Polymer Clay Canes for Beginners

27 videos, step by step, beginner cane workshop beginner Cane Tutorial What people are saying about this tutorial. jennifer rose Just finished this first workshop on how to make canes, and I must say I learned so much. This is exactly what I have been looking for, someone who could explain cane making in a step by step that process that I could replicate. I watched the videos, went into my studio and began to create all of the canes Alice showed. I finally have results I can be proud of, and I say thank you so much for doing this workshop. My only question now is when do we get more workshops. If you are only going to take one online class let it be this workshop. Thank you Alice for your hard work, and your dedication to helping others learn the joys of polymer clay.

Online Workshops with Alice Stroppel


[caption id="attachment_102" align="aligncenter" width="100" caption="Member IPCA"]Member IPCA[/caption]

More than just a Colorful Journey


On Friday last week, I got an email from Ron Lehocky with several pictures of the ground breaking ceremony for a new home for the Smunnat Nepal project.  A new home that has been funded by donations, much of which came from the polymer clay community with Wendy Moore, (center in the blue in this picture) Cynthia Tinapple and Ron leading the way.

Ron began by offering a matching pledge of $2,000 and the goal was quickly met. He then offered yet another match of $1,000 and again it was met. The goal was to collect $10,000 to be able to build a permanent home on land that was donated to the project. What a wonderful thing for him to do and the support and donations from our community have been fabulous.

Samunnat’s  A Colourful Journey

Ron wrote to me, “According to Wendy the entire event was over flowing with love and happiness. They dig a hole where the first pillar will eventually stand and bury certain symbolic items in it which will bring good karma to the building.”

“I have been able to Skype with Kopila Basnet, the Program Coordinator of Samunnat  and Wendy.  This whole thing fills my heart and gives me such a kick that we are able to make a change in the world on the other side of the globe in a place so foreign to our sense of luxury and opportunity.”

I was delighted Ron shared the pictures with me and I was able to follow along with this exciting journey.All the pictures are now up on A Colorful Journey blog along with a post from Wendy.

$10,000 was just for the basic building. But how excited that the money was raise so quickly and they were able to break ground and the building can begin.

But hold on, they still need so much more, like a concrete roof instead of tin so that one day they might build up. When I was at Synergy I met Ron for the first time and sat with him at lunch one day. We had a wonderful discussion about Wendy, Kopila and the ladies of Samunnat. We talked about how each night they have to remove the generator from the rooms they are renting and bring in back in the morning. Running water is not always included in the places they have called home. Simple things we take for granted are luxuries for them.


I was thinking, over 40,000 people watch my Stroppel Cane Video when I first put it up, and over 48,000 have watched it since I moved it to Youtube.

What if each of those people donated just $1 each to the building fund, that would be over $80,000. Just think about what a difference just half of that could make in their lives.

I urge you to please take a minute to go to their blog A Colorful Journey and read more about these beautiful people and scroll down on the left hand side and click of the Paypal link to donated. Be sure to request it be for the building fund.  It will make you smile, it will make them smile, you can be sure it will make me smile.


A Colourful Journey is the website for Nepali women who have survived domestic violence and are developing ways to generate an income for themselves and their families. These women are affiliated with the non-religious, non-profit, non-political Samunnat Nepal project.

Kopila Basnet and the Ladies of Samunnat

“The planet doesn’t need more ‘successful’ people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who will live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these needs have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.”

– David Orr in Earth in Mind

Dear Readers,

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the world and don’t know how to help. Things sometimes feel so much bigger than me and so far from my life I can’t imagine anything I can do would make a difference.

I want you to meet an amazing person, Kopila Basnet, who has entered the polymer clay world in a large way. By large, I mean the impact her guidance has made on the lives of the Samunnat Ladies of Nepal. Kopila has three daughters and has been trained in law and worked in the media and government organisations. She is the Program Coordinator of Samunnat and also provides much of the legal assistance in property and, less often, criminal cases.

I asked Kopila to share her story and she was kind enough send me the following;


 I am Kopila living in Eastern part of Nepal it is called Jhapa. We have started Samunnat for some very good  reasons. I want to add that we started Samunnat because I was working in one anti-corruption project as a journalist where I saw the corruption in our government office that made people suffer. I got some relief that I could at least publish the corruption news where people would aware of the fact.

After the anti-corruption project I joined another anti-trafficking project in Jhapa. I got to know that our district is only 17 kilometers away from India so it is the one border among 20 border to India where the most girls were trafficked.

When girls were rescued I heard their story why and how they were trafficked and even when I was in the project they come for their rights but they do not have financial support.  So we start to think about giving them skill and the legal support. Now I love to spent my time with our Bahiniharu (little sisters) and do some new design.  I love polymer creative work. We are very grateful to Wendy Didi who have given this wonderful polymer world friends.

When we were in initial stage in Samunnat we were just few members but now we have extended and have strong belief that one day Samunnat could be the platform for the vulnerable women and they will be united for their rights.

My wish is may our ladies could be independent, strong and empowered. That they know their rights.

