Pastor Gifts – Polymer Clay Book Beads and Bookmarks

Polymer Clay and Copper Bookmarks by Carolyn Fiene“This is the coolest bookmark I’ve ever seen … and I’ve seen plenty in my life!” ~Pastor Noah

These “Spot” features are for you guys to display your accomplishments, share stories of inspiration and even ask for assistance with challenges that you may be experiencing. The projects are based on techniques learned from articles here at the blog, as well as from tutorials at the Polymer Clay Video Library. My hope is for these “Show and Tell” features to help everyone get to know each other a bit better, thanks to this wonderfully artistic medium of polymer clay. And… by participating, you can win some beads too!

Polymer Clay and Copper Bookmarks by Carolyn Fiene

Hi Cindy,

The pastors and about a hundred of us at Sierra Community Church are reading together through the Bible in a year. I thought it would be great to give each of the pastors their own personalized (book bead) bookmark, thanks to your tutorials. They each got one with their initial on the book. The accent beads I chose for each one, were based on what I felt was closest to depicting who they are.

Pastor John – Being the most intellectual, got a torn watercolor bead since it reminded me of torn pages in a book. Well, when I gave it to him he just held it up and looked at it, twisting it one way and another. I asked if he knew what it was and he said that it was something to hang up! So much for intellectual … I had to tell him it was a bookmark!

Pastor Rex – 6’5″ – big man – big teddy bear! He got the big rectangular bead … with fortifications like you’d see in agates or rhodocrosite – deep but so beautiful. He knew immediately what it was and said, ‘I didn’t buy you anything, but I love it!’ I told him I didn’t buy him anything either … I made it. Then his eyes really lit up and he hugged me.

Pastor Noah – the youngest at about 36-37 – also the shortest (which isn’t really relevant) – his wife is artsy – so I gave him a somewhat large Jupiter Bead knowing his wife would appreciate it even if he didn’t. His comment to me after the service: “Thank you so much! This is the coolest bookmark I’ve ever seen … and I’ve seen plenty in my life!” When I looked into his eyes they had a glisten to them (tears?). Anyway, I got a great, huge hug from him!

Pastor Dan – We have a special email relationship and his bead is the gold foil technique. To me he has a heart of gold … that isn’t always seen by others because he actually tends to be rather shy. He said he loved it and then went on (in an email) to say: “Noah was bragging about his saying his bead was bigger then mine and John’s. I just told him the only reason he got one at all is because Carolyn would never think to give me one without giving him one, but she does love me more. That shut him up for at least ten seconds. ;)”

Anyway, Cindy, thank you so much for teaching us both the book bead and hammered copper hookmark techniques. These were not only a blessing for me, but also for all four of my pastors. It was such a delight to make them, and to choose special beads for each one.


PS: Pastor Noah ended holding up his bookmark in front of the entire congregation. He absolutely raved about it, saying that I had taken a shepherd’s crook and hammered it into the bookmark and then actually made the beads, including the tiny book. He said that only the pastors had these special bookmarks, but that there were lots of other hand crafted items for sale at Nehemiah’s Wall. [This is the name for the sales that I hold at the church where all the money goes to the church.] Our tables were swamped after the service and several people said that they wanted one of the bookmarks also!




If you are interested in sharing pictures of your polymer clay projects with the community, please follow these 2 simple steps:

1) Email several of your photos to me as attachments. My email address is shown in the “From” line of the weekly Polymer Clay Newsletter that gets sent out each and every Friday morning.

2) Include a description and/or story about your pieces, being sure to reference the tutorial(s) or blog article(s) that provided at least some level of inspiration for your work.

Don’t be shy. Everyone is VERY friendly here.

In the comment section below, please do compliment each other; Offer encouragement; Ask questions about the techniques used; And in general… be social. This is your community! It’s up to you to make it a fun and supportive place to hang out. All of you are amazing and it’s wonderful to have everyone here!

