Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Oh! You've heard about the upcoming squirrel music video? You must be "in the loop", because these squirrels have declined to comment!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A day in the life

*I am now the proud owner of a tenor ukulele. I have been searching for a larger sound before taking the leap to guitar-land, and this uke is louder, more resonant, and not too hard on the eyes! It's a travel uke, so it literally could fit into my backpack and would be about as heavy as two apples and a bag-o-chips.

*I am germinating on creating a puppet workshop for adults-"CREATE YOUR INNER PUPPET." I imagine a bunch of folks around a table surrounded by breathtaking socks and sensuous wool...overgrown buttons for eyes...skeins of brightly colored thread and swatches of fabulous fabrics...the thrill of grownups playing freely with puppets..the puppet conversations and revelations!

*I have two videos in my head-will I ever make them? This is a huge question for an artist mom person--choosing what projects will get the juice and the go-ahead, and which ones will remain in the artistic ether as potential energy. If you are in a 7 piece brass band and would like to puppet-out with Jilly Puppets, give me a shout out and let's make a video!

*My next puppet: Well, I found a racketball racket yesterday, so I'd wager that my next show will have something crafted from this. I like how the racket is held, how it moves in the air, it's potential for flight or travel. Stay tuned.

*Thanks for reading my blog. Please email me at if you'd like to talk puppets or have me do a workshop or show at your school, synagogue, church or mosque, birthday party, or forest puppet adventure.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy 4 year anniversary Jilly Puppets

This picture is from my first first public puppet show ever! And today,
October 6th, is the 4 year anniversary of Jilly Puppets! yahoo! Thank you Barry and Kate (my brother and sister-in-law) for asking me to perform at your wedding.xoxo It was the START OF SOMETHING FABULOUS!

I was 6 months pregnant with Ruby and was up all night with Lily anyhow, so in the wee hours of the evening, I wrote my first show to celebrate Barry and Kate's wedding. I purchased Folkmanis puppets-Mr. Rat, Reubini the Border Collie, a Troll, little woodchucks and mice, a small mouse (yes, you guessed-named "Mousie")..and told stories of Barry and Kate's courtship. We danced with swirling ribbons to 'Brothers and Sisters' from "Free to be you and Me". I wore a Ren Faire queen smock over my belly and we called each other on 'Bananaphones' (Rafi)as we danced around the room.

One of the best parts of this show for me was that the audience was composed of folks of all ages, and that there were lots of giggles and smiles. One of the highlights of the whole wedding weekend for me, a vision that I will never forget, is looking out into the audience and seeing my brother's face filled with laughter and seeing Kate smile and enjoy herself.

I believe that the experience of realizing that I had the potential to make people laugh and giggle and dance and listen to silly stories was absolutely life changing. After the show, I said to Mark, "This is it. I love this!" A few months later, I asked Patty Cohn from the Warner Library to take a risk and let me perform a Mother's Day Tribute to the moms of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown. But that's another story, and I have to drink my wheatgrass juice now. :)

Thank you for supporting me these 4 years of puppet deliciousness. I look forward to many more years of laughter and joyfulness. I LOVE what I do.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reflections and reflecting

I finished up a fabulous weekend of shows-a Bossy Frog Band show at Kingsboro Community College in Brooklyn, then a full day at the Hudson River Museum-workshop and show.

My tank feels very full of art and music and good vibes as we move into the Jewish High Holiday season. I always run puppet Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services, which to me are an awesome responsibility and honor. Rosh Hashana is my favorite holiday by far-I am salivating right now thinking of my grandmother's apple raisin kugel.

So I am assembling my Puppe-shana show (hee hee). Here's a teaser: think synthesizer, think trampoline, think rhythm and movement, and of course wacky puppet funk and soul!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Holy scenery Batman!

