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Tying up loose ends, literally.

Posted on by Janna Maria Vallee / Posted in Bead Weaving, Bead/Fiber Combination, Social Market for a Mirrix 2014, Tapestry Weaving | 1 Comment

I’ve shared all my Mirrix projects with you but often the finishing touches had not been applied, so I thought I’d tie up those loose ends and show you the finished pieces, all of which are Mirrix milestones for me. From left to right is…

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1) the cuff I wove with Claudia’s wonderful hand-dyed silk and some gorgeous crystal beads.  This is my first ever attempt to combine beads with fibre!  As much as I wanted to I could not make an ugly bracelet with these materials.  Here’s the post that explains why I would ever want to do such a thing.  I finished it with a 9 strand braid, for which I followed this great video tutorial on Youtube.  The video is geared toward people who want to make decorative bread, but I found it perfect, and easy to follow since the instructor uses such generous wads of dough for each strand.

2) My First tapestry on a Mirrix!  Although my heart is with tapestries that are finely woven, my next tapestry will be with a larger EPI (this one was 12) so I can get it done faster and feel less encumbered by it in the context of a weekly update.  With that said, I love this piece!  The main tapestry is wool, and the indigo is hand-dyed by me, as is the shag poof which is 100% silk.  And as I mentioned in a previous post I received advice from my hair-stylist brother about how to trim the shag.  Surprisingly he didn’t seem to be too fazed by the request.  As you can see the top selvage is warped due to the shag being too bulky, so I may attempt to have it mounted on a custom cut rock so the selvage will lay flat (when glued) and also have it slant forward so we can see the tapestry underneath the shag.  I’m not completely set on that idea though.

and….

3) My first attempt at weaving beads.  Today I finished it off with some hardware and it ended up looking very vintage, almost art nouveau when worn.  So I’m much happier about it than I expected.  I may need to make more like it, next time on the no-warp-ends kit.

silk and crystals finished with a 9 strand braid.

silk and crystals finished with a 9 strand braid.

 

Mirrix’s First Virtual Art Show!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Contests | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Introducing Mirrix’s First Virtual Art Show! 

Starting next week, we will be accepting pictures of woven work that follow a certain set of criteria (woven on a bead and/or tapestry loom, finished in the last 6 months, etc.) which we will then put up in a virtual gallery for all to see.

by Claudia ChaseWe will be accepting submissions until late autumn, 2014. Our panel of judges (to be announced soon) will then choose winners in several different categories (including one for beginners!). There will also be a “People’s Choice” award.

We will give out (non-virtual) ribbons and certificates to the winners. But really, it’s all about fame and community. How much do you want to brag to your friends that you won Best of Show in Mirrix’s first ever Virtual Art Show? You know it’s a lot!

Take this opportunity to share your work, to see what others are working on and to have a little fun with the Mirrix community! Everyone is welcome!

More details will be announced next week. If you are interested in being a share-sponsor for this show or a judge please let me know! elena@mirrixlooms.com

Weaving in Bed

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

loom in bed

Ever have one of those evenings when you get home and know you should take the dog for a long walk and make dinner and you have 15 emails you need to reply to, but really you want to crawl into bed even though it’s only 7 pm? Last night, I did just that.

I turned on Netflix and brought my 12″ Little Guy into bed with me. Then, I wove. One thing I love about tapestry on a small loom is that you can really weave anywhere. All I needed was my loom, yarn and a pair of scissors (I also was using the weighted beater we sell on our site… once you go with a weighted on, you can never go back) to weave in bed.

I got into one of those meditative states where I had no idea what time it was and, for the first time that day, I wasn’t worried about work or weekend plans or anything else going on in my life.

That’s what weaving is all about. And that’s why we make these looms.

