There are two types jewelry most women have: The jewelry you wear all the time and the jewelry that sits in your jewelry box waiting for a special occasion. This bracelet, made of silk and crystals, falls into that first category. In fact, you’re never going to want to take it off your wrist.
For our eighteenth weave-along, we will be making this gorgeous bracelet.
What’s a Weave-Along, you ask?
A weave-along is a FREE online course. Claudia Chase and Elena Zuyok of Mirrix Looms will lead participants through a project woven on a loom. Every Sunday participants will get an email going over what had been worked on the week before and giving instructions and tips for the week ahead. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage with other members of the weave-along via email and social media sites including the Mirrix Facebook Page, Mirrix Facebook Group and Mirrix Ravelry Page. This is a community event!
Please note you must be using a genuine Mirrix Loom to participate in these Mirrix-sponsored events.
When? Where? How?
September 13th – September 27th, 2015
September 13th- 19th: Warping & Weaving
September 20th – 27th: Finishing
After having made the simpTle beaded bracelet I realized that it would have been a bit easier to make it with the no warp-ends kit. I whipped out one of my two mini-mirrix looms and warped it up with the kit. I have been using the mini a lot lately. I go through stages but recently I’ve been weaving so much and in so many different places, including bed, that I find the mini is a must have when I really want something very little in my lap. I have even woven silk strips on it because I don’t always use the shedding device when weaving thin silk strips because it’s almost as easy not to reach up and change the shedding device. Plus sometimes I just like to needle weave. It’s kind of that “slow craft” moment, which I’ve been having a lot of lately. I digress.
Why the no warp-ends kit for this simple project? It turns out it is easier (and I am out to prove this point) to fold down the ends of the piece and sew them without those pesky warp end knots and ends. I am glad I tried it without the no warp-ends kit first because it’s very doable and I don’t want you folks who don’t have one and don’t want to buy the kit excluded from this very fun, very satisfying project. That being said, it’s always nice to find an easier way to to do anything. And if you are like me, turning over and sewing ends of things is not your favorite thing to do!
I wanted to make a simple, quick beaded bracelet. I haven’t woven beads in a while because lately I’ve been kind of obsessed with hand-painted silk bracelets and small tapestries. But the beads started calling.
Sometimes I just really crave simple: simple materials, simple design, but great colors. So I wanted this bracelet to be just that.
I decided I wanted to use the same clasp I’ve been using for the hand-painted silk bracelets. I figured out that I needed to use either 11/0 Delica or 15/0 beads in order for the bracelet to fit correctly into the clasp (obviously, smaller beads would work but that’s my limit!).
For #throwbackthursday we’re looking back at some old bracelet projects from around Claudia’s studio. Looking through these projects makes me want to take the rest of the day off and head to my loom! For more inspiration, visit our free projects page!
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.
This beautiful (and free!) wrap leather and bead bracelet tutorial is by Kim Holowatiuk
Sleepy Holow Leather & Custom Beading
Kim Holowatiuk is owner of Sleepy Holow Leather & Custom Beading in Alberta Canada. She has been making custom hand carved and stamped leather work since 2009 and has enjoyed beading for about 30 years.
Mirrix Loom (I used my Lani)
Round leather cord 1.5-2 mm
Variety of beads – I used 8/0, 11/0 and 4 mm rounds
#12 Beading needle
C-Lon Thread in color of your choice
Two fishing weights 1 ounce
Depending if you would like a single, double, triple (etc.) wrap, measure the leather cord around your wrist for an approximate length measurement. Add on some extra length for both the double loop closure and the addition of the button. For a double wrap, I start by cutting a strand of the round leather to about 30”.
With your leather cord folded in half, create a knot closure at that end (Pic 2). Make sure that you make it large enough for the button closure to slip through but not too big that it falls out. I make a second knot/loop (Pic 2a) so there are two sizes to close the bracelet. This step is optional.
Next, slide the top loop through your warping bar (Pic 2b)
Attach each fishing weight to the ends of each strand with a single knot. (Pic 3)
Attach your warping bar and move your side bars up until the weights are just below your bottom bar (Pic 3a). If you have a bottom spring kit, you can slide the leather cord into a dent (Pic 3b)
Doubling your thread, bring it around one leather strand (Pic 4). Bring your needle back through the thread so you have a starting “knot” on the first cord (Pic 4a) and then weave back and forth through the leather strands to create a solid piece of woven thread for extra strength (Pic 4b).
