Copper Bangle Video Tutorial – Now Playing – Polymer Clay Library

Polymer Clay Hammered Copper Dangle Bangle Tutorial “I have a
large wrist so
this is going to be
great!! I can finally wear
a bangle… yippppeeee!”
~Pollyanna

On June 22nd, I posted an introductory preview clip for my Dangle Bangle tutorial. Today, the full version of this video lesson (Vol-025-4) is available for viewing at the Polymer Clay Members Library. Here is the link: Making a Hammered Copper Dangle Bangle Bracelet, Quick & Easy

For anyone who is not yet a paid member, if you did not know, the cost works out to only $3.32 per month. This gives you 24/7 access to the full versions of my Friday video tutes. Plus you also receive four A-series color recipe cards. This week’s color is: Sapphire Bud (4A) from the Forget-Me-Not Polymer Clay Color Palette.

Phaedrakat, you are so right about some people who are not willing to share their knowledge. It seems here that just about everyone WANTS to share their secrets and their ideas and solutions. And most give great feedback and encouragement. When I see someone give  “a pat on the back” to a fellow artist it makes me feel inspired. I have learned so much more than how to play with my clay here. I have learned we all have a great support team and my hat goes off to Cindy!! ~Catalina

Catalina, yes Cindy has brought us all together at this great site. It has inspired me to clay again – I didn’t think it could be done! Even when I can’t clay, I can come here and see people exchanging ideas and helping each other with their tips and tricks and it’s a great thing to see. Lots of others are very “tight-lipped” about their processes. No help with them (unless you pay a BIG price!) Here, the friendly blog and advice are free. Cindy’s great video tutorials are nearly free. I mean, $3.32 a month is incredibly low! ~Phaedrakat

If you want to become a paid member, here is the link:
Polymer Clay Video Library

Or if you are brand new to polymer clay, the best place to first learn all of the fundamentals is here: Polymer Clay Beginners Course

To browse other video tutorials that are available for purchase without becoming a subscribing member (in other words… just a one time fee), you can go here: Polymer Clay Video Back Issues


Weekly Wrap Up… Please use the comment sections of these Friday posts to discuss anything you like… from polymer clay challenges that you need some help with… to success stories about your jewelry creations… to requests for upcoming video tutorials… to general community chit chat. In other words, it’s an open mic :-)

Last week the Friday discussion topics included:

  • One too many times through pasta machine.
  • Interesting conversational directions.
  • “AHA!” moments with faux agate streaks.
  • Expensive clay in the UK.
  • Teardrop Technique for quick color blends.
  • Selling polymer clay jewelry for charity fund raisers.
  • Other jewelry sales and marketing tips.
  • Wholesale jewelry pricing.
  • Etsy stores.
  • How to value polymer clay beads.
  • Happy Father’s Day wishes.
  • When Mom’s have to be the Dad too.
  • Insanity workouts at the YMCA.
  • Pancake brunch.
  • Ribs and beer.
  • Copper wire rings for faux agate stones.
  • BBQ and Mexican food.
  • A local meet-up in Philadelphia.
  • How to get the ball red on copper headpins.
  • What to do when you don’t have old scrap canes.
  • Zebra beads and silver rings.
  • Sculpey adhesive.
  • Weldbond.
  • E6000.
  • Online Glue-it-all tool for picking best adhesives.
  • And much, much more …

If you need to catch up, here is the link to the article where last week’s topics were discussed in detail: Faux Agate Video

Otherwise, you can use the comment section below to start talking about some new topics and ideas. Happy Friday!!!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


  1. Lois, 25 June, 2010

    Haven’t been here in a while. Shame on me. Lots to go and look at again. But I come back just in time for the copper dangle bangle. Love it!
    Lois

  2. brenda, 25 June, 2010

    @Lois: Ah, The wire lady :) I have purchased from you :) welcome back!

  3. pollyanna, 25 June, 2010

    Love this !!!! Thank you oh pc guru. My dil is the wire artist here so I will have to sit her down to watch this and make me a couple. If I put the bead on a lobster hook I can change it to suit my mood…..yippeee.
    Andrea

  4. Anna Sabina, 25 June, 2010

    Great Tut. Is the copper wire you used “half hard” or the variety we can get at a hardware store?

