I got a Santos for Christmas!!!

I am just GIDDY with excitement!   I got a real (reproduction, REAL real ones are crazy expensive!) Santos doll bust from Michael, Elliot (my son) and Megan (son’s girlfriend) for Christmas.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 100

You can see more Santos cage dolls here, and read about the history of them here.

I have wanted one ever since I saw one for the very first time.   I even ‘attempted’ to make my own a while back.  You can see the one I made right behind the real one above, and here below.

My ‘faux’ version turned out okay, but nothing really like the real thing.  So here’s the story of how I got a Santos doll for Christmas:

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 101

So, as I already said, I have wanted one forever.  Just could never talk myself into spending that much money on something ‘non-functional’ for myself.   I am impossible to shop for.  Every birthday and Christmas my son calls Michael and Michael calls my son, both asking each other what to get for me.   And I NEVER “ASK” for anything.

I’m perfectly content with the ‘useful’ kinds of things my guys usually buy for me.  Stuff like new wiper blades, or new tires for my car, or even a little vacuum cleaner to use in my booth at Stars.  I’m USUALLY all about being practical.  And I tend to get practical things for ‘my guys’.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 105Shortly after Thanksgiving we got this random catalog in the mail.  I flipped through it and saw a Santos doll at an actually reasonable price.  (I ‘think’ it is the exact same  doll as I got, but I no longer have the catalog).  I thought about it for a couple of days.  Looked at it about three times a day . .   Then I noticed they had a coupon for $10.00 off any item over $50.00 AND free shipping.  hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.    But before I bought it for myself I asked Michael if he had bought my gift yet.  And if not, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe he and Elliot could go in together and get me this doll; and I gave him the catalog.  And I told him not to wait too long to call about it.  And be sure Elliot wants to go in on it with you.  (hated ASKING them to spend that kind of money on me!!)

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Michael did his due diligence and called right away.  They were sold out!!!  He really read them the riot act!  How can you be sold out?!?  We just GOT the catalog!  Will you be getting any more in???  NO!  So, he broke the news to me and I said fine, it wasn’t meant to be.  And I specifically told him to NOT look it anywhere else.  The ONLY reason I wanted it was that it was ‘reasonably priced’ and had free shipping and the $10.00 off coupon.   And the guys were going to share the cost.

Now the guys are back to square one.  WHAT to get me for Christmas?!?!?  So Michael took the catalog to Elliot and he did his internet magic and found one!  I was absolutely speechless when I opened it.  And for a minute I thought Michael was ‘telling me a story’ just to surprise me.  Nope,  they really were sold out at the catalog place.  But Elliot was DETERMINED to find one for me, because I NEVER ask for anything specific.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 100She will be one of my most treasured possessions for the rest of my life!!  And while my guys aren’t possessions, they are most treasured!

Published in: on December 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm  Comments (2)  
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To paint or not to paint?

For me personally, the answer almost ALWAYS is to PAINT.  But every so often I find something that catches my eye for what it IS, instead of what I imagine I can make of it.  Things like this kneeling angel:

Isn’t she BEAUTIFUL!?!?!?

I think she appeals to me so much because of how her face resembles that of the carved Santos dolls.  (which I have coveted forever!)

The ONLY thing I really don’t care for is the color of her ‘panties’.

But they really don’t show that much from the front.  And it would be easy enough to JUST paint over them and leave the rest of her ‘as is’.

LOVE the wings too!  Have you seen the carved wings, similar to these mounted on a pedestal; just the wings?  Love those too!  WISH I could figure out a way to MAKE those!

Well, for now I guess I’ll just sit her next to my cage doll that I made a while back, and ‘think on it’.  I’m probably going to KEEP this one for myself, so there’s nu rush on deciding.

What would YOU do, and why?

