Recipe Cards for Mixing Polymer Clay Colors – Collect Them All

Polymer Clay Tutor Color Recipe Card

Free Giveaway To Get Your Custom Color Recipe Card Collection Started Today:

As many of you already know, I’m in the process of dotting the I’s and crossing T’s for the grand opening of a brand new polymer clay membership club. Basically it will be a huge library of How-To Videos all in one place. No more countless hours surfing the Internet for answers and ideas that you often don’t even find by the end of your search.

The topics will be suitable for beginners as well as for those of you who have been playing with clay for a while now. If you want more info about exactly how this members-only club will work, then click here: Free Polymer Clay Tutorials (And Affordable 24/7 Access to Back Issues)

Along with the membership videos, there will also be weekly color recipe cards for mixing your own custom colors. The image above is a sneak peak at the 4 x 6 recipe card format.

These color recipes will have you mixing colors like a pro. No longer will you have to guess how to get the exact colors you want, and how they will end up looking once they are baked. You’ll be saving time and money by avoiding costly mistakes.

Collecting the recipe cards will be fun too. In addition to the regular weekly cards that get posted into the membership site, I’ll also be doing ongoing free giveaways of bonus color recipes.

In my Sept. 25 blog post [Polymer Clay Color Mixing Recipe Cards], I already gave away the first set of free bonus cards. The only requirement was to leave a blog comment about the pricing question that I asked at the time. Pretty easy! If you see your name on the following list, you’ll be receiving those first bonus recipe cards just as soon as membership site opens:

Cindy Erickson, Andrea, Ratch, Pamela, Daisy, Sandy, Linda, Robin Rawlins, Mona, Kim, jandee, Sye, Janet Allen, Lisa, Louise T, Michele, Colleayn, Maria, Katina, Ernest, Peggy, Leslie, Lani King, Theresa, Rhea, Dorothy, John, Dawn, alison, Diane, Patti, Kim (another one), joanne hemmings, Anna, Monica Daris, Sue, Suanough Zentell, SusanM, Pamela Reader, Donald Sinyard, Diane Curley, tory, Laurel, michelle, Cynister, Jodi, Diana, Linda Johnson, Cheryl, CraftyLinda (full list of commenters from the Sept. 25 post).

Now for as long as I keep the commenting open on this post, you have the opportunity to get the next set of bonus recipe cards. These will be different than the Sept. 25 ones. So for you 50 “winners” listed above, feel free to get involved again with today’s offer.

All second time participants will be one step ahead of everyone else, on your way to having the complete collection of these exclusive color recipe cards. By the way, the cards won’t be available anywhere else… not even for sale ;-)

So here’s the simple requirement for today’s bonus recipe card give away. Use the comment section below and tell me what is your biggest challenge with polymer clay and why.

What is it that you find most difficult to learn? In what area do you need the most help with? Or tell me what sort of information, services, products are difficult for you to find online. Is there something specific that you have been searching for but haven’t been able to locate yet? How long have you been looking?

Share your thoughts… and in return I will make sure that you receive the second set of bonus recipe cards when the new membership site opens. This will definitely be before the end of the month now.

Please note that I reserve the right to delete comments deemed to be ‘unproductive’. Short entries like Count me in” or “I don’t have any challenges” just won’t cut it. Please be thoughtful with your feedback. Thanks.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. sarahwww, 18 October, 2008

    Challenges–time, organization and that stinkin’mica shift! I understand the mechanics and physics of it, but I can never make anything that looks good. I need some-goof proof mica shift ideas. Really enjoying the blog and tutorials.

  2. Beth, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is sketching out my ideas before jumping in with the clay. I need to learn to sketch first, plan the colors and then make the design. I could use tips on how to plan the layout of a cane.


  3. KB, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest challanges would probably be coming up with new ideas for beads. It is like I hit a “polymer clay block” and sit there and look at clay for hours and can not figure out what to do. I also have trouble making my canes look at good as Marcia Tzigelnik makes hers look! I wish I had an ounce of talent she has. Her canes are sooooooo amazing!!! =)

  4. Carolyn, 18 October, 2008

    I’m new to polymer clay. My biggest challenge to-date is learning how to bring in more color. Do I use inks, pencils, where can I find them and how do I use them, why is one better or what are the different effects you get from one versus another one? I’m getting books and trying things out as I can but there’s only so much time and $.

  5. angie milosevic, 18 October, 2008

    I am very much a newbie to PC but love it. My biggest problem is setting up and reducing canes. They never seem to come out at the right proportions. I am working with all hand tools ( no pasta machine or other specific PC only tools). I am also having difficulty finding a variety of patterns on line for the canes.

  6. IW, 18 October, 2008

    For me, it is getting the precision in shape and finish. Somehow my beads never have quite the professional look that I see, for example, with Sarah Shriver’s.

  7. Bev, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge with polymer clay thus far is sculpting bodies over armatures. Actually, I also have a problem with the foil I use for the heads, I can’t always get it to wrap over the loop I make for the head armature as easily as I’d like for it to. I can’t also tell how people who make hands separate, for instance, can attach those parts to arms, and how to make the body separate from the appendages and then attach the arms, legs, etc to the trunk.

  8. Donnies0, 18 October, 2008

    Right now my biggest challenge is taking the polymer
    clay that I am not that familiar with and using it in
    combination with other things like tumbled polised stones or making an attractive cap and bail for a stone crab claw! There’s just so many things I don’t know!!

  9. Darleen Stry, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is finding the sand paper and actually getting a polished finish. I’m getting a nice smoother finish but never a glossy finish.

  10. Melissa, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is the fact I never actually follow though with my design. But irregardlessly, I actually had a fun time making a tea candle holder. Funnily enough, I haven’t gotten use to the idea making a cane. It could be the fact I just have not much patience in making one or the fimo-sculpey mixture is too soft because I went overboard with it. Even so, I still had a fun time reading everything and formulating and wondered why my favorite art shop sells sculpey III instead of fimo.

  11. Sandi, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge? Wouldn’t you know it, it’s mixing colors. I always seem to get to the same orange, pink and green.

