Bad Jewelry – Funny Crafts Story About a Mouse Droppings Necklace

Crafty Bag Lady Sharon Shannon

Mistakes are Part of the Learning Process. Learn to Laugh Right Through Them!

Today’s special guest is Sharon L. Shannon, The Crafty Bag Lady (a *very* funny story teller). She describes herself as, “Wife, mother, grandmother, world-class procrastinator, hoarder of art materials, sometimes poet, mostly late and always blessed!” Love it!

If you removed “grandmother” from the list and changed photos, Sharon’s bio would basically work for me too! That’s probably why I get her humor so much.

Anyway, I came across her blog the other day in a Google Alert for jewelry. Since I get a lot of these news alerts, it was the title of the post that caught my eye and caused me to go check her out:

Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to make bad jewelry
(how could you not click on something like this!?)

Well, I don’t know if it was because of lack of sleep or whether I could just totally relate to her crafting experiences, but something inside me ‘snapped’ as I was reading it.

Started laughing so hard that halfway through the post I had to get up to go the bathroom for fear I’d pee my pants! By the time I got to her Fimo Jewelry Project rightly named, ‘Cheerios, pepperoni and mouse droppings necklace’, I was laughing so hard, the tears were squeezing out the corners of my eyes!

Now who knows, you may go read the post and think I’m a little nuts in describing it as being that funny. My family certainly looked at me strange when I tried to explain the jewelry disasters and Sharon’s way of describing them, in between loud guffaws and gut wrenching laughter! In fact I think I saw my daughter roll her eyes and my son say, “It really doesn’t sound that funny mom.”

I guess you’d understand, if you knew how much I’ve been through as a crafter. How many projects have gone terribly wrong and just how many creative ideas got worse and worse as I tried to fix them.

Sharon understands! I bet a few of you others out there understand too! Even if you don’t, I thought you guys would all enjoy reading this post. Especially if you are a beginner and have made some hideous creations of your own.

It can be a huge sense of relief to laugh a little at yourself and enjoy that fact that the crafting process has it’s beauty and it’s tragedies. But man… isn’t it fun along the way!

BTW… If you really would prefer to have a lot less hideous polymer clay beads and a lot more beautiful ones, you really should consider buying my Polymer Clay Bead Making Course. However, it would mean a lot less laughing at yourself, and a lot more patting yourself on the back. So you’ll have to take that into consideration :-)

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Sharon the Crafty Bag Lady, 20 April, 2009

    I am so honored, Cindy! Thanks! And thanks for getting my weird sense of humor, too.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 21 April, 2009

    You are so welcome Sharon! I love your style. Just tickles my funny bone, I guess. Was serious about how hard I laughed. I wasn’t just giving an internet embellished version of ROFLMAO!

    Thanks for writing about me on your blog too! I very much appreciate the shout out!

  3. Rosemary Whittaker, 23 April, 2009

    Thanks for the website Cindy. I enjoy it very much. I am having trouble with some beads I made from Studio by Sculpey Clay. They were round beads I flattened a bit and stamped. I would say they look like coins. I strung them on Soft Touch by Soft Flex wire (Medium). Two attempts and two failures as the wire cuts the beads. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  4. Nettonya, 10 June, 2011

    @Rosemary Whittaker: Hi, Rosemary. It’s very important to make sure that you condition the clay enough, as well as adding the eyelets. The one thing that I have learned from Cindy and others is that the polymers in the clay must line up to add strength to the clay, so just a couple of passes through the pasta machine doesn’t quite do it. I’ve been told that between 15 to 20 passes through the machine are necessary to adequately condition the clay. I would think that a minimum of 10 passes are necessary. It’s good that Jamie has given you the eyelet idea and that Cindy mentioned a longer curing time. Both are very important. Good luck!

  5. Cindy Lietz, 23 April, 2009

    Sounds like they haven’t been cured properly Rosemary. Read the article I have linked by my name for baking information that should really help. Make sure to bake at the right temp for the clay but as you will see in the article, the time will be way longer than the package says, to get a good cure.

  6. Jamie, 24 April, 2009

    Hi Rosemary. If the rebaking or baking longer doesnt work because maybe they are thin? You might try going to the scrapbooking section of the craft store and looking for eyelets. Glue one in on each side and that will protect your clay from the wire. They come in all kinds of colors and shapes, and in metals too! XOXO Jamie

  7. Cindy Lietz, 25 April, 2009

    Great tip Jamie! Thanks for helping out Rosemary!

    Rosemary, you should be able to find some really tiny eyelets that will work great for Jamie’s suggestion. Krazy Glue or Weldbond will work for gluing them in.

