My name is Terry Hanson and I am an avowed lover of all bead things.
I live in central New York right now, but was raised in “The North country,” Brasher Falls, NY to be precise, and not far from the Canadian border, a land of forests and rivers and long winters. My sisters and I were taught various crafting skills by our mother and grandmother, whose energy and enthusiasm made embracing the craft world a lot of fun.
(left: “Expressions of Blue and Green“)
Well into married life and motherhood (I have three grown boys) I can remember creating some of my first beaded barrettes at the age of 25 when introduced to a bead loom by my sister. It delighted me how quickly I could make a small work of art, and then find a strong sense of accomplishment. I used one of the “bead loom kits” that you can still find at most craft stores for many years.
Years later I asked my husband to fabricate a larger bead loom for me. I needed to create beaded membership badges for a writer’s club known as The Fictioneers. I had to make quite a few of them and my hubby’s loom, while not the prettiest device on the planet, worked great, and so I was able to bead up to 4 of the club badges on this device at one time. (right: “Poppies”)
It was not too long after this that in 2009 I received a surprise Christmas gift,the 16-inch Big Sister Loom from Mirrix!
And boy did that change things. I was very impressed by the sturdy construction and design of this loom. Unlike previous looms the Big Sister sits upright and has great tension control. Also, I found I could now string up to 14 of the club badges on the loom in one shot. As of right now I have made 174 of the badges.
(left: “Morning Glory”)
With lots encouragement from a family member, I then decided to attempt a larger beaded work of art.
Surfing the web I found a few different programs, which I used as a tool to assist me in creating bead patterns from photos. Creating the patterns and choosing the right bead colors can take longer than the weaving of them.
After receiving official permission from the artists who created the original paintings of “Eclipsed” (Nik Helbig) and “Morning Glory” (Hessam Abrishami) I went through the time-consuming process of creating a bead-friendly pattern.
By combining the use of the computer bead program with size 11 Delica bead sample card, I was able to create beaded tapestries on The Big Sister Loom that I’m quite proud of. In fact, “Eclipsed” and “Morning Glory” received, respectively, First and Third Place Ribbons at The Great New York State Fair in 2014.
Last year I received the 22-inch Zach Loom as another surprise gift for Christmas (I’m serious, I had no idea I was going to be so blessed!), and recently created my largest work to date, my beaded interpretation of artist Martina Shapiro’s lovely expressionist painting “Expressions in Blue and Green,” a work that contains 51,072 beads.
I’ve have been working on a Mandala pattern that a close relative has hinted would make a great excuse to crack the 100,000-bead barrier for a single work of art. When I do it, will my Mirrix “Zach” loom be big enough? Or would this need a larger loom like the 28-Inch “McKinley?”
So, how much longer is it until Christmas?
Dear Santa, I swear I’ve been a really good girl this year!
Last night I noticed that beads were a big part of many Oscar looks and I decided to take some notes to see what additional fashion trends might be able to be parlayed into bead or tapestry weaving projects on a Mirrix Loom!
Here are my top three!
- Black & White Colorblock
Patricia Arquette, winner of best supporting actress, wore a beautiful Rosetta Getty black and white colorblock dress last night. Reese Witherspoon stuck to the same palette, wearing an off-the-shoulder Tom Ford gown. They were both gorgeous and definitely provided me with some black and white weaving inspiration.
Pearls are in, and I can’t wait to add some to my next beaded bracelet! Last year’s best supporting actress winner, Lupita Nyong’o, wore a stunning Calvin Klein gown covered in pearls and Best Actress nominee Felicity Jones donned pearls on the bodice of her Alexander McQueen gown.
- Beads, Beads, Beads
The Oscars are all about sparkle, and this year beads were in. Naomi Watts sported beads in her Armani Privé gown and best supporting actress nominee Emma Stone dazzled in a custom beaded Elie Saab gown.
If you don’t have a Mirrix yet and are inspired to start weaving (who knows, maybe your jewelry design will make it to the red carpet next year) you can get a free loom recommendation here.
If you want to make the beautiful black and white silk and bead cuffs shown here? Learn how by following the instructions in this throwback weave-along.
