When it comes to the arts, kids are often markedly good teachers. There is a certain innocence and fearlessness children possess that allows them to be creative and unbound to expectation. I have seen this again and again watching young people weave both tapestry and beads, but I’m still pleasantly surprised each time a child reminds me of the innocent glee weaving can bring to someone.
Recently Dani Dias shared a video with us of her daughter, Ava, teaching bead weaving on her 5″ Mini Mirrix Loreli Loom. Dani and Ava have graciously allowed us to share this video with all of you.
This will be my last blog post as part of the Social Marketing team for Mirrix Looms and I must say it certainly was a fast year! What a joy it was to represent an amazing company so full of passion for weaving and design! Thank you Claudia and Elena for giving so much of your life’s effort to make Mirrix such a strong and successful company!
So it got me to thinking … what would I like my final blog post to be about? The word Connection kept coming to mind and how could I relate that to living my life as a Tapestry Weaver? Weaving is all about connected threads; fibers crossing over one other, creating a texture or a single design. Isn’t that what our lives are truly about as well?
My personal philosophy on Weaving is this … I relate the Warp to my foundation in life, whatever it is that grounds me (my spiritual walk, family, love, friendships). You hopefully know what that understanding is for you as well. I relate the Weft to all the scrumptious opportunities that come our way, the people we meet along life’s journey, those that cross our paths each and every day, relationships we hold dear, the experiences we walk through on a daily basis. These things make us who we are today, simply creating the woven Cloth of our Lives. Some things are brighter and more exciting than others, some experiences are subdued and quiet .. all the while creating and adding to the fabric of our own life. It is certainly different for each and every one of us!
So for me, Living the Woven Life is staying connected with all that brings me peace and serenity. Every time I sit at my looms to create, I feel a sense of calmness take over. In fact, how I wish I had more time to receive that gift weaving brings to me. Tapestry Weaving is all about slowing ourselves down, enjoying the process, listening within, designing work that comes from observing the world around us, feeling the magical rhythm that happens while weaving, and asking the creative “what if” questions. I know of no other art form that gives such a sense of peace and contentment. I think that is why you and I are drawn to this amazing art form that has been handed down from generation to generation.
We are Tapestry Weavers, always looking for something new to inspire our next creative work. The designs never shut off in my head, how about yours? With the use of Social Media, (if used properly) it can be a gift, a way of connecting all of us … sharing what we love most, what we have created and perhaps what we hope to design in the future.
I began as a Tapestry Weaver over thirty years ago, when it was much simpler. I strayed away to pursue harness weaving, all the while still living a “Woven Life”. How lucky for me that I returned solely to Tapestry Weaving a few years ago and all that I knew and had learned came right back to me! You see, I had finally found my “weaving home” and I am striving each and every day to live the Woven Life. I am learning as much as I can, reading about Tapestry History and learning from so many amazing current day Tapestry Artists. There is a wealth of knowledge for us to grasp from these Tapestry leaders. I am grateful for their willingness to share their techniques so openly with all of us.
Claudia and Elena, here at Mirrix, are doing a wonderful job to inspire new and seasoned weavers. They are constantly coming up with new techniques, products and weave along projects along the way. Follow them closely, they have much to share! There are wonderful teachers out there, teaching online and in a workshop experience. I am a devoted student of Rebecca Mezoff and I have learned so much from her. I have used my Mirrix Loom for each of her Tapestry courses I have taken. Consider joining ATA (American Tapestry Alliance). I am proud to be a member and serving an organization that nourishes my Tapestry experience. Connect with local weavers if you can, join a guild, find like minded fiber artists like yourself. Surround yourself with weaving! Each and every experience will lead you one step closer to truly living your own Woven Life! Absorb as much knowledge and experience as you can!
I encourage you to breathe it all in, weave as much as you can and share your knowledge and love for this art form with others. Step lightly, observe all that is around you … keep notebooks, sketchbooks and design notes. You never know what might show up in a Tapestry of yours one day! The next time you sit down to your loom, take a deep breath in, don’t rush the process and enjoy every minute you get to sit with your weaving. Be happy to be there, Be present, Learn from it, be inspired by it. If you believe you are truly working on building your own special weaving life … I ask you … What will it say about you? What do others see, what do you want it to reflect? Find time just for you and your weaving. Get to know each other again, inspire and teach each other. I promise you won’t regret living this Woven Life of ours.
I leave you with this thought … One of my favorite Tapestry Weavers of all time is the late Sylvia Heyden. A weaver who truly lived the Woven Life, every moment of every day. I have watched her beautiful video over and over again, each time learning something new. She states that “We cannot learn this process quickly, for it takes a lifetime.” Her words have stuck with me ever since. Her works were beautiful, Her spirit true, Her words so eloquently spoke how I feel about being a Tapestry Weaver. There simply isn’t enough time to accomplish all that I want to!
It’s been pure joy being here, thanks Mirrix for letting me have a woven voice! The pleasure has been all mine! Can’t wait to see who wins my woven pouch at the end of this month! What a fun experience it has all been!
Sometimes you have the urge to do something crazy and fun and break all the rules. That’s what this project was all about. I won’t call this piece a tapestry because it isn’t. It’s a weaving. A weird, colorful, fluffy weaving. After we dyed the yarn for this piece (more on that here), we got to warping the loom. Here’s Claudia warping so I could take pictures:
Here’s the loom all warped and on a stand. I don’t own my own Sitting/Standing Loom Stand so I haven’t used one very often, but weaving this piece with the stand made me want one.
