It’s amazing how I fill my time, doing something with my hands. The forced rest was painful (in more ways than one)!. For the first time in years, I was bored!!! Yes, bored!! I played games, read, played more games. And I was still bored! It’s been a while since I’ve been stuck for what to do. The real issue is my hands were idle. I stopped ALL activity to really rest my hands. Luckily it paid off and a few days later I was back on the horse. I’ve never been happier to pick up a needle!
I’ve been spending time reweaving the warps on the purse. I even worked on it on the bus journey home from work. Once, a last sat near me was impressed by it. She asked to hold it and seemed to enjoy the feel!
Anyway, I finished reweaving the ends and started joining the sides. With this one, I decided on odd-count peyote for the join. I like the solidness and sturdiness it affords. I got an idea for the strap while searching online for Swarovski crystal beads and pendants. I’ll have to see the element in person so I can work out some measurements.
The fringe design is still eluding me. If anyone has any ideas I’d be glad to hear them. There is something I saw, but think t would be too chunky. I’ll continue pondering on it, luckily there’s still a little time.
I’ll be starting the Nelson Mandela bracelet soon….or rather as soon as I empty the loom! So by Sunday it has to be freed up. I’ve got to buy one colour on Monday then I’ll be good to go. I shifted the pattern down so the face would sit in the middle (thanks Noreen). But I’ve yet to decide what to do with the blank area above. Perhaps a bead soup could work…..I’ll decide when I get to it.
I had a little shock when we got home from the beach on Sunday. My husband had cleared the ‘cloakroom’ and had put my violin in the corridor along with some other things that needed throwing away! It’s a good thing he didn’t do it that day, I would have been crying!! I’ve put it back where it was *sigh of relief*
So I have a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully Sunday I’ll be more up to date. Till then, have a good evening.
|The finished bracelet|
|Weaving at the beach…the best of all possible worlds!|
Oooh, Claudia has made gorgeous kits for the Soumak Pouches!
Oh my word!
Claudia has outdone herself in making the kits for the Soumak pouches for the Weave Along in September:
Aren’t the colors and textures gorgeous?
I just went and picked up the text from this page: LINK
Learn more about the weave-along and sign-up here today.
-30 yards of 10 each of ten colors of wool/mohair yarn
-12 x 6 piece of silk for lining
-A semi precious stone for a clasp
-100 gram tube of Navajo Wool Warp
As it happens, my Mirrix loom arrived the day prior to our little holiday in Montauk. (I know you’ve heard of Montauk Point. You know, at the very tip of Long Island, NY?) Well, I couldn’t leave her home alone, now could I? Certainly not with all that fabulous fiber haunting me from afar. So, unbeknownst to the family, I sneakily stuffed her into yet another canvas bag and she made the two hour trip to the beach. Here she is on the deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean looking rather majestic, don’t you think?
Craftsy Class: Introduction & Looms
Claudia’s introduction, besides doing a great job of whetting one’s appetite, speaks for itself. Not much need for comment, I believe. The second “lesson” concerning various looms is significant particularly if you are not yet fortunate enough to own a Mirrix. (Notice I say yet. Don’t worry, you will). Prior to receiving the Mirrix, I fiddled with both a $10 craft-store seed bead loom as well as my Cricket, both with excellent results. They really do weave beautiful bracelets. However, tensioning problems as well as awkward warping renders them less than perfect. Learning to warp a Mirrix is a snap and the tensioning is a dream. I think the Volkswagen/ Mercedes analogy applies here; there’s simply no comparison. If you can, by all means, get a Mirrix!
Craftsy Class Lesson: The Silk and Bead Affinity Bracelet
I have a thing for silk… always have. It is by far my favorite fiber to work with, be it knitting, crochet, sewing or weaving. I love the tiny little crunch it makes when you fondle it which I confess I do. The vibrant colors that Claudia has created make all the difference in the final product, I can assure you. Not wanting to waste the precious silk, I practiced my first few Affinity Bracelets using lesser fibers- some pedestrian embroidery floss and even some commercially dyed silk floss. I can tell you that they can’t compare to the subtle color variations of Mirrix hand painted silk. (Pssst, Claudia, have you considered offering a silk dyeing workshop? Hint hint.)
I wish I could write about some problem or difficulty that I encountered while attempting to weave but honestly, it is so simple and enjoyable that I cannot find anything to critique. Ok, my selvedges are less than perfect and I probably could use a pair of magnifying glasses to thread that blasted bead needle but that’s about it. Come to think of it, I’m not crazy about that peyote stitch yet either but I’m sure that will improve with more experience. Heaven knows, I’ve got a long way to go.
When one chooses to forego an afternoon at the beach in order to stay back to weave, I think that’s really saying something. Here are my results. Whaddaya think? Not bad, eh.
