Sunday, October 14, 2012

Progress of the Nativity Diorama

Yesterday evening, I made a great deal of progress on the costumes of some of the dolls for the Nativity diorama. I have to say this is the most in depth scene I have every done, as I am literally creating everything from scratch. I was fussing about the dimensions of the Stable/manger for the scene and my husband said- why not use what you have already created from that box? You already have the broken door, and the stone, and it's open on the side. He hit on what I had been musing over in my mind with sketches for over a week! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is the progress thus far.

The stable/manger was made from a bubble wrap box and foam insulation  carved into stonework. This was supposed to originally be used as the Abbey ruins for my Sideshow Buffy figures and a Halloween/cemetary scene. It will probably double as that as well, but for now, staging what my work has done so far on the Nativity dolls helps me figure out the next figures/costumes I need to work on, and props such as animals I should start looking for/collecting for finishing this scene.

I did the finishing work on Mary's mantel, and Joseph and the shepherd's costumes as well. All of the remnants for the men's clothing came from Hobby Lobby except for Mary's costume, which I had in my fabric stash.

Mary's costume is a tafetta white underdress, quite simple, with a sheer overlay of chiffon. Her 'belt' is made of DMC floss braided like a friendship bracelet. Her mantel or hood is blue satin. I have to admit that I sewed to the camera, so to speak, and these clothing pieces are not the most finished or the best, as I sew by 'eye' and used a very straightforward one piece pattern. I have to admit I love the effect.
Baby Steven is from the Sunshine family and he may remain the Baby Jesus. I at first wanted the Baby Jesus to have brown hair to match Mary & Joseph, but have re-thought that for 2 reasons- most children are born with blonde downy hair that quickly turns, 2- I am on a budget and have not found any 1:6 scale infants that please me as to their expressions, and the Sunshine family infant has a serene expression on his little face. He is quite old- my Sunshine family dolls are some of my favorites and were my most played with dolls as a child.
Joseph I used a Barbie Basics Ken, and I am really glad, because he has the right expression on his face and the right body/stance for posing. I used unbleached muslin for his robe, but for his mantel I used a dark purple cloth. I thought this a discreet way to denote Joseph's descant from King David, and purple is a color of royalty.

Fashionista Ken Ryan was used for one of the shepherds. His arms are articulated, but his legs are not. This is not that big of deal since he will be standing and holding a sheep and a staff, or shepherd's crook, as I have  several of those to make. The other shepherd I decide on will have to have the ability to kneel. This shepherd was alot of fun to work on his costume- again, unbleached muslin for the basic robe, and this wonderful striped fabric for his hood and mantel. I used burgundy felt for his hood. His belt and the ties on his hood are made of knotted black DMC floss. As with everything in a Biblical costume, it depends on how you drape the fabrics to make it look natural.
The lamb is a 1:12 scale lamb from Hobby Lobby that I bought to see if it would work. I will have to probably give in and buy some Breyer 1:6 scale animals off of Ebay or comb yard sales and flea markets. I have been hesitant to do this, since they are expensive, but the Nativity Fontanini animals are hugely expensive. I think a bunch of these full grown ewes in 1:12 scale will work great for lambs to scatter about the stable. I could really use a cow, donkey and camel.
Here is the total scene of the stable. More pictures can be found in my Flicker

When the diorama is complete, it will probably be about 10-11 dolls. I will be using this scene for my Christmas card scene I will be sending out to my friends, family and my customers too. If you would like to be on the card list you can always contact me via Email with name and address. I usually begin creating/gathering my list together starting in October/November, and after Thanksgiving the Christmas cards are mailed out each year. I usually have my cards made with my pictures at either Sam's club, Costco or Walmart, it is so easy to pick out the card template and upload, then have them picked up at the store when I'm running my errands. I have been doing this for about 4-5 years now, and sometimes send out over 100 cards each year.
Enjoy the pictures! More to come as I work slowly on the rest of the dolls.


Marta said...

Hello from Spain: This diorama is very creative and original. You have a great idea. I always read your blog but sometimes I can not comment because the blogguer not let me. Keep in touch

Lisa said...

Thank you Marta! I appreciate that!

I had some people contactme they could not comment on the blog; I hope I have altered the settings and your comment appeared here. This has been one diorama I wanted to do and has been so much fun plus reflective to work on. I hope to have more pictures up soon!