    Yesterday my husband retired from his job of 23 years. The State of Iowa offered employees an exceptional early retirement package ( he is only 57) and he was one of 2000 who jumped ship. So, now I have a house husband. I don’t know if you remember but a few months back I had this problem of him giving away heart necklaces I was making for a local store. He he arranged to have some of my heart necklaces sold at another store. Bless his little heart. Maybe I can get him to finish my craft room.

    Clay ON !!!
    Anna

  5. Peggy Barnes, 27 June, 2010

    @Anna Sabina: Anna when my husband retired several years ago I was still working so with a little coaching he really stepped up and helped out so much. I loved having him at home. He always was good about sharing work around the house and helping with the kids when we both worked. But when he retired it was just the 2 of us and he took over 90% of the housework. I did most of the laundry just because I was very picky at how it was done. He even learned how to cook other things besides beans and wienies and wiener wraps. His 2 favorite things to cook when I was not able. It was like having hired help without having to pay out the cash. When I was a stay at home mom until the kids were in school I always said the benefits were the best but the pay was lacking. My husband also retired at 57 due to an early retirement package. It was one of the best decisions we made. He had been working at the same place for 36 years as an electrician for 31 and in an ink department for the last 5 so he was more than ready to retire. So I hope the 2 of you enjoy your husbands retirement as much as we have mine. Enjoy life to the fullest while you can. Life is too short to waste a minute.
    So congratulations and may retirement years be very blessed for the two of you.
    Many Uuuuuggggs, Peggy

  6. Lois, 25 June, 2010

    Boy we all have the same hubby problems I think. Mine has started blogging god bless him. I’m guessing you’ll see your household in mine too.

  7. Sue C, 25 June, 2010

    Hi again,

    I would like some comments on toaster ovens. I have researched some on the internet but all seem to have convection ovens with them and I know I don’t need that much of an upgrade. Has anyone found a brand of oven that keeps an accurate temperature but not very expensive? I am not willing to spend a ton of money on a new oven to bake beads. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

  8. Catalina, 25 June, 2010

    @Sue C: Hi, Sue, I have the typical craft oven and it does a good job. I do use a thermostat and watch the temp while baking. It took some adjusting to get the temp just right but it holds it pretty good. I paid about $15, with a 50% off coupon, at Michaels. Although, they no longer sell it I know JoAnn’s does. It would be a good start and if you make small batches of beads. I don’t like waiting for a whole boat load of beads before I bake them. I hope that helps.

  9. carolyn, 26 June, 2010

    @Sue C: I have the Amaco craft oven (cost about $25 with the 50% coupon at Hobby Lobby) and it keeps near perfect temp once it is warmed up. I always warm it for 20 minutes before putting the clay in.

  10. Linda K., 26 June, 2010

    @Sue C: Sue, think twice about that convection oven. If you can get one at a good price you will LOVE it. Because the element is not exposed and the hot air is circulated, there are no hotspots. Also, once the oven is done preheating, the temperature doesn’t spike.

    When I used my toaster oven I sometimes burned beads even when the thermometer said the temp was correct…and that was because of hotspots in my toaster oven. I had to bury all my beads in cornstarch to be sure they wouldn’t burn and I was constantly cleaning cornstarch from all over my studio…very messy stuff.

    The convection oven gives me perfectly baked beads every time now.

  11. brenda, 26 June, 2010

    @Linda K.: Hey Linda do you think the Nuwave oven could work on the beads? I bought one for my hubby for his turkeys.. I never thought to use it on beads. it blows the heat around like a convection oven…. I got my displays. I’ll be adding them to my blog.

    I am so tired. My hubby and I have been out all day shopping for a new vehical.

  12. Linda K., 26 June, 2010

    @brenda: Brenda, I didn’t know what a Nuwave oven was, so I googled it. I saw a lot of complaints from people that the plastic dome cracked and that the company gave them the runaround.

    Lucky you to get those displays!

  13. Phaedrakat, 27 June, 2010

    @brenda: There was a comment about this on another thread once. They have ovens that act like the Nuwave in Australia. Someone was asking if they could cook in one, described it to me and I thought it sounded like a NuWave. When I looked it up online, it was very similar. Sue F. said those ovens are a regular product over there. You can search for the thread if you’re interested. I imagine if you type in “nuwave” you’ll only get 2 articles that come up!

  14. Sue F, 27 June, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Actually, the ovens I was talking about are not all that similar to the NuWave oven!

    There are some vague similarities but the construction is quite different, and the heating mechanism is somewhat different too.

