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New FREE Jewel Cuff Bracelet Ebook!

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

Thinking about what you can make for gifts this year? How about our beautiful (and easy) Jewel Cuff Bracelet?

The instructional ebook for this project is now available for free here!jewel cuff

Want the kit to go along with this project?

Quick, easy, fun to weave you will want to make more than one so our kit includes all the materials you need to weave two of these inspired cuffs. So set aside a couple of hours to weave and finish each cuff and then pick that perfect person (you?) to gift it to.

Click here to purchase

 

 

Need a loom, too? Get our Jewel Cuff Loom Starter Package!

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Click here to purchase


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Share your Studio Contest

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

Studio 1We are extending this contest by one month.
Send us your pictures! You could win a $50 gift certificate!

When anyone with artsy inclinations walks into Mirrix President Claudia Chase’s studio, they get lost in a world of fiber and beady inspiration. From looms (most with half-made pieces) to finished pieces and curious equipment like electric skein winders, it’s a fun little sanctuary to explore.

I, on the other hand, live in a one-bedroom apartment without much space for a “studio”. My office is a desk in the window-corner of our living room flanked by dog and cat beds and one shelf that holds my looms and everything else weaving-related (the rest is in a closet; we were blessed with some decent closet space). It isn’t a swoon-worthy studio/office by any means, but it works.


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A Few of My Favorite Things to Give as Gifts

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

If you are like me . . . a compulsive maker of things . . . you take a lot of pleasure in giving your hand made items as gifts.  I have my “go-to” projects that never bore me because each one is always different even though the concept remains the same.

It feeds my soul to see a friend wearing a gift I’ve made for them.  And it removes the commercial away from gift giving, turning it into a really personal experience.

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Want to turn your photos into bead weavings? (15% off BCP)

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

bead pattern

We know your phone and camera are full of amazing pictures.

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You have pictures of your latest vacation, your doga or cat, your kids and grandkids and even some great artsy shots of flowers.

Wouldn’t some of these photos look great as bead weavings?

BeadCreator software can help you do just that!

This powerful software is the best available for creating bead patterns from photographs. You can also do much more with it, including designing patterns from scratch as well as from BeadCreator’s extensive image library. With this great software, you’ll never have to buy another bead pattern!


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To shed or not to shed

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

Sometimes you just want to weave slowly, picking warp threads with a needle as you go.  For very thin pieces, this works just fine.  It can be very meditative.

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But most of the time, when weaving tapestry, picking each warp as you go can get tedious and very time consuming, especially with wider pieces.  For this reason, even the very first Mirrix Loom was designed with a shedding device.  The word “shedding device” is derived from the word “shed” which means the space between lowered and raised warps. It raises the threads for you so rather than have to weave under and over warp threads with a needle, you can simply engage the shedding device and raise every other thread all at once.  The shedding device is attached to the warp threads with heddles, which wrap around the individual warp threads and are hooked onto one of the two bars on the shedding device.

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Simple Frame Loom Vs. Mirrix

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

mirrix loom demoSo you want to weave tapestry  and you’re trying to decide on a loom. Congratulations! You’re going to love the journey you are about to embark on. Tapestry, as we say, is like painting with fiber and provides endless creative opportunities.

As with most art forms, your success weaving depends partly on the tools and materials you use.

Here we will discuss the differences between a simple frame loom and a Mirrix for weaving tapestry.


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Visiting Handweavers Studio & Gallery in London!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Stories, Tapestry Weaving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Handweavers StudioEarlier this week Claudia and I took a little trip to London. While there, we stopped by
our only UK dealer, The Handweavers Studio & Gallery. We initially met Wendy, the owner of Handweavers, at the Salem, OR Northwest Weavers’ Guild Conference a few years ago and they have been selling our looms ever since.

The shop is located near the Finsbury Park tube station. When we exited the station and began to walk, it started to rain and then tapered off to a drizzle. I felt like I was back home in Seattle.

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Handweavers was that wonderful yarn-store smell. You know the one. Handweavers is the kind of place where you want to spend a whole day looking through endless skeins of yarn and their impressive selection of looms.


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Rusted woven wool

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

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Here is peek at the current state of my rusted woven sample.  I like how it looks somewhat like a salvaged woven artifact.  I did the rusting over a few days, between an old iron and iron plate, turning the fabric every day so as to get a repeat of the same shapes in various spots around the square of grey.  There is an imprint of part of the word ‘Dover’ that probably won’t stay unless I quilt it, and maybe trapunto, too.  Those are my ideas of for it, for now.  I’ve learned that I shouldn’t sound as though I’m committing to doing anything, since my plans invariably change as you may have noticed if you’re following my posts.

