Polymer Art Therapy – Changing Lives | 5th Friday Video

Polymer Clay Tutor Book Launch Coming SoonVid #236: As I create for others, I think about the joy of knowing them. With that there is absolutely no room for thoughts about pain, illness, fears… ~Michele Effing

If you’re new around here and don’t know what the heck a Fifth Friday is… not to worry. Just watch the video at this Studio Tour link, and all will become crystal clear.

Now to set the stage for today’s Fifth Friday “Book Launch” video, please read the following excerpt from a dear member of the community. Her kind and insightful words are a wonderful intro for what I discuss in the video posted further down on this page.

Hi Cindy, my addiction to clay started about a year ago after I was diagnosed with MS and went from a career girl to staying at home going nuts trying to find something to do.

It is funny, but my goal was to network more online and actually talk to the people who share my new passion. Discovering my creative side has had a huge impact on how I deal with my health issues.

Formerly, I was a nurse, so I know all the positive medical aspects of having a “hobby”. But, without sounding corny here, it is more than a hobby to me now.

When I am creating my mind turns to the beauty in life; and as I create for others, I think about the joy of knowing them. With that there is absolutely no room for thoughts about pain, illness, fears of the future.

I tell you, I suggest to everyone to find an art medium now – of course I talk about polymer clay!

I spent much time researching, reading, investing in books, etc. and your lessons by far have been the best tutorials – everything is broken down and made simplistic. And you even incorporate wire work – it is a great, inspiring site! If only I had signed up with you FIRST, the 20lb bag of scrap clay I have would be much, much smaller!

Sorry, this is a long response but I must tell you quickly – I love flower canes! Followed instructions to “T” from books published by other well known polymer clay artists – and they would always look horrible!

So, I recently purchased a back issue of yours, the flower petal cane, turned out perfect – especially your tip on the packing!

This sounds silly, but it is a little exciting – you are famous in my house, I call you my Art Professor! Keep it up! Thanks.

~Michele Effing

Next week we’ll get back to the regular Friday programming, starting with the first video tutorial in Volume-044… AND A BRAND NEW YEAR!!!

But before then, be sure to leave a comment below about how polymer clay has changed your life or that of someone you know.

And for some additional reading, here is a link to where our Polymer Art Therapy Book has been discussed in another thread here at the blog: Beads of Courage

It’s been a wonderful 2011 and I know 2012 is going to be even better!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
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Comments

  1. The book launch is soooo cool. Like you mentioned there are many books about Polymer Clay but none about the Therapeutic value of Polymer Clay. Like I have said many times, Polymer Clay is a great medium because it is a very affordable hobby and a person can have great results.
    Many wonderful wishes for 2012 sent your way and to others here at our polymer clay family.

    Anna-Des Moines, Iowa

  2. This is great. Congratulations on your book launch. Polymer Clay is therapeutic but being a member of your club is even more therapeutic. I’ve been a member for a long time and I look so forward to Fridays to find out what wonderful things you have in store for us. I think that excitement is therapeutic in itself.

    I have to tell you what has really been wonderful about being a member of your group. I’ve made a wonderful friend. Linda Kroop and I have become really good email friends and I enjoy her tremendously. We have a lot in common. We also email with other members and keep in contact through blogs. I think this polymer clay kinship because of your website and teachings has been therapeutic for everyone. The amount of knowledge that is shared and the support for each other is invaluable.

    We are the Cindy Lietz World Wide Clay Guild.

    I just want to thank you and wish you much success on the launching of the book and all the inspiration you’ve given me in the past years.

    Happy New Year

    • Well said, Bonnie. I am grateful to Cindy’s Blog for our wonderful friendship, too!

      Cindy, I hope that your book launch goes according to plan and I look forward to reading it. I know it will be a huge success!

  3. Wow!! A book launch…that is awesome, Cindy! Polymer clay has been somewhat therapeutic for me. I am a caregiver and can sometimes hold in a lot of stress. Polymer Clay has given me a creative outlet to just be me and not Lupe the caregiver, the mom, the spouse, the gardener, the home engineer and the chauffeur. I can sit in my studio and get lost for a bit and not have to think about anything but concentrate on my work thereby reducing my stress level for the day. And because of that, I have grown as an artist. Who would have thought that by picking up beading, it would open a whole new world for me! I have also met many gifted artists here on your site and have made many friends as well…all around the nicest people! Thank you for opening my eyes up to all the possibilites in the world of polymer clay! HUGS!! Also wishing you much success on your book launch and another successful year!

  4. Congratulations! Cindy, I remember being intrigued by Doug’s comments back in October re: the upcoming book. Not surprisingly, I see you two wasted little time getting it together! I want to wish you both, and Willow and Fisher as well, the best in the New Year. Thanks for taking the time to prepare this little video for us… and it helps to bridge the gap til next Friday. You know how much we are looking forward to a fresh year of ClayPlay LOL

    • I watched this video again (cause I never “get” everything the first or second time LOL) and I realized I never even commented on your Snowy Tree pendant! Cindy, it was literally the first thing that caught my eye when I watched the clip the FIRST time, then I got caught up in your words (and excited at the prospect of a book, I guess)… Anyway, the pendant is so unique, just the right size. I always have difficulty deciding when I have REDUCED my cane enough, or I forget to SAVE a piece. I ended up with earrings! Thanks again for everything you do. You’re like the (really smart) younger sister who figures everything out before I do! Yes, I have one of those… so clever, dang it!

  5. My ‘story’ of polymer clay as a therapy is very similar to Michelle’s. I too am a nurse. I had to take some time out of work this summer and reassess my life and priorities. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and had a big ‘flare’ in May/June. A forced time away from work meant I had time to finally look at doing something creative again. For whatever reason polymer clay ‘called’ to me!! I have found something therapeautic to ‘play’ with when I am not hurting too badly, have made lots of new friends online and I am always learning something new!!
    Thanks Cindy

  6. Wishing you and your family a great New Year and best wishes on your book. I love to read everyones comments each and every week.
    I started out being a quilter for many years, but the quilts were getting to heavy for me. I then had a serious operation, that left me bored to death. I started beading and joined a bead quild a year later. One of the ladies had on the most beautiful earrings. I asked her about them and she told me me they were made from polymer clay. I heard about the clay a few years ago on TV but never gave it 2 cents. Well I got hooked, line, and sinker over Polymer Clay.
    I have made every color sample in both series. I love your videos and can’t wait until Fridays. I even joined a clay guild.
    My giving back is I make 25-50 bottles of hope a month to the cancer children and also the adults in my community facing cancer. I wouldn’t trade doing that for anything.
    Thank you again Cindy and Doug for all your hard work and the enjoyment you have given us.
    Ella Moore

  7. How nice Cindy and Doug, a book to look forward to, Congratulations and much success.
    A Happy, Prosperous and Healthy 2012 to you and family along with this wonderful clay family.
    Hugs to all.

  8. Hi Cindy and everyone else! I’m not a member of the club (YET… it’s at the top of my wish list for an upcoming birthday!), but I have gleaned so much help from the info you freely share. The book idea is wonderful and I’m sure it will help many as they make the decision to grab a few blocks of clay and get started making beautiful things.

    Polymer clay has been incredibly therapeutic in my life. I’d gone through some very difficult years which involved the deaths of my sister and my dad, as well as dealing with rape. I had always been a creative person whether drawing, embroidery, gardening, sewing, etc. I always had some creative process I was involved in, but when so many hard things hit, I lost my ability to create. It felt as though a huge part of me had died.

    One day last May, my daughter showed up with a bag of polymer clay and asked me to make a set of ‘angry birds’ for my grandsons birthday. I told her not to expect it to happen, but that I would try. Not only did I try, but I succeeded! And I enjoyed it. The feel of the clay in my hands was so nice. The feeling of producing something for someone I love got the creative juices flowing again. I immediately had to have more clay! And a pasta machine. And blades and TLS and an acrylic roller, and and and! I now have a studio area set up in my living room and find myself working at this as a part time job… enjoying every minute of it. I am thrilled by how versatile PC is. I’ve told my husband that I could probably wrap the world in clay given enough time! My husband is a wood turner and we’ve been able to combine our work for the first time, which we both are enjoying tremendously.

    Polymer clay was the start of giving me a reason to get up in the morning. It added color back into my days. Trying to sleep at night, I could plan things I wanted to make, which gave me a great tool to fight off nightmares. I’ve been working with PC for 3/4 of a year now and have so much left to learn and explore. I can’t even begin to state how grateful I am that I discovered it… that it was thrown in my lap. haha! I feel more like me again… and that’s a good thing.

    Happy New Year to all of you!

