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!
The 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?
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!
Smart phones have gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. Petty soon there will be smartphone suitcases to haul them around in. The best way to keep up with the changes is to make your own.
I admit it, I am being forced to upgrade myself. My iPhone 6 has not arrived yet, but to prepare for the arrival I am making a her an iPhone carrier. I made one for my iPhone 5, but the 6 is just going to fit.
This piece was created from hand painted silk and size 8/0 seed beads. I used a ten dent coil, 41 warps across. The warp is Maysville Carpet Warp. I am using size D C-Long beading thread for the beadwork. The piece will be a tad more than 3 1/2 inches across and about 6 1/2 inches tall (which means I have to weave 13 inches). It will be able to accommodate any of the iPhone 6 (I would make it a tad taller for the iPhone 6 plus) and other brands. It is lined with silk and embellished on the side and top with size 11/0 seed beads. The strap is also made of hand painted silk braided on a kumihimo disc. Almost everything needed to make this piece is available on the Mirrix website. Please see bottom of this post for resources.
There are no set rules for this piece. I will be playing with different colors silk sometimes building up straight lines between colors and at other times shading them together. I will be adding the occasional row of beads both for their decorative quality and because they are very helpful to keep the warp from pulling in and keeping the right spaces between them.
To begin, not using the shedding device, weave a row of beads. Tie the two ends of the beading thread together on the right and then sew through the first bead so your thread is on the back of the piece until you need to use it again.
Weave a strand of silk, remembering to bubble! Use the shed where the side warps are raised so the tail of the silk is behind the weaving.
Weave the first silk thread back and forth a few times before inserting a new threads. I am working with two in the picture below
In preparation to insert a new row of beads, bring the bead thread to the front of the weaving between warps one and two.
Engage the shedding device to open up the next shed and insert a row of beads. There will be two beads between the raised threads.
After you’ve woven the beads sew through one bead to get your bead thread on the back of the weaving.
Wrap the previous silk thread around the side warp thread twice in order to fill in the space the bead left on the side of the piece.
In the picture below I am using thread silk wefts and blending them together by crossing into each other’s color area.
I have added another row of beads.
My piece thus far!
In the next blog about this Smart Phone case I will show you how to do both the on-loom and off-loom finish work and show you how to make a square braid to use as the strap. You meanwhile need to find a pretty piece of silk with which to line it!
For great tapestry instruction where you can learn all sorts of amazing tapestry techniques to use in this piece check out the following:
Links to supplies:
A customer, Tina (Check out her awesome blog on weaving beads here), gave me a great idea the other day. In addition to weave-alongs, we should have some project themes that Mirrix-ers can all work on at the same time. It reminded me of what someone at Convergence told us that her guild did. They would have a theme, I think the theme at the time was “leaves”, and everyone would weave a tapestry following that theme.
Beginning in October, we will begin a new program called 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!
What should our first few themes be? Answer in the comments!
Recently I found a roll of orange SoftFlex wire in my stash. Maybe it’s the hint of autumn in the air, but I was really in the mood for orange. I warped up my loom using the No Warp-Ends Kit with the SoftFlex as warp.
I had some pretty orange crystals that I wove up with green beads in between for five rows and then I switched to green crystals and orange beads. I will keep alternating in this pattern.
Because of the thickness of the warp and the size of the beads, you can still see the orange SoftFlex between the beads, which I really love. The green C-Lon D I used to string up the beads also peeks through if you look really closely. It gives the piece an almost deconstructed look which I really love.
The reason the No Warp-Ends Kit is so great for weaving with wire is because you don’t have many warp ends to finish (yay!). That said, there are still two knots at the bottom of this piece that will need to be taken care of. I got some end crimps and a cute little pair of crimping pliers from SoftFlex to secure those ends without having bulky wire knots.
I’ll update you all on the finishing process soon! I have a beautiful blown glass button I plan to use as a clasp and will weave the buttonhole into the piece.
What beading projects are you working on this fall? Answer in the comments!
Want to weave wire, too? Our No Warp-Ends Kit will make it so easy!
Just choose a pattern (any one here) and email us firstname.lastname@example.org with your pattern choice and the subject line “Free Bead Pattern”. We will respond within 24 hours with a .pdf of the pattern you chose attached to the email.
What’s the catch? There isn’t one! But we’d love for you to share this promotion with your friends.
