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Czech beads and softflex wire!

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

I just received some softflex wire samples to play with.  I have been meaning to jump into this activity for a long time but was recently inspired by the rest of the “toys” for which I am waiting.  I ordered a bunch of Czech beads:  duos, cute little flat squares with two holes, beads half that size with two holes, weird triangles . . . all with finishes to die for.  Or at least they looked that way on my monitor.

Oh . . . a blog without pictures.  Sorry.  The beads are on a FedEx truck somewhere and although the wire has arrived I think I will wait until the whole pile of fun stuff is here for me to explore.

My ideas:  Using the softflex wire with the no warps to weave in kit and then mixing the Czech beads with seed beads what kind of wonderful loomed piece can I create?  The idea is to explore the realm of off-loom looks with on-loom technique.  This is different from making a piece on the loom and then embellishing it off the loom (which is another thing I love and HINT HINT there will be blogs about that, not from me, in the future).  I want to bend the on-loom rules and get those beads going in a some fascinating and new directions.  I might even consider stringing some beads on the warp.  I am thinking that the wire will lend itself to be molded a bit and that I will be able to break out of the straight lines that is the tropism of loomed work.  In other words, the default is a grid and I am wondering how much we can break out of that grid working with a loom.

I also want to play with hand-painted silk and the new beads and maybe with the softflex wire as well.  The theme is to let the warp show.  And the goal is to create a piece that is beautiful and solid.  Or a bunch of pieces.

I’ll be back when that package arrives.

Social Market for a Mirrix 2014-Christina Neit Intro

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

Hi Everyone! I am Christina Neit (aka Good Quill Hunting and sometimes fondly referred to as ‘Quilly’) and a previous ‘Social Market for a Mirrix’ winner, 2010 and one of this year’s Designers of the Year for Beadwork magazine. I am so happy to have been selected to do this again!  I had such a great time learning the ‘Big Sister’ loom last time.  This time I opted for “Little Guy’ and it is just as incredible, only slightly smaller.

MIRRIX LOVE

I have some new ideas I would like to try out this time around. I may make another piece over that I made last time and really loved (and sold right after I made it) and I have a piece (split loom necklace) I started many years ago on an old loom I had before the Mirrix loom. In moving from Maine to Colorado almost 4 years ago, the bottom threads on the loom were cut, so as a result, I have to start it completely over, which is fine because now I can put it on the Mirrix, I even have all the beads and the pattern has not been lost :) So those are some starting points until I get in my grove again.

This one I did last time that I would love to make another one of.

This one I did last time that I would love to make another one of.

You all may remember this one.

You all may remember this one.

I have some old videos from last time on YouTube and that is where you will find all the new ones I am going to be doing. Hopefully much better than the last ones I did! LOL I am also considering doing a Google Hangout or a Hangout ‘On Air’, we shall see and I will most certainly let you know in advance.

Where else can you find me? Facebook/Facebook Biz/Twitter/LinkedIn/DotCom

I hope I am able to inspire you and bring you new ideas. Cheers to Claudia and Elena for having the most awesome loom there is!

Social Market for a Mirrix 2014 – Julia’s Introduction

Posted on by Julia Hecht / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014 | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Greetings Weavers!  I am thrilled to be participating in this weaving adventure and I hope you’ll enjoy following my Mirrix Loom Journey.  As Elena pointed out in an earlier post about the participants, beadwork and creating beauty is my touchstone for self-healing. I had a career in medicine as a pediatrician.  Although I loved this work, my need for a healthier lifestyle for myself led to me leave my medical career.   I eventually found my way to a bead store that was closing.  I scooped it up and made it my own.  Since 2011, I have been serving the beading community at my shop, the Poppyfield Bead Company, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I am originally from New York City and the surrounding area. I began beading in 2002, while I was on maternity leave.  I suffered a health crisis, and during that time I discovered that beadwork was helping me to heal my spirit.  Since then, I have learned all the off loom weaving techniques. I am mostly self-taught, but I’ve also benefitted from the occasional class with amazing bead artists, such as Laura McCabe, Lisa Niven Kelly, and Margo Field. Honestly, I had shied away from the loom after one negative experience struggling with an inexpensive ‘starter’ loom.  So, I am looking forward to seeing what’s possible for me with a Mirrix.  I will be using the Big Sister Loom…and you can check in for my next post to see how that goes.

Here are some samples of my published bead work from Lark Publishing’s 500 Judaica, and Bead and Button Magazine.

Magic Carpet Bracelet (Diamond Odyssey in B&B)

Magic Carpet Bracelet (Diamond Odyssey in B&B)

Eden's Delight Prayer Vessel

Eden’s Delight Prayer Vessel

Light of the Soul Necklace

Light of the Soul Necklace

Projects+

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

projects+

A new concept in Mirrix projects has arrived.  Projects+ is a collection of bead and fiber projects in ebook form.