  12. donna, 18 October, 2008

    I am having difficulty in the baking of the clay. sometimes it shrinks too much or becomes brittle.

  13. Kam, 18 October, 2008

    My challenges are: same as sarahwww….that whole mica shift thing. I did a tut of it and it so didn’t work out for me. Also being creative with colours. I tend to do the primary colour and add black and/or white….ie, blue with white and black. Pretty boring. I would like to be brave and do some really cool colours, but the scary thing of wasting clay if the colours don’t look good together keeps me from experimenting. Oh and also getting my petals of my flower canes round. Mine always get either boxy or pointed. Clear as mud??? Guess I got a lot of “challenges”!! (cause there ARE more!!)

  14. Lupe Meter, 18 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy,
    You can count me on signing up for the membership.
    Biggest challenge for me is deciding how to go about designing a cane. I am still learning how to make canes and can usually learn from instructions but I would like to design my own. I guess that comes with time and practice especially with the reducing part of it. I was also having problems getting the airbubbles out but I learned today to do a little slanted slice (with the blade) on the clay rather than a perpendicular slice (straight on the clay) that way it is easier to smooth out the small incision. This was especially tough to do when covering a tin box. I am looking forward to the future tutorials. Thanks for all you do.

  15. Kriss Johnson, 18 October, 2008

    For me it is not only the mica shift, but knowing what to do with scrap clay besides make natasha beads and swirls. There has to be something else to do with my mountains of scrap clay.

  16. Lynn Williams, 18 October, 2008

    I like to make jewelry. My biggest challenge is learning how to make pendants. I want to use different embelleshments and pigment powders. Lynn

  17. Pam, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest stumbling block is not knowing where to start. I am very new to polymer clay although I have read books and magazines about different techniques for quite a while now. I have Donna Kato’s book on surface effects and everything looks so fabulous that I want to do it all. I know I probably need to start with beginner projects, but I need some guidance as to just where that is.

  18. Jodi, 18 October, 2008

    I am obviously the amatuer of this group. My biggest challenge so far has just been finding the time to really get started on this media. I have had a jewelry business for years and want to expand to PC. I did actually get the chance to sit down and try some basic beads, which looked good in the making, but after baking, not so much. I am thinking it might be the oven thermometer (I don’t use it for food), so need to get a toaster oven of some sort. With the cold weather descending upon us, I hope to be able to attack this new media with gusto.

  19. Susanna, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is sculpting realistic looking people, animals, or objects.

  20. KB, 18 October, 2008

    I wanted to come back and comment again that I can make beads, but have a lot of issues making focal beads. Making holes for them of even figuring out how to put the findings in and what findings to use.

  21. Cheryl S, 18 October, 2008

    I have a problem with making rose canes, mine look like a big mess and I really, really want to make rose canes. I also have a rough time with putting colors together that look good, it’s like I’m color blind even though I’m not. And designing canes, there are so many beautiful canes out there but when I try to come up with my own ideas I draw a blank. Please Help!! Thanks

  22. Crazy Nancy, 18 October, 2008

    Ambition is at the top of my list. I love to go to the guild meetings and retreats, or just reading what others are doing tends to get me “jump started” with new ideas and great ambitions.
    I want to thank you for your hard work on this site and all the help you’ve been.

  23. Lisa, 18 October, 2008

    Right now I am trying to learn canes.. They are so difficult to do at the beginning.. The canes don’t stay round thay squish… Also, What sells to customers has been a worry.. Once I get the bead making down what should I be making to sell

  24. Koko, 18 October, 2008

    Newbie here. My biggest challanges is getting started. I would get an idea of what I would like to make, and when I sit down to do it, it doesnt come out the way I like it to be.

  25. Corinnel, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest problem is that I want to start making clay jewelry, but somehow I don’t know how to begin. I bought almost everything I need, including a pasta machine. I read a lot of stuff and I have seen some video tutorials, so the basic is clear enough to me. The thing is that I want to begin on a small scale, since the jewelry I want to make is for me and my daughter only, and the tutorials I’ve seen are for big amounts. It would help a lot to get some advice. Thank in advance!

  26. Donald Sinyard, 18 October, 2008

    I am a newbie to polymer clay. I am having some difficulty in baking the clay.

  27. Shelly Neal, 18 October, 2008

    Newbie here!! My biggest problem is deciding where to start. What do I make first, what is the best way to learn when you are first getting started. Are there techinques that you should start with before trying the more difficult looking ones. So many choices…….I struggle to start.

    This is a very useful site and I look forward to the emails each week. Keep up the good work Cindy.

  28. Fritzie, 18 October, 2008

    I’m just a newbie, my greatest challenge was making those flower canes and reducing them to even smaller pieces that would fit in as small as nail decorations without even destroying the figure in my canes….but I guess practice will do the rest….Thanks for giving us the tutorials…

  29. Jessie, 18 October, 2008

    Two issues realy frustrate me. One is getting things even, everything I do looks like a kid made it. Seams don’t match, square edges stretch out of square, etc. My other big issue is applying color with paint, Pearl-ex, etc to textures.

  30. Deb T, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is detail. I want things to look flawless or close to flawless and there are lots of flaws. Oh well. Practice makes….

  31. oana manta, 18 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge? Finishing the pieces! I am a perfectionist and I wish my work to be as close as perfection as posible!

  32. Robin R, 18 October, 2008

    My girls and I are having fun creating with the clay. One of our challenges is when making the holes in a bead, even after letting the bead sit for a while, the shape of the bead tends to get a little disformed.
    It would also be fun to know how to make a professional looking necklace with the finished beads.
    Thank you Cindy :)

  33. DARINDA BRADEN, 18 October, 2008

    Excellent job on the tutorials that I’ve seen so far & thank-you in advance for all your hard work. I can make some canes, but always have to refer back to instructions. I would love to make canes that are of interest to me, but don’t understand how to put the canes together (lets say for a cat or dog). Also how do you go about getting your jewelry or other items out for the public to see or purchase? THANKX, DE BRADEN

  34. Daisy, 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge has been getting the holes centered without messing up the overall shape of the bead. I’m getting better, but the saying is, practice makes perfect.

  35. NH Bead Lady, 19 October, 2008

    I can’t even qualify as a newbie – I haven’t gotten that far yet. I just don’t know where to start. What do I need to buy to start? What can I expect to need after that? What will all this cost? Where is the best place to purchase what I need?

  36. Sue, 19 October, 2008

    I live the UK. Sometimes you (and other polymer clay tutors and books) recommend things under a brand name which is only available in the USA, without saying what it ‘really’ is. For example, I have read that Future floor polish is good for finishing beads; I can’t find it in the UK and have no idea what it’s equivalent would be (in fact if anyone reading this knows, I’d be very happy to find out!)

  37. alison, 19 October, 2008

    hi cindy i would love to have a go at figures i have everything but find it a challange to get the measurements right i.e. size of head then size of body ect. I have read the comment sue left about the future floor polish if you look on glass attic site and click on finishes it does give you the uk equivalent and other suggestions.

  38. Heather d’Entremont, 19 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy,

    I love the look of a matt finish but I want my beads to look like glass. My biggest challenge is achieving this look.

  39. Sandy, 19 October, 2008

    Challenges? So many of them. What to do with the mountains of scrap clay, how to do fine detail with the rest tremor that I have, when is sandpaper too used to use again, how to join seams seamlessly, straight holes through beads, it’s all about the fine details that I sometimes get stumped.

    Of course, the biggest challenge is how to keep my clay room tidy.

    Good question, thanks for posting it.

  40. me, 19 October, 2008

    getting hold of clay that’s firm enough not to turn to mush in my hot hands. I like caning but the only thing that’s form enough is classic and that’s just not in the fun colours.
    also sanding. never get a smooth finish. even working through the grits up to 2000

  41. Cindy Erickson, 19 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy,

    My biggest challenge is in cane making. After I design and put a cane together, and then start to reduce it by gently squishing in the middle and trying oh so hard to keep the ends even, it never fails that the ends go into themselves and then the design starts to come to the outside of the cane. I hope I am describing this so that you know what I mean. I need to learn how to reduce my canes. Also, I could still really use a lot of tutoring on designing canes. I tried to make a face cane, and it came out VERY distorted to say the least.

    Thank you for all of your help,

    Sincerely, Cindy Erickson

  42. Dona Ingram, 19 October, 2008

    Hey Cindy
    I`m very new to the clay
    have never had any class`
    I live in an area where they have no bead or supply shop`s
    the only thing they have around here is Wal-Mart
    so if I need anything I will have to order it on line
    anyway I don`t know anything about it except I want to try it lol
    so anything you put on your site will be wonderful for me
    I don`t have a lot of money so of course I would like for the price to be very min.
    when I become rich and famous form making jewlery
    I will give you all the glory lol

    ty Cindy
    keep up the good work


  43. Elsa, 19 October, 2008

    My challenge is to find a pasta making machine because I live in China… and they make noodles by hand! lol! Then I have to travel 2 hours to Hong Kong to pay over the odds to get polyclay. Boohoooooo!

  44. Lena, 19 October, 2008

    OK. Biggest problem? GETTING STARTED! I admire everything I see and want to do it but need someone to hold my hand the first time.

    I’m dieing to use it in my jewelry making – pendant, beads, etc. – but I’m afraid to start. Silly, I know.

  45. Anna, 19 October, 2008

    Finishing beads is my problem. I seem to sand for hours (with a mini sander made from an old electric toothbrush!) but I can’t get the sheen on them that I keep seeing with other people’s work online. My beads look smooth, but not shiny.

    Also, I’m dying to play with Skinner blends but it’s too hard without a pasta machine (and I can’t find a cheap one), my blends don’t blend properly at all. Any tips, anyone?

  46. CraftyLinda, 19 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy and everyone, I guess one ( I say one because there are a few) of my biggest problems is doing transfers. I have some really neat older pictures that I would love to put on clay and then make focal beads or use on the tops of boxes but I have not found a good foolproof way of doing this.

  47. Jeannette, 19 October, 2008

    I have problems getting the shapes to look like the ones in the books. I cannot seem to get the round beads to be round all the way. Also getting the pieces to glue on after baking. any suggestions?

  48. marla, 19 October, 2008

    my greatest problem is trying to do face canes. i cannot get them to look like a face. theyare really distorted. please help.

  49. Jackie, 19 October, 2008

    Newbie to clay. Making mostly flower canes. Getting better. Looking for tips/tricks to perfect detailed flower canes. Making the flower petals perfectly even. Blends for realistic shadow effects. Using only Kato clay at this tima. Others too soft. Never tried leaching other brands. Looking forward to the libray subscription!

  50. Linda, 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge as a newbie to PC, is to decide what technique I should learn or master first. I’m reading everything I can and started playing with a few different techniques, but have yet to define my style. An of course, finding the time to play with PC is always an issue.

  51. Jackie, 19 October, 2008

    Interest also in making small wall hangings about 10″. Clay recommendations, how to ensure stability, baking, sealing. Thanks!!

  52. Judith Rudolph, 19 October, 2008

    I’m new at polymer clay but after encouragement from Cindy on my blog I got up enough courage to start playing. Color has been fascinating for me. After doing some color mixing experiments that went horribly wrong, I am excited to start using the color recipe cards!

  53. Cathy Clark, 19 October, 2008

    Cindy, My confussion is regarding all the glues and bonders to use with clay. Could you explain the different applications on glass, metal, wood etc with raw and baked clay.

  54. Susan, 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge in doing polymer clay, has been trying to decide on the best clay for the technique I am trying. I just switched over from Sculpey III to Premo and Cernit, because I have read they are better for caning and face sculpting. Perhaps you could do a segment on the limitations of certain clays. Perhaps touching on the fact, that inexpensive clays are not always the best thing. Thanks for allowing me to enter.

  55. Kit, 19 October, 2008

    I’m fairly new to PC so everything seems like a challenge right now, but what I’m really struggling with is making my own colors and color combinations. I took a beginning class yesterday and learned to make a basket weave cane, jelly roll cane, skinner log and lace cane. We had to mix our own colors and I was sooo pleased with how everything came out. I can’t wait for the class I’m taking today!!

