Bead and Crystal Necklace woven during Hurricane Sandy

I have been working on a kit for a bead and crystal necklace.  This is the beginning of that concept, but I still need to do some more work before I come up with the correct formula.  This piece was woven on a hand painted silk warp.  The warp was meant to extend a lot farther past the woven part but it came up short.  I had imagined it would hold a spray of beads and crystals.  So that was lesson number one.

This is the piece while on the loom.  The light was lousy because it was during the heart of Hurricane Sandy and we had no electricity!

These are some off the loom photos:

The following two were taken this morning where there is slightly more light and the colors are true.

The focal bead is porcelain with two small porcelain beads on either side.

Now to try another piece but with larger beads.  The beads I used were size 11/0.  I am going to try a piece with size 8/0 beads and the same size crystals.

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

A Mirrix Loom, accessory kit or package is the perfect gift for any crafter. Get someone you love started weaving beads and tapestry, or supplement their addiction with beautiful extras.

Here is our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide:

For the Newbie

Bead Loom, Kit and Class Package

loom, class, kit starter package

Perfect for the beginner: a Mini Mirrix Loom, a beaded bracelet kit and an online class. It’s a fantastic deal, too!
What crafter wouldn’t want this in her (or his!) stocking?

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Tapestry/Bead Cuff Loom Starter Package

tapestry/bead cuff loom starter kit

Know someone who has been coveting a tapestry/bead cuff bracelet? They can make their own with this beginner’s tapestry kit. Choose a loom and learn to weave!

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For The Bead Obsessed

Precious Metal Bracelet Kit

precious metals kit

This stunning beaded bracelet kit comes with precious metal beads and a beautiful mother-of-pearl clasp. It’s classy and it’s beautiful. Indulge the beader in your life!

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Navajo Bead and Crystal Bracelet Kit

navajo beaded bracelet kit

This stunning beaded bracelet is perfect for any level beader. They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but crystals and beads are a close second.

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For The Fiber Junkie

Tapestry Kit in a Basket

tapestry kit in a basket

A gorgeous Fair Trade Bulga Basket, Navajo wool warp and 39 different colors of tapestry yarn? Perfect for any weaver in your life!

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For The Mirrix Fanatic

Loom Stand

stand

Do you know a Mirrix fanatic? You can spot one fairly easily. She (he) has three looms. Or eight. She ( he) stores one in her (his) car, three in the studio and can be found sitting on beaches, at campsites or on a boat with a Mirrix in front of her (him). She’s (he’s) already got the loom, now help her (him) accessorize with a gorgeous Mirrix loom stand.

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Add-on Treadle

treadle

The Mirrix lover in your life wants to weave faster and easier. Help out by purchasing the beautiful and functional Mirrix treadle. It can be used with or without the loom stand.

An Interview with Tina Kane and her work on the Burgos Tapestry Project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Recently a customer (thank you!) pointed us to an amazing YouTube video. It is called “The Burgos Tapestry: A Study in Conservation” and chronicles the restoration of Christ Is Born as Man’s Redeemer by the Textile Restoration Team at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. According to the video, the tapestry was fourth in a series of tapestries called The Story of The Redemption of Man.  The project was started by A. Alice Blohm, Jane Hutchinson, and Nobuko Kajitani who was the Head of the Department of Textile Conservation at the Met in 1973.

Burgos Tapestry Project

It turns out that Mirrix Looms were used in the restoration process (see 4:35 and 9:33 in the video). We contacted Tina Kane, who joined the restoration in 1978, and she agreed to do an email interview.

Burgos Tapestry Project

Name/Website/Any contact information you’d like to share:

For a description of the Burgos Tapestry project please see:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf3usSyHVXs.  For my private business, see: http://textileconservator.pair.com/  

When we completed the Burgos tapestry restoration the Metropolitan Museum of Art held a three day tapestry conservation symposium which is on the Metropolitan YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoxyJBV3M30

For anyone interested in tapestry conservation this is a discussion that considers the relative values of conservation, or stabilizing, and restoration.  Also discussed are various methods of support, installation, display, dye analysis, and cleaning, among other topics.

Anything you’d like to tell us about yourself?

I retired from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010 after completing the Burgos Tapestry project and now manage an independent conservation business in upstate New York, which I have run since 1973.  I became extremely interested in all aspects of tapestry as a result of working at the Met.  I team-taught a course on Medieval tapestry and narrative at Vassar College for a number of years, and  also published a book: The Troyes Mémoire: The Making of a Medieval Tapestry (Boydell Press, 2010) which discusses how tapestries were made in the middle ages, and how they were designed.  For more on that, see:  http://www.americantapestryalliance.org/Members/Feature/FeatureKaneT/KaneT_Memoire.html

Tell us a little about The Burgos Tapestry project:

The Burgos tapestry project was one of the first major conservation projects undertaken by the newly formed (1974)  Textile Conservation Department at the Metropolitan.  In a way, this project was seminal in that it required funding, space, equipment, materials, and a methodology of conservation. The Head of Textile Conservation, Nobuko Kajitani, used this project, among others, to elevate textile conservation to the level of a profession.  My generation of conservators learned through experience.  Now, conservators have excellent graduate programs where they receive formal training.