*Limit one per customer. Expires midnight PT 9/12/2014.
We asked Valorie of VC Artisan Originals a few questions about her company as part of VC Artisan Originals’ September share-sponsorship of Social Market for a Mirrix 2014!
About VC Artisan Originals: VC Artisan Originals is a great place to find off-loom beadweaving instruction tutorials. Whether you’re a beginner level or an advanced level beader, there are over 40 original design tutorials available in my Etsy and ArtFire online shops. Many of the tutorials feature the new, popular, 2-hole Czech beads. If you love Super Duos and Preciosa seed beads, this is the shop for you!
How did your business get started and how has it developed? I created Valorie Clifton’s Artisan Originals (a.k.a. VC Artisan Originals) as a small Etsy business to sell my beaded and metalsmithed jewelry. It was really popular amongst my co-workers when I worked in an office setting. I gradually added metalwork and wire work to my repertoire. After 3 years of selling jewelry online and 2 years of showing in a local juried art gallery, I decided to completely revamp my business. I had been teaching jewelry making at the art gallery and discovered a love of teaching. I decided to stop selling finished jewelry and to focus solely on teaching others. I now design, write and publish my own beaded jewelry tutorials for sale in my Etsy and ArtFire shops. I teach off-loom beadweaving classes featuring my original designs every month at local venues, and many of my designs are taught in shops throughout the northern US and even in New Zealand! Very soon, I will have some wire working/light metalsmithing tutorials available. It’s very rewarding to bring the art of beadweaving to others and I’m so very happy I made the change.
Do you have any classes coming up? I teach several classes per month at the Danish Princess Beads and Jewelry store in Milton, FL. Ialso teach a class on the 3rd Saturday of every month at the Santa Rosa Arts and Culture Foundation’s Dragonfly Gallery, also in Milton, FL. I’m also a very proud member of the Wubbers University faculty, where many of my classes are published online.
Anything else you’d like to share? My website acts as a “hub” and as a portfolio. You can see some of my designs in beadweaving, metalworking and wire-working; you can also find download links to free tutorials I’ve made available, free Super Duo graph papers I’ve created, and even links to my online shops.
Please take some time to visit www.VCArtisanOriginals.com
Have you started a business selling work you made on a Mirrix? Has your Mirrix allowed you to weave when other looms couldn’t due to an injury or disability? Did you realize your artistic talent for the first time when weaving on your Mirrix? Did you teach a young person in your life to weave and ignite a new passion?
We are looking for inspirational Mirrix stories for a blog and email series. If you have a story to share, we’d love to hear it.
Email email@example.com to learn more!
This spring, three lovely ladies received Mirrix Looms in exchange for blogging about their experiences with it. Following is a list of their amazing blog posts (so far!) following their Mirrix journeys.
We can’t wait to see what they each do next!
Enjoy and thank you to Janna, Christina and Julia!
INTRODUCTION TO JANNA MARIA VALLEE
GETTING STARTED ON MY FIRST MIRRIX LOOM
LURCAT’S TAPESTRY REVIVAL, PART ONE
LURCAT’S TAPESTRY REVIVAL, PART TWO
LURCAT’S TAPESTRY REVIVAL, PART THREE
WEAVING FROM THE BACK
A VISIT TO THE CLOISTERS, NYC
OFF THE LOOM
MY FIRST WOVEN BEADS ON A MIRRIX
A CREATIVE EXERCISE
ROCK SERIES: SAMPLE 2
TRYING MY HAND AT BEADCREATOR PRO
ADVENTURES IN EXTREME SHAG
FINISHING TAPESTRY ENDS
TYING UP LOOSE ENDS, LITERALLY.
CHRISTINA NEIT INTRO
EX LIBRIS AMULET
HELP ME DECIDE
EX LIBRIS BAG
TIDBITS OF BEADED LOOM DESIGN
SPLIT LOOM NECKLACE-WIP
EMBROIDERED SPLIT LOOM NECKLACE
TRIAL & ERROR
SECRET PROJECT 1ST PANEL
SECRET PROJECT UPDATE
JERRY RIGGED FOR A 16 DENT
MY FIRST GO AT THE LOOM
FIRST STEP BRACELET
BIT BY BIT
LEAPS AND BOUNDS!
