Tapestry Bead Cuff

I had a pretty yucky couple of weeks simply because I had this dumb bronchitis and it just wore me out.  I am usually a very hyper person, bouncing all over the place (that is sometimes good and sometimes bad) but I was dragging my sad tail for two weeks and hacking away, which means I didn’t sleep a lot.  I am only half complaining because the reality is I rarely get sick.  But what I am complaining about is I had NO creativity.  Zip.  I couldn’t even do mindless creative things like knit a scarf.  There is nothing worse than not having that intense desire constantly to create something or many somethings.  It’s what fuels my passion in life and without it the world seems very gray.
So, this morning I woke up at about six and then again at about seven and then again at about eight and then again at about nine and then again at about ten and then again at about eleven.  Each time I woke up I told myself I would just have to go back to sleep with this idea for a weaving I had finally gotten stuck in my head, back to dreams where it would all get worked out and my energy would come back and I would feel just fine.  I let the guilt stay far away because I wasn’t going to let a little bit of guilt ruin my healing.  
When I jumped out of bed at twelve I rushed to the espresso machine first and then to my loom (well, one of the six Mirrix looms I have in my studio) and threw on a warp (19 epi, one warp in each dent using a 14 dent coil) using the tube of C-Lon cord Barry at Caravan Beads (www.caravanbeads.net) had asked me to try out (weeks ago!).  It’s a new thinner size and I knew it would be perfect for what I had in mind.  
Then I dug into my hand-dyed silk collection.  I hand dyed this silk for braiding but it comes in handy for a lot of things.  My vision was that I would finally create a piece combining both tapestry and beads.  I had set the loom up for tapestry.  The beads would have to be woven in a pattern of two beads, one warp, two beads.
I wanted to turn this piece into a cuff bracelet using a brass cuff.  The amazing thing is that my vision turned into reality in four hours.  I am now wearing the cuff.  I have just thrown two more warps on a loom and will experiment more tomorrow.  I also need to dye some more silk.  I plan to dye some of my hand-spun silk as well to see if that works.
The great thing about this project is you can play with tapestry, but not have to master all those tapestry skills.  It’s easy to keep the selvedges straight (especially with the fine tensioning on the Mirrix Loom).  It is the perfect Mirrix Loom project that even a beginner can accomplish.
You can use anything for the weft.  Scraps of silk or cotton are perfect.  Embroidery thread would be wonderful.  Novelty yarns and even a fine wool or rayon can be used.  I used Delica beads, two between each warp thread. 
All in all it was a fine adventure and I am so excited about teaching this new project and maybe even putting together kits for it.  Can’t wait to jump out of bed at six tomorrow and try my hand at using hand-spun, hand-dyed silk. 
So nice to feel my self again!
Picture time:


13 thoughts on “Tapestry Bead Cuff

  1. I love the randomness of the pattern and the colorway. Glad you're yourself again…

    I'm still waiting to save enough for my first Mirrix (16″)so I can weave, also…

    Thanks for sharing…


  2. The construction of the cuff: One woven band incorporating silk weft yarns and beads. Piece has to be long and wide enough to be slightly larger than the brass cuff. The piece will shrink so factor that in. Once off the loom, trace a piece of ultra suede to be the same size. Glue tapestry to front of cuff and ultra suede to the back. Sew edges together. Embellish with beads to cover sewing. I have included that in today's post.

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