-Elena

Tapestry cuff

Posted on by Janna Maria Vallee / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014, Tapestry Weaving | 1 Comment

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This week I’m weaving from the Mirrix Tapestry and Bead Cuff Kit and I learned that although I really love the idea of making something with all beads or all fibre I don’t get excited about combining the two.  So as I began to think about incorporating bead into this weaving I just couldn’t go ahead with it.   Therefore, this cuff will be 100% fibre. It’s the 1inch cuff kit and I’m using the c-lon warp on a 12 dent spring and the wonderful silk that is hand-dyed by Claudia herself.  I’m weaving it in a sort of free form style where I’m not following a cartoon, but I do have a design in mind.  I used the image below as inspiration, which I found in the book titled William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement.  

arts and crafts movement embroidered cotton

 

It is of an embroidered and appliqued linen designed by Godfrey Blount and made in the workshops of the Haslemere Peasant industries.  I was mostly inspired my the meandering vine.  Keep your eye on my Instagram for updates on this cuff.  I’m thinking I’ll add a center flower and then do a mirror image of the vines and flowers on the opposite side.

Janna Maria Vallee

Secret Project Update

Posted on by Christina Neit / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014 | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

I was hoping my ‘secret project’ would go much faster than this. It probably would if I committed to only ‘it’ in a weeks time. I just finished the second panel last night. That means I have two to go and I am halfway there. Hoping to have another one done next week, but found myself on the phone yesterday and other beadwork was added to ‘do now’ list. I should be a professional juggler LOL

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In the meantime, I lent out my ‘Little Guy’ loom to my guy, Dave, and have taught him how to use it to bead on. He went to Montana recently and bought an old cowboy hat at an antique store. He wants a beaded hat band to go on it and I think he didn’t want to wait for me to do it :) He is doing a freeform pattern, meaning he is designing it as he goes. I was a bit surprised at the bland colors he chose, but it isn’t mine, so who am I to say anything, not like I expected pink and red or anything either.  LOL

Obviously we need a lint roller

Obviously we need a lint roller

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I will also keep you updated on his progress. You think mine is slow… :D

Free Form Experiment by Julia L. Hecht

Posted on by Julia Hecht / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014 | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment
Experimenting with 2 holed beads Free form style

Experimenting with 2 holed beads Free form style

Greetings Beaders and Weavers!

 

Here is my first experiment “looming” with 2-holed tile beads and beads of different sizes.  I am using 8/0 Delica beads, 11/0 delica beads, 3 mm Fire Polish, 3 mm Druks, and 11/0 round seed beads (rocailles).  I warped with S-LON regular weight beading cord using the 2nd smallest spring that came with my Big Sister loom.  The  8/0 Delicas are half the size of the tiles and so I warped 2 different sized spaces.  One holds just one 8/0 Delica, and the rest are twice that width.  By recognizing how the bead sizes relate, I could mix and match and find my way …. It is a free form design, meaning that there is no planned pattern.  I am planning to master this technique and teach it this fall at my bead shop, Poppyfield Bead Company, in Albquerque,New Mexico.

Meanwhile… On a personal note…

In my last post I discussed being “fed up” and taking a step toward improving my life.  Since then,  I’ve been continuing to decrease the chaos in my life and all good things are happening.  Since cleaning my closet, I’ve attacked the back room at my shop, as well as my bead studio.  Tomorrow I will be visiting my storage unit to do some organizing there.  I’ve even asked for help a couple of times, something that is very tough for me.

Let ‘s all do something good for ourselves today!

Peace and Beads,

Julia

poppybeads.com

Introducing: The Double Shedding Device Weave-Along

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Tapestry Weaving, Weave-Along 14 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Update: You can now sign up for (and learn more about) this weave-along here

A weave-along is a FREE online course. Claudia Chase and Elena Zuyok of Mirrix Looms will lead participants through a project woven on a loom. Every Sunday participants will get an email going over what participants worked on week before and giving instructions and tips for the week ahead. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage with other members of the weave-along via email and social media sites including the Mirrix Facebook Page, Mirrix Facebook Group and Mirrix Ravelry Page. This is a community event!

See our previous weave-alongs here. 

double shed

Weave-Along 14, which will begin in September, is for people who have woven at least some tapestry before. (If you need a little experience, check out Rebecca Mezoff’s online tapestry class before the weave-along begins.)

In this weave-along, participants will learn a technique of weaving with two shedding devices. This technique allows you to make a more textured tapestry. You’ll be able to weave, let’s say, 14 dents per inch and, at the same time, 7 dent per inch.