I love this wonderful community! I feel like I’m finally home :-)  My biggest problem is that I spend so much time reading everything, I’m not getting any clay projects done. I plan to get busy since my vacation is almost over. Thank you for all of your amazing ideas and teaching. You make everything look so easy and fun. ~Cheryl-V

** Did You Know… Members with current subscriptions to the weekly tutorial videos are always entitled to a 10% discount when purchasing 6 or more back issue packages in a single transaction. If you are interested, let me know which back issues you would like and I will send further instructions on how to complete your order.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Elizabeth S., 12 May, 2010


    I don’t think there is a better way to honor someone than to offer a gift that expresses how you appreciate them on a personal level. The fact that you thought hard about exactly which bead should adorn each of these lovely pieces has got to be so meaningful to each of your pastors, probably a gesture that they will never forget. Also, when you think about it, you are honoring Cindy, too, in creatng your gifts from what she has taught.

    This post is beautiful on so many levels. Thank you for sharing.


  2. Elizabeth Kerr, 12 May, 2010

    @Elizabeth S.:
    Hi Carolyn
    just saw your Spotlight on your Book Beads. Just Love it all. So clever and beautiful and well done.
    So inspiring and gorgeous, I was just about crying, the thoughts were so moving. I could just about see those Pastors and the looks on their faces.
    What a lovely thought for your Pastors, and how they appreciated them. Your inovative ideas as to how you constucted them is to be complimented. I just love book beads and yours are scrumptious.
    Thats what I mean when I say I am always learning new things from just being here in Cindy’s site.
    You took 2 things she has taught us and made it your own. we cant thank Cindy enough , can we, Always full of ideas for us to learn and evolve in our own way. I’m sure making them gave you a real thrill, and I hope it has helped you in your recovery.
    All the best and hope to see you here soon, and keep doing the beautiful things you do.
    Elizabeth K.

  3. Bonnie Kreger, 12 May, 2010

    Carolyn, these are really great. How are you doing? We have worried about you.
    Please let us know how you are doing.

  4. Freda K, 12 May, 2010

    What a great gift for your pastors. Around here we have a Pastor’s Appreciation month and I’ve never known what to give our pastors. Good idea.

  5. Lawrence, 12 May, 2010

    What a beautifully thought out gift for your pastors Carolyn. I am sure there are many good vibes coming your way.

  6. Lisa Whitham, 12 May, 2010

    What excellent gifts… So beautiful and yet so personal too. Perfect..!!
    I have been praying for you Carolyn, and will continue to do so. I’m thrilled to see you spotlighted, it gives me hope you are feeling better.

    Love & Prayers,

  7. Ritzs, 12 May, 2010

    Caralyn top marks on all counts, for thoughtfulness, caring, and skill,you must be a very caring person hugs and health to you. Ritzs

  8. Cheryl H, 12 May, 2010

    Carolyn, what beautiful bookmarks. There was so much thought and caring that went into making them; I’m sure they will always treasure them. How are you doing? You are in my prayers too. Hope you feel better and stronger.

  9. Linda K., 12 May, 2010

    Carolyn, what a lovely thing to do for your pastors. I hope you’re feeling better and out of the hospital by now. We sure do miss you here. I’m keeping you in my prayers.

  10. Carole Holt, 12 May, 2010

    such beautiful bookmarks Carolyn i am not surprised that the Pastors were moved in receiving them,The beads are all lovely each in its own way.You must be able to raise a lot of money for the Church by selling your creations .Thanks for sharing your story and for inspiring us to do more .

  11. Joyce M, 12 May, 2010

    Does this mean you are home and feeling better, Carolyn? We certainly hope so. Your work is just beautiful and so thoughtful. I will share this with my granddaughters when they get here in June. They wanted to make some of these bookmarks for friends. That was one of the gifts I gave them for Christmas. Now they will have more examples to work with. Thank you for sharing. Will keep the prayers going while waiting to here from you.

  12. Catalina, 12 May, 2010

    Wow! I really think you did a great job. Making each one unique and special for each pastor is very challenging. Hope you are doing better. I really like the blue initial book. Did you antique the finish? I love the texture and detail.