How did you get into tapestry restoration?

I was working towards a PhD in Comparative Literature at Berkeley in the 1960’s.  After I finished my MA I visited the Southwest and met a young Navajo (or Diné) student at St. Johns University in Santa Fe.  I had become curious about some Navajo rugs in a collection I had seen and the young man’s mother was one of the weavers of the Diné people.  He showed me how to set up a warp in the manner of his people.  It was a transformative day for me.  I had never encountered anything like that and it changed the course of my life.  I learned to weave tapestry, and also to restore, and was fortunate to join the Textile Conservation Department at the Metropolitan Museum in 1978.  The restoration of the Burgos tapestry was my main project.  As I mentioned before, I also managed a private textile conservation service while working at the Metropolitan part-time for thirty years.

How did you attach the new pieces of tapestry? 

My colleague A. Alice Blohm and I each wove 26′ of upper and lower borders for the Burgos tapestry. We attached the new borders by hand sewing them to the tapestry through a cotton support on the reverse. 

Why did you choose a Mirrix Loom to repair the borders?

We needed a small portable loom so we could work next to the tapestry at times, and also in our private studios.  The Mirrix looms were ideal for this project. They had a shed changing mechanism, and, because of the steel frame, we could maintain an even tension as we worked our way up the long warp. To see how we worked, and how we stored the newly woven border, please see the Burgos video on Metropolitan Museum YouTube (above).

Have Mirrix Looms been used to restore any other tapestries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art ?

Not to my knowledge; however, they are used as sample looms by restorers. 

New Online Tapestry Course

Our tapestry course at Craftsy was a huge success (and if you haven’t seen it yet, now is the time to since it’s selling from $14.95.  Six hours of instruction for $14.95 is really inexpensive.  Check it out here:  http://www.craftsy.com/class/Bead-and-Tapestry-Cuffs/78.

 

If you want to read about someone else’s experience with this class, please check out this fabulous blog:

http://www.mirrixlooms.com/socialmarketforacraftsycourse.html.

But right now we are working on another online class, this one for craftartedu.org.  This one is straight tapestry.  It’s done in a different format.  Lots of photos and voice overs and possible some videos thrown in here and there.  It’s designed such that it can be endless updated and changed, which I love.  But right now I have to survive the voice overs, which are taken a huge amount of time.  We plan on having this launched on Nov. 15th.  The kits that go with the class are available now on our website:  ooms.com/store/craftartedutapestrykit.html.  Here is a picture of the kit wool/mohair yarn, a 100 gram tube of Navajo wool warp, twill binding tape and velcro for finishing.  

Here is a picture of the sampler you will weave for this class:  

You will learn a bunch of techniques in this class including: slit tapestry; weft interlock; warp interlock; weaving in opposite directions; geometrical shapes; hatching; shading; making organic shapes; dotting.  You will be armed with all the techniques you need to go on to the next stage:  designing and creating a tapestry.

I finished it!!

If you recall, I was working on AA geometric pattern belt when Social market for a Mirrix came to an end. Well, I finished it in the nick of time – specifically, the day I was to wear it is when I finished it! All due to a bit of procrastination and boredom if I’m honest. Working in just two colours on such a large(r) scale became monotonous!

If I had thought and planned better, I could have had both halves on at the same time. However, what I did do was to weave in those ends as I went along. And it was sooo much nicer to cut it off the loom and have only one…or two weft ends to weave in!!

In any case, I LOVED it. It’s nice and comfy, and looks good with my little black dress.

Bead loomed belt

I even went to the trouble of modelling….after some requests! I figured if I’m doing it I might as well do it properly! This is only my second self portrait. It was a quick edit so will need redoing when I have time to sit down properly. In the meantime this will do :)

Belt

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your evening.

Kits in a basket and Crystal bead bracelet

Ah, this is the kit in a basket.  Filled with 39 skeins of tapestry yarn and including a 100 gram tube of Navajo warp . . . you could play all month with this gorgeous stuff.  Included, of course, is this beautiful Bolga basket that you can refill when your beautiful yarns run out.  I am showing you two different ones to remind you that every basket is unique so you won’t be able to pick an exact design.  Literally, of the dozens and dozens of baskets we purchased, not one is alike.

This is a picture of the Navajo warp which is included in the kit in a basket.