  9. I think the book is a great idea.
    I have noticed that it helps people in different ways. I am retired and teach polymer clay to ladies on welfare in a help center.
    Many have different kinds of problems and polymer clay is one of the time they forget them. They also discover that they can do beautiful things, that they too are creative , receive compliments, discover that they do have a talent besides being moms. I feel useful sharing my passion with them. A win win situation.
    Here is the link to the blog I made for them. It’s in French though. Pictures are universal so enjoy.
    polyladies.canalblog.com/

  10. Hi Cindy and Doug. Big congrats on your upcoming book!!! I’m sure it will be great. I too am a nurse {see a theme going here 8^)} who has always done some type of craft. I stopped a while ago; being busy with the kids, work, school, etc. In 2004 we started having medical issues with my Mom and Dad. Too make a very long story short, in a 6 day period in 2008, I lost my brother, my husband and my Dad. Here I was, after being married for 33 years, alone and raising my then 9 year old daughter, taking care of my house and trying to keep my other 3 daughters together. I guess I just went from day to day, no goals, no desire to do anything, even though I knew I had to. Late in 2009, I started making jewelry with one of my daughters. Started out with beads and one day, about 18 months ago, I bought my first pack of polymer clay. For the first time in a long while, I actually began to get excited about something. To say it’s therapeutic is an understatement. I agree with everyone above. I have met so many talented artists, joined the local polymer clay guild and would love to focus my days around making things in clay. Can’t do that, but in the meantime, I love watching your video tutorials, looking at everyone’s work, experimenting, and just having fun. Thank you {and Doug} for all you have given us! I’m sure your book will be a success and can’t wait to read it. Hope you have a wonderful New Year.

    Jan

  11. As I have fibromyalgia and osteo arthritis in the spine, finding polymer clay has been great. Always having had a creative streak, I can indulge and keep the focus on something beautiful other than pain. I don’t feel useless as I can showcase my art and sell some which allows me to purchase more supplies and continue creating. Congratulations on your book Cindy and Doug, it will be a resounding success. I look forward to its launch.

  12. Hi Cindy and Doug! What a great idea this book is! I actually started with polymer clay through a “fluke.” I actually bought a silverplated tea service from someone on eBay and received a pasta machine by mistake! Talk about Karma! I remembered seeing polymer clay episodes on the Carol Duvall Show on HGTV, and then I started collecting books on polymer clay and then it took a year or so of reading and re-reading the books before I actually bought some clay. I suffer from major depression and this “hobby” has been a godsend to me, as it is a physical craft, or can be, as well as an artistic outlet. There is just something so therapeutic about beating (Kato clay!), mashing, squeezing, rolling and shaping the clay, and then the brain has to be involved creatively to make something beautiful come out of it. I adore the fact that a little block of clay can become so very much more! Utilitarian or decorative, you name it.

    After having some success with the books, I was seaching the internet for more inspiration when I found this website and decided to join. It was the best decision I could have made to further my journey into polymer clay and the best bargain, to boot, for such excellent teaching videos to be had on the web. I just wish I had started years earlier!

  13. Congratulations on the upcoming launch of your new book. Can’t wait to read it. I started using polymer clay this year when my mother who had bought a couple of packs for my nieces realised they were too young to use it. I did not know what to do with it so an internet search looking for tutorials made me realise what could be done with polymer clay. next I needed some tuition and I found your site which has proved invaluable because video tuition where I can see you actually making the stuff is so much easier to follow than any written instructions with a handful of pictures. Thanks Cindy you have opened doors for me and I always look forward to seeing my mailbox every Friday to see what it brings. I have already bought almost all the back issues too to make sure I don’t miss anything.

  14. I suppose the way that polymer clay has changed my life isn’t really in a way that one might consider “theraputic”. I wasnt searching for anything, I really just stumbled upon it. I was surfing the net one evening, and saw a picture of some polyclay beads. Of course, I was intrigued, so I had to do further research on how they were made. Now, I have always been creative. I have dabbled in painting, woodcrafts, beading, and any other medium I could get my hands on. So I figured why not try this too. So working with clay became my new hobby.
    Well it is now 3 years later and in that time I have fought depression, divorce, and various family issues. I will also share one of the reasons for my divorce. My husband didnt feel that being a polymer clay artist was a real job. He always told me that I wouldnt be able to create a business that would provide enough income. I’ve later realized that the problem was that he resented the fact that I had found something I loved while he had yet to find his passion. But in my gut I knew that this is what I am meant to do. So I’m proud to say that the end of 2011 marks the end of the first year in business for Carrie’s Clay Creations!
    I have sold my jewelry at 30 craft shows, art shows and festivals this year. I also have my products in 3 retail stores as well as on Etsy. I am also in the early stages of creating a website and am branching out with respect to the products that I offer. I am working on many new items geared toward home decor.
    Polymer clay is what has allowed me to take control of my life, it has given me something to be passionate about and look forward to each day. A day that I do not get to sit down with my clay feels wasted no matter how many other tasks I have accomplished!
    I do owe a huge “Thank you!” to Cindy and Doug. Many of my best selling items have come from tutorials taught by our dear Polymer Clay Tutor! So congrats on the book as well as everything else the two of you have accomplished. You have earned and most definitely deserve the success!

    • Dear Carrie N.
      I just read your story, and it is so inspiring how you have taken Polymer clay and made it into your theraputic gain, even tho at the time as you say you weren’t looking at it that way.Yes there is certainly a theraputic gain in any passionate hobby we undertake.
      As artists of any regime when delving into our passions
      the theraputic vein takes over,and helps us along the way,even if it is just letting us forget our everyday troubles for a while.
      I find when I get started doing some Poly clay, I wonder why I havent been here more often, as it is so relaxing, and time certainly flies., not to mention the fun and the sense of acheivement
      Congratulations to you for really sticking at it thru adversities you can only go higher .
      Congrats to you too Cindy and Doug, for the inspiration of your book launch on the theraputic aspect of our greatest passion, Polymer clay.
      I know it was the best decision for me when I found Cindys site over 3 years ago now and I have gone from strenght too strength , love showing anyone who will listen, and love the videos, which have become part of my life now.

      Anyone who is artisticly inclined, and even if not,
      and have not yet found Poly clay, you have an exciting formula for fun and acheviement to come.
      Wishing you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR,.
      Looking foward to more inspiring, and fun tuition here.
      With Love to all
      Elizabeth K.
      XXX

      • Thank you so much for your kind words Elizabeth! Clay has not only been my therapy, it has brought many wonderful people, such as yourself, into my life. The community here is just as theraputic as the art itself!

  15. Good Morning Cindy and Doug,

    I have to tell you that I truly believe that working with Polymer Clay is very theraputic and helps me forget the constant pain I feel while I am creating. I use to just wire wrap and since I found your website Cindy I am combinding the two mediums and I am much prouder of my work because I am making my own beads. When I create my mind just wanders off and I truly do not know what I am making until it starts to form. Your website is a true blessing because the way you explain the process is easy to undersand and I can watch them over and over, I love the different types of beads you have shown me how to create that the possibilities are endless on projects. I have had alot of compliments on projects I have sold some as well and thanks to you Cindy I have learned how to let go of my creations lol. I do get attached to them but my pride in my work and limited space allows me to let go. I have also started to dabble in metal clay that i will include in my projects and insert my polymer clay into such as sterling silver bezels. oh the possibilities are endless. Cindy you have taught me how to make homeade bezels which I so love and I love the projects with the spoons as bezels (havent started on that yet), I have also created hair barettes, hair combs, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, keychains and I have learned to use just basic tools, as I said I get so lost that I forget my left shoulder pain. My shoulder socket has deteriorated and needs to be replaced however I am not ready for that at this stage of my life, I am 45 years old so I can bear with it for awhile. I have purchased alot of your past videos in the library and I like the fact that I can as I stated before watch them over and over. I like the fact that I can create at my own pace and I have to admit when I am creating I do not have to take my medication (medication as needed) as often. I get so absorbed that my mind into what I am doing. (my brain only processes pain if I am not concentrating on other things) I can watch tv and I hurt, but if I am concentrating and into something my mind does not process the pain. If I could just work on my beads and clay all day long I would but I have to work too lol. I am so happy I had started to do this it has become my passion in my spare time and I am so looking forward to the new year and new projects. Thank you for coming into my life Cindy and Doug and I am so glad there are people in the world like you to help not only make my pain bearable but to also help me and inspire me with creations that not only I get to enjoy but others as well. It is affordable and one of a kind creations as no matter what I create no two items are exacly alike. They may be simialr but no two beads are identical.

