As I get older, I appreciate more the childhood that shaped who I am today. Part of that was growing up in a house full of creative energy, inspiration and lots of art supplies. I joke about how I thought it was normal to have a living room full of gigantic floor looms and how, by early elementary school, I was a certified yarn snob. Although I wasn’t very interested in weaving as a kid, we were constantly creating and always allowed full artistic expression. I remember when was about five years old there was a bike parade in our town where kids would decorate their bikes with streamers and bows and ride through the town square. There were prizes for the best decorated bikes. I took my tricycle, strapped a tiny blue chair to the back and placed my giant stuffed lion in it. Then, I drew a person in market on a piece of paper and taped that to the front. I think there may have also been streamers. I won the prize for “funniest”. That incident pretty well exemplifies my artistic senses from then on. I was always inventing, creating, trying to come up with something new. For me, art was about expression. My mother fostered my love for creating by always encouraging, helping and never quelling my wild side. She was also quite the creative force, at the time very serious about her tapestry weaving, and I am sure living in such an environment helped shaped who I am today.
In honor of Mother’s Day this year, we’ve launched a little contest on Facebook. You can win a $25.00 Mirrix Loom Gift Certificate just by answering this question (Either on our Facebook Page or Facebook Group): (THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED)
How has your mother (or a mother you love) inspired you artistically?
We will choose one winner on Mother’s Day.
Kathryn A Wyant Schulte My Mother Mary Margaret inspired me artistcally by being a cake-decorator. She also inspired me to be creative because at 8 I taught myself to sew and she bought my first sewing machine.It was a very good one,probably more than my dad and her could afford. I still use it and I have had it for 52 years .It is the best, better than all my new ones.
Therese Magnani My mother is a quilt artist. I tried quilting and found that while I could do it, it wasn’t my thing. My mom has taken a lot of classes and workshops over the years that combine a variety of fiber art techniques, and when I go to visit her, she always has something new to share with me. We end up making projects together and teaching each other something in the process. In doing this, she opens up new ways for me to see things. Whether it is working with color combinations, materials, or techniques, she inspires me to always look for something new to try. I aspire to be as creative and productive as she is now when I reach her age.
Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten My mom was an amazing knitting, crochet and needlepoint artist, as well as a phenomenal wildlife photographer. When I was a kid growing up, she earned her income from selling her original patterns to yarn and craft magazines, and then later as an editor for those magazines. When I was pregnant with my son, she was my inspiration for venturing out as a full time artist so that I could stay home with my son for his first years. She never discouraged my sister and I when it came to our artistic endeavors, and we are both successful profession al artists today! I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the example of my mom! Mom passed away in 2008 when my son was just five months old, but she inspired me to follow my bliss!
McKinley Murry My Mother is my best friend. She has always put me first in her life. Mom has taught me to always try new things and never stop learning. For the past 3 years we have done fiber arts. I know more and do more than most people. We have changed the way people think of challenged people. Mom has guided me, but allows me to do my own thing. I love color because Mom made color important in my life. I can express myself through my weaving. And I am judged by my skill not by my looks. Weaving gives me a voice equal to others. My voice. My work. Mom is always close by to cheer my efforts. She provides me with tons of good books to use for ideas. Buys me the best supplies. The best music to listen to. And most of all her time and energy. She always ask my opinon of her work and listens to my ideas. We help each other reach for the moon in our weaving and if we fall? We land in the stars and start again. Life is Good.
McKinley Murry I have to speak of another improtant Mother in my life. Miss Betty Clarkson. She and Mr. Jim are parents of Miss Bailley their Cocker Spaniel. She is like a mother to me. She has taught me many fiber arts. While Mom was going nuts weaving bracelets, Miss Betty and I were learning tapestry together. She always has a smile on her face and a “Can do attitude”. She is proud of my weaving and we laugh a lot together being “Goobies”. Miss Betty supports my ideas and always tries to help me as little as possible so I learn. That is a very hard thing to do for someone you love. To watch me struggle and allow me to make my own mistakes. She inspires me to be the best I can be just like my Mom does. I needed to tell you how Important Miss Betty is to my work. We share ideas and our life together. I love her and her family. Miss Betty Clarkson my BFF!
Betty Clarkson My Mother always instilled in each of her 4 daughters the love of creating. At a very young agea we did clothes for our dolls, embroiedery, pot holder weaving, and many other fiber crafts. I remember one summer creating a picnic cloth. Mom took a new white bed sheet and we decorated it with fruit. Tracing the design unto the cloth and using crayons to fill in the color. Wax paper was placed on the design area and heat set with the iron. Her encouragement of the fiber arts were contagious. I began weaving on a simple loom and graduated to a floor loom. It did not stop there. Spinning and dyeing fibers was another adventure into the wonderful world of fiber. I started using the Mirrix Looms about a year ago and now am enjoying the journey of learning how to create tapestry and bead weaving. My mother always encouraged and instilled the love of creating with fiber. She passed 3 years ago – I miss her but know she is happy that I am continuing my journey. Thank-you Mom for everything. Hugs XOXOXO
Patty Stabile My Mom let me try things and had the patience of a saint when I failed, ie: knitting. Mom can do anything and I keep trying to catch up to her standards, especially my flower arranging. She made my bridal bouquets, beautiful.