It was two and a half years ago that Elena and I headed off to Colorado to make our Craftsy class. Although there was a huge amount of preparation before hand and I nearly had a nervous breakdown making sure that I sent them all the stuff I would need (like a cooking show, I had to have projects at various stages of completion on looms which meant a lot of looms with a lot of stuff on them plus I needed all the materials I was going to use . . . the list filled two huge boxes!) and before even that planning out the projects. But once we got there and they slapped some make-up on me and made my hair pretty, steamed my first of nine outfits, I was ready to go . . . and I stumbled through about ten takes before I could even spit out my introductory lines. Finally, with Elena directing me from the far side of the room, I got the hang of it.
In three days we filmed what became six hours of instruction. The crew at Craftsy was amazing. Everyone was nice. We were treated really well. The hotel was fabulous. It was one of those great experiences. And the class itself was really, really good. The editing was fabulous. My nine outfits were all very well pressed! The make up artist did wonders.
Yeah, we worked really hard but we also laughed really hard, sometimes collapsing in a pile on the floor after a particularly insane mistake. And they were so patient. Twenty-one hours of filming condensed to six hours. I don’t know how they survived that.
We have sold 5,500 of this class. Amazing. The price is right . . . never more than $19.95 and sometimes on sale for half that.
It’s nice to still be proud of something we did a while back. My tendency is to start disliking something I’ve worked hard on in this past. But for some reason, I seem to like this class more and more as time goes by. Maybe because I just can’t believe what a great job Craftsy did to edit it into something really worthwhile. I guess that’s what happens when you deal with pros.
For a preview please go here: http://www.craftsy.com/video/course?courseId=78 If nothing else you can see what a great job they did on my hair and make-up.
By Mirrix CEO Claudia Chase (This post is adapted from a post from the post “Bead Looms” written in 2009)
I was just playing around here and at other bead sites looking at other bead looms. What I found: there is a standard model for many bead looms and most are made of wood of varying degrees of strength, beauty, value and a few are made of light metal like the ones most of us had when we were kids.
1) allow you to put on one plane of warp or have roller beams so that you can advance the warp
2) have the warp attached at either end to a single nail or more
3) provide a spring at either end through which the warp is spread out evenly.
It seems like forever ago that Elena and I went to Colorado to create the “Bead & Tapestry Cuff Bracelet” class. It was both difficult and exciting. The Craftsy people were wonderful and held my hand very well. Elena sat behind the camera giving me silent directions if I got off course. She knew the drill. She knew what needed to be said or not said so it was essential to have her there.
The Craftsy crew, from camera people to producers to to editors make-up people, were rather magical. It was a blur of three days of hard work. The results were excellent. The Craftsy editors took 22 hours of filming and turned it into a 6 hour class.
These are the lessons you will find in the class (besides loom set up and discussions about looms in general):
Silk & Bead Affinity Bracelet
Gold Thread & Bead Affinity Bracelet
No Warp Ends Bracelet (there are two: the one below and one with just Delica Beads in a simple design for which I cannot find a photo!)
Tapestry Cuff Bracelet (both simple and complex)
Where can you find this class? Here: craftsy.com/beadcuffs
Where can you get the kits? Here you go, everything you need: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/product-category/craftsy/
Spend more than $10.00 in the Mirrix Store until January 1st, 2015 and get our Changing Seasons Bracelet ebook FREE. Use code changingseasonsfree at checkout!
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.
Every day, for the next five days (December 8th-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 8th) we are giving you $25 off BeadCreator Pro with code mirrixday1 at checkout. (See below for details.)
*The Fine Print*
Only valid on December 8th, 2014 on digital copies of BeadCreator Pro. Version 6. 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.
Thinking about what you can make for gifts this year? How about our beautiful (and easy) Jewel Cuff Bracelet?
The instructional ebook for this project is now available for free here!
Want the kit to go along with this project?
Quick, easy, fun to weave you will want to make more than one so our kit includes all the materials you need to weave two of these inspired cuffs. So set aside a couple of hours to weave and finish each cuff and then pick that perfect person (you?) to gift it to.
Need a loom, too? Get our Jewel Cuff Loom Starter Package!
We know your phone and camera are full of amazing pictures.
You have pictures of your latest vacation, your doga or cat, your kids and grandkids and even some great artsy shots of flowers.
Wouldn’t some of these photos look great as bead weavings?
BeadCreator software can help you do just that!
This powerful software is the best available for creating bead patterns from photographs. You can also do much more with it, including designing patterns from scratch as well as from BeadCreator’s extensive image library. With this great software, you’ll never have to buy another bead pattern!