Member Benefits 025-1: Friends Stories

Polymer Clay Membership Site

NO SECRETS: Phaedrakat, you are so right about some people who are not willing to share their knowledge. It seems here that just about everyone WANTS to share their secrets and their ideas and solutions. And most give great feedback and encouragement. When I see someone give  “a pat on the back” to a fellow artist it makes me feel inspired. I have learned so much more than how to play with my clay here. I have learned we all have a great support team and my hat goes off to Cindy!! ~Catalina >> @Catalina: Yes, Cindy has brought us all together at this great site. It has inspired me to clay again … I didn’t think it could be done! Even when I can’t clay, I can come here and see people exchanging ideas and helping each other with their tips and tricks and it’s a great thing to see. Lots of others are very “tight-lipped” about their processes. No help with them (unless you pay a BIG price!) Here, the friendly blog and advice are free. Cindy’s great video tutorials are nearly free. I mean, $3.32 a month is incredibly low! ~Phaedrakat >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Beads

SPOTLIGHT: Beautiful Sarah. What a great idea and so thoughtful! Love the colors too, so unique. I love the inspiration I get from this site. ~Dawn-B >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Cowboy Wedding

NEW MEMBERS: Alexa – Welcome to the best blog/learning site there is for polymer clay and jewelry making! It’s a great community where there are always answers for your questions… Hello from Midland, Michigan, USA. ~Lisa-W >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Jewelry

SO MUCH LOVE: As I sit here reading all the replies, with tears in my eyes. I just can’t imagine how you must feel. Having never been married, your loss must be tremendous. I lost my father and thought my life was over. That was 22 years ago. A very dear friend said to me that my father’s time here on earth was over and that God had another assignment for him. It sounded kind of dumb at first however that saying has gotten me through many loses in my life. I feel comfort knowing that my loved ones are helping Him out somehow. I am so proud to be involved in a group with so much love. I can feel it through the screen. Jackie, as you start your new chapter in life, remember your Vance will always be with you. When you feel a little breeze against your cheek and realize there isn’t any wind, it just might be Vance giving you a kiss. Keep creating your beads. They are beautiful. May God bless you and give you strength. ~Linda-B >> This comment was originally posted here: Loving Memory Beads

NICHE MARKETS: Not to hog your blog hon, but to comment on two of your articles above. I totally agree with the niche marketing tips and the custom made items articles you wrote. Until recently that accounted for almost 100% of my sold items. I used to sell my jewelry in a dance club where my husband was a bouncer, that served a predominantly gay clientele. I had great success making jewelry themed around the different niches within the gay community, and also themed to some of the special event parties they had several times a year. I always made sure they understood that I accepted special requests too, and even made jewelry to match outfits for several of the “Drag Queens” featured there as entertainment. (Which they were always kind enough to mention in their acts.) And I always made sure to donate items for all of their charity events. As a result I passed out a zillion business cards over the course of a couple of years, and I still get calls for special requests and gift items. XOXO ~Jamie-H >> This comment was originally posted here: Making Polymer Clay Beads

RETIREMENT CUSHION: I started out just trying to support my clay addiction but now I’m working toward retirement. I’ll turn 60 next year and thanks to the recent financial crisis, my retirement cushion isn’t quite as padded as it was before that. So now I’m looking at growing a business that will help to supplement my retirement. It was a great feeling to sell that first polymer clay piece. I had been painting and selling for years but this was a totally new adventure. But the clay reached out and grabbed me and I get a lot of joy out of creating something really cool! Now all you have to figure out how to do is turn those gift receivers into customers!!! ~Arlene-H >> This comment was originally posted here: Faux Raku Polymer Clay

LEARNING FROM EVERYONE: Thanks to all of you that add your comments to Cindy’s instructions. I find that I am learning alot from all of you too. ~Catherine-R >> This comment was originally posted here: Alcohol Inks for Polymer Clay

EXCHANGING IDEAS: I agree with Jocelyn. Your flower cane is fantastic and the graffiti beads were fun… in fact. I’m going to make key chains for all the nurses charts at work with the graffiti design so we can quickly tell them apart. Thank you for the fabulous ideas, the wonderful instruction, igniting our creative muse, and the place where we can all communicate and exchange these ideas. ~Melinda-H >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Graffiti Beads