    I haven’t seen the NuWave oven in person, but I don’t think I’d use one for polymer clay myself. Apart from the above differences, even the size and shape don’t seem that convenient for beads to me (although they might suit sculptures and figurines). On the other hand, if you have a spare one hanging around there’s no reason not to give it a go!

  15. Phaedrakat, 27 June, 2010

    @Sue F: Sorry, you’re right. I should have looked-up the conversation first to refresh my memory, but I was too tired. The ovens are only similar, not VERY similar. They’re both round, transparent glass pot-style convection ovens with “oven parts” in the lid. But the Nu-wave uses infra-red light in addition to the convection. They look very similar to me, but then I’ve never seen one in person. Sorry if I’ve caused any problems! (Oooh, I hope the Nu-Wave infomercial wasn’t on last night…) :(

    If anyone wants to see why we started talking about infomercial products in the 1st place, the original conversation started here: Convection Ovens

    I tried the link from the previous conversation, the 13L Easy Cook Turbo Oven at Harvey Norman in Australia. I wanted to see the oven again to refresh my memory, but I had “link” trouble — not sure if it was on my end or theirs. I tried a google image search though, and finally got to see the oven again.

    I agree with Sue’s assessment of using these ovens for PC. Don’t search for one to cure your beads. But if you already have one, go for it! Unlike the usual household oven, these babies are easy to clean!

  16. Linda K., 27 June, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Oh NOW I remember. Sue said that is what they call convection ovens there.

    Based on what Brenda said, it sounds like hers is a marriage of microwave and convection.

  17. Phaedrakat, 27 June, 2010

    @Linda K.: Yeah, she’s got the Nu-wave from the infomercial. I seriously wanted one of these, of course that was in the wee hours of the morning. The food they cook always looks so good. The oven actually cooks 3 ways—it has infra-red heating, as well! I hope Brenda lets us know if she uses hers for clay…

  18. brenda, 27 June, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Hi Guy’s I’ve been out shopping all weekend for a new car and finally found one.. as for the nuwave oven. I love it! I haven’t tried baking my clay in it. I really don’t think I will because I use it for food daily. It cut’s down in time and energy. What I love most about it is, you can cook multi foods at the same time and in a healthy way on a timer without having to stand over the hot stove. It is perfect for two people. I use it for my daycare when making chicken nuggets,fish stix,and fries. Best 150 bucks I ever spent on a peace of cookware. I would hate for the fumes from the clay to ruin it.

  19. Phaedrakat, 28 June, 2010

    @brenda: That’s the way the oven seemed to me — perfect for cooking things like meat & veggies, or other combo meals. Everything looked good when I saw it on TV. I’m glad you like yours. I seriously wanted one, and now I don’t feel so “taken in” by the infomercial… :D

  20. Phaedrakat, 28 June, 2010

    @brenda: Congrat’s on the new car!

  21. Jocelyn, 30 June, 2010

    @Sue C:

    Sue! Love the NuWave oven I purchased for clay! It’s transparent so you can keep track of it fine, and I wipe it clean with alcohol and clean it thoroughly before throwing the lasagna in to bake.

    Find it really stays calm spike wise too, though I still use the oven thermometer, as I add lots of transparent to almost all my colors and that can cause them to darken.

    Purchased all (including some extras) for under $150.00 US, and being alone, it’s a great single oven.

    Thanks to those who posted their experiences with it on earlier threads here, I saved and purchased it, and am extremely happy I listened to their advice.

  22. Phaedrakat, 01 July, 2010

    @Jocelyn: Wow, that’s cool! I’ve wanted one of those to cook with. Now you’re showing you can use it for both—that’s pretty darn cool!

  23. Jocelyn, 02 July, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Actually, Kat, I’d use some caution with my approach, especially if you are feeding small children in the home. Plastic is plastic and cooking is cooking, and fumes rise and stick to everything. I think the heavier alcohol removes the reside from both the plastic casing and the metal rack and teflon coated bottom piece. Sure hope I am right.
    The entire piece, except the convection fan top piece with the jell board, is dishwasher safe.

    Putting my approach out there for feedback. So far, it works great for me….but, that doesn’t mean I’ve overlooked something that some other kind soul could correct for me.

  24. Brenda M, 25 June, 2010

    @Cindy: You make everything look so simple… I would have never known to bend the end that way so it would hook easier.

