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Saori-Inspired Weaving On a Mirrix

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Tapestry Weaving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments
Saori-Inspired  by Marilou Johnstone

Saori-Inspired by Marilou Johnstone

Tapestry weaving has a lot of rules. These rules are very important and help to define the art. That said, sometimes you don’t want rules when you weave. Sometimes you want to just let the weft guide you. This is where Saori®-inspired weaving comes in.

Saori® Weaving is a type of free-form weaving done on Saori® looms. For more on Saori weaving, go here.

To learn more about weaving inspired by Saori® on a Mirrix,  I asked Mirrix customer Marilou Johnstone a few questions about her experiences doing so!

How long have you been weaving?  

Marilou: Off and on for 30 years.  Longer if you count the wonderful pot holder loom of my childhood. 

How long have you been weaving Saori®-inspired pieces on a Mirrix?

Marilou: months ago I stumbled upon a Ravelry Saori® group.  It was love at first sight. 

How would you explain Saori® weaving to someone who hasn’t woven it?  

Marilou: For me it is weaving with my spirt instead of my brain.  There are no should, must do, can’t do, never do rules.  I weave free.  What comes off the loom is what is supposed to come off the loom.  My first piece was done on a peg loom.  I wove for the shear joy of weaving. 

Have you woven Saori®-inspired pieces on a loom other than the Mirrix? If so, what are the differences you have found? Why did you choose to weave on a Mirrix?  

Marilou: I have used a floor loom and a peg loom. Using the Mirrix for Saori®-inspired weaving was one of those “what if…?” things.  I liked using the Little Guy because its vertical and portable.  I wove most of the piece en plein air.  I discovered that I really like to weave standing.  The outstanding feature of the Mirrix is the ability to add in beads so easily.  The beauty of Saori®-inspired  weaving was when the magatamas didn’t behave the way I wanted them to.  Rather than fuss and fume I added more magatamas and let them dangle.  Mirrix and Saori®-inspired  weaving complement each other well.  

Why do you like Saori®-inspired  weaving?

Marilou: I will quote from the book, “Saori Self-Innovation Through Free Weaving”, by Misao Jo & Kenzo Jo to best speak to this. 





As soon as I read this I was hooked.  I just knew Saori® was for me.  I think it is what I have been searching for as I moved from craft to craft throughout my life.  Saori is like coming home.  Coming full circle in my fiber art journey.  

Do you have any anecdotes about your experience with Saori®-inspired  weaving on a Mirrix?

Marilou: A good friend had just passed away and I cleaned out her sewing room.  I found a couple of quill stilettos.  I thought one would make a nice hanger for the little piece I had planned.  I wove the quill in first thing thinking that would be the top of the weaving.  Throughout the entire weaving process I kept stabbing myself with the quill.  To make matters worse the quill end looked more appealing at the bottom.  I could have woven the quill in last.  

Thanks agin to Marilou Johnstone for sharing! 

Do you weave Saori® on a Saori® loom or do Saori®-inspired  weaving on a Mirrix? Let us know what you have to add in the comments! 

*Note: Some parts of this interview have been changed to note that, when woven on a Mirrix, this is Saori®-inspired weaving, not Saori® weaving. Saori® is a trademarked technique done on a Saori® Loom.

Our Nerdiest Contest Yet

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Contests, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

network banner

These past few years, my life has been a little crazy. Besides working at Mirrix full-time, I have been attending graduate school. In a few short weeks (assuming everything goes as planned), I will be done with my Masters in Digital Media Communication from the University of Washington. I’m pretty excited to have my evenings and weekends back and return to the world of reading novels instead of textbooks.

That said, I do love school and all I’ve learned.

Right now I am taking a class on networks. When I first saw the textbook, which was over 700 pages long and chocked-full of math equations, I wished I had chosen a different class. Now that we are nearing the end of the quarter, though, I am excited to put some of my new-found knowledge into practice. I want to start with what will certainly be Mirrix’s nerdiest contest yet. Are you ready?


Donate to The American Tapestry Alliance and Possibly Win Some Very Amazing Prizes

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

It does not get any better than this.  Donate some extra cash to the American Tapestry Alliance before the end of the day, February 28, 2015 and if you are one of the seven biggest money givers you get to win one of these prices.  (p.s. mailed donations postmarked by this date are also eligible for prizes).  Let me show you what you can win.

Well of course one of the prizes is a Mirrix Loom.  It’s the Little Guy.  He’s just waiting for you to give him a big Valentine’s hug.


Want to learn how to weave tapestry? Well then this prize is perfect for you.  Rebecca Mezoff has kindly donated her amazing online class.



Not only can you win a one year subscription to this excellent magazine, ATA will throw in four of their exhibit catalogues.


In the mood for some tapestry on your wall.  Susan Martin Maffei had gone into hire gear, donating these two tapestries.  Sort of unbelievable that kind of generosity.  “Tribute to Tuck”, 29″ by 9″ is on the left and “The Audience”, 29″ by 9″ is on the right.





But the fun does not stop here.  Mary Zicafoose has donated her lithograph “Chat Indigo,” 25.5″ by 28.5″ unframed.