  56. Su, 19 October, 2008

    Good morning all!

    My greatest challenge seems to be the one the majority of people have commented on….Mica shift. I absolutely LOVE the look, I’ve purchased almost every book out there and studied the step-by-step instructions until I can recite them in my sleep but I just can’t make it come out right. I stack the ingot, the first cut is beautiful though maybe a little bumpy…and from then on it all looks the same. No color variations, no nothing. It’s so frustrating!

    I’ve tried many of the techniques out there and a lot of them are fun, but I just can’t seem to make the mica shift work for me.

  57. Beverly, 19 October, 2008

    I’m new to polymer clay so right now it seems like everything is a challenge. I am totally enjoying the things I have done, but there is definitely a learning curve.

  58. Ellen, 19 October, 2008

    The biggest challenge for me is trying to decide which project to tackle first. There are so many wonderful ideas out there. Your videos are very, very helpful. Trouble is, I see the video and want to try that, then I get my books, supplies, tc out and get side tracked by another idea. Thanks for all you do and all your helpful hints.

  59. Laurie R, 19 October, 2008

    I love the challenge of making the canes I see in so many tuts but I have yet to get one that is anywhere near as good as most. I too would like to see more info on how to start from beginning to end on making one. From the drawing of the pattern to the finish. Also on my list is to learn more about the colors and marbling is see in many stones.

  60. Lori S., 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenges in working with polymer clay are:
    1. knowing which type is best (I see that many others fell the same way) overall.
    2. Knowing how to exactly make earring and necklace connections with wires. For earrings, do I attach the wire or post before baking – or, can I? How do I make that twisty ending with the wire when attaching the beads to the actual ear wire? For necklaces, the same this – how to I attach the findings for the necklace closure for leather, wire and ribbons used to string the beads?
    3. Which sizes or types of beads need to be baked for 15/30/45/60 minutes?
    4. What causes some parts of beads to burn, while ather spots not burn?
    5. What are some alternative bead baking “racks” that beginners can use if we don’t have the money to buy all the specialized racks for different beads?

    I have more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you!

    Thanks for this opportunity to enter to receive your cards!!

  61. Donna Ingram, 19 October, 2008

    My challenge is size of my beads and the waste of clay from practicing my canes. I have always used huge amount of clay to do my canes and have so much waste from that,I watched the one video and was surprised that you do not have to use so much.

  62. Lori Smith, 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is learning how to bake the clay. When I get done with my project, I take it out of the oven and it either breaks or I burn it. I am new to working with PC and need all the help I can get. I would like to make my beads look as good as you make them and all the books I have bought. One other thing I have been looking for is the 3M sanding sponges/blocks in a package of all the different grades in one.

  63. Libby, 19 October, 2008

    I’m a beginner and have made lots of beads, and now my challenge is incorporating them into something wearable that doesn’t look like a kindergarten craft project – no offense to the wee ones! Guess I’m not a girly girl, so I’m always looking for pictures of women wearing what they’ve made, beyond the standard colorful necklace with a black tank or turtleneck. It’s the same way with lots of non-polymer jewelry – very pretty to look at, but what do I wear it with?!
    Other than that, I looove playing with clay and get lost in it for hours, and have learned a lot from your great tutorials.

  64. Marti, 19 October, 2008

    Where do I start, lol. Right now I am having 2 problems. First, making hearts. I could really use some help with shaping my clay hearts for pendants. Second, Mokume Game (sp?). A few tips on this would be great. I think I am pushing to hard with my blade and I am not shaving the top layer correctly.
    Thanks for a great site and all your hard work!

  65. Margaret, 19 October, 2008

    I’d love to learn how to make really beautiful mokume-gane tool handles, like the ones Celie Fago makes.

  66. Diane Curley, 19 October, 2008

    I have to learn the design issues with making canes. I also need to have some help with sketching out an idea and not so much as being inspired as I work. I appreciate all the suggestions for finishing.Please keep up all of your hard work providing quality education for those of us who are benefiting from it.

  67. Illlaya Brown, 19 October, 2008


    Color is my biggest one. However with your formulas that is becoming less of a challenge. My next biggest challenge is getting reduction done correctly. I would like to learn how to reduce with the least amount of waste and distortion. Having patience is probably at the root of all of these challenges, being willing to make mistakes and not consider myself a failure for wasting a bit of clay. I am so glad that I found your site on the net and look forward to having the membership club up and running. I just hope that the fees will work with my budget. Illaya

  68. Deborah, 19 October, 2008

    Cindy my biggest challenge is baking beads that don’t crack…oh and slicing canes neatly.

  69. Kim, 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is baking clay so that it does not crack. Color mixing is also a challenge, although I am getting better at that. Thank you for doing what you do!

  70. Marsha, 19 October, 2008

    Right now my biggest challenge is time but that’s my problem, right? :-) I still would like to know more about using a rock tumbler to polish smaller beads. Seems like I’m spending an awful lot of time and energy on the 8mm beads I use in my designs. The work is worth the results, to be sure, but I would love to utilize the tumbler if it is worth the financial investment. Thanks!

  71. Brenda, 19 October, 2008

    I’m still new at mixing colors. I have a few colors to work with and then I see another one in the recipe I don’t have so that’s frustrating when I am ready to mix my colors for a bead. Some day I will have all the basic ones. Thanks for the recipe it helps so much.

  72. Ray Ann, 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is making everything the same size. Does not matter if i am making a flower or beads I just cannot seem to make them the same size. I measure and measure and still they come out different sizes. Also sanding and buffing. I just get so tired as it takes so long. I have the rock tumbler which takes forever and is noisey. Have the dremel for buffing but I end up ruining the pc and get very little shine. But I will not give up! Thanks RA

  73. Laurel Martel, 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is canes…have been claying for a while now and seem to have some trouble with the idea of reducing and how to get the kaliedescope effect. I have lots of tutorials but a video seems to be my greatest learning tools. Is why I like your site, you have quite a few to learn from. I would like to know exactly how to put the clay into the canes to keep the petals of a flower rounded instead of sqaring off. Also the process of cutting and getting the kaliedescope effect seems to be eluding me….lol….Would like to see more detailed videos on the process. Laurel

  74. Cheryl Hodges, 19 October, 2008

    I am very new to polymer clay, have only started doing a few faces. My biggest challenge i being able to sculpt different kinds of faces specially hard younger looking faces. I do a lot of jewelery and would like to use polymer clay in my designs. Besides using a push mold i find i don’t know where to start. i’d like to make beads and pendants – I’m also finding it difficult getting the clay I need. Can you suggest where I can buy all the clays I read about – the different colors as well as mica powders etc.

