tracking

About Me

My photo
Francestown, New Hampshire, United States
I am the owner of Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms (www.mirrixlooms.com) and an avid tapestry and bead weaver, among other things. Needless to say, I love my job!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dyeing Today!

I said I was going to do it, and I did.  But now I am out of silk so I have to order some more before I can continue dyeing.

I dyed some solid colors but then I decided to teach myself space dyeing.  Since these affinity bracelets can use warps of different colors, I thought it would make sense to have one warp with a bunch of colors just for fun.  It was successful.  I surprised myself.  And so much fun.  Got out my paint brushes and painted the silk.

This is what I got:

The dye pots!

The dyes.


My first attempt at dye painting.

Two dye painted warps cooling off in some water.

The solid colors and three painted silk warps drying on the porch.

Close up of my day's work.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Affinity bracelets!

Three completely different styles of affinity bracelets.  The top has lots of gold thread, some gold plated beads, some two cut beads.  The middle one uses our 11/0 bead mix.  The last one combines tila beads and 11/0 seed beads.


I made peyote tubes for the closures.


Another version of the eye-candy.




Weaving with gold thread and beads



Weaving tapestry and beads but without the shedding device is both simple and quick when you are weaving only a very thin piece.  Using a tapestry needle (the ones intended for needle point or for finishing knitting garments) you can weave under and over the warps.  The only trick is remembering to bury the bead thread so that it can be carried up the piece until you need to use it again.  Once you have woven under and over your warp threads, pull the needle through.




When weaving back, go under the bead thread so it gets caught by the gold thread.



Weave the gold thread back.


Then string up some beads, and weave them using the traditional method of bead weaving.  You want to catch the gold thread underneath the bead thread so it travels up the side of the piece until you need to use it again.


 It's really fun and simple.  In no time you will have a finished piece!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Affinity Bracelets (aka grown-up friendship bracelets)

I can't stop weaving.  I held back until ten until starting weaving. I entertained myself with replacing the belt on the vacuum and then even using it in my studio.  Then I went full tilt.  Warped up the mini for my fantasy of a friendship bracelet:  one using tila beads. Why not?  This is as far as I've gotten because I already knew I loved it but had my head swelling with other ideas I needed to try immediately.  

Tila beads and 8/0 seed beads on a rust/orange silk warp.
Next I moved over to the Sixteen inch Mirrix that I now have at the ready on a stand.  It was empty.  I put on three silk warps in different colors.  I forgot to take a picture of it.  Took literally minutes.  Ah, such gratification!    I decided that one of these bracelets just had to include the gold thread.  So I took three strands of it, long strands because I wanted the thread to last for the entire piece.  This is my same approach to the beading thread.  Make it last.  Whatever you are not using gets carried under the thread you are using.  Just wrap around it before weaving and it will get caught and pressed next to the weaving resulting in no finishing work and no need for a backing.  Next time I will take photos of this process.  I was just in too much of a hurry and too excited to pause and take photos.  In this piece I used some two cut 11/0 beads, some 24 karat gold plated 11/0 seed beads, some 10/ 24 karat plate delica beads.  




The next piece is a simple mixture of 8/0 seeds beads and 10/delicas.  I stuck some gold delicas in there toward the right  just for fun.



This next one was woven using http://www.mirrixlooms.com/7bagsofbeads.html.  I created little blocks playing the matt beads off the glossy ones.  Lots of fun.





 This is how I finished the first bracelet.  Just little rings of gold beads holding the two looped ends together.  It's adjustable.  No need to tie.  I also made little ropes.  Took a matter of minutes.  By noon I had accomplished everything you see here.



Friday, February 17, 2012

Friendship Bracelet from the Mind of Elena

The other day Elena had this brainstorm:  why not weave friendship-like bracelets on the Mirrix loom?  Would be a perfect project for the Mini, she thought.  And was she ever correct.  And the amusing piece is after my silk warp failure, this was a silk warp success!  And the reason for this is that the silk is part of the finishing.  I did not use the no warps kit.  This is very much not for that kit.  In fact, for this you want those warp ends because they become part of the design.  These bracelets are quick and addictive and actually fun to finish.  Why did it take Elena so long to figure this out?

For my first piece I put eight warps on the loom in four different colors.  I wove size 11/0 two cut beads and size 11/0 seed beads, alternating them in both directions so they fit together well for the first inch and a quarter.  I then replaced the 11/0 seed beads with 8/0 seed beads to make the center a little wider. I finished it with another inch and a quarter of 11/0 beads.



 To finish this piece, I twisted together four warps at a time to form ropes.  I then made a peyote stitch tube which I sewed around the two strings.  The bracelet is tightened by pulling on the ends of the strings while on your wrist.  I made the tube tight.  You cold also use a large bead (put it on before tying knots at ends of silk) or even use silk to wrap around the two ends.

 The piece in total took about an hour to make.  Every piece of making it was enjoyable.  The frustration level was 0.  This is a great piece for beginners and advanced weavers who want something fun, easy and satisfying to make.  You could have a whole lot of friends with this bracelet!


For the piece below, I put on only six warps and wove exclusively with two cut 11/0 beads and 8/0 beads.  I twisted all the silk warps together to form one rope.  Again, I made a peyote tube as a closure. This one took even less time to make.



Of course my head is spinning with all the other possibilities.  The concept:  a beautiful, strong, mulit-colored warp that shows and is also part of the bracelet and even the clasp . . . has no limitations for one's imagination.  And best of all, it can be done on the Mini Mirrix (any Mini Mirrix).

Future ideas:  including some gold thread, of course!  This weekend.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crystal and dagger bracelet failure and success

I tried weaving using the No warps method and silk warp.  The silk warp was meant to show and provide nice drape.  It was a failure because it seemed too flimsy and I could not figure out a way to make the two warp ends disappear.

Piece just was not stable

Those yucky ends just were not going to work.




I ripped it out and used a softflex warp instead.  Piece turned out much better and is a keeper.  It also will withstand the test of time whereas the silk piece felt like it could fall apart.





Friday, February 10, 2012

Home

You would think that considering we worked most of the time I was in Seattle with our marketing mavin that returning home wouldn't be a big deal work wise.  Think again.  I have just raised myself out of the pile of work and disasters (mostly) and feel almost caught up.  I literally have not had a chance to blog, although I've really wanted to.  My desktop is filled with photos I wanted to share.  My looms seem to look mournfully at me from all parts of my studio as if they are asking: why are you not weaving?  And my head is full of ideas.

Before I begin the photo essay of my Seattle visit, I want to share this one idea I want to develop.  It's pretty simple.  I ordered some suede string.  I don't know what to call it.  Maybe it's called lace.  In any case, it's fairly thin.  My idea is, using the no warps kit, run the suede along the outside warp threads with a loop on one end (this will be a bracelet).  While weaving the suede will get caught in the bracelet.  Somehow I will turn the loop on one end and the two loose ends into a clasp.  Maybe I will use some kind of bead on the non loop ends.  It looks wonderful in my head, but I really need to try it.

Okay, Seattle:
Capitol Hill where Mirrix Marketing and Elena live . . . and that is Sam.

Claudia with Squirm worm.


There we are again.

The big moment . . . Layna gets her Mirrix birthday gift.


Another day, another walk with Sam-I-Am


Tourist trap, but I love it:  Pike Place Market

They throw the fish here.  It's hilariouos.

Future Bead patterns to follow.





Look at that view!


And that one from downtown Seattle.  

Those two . . . so sweet!


Sam is always making friends.


Out of work actor!

Happy Claudia with Sam.



One last Sam and me picture!