SHOW AND TELL: Hi Phoenix – Just love your butterfly. The colour is so brilliant, love the white on blue. Really stands out. As you say, Cindy’s clear steps make it easy for us to take it and make it our own. Keep up the good work. Love. ~Elizabeth-K >> This comment was originally posted here: Butterfly Theme Jewelry

CLAY DREAMS: Like so many others, I too have “dipped my toes” in other craft mediums but I always go back to my faithful clay. I guess for me, I feel like once you know how to wood burn, for example, you can burn all kinds of things on wood. Same with glass etching, you can etch all kinds of glass. With my clay, I can make vases, jewelry, little food and little people and…oh my gosh…the list goes on forever. The possibilities are endless. Not to mention all the help out there. But no one need to look any further than our bestest friend in the whole wide world….Cindy. You are the best teacher and friend a clayer could ever ask for. You make everyday a “Clay Day”. And, I know what it is like to lay in bed at night and dream about clay. Just the other night, I woke up all excited because I had a dream my husband bought me the “dream machine”. With motor! Does anyone know what I am talking about? You have to check this thing out! Well….after my husband saw how excited and happy I was and then how crushed to find it was only a dream, he actually wanted me to pull it up on the website so he could see how much it was. Like I said….It was indeed a dream. But you never know! ~KlayKisses >> This comment was originally posted here: Passion for Polymer Clay

MAKING IT YOUR OWN: Fantastic, I love how creative everyone is! And Cindy must be so proud of her students taking her ideas a step further as well. :) ~Silverleaf >> This comment was originally posted here: Creative Picture Frames

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Melinda, I am a day late in reading this blog. Life just kept me very busy yesterday. I love “Spotlight” and so happy to see you again. I think I will use the word “EXTRAORDINAIRE” to compliment all the “fabulous” that has been written already. I love all your work, your cala lilies are so beautiful, as well as all your other items. These surely give inspiration. I’d like to lock myself away with my clay. Turtles are a favorite and yours calls to me so will have to try my hand at that soon. Many thanks for taking the time to share and continued success, you are a true artist! ~Joyce-M >> This comment was originally posted here: Bead Making Projects

INSPIRING ADVICE: Melanie, thank you so much for asking that question about the bead maker. This spiraling happened to me, and just put it away thinking production bead making was not in my future, lol.  Thanks to the great advice here, I think I see the problem, and am going to dig mine out and try again. Cindy, one more reason why your site is invaluable to folks that work with polymer clay…. the feedback and great advice. So appreciated. ~Jocelyn-C >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Beads

IOWA MEET-UP: Really pretty work. I bet your injury was very painful. It is so great when people put their location by their name. I noticed you are from Cedar Rapids. I am from Des Moines, Iowa. I met Chris D through this site, she is from Indianola. Is there a clay group in your area? We have a small group of that meet once a month, you are welcome to attend. Cindy has a sister in law in Fairfield and I am trying to convince her to come for a visit… just not in the winter. ~Anna-S >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Meet Ups

TOKENS OF FRIENDSHIP: Good morning, Cindy, Whoever gets this ornament will treasure it I’m sure. It’s beautiful and so unique. I love the idea of a bead swap, and would love to participate or even orchestrate if someone who has done it can tell me how to go about it. My recommendation though would be to take Silverleaf up on her offer to orchestrate if she is still willing. Silverleaf, I appreciate your concerns about postage. I can’t imagine that postage costs would be prohibitive, but you are right, it is an issue. Maybe others have thoughts or experience in how to address the costs. For me, it would be the coolest to have our beads traveling to all parts of the world — little tokens of the friendship generated here at the site (just my somewhat sappy opinion). I don’t know how many countries are represented now, but it seems like the number is growing all the time. ~Elizabeth-S >> This comment was originally posted here: Bead Swap

LOVE AND SUPPORT: Jackie, you are such an inspiration. Reading about your sad, sad loss makes me stop and take time to really appreciate the love and support I have from my husband and family and to not take any of it for granted. Your work is really beautiful and it is wonderful to see you making such lovely jewelry. I look forward to seeing more of your polymer clay beauties – thank you for the gift of sharing your story with us. Sending you huge and warm hugs from the cold North! ~Linda-G >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Coping with a Sad Loss

