Puppet Repair

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One of our puppets recently had an injury-the puppet landlord’s body separated from his head in a loud clunk. It was dramatic but thankfully there was no permanent damage. The rubber bands that held the body core to the neck had dried out and split. It didn’t take long to repair but Chad moved fast and tried to claim the puppet throne for himself.

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Head surgery a success, the puppet landlord took back his place in the puppet hierarchy.

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Our puppet drama is heavily influenced by Game of Thrones. (Floyd talks smack like Little Finger and Hazel is in charge of finances.)

Pants Transformation

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There’s a lot of clothing stores in Taiwan and while shopping here is fun there are some challenges. A lot of the stores don’t have dressing rooms so I can’t try on items before buying and many of the clothes are too small for me. I now take a measuring tape which helps tremendously. These pants had a nice stretch waist and cool pleated legs but when I tried them on at home I realized the pants were too tapered for a comfortable fit.

What to do? My trusty seam ripper saved the day! I took out the inner seams, laid out the open pants and realized I now had an excellent skirt.

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The open seams make excellent side splits which give the skirt an excellent drape. Plus it gives some extra ventilation, much needed in this hot Taiwan weather. Drapey scarves are easy to find here and I bought one in a soft lavender. Rebuilding my wardrobe feels so good.

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Josh and I love the new apartment and the abundance of nearby restaurants. We still cook at home too. The other day I made an easy lunch by frying up tofu and veggies with kimchi. So spicy and delicious!

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World Stage Design Conference

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I had my first visitor since moving to Taiwan! My Portland State professor Alison came to Taipei for the World Stage Design Conference. We toured the Dihua neighborhood and I got to take her to my favorite fiber building to explore several floors of fabric stores. She shopped for gifts to bring back home and we found this great gallery of paper crafts where we took the photo above.

The World Stage Design Conference was outstanding! Designers from around the world presented work in the exhibition hall and I was left tingling with inspiration. There were set, lighting and sound designs present but of course my faves were the costumes.

This paper creation was for a production of The Tempest. I didn’t take a picture of the designer info-ahh. But isn’t it stunning?!

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Sofia Pantouvaki created these Tempest costumes below by creating the material using dying and felting techniques.

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Designer Gino Gonzales created this costume for Hakbang Sa Hakbang Measure For Measure. The design concept was a subversion of a “Western ideal”-the costume silhouettes were kept but the materials used were locally produced materials in the Philippines. The piece below is made from muslin, simamay, raffia, coconut shells, hemp and wooden beads.

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Angelina Atlagic created this costume for The Libation Bearers.

Qin Wenbao created this fabric sculpture costume for Maguhu Dream which has layers and layers of folded fabric.

After months on the road and months sequestered writing it was wonderful to be immersed in the world of theater again. The book is almost done so now I can finally start setting up a sewing workspace. I picked up a notebook and colored pencils to start costume designing again. It feels deeply gratifying to return to designing. I’ve missed it!

Kyoto, Japan

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Josh and I recently got back from a trip to Kyoto, Japan. It’s a city known for temples and they were indeed all over.

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These statues were outside a store selling prayer beads.

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It’s stifling hot in Taipei so I was particularly happy that Kyoto was cool when we were there. Josh and I rented bikes and rode next to the river.

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The mochi was plentiful and delicious.

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Floyd enjoyed the visit.

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We found several small temples while riding our bikes.

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Japanese street art.

It was a quick visit but we managed to pack in a lot of sightseeing. And of course the sushi was delicious.

Tiny Stitches, Tiny Shrimp

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My internship at the Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum just passed the three month mark so Kim gave me this lovely pin cushion, which I’ll need for my current work. Rosie and I are making customized puppet costume pillows.

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The pillows give the costumes a dimension which really brings them alive. And they help to open up creases without damaging the material. My top stitches are so small I need a magnifier.

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Josh and I went to Wulai to hang out with our friend Tobie to discuss our latest developments onĀ Formosa Moon. We stopped at my favorite restaurant and had some small fried shrimp. They crunch just like popcorn!

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Petals, Pillows and Pizza

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My flower petals are coming along. This is a long term art piece that will take months to complete. I hope to have it finished by the end of the year.

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My internship at the Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theater Museum is enjoyable. I’m currently making pillows to protect the puppet heads.

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This marionette puppet now has a protective cushion in case of an earthquake. As I put the pillows in place I get to see the gorgeous collection up close which is a real treat.

Speaking of treats, there’s an abundance of delicious food in Taiwan but there’s one thing I’ve been missing-pizza. I’ve only had gluten free pizza here once, back when we were visiting Taitung. I haven’t found a place in Taipei selling it so Josh and I experimented in the kitchen. Behold the gluten free goodness!

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The crust was a mixture of white rice, potato starch and corn starch. We added enough wet ingredients until the dough was actually stretchy. It was scrumptious and completely satisfied my pizza cravings.