The trees in front of the house are full of native birds and I captured one of our feathered neighbours yesterday. It is a Tui. These birds have the most beautiful song to wake up to.

tui bird close up


Yesterday I had some wonderful news which involves Harvey and Mr XL. Remember Mr XL? He is my lovely neighbour in the office building who got sucked in by Harvey the gambling rabbit. Harvey had played the poor little rabbit card to get Mr XL to canvas votes for him to get into the finals for the Super Dede Competition 2012. Mr XL did a fantastic job and secured a place for Harvey in the competition. The entire story is too long to recap now, but here is the link. Needless to say, Mr XL and Harvey forged a strong bond as a result.

On Sunday, just as we were about to start the puppet workshop Mr XL walked into the Gallery and Harvey, who has a place somewhere in the back spotted him immediately and waved him over. I couldn’t really pay much attention to what they were up to and by the time the workshop had finished Mr XL was gone. Harvey, being a gambler, didn’t say a thing.

Anyway, the next morning I stopped by Mr XL’s office for a neighbourly chat. I was curious about the latest gossip from the Dedes. You know, the kind of things they would only tell a stranger but not me, because it is too close to home.

Harvey and I” Mr XL said “came up with a cunning plan and he left it up to me to talk to you about it.”

I rolled my eyes and thought, what’s that gambler up to now?

Mr XL explained that he would have liked to buy Harvey for his granddaughter, but Harvey was seriously taken aback. He is worried that he will be ill-treated and his ears ripped off. So he wasn’t too keen to go with Mr XL. “Don’t listen to him” I said, quite angry “there is no way someone could rip his ears off. He is rock solid. He is just trying to make you feel bad.”

“Ah,” Mr XL said. “Don’t worry, he couldn’t fool me. I sensed he really wants to stay with his chums. But of course there is no way he would admit how much he depends on his friends. Instead, he used the excuse that he is an artwork, not a toy, and that he will increase in value if treated well.”

“Of course he would say that. He is a gambler, always betting on the future.”

“Yes,” Mr XL said. “But it made me think. If I buy him, he will be written out of the story and therefore his value won’t increase as much as if he stays!”

“Right, but he will always be a Dede and we wont forget him.” Particularly after his stunt last year, I thought.

“Hear me out” Mr XL said. “What do you think about some sort of sponsorship? I buy him now, but I leave him with you and he can continue living with his friends and being in the story.”

I had to sit down. What a generous offer! “How can I say no!” I said “I will throw a mug with his picture from the zazzle store into the deal.” Good thing Harvey wasn’t around. Can you believe what Mr XL said then? “Deal… but on my mug I want to have Snippedy the clown, not Harvey.”