  16. While reading the above comments I realized that tears where flowing down my cheeks. So many stories that deal with overcoming the sad and sometimes horrid things that just being alive brings to our own front door

    My story is much like all the others. diagnosed with Chronic Pelvic Pain Disease (feels like period pain 24/7 that only morphine will help) over 12 years ago I actually had to give up playing with polymer clay because I no longer could turn the handle on my pasta maker without increasing my pain level.
    This did not however stop me from reading every book and article I could get my hands on. So after years of surgeries (that did no good) and finally getting my disability we were able to afford a motor for my pasta machine – WOW that was what did it, I was back in action.
    From those years of reading Cindy’s site, a membership here was next on my “please can I have list” What convinced me that this was the best place to be was the kindness and caring for one another that came over the net loud and clear. I totally love it here, Thank you Cindy and Doug for all your hard work I pray that this site continues to support your family so you guys never have to quit. What you guys do for us is awesome and I am grateful

    • Sherry ! What a blessing – a motor. Some of us don’t appreciate the ole pasta machine as much as you do. Makes one think, huh? Yeah for YOU !!

  17. So many of your stories are so touching and I just wanted to say ‘Thank you for sharing’. My sincere sympathy goes out to each of you that have suffered loss, grief, depression and physical pain… and a myriad of other difficulties, but it’s so great to read here how each of you has not allowed these things to steal creativity and beauty from your lives. What strong women you are!

  18. Cindy and Doug,

    I forgot CONGRATS on the book and I wish you well with the launch, well deserved, please keep your website going with great new projects, I am so looking forward to this new year.

  19. Congratulations on the book launch!!!!!! After reading the comments above, I am reminded that the things that I feel are wrong in my life are so tiny and unimportant as to be ridiculous. Sometimes during this end of the year period it’s hard to see the accomplishments from the list of things that haven’t been done. I wish a happy New Year to everyone of my friends here and especially to the Lietz family, and look forward to the clean blank slate that 2012 is.

    Congrats again on your book, I hope it becomes a best seller!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Cindy and Doug – congratulations on your book. What a fantastic day it will be, when your book hits the stores. You two must be so happy and you deserve to be, for what you give to us here.

    I encountered physical disability in 2003. This was just a few years after divorce and then empty nesting. My entire life was turned upside down by the divorce and I was just getting back to rights again when disability hit, on top of fibromyalgia that I already had, and I was lost in a deep, dark place. I groped along, trying to find my way, but couldn’t get my bearings again. About a year and half ago, I found polymer clay. I dabbled in it a bit but didn’t grasp its’ full potential. Then one day last spring I stumbled upon Polymer Clay Tutor and started following the blog. Everyone was so kind and, it seemed, genuinely caring. The atmosphere was so positive and upbeat. Before long I started to feel positive again. I started welcoming each day. I became totally immersed in the clay and it’s possibilities. I am now a member of PCT and wouldn’t willingly give it up. The community is as genuinely caring as it seemed to be from the beginning. I now see light, where I once only saw darkness. Friday has become my favorite day of the week. As far as I’m concerned, Cindy and Doug have wrought a miracle in my life and I’m an avid supporter of them.

    If I had your phone number I would call you personally to thank you. Since I don’t, I’ll say it here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for giving me possibilities. Thank you for guiding me back to the light. Thank you for giving me hope :)

    Angela M.

  21. 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.

  22. What is this with nurses and polymer clay addictions??? I’m an RN, too, although currently I have the joy to be teaching science at my daughter’s school. Polymer clay has been very therapeutic for me, also, as I seem to suffer periodically from depression. The colors you can create with it and the magic that happens when you first slice into that cane you made and the glasslike shine that happens after sanding and buffing … well I can go on and on about how wonderfully cool this stuff is…
    Fridays are always a treat because of Cindy and Doug’s videos.

    Thank you guys! Happy New Year to the whole Lietz family. I’m very excited about your book project!

  23. Hi Cindy and all,
    just looked at your lovely video re your book launch.
    I just loved it.
    You are so beautiful, and I had tears in my eyes watching you. Not to mention that you look very like my youngest daughter, as she has long black hair and glasses like yours, amazing.
    ( she is older tho)
    Thanks for doing that, as you may remember I once asked if you would show yourself in the videos, and now seeing this it has been worth waiting for. Just georgeous.XX
    Now as to why we start or find Polymer clay, or other passions, many times it is through other adversities when we find ourselves needing to forget the horrors of losing someone or illnesses that are too hard to bear, so if we dont want to fall in a heap or spend the rest of our lives in depression like feelings, the only way is up.
    Among other things I make sculptured fabric dolls.
    I took up this passion when my DH died 8yrs ago now. It helped me get through the first tough years on my own.
    One day I was looking for supplies and found TLS ,at that time for making fairy wings.
    It was just a start, I went further and found out what Polymer Clay was, and as they say I was hooked.
    I joined a Poly Guild here in OZ, even going to a retreat, when I sure didnt know much, but as I like to try new things was really taken with polymer clay, found it to be a rewarding way of getting me through those first years without my man.
    So much to learn, and get pleasure from that ,instead of falling in a heap, I have blossomed with Cindys Tuition which I found in my resourcing, and have never looked back.
    I have made a new life, and have become my own person, made new friends, and even teach a bit of Polymer clay, firstly to keep myself focused then to try to introduce others to this amazing product.
    One thing I dont do is show my Cindy Videos to my clients. I try to encourage them to come here to see for themselves.
    I have had only a few few succeses with that, wish I could do more there
    Anyway, thanks again Cindy for your lovely Video, you too have come a long way from your start, and the book launch is just another feather in the process.
    Love to you all
    HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!
    Elizaabeth K. XXX

  24. I to have found working with polymer clay is great therapy. I have bipolar disorder, cronic lower back pain from a birth defect, and fibromyalgia. When my fibro isn’t acting up, I can somewhat escape my back pain working with my clay. Or if I’m a bit manic, it helps calm me down.

    When I first started coming here to Cindy’s, it was a daily blog and the Friday tutorials. At first I just lurked for a while. I didn’t know much about claying yet and I didn’t know anyone here. I gained courage and I finally posted some questions. Suddenly I had answers, from about a half dozen people. It felt like I had come “home”. There was so much information here! And such wonderfully friendly people. Many in the same boat as me. Soon after I subscribed to Cindy’s Tutorials and the rest is history as they say.

    Coming here also got me to finally get on facebook. A place where I have become even closer friends with members from our community here. We share lots of laughs, sorrows, and photos of our polymer clay art.

    I can’t thank you enough Cindy. You have taught me so much, and continue to do so! I love learning from you! I try to pay it forward by directing people new to the medium here. I tell them how much they can learn, and how inexpensive it is to sign up for your tutorials. I promote you Cindy, when ever I can!
    I hope you, Doug, Willow and Fisher have a great 2012!!! Happy New Year!!!

    Peace, Love, and Clay,
    ~Lisa :)

  25. Cindy, I look forward to your videos every week and I have learned so much from you. This past year has been a very bad one for me due to heart and heart issues. I am determined to make it a better year this year despite those issues. I loved seeing your studio and I must get my studio back in order which is a challenge because I do so many different types of crafts from cards to children’s clothing. Thank you so much for all you do.

    LindaKay of Vineyard Creations

  26. WOW !! All your stories are so uplifting ! Like Ken, I feel my owies are so insignificant ! What a wonderful Clay group this is. THERE IS NO ONE BETTER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Congrats on your book launch. !! I can hardly wait to get your book. Your whole family is so busy, how did you get time to write a book ? Polymer clay is THE BEST THERAPY THERE IS ………

    i, Too. stumbled upon PC. How lucky we all are to have the Lietz Team in our lives . I would not leave it for anything, period……….

    The very best of luck on you book, and have a Wonderful 2012. Happy dance.-.-.-.

    (Gosh, this sounds like a commercial, doesn’t it? WELL< it is………..

  27. THANK YOU EVERYONE! I am sitting here reading through all your amazing stories of strength and courage and find there is a lump in my throat and tears welling up in the corners of my eyes. It has been an incredibly challenging year for our family, trying to make this business happen but it is nothing compared to what many of you are dealing with on a day to day basis.

    I find myself humbled by your words and honored by the fact that this sweet little community could bring such peace and serenity into your lives. You are not the only ones to find therapy in what is happening here. I too have found working with polymer clay and sharing with the clay family we have built here together, to be a wonderful art therapy for my stresses and overwhelms as well! I can not thank you all enough for making this all happen. There is no community without YOU.

    Happy New Year Everyone! Cheers to an invigorating and inspiring 2012!!

  28. Hi Cindy and Doug

    Just a quite note to wish you a very happy New Year! Your book launch sounds fantastic, very many congratulations! I hope it brings you more success than you’ve been hoping for and greater rewards than you’ve even dreamt of.

    I wondered if you’d be having a dvd in the back with a few sample videos, ala computer books et al, but probably not, as it would have the world beating a path to your website and Doug would have to get a much larger server!!

    Luv ‘n hugs to you both – here’s to a more peaceful New Year!

