Halloween Pirate Cane Part-1 | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Pirate Cane - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #224: “For a future tutorial, I would love to see your famous pirate cane… arrrhh!” ~DJ

Ahoy Matey’s!!! Tis finally the hour, t’ be learnin’ me Pirate Cane!

So all ye scallywags who have be beggin’ fer ’tis tutorial can be grog-filled ‘n titulation that ye have finally got what ye asked fer!

OK, so I missed the deadline for getting this tutorial published in time for the official Talk Like A Pirate Day… but at least we made it in time for Halloween (though personally, pirate stuff works for me at anytime of the year).

PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE CINDY when are we going to have a tute on your great PIRATE CANE? These would be just great for Halloween and you DID say you would teach us soon. ~Elaine-F

OOOOOooooo, I second the motion on a Pirate Bead Tutorial!! I’ve been dying to learn Cindy’s technique. I tried it myself and had sooooo much scrap clay by the time I finished. So, *begging nicely* Please, Please, Please Cindy, teach us the Pirate Bead Cane for Halloween. ~Lisa-W

With Halloween just around the corner I was wondering Cindy if you were going to teach us how to do the Pirate crossbones beads like you made for your lanyard? I loved it and would love to know how to do it. You talked about making a tut for it. Please, Please, Please?! Thanks. ~Kerri-C

This Pirate Cane is a signature cane for me. I never have been able to keep anything I’ve made with the pirate cane for very long. You may remember the story from a ways back, of my skull and crossbones beaded lanyard that I used for carrying my YMCA Membership Card… it sold right off my neck when I was taking a class there.

And if you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you may also remember this cool Pirate Beaded Bracelet and this Pirate Hemp Bracelet.

So… coming up tomorrow (Friday October 7th 2011) in the Vol-041-1 members video at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library, I will be showing you how to make all the components of this quirky polymer clay Pirate Cane (Part 1). And in next week’s Part 2 (October 14th 2011), I’ll demonstrate how to put the whole thing together. Ye goin’ lust ’tis scurvy pirate cane!!!

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Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

Supplies & Tools: Video-041-1 Pirate Cane Part 1:

  • Polymer clay in the following colors:
    – 5001 White Premo Sculpey
    – 5042 Black Premo Sculpey
    – 5392 Raw Sienna Premo Sculpey
  • Pasta Machine
  • Acrylic Roller
  • Clay Blade
  • Ruler

Side Note: Not needed for the tutorial, but used in the bracelet that I show in the tute, is a gorgeous Handmade Textured and Patina Copper Clasp made by Melinda Orr of orrtec.etsy.com. If you’re looking for unique findings and metal supplies, do check her site out. Her stuff is gorgeous!

 The full version of the Vol-041-1 Pirate Cane Part 1 video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday October 7, 2011. But if you would like to see a sneak peek intro clip right now, scroll down the page a bit to the video player below.

Click Video Play Button


The full version of the “Pirate Cane” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-041 Back Issue Pckg.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

I am always amazed at how you even simplify what on first glance seems to be a simple process. This is why you make the mistakes so I don’t have to… so worth the modest fee of your site. Thanks for so many great tutorials. It’s the high point of my weekend! ~Sue-W

I absolutely agree. I’m a teacher too and I can recognize good teaching. Cindy is the best teacher. I’ve watched a lot of other jewelry videos and read books but it makes a big difference watching Cindy. You can pause the video and actually go along with her. She makes things so simple and easy you simply get encouraged and motivated to try it out . And Doug’s photos are amazing – the clarity and angles. It’s certainly worth every cent and the cost is a real deal. I would encourage anyone to definitely sign on and buy the membership. I have bought the whole collection and I’m so glad I did. ~Cheryl-H

Hi all, I’m a bit of a newbie … so I just purchased some back issues … if there are any other newbies out there – seriously consider doing this – just when I think I know when the video is going Cindy does something completely different than I thought she would and it’s sooo much easier and it’s like – well duh. ~Desiree-J

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Halloween Pirate Cane Part 1 video tutorial:

  • See examples of canes, beads and jewelry projects using this super cool Pirate Cane Design.
  • Discussion of the tools, supplies and techniques needed to create this intermediate level cane.
  • Find out how simple it is to make this cool picture cane, if you just follow the step by step instructions.
  • Find out why this is such a forgiving cane, even if this is your first picture cane. With this cane, a little distortion only makes it better!
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with other unique designs of your own.

The full version of the “Pirate Cane” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-041 Back Issue Pckg.

*********************************** Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

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Comments

  1. How neat ! I think it would make good Beads of Courage. The boys never have as cute stuff as the girls. Our Guild makes LOTS of Beads of Courage, so……… If you are not familiar With this organization, they give beads to children with Cancer. The children choose a bead each time they have treatment, go into remission, have a procedure. It gives the kids something GOOD to look forward to. There are quite a few Hospitals in the States that honor Beads of Courage. So the pirates would have a good home and the boys would have stuff THEY like. Win win, huh !!!

    • Beads of Courage… wow! That looks like a great organization. Cindy and I have so much on our plate right now… but I’ve created a special file for this. I can definitely see us supporting that organization in some way, at some point down the road. Thanks for the mention.

      Does anyone else have stories about how your involvement with the Beads of Courage Organization has made a difference for children battling serious illnesses? I went ahead and added a live link back to their site, which will provide them with some ‘Google Love’ (that’s a good thing :-).

      • Doug, I’m not involved with Beads of Courage–yet– but I saw a news program recently that featured the group and interviewed some of the kids who received the beads. These kids are thrilled by the beads and the milestones that the beads represent. For sure it’s a great organization. If there’s anything I can do to help you and Cindy get involved with Beads of Courage, I’d be happy to do so.

        I just looked at their website (Doug has the link in his post), under the Gift tab and found the guidelines for polymer clay beads. They ask that the beads be sent to their headquarters in Tuscon and there’s a form to fill out and send with the beads.

        Pat W., thanks for reminding us about this group.

      • Thanks so much for letting us know about Beads of Courage, I have never heard of them. Me and my girls will get right on it! Thanks Doug, for all you and Cindy do!

      • Doug, the Arizona Polymer Clay Guild has been working with The Beads of Courage Organization for about 8 years. Last Christmas we had two reps come to our Christmas party to talk to us about our support and give us more information. They brought an 8 foot necklace filled with beads that belonged to a 10 year old boy. It took our breath away. The children get to pick a bead every time they have a procedure and they sure like bright beads. We were told that the holes in each bead should be at least 2 -3 mm so they can fit on the heavier necklaces that they give the children. Two years ago I made 100 purple hearts. I was told they got a purple heart when their treatments were over.

        If someone wants to donate to Beads of Courage they can send them to me or directly to Tucson. We are working with the Phoenix Childrens Hospital also. One of our members works there and takes beads directly over there.

        They want the beads to be finished and not have any tiny little breakable parts. I forgot to mention that.

        • That’s awesome Bonnie! I’m sure your efforts and the efforts of others from your Guild, have gone a long ways in helping to make a positive difference in the lives of many children and their families.

          And on that note… here’s a bit of info that neither Cindy nor I have shared yet… but that may be of interest to the Beads of Courage organization. I’m mentioning it here, in case you wanted to pass the info along to your BOC contacts to get in touch with us.

          A common theme that runs strong through this PCT community, is how polymer clay can serve as a meaningful form of art therapy in so many different ways. There are those who work with this medium as a way to cope with their own health and wellness issues. And there are also those like yourself Bonnie, who choose to share the love with others, such as the Beads of Courage organization. Polymer clay really is so much more than just a hobby!

          So… Cindy and I have decided that writing about this important topic in a published book format for distribution on Amazon and other recognized book store/library outlets, will allow this “higher purpose” message to get out to a broader audience that otherwise would never know.

          The book will be kind of a “Chicken Soup” collection of short empowering stories. Including some input from the BOC group would be welcomed… if they are interested in participating in some way.

          Cindy and I will be covering the cost of publishing the book… it’s one way that we can “give back” and bring awareness to worthy causes.

          Actually, now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, if anyone has ideas and stories they would like to see included in this anthology book project, do let us know. We are looking for themes that “showcase” how polymer clay really is so much more than just a hobby… higher purpose stories.

          BTW, besides getting referenced in a real book that is sure to impress your grandkids ;-), we’ll also be sending out complimentary copies to those who are able to participate by contributing short stories and/or ideas that end up getting included in our little “Chicken Soup” project.

          ~Doug

          • Doug – Two things pop into my mind immediately … they are both connected with my church. 1) The bookmarks that meant so much to the pastors that they were shared with the congregation.
            2) It has been such a blessing and has helped me in coping with the death of my dear husband, to make polymer clay beads and pendants and selling them at my church with all the money going directly back to the church.

            I have found that when I work with the polymer clay it tends to take my mind off of my grief and ‘problems’. It is kind of an escape mechanism. When I left on my last motor home trip I was more careful to include everything I would need to work on PC, including my oven and pasta machine, even though that meant carrying less food and not being able to open the bed fully. That’s how much Cindy’s teaching has inspired me. While on the road, I always plan for Fridays so I can at least watch the videos even though I might not be able to complete each project. It is like a touch of home to me.

    • Hi Cindy & Doug!

      Every now and than, the MS tries its best to play “who is the boss” so, sometimes I need a few weeks to put it back in its place! It is hard to imagine that a small ball of clay can do so much, isn’t it? Not only can you reshape it – it can reshape you.

      I think our society needs to reconnect with the creative. A “hobby” is much more than that – all people should have some type of outlet. And medicine can only do so much. Really – I truly believe that my work with clay – this could be any art form – is just as potent as any pill I have.

      Science is not quite clear – no definitive study – but theory is that what neurotransmitters release during art therapy supersedes the many pain centers of the brain (that goes for depression etc.).

      Our technology has lead us to seeing many people living with chronic illness. People who need to find other outlets to help them heal, cope, find joy.

      I think… no, I firmly believe, that your – and Dougs’ – idea about writing an Art Therapy Book is wonderful. You teach without complexity, presentations are great, and your love for the craft is contagious. Sorry, I do go on! Go for it! I think there is a big need for the type of work you are proposing – and as I have written before, your teaching approach is so helpful. User friendly. I am more than excited to see what you come up with it! Very excited for you!!!!

      And, a thanks to you, as your words and excitement over the project reminds me of my own plans – network more online with other “clay” folk, and – here is a biggie, maybe get on Etsy.

      Do you know what I find amazing – I’ll share this with you, despite the daily battles, pain – etc., I would not go back to my old life for anything. It seems so empty now when I look back!

      So, see you online!!!! Thanks Cindy, it is a blessing to have someone to share my new passion with!!!!

      My family and I will keep you and yours in our prayers!

      Michele

        • Truly you are giving me a big head. With many years of difficulty and struggle, I became a RN – specializing in my passion Oncology patients – only six years ago. Previously, I was a struggling secretary, bartender, single mom. I married the man of my dreams. I changed my whole life. But there must have been a different plan, because starting the “fabulous forties” (I am still trying to find out why they say it is so fabulous’) the MS stopped in to say hello and make permanent residence. It has been two years, and sometimes there is grief over the “before” – kinda been dealing with that the past few weeks. I have NO idea why I am writing this to you, other than what you wrote more than picked up my spirit. So thank you.

          My new work (polymer clay) – my family gets such a kick out of me calling it that – is my passion. It brings me so much peace. Changes the way I look at the world. Suddenly a leaf brings to mind a color combination – BTW, I found the colors I had in mind on your fabulous archives! It also brings much laughter. I purchased a Dremel tool. Showing off to the family, said tool flew across floor. They now fear the new solder iron.

          Michele

  2. I’ve honestly never been interested in pirate beads, but I could make them with pink and purple instead of raw sienna and black… hmm, that sounds like something I might need to do!

  3. I’ve been making beads for the Beads of Courage program for over 2 years. Patt and I belong to the same PC guild, like she said our guild is very active in making beads for them. It’s such a wonderful and fun thing to do for them. It’s a great way to use up left over clay and canes!

    The pirate bead will be perfect!

  4. Oh what spot on timing you have lately – my nephew Jason will be here in less than 2 weeks :)

    He’ll be 5 in Dec so maybe he is of an age to enjoy making something w/ tante (instead of just running scrap thru the machine :=) (big cheesey grin, stole it from a friend on facebook)

    Did I mention they all live in Germany (that’s want the tante stuff is all about) so we only get to see them about once a year–I’m not complaining-life and all, you guys understand

    I’m thinking pirate beads- with the cane already made—I’ll slice he’ll apply…fun times ahead

    Yay tomorrow

  5. Well shiver me timbers. You’ve got to admire the Capt of this motley crew (who sail the good ship Polly Merr Clay. )

    This is better than a double helping of Grog.

    Have been confined to me hammock below decks for some time now but just had to haul meself on deck to say.