Ive developed some stiffness in my right hand. I’m not sure if it’s from weaving or just work and life in general. I don’t really feel it unless I go to make a fist, stretch my fingers out or scratch!. It hasn’t stopped me weaving. But what has is a recurring problem with the area beneath my thumb. I developed something like carpal tunnel syndrome shortly after the birth of my first child. I have since had it on and off. However, I noticed earlier this year that if I weave too much or for long periods at a time, I get pain in my thumb which travels downwards. No twinges or discomfort in the wrist, it’s all in the thumb and the surrounding area. If I ignore it, it does become a nuisance so I have learnt to stop pretty much as soon as I feel any twinges. I bought this thumb splint which helps. But it’s hard to wear it and weave – particularly if the metal is still in there. It’s hard to get my hand behind the warps without slowly slotting it in – that just ruins my rhythm and becomes cumbersome! So I’ll have to wait a day or two before I can do any more.
Anyway, having waffled on about why I can’t weave, here is my progress so far. Not much has been done on the bracelet on the right. With the blues bracelet, I decided it would be easier to weave the pearls into the design once the sides are done. So now it’s moving quicker and should hopefully be done soon, fingers crossed.
I’ve also made progress on the strip for the side of the violin. It’s looking very pretty if I say so. I think I may also make some curtain ties using some of the designs but in different colours to suit the decor of the sitting room. I wanted to try advancing warps but it won’t work because I started weaving at the top rather than the bottom. So that will be left for another time.
I’m thinking they would look nice as a camera strap as well. I think I’ll make one for my brother, a nice surprise :)
Since I can’t weave, I’ll have to try and come up with some more designs! But hopefully I can show some progress by the weekend. Have a great evening!
Chalkboards are low tech dandy design tools
Sometimes, I get stuck in the design process.
That’s when I need to give myself nudges that break up the mental and emotional constriction that is keeping me from moving forward in a project.
And, so, I reach for some of my favorite tools that help me to see things differently.
My chalkboards and chalk.
Eh? as we say in Canada
Really! A chalkboard is a fabulous tool for knocking the design blechs sideways!
I have wondered about why they work so well for me and I think that there are a couple of reasons.
The first is that white chalk on a black surface reverses the way I normally see things when I am drawing.
This is invaluable, because it clears the deck of any pre-conceived notions that I had about sketching.
It’s like working with negatives instead of photographs. You really do see things differently.
And, if you are stuck, then that is really helpful!
The second reason why I love chalkboards so much is that drawing on a chalkboard is so playful.
There’s a real feeling of ‘little kid’-ness to them that is definitely very freeing.
You know that it’s not permanent… it’s just a bit of dust on black paint … so wheee…… draw, draw, draw!
If you don’t like it…. whoosh whoosh, wipe it off and it’s gone.
If only the rest of life were so easy!
AND… if you do like it, then grab a piece of paper and a pencil and copy the sketch onto the somewhat more permanent surface.
How did I get such a neat shape chalkboard?
I drew the shape on masonite, cut it out and painted it with several coats of chalkboard paint from the hardware store.
I even like the scritchy sound the chalk makes when I am drawing.
Low tech is often a wonderful way of opening the doorways to creativity and imagination.
Try it…. you might like it
Happy sketching and chalky drawing!
PS: Anne, who is one of my online friends in the Mirrix facebook group suggested that you take pics of your favorite sketches and load them into your paint or bead making programs. I don’t use those programs, so it didn’t occur to me.
Anne’s suggestion also reminded me that I do take ‘archival’ photos of some of the sketches that I really like… sorry… I completely forgot to mention that! Thanks for the reminder, Anne! :)
It’s amazing what a bit of time away from something can make it ‘click’ when you get to trying it again! I felt this way the first time I tried tatting. I just couldn’t get the knots to sit correctly. There was a lot of pulling hair (figuratively speaking of course), throwing the shuttles down in frustration, and scissor action! I put it away after being brought to the brink of tears of frustration. A short while later, having refused to be beaten, I tried again. AND SUCCEEDED! I don’t know why or how, but it clicked.
So, I felt (almost) the very same thing when I first tried loom bead weaving with the shedding device. The first two rows were okay, but it was downhill from then on! I followed the instructions – specifically a Mirrix video on YouTube – but it just didn’t seem to be working! I didn’t want to up the frustration level so decided to just leave it for another time.
My loom is empty since I cut off the panel for the purse, so I thought I’d try loom bead weaving with the shedding device again. This time, I used double delicas (size 8), with Nymo for the weft and top stitch thread for the warps. I figured it would be easier to do with larger beads. So I set to warping, getting the shedding device and the heddles on with ease. I watched a recent video that concentrated on the weaving part, and wove as followed it. And guess what, it WORKED!!!! The beads were going into their spaces nicely, and there were none out of place at all!!!!! It’s just a sample, so I’ll have to try it on a ‘proper’ project before I give a full review!
So I cut the sample off quite quickly and was once again left looking at a naked loom! I thought I’d make a start n the patterns I designed for the side of the violin. I made the mistake of taking out my stash of delicas and other beads. I ended up having three projects I wanted to work on. So I warped the loom for three. Here is what WAS on the loom up until this afternoon.
I’m not entirely happy with the middle bracelet, but someone likes it so I’ll finish it and give it to them. I wasn’t happy with the bracelet on the right, so I undid it and changed the deign entirely. There is an element still to be added. This will be done when it’s been cut off the loom as I think that will be easier.