    ********* I have a request for a tutorial. I love using beads caps on my beads. Do you know if that is even possible? I know that polymer clay is very veristal and you can do almost anything with it. If it can be done, Cindy I am sure you must have already done it :) Please teach us.

    ********** while I am asking. I would love a tutorial on making molds not out of clay. Someone mention a kind that you can purchase at the store.

    I also wanted to share that I am going tomorrow to buy out this guys display jewelry stuff. It belong to his wife. She was an artisan that use to set up at the art markets he is selling the whole lot. What is sad is that he said that she passed away back in Jan. I will let you all know how that goes.

  25. Linda K., 26 June, 2010

    @brenda: Brenda, you must be reading my mind!! I’ve been wondering about making polymer clay bead caps, too. I’d love a tut on them, too.

    Good luck with the jewelry display things.

  26. Phaedrakat, 26 June, 2010

    @brenda: There are a number of 2-part silicone mold-making compounds out there (Amazing Mold Putty, Alley-Goop, Easy Mold, Mold Maker;) and they are easy to use. You just mix equal parts from each container together until blended, then impress the object you want as a mold. It dries fairly quickly, and the resulting mold is bakable. Cindy mentions this product in this article, Making Molds for Duplicating Polymer Clay Beads.

    When searching for these putties/compounds, you’ll also find them referred to as Room Temperature Vulcanizing, or RTV, mold compounds. There’s quite a bit of info on the web about them, too, if you’re in a hurry.

  27. Jessie, 06 July, 2010

    Brenda: If you are looking for an economical way to make many molds try checking out the smooth-on web site. Search for Equinox – it cost about $38 plus shipping for 2 POUNDS. This is a one to one silicone putty, so very easy to mix and very forgiving. If you don’t get the mix quite right it will set up anyway. They make two versions Equinox 35 – a quick set that I’ve found you have to be pretty quick with – more than a minute before molding and it begins to harden and you won’t pick up all the details. This works well for smaller – button sized molds. But also consider the slower- 45 min to set Equinox 40. Better if you are doing larger molds like bracelets. You can create two part molds with either formula. Mold the first 1/2, DON’T unmold but dust the set epoxy with cornstarch where the two halves of the mold will meet. Mold the second half. Make sure to put an index mark – I cut a slice in with a knife – on the edges of both halves of putty before unmolding so you can line them up once you have clay inside. Pull them apart and a perfect two part mold. BUT THE BEST THING – Equinox is a Platinum Silicone Putty – you can bake your clay right in the mold, something you can not do with a tin activated putty. No more distorting soft clay getting it out of the mold. Platinum Silicone Putty is a little more expensive than Tin based but well worth the difference in price. You will notice the Equinox also has a stiffer finished product vs craft store putties. Again I consider this a plus as you can really push the clay into the mold without distortion. I’ve never had a piece get stuck in the mold and NO release is needed. If you get on the smooth-on site and search for equinox you will get to the correct product. You can purchase Platinum Silicone Putty from a number of sites but I’ve found smooth-on to be the most reasonably priced. My two pounds made about thirty 1 to 2 inch two part molds, plus a few mistakes.

  28. Jocelyn, 22 November, 2010

    @Jessie: Great info, Jessie.

    We need molds that will handle all polymer clays and metal clays at the same time, so much cheaper. Now, will these work if you use a liquid layer first?

    Making a deeper mold to make a reverse faux opal would be great as it would leave room for sanding. Only tried it with metal molds and ice cubes on release, and the liquid clay easily slipped out. Wonder if you used a silicone mold, if laying down a layer of liquid clay first, it would unmold?

    Anyone ever use this product for production molds that accept polymer, metal, and liquid clays? Or, have recommendations?

  29. Phaedrakat, 27 March, 2011

    @Jessie: Hi Jessie, thanks for this interesting info! I checked out the Smooth-on site (smooth-on.com/index.php?cPath=1133.) Wow, there sure are a lot of different types of molding compounds out there! Looks like they have 3 versions of the Equinox product, depending on the working/curing time you choose. It seems funny calling the 2 lb. version the “trial size,” but when you sell gallons of it — makes sense, LOL. This stuff is also food-safe and has a zillion uses…seems like a great product at a wonderful price. Thanks again for the info!

  30. Linda K., 26 June, 2010

    Oh, I’m being such a busybody that I almost forgot to comment on the bangle dangle tut! I’m so glad you did this one, Cindy. I remember saying that I could probably figure it out on my own, but that I’d rather have a tut because I knew you’d have some great tips…and you did!

