Something I Couldn’t Do This Time Last Year

A few days ago, I came across a prompt in one of my dozens of collections of journaling prompts that asked me to share something I can do now that I couldn’t do this time last year. I wasn’t so sure, but I’ve been thinking and, really, this time last year I think I hadn’t started polymer clay yet.

Then again, how hard is it really to craft with clay? My nearly three-year-old niece can craft with clay, albeit not polymer clay. Is this truly something I have learned?

When I looked at my attempt at creating earrings today – my first attempt at baking them on cardboard after the random star turned out pretty well -, the first thing I noticed was their crookedness. That, even after I’d laid them under a heavy object for an hour or so. However, my husband said they looked fine and that impefections are normal for a handmade product.

Honestly, when I look at my sculptures in particular, I do see some progress. I still do create most from YouTube tutorials, but I do more independently than I used to even six months ago. Below is the bunny sculpture I created for my sister-in-law. I sculpted every part except for the mouth myself.

Polymer Clay Bunny
Polymer Clay Bunny

I threw two failed carrots in my bag with scrap clay before finally settling on this one. Something I learned too, is to collect scrap clay. Not that I have so far found a use for it, but people in the clay community told me never to throe old clay into the trash.

In a sense, I wish I’d kept my first pair of polymer clay earrings, but I threw them away. Then at least I’d have something to compare the ones I showed my husband this afternoon to. Then I could’ve seen that, maybe, I did learn something.

Besides, even from failed projects, I learned something, namely what doesn’t work with polymer clay.

14 thoughts on “Something I Couldn’t Do This Time Last Year

  1. Wow!

    What is Janneke doing with her clay?

    [and I bet she is probably making her own Playdough also – or will do in a few years’ time].

    I love the layers of the bunny ears. And also its feet.

    Scrap clay is a good learning – and a benefit of being part of the polymer clay community.

    [like with knitting and crocheting – there are always spares and scraps around that people swap and collect when needed and wanted].

    I like the mouth because it suggests a moustache – a very suave bunny.

    The left eye suggested a teddy bear’s eye.

    I remember that last year you were concerned about your independence in your soap making projects – and including the essential oils.

    Three attempts at a carrot and its stalk.

    [the stalk reminded me of three particularly well-placed lettuce leaves]

    I wonder what your YouTube tutorial people would say in response/reflection to what they couldn’t do last year? What they have learnt this year?

    And of course imperfections are probably more normal – and perfection would be the exception.

    Like you I will have to think very hard about something I couldn’t do at this time last year.


    1. LOL no, Janneke isn’t all that good with playdough yet really. She mostly just watches my sister craft things so far or so I’ve heard, although I believe she does use the cookie cutters that came in the set I gifted her for her second birthday. I think at this point I’m still ahead of her, although with certain other crafts, I”m not (eg. card making). Thanks so much for the compliment on my bunny. I wasn’t so sure I should do the pink things on the feet, but they were in the tutorial too and I had already attached the feet to the body when I realized I may not want them.


      1. That is really cool – the watching and the taking in – it is important at this age

        [and, really, at any age!]

        Glad you gifted her cookie cutters.

        If I were doing the pads I would have made them yellow or green – as a contrasting colour. Or maybe formed them with various swatches and swats.

        How we realise we don’t want things when we have done them!

        And card making can be easy and accessible for the little ones.

        What craft is Sigrid into?

        [crafts and crafting for new mothers and parents].


        I found the thing I could not do last year.

        Now I can remove tables from text documents when I am working from websites to TextEdits [in effect Rich Text Format – and I am now very careful putting in other people’s graphics when I don’t want them to make the file way too big].

        Another thing I can now do is to shift the tabs from 30 centimetres to origin point. And I now realise that documents on my very big screen are 80 centimetres wide [and I still do not know how tall they are].

        This has been very helpful to me in collating and combining quotes from websites.

        [or again, I COULD do it THOUGH it was VERY difficult and I hadn’t a workflow back in the second half of 2021. I didn’t even realise this was possible until the first two months of 2022].


        1. I don’t know what craft Sigrid is into. Not really anything specific I believe. I mean, she crafts with Janneke, so does whatever Janneke wants to do and shows her how to make playdough figures etc. That’s at least the last thing I heard her say about crafting, that Janneke asked her to make a doll out of playdough and Sigrid crafted a simple female figurine. They also made Christmas cards together last year, which are mostly the type of cards I used to make when I still made cards (ie. random stickers and such placed on the card). I guess you understand there’s a reason I stopped card making.

          That’s so interesting, the thing you learned in the past year. I am not at all tech savvy so honestly hardly know what you’re talking about. I write everything that doesn’t have its own app for writing into (such as my blog or Day One for diary entries) in Notepad, because I’m clueless about formatting in Word or whatever.


  2. I honestly am just awful at making anything out of polymer clay; it’s a skill my middle son has and I just marvel at those that came make something 3-d out of something so soft and malleable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is fab, really!

      Three-dimensional material is not my strength either except for building vertically with ceramic pots [and that is a very specific strength].

      Soft and malleable – that is the appeal – with clay and with minds.

      Liked by 1 person

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