Friday, September 26, 2008

Big Stories, Tiny Storytellers

The Etsy community is filled with talented artists and crafters selling beautiful and unique pretend play toys that help parents preserve the magic of childhood. This post is part of my weekly writing series, "Imagination at Play". Stay tuned for more every Friday!

Children love to create imaginary worlds filled with colorful characters and exciting adventures. Half the fun, of course, lies in bringing those adventures to life through storytelling and role-playing. Few toys lend themselves to this kind of imaginative play better than finger puppets. 

One look inside Etsy shop cherylasmith and you'll find plenty of tiny monkeys, frogs, elephants and even zombies just waiting to help your child tell his story. Perfectly sized for little hands, owner Cheryl A. Smith's finger puppets are equally at home in lead or supporting roles in your little one's finger puppet theatre troupe. These friendly little puppets can't wait to be a part of your child's imaginary adventures through the jungle, on the farm or in the forest.

Cheryl has been hand sewing these adorable felt finger puppets since she first opened her Etsy shop in 2005. Etsy was still relatively new at the time and she just knew she had to be a part of it. After careful consideration, Cheryl decided that she wanted to sell something that she could sew by hand and that could be developed into an entire line of products. She sold her first finger puppet – a chicken – in August that same year and has never looked back.

While most of Cheryl's finger puppets are animals, you'll also find plenty of other fun characters, such as pirates or skeletons, in her shop at any given time. "My puppets are primarily inspired by the animal kingdom, however I find inspiration in fantasy as well," she explained. "I always have pencil and paper handy to doodle an idea when it strikes. Several of my designs were created upon requests from my wonderful customers."

Like many Etsians, Cheryl has been crafting for as long as she can remember. "I inherited the 'craft gene'. My parents and grandparents were each creative in their own way," she said. "I was exposed to many types of crafts and needlework when I was young, so naturally I gravitate towards creating things."

Cheryl's creativity and talent clearly flows through her needle into each puppet that she creates and it's obvious just how much she loves it. Every stitch, every embroidered smile, is carefully placed to ensure finger puppet perfection – and to bring a smile to the face of a young puppeteer.

"My favorite toys from childhood were the toys that inspired my imagination to take flight," Cheryl said. "I loved to create elaborate stories with my cast of characters. I hope that children have wonderful adventures with my puppets!"

Be sure to drop on by Cheryl's shop to see these adorable finger puppets for yourself. You're sure to make a few new friends while you're there!

11 comments:

  1. Awesome Feature blog and etsy shop I love your little chef kit.Super cute thanks for the comment.I am following your blog now.Have a wonderful weekend:0)

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  2. This is a great feature! Love those finger puppets!

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  3. Thanks so much for featuring my little puppets in such a wonderfully crafted article. Love your blog!

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  4. These are just adorable and photographed so lovingly. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Fantastic blog! I love this post featuring another etsy artist.

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  6. How adorable! I love these little guys. (off to check out Cheryl's shop...)

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  7. Those are so adorable! What a great feature seller!

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  8. what a great blog! i totally love her finger puppets! how cute are they! thanks for sharing!

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  9. those are soooo cute! i love how her pictures depict them out in the "wild" great blog!

    http://meekiyu.wordpress.com/

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  10. found you via the etsy forums - love your blog! i've got my own peanut due in a few weeks :)

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