I wove this with size D C-Lon beading thread as warp with a 12 dent spring.  Here is a before/process pic of the fabric.   It only measures 5″X 5″, but was surprisingly time consuming to weave since I used a lace weight yarn for the weft.  I could hardly see progress each time I sat down to weave for 30 minutes.  Then I wove a piece with fingering weight yarn and it was super fast, and the thickness and feel of the fabric isn’t very different between the two pieces, so I wouldn’t choose the lace weight again.

Janna Maria Vallee

 

Tapestry: Painting with Fiber

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

by Claudia ChaseAs the daughter of a tapestry weaver, I grew up with a few key phrases in my lingual arsenal that related to tapestry.

One was this: “Tapestry is painting with fiber.”

One of the main differences between tapestry and other types of weaving is that tapestry isn’t about following a pattern. That isn’t to say you don’t have to plan a tapestry (although you don’t have to; sometimes choosing some beautiful yarn and just weaving can produce lovely results), but even with planning there is not a prescribed way to get from point A to point B. This is why it is like painting. A painter will plan his or her painting, but the techniques he or she uses are chosen as the painting comes to life.by Claudia Chase

To me, this is what makes tapestry so wonderful. It is a continual creative process. With tapestry, you are making decisions as you go and bringing your tapestry to life bit by bit.

Perhaps this is why tapestry is such a meditative art form. Your mind stays focused (and not on, let’s say, the fact that you really should vacuum today and you have a project due at work tomorrow that you haven’t even started) because you are focused on creation, on decisions and on your art.

If you haven’t tried tapestry, don’t be intimidated. It is an art form, and it will take time to master, but that process is a journey you will truly and deeply enjoy.

If you need help choosing a loom, just fill out this form and we’ll give you a free recommendation! 

 

 

 

 

When You Know You Are Close…Keep Going

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

 GREETINGS WEAVING FRIENDS!!!

Mosaic Magic Bracelet by Julia L. Hecht

Magical Mosaic  Bracelet by Julia L. Hecht

It has taken me three weeks to go from my last post – the start of this bracelet – to completing the proje2-hole-free-form-loom-279x300ct.  The idea for this bracelet actually began during the summer with my free form experiment. You might remember the picture at right from my August 1st post.  You can see how the free form evolved  into the more structured Magical Mosaic Bracelet.

Each day for the last 3 weeks I have felt “close” to what I wanted to achieve.  I don’t know where the solutions will be found, so I just trust my creative process to guide me.  I’d like to share that process with you here.

In the free form experiment I liked certain elements that I wanted to develop:  1. A larger center line, 2.  A mix of small and large beads, 3.  Visible warp cords that add to the aesthetics and bolster the design, 4.  Cuff-like.

Some aspects I found jarring and unpleasing:  1.  There was a lack of unified structure, 2.  The center which drew the eye was too bland, and 3.  The proportions of the small 11/0 delicas and larger 6 mm tiles did not work in the current arrangement, and 4.  The piece seemed unwieldy and “out of control” (somewhat related to #1, but not entirely.)  And then there was the question of the clasp …which took on a struggle of its own later in the process.

Because of all that I liked, I stayed with the middle line tiles, but added another element – the 6 mm bead stud, for more interest.  There is contrast both with shape and with the color / finish.  I kept the tiny delica beads, and the tiles and then added other sized beads to bridge the gap between these extremes; there are also 8/0 delicas, more 3 mm fire polish, and bricks (which are “half tiles”).  My experiment with Hemp cord (see Oct 16th post), was the perfect solution to the lack  of  structure.  It appears to scaffold the beads visually, and it does so mechanically as well, giving the bracelet a secure feeling of easy weIMG_2076ar despite the larger heavier beads.

Hemp warp cords (20lb weight), cannot be woven into the beads for finishing.  Instead, I used macrame and braiding to work out a clasp.  I knotted a beautiful Czech hand painted glass button to the short end (warp bar enIMG_2070d) using square knots.  To the left, in the blue bracelet, you can see my first attempt at a button loop.  With 6 warp cords, 2 braids seemed a natural choice.  But you can see in the pic at right that it leaves the bracelet asymmetrical.  (Contrast the blue bracelet with the brown and teal)

 

 

 

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Eventually, after playing around with failures, I decided to give a shot at a square knot button loop.  And that allowed the symmetry you see in the the brown and teal bracelet.

 

 

Tah Dah!  Relief!  Joy!

IMG_2077I love the blue bracelet.  I will be remaking that with the new and improved clasp.   My next task is creating a tutorial, class, and kits for my Magical Mosaic Bracelet.  Meanwhile, as you may have noticed, my sweet dog has been waiting for me to re-emerge from behind the loom.

‘Til next time…. Be Well and Weave On!

Julia

Julia L. Hecht

Owner /Designer

Poppyfield Bead Company 

webstore.poppybeads.com