Hallmark sat down with Tammy Haddix and Crista Couch to discuss their Sweet Santa ornament – releasing at Ornament Debut in October. Enjoy!

Of her inspiration, Crista recalled, “the Sweet Santa ornament began as an illustration for part of a 2021 Christmas collection group in our Visual Studios. The collection was a colorful group of images with an updated retro Santa and his sidekick reindeer enjoying a variety of fun Christmas activities. In some scenes, I included a few other little friends to join in the fun too. These images were originally painted in gouache and watercolor with a bit of digital work used to finalize them.”

The Santa was chosen to be featured in a variety of products such as greeting cards, gift bags and wrap, gift products (including a techno-plush Santa who plays hide-and-seek) and, of course, the “Sweet” little ornament for Keepsakes.
Enter Keepsake Artist, Tammy Haddix!

The ornament project and collaboration began with a series of drawings by Crista, based on the original Santa. Crista and Tammy eventually landed on one pose that appealed to them the most. From there, Crista handed off her drawings to Tammy for sculpting and hand-painting!

Tammy brought the Sweet Santa to life in 3D form through wax sculpting. The ornament will also have colored strings as attachments for the bows! At various stages during the sculpting and hand-painting process, Tammy would send pictures of progress to Crista to ensure everything was on track for their adorable Sweet Santa.

Tammy recalled of working with Crista, “It was very fun to work with Crista. I have known her for quite a few years, but we never got to work together on a project until now.”

And Crista recalled of working with Tammy, “Tammy was delightful to work with. She did an amazing job … she captured the essence of my original Santa perfectly!”

Did you know? Crista started her Hallmark career more than 17 years ago. During her years as a Hallmark artist, Crista has worked on all kinds of greeting cards and gifts. And, talent runs in Crista’s family! Her daughter is a Hallmark artist, and her other children are creative professionals too. Crista mentioned, “Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and I especially love creating fun and magical images for Christmas products.” When she’s not creating at Hallmark, Crista paints at home, where she enjoys spending time with her furry friends – a couple of Turkish Vans and an American Shorthair.

Sweet Santa

Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments. “BBehind the scenes with Keepsake Artist Tammy Haddix and Hallmark Artist Crista Couch’s Sweet Santa!” Keepsake Ornament Club Facebook Page, August 24, 2021. https://www.facebook.com/groups/KOCMembers/permalink/2736156716624335/