Each project will come with a list of tools and materials, most of which will be available on our website. However, unlike traditional kits, you’ll be able to choose exactly what you need and what you don’t.

For example, the first project is a gorgeous beaded piece on a leather cuff. You probably have plenty of beautiful beads around to make the piece, but might still need the leather cuff or some thread. With Projects+, you get to choose exactly what you need and what you don’t.

Check out the Projects+ section of our store for our very first Projects+ ebook! More will be added soon!

Introduction to Janna Maria Vallee

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

Hello there Mirrix readers, my name is Janna Maria Vallee and I’m going to be posting here for the next while, sharing with you all things tapestry, bead weaving and art making.  I received my Big Sister loom on Saturday and by that evening I’d already warped up and added the heddles.  I was so excited that night, I couldn’t sleep.  You see, it’s been a while since I’ve woven anything and I really am in my happy place when I do,  so dressing my new beautiful loom was the highlight of my week…month…maybe year!

Here’s a little bit about me:  I’m a West Coast Canadian gal who moved to New York City with my son and husband last August.  Our beginnings here in the USA have not been the easiest (read about it here). But I’m glad to say we on an upswing of sorts, and winning this challenge has given me a new found excitement for art making (I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus since my son, Sam, was born a year ago.).  I’m excited for what 2014 holds for my art practice, (especially since I’ll be adding bead-weaving to my repertoire) and have been needing something to jump-start my inevitable return to tapestry weaving.  This Mirrix project is just that thing.  Thank-you Mirrix team!

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my first tapestry, 2008, 6X6 inches

I’ve been entranced by the art of tapestry since 2008 when I was taught to weave by the talented textile artist and weaver, Anthea Mallinson, during my time at Capilano University’s Textile Arts Program in North Vancouver, Canada.  Today, only having had completed two small tapestries, I wouldn’t call myself a tapestry weaver, but I do consider myself a weaver; I’ve dabbled in a number of different kinds of weaving since my Capilano days (from rug weaving to jacquard weaving), and am thrilled to be getting back to it.

The Textile Arts Program introduced me to a plethora of textile techniques, from dyeing and printing to weaving and machine knitting.  It was a rigorous program and I remember, upon entering my second year, wondering what on earth more they could teach us.  I’ve since graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec where I spent the last year focused on creating installation art using natural dyeing and printing.  So, inevitably I’ll be dyeing some of my own yarns for my upcoming Mirrix projects.  I’m very excited to get back to work in that way.

Below is a sampling of woven artwork that I have created over the years, and you can see more of what I do over at my personal website and blog.  Also below are my social media locations where you will find me posting photos and tidbits about what I’m learning while weaving on my Big Sister loom.  Please feel free to drop me line at any of these places, I love making new friends :)

From top left to right 1) my second attempt at tapestry weaving, a distorted sky 2) detail of a printed warp weaving printed with rubbings of mine and my late grandmother’s shared wedding dress.  3) detail of my printed warp weaving, Re-invented (the actual print is of George Harrison) 4) Egoskeleton, a sculptural piece using Turkish weaving and pulled warp techniques.

Twitter //  Facebook // Ravelry // Instagram // Pintrest

Collages-001

 

Have a party… and get stuff free!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Mirrix-Ware | Tagged | Leave a comment

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.

weaving on a Mirrix

Picture this:
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).

What is there to lose? We’ll even help you get started! Email me (Elena) today to sign up for Mirrix-Ware and to get started planning your very first Mirrix-Ware party!

Spread the love!

 

 

Mirrix-Ware

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

mirrixwarelogo

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!

Learn more here

 

Congratulations to our winners!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

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.

 

Warping is Easy!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Uncategorized, Weaving: Other | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2.) Take your wooden clips and flip them backwards, so the white screws are facing the front of the loom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

55.) Tie your warp thread to the warping bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

66.) 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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

77.) Bring your warp thread up the front of the loom and place into a space in the spring (this space is called a “dent”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

88.) Bring your thread over the top of the top beam and down the back of the loom until you reach the warping bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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9.) When you reach your warping bar, make a u-turn around the bar and start heading back in the direction you came from (towards the top of the loom).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1010.) Come back up the back of your loom, around the top beam (from back to front) and back down the front of your loom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1111.) When you reach the bottom beam, bring your warp thread under the bottom beam from the front to the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1212.) Bring your warp thread back up the back of the loom until you reach the warping bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1313.) When you reach the warping bar (is this starting to sound familiar?) do a u-turn around the bar and head back in the direction you came from (down the back of the loom).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1414.) Bring your warp thread under the bottom of the loom front back to front and start heading up the front of the loom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1515.) 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. 

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