Easter Lily Cane | Polymer Clay Tutorials Vol-058

Pt 1 Easter Lily Cane - Polymer Clay Tutor6 Videos #349 to #354: This cane reduces right down to 1/4″ or less… perfect for making beautiful millefiori beads!

With Easter just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you my Easter Lily Flower Cane design. And since lilies are beautiful anytime of the year, this cane is not only appropriate for the Easter Holiday Season, it is a design that works year round too.

Posted just below is a Sneak Peak and overview of this months Easter Lily Cane Tutorial. The rest of the 6 part video series will be posted tomorrow (Friday, March 1, 2013) in the Vol-058 section at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library.

BTW, if this Flower Cane Tutorial looks exciting to you, please do click that YouTube Like button. Many of you have been giving the Thumbs Up to the weekly YouTube videos, which is great… Thank You! However, these monthly intro clips need some love as well. When they don’t get as many likes, it makes it look like they are not appreciated as much… which surely can’t be true with all the nice comments you all leave :)

Vol-058-1: Video #349: Introduction: In this 6 part video tutorial series, you will master my original Easter Lily Cane Design to make stunning millefiori beads, pendants, charms and several other projects using the Easter Lily Flower Cane, that you will have created by the end of this series. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much you will learn in this Easter Lily Cane series.

Pt 2 Easter Lily Cane Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-058-2: Video #350:
Custom Color Blends:

In this video I will give you color mixing recipes for each of the custom colors used in this Easter Lily Cane, and the amounts of each color needed. Plus instructions on how to create two different teardrop blends which give the beautiful shading in the cane.

Please note there is a small error in the recipe of the Rust color described in this video. The small amounts of Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red and Ecru should have been listed as a 1/16 section for each, instead of 1/8th… in addition to the 1/4 section of Cadmium Yellow. But since Cad Yellow is such a weak color, either recipe will work for this cane, so no worries. I didn’t notice the mistake until after Doug had finished editing. And since the difference would be negligible in the end cane, it wasn’t crucial to fix the error. Hopefully I will never make another mistake, but that is highly unlikely, LOL! I am sorry if it causes any confusion for you.

Pt 3 Easter Lily Cane Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-058-3: Video #351:
Building The Petal Section:

Here we will use one of the graduated color blends to build the beautifully shaded section of the Easter Lily flower, giving it a 3 dimensional look. In this video I will show you some secrets I have developed for creating a semi-circular cane where the color radiates out from the center. In this segment you will also create the cane that will be used to make the stamen part of the flower design.

Pt 4 Easter Lily Cane Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-058-4: Video #352:
Making The Petals:

In this video you will learn my secrets to create perfectly shaded petals and 3 tiny stamens for your Easter Lily Flower. I think you will be surprised how this is done and the neat tricks you will learn, that can be translated to other cane designs in your future, if you choose!

Pt 5 Easter Lily Cane Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-058-5: Video #353:
Building Cone Shaped Section:

Here I will show you a different way to use a blend, for creating the cone shaped base of the Easter Lily flower in the cane. As well you, will begin outlining the design that gives the hand drawn or graphic look to this flower cane.

Pt 6 Easter Lily Cane Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-058-6: Video #354:
Putting It All Together & Packing:

For this final video in the series, I will show you how all the pieces go together with tips and tricks for doing the nicest job possible. Then you will learn how to pack the background color around your flower so that the design can be reduced with the least amount of distortion. In this video I refer to a separate clip which demonstrates how to reduce the cane, should you need help with this important part of the process.


Other Supplies:

  • Playing cards for measuring thickness settings on pasta machine
  • Ruler

By the way, many of the “shopping” links I provide for the various tools and supplies used in my tutorials, are “affiliate” resources. That means companies like Amazon and the other suppliers I refer, pay me a small commission if you click on the links and end up making a purchase at their site. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps in keeping the cost of my tutorials down. And, the prices for products that you may purchase through my links, are exactly the same as what you would normally pay, even if it is a “sale” price. So please feel free to click whenever you need to pick up a few things for your studio. Thanks so much for your support.

The full video series for the Easter Lily Cane tutorial described above, is available in Vol-058 at the Polymer Clay Library.