Published in: on May 30, 2012 at 7:57 am  Comments (9)  
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The votes are in on the angel wings controversy

Not everyone who commented specified ‘up’ or ‘down’; but of those who did; 4 voted for up and 12 voted for facing down.  I didn’t want to tell you which direction I preferred vs. what Michael liked better, so as to not influence the voting process.  I liked them better down, but almost immediately after I posted the pictures I decided on NEITHER, and set to work on a SMALLER pair, using tea stained music pages cut into leaf shapes.  And made them ‘not so directional’.


Here’s the previous options.  I still LIKE that pair of wings, just not ON this doll.  Will probably make them to just hang on the wall as a decoration.

Now that I’ve solved the wing debacle, I’m kicking myself for having not painted the base and cage before I attached them.  And I’m not sure I even CAN go back and do it now because I’d need to use spray paint and she is NOT removable anymore at this point!  sigh.

Looks like this one will end up in my ‘personal collection’ of ‘not quite right’ projects.  I can never seem to keep the ‘perfect ones’ for myself.  So I end up with the ones that aren’t good enough to sell.  I still LOVE them, imperfect as they are; because they are the ‘first fruits’ (so to speak) of my inspiration and have sentimental value.

Maybe I will display her among my globe collection, which will kind of hide her base.  Might be kinda cool having an angel overlooking the world (s!)

Need your input please

I’m working on a ‘composition doll’ project and can’t decide whether the wings should face UP or DOWN.  Usually when I’m in a quandary,  I’ll ask Michael for his input.  But there are only 2 choices here and we each like the opposite better.

Here’s what I started with.  A poor raggedy doll from the thrift store.

Here’s what she looked like after I took the scissors to her!!  Poor baby!!  What’s that wire thing on the left???  I’m using it the try to create a ‘Santos like’ cage doll.

I applied some Ralph Lauren tobacco glaze to the head, hands and fabric to grubby it up a little.

Then hand stitched her top half and the cage skirt together.

Neatness doesn’t matter because when finished it won’t show.

Then I needed to find something to use as the base. Ah~HA!!  An old cheese board might work!

Perfect fit!!  I glued it in place with some e6000

I actually ‘dressed’ her BEFORE I added the wood base.  Just forgot to take pictures before moving on.  First, a hand stitched 2 layer tulle petticoat; stitched on.

Then a vintage lace skirt, hand gathered and stitched in place.

Nice and POUFFY with that petticoat underneath!

A scrap lace waist band glued into place.

A lace collar glued into place to cover up an untidy head connection.  Then a lace shawl, cut from a piece of vintage lace and glued into place with a button closure.

The original hair was pretty easy to just YANK off; but there was a big dark brown spot that it covered up.   Since I plan to only giver her a crown (no new hair!) I needed to disguise that brown spot.  A bit of flesh colored paint topped with the tobacco glaze worked just fine.  It won’t show a WHOLE lot with the crown, so it just needed to ‘blend in’.

For the crown, I glued some vintage hymnal pages to cardstock.  sized it to her head and glued in a circle and let glue dry.   then with a very pointy pair of scissors, cut my crown points.

 View of the top of the head with the crown in place.

MIGHT glue a small doily round to cover that spot up, not sure yet.  The crown will be the last thing to attach, so I’ll see how I feel about that when the time comes.

The more I looked at her, the more I felt she needed ‘something more’.

Maybe angel wings???

I took a bag of fabric rose petals from Dollar Tree to make ‘feathers’ for the wings.

Cut each petal into 2 feathers, one slightly bigger than the other.

Grubbied up the ‘feathers’ with my tea stain recipe.

Cut the wings out of some cardboard and individually glued on each feather.  THIS is where I need your input.  Should the wings face DOWN, like in this picture?

Or UP like in this picture???  OR maybe it’s not just the ‘positioning of the wings?!?!  Now that I look at the pictures, maybe they are just too BIG for this doll and I need to make a smaller pair?  A smaller pair that goes straight out and doesn’t have to be faced UP or DOWN????