    Marion

  29. The first time I even thought about polymer clay beads was when hurricane Katrina came to my town. I had just bought my first magazine and when my husband said we had to leave, this is what i took. During the time my friend was struggling keeping herself together at the local hospital knowing how bad the storm was, I had to get my mind off the fact she was still here when we left town. So, I pulled out my magazine and got some clay and the first thing I made was mokume gane. I jumped in head first. It was so much therapy for me keeping my mind off my friend. Of course we all lost everything we owned, but I had my rainbow at the end of the tunnel. My friend was ok, my family was ok, yes we lost everything we owned, but I learned that it is all just “stuff” and the important things are family and friends. God just took care of the clutter. I never looked back and I love making my beads and love watching your videos. You make it simple, easy to understand and you sit there and think…”Wow, I bet I can do that”. Thank you for all you do for us and teach us. If you remember one thing,remember life is short, love your loved ones today, more than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.

  30. Congratulations on your book launch Cindy and Doug. I plan to watch and get it right away. I was so overwhelmed by all of the stories of some of our Clay family that I really feel blessed. After a neck fusion surgery, lower back surgery, two torn rotator cuffs and surgery, Gall bladder surgery, Hysterectomy, Hernia and bladder surgery I retired with my basic Polymer Clay supplies all ready and waiting. I knew what I wanted to spend my time doing to take my mind off of my pain and keep a positive attitude. My world exploded on Oct. 2nd this year when I was in a front end collision and had my car totaled by a person who disobeyed a traffic light and was on a cell phone. I don’t know if I will ever be able to walk very far and do all the things I could before but the Clay play and tutes have kept me excited and I have learned so much since joining. The mind seems to get so focused on the creativity, it is a little easier to forget the pain and discomfort for a little while. Everyone here is so willing to help and support each other from Joyce who sent me the glow in the dark clay because I couldn’t get any, to Natalie who tries so hard to get her projects right, Linda, Monique and others who give such great tips, and all the rest of this wonderful clay family, blessings for a wonderful 2012, and of course our wonderful teachers, Cindy and Doug who make this all possible. Little did you know when you started all this how much you would be loved and blessed by all of us!

  31. Hi Cindy & Doug,

    Happy New Year! I’d like to share my experience of this wonderful craft medium.

    I started making polymer clay jewellery in June this year and gave a pair of earrings to a friend who wanted to know how I had made them so I showed her. Soon we were both totally addicted to swirling different colours and incorporating the simple canes I had made into our designs and we were beginning to dream about getting good enough to start our own business. I loved the fact that I could ‘lose myself’ and forget all the stresses of everyday life (which were considerable!).

    My friend however found the whole experience completely life changing. Denise was in quite a bad way due to various difficulties but polymer clay has changed all that. Denise had no idea that she had artistic talent and was amazed by her ability to choose wonderful colour schemes and to produce beautiful creations. Not only that but while taking our jewellery around to shops to promote it, get feedback and possible sales Denise met somebody who helped her find a new place to live (she was on the verge of being homeless) and introduced her to a whole new set of supportive friends. She can hardly believe the transformation this past 6 months has wrought! We may not have become a business success quite yet but it has certainly been a lot of fun and yes, definitely therapeutic. And all thanks to polymer clay! Much love and thanks for your lovely website, Helen (UK)

  32. I am new to Polymer Clay (over the last 6 mo) I have been reading and purchasing books and supplies to start my own home business. I have been house bound and sick for years and finally have found a Dr. to help me and am getting on the mend, a home business would help me to be creative which is a gift I have, but be able to work on my timetable and as my health gets better to help keep me productive. I also have a disease that causes some pain and circulation problems so I am planning to purchase an electric pasta machine, I am wondering which type or brand is recommended?

    Thank you for all your helpful tips and for taking your time to read this and answer me back. Hopefully I too will be a productive Polymer Clay Artist soon.

    Blessings,

    Deby

    • Hi Deby,

      I’m happy that your condition is improving. That’s always good news.

      As far as pasta machines go, I got mine at Joann’s. It’s a fabric and craft store. It was in the polymer clay section and has 7 thickness levels ranging from 1 which is thinnest and 7 which is thickest. It will roll sheets of clay approximately 5 inches wide. I’ve also seen them at Michael’s craft store. Makins, which you can find online, has a pasta machine that has non-stick rollers and will roll extra wide sheets which would be good since you want to start a business. Just be sure that after you’ve used a pasta machine for clay you never use it for food. Alternatively you can do an online search for pasta machines and probably find many other options. Amazon might have some at a good price. I’ve also heard from quite a few people that they’ve purchased their machines at garage sales. You don’t need one that has a lot of attachments either.

      I hope this helps you in your search and good luck with launching your business.

      Angela M.

    • Hi Deby,
      I’m happy to hear you’re on the mend, and delving into polymer clay. I’ll bet you’ll reap all sorts of benefits once you get your pasta machine (PM) motor and really dig in to Cindy’s fantastic lessons. She’s such an amazing tutor, so you’ll be making gorgeous items for your home business in no time at all — especially since you’re already creative…

      Regarding PM motors, use the search box under the blue menu strip at the top right of the page. Type “pasta machine motors” or the like, and you’ll get a list of relevant posts with tips from Cindy & others (in the comments section.) Here’s an article to start…Is a Pasta Machine Motor Necessary?

      The most popular PM/motor brands are Makin’s and Atlas. The other posts will give you more info about them, including where to buy online — many places, including polymer clay supply stores like Polymer Clay Express. Best of luck finding a good buy, and feel better soon!

      Hi Cindy,
      Congrats on putting out a book! That is amazing. As you know, I am one of your adoring fans, having discovered you a couple years ago. I also suffer from constant pain and depression. Polymer clay is such a soothing medium. Some of the most wonderfully nice & kind people ever are part of this community Cindy’s built, and being a part of it made my life better. Especially in the beginning, when I was quite lost & lonely, with unbelievable pain and disabilities I wasn’t sure I could handle. Finding this place and sharing a love of polymer clay with others (who also found it therapeutic) was a lifesaver for me. I already had PC basics down, so I also found pleasure in “helping” around the blog. Cindy’s tute’s taught me even more, and made me a better artist, too. Things have not been good for lately, though…keeping me from coming around as much. Still, I find comfort in reading everyone’s blog posts and stories of how our favorite medium has enhanced people’s lives and blocked out their pain. There are some brave people here, dealing with difficult things — my best to you all!

      I still can’t watch the videos on my Vista PC, but I’ll get there once I get through the other obstacles life’s been throwing me. Anyway, I just wanted to say “Thank You…There are some incredibly kind & generous people here, Cindy and Doug leading the way. I hope you all know how much I appreciate you!
      Happy New Year, everyone, and best of luck with Cindy & Doug’s new book!
      Hugs, Kat

      • Hi KAT and All of You!

        I’m still here Cindy, and peek in where time permits. Life has been hectic, and trying at times. However, Polymer and your Love, will always remain as part of my world. Unlike KAT, I’m fortunate to be able to push myself into all of my projects. However, I’m still into clay, and doing more projects. It’s such an awesome medium, and now I’m incorporating it into all of my Jewelry Making endeavors. Art is such a Blessing to us all.

        KAT, don’t give up, and know that I will include you into my prayers. Never give up, because that is when we lose. I’m been fortunate to have my faith — my Blessings (all of my Artistic interests), and some wonderful art friends. My health is much better than most, but the Asthma, COPD, and Tremors are still there. When I read letters such as yours (KAT), I realize that I’m fortunate to (at least) be able to throw myself into my art. It has brought me such a long way, Praise Jesus! Trust, and don’t give in. Amen!

        Thank you Cindy, and Doug too, for not being selfish with your expertise. Many times, people just allow you to have a piece of the pie. The way one knows a true artisan is — he/she is not afraid to put themselves out there, and under the microscope. We are fortunate that you are grounded.

        Sincerely,

        DIANA/MERMAID

    • Hi Deby
      In regaurd to pasta machine’s and their motors:

      I’ve been through 2 of the silver pasta machines
      and one silver colored motors – none of these lasted very long
      —- luck of the draw maybe?

      I’ve had the Makins PM w/teflon rollers – I’d give it 2 out of 5 stars
      ———- it sheeted out unevenly
      the 2 Makins Motor I bought only 1 star – lasted less than 6 months each
      - not sure why I thought the 2nd one would be better than the 1st :(

      So I saved every cent I made at the craft market one year
      and when Polymer Clay Express 1st put their D.R.E.A.M.
      Machine
      and motor out for everyone to see I fell in luv!!
      and have never looked back – the price tag in the beginning
      was a wonderful deal for those that pre-ordered
      can’t remember exactly when I rcvd it but it seems like 3 years
      I’ve had Zero Problems with it ! AND Wilma built it for polymer clay
      NOT pasta—she and her husband Rob own PCE – it’s up north somewhere
      if I ever get up that way I’d like to meet them in person

      Hope this helps – ((disclaimer : all times listed are kind of fuzzy due to meds ;D ))

      • Tantesherry your right about the DREAM machine. I won one last Mothers Day in their drawing and absolutely love it. Their is no comparison to the other “pasta” machines. I also went through 2 of the Makins and was really disappointed in their performance. The DREAM machine is a little pricey but it is worth the investment. I had just about half the money saved up when I won the machine. PCE really stands by their products too! It’s nice to meet someone else who enjoys the DREAM. ;=)

        • Lucky girl Dixie Ann! What a blessing! Congratulations!

