Deal-A-Muse set #1

Adventures in Creativity


Sarcophagus known as the “Muses Sarcophagus”, representing the nine Muses and their attributes. Marble, first half of the 2nd century AD, found by the Via Ostiense.

Whether your muse is on vacation or you want to push the boundaries of your medium, Deal-A-Muse cards are a fun way to get your creative juices flowing.

What is Deal-A-Muse and how does it work?

Deal-A-Muse is a pdf file that contains a set of printable cards (set #1 contains 60 cards), which are divided into five categories: color palettes, textures, shapes and patterns, techniques and miscellaneous. Also included is a template to create a storage box for your cards. While the technique cards were created for polymer clay artists, you could easily substitute techniques that apply to your artistic medium of choice.


How to use the cards:
1. Deal yourself one card from any category and create something inspired by that card.
2. Deal yourself two or more cards, each from a different category and see what you can come up with. For example, a color palettes card and a techniques card, or a shapes and patterns card and a textures card.
3. Deal yourself two or more cards from the same category. For example, two techniques cards. Think of how you could combine two different techniques in the same piece of art work.

60 cards with thousands of possible combinations to spark your creativity!

Our Color.Creativity.Design members have been collecting these same cards over the past several months.

“Love, love love, Deal-A-Muse!!!!!” ~ Carole

“I love the Deal-A-Muse. It will help me out of my block of creativity.” ~ Valerie

Copyright Crafts by Chris 2013

Price: $10.00 On Sale for only $5!
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end of the year

The end of the year can be a very hectic time. I know it is for us. Christmas, New Year’s and then throw in some birthdays and it’s one event after another. No matter how busy it is, I try to take a little time to reflect on the past year.

I can’t look back without thinking about how very grateful I am for my wonderful customers. Your comments and emails truly warm my heart and make me smile on a regular basis. When life gets crazy and I’m struggling to keep up or just having a bad day, I receive a message from someone that reminds me why I do what I do, like this email from Carole…

I thought you might like to hear this story.

As I live in the Caribbean it is very difficult for me to get clay down here. Because of that I use Kato as I can get the big blocks and mix my own colours. Your recipe cards have been very helpful for me and I have them made up with the samples organized by colour families.

A friends daughter is taking lessons from me. We alternate a sewing project with a polymer clay project. From the very first clay project I have shown her how to mix colours using your recipes. This past weekend we started on our largest one to date. She had a sketch of the general idea and picked the colours that she wants to use. Once we were decided on the project she asked “Can I have the cards so I can find my colours please”. She then matched the recipe to the colour she wanted, and got to work mixing. I was happy to see that at 9 years old she was not limited by the few colours she had in front of her, but looked upon them as a jumping off point. She is not intimated by the fact that she has to create her own colours, in fact she thoroughly enjoys the process.

I was mixing colours before I found your recipes, but having them on hand makes it so much easier. I am much better at being able to figure out what I need to put together in order to create a particular colour now because of what I have learnt from you.

Thank you, and I look forward to the next set of Kato colour recipes!

..or this message from Sharon.

I just want to say thank you for these. I have been working with polymer clay for 20 some years…but the one thing i HATE is trying to mix my colors. I am terrible at it. especially sage green!!! lol.

And pinks believe it or not….my shades of pink are never what i want. The first one of these i did turned out exactly as I wanted. I am so happy i found this. Honestly i would have never thought to look for a clay recipe book , i fell across it accidentally. But…..i love them….will get more. thank you so much!

A heartfelt, “Thank You!” to each and everyone of you.

I wish you peace, love and joy for the coming year. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

creative block buster #6

What is a creative block buster? It is a simple exercise that can be done in just a few minutes that will hopefully jump start your creativity.

Creative Block Buster #6 – A Single Color

creative block buster #6 - a single color

Today’s creative block buster is to challenge yourself to create something in a single color, making other elements such as line, form and texture take center stage.

Stepping outside your creative box in any way can give your muse a boost. Try it!

creative block buster #5

What is a creative block buster? It is a simple exercise that can be done in just a few minutes that will hopefully jump start your creativity.

Creative Block Buster #5 – Music


Today’s creative block buster exercise is to listen to music.

Music can help us relax, change our mood, create images in our mind, and open us up to new ideas, all of which are key ingredients of creativity.

Albert Einstein, considered to be one of the most creative geniuses of the past century often turned to music to help with his creative process. According to his sister, Maja, when faced with a moment of unclarity, Einstein would sit down at the piano and play just a few keys, after which he would get up saying, “There, now I’ve got it.”*

* Sayen, Jamie. Einstein in America. New York:Crown. 1985

So, crank up the tunes and see where it takes you. If you normally listen to music while creating, try a different genre and see what happens.