Now you are ready to weave your beads on. Depending on how wide you want to make it, always start narrow and work you way to the desired width, adding one extra bead each row. Here I started with one 11/0 bead (Pic 5), then two (Pic 5a) worked my way up to three beads, the width I want. (Pic 5b).
Continue on bead weaving with your beads until you come down to the end of the piece. Finish with the same thread weaving as you started and weave back through the beads to finish and hide your ends (Pic 6).
Remove the weights from the bottom and attach your button (Pic 7 and 7a) to one or both of the leather cords (depending on how large of a button hole you have). Make a knot and glue ends. Ta Da! Your very own leather wrapped bracelet! (Pic 7b). Try it with suede (Pic 7c)or a single wrap (Pic 7d)!
It was suggested to me that this is a topic of interest to many bead weavers. I have to confess, I am writing this from the cockpit of a sailboat boat (husband’s midlife crisis was to fix up a salvage /wrecked sailboat . . .I think he had fantasies of us selling our house and sailing the world on it, or some such notion, forgetting that I can’t fit Mirrix on a boat despite the three little cabinets he reserved for that purpose. What a hoot! In any case, I am putting in my three days.) I only mention this tidbit of personal information because the only loom I have with me (and of course I have a loom with me!) has a tapestry on it which needs another four hours or so to finish and I have no bead supplies here so, in short, I can’t take pictures of finishing bead work because I don’t have any. I am hoping I can troll the Mirrix website, my photos on this computer and the internet to find some suitable pictures to accompany this piece.
I am the perfect person to talk about finishing bead work because I have spent years figuring out how not to, at least how not to in the usual sense. The method where you cut your piece off the loom and weave in ten thousand warp ends . . . well, for someone who hates to thread a needle because she just can’t seem to do it well or fast or without screaming a few choice words, the idea of threading and rethreading a needle in order to sew those ends back into the beads of a woven piece . . . I have to confess, I have never done it and I never will. I can’t imagine with a wide piece how it is even possible to find beads after a point in which to shove all that thread. I know, I know, there are plenty of people who do it, and the more power to them, but I am not one of them. It’s like when people see one of my tapestries or bead pieces and say: “Oh my gosh, you must have so much patience to do that!” Which is a little strange, if you think about it, because if it required “patience” to create art I am not sure I would create art. Patience sounds like work and creating art is anything but work (most of the time . . . except when sewing in a bunch of warp threads!). But I imagine there are people who find sewing in warp ends cathartic, just like I find spinning cathartic and that certainly is not for everyone. In conclusion: I am not going to address sewing in warp ends as an option because I am the last person to steer you correctly on that subject. Rather, I will present to you all the many ways I have found to NOT sew in warp threads.
I am going to start with the most relevant way. On Tuesday last Elena and I had the pleasure of teaching a webinar for Interweave Press. It took a lot of prep work, but the actual presenting was a lot of fun. Jennifer of Beading Daily fame was our mentor in this project and although it would have been beter to get to see her live and in person, it was still nice to hear her voice live! The webinar was about using the Mirrix No-Warp Ends Kit to weave a checkerboard cuff bracelet a kit we sell exclusively through Interweave Press.
There were 16 warp threads which would have meant 32 warps threads to sew in. We were left with only two. While I am at it, I am going to give you a link to that webinar.
How does this magic work? With the help of a could of thin bars, some S-hooks and not a whole lot of patience you warp the loom such that you put on exactly the length of warp you need. When you are done there is only the beginning and end of the warp thread to weave in. The rest exists as loops which kindly slide between the end beads. We’ve trimmed this piece with pico stitch (which I like doing). The clasp is a button because while we wove the piece we created a button hole.
Here is another example of a bracelet made with that kit: Mirrix No Warps to Weave in Bracelet kit.
Method one for not having to weave in warp ends: don’t create any!