If you would like to receive 3 free beginner videos right now, plus some free color recipes that get sent out each week in my Friday email newsletter, please click this link: Polymer Clay Tutorials

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

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Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Oh my goodness, Cindy. I LOVE your videos. I just became a member, and my only complaint is that I didn’t do it when I first started working with clay. You are amazing. I can’t wait to try these flowers. Thanks so much for sharing your work. ~Johnnie-C

Oh Cindy I just this past week purchased the leaf cane tutorial. Although I knew how to make one, mine weren’t quite coming out right at all, and I needed your help to get my cane just right :). Your tutorials are worth every dime spent! I’ve had two hip surgeries since Sept so I was laid up for the most part. Your videos helped pass the time! Now that I’m up and on the move I’m ready to get busy in my Studio my husband converted our un-used guest room into for me while I was laid up. I’m soo excited to say I have a “Studio” sounds so professional LOL. Now to get finished with physical therapy and be able to sit in a chair for extended periods of time I will finally be able to unload my brain of all of the great, beautiful things you have taught me to clay with. Many thanks to all of the hard work you and Doug do every week to provide us all with your fantastic knowledge. Have a great day :) ~Susan-R

I have found your website to be one of the best online polymer clay resources! ~Kathy-B

Hi Cindy, Thank you for helping with getting my payments straightened out. This means a lot to me and you know how much I love your program and I have learned so much. I really appreciate you and we have been together for a long time and I will remain with you for a long time. You’re the best out there and I don’t think anyone can compare to the quality of your videos and the variety of tutorials that you offer. Thank you again Cindy!! ~Debra-G

The full video series for the Easter Lily Cane Project tutorial described above, is available in Vol-058 at the Polymer Clay Library.

If you would like to receive 3 free beginner videos right now, plus some free color recipes that get sent out each week in my Friday email newsletter, please click this link: Polymer Clay Tutorials

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

Comments

  1. Just One More Day!!
    I’ve had the hardest time waiting on this tutorial Cindy
    Love everything about it especially the colors
    I’ve got my egg shell empty, clean and dry…just one more day:)

    • Cindy – this Easter Lily cane tutorial was SO worth the wait :D

      So far I’ve made 34 mili beads and of course Jason’s egg – I think I have enough cane left to make a 2nd egg for myself, that way I can pick which one to send him

      Loved Everything about this months lesson – Thank You !!
      (after I get them sanded and buffed I’ll take a picture for you to see)

      • Hi All

        I finished my 2nd egg yesterday:)

        I’ll be sending Jason the 2nd one, where I put 4 larger slices of the cane on each side and then filled in w/ much smaller slices all over

        Polymer Clay Express delivered my Ren Wax (plus other things) yesterday so I gave the egg the Ren Wax treatment after sanding and buffing—- WOW — it Really Pops
        I’ll take pics of both eggs and post them for you guys to see

        also used the Ren Wax on the beads I made from this cane – even though my ‘normal’ way of finishing my beads is to sand all the way through the grits my thumb was talking to me yesterday after only the 2nd grit of the micro-mesh pads….so I Ren Wax’d them too – and what a Lovely sheen they have YAY

        I did try to post a picture of the 1st egg to fb BUT it seems that what ever file they went to went out of business and now I have to use a new company- Nicon Image Space-, and I’ve not figured out how to use it yet

        I’ve almost used up this whole cane now and can’t wait to make a cane end Natasha bead with the rest

        Thank you Cindy for such a great project :)

        • hi everyone
          above I mentioned using Ren Wax on the 34 milli beads I made and what a nice sheen it gave them by just buffing the wax off by hand
          ….well yesterday I used my dremel (converted to a buffer per Cindy’s instructions) and was shocked actually I was Very shocked at how beautiful and shiny they turned out (since I only used the first two grits of the micro- mesh pad set) —
          – granted I took care to make sure that each bead was smooth and finger print free before curing

          I feel like I’m cheating on a test or something to that effect ;)
          I LOVE THIS REN WAX PRODUCT……..and if it works as well on my next set of beads I’ll continue to ‘cheat’ and therefore save my poor thumb from a world of hurt
          ps- I wish I could share with all of you the picture of my Easter Lily Flower egg —- but I’m in over my head at the moment and DH is too busy working….
          hmmm I think I need a teenager to help me HaHa

          • yay pics are up at Cindy’s FB page

            got help from a father of a teenager
            Is that one of the signs of aging? ;)

            thanks everyone for letting me share my adventure in polymer clay with you

            :)

          • That is so awesome you got the help you needed Sherry! I don’t actually know how to do it myself. Doug always uploads everything.