And last, but certainly not least.  We have one more tapestry by Michael Rohde entitled “House 19.” It is 14″ by 12″ and is framed.



If you missed the link the first time, here it is again:  American Tapestry Alliance.  And while you are there you might just want to become a member.  Oh, and did I mention that new ATA members get a 10% discount off their first Mirrix Loom?



Tapestry Mirrix Loom Accessory Bag

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead/Fiber Combination, Inspiration, Mirrix Accessories, Tapestry Weaving | Tagged , | 5 Comments

ornament being woven

The title sounds like we have a new product but we don’t.  We have a new suggestion for a product you should make on your Mirrix Loom for you.  Just for you.  The big season of gift giving is over and now all you makers of wonderful things can think about making something just for you.

First  I have to tell you that once again it was a customer who inspired me to think up this idea.  He suggested we drill a hole in the wooden clip to hold the tiny wrench because it’s one of those things that loves to get lost.  And it was a great idea except if you watch the making of a clip video you will see that doing so will involve a whole other step to what are a lot of steps already.  And hence it would add cost to the clips . . . well, you know the drill.  And then I thought:  it’s not just the wrench that goes missing.  Springs (especially if you own more than one Mirrix) go missing as well.  You get this pile of springs and have no idea which loom they belong to.  The big wrench falls on the floor and you can’t find it just when you need it most.  Tapestry needles go for a long walk.  So my idea is to weave a tapestry pouch that will velcro to the back of the loom and hold all the items for that loom.

The velcro idea was lifted from my DH.  He has velcro tabs stuck all over the cabin of his boat and the coordinating side stuck to very useful items like:  cellphone, flashlight, screw driver, etc.  The idea is that if you shove these things into one of the zillions of drawers/cabinets found on a boat you will never find them when you most need them (either just because you need them or because if you don’t find that screw driver to unstick something on the engine it might just blow up).  It works.

Velcro could be stuck vertically (you get the one with a sticky side, not the one you sew on . . . .and trust me this stuff sticks because it’s stayed on that boat!) to the left of brass nut on the top beam and on the back.  You can make a little extra tab on your tapestry to be the same size as the velcro so it isn’t unsightly.

Challenge:  will you join me in making a Mirrix Tapestry Accessory Pouch?  How many do you need to make? Which translates into:  how many Mirrix Looms do you own?

This is by Claudia.  And to that end I want to tell you that if I don’t identify my posts and you want a clue as to who wrote it:  I follow the old fashion rule of double spacing after a period and Elena only spaces once!  I can’t break the habit.

Silk Tapestry Contest: Fish and a Pouch!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Inspiration, Tapestry Weaving | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments


A while back we asked the Mirrix community to submit ideas for projects using Mirrix’s hand-painted silk. We chose two people to whom we gave free silk. We are excited to share their projects here today!

Today we are excited to share the final projects!

Do you want to make your own pieces with this gorgeous silk? Get some here!


3 Oscar Trends for Weaving Inspiration!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving, Bead/Fiber Combination, Color, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

img_3067My favorite part of any awards show is the red carpet. I love to see the dresses, the jewelry and the hairstyles.

Last night I noticed that beads were a big part of many Oscar looks and I decided to take some notes to see what additional fashion trends might be able to be parlayed into bead or tapestry weaving projects on a Mirrix Loom!

Here are my top three!

  • Black & White Colorblock

Patricia Arquette, winner of best supporting actress, wore a beautiful Rosetta Getty black and white colorblock dress last night. Reese Witherspoon stuck to the same palette, wearing an off-the-shoulder Tom Ford gown. They were both gorgeous and definitely provided me with some black and white weaving inspiration.

  • Pearls

Pearls are in, and I can’t wait to add some to my next beaded bracelet! Last year’s best supporting actress winner, Lupita Nyong’o, wore a stunning Calvin Klein gown covered in pearls and Best Actress nominee Felicity Jones donned pearls on the bodice of her Alexander McQueen gown.

  • Beads, Beads, Beads

The Oscars are all about sparkle, and this year beads were in. Naomi Watts sported beads in her Armani Privé gown and best supporting actress nominee Emma Stone dazzled in a custom beaded Elie Saab gown.

If you don’t have a Mirrix yet and are inspired to start weaving (who knows, maybe your jewelry design will make it to the red carpet next year) you can get a free loom recommendation here

If you want to make the beautiful black and white silk and bead cuffs shown here? Learn how by following the instructions in this throwback weave-along.

Craftsy Class

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving, Bead/Fiber Combination, Craftsy, Tapestry Weaving | Leave a comment



It was two and a half years ago that Elena and I headed off to Colorado to make our Craftsy class.  Although there was a huge amount of preparation before hand and I nearly had a nervous breakdown making sure that I sent them all the stuff I would need (like a cooking show, I had to have projects at various stages of completion on looms which meant a lot of looms with a lot of stuff on them plus I needed all the materials I was going to use . . . the list filled two huge boxes!) and before even that planning out the projects.  But once we got there and they slapped some make-up on me and made my hair pretty, steamed my first of nine outfits, I was ready to go . . . and I stumbled through about ten takes before I could even spit out my introductory lines.  Finally, with Elena directing me from the far side of the room, I got the hang of it.

