Thursday, December 17, 2009

Free Priority Shipping!

Limited time only!

Announcing FREE Domestic Priority Shipping on all orders of $75 and over. 


This is a wonderful deal for all of you last minute shoppers that like to shop 
from the comfort of your computer chair...

or perhaps because buying on-line makes more sense than fighting the crowds 
and/or shoveling your driveway to get out!

Barb Fajardo

Friday, December 11, 2009


I love Turquoise...the color and the stone.  I was pleased to find out that it is Pantone's pick for the Color of the Year for 2010.

Here is a strand of a few squiggly, swirly, scrolly beads (not sure what to call them)!  I had in mind making beads that were sturdy enough to use as a belt.  I didn't have enough chain to make it long enough, but it makes a cute necklace too.

I mixed trans, pearl and white clays, stuck the coily things down on raw clay bases, painted with Baja Blue pinata ink, sanded some, added some gold paint, sanded more, added more gold paint, sanded more and finally buffed.  They were tons of work, I like them, but the Baja Blue isn't quite turquoise, and I'm not totally fond of the shape. 

Look for more turquoise stuffs in the weeks to come!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Revisiting Inks and Banners

I'm dragging out my inks to play with this week.  I do miss working with them.  Layering color upon color and trying out different's soooo satisfying, but soooo messy.  I'm wondering if I can isolate myself to just using a few colors, to be consistent enough to offer these at the wholesale level.  I can work a gold filled line in that way and not just the more rustic style with the Vintaj brass findings I've been working with.

Hey, here is something I bet a lot of you can relate to.  January 2010 will be my 10 year anniversary working with polymer clay (and also my 50th BD...shh...don't tell anyone).

I began to look at the gazillions of folders that I have on my computer and started to get sort of nostalgic. Not only did I find a lot of family photos that I had forgotten about, I found sort of a time line of my work in the banners that I've made for my website and auction descriptions.  Unfortunately a lot of the banners I've made over the years I've deleted, but here are three that I ran across.

I think the plain one that you see at the top of this blog and on my website will last for a while.  It's simple, just my name and tag line "Flora Art Jewelry"  The initials FAJ are the first three of my last name "Fajardo"  so it seems right.  It will be nice to stick with something for a while ;o)

One last bit of news for the Holidays.  I have a new "Newsletter" page on my website and will use it to
 communicate with my buyers and fans.  If you are on my mailing list, I'll still send you a note letting you know that I've got a new one up.

Now through December 28, 2009 get a Free Pair of Matching Earrings with every pendant or necklace that is purchased from the clearance page!  


Thursday, November 05, 2009

ACREs of Opportunity 2009

The business of wholesale is a completely different animal and one I'm glad that I leapt into. I was unsure if my work was marketable because I had submitted images for ACREs of Opportunity '07 (for the '08 show)and didn't make the cut. 

As I let the dates to apply for ACREs of Opportunity '08 (for the '09 show) tick by, a good friend (she knows who she is) urged me to enter, saying that she didn't want me to regret not trying again. I thought about it and really...what did I have to lose? I may not make it, but then again I might.  Life is a crap shoot and I wanted this, so I had to try again!  

I was thrilled that I made it and now after successfully taking orders at the paid IPCA booth that Pat Bolgar, Lauren Abrams and I shared last year, I can say that if it weren't for my caring and kind of pushy friend, I wouldn't have had this experience.

Having the previous year's ACRE 2008 winners serving as our mentors was incredible.  The insight and support from Sandra McCaw (one of the jurors this year), Meisha Barbee and Judy Belcher (past IPCA president who stepped in for Lindly Haunani) helped us to feel comfortable with decisions we made on everything from our product line, catalogs and price lists, to lighting and display.

IPCA members can submit until November 15 at  You still have 10 days (which include two whole weekends) to gather together 5 images of your best work.  

We'd love to see you in Las Vegas next June.  It really is an amazing time to take that leap.  I am now serving as your pushy friend...don't let it pass you by!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Making textures...

I get a lot of questions on how I make my textures. I use a variety of tools, my favorites being stylus, kemper cutters and tools, tissue blade, etc. I impress different designs, make reverse textures and then sometimes texture again. Here is a picture of some that I've made in just the past couple of days. I myself never use store bought textures, it's way more fun to just sit and let your mind do it's thing :o)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Petal Perfection ;o)

I'm only calling the necklace that because it might actually *be* perfection this time. I'm pretty proud of myself for not giving up on this design. I've been very stubborn...every time I thought that I had it, I said to has to be a better way!

I joked recently on twitter and facebook, that this necklace was an "engineering marvel." Well, maybe not quite, but it felt that way to me since I've spent many days bugging family members (husband Rudy - an autocad teacher, and son Daniel - an engineering student). I asked, prodded, wondered why, asked some more, tried to change minds...and finally, FINALLY, I came up with the final design mostly all by my little ole self. It might look the same as some of the others on flickr, but it *is*'ll have to take my word for it.

