So, this summer, to go along with our new Meadowlark Music Class album, I made a unicorn.

Yeah, I know…  I’m a grown up.

I’m probably supposed to be over unicorns.

But the thing is, first of all, I am not.

Second of all, I have somehow found my way into a line or work that actually allows me to weave unicorn making into my everyday life.

(Pinches self)

And not only that, but I get to bring this unicorn to my classes while we are all singing together under a tree.

Those of you who have known me for any length of time are probably chuckling at how this is basically a synergistic coming together of most of my favorite things in the world.  Mamas, little ones, unicorns, singing, and trees!

How did this happen?

The unicorn, I mean…

Well, it’s a long story.

The story of this particular unicorn begins with my vision to create a music class that is as much about nurturing wonder as it is about making music.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know that I write a lot about wonder and nature.  The intersection of these two things is my deepest motivator as both a musician and teacher.

Why?

Simply because in childhood, wonder matters.

A childhood rich in wonder at nature nurtures children’s imagination, emotional resilience, and sense of stewardship.

But even for us as adults, wonder is important.  Just as healthy food nourishes the body, wonder nourishes the soul.

In wonder, we return to the truth of interconnectedness.

We leave the mundane, and touch ground in the deeper currents that define our existence.

We remember the resources that are there for us to draw on.

And maybe, just maybe, we connect with our own child self.  That part of us that was so unique, tender, and rich in dreams.  That part of us has so much to teach us about how to guide and honor our children.

So I’m always looking for ways to bring more wonder to Meadowlark Music Class.

And a month ago, when I woke up at 3 AM humming a new tune about a unicorn, I knew that this would be the subject of my first fall puppet show.

All I had to do was find a puppet.

Making the Unicorn

I will confess that I initially tried to buy a unicorn.  But as it turns out, large moveable unicorns are hard to come by.  So I sketched out a pattern, packed Peregrine into the car, and set out for Heaven on Earth, AKA Fabric Outlet on Valencia.

After a few months of occasional work on it, I finally finished her yesterday!  So here are some pics from the process.

 

First attempt at a pattern

An early prototype

How I made the mouth. Yet another use for worn out socks!

The ears… For these, I used an old crepe swaddle blanket.

Antique gold colored lamé for the horn, over wool wrapped around a coat hanger. Whatever works!

Sewing up a hoof

ALMOST finished! Just have to sew the legs on!

Our family of four lives in a studio apartment, so when I start a project, it’s full on for everyone!  A big wild mess of scraps everywhere, wire and pliers, clay and fake fur, and the occasional wayward pin in the couch.  Ouch!

Scroll down for a video of the unicorn in action!

To all who can come to Meadowlark, I hope this will bring back a little of your own remembered childhood magic.  (Last Unicorn, anyone?  Dark Crystal?  I’m dating myself, I know  😉

You can download the song “Unicorn Unicorn” as part of our newest album, Falling Leaves and Rising Voices, which is available here, for free / pay what you want.

And if you’re not yet signed up for fall, I want you to know there’s still room in both Wednesday and Friday Meadowlark Classes!  But they are filling up, so do act now if you’d like to join us.

Or, join me for Music Together on Monday or Saturday mornings.  There won’t be Unicorns there, but I do promise to bring the magic nonetheless.

Blessings from my family to yours,

Noe Venable