Monday, December 9, 2013

Blue Russian: Santa Has a Glass Face UPDATED

Blue Russian's Icy Face
Since I am waiting for the poll to close Friday on whether Northern Light Santa should be made into an ornament or stand up (stand up is WAY ahead in the voting right now), I thought I would stitch Santa's face first instead of working on the background first thing, which is my usual preference.

In the photo above Blue Russian's face is stitched using basketweave.  [Everyone looks at the picture, squinting, then looks again because they can't see a thing!]

The reason you don't see anything is that I used the original clear Water N Ice to stitch the face.  This gives the painted face an icy glaze and allows the intricate painted features of the eyes and eyebrows to shine though.  This Santa is all about the extreme Russian winters, all ice and cold, so a face that looks a little like one on a painted china doll is appropriate.

This doesn't work for every Santa.  In fact folks may really prefer the more usual silk floss face, done in tent stitches and one of the silk skin collections from Access Commodities, Kreinik or Rainbow Gallery.  If you go that route, use 2-4 plies in the margins of the canvas to see how many plies you need for a smooth, even face.  I would probably use two but everyone's stitch tension is different.  If your basketweave looks lumpy, no matter how careful you try to be, you are using too many plies.  Remove one and try again.  If your basketweave stitches don't really cover, add a ply.

I did get out my Rainbow Gallery Designer Collections (which I adore) to see which ones matched Blue Russian's face best.  It looks like you'll need threads from both Santa's Rosy Cheeks and from the Bronze Collection.

Access Commodities has several skin tone collections.  It takes a little work to find them on their website because it doesn't allow direct URLs to the right section.  Go here, click on Silk in the Threads line, then click on Silk Thread Kits, then look for Access Commodities Flesh Tones in the gray line above the product photos.  Click there and you will FINALLY be at the right place.  Judging from the photos (which is not wise to do) the Mediterranean set will match Northern Light Santa best.

Kreinik also has some lovely sets of skin color silks.  I'm guessing here but their Caucasian set looks like the best match to Northern Light Santa.  You can also use whatever threads you happen to have in your cotton flosses, but I always use silk when I can because the glow in the threads is more like real skin.

Remember, besides the skin colors, you will need blue and black for the eyes and eyebrows.  I like to use a bit of metallic in the eye for the highlights, so you might want a bit of black Kreinik, too.

When a canvas intersection seemed to be between skin and hair, I covered it with my Water N Ice.  I can always let the hair come down partly over the stitch later.

Whichever route you go with your Russian Santa face, start looking at blue threads.  I plan to work the mittens, the blue cap, and the small amounts of blue coat next.  Christmas is approaching like a freight train so although this isn't much to stitch, it'll probably be two weeks (December 23rd) before I am back again with more Blue Russian fun.  This will give everyone who is stitching along time to get their Santa and decide what to do with their face, and also give me time to do the Christmas chores that are piling up here in Chilly Hollow.

Until then, До скорого!

(That's "See you" in Russian.)

UPDATE:  Forgot the link to the poll where you can vote to have Blue Russian made into an ornament or a standup.  If you haven't voted already, please do.

Questions?  Email me at and I'll get back to you within a day or so.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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1 comment:

  1. Water n Ice isd a great idea! Like you, the chores and do list is long so I can wait until the 23rd to see what is next!