    Three cheers for Capt Cindy and Bosun Doug. Think I will have to send the youngsters clambling up to the crows nest to spot the first sight of Never Never Land.

    Yo ho ho, its straight on till morning. mates…….cheers xx

  6. I have such a busy day tomorrow but I’m going to get up earlier to get everything done so I have time to watch. I am so excited!! Thank you for doing this tut for us. I am truly grateful.

    The 5th Friday video on organization has been so helpful. I bought my storage bins through Kmart.com and now all my stuff is getting better organized.

    Love everything you do!
    Kerri C.

  7. Wow this Bead looks super cute! As someone who works with terminally ill children I would suggest considering if a skull and crossbones is a sensitive choice – but I love that you are using your art to cheer up kids in need. Perhaps a pattern cane in ‘masculine’ colirs? Keep up the good work

    • Hi Anna – If you are having trouble getting the video to play for you, the first step is to click on the “video problems” link at the top of the page and run through the suggested trouble shooting tips. Then if you need further assistance, send an email providing me with as much detail as possible about what is happening or not happening on your end, so that I can help you resolve the issue.

    • Having the same problem. I might think it was our school filter ( who, me?), but I had the same issue at home today early this morning. I have a little spinning loading icon but nothing happens. I almost never have any problem with Cindy’s videos– they rarely even pause to load so this is unusual.

  8. Yay, the pirate cane is here! Thanks Cindy for sharing this with us….really looking forward to the next part. Love the variations you’ve shown too, from gorgeous bracelet to funky lanyard. Another awesome tutorial once again!! We’re so spoiled =o)

  9. Yay! We’ve been admiring this cane forever! :D Thanks Cindy, and appreciation as well for the provided links (above.) I enjoyed looking back at some of those original pirate beads…the ones that made us BEG for this cane! Thanks everyone…I just love all the pirate talk…makes me smile. (I’m always a-grinning on “Talk Like a Pirate Day.”) I’d love to join in, but a sinus headache (please don’t let it be a sinus infection!) makes my head feel extra thick. Can’t really think with this pain. Anyway, I’m glad this cane tute’s here! It’s such a cute “Cindy-Original” design. This “Part 1″ video is beyond-super simple; even beginners should have no problem. It’s basically preparation for the “real” magic — putting it together next week in part 2! At least, I assume that’s what’s coming next. (Uh-oh…you know what happens when you assume… –Well, at least, I do, LOL! Learned the hard way…) :D

    • yeah, I know about what happens when I assume too–lol

      I did as Kerri C. suggested, got all my ‘stuff’ done early so I could do this lesson. Now I’m ready for next week-YAY

  10. Oh I just love this pirate cane. it is going to go so well with the embroidery designs I ordered from Urban Threads. Don’t know how soon I will get to any of it. I am so battered, bruised and crippled up from a woman running a red light last Sunday and totaled my car!
    Please, Please Please everyone! Don’t use a cell phone and drive.
    You want to be around to be able to create all these wonderful designs Cindy comes up with. I am just so thankful to be alive!

    • Oh my Dixie, so glad your some what ok after that. How scary–seems like my DH tells me every other day about someone texting and driving – last week it was a policeman of ALL people–anyway bless your heart and feel better soon, Sherry.

    • Oh Dixie, you poor thing! I’m so sorry to hear of your accident.

      I’ve had a few scares because of drivers using cell phones while driving. Personally, I think they out to be horse-whipped. I try to stay far away from them, if I see them. Trouble is, we don’t always see them, because they try to hide what they’re doing. They know they shouldn’t use and drive.

      I hope they had insurance so you can get another car. Also hoping you’ll be better soon. Sending healing thoughts your way :)

    • Dixie, that is awful! I am so glad that you’re OK. Heal quickly. We need you around here!

      They recently passed a law here in British Columbia, making it illegal to use any hand held devices while driving. The fine is $2000 I think, but I still see people doing it all the time. A lot less than I use to mind you, because most people switched to the Bluetooth thingies, but still quite a few.

      It is really too bad that more people don’t have their priorities straight. If the call was that important to make/take then surely it would be worth the 5 minutes to pull over and talk at the side of the road… it would be A LOT faster than dealing with an accident, working to pay for the costs of it, healing from the injuries or the lifetime loss if someone gets killed. Sometimes I just wish people would use their heads!

      • In Arizona, we have “winter visitors”. Cell phones + older folks= big trouble. I wish there was a LAW to band cell phones !!! I have been behind tooo many users……….

