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Over The Hump with Hemp

Posted on by Julia Hecht / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014 | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hemp 2 Hole


Greetings Weaving Friends!  I have had a difficult time with “re-entry” after my knee surgery.  No matter what I did, I was very tired all the time. I tried resting, pushing myself, smiling a lot and pretending I was fine, letting myself feel everything and even crying too.   I was the dreaded….”Unproductive”.  It wouldn’t go away!  I stopped in at my shop for an hour or two here and there and was simply overwhelmed.  I wondered if I would ever feel “normal” again.  Even as my knee improved…I got out of bed, then off crutches, then walking with a normal gait, then not in pain all the time…My life seemed to be more difficult to manage.  But slowly, the real me has been re-emerging. My life seems to be coming back on track.  I guess I am “over the hump”.

And guess what….I am back at the loom!

While I was on leave, we started carrying hemp cord at Poppyfield Bead Company (my bead shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico).  I have never worked with it before and on one of my post-op visits to my shop it captured my attention. I like mixing opposing elements, and I wondered how the the natural organic texture could blend and contrast with elegant glass beads.  In keeping with some skills I picked up during my last experiment (see post), I decided to warp with hemp cord and weave a combination of two-holed Czech beads, hexagonal delica seed beads, and fire polish beads.

Working with a variety of sizes of beads can be tricky.  It took me several attempts to figure out how to keep the sections aligned.  Two 3 mm fire polished beads should combine to take as much as space as a 6 mm bead.  But there are other factors that come into play, and they don’t.  So being flexible and willing to “undo” and make adjustments is key getting the “mosaic” look I wanted.

Finishing this will be the next challenge.  Stay tuned!


Off my Mirrix

Posted on by Janna Maria Vallee / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014, Tapestry Weaving | Leave a comment

circles tapestry

Off the loom today is my circles weaving, done with two shedding devices.  I can’t tell you how much I love this technique and the dimensionality it offers.  As I mentioned in my last post I’ve woven in both 12 epi (the denser areas) and 6 epi (the raised areas).  Now just to finish the ends, sew the slit and put a backing on it!  I hope the toddler starts napping again soon so I can get that done and then add it to the Everlea Textiles website for sale.  Something about the way I photographed it makes it look like it’s much thinner in the middle, but it doesn’t look like that in person.  Better pictures coming soon.

indigo tapestry

I just love this densely woven indigo!

Yes, Everlea!  It’s an artistic collaboration between my friend Katie and I, where we support each other in our respective art practices as well as do collaborative installations.  It’s the most fun I have each week when we meet at our studio in Spanish Harlem.  Below is a picture from our website of some silk I dyed, and here is a link to our Instagram where you can see us in action.  Also if you’re in the NYC area please join me in my upcoming skill-share installations.  My next one is this upcoming Sunday and I’m sharing embroidery techniques, namely french knots and seed stitch, two of my faves.

Janna Maria Vallee


some silk charmeuse that I dyed with indigo using shibori resist

some silk charmeuse that I dyed with indigo using shibori resist

Wrapped Leather and Bead Bracelets

Posted on by sleepyh / Posted in Bead Weaving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

kim h wrap bracelets
This beautiful (and free!) wrap leather and bead bracelet tutorial is by Kim Holowatiuk
Sleepy Holow Leather & Custom Beading

Kim Holowatiuk is owner of Sleepy Holow Leather & Custom Beading in Alberta Canada. She has been making custom hand carved and stamped leather work since 2009 and has enjoyed beading for about 30 years.


Mirrix Loom (I used my Lani)

Round leather cord 1.5-2 mm


Variety of beads – I used 8/0, 11/0 and 4 mm rounds

#12 Beading needle

C-Lon Thread in color of your choice

Two fishing weights 1 ounce



Depending if you would like a single, double, triple (etc.) wrap, measure the leather cord around your wrist for an approximate length measurement.  Add on some extra length for both the double loop closure and the addition of the button.  For a double wrap, I start by cutting a strand of the round leather to about 30”.

With your leather cord folded in half, create a knot closure at that end (Pic 2). Make sure that you make it large enough for the button closure to slip through but not too big that it falls out.  I make a second knot/loop (Pic 2a) so there are two sizes to close the bracelet. This step is optional.

Pic. 2 Pic. 2a

Next, slide the top loop through your warping bar (Pic 2b)

Pic 2b

Attach each fishing weight to the ends of each strand with a single knot. (Pic 3)

Pic. 3

Attach your warping bar and move your side bars up until the weights are just below your bottom bar (Pic 3a). If you have a bottom spring kit, you can slide the leather cord into a dent (Pic 3b)

Pic 3a Pic. 3b

Doubling your thread, bring it around one leather strand (Pic 4).  Bring your needle back through the thread so you have a starting “knot” on the first cord (Pic 4a) and then weave back and forth through the leather strands to create a solid piece of woven thread for extra strength (Pic 4b).

 Pic. 4 Pic. 4a Pic. 4b

Now you are ready to weave your beads on.  Depending on how wide you want to make it, always start narrow and work you way to the desired width, adding one extra bead each row.  Here I started with one 11/0 bead (Pic 5), then two (Pic 5a) worked my way up to three beads, the width I want. (Pic 5b).

Pic. 5 Pic. 5a Pic. 5b

Continue on bead weaving with your beads until you come down to the end of the piece. Finish with the same thread weaving as you started and weave back through the beads to finish and hide your ends (Pic 6).

PIc. 6

Remove the weights from the bottom and attach your button (Pic 7 and 7a) to one or both of the leather cords (depending on how large of a button hole you have). Make a knot and glue ends. Ta Da!  Your very own leather wrapped bracelet! (Pic 7b). Try it with suede (Pic 7c)or a single wrap (Pic 7d)!