And so it begins.....scenery. Ah. I love it.
So I started small-two tiny paintings that I will prop up against the mic stand...will they contribute to the kids' enjoyment of the show? The children are sitting right in front of me, so they will be RIGHT THERE with the mini-scenes. We will see on Sunday, at the Hudson River Museum!
I am in the process of painting a fantastical tree, to fit in with the JILLY PUPPETS tree-hugging show!!!
Let me know what you think.
Love and acrylics under my fingernails.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tarrytown Third Friday show-sweaty and fun

This past Friday night I had the pleasure of a hometown show at Tarrytown Third Friday. The sky was ominous... threatening winds blew... "Is it going to storm in 15 minutes or 5 minutes?" I asked myself. How many songs am I going to get in before the deluge?" I set up my puppets under a tree-cave so that if it started pouring, I could grab my kiddies and make a run for it. I like being in a tree cave, being a confirmed tree-hugger and all.
I brought my cordless mic but unfortunately not the cords necessary to hook up to Greg's PA system. Argh! Luckily, I DID have my ipod with the "James Bond" theme music so with handheld microphone tucked under my armpit, we "drove" around (I found about 50 keys in our junk drawer for the kids to use, imagining that they were driving fancy James Bond-y racecars with), glue gunning baddies to the pavement. (Being compassionate spies, we did "unglue" the baddies so they could enjoy the puppet show and nibble on popcorn.)
It's always a treat playing in front of my townie buddies. So that even when my flying squirrel goggles melt down my face and sweat is dripping into my eyeballs, I am having the time of my life!
People, I gotta tell you, Tarrytown Third Friday ROCKS!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Summer Summer FALL!

Hello! It's like a puppet alarm clock! Every August 1st, I start crafting my Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur shows. I dusted off some uke music, have some ideas for new music..what's moving me right now? Ch-Ch-Ch Changes? This morning, as a super-inspirational charge-up, I watched Barbara Streisand singing 'Hatikva' to Golda Meir!
I also am working on my Autumnal shows...thinkin' about pie:apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie...sweaters, socks, boots....I haven't even STARTED to think about leaves changing!!!
Hope to see you all at some shows. I will be publishing Fall show dates on my website soon.
Meanwhile, I am doing lots and lots of the Bossy Frog Band shows... (Did you know that I am the FROG?) Come check us out!
May the force (air conditioning) be with you,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oh, trees.........

Hey all! Here are some pictures from the Greenburgh Nature Center show. What a magical place. I mean, what could be better than playing a puppet show about "Trees" under a tent surrounded by trees and chipmunks? The audience at GNC is always really engaged and's a joy, I tell ya! Here's some pictures that a very nice audience member shot for me with my phone. :) My favorite moment of the show was donning my flying squirrel costume, jumping up onto a picnic table and singing "We are family...I got all my squirrels with me!"

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So I am preparing mentally and puppet-ally for two TREE-HUGGING puppet shows coming up-this Sat. July 9 at 10:30 Greenburgh Nature Center and the following Sat. at the Warner Library in Tarrytown-11:30 am.
I am thinking about trees a lot these days (shade, beauty, the seasons, trees from my childhood, fruit, bugs and animals living up there, oxygen and carbon dioxide...), looking at em-lush and fragrant in the summer, having puppets tell me stories about them, designing costumes(costume changes!!!)...I actually have a lot of work to do before this weekend!!!
But what I focus the most on is how to communicate the essence of what this show is about, which is-APPRECIATING AND LOVING TREES.
I am also on a new kick to get more sleep, so I'll sign out to go have some tea.
If you read this blog and want to be a Jilly Puppets facebook buddy, give a shout out!
peace, love, tree-hugging and using the back of school flyers to make lists,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Girl Scout Puppet Badge Workshop

Hi all! I conducted a PUPPET BADGE workshop yesterday for some second grade girls and IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! The girls were super enthusiastic and creative. The Girl Scout leader had a serious collection of crafting supplies-popsicle sticks, bags, googely eyes, confetti,pipe cleaners.....! I took the kids through my process of constructing puppets from supplies found in my environment and then incorportating movement and character into the puppet that emerges from the creative experience. I showed them about 10 puppets and showed them the differences in how they are used as puppets and how they help me grow as an artist.
They asked me great questions, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with them, spending the afternoon doing art together.