Now, I won't give you details, but I've given you a close-up to try and figure out what the problems were, and how I fixed them. I am wholesaling these after all, so I wouldn't feel right spilling all the beans, but...anyway, here you go. Enjoy wracking your brain, like I have!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm still here...

just trying to be focused and is so unlike me :o)

So sorry for neglecting the blog, I really haven't stopped to breath lately. I probably won't be doing another post again for a couple of weeks at least, since I have a big show in you're forewarned!

Here is a necklace finally worth showing. I won't bore you with the details, but let me say I spent three days on one necklace and I ended up ruining it! I wanted to make connector beads and ended up drilling so many holes and laying out so many variations, linking and un-linking chain that I just about drove myself mad! I did learn that the best way just happened to be the easiest way on this one.

So...I think I finally have most of my line figured out for ACRE in Las Vegas in 2 weeks. Of course I still have the hard part left...making a line sheet with descriptions and sizes and of course a wholesale price list.

But, for this weekend I have to stop thinking about beads and upcoming shows. I have a high school graduate that has his party this Sunday. Congrats to my "baby" Evan and the 2009 class of Valley Vikings!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Mexico Art and Celebration

The art is from a polymer clay artist living in Taos, NM that I ran across yesterday. Her name is Elizabeth Rusnell. I found her work on a site called New Mexico Creates which is run by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation Shops in Santa Fe. It's always exciting to find other artists in your home state who work with polymer. Shown is a lovely daffodil yellow necklace that she calls Yellow Abstract Shapes Necklace. I looked around the web, and haven't found a website for her or anywhere else that she sells from.

The celebration is the annual Founder's Day Fiesta, held in Old Town which is just a few blocks from me. It is Albuquerque's 303rd birthday this year! There is a parade, music and Old Town merchants sell their goods on the sidewalks and plaza. I'm so happy that the sun is shining and the wind isn't blowing after a few days of rain (which we really needed!) and constant howling of the wind.

On a side note, if you are interested in learning how I made some of my very first Flora Beads, I've added a link to the left sidebar where you can purchase my new PDF tutorial "Introduction to Textured Flora Beads." I also have buttons on my website here and here.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

You'll never guess...more flowers...

I have made so many beads these past couple of weeks that I'm seeing texture and color every waking moment. It can get to be exhausting when you are trying to get new work done and narrow down your product line. I'm getting closer, but ready to take a break this weekend.

I wanted to give a shout out to Cynthia Tinapple of Polymer Clay Daily. Last month at her home in Ohio, she hosted the past and incoming board of the National Polymer Clay Guild newly named International Polymer Clay Association. You can view some of the photos on Cynthia's new personal blog and even a youtube video of a drumming session that brought on some serious brainstorming regarding the direction the new board will take. Thank you Cynthia for all you do!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sidetracked...sort of

Only sidetracked from working with the colors I had planned on, as in the last post. Got to finishing up some beads that I already had going and decided that I needed to get more jewelry made since I bought a day (Thursday, March 26th) in the Gifts Guide Showcase at Etsy. I'm still working on getting my shop noticed there, but it's sort of been taking a back seat lately.

Anyhow here is a necklace that looks nice and since I'm going to be doing a double strand Flora Bead necklace for my "wow" piece at ACRE, I need to get comfortable with the shape and how the necklace will drape. Need to stop thinking about it and actually *do* it though!

Speaking of Flora Beads, my Intro To Textured Flora Beads on-line class at will be available to download through next Saturday, March 28th. I'll be checking the message board and will be available for chats too. Did you know that I have a fan page on Facebook? I usually post news there too.

Something else that I'm working on for 2009 is more on-line classes. I will probably do a Swirl Lentil on-line class from my website, since I remembered today that I can put a chat board on my site and make the page password protected. For now the old Swirl Lentil with Beadcaps tutorial is there, but probably just through April. If you want to download this tutorial, just email me (desertdesignsbybarbara (at) for the password. I hope to have a new Swirl Tutorial available for purchase in early May.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Today's starting point...

Working on some pieces for NM Arts and Crafts Fair, ACRE and possibly a Bead Dreams submission. Thought you might like to see what I'm starting with today. I should have a couple of different blends with a Vintaj selection to work with tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

It Ain't Easy Being Green...

Remember Kermit the Frog? That was his line, but when I realized that the color of this pendant was not going to tone down much with more sanding, that was what I heard in my head. I thought about antiquing, adding more copper....something. But I couldn't decide what if anything to do, so here it is...the color is crazy, no?

And I had a lovely 5 minute visit with polymer clay goddess Victoria (Tory) Hughes at Bead Fest Santa Fe. A couple of other clay artists had booths there as well (Klew, Jeanette Easley and Loco Lobo)The show was very busy and everyone was happy that Bead Fest was back in SF...where it all started I was told.

Here is an FAQ page for those interested in my Intro to Textured Flora Beads on-line class at I'll "see" you all there on March 21st, next Saturday...can't wait!