          I’m another fan of the DREAM machine. I just received one for Christmas from my husband and it is everything I hoped it would be! I’ll be saving up for the motor, but even without it, it turns so much easier, smoother and the sheets are uniform! I also love, love, love being able to make wider sheets, but the clincher for me is how easy it is to clean the blades.

          It’s well built and least but not last, it’s pretty! Shiny silver and black! lol

          • Hurray! another DREAM machine owner. don’tcha just love it! Congratulations what a wonderful Christmas present. I
            too am saving up for the motor. (sigh)

      • @ Tantesherry….PCE is in Damascus, Maryland, about 30 minutes from me. I get down there every few months and am drooling for a D.R.E.A.M machine! Everyone there is so nice. Glad you like your machine and Dixie, I am very jealous you won one 8^)

        • Jan don’t give up. I think they give one away every year. If you purchase $50.00 they enter your name in a drawing. A gal from California won one after me. I got a group of gals together and now we all order from them. Keep checking their website. I won mine for Mothers Day.

          • PCE is about twenty minutes from my house and I so fell in love with the store. It has everything a person needs for their creative minds. I am hoping I can win a DREAM machine that would be nice. When I go I have alot of interaction with the owners daughter what a lovely person. The people there are very well diversed in the different mediums that they sell and they DO stand by their products. I have never had a problem whenever I go there I just wish I could walk there lol. Thank goodness my sister lives in Damascus. I am saving up for a DREAM machine and other little odds and ends to expand my creativity. It is so nice to see others that are very inlightful and allow me to see that I am not alone and that others too find that working with polymer clay is very soothing and rewarding.

            Cindy and Doug keep up the good work and keep tuteing away I am anxiously waiting for Friday to come.

  33. Hi Cindy end Doug!! 

    Wishing you a Happy New Year!! And a Congratulations on your book!!! 

    I still watch your videos and learning so much from you!! Thank you!!!

    I’m still claying sometimes but not much. :) In October i went to Germany for polymer  clay workshops. It was amazing!! I learn a lot and i met so many nice people.  

    I wanted to post a picture from my latest project but i don’t know how to do it hear. It is on my Flickr but it’s hidden for only friends. :( End it is a mixed media thing. 

    • Hi Alexa,
      You can post photos of your Cindy-inspired work on her Facebook Page (Polymer Clay Bead Making Tutorials.)

      I’m happy to hear you’re still watching the tutes and able to go to workshops. I remember reading your Spotlight article back when I first started “lurking” around this site (in late ’09.) I was inspired by you & your work — “Polymer Clay Happy Distraction – Coping with Disability.”

      I was also moved by your story…and how you found ways to create lovely pieces despite such a painful disease. I hope your treatment is going well, and that there are better ways to manage the pain nowadays. I remember you also had a hard time finding certain materials & supplies. I hope they’re easier to get now, wherever you live (still in Belgium?) Seems polymer clay gets a little easier to find, as others discover this fabulous medium. Anyway, my sincere hopes and wishes that you’re feeling well!
      Hugs, Kat (Riverside, CA, USA)

  34. hi cindy,Even I would like to tell that after joining to this clay community, I feel very happy & joyful whenever iam doing polymerclay projects, atleast while making polymerclay Idont have to think about any other things.so its really a wonderful therapy. wishing all of my freinds & cindy ” A Very Happy New Year 2012.

  35. Oh Cindy,
    How I wish I had known about ploymer clay five summers ago. I got involved with a group of young people who had both mental and physical disabilities. We wanted to create 7 huge mosiacs (depicting our local area) to hang on the walls of a new building.

    We had great fun out in the sunshine smashing up the tiles that had been donated for the project and turning them into works of art. (Sweating in goggles and gloves) and getting gloriously messy with the adhesive and grout.

    It was brilliant to watch my students so involved in this project that they were completely immersed in their creations. Even forgetting that they couldn’t see they FELT the different colours. I was amazed at this” Art Therapy” and we had a wonderful summer together.

    I was asked to become their ceramics tutor, as they all loved working with clay but due to ill health and family commitments I had to decline. Sadly they had no kiln so all their work was stacked on shelves awaiting a time when it could be fired and glazed at a nearby school.

    This never happened as no friendly school could be found to do this task.The youngsters lost heart and the workshop was disbanded. How sad I felt for them when I later found this out.

    How different it would have been if we could have worked with POLYMER CLAY.

    So it got me thinking about the difficulties faced by partially sighted people. It might take me quite a while but I have started making micro mosiacs with a colour key using different shapes ie:
    RED = square
    BLUE= triangle
    YELLOW= circle etc. etc. Not sure when or how I will find the time as have sooooo many colours and shapes to work through and will also have to figure to best way to make the framework with raised guidlines.

    But I am sure that looking through Cindy’s Library a flash of inspiration will hit me like a bolt of lightning.(This usually happens when I watch Cindy’s tutes!!!)
    Cindy, I am sure that everybody who reads your forthcoming book will love it, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and am sure that Doug’s input will be brilliant. Well done to you both, knew you had to do it. ………………………….Cheers xx ……….. Have a brilliant 2012 everyone

  36. Having just put my daughter and her family including two very lively young grandchildren on a plane home to central Texas, I am dealing with my sadness as I often do by logging on to this, my favorite site. It’s really something how so many of us find what we need here, be it friendship, support, solace, a creative push, a smile, a relief from whatever it is that life is throwing at us at any given time; and this is above and beyond the gifts provided by Cindy and Doug that we look forward to weekly with eager anticipation..

    Over the last hour I have given myself the gift of reading every beautiful touching word and story written here. I am touched and moved to my core by the bravery of so many and pray that each of you who are struggling find healing and peace.

    Cindy and Doug, I couldn’t be happier for you as you take the next step into the publishing world. Leave it to you two to recognize the power of connection and healing in this wonderful little community of ours all centered around little magic packages of clay. I can’t wait to read how you capture the meaning and joy expressed by so many.

    To all of my friends here please know how much you mean to me and I wish each of you a year of everything wonderful. I look forward to another year of learning, laughing, sometimes crying, and always enjoying the power of connecting we share.

    Love,
    Elizabeth

  37. What a great idea! I think I can make a contribution about the way Polymer Clay positively affects lives. After working in managerial positions in New York for decades, I was scared to death thinking about having to retire. But, after I was so lucky to be introduced to this absolutely fantastic medium called Polymer Clay and traveling down this exciting road of daily discoveries and experiencing the infinite possibilities of applications and techniques, I was not only no longer scared, I could not wait to retire. I then dedicated the next few years entirely to working with PC, I almost lost my friends, got very little sleep, but I was happy as a lark!

    Then came the real challenge. After living most of my life in the United States, ten years ago, I was crazy enough to marry the Mayor of my home town in Germany, spending most of the time there. What a big shock: workaholic husband, no friends, missing very much the American way of life and my friends. The only thing saving me from a terrible depression, was and is, of course, Polymer Clay and my many visits to my Apartment in New York. To me this wonderful medium is a life saver, plus, I have never spent a boring moment after I discovered it, it makes me happy, content, get’s my creative juices flowing, my friends and customers love my creations, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

    And you, dear Cindy, make it that much more enjoyable and fun, helping me discover, even after 20 years of claying, new ways and techniques to get lost in this “Wonderful World of Polymer Clay”! Thank you and Doug for sharing your many talents! Keep it coming.

  38. Hi Cindy & Doug,

    I hope you had a nice Christmas and New Years. I first want to say YOU made it possible for us to have a Christmas this year!!!! You are probably wondering HHMMM how did I do that??? Right ??? Here it goes. (Sorry I am not an author so please bare with my story telling)

    My husband has worked at Polaris Industries for 22 years, about the 12th of December, he was told his employment would end on Friday the 16th of December. Now we knew he would be losing his job, Polaris has moved the Osceola, WI Mfg Plant to Monterrey, Mexico, we were told that since Jon (my husband) had helped with the move (going to Mexico every other week for six months), he would retain employment until March 2012.

    When you are told you were going to have a regular paycheck until March, why worry? Right? We had a financial plan in place to start in March 2012, but needless to say, it didn’t work out the way we had planned.

