Saturday, December 7, 2019

My Mandala Craze

Mandalas are my new favorite thing! Please add a comment to tell me about any ways you have of making or exploring mandalas. I'm interested!

I just finished reading this book which neatly ties the forms of everything in the universe, sacred geometry, spirituality, and human behavior all neatly together in a circle.

"The mandala is an archetypal symbol of wholeness that is replicated on a cosmic scale, not only in manifestations of art, architecture, and religion, but throughout the natural universe. The concepts and primal patterns it represents are the base upon which all physical things are created. Thus, we are attracted to mandalas because they are at the core of who and what we are."

It raises lots of new questions and I plan to make more study time over the next few months.

One of the realizations that I came to was that, while I love all kinds of patterns, it's radials that I love the most. Radials are patterns that radiate outward from a central point in a symmetrical pattern. These include round stained-glass windows, kaleidoscope images, flowers, snowflakes, Islamic tile patterns, spider webs, cross-sections of plant stems, fruits and vegetables. For some lovely photos of snowflakes, check this out: Macro Images of Snowflakes

Since inkle weaving, my main creative pursuit, creates linear patterns, it doesn't give me too many opportunities to explore circular patterns. I have thought about various ways in which I could play with radials.

Did you know that the Spirograph is back and popular this year? Loved playing with this set when I was a young kid. Now that I'm an older kid, I'm going to do it again! Bought one yesterday!

I've also considered some fibery way of playing. Crochet mandalas? All the rage! If you used to call them "Granny Squares" get with the times. A Google search for "crochet mandalas" turns up so many results that it makes my head spin!   Would you like to see? Check this out. Crochet Mandalas

A while back, I played with some software programs that can turn a photo into a kaleidoscopic image. Starting with photos of my woven designs, this activity gave me hours of  amusement! I didn't find a program which allowed me to save my results at a very high resolution, however, so my hopes of saving and printing and sharing them were dashed. Maybe I need to look further. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy looking at a few of them. 

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Winter Special on Tutorials and Ebook in My Etsy Shop

This week in my Etsy shop, I'm running a special on all digital items.

This includes the following:

Full length ebook version of "In Celebration of Plain Weave: Color & Design Inspiration for Inkle Weavers".

Inkle Weaving FAQ's and Answers

How to Weave Letters

3-Color Pickup


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Variations, Adaptations and Iterations

Because I love the design process so much, I don't choose to make copies of my designs.
I insist on creating a one-of-a-kind piece for my larger items like guitar straps and sashes.
Smaller things like key fobs or bookmarks may be created in multiples to use the loom's weaving length to my advantage, however.

So, while I don't make copies of a design, I might make a similar one. This is usually because someone asks for it or I fell in love with the design or colors. Do you do this, too?

It happens sometimes that a customer sees a piece that I've made and asks for one like it. I say "I can make you a similar one, but I intentionally don't ever make two exactly alike."

And sometimes, I just like a pattern or color combination so much that I decide to do a variation on it using the same pattern in different colors, or using the same colors in a different pattern. Below are some recent examples.

These two straps share the same colors in the same sequence. But do you see how I shifted the colored bar?
The strap on the left became a purse strap, while the one on the right became a guitar strap. 

This strap was made to go with a Pimentel Southwestern Guitar and reflect the turquoise and mother-of-pearl inlay.
It went to the guitar's owner, but then someone else asked for a similar one. It is shown in the photo below. 
The addition of the turquoise line on both sides of the central pattern area made the design pop a bit more. I also used a darker shade of brown, one of my favorite yarn colors. 

You can see the Pimentel Southwestern Guitar in this previous post. It accompanied me to the White House in July. Below is a closeup of the inlay work on the fretboard. 

Similar, are these three "Southwestern Diamonds" shown below. 

The design on the left came first. I liked it, so decided to try some other color combinations. Click on the photo to enlarge it. 

After making this wrist strap, I decided that I loved the color combination so much that I should use it again. Next came the guitar strap shown below. The guitar strap is twice the width of the wrist strap, so I created borders to add width. The central pattern is the same. 
 I talk about how to take a design you like and make it narrower or wider, 
and how to switch up the colors in a design. 

These two are just off the loom this week. The colors make me think of popsicles. Juicy! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Belts and Buckles

Inkle bands make great belts! But traditional belt buckles are not the best to use on your woven bands. They are hard on the fabric as you poke the metal tongue through your woven web.
Over the years, I  have found some nice alternatives. 
Please click on the photos to make them larger if you want to see better detail. 

This is what I use most often. I have been calling it a T-buckle because of the shape of the one end. However, the company I purchase them from now calls it a cinch buckle. Since I get asked this question often, here's my source: Ohio Travel Bag. They have so much hardware! Because they are a wholesaler, they have partnered with an affilliate to provide smaller quantities at retail. Here's the link:

Recently, I was asked to make a copy of this belt which is worn by a TV character. 
The show is called "Stranger Things" and the character, "Eleven".  The belt is 1 1/2" wide and this nifty buckle was also purchased from Ohio Travel Bag. 

Using two D-rings or O-rings is an easy solution. The one below uses D-rings and is 1 1/2" wide. 

This beautiful Navajo silver and turquoise belt buckle was purchased a few years back at Ortega's Weaving Shop in Chimayo, New Mexico. I've used it on a western style leather belt, but decided that I wanted to use it on a woven belt. 
(You can see me wearing it in the last post when I went to the White House.) 
I asked Mike of Stone Canyon Leather in Albuquerque to make me a leather piece for the front
 of the belt to accommodate the buckle. He stitched the woven band between two pieces of leather. 
It worked great! 

I have done something similar in the past by taking apart thrift store belts and re-using the leather piece at the front. I simply cut the stitching, opened up the two layers of leather, removed the webbing and replaced it with my own woven belt. 
I stitched by hand using the existing holes in the leather. This belt was made for my oldest daughter about 25 years ago when she was in the local 4H club. 

I also  have a number of sashes which I wear. They are woven extra long and tie together. 
No hardwared needed!
The photo below is of one of my hemp collection sashes that I'm adding to my Etsy shop here.