the day we’re all Irish

st paddy pendant

I’m not Irish.  I’m pretty much all German, but somehow had a French maiden name.  Nobody knows where that exactly came from…?

But I love St. Patrick’s day. We always decorated with shamrocks and had green frosted cookies and corned beef and cabbage when I was a kid.

With the name Patricia and a father who was hoping I’d be a boy, what do you suppose he had planned for my name before the Dr. said, “it’s a girl?”

I’m guessing it was the Catholic Saint part that led my parents to always celebrate a holiday that should have had nothing to do with us German farmers.

I still like to make corned beef and cabbage and maybe I’ll have to make some sugar cookies and green icing this week.  It is Spring Break for my kids, so if I make the cookies, my daughter will do the frosting.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I came up with this simple cane version of a Celtic lattice pattern.  It is very subtle because the green pattern is set in a background of faux jade– green tinted PremoAccents grey granite clay.

1. make a shaded cane and mirror it

2. flatten the cane to about 1/4"

3. make a stack of diamonds to wrap in the shaded stripe

4. wrap each side and leave extension on each end.

5. fill background to square.

6. the twice reduced and recombined cane

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all (whether you’re Irish, or just a pretender like me!)



Posted in polymer clay


There have been a lot of changes here at Patricia Kimle Designs…  Obviously, if you’ve ever read this blog before, you will notice that it’s not just a blog, but a full blown website now.  And it’s under my own domain, which means I took the old kimledesigns site down.  After much consideration and personal debate, I also took down the site.  I’ve long known that they weren’t well designed sites, and coupled with my all-thumbs approach to webdesign and maintenance with the fact they weren’t generating interest, I decided to pull the plug..  So please checkout the galleries.  I only put up a small selection of items, but with the ease of these pages here at wordpress, I’m hoping to rotate things often.

The other big change is that I finished the manuscript for my next book and sent all the materials to Kalmbach Books a week ago.  (4 days early, I might add!!)  Here’s a few of my favorite caned projects from both the instructional and the gallery images.

The book covers polymer clay basics, and design elements of color and pattern in Part one.  Part two is the basic canes of stripe, checkerboard, bull’s-eye, and spiral.  Part three covers complex canes.

A complex cane pendant from chapter 8

After all the projects were designed and written, I did a few more projects for a gallery of designs going for “glam” and star power yet maintaining the use of canes that were very simple.  Elegance was my goal…

Gold pendant with simple floating canes from Gallery

Have a great weekend.  This time, I promise to, and really will, see you again soon!



Posted in artistic life, books

deadline approaching

I’m bleary-eyed.  I’ve been working with tons of images, matching raw and jpg files and naming them according to protocol for my publisher.  One more chapter’s worth of files to name, then the rest of the writing….

What am I writing this time?  A beginner polymer clay book focused on the technique of caning.  I have been working on it for a couple of months and I have just a few weeks to go before my manuscript deadline.

Want a peek?  This is my table in the midst of some of the cane assembly and photography:

messy workspace

This book has been an interesting and fun challenge for me.  I’ve had to keep “beginner” in mind, yet I wanted the canes and the finished jewelry and beads to maintain a high standard of good design and excellent technical detail and finish.

Here’s another peek.  This drawer contains many of the canes I made for the book.  The first part of the book is very simple, basic canes, the second half is more complex canes and combinations of the basics.

canes in progress

Ok.  Time to go back to my bleary task of file naming.   BKS–64506-….I’m gonna be typing this code in my sleep!!



Posted in books

Ornament reminiscences

(reprinted from my post today at

Generally, after our Thanksgiving turkey is picked clean, it’s time for my middle child to get on our roof and string up our Christmas lights.  He gets this job because my husband doesn’t like heights and my son is 14 and fearless.  I intended to avoid Black Friday (don’t like shopping or crowds) but said son determined we needed some replacement bulbs for the lights.  He even counted the required bulbs–mostly green, just a couple red bulbs… (he’s planning to be an engineer, can you tell?).  After 3 stores and only one package of 4 green replacement bulbs, I was well on the way to a Scrooge attitude!  Great.

