Ozzy Options for Those Safely-at-Home

All over social media, I see Oz fans using Oz fabrics to sew face masks. Friends who are comfortable on camera perform live, sometimes daily. Facebook communities offer questions for members to answer, games to play, and productions to watch in virtual parties. The Club did our bit with daily chapter readings of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz you can find on our Youtube channel.

But that was Month One.  Now what? Because there’s no end in sight to safer-at-home shutdowns, isolation and closed businesses.  After casting about for Oz activities, I’m passing along these ideas for you to consider.

Write!
Keep a journal of your corona season. No Oz journals in your collection? With just a little online searching you’ll find new or vintage journals styled after the original book:

After the famous MGM film:

And after the Broadway musical Wicked:

You can also support small businesses by searching Etsy, eBay, and CafePress where you can buy Oz journals and other products directly from creators and vintage collectible dealers.

This is also the perfect time to write that Oz story that’s been kicking around in your head. Our 2020 Club Contests are open and would love to have you submit your work. Which is exactly what the team behind the All Things Oz writing contests are saying about their annual contest.  Check rules and guidelines by clicking these links, and get writing.

The Club Contests also seek research submissions and art. If you aren’t a fiction writer but enjoy exploring Oz topics, share your original work with us. Following the contests, we pass research submissions along to the Baum Bugle editor for consideration. There could also be opportunities to share your work as a presenter or performer at an Oz convention or festival.  Event planners are always looking for new presenters and fresh material.

Artwork
If you’re an artist and you know it I certainly don’t have to tell you how to keep busy! But those of us who aren’t producing art professionally can still enjoy some Ozzy creating.

Wizard of Oz coloring books for adults are a thing. You will find several both new and on the secondary market if you start looking.

Also new and wildly popular with crafters, “diamond art” using sparkly bits to cover large canvases of MGM art. Click on the Wicked Witch of the West at the left to see one of many possible suppliers

Cross stitch, embroidery, and appliqué projects are also easy to find with a little searching. Fans make quilts out of old Oz t-shirts, too.  Here’s an embroidery kit on Etsy similar to a piece in my collection.  I can barely thread a needle without drawing blood, so I have to add these to my collection by finding work that’s already finished. But for those with the skill, patience, and time there are wonderful patterns and projects to be found.

And all manner of projects can spring from the Graphic 45 Magic of Oz scrapbooking sets. There are several tutorials on Youtube, some of them hours long. This shorter one, below, might give you ideas for what you could do with this set of graphic papers.

Puzzles 

Hallmark’s 2000-piece Springbok puzzle was produced in 1993. If you have one, it’s high time you worked it!  They can still be found on eBay and similar secondary markets.

For considerably more money you also can find hand-cut wooden jigsaw puzzles with Oz themes, like this one (left) of Dave Montgomery as the Tin Woodman in the 1903 Broadway musical of The Wizard of Oz. (Click on him to see the puzzle on Etsy.)

If “free” is your preferred price, you can find digital jigsaw puzzles at JigsawPlanet.com. Search Wizard of Oz for hundreds of options, or upload Oz images to create your own.  Or break out your Oz vocabulary with this crossword puzzle that recently popped up in a Facebook post.

Thomas Kinkade Oz artwork was featured on puzzles in 2014, while this 1000-piece puzzle (below) has been showing up across the US recently.

I also recommend Everything Oz: The Wizard Book of Makes and Bakes. To shop for it at an independent book store,  here’s a link to copies available through ABE.com.

That’s it for today, but I’ve already started drafting blogs of Oz cookbooks, unusual Oz films to watch, and ideas suitable for kids.

Many thanks to Facebook friends who helped me turn up some of these. Please add your own Oz activity recommendations in the comments section.

 

PS. A few things sent to me since I posted this.  Here’s another embroidery chart.   A couple great puzzles (the Wicked Witch one has puzzle pieces cut in shapes; they show a witch hat and flying monkey as examples on the cover of the box):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there are older sewing/fabric kits to be found on the secondary market, like this wonderful Bucilla Wizard of Oz Christmas stocking.

 

 

 

 

 

Modern Magic Delivers a Bugle

Today I emailed our 2019 members a link to the Winter 2019 issue of The Baum Bugle online. We’ve never done anything like this before. We’ve never even emailed all our members before! But we are living in challenging times. No, we are not replacing the printed Bugle with a digital version, but we can’t anticipate when that printed copy will arrive in your mail. So off it went in a way that would have seemed like magic to L. Frank Baum. Email. 

First, let me tell you about the Bugle!  This issue celebrates the publication centennial of L. Frank Baum’s The Magic of Oz. A cover story “Pyrzqxgl: or, How to Do Things with Magic Words” by Dennis Wilson Wise presents Baum’s unique word in the context of other magic words in classic literature. “The Believing Child” then puts that very word on the lips of a child in a fascinating story by Zenna Henderson. The Bugle re-publishes her story, with permission, for the first time since it appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in June 1970. 

The magic continues with a report on a time Baum saw a famous magician perform at a meeting of the Uplifters. I contributed a bit about monuments of Magic Land, as Oz is known in Russia. The world’s best known magic shoes also get their due as Jonathan Shirshekan wraps up his two-part feature about Judy Garland’s famous Ruby Slippers. 

Departments are packed with news and reviews. Speaking of which, Scott Cummings shares reviews that followed the original release of The Magic of Oz, and Brady Schwind dives into Dick Martin’s design of a new Magic of Oz dust jacket in 1960. Collectors can take a look at a few pieces of 1939 MGM merchandise that have led many collectors down a yellow brick road to collecting Oz merchandise. Cindy Ragni writes about the convention we’ve planned for August, and Zoe O’Haillin-Berne wraps up the issue talking about the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Days festival—planned to bring the long-popular festival back to Indiana.

Which gets us back to these unpredictable days. The Bugle went to the printer in March. We expected you to have it by now. Our editor moved on to the Spring 2020 issue. Then the coronavirus crises led to the shutdown of our Chicago-area printer. They thought they’d reopen and get to it in April, then in May. Now? Well, they’re just not sure. Rather than leave our members entirely Bugle-less any longer we opted to share it digitally. We sent all members who’ve given us an email address a link to read it online. Members will get the printed one, too, of course. We just don’t know when.

Similarly, Chesterton Wizard of Oz Days rescheduled from the May dates reported in the Bugle for July 11-12. Our August convention is still planned in Denslow’s old stomping grounds of the Roycroft campus in East Aurora, NY; we’ll decide in late May if that’s possible or if we need to reschedule it for next summer. 

That’s the news for now. I hope you’ll appreciate seeing the Bugle online. When I first joined the Club back in the 1970s, an option like this was pure science fiction, and now here it is solving our dilemma as easily as clicking our heels.

If you didn’t get an email from admin@OzClub.org with your link to the digital Bugle, write that address and let me know.  It may be that you are one of the 80 or so members we have who’ve never given us an email, or one of the 21 emails that bounced back as undeliverable.  I’m happy to work through whichever it to ensure you are included.