    Now he started collecting unemployment December 29th and had a one week paycheck the week of Christmas, of course insurance premiums and 401K payments had to be taken out which left a whopping $290.00 – of that half of the house payment was taken out.

    So Christmas shopping that I always wait until the last minute to do, was not going to happen this year. We sat down with the kids (we have 2 teenagers), and explained we would not be exchanging gifts this year and that Christmas is not about what’s under the tree but who is around the tree.

    Both of them said they understood and decided that we should take there old iPods and MP3 players and bring them to a homeless shelter for the kids who really didn’t have anything. I was the proudest mom in the world what great kids I have. Still I could tell they were a little disappointed about Christmas.

    I should probably mention that I am a stay at home mom, I have just started selling my clay jewelry at Art and Craft Fairs about four months ago. I had 2 craft fairs booked one on December 17 and one on December 18.

    This is where you come in… I made a few (50) Christmas Spiders I had sold 2 or 3 but not many up until the last 2 shows before Christmas. Cindy I sold everyone of them for $20 each. I had people placing orders for these cute little spiders.

    I had to watch your video four times to be able to write the story down so everyone could have a copy with the spider. You have to know the story or the spider is just a spider, instead of a Christmas Spider.

    I made enough money to cover my costs and still surprise our kids for Christmas. And if I hadn’t watched your video explaining the story and showing how to make them, I would not have made enough for a truly miraculous Christmas.

    To think I almost didn’t watch that video because I am not that into Halloween, and I truly thought they were Halloween Spiders. What a wonderful surprise I had when I did finally watch the video.

    You can bet that I sometimes wait up late on Thursday nights to see what the next tutorial will be about. I don’t even wait until the coffee is done brewing on Friday (if I fall asleep on Thursday night) to watch the newest creation.

    I forgot to tell you we did take the Ipods and MP3 players to the homeless shelter, but we also picked up some new gifts for the children at the shelter. This was the best Christmas we ever had and it was just one of your awesome tutorials that made it happen.

    Thanks so much for all you do and sharing your wonderful knowledge and ideas with the world Cindy and Doug. You honestly have touched more than a few hearts in “smalltown” WI..

    Now for the main reason I wanted to contact you… please could you send an email to let me know when my membership fees will be due? I want to make sure there is money in the right account at the right time… I can’t afford to miss even one tutorial… LOL. Thanks again for everything.

    • Kelli this is an amazing story! I am extremely impressed with you and your family’s resilience in times of uncertainty. By accepting your situation and not only choosing to be generous as well as inventive, you have created a wonderful memory of abundance for your family, instead of one of worry and lack. You deserve continued success. Who knows… maybe this hardship is an opportunity in disguise? Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us!

  39. Kelli, I was very touched that you chose to share your special Christmas experience with us. How wonderful that you and your family were able to take a challenging, life-changing event and turn it to such a positive and uplifting outcome! I too was a SAH mom for many years, and I remember how worried I was that my boys would remember only the lack of “big” presents many Christmases. Thank goodness children are so open to seeing the good side of everything. How thrilled you must be with the attitude your teens chose!

    • Monique- It was so heart wrenching that we got the response that we did from the kids.. At times I had wondered if they might just be way too spoiled to understand that there are so many kids in the world with so much less than them, but they proved to us that they are actually the most thoughtful and caring teens.. My daughter is a pen pal with one of the children from the shelter now.. My daughter said ” Karla and I are going to college together mom, and you and I are going to make spiders and sell them online to pay for her college..” That sounds great I thought, I hope its not Harvard or Yale..LOL We will see what happens but for right now my kids are my inspiration.. Have a great day..

  40. Thank you all for your heartfelt stories of recovery and healing. I am so amazed with each one of you and all that you have taught me about strength and a positive outlook on life. This is yet another one of those times when the teacher becomes the student.

  41. Wow, Kelly I am so moved and so proud of all of you. You set an example. I’ll bet those spiders were superb.

    Polymer clay has helped me out several times. When first disabled, at home in in pain, my nieces discovered it and we so looked forward to clay time. It kept them close, and gave my Mom, who had cancer, the ability to stay in the same room and watch. Lots of laughter in that room.

    Later when I moved to elderly disabled housing, it helped keep me creative and involved. All my little goodies went into a big green willow basket, carried to satisfy all gift obligations. Birthday, anniversary, congratulations, Christmas…..hit the basket and pick out your gift. Folks loved it.

    Then after Mom died, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. At the same time, my studio housing unit was expanded to a one room bedroom *yay* but had to pack away the clay for the transition.

    By the time I got resettled, my hands and balance were in pretty tough shape. A new angel appeared….Cindy Lietz (and family) with her internet based tutorials. Under her guidance, I began claying all over again, starting with her basic courses. Hallelujah, how great was that, relearning and eliminating a lot of mistakes that were present, making the claying that much easier and more focused.

    Now, I live for this site…..the tutorials are fabulous and to be able to learn at a steady pace with the actual video to watch over and over. Love pictures, and being able to see others work and creativity as they take off after the lesson posted at the Facebook site. Best, a wonderful group of folks who participate with me.

    Could not ask for more, and owe Cindy, Doug, Willow, and all of the rest of you such thanks.

    It’s fun here.

  42. Hi Cindy, I am writing from Switzerland.

    Long time ago… in December 1974 I was searching for some material that would not cost too much to create Christmas decoration. I found it in my own kitchen: salt, flour and water. I put all those things together into a dough and began to form lots of nice ornaments for our first Christmas tree after I got married few weeks ago…. I got so excited about all those wonderful objects so that I wanted to create more and more… I learned from my own and I’ve got lots of compliments that encouraged me to continue. I put figurines into wooden frames, mostly children playing with toys (scenes from an everyday life with three children), but I made also clowns and … angels. I lived my passion almost over 30 years. I sold the pictures on Christmas markets and exhibitions, I also liked to teach other people in making salt-dough figurines. After a figurine is built, it must be baked, painted and varnished…. similar to the polymer clay. Later, when I discovered polymer clay for me I had this sure instinct to be able to form easily some pretty buttons for children’s wear and much more.

    Many years after….in December 2005 it was found that my lungs was full of embolism – the reason why I felt so bad over many years and found no answer for – I could have died! Finally, my illness is serious and cannot be cured, but I’ve got a good medication that made me feel a bit better. Actually, I am suffering under a chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension after pulmonary embolism (CTPH), that was diagnosed 9 months later only. I wrote down my story to help other people who suffer under breathlessness to get their earliest diagnose. Further, I had to give up my full time job as sales and marketing assistant on that I worked in the meantime already for over 12 years. It was not easy to stay alone with all that stuff. But, one day I remembered my early handicrafts and I began to build polymer-clay beads. Still surfing in the internet for more information about how to make ‘Millefiori’ beads I hit upon your website and through that to others showing me so many beautiful things that encouraged me to build flower cane beads in some several style. I completed them with silver parts and finished ear rings and necklaces and became so to a little polymer-clay jewellery.

    Now… it’s time to thank you, Cindy, for all your help and sharing your knowledge with others, I really appreciate that you are now part of my new life – thank you so much

    Best regards to you and especially to all who suffer under protracted illness ….. build the bead, the purpose will come!

    • Sorry, I made a  mistake in my comment above:
      Of course, I wanted to say that after all I became an enthusiastic polymer-clay jewellery artist.

      (I tried to write in English, my language is actually Swiss German – thank you for your understanding.)

    • Hi Margrith
      I began to read your email and could really relate at first because it reminded me of myself around 1974. I was expecting my first baby, we were in our first house and my husband was still a student, so we didn’t have much money. I, too, started making things from flour, salt and water. I made ornaments and a beautiful wreath centrepiece with molded fruit and leaves – I think my mother still has it!

      As I continued to read your post, I related even further because 2 years ago after surgery I suffered from a pulmonary embolism and ‘died’ for a few minutes until they were able to revive me. It’s been a difficult 2 years, but I now feel I have my life back and I am SO enjoying the PC jewelry making. I can’t imagine what it must be like to suffer as you have because just having one PE was horrible enough. I had a filter put in my heart and am now on medication to keep it from happening again.

      I just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year and good health for 2012!!

      Isabel

      • Thank you very much indeed, Isabel, for that you’re feeling with me. I think that for both of us it was not yet the time to die. I’m trying to look ahead now caring for a high quality of life and …. always looking on the bright side of life. – I belief in me and this is the only thing that counts.
        I’m glad to read about your story of salt dough and ornaments… wish I could show you mine. I still have some in the attic.

        I also wish you all the best and a very happy New Year!