    • Oh my Dixie, so sorry to hear of your accident. My thoughts and prayers are with you for a swift recovery. As elsewhere, here in Florida we have so many drivers that just don’t reliaze the possible consequences of their trying to “save time” and are proud of their multitasking, never mind running lights. We also have an influx of “winter visitors” that we call “snowbirds” here and it is best to be an early riser for shopping and other road travels.

      Hopefully you will feel up to chimming in anytime. Looking forward to hearing that you are on the mend soon.

      Hugs and prayers,
      Joyce

    • Oh, Dixie! I am so sorry to hear about your accident. I sincerely hope you’re able to heal quickly, and that you have no long-term damage from your injuries. (From personal experience — make sure you do every bit of physical therapy you can to prevent problems later on!) It’s hard to believe there’s anyone out there who hasn’t “got the message” about the dangers of cell phone usage while driving. Which means people do it anyway…knowing they could hurt someone. I hope your message here reminds people, who in turn remind their friends & family, to stay off the phone while driving. My thoughts & prayers are with you for a speedy recovery. I also wish you the best outcome regarding your car — what a messy (& irritating?) situation!

  11. Hi Cindy
    I used your cookie mold tut using some mini clay cutters that I bought with 50% off coupon at Michaels. I used the christmas tree- done in green and my round cutter using pearl red. Cutting the outer cane to insert the tree worked great. I just have to work on my reducing technique. (Donna Kato reduces differently) I used your technique. I did not reduce it fully because I am not sure what I want to make with it. One end looks ok but the other side is a little distorted. I have not cut off the ends yet to check the inside… waiting until I decide what I want to make.
    Since there were no mini clay cutter for any Jewish Holidays.. can you do a tut in the near future for us of the Jewish faith. eg. Jewish Star , torahs, menorah. etc. If you need some ideas just let me know.
    I did some aurora canes… how do I send the pictures. I used a glitter blue as one of the colors and it came out great…I even used the discarded pieces for a really usual pendant.

    • Hi Natalie. I’ve been watching a few of the back tutes today, too. Isn’t it fun?

      I’ve seen dreidel and Star of David cookie cutters at Michael’s, in the same area as all the cake decorating stuff. Maybe your local craft store has these. If not, have you done an internet search? Perhaps you can mail order the shapes you need.

      Best of luck to you.

      • Hi
        I saw the cookies cutters yesterday at Michaels but they are so large. I’m looking for a tut to make smaller ones to incorporated into a cane that can the be reduces and milforied.

        As for the Pirate cane .. I’m thinking of making the eyes and teeth with glow in the dark premo. I have used the glow in the dark as accents on some of my previous bookmarks.. eg. Hamsa with glow in the dark whites of the eyes.

        But thanks for your comment about Micheals

    • Hi Natalie! Love to see what you’ve made using the Aurora Technique…please show us pictures of your creations on FB! :D In case you haven’t found it yet, the Facebook account Cindy created (that lets us to add to her photo album) is called Polymer Clay Bead Making Tutorials.

      If you haven’t been there yet, you’re going to love seeing all the cool creations shared by other members — fun stuff!
      ~Kat

      PS: You mentioned using Fimo Glow in the Dark clay in another comment below. Haven’t used it yet, but it should work fine with your Premo clay, as long as you follow basic caning rules. Primarily, each clay color should have the same consistency or firmness. If one or more colors are softer than the others, be sure to leach out some of the plasticizers. That way when you reduce your cane, one color won’t be moving faster than the others…distorting your design.

      As for baking, there shouldn’t be a problem. I assume you asked because the recommended temp. for Fimo is lower than Premo(?). You can lower the baking temperature a little (like 265F, if you like,) but be sure to bake longer to compensate for that. Bake for an hour, and be sure to tent your beads or bury them in corn starch so they don’t discolor/darken in the oven. Cindy has a post on this topic…has some great tips on How to Keep Your White Beads White.

      :-)

  12. Dixie
    I’m glad that you are going to be ok.. Your right about the cell phone..even with hands free( it going through the car radio) can be a distraction. I try never to answer the phone while I am driving. If I need to make a call, I try to pull over some where safe and make the call.
    Get well soon

  13. Hi Cindy.

    I enjoyed this pirate tute. Looking forward to next Friday’s finale. I’ve got a special guy friend who is all about pirates and I think a macrame and pirate bead wristband would be perfect for him.

