Welcome to Lydia McCauley's Garden of Simples Blog

The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get from it, but what they become by it. - John Ruskin

Lydia McCauley and Kurt Scherer are owners of STONEHOUSE ARTIFACTS, offering Treasures from Colonial India. Online Here.

Our shop is located in Bellingham, Washington. We welcome you to come and visit our small estate, enjoy the grounds and share a cup of Chai.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Welcome Marionettes

An afternoon show with the Welcome Marionettes has become a summer tradition for my family and friends. The puppets are designed and made by Laura Carroll of Deming, Washington. Laura and Mike live in a stone cottage of which Laura built herself. It is set into the woods with magical paths going here and yon, leading to a creek and gardens. A delightful place indeed!

I asked Laura to write her thoughts about her occupation, when she began, what inspires her, and the benefits she receives from this work. We corresponded by mail - and it was very dear to receive this letter of hers. Here it is.


In response to your question my occupation was art teacher. I taught for a while and enjoyed it much. I quit to pursue sculpture, my media is wood. I got very tired of sanding. In and around this I helped my husband Mike with his gardening business. When I hit fifty I decided a change was in order. Marionettes were a natural choice, my parents had been puppeteers. For twenty years they built and performed The Scotts Marionettes. The show had been more of a myth than a reality for me, as it ended with my Father's death when I was twelve. The puppets were destroyed by fire some years later. Now all that remains of their show are photos. I felt a new beginning was in order. At present, building and performing marionettes is my primary occupation. It has turned out to be a delightful one.

The marionettes and their operation take every thing I have ever learned and more. They are sculpture and engineering, they are theater, music and painting. They are all the doll clothes I ever made for my daughters. They are scriptwriting and production, promotion, and business. And as a dividend we get to perform. After months of practice alone in the studio, what a delight to hear the audience response. On top of that we get paid. How good can it get?

I have been very fortunate to have the help of my husband Michael and my neighbor Betty Ann Abeid. Mike is a musician with a special flare for children's music, and as it turns out a fine gift for marionettes. Betty Ann, already an accomplished seamstress has discovered a talent for singing and acting. The marionettes have taught us all a great deal about ourselves. The three of us have been performing together for the past seven years. We have built over sixty puppets and the larcy classical stage we work from. We are now in the midst of fittiing out a trailer from which we can perform for outdoor events. And of course, another show.

You ask what inspires me to create. I hate to sound flipped. I have given your question due thought. All I can truly say is that it is the same thing that inspires me to breathe.

Thank you for your interest.
As always yours,
Laura Scott Carroll
Welcome Marionettes
PO Box 292
Deming, WA 98244
Tel. (360) 220-3144


Welcome Marionettes have produced several shows which include:

TEDDY BEAR and THE KING'S BREAKFAST - from A.A. Milne's set of poems - When We Were Very Young, and Now We Are Six


PETER AND THE WOLF, complete with music by Sergei Prokofiev

A MUSICAL MEDLEY of all sorts of fun!

Here are some of the venues where they have performed:

Everett Public Library
Bellingham Public Library
Mt. Vernon Public Library
Bellingham Public Schools
Lummi Island School
Ballard Seafood Festival
Stillaguamish River Festival
Magnolia Family Festival, Seattle

For more information please visit their blog at http://welcomemarionettes.blogspot.com
Contact Laura Carroll or Betty Ann Abeid
Tel. (360) 592-2203
That's Betty Ann's grandson Theo in the photo above!
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