Method two for not having to weave in warp ends: make the warp part of the design. I really love doing this. Use a thicker and pretty warp thread and allow it to show both around the beads and at the ends. This makes a funkier kind of piece, but I love them. We call them wrap bracelets because you can make them one, two, three, four or more wraps. (By the way, we just passed under one of those cool bridges that lifts in the air so our mast doesn’t get knocked off when we go under.)
Below is not that particular kit, but an example of a wrap bracelet using those very cool two hole beads (a bunch of different kinds) on a hand painted silk warp
And another one . . . this one using tile beads and duos (the ones on the edge) plus some porcelain beads and a pewter button.
Above piece still on the loom.
If those two options don’t appeal to you, there is always the tried and true third method which allows you to warp the Mirrix loom in the normal fashion, but eliminates the need to sew in warp ends by simply tying them off, sticking them behind the piece and sticking the piece on some kind of cuff. For example, a piece on a leather cuff.
Some other examples of beaded work attached to a brass cuff.
In conclusion, if you are like me and refuse to sew in a bunch of warp ends when you find yourself at the end of your piece, there are a bunch of creative ways to either eliminating warp ends completely or bury them underneath your piece and incorporate them in to the piece as a design element. I am sure that we will all discover more and interesting ways to avoid the warp end dilemma. If you have ideas of your own, please tell us about it in the comments section.
The Mirrix Starter Bracelet tutorial is now up! This tutorial will teach you how to make this adorable heart bracelet (perfect for Valentine’s Day).
It goes over all the basics to make your first beaded bracelet on a Mirrix and can show you the fundamentals of how to make any bracelet using any size of beads and any pattern!
Find the ebook here: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/starterbracelet.pdf
Last Sunday Claudia taught a class at NOA Gallery in Groton, MA with the gallery’s wonderful owner Joni Parker-Roach. NOA is a gorgeous art gallery and also offers wonderful art classes for adults and children.
When I was a kid I loved art classes (like mother like daughter, right?). I remember taking one class in the summer in Wisconsin when I was maybe 8 years old. We made giant paper ice cream cones and decorated each “flavor”. I loved that project. It hung (per my insistence I’m sure) on our pantry door for a very long time.
Some of the things I made as a kid were pretty neat… a clay grandmother with tiny wire glasses… a decent colored pencil drawing of a tree… a set of cracked blue-glazed tea cups that still sit in my mother’s china cabinet next to the antique Waterford wine glasses… but nothing I made as a kid compares to the pieces I’ve seen made by young students at NOA Gallery. From stunning watercolors to sculptures, you’d think most of this art was made by seasoned adults. You can check out NOA’s Facebook page and see some of these works of art!
Getting back to the class… I wasn’t there, but Claudia and Joni have reported back that it was a great class. Fun people, a wonderful environment and a great project. One woman even brought her two little girls (bringing it all together here) to the class. They were 7 and 9 years old (their 5 year old brother stopped by too) and, as I understand it, the stars of the class.
With a little instruction these girls wove gorgeous beaded bracelets all by themselves. Bracelets that could sell in a gallery for $350. Bracelets that any adult would be proud to wear. It makes me want to run out and teach a class to kids to see what they can create. Give anyone with a creative spirit good supplies and they’ll never fail to impress you!
We are hoping to have regular classes at NOA. Let us know if you’re in the Boston area and would be interested in taking one!
Do you teach your kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews/etc. how to weave on a loom? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear your strategies, successes and failures.
And remember to follow NOA Gallery on Facebook!
Have a wonderful week!
Weave-Along 12: Jewel Cuff Bracelet
Starts December 1st –FINISHED
One Week Weave-Along – Make a gift fast!
Weave-Along 13 : Rag Mug Rug (or runner or rug… you choose the size)
Starts December 15th
Two Week Weave-Along
There will not be a kit for this weave-along.
-Cotton or wool rags. Either strip material you already have: old clothes, sheets, fabric you never turned into the gorgeous sundress, etc. or by some brand new material from the fabric store (on sale of course). The strips should be about half an inch wide. Rip them, don’t cut them.
-Wool warp (our Navajo warp would be great) if you are using wool rags and cotton warp (The Woolery is a great source for this) if you are using cotton rags.
-A Mirrix Loom with shedding device size 8 inch or up.
-A good beater. The heavier, the better.