I love the pipe cleaner bracelets that they made me!
Pictures to follow. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

warm fuzzy

I am sitting here on my sofa snuggling with my youngest child on a rainy day. I'm reflecting on a show from yesterday that was a total warm fuzzy. First of all, I didn't use a microphone. I felt lighter, less encumbered...getting set up was a breeze. Secondly, unbeknownst to me, the audience primarily consisted of children diagnosed with special needs.
Before the show began, I had decided to move slowly through transitions, to take my time and really interact with the children and the puppets. The kids were incredible-they laughed so hard throughout much of the show, which made me clown around more and exaggerate my facial expressions and silliness. The more they laughed, the more gratified I felt. I am smiling right now, thinking about it.
About 2/3 through the show, a little boy in the front row began crying, and I mean CRYING. He was probably as loud as any small human being could be. I waited for a minute or two before asking him if he wanted to come up in front with me. He stopped crying. I kept my left hand on his shoulder and my right hand continued with the puppets and the story. He stood next to me for the remainder of the show-it was a very special experience for me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My fabulous Dad and monkeys

My father came up to visit today from Philadelphia and we wrote a story together-about monkeys.
I have always found monkeys (and mice, unfortunately), hilarious. I used to sit at my father's desk for hours, drawing monkeys and mice, in little outfits-nurse monkeys, ballet mice, short monkeys, fancy mice.... I'd zerox the pictures and hand them out to friends. My friends would be making out behind the bushes as I handed them a picture of a farmer monkey. Neighbors would be watching "Thundercats" and eating Doritos as I drew hundreds of mice on an 8x10 piece of paper, all dressed in different outfits- all possessing a variety of characters and nuances that only my mice and my monkeys could embody.
So today, my father and I wrote a monkey story together. I can't tell you the story just YET, but let's just say that it contains (but is not limited to)the following: pop music, vines,sisterly relationships, responsiblity vs. freedom, bananas (of course), community celebrations and jungle antics. Sounds fantastic? It is-because I wrote it with my Dad, and he's a cool monkey. xoxojilly

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

And here are some reverse!

the CREATIVE PROCESS...super fun!

So this is why being a puppeteer ROCKS. I thought I would be making a skunk-they are cute and fuzzy, "Skunk on the Loose" is my fave Bossy Frog Band song..I mean it all makes sense! But what is emerging is not a skunk! Let's see how the next 45 mins treats us!!!!

Faux Fur...what to create?

Hi puppet folks! I found this Faux Fur at Filene's Basement...they were kind enough to bequeath it to me. What should I make? It's lying in a clump on the kitchen floor and I am going to see what develops. Stay tuned! love,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

or, a slightly different version for the funkster puppets

Winter Blues? How about a Jilly Puppets dance party?

There's nothing like a little puppet dance party to cheer a gal up. I hope that you enjoy this and remember.............Spring is coming soon!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow and Ice and Puppet Tools

Hello puppet fans. I have a new puppety instrument, the PUPPET-o-SCOPE, which helps me find birthday children, babies who are in need of a puppet snuggle, and hidden chocolate! If you'd like to make your own Puppet-O-Scope, just head to the bathroom, use up the toilet paper, and then paint the toilet paper roll. I used a glittery gold paint and then glue gunned beads for decoration. Oh my gosh! I was going to show you the original Jilly Puppets Puppet-O-scope, but guess what? I gave it to a birthday girl last week! I will have to make a new one today! I have a captive audience-the kids are home from school!
Stay tuned! love, Jilly

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Year, New Brain

Hello puppet fans,
It's a snowy day, it's the new year, and I can feel it churning...the new ideas the new changes and progressions and permutations and challenges! What puppet will emerge? What ukulele song will develop? What shift can I make in the next set of shows?
I have some dance-y ideas to bring in. I have been focusing on a lot of disco, but I can feel something else on the horizon. A great place to be creatively. Please stick around and see....
Email me at to be on my mailing's COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!