    I watched several of your other tutes today. Prior to that, I watched a number of tutes on Youtube, most from ‘professionals’. Once again, I am impressed with the quality of yours – direct and to the point instructions, great camera work, clear sound, good lighting, uber friendliness – I could go on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent and I wish I had found you way sooner. It would have made the learning process so much easier for me.

    Thank you for all you do and have a great day :)

  14. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. I am in a big world of hurt right now and can’t do a whole lot so am watching Cindys tutes of past and present to keep my mind off the pain. The doctor is going to see if I can tolerate PT in a couple of weeks. I am so
    anxious to get back to my projects but know it is going to take time.
    I just love that pirate cane and what a great idea to use glow in the dark premo Natalie! I didn’t know there was such a product….That is definetly going on my list!

    • Aww Dixie, I hope you can heal quickly. It is way too sad to hear a friend is in pain. :-(

      Actually, the Premo Glow-in-the-dark has been discontinued, but they still make it in Sculpey III, if you want to replace it with that. You may need to leach out some of the plasticizers if it is too soft though.

      There have been several articles on leaching polymer clay to firm up soft clay. Just type “leach plasticizers” into the search box at the top of the page and it will give you a list of articles to read.

  15. Thanks for the heads up on the glow in the dark Cindy…I hope I can find some in Sculpy III at Michaels. My son is coming home to stay with me for a week so I will send him over there to get some. ;=)

    • Dixie,

      If you are in the lower 48 I have 3 1/2 pkgs. of Premo Glow-in-the-Dark that I will gladly send you. All we need to do is get me a mailing address for you. I’m hoping Cindy will give you my email address as I don’t do Facebook. I have an account but have never taken the time to learn anything about it. I used the half block when Cindy did a tute some time back but it isn’t anything I will use. So you would be doing me a favor, leaving me space for something else (lol).

      Continue to get well and I hope the pain is subsiding. Continued good luck in regaining your strength.

      Waiting to hear from you.

      Hugs and prayers continue,
      Joyce

  16. Thank you Cindy, I still don’t understand a lot of what goes on
    on the web but I sure am glad your looking out for me! No I don’t want any more spam! I have notified Joyce. What a great clay buddy.

  17. Hi Cindy
    Fimo makes a glow in the dark polymer clay. Can this be used with the Premo or would there be a problem with the baking?

  18. Dixie sorry to hear about your misfortune. So many drive while doing other things, they are just not thinking. Drinking and driving being the worse. While I will never understand why anyone who has been picked up for drinking and driving gets to keep or later get their license back. Now the horrible deaths and injuries from texting and driving or talking and driving. Cell phones have there place just not while driving. Just know you are in my prayers for a speedy recovery.

    I also live in Iowa, Southeast Iowa. Born and lived here all my life. As I love to travel and have favorite places to visit, Iowa is my favorite place to be. Is there any chance you live anywhere close to Fort Madison, Iowa. My husband and I have a small acreage North of Fort Madison. I would love to have a clay friend near by.

  19. Thank you Peggy for your best wishes. I’m sorry I don’t live closer to you, Cedar Rapids is my home. I don’t know of anyone close to me that works with Clay either but I have met so many nice folks here on Cindys blog I feel like part of a big clay family.

  20. I just got a chance to watch the last 2 tutes and as always spectacular. The pirate cane is another chance to challenge our creativity. You always have us reaching for the stars Cindy and with your guidance you make it a possibility. Thanks to you and Doug once again you send my mind a twirling with ideas. Thanks for all you guys give to us.

  21. Thanks Phaedrakat for your good wishes. Am doing better and start therapy next week. I must confess I am really enjoying this down time (not the pain) but watching the tutes and learning how to do the canes which has not been my strong point. I finally had a break through and got the first flower cane done and it looks good! Cindy does such a great job explaining things and I never get tired of watching her tutorials. Thanks to Joyce Folsom who sent me some glow in the dark premo, I can now attempt to make the pirate cane. They don’t carry it here at Michaels. My son did help me find another car…a Ford Fusion but am scared to drive anywhere right now. It sure is hard to get back behind the wheel but eventually will have to do it. Right now I am just enjoying the clay play!

