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.