Calla Lily Beads in a Rainbow of Inspirational Colors [Q&A]

Polymer Clay Calla Lily Beads Wish my Mom was still here, she loved lilies… think I will attempt a bouquet of these flowers.” ~Jocelyn-C

Lately we have been moving along so fast with new ideas and techniques, that sometimes even I forget about the great lessons that have already been covered! Mary-U reminded us of this the other day with her comment about the Calla Lily Bead Tutorial.

Can’t wait for the opal tute but meanwhile, I’m in love! Just got Volume-016 with the Calla Lily beads! Gorgeous! Trawling around I found a website with such breath-takingly beautiful pics of calla lilies I thought you might enjoy it just for the eye candy and for inspiration too if you’re thinking of doing the beads. I had no idea Callas came in so many colours – four different shades of black, just for starters! Hot pinks and oranges, the Green Goddess of course and so many others. An absolute feast for the eyes and a spur to polymer clayers. And I learned a new word, too: that piece that sticks up in the middle is called a ‘spathe’. The calla lily site is referenced here. ~Mary-U

Cindy, these are great! Wish my Mom was still here, she loved lilies and was one of the few who could get them to grow in her home as potted plants. Home was a jungle, especially in the years we all were in and out of college living situations. She saved more plants… and they loved her for it. As a matter of fact, think I will attempt a bouquet of these lilies to put in one of her miniature vases she collected on her memorial shelf I’ve set up here. It will give me comfort and joy to see them next to her pictures and other memorabilia, daily. ~Jocelyn-C

Today’s photo above, shows a collection of polymer clay calla lily beads as a reminder to go ahead and make some up for yourself if you haven’t already. They are honestly one of my favorite beads!

The remainder of this article will be for Q&A. I’ll be working this format into other upcoming articles as well, so that everyone gets their questions answered effectively, and in a timely manner. The  questions below all have something to do with sourcing supplies.

Q&A-1: Where to Buy Black Anodized Steel Wire:

Where do you buy the steel black wire 19 gauge? I went to Rona and no luck. Do you remember were you got it thanks. ~Cindy-B

Well Cindy, I actually bought my roll of Black Anodized wire at Home Depot. It is sometimes called Tie Wire or Binding Wire, and can be  found in the lumber, fencing, small hardware departments, or where you would find concrete supplies. If you can not find it there, try a Google search. It can be called “steel wire”, “black anodized steel wire’ or a combination of any of those words. It is a very common all purpose wire that is readily available from quite a few different manufacturers.

Q&A-2: Where to Buy Fimo Mix Quick:

Cindy you mentioned a product called Quick Mix in one of your videos. I’ve been trying to find it and cannot find it anywhere. Where is it sold? ~Linda-P

I bought my Fimo Mix Quick at Michaels, Linda. Though for some reason, I haven’t seen it on their shelves lately, in my area. The best way to find stuff that you can’t find in your local craft stores is to do a quick Google search. You are sure to find several online polymer clay stores that would be happy to ship to you.

Q&A-3: Sourcing Polymer Clay in Argentina:

Dear Cindy. I am from Argentina and I need to know where can I get cheaper polymer clay and who send me to my country. Excuse me for my English, it is basic. All information you can help me I will thank to you. Sincerely, ~Sandra-B

Although I don’t have a specific answer for you, Sandra, I am re-posting your question here in hopes that someone else from your country will read it and provide some feedback. Anyone?

Q&A-4: Hardware Stores In Atlanta Georgia:

Hi Cindy, receive regards and hugs from Guadalajara, Mexico. First of all I want to thank you for all the beautifull things you teach us. My Brother is going to Atlanta Georgia next month and I want him to bring me some 20 gage wire like the one you use in your videos I can’t find those here. You said that in any hardware stores we can find them but can you tell me a name? I want to look for them in internet so he can go easily with the adress or buy in internet. I’ve beeing looking for it and haven’t find them yet, Thank you so much. ~Marcela-S

Again, I’m not the best person to ask for local hardware store references in Atlanta. But I know there are members and readers here that may be able to help you. If anyone can provide Marcela with info, I know she would be grateful.

** Calling All Community Members: If you have ideas, answers, tips or stories to share in regards to any of the questions or topics posted above, please add your thoughts below. Everyone’s input is greatly appreciated… both here at this post, as well as anywhere else on the site you see people asking for help.

Your comments are what makes this place such a fun place to hang out and meet so many supportive polymer clay friends.


Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Lisa Whitham, 04 March, 2010

    @Marcela S. – If you can’t find your wire in Atlanta, carries 20 gauge copper wire and ships internationally. My hardware/home improvement stores didn’t have 20 gauge copper wire, so I ordered mine from Jatayu.

    ~Lisa – Michigan, where the snow has been melting – Yay!

  2. Marcela Saldaña, 04 March, 2010

    @Lisa Whitham: Tahk you Lisa so much for your help I´ll try it. Marcela

  3. Elizabeth S., 04 March, 2010

    Marcela S.–like Lisa, I have ordered wire from Jatayu when I wanted to add some bronze 20 gauge to my collection. They have a good selection and my order arrived quickly.

  4. Maureen G, 04 March, 2010

    I also had no luck getting 20 gauge in the hardware stores here in New Jersey. I tries Lowes and Home Depot. I will try Jatayu also. Thanks.

  5. Maria, 04 March, 2010

    I read in a wire working magazine that black anodized steel wire can rust and ruin your wire working tools. They recommend using a different set for working with this wire.
    BTW – thanks to you Cindy, I am now becoming obsessed with wire working. Just went out to a “real” jewelry/watchmaking supply place (felt like such a pro!)and purchased several different gauges of sterling silver wire. I’m making pendants with it. Even my, usually critical of my work, husband likes them :)

  6. Polly Dobbs, 04 March, 2010

    Just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for visiting my blog. Seeing a comment from you made my jaw hit the floor. It was like having a celebrity stop by. lol.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 04 March, 2010

    @Maria: I don’t have high-end jewelry tools so I don’t worry too much about using them with the steel wire, though I don’t use my good flush cutter with it. As far as rusting, that can be a problem in high humidity areas. An excellent spray to use on the wire, which is also compatible with polymer clay, is called PYMII (Preserve Your Memories II). Click the link by my name for more info on that product. — It’s wonderful to hear that you are enjoying the wire and that you’re feeling like a pro. I bet your husband has good reason to be proud of your work!

    @Polly Dobbs: You are very sweet to say that! It was my pleasure! :-)

  8. Phaedrakat, 04 March, 2010

    I haven’t used the steel wire I bought at the hardware store yet, but I’m glad about the reminder not to use my “good” pliers. While I still don’t own my dream set of Lindstroms, I want to keep mine as nice as I can. I’ll use my older ones when I tackle the steel. Unfortunately, I when I searched my Home Depot, I only found the galvanized steel. (The lighter stuff.) But I saw that Ace Hardware (online) has the dark annealed steel wire — I have an Ace store just a few miles away. I’m call them tomorrow & see if they have this wire. I love the look of the dark wire — I’ll be so happy if I can get it so close to home! I’ll report here if it turns out well…

    I’ve never seen Fimo Mix Quick at the craft stores, so I’ve never tried it. I frequently find Sculpey Dilutent, though; so this is what I’ve used. It works great for hard, crumbly clay, or to thin TLS that has gotten too thick. Is the Mix Quick better with PC than Sculpey Dilutent, or are they the same? Is it just a matter of preference?

    BTW, the Calla Lillies are gorgeous — both the real and the polymer! Glorious shape, colors… Beautiful!

  9. Cindy Lietz, 05 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: The nice thing about Mix Quick is that it doesn’t change the consistency too much or make it sticky, but either will do. I have also heard of people using Sculpey Super Flex (Bake & Bend) clay like the Mix Quick is used. Need to order some of that and try it. Hear it also makes the clay more flexible and less breackable when working with thin pieces. Hearsay though, since I haven’t tried it yet.

  10. Peggy Barnes, 05 March, 2010

    The colors of the Cala Lillies are remarkable. I found a site doitbest it is a hardware chain and they also have some international stores. If you go to their site they have a store locator button and if you have a store in your area that is a ship to store you can order any of their items galvanized wire, black wire and some copper wire and not have to pay for shipping. You can still order if no store in you area and they will ship it to you then yes shipping charges have to be paid. You will never guess what else I found they carry, oh yes Buffalo Snow. Now this was on the holiday supply list so maybe they will not have it this time of year. I still have some left if anyone is still without. And the shipping charges are nest to nothing. I am going to contact the store in my area because it is a ship to store and ask them about the hardness of the wire and also about the buffalo snow. I think it was less than $2 for 4 oz. but if you have to have it delivered to your home shipping costs were around $5. Now that is ridiculous. Hope this helps some of you with some wire issues. Hope it helps me!!
    Uuuuuuuuuggggggggggs to all, Peggy

  11. Phaedrakat, 07 March, 2010

    Peggy, Thanks for this tip! I have 5 ship-to stores closeby. I haven’t checked out the inventory yet, but it’s nice to know I have a place to shop & don’t have to worry about the shipping costs! Let us know any info you find out about wire — I’ll do the same. Thanks again, & I hope you’re feeling better and clayin’ up a storm!

