For my Christmas set this year, and I usually have to start brainstorming in June, I decided I wanted to travel back in time and do something nostalgic. I was in a bit of a pickle earlier this year, when the war in Ukraine broke out. The embargo on Russia affected my supplies and I was having a hard time acquiring dolls through my usual channels. I decided to save whatever stock I had and find an alternative solution. After looking at some options, I realised that one particular single doll has the exact same shape as the Peanuts characters, and I absolutely adored every single one of the characters. The idea of doing a nativity scene but with the Peanuts gang was too appealing to tamp down and I immediately got to work.
There were a lot of elements I wanted to include so I narrowed it down to the most manageable ones. The Husband helped with the major components but I still had to hunt down some bits and bobs and figure out how to put it together.
The hardest thing I had to locate was the lone red ornament for Charlie Brown’s tree. I had left that to the eleventh hour because I didn’t have time to leave my studio and do any hunting/shopping. I still didn’t find what I was looking for when I finally went to the shops. Luckily, during one of my delirious states from not getting enough sleep, I actually managed to order a string of baubles meant for dollhouse trees and it was the right size but the wrong colour. A brush over with a red Sharpie marker fixed the problem.
It’s hard bringing a 2-D character to life. The noses on my dolls were “prosthetics”, and by that I meant I had to have a hole drilled into the head and affix a little protrusion, which in itself was another item I had to source and alter in order to make it fit. Linus and Pig Pen’s hairs were also “found objects.” I couldn’t use my regular resin to sculpt the characters’ hair for fear of it being too top heavy and the dolls wouldn’t be able to balance unassisted, so I went with paper clay. They were not the easiest to sculpt, but they did the trick. I am grateful that my past experiences, mistakes, trials and tribulations have given me the ability to know how to solve many problems. A lot of credit has to go to an SVA teacher who encouraged us to hit junk shops for our creations and another who made sure we were well acquainted with all facets of materials and mediums and the proper accompanying applications in which to compliment it.
I’ve had this Christmas tree nesting doll (yes, it opens up!) for several years now. It seems fated to become the tree Charlie Brown’s friends fixed up for him.
Well, Merry Christmas, one and all!