(You can read about Santa's nap during my visit here.)
Just to show you the influence of Dana Burton and all the other marvelous dollmakers on the MiniDoll list ....
I made Santa and his clothing in a workshop quite a few years ago with my dear friend, the late Beth Lane.
Not to take anything away from Beth's techniques because she learned and grew as a dollmaker over the years, too, but the difference between my little sleeping Santa made in a class many years ago, and the other incredibly realistic and marvelous Santas that dollmakers are making these days is just so striking!
Unfortunately, poor Santa lay lifelessly in the bottom of a drawer for a long time because I never really felt satisfied with him, but wasn't sure why. I found him again recently as I was reorganizing my doll stuff (AGAIN! lol), and realized that one of the reasons for my dissatisfaction was that, just as I did with Uncle Buster, I had made the newbie's mistake of using way too much hair. His nightcap sat on top like a weird little striped bird's nest. I started combing and trimming and removed enough hair for two or three more Santas, and then his cap fit more properly and I heard him snore, so I knew he was alive and real.
Additionally he was hard to pose. When I made him years ago, his arms and legs were fixed. Nowadays I would build him in the chair and leave the hands and feet unattached until I was satisfied with the posture, then glue them in place.
Although I am satisfied with the draping techniques with his hanging clothing that I used in the setting, I like to think that if I had made a new Santa for this scene he would have been much better!
Once again, my gratitude for all the tutorials and methods that Dana has shared with us so freely, and all the tips and techniques that the members of the doll list provide. The distance from Then and Now is amazing!
Santa's red suit was made from silk velvet, and his nightshirt and cap from a tiny striped flannel. I used Fabri-Tac glue for all the draping effects. You can see how I used it with Mother Goose, as well.
Probably one of the hardest things about making Santa's costume was those suspenders. I spent far more time than I should have trying to fashion the fasteners!
I felt I did a little better when I made his belt buckle!
Santa's wonderful hand made socks were a swap from Roelie Doerendorp of Romania.
NOTE 2018: For many years, I was not sure where I got the crocheted Christmas rug. In December of 2017, after she checked out this scene, I had an email from Marjorie Wannamaker of California asking about it. Was it round, or oval? she asked.
Well, for various reasons, it was a while before I was able to finally remove some items so I could get a photograph of a wider area. The rug is oval, and after I sent her the picture she wrote:
"That is the pattern I used to make so I'm 99% sure it is my rug. I made quite a few of them in the late 80's and some in the early 90's. But I would say this one was probably made in 88. I sold them at shows and I wholesaled them to shops all across the country thru a rep so maybe you picked one up at a shop. My business name was Feathers N Clay. Our shows were all on the west coast but I was in CIMTA and shops from all over the U.S. bought from me. "
I am so happy to know the provenance, and thank you, Marjorie, for letting me know. I recall reading about and seeing the work of Feathers N Clay, and am thrilled to know I have a piece of your work.
You can read the story about how I almost met Santa Claus here.