        Margrith

        • Hello Again Margrith
          Your attitude to life now is exactly like mine. When you almost lose it, you suddenly realize what’s important and what isn’t. I no longer get upset about small things. I enjoy my friends and family, I LOVE working with polymer clay – I even love all that snow outside!
          If my mother still has my salt dough wreath, I’ll try to take a picture of it. She’s sentimental enough to keep things like that :)
          Keep on enjoying life and let me hear how you’re doing.
          Isabel

          • Hi Isabel, please look at the link behind my name. I put there some pictures of salt dough figurine (Salzteig Figuren) on my website…. enjoy.

            Have a good day Margrith

          • Margrith
            Your ornaments are absolutely beautiful!!! Much nicer than the ones I used to make. It’s inspiring me to perhaps make more ornaments for next Christmas.
            We’re covered with snow and ice here and it’s f-f-f-f-reezing!!! but I’m off to meet some friends in a town nearby for a nice lunch. I’m going to print off the photos of your ornaments to show them. They’re very impressive.
            Enjoy your day!
            Isabel

  43. Hello Cindy and all the wonderful people at this invaluable and great PC site!! Wow I am truly amazed at the unity I can already feel, I feel very happy and blessed to be connecting with all of you. I thank all of you for your wonderful comments, experience and ideas on Electric PC Machines…I am going to look into the DREAM and see if it is something I could possibly afford or save for and then get. Sorry as to have not been on the site since the 1st of the year but I again became ill and was down for almost 2 weeks again…but thankfully God has pulled me through again and I am starting to be able to keep food down which is helping me rebuild my strength again. Cindy and Doug I really see how you are not only PC experts who graciously share your experience and love but you are also lifelines and friendship connections for so many of us struggling in our own unique struggles….I know out of all the sites out their that God Blessed me to Your Site and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! =)

    I do have a question Cindy I watched your video before getting sick that showed us your work room and your storage compartments and I have 2 questions…1) what make are the compartments and by who and 2) can you tell my why you specifically work in Premo clay…..as I am still looking into the differences but was curious as to your answer…..

    Sorry so long and bless all of you, your all in my prayers! =)

    Blessings,

    DebyP

    • Hi Deby, Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I am very sorry to hear that you have been ill. I hope that you have recovered and are back to your vibrant self.

      As far as your questions, the first one about the storage unit was answered in this thread: Polymer Clay Studio Tour

      The second question about why I love Premo is answered in several comparison posts that I’ve published here at the blog. If you type ‘brands of clay’ or ‘best polymer clay’ of ‘clay brand comparison’ into the search box at the top of the page, a list of articles about the comparisons between brands will pop up for you to read.

      You will find that by using appropriate keywords in the search box, most all of your polymer clay questions will probably have already been answered.

      Have fun learning!

  44. Hello, dear Cindy and beautiful Polymer Clay Community:

    Perhaps somebody can give me some advice on how to handle working with Polymer Clay after back surgery and even after the surgery still dealing with two acute herniated discs, which make sitting very painful, if not impossible. Spent the last 4 months mostly laying down and getting so depressed about not being able to clay in such a long time. Pain medication does not seem to work.

    Would love to hear from somebody, who has similar problems, how to handle this sad situation. Thank you for any suggestions.

    • Aw my what a bad space you’re in hon

      I sure hope that after surgery you will start the healing process quickly
      it might help to say to yourself * this pain equals healing *

      to pass the time when I couldn’t clay (before motor) I did a huge amount of reading about our favorite subject polymer clay

      also I’ve seen a few video on you tube where the clay artist stood up the whole time
      maybe they had back pain too—not sure –but it might help you later on

      pop back in often and update us on your progress along the way :)

      • Hello, Tantesherry:

        Love your name! Tante means Aunt in German, so I guess you have some German background? Thanks for writing to me. I did do a lot of reading during my recent ordeal of spending four month in a horizontal position after my back operation. Still very much in pain because I was unable to do the rehab due to my bad hip. So, this will be another tough year, another operation, not being able to get my happy fix with PC, but then things should look up again. We have got to stay positive, sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. But, whenever I am working with Polymer Clay, I forget all of my troubles and am, as Jocelyn said so beautifully, in Clay Heaven!
        Thanks, and be well, Christl

        • Hi Christi

          Check out my picture to the left, see the little boy? That’s my nephew Jason :) My little brother (stationed with the US Army) met and married a wonderful German woman Jacki and when Jason was born they ask me if I wanted to be called Aunt or Tante…I Love being Tantesherry!

          Also you made a great point in your note to Cindy below, reguarding not getting lost in play time and forgetting to get up and stretch and move around. This was a huge problem for me to until I figured out that my MP3 player has a ‘sleep’ mode– so now I set it for 30 min. and it turns itself off. Then I MAKE myself get up and move about:)

          My MP3 is loaded with audio books that are free to download through North Carolina Digital Library— cuz U cant read read and clay at the same time ;)……….also because my eyes get all fuzzy after reading a few hours LOL

          Take Good Care – tantesherry

    • Hi Christl!

      I feel so for you as a fellow sufferer of pain.

      Sitting is the worst for me, so I do as little as possible. Designed all of my work areas and height to allow me to stand and work. I can get quite a bit of stuff done before I have to take a break.

      Also, I purchased one of those “kneeler” chairs, which adjusts in height, and allows me to perch at the right angle, wear the back brace, and again get distracted in clay heaven.

      To speed up the breaks, I lay down with heating pads on the rough spots. Opiates make me fuzzy, so cannot use them around tissue blades.

      Even using a small bed tray and mixing colors is enjoyable for short periods of time. Cindy’s latest tut could easily be broken down in to steps you could do while laying back using a tray.

      The best thing about the crafting with this material is that you can leave it, then resume. I keep a dish towel or a sheet of bubble wrap over the projects so they don’t get forgotten or dusty.

      I wish you the best of luck, and hope for improvement for you.

      • Hi Jocelyn,

        thank you so much for taking the time to answer my mail and for your advice. I just love your expression about getting distracted in “clay heaven”! You are right, when I am in a middle of a project, I can’t stop, creating beautiful things with Polymer Clay works better than pain killers, but when I overdo it I have to pay for it afterwards.

        Standing is a real problem too, because on top of my bad back, I need a new hip desperately, been putting the operation off for years, now I am in real trouble. In other words, I need a new model from top to bottom!!

        I am so sorry you are also have problems with your health and wish the very best for you! Thank God for Polymer Clay, for Cindy and Doug and for nice caring people like you!
        HAPPY CLAYING!
        Christl

    • Sorry to hear you are having some pain issues right now Christl. I used to have some trouble with my back going out all the time, so although my back pain was far less, I have a bit of an understanding for what you are going through.

      I just love the suggestions that Jocelyn gave you. She is very knowledgeable in how to work with polymer with back pain since she has been living with MS and working with polymer clay for many years now. Hope her ideas will help you.

      And Jocelyn, I meant to say this the other day when I read this, but I just wanted to thank you for sharing your practical advice for people trying to work with polymer clay through pain and mobility issues. This is extremely valuable to our community, since there is no better advice than from someone who has ‘been in the trenches’ so to speak. So thank you, thank, thank you for sharing this with all of us!!

      • Dear Cindy:

        Thanks also for writing to me! I know how busy you must be! Don’t know how you are able to take care of your family and still come up with wonderful ideas every week. What an amazing lady you are! We all appreciate you and Doug very much!

        Cindy, we should really let the Polymer Clay Community know, to be aware and be careful not to do do what I did for so many years, keep on working until the morning hours, not being able to stop, working non-stop for hour after hour. One should really take a break every so often, do a few stretches, getting up in between or whatever. I am sure, there are many other crazy PC Enthusiats like me around, who also have to be dragged away.

        Now, I know better, now I can’t ignore my body and pain anymore, but, I have to admit, it’s killing me to not be able to get back to my old bad habits!
        So, HAPPY CLAYING to all of you beautiful people, but please be careful!

      • No problem, Christi….

        Now, I have another solution that might help you but you will need supervision.

        Ever seen those exercise beds that allow you to invert yourself so that you can stretch your spinal column? Here it CT they are always advertised on TV around 4 am.

        If you used one of those, belly down to support your hips, and scootched it close to your work table, I’ll bet you’d be able to prop up your upper mid section and get plenty of range of motion to play with clay.

        You’d want supervision until you felt comfortable getting on it, off it, and perhaps weighting the bottom end so you don’t fly into the sky or get dumped in the clay. Up to you if you felt more comfortable locking your ankles in or going freestyle.

        It would be a great investment, because you could use it now right on up through the surgeries and recovery. Sometimes, all you need is a shift in position or some pull to dramatically lessen pain.

        You could do a lot using one of these because they tip to whatever angle is comfortable.

        Hope this works for you…..if so I owe a big thanks to a paralyzed neighbor here who constantly invents new ways to pursue his model train hobby.

        • Thank you, dear Jocelyn! What an exciting idea!
          Staying up to 4 AM to hear this commercial is no problem for me, I am a real nightowl! However, I am in Germany now and won’t get back to New York until March/April. Then, I am definately checking into this great device you mentioned. Never heard of anything like it in Germany! Sounds great!