  13. Melinda Herron, 12 May, 2010

    Those are fabulous bookmarks. Beautiful work!

  14. DawnB, 12 May, 2010

    They’re beautiful. Such a great idea and heartwarming story! This is a great vehicle for inspiration and sharing. Cindy, thanks for this “Spotlight” feature.

  15. Phaedrakat, 12 May, 2010

    What beautiful, well-thought-out gifts! Giving each of them a bookmark that fit their personality & “style” was the perfect way to show your appreciation. Pastors do so much, and give so much to their church; you gave them the perfect gift! They sound like a wonderful group of guys, too. The fact they weren’t expecting a present made it even more special! I’m sure you made their day, week, or more! The bookmarks themselves are lovely and well-crafted. Did you use your “favorite” PYM II on them? They turned out fantastic!

    I love how you represented several of Cindy’s tutorials. You’ve shown that you can learn some cool techniques, and then make them your own! That’s what this “contest” and the spotlights are all about. Showing how we learn from Cindy, or how we are inspired to create beyond the tutorials, even creating our own new techniques. Basically, showing how the Polymer Clay Tutor helps us grow as clayers!

    Carolyn, I pray that you are feeling better. I’m going to keep refreshing this page , waiting for you to post a comment. I really miss you around here! All of us are concerned about your health, and we’re wishing you the very best. I’m sure your church & family are praying for you, as well. Please, get better fast — come back to us! I really hope that we’ll get a message soon, showing us that you’re well. My thoughts & prayers are with you Carolyn. God Bless!

  16. Lisa Whitham, 13 May, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Hiya Kat, I finally finished the faux jade faces…you can see them here:

    I can’t believe how good they came out..!

    Clay On,
    ~Lisa :)

  17. Phaedrakat, 13 May, 2010

    @Lisa Whitham: WOW! They’re gorgeous! They truly look like real jade! I’ve got to put my face mold to work. Love, love, love them! (Your beads, I mean!) I’m sorry about your depression. I, too have been suffering since my early teens (didn’t get treatment until much later, though.) Mine is not as severe as some though, and for that I’m grateful. You’re so right that support is necessary; without it, I end up in that cycle of pain & despair again. You have to talk to friends and family, keep talking about it as much as you can (let it out!) There are so many nice people around here, too. It’s a very caring environment!

    I will add you to my prayer list, Lisa. I hate to think of such a sweet person as you being depressed. You always have something positive and nice to say! Congrat’s on the amazingly beautiful jade faces. Really stunning. I’ll make another visit later to your fb page and leave a comment. Anyway, have a great day — I’ll be praying for your happiness!

  18. Lisa Whitham, 13 May, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Thanks for the nice comments on my faces..! I really enjoyed making them.
    So sorry you battle depression too… I didn’t get diagnosed until I was in my early 30’s, but suffered for years before that, not knowing what was exactly wrong. Now meds help, but by no means cure it. I will pray for you too, that you win your battles with depression also…And if you ever want to talk just ask Cindy for my email addy…

    Keep On Clayin’,
    ~Lisa :)

  19. Honey Sperring, 12 May, 2010

    Oh, Carolyn, I didn’t even know you were in the hospital!!!! I hope it’s not serious and I hope you get better real fast….. So much bad news, everywhere. I haven’t been around for a while because of bad news here and deep depression. I’m so sorry your not feeling well. You must be getting millions of prayers from your Pastors. I know you’ll be better much quicker because of all those prayers. I’ll be praying for you, too. Those were such thoughtful and beautiful gifts. Just perfect!!!!!! Love Ya, ……Honey

  20. Phaedrakat, 12 May, 2010

    @Honey Sperring: Honey, I’m thinking of you, and praying that your depression will lift. It’s very difficult, believe me, I KNOW! But remember that we care about you — I care! Pain & Depression go hand-in-hand, unfortunately, and they form a vicious circle! You have to fight that tendency with whatever you’ve got, and I know you’ve got it! My prayers & thoughts are with you, hugs! ~Kat