  22. Hello Cindy and Doug first, I truly admire the entire setup that you both share with this Polymer Clay Community. I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have been receiving your Newsletter Cindy since November 2009, but I have finally gotten the courage to join the full membership this January of 2012. I have been on Disability since December of 1998, I have not worked at a job since. Staying at home has not been my forte, and that is when I discovered by accident, the wonderful world of Color and Polymer Clays. This material has given me a reason to get up and try to forget the many medical labels they have applied to “my conditions”. It gives me a reason to fade away in thoughts wondering how this would look like together? ….or I wonder how to make….? All of you here know the silent daydreams of the art world. I have been dabbling on and off since 2002, mostly self taught from reading on the internet. I did join a NH Polymer Clay Guild for a few years, learned a lot, but needed to stop driving at night (my eyes).
    I was reading your blog regarding the beads of courage, our Guild was involved in the Bottles of Hope program which I had the great experience to deliver several batches of decorated Bottles to the Cancer Treatment Section of my local Hospital. It was so humbling to me when I thought I was having a bad day, to go there and see patients dealing with so much more.
    Forgive me, I have a hard time staying on one topic, hard to concentrate.
    Reason for my note today, thank you Cindy and Doug for the work that you do for all of us. We at least I speak for myself – do appreciate it! I am looking forward to learning more with all of you……better known locally as MountainMaMaDuke.

    • Hi Pauline – From both Cindy and myself… a big welcome to you. It sounds like you have a very positive outlook on life… so great to hear that Polymer Clay has provided you with inspiration and fulfillment. Welcome to the community!

      PS: I posted a duplicate copy of your post in the Polymer Art Therapy thread where it will likely be seen by even more members who will be able to relate to your story. The link by my name will take you to the other comment.

      • Doug: How do I get my photo in the avatar square on the left of the paragraph in the blog? Is there a way you can direct me to do this? It must be easy, I see so many others with theirs in place? Thanks in advance, Pauline

        • Pauline – That’s great you are wanting to add your photo to the blog. Those little thumbnail pics (aka Gravatars), really help a lot in making the community feel much more friendly and inviting.

          This Gravatar link will take you to another comment for more information and instructions.

          After the Gravatar system “processes” your photo upload (it can sometimes take a few hours)… then that generic sideways G logo which is currently posted beside each of your comments here at the blog… will miraculously change to the personalized photo you have added.

          By the way, if you type “Gravatar” into the search box at the top of the page, you’ll get some links to other comment threads as well, where this topic has been discussed elsewhere on this site.

          “SEE” you soon :-)

  23. Hi MountainMaMaDuke (Pauline) Welcome from us all.

    It takes a certain courage to take the plunge and become a member, especially if you don’t swim ha ha.

    No seriously, I know you are going to love Cindy’s style of teaching and Doug’s expert filming. My kids (grown-up) still call me MaMaBead.

    Ooops, just smelt the dinner burning so will just say TTFN and enjoy these very theraputic sessions………………….Cheersxx

    • Thank you so much Elaine:
      I have quite a collection of her Newsletters, I am so impressed at how organized they are- I am truly looking forward to taking that “dip” !!!
      Sincerely, mtnmamaduke

  24. Hi to Cindy and Doug. I am impressed with how this community is set up. I have belonged to a couple of others in the past, but, none as nice as this. I LOVE the tutorials! I just started out tonite with getting the skull and crossbone tute. After seeing how well it was made, I said the heck with it and joined as a member =D It is nice to belong to a polymer clay group again. There is a real sense of community here =D It will be nice to be a part of that again. I am looking forward to future tutorials. I briefly saw the one on the celtic heart. I can’t wait to try that one out! It will have to wait until I make the skull and crossbone one first =D I found polymer clay a long time ago. It’s been so long, I can’t really remember how long,,memory problems LOL Being disabled, it’s really helped me to keep grounded, and to take my mind off the things I have to deal with on a daily basis.

    I had to take some time off due to the illnesses I have, along with several elbow surgeries, but, I am now back at it, and can’t wait to make this skull and crossbone cane. I portray a pirate with a reenactment group in NH. I am going to make beads for each person in the group and attach them to a wine glass tag so they can attach them to their gun cases. I am also going to personalize each one. I had a question regarding color. If I wanted to make a black and white skull and crossbone. Would I just wrap the black around the white or, would I go ahead and make the skinner plug using the black and white? I am going to make a pink one as well for one of the pirates in our group that dresses in black and hot pink LOL

    Once again, thanks so much for all you do!

