Holiday Hints!

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Some of us are blessed with friends and family who just know how to choose the perfect gift. They are savvy at picking up on subtle hints and know exactly what you like. A few years ago a good friend of mine, in his early-to-mid-20s at the time, bought his wife a Mirrix Loom. I remember thinking how sweet it was that he, on his own, came up with the idea, knowing her passion for crafting. But not everyone is as punctilious as my friend. Some husbands need a little hint, some friends are still looking for the perfect crafty gift for their best friend who has everything and some moms don’t know their son’s passion for Mirrix products.

This is where our third-annual holiday hints program comes in! Fill out the form below with what Mirrix-item you’d like this holiday season and, on the weekend before Cyber Monday, we’ll email the person you specify and give them a little hint about what you’d really like this holiday season!

Studio Cleaning: Fall 2013

A few weeks ago we did some studio cleaning here at Mirrix Looms, but still have quite a bit of stuff left. We are listing it below. Email claudia@mirrixlooms.com if you are interested in something. We will accept payment via check or PayPal and will charge exact shipping for each product or group of products. When we sell something we will mark the item as sold.

Used Beadwork Magazines from Claudia’s stash. $3 each sold in packages. You can combine packages.
Package One: 1 February 1997, 4 1998 (full year), 2 1999 (fall and spring) total: $21 plus shipping

Package Two: 1 March-April 1999, 1 May-June 1999, 1 Winter 1999, 1 Nov-Dec 1999, 1 February-March 2001, 1 April-May 2001, 1 December 2001-January 2002 total: $21 plus shipping

Package Three: 1 February March 2002, 1 April-May 2002, 1 August-September 2002, 1 February-March 2003, One April-May 2003, 1 June-July 2003, 1 August-September 2003, 1 October-November 2003, 1 December 2003-January 2004. total: $27 plus shipping

Package Four: 1 February-March 2004, 1 June-July 2004, 1 August-September 2004, 1 October-November 2004, 1 December 2004-January 2005 total: $30 plus shipping

Package Five: 1 February-March 2006, 1 April-May 2006, 1 June-July 2006, 1 August-September 2006, 1 October-November 2006, 1 December 2006-January 2007, 1 April-May 2007, 1 June-July 2007, 1 August-September 2007, October-November 2007 total $30 plus shipping

Package Seven: February February-March 2008, June-July 2008, August-September 2008, October-November 2008, December 2008-January 2009, February-March 2009, April-May 2009, August-September 2009, December 2009-January 2010 total $27 plus shipping

Package Eight:April-May 2010, June-July 2010, August-September 2010, December 2010-January 2011, February-March 2011, April-May 2011, August-September 2011, December 2011-January 2012. total: $27 plus shipping

Used SpinOff Magazines from Claudia’s stash. $40
Summer 1998, Summer 1999, Spring 1999, Autumn 1998, Autumn 2002, Winter 1996, Winter 1998.

Wooden Bead Spinner. $25.00.
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6 38-bead strands of 4mm Fire Polished Preciosa Crystals in rose. $10.00. SOLD
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6 38-bead strands of 4mm Fire Polished Preciosa Crystals in peridot. $10.00. SOLD
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50 grams of dyed mother-of-pearl buttons. $10.00. (one more package  left!)
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5 oz of Fire Engine Red Icicle roving by Louet Sales. Adds sparkle to your spinning! $6.00. SOLD
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5 oz of Fuchsia Icicle roving by Louet Sales. Adds sparkle to your spinning! $6.00. SOLD
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7 oz of Yellow Icicle  roving by Louet Sales. Adds sparkle to your spinning! $8.00. SOLD
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8 3/4 oz of Golden Sunset Icicle roving by Louet Sales. Adds sparkle to your spinning! $20.00. SOLD1382004_10100836810711531_447739246_n 1377199_10100836810581791_687662214_n

4 oz of Sparkling White Icicle roving by Louet Sales. Adds sparkle to your spinning! $4.00. 
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400 grams of flat copper Lurex yarn. $45.00.
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Checkerboard Cuff Bracelet

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When we go to bead shows, we like to bring along a lot of samples of projects made on Mirrix Looms. One sample that always gets a lot of attention is a former kit, the Pastel Checkerboard Cuff Bracelet. For one reason or another (probably having to do with the availability of certain beads) we stopped making the kit. Recently we decided to bring back this old favorite in slightly different, more vibrant, colors.

Claudia loves the permanent galvanized beads and the great colors of this versatile cuff.

