Posted on 11 Comments

Family portrait show-and-tell

Good morning! I come to you from Congestion Land this snowy NJ morning. We had ugly weather last night, which made us miss our traditional day-after-Christmas celebration with my family, and although I really hated to cancel, it was probably just as well. I managed to pick up a head cold and it’s just been getting worse and worse. You know how that is. Yesterday was day one, where the pressure in my head was steadily building, and today is day two: full-blown miserable. (Well, almost full-blown miserable. I still feel ok enough to blog!)

This is the first cold I’ve had in something like two years, so I’m not going to complain any more about it. I had a really good healthy run, but I was overdue for this.

How about I start showing you some of the handmades that had me running around like a nut, compromising my immunity, until the very last minute before Christmas? Today, the claythings: Family Portrait Ornaments

The thing about these ornaments is that I don’t really enjoy making them. That’s why they only pop up for sale around here once in a blue moon. The last time I made one for my own family was in 2005, I think, and so I decided we really needed an update.

I made an executive decision to forego the English viscose doll hair I usually use, and make the hair out of polymer this time. It was a good decision. I like the way it came out, and it saved me that nerve-wracking step of plunging hair into the raw noggins of a fully-sculpted family. Screw that up, and you’ve wasted a few hours of your life!

This way I was able to sculpt each individual family member completely before posing them together.

One thing that amps up the fun for me is to dress us up in clothes we actually own. See my new green sweater there? Neil is wearing corduroys, and the boys have on the vests I made them.

This year I also made two other family ornaments: Neil’s sister’s family because there was a wedding, and Neil’s brother’s family because there was a new baby:

I’m pleased with these, but glad they’re done 🙂

You know, given that I am so averse to making these things and I do get requests for them every year, maybe I should make a how-to video, so others can have a go at them. Something to think about for 2013…



Sign up for occasional Polka Dot Cottage news and get a coupon for 10% off your next order!

Don't worry, we won't bother you more than once or twice a month!

Posted on 11 Comments

11 thoughts on “Family portrait show-and-tell

  1. so great! I just wanted to ask you how you fix the hanging part so it doesn’t move and loose . thank you

  2. These are wonderful! Great work. It’s too bad you don’t enjoy the process. But you are right, if you don’t want to be called upon to make them every year the next best thing is a tutorial.

    It’s so heart breaking when some of the cutest projects are the ones you’d really like to NEVER MAKE AGAIN.

  3. I can see why you get requests, they are super cute. I am suffering from the after Christmas congestion here too. Trying to push through until the company leaves next week.

    Oh btw, I got two of your hooks for Christmas, they are lovely!

    1. I’m so glad you like them! I hope you make many nice things with them 🙂

  4. girl….you have some talent!! I wish I could do things like that!! Hope you are well soon.


  5. These are absolutely amazing! Uh-May-Zing.
    Hope that head cold gets to feeling better soon!

  6. Lisa, you are such a talented artist. I love these ornaments. The first thing I thought when I looked at the picture (before reading what you wrote) was that the boys and you have on your handmade sweaters! So great! And the ones for the rest of the family? You’ve given them priceless family treasures that they will love forever. If you ever decide to do any more, and if you want to do any on commission, let’s talk. I have made things that I didn’t like making so I know what you mean about that. From now on, for me, I only make things that are fun to make!!
    Happy New Year to all of you.

    1. Every once in a while I decide that I will do a limited batch of ornaments. If it happens next year, I will be sure to mention it here first!

  7. these are awesome. I love the hair! It’s sweeping.

  8. Thanks, everybody, for the lovely comments! I am glad the ornaments are a hit 🙂

  9. This is a really clever idea! So cute and personal! I like it a lot.

Leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.