Our other Thanksgiving weekend tradition is to get our Christmas tree up and decorated.  I’m not one of those people who pick a theme and buy all matching color ornaments and ribbon and lights.  No, our tree has no theme, it’s an on-going record of our family.  And each year, as we decorate the tree, the kids reminisce over the ornaments, remembering who made which, who gave us each one, etc.  My collection includes a couple ornaments I made in kindergarten (I’m not admitting the year), one silver ball covered with a bit of lace from my mother’s wedding dress, crocheted snowflakes from a dear lady in my bible class, and the ceramic nativities the kids made in vacation bible school.  There are ornaments that came as a decoration on a gift, some from teachers, and projects the kids made in preschool or gradeschool.

Many of the ornaments on my tree are, of course, polymer clay.  Some were made by me, some by the kids.  Let me give you a brief tour of some favorites…

This is one of my oldest clay ornaments.  I started in polymer clay in 1990, and several of my very early ornaments are similar to this stocking.  There are cut out shapes of stockings, hats, cows and pigs (hubby and I were both farm kids).

Then I moved on to some figurines and for several years, I wrote names and messages on the figures.  I gave these to family as well as keeping some for our tree.  The skating bear is dated 1995.  He had cut up paperclips inserted on his shoes for the to skate blades.  The lamb is dated 1996.  I have characters with each of our names on them, and “baby’s first christmas” for each of the boys… Jackson was a reindeer in 1994, Nathan’s was a bear for 1996.  My daughter’s design was a baby tucked under a blanket on a star in 1999.

Now, we move on to some of the kids’ ornaments.  I was always annoyed by the wax-dipped cornstarch ornament the teachers at the preschool made.  (I didn’t trust that they wouldn’t rot in storage and I believed the kids could do better than just coloring the shapes the teacher cut out for them.)  So I volunteered to do projects with my kids’ classes.  For the ornament on the left, I first took the kids’ pictures, then had them cut out bells or trees and decorate them with glitter, punches, etc.  I can hardly believe that little boyin the picture is now 6’2″ and will graduate from high school this spring!  The ones on the right are a quilt-inspired cane from a series I did somewhere around the late 1990s.  The bear on the right Jackson made when I let him and a buddy make ornmaments for a play-day.

Here’s a quilt design from 1999.  I don’t recall whether the pattern in the center was supposed to be stars or leaves….?

A red-green icicle with glitter on the right was made by my daughter.

As a jewelry maker of course, I’ve always got lots of beads around.  So one year, I took heavy brass wire and added some wirework for loopy ornaments.  The snowflake design was white clay with colored liquid sculpey drizzled and dragged across the surface.  This was a project design I used with a service club that wanted a project for a group meeting.

Finally, the last image is one made in 2001.  For several years, I did an ornament design for the Dean of one of the colleges at the university here.  This was an order for about 100 matching ornements for gifts to his faculty and staff.  The requirement was that it should say “College of Education” and the year.  After showing him all sorts of design ideas, I was a bit chagrined when he decided it should be in canework.  Figuring out how large the cane had to be to start out was a challenge.  I used ecru and navy for the word canes.  I ended with enough of that cane to use in different designs over 3 years, just changing the date cane!  The mobius bead ornament on the right was sample from one of those years, sans the “college of education” portion.

Each year we put up our tree, I love to review our family history and I look forward with some reticence to the day when my kids leave home and have their own family christmas trees to decorate.  They will each have a good start on their own ornament collections and traditions.  I guess I will definitely continue making and collecting more so that I don’t have a bare tree when they do take their own!

Thanks for allowing me to share some memories!

Blessings of the season!


Posted in clay

cleaning in the studio

(this post is from the blog at  I’ve reprinted it here as well.)

I’ve been spending a little time each day lately cleaning in my studio, tackling different counters, drawers, etc. until I get distracted or better, inspired.  There are two types of organization for creative people, I’ve heard… those who have a place for every supply and every tool and everything is put away.  And those who have to have things out in plain sight so they can see what they have.  I definitely lean to the latter.  Although I usually function pretty well in a state of “controlled chaos,” every once in a while, it’s good to put things away.