And then, I began to weave. I used plain weave and soumak and Claudia spun some of the roving we were using to weave in between rows to give the piece a little more stability.
I wove this whole piece in a few days, mostly at night, sometimes with a glass of rosé.
Off the loom!
We finished it with ribbon sewed on the edges and then put a dowl through the ribbon on the top (which is actually the side) of the piece.
Here it is up on the wall!
Ready to start weaving your own wall-hangings? Click here to download our free Weaving is Easy Ebook to learn more!
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I have been weaving on my Tapestry pouch pretty steady and I must say, these handyed silks of Claudia’s are not only beautiful in color, but such a joy to work with! I wove at a 10 dent sett and the weaving process just flowed along for me. I decided to add a few beaded rows along the way! Sometimes that can be a little tricky, but with patience it all flows perfectly.
I wrote notes along the way during the entire weaving process. Things I discovered, didn’t want to try again, things I enjoyed and wanted to remember. In honor of Poetry Month (always in April) I even wrote a poem! Why not write about what you love . . . right?
This has been such a fun project for me. I have woven many pouches with chunky fibers, mixed threads and elements of nature, so weaving with strictly hand-dyed silks, at a fine sett was a different experience for me. I really enjoyed the slow rhythmic feeling it gave me along the way. I do encourage you to try something different, we all learn from new experiences.
I would have to say the only challenge that I had was choosing to add a row of Rya Knots for the front flap of the pouch. So I wove along and realized, I weave from back to front, interesting process for adding Rya Knots! So I put a few questions out on Social Media for advice, all I got was turn the loom around. So I did! Remember me talking about my paper towel pattern? Well it came in use again for the Rya Knots, I realized they would be upside down when it was folded and finished!!! So the entire row of RYA knots for this piece was WOVEN BACKWARDS AND UPSIDE DOWN!!!! It certainly worked, but oh my silk is slippery and it was a challenge!
When I took the woven piece off the loom, I trimmed the threads I had left and decided what fabric I wanted for my inner lining. I used a sweet piece of hand-painted fabric given to me from a sweet creative sister of mine. I wanted something special for this pouch. I measured the finished size of my pouch, added an additional 1/4″ all around. I then hand pressed under the 1/4″ hem and placed it on top of the wrong side of my woven pouch. I hand sewed the lining to my woven piece. This process was taught to me in the Mirrix Weave A Long for the Eccentric Eyeglass Case. I like to use a very fine clear fishing twine when sewing, something I have used for years. It really hides into the weaving when sewing!
Once I finished sewing the lining in, I folded over the pouch to the size that I wanted and sewed up the sides as well. Can you see the Rya knots on the front of the flap?? It was well worth the effort it took to weave them! The only thing left is the beaded necklace ~ the fun part! Measure how long you want the necklace to be. Then attach a double knot to the inside of one side of the pouch, begin beading! I wanted something strong so I used gold 0.15 Beadalon cord. I love to use an assortment of ornamental, seed, E , charms etc for my necklaces but this time I decided to use the 08 seed beads I had used in the woven tapestry. I created a small repetitive pattern and I think it turned out well!
While I am beading, I am just enjoying the process. Just on a personal note, if I am creating for someone I think blessings on the piece I am working on, sending it out to it’s new owner. Just a little love and blessing along the way! Trust me on this, if you take the time to create such a sweet gift, you must truly love the recipient!!! As I was creating this piece, I was sending out a gift of Peace and Contentment … not yet knowing who it’s owner would be!
That is it! Wasn’t that fun? I surely hope that you will give this fun project a try, once, or twice or more. Each piece can take on it’s own personality. I love to tuck a small word, quote, or even a sweet gemstone inside for whoever is going to receive it. For this one … the message was simple “Weave Tapestry” and the gemstone tucked inside was Rose Quartz, a stone of Calmness, Harmony and Clarity … all of which I truly believe weaving tapestry gives to me.
Please let us know if you enjoyed this project, leave your comments for us. If you have enhanced the design, please share that with us also, we learn from each other. Tapestry artists are very loving and giving individuals who aren’t afraid to share their knowledge and talents with others.
There is a surprise coming from Mirrix Looms and Me, look for the details soon!
This contest has ended.
Mirrix’s 24th Weave-Along is a FREE online event. In it participants will learn how to make a beautiful tapestry bracelet. This weave-along was designed specifically for beginners who hope to get some extra support learning basic tapestry skills.
Want to win the weave-along kit?
(If you already purchased the kit and you win we can either issue a refund for the full cost of the kit or send you a second kit.)
TO WIN: Tag a friend you think would like to take part in Mirrix’s 24th Weave-Along on [ONLY] one of the following three posts:
Winner will be chosen at random on June 1st and contacted via social media. Contest ends at the end of day on May 31st, 2017.
Interested in weaving tapestry but a tad intimidated to jump right in? Our 24th weave-along is perfect for your first foray into tapestry.
You will learn to make a colorful silk tapestry bracelet.
We will hold your hand through set-up and warping, basic tapestry techniques (slit tapestry, pick and pick and wavy lines) and finishing. By the end of this
you’ll be more confident with your loom and able to set off on your weaving journey with a sturdy foundation of tapestry knowledge.
This project takes only a few hours to complete, so dive right in, we promise you that this will not be the last time you weave tapestry!
This weave-along has already taken place. You can still buy the kit here and get the weave-along emails.
One of the reasons that I love textiles, is because I LOVE texture and am always looking to find new ways to bring texture into my weaving. A good place to start is with a chunky yarn, in the video you’ll see that I”m using roving, which makes great texture, and is also very forgiving because it’s bulky.