Cyber Monday Deals Are Here

Typically we don’t put our looms on sale, but on Cyber Monday we make an exception to our rule and role out some big, juicy post-Thanksgiving deals. The best part? There’s no waiting in line! For one day only (12:01 am to midnight ET November 26th, 2012) you can get:

15% off the 16″ Big Sister Loom
…………… with code CYBERMONDAY16

15% off the Standing/Sitting Loom Stand
…………… with code CYBERMONDAYSTAND

15% off the 38″ Zeus Loom
…………… with code CYBERMONDAY38

www.mirrixlooms.com

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.

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.

Social Market for a Mirrix

Today, June 1st, marks day one of our four month Social Market for a Mirrix Project. Congratulations to Noreen Crone-Findlay and Brenda Kigozi. Each participant was given a loom in exchange for blogging (as well as posting on social media, making videos and more) about their experience with the loom.

Follow along and learn with them! You’ll see new projects, new tutorials and a great fresh perspective!

Keep up with all the blog posts on our Social Market for a Mirrix blog. You can also follow along on several social media sites and on Noreen and Brenda’s blogs.

Social Media Sites:
Twitter
Facebook Page
Facebook Group
Ravelry
Weavolution
Pinterest
YouTube

Follow their blogs:
Noreen: http://tottietalkscrafts.com/
Brenda: http://brendakbeading.blogspot.com/


Follow them on Twitter:
Noreen @NCroneFindlay
Brenda: @BKHandcrafted!

Ott-Lite Blog interview

In honor of Mother’s Day, we interviewed bead and tapestry weaver Claudia Chase and her daughter Elena Zuyok. Together they run Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms, Ltd., providing handcrafted looms, starter kits, patterns, books and other inspirational tools.
What inspired you to start weaving? Were you self-taught, or did someone teach you? 
Claudia: I’ve been interested in weaving since I was very young. I received my first rigid heddle loom when I was 8 years old but I didn’t really get involved in weaving until I was pregnant with my daughter (Elena) and I briefly attended a tapestry class in San Francisco. After that, I was self-taught. At the time there was no internet and very few books on tapestry so it was a rather circuitous journey.
Elena: I was brought up as the daughter of a tapestry weaver and therefore had no interest whatsoever in tapestry. I reluctantly learned the basics through osmosis but it wasn’t until I was in college when I accompanied my mom to a class she was (we were) teaching in Canada that I first really became interested in the medium.
Can you tell us about the first project you completed?Claudia: Probably something awful that I keep in a box upstairs where I keep all my awful beginning weavings and try not to look at them.
Elena: Probably something I did when I was five. It was probably terrible, but I can guarantee I used really nice yarn.
When did you start creating beaded tapestries?Claudia: About a year or so after I founded Mirrix Looms, I realized that the Mirrix Loom would also function really well as a bead loom so I forced myself to learn how to weave beads using the unique attributes of the Mirrix Loom. I say forced because at the time I only had eyes for fiber. At that time I had also become an avid spinner and dyer and it was clear to me I would neither be able to make beads or dye them.

Sunrise
Do you both weave? Are there other crafts or hobbies you both enjoy?
Claudia: I love doing just about anything that requires using fiber and beads including crochet, knitting, felting, dying, spinning, most off-loom bead techniques and needlepoint. There’s nothing I won’t try if given the opportunity.
Elena: As for hobbies, we’re both very into playing (not watching) sports. We’ve ridden horses and skied together since I was a very small child.
What made you decide to create your own loom design?
Claudia: I wanted a portable, professional quality loom that I could use anywhere and that loom did not exist, so I designed it.
Is there one project that holds special significance in your heart, either because of its beauty, or who it was for?
Claudia: A tapestry called “Progression” signified the first time I had found my own voice in tapestry.
Mirrix headquarters resides within a very special community. Could you tell us about that relationship?
Claudia: Mirrix manufacturing lives at a place called Sunshine House which employs adults with special needs and/or physical disabilities. Not only is the Mirrix Loom entirely manufactured in the U.S., it is made by some of the finest folks on the planet. There isn’t a day that goes by that we are not grateful for this amazing opportunity to work with people who deeply care about making sure every loom we manufacture is perfect.
What is it like working together as mother and daughter?Elena: Our work relationship is a reflection of our personal relationship. We’ve always been incredibly close with a deep and mutual respect for each other. We learned how well we work together on a professional level back when I was in college and ran her first campaign for State Representative.
At some point Mirrix went from being Claudia’s business to our business and that’s how it’s operated since. We both have different skill sets and strengths and weaknesses but the same work ethic and the same philosophy about running a business. It just works. We enjoy being together and working together and our relationship smoothly transitions from that of a professional partnership to that of mother and daughter.

