Happily, I finished everything in time for Christmas. :)
A while back, I posted about some finger puppets that I made. After I finished them, I was inspired to make my big Christmas project for this year - a puppet theater and puppets for my kids:
I used (more or less) this pattern from Don't Look Now, and I really liked it. I made a few changes - no backdrop fabric, only one clown, and I renamed it to a + m theater, which took some creative lettering. Christmas Eve night we almost had a total disaster, because it turned out that we had the wrong dowels, but thankfully Iestyn had things in the garage we could use to make do. Anyway, I love the way it turned out (which is good, since it was hours and hours of work!), and the kids seem to like it pretty well. It's a little hard to tell, since they have so very many new presents to play with right now! But I'm sure it'll get use over time.
I took the ideas from the original puppets and made many more, as well as a bag for storage:
(The little birdies from the theater are so stinking cute, I'm going to have to use them on something else!)
The gingerbread man and the fox:
The Little Red Hen and her "friends":
An unpictured polar bear and monkey, and then my personal favorites, Tacky the Penguin, and his companions, Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect:
If you've never read Tacky, you really should. He's hilarious. And my kids like to play Tacky anyway ("What's Happening?"), so I figured they'd have fun with the puppets.
I also made a few more doggies for my nieces and nephew, but I took no pictures of those.