  21. Lisa Whitham, 13 May, 2010

    @Honey Sperring: I really feel for you…I know first hand how awful it is having depression. I’ve been battling depression for over 30 years. I figure every day I’m breathing, I’ve won the battle that day… I hope you win your battle too!! Support is very important, and I want you to know if you ever want to talk, just ask Cindy for my email address. I would be happy to be there for you…
    Hang in there Honey!!
    Love & Prayers,
    ~Lisa :)

  22. Elizabeth Kerr, 12 May, 2010

    P.S.I see what I did, replied to Carolyn through Elizabeth S.
    please forgive just so excited about this Spotlight, so nice.
    Some days some people do have em !! ( Glitches I mean) LOL
    Thanks for the lone of your email space E.S. LOL !!!
    E. K. XXX

  23. pamagela, 13 May, 2010

    un bellissimo regalo grande idea e per chi riceve un bell’omaggio.
    complimenti ……

  24. Phaedrakat, 13 May, 2010

    pamagela’s comment, translated by Google: great idea and a beautiful gift for those who receive a beautiful tribute.
    Congratulations … …

  25. Brenda, 13 May, 2010

    @Carolyn: I just saw your spotlight. I love your gift…………………….. I have two brother in-laws and a brother that are pastors they would love.. love… love… these. You know I love what you pastor said as well. The Shepard Crook. Awesome job!

  26. Cindy Lietz, 14 May, 2010

    Update about Carolyn. It’s good news. Her Pastor Dan just sent me this email…

    “It has been a difficult road up until Monday but Carolyn has been making quantum leaps since Sunday when the whole church prayed for her. She feels God deserves all the props and her change was in her own words miraculous. She told me to tell you she will be writing as soon as her strength returns, it shouldn’t be too long. Dan”

  27. Brenda, 14 May, 2010

    @Cindy Lietz from Butterfly Wing Cane: I had No idea that Carolyn was in the Hospital. I feel that everyday here at your Polymer Clay Tutor site, I get closer to my claying friends. Starting to remember names and faces. It saddens my heart to hear of depression. Man wouldn’t it be nice if we all lived closer? So that we could give each other big bear hugs.

    Depression is a powerful thing. It makes me want to cry :(…… I know first hand, because I lost my mother to it in 1996. It was the most painful thing that I ever endured in my life.

  28. Sandra G, 14 May, 2010

    I love the butterfly wing. I would love to see a tute on it. You have such a good eye for color!! Praying for carolyn to get well soon.
    I know about depression. I have gone through it and can say that it’s no fun. Meds do help. Pray that you get relief Lisa.

  29. Cindy Lietz, 14 May, 2010

    Just so people aren’t confused, Carolyn is not suffering from depression but rather from a bacteria infection in her stomach. I know there is more than one conversation happening here, but for those just popping in, I didn’t want there to be any confusion. Carolyn will be so pleased when she is able to get onto her computer and see how much you all care.

    It touches me that you all are feeling so open to discuss your challenges and health issues with each other. It is wonderful that you have found a medium such as polymer clay as a source of distraction, creativity, healing and loving support. Take care everyone. You are appreciated!

  30. Phaedrakat, 14 May, 2010

    I am so happy to hear Carolyn is doing a bit better. Our prayers, and those of her church, family, and friends, are definitely helping! Carolyn is a true believer, and such a giving soul. She creates so many items to sell at her church, then donates the sales right back to her church. I’m so glad that she’s “making quantum leaps”; she’s just not finished with all of her good deeds yet! I can’t wait to see that “first” comment from her!