  31. Anna Sabina, 26 June, 2010

    I have a fellow clayer friend that has a portable convection oven she occasionally brings to monthly meetings. It works great and the best part is she got it at Goodwill really cheap. I wish I had one and have been keeping my eyes open for a small convection oven. Convection ovens keeps the heated air moving, they are great. My toaster oven is new and still unpredictable about when it may decide to spike.

  32. Phaedrakat, 26 June, 2010

    I agree about the convection oven, if I were buying new that’s how I’d go. I’m stuck right now because my toaster oven works fine, so I can’t “waste money” by buying a new oven. But when that baby dies I’m getting a convection oven right away! Costco still has a convection oven for $49, which seems like a good price. I’m sure there are even better bargains out there, too. I feel certain that a convection oven creates fewer baking worries.

  33. Lois, 26 June, 2010

    OK, I can’t stand it, I’m going and buying an oven tonight! Sounds like convection is the way to go. Thanks for the reviews. I can’t wait to play.

    Oh and Brenda, I actually prefer Wire Dive, hehehe.

    Cindy, how do I have the blog sent to email. I miss posts in my reader and would rather have them email.

    Thanks,
    Lois

  34. Phaedrakat, 26 June, 2010

    @Lois: Hi Lois, put a checkmark in the box under the “Submit Comment” button where it says “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.” After you’ve subscribed, you can change or edit your settings by clicking “manage your subcriptions”, next to where it says You are subscribed to this entry. (Found in the area where the same place under comment box.)

    Or were you talking about the weekly newsletter? To recieve that, just go to the top of the page and click on “Polymer Clay Newsletter.”
    Have fun, Kat

  35. Cindy Lietz, 26 June, 2010

    @Lois: One more option to add to what Phaedrakat said, is that you can receive each of my blog articles delivered to you via email. To do this look for the “RSS BADGE” in the left side bar (scroll up to see it). The text on this badge says “Subscribe to this site’s RSS feed.” Then click on the orange box, and you will be taken to a “feeds” page with a link on it that says “Get Polymer Clay Bead Making with Cindy Lietz delivered by email” (It’s on the right side of the page).

    Or just click here :-)
    Get Polymer Clay Bead Making with Cindy Lietz delivered by email

    Oh and… thank you so much for everyone’s comments and compliments and tute requests that have been shared in this thread. I’m sorry if I don’t get a chance to join into the conversation all the time… but I do read everything and pipe up as needed.

    @Anna Sabina: The coper wire I used in the Dangle Bangle is the variety you get at a hardware store… which is usually in the “half-hard” range. Congrats on your hubby’s retirement :-)

  36. Lois, 26 June, 2010

    Thank you Cindy and Phaedrakat. I’m all signed up so I won’t miss any more.
    Lois

  37. brenda, 26 June, 2010

    Theirs Probably cracked because they dropped it.. I have had mine for 8 months now and love it.. I have not tried to use my clay with it. I agree that you should be very careful with the lid part. I dont think it cracked because of the heat. I think probably they dropped it or something. I cook in mine everyday. It is like a microwave but without the rays :)

  38. Linda K., 27 June, 2010

    @brenda: I think I’ll wait until the NuWave goes mainstream and check them out when they get to the stores. It’s good to hear that you’re so happy with yours.

    I’d be cautious about using clay in it, though, if it’s similar to a microwave. Maybe someone else knows about it.

  39. Anna Sabina, 26 June, 2010

    have any of you polymeristas noticed the smaller print on the Premo and Sculpy packages. I have trouble reading the names of the colors on the new Premo and Sculpy packages of similar colors, like Cobalt and Pearl Blue, Sea Green and Pearl Green, White and Pearl, Violet and Fuchsia; they have been out about 1 1/2 years. The letter size (font) on the new packaging is much smaller that the old packages. So, wrote to Polyform, makers of Sculpy, Premo and lots of other clays. Here is the response from Polyform….

    ————————–
    Dear Anna,

    Thank you for contacting Polyform Products Company. Since this is brand new packaging, I do not think that increasing the size of the print will happen any time soon. I will definitely bring up your issue with the new packaging to our Marketing Department so that when new printing is done they can consider opting for larger type.

    We appreciate your taking the time to let us know of this issue. I also want to thank you for your loyalty to our products, Anna.

