Monday, October 31, 2011

BOO! Scared ya, didn't I?

Two whole blog posts in one month...what a treat!  Or a trick??  Pretty clever how I worked Halloween into this post isn't it!

Just want to show you a couple more of these textured beads.  Although I'm spiritual and not really religious, I've always loved images of crosses and churches.  Here in New Mexico, there is much religious art and culture, especially during the holidays...and I can't help but be influenced by it.  Also, instead of adding alcohol inks for color, I'm going the acrylic paint route.  These have just a bit of turquoise paint mixed in with the burnt umber, so it's going a bit green.  I like the color though.

I've been on a pretty long kick with texure, since I started "Texture Doodling" and made my CraftEdu tutorial "Textured Tile Tessellations." 

I love what I've seen from Roberta Warshaw after taking the class.  She's been experimenting with texture on lots of different shapes!

Happy Halloween everybody!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Concho Beads, Snowflakes, Whitewashed Tin...or what?

These really remind me of the type of pieces that are used in sterling silver Native American concho belts.  I find it interesting that I'm subconsciously influenced by designs and colors that I've grown up with living here in the Southwest for 40+ years (shhh...don't tell).  Or it could be that I'm just looking for these styles in my work because I like them so much.  Either way...I'm going to continue experimenting with my textures on butterfly shapes and ovals too... and hey, maybe I'll even make a belt.

By the way, please visit Artybecca's blog (aka Rebecca Watkins) and Flickr site.  I recently shared a work table with her and was very impressed at her creativity.   That woman is a bead maker extraordinaire!

Sunday, August 14, 2011 and new shapes

Yes, it's true, it's true...I do neglect this blog.  You know how it goes...there are so many other things that demand attention in our lives.  I won't bore you with mine, at this very moment..let's save that for *another* long awaited blog post ;o)

For now, let me just post a picture for you of some prototypes that I'm working on.  I continue to be fascinated by shapes and alcohol inks.  Today, I'll be trying some birds...

And for those of you who have known me for some time and have my old site linked (the old swirl lentil tutorials...that by now, everyone knows how to make), you may want to link to my new site  Please look around, there is some info on teaching and also some earrings for sale on the purchase page.

Hope you all are enjoying your summer, we can feel fall in the air here already!  Toying around with the idea of weed pulling since we have gotten some nice rain the past few days...or maybe not...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Rose from Escondido

Rose from Escondido purchased Swirl Lentils from me years ago and decided to look me up since she was visiting family here.  She sent a nice note that she had really enjoyed working with my beads and that she would like to take a class from me.  Rose is a very talented jewelry designer, but she felt that it was time that she created her own beads instead of purchasing them from another artist.  
We decided on a 4 hour class (which quickly turned into 6 and could have easily gone another 2) and then she told me that she had never worked with polymer before.  Uh oh...  But actually, I thought...this is perfect.  Just last week I got an email from a Bead Society that was interested in my class.  My first thought was, I wonder if someone with no experience with polymer would feel comfortable taking this class?  The world works in mysterious ways...

Turns out the answer is yes... I would even venture to say that a pasta machine is not even necessary.  Rose was my very first student for my new class and she helped me more than she knows.  I took notes as she took notes.  I found out some things that students will definitely want to know, things that I take for granted.  Rose was very happy with her class. She said she learned so much and that I was a patient teacher.  Yay :o) 

Midway, we took a break and chatted out back by my shady Purple Robe Locust Tree.
I made us some guacamole with blue corn chips, orange slices and graham crackers.  Pretty fancy huh?  

Thank you for a great day Rose from Escondido!

Happy Earth Day and Happy Easter to you all!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Attention span and new website.

Mine is attention span that is.  Art ADHD?  I think I have mentioned this "condition" in previous posts.  But, I think my creativity is pretty high.

I'm not a class taker...I'm mostly self taught.  My attention flits from idea to idea and I can't take long to see a piece(s) come to fruition.  If it takes an extra amount of concentration, I can't do it.  I think that's why attending "in person" classes aren't my thing.  Even with books, I tend to flip through them quickly, mostly looking at pictures and rarely taking the time to do a project.   I think it's a blessing and a curse...

I'm not a project person, I'm all about technique.  I change around my work fairly often, because I become bored fairly often.  I use what I know and expand on it. My inspiration mostly comes from inside me.  I like it that way...

My Textured Tile Tesselations class is rather short and simple for the price ($30), but I think it's worth it.  It's a new technique's meant to make you see how you can use the new technique in your own work.  If you've taken "TTT" and want to discuss or ask anything...the hows. the whys. the what ifs.  Please, please talk to me!  Email me at barbfajardo(at), join my classroom or use the option in the class to ask a question, either privately or publicly.  I'm here for you any time...that's why CraftEdu classes are the next best thing to real live classes. 

I will be adding some new content for those of you who have already purchased TTT and have views remaining.  It will touch on the round domed beads and how I use alcohol inks for color.

I'm working on proposals (yes, I know you've heard that before) to share some of what I've learned along the way.  Check my new website which will keep you updated. I've outgrown my old domain name and have found a web host that is about half the price.  I'll probably be shutting down the old site by August or September 2011.

So you have an idea where I'm coming son Daniel graduates (Mechanical Engineering) from college this year and next year wants to leave NM for his Masters.  My youngest Evan, will be a junior at UNM next year (Computer Science) and will probably be moving out soon (he's rarely home as it is).  The boys have their own friends, even though they still like us :-)

That's where I'm at in my world.  Sorry for the unusual length of this post, I've been lax so I figure long is better than not at all! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tiered Tessellations and Photo Backgrounds

The polymer beads shown below are domed beads I made using some metal paint tins...I placed raw round cutouts of polymer on the convex sides (the under side of the paint tins) and textured each one with tools that I demonstrate in my Textured Tile Tessellations Class.  I really love how these turned out and will be doing more experimenting.  And yes, the plastic paint tins will melt in your oven as some of us had wondered about on Facebook.


 What I really want to show you is a quick side by side comparison of a picture I took today; 
the graduated background I used and what simple photo editing can do for an image. 

Below is a black to white graduated image that I made in photoshop. Click on the image and enlarge it, then "save as" on your computer.  I learned from Janice Abarbanel's Blog - Exploring the Art of Polymer Clay, that she orders her jewelry backgrounds from the printing department of an office supply store. I uploaded the graduated image and ordered mine online at Costco's photo processing site.

Next, I sandwiched the background between non-glare glass (shiny side down) and foam core (you could use cardboard or mat board) and held the 3 pieces together with thin strips of masking tape wrapped around the edges.
If you scroll back up to the collage at the top, you can see the same photo 3 different ways.  The first is the original photo with no editing.  The second has the exposure only auto fixed in and the third has a complete auto fix in photoshop. After editing a few different ways, I usually print out a couple of 4x6 prints of each to see which I like better.  Hope this will help you take better photos of your work!