  31. Catalina, 14 May, 2010

    Thankfully Carolyn will be as good as new very soon! I keep thinking about you Carolyn! You are special to us all! Phaedrakat is right about you, “not finished with all of her goods, yet!” :)

  32. Honey Sperring, 14 May, 2010

    Lisa & Kat, Thank you so much for your caring support. That’s what I love about this community……..PEOPLE…..So many people are so nice… We’ll all battle our ailments together. If you both can do it, so can I. The both of you are always in my prayers. Love……..Honey

  33. Laurel, 15 May, 2010

    Carolyn: These are just beautiful! I love them all.

  34. Peggy Barnes, 18 May, 2010

    Carolyn this spotlight is so touching and you work well they each and everyone have your name all over them and a piece of you in each. You have so much faith and kindness for all. Always thinking about someone else. We all miss you and your creativity. You take all the time you need to get well. If there is anything I can do for you remember when you are better you can reach me through facebook.
    God Bless and be with you. In Jesus name I pray for you each day. I will keep you on our prayer chain at church until I know you are well and back with all of us here giving to each as you always do.
    Love and Uuuuuuuuuggggggs, Peggy
    p.s. thanks for sharing your spotlight with us.

  35. Peggy Barnes, 18 May, 2010

    For everyone here at the blog I want you to know I pray for all of us. Even the most simple of illness can take its tole out on us. Depression, Chronic Fatigue, pain they all test us. We all have one thing in common and that is our love for PC. It can bring us relief from the worse of the worst. Working with this medium gives you such a feeling of serenity. You can be in a world of no pain, no bad feeling. Like you are soemwhere else all together. On a beautiful beach, beside a glorious waterfall, where ever you want to go just away from the bad and to the good. I know when I work with my clay I have so much fun and I don’t think of any of my problems while I am working. Yes you have to go back to the real world but then you know the PC is there waiting for you to get away from it all over again. Thanks to Cindy and Doug we will never be without anything to do.

    God has blessed each and every one of us with Cindy and Doug this blog and all their fantastic teamwork.

    Love and Uuuuuuuggggs, Peggy

  36. Brenda, 18 May, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes: Peggy you are so sweet and so right :) I work with Infants and toddlers and rarely get adult conversations in. I look foward to talking to my family and friends everyday by pc. My hubby purchased me a new laptop for mothers day which has video, now I get to skype with my daughter and grandchildren that live in another state. It amazes me how far technoligy has come. Ty for the prayers too…

  37. Cindy Lietz, 19 May, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes: Peggy, Brenda is right, you are so sweet!

    I think what you said will strike a chord with many of the people who come here. You have taken what most would treat with negativity (pain and illness), and treated it with positivity and hope. You have made your circumstances better by using the creative outlet of polymer clay. This not only effects your own life, but also those that surround you. Including everyone here.

    Thank you for making our world a better place!

  38. Melinda Herron, 19 May, 2010

    Big Hugs to Carolyn! Miss her!

  39. Honey Sperring, 19 May, 2010

    Peggy, I’m speechless………What a beautiful blog…….It gave me the chills reading it. That’s exactly the way I feel. That’s the reason I love this place. So many loving and caring people like you. What more could anyone ask for ?……….Love Ya, Honey

  40. Phaedrakat, 21 May, 2010

    Such good people! You guys are the best. I’m so happy to hear that Carolyn is out of the hospital. She needs to take her time getting back into things, but it sure will be great having her back!

  41. carolyn, 24 May, 2010

    Thank you all so much for your kind and loving comments. I am slowly regaining my stamina … and a few pounds.

    The first anniversary of Don’s receiving his crown of life took place while I was in the hospital … and the next day was my b’day … what a way to spend those two days. I did have many visitors and loving church sisters came to hold my hand and offer support.

    Now it is time to change to a photo of ‘just me’. This is the only one I could find. Interestingly enough, it is the last one Don took of me. I am pretty sure that my son and/or d-i-l will take pictures so I may have a better one to post come the end of June after my visit with them.

    Anyway, I am back on deck … at least in a limited way. I am so very glad that you did not forget about me during my long silence!

  42. Cindy Lietz, 25 May, 2010

    @carolyn: Welcome back sweetie! Cute new avatar btw. I think it was a good idea to change it to a photo of just you. You are a strong woman and you are ready to be strong on your own.