            Oh btw… it is always best to upload your project photos to the Members Photo Gallery Page, rather than my personal Cindy Lietz profile page. The gallery keeps everything in one place so you can easily browse though tons of photos if ever you need a boost of inspiration.

            Loved seeing your photos! Your eggs turned out fantastic!

          • Members Photo Page – Okey dokey got it :D
            LOL NO wonder the page looked
            different :/

  2. I KNEW you would be teaching this cane. You teased us,huh? Well, it worked -we’re waiting for the whole tute! I am not much of a caner, but I know I will try this one. Maybe in different colors too. Friday, work space clear -waiting ,waiting,waiting……….happy dance

  3. Cindy, I have a question on how much clay to use in some of the tutorials. Some say to use “parts” and others give the exact amount of a package. Am I to assume that a “part” is 1/4, 1/8, 1/16th? One package of Premo has 4 sections. I watched a video where you show us how to cut a section into different amounts, did an extensive search but had no luck finding it. Can you tell me how much each ‘Section’ of clay’
    represents in parts or link me to the video in question? Is this a universal sizing? If I were working with Pardo or Kato would I use the same amount of clay working with these ‘Parts’?
    Thanks Cindy for all your help.

    • Hi Dixie Ann, all the exact amounts for this cane are explained very clearly in this video. I don’t think that you will have any problems, once you see it. If you need to use a different brand than Premo, just divide the block into 4 equal parts and it should translate to approximately the same amount of clay I use in this tutorial, since most blocks are around the 2 oz size. (The color recipes won’t work though, since each brand’s colors mix differently. You would have to come up with your own colors to use instead.)

      In regards to another video with cutting the clay into different fractions, are you referring to the Mixing Custom Color Recipes video? Because that explains how to mix up batches of colors in any amount that you want.

      Hopefully that answers your questions well enough.

      • Yes, it kinda does. However if I had a cane to make and the directions called for 1-part
        green, 3 parts translucent and 1/2 part yellow. (Not your tutorials but a picture I saw of one online I wanted to recreate)
        My question is how much does each part represent in a section or a package of clay. Is the green one section of clay? Would the translucent be 3 sections and would the yellow equal one half of one section? This is where I get confused because I don’t know how many parts in a section the directions are referring to or do I just guess? If you wanted to make a cane you never made before, how would you interpret the amount of clay to be used if the directions do not specifically state the amounts (ie; 1/8, 1/4, 1/16) but just say “parts”. How would you know how much of each color to use? Does this make sense?

        • Well the problem Dixie Ann is that there really isn’t a standard for how big a part is. What that tutorial gave you was a recipe for the color mix and not an exact amount of that mixed color to use in your cane. I guess they expect you to mix up a batch of the color and hope that you had enough to make the cane.

          It is those kinds of incomplete instructions that are out there that drive me crazy! It leaves people hanging and then feeling like an idiot when they don’t ‘get’ what’s going on.

          In fact I read a polymer clay tutorial just yesterday on a well known bead company’s site, designed by a highly respected clayer (neither of which I will mention names because I do like both of them) that was guilty of a terrible lack of information.

          It had a picture of a beautiful three color blend stacked into a Skinner Blend Plug, and beside it, all it had for instructions was basically, take three blocks of clay in red and three blocks of yellow, make a graduated blend and fold to make this stack…… Hunh?

          The only people that would be useful for is the person that has made a gazzilion canes. And they don’t need any instructions. All an advanced clayer needs is the picture of the final cane design and they would pretty much be able to reverse engineer it from there.

          So who are these instructions for, if they’re useless for a beginner and pointless for an advanced clayer? It makes no sense!

          Meanwhile a beginner caner will buy all the supplies, thinking they have the instructions to make a wonderful detailed cane, when all they have is a set of confusing partial instructions.

          It is sort of like saying to a new cook, take some flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk and a egg… mix them in a bowl, cut them out and bake. Voila! Biscuits!……. More like… FAIL!

          I promise to never do that to you with my tutorials. And if I ever do leave something out, make a mistake or am vague with the details, let me know and I’ll fix it. I want to make it easier for you, not harder.