LACE TEXTURE MEMORY BEADS: Carolyn, what a lovely way of remembering your wedding day. When I saw this technique, I thought of my grandma right away. I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t crocheting, embroidering or sewing. It would be a wonderful way to honor her memory, using either remnants of lace from her sewing or items she created by hand. The pieces could make meaningful gifts for family too. ~DJ >> This comment was originally posted here: Lace Texture Polymer Clay Jewelry

TEAMWORK: Cindy, request alert!  Cherie described her dilemma getting the right look with pink/orange/salmon and green beads she was attempting, Carolyn identified the stone Cherie was faux-ing (!) as, not jasper, but unakite and Sue F. suggested methods of getting the result Cherie was after with her square beads by grating the clay and other clever moves. Talk about teamwork –  wow! Seeing the unakite cab on Carolyn’s site was a revelation – such a beautiful stone.  Cindy, would you put that on your growing list of how-to-faux?  Grateful thanks as always, ~Mary-U >> This comment was originally posted here: Hollow Polymer Clay “Puffy” Beads

SO FAR AWAY: Opals are my mom’s birthstone and she had a beautiful expensive one given to her by her uncle (who worked on a ship) from Africa. She lost it many years ago but also talked about it. I saw the ring once. I am going to make her an opal pendant or earrings as her fingers are now swollen with arthritis and she also had a stroke two years ago. She still loves to wear earrings so I think that’s what I’ll do and send it to her. She lives with Dad in India so far away – I miss them. ~Cheryl-H >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Tutorials

SO INSPIRED: That turtle is just too cute, so adorable and quite unique. I love the necklace also. Everyone has so much talent in this community. I am so jealous but only in a good way I promise. Hats off to all the talent everyone has shared. Oh so inspired by all. Uuuuuuuggggs. ~Peggy-B >> This comment was originally posted here: Spliced Flower Cane Polymer Necklace

HARD TO LET GO: Catalina, I know exactly what you mean. We work so hard at our pieces that they actually become our “children”.( I was thinking, polymer is harder than “other” jewelry in that we take such a long time to make the beads themselves, then we have to string them in a pleasing pattern. Others just buy ready made beads so they skip that step. Sometimes I think all my energy has gone to making the beads and the important putting together of the piece is a last minute hasty event! My girlfriend wants to see me today about purchasing a pendant I had made and I don’t want to meet with her because I love it so much !!! Not good if you want to make this your side business, eh? Ideally I would like to make 2 of each kind – one for me, one to sell – but what a lot of work!!! ~Maria-C >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Turquoise

OFF THE DEEP END: Carole, I got into making jewelry and working with polymer clay about the same time you did and for the same reason. I retired four years ago this month. I had always loved crafting (scrapbooking, quilting, sewing etc) but I was looking for something different to do after I retired. I took a class at AC Moore (beaded bracelet) and as you said…the rest is history! I couldn’t stop making things and buying beads. I found that there was actually beads stores in the world!! And quite a few in NJ, where I live. I did not know anything like that existed before.  I started taking classes and loved every minute of it. I would dream about what I would make the next day when I woke up. And couldn’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. I soon had so much jewelry I didn’t know what to do with it all. (The funny thing is I only wear earring and rings so I wasn’t getting any use out of bracelets and necklaces, but I kept making them! lol). A cousin of mine, who knew “I had gone off the deep end” asked me why I kept spending money on beads and making “stuff” and I told her “I just couldn’t stop”. She offered to take my “wares” to her job (I am the worst salesman in the world, so I never sold anything myself). She sold everything and they were asking her for more! I was only making costume jewelry, nothing expensive and I sold sets of bracelet and earrings for about 10- 15 dollars. It kept me in bead money and class money and then I didn’t feel guilty about going to bead stores 2 -3 times a week. Otherwise I could not have kept up my hobby, living on a pension. I’m not sure I have ever broke out even. But I am happily making jewelry for the past 4 years and I have 3 other people who take my things to work and sell for me just so I can earn my bead money!  lol (I give them a percentage of what they sell in free jewelry so they are very happy, because they used to buy my things before anyway). So if it ever gets to the point where you are asking yourself “why do I keep making jewelry” maybe you should start selling it. Even if you don’t need the money you could earmark a charity to give all your earnings to. And you would get even more enjoyment out of beading! BTW Your work is beautiful and would easily sell. ~Maureen-G >> This comment was originally posted here: Making Polymer Clay Jewelry

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Mushroom Bead Shape with a Colorful Sculpted Flower On Top
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