  8. Rosemary, 28 April, 2009

    Thanks ladies. I tried the extra baking time, but that did not help. Tonight I bought the eyelets and am trying that. Jamie, do you glue them into the clay prior to or after baking?

  9. Jamie, 29 April, 2009

    Hi Rosemary. I fit them into the clay before I bake them. Then pop them out after they are done and add a drop of Gem Tack or E6000 and put them back in. I havent had one come loose or cause any issues when done this way. And it does save wear on the holes in clay beads. Especially if they are strung on coarse cording or chain. I hope it works for you too. And if the clay continues to give you issues? You might try writing to sculpey about it. They may have some further suggestions for the new formulation in that clay. I havent tried it personally yet, so I couldnt say how it might differ from regular sculpey III or Premo, which are my personal favorites. Good luck! XOXO Jamie

  10. Rosemary, 29 April, 2009

    Wow, Jamie. I can’t believe how much you helped me. Without eyelets the beads were beginning to break in a day. With eyelets, I see no signs of the problem. I was really frustrated because I liked what I had made and they were falling apart. I switched to Premo since it is harder than Studio. I have used it before and like it but I had tried Studio because of the colors. I made my first batch of the eyeleted Premo beads last night and did not have your last comment yet so I baked the eyelets in the beads. Tonight after reading your comment, I popped the eyelets out and glued them. I also made another batch and glued those eyelets back in right away. Thanks, I really appreciate the help.

  11. Jamie H, 30 April, 2009

    Im really happy my suggestion helped Rosemary. I know how frustrating something like that can be. You should have seen me learning to make mobius beads from a book. It was uuugly!! Or trying to figure out what was safe to glaze polyclay with 20 yrs ago when no one knew! I needed Cindy then!! LOL. I dont know how many projects got tossed because they just wouldnt dry!! But dont give up on the Studio clay yet if you like the colors. I would still try going to their website at and see if they can tell you what might be giving you this problem. And I do love my Sculpey III and Premo for beads. Usually a mixture of the two. I just love all the colors of Sculpey, and now with the new ones there are even more. Thank you’s and hugs to Cindy too, for her wonderful website where we can all share and learn! XOXO Jamie

  12. Cindy Lietz, 30 April, 2009

    Jamie and Rosemary, I am just so pleased with what is happening here! The way you two are sharing ideas and support… I couldn’t have imagined anything better for this site and polymer clay community than that!

    The fact that we can all learn from each other in a positive, knowledgeable and supportive environment like this, is a dream come true for me.

    Thank you so much, you two (and all the others who have done the same thing) for making this blog a better place!

  13. Rosemary, 01 May, 2009

    Thanks to you Cindy for having this site available for help. I was so frustrated with those beads and I’m not a quitter. I was, however, out of ideas. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to talk!

  14. MJ, 05 June, 2009

    Cindy and ladies,

    Will try the eyelet idea when I make beads in the future.



  15. Cindy Lietz, 08 June, 2009

    @Rosemary: You’re so welcome!

    @MJ: Let us know how it goes!

  16. Jocelyn, 10 June, 2011

    Linked here from Friday’s email. I sure do miss Jamie. Jamie, if you are out there, pls leave a short message letting us all know how you are….many thanks!

  17. Loretta Carstensen, 10 June, 2011

    Thanks for sharing Sharon’s blog. Been there done that. LOL

  18. KHJ J, 29 September, 2011

    Usually a mixture of the two. I just love all the colors of Sculpey, and now with the new ones there are even more. Thank you’s and hugs to Cindy too, for her wonderful website where we can all share and learn!

  19. Nettonya, 29 September, 2011

    LOVED the blog with the mouse-dropping beads! SO funny! I would love to write things like Sharon does, and in such a humorous way! Her writing is so to-the-point about the way things can turn out for us crafters.

    Not to worry, Cindy! Your kids will tend to be critical of, or confused by you until they’re well into their 20’s. Right now, they don’t “get” you. With a few more years “under their belts”, they will understand better.

    My daughter wouldn’t even SIT with me and her father in the movie theater, when she was 10 -16, because I laughed too loud! I guess she was embarrassed that I could have fun, and sat a few rows and seats away, to show everyone that she wasn’t with “those people”!!!

    Lately, she (now a mother of an almost-four-year-old) told me of hearing this familiar laugh. She looked all around her and realized that it was SHE! (This tells me that she finally “gets” the thing about being a mom and having her own personality, despite what her kid might think of her. And that she appreciates who I was, when she was growing up.)

    Rosemary – you can get very interesting colors by using Cindy’s color recipes and mixing the Premo clay.

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s tutorial and color recipes, Cindy!

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials