Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bead Woven & Embroidery Bracelet- Intro & Warping

If my name looks familiar to many of you Mirrix aficionados out there, it should. It is hard to believe but it was exactly a full year ago that I began blogging for Mirrix. In fact, it was the end of July 2012 that I learned that I had won the contest that Mirrix sponsored to find a new blogger for Claudia’s Craftsy class. Well, I can surely tell you that a lot has happened during the course of the last year and unfortunately for me, much of it has taken me away from weaving and my Mirrix loom. However on a rare occasion that I was able to catch up with the Mirrix happenings, I caught sight of a really compelling bracelet that Claudia had designed. It didn’t have a name nor any real details other than that a special weave-along class and kit* was to follow. I went on about my business storing this information away for a later date when life returned to normal. 


Months later, while life hadn't exactly returned to normal, I still had not forgotten about this mesmerizing bracelet. I had never seen anything like it before and although I had some idea as to how it might be constructed, I wasn’t sure I could copy it myself without some guidance. My spontaneous suggestion to Elena to commence blogging again was met enthusiastically, and here I am. If you too have been smitten with this mystery bracelet, then follow along with me as I take you through its construction, step-by-step. I will provide instruction in three parts. The first will detail bead weaving the bracelet’s base; the second will include the fun part- or the embellishment; and the third part describes the finishing touches in turning your beaded piece of art into an actual bracelet to be worn on your wrist.



The warping is standard using ten warps of the C-Lon beading cord. No shedding device is necessary. The weaving of this bracelet has two distinct phases. The first phase is quite basic where you will create a grid-like base using your choice between the 8/0 seed beads, 10/0 delica beads and an occasional 6/0 bead which are all included in the bead soup that comes with the kit.

Next: Bead Weaving the Base

*Weave-along Class dates: March 10-24, April 7-21, May 3-24 2013

Kit includes enough to make TWO bracelets: 60 grams Bead soup, black C-Lon cord & black C-Lon beading thread, black ultra-suede, 2 pewter buttons, written instructions


Sunday, September 30, 2012

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 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

Happy reading, beading, weaving and ciao all!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cheerio and tootle pip!

Four hectic and busy months have passed since I  signed on for the 'Social Networking' summer 2012 campaign, and now my time here ends.

Hmmmm.... wrapping up..... well.... I've been mulling over what I would say to sum up my 4 month long adventure exploring the possibilities  of the Mirrix looms.

I've made 25 video tutorials, and posted 35 blog posts about the things I have discovered while working with my Mirrix looms.

I've figured out some new ways of working with the looms ( 's' hooks for the no warp ends techniques) and enjoyed trying out as many ways as I could think of to use the looms in innovative and creative ways.

One of the loveliest things has been connecting with other Mirrix aficionados and making friends with dear people.

So, even though I won't be posting here or on Elena's blog anymore (where all the Weave Along posts are), I will continue to share my love of weaving and my pleasure in using Mirrix looms on my blog:

Cheerio my friends, tootle pip, and fare thee well! 
Happy weaving, go gently, and be well!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Embroidering Leno Lace

I am passionate about lace and lace making. 
I love to tat, crochet and knit lace.
And, recently, I have been experimenting with weaving lace.
Well... weaving leno lace and then embroidering it.....
copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay
This was my first attempt, and to be honest,  it's wonky and woobley and 'real weavers' would consider it to be a messy failure.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay
But, I really learned a lot while I was working on it- and am intrigued and intend to keep working with this technique.
By the way, this was woven on my 16 inch Mirrix loom, with loom extenders attached.
When I was warping up for my second embroidered Leno lace scarf, I made  a video about the things I figured out while  warping with loom extenders:

I got so overwhelmed with all the work for the Soumak Weave Along that I didn't have time to do much more with the embroidered leno lace. 
I needed my 16 inch loom for a tapestry, so I wove off the blue scarf to get it off the loom, and will be doing the embroidery with the scarf being off loom.
copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay
I am pleased with the progress I have made with the embroidery, and look forward to doing more of this technique.
I love scarves and wear them year round. 
Leno lace scarves are light enough to be comfortable even in the summer, especially in the evening.
copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay
I haven't had a chance to wash and block this one yet, so it's not as nice as it will be.
I am planning on working a twisted cord with beads on it for the fringes.  
Leno lace is so wonderful and has so much design potential that I intend to continue experimenting with it!
Happy Weaving!
:o) Noreen

Sunday, September 23, 2012

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 :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fringing and planning

The fringe is coming along very nicely indeed. In the last post, I was still thinking about whether the design I had in mind would work. I didn't want to start it only to have to take it out! But, luckily for me, it worked great! Unfortunately I've run out of the colour that goes at the bottom of the fringe. So I'll have to wait till the coming week to continue. Monday to Wednesday are work days. Unless I have time in the evenings (read not too tired or lazy), then I'll be able to squeeze in some fringing. Otherwise it will likely be Thursday at the earliest.

This is the result of my 'decision'. The plan I to have the same on the other side. I considered doing the opposite on the other side, but I'm very unsure and nervous about that. I'll see if I have the gumption to try it out before settling on the same look.

Twisted fringe

And to go along with that, is a video on how to do the twisted fringe.

I don't twist as much as I have read you should on my 'research' on fringing, but it is enough to give me the look I have. I hope you find it useful.

The Nelson Mandela bracelet is still on the loom. I'll have to study the closure I have to use once again. Best now than to wait till its needed and start panicking! The issue that is holding me back is the fact I don't know what size is needed. I'll try asking again. If I hear nothing back, I will think about taking it off the loom to make way for something else. and my next video will be a result of this :) I hope it's not been done before...*starts searching*

I have several projects that I want to work on. The camera strap for someone, the strap for this purse and another that has been languishing in the drawers for a while, and two portraits. One for my Husband and the other to match one I did a long while ago - my first one. And, a belt. While in the shop buying more of the Swarovski crystals I need for the fringe, I spotted this little thing.

I have a black dress that would do nicely with a belt. Probably white as the trim around the arm is white. But of course that would be too plain so perhaps white with a design in black. I wanted to try looming with seed beads, but don't have decent black ones. I'll seep what to do when get round to it.

For now, I have to start seriously planning for the portrait that as commissioned a few weeks ago. I did a rough draft, but have to sit down and look at the colours before I can proceed. I think start time will be next month.

With that, I must be off. Thanks for reading and have a good afternoon/evening/night.

Wrapping Things Up

…Or should I say warping things up?  ;)

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been four weeks since my little adventure with Mirrix first began. Time really does fly by. You know how when, if you’re lucky, you meet someone for the first time and really hit it off? You quickly become fast friends, cherish the time spent and can’t wait to see them again. Well that’s how it is with my Mirrix loom. I probably shouldn’t admit wanting to get up out of bed in the middle of the night -I do have insomnia- and start weaving, should I? 

                                                       Two bracelets down, one to go 

As I have mentioned, I was initially reluctant to accept the offer to blog for the Social Market for a Craftsy Course because of my lack of weaving skills. Having already purchased the class, I knew what I would be facing. Initially the lessons seemed to blend into each other and the many little warping and weaving details seemed overwhelming. And with so many weavers far more experienced than myself, what could I possibly have to offer? And when would I even find the time? Besides the actual weaving, there’s the writing part and we all know how difficult that can be.

                                                      Notice my homemade heddles?  

Well I can safely say that all my fears and reluctance melted away upon receiving my package from Mirrix. The loom itself is so UN-intimidating and user friendly, and the fibers just seemed to talk to me as I knew they would. I dove in head first and haven't look back since. My family has grown quite accustomed to Mom sitting at her loom ignoring everyone around her. (Needless to say, they're not as fond of Mirrix as I am.) 

Each Craftsy lesson is so carefully laid out and slowly builds upon the knowledge learned in the previous one. Claudia is a superb teacher with a wonderful dry sense of humor. (Have you noticed?) And the finished projects, are they ever stunning. (Random note: in my day job I have occasion to spend time with some rather famous knitters. Last week, I was complimented by both Debbie Bliss -herself- and separately, Louisa Harding, on the Bead and Tapestry Cuff bracelet that I was wearing. When I took it off and told them I had made it, they were even more impressed. Fashion mavens both and definitely arbiters of good taste when it comes to fiber. Maybe they should be taking the Craftsy class, eh?)

As I have now completed all twelve sections of the class and woven every project, my blogging job is done. Claudia and Elena have kindly invited me to stay on to blog about some future projects so it is not goodbye as yet. I wish to thank all of you for bothering to read this at all and for all the warmth and encouragement you've shown. Truly, it would not have been nearly as enjoyable without all of your wonderful support.


Until we talk again soon, happy weaving!

xxx, Karen