Let me introduce you to Holly Hills Santa, one of the Russian Santas by Leigh. Jane of Chilly Hollow is stitching one of these on her blog for you to follow along, and I thought why not me too?
I asked Leigh and Jane if they minded if I joined in on the party and they said why not? This is the one that I selected. Originally I had asked Leigh to paint it for me with no design on the inner white cloak. I am sure she was saying to herself “what is she thinking? well I was thinking that I could do some amazing stitch and not worry about all of that minute design.
Leigh cordially obliged and my canvas came very quickly in the mail, actually just before I left for market. Then I saw all of them in Leigh’s booth and what a sight to behold! I realized at that point that Leigh had researched these to the actual Russian Santas or Father Frost as they are better known.
They are hand carved from linden wood and then allowed to age for a number of years before painting the scenes and facial features. The Santas are then meticously painted by Russian artists and hand signed by them. I have a dear friend who has quite a collection of these and when displayed at the holidays, they are a sight to see!
I should have known that Leigh would have researched thoroughly before designing. I think that she knew as I was looking at them in her booth…and thinking okay why was I so foolish to have it painted as I did? I should have known that Leigh is one very smart cookie and as she was reading my mind and said “well you can send the canvas back and we will repaint it for you!” ooh what a sweetheart you are and I did do just that.
This was how I spent some of my stitching time the other night. With a spool of #4 Kreinik braid in color 032 as I stitched a darning pattern through the scene. It is an over 1 under 1 canvas thread and you just zip along. I have best results when working this stitch when giving my canvas a 1/4 turn and stitch away. Boy I can barely see that. Do I want #4 or do I want to try a #8? In case you can’t see it, the very center of the white cloak is what I stitched.
So last night and before taking out what I had already stitched, I tried it with a #8 and stitched it to the left of what I had already stitched. Much better!
It is a very delicate effect by giving you a snowy feel and keeps the design as is.
I know that I will working his fur in Turkey work and will use a punch needle for that! I have a few skeins of Burmilana in a very dark brown, some red silks selected and of course beads. I would not bead his red breast plate as the dimension created by the beads would bring it forward and that’s not what I am trying to achieve. I will bead the crozier and probably the design on the bottom of the cloak…and other than that, I’m not sure!
AlleyCat was working on her suntan yesterday!
and until next time…keep on stitching