In my cleaning spree this week, I came across some pewter beads that I purchased at the Bead & Button show this year.  I’d laid them aside and forgot about them after the show.  The beads I’d purchased from a company called North Lake Trading Co, Avon Lake Ohio.

As an aside, alternative materials and less precious metals were big trends at the show this year.  With the price of silver and gold so high and volatile, pewter, copper, steel, and even aluminum findings were popular.  As were fibers, leather, and rubber cording of many types as substitutes for chain.

Anyway, these bead frames are quite delicate and inspired me to sort out some of my flower canes for a project.

To fill these frames, I reduced the canes to just slightly smaller than the space inside.  Cut about 1/8″ thick slices, then pressed from both sides to expand the slice to fill the frame and lock the clay over the inside rim just a bit.  Pierced before baking and then added some beads on the wire.  I think the results are sweet.  I have loads of old flower and geometric canes to use.  Bracelets would be fun as well.  Have fun!

Posted in clay

Polyform Design Team

Hi all.   I’m so grateful to be a member of the Sculpey Design Team.   I’m blogging over at for the month of November.   Pop over and check it out!  {And hopefully I will rekindle the blogging habit… sorry about the long pause.}

Here’s a pic of the project I describe:

fall leaf pendant project


Posted in clay

pretty girls

These focal beads are going to be entered into a local art show this weekend.  Wish me luck.  They all feature transfers of my original face paintings.  I enjoy putting different bits together to create color harmonies that are just a little beyond ordinary.

These should remind you of the feather beads in On Exhibit, from last year.  A face transfer is cheaper to use, however, than silver in the current market!!  (But I am thankful it has come down some in the past couple weeks.)

Have a great weekend!



Posted in clay, painting

On etsy

Yeah!  Though my internet connection has been temperamental this week (joys of near rural living!) I got 5 paintings up on my etsy site.  The images are 5×7″  prints on archival quality cotton paper.  They are presented in 8×10 mats.  I’m very pleased with the quality of the prints.  My old workhorse hp printer still does a pretty good job!

Here’s one of the images you haven’t seen yet:

Whew!  Card sets to come.  But now, I’m gonna go paint something!



Posted in Uncategorized

in our eyes

22 The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
23 the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The LORD has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.

Psalm 118:22-24

I did two faces today.  I have to say that the first one didn’t get finished and will never be shown anywhere.  I’m learning that if the sketch to begin isn’t accurate in the features, the painting won’t improve it.

My method in these is kind funny…. I do the face, then the background, then try to come up with a word and then a verse…  Did you know that in the NIV bible, there are over 500 references to “eyes”?  and I went through them all trying to pick a verse…  A lot of them are in Chronicles and Kings and refer to whether king so and so did evil or good in the eyes of the Lord.  LOL!

I’ve just finished reading Scott McElroy’s Finding Divine Inspiration.  It’s about artists partnering with the Holy Spirit.  A good book.  I went on a book binge with several similar titles last week.

I’m excited that I am going to be offering prints of these paintings for sale.  I’ve got a format down for notecards.  I’ve ordered some high quality paper for prints also.  I hope to get these things on etsy by the end of the week.  I’ll let you know!



Posted in painting

In quietness

For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said,  “In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.”  –Isaiah 30:15

I’m moving forward.  I’m starting to think in terms of this work as a product line.  I’m exploring printing options to make prints.  I’m printing some cards.  I’m becoming more willing to show these paintings to art people, not just my close friends and you cyber friends (and strangers, LOL).

My oldest even gave me the reverse of the lecture I gave him about copyright and images on the web… (I was impressing on him not to just use an image from google on his web pages, he was telling me to protect myself from others grabbing mine, thus I added a watermark to today’s painting.)

At the same time, I’ve got a couple actual jewelry ORDERS this week to fill, so I’ve had to clear the paint from the workspace and get out the jewelry tools!  Sheesh!  What’s that about?  Just Kidding!

As the kids say, Its all Good.



Posted in painting
June 2023
Past posts

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