In three days we filmed what became six hours of instruction.  The crew at Craftsy was amazing.  Everyone was nice.  We were treated really well.  The hotel was fabulous.  It was one of those great experiences.  And the class itself was really, really good.  The editing was fabulous.  My nine outfits were all very well pressed!  The make up artist did wonders.

Yeah,  we worked really hard but we also laughed really hard, sometimes collapsing in a pile on the floor after a particularly insane mistake.  And they were so patient.  Twenty-one hours of filming condensed to six hours.  I don’t know how they survived that.

We have sold 5,500 of this class.  Amazing.  The price is right . . . never more than $19.95 and sometimes on sale for half that.

It’s nice to still be proud of something we did a while back.  My tendency is to start disliking something I’ve worked hard on in this past.  But for some reason, I seem to like this class more and more as time goes by.  Maybe because I just can’t believe what a great job Craftsy did to edit it into something really worthwhile.  I guess that’s what happens when you deal with pros.

For a preview please go here:  http://www.craftsy.com/video/course?courseId=78  If nothing else you can see what a great job they did on my hair and make-up.


Join a Group!

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

http://americantapestryalliance.org/Claudia was here in Seattle with me for the last couple of weeks and last week we had the pleasure of getting coffee with Mary Lane of The American Tapestry Alliance. After, we all stopped by the monthly tapestry group meeting of the Seattle Weavers’ Guild.

It got me thinking about the benefits of joining weaving or beading guilds and associations. In high school and college I had friends who went to a different group meeting every day of the week. I was never one of those people. It’s partly because I’m not very good at being a little bit involved in things; it’s either all or nothing with me. It’s also because I am painfully shy and walking into a new group is always a little scary.

That noted, I believe that every weaver can benefit from being a member of some kind of weaving group if not for the camaraderie (I don’t know what it is, but weavers have a tendency to be pretty awesome people), for the resources. The first Seattle Weavers’ Guild meeting I attended a few years ago impressed me immensely and their tapestry group is the best source of inspiration I can think of.

The American Tapestry Alliance is a national (international, actually) tapestry organization that does everything from putting on exhibitions to workshops and member retreats. It’s a fabulous organization and it isn’t just for professional weavers. In fact, new tapestry weavers can really benefit from membership. From their tapestry mentoring program to educational articles and a chance to rub shoulders with some tapestry celebrities, it’s a group I wholeheartedly encourage all level of tapestry weavers to join!

You can learn more about joining the American Tapestry Alliance here.

You can learn more about joining the Seattle Weavers’ Guild here. I just noticed the picture on that page is of the tapestry group. Recognize those looms?

I encourage you to look up your local weavers’ guild or bead society!




Treadle Sale: One Week Only! (Meet Spencer)

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

spencer treadle
I’m Spencer Chase, brother of Mirrix CEO Claudia Chase and designer and engineer of the Spencer Power Treadle.

The Power Treadle is an electronic foot treadle that changes the shed so you don’t have to do it manually. It’s perfect for weaving tapestry (and makes the process so much faster)!

We have a couple of new videos about the treadle available for you to watch. One goes over the process of assembling the treadle and the other shows you exactly how to put one on your loom.

Check them out on our YouTube channel!

Now is a great time to get a treadle for your Mirrix Loom. Get 15% off the Spencer Treadle* through 2/25/15 with code spencersays15off at checkout.

*Expires 2/25/2015. Can only be used once. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Only valid on mirrixlooms.com. 


Tutorial: Leather envelope Macbook Air case with tapestry insert

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



This is my first attempt at making this project, as well as my first time sewing leather. But, I’ve always thought that sharing about things when you’re new at them is never a bad idea since what you’ll have to share about the process is more true to what other newbies will be experiencing and need tips on.  In other words I made a lot of mistakes and therefore learned a lot too, so I think my tips can help you avoid the same issues.  In theory this a very simple project, but I learned that making it look really polished is where it gets tricky.  So even though it’s a simple design I thought a quick tutorial was in order so I could talk a little about troubleshooting. With any luck yours will turn out a lot nicer than mine.  At the bottom of this post is a reminder roundup of all the the Do’s and Don’ts that I mention throughout the tutorial.

The gist of the design is one piece of leather wrapped around your laptop with a flap to close it, just like an envelope.  Another piece of leather, the size of the back of your laptop is sewn in (and optional) for additional padding and to create a smoother inside since the back of your tapestry would be there otherwise.

What you will need:

-Fabric scissors, or preferably a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat.

-Leather.  For a 13″ Macbook Air you will need two pieces: one 14″ X 26″ and one 14″ X 9.5″.  (For other, less thin computers the width will most likely have to be at least 2 inches wider than the width of your computer.  The length will vary.)

-Tapestry insert that has finished ends.  See my demo video for one way to finish your tapestry. The size of your insert can vary, mine was 5.25 X 4.75 inches

-Sewing machine with needle for leather

-Thread that matches leather

-paper, enough for about the size of your tapestry insert.

-scissors for paper