Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Woman's Touch - Adding Color

Welsh - Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

I will be spending most of my time now with the other member of our household, Tom’s wife Diane. She is responsible for determining the paint scheme for my friends and me, and it will be interesting to see her color selections for this year. I won’t see Tom again until it is time for my eyes to be added. Diane will begin by choosing a color for my outer robe. Some of my friends will have a red robe; others will have different colors depending upon the country of their origin. Diane must mix the paints carefully or the stain will not penetrate the grain of the wood. Let’s learn about another visitor.

St. Nicholas was born in 280 AD, in Patara, a city of Lycia, in Asia Minor. He became the gift giver of Myra. His gifts were given late at night, so that the gift giver's identity would remain a secret. St. Nicholas was eventually named the patron saint of children, sailors, Russia and Greece.

St. Nicholas was a Christian priest, who later became a bishop. He was a rich person, and traveled the country helping people, giving gifts of money and other presents. St. Nicholas did not like to be seen when he gave away presents, so the children of the day were told to go to sleep quickly or he would not come! Nothing has changed and Santa Claus will not arrive this Christmas unless the children go to sleep early.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

About Beards

Spanish - Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo

My most recognizable trait is ready to be completed, the traditional white beard. Not all of my friends have white beards, some have grey; some have black, some have brown. But mine will be white. Tom will apply several coats of thinned acrylic paint until my beard is just right. Hope you enjoy some facts about an Old World friend of mine.

The Scottish people have their big celebrations on New Year's Day, called Hogmanay. There is a superstition that it is bad luck for the fire to go out on Christmas Eve, since it is at this time that the elves are around and only a raging fire will keep them from coming down the chimney.

On Christmas day, people sometimes make big bonfires and dance around them to the playing of bagpipes. Bannock cakes made of oatmeal are traditionally eaten at Christmas.

In Scotland, Christmas had traditionally been celebrated very quietly.  The Church of Scotland - the Presbyterian Church - has never placed any great emphasis on the Christmas festival. However, members of the Church of England or other churches generally celebrate Christmas in the same way.  The English people disapproved of Christmas and believed that there was too much riotous festivity. Nowadays these celebrations are held at Hogmanay, but they do celebrate Christmas with some very interesting customs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Color and History

Russian - Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom

My face is now painted. Tom mixed several colors to achieve the desired tone. Some of my friends have brown faces, some very pale faces, and some have darker flesh tones. The acrylic paint is mixed very thin to allow the pigment to penetrate the wood. The Holiday Visitor Collection is characterized by the color being in the wood not on it. Artists have always been painting my picture. Some of the most famous were done by Haddon Sundblom.

Haddon Sundblom & Coca-Cola

Born in 1899, Haddon Sundblom dominated the commercial art scene for decades. Often using himself as the model, Sundblom developed the image of jolly Saint Nick for Coca-Cola.

For inspiration, Sundblom turned to Clement Clark Moore's 1822 poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas." Moore's description of the man as "chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf" led to an image of Santa that was warm, friendly and human. For the next 35 years, Sundblom painted portraits of Santa that helped to create the modern image of Santa -- an interpretation that today lives on in the minds of children of all ages all over the world.

Santa Painting By Shelby Coffman