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I would watch kids' shows all the time in my youth. There would be times when I would watch a show and say "Hey! I want to be like them!" One of the shows I had came across was "Oobi," a show about hand puppets. No, seriously. Hand puppets! You have hands talking to each other and wearing outfits, hats, etc.
This past year in 2018, I was revisiting my youth by watching "Oobi" on YouTube. I was sitting in my room, watching, and laughing at the creative quirks of this show. And that was when I had the crazy idea of creating hand puppets myself. I had the imagination; I had the drive... So, what was going to stop me?
I remember searching Amazon for Oobi eyes. Although the original Oobi eyes from the show were discontinued, there were still some generic brands that were okay to use (I had to check the reviews on them first). I eventually came across more of them at a Target, and those eyes were okay too.
As for the yarn, well, I thought of adding hair to some of the hand puppets that I would conceive. Although the "Oobi" show had used small wigs on some of their characters, yarn was my alternative.
Serena says "Hi!" : )
Once I had an idea of what my character was going to look like, I gathered all of my supplies, and got right to work. First, there was the brainstorming. Though, it didn't take long to envision a hand puppet that had pigtails. (The concept sketch suggests that the pigtails would be plain, but the end result was a set of braided pigtails.)
Next came the selection of what color eyes I wanted for my hand puppet. I decided on red, because... well, just because.
And then, I worked on the pigtails. Since I knew how to braid my own hair, it wasn't hard to braid yarn. Afterwards, I ended that part of the project by tying pink yarn to the ends of each pigtail to serve as the hand puppet's hair having "pink bows."
And then, there came the task of figuring out how to have both the Oobi eyes and the pigtails together on one hand. The eyes were easy to slip on my middle finger. But what about the hair part? I eventually came up with the idea of tying each pigtail to the back on each eye, so that I can put both eyes and hair onto my hand at the same time. And guess what: to my amazement, it worked!
And that was how I came to make Serena, my very first hand puppet. How I had imagined her was based on how I was feeling at the time. It even gotten to a point in my life where I wanted to be like Serena—living life without a care in the world, always happy, always smiling... youthful and full of life. In Serena's world, she's strong, adventurous, loves to have fun, and always brings a smile to one's face. It's a huge contrast to the way that I am: someone who's made mistakes, someone who has disappointed people, someone who can be a waste of space sometimes...
I especially love the fact that Serena has pigtails, because I, myself, used to have pigtails. But now, I no longer wear my hair in pigtails, because one: it's not adult-like; and two, I already became accustomed to putting my hair in a ponytail, and not adding anything else to it.
But somehow, Serena was able to help me get through life's ups and downs, so much so that I had started a blog (and now an Instagram) about hand puppetry. On both platforms, I would come up with other characters like a mom for Serena, her two siblings (who are feet with Oobi eyes).
One Big Happy Family
So far, I'm happy with what I'm doing. It helps me stay busy, so that I can have something to look forward to the next day. Serena and the hand puppets had become a second family to me. And I love them so much!