Denise Prince My mother was an expert seamstress. The most amazing part of this is that she was entirely self-taught. In my youth, when I would want to try some new artistic endeavor, she was always supportive. She taught me to sew by showing me what I was suppose to do — and then leaving the room! She was never far, in case I needed help. Whatever I tried, she was there to offer support (from the next room! lol). When I started making jewelry, she was my #1 client. When she would get a compliment on a piece I made, she would say, “My daughter made it. She only uses the good stuff.” She inspired me with her “you can do anything” attitude and constant belief that everything I did was wonderful.
Mothers Day Contest Entry
My mom is my biggest inspiration, she is a great seamstress, avid knitter and crocheter and owns her own LYS. At a young age all five of us were crafters, even the boys. Mom always said “Don’t quit” You can do it. My eight year old brother taught me to sew oven mitts for christmas on the old treadle. Sewing was my first passion, then knitting, but now I found beading I cant stop. When we would go to bed at night and mom was knitting by the fire, in the am we would have new mitts or socks to go to school. She is precious and still teaching today. My sisters are both great painters and seamstress , I dont paint or draw.
Like many of us these days I live across the country from some of my closest friends. Skype, Facebook, IM and email have made keeping in touch much easier, but it’s still hard to be far from all those people who I have known the longest. My best friend, 3,000 miles away in New Hampshire (I’m in Seattle these days), had a fantastic idea recently: to take a notebook and send it back and forth across the country filled with whatever we want: poems, pictures, journal entries and anything else we can think of. It was such a wonderful surprise to get the notebook in the mail a few weeks ago and I am excited to send mine back. In addition to a whole bunch of writing I decided to include an Affinity Bracelet in the notebook. I won’t show the bracelet in case she reads this blog, but it was a pretty basic all-bead Affinity with lines of crystals added periodically making the edges not straight.
It was a year ago next month that we posted our first project to the then brand-new website Craftsy. We watched as they grew from a simple place to post projects to a great resource for patterns, instructional videos and inspiration. We connected with them fairly early on and eventually planned an online instructional course that we’ve been shooting this week!
|Claudia’s hair and makeup was done by the fabulous Danica. Check out her website: http://danicajardien.com/|
Expect this course to be available in the next month or so. Thanks to everyone at Craftsy and remember to check out their website at www.craftsy.com.
You can view Claudia’s Craftsy Class Here
And then there was the second rainbow. I put a hand-painted silk cord on the loom and then wove with hand-painted silk ribbon. This bracelet has an entirely different feel from the other affinity bracelets. It’s very stiff because the warp was so heavy and the silk ribbon gives it lots of subtle texture. I wrapped and tied some silk cord around the overlapping warp ends. This just proves you can use a huge variety of materials in these affinity bracelets.
I wanted some bangles. You know, like this but not $1,095.00. I decided to take out my Mini Mirrix and attempt to make my own. The problem with making a woven bangle is that it needs to be fairly rigid and generally beaded bracelets are not. Claudia suggested I weave something wide and then roll it into a tube to add strength, which I think would work and I intend to try. I decided to first use a combination of SoftFlex wire and silk as my warp and weave a piece using only 8/0 beads.
|I used the blue, terra cotta and light green beads . . . they come in lovely muted colors.|
|The clasp could not have been easier to make!|
The supplies you need other than the warp and the beads include: C-Lon (or some kind of) beading thread, a bead weaving needle, a tapestry needle and a scissors.
We used eight warps. You can use as many or as few as you’d like, but we like this number of warps for this particular weave.
Tie the end of threaded C-Lon thread to side bar of loom using a slip knot.
Weave one row of beads. Remove tied end from side bar and make half of square knot and pull so that the warp threads are arranged so that there is no space between the threads and the beads.
Trim weft tail.
Start the gold thread. We have used six strands.
Once you’ve woven six or so rows, trim the gold weft tail.
Weave another row of beads, burying the gold thread along the side of the piece.
Wasn’t that fast! We are almost done weaving. See how tight and GOLD this piece looks.
Close up of that magic gold thread.
We discovered a way to keep the piece from running all round when trying to finish the ends. Just use a nice big C-clamp and clamp the body of your piece to a table edge. Works great. Do not break asn beads though. You will notice that the piece we are finishing is not the one that was on the loom. The finished piece uses size 11/0 seed beads.
Tie over hand knots in half the threads. Use your tapestry needle to push the knot toward the base of the piece.
We have braided our ends instead of making roes.
Make a peyote tube for closing. Instructions for this are in Affinity bracelet One tutorial.
Now it’s time for you to explore your bead stash and make up new design to share with us!