    If there is anything else I can help you with, please contact me again.

    Regards,
    Pat

    Patricia L. Colella
    Technical Assistant
    Polyform Products Company
    sculpey.com

    ——————————–

    It is so great to be working with a company so responsive to customers questions. If others are having the same problems let Polyform know.

    Anna

  40. Peggy Barnes, 27 June, 2010

    @Anna Sabina: I also have the same problem Anna so I will let them know. Thank you for sharing this info with us. The more who get involved the better for all of us. As time goes my eyes go with it. I use a magnify glass at home to help read quite a few things. Maybe I need to put one in my purse so I can use it in the stores. Thanks again.
    Uuuuugggggs for all, Peggy

  41. Phaedrakat, 27 June, 2010

    @Anna Sabina: Hi Anna, I wanted to say “Thanks!” for sending the letter to Polyform & keeping us posted on the correspondence. You’re always giving us the latest news—it’s great! Congratulations on your husband’s retirement. I do remember when you told the story of your husband “helping” to get rid of your jewelry, leaving you in a bit of a bind! You’ll have to train him a little better for this next part of your lives. He sounds like such a sweetheart, and I think it’s going to be wonderful for you both. (And a new craft room for you, too!) Enjoy!

  42. Linda K., 27 June, 2010

    @Anna Sabina: Thanks for sharing this, Anna. I agree that the print is very difficult to read. I’ll contact them, too.

  43. Linda K., 29 June, 2010

    @Anna Sabina: Anna, not only is the print smaller, but it doesn’t always end up in a spot that allows you to read it without turning the package. I have also contacted Polyform about this.

  44. Phaedrakat, 27 June, 2010

    Everyone please remember to pray for Ritzs. I haven’t heard anything, but I’m guessing her surgery has been finished and she’s recuperating. Maybe still in the hospital, or at home with care. She’s got a long road ahead, fusing 3 levels in the C-spine is a big deal. Wish her well, pray, whatever you can do to make this easier for her!

  45. Peggy Barnes, 27 June, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Kat I will put Ritzs in my prayers. I worked for an orthopedic surgeon for 8 years and this kind of surgery will be a very long road for her. So many new developments in surgeries every day so I pray she has had the best of care and will have a very strong and fast recovery. Please keep us up to date if you hear anything. Thank you for reminding us so we can all do whatever we can to help with her recovery. You are such a kind and caring person Kat. I pray you are also doing better and have more days with less pain. Has your neck improved any lately? There are a lot of us here in our PC family who have chronic pain. You are all in my prayers. I pray God will give us the strength to do what we can to help ourselves. Many times I have to kick myself in the bottom and remind myself of all the Blessings God has given me and my family so I do not wonder down the pitty lane. There are so many worse off than myself and a lot of us. We all need to be thankful we have each other and our clay. God blesses us in so many ways we sometimes need to focus on the blessings more and this itself will lesson the pain. God be with each and everyone of us and bless us all.
    Love and Uuuuugggggs, Peggy

  46. Linda K., 27 June, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Thanks for reminding us, Kat. She probably won’t be online for awhile.

  47. Cheryl Hodges, 28 June, 2010

    Will keep Ritz in prayer. Kat, how are you doing? Is your pain any better? I’m having one of my flareups with my whole body sore but specially the neck, shoulders and arm and lower back. have to see the doctor tomorrow.

  48. Phaedrakat, 02 July, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: Yay, Cheryl has a Gravatar! It’s so good to see you. I’m really sad & sorry to hear about your flareup. Your whole body sore? —you poor thing! I guess you’ve been to the doctor by now. Was he able to help? What kind of treatment do they do for you when you get these flareups? I hope something painless that works wonders, and I sure hope it helped! I would love to hear that you’re feeling much better by now—are you? (With fingers crossed…)

    Thanks for asking about me. My neck’s actually been worse the last couple days, and I have some new symptoms. I’m under a lot of extra stress lately, which isn’t helping (my stiff neck to can’t even start to relax!) I was going to call and move up my regularly scheduled doctor appt, but I think my neck might feel just a little looser this evening. So I’m going to wait and see how I feel tomorrow. Playin’ it by ear, I guess.

