Seasonal Christmas Canes Based on Holly Berry and Leaf Designs

Holly Berry and Leaf Canes

“Can’t wait for your Christmas beads video, meanwhile trying to keep up with all the latest ones.” ~Elizabeth-K

When I showed you my Christmas Necklace the other day, I had promised to also show the holly berry and leaf canes used to make the focal beads in that seasonal design. So here they are.

As you can see, the Holly Leaf Cane and the Holly Berry Cane are made separately. In fact once you’ve made each of the canes (I’ll be showing you how next month in Volume-018 at the members library), I suggest you reduce them to a variety of different sizes so they can be used in many different ways.

I placed three sections of each of the canes together in the photo above, to show how the they can be combined to create a more complex cane. In this configuration you could use translucent clay for packing the background. The canes also work nicely on their own without any background.

If you take a look at the close up photo of my Holly Berry Focal Bead Pendant, you will see that six slices of the holly leaf cane were used in the larger bead, and only three were used on the spacer bead above it. As well there are three berries on the main focal bead, and only one berry on each end of the spacer bead. If I had combined and packed all my cane elements into one complex setting, I would not have had the same flexibility.

Anyway, I think you are really going to enjoy making these polymer clay canes and coming up with some creative ways to use them on your own!

I am curious… do you like having lots of options for creating beads or do you find all the choices overwhelming? I want to make sure the tutorials are suited best to your learning styles. Let me know how you feel by leaving a comment below!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Sue, 13 October, 2009

    For me, the more ideas you provide, the better! Not that I don’t think of a bazillion things to do anyway, but seeing lots of different possibilities can trigger the imagination and also get you to consider something which you might otherwise ignore.

    For example, the gerbera cane is totally not my kind of thing, but later seeing the calla lily bead made from a gerbera petal cane made me decide to try the technique anyway (but not in pink ;D), including for long, sword-like leaves which are a logical extension.

  2. Anna Sabina, 13 October, 2009

    Having many options is a plus, especially since we can go back and watch the video again later. I love the look of having a variety of techniques in one project. It adds interest. I also love how you show the color combination in a variety of techniques: Beta fish colors in the graffiti beads and dogwood cane. Having a mix of beads to chose from when I am stuck for an idea. I hope you are not running out of ideas.

    Des Moines, Iowa

  3. Ken H., 13 October, 2009

    I can’t wait for vol 18… Holiday canes yes, yes, yes. I go back and look over the past videos for ideas, it’s like going to the supermarket and going up and down looking and thinking “now what do I want to make… OH! this looks interesting”. Can’t wait for this, my payment will be coming out soon, so I’ll be good till Jan.

  4. Phoenix, 13 October, 2009

    Options, options, options! One of the many things that I enjoy about the tutorials and projects is that they can be used to make almost anything you want. One project’s techniques could be used to spawn several other creations. And of course, everyone has their own take on the current projects.

    So excited for holiday canes! The holly leaves and berries are lovely. I can’t wait!

  5. Cindy Lietz, 13 October, 2009

    @Sue: Your idea to make the Gerbera petal cane into a sword-leaf cane is awesome! Way to make it your own! I’d love to see pictures of that.

    @Anna: Thanks! Just so you know, the canes above were made with the Succulent Flower Palette. I have been trying to use the color recipe palettes in the projects so everyone gets a better idea how to use them and can see that the colors really do go together well. As far as running out of ideas, my problem has always been that I have more ideas than I can get done. The list is so long that I have years of videos ahead of me with new ideas getting added every day. So don’t you worry! :-)

    @Ken: So glad to hear you’re excited! I like the supermarket analogy. I do the same thing sometimes. Just wander through the ‘aisles’ of the blog posts and comments, getting inspiration. I forget what’s in here sometimes. So much is being added by you all as well, that this really is turning into quite the resource. Thanks so much for your comments!

    @Phoenix: Great to hear from you again… options it is! I love sharing all of the the ideas that keep piling up in my head. [By the way everyone… here’s a link to a photo of a butterfly pendant that Phoenix sent in the other day. Lovely!]

  6. Melinda, 13 October, 2009

    I am always chopping at the bit for new ideas and new techniques. I love coming here everyday to see what’s new and exciting! I don’t find the options overwhelming but exhilarating!

  7. Freda, 13 October, 2009

    I like variety but I’m not into canes. I have a lot of pieces of canes that didn’t turn out and have decided that’s just not my forte so I stick with the things that work for me.

  8. Catalina, 13 October, 2009

    I love this idea! I love how you make your canes small. That way if it doesn’t work out you don’t use up too much clay. But, sometimes you end up with the best “scrap” clay for marble-like beads. So, to have interchangeable canes sounds great with endless possibilities! Can’t wait!

  9. DJ, 13 October, 2009

    It seems that when I see more options, that’s when I too start thinking about even more variations…stretching an idea as far as you can. This includes seeing others’ highlighted works too. Maybe it’s the inspiration, could be including our own “touch” to a project as well. It’s great to be included in the process – being able to give and hear input about upcoming lessons as well.

  10. ElizabethK, 16 October, 2009

    Yes I like the variety of different ways to do different canes. The more we try different ones the better we get. I hope!
    Poor Cindy it seems we are going to keep you at it for ages to come.
    Whatever you come up with is fine by me, I’ll be watching.
    It is nice too to know others out there are doing the same thing. Makes it all feel very homey, somewhere to go to discuss it all, and see all the variations, and the Cindy inspired pieces.
    Elizabeth K.

  11. Freda, 16 October, 2009

    How about showing us some Christmas ornaments you have made in the past.

  12. Cindy Lietz, 29 October, 2009

    Thanks everyone for your feedback! It helps a lot.

    @Freda: Because there are others like you who are not interested in cane making and lots that are, I try and keep the monthly balance of tutorial videos to: 1 cane video, 1 technique video, 1 bead shape video and 1 wire working video. Of course there are exceptions but that is generally the goal each month.

    As far as showing ornaments and other decor, my focus here is on bead making. On occasion when I do show something that is not jewelry related, it is often because I had to make a gift and thought I would show you all what I made. I most likely will not have tutorials on these other subjects since I would like to keep this site focused on bead making. I hope you understand.

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