When you love a product or service, you want to share that love with the world.
When someone I know asks for advice about getting a new computer, I’ll go on for hours extolling the virtues of my iMac. If a neighbor is looking for a good hairdresser, I will be happy to recommend the wonderful salon I go to (If you’re in Seattle, Red Chair Salon is amazing). When someone comments on my flats, I’ll go on and on about how much I love my TOMS.
We hope you feel the same way about your Mirrix Loom and we want to reward you for sharing that love.
Mirrix-Ware (read more here) is a program we started a few years back where people looking to meet a Mirrix in person can get connected with Mirrix owners who want to show off their looms. It’s a really awesome program and you should probably think about signing up! There is a lesser known part of Mirrix-Ware, however, that I want to highlight here: Mirrix-Ware Parties.
You’re putting the finishing touches on a few appetizers you’ve made: some artichoke dip and a walnut pesto on slices of baguette. You’re wearing your favorite black slacks (and have even managed to remove most of the cat and dog hair from them) and a gorgeous silk shirt you just picked up on sale. Your house is clean and your family is away for the evening. The doorbell rings and people start arriving. “Welcome to my Mirrix-Ware party!” You say and welcome in some good friends and friends-of-friends. When everyone has arrived, you all settle into the living room. “Welcome. Thanks for coming!”
Next, you take out your Mirrix Loom and show people how easy it is to warp. It gets passed around the room. You weave a little sample and get a chance to show off some of the pieces you’ve made. Everyone is very impressed. Several people decide they want a Mirrix, too. At the end of the night you’ve had a great time showing off your loom and hanging out with your friends. It was a good party.
A few days later you get an email. Four people at the party purchased looms and you have $156 of credit to spend in the Mirrix store. You decide to get yourself a Mini-Mirrix to bring with you when you travel. At the next party you have, you’ll be able to show that off, too!
Sounds pretty good, right? PLUS we will send the first five people who have Mirrix-Ware parties (and show us pictures/tell us about the party) a FREE gift worth $35 (six skeins of our gorgeous hand-painted silk).
Spread the love!
Yesterday a customer ordered $37 worth of merchandise and paid… nothing! How? Mirrix-Ware!
The customer/Mirrix-Ware participant showed her Mirrix Loom to someone who was interested in buying one but wanted to see a Mirrix in person. When that person decided to buy a 12″ Little Guy Loom, she let us know it was through the Mirrix-Ware program and which Mirrix-Ware participant showed her the loom. Then, that participant got a credit to the Mirrix store!
It’s an easy way to stock up on kits, accessories… or even save up for that second or third loom you’ve been wanting!
Meet a neighbor who is trying to decide if she wants a Mirrix, tell a friend who you know who love to learn to weave or even have a Mirrix-Ware party where you invite your friends and get 15% of the total sales! If just three Lani Looms were sold through you, you’d make $99 in Mirrix credit!
Email us to become a participant or to learn more. We’ll email you Mirrix literature and help get you on your way!
Never before have we received so many high-quality applications for Social Market for a Mirrix. The first time we went through the whole bunch we aimed to separate applications into “no” and “maybe” piles and realized quickly we had to refine our criteria because no applications were going into the “no” pile! It was an impossibly tough choice and we hope some applicants reapply the next time we do this.
Please know that if you applied and were not chosen it doesn’t mean we didn’t love your work or your writing or weren’t impressed with your skills; because there’s a good chance we were impressed with all of those things but your particular skill set wasn’t ideal for our goals this time around. We wanted to make sure our participants were all very different and represented different skill sets.
In the end, we chose three people to participate.
First we have Janna Maria Vallee from the New York Metropolitan Area. Janna has a diploma in Textile Art from Capilano University and a BA of Fine Art from Concordia University where she learned various weaving techniques. She has been a blogger since 2008 and runs the site http://www.vancouveryarn.com/ as well as her own. Janna has never used a Mirrix Loom before and we look forward to seeing the difference a Mirrix makes for her tapestry weaving (right now she is using a makeshift loom).
One thing that stood out for us in her application was this bit about the subject of her work:
“The subject matter in my work usually begins with ideas around interpersonal relationships and community. I am particularly drawn to the repetitive, meditative aspects of making textiles, which is particularly relevant in today’s fast-paced, autonomy-driven world. Community is an idea that in entrenched in the history of textiles, so I like to think of my handwork as a personal protest against those aforementioned ways of being.” -Janna
Check out her website here http://www.jannamaria.com/
Next, we have Julia Hecht from New Mexico. She is a former pediatrician who sees art as a method of self-healing. Currently Julia is a bead shop owner, sharing her passion for art and beads with others.
We loved this excerpt from her application, “Today I find myself in the role of inspiring others to create beauty. Creating beauty is medicine for the soul. While I do advanced level work, I repeatedly find myself gravitating towards beginners. Many women are fearful and especially vulnerable when trying something new. Through humor, and enthusiasm (and I hope, humility) I seem to be able to help these women let go of their fear and move forward into the creative process.”
See her blog here: http://beadfingers.blogspot.com/ (she is also working on a website that will launch this month, poppybeads.com)
Finally, we have the fabulous Christina Neit. You may remember Christina as our very first Social Market for a Mirrix participant way back in 2010 (or as Beadwork Magazine’s 2014 Designer of The Year). We have been anxious for Christina to continue the amazing work she started back then and seized this opportunity to once again work with her and watch her show off the amazing things a Mirrix Loom can do with an experienced beader at the helm.
Our favorite part of Christina’s application? The ideas she has for Mirrix projects! We won’t share now, but trust us, you’ll be excited to see what she has in store.
Visit Christina’s website here http://goodquillhunting.com/
Thank you again to all who applied. We are humbled that so many of you wanted to be a part of this program.
The question we get the most at Mirrix is some variation of: Is warping difficult?
The simple answer is: Warping is easy!
Warping a basic piece on a Mirrix is very simple. It just takes a little practice to become an expert. Doing a very wide piece and adding the shedding device and heddles is a little more complicated, but once you get the basics down you’ll be ready to take on any warping challenge! Following are 15 pictures that go over the basic warping procedure. For more detailed warping instructions take a look at one of our warping .pdfs here.
1.) Your Mirrix Loom comes already set up. Simply fold out the leg/s, set the loom to your desired height and make sure both sides are even.
2.) Take your wooden clips and flip them backwards, so the white screws are facing the front of the loom.
3.) Place your warping bar in the indentations between the clips on the back of your loom. Press the clips together slightly to hold the bar securely.
4.) Place a warp coil (also called a spring) in the top tray. This will help set the spacing for your piece. Some thin pieces don’t need a coil.
6.) Bring your warp thread down the back of the loom and under the bottom beam (note: you could also go in the opposite direction, but we’ll just show you one direction here).
8.) Bring your thread over the top of the top beam and down the back of the loom until you reach the warping bar.
11.) When you reach the bottom beam, bring your warp thread under the bottom beam from the front to the back.
14.) Bring your warp thread under the bottom of the loom front back to front and start heading up the front of the loom.
15.) Head back up the front of the loom and place your warp thread in the next space (or “dent”) over.
That’s it! Keep warping in this pattern. It really is as easy as wrapping your warp thread around your loom and changing direction when you hit the warping bar.
This morning I got a great question that I feel deserves a blog post (thanks, Sue!). Is weaving beads [on a loom] easier than bead weaving with a needle?
While I cannot answer this with a simple “yes” or “no”, since comparing off-loom stitches to loom weaving is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, I do have a few thoughts:
-There are many different off-loom stitches, some easier than others. Generally speaking, there are few variations when weaving beads on a loom. While there is more variation in off-loom stitches, a loom woven piece doesn’t have to be flat and boring. You can do things like embellish your piece while it is on the loom, mix different sized beads, increase or decrease your shape and (when taken off the loom) add to it or finish it in a variety of interesting ways.
-Off-loom stitches require less prep-work. With a loom, you need to warp (to warp is to wrap threads around your loom) before you can start weaving.
-One of the most difficult things about off-loom bead weaving is getting enough tension. Your tension comes from how tightly or loosely you stitch the beads and the fact that both your hands are always involved in the process of maintaining correct tension. When weaving on a good bead loom (like a Mirrix), the loom itself maintains the correct tension for you.
-Because you pick up all your beads at once for one row and then weave them in all at once, you are greatly reducing the time it takes to create a piece. This is especially evident with wider pieces. For example, if you were weaving a peyote piece that was 20 beads wide, for each row you will have picked up a bead with the needle and inserted it into an already woven bead ten times. Compare that to weaving on a loom where you will have picked up 20 beads at one time and woven it in. You can see with that example how much time is saved in the process.
-The ease of weaving depends a lot on your loom! With a Mirrix, you’ll get an easy weaving experience!
Let me demonstrate how easy it is to weave beads on a Mirrix Loom. Note: I am just doing a basic overview and leaving out some small steps. Check out our “Starter Bracelet” ebook for all the details!
Step one: Warp your loom! Warping is easier than you think. Basically you tie your warp thread to the warping bar and wrap it around your loom, changing directions every time you hit your warping bar. When you’re finished, you simply need to tie off back onto your warping bar! Learn to warp here with our easy warping instructions.