    I’m sorry I haven’t answered some people’s questions, though. I wanted to explain about that. I tried to write a few comments & replies over the past couple days. But every time I get started, I have to stop because I hurt too bad, or because the pain meds I’m taking make me doze off. Anyway, I hope to be able to chat with everyone again soon, and I really, really hope you are feeling better. Take care, Cheryl! ~Kat

  49. Tanya L, 02 July, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Phaedrakat, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been in so much pain the last couple days. With my fibro my shoulders, down the front and back, and neck turn hard as a rock for days and the muscles burn like crazy. I mean, these areas are always knotted, but this is different. No matter what I do I can’t get them to stretch out and relax. I don’t know if you”ve ever heard of or tried either BioFreeze or Tiger Balm, but it seems that if I get any kind of relief from anything, other than from pain pills and muscle relaxants, it’s from one of these. I like the BioFreeze the best and I slather it on before going to bed, usually after “spending some quality time” with a couple heating pads layed out so they cover every area that hurts. Please let us know how you are doing. I’ll keep you in my prayers. ~ Tanya

  50. DJ, 04 July, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Kat, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been in pain. You offer so much to this blog, no need to apologize because you aren’t able to contribute. We miss you, not just because of the responses, but because we hope you’re OK. I hope you and anyone else who experiences chronic pain feels only comfort and peace in the days ahead. Take it easy and take care….

  51. Cheryl Hodges, 28 June, 2010

    I have the Amaco clay oven too and it’s been working very well. Keeps the temperature . I got mine from Michaels too with the coupon.

  52. Edie, 29 June, 2010

    My decision on drilling my beads- I have decided after much trial and error that I prefer drilling my beads while I’m working on a project. Why? Because if I drill them while they’re unbaked, I always get fingerprints or dimples or get them out of round. But the biggest reason is that I kept finding myself thinking ‘Darn! I wish I’d made that with the hole *that* way instead of “this” way – sometimes I’d want a disk shape to be a spacer instead of a flat coin, sometimes I’d need a pendant to have the hole slightly lower to hang right with its neighbors… so for now, i make, bake, sand and polish, then use my little hand drill! It only takes seconds, I can touch up any sanding with a quick swipe and I’m done.

    I hope this thought helps someone else!

  53. Linda K., 29 June, 2010

    @Edie: Edie, I’ve been afraid to drill my beads after they’re baked…I’m afraid that the drill will slip or that I won’t get the hole straight. Is this an electric drill you’re using? Do you have any tips for us?

  54. Linda K., 29 June, 2010

    I’ve been whining here and there that I live in the boonies and there’s almost no shopping near me. Just so everyone knows, I’m a city girl…grew up in a suburb, only 4 miles from Boston. Now I live 15 miles from a very small city in Vermont. So yesterday hubby says, “When you go to town, can you stop at Tractor Supply and pick up my rain check purchase?” Well, I’ve never been to Tractor Supply, so off I go. They sell tractors, farm supplies, animal feed, etc. While I was there, it crossed my mind to see if they sell the swivel clasps I need for my golf counters…and they did! Granted, they were $2 each. You should have seen the guy’s face when he asked me what I was going to use them for. Hehehe.

    Then today, I went to Home Depot to get 10 guage copper wire for my dangle bangle. The guy that helped me there started out with the funny look on his face–he’s thinking, what the heck does this woman want with 10 guage bare copper wire–I think he was afraid I was going to do some kind of amateur electrical work. Unfortunately, they didn’t have 10 or 12 guage wire. Darn.

  55. Jocelyn, 02 July, 2010

    Also diagnosed with severe fibro….check out Savella. It’s worked for my set of circumstances. Others find relief with Cymbalta or other similar meds that counteract the faulty flow of pain chemicals in the brain.

    The best site for qualified info that I’ve found is webmd.com, since the standards they give are those that Medicare and 90% of insurers use to pay medical claims. So if you bring the printouts to the medical appts most folks aren’t too freaked or threatened. Hell, just carry empty manilla file folders into medical meetings and never opening them as increased the time and the consideration my medical team gives me. Sad but true.

    webmd.com is loaded with helpful information on this condition. Learned of Savella reading there, and it’s really helped reduce a lot of the “pain in the ass” pain that makes you fatigued and cranky.

    If you like to know “state of the art” medical research findings all over the world, use their sister site for med professionals, medscape.com. Heavy reading sometimes but you can get the names of experts in the field just from a search. If you sign up as a “hosp adm” or the like, you are signed in at the level that allows you to take CMS medical coursework for knowledge or credit free. Pretty cool. Couple of years ago, I took and passed the Irritable Bowel Syndrome update…so proud when I passed it….LOL!!!!!

