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We’re on the Puppet Play: 20 Puppet Projects Made with Recycled Mittens, Towels, Socks, and More blog tour today with an interview with the author, Diana Schoenbrun. The book is full of puppets to make, just right for you or for your favorite kid to create. For more information about the book you can watch the Puppet Play book trailer here (and the extended version here). Diana has a blog, website and the book has a Facebook page too. Enjoy our interview, and comment below for your chance to win a copy of the book.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Congratulations on the publication of your book! Can you tell us a little about your work with puppets?
Diana: In the past I have co-taught puppet and playwriting classes at 826NYC for elementary school children. The children came up with there own characters and wrote a short play. Then they created their own props and puppets to perform with. I have also taught creative writing classes for after school workshops for Writopia Lab. I currently work at Puppet Heap and I make puppets for theater, film, and television.

The Five Little Pigs

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Have you always been drawn to puppets? What got you started in puppet making?
Diana: I began my interest in Puppetry when I was a child. I was first hooked watching Sesame Street and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. I also enjoyed seeing stop motion animation puppets in films. I started making puppets and 3-D characters in college as a way to
bring my 2-D characters to life.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: We recently had an article on the blog about the zero-waste trend in the sewing industry. You encourage the use of repurposed materials in Puppet Play; recycled materials are an important part of your work. Can you tell us a little more about this?
Diana: I enjoy teaching craft projects with children. I think using repurposed materials is a great way to teach art, creativity, and recycling. There is usually a way to give new life to an object rather than throw it away. I think its important to rethink how “we take out the trash.” I try to incorporate recycled materials because I don’t like wasting things. Its also nice to have a story behind an object. Rather than getting rid of that beloved single sock or mitten you can turn it into a new toy.

Betty the Elephant

Sew,Mama,Sew!: My son and I particularly like “Betty the Elephant” and “The Five Little Pigs” in Puppet Play. All of your puppets seem very accessible and kid-craft-friendly. Where do your puppet ideas come from? Does your work with children help you create new types of puppets?
Diana: My ideas are usually spontaneous. I love creating anthropomorphic animals and characters. Betty the elephant is made from a leg warmer I had. I think I was sitting at my drawing table trying to imagine what the long piece of fabric/tube could be made into. I thought of an elephant’s trunk. During the winter I had lost a mate to a pink pair of gloves and thought of the nursery rhyme, the Five Little Pigs. The punk rocker puppet was inspired from my junk metal collection.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: How do you maintain a creative life?
Diana: I’m passionate about art and my job. I enjoy creating things with my hands and draw. I love to learn about art and go to museums.

Thanks, Diana!… Don’t forget to comment for your chance to win a copy of Puppet Play. There are more opportunities to win on Diana’s book blog tour. Check out all of the tour dates and sites on her blog.