Social Market for a Mirrix

Ever try to warp a loom with a cat in the house? Let’s just say it’s a bit of a challenge. Once the loom was warped though, Midnight was a very attentive student. That is, until he decided I was sitting where he wanted to sit. So he bit me.

I’ve finally made actual progress on the Dragon Lake, Siberia tapestry. And the clock is ticking. Someone with a particular affection for that part of the world wants to buy it. And he wants it by Friday. So, it’s going to be an all nighter at the loom. The upside to this is that I’ll definitely be starting a new piece on Saturday which I’m really excited about. I’ve already started gathering up all of the yarns that I want to use.


In an effort to make things a little more interesting here, I’ll be focusing on more experimental pieces for the remainder of the “Social Market for a Mirrix” campaign. I find weaving the tapestries based on the LandSat photos very relaxing and meditative but they’re just not that interesting from a viewer’s perspective. So, I’m moving the tapestries that I’ll be working on for show deadlines off to another loom because they’re larger pieces that are, for the most part, just straight tapestry weaving. They won’t be very interesting to see from week-to-week.

Social Market for a Mirrix

And it’s a blast from the past! Once again I’m working on one of the weavings I finished back in October.

After taking a break, I finally decided the weaving needed a little oomph so out came the beads. And, okay, I’m cheating a bit and using several of the Bead Gravy glass bead mixes, one in greens and one in golds, from Joggles.
Oh, while I’m thinking about it, this week’s video will be posted on Tuesday, December 28th instead of Sunday, December 26th.
Anyway, back to the embellishing. All along, I’ve thought this small weaving looked like a Southwest landscape. But, the greens were a little too green. The beads I’m working with have a variety of shades of green so the embellishment adds a little depth and personality to the piece, I think.
I also found a package of some really interesting silk waste in sunset colors (blues, oranges, purples) in one of my bins so I’m planning to work that into the sky.
There will also likely be an appearance by some of the fibers by Ancient Earth Echoes as embellishment on the cliffs.
Don’t forget Mirrix Looms Bead & Tapestry Cuffs Workshop at Village Spinning and Weaving in Solvang, CA on February 5 – 6, 2011. The registration deadline in January 15, 2011.

Social Market for a Mirrix

I finally just said enough is enough, hid myself away in the studio on Monday, and spent some time weaving. So there’s been a bit of progress since the last post. I’m looking forward to finishing this weaving because I have a couple of techniques I want to experiment with once it’s off the loom. I’ll share more of those details once I’m closer to being finished.

Remember the first piece I completed?

I needed a portable project so I’ve finally started embellishing it and will have something to show you on Saturday. Working on that first weaving again reminded me how much I like weaving with yarns that have variegated colors and textures.

Mirrix is having a post-holiday loom sale so everything is 15% off in the Mirrix store with the code: 15offeverything. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the Mirrix Loom newsletter. Each week you’ll receive information about the latest deals, “how-to” videos, classes, contests, and featured artists. It looks like Elena and Claudia have lots of new content heading our way in 2011 and I know I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve been working on. I seem to remember seeing a tweet recently about a new loom.

Trice Looming!

Time, these days, is so precious to all of us! Even I am looking at ways to create the same level of quality looming within a shorter amount of precious time! I want to share a technique I have been perfecting for a while, “Trice Looming”! This method allows you to ‘loom & edge’ at the ‘same time’! Below are the steps in pictures.

String your loom as you would start any new looming project, warping one thread more then the number of loomed beads wide. Now string on a good number of edging beads, usually something round, not tubular like a Delica. This type of bead lays much nicer for this simple line edge. You will want to thread 5 or so more number of beads than the rows you plan to loom. These can be added after the initial warps are strung or string the beads first and warp the loom with the two extra warps stacked with beads.

Attach your weft to the outside warp of your looming row, not the same thread holding your edging beads. Loom the first row as if the two outside warps with beads are not there!

Just after exiting this row, slide an edge bead up and run your needle inside, towards you.

Now add the next number of beads needed to loom the next row, in this case there are ten beads creating this narrow banding.

Before turning your needle upwards and running it back inside the same row of beads, above the warps (the usual looming methods), pick up another edge bead from the other side.

Now you can continue the usual looming technique of going back through the row of beads, keeping your needle above the warps.

When you exit on the starting side, pick up another edge bead, just as you did in the first step described. Continue looming these steps until you reach the desired length of looming you need.

This Trice Looming Style, creates a simple edge with the edge beads sitting on their sides. This also finishes the looming to a classic look, no holes or threads showing!

I have many other variations of this same method, creating edges much more intricate then this simple line. Those will be shared in my book! In the meantime, you can experiment with adding more or less beads and additional warps full of beads! If you plan on creating a scalloped type edge, you’ll need to keep those warps free for movement as the warp threads will be used up or longer, than what you attach to the loom.

Finishing a loomed cuff with an adjustable clasp!