          Will probably have my hip replacement done in Germany , if I can wait until June, when I’ll be back in Bavaria. Surgeons are great in both countries, but the rehab is so much better here. Those facilities are like SPAS with several Restaurants, wonderful indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, etc., most excercises are done in the water and you receive great individual care, if you are unable to leave your room. My rehab place after back surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery last November was located .in Manhattan. They gave me yet another herniated disc by forcing me to do excercises my surgeon had strictly forbidden, he only wanted me to walk during the first few weeks after the operation. The management told me, either do the run of the mill excercises or go home or pay $660 per day. Oh, well!

          About my hip and back problems, I have to admit, I really had it coming to me!, Quite often literally sitting without eating or drinking for way over 12 hours working like a nut on a PC projects, day after day, month after months, neglecting everything, and I mean everthing. Well, those days are over and I’ll have to get used to my limitations, which more or less many of us have to deal with. As I hear, you are a shining example of this undestructible spirit, more power to you ,dear Jocelyn, and truly all the best to you!!
          And thanks again for caring and sharing, Christl

          • Christi, found this link for one style of the inversion table. There are others that provide your midsection with more support. Check with your hospital’s therapist…bet they have a source.

            galttech.com/research/health/best-inversion-tables-inversion-therapy.php

  45. Cindy – Thank you and Doug for what you both do.

    Being a disabled stay-at-home pet mommy, claying helps pass many a lonely hour. Yes, I have kids, but they are grown and on their own – have hubby who supports all I do, but seriously, how much hand holding can he do. So, on those nights and days when pain is my constant companion, I turn on my computer and hear, always in a jovial voice, “Hi, I’m Cindy Lietz, your polymer clay tutor…’ All of a sudden a wave of peace and calm enter the room, and I can create…

    Thought you might like to know how you reach out and touch me! You are one of the most creative people I have ever met!

    Thanks!!!!

    PS: Most people always want to know how I got this way-went in hospital for lap surgery. Doc zigged, instead of zagged, and I now spend most of my life in a wheelchair. But, it’s the little things in life that keep me going now – use to be a type a running around person. Now I’m a type a wheeling around person ;) Never give up the fight. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger! True fact! Again, thanks for making my Fridays!

    Rita

    • Rita, I am so sorry to hear this, and hope things improve soon.

      As for dealing with disability, sometimes it makes me stronger.

      Sometimes, it just makes me crankier than all get out, LOL!

  46. Cindy, I just love your tutorials. The length of the videos are the perfect amount of time, and the sound is great too – like the sound on a cooking show – delicious!!!! They are the perfect respite when I need a small break before getting back to work. At this time in my life I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and work with my clay. But stopping for a moment or two and watching a video keeps me excited and inspired and even though I’m working on something else, it energizes me. I think to myself “hurry up and get this work done so I can have some time later this week to practice that technique with my clay.”
    Connie

  47. 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. Well 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.

    • Welcome to our community MountainMaMaDuke! (Cute nick name btw.) Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is amazing how much a little block of colored clay can bring joy into peoples lives. Hope you do join us and start participating in the tutorials. We would love to have you!

  48. My husband tells people that I “play with play dough every day and it makes her happy!” A day where I don’t spend at least an hour in my workroom is a day that somehow seems incomplete. And to think that until the last year or two I didn’t realize I had a creative bone in my body. Go figure! :)

  49. So many stories, and incredibly brave people sharing…can’t imagine what it must be like to tackle physical pain in order to create. I’m very fortunate not to have to experience that kind of physical barrier. Clay has been instead, a huge relief for me in coping with the stress that comes from long term caregiving.

    My husband has been living with ALS for many years (diagnosed in 2001). While we experience the many obstacles/losses, and grieve those over time, the needs and demands increase too. It’s as though you require more and more strength as you are feeling emotionally drained and “tapped out”. It’s helped me carve out space for “me”, I can put it aside at any time and get back to it the same way. Can’t explain it, but when I feel the excitement of creating and shaping something pretty out of clay I feel energized and the rush of this makes me happy and hopeful. It’s a huge bonus when dealing with emotional burn out, to have something this rewarding that also helps lessen fatigue. I love that it engages my husband, Dean too. He’s so supportive and takes interest in everything….the good, the bad and the ugly = ) If something doesn’t quite come out the way it should have, just roll it up…squish out the frustration and start again!

    How thrilling to hear of your book launch Cindy!! I hope it’s the start of many great things for you and Doug. Please keep us posted when it’s available…I have a funny feeling I’m not the only one curious about what’s inside = )

  50. How has Polymer Clay changed my life. Wow, in so many many ways. In 2005 i was in a near fatal car accident, I have been through 14 major surgeries to date over 20 if you count minor ones. Nothing helped the pain, No surgeries not medications therapy. Nothing. Last summer in 2011. I decided to maybe start a hobby. I always loved jewelry so I started buying beads to make jewelry with. I came across an artists selling Polymer clay beads IkandiClay. I was amazed, Once I held it in my hand I had to know more about it, I contacted her, she was amazing. Told me how to start and what to get. So I purchased a great set for beginners including the better quality pasta machine because im handicapped. And bought some clay. Some books, Some online tutorials and went to town. I would sit for hours (mind you I had not been able to sit more than a half hour in over 5 years. I was pretty much bedridden. I realized after a few days I was feeling better, mind and body. I still had some bad days. But more good than bad. My pain is still there, but through my love of the art I found a way to channel the pain into what I create. And needless to say Im in love and hooked. There are very few days that I dont create something. I have over 400 items made and slowly listing them on my sites. I had no clue that it was sellable at first, just thought I found something I loved and was giving it away. Im so happy I found clay. And I am happy I found your site, I have purchased several tutorials and love them. Clay brings me joy and my children, they have learned to love clay days. Such a fun thing for everyone. Im hoping to start having clay bead birthday partys for little girls soon. Im getting ideas together. I have already been asked to teach at a local art store to make beads for women. Im nervous about training adults since I am still new. So I figured I would try children first. See how that goes. I figure If I can create with children I can handle adults. lol Anyways, that is my story. Clay therapy is a life saver and I count my blessings everyday.

  51. Hi Cindy, You are an inspiration to me in more ways, then just the clay. I know every Friday, my tutor is there to knudge me into using my brain and hands , when my body doesn’t want too! Thanks for all you and your family do, to help us clay freaks!

    Btw, just purchased a die cut machine, now to purchase some dies. Looking forward to having fun with those! And I just finished making 3 more clover beads, luv that technique.

  52. HI CINDY. IAM START LEARNING WITH CLAY AND I LOVE IT IAM A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR AND IS HELP ME A LOT WORK WITH CLAY GOT MY MIND BUSY AM LOOKING FORWARD TO BE A MEMBER SOON CAUSE MY TREATMENT IS A LITTLE EXPENSIVE BUT AS SOON I CAN AM GONE DO IT.I LOVE ALL UR WORK UR AMAZING THANK FOR ALL UR WORK GOD BLESS YOU AND REMEMBER SOON AM GONE BE UR NEXT MEMBER.GOOD LUCK AND KEEP DOING AMAZING WORK..HUGS

  53. Thank you for helping me Cindy. I first thought I was going to have my son Danny do these tutorials for his jewelry etsy shop… but, I have been doing them. My little secret. To be honest with you, since my brothers death… and Danny’s last grand mal seizure which resulted in him losing all of his skills that we had worked on for 15 yrs [Danny is Autistic]… me having the chemo with breast cancer… and my mom who is elderly and totally different since my brothers death… I have been extremely sad and depressed. I cry a lot. I think your tutorials have helped me climb a little out of this hole. Nothing else has…. so I keep looking forward to Fridays and playing around because I love the feel of polymer clay. It relaxes me. I can work with it all night when my spine is hurting and raw with pain. It helps. If it weren’t for the kindness of your voice in the videos mixed with your talent and detailed instructions, I would not even be writing. So, for what this is worth… thank you. You truly are saving me one day at a time. Sincerely, Sue

  54. Sue… thank you so much for speaking out. Your words have touched me deeply and I wish you all the best as you work through the challenges in front of you. I’m so happy to hear that polymer clay is helping in such significant way. Take care.

  55. Playing with polymer is part of my physical therapy for Parkinsonism. Since discovering the endless possibilities of this medium, I have found a “medicine” that finally works!

  56. Because Of a Chronic illness I couldn’t work for the last 4 yrs I love art and love making jewelery. After using gems and crystals I though about learning how to make lamp work beads. Then out of the clear blue I discovered polymer clay and CINDY LIETZ. I love doing this and think it is my calling now. I love the way nothing is written in stone. I can explore any colors any technique. I will be here for a long time.

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