I fully intended to post this yesterday but instead I fell asleep in my recliner right after dinner and that's the last thing I remember till this morning. I must have gone upstairs to bed since that is where I woke up - boy was I tired! So better late than never, more Santas!
I call the one on the left the rustic Santa and the one on the right is my White Christmas Santa. White Christmas is my favorite Christmas movie - heck it is my all-around, any time favorite movie. The costumes, the music, the dance numbers.... more about that in a minute.
Again in true Liberace fashion this guy has a lot going on. The fur on the cap and the edge of the robe is an angora that I roughed up with a little wire brush. I used an overdyed wool for the coat. The ribbon on the wreath is a metallic that I couched to give it a 3-D effect. You can just barely see the metallic shoe laces tied in a bow - boy I had some pretty good fine motor skills back then.
I can't believe I did that many french knots for his beard. I must have been nuts (oh wait, I am - LOL)
This is my favorite Santa - not because he is the most elaborate by any means, but because he reminds me of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in the finale of White Christmas.
I don't remember what they called the fiber I used for the beard but it is like cellophane twisted on a cotton core.
The fur trim was a looped stitch that I sheared and the suit is backstitched in a red metallic thread. Simple, yet festive!
Getting back to White Christmas the movie - oh how I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Saturday morning I had the opportunity to see the movie at a theater on a big screen. I've never seen it this way before. It has always been a staple of my Christmas traditions. The first time I saw it was a Saturday night in my teens when I was babysitting for the triplets from Hell - ok maybe not Hell, but somewhere in that vicinity. These boys wore me out and the parents forgot to tell me that one of them was prone to sleep walk -- he scared the bejesus out of me. My reward for this night along with the 50 cents an hour they were paying me was to watch White Christmas.
Seeing it on the big screen was an eye opener in many ways. First the colors were waaay more intense than it is on TV or a DVD. In one of the early scenes, Rosemary Clooney is wearing a blue dress with a wonderful tulle wrap - it looks blue on my computer- on the screen it was a stunning periwinkle. Gorgeous! Later in the movie she is wearing a velvet dress that I always thought was black, in reality it is a dark forest green.
Edith Head was the costume designer for this film and she did a fantastic job. I always loved that the shoes matched the outfit in all the scenes. Danny Kaye has the most beautiful grey suede shoes that match his suit. I read somewhere that it was his idea to do this so that there was a seamless line when he danced. And there is a rehearsal scene where Vera-Ellen is dancing in a yummy chartreuse little outfit with a turtleneck, a twirly skirt and velvet banding around the waist and her dance shoes are chartreuse too! Perfect!!
This film is also dear to my heart because it has lots of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky connections which is where I grew up and now live. Rosemary Clooney (George's aunt and the mother of Miguel Ferrer) is from Maysville, KY, just down the river a piece. She retired there and is buried there. Vera-Ellen was from Norwood, OH a suburb of Cincinnati. Norwood is close to my heart too. My oldest son did a internship there and loved it. George Chakiris is also from Norwood and is going to be in town tomorrow to honor the movie and the Rosemary Clooney museum down in Augusta, KY. Lots of hometown pride here!
After the film ended on Saturday I said to my niece, if the started it over right now I'd sit and watch it again. Instead I went home and watched it on DVD. This time I watched the version with commentary overlayed by Rosemary Clooney. It was so good - nice, light, little asides and stories - and at then end she says "I just LOVE it, can we watch it again?" - a woman after my own heart.
May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white!