I just completed another cuff, with a design fit for the season! This is titled, “Who-Me Deer?”. It is a 30 bead wide loomed cuff. When I create such a wide cuff, my main staple of clasp choices become a slide tube clasp. They have a long presence, mostly 35mm. I never cared for the design of a ‘single loop’ or ‘small single clasp’ on a wide cuff, because I wouldn’t want it to flip or flop around on the wrist. I also feel that a single, small clasp, of some sort, on a wide looming, just doesn’t offer a proper ‘balance in design’.

The adjustable aspect, of this design, is also something I am sharing. It can be difficult to loom cuffs to an exact fit, without having the model to refer, so an adjustable design can be a great feature.

I call the end caps, seen in the photos above, my ‘crunchy clasp’ method. The reason being that beads are ‘cracked’ when they are attached. It can be very uneasy to think about the beads breaking, but my technique keeps the cracking of beads into consideration, long before I have to attach the ‘CC’s’ to the ends!

The one end of this cuff is finished with a copper chain, for the adjusting part, topped off with a dangle, a custom made ‘snow globe lamp work bead’. On the other end is a copper wire hook clasp and matching stones, again wrapped in copper wire.

Above is a montage of the edging. The large beads are ‘copper barrels’ aligned perfectly between four rows of looming. There is a ‘stop bead’ two beads inward because I wanted the barrels to lay directly next to one another. This stop bead allowed me to enter a row of looming then exit the same row of looming. To secure the large barrel beads further, I strung a strand of copper 11/0 glass beads, directly inside the entire row. This will keep each barrel bead in line, especially while being worn or bending the cuff. The opposite edge was finished in a simple copper color Permanent Finish 11/0 glass bead.

This method of clasping a loomed cuff can be the simplest way to manage the warps and still complete a cuff in a professional finished manner!

Social Market for a Mirrix

Here’s a close-up shot so you can see how the warp interlock technique looks.

I’ve been working at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market’s Pop-Up Shop this past week so time in the studio has been non-existent so I don’t really have anything new to show today. And unfortunately, other than a few hours on Sunday, I won’t really be back to a regular studio schedule until December 28th because of the holidays.
Since I don’t have much of my own work to show right now, I want to introduce you to the weavings / embroideries created by members of Artesanias WARI URPI (Macedonio Eduardo Palomino Torres and Luzmila Huarancca Gutierrez0 from Peru.

These colorful representations of the flora and fauna of Peru are just a sampling of the beautiful textiles being sold in the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market’s Pop-Up Shop this weekend. These works reflect the traditional embroidery of the WARI-URPI’s ancestors and can be traced back to the 8th century B.C. Worn daily by the WARI women of the Huanta-Ayacucho region, woven and embroidered shawls called”llicllac” are frequently used to carry children, crops, or wood. Special garments are also woven and embroidered specifically to be worn during the feast of the Virgin of Cocharcas.

New Bead and Bead and Tapestry Cuffs

Guess what I have been doing?  Yup, weaving endless cuffs on the loom.  Had to get a bunch done for the show, but also for Beadwork magazine for my June article on the tapestry/bead cuff.  It was starting to seem a bit stressful because I had deadlines and you can only weave so fast.  Let me show you some of the results. Want to learn how to make these?  Join our workshop in Solvang, CA in February.  http://www.mirrixlooms.com/workshopsandevents.html  It is going to be so much fun.  You get two teachers and the class maximum is ten.

Before the workshop, we will let you pick your two projects.  At first I thought we would just offer the Delica bead cuff as shown on site, but I am thinking the one below could also be an option.  It’s larger beads with two sizes.  I just love it.  Whatever you pick, it’s going to be fun and you will learn how to warp the Mirrix Loom and weave on it using the shedding device.  You will learn to weave both fiber and beads.

Beads, Baubles and Jewels

It’s been too long since I wrote in this blog.  I do have an excuse.  I have been really busy.  I have proof.  I have pictures.

Let’s begin at the end.  As some of you already know, I flew to Cleveland, Ohio last week to film a segment for Beads, Baubles and Jewels.  What an adventure that turned out to be.  Add snow storms to fun and meeting some incredible designers/women who were also on the show plus having to wear make-up and then not flub my lines.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.  One thing I’ve learned as I’ve aged is that I am up for just about any new (legal!) experience no matter how difficult or how much it makes my adrenalin sore.  In this case, though, because of my six years of having to speak in public as a State Rep., I wasn’t even nervous.  I was more worried about the state of my nails.  Let me explain that.  My nails had been trimmed and buffed and the cuticles fixed.  All was well with the nails.  Until I decided to put nail polish on at the last minute in my hotel room and I did a really lousy job.  I had no nail polish remover. I freaked out just a bit until I realized I could push most of it off with my nails and then remove the rest with an emery board.  In the end, they looked fine.  Not as good at the other women’s nails who had the good sense to have theirs professionally done the day before the show.

Let me show you some pictures from that day:

Another guest getting ready for her segement.

A picture of the television monitor with another guest.
As I was setting up for the segment.  That’s the wrong side of the studio.

Another setup photo.

Claudia wearing makekup.

More back stage photos.
The segment will air in May on PBS.  I am not sure exactly when.  I will announce it on the blog, facebook, etc.