  12. Maria, 08 March, 2010

    Thanks Cindy! I have purchased PYM2, but for some reason have not used it yet – but today’s the day. Have several items that need this coating…

  13. lynn watts, 12 March, 2010

    Hi Everyone . I found a site called Clayalley that has Quick Mix (now that is how they had it listed/spelled) on thier site. It is $5.00 they have a min. of $10.00. This does not pretain to any q&a but it does deal with alittle support from my clay community even tho I am not a Member in the Library. My Mom past away March 9,2010. I helped her to pass in a way that gave me peace in my heart and soul. I held her hand and told her it was okay for her to go. She had suffered for so long and had been a lung survivor for 5 years. She had her lower left part of her lung removed already. I had been taking care of her for 3 years alot more than before. She had becoming more dependent on me than she liked, becuz she had been a very dependent person. She raised 3 kids on her own when being a single parent was unheard of. My Father ran off and left all of us when I was 8 years old. added that last part fyi. Just needed alittle support from my community, thanks.

  14. Phaedrakat, 13 March, 2010

    @lynn watts: Lynn, bless you and your family. I’m happy that your mother passed in a way that felt peaceful, for you and for her. This is still an incredibly difficult time, please know that our thoughts & prayers are with you. Is there anything I can do, personally for you or your family? Please let Cindy know to pass along your email address, if you want further conversation or help. It sounds like your mom was a really good mother, intent on taking care of her kids no matter if your father was present or not. Even though she was an independant woman, in her time of need I feel certain she appreciated all the help and care you gave her. When you take care of someone for as long as you have, you will need lots of friends and family to be around you. Are your siblings closeby, so you can all support each other? Please reach out and let us know how we can help you. You are a part of our family, too. I care deeply about this, and I’m thinking of you & your family at this sad time. I agree that after 5 years of hanging on, your mom is at peace now, and she is not in pain any longer. What a tough lady to be able to fight for so long. And what a tough woman you are, taking care of her as you have for all this time! You’re an amazing daughter! My heart goes out to you, please let me know if there’s anything I can do…

  15. Cindy Lietz, 13 March, 2010

    @lynn watts: Lynn, I am so sorry for your loss. I know you have been supporting and caring for your mom for a long time now and although your heart knows she’s in a better place, it must have hurt to let her go. Be strong and know that she loved you as you loved her. Keep reaching out to those who love you and it will all be OK. Take care and know we all hold you in our thoughts. ~ Cindy

  16. JoyceM, 13 March, 2010

    @lynn watts: Dear, dear Lynn, this is such a difficult time in your life’s journey. Know that you are in the hearts and prayers of this community. I feel you have found peace in your Mother’s passing and that is beautiful. She was a very special person and you have unforgetable memories. With these memories she will never be far away. Take care of yourself, she is watching. Sending a huge comfort hug, Joyce M.

  17. DJ, 13 March, 2010

    @lynn watts: I’m so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. I too understand the strength and energy it takes to be a long term caregiver – your mom will always be with you through the courageous spirit she has given you.
    Love is such a powerful thing….what a blessing to have shared this strong bond with your mom. I truly hope you can gather some comfort in your precious memories with her, please take care.

  18. Catalina, 13 March, 2010

    @Lynn Watts, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. I can’t even think what it must be like to lose a mother. My parents are getting up in age and have health problems so I need to prepare. But I think you can never be prepared enough. Keep her good memories alive in your heart and grieve. Cry and hug those around you. Don’t fight the grieving process.

    Three weeks ago I lost an uncle to cancer. The same cancer my husband has. It hit home – a little too close. But, I cherish every day with him. And he is doing very well!!

    We are all here for you to lean on. My prayers go out to you and your family.

  19. Peggy Barnes, 13 March, 2010

    @Catalina: Catalina – We all know so little about each other but one thing we do know is if we need a kind word to help us thru the day or just a simple way to go we can come here and share then the help we need comes from within so many loving people here in this wonderful community. If you have shared before about your husband I apologize for missing it. I am so happy to know he is doing well. But I am also sorry for the loss of your uncle and all the confusion it must of brought you. You and your husband are in my prayers and I pray he will continue to do well.
    May God Bless us all here in this wonderful family Cindy has brought together because of the love we all share for this art. I am so thankful to be a part of it and a part of all of you.
    Uuuugggggs, Peggy

  20. Catalina, 13 March, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes: Thank you for the kind words. I’m not sure if I had mentioned about my husband’s cancer or not. He has been battling it for over four years now and doing great! Cancer has hit so many people I know and it is getting scary. I want to set up a section in ETSY shop to help raise money for cancer research. Hopefully in the next month I’ll get that going.
    Prayers, hugs and kinds words go far and we can all find them here! AMAZING!! Thanks, Cindy and fellow clayers!!