The first basic requirement is resources which is their skills and ability to earn a living and be independent. As long as my dear friends wear our jewelry you can think you have purchased a right thing and thank yourself for the right choice.



and from the Sammunat website:

About  “A Colourful Journey” and the Sammunat Nepal project

Sammunat Nepal grew from the desire of a group of Nepalese friends to help the many women they met whose lives have been damaged by violence. These people live in the troubled Jhapa district of Eastern Nepal. The friends were aware of the many women who are the victims of domestic violence, physical and psychological abuse or who had been trafficked into India for work in the tragically burgeoning sex industry there.

Most of these women are extremely vulnerable to further violence and exploitation. Simply providing financial assistance is only a short term and ultimately short-sighted solution. Instead, Sammunat Nepal seeks to work with the women to provide:

  • Legal assistance for no charge or at affordable fees;
  • Training in advocacy and about human rights;
  • Specific income-generating skill training (as shown on “A Colorful Journey” web site);
  • Counselling for the women as required; and
  • Support as the women re-establish themselves and their families in new communities. Particularly important as they are sometimes unwelcome in their home towns.



I’ve been so touched by these woman and their stories, I encourage you to read about them and their individual journeys. A recent post by Wendy Moore titled A typical day – getting to know us will surely brighten your day. I love that each of these women are smiling the most beautiful smiles.

“When our life was covered with darkness we always look at others life and want life the same as them. Now we are living with brightness and people are surprised and curious about what made this change.”

I want to be a part of that change, if only in a small way, I hope you will to. There are several ways you can help these ladies. You can buy their jewelry from this Etsy Shop or you can donate as much or as little as you want right from your Paypal account. It is amazing how quickly $5.00 here and $20.00 there turns into $1,000s. I know from my friend and theirs, Wendy Moore, that they would love to sell you their jewelry but will be delight to know you care in anyway. Find your way to their paypal button here A Colorful Journey blog.

These beautiful bracelets are just one of the products that these ladies of Samunnat are producing for sale. I just received my second set of bracelets from this Etsy Shop and they are lovelier in person than they are in a picture. I can’t think of a better purchase for myself or a friend, can you?


 The pattern on the bracelets was taught to the ladies by Cynthia Tinapple during her trip to Nepal. You can read about that trip in this A Colorful Journey blog post You’ll experience a bit of the excitement the woman felt to be given a skill that could aid them on their road to independence.
Many people in the polymer clay community have been generous with donations of all kinds.
 Carol Simmons and Craig Brodahl, Rob and Wilma Yost from Polymer Clay Express,  and the attendees of Shrinemont.
I’ve added the Craftcult widget for their shop on the right side of my blog so you’ll always be able to find them.
I wanted to mention that Wendy Moore sent me the opening quote.  “Wendy is an Australian woman living in eastern Nepal. A brain injury rehabilitation therapist in Australia, she is currently working as an artist. She is leader of the Samunnat cheer squad and provides some specific skills training and a sounding board!” We’ve been exchanging emails and I’m so happy to call her friend.
The quote by David Orr was posted on a website that I know I will be going back to visit again and again. Here’s the link to marianne elliot. Thanks Wendy!

Shisha Bracelets From the Women of Samunnat Nepal

Look what came in the mail yesterday! This beautiful set of Shisha bracelets made by talented women of Samunnat Nepal.

I’ve been following the women of Samunnat Nepal ever since Cynthia Tinapple said she was going to visit the women there to share her polymer patterns.

I found out about Cynthia’s trip at a retreat we were both attending. We had a slide exchange and her slide was made from the polymer patterned “cloth” she was planning on teaching the women of Samunnat Nepal.


You can see they go together so well. What you can’t see is the reflection from the tiny little mirrors embedded in the pattern.

I wanted these bracelets because they go with Cynthia’s slide and I watched as she worked on one of the pattern sheets.  And because it all means something to me, as Maureen Carlson always reminds me, everything has a story. So these pieces have a story with a beginning and a middle with the ending nowhere in site. The women of Samunnat Nepal are writing the rest of their story.

The main reason I wanted to own this bracelet set is because all the proceeds go back to the women and I wanted to support their efforts. You can read more about these beautiful women on  A Colourful Journey website. It is the website “for Nepali women who have survived domestic violence and are developing ways to generate an income for themselves and their families. These women are affiliated with the non-religious, non-profit, non-political Samunnat Nepal project.”

Sometimes  we polymer clay artists think that because we make polymer clay jewelry, we don’t want to buy others polymer clay jewelry, but I would encourage you to think about lending your support to these ladies and empowering their escape from violence. You won’t be sorry for a second, these bracelets will make you smile from the minute you open the package. And every time you look at them you will know you helped in a small way.

You can own your very own Shisha Bracelet, just visit Samunnat Shop on Etsy. Tell ’em Alice sent you. If nothing else, mark their shop as a favorite so your circle can get a chance to take a look.

Oh and by the way, they have other wonderful pieces of jewelry and are adding more all the time.

My hat is off to all those involved in bringing this project to life. Wendy Moore, Cynthia TinappleWendy BasnetGenevieve Williamson and the women of Samunnat Nepal. A big thank you to you all.