          Anyway, I know I didn’t really help fix this issue you are dealing with in regards to that other person’s tutorial. If you ever find my instructions confusing or unclear, do make sure to let me know. You won’t be the only one having problems. And I will always do my best to ‘clear the mud’ so to speak! :)

          • Thank you so much Cindy, you did answer my question quite well. I know I can always count on an excellent tutorial from you and that’s why I don’t bother with others. Your method of measuring the thickness of rolled clay with playing cards is such a huge help, I was hoping there might be a way like that to measure amounts of clay but obviously not. Each recipe is so different and I am no way that advanced to figure them out. I will rely on you to do that for me.LOL Thanks again for your wonderful response.

          • Loved your rant Cindy and totally agree that some of the best artists are so vague with measurements. There SHOULD be a standard for measurements so here is a suggestion (more work for you) I purchased a tiny set of jewelry scales and decided to weigh out my parts. Premo one whole block = 2oz. half a block = 1oz. Quarter of block (one strip of the four parts = half oz) As in cooking, most people have kitchen scales and here in UK we weigh in gramms, to make it more confusing but my little scales have a button to change from ounces to gramms. They can weigh up to one Kilo and jewelers use them to weigh gold. The playing card trick we used for rolling out silver clay as over a certain weight it has to be hallmarked. Not sure if this would be too much of a pain but other people might find it helpful. Do you bake Dixie? Bet you cut up your butter and weigh it when you make cookies for the grandchildren…………………cheers……………………

  4. Can’t wait to see this tomorrow! As far as mixing colors goes I think of a “part” as what ever size I’m starting with. For example one section of a block of clay can be one part or two sections can be on part etc. Then every other “part” is a measurement of the original size part. So, say that my one part is a whole block of clay, then a half part would be half a block of what ever other color, a 1/4 part would be 1/4 section of another color etc. Does that make any sense? I’m pretty tired I’ve been studying all day, lol.

  5. Cindy – you are the best teacher. You are clear, explain things well, take us slowly thru the steps and are enthusiastic ! What more can you ask for. WE ARE ALL SO LUCKY to have you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am definitely going to try this one. But slowly isn’t my vocabulary LOL.. Really will go S-l-o-w-l-y!

    Thank you so much for pushing me out of my comfort zone…………

  6. Cindy, you are a very thorough teacher that both explains and demonstrates things in an easily accessible fashion. It’s very common for me to find myself thinking “Why didn’t I think of that?” when watching your tutorials.

    Take Care!
    Wendy

  7. This Lily Cane Tutorial is WONDERFUL as usual. Im so glad you did this tute as Ive been wanting to be able to do some pix or graphics via cane and you take some of the fear out of the trimming of the lily out of roll. etc. thanks.

  8. Cindy, I have never shared anything on your site before but just want to say how much I appreciate all you do. I might share that about a year ago I had double carpel tunnel surgery and the therapy included rolling and squishing clay in my hands. I had seen a clay jeweler at a quilt show and thought, hey I can start seeing what I can do with polymer clay. So that was part of my therapy. I found your website and joined only to find myself addicted to polymer clay and your tutorials. I’ve accumulated so much, clay, findings, wires, tools that I am overwhelmed with what to do next. I’ve made a few pieces and sold them to co-workers which got me thru financially while I was later off work with back problems. I am hooked on Michaels and Hobby Lobby and have recently started venturing out to hardware stores to see what they have and their prices are much better than either of the above mentioned, especially for a beginner. My local Michaels has recently closed due to economy. I have to drive across town now to get my supplies and do this on my way to work, so I can’t just come home and start on my project. It’s kinda sad, but good for my addiction. LOL Anyway, I’ve been trying to think of something elegant to make for my mother and this Easter Lilly is perfect. I think she will love it. Thanks again

    • Hi Janice, I am so happy that you came by to say Hi. It is wonderful to have you here! Yes I know about having a polymer clay addiction!! It is a healthy type of addition to have so don’t worry. Anything that gets you fired up and inspired, without harming your body or your mind, is a good thing right? ;)

      Any way, glad to hear that the Easter Lily Cane is perfect for a gift for your mom. I think you are going to enjoy making it and that it will become a springboard to other caning projects as well.

      Hope to continue to see you ‘around these parts’. Thanks for your comment!