And now for the third bracelet:  Beads and crystals:

To find these go to the kit section of our store: http://www.mirrixlooms.com/kits.html

Happy shopping!

Bead Loom, Kit & Class Package

What’s the perfect gift to give any craft-addict? A Mirrix Loom, Kit and Class package gives any  bead lover everything they need to get started weaving including a class that will lead students through everything they need to weave a beautiful beaded bracelet with the kit provided.

loom, class, kit package

The package comes with a 5″ Mini Mirrix Loom, a stunning Desert Beaded Braclet Kit and and the online class.

The class will be offered in January (6th to the 27th), February (3rd to the 24th) and March (3rd to the 24th) of 2013 and will function much-like one of our famous weave-alongs, but private. We will also archive these classes in case someone can’t participate at these times. Once a class date range is chosen, paricipants will get an email once a week for four weeks walking them step-by-step through the set-up, warping and weaving processes. Instructors will be available to answer questions via email throughout the class.

This kit includes:
-One 5″ Mini Mirrix Loom 
-One Desert Braclet Kit
-One private online class with Mirrix’s Claudia Chase and Elena Zuyok (a sign-up link will be sent with your package)

You can learn more and purchase the package here.

New Kits!

I have been dutifully designing and making new kits for a new season.  I want to share three of the bead weaving kits (one more to go which I will share later on in the week, I hope!).  On Wednesday I will share the new tapestry kit:  kit in a  basket.  It is full of color and inspiration plus a gorgeous basket.

The first bracelet kit is a very simple piece with not so very simple beads.  Using a combination of my all time favorite size 11/0 Delica beads including:  24 karat gold, rhodium (no longer available anywhere but I bought a half of a kilo before they stopped being made), copper and gold iris.  We call this kit Precious Metals.  It requires a no warps kit so you don’t have to sew in any of those ends or hide them in some other way.  Included is a very pretty mother-of-pearl button to make the closure.  Sneak preview:

The second of the three beaded bracelets borrows from Navajo tradition.  This one is made exclusively from size 8/0 beads.  Fun to weave and fun to give away or wear.  I have had a couple of people come into my studio and try to leave with it.  This one includes the 8/0 Japanese seed beads, a dyed mother-of-pearl button and a silk wrapped O-ring.  Hey, who doesn’t like borrowing ideas from the hardware store.  The nifty O-ring holds the button really well because it is stretchy.  But black O-rings are not so adorable.  I got this great idea while on a plane recently (what else can you do on a plane after you’ve played backgammon on your ipad, checked your email obsessively (yes I fall for buying internet access when I fly) and discovering that without noise reducing earphones you can’t hear one word of that movie you so diligently downloaded before departure).  I had brought along some O-rings and some silk but it wasn’t until I was hit with deadly boredom that I realized how I could marry the two.  Now you get to use the results in this lovely bracelet.  Here is the cute little covered O-ring:

And here is the bracelet in all her glory. Note how we’ve covered the knotted ends with ultra-suede. Makes for a nice finishing plus you don’t have to deal with all those pesky warp ends:

 

 

Stayed tuned for Wednesday when I reveal the crystal and bead bracelet and the tapestry kit in a basket!

They say time flies

When you’re having fun. And the Social market for a Mirrix has been just that…if you scrap the fear! It feels like yesterday when I was one of the chosen ones! I have to admit, at first I thought I’d chewed off more than I could handle. But it’s been great!! It’s helped me enjoy weaving even more…as if that were possible!

It forced me to weave regularly! Yes, that is a good thing :) I sometimes become lax when I’ve been working on something for a while. Having to blog regularly meant I had to have done something!

Lastly, I’ve (somewhat) conquered my fear of doing videos for YouTube. I really do hope the ones I did we’re useful and helpful.

The one thing that I refuse to let beat me is beadweaving with the shedding device. Yes, that old chestnut. I WILL try until I get it. Lets hope that’s sooner rather than later though! I become more frustrated each time I fail. I don’t want to end up a mess lying in my own puddle of tears! Ok that is quite an exaggeration.

The good thing about the Mirrix is its’ multi-purposeness. In future I hope I can do some (basic) tapestry weaving. For now I have plenty of projects I need to get on with. As a last show, I took the first half of the belt off the loom. The warps on the end are almost done sorting. The others will be needed to join this to the other section. I’m still debating whether to edge it or not. I hope to wear it on a week from the coming Saturday! Must. Weave. Fast! :)

It has been a worthwhile and fulfilling journey. Hopefully I can continue in the same vein. Thank you for reading, commenting and watching. And for providing motivation when I lost it sometimes. It doesn’t end here – you cn check on me at http://brendakbeading.blogspot.com

Happy reading, beading, weaving and ciao all!