  75. Michele, 19 October, 2008

    Seams! I can never get a smooth seam. If I roll a tool over it too much or too hard, it changes the shape of the piece. I can never get the seam to totally go away, there is always a little bit of the line/seam showing no matter how much I work it. Michele

  76. Michele, 19 October, 2008

    Ah one more thing…. slicing canes thin and even. I just can’t do it. I know…practice, practice, practice. Michele

  77. Linda S, 19 October, 2008

    being a newbie to poymer clay, my biggest challenge IS mixing the colors, how much of this and that to get the exact color I want. And it never comes out the same twice. Very frustrating if you haven’t mix enough of the color to finish your project.

  78. Angel, 19 October, 2008

    I am a newbie to polymer clay and my greatest challenge is overmixing the colors so that I end up with the more dominant color. It is extremely frustrating because my intent is to have a marbeled color, not s skinner blend or one color!

  79. Maria, 19 October, 2008

    Cindy, I seem to have many challenges yet continue to plug along to the consternation of my family as both dining and kitchen tables are full of my projects. I rarely seem to be able to finish any project I start as I keep experimenting w/ new techniques.1) So one problem I have is something you may not be able to help me with and that’s dealing w/ my family’s (probably correct) feelings that I’m obsessed w/ this art form. Wondering how other moms handle this. 2) Mica shift also seems to elude me. 3) Finding the correct string/wire to thread my beads onto. 4) Getting my lentil beads from bulging at the spots where the holes are drilled (although you did go over this before, thanks), 5) Getting over my silly fear of covering an altoid tin, 6) How do you sand beads, especially small ones and not remove your fingerprints? (I always end up w/ bloody fingertips). There’s more but I think that’s enough for now ;)

  80. donna d-b, 19 October, 2008

    Biggest challenge, my things never seem to turn out they way the picture shows them to be. And even though I have small hands, my hands always seem to get in the way.

    But on a more specific challenge. When ever I roll a ball, it seems to have ridges in it and never really round. Then once I take the unround balls and try to roll then into a log or a cone, they always seem to come out lopsided, and with a funny unround end.

  81. Jana Wisniewski, 19 October, 2008

    I am brand new to PC and I’m still learning the ropes. Everything is a challenge to me right now, but I do love the medium and want to succeed in mastering it. I am currently making (or trying to make) canes of designs. Some turn out, but others are not quite up to par. I’m tempted to buy canes already made, but I know I’ll never learn to master this if I do. So I promise I won’t.

    I’m a little overwhelmed with the number of different things you can do with PC, and I’m not sure what I want to tackle first; beads, characters, etc.

  82. Caroline, 19 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy!
    My greatest difficulty seems to be in making bead shapes that I can actually use! I can make beads etc that look great but then they sit around because I don’t have a clue how to string them together so they look good!

  83. Genevieve, 19 October, 2008

    I agree with Pam who talked about not knowing where to start because there is so much to learn. I got a great start yesterday at the Creativ Festival in Toronto where I took two wonderful classes, one with Donna Kato, and one with Lisa Pavelka. I’m now totally inspired and will be diving into it as soon as I return home.

    One specific challenge is adhesives. I am planning on doing some mixed media pieces, and the choices of adhesives is totally bewildering.

  84. lynn watts, 19 October, 2008

    My challenges are picking the colors that go together. I have recently lost my desire to even creat with my clay. When I do create my items are really nice. I have bought color wheels,books on color, I have alot of books and DVD’s on polymer clay by alot of artists.I just can’t find my desire again.

  85. Genevieve, 19 October, 2008

    Oh, one more thing, for Sue in the UK…

    I did a Google search and found that in the UK and New Zealand “Future” is known as “Klear”, “Krystal Klear” or “Johnson’s One and All”.. Hope this helps!

  86. Kim ( another one) :D, 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is the finishing as someone said earlier. The sanding, buffing even poking even holes through something. I get it like I want it and then in one of those processes I mess it up and end up with a bead I can’t use.

  87. Kathy Z, 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge? I’m a perfectionist and easily frustrated when I dont get it right the first time! When I see a pattern that I really like & try to mimic it, I’m never happy with it, even though it’s uniquely mine. Yet, that’s one of the things that really got me interested in this in the first place – the creativity & knowing that stuff I make is actually one of a kind!

  88. Carol Cooper, 19 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy:
    I’m so happy that you are going to be providing us with the recipe cards. I’m not into re-inventing the wheel and like to be able to move right into the creating process. Thnaks for knowing what we really need and being willing to share it with us.

  89. Janice Aquino, 19 October, 2008

    I’m a beadmaker, and one of the most challenging aspects of clay for me would be achieving uniformity in my work. It’s funny…sometimes you’re thrilled when no two beads look exactly alike, and other times, you can’t match them no matter how hard you try!

  90. Tish, 19 October, 2008

    Hi, Cindy:

    I am a real newbie. My biggest challenge right now is getting the oven at the right temperature so my beads don’t bubble!!! I had mind these great beads, I thought, and when I baked them on a tile lined with parchment paper and placed parchment paper on top of beads, timed the beads for 30 minutes, when I took them out they were distorted and out of shape and felt like thin paper!!! TY for all of your help.

    Sincerely, Tish

  91. Sherri, 19 October, 2008

    I am new at polymer clay so everything seems to be a challenge for me – from sanding to a glossy surface to making beads that do not look like a child made them. I have yet to try the patterns, well I tried one and it did not look so great after. Thank you for all your help!

  92. Mary Ellen, 19 October, 2008

    I’m new too! Cindy, you were one of the first websites I hit on when I first gathered up my tools,clay, and paints I already had. I would still like to get a few inks that is designed for clay. When I had trouble watching your free tutorials, you got back with me right away. I was excited and you were patience with me. What I like about this adventure with you and everybody is it’s a nice size group and you don’t get lost in the crowd. I have seen other sites and some are informative but you’re right. Bad videos! Even If you were to buy a tutorial,(with I haven’t ), it doesn’t seem like there would be any feedback like you do. One of my problems which are many is making a photo transfer on to clay. You can read oodles of info on how each person has their own way of doing it, from the paper to the printer. Another is the craft stores I go to either has Premo but limited colors or doesn’t have Premo at all. I know there are companies that sell Premo, but which one is better? Thanks again for your help, Cindy Don’t work to hard, remember we’re just passing through.

  93. Diana, 19 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is planning from the start what I am going to make. I end up making up a bunch of beads and then when I put them together in a necklace I find that I can’t use some of the beads because they don’t have a match to them or proper size to make by piece balanced. I am not good at planning ahead. I just try different techniques and make all kinds of beads but then when it comes to making something, that is when I get frustrated.

  94. Katina, 19 October, 2008

    I’m new to PC and I find it difficult to make canes that I like. I also find it difficult to make two pieces the same exact size, one is usually a little off.

  95. Elle Rice, 19 October, 2008

    I love your website and want you to know how much you have helped me. I am a newbie and would still be lost without your lessons. I think that charging for the website is only fair and you are doing all the work and I am benefiting from it. I am always willing to pay a fair price for lessons that help me become smarter or more efficient. Thank you for hosting your site.


  96. Marie G, 19 October, 2008

    Thank you for doing all of the hard work for me! I appreciate that you are willing to share your vast knowledge either for FREE or for a most reasonable cost.
    One of my chalenges is finding out how to do new techniques I see on line. I don’t find newer books at my library, can’t afford the exhorbatant class fees at shows and my local bead shop doesn’t deal with clay!

    Color mixing is another of my challenges, so the color cards will really help.

    I love the idea that your tutorials are available 24/7 but my computer is in my husbands office where I cannot do my clay. Will you ever offer DVD’s?

    I’m looking forward to what you have for us next :-)

  97. Josie Emmons, 20 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is to clean the pasta machine ; even if I use a piece of scrap clay before and after , strong colours still leave traces so then I have to use a wet wipe , then wait until it dries..just a big faff :)

  98. Kylee (Lunes Bijoux), 20 October, 2008

    On a professional note my biggest challenge is actually sourcing quality clay (Premo / Kato).In France Fimo is the leading clay, marketed everywhere and as a consequence there is often a lot of negative comments about polymer clay jewellery as they (general public at craft events) associate fimo with kids and messing about. Educating people is an enormous challenge.

    On a personal note – my biggest challenge is time to experiment beyond the orders. I relish the opportunity to learn how to perfect my mokume gane techniques layering stacking metallics…I would just love to have a day a week where all I do is experiment….I’m so disappointed I missed out on those initial cards! I must have been catching up on some sleep somewhere!


  99. Betsy B, 20 October, 2008

    I’ve been making polymer clay candle holders for beeswax candles I make, and my biggest challenge is getting them to not break where the cane slices come together. I just tried a thin sheet of translucent behind the sheet of slices and that feels much sturdier, but then you don’t see the flowers very well from the back.

  100. Virginia Hagerty, 20 October, 2008

    I’m a newbie with PC and have been trying to find a “recipie” for military colored cammo beads and have been unsuccessful. I’ve been looking on and off for about a year now. I also would appreciate a tip on how to make the holes in the beads go straight and not ruin the shape. I’ve tried poking in from both sides and have a hard time getting the hole to meet.

  101. joanne hemmings, 20 October, 2008

    I run into two problems……

    one of course is color, or more accurately, color combinations (what shades to mix that when baked, will be striking, instead of turning into something that looks like mud!)

    The other problem is getting something to look professional, instead of a “grade school” effort. My beads are uneven in size, they squish when I try to put a hole through, etc, etc. There are so many little things that are never in the instructions! For instance, the instructions may say to sand and buff but they don’t tell you to sand with three progressive grits of sandpaper in order to wind up with a decent sheen after buffing. The little tricks are the things that are not on other websites or books, and they are the things that those of us with some experience need so badly in order to take our work to the next level.


  102. Shelly S, 20 October, 2008

    I recently signed up to do my first craft show, not knowing how many people where going to attend. I thought that I would have enough product. Then I found out that there were to be about 3000 people to attend! I said okay and went to work like crazy! I found myself finding all kind of reasons to step away from the clay table. Scared of the challange I guess. Then I just said you can do it kid, and went for it. It was great and I am glad I pushed myself. Learned alot!

  103. Linda, 20 October, 2008

    Susanna, Katherine Dewey has great books on “Creating Life-like Figures in Polymer Clay” and she has one on animals, too.

  104. krati, 20 October, 2008

    coming up with the money to buy the clay
    tee hee
    this website +many others helps a lot!

  105. Debbie Kirk, 20 October, 2008

    Believe it or not my biggest challenge is getting the exact colour I need. I know what colour I want but trying to reproduce it is sometimes very frustrating. I didn’t realize that this was open for non members or I would have commented the first time to get the first set of colour recipe cards. My bad.

    thanks Cindy

  106. Cariad, 20 October, 2008

    Just a beginner here, but what I’ve been trying to do is make beads. The idea was to be able to have beads of the color, size and shape I need for particular projects. Easier said than done, since my color mixing hasn’t worked well (your recipe cards will be a boon) and I can’t figure out how to get my beads all the same size. And how the heck do you get a hole centered in these things? Thanks for the videos, Cindy, because sometimes it really helps to see a thing done.

  107. Susan Glidden, 20 October, 2008

    My biggest challenges are: finding time for work/play with polymer clay and (once I find the time) avoiding hand/wrist pain.

  108. Wendy Jones, 20 October, 2008

    Biggest Problem for me seems to be complex caning. I love it but I am having a hard time with keeping the details when reducing. Looks great as a 2 1/2 in cane but when reducing it down, Some of them are UGLY!! All of the colors seem to run in together making magenta look orangey ?!(is that a word?!?) or colors disappearing all togther. Any thoughts?

  109. kat nuval, 20 October, 2008

    Hi cindy!!

    for me that would the skinner blend. i know, i know.. it’s easy but i havent been successful with it… :(

    your tutorials are very helpful to me as a newbie. i learn a lot from your vids. :D

  110. Adrienne lindsey, 20 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is making canes with hot hands. Everything wants to turn to mush as I try to put it together and then reduce. I have started using a fan in my workspace to see if that will help. Any other advice??


  111. Carol Cooper, 20 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy:
    I’ve been reading a lot of the comments on your blog and I too have a problem with complex canes. That is, determining what the appropriate scale should be for my individual elements so that the colour and design don’t get lost when the cane is reduced. I’m sure that you have the answer for that as well as many others, so I’ll be really excited to see some videos on complex caning.

  112. Cassandra Williams, 20 October, 2008

    Well after some thought I think my biggest problem is finding the time to play with clay. I have worked with the clay on and off for almost 20 years, and I have forgot more techniques than …. let’s just say alot. I find because I have not had the type of time to push myself to a level of professionalism that, I am only marginally happy with my pieces. I think of things to try and then I do not get a chance to try them. So, after a while I discover someone else has tried my notion with great success. Therefore in some ways I have become a jack of all trade with the clay…and maybe no mastery. Who knows?

  113. Tabatha Pimentel, 20 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is making Flower Canes. I just cant seem to get all the pieces together so that it looks right. Very fustrating.

  114. Freda, 20 October, 2008

    I not only have trouble mixing colors but knowing what colors to put together.
    Also, there always seems to be something wrong that keeps the piece from being a good looking piece to wear.

  115. Lynn, 21 October, 2008

    I’m fairly new to clay and my biggest challenge is putting a hole in a flat pendant that does not distort the bead or push out a little bulge on one side.

  116. Louise T, 21 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy,
    Thanks! I’m looking forward to the color recipe cards.

    I’m still in the ‘learning’ stage so I’m open for all tutorials. I need info on “HOW TO STRING” the beads and “WHAT TO USE” to string them. I think a quick ‘follow-up’ at the end of each tutorial showing ideas of how to turn those beads into a piece of jewelry would be really helpful. I’m sure you already have plenty of finished jewelry to use for those examples.
    Thanks again for your efforts.

    Wishing you great success, you deserve it!
    Louise T

  117. Pat, 21 October, 2008

    The most difficult thing for me is finding ways to organize all the polymer clay stuff, so I can find it when I need it, and not have to dig for a day. I run out of time before I am done. Using time wisely, I may condition clay today then I don’t have time for the inspiration or idea to carry it through.

  118. Helen, 21 October, 2008

    My hands are pretty warm so accuracy in reducing canes seems to be an issue. I can’t make nice geometric canes – they get a bit distorted. I also have rheumatoid arthritis and that affects my caning and claying. Organization is an issue too – I collect waaaaay too much stuff!

  119. lori, 21 October, 2008

    The main focus of my poymer clay has been making life like babies. I did not really realize all the things poymer clay can do! I have lately been expirementing and making dishes that resemble pottery. I would like to know how to sand and buff to make the clay look more glass like. I have not been able to get a shine to it without using a painted layer of gloss. Is it possible to do without the gloss with only buffing and sanding?

  120. Mary Rogers, 21 October, 2008

    The most difficult thing for me is to find the time and space to get started on projects. My passion is jewelry, so I am leaning toward that area. And I have an extensive catalog of video’s and books on polymer clay as well as a 30 or more shows recorded on TIVO from all variety of clay artists. So it’s not for lack of having the information that seems to be holding me back but just dedicating to a project. And picking a project that is not too advanced, jumping in and being happy with the end result. Then afterward having the foresight to come up with my own ideas.

  121. Janelle, 21 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge right now is buffing and polishing enough to get the right shine!! I think I just run out steam and get tired.

  122. Pamela, 21 October, 2008

    WOW Cindy….you asked and you got….:0)

    So many good suggestions and ideas. I find myself relating to all of the ‘issues’ that some of the other gals are having.

    I think the thing or idea that interests me today is that I am wanting to learn how to use the liquid polymer clay and how to incorporate it into my designing. Notice I said “TODAY”, it could very well be something different tomorrow….:0)

    Thankx Again

  123. Cynister, 22 October, 2008

    The biggest challenges for me? Hmm…..Well, TIME has got to be #1. I work full-time, have a 4 yr old & constantly have home-improvement projects going…oh yeah & now the holidays are kicking into full swing-argh!

    Next on the list would probably be space/organization. I haven’t found a good way to store the clay in such a way that I can easily find the color or type that I’m looking for without digging through a box only to come across colors I had forgotten I even had. I spend more time getting aggravated about the mess than thinking about what I will create.

    The last big challenge that sticks out to me is color matching. I don’t seem to have a problem with finding coordinating colors when it comes to clothes or decorating, but I always feel like I’m at a loss when it comes to clay, particularly if I’m doing something like a swirl lentil (which I’m addicted to thanks to you, Cindy ;) ). I don’t know why. I think I’m tending to pick colors that have too much contrast or something.

  124. Andrea, 22 October, 2008

    my biggest challemge, is convincing myself, that my feeble early attempts at beadmaking, are ever going to worthy of of being worn.I want to be good now.

  125. Louise, 22 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is wanting to do too many things at the same time and taking a long time to finish anything. I end up doing Bottles of hope cause for me that goes fast and I love them.

  126. Dawna Morrell, 22 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy,

    My biggest challenge is having things be brittle after baking and finishing them. I am not sure if they are too thin, not baked long enough or too long, etc. It has discouraged me from trying again. Help!

  127. Louise T, 22 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy,

    One of my problems also, is making a photo transfer on to clay. I have tried two different times, making a small plaque (approx 5×7). My plaques turned out great, but my picture didn’t transfer good at all. I would love to finally get it right!

  128. Josefina, 23 October, 2008

    mi gran reto es aprender a hacer transferencias. Espero lograrlo algún día. :o)

    TRANSLATION: “My big challenge is learning to do transfers. I hope some day to accomplish.” (Courtesy of the Google Translation Tool).