This project is great for any level weaver! The pattern is easy and fun and you’ll love the results. The holidays are coming and we know there is someone on your list who would love this hand-made (by you) bracelet!

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Buy the kit here, only $59!

Holiday Gift Mirrix Looms Bead Weaving Class: December 8th, 2013

If you live in the Boston area, you are in for a very special treat. Mirrix President Claudia Chase, the owner of NOA Gallery Joni Parker-Roach and artist and teacher Alexia Rosoff will be teaching a one-day bead weaving workshop on Sunday December 8th, 2013 at NOA Gallery in Groton, MA outside of Boston.

Students will learn how to warp and weave two stunning crystal and bead wrap bracelets. This is the perfect class to make some gorgeous hand-made gifts for those you love the most (or keep one for yourself)! These same bracelets are sold by Claudia in galleries for hundreds of dollars each.

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Where: NOA Gallery in Groton, MA

When: 9 am- 5 pm (with a break for lunch that can be worked through)

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What:  Students will learn how to warp a Mirrix Loom with gorgeous hand-painted silk, the basics of weaving beads, the method for weaving different sized beads, tips on combining colors, how to finish a wrap bracelet and much, much more. They will make two stunning “Crystal and Bead Wrap Bracelets” made with 8/0 and 11/0 seed beads, fire-polished crystals, hand-painted silk, porcelain beads and finished with pewter buttons.

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Why: Because you deserve a day of pure fun and creativity and this is the perfect chance to check a few more people off that holiday gift list! Plus, you’ll learn how to weave beads on a Mirrix Loom, a useful skill that will  open up for you a whole new world of weaving.

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How Much: $150 plus $59 materials fee ($10 off the original price of the kit) and $20 loom rental fee which can be used towards the purchase of your loom!

Kit Includes: 

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-25 grams of 8/0 seed beads
-25 grams of 11/0 seed beads
-12 grams of 4 mm fire-polished crystals
-12 yards of hand-painted silk
-A bobbins of size D C-Lon beading thread
-13 round porclain beads
-2 peweter buttons
-1 long Tulip beading needle
-1 short beading needle

All in a lovely reusable plastic box
Makes two bracelets

How:
Email elena@mirrixlooms.com to reserve a space in the class. We will accept payment by check or PayPal.

*After November 15th there will be no refunds, class will be cancelled by November 15th if we do not hit our class minimum
*Maximum class size of TEN people

How to Choose a Mirrix Loom

(from our website http://www.mirrixlooms.com/beginnersguide.html)

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Which loom is right for me?

We get this question a lot at Mirrix Looms. How do you choose just one? First, ask yourself a few questions. Do you want to weave beads, tapestry, both or something else like paper or wire? Do you want to use the shedding device? How important is being able to take your loom places with you? Do you want to be able to weave large pieces or several small pieces at one time?

If you want to weave small, beaded pieces such as bracelets or necklaces and do not want to use the shedding device, the 5″ Mini Mirrix or the 8″ Lani Loom (without the shedding device) will work fine for you.

If you want to weave larger bead tapestries or want to weave more than one beaded piece at the same time, the 12″ Little Guy, the 16″ Big Sister or the 22″ Zach Loom all work great. (If you want to weave very big bead pieces the larger looms would be appropriate.)

If you are a tapestry weaver, choose any of the looms that have a shedding device and base your decision simply on how big a piece you plan to weave. If you want to simulate using a floor loom, one of the two bigger looms and the stand and treadle work great!

For the undecided weaver stick with a middle-sized loom like the 16″ Big Sister or the 22″ Zach Loom. You can use (or not use) the shedding device and can weave almost anything including beads and tapestry on those looms.

Check out our Pinterest Board “How To Choose Your First Mirrix Loom”

Download our free ebook “Mirrix Loom Basics” or “Weaving is Easy” to help you decide which loom is best for you!

 

Mirrix Retail Recommendation

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The Concept:
You, our customers, give us recommendations for stores who might be a good fit to carry the Mirrix Loom. Email us store recommendations and, if we approve the store, we will email you back with information you can either print and deliver, mail to or email to the store. That card will have information about our products as well as a code that will allow them to be part of our trial-wholesaler program. If they decide to take part, we’ll give you a $25 gift certificate to the Mirrix Looms store.
The Execution:
Email us (elena@mirrixlooms.com) with your store suggestions. If we approve the store, we will email you with printable information for you to deliver to the store (either in person, by mail or by email). If they decide to participate in our trial-wholesaler program, we’ll email you a $25 Mirrix Looms gift certificate good in the Mirrix store towards looms, accessories or anything else we sell!
The Hope: 
We are always looking for great stores to sell our products. A successful store knows and understands our looms, at least at a basic level, and has staff who can talk confidently about our products (we, of course, are happy to virtually train). We have always been very careful about choosing stores to carry our looms because we want to make sure they are well represented.  We realized recently, as we brainstormed ways to find the best stores out there, that the people who know  those hidden gem stores are you, our customers (and their customers). You love Mirrix and you love your local bead or yarn store, so why not bring the two together. You get to be the matchmaker and get a little bonus to boot!