HAPPINESS IN READINESS
FREE FORM EXPERIMENT
It was suggested to me that this is a topic of interest to many bead weavers. I have to confess, I am writing this from the cockpit of a sailboat boat (husband’s midlife crisis was to fix up a salvage /wrecked sailboat . . .I think he had fantasies of us selling our house and sailing the world on it, or some such notion, forgetting that I can’t fit Mirrix on a boat despite the three little cabinets he reserved for that purpose. What a hoot! In any case, I am putting in my three days.) I only mention this tidbit of personal information because the only loom I have with me (and of course I have a loom with me!) has a tapestry on it which needs another four hours or so to finish and I have no bead supplies here so, in short, I can’t take pictures of finishing bead work because I don’t have any. I am hoping I can troll the Mirrix website, my photos on this computer and the internet to find some suitable pictures to accompany this piece.
I am the perfect person to talk about finishing bead work because I have spent years figuring out how not to, at least how not to in the usual sense. The method where you cut your piece off the loom and weave in ten thousand warp ends . . . well, for someone who hates to thread a needle because she just can’t seem to do it well or fast or without screaming a few choice words, the idea of threading and rethreading a needle in order to sew those ends back into the beads of a woven piece . . . I have to confess, I have never done it and I never will. I can’t imagine with a wide piece how it is even possible to find beads after a point in which to shove all that thread. I know, I know, there are plenty of people who do it, and the more power to them, but I am not one of them. It’s like when people see one of my tapestries or bead pieces and say: “Oh my gosh, you must have so much patience to do that!” Which is a little strange, if you think about it, because if it required “patience” to create art I am not sure I would create art. Patience sounds like work and creating art is anything but work (most of the time . . . except when sewing in a bunch of warp threads!). But I imagine there are people who find sewing in warp ends cathartic, just like I find spinning cathartic and that certainly is not for everyone. In conclusion: I am not going to address sewing in warp ends as an option because I am the last person to steer you correctly on that subject. Rather, I will present to you all the many ways I have found to NOT sew in warp threads.
I am going to start with the most relevant way. On Tuesday last Elena and I had the pleasure of teaching a webinar for Interweave Press. It took a lot of prep work, but the actual presenting was a lot of fun. Jennifer of Beading Daily fame was our mentor in this project and although it would have been beter to get to see her live and in person, it was still nice to hear her voice live! The webinar was about using the Mirrix No-Warp Ends Kit to weave a checkerboard cuff bracelet a kit we sell exclusively through Interweave Press.
There were 16 warp threads which would have meant 32 warps threads to sew in. We were left with only two. While I am at it, I am going to give you a link to that webinar.
How does this magic work? With the help of a could of thin bars, some S-hooks and not a whole lot of patience you warp the loom such that you put on exactly the length of warp you need. When you are done there is only the beginning and end of the warp thread to weave in. The rest exists as loops which kindly slide between the end beads. We’ve trimmed this piece with pico stitch (which I like doing). The clasp is a button because while we wove the piece we created a button hole.
Here is another example of a bracelet made with that kit: Mirrix No Warps to Weave in Bracelet kit.
Method one for not having to weave in warp ends: don’t create any!
Method two for not having to weave in warp ends: make the warp part of the design. I really love doing this. Use a thicker and pretty warp thread and allow it to show both around the beads and at the ends. This makes a funkier kind of piece, but I love them. We call them wrap bracelets because you can make them one, two, three, four or more wraps. (By the way, we just passed under one of those cool bridges that lifts in the air so our mast doesn’t get knocked off when we go under.)
Below is not that particular kit, but an example of a wrap bracelet using those very cool two hole beads (a bunch of different kinds) on a hand painted silk warp
And another one . . . this one using tile beads and duos (the ones on the edge) plus some porcelain beads and a pewter button.
Above piece still on the loom.
If those two options don’t appeal to you, there is always the tried and true third method which allows you to warp the Mirrix loom in the normal fashion, but eliminates the need to sew in warp ends by simply tying them off, sticking them behind the piece and sticking the piece on some kind of cuff. For example, a piece on a leather cuff.
Some other examples of beaded work attached to a brass cuff.
In conclusion, if you are like me and refuse to sew in a bunch of warp ends when you find yourself at the end of your piece, there are a bunch of creative ways to either eliminating warp ends completely or bury them underneath your piece and incorporate them in to the piece as a design element. I am sure that we will all discover more and interesting ways to avoid the warp end dilemma. If you have ideas of your own, please tell us about it in the comments section.