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.

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!

Finally something for me!

Ok, that’s not entirely true! The first project I wove on the loom was to be a bracelet for me. But it’s still languishing in a drawer unfinished! I’m not one to wear much jewellery – necklaces and bracelets. Day to day I only wear stud earrings (yes, very plain!) plus my wedding and engagement rings. If we are going somewhere and I (try to) dress up, I’ll wear the drop earrings I made.

So, I figured I would Mae something that’s a little more functional. I’ve got a little black dress (with a hint of white) that has belt loops. But I don’t have the belt to go with it. The only one I have us cream, that wont work!. As mentioned before, I was in a bead shop for something else when I spotted the buckle. I hadn’t thought about doing a belt, but did when I saw it.

All that remained was to come up with a design. Being just two colours, it was going to be easy enough. I first wanted to design for a scroll like pattern. I played (very briefly) in Photoshop but figured it’s not how I want to do it. So I just went into BeadTool. I played with circles then diamonds before I settled on the final pattern.

I’d measured the length I need, and calculated five repeats of the design would give the required length. So far i have completed one repeat. And there is a (minor) MISTAKE! I could easily correct it but I’m not going to.

I’m making use of advancing the beadwork. The loom doesn’t give me enough length to work the belt in one go, and I’ve yet to make extenders for it. So the beadwork will be moved to the back as I weave (bottom up). I’ll work half the length then cut off and work the other half. Joining isn’t daunting anymore so will be just fine.

Then it went wrong! I don’t know why but one of the sheds just refused to set itself. I had to fidget with it, and even then it wasn’t correct. So I cut it all off and went back to the usual method. I will try again, but with something narrower and not so important!

On another note, I went to a local bead shop hoping to buy more DB1765 for the fringe on the purse, but they don’t stock it. I had to order it online (and it arrived on Friday). But, I did get a cone of black Nymo! That should keep me going for a while yet :)

In the meantime, today I’ll be resting and visiting our friends. It’s a miserable day but I’m feeling chirpy! Enjoy yours :)

The worst is over!

I’m over the worst of it, yay!!! I sewed the lining on Friday, and also shortened the zip. I couldn’t find a zip the right length, and the closest one wasn’t the look I wanted.

zip

There was some redrawing of the measurements on the lining before i could cut it.

Anyway, I sewed the zip to the lining on the third attempt. Yes, that says the third attempt! That was after having a little trouble winding the bobbin! While doing all this, I was reminded of the fact I don’t like sewing! But needs must so I gritted my teeth and got on with it. Sewing the other seams closed was easy enough. And, stitching the lining into the purse was also easy. I thought that would be a nice video to do.

Because I was working on a black background (the lining and zip) with black thread, I couldn’t find a good enough angle to video while I stitched it in. So, I resorted to using close up photos. Hopefully they show the steps well enough.

Lining

Now, I need to do the handle and the fringe then I’ll be done! I can’t wait to see it all finished. I bought some Swarovski bicones, and what I’ll be using for part of the handle. I went with the purse so I could pick colours correctly. Hopefully they will work out.

I managed to clear the loom this morning. So I can make a start on the Nelson Mandela bracelet. I’m just going to warp and make a start, with the face!! I just need to find one colour (DB357). I know I have it, just have to find t now!

Hopefully I’ll have made enough progress to perhaps blog and share tomorrow. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the video.

Have a good evening!

Almost there

It’s been a good week! I’ve made good progress on joining the sides of the purse. Since the last post, I’ve finished joining one side, and I’m left with about 1/4 on the other seam. And I have to say I like the way it’s looking!

Untitled

It was also easy enough to figure out how to stitch the peyote section and base together so it’s completely sealed on the ‘corners’. I took some close ups for when I have to the other side, and for future reference. Those extension tubes for my camera are very handy now!

Closeup

I’m thinking about the strap/handle and fringe while I work. For the strap I’m thinking perhaps this. I’ll leave you to imagine what it may look like :)

I haven’t had time to work on those bracelets and the strip for the violin yet. I work an extra day from home now, so it’s one less day of beading. But more money at least :) I’ve been waking up by about 7:10 these days to get some in before the minis wake up. I’ve also learnt to take (more) regular breaks. So now I (try to) bead for about 15-20mins then break for about 5-10mins. I find it hard to start-stop so much, but I shall just grin and bear it because it’s for my benefit.