The piece will not have a pattern, but will be a tapestry done with silk and Waverly wool. You will be able to buy supplies from our website, but can also use your own!

As part of the weave-along, we will give a discount on

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purchasing a second shedding device.

More information to come next week! Let us know if you’re interested in the comments, by email or via social media!

 

 

 

Weaving Rugs Across The Himalayas

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Events, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment
Loomy in Dulegaunda (Nepal) Photo © http://barbarapavie.com/ for @Art Across Frontiers

Loomy in Dulegaunda (Nepal)
Photo © http://barbarapavie.com/ for @Art Across Frontiers

This year, “Loomy” (a 22″ Zach Loom) began a journey across the territories of Himalaya with Art Across Frontiers. Loomy has been meeting artists and weavers everywhere he goes and is helping to spread creative knowledge across and within these cultures. Check out some of the beautiful images from Loomy’s journey so far and the beautiful rugs these artisans have made.

Loomy in Dulegaunda (Nepal) Photo © http://barbarapavie.com/ for @Art Across Frontiers

Loomy in Dulegaunda (Nepal)
Photo © http://barbarapavie.com/ for @Art Across Frontiers

 

Interested in learning more? Contact Art Across Frontiers and consider helping to fund this amazing journey.

 

Loomy in Mcleodganj (India) Photo © @Art Across Frontiers

Loomy in Mcleodganj (India)
Photo © @Art Across Frontiers

 

 

 

 

Loomy in Pokhara (Nepal) Photo © http://barbarapavie.com/ for @Art Across Frontiers

Loomy in Pokhara (Nepal)
Photo © http://barbarapavie.com/ for @Art Across Frontier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loomy in Ghiling (Mustang) Photo © http://barbarapavie.com/ for @Art Across Frontiers

Loomy in Ghiling (Mustang)
Photo © http://barbarapavie.com/ for @Art Across Frontiers

 

 

 

Loomy in Dulegaunda (Nepal) Photo © http://barbarapavie.com/ for @Art Across Frontiers

Loomy in Dulegaunda (Nepal)
Photo © http://barbarapavie.com/ for @Art Across Frontiers

Double shedding device; double fun!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Inspiration, Projects, Tapestry Weaving | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The fun continues!  I am using two shedding devices to create a textured weaving as I mentioned in a previous post when I started this adventure (click here to read the previous post).  I had seared into my brain how I thought this would work and how it would look, but I am surprised that my vision is so close to reality.  I don’t know about you, but I fail as much as I succeed.  I guess that’s the result of taking risks.  I am a devoted risk taker.

To recap:  I warped the loom with two shedding devices at 14 ends per inch.  The top shedding device raises two neighboring threads at a time.  The bottom shedding device raises every other thread (i.e., the “normal” way to weave tapestry).  I have been using two strands of a fairly thin tapestry yarn (please don’t ask what . . . I found a bunch of this beautiful stuff I purchased a thousand years ago in a basket . . . I know it’s not American) as well as Brown Sheep Waverly Yarn (the same yarn we include in our two tapestry kits:  woven purse kit; smart phone kit to weave the double warps.  And I’ve been using our hand-painted silk for the tabby weave (single warp threads). You will also note some of that wonderfuld the real gold thread near the top. The result is a combination of a lot of texture and a lot of possible detail. It reminds me of doing regular needle point and petit point on the same canvas.  I have always loved that effect.

Some detailed photos of progress since my first post on this project:

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 View of the Loom with two shedding devices:

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I have been anxious to try two shedding devices in a different way:  attaching warp threads 1, 5, 9 etc. to one shed; attaching warp threads 2, 6, 10 etc. to the second shed; attaching warp threads 3, 7, 11 to the third shed; attaching warp threads 4, 8, 12 etc. to the final shed.  Yes, this is a little confusing to do, but well worth the effort.  That being said, I was in too much of a hurry to see what this would look like.  I decided to hand pick the warp threads before taking time to set up a second loom with two shedding devices.  I whipped out my Lani Loom without the shedding device (I also wanted to be able to play with her in my lap which cannot happen when a Mirrix Loom has two shedding devices attached because you really need to extend them fully and that goes beyond any size lap I know of!) and grabbed some of those cool (and new to our website) curved bamboo needles:  I love these needles because that little curve on the end allows you to pick the shed easily.  Plus the wood just feels good in your hand and the eyes are really large.  They are really well made and worth adding to your accessory stash.