IMG_1115 Pic. 7a PIc. 7b PIc. 7c Pic. 7d

The Final Installment of the Silk Smart Phone Case

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead/Fiber Combination, Projects | Tagged , | Leave a comment

At last, I have finished the Silk Smart Phone Case.  And I am a little sad.  I really enjoyed the process and need to move swiftly on to a new one.  I loved the finishing once it was off the loom.  I took my time because I was going for as close to a perfect finish as possible.  Did I achieve it?  Of course not.  Perfection is not possible, but trying for it is!

The good news:  I used fewer than twelve bobbins of silk.  I started with twelve of the regular silk (not the silk ribbon) and then added two bobbins of the silk ribbon (which has only 12, not 24 yards, on a bobbin).  I still had the equivalent of two and a half bobbins of the regular silk left, which tells me that even if you are weaving a slightly larger piece (the final dimensions of my piece once all sewn together is:  6 inches tall and  3 3/4 inches wide.  Because of shrinkage, my piece before I took it off the loom was thirteen inches wide.  I also used up a bit of length by folding a the ends to the back.

Here are some pictures just before I took the piece off the loom:

photo 1photo 4

Remember back to the very beginning of this piece.  My first row was a row of beads.  But before I removed the piece from the loom I realized that I didn’t want that row of beads to be at the very edge of my piece.  I wanted some fabric that I could fold over for a neater edge.  So before I cut the piece off the loom, I turned it around and wove a few rows of silk. This is the piece on the back of the loom with the added rows of fiber.

photo 5

Here is the piece off the loom:  the back with all the hairy ends that need to be trimmed to from one to one and half inches; the front of the piece.

photo 3-2

photo 2-2

Turn the top and bottom edges to the back and sew down with a whip stitch.  This stitch isn’t going to show so no worries about being too neat.  Just get the job done.

photo 2-3

Pin lining material to the back.  I’ve used silk fabric but you could also use ultra-suede.  Sew all around with small stitches (again, they will be disguised by a braid so they don’t have to be perfect, but the smaller the better).

photo 1-4

photo 2-4

Fold the piece in two and sew the edges together.

photo 1-5

Next I took my 33 inch long braid and sewed it up one side of the piece.  I then sewed the other end up the other side of the piece.

photo 3-4

I then sewed the top part of the loop across one edge of the opening to that a loop was formed on one side.

photo 2-7

These are the braided tales at the bottom of the piece.

photo 3-6

photo 4-2 photo 5-2 photo 5-1

photo 4-1

That’s it.  A lovely little Silk Smart Phone purse to give to one of your favorite people or to keep for yourself and make another one.

Changing Seasons Wire and Bead Woven Bracelet

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

changing seasons bracelet

When you move to Seattle they make you sign a contract where you agree that you’ll tell everyone that the weather here is terrible. “Rains all the time!” you have to say, because of the contract. And it’s a good thing they make you do that, because it’s one of the fastest growing cities in America right now and I’m not sure how much more growth we could handle! But I’ll let you in on a little secret… the weather isn’t so bad. Yeah, winter is kinda grey and  there’s this point in the springtime when you’re ready to move to Hawaii just for a glimpse of the sun… but summers are heavenly and it never really gets too cold in winter and autumn is usually pretty darn nice. Today, October 1st, is sunny and in the 60s, and that’s pretty nice.

But I digress. My point was going to be that in fall, I always miss New England. The colors, the smells, the crisp air… it all feels to quintessentially “autumn”.

This bracelet was meant to capture that time in New England when the trees are just starting to turn and the landscape slowly turns from green to orange.

It is made with crystals, beads, C-Lon thread, a glass button and SoftFlex wire and is made using the No Warp-Ends Kit!

I love using the SoftFlex here because it allows the bracelet to hang like a bangle. I also love how you

can see through the beads and crystals to the wire warp. I also used a green thread for the beads that you peeps through.

This bracelet is so fun to wear and so easy to make!

Now… what to do… Free Ebook? Projects+? Weave-Along? Kit?

What do you guys think?Let me know in the comments!

Update 10/10/2014: You can get the Projects+ ebook for this bracelet in our online store. Free for a limited time!

changing seasons bracelet changing seasons braceletchanging seasons bracelet

Product Feature: The No Warp-Ends Kit

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Warp-Ends Kitno warp-ends kitThe No Warp-Ends Kit is one of our best selling accessories here at Mirrix Looms.

And no wonder, it makes weaving small beaded pieces so fun and easy!

What does it do?
The no warp-ends kit eliminates the need to weave-in warp ends when bead weaving. When you’re done weaving, you’ll only have to deal with two ends!

It is perfect for using with any kind of warp material including wire.

Set up with the no warp-ends kit is very easy and once you have it in place, you can weave as many pieces as you want (as long as they are the same size) using the same set up.

What can I make with it? 

no warp-ends bracelets

No Warps to Weave in Bracelet Kit
Interweave No Warp-Ends Checkerboard Bracelet Package
Beaded Leather Cuff Bracelet Ebook

How do I get it?

You can purchase the No Warp-Ends Kit for your Mirrix Loom here.

Or, get a Loom and No Warp-Ends Kit Starter package here!

WeaveWith October 2014: Poetry

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in WeaveWith | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

weavewithOctober’s WeaveWith theme is: Poetry

What’s a WeaveWith? These events will be similar to weave-alongs, but without the same amount of structure. We’ll post weekly (an email will be sent out to everyone signed up) about whatever project/s we are working on (that fall under the chosen theme) and everyone participating can post on social media and in the comments section of the blog posts about their individual projects. This will be a great way to get inspired and involved with the amazing Mirrix community!


WeaveWith Email Dates: 

October 5th

October 12th

October 19th

October 26th

Sign Up for Our October WeaveWith Here: