Marylu and Stefanie
Corgi: Evening everyone! Thanks to Marylu and Stefanie for joining us this evening.
marylu: thanx for having us
Corgi: Stef and Marylu How did you both become involved with Polymer Clay?
Stefanie: Mom found the New Clay Book
marylu: *I found the clay at a craft faire
Stefanie: The bible of clay
Corgi: How long ago was that?
Stefanie: I say 10
Stefanie: mom said 11 years
Stefanie: we were just fighting over this
Corgi: What made you choose to specialize in canes and beads?
Stefanie: it was always canes
Stefanie: for me i loved the idea of making beads
marylu: I wanted to learn how to make necklaces..took my first class
Corgi: Do either of you have any formal art training?
Stefanie: not me
Stefanie: mom always finds crafts for me
marylu: i have no formal training...just years of classes in high school
Stefanie: this lady can draw!
Corgi: How long have the two of you been doing crafts?
marylu: 25 years p
Stefanie: abaout 13 years for me
Stefanie:she a lot older :-)
Corgi: How much influence, Marylu, has the drawing influenced your caning?
Corgi: How did you find you niche in the PC community (eg selling etc)?
Stefanie: meeting people on ebay
Stefanie: lot of polymer clayers there
Corgi: Did you two take any classes for Polymer clay or are you mostly self taught?
Stefanie: self mommy taught
Stefanie: ravensdale will be my first classes
marylu: I took two, one on beading and one on intricate canes...and all of the pc books in the world.
Corgi: Marylu who did you take classes from?
marylu: two local gals one i can't remember and Karen Mckelfrich also local
Corgi: Has any of your work been published in magazines or books?
Stefanie: pictures in sara janes new book
marylu: how could i forget that!
Corgi: How much planning do you put into designing your canes?
Stefanie: First mom draws it
marylu: i make several sketches and test a small amount of clay
Corgi: What do you feel is the most important facet for building canes?
marylu: making it large enough
Corgi: Okay ladies I'll open the floor to your questions for our guests. Please be patient we will get to your questions!
Caneguru: I have a question.
Caneguru: That is...what is the division of labor?
Stefanie: 50 50
Caneguru: Do you both cane... slice, drill, do the auctions?
marylu:i do the easy stuff ...the art work
Stefanie: i was thinking money
Stefanie: Mom canes and I do the rest
kellieAK: how many beads do you get from a cane?
marylu: she does most of all of the work.
Stefanie: 300 to 700
Caneguru: how big are the canes when they start?
Stefanie: we are both woring tonight on tulip canes
marylu: i onec made a 4 lb cardinal
marylu: most average about 3 lbs
Corgi: Do you have a preferred reducing method?
marylu: the best method for me is using the plastic end caps...cuts down on the waste
Stefanie: she can reduce in minutes
Stefanie: hot little hands
Corgi: How thick do your canes end up after building (before reducing)?
Caneguru: 3 inches thick and how high?
Caneguru: ah, and how wide? LOL
marylu: 5 to8 inches
Caneguru: when did you realize you could make a go out of your canes commercially?
Stefanie: going on ebay
Caneguru: right. but first cane? fifth cane? What caused you to try?
marylu: we sold things at faires and local stores after about a yr.
Stefanie: hated craft shows
Stefanie: friend told me about ebay
marylu: we've been on ebay since 1999
Stefanie: first only sold things covered in clay
Stefanie: found some old beads
Stefanie: listed them
Stefanie: and they sold like hotcakes
kellieAK: do you remember the very first item you listed on ebay?
Stefanie: no kellie
Stefanie: it had to be a picture frame or votive
kellieAK: what is your most popular cane?
Stefanie: anything bird and animal prints
kellieAK: and I know you do special request canes, what was the weirdest request you ever got?
marylu: a manatee
Stefanie: karate logo
Stefanie: pot leaf
kellieAK: have you ever refused to make a special request?
Stefanie: all the time
kellieAK: examples? if you don't mind
Stefanie: SOMETHINGS JUST CAN'T BE MADE
Caneguru: too complex?
Stefanie: i wasn't screaming
Stefanie: stupid keyboard
marylu: they want us to make like the manatee, but she only wante 2 beads!
Caneguru: LOL! Not terribly cost effective!
kellieAK: good grief!
Caneguru: I promise if you make a puffin, I'll buy more than 2 beads :)
marylu: i have the receipt for the magic mold from Victoria...that's the kind of picture i wanted!
marylu: yeah they don't get it...and some still think that they are painted
Stefanie: on the fairy I had a lady ask for different hair
Kat: right, how did you paint it on both sides?
Caneguru: you explain and explain and explain Then... Yeah, but how did you paint it
Caneguru: Do you work in the same place at the same time? Or separate studio space?
Stefanie: we are working together here tonight
Stefanie: mom and i both have work areas at our homes
Caneguru: why didn't you like doing craft shows?
Stefanie: long days low rewards
Caneguru: which brand clay (or blend) are you using these days?
Stefanie: fimo classic
marylu: fimo classic almost entirely
Stefanie: I use premo for our candy corns and pumpkins
Caneguru: how do you condition your fimo? By hand? Food processor?
Stefanie: PM and moms hot hands
Caneguru: hot hands help, for sure. :)
marylu: mostly by food processor and pasta machine
marylu: getting sore shoulders
marylu: the cold weather doesn't like me
DESIREEM1: stef and marylu, did you have the chance to work a lot with the pre-classic fimo? if so, how would you compare the pre-classic with the classic?
marylu: i can't tell the difference
kellieAK: marylu, how many canes do you make per month?
marylu: i try to make at least 6 per month.
marylu: sometimes i can do that in a weekend
kellieAK: and about how many hours go into each cane, on average?
marylu: about 4 to10 hours
DESIREEM1: i'm dying to know... how do you store your, must be hundreds, of canes?
Stefanie: I slice them up as soon as I get them
Stefanie: we have lots of beads lying around
kellieAK: do you have a favorite cane to make, and a least favorite?
Stefanie: I'm sick of slicing up the flamingos
Caneguru: hahaha! You've done how many flamingo canes, now?
Stefanie: 10 flamingos
Caneguru: yikes, that's a lot of beads! You must dream in pink
Stefanie: did I say I was sick of flamingos?
marylu:but they still want them
Stefanie: i love the animal prints
marylu: animal prints are the favorite can't think of any i hate
DESIREEM1: when baking spherical beads, you use any special device or technique to prevent flat spots?
Stefanie: I use parchment paper on a cookie sheet
Stefanie: nO FLAT SPOTS
Stefanie: I have used the same piece for over a year now
kellieAK: how many beads do you bake at a time?
Stefanie: as many as I can get on the sheet
kellieAK: do you use a regular oven?
kellieAK: I guess you would have to do bake that many at a time!
marylu: yeah it's nice to smell fresh fimo in the morning
Stefanie: Yup kellie
DESIREEM1: do you hole your beads pre or post bake?
Stefanie: I drill after they are baked
Stefanie: i drill when they are sold
Stefanie: custom drilling
kellieAK: you give the customer a choice on hole size, right? what is the hole size most requested?
Caneguru: Marylu, I was asking Stef about how you drill. She said she thought you used something to hold the beads when you use a drillpress...
Caneguru: what kind of jig do you use to hold the bead?
marylu: i don't know what a jig is...i have to use needle nose pliers to hold the bead.
Caneguru: that answers my question. thank you
Stefanie: better hold on tight!
marylu: i just drill for my own personal use.
Stefanie: beads flying everywhere
Caneguru: but you do use a drillpress, yes?
Caneguru: flexshaft or dremel?
Caneguru: or standalone?
Stefanie: I have the flexshaft
marylu: dremel...fits right into a slot on the press
Stefanie: on my dremel
Caneguru: And Stef, you use the flexshaft and just hold the bead?
Corgi: Do you set specific times to sit down and work on the beads or when the mood strikes you?
marylu: i do...my husband is a day sleeper..so the clay is quiet
Stefanie: we keep pretty busy
DESIREEM1: do you like the balance you've established between the time you devote to business chores and business fun?
Stefanie: I try and get the beads sliced as soon as I get the canes
Stefanie: I spend 3 hours a day on everything
Stefanie: business is always fun
Stefanie: except when I'm slicing flamingos
marylu: she's so funny
Stefanie: I heard that out loud!
kellieAK: so, stef, you enjoy all the auction set up and stuff?
Stefanie: I do it so fast it's not too bad
kellieAK: is it just practice, or do you have a system for the auctions?
Stefanie: I can list 40 or so auctions in about 20 minutes
Stefanie::I relist everything
kellieAK: that is amazing. it takes me forever to list one auction
Stefanie:: once you start one you can use it to list the rest
Caneguru: Who takes the pictures?
Stefanie:: Pictures stay the same
Stefanie:: I do on the scanner
Stefanie:: end of auction emails takes the most time
Woopicushin:: but how about the stuff your listing for the first time? How long do those take?
Stefanie:: it would take about 10 minutes if your not use to ebay
kellieAK: how many beads in a set?
Stefanie:: 10 beads per set
Stefanie:: I list between 2 and 5 sets
kellieAK: so if you make 300 beads, you get 30 sets out of it.
kellieAK: you do dutch auctions right?
Stefanie:: yes kellie on both
Woopicushin:: do you judt sell on ebay?
Stefanie:: just ebay
Stefanie:: sometimes justbeads
Caneguru: Ever make a cane that never got seen by outsiders? That didn't quite cut it? I'll feel much better to hear you have a box/jar/bag o shame
Stefanie: have a very ugly apple sitting here right now
marylu: and golf clubs
kellieAK:so, what do you do with the rare ugly cane?
marylu: i hate throwing them away
Stefanie:: We cut out the red on some of the apple and made pink
Stefanie::for the tulip we are working on
kellieAK: you disect them and add different colors?
marylu: someday someone with bad taste might want them
Caneguru: what is ugly about it?
marylu: the clubs sook more like hockey sticks
Stefanie:: and the apple looks like a cherry on a bad day
DESIREEM1: on the topic of canes, what's the most complex cane shape you've made, or are they all round or square for efficiency sake?
Caneguru: the football?
marylu: we usly make them round or square for efficiency
Caneguru: I was astounded how well you maintained the shape on those
Stefanie:: also mom is making a dog bone it's oblong
kellieAK: yes, they are perfectly shaped
Caneguru: I think I have one or two of the bones, too
Woopicushin:: do you freeze them before you slice them to keep them firm?
marylu: no fimo is firm enough
Stefanie:: it takes a little more care in reducing
kellieAK: I bet it does. any tricks you can share with us?
Stefanie:: moms typing it's coming
marylu: i have to pull and squeeze it more....can't roll it
kellieAK: marylu, do you do all the reductions?
marylu: yes most of it
Stefanie:: It takes me twice as long
Stefanie: finishes it to the size of the bead
Stefanie:: Why not just let her do it
kellieAK: have you ever screwed up a wonderful cane during reduction? like me? :-(
marylu: that what she always says ;-)
marylu: that apple
Stefanie: just mentioned
marylu: i think i rushed too much
kellieAK: that is depressing
Stefanie:: one parrot
kellieAK:oh no! the parrots look like so much work
Stefanie:: it was awesome until it was reduced
marylu: i had trouble with the colors of clay being hard or soft
Stefanie:: we know better
Caneguru: how long do you rest your canes before slicing?
Caneguru: reducing and slicing
marylu: when i'm doing it right a few hours or over night
Stefanie:: depends if it feels soft
Stefanie:: I want to cut right into them!
DESIREEM1: what's your preferred baking temp? I've heard everything from 250F - 300F? some even start high for a few minutes then reduce
Stefanie:: 250 for 20 minutes
DESIREEM1: reduce the temp, i mean
marylu: her oven is a little hotter..250 works perfect
Stefanie:: I baked at 300 and fried over 200 animal prints
Stefanie:: I cryed like a baby!
Caneguru: no doubt :(
marylu: i would have gone to bed for a week
Stefanie:: I have a hot oven
Stefanie:: I think you did mom
Stefanie:: she told me to shut up! :-)
marylu: i :-@
Caneguru: I'm so impressed to see a mother/daughter team work so well together. That in itself is wonderful
Caneguru: ooops.. spoke too soon
Stefanie:: laughing mad!
marylu:choked on my spit
Stefanie:: really she did!
marylu: i am very blessed to work with Stefanie
Caneguru: Does anybody else in the family help out with the business?
Stefanie:: Just us
Stefanie:: *My sister never got into it
Caneguru: Son's too young, right?
Woopicushin:: who got into claying first?
Stefanie:: I have my son help with round beads
Stefanie:: Mom did
DESIREEM1: do you sand, polish or coat any of your work?
Stefanie:: Dresden is 9 and a big help
Woopicushin:: how long did it take before she roped you in? LOL!
Stefanie:: I don't Des
Stefanie:: I want to learn
marylu: my son in law gives great constructive opinions
Stefanie:: to sand :-)
Stefanie:: I got leighs sample pack
Caneguru: Really, Marylu? You show him the designs before you cane them?
marylu: no after their reduced
Stefanie:: and he tell us what we don't want to hear
marylu: he pulls no punches
Caneguru: like design flaws?
kellieAK: do you listen to him though?
Caneguru: and do you kick him afterwards?
Stefanie:: he called the penguin "sqwiggly"
marylu: he's 6'5" i can't reach his hiney
DESIREEM1: kind of that reward/punishment program thing?
Caneguru: what's the average number of auctions you have going at a given time?
Dee:: My son is 6'5" also. Stand on a chair.
Stefanie:: we just know when its a really good cane by how he responds
Caneguru: like that sun conure. >WOW<
Stefanie:: 20 to 40 auctions
kellieAK: wow is right!
Stefanie:: more the merrier
kellieAK: how many sets do you think you sell per week?
Stefanie:: we just sold 60 sets
Corgi: Did your hubbies resist your hobby before you started selling?
marylu: thanx i think the conure is my favorite
Caneguru: it's a lovely cane. They don't get any better than that, IMO
kellieAK: the daffodil is my favorite of your canes
Stefanie:: not mine! he's a sweetheart
Caneguru: *that one too
Stefanie:: I love the daffodil
Caneguru: how many of the daffodil have you done? Canes, I mean
marylu:my hubby wasn't wild about it...but he still gripes that he never sees any of the moola
DESIREEM1: you should make your DH a moola cane
Corgi: Sounds just like mine.
kellieAK: have you ever had a customer buy a ton of one style of cane?
Stefanie:: all the time
Caneguru: i still hope you'll take my idea for a subscriptoin program :)
StarGazer:: how much/many is "a ton"
kellieAK: ya, what jean said!
Stefanie:: I have a buy who cleaned us out of christmas beads in november
Stefanie:: I do linda
Stefanie:: 160 of each design
Caneguru: Was it a bead store?
Stefanie:: I get weekly animal print order for 100 or more
kellieAK: from the same customer?
DESIREEM1: marylu and stephanie, would you consider doing wholesale? taking huge orders?
Stefanie:: No, it was a lady who makes suncatcher
Stefanie:: she didn't want to run out :-)
DESIREEM1: like 5000 of this, 10,000 of that?
Stefanie:: That would clean us out
StarGazer:: i sure wouldn't want to count out that order for beads! :)
Caneguru: will you do custom reduction sizes? If you do a puffin, I'd like a variety of sizes if possible.
DESIREEM1: buy a bead counting machine! ;-)
Stefanie:: heck! I wouldn't want to drill them all
Caneguru: do it by weight
Stefanie:: For you linda! :-)
DESIREEM1: hee hee
Caneguru: You rock, y'know :)
StarGazer:: sounds better than counting!!
Stefanie:: my luck some would want 5000 flamingos
marylu: :-) :-)
Caneguru: maybe mr. flamingo wants to be retired for a while?
Kat: then you would really see pink
Stefanie:: We have a buyer who won't let us stop making it
Stefanie:: moms crying!
Dee:: Is that buyer from Fl?
Stefanie:: you made her cry agin linda
Stefanie:: no, she is in NY
Caneguru: What program do you use for your customer database?
Caneguru: all on paper?
Dee:: Well there ya go. We dont have flamingo's in NY
donebydebbie:: I'm glad you still made them! Made my Christmas easier ;o)
marylu: the very first set of flamingos we sold was to a gal in fl she paid #36.00 for 10 beads :-)
Stefanie:: :-) Deb!
kellieAK: a bidding war?
Caneguru: those are fun
Stefanie:: the next 2 sets went for $46 each
DESIREEM1: thanks marylu and stephanie. i enjoyed this
Stefanie:: I love bidding wars
Caneguru: what's the best bidding war you had?
Caneguru: was it the flamingos?
Stefanie:: that was it
donebydebbie:: i'd love to see you two in action! i'm fascinated by the work you do!
kellieAK: LOL! what's not to love about them?
Stefanie:: Animal prints next
Stefanie:: thanks deb
Caneguru: Are you both coming to R'dale?
marylu: we plan on it
StarGazer:: what is the average size of your beads? Radius and width?
Stefanie:: we are going to try
Stefanie:: got money being set aside
Caneguru: fantastic. You won't regret it
Stefanie:: rounds are 12 to 15 mm
marylu: problem is i won't fly and Stefanie does
StarGazer:: thanks Stefanie :)
Stefanie:: we are looking into that
marylu: we heard it takes over a day from here to Seattle
Stefanie:: I might drive
Caneguru: If you amtrak'd to Seattle, somebody could pick you up, I'm sure
Stefanie:: our friend Vic is going to pick us up
Stefanie:: she is flying
marylu: yeah our friend Victoria will fly up, get a rental car and meet us if we go by train
marylu: what's the drive like
kellieAK: we are going to have blast
Corgi: I'm Soooo Jealous!
Caneguru: Which city are you near?
Stefanie:: I'll be in my pj's all the time there
Stefanie:: we are nearest to Sacramento CA
Caneguru: LOL. Autumn LeBreque always comes into the community work area in her pjs
Caneguru: it's a tradition
Stefanie:: Autumn and I will be very comfortable
Corgi: I sleep in sweats so I'm always ready to go.
kellieAK: pajama party at ravendale? sounds good to me
StarGazer:: aha! Driving distance for me (to Seattle) ;)
Caneguru: Maybe the onliners party can be a pj party
Stefanie:: way to go Jenn
marylu: that's what Stefanie lives in...her son calls them apartment pants
StarGazer:: er.. to Sacramento... *what was i thinking?*
Corgi: What classes are you taking at Ravendale guys?
Caneguru: aaaarrg Don't ask
kellieAK: I have my schedule all figured out.
Caneguru: I did, but keep changing it. I always do that
StarGazer:: wish i did... :)
kellieAK: I finally settled it last night.
Caneguru: Trying to get Don to take a few classes, too
Caneguru: since he'll be there all week
donebydebbie:: still debating between 2 that are at the same time~~~aaargh
Stefanie:: fingers are crossed I will get the classes I want
kellieAK: stef, marylu, do you have a top choice for a class at ravensdale?
Stefanie:: I want to take Marie Segal's glas or polymer class
donebydebbie:: Do the classes fill up pretty fast/
Caneguru: Me too, Stef :)
Stefanie:: Sucks it's the saturday before we leave
Caneguru: Some do, Debbie
donebydebbie:: that's one of the 2 I'm trying to decide between
kellieAK: linda, how many students in each class?
Stefanie:: I would have liked to play all week with it
Caneguru: I don't know, Kellie
Caneguru: I can tell you that demos are one of the best bargains going
Stefanie:: There is a wire one too
kellieAK: I have two demo's down on my list, during my lunch break from regular classes. LOL
Caneguru: which ones, Kellie?
donebydebbie:: the application will be on the website?
marylu: kellie...i am thinking about the sarah shriver intricate caning and streatch jewelry too
Stefanie:: who needs lunch :-)
kellieAK: shriver old canes new and ripple mania
Caneguru: old canes new is AWESOME
Caneguru: I took that in 2000
kellieAK: marylu, those are top on my list of regular classes
Caneguru: she packs a lot into that class
Stefanie:: I want to hand a clay alot too
marylu: that would be soooocool
Stefanie:: not hand! hang :-)
kellieAK: hang out and clay
Stefanie:: I want to hang out and clay
Caneguru: A piece of advice for everybody. Bring lots of trades and spend time in the community work areas
Stefanie:: cookies and candy too :-)
Stefanie:: mocha mix
Corgi: What do you mean by trades Cane?
Woopicushin:: who all is planning to go?
Caneguru: Things to trade
Caneguru: trading is a blast.
kellieAK: I'm going woopi
Caneguru: I'm going
Corgi: oh trading work for work?
donebydebbie:: Me (cross fingers & toes)
Woopicushin:: wish I could go.
kellieAK: I wish everyone could go
Corgi: Oh cool. I really wish I could go!
marylu: hoping to go woopi
Caneguru: You can't Corgi? :(
kellieAK: marla, are you going to ravensdale?
Corgi: No no funds and Hubby can't take time off during that week.
Dee:: I'll get there some day :-(
MarlaFr:: no, Kellie, that's way the other side of the country for me!
Caneguru: well next ravensdale we'll ALL be there. Cuz I'm winning the lottery
MarlaFr:: will you be there, Kellie?
Corgi: Please do win! Hubby's been trying.
MarlaFr:: that's just down the pike for you
kellieAK: yes, it's the closest retreat to my state
Dee:: Linda, i've had that fantasty too
kellieAK: just a 4 hour flight for me
Caneguru: Is tom planning on coming?
MarlaFr:: and a darned fine one at that, from what I've heard
Caneguru: I'd imagine so
kellieAK: he says he is, and so is karen
Stefanie:: Marla, on carol duvall the other day she showed something sent in from a veiwer, was that you?
MarlaFr:: yep! that was mine!
kellieAK: what was it?
donebydebbie:: what was it/?
MarlaFr:: it was from a couple of years ago, there was a Carol Duvall swap
Caneguru: <---------- Only person in the world who doesn't get the CD show
Stefanie:: I thought the name sounded familier
donebydebbie:: that bites linda :(
MarlaFr:: it was a caned angel face on a heart pin
Woopicushin:: I don't get it either.
kellieAK: oh. I was in the carol swap, but my item disappeared before they went online
donebydebbie:: ooohh! congrats!
kellieAK: *on air, sorry
MarlaFr:: it disappeared?
Caneguru smiles because she has some of Marla's work from a long time ago :)
kellieAK: yeah, it was stolen
kellieAK: at the show!
MarlaFr:: right back at ya, Linda
MarlaFr:: so . . . someone has good taste but bad manners?
kellieAK: I say bad manners, my husband says good taste
Caneguru: Hey, have any of you seen the current Metalsmith Mag?
Caneguru: It features Forlano and Ford (CityZenCane)
kellieAK: hey, rhett just walked in from work, brb
Corgi: No I don't get it
Corgi: *MSG* I'm going to close the chat and turn off the log. I just want to thank Marylu and Stefanie for joining us once more!