bamboo needles

I put on a warp of 12 ends per inch.  I tried my luck at a twill  (under one, over three moving that pattern over so you are progressively going under one and over three put moving that pattern over one.) The visual below explains it a lot better.  In tapestry, you do not see the warp threads but you see the texture of the pattern.  It will be a lot easier to weave this using the shedding devices because I know at least for me I tend to get a bit confused trying to figure out how to move the pattern over correctly.  I made a lot of mistakes.  But hey, you can’t tell.

UnknownLet me show you some pictures of the Lani Loom project.  The bottom right is the twill.  The shiny stuff is tabby with silk. Tabby is when you go over one and under one, etc.  It’s what is considered “normal” for tapestry.  The gold wool pattern is twill and the rest of the wool patterns are under two, over two.  I could do this forever.

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My next goal is to design a weaving  using the second shedding device.  For now I am just playing.  I am having a lot of fun with color (my addiction) and, of course, with all these amazing textures.

I just wanted to know that some people don’t consider anything other than weft-faced tabby weaving (the warp doesn’t show, and it actually doesn’t in my examples, but there are “tapestry” weavers who weave in tabby and do let some of their warp show).  But I think that’s a bit silly.  Have you ever seen Helena Hernmarck’s work?  Check out her website: http://www.hernmarck.com/.

 Do you want to weave with two shedding devices? You can purchase a second one for your Mirrix here.

Tapestry Tool Box and The American Tapestry Alliance

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Events, Stories, Tapestry Weaving | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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Nostalgia brought on by our recent attendance at Convergence (the Hand Weaver Guild of America’s every two year event) lead me to do some research to rediscover my tapestry past.  Searching for “Tapestry Tool Box” I found a letter from Marti Fleischer who was the editor for The American Tapestry Alliance newsletter from 1994 to 2002.  I met Marti through mail and maybe even phone conversations, and soon I was writing a column for the ATA newsletter (back in the days when it was mailed to all its members).  In her good-bye letter as editor she mentions that column:  ”In 1994 we began running The Tapestry Toolbox written by Claudia Anne Chase. The article, which continued several years, lent insight into questions about looms and all related tapestry paraphernalia.”  I apparently also became a member of the ATA Board.  Thank goodness for the internet to kick start my past!  The ATA began in 1993.

I first met Marti in an elevator the day I arrived at my hotel to attend that first Convergence (it was the first Convergence for ATA as well!).  I was wearing a long silk dress and my long dark hair hung way past my waist.  Because there was no room in the elevator, I stood on my suitcase.  Marti walked into the elevator and I recognized her right away (don’t ask me how; maybe I had seen a photograph of her).  I said hello and told her who I was.  She looked up at this six foot tall woman (remember all 5 feet 2 inches of me was standing on a suitcase) and she said:  ”Oh my gosh, I thought you were Cher!”

Those three years of articles are buried somewhere in my attic.  I have no idea what they were about!

I will never forget that first Convergence.  I traveled there by car with three other weavers (I was the only tapestry weaver). I was living in Wisconsin and Convergence was in Minneapolis.  The year was 1994.

My greatest memory of the event was attending the the tapestry exhibit and the Small expressions exhibit.  The only huge tapestries I had ever seen before included images of unicorns and castles. This exhibit was mind blowing. Most of them were huge.  And every single grabbed my full attention.  I had to tear myself away.  For examples of tapestry please check out the ATA artist page: http://americantapestryalliance.org/artist-pages/  Plan on going back again and again.  But there is nothing like seeing these pieces in person so if there is ever an American Tapestry exhibit near you GO.  Once you get there, they will have to force you to leave.

Should you join the ATA?  Of course you should.  From their humble beginnings they have grown into a strong and important organization tying together this rare species, tapestry weavers.  Please visit their website:  http://americantapestryalliance.org  And while you are at it, check out their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Tapestry-Alliance/121689989043

 Inspiration abounds!

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