Fire Flowers
Running your own company, writing books, creating patterns, even serving as a State Representative for six years—how do you find time for your own crafting?Claudia: Currently, one of my most important jobs at Mirrix is to design new products which has the advantage of forcing me to weave on a regular basis. Until about a year ago I was selling my work in galleries but now I find I am so busy with product development that I don’t have time to create a substantial amount of work for sale. I’m actually enjoying taking a break from doing that. When I served as a State Representative I produced a huge amount of work because, in order to keep myself calm, I had to keep my hands busy at all times. I noticed from my big leather seat in Representatives’ Hall that other folks were doing crossword puzzles, playing games on their phones and sometimes sleeping. By creating artwork I was actually able to concentrate better because it seemed to keep my ADHD tendencies in check and allowed me to sit in my seat for more than a half hour at a time. And yes, I did weave on the Mini Mirrix while there. There was a rule about not using computers in Representatives’ Hall, but nobody said anything about looms.
What does weaving tapestries bring to your life?
Claudia: Initially weaving tapestries forced me to design the Mirrix Loom because I was looking for a portable, professional loom which did not exist. Currently, weaving tapestries allows me to indulge in my passion for color. I use a lot of my own hand-dyed and/or hand-spun/hand-dyed yarn for my tapestry weaving which gives me a lot more control over the color and the texture. For me, tapestry weaving is extremely meditative, something a very hyper person like me really needs.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting out?Claudia: Someone starting off in tapestry should buy a few of the wonderful tapestry instruction books one can now find on the market. He or she really needs to understand that tapestry is not an art form one learns overnight. There are many skills one needs to master but the mastering of these skills is in and of itself extremely rewarding. Just don’t plan to give your first tapestry away as a wedding present. Also, really try to explore in-depth the materials, including warp and weft, that you will be using to create this tapestry because your tapestry is only going to be as beautiful as the material you use to make it.
Bead Weaving
If you’re not initially buying a kit for someone else’s pattern, take yourself to the biggest bead store you can find and spend many hours there staring at the beads. I found that one of the biggest challenges of bead weaving, since I couldn’t make my own beads and my own colors, was learning what shapes, sizes, colors and finishes were available in beads. I now have a really good understanding of what is available, hence I can often design a piece in my head using embedded images of beads. Keep in mind that the skills required for your basic bead weaving (a rectangle or a square) is not nearly as challenging as the techniques one must learn for tapestry. The challenge with bead weaving is creating the design and choosing the beads.
Mini Mirrix Loreli Loom Giveaway Contest! 

This mini loom is made for the beader on the go. It’s small enough to take anywhere and is great for making beaded jewelry. And now you can win your very own! To enter, please “Like” Mirrix Looms and OttLite on Facebook AND post a comment to this blog. If you’re already a Facebook Fan of OttLite and Mirrix, your work is half-done! Just leave a comment here!
Winner will be announced on Friday 5/4! THE CONTEST HAS NOW ENDED

2011 Association of NW Weavers’ Guilds Conference

After a wee bit of a mix up (our application was sent to the past president whose address is on the application but who does not necessarily forward the mail she receives to the current president) we have now bought ourselves a booth at the Northwest Weavers’ Guild event from May 30 until June 5.  We will be there Friday and Saturday (3rd and 4th).  We means Elena and Claudia and the Mirrix family of looms.  We might not have all sizes, but if we don’t have what you want we will ship within the contiguous U.S. for free if you order at the Conference.  We will have looms set up for a variety of weavings from tapestry to bead to tapestry/bead combined to warp-faced.  We will happily answer any of your Mirrix questions as well as demonstrate how to warp and weave on the loom.  It’s the first of many shows Claudia and Elena will be doing together.  So come join us.  If you are not attending the event, come anyway because it’s free to get into the Vendor hall.  Oh, and you might want to know where it is!  Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.  I think that’s about an hour from Portland.

www.mirrixlooms.com

Podcast to come

I had the honor of being interviewed by Syne Mitchell.  The podcast will be available in a couple of months on:  http://www.weavezine.com/

One of my students had suggested we contact Syne since we were going to be within an hour or so of where she lives.  So we did.  She came to my brother’s house in Edmonds, Washington to interview me.  It was a lot of fun.

Mirrix Workshop in Edmonds Washington

Back from Edmonds Washington where we held a Mirrix Workshop at Semantics gallery.  Nothing like being surrounded by gorgeous artwork for inspiration!

That’s me below fixing something.
My brother modeling with a couple of Mirrix Looms
Claudia teaching.
Concentration.  Concentration.  Concentration.
Someone is smiling!
 
That’s Larry in the doorway. He owns Semantics Gallery: www.semanticsartgallery.com
 
Why is Debbie smiling?  Because she’s looking at all those woven rows of beads.   Success!
 
Claudia:  bird’s eye view!
 
 

My Workshop Results

We had a follow-up workshop with Lisa and Nancy.  Thought you might want to see what Lisa produced.

Amazing!  This is being woven using the shedding device.  The piece is as wide as one can get on the 12 inch loom.  It is woven using Delicas and the standard Mirrix heddles.  It’s perfect.

And then there is Franc again who once again decided to take up weaving.  This time he’s working on the ipod kit. Or maybe he’s destroying it, but we won’t tell him that.

Then he discovered the mini mirrix but there was no warp on it, so he didn’t get much weaving done.

February Mirrix Workshop: bead weaving

Lit a fire in the wood stove.  Placed a table in front of the wood stove.  Ready to teach a workshop on bead weaving on the Mirrix Loom.

 That’s Lisa on the left and Nancy on the right.  Lisa warped the entire width of her twelve inch loom.  Her pattern was a persian rug design.  Nancy put on about twenty five warps to weave a bead soup bracelet (a variety of Delicas).  Both were using the shedding device.  (See instruction blog for new way of putting on heddles for bead weaving.)
Note the big smile on Lisa’s face. Nancy is smiling too, although you can’t see her face in the bottom picture.  She was thrilled with her piece.
They are coming back in a couple of weeks.  Maybe next time I’ll get some shots of Nancy’s beautiful face too!  In the back there, sort of behind Lisa, is my actual studio, although it has spread out quite a bit.
Below is Lisa’s “happy dance,” having just survived putting on the last heddle.  Next, she had to weave in that first long row.  That took a while. We encountered a few problems, fixed them, looked at the clock and went into a slight panic because they had to leave at four.  I have never so much wanted a workshop to not end and I especially wanted Lisa to get in a fewmore  rows. Nancy was just humming along with her piece, happy as can be.  Maybe that’s why I never got a photo of her face because she just wouldn’t look up from her weaving.

And every post really should end with a picture of Franc the cat who made himself present and known the entire time.