The Little House

The Little House

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Soldier with the Green Whiskers

My  doll for the Oz Book Challenge at Doll Street Dreamers is finally on his way to Ohio. He will be a part of an Oz display at the AFICC (artistic figures in cloth and clay) convention in Cincinnati at the end of the month.

I chose to make "The Soldier with the Green Whiskers" from the Oz series of books written by L. Frank Baum. The first book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was published in 1900 and was such a success that Mr. Baum wrote 14 books in the series. The 1939 movie with Judy Garland is based on  incidents in the first Oz book. There was actually a successful Oz musical in 1902 that played Broadway in 1903/1904. In addition the successful productions  The Wiz and Wicked are set in Oz. There have been several other Oz movies including one by the Muppets. A new movie is out now which I haven't seen but reportedly takes place before Dorothy comes to Oz. The book series is fun to read, family-friendly, and all of the books are available in free/inexpensive ebook formats.

The Soldier with Green Whiskers is mentioned in several of the books. He is called by name, Omby Amby, in the book, Ozma of Oz but in later books he is again called the Soldier with Green Whiskers.. He doesn't load his gun for fear of accidents and once asked intruders to wait for him to find his powder and shot.

I loosely based my doll on the illustration to the left by W.W. Denslow from the first Oz book. I adapted the doll pattern "A Dude for All Seasons" by Bonnie B. Lewis and Mary Ann Kaahanui.

I started the doll while we were visiting my parents and Mike's mother in St. George, Utah. I sewed and stuffed the doll and designed and sewed his uniform while there. When we got home I lined and embellished the jacket and when I put it on him it no longer fit so he got "doll lipo" with a back incision and stuffing removal. He was then sutured back together with a much slimmer profile. It is so much easier and probably less painful for cloth people vs human people.

We (my husband and I) found a long blond wig that I sprayed with green hairspray but the green got on everything so that hair was banished and he has a shorter beard now made from a St. Patrick's Day wig we found. In the books his beard reached the ground but I like this one. I also painted his glasses green but they hid his face so now he has green-glittered glasses. In the book everyone has green-tinted glasses locked on them when they enter the Emerald City of Oz so that everything looks green.

I had fun making the musket also. I ordered a civil war replica musket from ebay but it was too small since the doll is 20 inches tall. So we bought a tiny-diameter brass tube, some balsa wood and chain.
I cut it out, painted and stained it, glued on the barrel then cut up the chain to make a trigger and such. It turned out cute but I don't have a close up picture.

I had the most trouble with his gloves. I had to make them big enough to go over his fingers but when they were on they looked like Mickey Mouse hands. I took tucks and glued but they are still not what I'd hoped to make.

I enjoyed making this doll. As always I am happy that he is finished and in the mail/UPS. And I am happy to be a part of this online doll club and hope my offering is okay since there are many professional dollmakers in this organization. -cba