And Happy St. Paddy's Day!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009 drawn on the back of business cards

Thought I would share with you the latest blog that I've added to my google reader...
this guy, Hugh MacLeod is insanely brilliant!
His advice is "Ignore Everybody" which is the title of his book coming out this summer...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Intro to Flora Beads on-line class prep

I'm gearing up for my first on-line class which will take place on March 21st at called Introduction to Textured Flora Beads. I know a lot of you have seen my workspace before and how unbelievably chaotic it usually looks, but I couldn't resist taking a picture or two...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Double Strand Lentil Necklace

One of the reasons I mostly stopped making swirl lentils was that I could never find a way to string them up that I really liked. I love how this piece turned out and it was so easy to take apart and put back together in different ways. It's kind of exciting to be working with this bead shape again, I've missed them!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine Hearts

I love hearts...I just don't make many of them. Here are a few from past years for the occasion. Happy Valentines Day and lots of love to you and yours!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Blue Green Flora beads are the most fun to make...

not sure why...whenever I made caned flora beads, I almost always avoided blue for some reason (me too Susan :o). But these well, the blue makes me think Lapis and I love how gold (that has always been a favorite of mine) looks with blue and green. I did like the purple too like Marla did so I'm sure more of those will be coming. Something else that Mel noticed is that the outie textures are cooler than the innies (are we talking about belly buttons or what?) I'm right there with you Melly. You should be able to see what we mean if you look at the largest image either here or on flickr.

I'm using findings from Vintaj with these beads so I'm calling them Vintage Flora...tricky huh? Loving how the red coraly orangy brown looks too, so I made a first simple necklace so you can see the style that I'm going for. I've never been great at making jewelry so linking and unlinking and making loops is about all I can bring myself to do. Oh, btw this is all to get ready for the wholesale show, ACRE coming up in Las Vegas in June. I think I've finally found a theme :o) If you are interested, there are a few up for sale here.

Monday, February 02, 2009

A few more new ones...

I'm definitely enjoying myself and learning what I like and don't like with each new batch. If you'd like to comment on your favorites and your *not* so much favorites, it's fun to do it on my flickr site where you can make a little box around different areas and leave your note with it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Idea that hit me last night

As I was about ready to jump into bed last night, I was thinking about my flower beads (as I do for practically every waking moment ;o)

An idea popped into my brain and I ran out to my beads and arranged them like this, lest I forget the idea. Do you think a mirror like this would look nice?

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Rainbow, pretty accurate...

Your rainbow is intensely shaded brown, indigo, and violet.

What is says about you: You are a proud person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it. You feel closer to people when you understand their imperfections.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Barb the Clay Coach ;o)

Hettie and I had an intense 3 hour private lesson where I showed her some tessellation techniques. The idea that I wanted to convey to her was that she didn't need to make alot of complicated blends or build a big cane to see the potential of the technique. All we used for these samples were two blends and black and white...four colors. The size of cane we made would really only be enough for a few pieces...which works for me. I don't like to have too much of the same cane...but that's just me. Hettie was so excited when she saw how easy these were, I got a huge hug and an "Oh Barbara!" or two. It was neat...

I really think that more people could benefit from private polymer lessons. I sort of thought of myself as a "Clay Coach." There isn't the time or the cost involved in attending a large workshop. You have undivided attention and you can interrupt the teacher with questions whenever you like. I love the one on one personally, so I hope that I have the opportunity to do more of these...and I provided everything she needed...all she had to do was show up. We are planning another lesson for February.

If you plan to be in Albuquerque or NM at any point and you're interested in setting up a lesson or two...just shoot me an email at desertdesignsbybarbara (at) or rubarb04 (at)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Still exploring...

As I try to recreate the look of the previous flora beads, I realize that the grit of the sandpaper I use makes a big difference (sarcasm).

At first I liked these beads. I strung them up, took pictures and put them up on flickr and my fan page on Facebook. Then I didn't like them. I know...I'm wishy washy.

I added more color to the sanded off areas, and black to kind of shadow and outline the petals. I also used some black soot embossing powder to define the centers of the flowers. Not too crazy about that part.

Anyhow, here is the before and after. Which do you like best?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Here is the look I'm after...

These are the first petals I made which I referenced in a post a few days ago. As a matter of fact, I think I said that these ended up in the trash. Well, instead what was left of the bead sat there on my work table and before you know it I was sanding some of the color off and loving the effect. The color of the clay to begin with was an off-white. Since then I've played with different colors of base petals including some skinner blends. I see a lot of potential here, so it's pretty exciting. Here are some close ups of the petals after sanding and how some of the layers of color show up. But since these petals were inked quite heavily before curing, the inks leached into the clay and dried them a couple of them split at the center where I apply them to the base. I also think that they sat around a day so it helps to get the color really soaked in before curing, otherwise the inks tend to fade. Click on these images for a super duper close-up. I uploaded a few of the other prototype beads to Flickr. So, back to the drawing board.