  21. Lisa Whitham, 13 March, 2010

    @Lynn Watts – I never know what to say when things like this happen. I’m so sorry for your loss. I cried when I read your post, I can tell you will miss your Mom very much. But, thank God for all the good memories you have. Hold them close, for they are dear and will help through the grieving process. If there is any thing I can do to help or you just want to talk, please feel free to contact me. Cindy has my email address… My thoughts are with you!!

    Love & Prayers,

  22. Peggy Barnes, 13 March, 2010

    Lynn – You know you are in my heart and prayers. This has been a long road for you and I am glad you have asked for support from all those who have a love for clay as you do. The support this clay community gives shows that everyone here has such big loving hearts and the will to help each other whenever they can. I am so happy you have asked for support and so many kind loving people have given.
    God be with you and yours today and always
    Uuuugggggs, Peggy

  23. Elizabeth K., 13 March, 2010

    God bless to you ,Lynn Watts, sorry I did not see this earlier. thinking of you. Keep your lovely memories of your Mum alive always, and you will be ok
    Eliizabeth K.

  24. Cindy Lietz, 13 March, 2010

    Thank you everyone for showing so much love and kindness towards Lynn. I’m sure that all of your messages are touching her deeply. The level of caring that all of you exemplify is truly amazing.

  25. Linda K., 14 March, 2010

    @ Lynn Watts: I am so sorry to hear that you’ve lost your mother. I know how painful that loss can be. It sounds like she was a very special person. You are both in my prayers.

    You will always miss her, but some day the pain will lessen a bit. Then, the knowledge that you were there for her, took care of her, and did the best you could for her when she needed it most will give you a wonderful peace of mind.

    Now is the time for you to take care of yourself.

  26. lynn watts, 14 March, 2010

    Sorry it took me awhile to reply. THANK-YOU all for all your kind words and for your support it is GREATLY appreciated. I have caught myself several times thinking I should call my Mom and see how she is doing. Or wanting to go by and see her when it was the day to go to her house. And to think that Mother’s Day is in May! Wow I have alot to deal with and it will take some time for me to adjust to it all. There is some things I have learned that are alittle disturbing and I hope that will not interfere with my grieving process. I talked to a few people at the viewing and that told me how strong of a person I was and that I did a great thing by helping her. She wanted to be cremated so the burial is tomorrow. Catalina sorry bout your Uncle, and I will have you and your Husband in my prayers. Thank-you everyone that sent out your support and prayers and kind words you touched my heart and I feel so blessed to have this community of friends.

  27. Catalina, 15 March, 2010

    @lynn watts: Thank you for your prayers for my uncle and husband. Just take it one day at a time and take care of YOU! Sending big HUGS!!!

  28. lynn watts, 15 March, 2010

    Well I found out today aft the funeral that my Mom left EVERYTHING to my youngest brother and NOTHING to me or my other brother. WOW what a blow. I would have never thought my Mom would do something like that. Now the Living Will was drawn up in’04 so she had time to change it. Sorry to complain. But I am so hurt. Sorry everyone I am not disrespecting her just devastated and so hurt I can’t stand it. I would have helped her anyway but to totally cut us out it is hard to wrap my head arnd.

  29. Phaedrakat, 15 March, 2010

    @lynn watts: Oh, Lynn, I am so sorry. That’s unbelievable! I don’t know what to say, but I feel so very bad for you. Of course you feel hurt, anyone would be devastated by this. You’ve taken care of your mom for so long, it’s hard to imagine why this happened. Perhaps she thought she had more time to fix things? It’s hard to know what people are thinking or why they do the things they do. But I know your mom had to have appreciated you and all you did for her.

    I hope that your younger brother will be reasonable, and do the right thing since you have been the one caring for your mom all this time. Just the fact that she’s your mom is enough. But just try to hang on right now, keep reaching out to trusted friends & family, and share your feelings. You’ve spent 5 years caring for your mother, this would be shocking and difficult no matter what happened. Don’t let your pain get bottled up inside you. Talk to others, cry as much as you need. I don’t know what your exact situation is, so I can’t advise you on what to do. But just know that we care about you, and I will continue to pray for you and your family. Hugs & Prayers to U!

