I’ve got it! I’ve got it! Oh, sweet Jesus, I’ve finally got it. If you follow this blog, you know how I’ve been agonizing over these guys. The YaddaDaddas are supposed to be my background chorus, my everypuppets, my version of “Anything Muppets” and “Whatnots“. Although they will permanently keep their eyes and “hair”, they will have little costumes and props that can turn them into various other characters as needed.
I should go back to their original inspiration…let’s jump in the Wayback Machine, shall we?
Meet Hap Hazard, created in the mid-1980’s.
Hap was born from a surgical sock. My mother had been in the hospital, and when she came home she had these crazy elastic-all-over socks (like a compression sock,maybe) with a hole in the toe.
I was folding laundry one day, and in a hasty moment of inspiration,I put the sock on my hand, and son of a gun, the hole made the perfect little mouth.
Then I got caught goofing around with the sock, but Mother was so tickled at what I was doing she said,
“Oh, go on, you can have it.” I immediately took it to Grandmother’s on my next weekly visit and begged for help making it into a puppet(being unable to sew back then). Grandmother said, “Go up in the attic and get some of that red fur we used for the Eskimo doll we made.” I fetched the stuff, and being stored wadded up in a box(by me) had made it quite curly. Grandmother sewed a body onto Hap, and a topknot under my direction. I then dug up some old glass teddy bear eyes and she sewed those on, too. For some reason we never got around to making arms for him;I guess it was because I would have wanted that material to be the same as his head, and I needed another sock.
Hap was very popular during kid’s birthday parties,— my way of making pocket money back then. Kids really loved it when he would hold a pencil in his mouth and draw pictures for them. Of course, this resulted in his mouth getting pretty dirty over time.
When I wanted to make what would eventually be called the YaddaDaddas, Hap’s general look came to me in the above sketch–if he had arms. I wanted a small, flexible head, small black eyes and of course the topknot. I started fiddling with various patterns in foam but nothing really had that “look” that was so similar to Hap.
I started leaning toward Muppet inspiration and reference. What I wanted was a blend of these three characters: Arlene Frantic, An Alphabet Alien, and one of The Beetles.
After several unsuccessful attempts, which you may have read about already, I finally managed this head. I thought that was it, I was on my way. Then I started a few other projects and put the YD’s on the back burner.
Then I started messing around with socks. I LOVE sock toys and puppets. So I thought, I’ll get a few fun-color socks and play around with making a puppet. I remembered seeing some in my Pack-O-Fun magazines, too.I picked up a terrific striped sock today,started cutting,sewing, shoving cardboard here and there, and I made THIS:
I love it, I love it. It’s perfect. It totally goes back to the original YD “look”. I’ll make her some arms out of the second of the pair of socks. Yes, it’s a she!
Her name is Jilly, named after my pal Jill at MintConspiracy. She allllmost has the right colors.
So now the possibilities are endless, with all sorts of sock colors and patterns to choose from. I am very excited.