    Best of luck to all who suffer pain daily, it affects every aspect of your being. But like I said to Cindy, the benefit of this site is that “Life sucks, but the peeps here CREATE to cope.” It beats all.

  56. Tanya L, 02 July, 2010

    @Jocelyn: Thank you for the info, Jocelyn! Sorry to hear you know first hand what fibro’s all about, but you made me laugh when I read your crack about the pain in the butt! I don’t know if you actually hurt there or not, but if I’m off of here for a few days it’s probably because I can’t sit. LOL! I need to make an appt with the rheumatologist again. I’ll check out Savella and see what she thinks. I take a bunch of different meds for mine. My family dr. says it’s enough to kill a horse (and I STILL can’t sleep)! Loved your idea of carrying an empty manilla folder to appts, too! You’re right about “creating to cope”. I can get lost in creating art. Oh, and congrats on passing the IBS update! :) ~ Tanya

  57. Phaedrakat, 03 July, 2010

    @Jocelyn & Tanya: Thanks so much for the tips. Although I am fortunate not to have fibro (and I’m oh-so-sorry that you both do,) I do still have severe pain all the time. I’ve also been accused of taking enough pills to kill horse. And yep, can’t sleep at night.

    How sad about the manila folder trick (but also—genius!) I can totally see how that would work. I was fortunate enough to get “the right” doctors—who were interested in fixing me—when all this started. Then again, my spine problems are visible on MRI’s and CT-scans. It’s tough when you’re in so much pain and you still have to fight to get proper treatment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just go to the doctor and “let” them take care of you? Without having to worry about whether they’re doing the right thing? It’s crazy! The sicker you are, the more you have to watch what they do to you!

    I have tried BioFreeze, Tiger Balm, Voltaren Gel, and several other topical concoctions. I have a prescription cream they “mix up” at an LA pharmacy—it’s helpful sometimes. But other times, I don’t need an Rx creme—Aspercreme will do the trick. I also use heat/ice, massage, electric stim. etc. And the good old hot bath, of course.

    I had to pick up my prescription from CVS last week, and my neck was killing me. My ride showed up early, and I couldn’t apply any creme to my neck. So as soon as I got to CVS, I went to the pain relief section & opened the BioFreeze Spray, and spritzed it on right there in the store. I’m not sure if anyone saw me, but they didn’t have to. They could “smell” me as I limped over to the Rx counter! Embarrassing, but hey, I couldn’t wait. I’ve done more embarrassing things than that since I’ve had this pain — like laying or sitting down in weird, public spots. Or when I wore different braces off & on for a few years—I embarrassed my family a few times… Anyway, what can you do?

    Jocelyn, that’s hilarious about you getting your IBS update qualification. I’ll have to check out medscape.com when my pain settles a bit—I’m guessing I won’t understand much while taking my meds. I LOVE your quote! It’s fab!

  58. carolyn, 02 July, 2010

    I missed so much on this blog because I forgot to click the ‘Notify me of followup comments via e-mail’ box. It wasn’t until today when Cindy posted the list of things discussed that I realized I had missed so much. Now I am backtracking to catch up …

  59. Jocelyn, 03 July, 2010

    Kat….you have the right kind of pain for this….my special wrap, LOL.

    Old clothes, and a couple of hours post bath….start applying your magic creams, then wrap the entire area with a clear cling wrap (significant others love this part). Then put on a binder or similar to hold it in place.

    This keeps the action going, and is great for those rainy and/or cold days.

    Usually slip into sweats, and then blissfully to sleep. But, first time, check yourself every couple of minutes to make sure your skin is OK. Once you know what you can tolerate you can see the possibilities.

    Sometimes I treat myself to a whole body pain cream and plastic wrap. Then I hit the exercise bike for more endorphins.

    The hot tub (which I do not have) is the only treat that beats this, LOL!

  60. Phaedrakat, 27 March, 2011

    Whoops, forgot to add that several of Jocelyn’s questions were answered a couple weeks later in Cindy’s Silicone Molding Techniques Video.

    Other questions were answered/discussed in various video tutes in the weeks right after her comment. It’s funny…Cindy’s post for the Katiedid’s Bezels and Faux Opals tutorial came out the day after the question!

    The other video I thought was “relevant to the questions” is the Faux Druzy tutorial.

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