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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.