  129. Tonda, 23 October, 2008

    I am new to making polymer clay beads: My problems baking the beads sometimes I burn the beads. I also have a problem with finding the right sand paper to sand my beads to make them smooth.

  130. margaret boltja, 23 October, 2008

    I have been using polymer clay for a few months now and I have not made all that much progress. I have made only a few canes that I like even after having spent much time and lot of clay trying. The clay is either too soft & loses its shape or it crumbles after I have used it in a pattern. I have made lots of beads with my left over clay & I have not been able to make anything with them. I have clumsy hands (arthritis) & I keep dropping the beads I have already strung. I also don’t get the holes the right size so I have a hard time stringing them. However I still like playing with my clay.

  131. Lani King, 23 October, 2008

    i believe in short and to the point and mean no disrespect here…. but….. canes, canes, canes, canes, canes, canes, and … oh yes… canes. -lani

  132. Arlene Harrison, 24 October, 2008

    Love your site. As for challenges, how much time to do you have? I have a great collection of books and tools, and even clay… but everything I do looks pretty much the same. I’m fairly decent at making flower canes and ghost swirls so everything I do has that on them. How do I break out of the box and widen my range? Mica shifts, as many folks have mentioned, is an issue as is precision anything… I love the look of precise kalidescope canes but mine always get jumbled.

  133. Staci, 25 October, 2008

    My biggest challenge is opening my first package of clay. I still can’t get myself to do it, I want everything to be organized and set up perfect before starting. I know that will never happen, but still can’t get myself to unwrap the first package.

  134. Jill, 26 October, 2008

    Hi All
    My Biggest problem is there is too much choice..too much I want to do that I never finish anything I start.
    Oh and colours..everything ends up with the same colour scheme.

  135. PLaneFancies, 26 October, 2008

    Biggest problems–colors that work well together and blends that show well when reduced.

  136. Carol Cooper, 26 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy:
    My latest challenge is achieving a professional look once my beads are finished. Sanding, buffing and getting a beautiful shine is no problem. It’s things like, finishing the back of a pendant so that it looks nice and tidy, instead of looking like I just added a sheet of clay to the back. How can I finish these and achieve a better looking piece?

  137. sam miller, 27 October, 2008

    Wow,so many amazing responses. I have been working with polymer clay for about 15 years now and am still as addicted as I was the first time I laid eyes on it. I have tried so many techniques over the years. Your videos and tips are an inspiration to all.I check your blog daily for the latest tip,pearl of wisdom. I have sold many pieces of work lately to friends and coworkers and seem to have hit on a great design… Problems.. how to keep the idea fresh? How to keep the color combinations current? How to fully mix and match professional colours?… and the age old… Do we just bite the bullet and eventually throw out some of that old scrap clay when the mounds turn into mountains?

  138. Louise T, 27 October, 2008

    I don’t like the look of shiny decal transfers and would like to learn how to make Ink Jet Transfers that has an antique look to them…

  139. Gayle, 27 October, 2008

    My biggest problem with polymer clay is that I’m ‘color challenged’. I am not very good at putting colors together that look really good.

  140. Michelle Bolton, 28 October, 2008

    Cindy, i am having a hard time finding a good selection of clay in my area (Richmond, VA) can you give any suggestions? I am still trying to work on setting up the time to attempt the use of canes and artificial nails as well as soon as i have it i will forward it to you! Thanks for a great site!

  141. Cyndi Howell, 28 October, 2008

    I am fairly new to clay. I have enjoyed beading for many years. Now, I would like to create beads to put in my jewelry. I would more ideas to create other types of jewelry besides beads. The beads I have made so far, are 0kay, not super. I think I might need to spend more time sanding and buffing them.
    Second, any help with making canes easier. I have made several. IAll your help is greatly appreciated.

  142. Cyndi Howell, 28 October, 2008

    I am fairly new to PC. I have enjoyed making bead bracelets and such for many years. But, have been too busy of late. I started with clay by making some canes. First, Any adivise on making canes without having to make them so large would be of help.
    Second, Any help on making beads and jewelry would be great. I have watched some of your videos, seems I need to sand and polish my beads better.
    Thank You!

  143. Cheryl, 28 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy, Unless I am doing something wrong I can’t get the free bonus recipes for the participation. Please help. Thanks Cheryl

  144. Cindy Lietz, 28 October, 2008

    For everyone’s benefit, what Cheryl is talking about is how to get a hold of the bonus recipes in the new members library.

    And to answer your question Cheryl, you can’t access them on your own. I will be sending an email directly to the people who participated in this recipe giveaway with a special link.

    But this won’t be until after things settle down with the launch of the new members library, which is happening as we speak. I’m just doing what I can to keep up with all of the excitement and there is only so many hours in the day.

  145. Shell, 28 October, 2008

    My biggest issue with PC is finishing. No matter how careful I am, there is a ding or issue that has to be sanded and sanded, etc. I’ve tried all the tricks and my hands are sore some days from sanding/buffing. I get crazy when there is the littlest thing that I see as HUGE but someone else might not see.

  146. linette, 29 October, 2008

    I’m slightly new to the clay and loving it every step of the way.My biggest problem is -is there some trick when making the cane and how to make sure it stays the way you have formed it when you compress the cane and make it longer.Mine are starting to lok like I want them to,but so far Ive been unable to make a butterfly that LOOKS like a butterfly once i’ve completed it.Is there a trick??I think I could go on and on with clay,and i LOVE your sight.Thanks so much for all the help and for sharing your talents.

  147. Marianne, 30 October, 2008

    Hi everyone, my biggest problem (beside the fact that I don’t have enough time to try all the new and exciting things that Cindy has in her videos and blogs) at this point is finishing. I made a few pieces that I am happy with but they are not “finished”. They back is bumpy or something is not right. I haven’t even started to try to cane.

  148. Cindy Lietz, 01 November, 2008

    OK… time to shut down this thread. I’ve got to compile a list of everyone that participated in order to get the bonus recipes out to all of you as soon as possible. Thank you to all for participating. This was *VERY* fun and educational.

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