    Sincerely,
    Mary aka Black Dog Mary Steel

    • Ahoy Black Dog Mary Steel! LOL! Love your comment and welcome to our clay family! Thank you so much for saying what you said about our community. I agree, everyone is very nice here. And I think you will find you will get a lot of support and help with your polymer clay projects here, as well as make some new friends. So I hope to see you around here lots!

      As far as your cane question, for the black and white pirate cane, I would still do a blend from black to white, as well as the black wrap. It gives it more dimension and shading that way. Same goes with any of the colors you would like to do. I love your idea for making them for all you pirate friends. How fun! Sounds like you have quite a fun bunch of friends!

      • Ahoy Cindy =D
        Thanks so much for answering my question =D It’s been a while since I have worked with polymer clay, but, it is all coming back to me slowly but surely. At one point, I even got a few item’s I made for a trade group pictured in Jewelery Crafts magazine back in 05′ So, as you can see, I have been at this for quite some time now, as I was working with it, well before 05′. I can honestly admit that I did miss it, when I had to take all that down time. I honestly would be lost without this particular medium.
        As for the group I am in, we have so much fun! It’s been a blast, (no pun intended), as we do shoot black powder guns. I love being able to make things for the group, as they are such a great bunch of people! We are one big family =D
        It will be nice to make new friends again that enjoy using the same medium I do. I can say that I have missed that since most of the groups I were in are no longer. I am really looking forward to new tutes and to progress even further using polymer clay =D I am really glad that I decided to join =D

        Sincerely,
        Black Dog Mary Steel ARRRRR

        • Welcome Mary to our clay family. So very glad you could join us. Cindys tutes are terrific. There are lots of pics on facebook to look at too. We all sit around with our tongues hanging out waiting for Fridays to get here. (At least I do) I made the pirate cane from Glow in the Dark that one of the gals sent to me from Florida cause I could not get any here. I made cell phone charms for the kids at one of the schools because their team name is the Pirates. The Moms were just thrilled. It is so much fun to “pay it forward”

        • Welcome, Mary!
          So happy you’ve joined us! You won’t be sorry…the value of the tutorials is incredible, and the community is an amazing bonus! So many great people here…quite a few with disabilities, as well (so you’ll find understanding, too!) Lots of us are on Facebook, so if you want more interaction, you can look out for us by going to Cindy’s “Polymer Clay Bead Making Tutorials” FB page. Just follow the link in Dixie Ann’s comment above to find it. You could also use the search box (right side, under blue menu) to find Cindy’s how-to add photo articles. Lots of eye candy/member project photos there, too!

          I definitely agree with you. Polymer clay is an amazing medium, especially for those with disabilities, chronic pain, etc. In fact, Cindy has written a book on the subject — she mentioned it in a post not too long ago. I think it comes out soon (need to look into that right-quick, actually…)

          Your pirate group sounds fascinating, and such good fun. I get excited on “talk like a pirate day,” so I can only imagine! Guess that comes ’round more often for you, LOL. Anyway, welcome again — & have a great time! You’re going to love all of Cindy’s tutes, as well as the heaps of inspiration and advice you’ll find here…
          ~Kat (Riverside, CA USA)

  25. Hey Dixie Ann and Kat,
    Thanks for the welcome =D I found the page on FB =D I already liked it, so I can keep up with all the great pix! I am going to have to try the Glow in the Dark idea =D I have some left over, and didn’t know what to do with it. Now, I think I will have to add that into the multiple colors that I am going to use.

    @ Kat…I always look forward to talk like a pirate day!! It’s so much fun! I don’t have to wait a whole year, as we do a lot of different events while the Renaissance Faire season ends. I also do b-day parties for kids, and after sitting here, I think I am going to make a few extra charms up, and make something from them to pass out to the kids! I even dress up my poor Service Dog as a pirate. Not sure he likes it much, but, he is a good sport about it LOL

    I am really looking forward to getting my hands wet again. It will be a nice quiet weekend creating all kinds of things I think =D

    Mary & Service Dog Lord Corvus *woof*

  26. Hi Cindy,

    I’d just like to say that I’m totally new to polymer clay & am finding your tutorials invaluable!

    Here is a pic of how my pirate cane turned out.

    06-Stephanie Mcinnes-skull And Crossbones

    It was the 2nd thing I attempted after the Owl Charm (which was my very fav!). It’s nowhere as good as your one of course & it went a bit wrong on the end of the bones…. but I’m very happy with it :-)

    Many Thanks
    Stephanie

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