MirrixHacks

Ever heard of lifehacks? They’re little things in life you can do to make life easier. For example, using a binder clip to help organize your computer cables or freezing unused fresh herbs in an ice cube tray with oil. All the great lifehacks on Pinterest got us thinking about MirrixHacks. We hear from customers all the time who have come up with great little tricks to make warping or weaving easier. We’d love to crowd-source some of these hacks to share! What MirrixHacks do you use?

One of my favorite MirrixHacks? The “comb” method of warping for bead weaving with the shedding device! Read about it here.

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Email me elena@mirrixlooms.com with information about your MirrixHack (and a picture if possible) and we’ll feature them on a future blog post and send you any one of our bead patterns for free!

Weave-Along 11 Updates!

Weaving is easy

Because the weave-along is going over many different basic things (loom set up, warping, how to weave different ways), we suggest you just have some basic materials depending on what you’re interested in.

For bead weaving you will want a bead mat, beading needles, beading thread (we love C-Lon), and some beads. If you’re just starting out, 8/0 beads are great! You may also want to start with one of our kits and warp for that. If you want to weave for bead weaving with the shedding device, you’ll want heddles as well.

For tapestry you will want warp (we like Navajo wool warp), weft (some type of tapestry wool), a tapestry beater (or fork) and heddles.

You can find all of these supplies on our website and most of it at your local bead or fiber store!

Bead Woven & Embroidery Bracelet: Finishing!

When you are happy with all of your weaving and the final look of your piece, it is time to remove it from the loom. Do not forget to measure it to ensure that it will fit the wrist of its recipient. In my case, it measured a bit beyond 6.25”.

To remove the piece, loosen the tension on the loom and slide out the warping bar. Trim the ends of the warp threads so there are no loops. Tie overhand knots using pairs of neighboring warp threads. Be careful to get those knots as close as possible to your weaving.
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It is at this point in the given instructions that I have chosen to take a bit of a personal departure. Although I do love to hand sew, I do not however love to hand sew through beading and ultrasuede together. (Ouch!) So…here it is- I admit to it freely: I cheat. Yep, I use a little bit of glue. (Ah, I can hear the admonitions from here. Sorry folks.)

I measure and cut the ultra-suede so that it is the same size as my finished piece. Placing the finished weaving bead side down with the backside facing up, I dab a LITTLE BIT of trusty E6000 across the back of the piece being SUPER CAREFUL not to overdo it and have any glue- God forbid- seep through to the front of the piece. I use a small paint brush for this to better control the amount of glue. In this way, I am also able to glue down those pesky errant warp tail that want to stick out anyway. I am also careful to neatly extend the glue JUST to the edge of the piece so that the ultrasuede is sealed all around creating a seamless look without any messy glue seeping out. This careful glueing takes a little practice but can definitely be successfully accomplished. Of course I realize that many of you purists out there might never consider using glue at all but I can assure you that it does work and might even be preferable to those sometimes imperfect tiny sewing stitches around the edge. I should also note that in the case of this particular bracelet, I prefer not beading around the edge either as I believe that it detracts a from the finished beaded look of the piece. (Just my humble opinion here.) Feel free of course to choose your own personal finishing method.

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The written instructions continue as follows:
“Warp the bracelet around your wrist. Measure the distance between the two edges. This distance will be filled with the loop that the button will go into and the button itself. This cuff should fit snugly around your wrist. In any case, you will want to add some beads to the beading thread to attach the button.
Center your beading thread at one end of the cuff in order to attach the button.
Attach a length of beading thread to the other end of the bracelet. Pick up enough beads to be able to fit over the button. You can make this loop longer than that if you need to in order to fit around your wrist. Keep in mind, that if the cuff is snug the button will not fall out of the loop even if the loop is large. Sew back through the end of the bracelet and then back through the beads for strength. End the thread as you ended the other thread.”
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WEAR PROUDLY AND WITH PANACHE!

See you next time,

xxx, Karen