This morning as has become my routine, I woke early and worked on joining the side. I managed to do quite a bit but had to put away for work and then having my hair done. I would have gone back to it this evening but my thumb is feeling the strain!

I have a commission to start planning for. It will be another (colour) portrait of newlyweds. I will probably try and work on the pattern over the coming days. I don’t know if I’m allowed to share it online so, erring on the side of caution, I will keep it hidden unless I’m told otherwise.

Hopefully the next time I blog the seam will be done and I’ll be doing the lining. The part I’m most dreading as it involves a sewing machine :D That grin is pure front! But good enough I have enough lining material to make mistakes!

Tomorrow is an early start so I bid you goodnight. Enjoy your Saturday :)

Thank goodness it’s over

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.

Joining the sides of the purse

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.

Feel the pain and stop

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!

A lightbulb moment

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.

Practice makes (almost) perfect

I have made a lot of progress since my last blog post. I finished joining the two panels, and made a start on weaving in the warps along the top edges – I’m more than half done on one of them. The joining was a little slow going. I made a few mistakes, one of which couldn’t be undone. It can be seen if you look closely enough, but It will likely be covered up by the fringe.

Seam

I went to the local haberdashery on Saturday to buy the lining and zip. I went to the shop with the purse so I could pick the right colour. I tried it on black, cream and white. The black won out in the end. I had to buy a larger zip to get the one I wanted. But I think (hope) I’ll be able to work with it! I’ll try and do a video on sewing the lining. I’m not very good with sewing (read dislike) but will give it a go. Let’s hope I don’t regret it :)

I have made a start on the violin – decorating it. I sanded most of it down to get rid of the smooth varnished finish. The colour scheme for the side strip will use the colours in the Ugandan flag (my country of origin) – black, yellow and red. Here is the one motif I have so far designed.

The plan is to stitch the loomed strip to ultra suede and glue that to the woodwork. I have a design in mind for the back. Again based on the culture of Uganda. I still have to measure and design for it, so shall leave that for now. I think it would be good to include the crested crane, perhaps at the front. But there is something else (related to the design for the back) that I want on the violin. I’ll have to see if I can squeeze everything in! In the meantime I have made a start on ‘beading’ the violin. The method of putting the beads on neat a time is very slow going. So it could take a while to get all the way round!

Violin

Tomorrow is another day! Happy beading and sleep well.

Slow and steady wins the race

I’ve managed to do a little joining on the panels of the purse. When I get a chance to sit down and do any, I get into a rhythm and it goes quite smoothly. But overall it is a little slow going. I’ve made the mistake of weaving into the wrong space, and had to pull out several warps before i could continue.

Joining panels

I thought it would be a good technique to show, so here is a video demonstrating how you do the join. The principle is the same as for reweaving warps. I hope the video is clear and it’s easy to understand.

It’s starting to look good though, so I shall soldier on! Of course I’ll have to do this for the warps on the top edges as well. Either that or knot. I have decided I will line the purse, so will think of how to handle the warps along the top edge so I don’t have to reweave. Once I’m done with the join (hopefully by Friday night time allowing), I will then be able to go and buy the lining. I want to be able to try it out rather than go with what I think would go well with it.

The other things to consider now are the fringe and the side joins. I’m thinking joining the sides using odd-count peyote. Square stitch could work but I think it would be a little slower to work up. Another option could be to loom two strips and join them on. For the fringe, I have an idea I would like to try for the shape and layout. I’m thinking Swarovksi beads of some sort, though that sounds rather vague!. In any case, the plan is to browse some sites of bead shops and see if I can find something that catches my eye. I’m open to ideas if you want to make any suggestions.

I received all the beads for the Nelson Mandela bracelet except for two. I don’t know f I an make a start as yet. I still have to edit the pattern. But hopefully the loom will be wiped by Sunday. There’s another portrait I need to work on – its on my large homemade loom. So much to do and so little time!

Good wishes for the rest of the week, and I hope you enjoy(ed) the video!