    This is pretty much the same thing I said at your blog but I thought I would say it here too.

    As you can see Carolyn, everyone here was REALLY worried about you! I am so happy you are healing up and getting your strength back.

    Knowing that you weren’t feeling well, I understood why you had disappeared for a bit. But after a while, I began to get very worried that things weren’t going so well. Then when others started asking about you, I found the link to your church on your blog and contacted your pastor.

    He let us know how you were doing and said you needed our prayers. Just knowing you were going to make it, was a great relief to us all!

    We have grown to love you and your creative spirit. Glad you will be sharing it with us for a long time more!

    Take care of yourself. Eat lots of comfort food and don’t forget the desert! :-) ~Cindy

  43. carolyn, 24 May, 2010

    Hmmm! I changed the photo on Gravatar. Don’t know why it didn’t change here. Anyone have a suggestion for me?

  44. carolyn, 24 May, 2010

    Try again

  45. Phaedrakat, 24 May, 2010

    @carolyn: Your photo is changed from what I see, Carolyn. You probably have to clear your cache. I’m so glad to have you back! Take it easy, and we’ll continue to pray for you to gain strength, weight, and health. As a person who’s always had to watch my own weight, it feels odd to hope someone else gains it! I guess you read all the comments here about your bookmarks. They were really well recieved, as you can tell. Anyway, once again, I’m so glad you’re feeling better.

  46. Susan B, 24 May, 2010

    @Carolyn: A warm welcome back Carolyn — I really missed not reading your comments on this blog. I hope as each day passes you feel better and stronger and will be back playing with polymer again very soon. Susan

  47. Phaedrakat, 25 May, 2010

    Yes, thank goodness for Cindy and her “detective” skills! We were all so worried, and crying out for info on our dear Carolyn. I didn’t know Cindy had to track down your pastor, I thought he had contacted Cindy at your request. Wow, Cindy, you really went to some lengths to help us find out what was happening! Thank you so much, you really are a wonderful woman — both of you!

    Eat hearty, dear Carolyn! I’d bake something for you, if you didn’t live so far away! I’m starting to repeat myself, too. I’ve already written at your blog as well. So…just get better soon! :D ~Kat

  48. Joyce M, 25 May, 2010

    @Carolyn: Knowing that you are recovering is a raye of sunshine.
    Yes, we were all very concerned for you. So it is grateful to the Lord I am that you will once again be able to share your talents with us. Looking forward to seeing more of your work and hearing from you soon, but take good care of yourself in the meantime.

    Joyce M.

  49. Honey Sperring, 26 May, 2010

    Welcome back Carolyn !!!!!!!! It’s good to hear and see you again. I knew you’de get better with all the prayers from around the world. It’s great to hear good news for a change. Boy, you’ve been through so much this past year but you really are a fighter. I’ll keep praying for you. Missed you and your beautiful work. I’m really excited you’re back……..Love Ya, Honey

  50. Cindy Lietz, 10 June, 2010

    Hey Carolyn… check out today’s post… I know you will like it! The link by my name will take you there.

  51. Jocelyn, 30 June, 2010

    Carolyn, hope a month along finds you much better. Those bacteria infections can knock your entire system for a whack, we almost lost our family’s next door neighboor last year. She started with stomach then it moved lower. She swears it took her a whole year to rebuild her strength and she is doing wonderfully now, so sure hope the same applies in your case.

  52. carolyn, 30 June, 2010

    @Jocelyn: Yes, thank you, Jocelyn, I am doing ever so much better. Regained the weight and now I’m having to count calories again. Now that I am back home from Philly I’m going to have to get serious about taking care of some things around here. And, of course, I can work with clay again! Know that you are in my prayers also.

  53. Catalina, 01 July, 2010

    So glad to to hear you are doing so well. I glad you had a nice trip. What did you and Ken get to do? Did he sing for you?? LOL!! We have so many so many multiple talented people here!

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