Select an inclusion.
In this instance, we're using colorful sand.
You can find colored sand in many craft stores, but you can also make your own, as we did. Mix a drop or two of liquid food coloring (as needed) into a small amount of white (or at least light colored) sand. Allow the coloring to dry thoroughly. The sand will keep its color well, stored in small plastic bags. Using only a few hues of food coloring (red, yellow, green, and blue are the most commonly available), you can get a variety of colors of sand. Mix red and blue for purple, green and yellow for lime green, and so on.
Sprinkle or scoop a very small amount of sand onto a flattened portion of clay. Fold the clay around the sand and begin working it into the clay. Some of the sand may fall onto your work surface. When that happens, simply press the clay onto it to pick it back up. Continue working the clay to evenly distribute the sand. If necessary, add a little more sand.
Note: We advise you not to put clay with sand mixed in through a pasta machine, as it could possibly scratch the rollers.
At this point, you can form the clay into whatever shape you desire. We have chosen to form ours into slightly flattened round beads, which we have pierced (from both sides, with a thick needle) and set aside. You may do this for all the inclusion recipes you try, as you go, or save this step until the end. (If the clay sits for very long, it may require some handling to warm and re-soften it, depending on the clay, room temperature, and other factors.)