I’m absolutely loving the design for the side of the violin. I also drew these up, and will loom them eventually as well. Hopefully they all look s good!
If you’re still awake after reading this, thank you for doing so, and I hope you enjoy! Happy beading, and enjoy the remainder of your weekend.
Mirrix Loom Weave Along # 8 -Soumak Pouch- 2- Looms, tools, equipment
This is the second ‘Prelude Post’ for the Mirrix Loom Weave Along for the Soumak Pouch.
The pouches are perfect for both business cards:
or for cellphones:
My cellphone is one of the smaller, lower tech ones [4inches tall, 2 inches wide, 5/8 inch thick] if yours is larger, then you will want to upsize your pouch, if your pouch is going to be a cellphone pouch.
Alright… now onto the gathering up of tools and equipment:
First of all, you need a loom:
Most of the photos and videos for the weave along will feature my 8 inch Lani Mirrix loom. (Although I have ordered a Mini and a Little Guy, so hopefully, they will arrive soon, so I can use them in the photos and videos, too.)
The pouch can also be woven on any of the larger Mirrix looms as well- if you are using one of the smaller Mirrix looms, then warp up one pouch at a time. If you are using one of the larger looms, then you can warp and weave 2 pouches at the same time.
Even if you don’t have a Mirrix loom, please feel welcome to join in the Weave Along.
As long as you have a loom that you can get good tight tension on it, then you will be able to weave the pouches.
You will also need: A steam iron, a pressing cloth, a good source of light, pencil crayons or watercolors or some other way of coloring your preliminary pattern colorways, 2 clothespins, scissors, needle and thread for finishing, snap fastener and a swivel clip, you’ll also need paper for tracing out your patterns and trying out different color schemes.
Knitting needles and crochet hooks are very helpful, and a loop turning tool is handy (I bought mine at my local fabric store), a piece of cardboard that is 10 inches tall by 3 inches wide (25 cm tall by 7.5 cm wide), a weaving stick, small paper clamps, a fork or beater, a hole punch, at least a yard of firm yarn or cord, clear tape (packing tape works well); a black fine tip permanent marker
You’ll need rods for the top and lower edge of the weaving: 6 inch (15 cm) tent pegs or 6 inch (15 cm) lengths of steel or brass rods 1/8 inch in diameter (I bought a 36 inch long one at the hardware store and cut it to 6 inch lengths with a hacksaw); velcro straps (I bought mine from Lee Valley: Link; ‘S’ HOOKS: 25 “S” hooks, either 7/8 inch or 1 inch- opened or closed :[ I had a huge ‘AHA’ when I bought closed ‘S’ hooks…. having one end closed is just GREAT… so if you buy closed ‘S’ hooks, open one end with pliers. If you buy open ‘S’ hooks, squeeze one of the ends closed. Having the closed end keeps the ‘S’ hooks on the rod. :) ] ; 1/4 inch Washers: 54 in total; 1 or 2 pairs of pliers for adjusting the ‘S’ hooks; ruler and tape measure.
Some of these things have shown up in other photos, so I won’t list them again, but the other things are: A small bowl for holding pins, needles, clamps etc; a bag or box to store and transport the project (that’s Tottie Tomato’s knitting bag); chopsticks are very handy for several things besides your Pad Thai :)
You will need at least 5 or 6 blunt tapestry or craft or darning needles. It’s handy to have a needlebook or tin, or cardboard tube or eyeglass case to store them in.
To line the pouch: Fabric (I upcycled one of my son’s abandoned t shirts for the lining of the first 4 bags), scissors, pins, needle and thread, snap fastener: I used the 15 mm size.
CHECKLIST at a glance:
- steam iron
- pressing cloth
-a good source of light
- pencil crayons or watercolors or some other way of coloring your preliminary pattern colorways
- paper for tracing out your patterns and trying out different color schemes
- 2 clothespins
-needle and thread for finishing
-snap fastener 15 mm size
-swivel snap hook (optional)
-knitting needles & crochet hooks
-Optional: a loop turning tool is handy
-a piece of cardboard that is 10 inches tall by 3 inches wide (25 cm tall by 7.5 cm wide)
- a weaving stick
- small paper clamps
-a fork or beater
-a hole punch
-at least a yard of firm yarn or cord
-clear tape (packing tape works well)
-a black fine tip permanent marker
-Rods for the top and lower edge of the weaving: 6 inch (15 cm) tent pegs or 6 inch (15 cm) lengths of steel or brass rods 1/8 inch in diameter
-velcro straps Link
-‘S’ HOOKS: 25 “S” hooks, either 7/8 inch or 1 inch- opened or closed
- 1/4 inch Washers: 54 in total
-1 or 2 pairs of pliers for adjusting the ‘S’ hooks
-ruler and tape measure
- small bowl for holding pins, needles, clamps etc
- a bag or box to store and transport the project
- chopstick (optional)
- At least 5 or 6 blunt tapestry or craft or darning needles and a needlebook or tin, or cardboard tube or eyeglass case to store them in.
- Straight pins
-kumihimo kit OR a spool knitter
-any other embellishments, beads, buttons, charms or found objects that you wish to use.