Welcome to day three of Mirrix-days, where every day through the 12th we will have a deal on something in the Mirrix online store. From kits to accessories and weaving materials, this is the week to pick up stocking stuffers for yourself or the weaver in your life.
Today (December 10th) we are giving you $15 off our Crystal & Bead Wrap Bracelet Kit with code mirrixday3 at checkout. (See below for the fine print.)
This is one of Mirrix President Claudia’s favorite kits. It goes along with a fantastic online course she made for Craftartedu.com. The course costs $15 (exactly how much you’ll save on the kit) and will walk you through the basics of this great project. If you already know how to weave beads (and how to combine large and small beads and crystals), you can probably weave this without the course!
*The Fine Print*
Only valid on December 10th, 2014. Mirrix Looms reserves the right to deny any coupon or end a deal early. Can only be used at mirrixooms.com. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Can only be used once.
This beautiful (and free!) wrap leather and bead bracelet tutorial is by Kim Holowatiuk
Sleepy Holow Leather & Custom Beading
Kim Holowatiuk is owner of Sleepy Holow Leather & Custom Beading in Alberta Canada. She has been making custom hand carved and stamped leather work since 2009 and has enjoyed beading for about 30 years.
Mirrix Loom (I used my Lani)
Round leather cord 1.5-2 mm
Variety of beads – I used 8/0, 11/0 and 4 mm rounds
#12 Beading needle
C-Lon Thread in color of your choice
Two fishing weights 1 ounce
Depending if you would like a single, double, triple (etc.) wrap, measure the leather cord around your wrist for an approximate length measurement. Add on some extra length for both the double loop closure and the addition of the button. For a double wrap, I start by cutting a strand of the round leather to about 30”.
With your leather cord folded in half, create a knot closure at that end (Pic 2). Make sure that you make it large enough for the button closure to slip through but not too big that it falls out. I make a second knot/loop (Pic 2a) so there are two sizes to close the bracelet. This step is optional.
Next, slide the top loop through your warping bar (Pic 2b)
Attach each fishing weight to the ends of each strand with a single knot. (Pic 3)
Attach your warping bar and move your side bars up until the weights are just below your bottom bar (Pic 3a). If you have a bottom spring kit, you can slide the leather cord into a dent (Pic 3b)
Doubling your thread, bring it around one leather strand (Pic 4). Bring your needle back through the thread so you have a starting “knot” on the first cord (Pic 4a) and then weave back and forth through the leather strands to create a solid piece of woven thread for extra strength (Pic 4b).
Now you are ready to weave your beads on. Depending on how wide you want to make it, always start narrow and work you way to the desired width, adding one extra bead each row. Here I started with one 11/0 bead (Pic 5), then two (Pic 5a) worked my way up to three beads, the width I want. (Pic 5b).
Continue on bead weaving with your beads until you come down to the end of the piece. Finish with the same thread weaving as you started and weave back through the beads to finish and hide your ends (Pic 6).
Remove the weights from the bottom and attach your button (Pic 7 and 7a) to one or both of the leather cords (depending on how large of a button hole you have). Make a knot and glue ends. Ta Da! Your very own leather wrapped bracelet! (Pic 7b). Try it with suede (Pic 7c)or a single wrap (Pic 7d)!
Last Sunday Claudia taught a class at NOA Gallery in Groton, MA with the gallery’s wonderful owner Joni Parker-Roach. NOA is a gorgeous art gallery and also offers wonderful art classes for adults and children.
When I was a kid I loved art classes (like mother like daughter, right?). I remember taking one class in the summer in Wisconsin when I was maybe 8 years old. We made giant paper ice cream cones and decorated each “flavor”. I loved that project. It hung (per my insistence I’m sure) on our pantry door for a very long time.
Some of the things I made as a kid were pretty neat… a clay grandmother with tiny wire glasses… a decent colored pencil drawing of a tree… a set of cracked blue-glazed tea cups that still sit in my mother’s china cabinet next to the antique Waterford wine glasses… but nothing I made as a kid compares to the pieces I’ve seen made by young students at NOA Gallery. From stunning watercolors to sculptures, you’d think most of this art was made by seasoned adults. You can check out NOA’s Facebook page and see some of these works of art!