  30. Cindy Lietz, 15 March, 2010


    I’m so sorry to hear you are having to face these added trials and tribulations in your life. My heart goes out to you. And I think due to the sensitive nature of your situation, it really would be best not to discuss such personal details in a public forum like this. You could end up saying something that you may end up regretting later on.


  31. Phaedrakat, 15 March, 2010

    Lynn, if you want to talk, please get my email address from Cindy. I’d be happy to lend an ear or a shoulder during these difficult times.

  32. Cheryl Hodges, 09 April, 2010

    Cindy , my husband picked up some black steel 19 g wire from home depot (HTR) brand. Is that the same wire you use? I felt it a bit oily.

  33. Cindy Lietz, 10 April, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: Yes the stuff your husband brought back is the right stuff. Sometimes, they put some sort of oil on it to keep from rusting. You can wipe that back with a paper towel, and all will be good.

  34. Cheryl Hodges, 10 April, 2010

    I have looked everywhere online – in the hardware stores for black anodized steel wire. Just returned from Home depot ; checked the lumber, concrete and hardware section. they don’t carry it. I also checked home depot online and nothing came up. I only came up with black artistic wire 18, and 20 guage wire at it cost $ 5.30 but the shipping to Canada is $ 11.50. Any suggestions ? Has anyone else managed to find it?

  35. Phaedrakat, 10 April, 2010

    Sorry in advance for this long post. I’ve also searched all over for this wire. I think that Home Depot only sells the stuff in Canada (the stores here don’t seem to have it.) I can’t find anything by googling black anodized steel wire (only anodized aluminum.) I even found an article where someone said that steel can’t be anodized. I found some jewelry items “with black anodize”, like it’s a coating they’re putting on it or something. Very confusing.

    I think your wire might be a special type made with a process called “oil blackening” for steel. Anyway, I have looked at lots of online wire retailers, and the only black wire they seem to have are the craft wire (copper) types. The only steel wire I found is “dark annealed steel wire” at Ace Hardware. I haven’t been in the store to check it out yet, but they have it on their website. It comes in gauges 16 through 28. The prices are dirt cheap, but they’re based on buying in bulk. I’ll call the store tomorrow to get the local price. I hope they have it in stock!

    During my searching, I found myself at a website called ChainMailBasket. They said the following: “Dark Annealed Steel, a.k.a. tie rebar wire, mechanics wire, or stove pipe wire, is annealed (softened) steel with a black carbon coating on it.” The reason I mention it, is that at Ace, some of the gauges of the dark wire say mechanic’s wire or stove pipe wire, instead of just dark annealed. I guess we need to know the AKA’s when we’re searching… They go on to say that this kind of wire is prone to rusting. You can clean it regularly to keep it off, or I read somewhere else (I can’t remember where now!) that you can seal the wire with an acrylic spray. I imagine PYM II would be great for this, as well.

    I hope this helps. I’ll call Ace tomorrow; I hope they have it — and at a good price. I’m dying to get some of this home to try out. I love the look of the darkened wire, but I want to be able to get it cheap! I’ll post back when I find out something definite!

  36. Phaedrakat, 10 April, 2010

    Wow, I’m really losing it! I forgot I already posted about the Ace wire. I never called them though — forgot ALL about it. I’d better not make any promises to call tomorrow. Let’s just say it’s on my list of things to do. Have a great day!

  37. Phaedrakat, 11 May, 2010

    I saw my previous posts, so I thought I’d tell you what I found regarding the “Dark Annealed Steel Wire” — they had it in 28 gauge only. It’s the stuff, though, and I have 4 other Ace Hardware Stores fairly close to me that I can check for other gauges. The stores have different owners, so I’m hoping they carry different items! I plan to call or go to the others when I get a chance. You can order the wire in the store, too; but you have to buy in bulk (10 or 12 pkgs. of wire.) So it would be just as cheap to have them send it to my house. The pkgs. are under $2 ea., so that’s a lot of wire for under $20. Still, it would take forever to use it, and I’d need to test it first anyway, see how it holds up over time.

    I also found a roll of 16 g. dark steel wire, but it didn’t say much on the label (I don’t think it’s annealed, it’s not as soft as the other stuff. It seems to be about half-hard consistency.) But it was cheap! I’ll play with this and see how it goes. Anyway, I now have the dark wire I wanted, but only the gauges at opposite ends, no nice medium gauge. If I end up loving the wire I bought, but can’t find an 18 – 22 gauge, I’ll place the order through the website.

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