  9. This was beautiful Cindy, plus it gives me lots of ideas on how to go about constructing other things. I also appreciate that you took the time to do a separate video on reducing a cane and said that you will be doing other separate “basic” videos so that we can get on to “the good stuff.” Which, btw, is always good stuff, lol! Your bracelet is stunning. Do you have any particular place where you buy your bead caps and findings? Also, this is a future video request. I found someone on etsy selling instructions on how to make a 3D flower. It looked like it was bursting out of the center like a fire works display. Does that make sense? I have some ideas on how it could be done, but I’m not quite sure how she pulled it off. I have no doubt, however, that you could come up with something that would make us all have a slap yourself on the forehead moment and say now why in the world didn’t I think of that, lol.

    • Thanks Michelle! Glad you liked it! As far as where I buy findings, I am going to have to say, pretty much everywhere. I regularly buy at ArtBeads, ShipwreckBeads, FireMountainGems, Rings&Things, and of course my local Michaels. I like to watch for good deals. I believe those particular caps came from ArtBeads.

      The 3D cane I think you are referring to is called a Fountain Flower by MarsDesigns. Although I love that design, I need to be careful not to do tutorials that are too similar to other artists in the industry that have signature designs like that one. Just like me they are trying to make a living off their work. It would be mean to copy them and I hate it when it happens to me… which is WAY too often btw.

      I can however add whatever of my own original cane designs (like this Easter Lily) or ones that are more ‘common license’ or ‘public domain’ (like rose canes or jelly roll canes etc.) that I want to. Especially if I can make it head slapping easy and put my own little spin on it. I would like to create some more 3D type canes as well as some more ‘frilly’ and ‘multi-petaled’ designs though, so those should keep you happy when I can get to them. :)

      • Yes, that’s the flower I saw. I certainly don’t want to steal someone elses idea either and I so appreciate that you don’t do that. That explosive, 3D effect is so cool though, and I can’t wait to see the Cindy Lietz frilly multi-petaled version, lol.

  10. Hello Cindy & fellow Clayers ~

    I sent the following questions to Cindy a few days ago and she thought they are great questions and to forward them to the group for some well rounded help and advice from everyone…… Thank you all so much for taking the time to help me on this~~

    Hi Cindy ~ I need your advise on how you manage to store your findings not only by what they are made of but also by what company you order from, how many pieces you have and the cost…..

    I have been struggling with this, I have my studio all set and am set up with Etsy to sell when I get to the (making jewelry part) but can’t see to get this done.

    I watched an Etsy video class that recommends a company call “Outright” for keeping track of stock for making and price per piece and such & there is a DVD for a “Jewelry Designer” not sure if either are good sites for Clay Makers with Jewelry parts as well.

    Do you use anything like these & if so what one & how do you sort your findings “other than your bags of bead wire” which I saw on your tutorial and love!!

    Help Teacher!!! I need yours or someone from our groups help, ideas, suggestions. I am extremely organized & that is best for how I work. I live in Indiana & even searched tons of stores and sites until I found the exact cabinets you have on your back wall & bought 8 of them for beads and clay storage & have them labeled by color & color # & maker. I even painted the black to be a soothing lite aqua color. Will send in pics of my area soon to share.

    Thanks Cindy for your time & expert help!! =)

    Deby Petzke

    • Seeking Help!! Keeping Track of Business Expenses how to: see details above, I’m struggling… Help Please =)

      • Hi Deb, I hear urgency in your post. The best way I can think of to keep track of all your expenses is using a spreadsheet, unless you have a software program that will help you. I don’t know how much computer experience you have but if you do a google search you can find free applications online that you can download and use. There is even a free Open Office that is identical to Microsofts Office which has A spreadsheet, and a word processer.
        You can have a sheet for Inventory, a sheet for vendors etc; There is also help online and in the program itself as to how to use it. Good Luck.

        • Thanks Dixie Ann for coming in to help Deby. I have been trying to not spend too much time on the computer on weekends, and try and focus on my family and home during that time, so it can take me awhile to get to answer everyone. So Thank you for your support. You are lovely!

      • Hi Deby, sorry to take so long to get to you… you sound like you’re getting anxious.

        The problem is that I don’t really have a lot of advice to give you here as far as programs for keeping track of inventory. I use a much more ‘Old School’ approach.

        If you have seen my video on how I store my clay and findings in those black units with the little drawers, (I like your idea of painting them btw) you will see that I like to keep everything in view. This gives me a visual ‘inventory’ of what I have. If the drawers are empty of a certain supply, then I need to buy more and if they’re full, I don’t need to. Not precise at all, but works very well for me.