Getting back to the class… I wasn’t there, but Claudia and Joni have reported back that it was a great class. Fun people, a wonderful environment and a great project. One woman even brought her two little girls (bringing it all together here) to the class. They were 7 and 9 years old (their 5 year old brother stopped by too) and, as I understand it, the stars of the class.
With a little instruction these girls wove gorgeous beaded bracelets all by themselves. Bracelets that could sell in a gallery for $350. Bracelets that any adult would be proud to wear. It makes me want to run out and teach a class to kids to see what they can create. Give anyone with a creative spirit good supplies and they’ll never fail to impress you!
We are hoping to have regular classes at NOA. Let us know if you’re in the Boston area and would be interested in taking one!
Do you teach your kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews/etc. how to weave on a loom? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear your strategies, successes and failures.
And remember to follow NOA Gallery on Facebook!
Have a wonderful week!
A few months ago I bought some leather cord and was playing with wrap bracelets on my Mirrix. I was playing with the idea of using wire to string the beads and trying for really easy, fast projects. These were my results:
After that I warped my loom for a thicker wrap bracelet, but it was one of those projects that just sat on my loom. Yesterday I finally decided to re-warp and try a more traditional wrap bracelet. It was so fast and easy to do this on a Mirrix Loom! I chose some pretty 8/0 beads and crystals and tied off with a pretty glass button and that was it! And, hey, when you can buy an even simpler wrap bracelet for $200… this is a pretty good deal!
I have been busy. I have been knocking off three of these a day. The thing I love about bead weaving (besides the fact that I love bead weaving) is that it is not hard on my hands. Eventually, every other craft I do starts to anger my hands and so I have to stop. I can weave on a loom all day (with breaks of course to stretch, etc.) but my hands never get tired.
We plan to create an amazing kit that will include beads and basic instruction for a variety of cuff and wrap bracelets. I have run up the Mirrix credit card buying every bead and crystal I can find that I love and all these will go into the kit. So be watching for it.
Meanwhile, some eye-candy to get you inspired!
A stack of Cuffs: size 8/0 and 11/0 beads and 4mm fire polish crystals woven on a hand painted silk warp and attached to a brass cuff with an ultra-suede backing.
About twenty inches of beads and crystals woven on a hand painted warp with a button an o-ring finding. It wraps three times around your wrist.
I’m addicted to using SoftFlex wire on leather or suede! I’ve ordered some more supplies, but in the meantime did some playing with the concept of weaving a wrap bracelet. My next one (when I get more leather) will be woven further across (maybe 5 or 7 warps across) to make an almost cuff-like bracelet (which will be slightly stiff because of the wire). Can’t wait!
Weaving isn’t (usually) for the impatient (a trait which I more than occasionally identify with). A tapestry can easily take months to complete and even most bead weavings aren’t completed in an afternoon. But sometimes you need a bracelet to wear with your favorite brown wedges and your brand-new Kate Spade mint-green purse and you need it now. I mean, hypothetically… (ha).
Anyway, I’ve been playing with leather as warp on my Mini and found a partial tube of gorgeous fire-polished crystals that just screamed spring. I also dug up a tube of SoftFlex Econoflex very fine wire in a pretty blue (it was this). It was like the universe was telling me to create this bracelet. I’d never used wire on leather before and wasn’t sure how it would react, but the results were so much fun and SO EASY. Like, do-this-with-your-child easy (disclaimer: all loom work with children should be done under supervised conditions. Small and sharp parts can be a hazard).
And it was FAST. Like 20-minutes fast. You could, of course, bead a whole lot more of the bracelet (and that would be gorgeous) but it would take a little bit longer and require more than the amount of crystals I had on-hand.
I’m in love with wrap bracelets. They’re casual, pretty, simple and easy to wear. I realized this morning that it would be really easy to make an Affinity Bracelet into an Affinity Wrap Bracelet. I found some gorgeous gold iris Tila beads that were perfect for this experiment and got weaving.
In total I think this took me about an hour, although I tend to do thirteen things at once so it was hard to tell. Another easy Mirrix project!