Polymer Clay Color Primer – Your Guide to Mixing and Using Color

Polymer Clay Color Primer - Your Guide to Mixing and Using ColorMany of you have been waiting for this….the self-guided version of Polymer Clay Color Primer – Your Guide to Mixing and Using Color is finally here!

Anyone (yes, even you) can learn to mix colors like a pro! Really!

What this course is not…

This course is NOT about mixing hundreds of color scales and labeling them to keep track of the mixes.

What this course is…

This course is about giving you the information and tools so that you can mix any color you want. It will cover basic color theory and my simple three step color mixing process (the information), as well as, the creation of reference guides (the tools) that will help make each step as easy as possible. It will also cover some tips for using color in your designs.

The Details:

This is a self-guided course. You will receive a zip file containing all three modules of the course, color palette #1 with color recipes for Premo, FIMO Classic and Kato Polyclay (which will be used in the assignment for module three), and blank templates for two different sizes of “recipe cards” for keeping track of your personal color mixes. The individual files are in pdf format for easy viewing on any computer.

I recommend reading through the material and completing the assignment for each module before moving on to the next.

module oneModule One – covers some basic color theory and terminology, challenges of mixing polymer clay colors, the basics of my three step color mixing process, and the assignment/worksheets for step one of the process.

module twoModule Two – covers muted colors and three methods of achieving them, also tints and shades. Also included are the corresponding assignment/ worksheets for steps two and three.

module threeModule Three – discusses taking notes when creating your own color recipes, as well as, using color in your designs. The assignment for module three will put your new skills to work creating some custom color mixes. You will be using Color Palette #1 for the module 3 assignment.

color palette #1Color Palette #1 with recipes for Premo, FIMO and Kato Polyclay – The assignment for module three walks you through creating a mix for one of the colors in this color palette. You can mix the other colors for practice and see how close you come to my “recipes”.

blank templatesBlank Recipe Card Templates – blank recipe cards for keeping track of your personal color mixes.

Click on the images below to see the table of contents for each module.

table of contents module one table of contents module two table of contents module three

Please Note: While course material includes worksheets for Premo, FIMO Classic, Kato Polyclay and Pardo, this system will work with any brand of polymer clay. You only need to substitute the names of the primary colors for your preferred brand.

“Just wanted to say how amazing the colour mixing series has been. The process is brilliant, and very logical. I have been somewhat confused by other colour mixing systems, but this one really makes sense to me. It probably helps that I actually did the exercises, instead of reading about them. I loved making the muted mixes, trying to predict what the finished colour would be. Definitely some surprises! I am now feeling very confident that I will be able to recreate any colour I want to. Thanks, Chris!” ~ Susan W.

Copyright Crafts by Chris 2013

Introductory Price: $39.00 On SALE now for $20!
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Color.Creativity.DesignBEST BUY! For only $20 more, a Color.Creativity.Design membership includes the Polymer Clay Color Primer – Your Guide to Mixing and Using Color course, all color recipe ebooks, all tutorials and much more. Click here for more info.


creative block buster #4

What is a creative block buster? It is a simple exercise that can be done in just a few minutes that will hopefully jump start your creativity.

Creative Block Buster #4 – Revisit the Past

Today’s creative block buster exercise is to revisit the past.. Take a look at your past work and re-make something you’ve made before or just use a technique that you’ve done in the past.

faux carved wood polymer clay beads

circa 2004

Often times we get stuck thinking about what to make. Once, you’ve made the decision of what to make (a logical left-brained activity), it allows your creativity to flow (right-brained activity). Just because you are making something you’ve made before, don’t get stuck in thinking that it has to be exactly the same. Let go and see where it takes you…possibly in a totally new direction. Even if it doesn’t, it get’s your butt in the chair creating.

creative block buster #3

What is a creative block buster? It is a simple exercise that can be done in just a few minutes that will hopefully jump start your creativity.

Creative Block Buster #3 – Go Macro


Today’s creative block buster exercise is to go macro. Let’s take a closer look. For this exercise, you can do one of two things, or both. First option, grab your camera and take some close up photos of everyday things. Or google macro photo gallery and browse through some images. How often do you really see the things around you? The lines, the texture, slight variations in color?

cork macro

Click to see a larger image of this cork stopper from a bottle of wine.

In the photo above, the cracking around the bottom of the cork makes me think of cracked and peeling paint. Something that is aged. The irregular lines of the cork seem similar to that of raw turquoise. I invite you to take a closer look at the things around you….maybe even a closer look at your own art work and see what comes to mind.

You also might want to to take a closer look at making flower beads with my just released, Dainty Flower Beads Tutorial. (Great transition, huh? :) ) Available for sale on my website, as well as, in my Etsy shop.

Dainty Flower Beads Tutorial