        As far as tracking the names and prices of the supplies, I like to cut or peel the product labels off the bags or packaging and slip them into the drawers with the supplies. That way I know what the product is if it isn’t obvious, and how much it cost. If it doesn’t say the price on the label you can write it in. If the product was especially expensive then I make sure to reflect that in the price when I sell a piece. That is as detailed as I get.

        I know that there are systems and software out there like Bead Manager Pro and others that are far more powerful than my system. I haven’t found a need to get that detailed about it, because my focus is on the tutorial side and not the jewelry production side. I mostly make samples of which I give as gifts or sell occasionally, so I am not focused on tight profit margins and production costs. Someone that is in production would need better tracking however.

        So… Maybe someone else has more info?

        ANYONE ELSE KNOW ABOUT INVENTORY TRACKING SYSTEMS THAT CAN HELP DEBY OUT?

        (Sorry for the shouty letters but it just makes it easier for people to see, in a sea of comments.) Good luck! Let us know if you find out anything.

        • I use Bead Mgr. Pro. I track the clay by quarter section, therefore each 2 oz block yields 16 pieces. I use register receipt numbers for tracking my own parts. It tracks merchant price , etc. Once set up it is perfect.

          • Thank You Karronkay for your help and letting me know you use the Bead Pro, I will look into it… I really appreciate you help as this is really a struggling point for me as I like to be organized & I only want to set it up once and then be able to create and just keep updating from there!!! So a Big Thankyou!! =)

        • Thank you so much Cindy for all your time and help, I really appreciate it all and I have LOTS of beads, stones, and jewelry making pieces so the price tag idea is fantastic!!! Thank you!

        • I’m a software developer and have very specific ideas about what I want to accomplish and how I want things to work. None of the existing beading / inventory tracking software that I’ve looked at meets my requirements, and to be honest I find much of it unusable, but I want functions that many people don’t and am very particular about user interface design so my opinion probably doesn’t reflect the majority’s.

          At the moment I use a very elaborate and detailed spreadsheet for managing inventory and tracking costs as I haven’t got around to writing specific software for my own use yet. I’ve written such software for other things, and I’ll do it for my studio supplies when my spreadsheet becomes too cumbersome, but that probably won’t be any time really soon.

          The information I record depends on the type of item, but for beads and findings it includes things like materials, dimensions (X, Y and Z axes plus hole positioning and dimensions), shape, colours, decoration — so I can search for similar items or see if I have anything that matches a particular idea I have in mind — as well as quantity, reference images, source, overall and unit pricing (with currency conversion) with and without shipping, and handles recording multiple purchases of the same item from different suppliers at different prices, assuming “first in, first out” usage. Clay goes in there too along with anything else “consumable”, plus tools, instructional material, and what have you. If I want to I can determine the exact materials cost of almost anything I make, although I normally don’t bother. I’m definitely not “in production”, but I like having that information on hand.

          (By the way, keeping up that level of detail isn’t too much hassle when you can record incomings and outgoings “as you go”, but if you have any significant existing stocks getting that initial information entered is a total pain! LOL I have several boxes of goodies I haven’t recorded properly yet, and am still undecided as to whether I’ll spend the time to record them all in full detail, or will just store them away where they belong and use general information from similar items if I ever need to price them in detail.)

          In terms of storage, like items are grouped together and stored in a logical order / progression in my studio. For example, non-metal beads are arranged by colour, with one series for gemstone beads and another for everything else. Metal beads and findings are stored by material, type of item, shape and general appearance. I generally also put a sticker onto the storage package of each item with basic details such as material, dimensions, overall and unit pricing, and source of that particular package. For clay, I keep enough immediately accessible for any project I might have in mind (a few pounds of each Kato colour as I use this the most, 4 packages of each Premo colour, and 1-4 packages of each Pardo/Fimo etc. colour as I don’t use them much), with the rest in bulk storage crates that are kept out of the way.

          I’d also say that you’re not going to come up with the perfect system instantly. I’ve reorganised things completely several times, and continue to tinker even now. Also, what works for one person won’t necessarily work for others. Do a general internet search, see what ideas people have that also appeal to you, try a few software packages with some basic “real” data and see if they do what you want (and if they don’t, quite, you can always email suggestions to the developers!). And when you set your prices, remember that it’s not all about materials; factor in your time and creative input too, and allow enough leeway to still get a suitable return even when constituents can’t be specifically priced.