Step two: Pick up your beads
Step three: Place your beads behind your warp threads
Step four: Sew through your beads, going over the top of your warp threads
Step five: Pull through.
It’s as easy as that! Happy Weaving!
I have been busy. Given the task of coming up with some new kits, I spent last weekend doing just that. I also wove some old kits, just for fun. They never get old to me.
I found two nude leather cuffs and decided they just had to have beads on them so that’s what I did. One bracelet is very, very Spring. The other is a bit moodier. I was pleased with both and plan to ship them off immediately to one of the galleries that sells my work. I find these new pieces (the wrap bracelet especially) are flying off the shelves. So while setting my mind to developing kits I am also creating inventory for galleries. Two birds, one stone. Although no birds were harmed in this exercise!
Spring is springing . . .
A more elegant take on the leather cuff theme . . .
I couldn’t resist weaving a couple of jewel cuff bracelets. Kit can be found at: http://www.mirrixlooms.com/store/jewel-cuff-bracelet-kit/
I could make a hundred of these and still not get bored. I have no idea how many I’ve made because during a party event at my house I broke into my inventory and gave them away to all my friends. It’s the kind of weird impulse I get sometimes. It’s fun to think that people I love are wearing something I’ve made.
Now to really finalize the kits for the leather cuffs! Back to the loom.
I love the idea of layaway. Maybe it’s because I am, fiscally, pretty old fashioned. I just think the idea of “saving up” and paying for something slowly makes getting it even more special when you do get it. Plus, it helps you become more aware of your finances.
It also can put spending in perspective. An 8″ Lani Loom without the shedding device (a tool that will last a LIFETIME) is just about equivalent in price to a month of your daily latte addiction. You won’t remember those empty calories, but you will certainly cherish your new Mirrix Loom!
My point is, if you have been wanting a Mirrix but don’t have the cash, our layaway program might be perfect for you. Send us $25 a week, $5 a day or $100 a month… whatever works best for you!
This is a pile of hand painted silk ribbon. We do now sell it on our website. Use it for anything you would have used the hand painted silk yarn for. I haven’t even begun to explore the many uses for this amazing stuff. You can find it at: http://www.mirrixlooms.com/store/silk-ribbon/
Now for the projects. I worked on two yesterday which will be making their way into kit form. The first one is simply the tapestry/bead cuff in a smaller format. The warp spacing is 14 per inch. I put on 13 warps and used size 11/0 beads (versus size 8/0 beads). I used a combination of hand painted silk yarn and some gold thread here and there. The final piece was seven inches long while still on the loom. The cuff I attached it to is 3/4 of an inch. Kit on its way.
This is a photo of the woven strip right before I cut it off the loom.
There it is finished.
The next project was exactly the same width and same warp sett. I used the same materials: hand painted silk, some gold thread and size 11/0 beads. But I only wove five and a half inches in order to fit it onto a leather cuff. I have been playing with leather cuffs a lot lately but only with straight bead weaving. I decided a fiber and bead cuff might look really good on the cuff. But I was worried about how to attache it. Before I get to that, let me show you a photo of it on the loom:
Here is a photo of the piece attached to the leather cuff. I glued it to the cuff and glued a piece of ulatra-suede to the back. I then sewed them both together at the edges and then finally edged it with beads.
And lastly, I want to introduce you to Saffie. I spent nine days with her recently. She is the latest addition to my brother’s family. Saffie is five months old in that picture. She and I fell in love.
Maia didn’t want to be left out. She was watching Saffie from her basket:
Last week I spent a few days in Minnesota visiting a friend who just had her first baby. It was a great trip, although I did come back with my biological clock in overdrive (ah! babies!). Also, Minnesota is quite a bit colder than Seattle. It’s funny how fast you become used to the climate where you live. Coming from NH, you’d think I’d be able to handle some negative degree weather… but no. I’ll take rain over cold any day!
Anyway, I spent a lot of time with a blanket wrapped around me when I was there. The blanket (shown to the left) was a hand-woven gift someone gave my friend. It is made of silk and wool and absolutely gorgeous. It got me thinking about handmade gifts and how, often, they mean a whole lot more than store-bought ones to the people receiving them. Why, though? Here are a few reasons I came up with:
1.) Handmade gifts take time and effort and people appreciate that.
2.) Handmade gifts are often better quality than store-bought ones.
3.) Handmade gifts can be personalized to the person receiving them.
What other reasons can you think of? Tell us in the comments, and keep on making handmade!
Want a great gift idea you can make on your Mirrix?
The Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet is a perfect one, and the kit makes two bracelets! Keep one and give away the other!