          • Wow Sue this is extremely great advise!!!! It really hit me (right between the eyes) =) while reading it that I have been going about this in a organize (all details down) fashion an I don’t have too!!! Your words lifted a HUGE weight off of my chest…. “Thank you”. I do have years of stock (not logged) and this was stressing me out badly. With you advice here I have decided to only log my orders starting with what I have purchased this year (and that is still in boxes with all details still intact) and the rest just estimate it into my cost of design as they come about with each piece!!! Again, thank you dearly from the bottom of my heart!!!

            Yeah creating closer and stress less!!!! Sue I feel as though you thru me a life raft my eyes could actually see and wrap my brain around!!! Blessings to you!!!

          • I’m glad it helped, Deby! Good luck with everything, and I hope we get to see some of your work. :)

  11. Hi Cindy,

    an adventurous journey to a beautiful Lily Cane is your last tutorial. Chapeau! ***

  12. Cindy, thank you so much, I love this cane and I made it and am now making the beads. I needed all the videos you gave us for this and they made it so easy to make the cane and beads. A lot of hard work for you guys but so appreciated !!!!

  13. You make it look so easy. Can you do the same type of technique on making a bee cane. Someone asked me to make a Bee cane and was not sure how to insert the eyes and wings this gives me some ideas. But if you want to nake a bee cane tutorial I ‘ll be right there with you all the way.

    Thanks cindy

  14. Somewhat related to the question about inventory tracking, I’ve made simple spreadsheets that list the clays available (that I’ve found) in the Premo, Fimo and Kato lines. And I’m wondering if anyone here would like copies in PDF or Excel-compatible formats?

    Basically it’s a list of the color codes and names, one per line and a row of boxes (think grid pattern) to keep track of blocks you have in inventory, or blocks you want to order. I made it to take with me when I am buying clay (or have with me at my desk when ordering online). For me, every time I buy a block I fill in one square for that color using the block size. For example, if I have 4 blocks of black in 2 oz and 1 block in 8 oz, I might have 2, 8, 2, 2, 2, on that row. I cross off one of the numbers when I use a block that size. I found I would buy clays I already had lots of and completely miss filling holes in my stash, until I did this. But you can use it anyway you want.

    If enough people are interested, I have a couple of options for putting each brand sheet on a website and providing links. If only one or two are interested I can e-mail direct instead of bothering to make links. Most computers come with the software to open an Adobe PDF, but not to make changes. If you want to take this sheet and add your own details, I can provide a file you can edit in a spreadsheet program. So let me know if you are interested using reply.

    • Sounds interesting Bertha. Just wanted to add a quick note about the logistics of being able to share things like this.

      Due to privacy issues, it is not possible to disclose or post email addresses here at the blog. There are quite a few reasons why that would take forever to explain… but trust me, it is in everyone’s best interest that your email information be kept protected.

      That being said… what you can do Bertha, if you still want to follow through with this initiative… is forward the documents to me (via Cindy’s email address), and I will post download links to the documents here in this thread. That way anyone interested can download them directly without have to share their private contact info.

      • Hi Doug,

        Thanks for the offer. Yes, I know the reasons why posting e-mails are a bad idea and I probably should have clearly said reply with your interest, not your e-mail. (I have an e-mail account that I can turn on and off for temporary use like this.) But it was late and I had already had a glass of wine. ;-)

        If you could upload the files that would be great. My website is really old and in need of a major overhaul so I don’t even tell anyone about it right now. I could try to throw up a quick page just for this but I’m not sure I remember the correct password and I don’t have access to my super-secret password hidey-place where I am now.

        I will send the files to the contact info, zipped up to make it easier. Thanks again.

        • OK here is the download link… PC Inventory Files (Zipped)

          Bertha said… “There is one PDF file for each of the main clay brands readily available in North America, which is easiest for people without spreadsheet software or experience. There is also a copy of the original spreadsheet workbook file with 3 worksheets, one for each brand, for anyone who wants to use it as a basis for their own customized sheet. I used Open Office but saved it in Excel format.”

  15. How wonderful Bertha :) what a useful tool that will be !
    I just love poly people – don’t ya’ll :)
    a big Thanks for a new tool

  16. Thanks a bunch for all of this page! So many smart creative people in our little nich of poly people! And I am so proud to belong!

  17. I have only been using polymer clay for 5 months & love your video tutorials. I have learnt so much. Thank you.

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